Category Archives: Politics

Burundi: ruling party celebrates victory

Burundi’s ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye has won the presidential election with 68.72% of votes cast, the electoral commission said on May 25, after multiple accusations of rigging by the leading opposition challenger.

The commission said opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa got 24.19% of votes. There was a turnout of 87.71%.

The vote to replace President Pierre Nkurunziza was preceded by a wave of political violence including the arrest, torture and murder of opposition activists, according to a local rights group.

There was also controversy over holding the election during the global coronavirus crisis.

Hundreds of Burundians were killed and hundreds of thousands fled into exile after unrest surrounding the last election in 2015, when the opposition accused Nkurunziza of violating a peace deal by standing for a third term.

Rwasa has previously said he would take his complaints to the constitutional court, though it is overwhelmed with the president’s allies. He was not immediately available for comment on the elections results announcement.

Five other candidates also stood in the polls, in which 5.11 million registered voters were eligible to participate.

Al-Bashir $4bn assets confiscated

Following the investigation, Sudan has confiscated assets valued at $4 billion from former President Omar al-Bashir, his family members and associates, the country’s anti-corruption body said.

“Our initial estimates of the value of the assets, shares in different companies and buildings we have confiscated is $3.5 billion to $4 billion,” Salah Manaa, a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption and Regime Dismantling Committee, said in response to questions. The body was set up late last year.

Bashir, who was overthrown by the army in a coup a year ago amid mass protests against his three-decade rule, was jailed in December after being found guilty of illicitly possessing millions of dollars in foreign currencies.

The oust leader has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the western region of Darfur.

Burundi: EU calls for peaceful elections

Tomorrow, millions of voters will go to the polls in Burundi, at the end of an electoral campaign marked by great citizen involvement, despite several incidents. On the eve of this important meeting, the European Union calls on all political actors to honor the commitments made in the electoral code of conduct signed in December 2019 and thus contribute to the holding of free, transparent, credible and peaceful elections”, says the statement of the European diplomatcy spokesperson (EEAS).

“The European Union fully associates itself with the Joint Commission Communiqué of the African Union and the United Nations Secretariat, calling on “all political actors to refrain from any act of violence, hate speech and to favor dialogue”. “The Burundian population, whom the European Union has continuously supported, must have their aspirations recognized and it is therefore essential that the electoral process goes smoothly and without violence”.

ORIGINAL VIDEO:

https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu:443/en/video/I-191419?&lg=OR

Cameroon: EU promotes inclusive dialogue

We have expressed out support to Switzerland, mediating in the crisis, and we would like to promote a political dialogue which will be accepted by all stakeholders” the European External Actions Service spokesperson said, reflecting upon the latest episode of violence in Cameroon where the mayor of Mamfe, the youngest the country, was assassinated recently.

European diplomacy has taken note of the violence episode in the south-west of the Cameroon, where Mayor of Mamfe was killed, one more act reflecting profound crisis which has been ongoing for some years, effecting the country. The EU has been calling the government and the separatists to do their utmost to put an an end to the down spiral of violence and engage into constructive inclusive dialog, considering interests of all stakeholders.

The EU has been continuously expressing concerns about violations of human rights that are effecting the population.

Via the EU delegation in Cameroon the European diplomacy is engaged in a regular political dialogue with the authorities and the stakeholders as “civil society and religious leaders to encourage them to come up with the peaceful solution to the peaceful solution to the crisis” the spokesperson of the EU diplomacy added.

Isabel Dos Santos accuses fraudsters

Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, denounes fraudsters, insisting that a fake copy of her passport with the signature of martial artist and celbrity Bruce Lee was used to seize her assets in Angola and in Portugal.

An internet fraudster claiming to represent her interests used the document to propose a loan to a Japanese startup before Angolan authorities presented it as part of evidence that she was attempting to transfer large sums of money abroad, Dos Santos said May 12 in an statement that includes pictures of the forged passport. While the authenticity of a copy of her passport was investigated in one of those cases, the elements proved in that process “weren’t based on any identity document, but on documents that attested to the fear of dissipation of assets,” it said in a statement.

