ABUJA, 24 October 2020, (TON): Security situation has clam down after strict action by the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerian officials have confirmed that 69 people have been killed including 51 civilians, 11 police officers and 7 soldiers had been killed in the unrest in protests against police actions against civilians. The country witnesses street protests backed by the US and other foreign actors, in which may officers and soldiers.

As per the witnesses most of the deaths were caused due to stampede and fight between rival protesters civilians but as the protesters took law and order into their hands police and military took strict action.

At Friday's virtual meeting, President Buhari announced his administration intentions to listen to the demands of the protesters but warned that his government would not fold its arms and allow criminals to continue to perpetrate "hooliganism". One of the major demands from the protesters is to lift SARS (COVID-19) restrictions.

Directive issued by the foreign Embassies asked the protesters to postpone demonstrations for some time and stay at home. The foreign funded Feminist Coalition also disappeared for the time being. The Nigerian government has cautioned the civilians including protesters to observe curfew orders.

Meanwhile, the government has announced that the curfew would be lifted on Saturday between 0800 and 1800 hours.

TEL AVIV, 23 October 2020 (Media Report): One-day return trip has heightened speculation that Israel could soon strike a normalisation deal with Sudan, Aljazeera reported.

An Israeli delegation visited Sudan to discuss normalising relations following the Jewish state’s US-brokered deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, news reports said on Thursday.

The one-day return trip heightened speculation Israel could soon strike a peace deal with the Arab-led African country, with which it is technically at war.

A chartered plane left Tel Aviv for the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, according to the specialised air traffic website Flightradar24. Sources in Sudan and Israel confirmed the visit to AFP news agency. 

“A joint American-Israeli delegation visited Khartoum yesterday” and met with Sovereign Council President General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan for talks on a normalisation of ties between Sudan and Israel, a Sudanese government source said.

 Israeli sources, requesting anonymity, also confirmed the trip.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is ready to proceed with normalising relations with Israel once a yet-to-be-formed transitional parliament has approved the step, two Sudanese government sources told Reuters news agency.

 The comments are the clearest sign that Hamdok, under pressure from the United States, is willing to contemplate Sudan establishing ties with former adversary Israel.

Such a move would not be imminent, because the council still needs to be established under a power-sharing deal between the military officers and civilians who have been running Sudan jointly since the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019. It is unclear when the assembly will be formed.

 There was no immediate response from the government to requests for comment.

ADDIS ABABA, 21 September 2020, (Nation): Ethiopia announced Saturday it was charging leading opposition politicians Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba with crimes including terrorism and incitement to violence, a move that risks further inflaming tensions in the restive Oromia region.

The charges -- which could bring life imprisonment -- relate to violence that erupted after the shooting death in June of Hachalu Hundessa, a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group who gave voice to Oromo feelings of political and economic marginalisation. In the days that followed Hachalu’s June 29 killing, up to 239 people died in inter-ethnic violence and clashes with soldiers and police that underscored security challenges facing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Jawar and Bekele were among more than 9,000 people caught up in subsequent mass arrests that have stoked criticism that Abiy is seizing on the unrest to silence political opponents and critics. The attorney general’s office announced charges against 24 suspects in a Facebook post Saturday.

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These include “trying to incite ethnic and religious based conflict to cause citizens to turn on their fellow citizens”.

Among the other suspects are several high-profile Abiy critics living abroad like prominent Oromo activist Tesgaye Regassa and former Abiy ally-turned-critic Berhanemeskel Abebe.

Jawar’s lawyer, Tuli Bayyisa, told AFP Saturday that he had not been informed of the charges but dismissed them as baseless. “It’s very astonishing. I’m 100 percent sure that, it might take years and years and years, but they will not prove these allegations if the law really works,” Tuli said.

The attorney general’s statement did not provide details about the charges, but Tuli said in Jawar’s case they seemed to concern a scuffle over Hachalu’s dead body that resulted in the death of a police officer.

“No single witness has consistently spoken about any crime... by either Mr Jawar or Mr Bekele,” he said. Jawar played a central role in anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.

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Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo leader, but he faces intense criticism from Oromo nationalists like Jawar who accuse him of being a poor advocate for their interests and behaving like a dictator.

Putting Jawar on trial risks fuelling violence in Addis Ababa and in Oromia, the country’s most populous region which surrounds the capital.

Last month security forces shot dead at least five people in a crackdown on demonstrations against Jawar’s detention triggered by reports he was not receiving proper medical care.

And last October scores were killed after Jawar accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him.

Jawar and Bekele, both members of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, are expected to appear in court Monday.

KAMPALA, 18 September 2020, (TON). Over two hundred prisoners in a Uganda ran away on Thursday.  A military spokeswoman said on Thursday 219 jailbirds in a Uganda runaway from prison after overpowering the guards.

While giving statistic , Uganda military spokeswomen, Byekwaso told media personals that   before fleeing, they broke into the prison armoury and stole 15 AK-47 rifles, 20 magazines and other ammunition, 2 persons were also killed. A security operation has been planned to recapture the escapees.

