Tag Archives: protests

President Buhari “detached” speech

Brussels 23.10.2020 “It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria” the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell said, reacting upon the events in Lagos. “It is crucial that those responsible of abuses be brought to justice and held accountable. Following the Government’s will to deliver on reforms, we expect to see decisive implementation” the EU diplomat has underlined in his Tweet micro blog.

Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerian on the issue of the unrest that has overwhelmed the country in recent days, but without making any mention of the shootings of peaceful protesters at Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday, October 20, night that caused international outrage.

The military opened fire without warning on thousands of peaceful protesters singing the national anthem in the night, killing at least 12 people, according to Amnesty International.

The shootings have been widely condemned but Buhari did not speak of them at all during his Thursday,October 22 address, instead urging the protestors to stop their actions.

“This government will not allow anybody or (any) groups to disrupt the peace of the nation,” Buhari said in his TV address, urging protesters to “resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.”

“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and law and order,” he said. “Under no circumstances would this be tolerated.”

Buhari called on Nigeria’s youths “to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.”

The President responded to the criticism he has received from African heads of state and other world leaders by calling on them “to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position, or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.”

While as Buhari was addressing the nation, irate Nigerians flooded social media with denunciations.

“President Buhari during his speech refused to acknowledge those dead as a result of military attacked on Lekki protesters #EndSARS,” tweeted Usman Okai Austin.

Mali officers propose civil transition

After months of civil unrest, and absence of any meaningful response to the demands of the people, Mali military took the lead announcing their plan to nation on moving towards a civil and political transition.

International agreements will be respected, including the agreement with the Tuareg rebels. The resolutions of the national dialogue will be implemented. Credible and transparent elections will be organized, the group of officers said in a TV statement.

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced his resignation on the night of August 18-19, explaining that he had no choice but to submit to the will of his rebelling army to prevent blood from being spilled.

President Keïta, arrested in the company of his Prime Minister Boubou Cissé at the end of the afternoon and taken to the military camp from which a mutiny had started at the start of the day, appeared around midnight on public television ORTM, wearing a mask on the mouth.

Political tension has been accumulating since Keita won re-election in August 2018 in a poll that opposition parties said was marred by irregularities.

The government pushed ahead with a legislative election in March despite the coronavirus outbreak, causing further discontent after the Constitutional Court overturned 31 of the results. That decision handed Keita’s party 10 more parliamentary seats, making it the largest bloc.

Also in March, unidentified gunmen abducted Mali’s main opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse, as he campaigned in the country’s volatile centre. There is no inforamtion about him ever since.

Mali protestors occupy state buildigs

Mali’s opposition coalition members indicates that the security forces had raided their headquarters on Saturday July 11 in the wake of violent protests against the President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Social media Twitter and Facebook were restricted on Friday Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said, and further the internet availability remained sporadic.

Police fired gunshots and tear gas to disperse protesters on Friday, July 10, in attempt to remove them from occupied parliament building and the state broadcaster as part of a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing President to resign for failing to resolve deteriorating security situation and economic hardships. 

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Security forces focused on the headquarters of CMAS, an opposition movement led by influential Muslim cleric Imam Mahmoud Dicko that is part of the M5-RFP opposition coalition.

“While our activists were in a meeting, they came and attacked and ransacked our headquarters,” M5-RFP spokesman Nouhoum Togo said. 

One protest leader, Issa Kaou Djim, has been detained and remains in custody, Togo said earlier. 

However, I would like to reassure our people once again of my desire to continue idialogue and reiterate my readiness to take all measures in my power with a view to calm the situation down,” he said late on Friday. 

The streets of Bamako appeared largely quiet following the protest. State television ORTM resumed broadcasting after going off air during the interference of the protestors.

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However there is a general recommendation to avoid travelling during the weekend.

Ethiopia: death toll rises to 166

At least 166 people have been killed during violent demonstrations that spontaneouls occured in Ethiopia in the days following the murder of popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, police said July 4.

Pop star and activist Hachalu, a member of the Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s largest, was shot dead by unknown attackers in Addis Ababa on June 29 night, fuelling ethnic tensions threatening the fragile peace and democratic transition.

“In the aftermath of Hachalu’s death, 145 civilians and 11 security forces have lost their lives in the unrest in the region,” said Girma Gelam, deputy police commissioner of Oromia region, in a statement on the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

Another 10 are known to have died in the capital Addis Ababa.
Girma said that a further 167 had “sustained serious injuries” and that 1,084 people had been arrested.

