Category Archives: East Africa

Burundi leader can stay until 2034

The overwhelming majority of Burundi voters (73%) approved a new constitution, the country’s electoral commission said on Monday (21/05/2018), ushering in changes that could let the president stay in power to 2034.

Already ahead of the vote a number of independent experts have expressed concerns about a possibility for President Pierre Nkurunziza to become an ‘eternal’ leader of the nation

Last week’s referendum asked voters to say “yes” or “no” to amendments extending the presidential term from five to seven years and allowing President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek two more terms beginning in 2020.

Woman lapidated by al Shabaab

Somalia Islamist group al-Shabaab announced it has lapidated to death a woman accused of poliandria.

The al-Qaeda-linked group radio, Andalus, reports that the execution by lapidation took place on Wednesday (9/05/2018)  after an ad hoc al-Shabab court convicted the woman in Sablale town in Lower Shabelle region.

The report says masked men lapidated to death 30-year-old Shukri Abdullahi Warsame in the middle of a  public square according to the procedure of Sharia law.

The self-proclaimed Sharia judge said the woman had confessed to having secretly married 11 men without seeking a divorce.

Al-Shabab has been fighting for years to impose a strict version of Islam in the Horn of Africa nation.

EU condolences to “all Mozambicans” mourning Afonso Dhlakama

Afonso Dhlakama passed away in times of great challenges for Mozambique. He played a historical role in the process that culminated in the Rome Peace Accord of 1992 and was a key actor in the democratic transition of the country. Since 2016 Afonso Dhlakama, again, demonstrated great determination in engaging in peace and reconciliation talks with President Nyusi” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EU extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama, as well as to all Mozambicans who mourn the loss of the leader of Renamo” – the EEAS statement continues. “The EU encourages the Government and Renamo to continue with their firm and sustained commitment towards lasting peace so that a comprehensive agreement can quickly be reached. The European Union continues to stand with and support Mozambique on the country’s path towards peace and prosperity for all its citizens.”

Tanzania bloggers win lawsuit

Tanzanian bloggers and rights activists won a first, although not final, court lawsuit against a government order to register their online platforms that raised concern about a crackdown on free speech.

Tanzania’s communications regulator had given bloggers, as well as owners of other online forums such as YouTube TV channels, until May 5 to heed tough new internet content rules through state registration and a license fee of up to $900.

Six human rights and media organizations, and bloggers filed a joint case in Tanzania’s high court asking the judiciary to block implementation of the regulations, arguing that they violate freedom of expression and privacy of internet users.

In his ruling, Judge Fauz Twaib (pictured) ordered the Information Ministry and the state communications regulator (TCRA) not to enforce the deadline pending another hearing to decide the case.

The new rules also require bloggers to disclose the details of shareholders, share capital, citizenship of owners, staff qualification and training programs, as well as a tax clearance certificate, to obtain an operating license.

Red Cross nurse abducted in Mogadishu

The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed the abduction of a nurse in Mogadishu (pictured), at present police, and intelligence agents are working on the case. At present  no further information has been released on the circumstances of the incident, police added the nurse is a German citizen.

 

 

 

 

Aid workers freed in South Sudan

Ten aid workers who were taken by an armed group last week in South Sudan were returned to the capital Juba on Monday (30/04/2018) by a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The aid workers were transported by ICRC aircraft from an area around Yei to the capital. “The ICRC has a long-standing record as a neutral intermediary in these kinds of situations. We are pleased that these ten aid workers will now be able to return to their families,” said François Stamm, the head of delegation for the ICRC in South Sudan.

The ICRC said it provided the transportation of the released aid workers with the consent of all the parties involved and was not involved in any negotiations. None of the aid workers were ICRC staff members.

EU expects Guinea Bissau to recover “democratic normality”

“Mediation efforts by the Economic Community of Western African States have been essential in the intense negotiations between political stakeholders to contribute to a way out of the long-lasting political crisis” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), commenting the appointment of an inclusive government, chaired by consensual Prime Minister Aristide Gomes,  which has reopened the National Assembly, and made an announcement of legislative elections for November 2018.  Both movements are considered by the EEAS are the major steps towards the resumption of a “normal functioning” of the State institutions in Guinea Bissau and the preparation of the new electoral cycle.

“Now is the time to consolidate political and institutional progress, have a programme and budget for the government presented and discussed in the reopened National Parliamentary Assembly, and start preparations for the legislative elections.”

“We encourage all stakeholders to engage in this new opportunity for the recovery of democratic normality, Rule of Law and institutional stability. With that purpose, we stand ready to collaborate with the authorities of Guinea Bissau for transparent and inclusive legislative elections on 18 November 2018.”

“The EU will maintain its engagement and coordinated action with international partners, especially within the P5 group – the United Nations, the African Union,  ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries – to promote stability, democracy and development for the people of Guinea Bissau.”

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