Byekwaso said “It’s a mass escape … these were hard-core criminals… they included murderers, robbers and rapists”. It was Uganda’s third prisoner escape since the outbreak pandemic coronavirus in March various   measures like curfews and travel restrictions.

ZIMBABWE, 15 March 2020, TON: Zimbabwe’s Defense Minister says the coronavirus pandemic is God’s way of exacting revenge for countries that have imposed economic sanctions on the country.

Minister Oppah Muchinguri singled out the United States going as far as saying President Trump should know that “he is not God.” Trump renewed sanctions on the country recently.

She was speaking on Saturday at an event in Chinoyi, capital of the West Mashonaland Province. Her address was in a local language, a translation of which was as follows.

They are now stuck in their homes. There is nothing else for them to do. Their economies are now screaming. Isn't it they are making ours scream too? Trump must know that he is not God. They are suffocating us, where do they want us to go? Now it is your turn to be suffocated by coronavirus. So that you will feel how p

“This coronavirus that has come, these are sanctions, isn’t it? These are sanctions that have been imposed on countries that imposed sanctions on us. God has punished them.

“They are now stuck in their homes. There is nothing else for them to do. Their economies are now screaming. Isn’t it they are making ours scream too? Trump must know that he is not God.

“They are suffocating us, where do they want us to go? Now it is your turn to be suffocated by coronavirus. So that you will feel how painful it is.”

Zimbabweans on social media have been reacting to the pronouncements. A section calling for her to be fired, others making jest of the comment whiles for others the fact that China, an ally of the country, was the epicenter of the outbreak, has caused them to brand the Minister as ignorant.

“On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, I would like to apologise to those countries that have been affected by the coronavirus; the provocative and ignorant comments by the Defence Minister do not reflect the thinking of the generality of Zimbabweans who wish you a speedy recovery,” a former deputy ministerGodfrey Gandawa  tweeted on Sunday.

The Zimbabwe government continues to insist that economic sanctions was all but worsening the struggling economy of the southern African nation. 

MALI, 12 March 2020, TON: As the Australian government has intensified issuance of additional permits to export arms to Mali, the independent United Nations human rights expert in Mali has called on Australia to cease selling arms to the war-torn country and urged the international community to do more to stop nations “actively producing and selling weapons” in conflict zones.

He said, “The international community, notably the security council of the United Nations and the African Union, must hold countries which are actively producing and selling weapons accountable, and pressure them to cease these practices in all conflict zones, including the Sahel.”

Last year Australia had issued 16 permits to arms manufacturers to export weapons or military technology to Mali in 2019. In response to United Nations human rights expert concerns, the Australian government said its export licenses are only issued after thorough assessments on whether arms will be used to breach human rights or any of Australia’s international obligations. In case of risk that the weapons could be used to commit violation of humanitarian law, it will not issue an export permit.

DAR ES SALAAM, 3 February 2020, TON:  Pastor Boniface Mwamposa had been drawing huge crowds by promising prosperity and cures for diseases to worshippers who step in what he calls “blessed oil” during his services.

Pastor Boniface Mwamposa was arrested by Police when he was trying to flee the country.

Tanzania has seen a rise in the number of Christian missionaries in recent years, who promise to lift people out of poverty and perform what they call miracle cures.

28 January 2020: By Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa. This year is expected to be another busy election year for West Africa, much like in 2019 when three presidential polls were held across the region. Incumbents won re-election in Nigeria and Senegal whiles in Guinea-Bissau, the incumbent was kicked out.

The 2020 calendar sees three close neighbours holding elections i.e. Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Guinea is the other country even though there is a referendum specifically on whether or not outgoing Alpha Conde can run for another term after a decade in charge.

Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe will be contesting for the first of two constitutionally mandated five-year terms. Previously, the law allowed a candidate to run for as long as he wanted. That changed with the amendments that followed protests in 2017 and 2018.

 

But given that they did not have retrospective effect, Faure’s 15 years in office (2005 – 2020) did not count. It leaves him with a possible ten years to finally quit the presidency. If he wins the February 2020 polls, he is eligible to contest again in 2025 for a final term.

There are ten candidates cleared by the election body to contest. The president is the frontrunner but will be given his strongest opposition by Jean-Pierre Fabre, who was the leader of the protests that forced reforms especially on term limits for the presidency.

Alassane Ouattara after winning re-election in 2015 in what was expected to be his final term, said more than once that he was not interested in remaining in office beyond 2020. A lot has since changed and the president seems like he wants more of the presidency. Polls are slated for October.

Before disputed local polls of 2019, the coalition under whose aegis he rose to power parted ways. The ruling party managed to win the polls. Early this year, Ouattara dropped the strongest hint of staying on under certain conditions.

A key one being if his peers are going to contest, in this case former presidents Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bedie (his former coalition partner). Meanwhile, another ally in ex Speaker of Parliament, Guillaume Soro, has been shut out of the country over his presidential ambitions.

