RDC : La campagne électorale des candidats au bureau du sénat démarre ce dimanche
February 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Selon le calendrier publié par le bureau d’âge, les élections des membres du bureau définitif du sénat sont prévues pour le mardi 02 Mars. Dans l’entretemps, la campagne électorale commence ce dimanche pour les 17 candidats enregistrés et validés par le bureau d âge.
Parmi ces candidatures, Modeste Bahati qui va briguer au poste de président du sénat en remplacement de Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, qui a démissionné comme les autres membres de son bureau.
Seul Samy Badibanga conserve son poste de premier vice président du sénat comme du temps de Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.
Aujourd’hui, les 17 candidats qui cherchent à être élu et occuper les 6 postes laissés vacants vont donc se déployer pour montrer à leurs pairs, qu’ils méritent ces postes.
Qu’à cela ne tienne, le ticket de l’union sacrée va favori.
L’article RDC : La campagne électorale des candidats au bureau du sénat démarre ce dimanche est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
Rwanda:Court claims juridical competence to try Rusesabagina
February 26, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
The Nyanza based High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes has said it would proceed with the trial of the terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina stressing that it had jurisdiction to try a suspect who committed crimes on Rwandan territory regardless the citizenship.
The hearing resumed this Friday 26, February 2021 after the court had been adjourned early this month when the prime suspect said he was a Belgian not Rwandan challenging the judicial competence of Rwandan court to try him, but rather sought the transfer to Belgium for trial should he be accused of any crime.
While the court is based in the Southern Province’s Nyanza district, the hearing is being held in the country’s capital city of Kigali, precisely in the Supreme Court’s premises to accommodate more people.
In today’s hearing, the courtroom packed though they respected guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as wearing facemasks and respected social distancing.
The hearing was covered by both local and international journalists and attended with different people including representatives from foreign countries.
Rusesabagina is one of 21 terror suspects all members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) who allegedly committed various crimes in Rwanda between 2028-2019 and at least claimed lives of nine people.
FLN is the army wing of the political outfit Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) in French Acronym whose leader and founder is Rusesabagina.
He faces nine crimes including the formation of an irregular armed group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, abduction as an act of terrorism, and armed robbery as an act of terrorism.
The prosecution alleges that Rusesabagina’s MRCD through its armed wing, FLN launched the attacks in Rwanda’s Southern Province through Nyungwe forests and killed civilians injured others, and committed other crimes.
In the same case, eight-four people filed cases claiming for reparation. All the suspects were present along with their lawyers.
Cross border crimes
Judges in theHigh Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes said it decided to try Rusesabagina whether he is a Rwanda or a foreigner because he allegedly committed crimes on Rwandan territory. He will therefore be tried among with his co-accused.
According to the presiding judge Antoine Muhima, the court has analyzed Rusesabagina’s objection and rendered it baseless as the crimes he is accused of were committed on Rwandan soil and the Rwandan law on trans-border crimes grants the court he presented the rights to try crimes in that nature.
“If the alleged crimes took place on Rwandan soil, this chamber has the jurisdiction to try them whether the accused is a Rwandan or a foreigner,” he said.
No sooner had the judge pronounced the decision on the jurisdictions of the court to try Rusesabagina and order the hearing to continue than Rusesabagina and his lawyers appealed against the decision.
Lawyer Gatera Gashabana told the court that his client would appeal both the jurisdictional decision and present objections.
He prayed for the court to avail more time for him and his client to make their submissions on further objections before the case could proceed.
“We would therefore pray for the court that this hearing be adjourned to allow us time to do that, I believe it is within the rights of our client to present this obstacle before we can proceed.,” he said Gashabana who was also flanked with the second lawyer to defend.
Both the prosecution, headed by Deputy Prosecutor General Angelique Habyarimana alleged there was no reason for the court to adjourn this case because all necessary submissions had been filed and duly responded.
However, lawyer Gashabana said there were news submissions and insisted that his client be given the rights to sit and agree on the submissions they could present to the court.
The judge ruled in favour of the suspect and gave Rusesabagina five days to submit his objection through the electronic case management system.