This not only served as the basis for the confiscation of all the property of Ms dos Santos in Angola, but also for a rogatory letter asking the Portuguese judiciary to freeze her assets in Portugal,” Dos Santos said.

Dos Santos’s assets in Angola were frozen late last year after authorities in the southwest African nation accused her of engaging in deals with state-owned companies that cost the state $1.14 billion. In February, Portuguese prosecutors also froze Dos Santos assets in the country, home to a sizable portion of her estimated $2.4 billion fortune, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The daughter of late President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been living outside Angola since 2018, has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the allegations are politically motivated to prevent her from participation in elections.

In an exclusive interview with DW TV, the Angolan president spoke about the scandal. Joao Lourenco said no one was exempt in the fight against corruption in Angola, and that there would be “no negotiations” with people who had allegedly taken their assets out of the country illegally.

Angola’s prosecutor general’s office said late on May 12 that Dos Santos currently faces several civil and criminal cases in which the state claims more than $5 billion, which were acquired through fraudulent manipulations with state aid.

Isabel dos Santos’ assets have been frozen in Angola. On January 22, the country’s prosecutors charged her with money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents and other economic crimes during her time as head of the national oil company, Sonangol, from 2016 to 2017.

The charges against Isabel dos Santos were brought after an investigation into the scandal led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) using more than 715,000 leaked files. The richest woman of Africa, as she is often referred to, has vehemently denied the accusations, and claimed she is the target of political persecution.

Tigray region elections controversy

Ethiopia’s Tigray region plans to hold elections, its leading party announced, setting it on a collision course with the federal government in Addis Ababa and imposing strain on the country’s fragile unity.

On May 4 the Executive Committee of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has passed a decision to hold the upcoming elections at the regional level after the decision of the election board to postpone the elections “indefinitely” the context of the pandemic.

The end of March Ethiopian electoral board postponed parliamentary and regional elections scheduled for August 29 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. A new date has yet to be set but the opposition has already questioned the move.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the region’s governing party, split acrimoniously from the national Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition last year when its three other parties merged to form the new Prosperity Party.

The TPLF said it would proceed with elections in Tigray region despite the nationwide postponement of voting due to COVID-19.

We are making preparations including the holding of a regional election in order to safeguard the rights of our people from chaos,” a TPLF statement said. It did not mention a date for the vote.

Addis Alem Balema, an expert and a prominent Tigray politician has criticised Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government in connection with the change of the election schedule.

Government was working half-heartedly on the next election. Now the Coronavirus complicated it,” the expert said.  Moreover, he criticized Prime minister’s administration pointing that the rule of law in the country is “messy“.

Concerning the strategy to address the situation, Alem Balema added the measures to be taken need to ensure the “rights of nations and nationalities, and foster the federal system.” 

Consultation has to continue and the upcoming election has to be free, fair, and credible” he added.

Sudan: Bashir family property confiscated

In Sudan capital Khartoum several large plots of land and residential properties will be confiscated from family members, relatives, and some close friends of ousted President Omar al-Bashir after investigation established they were acquired largely due to family connections, anti-corruption committee announced on May 7.

The Empowerment Removal Committee said it confiscated property from Bashir’s brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, and a former Defence minister, who was a close ally of al-Bashir. It transferred the ownership of the propterites, which totalled around 92,000 square meters in size to the finance ministry with new status of natonalised public property.

Separately, it also dissolved the boards of the Khartoum International Airport Company and the Sudan Airports Holding Company over a range of accusations, mainly corruption.

The committee was charged by the attorney general with dismantling the system built by long-term ruler Bashir authority after his ouster in April last year. It is in charge of investigations into crimes involving public funds and corruption by the former president and members of his extended family and allies.

Bashir, who has been jailed in Khartoum since he was toppled following mass protests after his 30-year authoritarian rule, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.

A Sudanese court handed Bashir a first, two-year sentence in December on corruption charges. He also faces trials and investigations over the killing of protesters and his role in the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

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