Soro is the subject of a judicial probe but has been denied re-entry into the country after a trip to Europe. Ouattara has promised to oversee free and credible polls, what remains to be seen is if it will usher in a new leader or a new mandate for himself.

Guinea remains in a state of political heat as opposition vows to continually oppose plans by the president, Alpha Conde, to amend the constitution to allow him run for a third straight term in office.

Conde like Ouattara has yet to make a clear statement on whether or not he will contest only again like Ouattara disclosing that plans are afoot to amend the laws. Protests in the country since 2019 has claimed lives, people have been arrested and jailed for their roles in the clashes with security forces.

With Conde’s party having a majority in parliament, it is projected that lawmakers will pass the amendment following which a referendum is likely to be held on the issue. Guinea, thus, has a long electoral year ahead.

West Africa is looking at four votes same for the East, Horn Africa region where Ethiopia and Somalia as well as Tanzania and Burundi go to the polls. Except for Burundi where Pierre Nkurunziza is exiting, incumbents are busy with plans to seek re-election.

John Pombe Magufuli will be seeking a final five-year term in Tanzania, In Tanzania. Abiy Ahmed will be in the driving seat as the Prosperity Party seeks political prosperity and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo will be hoping to secure a historic second term in Somalia.

Here at Africanews, our Africa elections page will be updated with major developments from the different electoral arenas with before, during and after coverage guaranteed.

Macron pleads with Trump not to cut off U.S. support for French forces in Africa

Nbcnews: France is appealing to President Donald Trump not to cut off U.S. military support to French forces fighting Islamist militants in Africa, warning that it could undermine efforts to counter a growing terrorist threat in the Sahel region.

 

Trump administration officials, however, are skeptical of the French counterterrorism mission's value and have refused so far to promise continued logistical and intelligence support that French forces rely on in their fight against al Qaeda and ISIS-linked groups, according to one current and one former U.S. official.

"We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a French force that has not been able to turn the tide," said a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

"It's not even a case of whack a mole. For all that we're spending, we're not getting much out of it," the official told NBC News.

Africa threatened with severe food crisis as locust 'mega-swarms' devour crops

 

TheTelegraph: The locusts are coming thick and fast as the low-flying aircraft punches through the swarm, leaving khaki-coloured streaks smeared across the plane’s windscreen and obstructing the view outside. 

But the pilot - despite travelling at 100 miles per hour - is unfazed. He simply winds down the window of the unpressurised cockpit, reaches his arm outside and wipes away what’s left of the insects with a damp cloth.

 

Libya civil war: UN envoy Salamé says foreign intervention must end

 

BBC News:Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Salamé called on international powers to stop supporting local proxy groups with mercenaries, arms, financing, and direct military support.

 He said such actions created "a vicious circle where their proxies call for intervention in their fight, and their own ambitions bring more divisions.

 The role of foreign states in the conflict has come into focus in recent months, with Turkey passing a controversial law to deploy troops to help GNA forces in Tripoli.

 Meanwhile, Gen Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) has the backing of Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan.

 Sunday's summit aims to extract a pledge from foreign powers to honour a UN arms embargo on Libya, and to halt any further interference in the conflict.

 The meeting will bring the two sides together, along with their foreign backers, the UN and other global powers, including Russia's President Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 Mr Salamé told the BBC that a political solution to the conflict was best for all parties involved because Libya - with its vast geography, strong local identities, heavily-armed population and weakened government infrastructure - was a difficult country for one group to control.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has declared US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Lewis Foote “persona non grata”, over forcing Zambian government to review its homosexuality laws. Ambassador Foote carried out criticism on judgment by a Zambian High Court at Lusaka, awarding 15 years imprisonment of two Zambian male Christians nationals, Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba who were caught red-handed committing sin of homosexuality. This led to sour diplomatic relations between Zambia and US. Ambassador Foote said in a statement that he was horrified that a judge had sentenced the men to 15 years imprisonment after they were caught having sex. Zambian Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji in a statement said, "US cannot pressurize a government to make a decision at gun point - because they are giving us aid.” 

President Lungu said "Even animals don't do it, so why should we be forced to do it?” On the other hand Ambassador Foote issued a statement, "I was shocked at the venom and hate directed at me and my country, largely in the name of 'Christian' values” and also e accused President Lungu of interfering in judicial affairs through statements rejecting homosexual rights. It is interesting to note that there are few countries left which still follow Christian values. Homosexual acts are illegal is all the divine religions including Davidians, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Even the bush people who profess no religion consider highly offensive. The Zambian constitution acknowledges the supremacy of God Almighty and follows the true teaching of Prophet, Jesus Christ (Hazrat Eassa Alhe Salam).

US has long history of interfering the internal affairs of sovereign nations despite clarity given in United Nations Charter; Article 2.7 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter. Article 15 (8) of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States of 1933, prohibits "interference with the freedom, the sovereignty or other internal affairs, or the processes of the Governments of other nations. Similarly, Article 2(4) reads that All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. It is time to make US follow International obligations. 

 














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