He adjourned the hearing to March 3, 2021.
Two Generals seek bail
Meanwhile, the hearing continued with the rest of the suspects.
Two former generals of DR Congo based Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and allegedly left the outfit to join FLN-MRCD.
They include Maj Gen Felicien Nsanzubukire and Maj Gen Anastase Munyaneza and were also present in the court with their lawyers.
The prosecution accuses them of a number of terror-related charges.
The court heard that Nsanzubukire features on a sanction list by the UN court Security Council over atrocity he allegedly committed while he acted as one of the commanders of FDLR.
The duo’s lawyer Herman Twajamahoro prayed for the court to grant bail to his clients saying that there were so cooperative since their capture in the FARDC’s DR Congo army operations fight FDRL.
He also said that one of his clients was critically sick and needed medical attention insisting that both suspects can be given bail and be tried while out.
He adjourned the hearing to March 3, 2021.
Kenya’s opposition party extends the deadline for presidential applications
February 25, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Kenya’s main opposition party, has pushed forward the deadline for submitting the presidential candidate applications.
The exercise, which was expected to end on February 26 will now go on until March 31, 2021, the party’s National Elections Board chairperson Catherine Mumma announced on Thursday.
“Further to the notice of the National Elections Board (NEB) of January 21, 2021, calling for the submission of applications by individuals interested in consideration as the ODM party presidential candidate for the 2022 general elections, this is to extend the deadline for the submission of applications from February 26, 2021, to 31st march 2021,” read the statement.
In January 2021, Raila Odinga’s party invited candidates interested in flying ODM’s flag in the 2022 presidential polls to apply.
Aspirants must be Kenyan citizens and a degree holder from a recognized university. He or she must also be a registered voter and a life member of the party.
They are also required to pay ksh1 million (approximately US$10,000) non-refundable application fees.
The application forms can be sourced from the party headquarters in Nairobi or downloaded from the party’s website.
Only the outgoing Mombasa Governor and the deputy party leader Ali Hassan Joho have submitted his applications.
Others expected to send their applications are Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and the party leader Raila Odinga.
The former Prime Minister has been the party’s presidential candidate in the last three general elections.
The Orange party recently dismissed calls by former Raila’s allies asking to be endorsed by the African Union envoy.
The former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and his Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia were allegedly waiting for the opposition Chief’s endorsement because they had supported him in previous elections.
In a statement to the newsroom, the ODM national chairman John Mbadi ruled out any possibility of Raila endorsing any of the Nasa coalition principals-Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Moses Wetang’ula.
While referring to Raila’s 2018 mock swearing-in as the People’s president, which the trio boycotted, Mbadi described the trio as incoherent cowards who depend on endorsements but cannot stand to be counted.
“As a party, we will strongly discourage Hon. Odinga from doing so. We encourage Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula, and Musalia Mudavadi to stop whining and be men for once in their political careers,” said Mbadi.
Kenya:Youths vow to shut down the BBI as the Bill overshoot threshold in County Assemblies
February 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
A section of youths have disclosed that they will vote against the Building Bridge Initiative (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The youths allied to the deputy president William Ruto said their decision to oppose the document was arrived at after realizing that the document has nothing to offer to young people and ordinary citizens.
They described the BBI as the document by politicians for politicians.
Their reactions came just a few hours after the Bill surpassed the 24 county threshold.
As of noon on Tuesday, 28 Counties had voted for the BBI constitutional amendment bill, and more were expected to endorse it.
The 16 counties gave the document the green light on Tuesday morning. They included Mombasa, Kakamega, Makueni, Narok, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Taita Taveta, Nyamira, and Bungoma. Others are Machakos, Kitui, Lamu, Garissa, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Nyandarua.
They joined Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Busia, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Nairobi, Kisii, West Pokot, Kajiado, Laikipia, and Samburu that had already voted for the document, paving the way for the Bill to be introduced to the National and Assembly the Senate. So far, only Baringo County has opposed the Bill.
The news of the Bill being approved by the County assemblies did not move the youths who claimed the government had sidelined them when it comes to state appointments. They alleged the ward representatives were coerced and bribed to support BBI.
