Category Archives: East Africa

Russia to maintain defense co-operation with Mozambique

Russia will maintain defense co-operation with Mozambique at a level that the African country finds appropriate, Russian Ambassador in Mozambique Alexander Surikov said in an interview to Russian news agency TASS.

We have a rather advanced legal framework as far as defense cooperation with Mozambique is concerned,” he stated. “During recent visits, we made an agreement facilitating Russian warships’ visits to Mozambique’s ports. Cooperation will continue at a level that Mozambique finds appropriate,” the diplomat underlined.

H.E. Surikov pointed out that the USSR had provided assistance to Mozambique during its war for independence. “It is no wonder that Mozambique’s coat of arms features an AK rifle,” he noted.

Mozambique is now a peaceful country, the war for independence is over, and our cooperation declined accordingly, it has never been permanent,” the diplomat pointed out. “Depending on the situation, we provide more assistance to our friends in Mozambique when they need it and reduce the amount of help when they have no need for it. When they need additional resources, Russia provides assistance in accordance with their requests,” he explained.

H.E.Surikov rejected allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the domestic affairs of African countries. “Some have been raising this issue in relation to Mozambique because the country’s government is carrying out a series of operations against armed gangs active in the north of Mozambique, where several rich deposits of natural resources are located,” he added.

Angola against death penalty

In October Angola became party to the Optional Protocol aiming to the abolition of the death penalty, to the Convention against Torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to the Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

The European Union welcomed Angola’s alignment with these three significant international treaties on human rights. The EU diplomacy underlined that Angola reinforces the global trend towards the abolition of the capital punishment, the eradication of torture and the elimination of all forms of racism.

“These accessions by Angola should encourage other countries to follow this example” said the statement of the European External Action Service.

“The European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty, to combatting torture and other ill-treatment worldwide as well as all forms of racism“.

Tanzania elephant & rhino populations recover

Tanzania presidency reported elephant and rhino populations have begun to recover after a government crackdown dismantled organized criminal networks involved in industrial-scale poaching and transporting the ivory to China.

A influential Chinese businesswoman running a poaching network on industrial scale, dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court in February for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants, weighing nearly 2 tonnes, to Asian countries. Yang Feng Glan had been charged in 2015 along with two Tanzanian citizens with smuggling 860 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004 worth $5.6 million.

“As a result of the work of a special task force launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 in 2014 to over 60,000 presently,” the presidency said in a statement this week, underlining the success of the case as a government victory over illicit ivory traffic.

The number of rhinos, an endangered species, had increased from just 15 to 167 over the past four years, the report says.

 

 

Al-Shabaab attacks hotel in Kismayo

A bomb attack in an hotel in Somalia port Kismayo has been revendicated by AlShabaab militants, Agence France presse (AFP) reports.

TV presenter Hodan (pictured) is announced among seven perished in the attack. The authorities said there are “at least” seven people killed, including Hodan and her husband.

A lethal blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayu, followed by gunfire. 

Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab military operation spokesman, said the militant group linked to al Qaeda, trying to overthrow Somalia’s central government, was behind the attack and that fighting was still going on.

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TV presenter Hodan moved from Canada back to Somalia inspired to communicate stories beyond war.

 

Sudan protests at rise

Sudanese state News agency SUNA informed the President of the Republic, Marshal Omar al-Bashir  in his capacity of the Supreme commander presided over the meeting of the Defence and National Security Council. The Council stressed the importance of gathering the national class and achieving peace and the need to invoke the “voice of reason” to spare the country from “slipping into sedition“.

The news agency also quoted police spokesman General Hashim Abdel-Rahim as saying that one person was killed during “disturbances” in Omdurman.

Officials say 31 people have died in protest-related violence so far, but according to Human Right Watch sources indicate that the death toll is much higher, reaching 51 victims, including children and medics.

SUNA  news also reported that civilians and policemen were injured in the demonstrations, citing police reports as thousands of protesters clashed with security forces near the President’s residence.

Uganda kidnappers demand $500,000 ransom

An American citizen who was kidnapped with her driver at Uganda’s most popular wildlife park by gunmen had failed to take an armed ranger as required by the park’s regulations, a spokesperson for the wildlife authority said.

Four armed men in Uganda‘s Queen Elizabeth National Park. according to CNN have used the victim’s phone to demand $500,000 ransom.

We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap,” a police officer said to CNN TV channel. They were ambushed and kidnapped near Katoke Gate between 5 pm and 7 pm on April, 2. “Other four tourists who were left abandoned and unharmed later contacted the base (lodge) and were quickly got safely out of any danger,” a press release said.

The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most visited wildlife attraction.

Kimberley Sue Endecott (35), and Ugandan driver Jean Paul were on a game drive in the Park when four gunmen ambushed their vehicle in evening hours, police said. However, an elderly couple also at the scene were not taken and raised the alarm.

Militant groups as Somali Islamists or Congolese-based rebels operate in Uganda, but none of the group claimed responsibility for the armed incident. At present the regular crime is regarded as a privileged version of the assault.

There is ongoing police operation, however for the evident reasons, the details are not revealed.

Burundi crack down on Western media

Burundi will ban broadcasts from two international media organizations and expand restrictions on their operations, the government announced on March 29.

.”We are alarmed that reporters in Burundi are now forbidden to communicate with VOA and believe these continuing threats to our journalists undermine press freedom in the country,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett said. “We stand with the people of Burundi against those who are restricting their access to accurate and reliable news and information.”

The BBC condemned the decision, calling it “a serious blow against media freedom.”

At a meeting in Bujumbura, the president of the National Council of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi, said the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC). and the Voice of America (VoA) are banned with an immediate effect. The ban is indefinite and extends to journalists, both foreign and domestic, who provide information to either broadcaster

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