Officials have attributed the deaths to a combination of lethal force by security officers and inter-ethnic violence.

Girma added that the violent unrest had now “completely stopped”.
Hachalu’s music gave voice to Oromos’ widespread sense of economic and political marginalisation during years of anti-government protests that swept Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to power in 2018.

MEPs condemn Egypt crackdown on protest

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

Zimbabwe protests stemmed

Movement for Democratic Change  (MDC) party the leading opposition force in Zimbabwe gave up to government pressure, calling off a street protest planned for August 16. 

The of street demonstrations scheduled by the MDC, which accuses the government of corruption and economic mismanagement, are viewed as a screening of President Emmerson Mnangagwa  disposition toward dissent in view of the Zimbabwe legacy of repressions of democratic political competition. 

However the police did not allow the “examination” to take place,  banning the protest foreseen in the capital Harare, explaining it would turn violent, and warned that anyone taking part would be committing a crime.

A High Court judge early on August 16 dismissed the MDC complaint with a demand to overturn that ban, and the party spokesman Daniel Molokele said the Movement will proceed with the scheduled demonstration.

At the moment there in no information about cancellation of protests planned next week in other cities, presumably they would go ahead.

The Government of Zimbabwe must do more to deliver the promised fundamental political and economic reforms and take responsibility for the humanitarian crisis affecting the people. The UK stands with the people of Zimbabwe at a time when million are at risk of starvation and diseases. Through trusted partners we will continue to give families access to food and clean water and support children to gain a decent education,” said Alok Sharma, the United Kingdom International Development Secretary.

Following a United Nations appeal concerning Zimbabwe, facing a chronic food crisis, Mr.Sharma has announced an allocation of a £49 million UKAID Fund which is meant to support and help malnourished children, families and communities.

Without  support from outside the country more than 5, 5 million people in Zimbabwe will be deprived of food by 2020, according the the latest estimates.

Four dead in Sudan protests

One policeman and three protesters were killed in Sudan  Khartoum and many other demonstrators were wounded, state TV said.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took over after the army overthrew President Omar al-Bashir in April blamed the violence on saboteurs who demonstrated discontent with the transition deal.

After the incidents Sudan’s ruling military council warned that it would not allow “chaos”. Four people were killed in violence that broke out over an agreement on a political transition reached by the generals and protest groups.

Sudan activists to impose civilian power

Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been enhancing protests, announced  news conference at 1700 GMT on April 21 outside the army complex, inviting foreign diplomats. The Association promises to propose their own civilian council to facilitate transition of power from military.

In a statement the protest leaders declared their plans to form a civilian body to take over from Sudan’s ruling military council while crowds of demonstrators kept up the pressure outside army headquarters.

The military council  has declined to respond to the protesters demands to ensure swift transition of power for a civilian administration, initially proposing two year period to pave the way to civilian rule.

Activists continue to mobilise demonstrators through social media to keep up the pressure for replacing the military council by civilians. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan chairing the Council has not responded to the claims of the Sudanese, who continued to chant slogan “Power to civilians” through the night.

Algerians protest against 5th Bouteflika mandate

Algerians went to streets calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to leave office in the country’s biggest anti-government demonstrations since the Arab Spring eight years ago.

The protests started as peaceful but degenerated to some clashes between police and demonstrates broke out in capital Algiers near the presidential palace.

Several protesters and policemen were wounded during clashes in Algiers, state television said. Local sources reported around 60 wounded, and 45 detained.

Bouteflika (82) has not directly addressed the protesters. Last week the officials said he would travel to Geneva for medical checks. Fading health of the President has been central to debate about his capabilities to function, as he has almost disappeared from public view since he suffered a stroke (2013). Citizens rarely had an opportunity to see the wheel-chair bound, and visibly frail President, however the the country’s powerful clans prefer him to stay on as a guarantor of their might.

 

Zimbabwe internet paralysis

Zimbabwe suffered an internet paralysis  on January 18 as a result of the authorities extended communications ban to exchange emails after days of deadly protests over fuel price increases.

According to the governmental sources three people died during demonstrations that broke out on January 14 as a reaction on President Emmerson Mnangagwa decision to augment fuel prices by 150%.

NGOs and activists say the death toll was much higher and that security forces used arms and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest. According to the NGOs there were 12 deaths, 78 gunshot injuries, 46 cases of vandalism & looting, 242 cases of assault, torture, & dog bites, 466 arbitrary arrests & detentions.

Flows of injured people streamed into a hospital in the capital after the clashes with security.

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