“After bribing them with a car grant, let’s see if ul manage to bribe over 20million voters at the ballot. All in all, we will have the final say,” said Erick Hassan Ogutu.
“How foolish…they have dealt with a few puppets. How shameful will it be after being rejected by the great people of Kenya,” reiterated Wachira Freddie.
“Approving to get car grants at the expense of 47 million Kenyans. History will judge us harshly,” reacted Mugai Ian.
Plans to have countrywide tours to sell the referendum message to citizens are underway, said the BBI secretariat.
“From March 1, we are rolling out countrywide tours to take BBI to the people. With all the signs that the assemblies will pass the document by a big number, we will be rolling out grand plans to tell the people what is in the document and counter any propaganda out there,” the Nation quoted Junet Mohamed, the BBI secretariat co-chairman.
NYCFPA STATEMENT THE VIOLATIONS OF BASIC DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND POLITICAL UREST IN BENIN
February 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON, DC [19 FEB 2021] – The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is deeply troubled about the recent decision of the National Electoral Commission of Benin (CENA) to exclude all opposition candidates from the upcoming presidential election in Benin. It is concerning that the country’s ongoing removal of basic democratic rights will lead to another electoral crisis and civil unrest in the country, thus undermining the region’s stability and security.
This West African country, once dubbed the cradle of democracy in Africa, has experienced the fastest deterioration in political civil liberties, democratic rights and freedom of the press in Africa according to several organizations familiar with the situation.
On Friday, February 12, 2021, Benin’s ongoing democratic backsliding reached another tragic milestone when the Electoral Commission announced its exclusion of all opposition candidates from the upcoming presidential election scheduled for April. The exclusion appears to focus on Les Démocrates…the largest opposition party in the country…and their candidate, Reckya Madougou (the first female candidate of any major party in the country). We note that in addition to President Talon’s candidacy, only two other candidates are allowed to run. Unfortunately, our organization notes that these candidates are handpicked, groomed, and financed by President Talon and his party.
The dereliction of duty of the central government in Benin has single-handedly sparked another electoral crisis that could lead to civil unrest in the country if nothing is done to prevent it.
Until 2016, Benin had been regarded as one of the United States’ most stable and strategic partners in the region. It is our belief that another electoral crisis or civil unrest in the country, will empower and expand extremist groups like Boko Haram, AQMI, and ISIS, in the region. We believe that any instability of a political or civil nature will undermine the democratic ideals of the people of Benin as well as harm U.S. interests in West Africa. We must remind our allies during the darkest of times that we as a nation are willing and able to advocate alongside them in their fight for democracy.
Justin Russell, the NYCFPA’s Principal Director, states, “We expresses our most profound concern about the egregious attacks on the democratic process, the rule of law, and basic human rights in Benin. We call on President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and the United States Congress to demand that the Benin government immediately organize a national dialogue with all stakeholders in order to guarantee an inclusive, transparent, free, fair, and trustworthy election. Only a fair and free election…and the re-establishment of democratic rights… will prevent any civil unrest that could further destabilize the region.”
*Source The New York Center For Foreign Policy Affairs. The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is a policy, research, and educational organization headquartered in New York State with an office in Washington D.C. NYCFPA is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, institution devoted to conducting in-depth research and analysis on every aspect of American foreign policy and its impact around the world.
Kenya: Ruto’s hurdles ahead of 2022 polls
February 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya heads towards critical elections in 2022, and many candidates have already expressed their interests in the country’s top seat led by Deputy President William Ruto. With 2022 drawing closer, political realignments and new parties’ formation have begun at very high gear.
So far, more than ten candidates have announced their presidential bids, and the number might increase with time. The latest to join the race is Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party headed by the AU envoy Raila Odinga. The duo whose terms as Governor expire next year are deputizing Odinga. Oparanya and Joho seek the ODM ticket in a battle that will pit them against their boss to get a strong candidate to face Ruto.
“I will submit my nomination papers to seek the ODM ticket for the 2022 presidential race,” Oparanya told the Star.
The bold decision taken by the two county bosses was preceded by the ODM’s earlier announcement inviting applicants interested in vying for the 2022 presidential election of the party’s ticket to submit their applications latest on February 26, 2021. The Elections Board Chairperson Catherine Muyeka Mumma, in an advert on a local daily, said that each candidate must pay a ksh 1 million (approximately 10,000 USD) non-refundable fee. The applicants must also meet t the minimum requirements of presidential candidates as set out by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“Pursuant to the resolution of the party’s Central Committee on the need for early preparations towards the 2022 General Elections and guided by The Constitution of Kenya, 2010, The Elections Act, 2011, The Political Parties Act, 2011, The Elections (General) Regulations, 2012, The ODM Constitution and The ODM party National Elections and Nomination Rules, the National Elections Board (NEB) hereby gives notice to party members who are interested in vying for the 2022 presidential elections on the ODM party ticket to declare their interest by submitting their applications to the NEB, “ read the part of the advert.
Other candidates include former vice presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, Governors Alfred Mutua and Kivutha Kibwana, Senators Gideon Moi and Moses Wetangla, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Mukhisa Kituyi, and former minister Mwangi Kiunjuri.
Between now and next year, Kenyans are set to witness the birth of new political parties and alliances and party-hopping as leaders try to find out a political vehicle that will drive them to power. Reports from the Registrar of Political Parties’ office show that many people are tendering their resignation from one party and move to another.
“We do have an increase in people changing parties. People resign from one party and join another every day. Resignations are all over now, maybe because of the several by-elections that have been scheduled by the IEBC,” said the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu.
The ruling party’s ongoing battles, Jubilee, have seen the formation of a new political outfit, namely the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with the deputy president. Even though the second in command has not personally come out and identify himself with the new party, his allies several times have hinted that the party is the chosen bus that will drive their boss to the presidency. Ruto’s allies are somehow correct because the outfit is associated with the Hustler Nation slogan, along with the Wheelbarrow Movement that Ruto has been popularising across the country.
“We formed Jubilee but to our dismay, we are humiliated and derided. We no longer have a say in it. In UDA which is an affiliate to Jubilee, we have a home that can help us ascend to power. There is an option now for us who have a difference of opinion regarding the operations of the Jubilee party. UDA has now gained traction across the country and we shall use it for shelter,” reiterated MP Caleb Kositany.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA), formerly the Party of Development and Reform (PDR), will be launched soon, followed by the election of officials from the grassroots to the national level, according to the party’s chairman Johnson Muthama.
“We have succeeded in changing the name and already have our headquarters. Now we are in Phase Two where we are set to open offices in all the sub-counties and county headquarters. From there, we will elect officials in all our branches to the top leadership. This is the party by the hustlers and for the hustlers and we want them to own and be part of every step and process of the decision-making in the party,” said Muthama.
The country’s political atmosphere is already tensed as the presidential hopefuls engage in a bitter exchange of words. Recently, Kalonzo and Ruto locked horns over land grabbing claims. Ruto had accused the former of grabbing land belonging to the National Youth Service in Yatta, Machakos County. Kalonzo instead turned guns on the deputy president, accusing him of all manner of ills, and ended up branding him the chief land grabber. Addressing the press in Nairobi on January 19, 2021, the former vice president termed Ruto’s claims wild and desperate propaganda and challenged him to subject himself to lifestyle audit and investigations.
Prior, Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress Party (ANC) had asked Ruto to resign or face impeachment over his constant attack on the president. Ayub Savula, an ANC deputy party leader, threatened to rally lawmakers to ouster Ruto for allegedly disrespecting President Uhuru Kenyatta. Ruto, allies in rejoinder, described Mudavadi and his party as confused, asking them to keep off the Jubilee party’s affairs.
“Who is supposed to complain? Is it ANC or members of Jubilee? That is a sign of a confused party,” said former National Assembly Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali.
Moreover, Ruto’s claims that Raila should take responsibility for the government’s failures to meet the development plan due to a famous handshake has put him under fire from the opposition chief. Raila criticized him over Jubilee’s unfulfilled promises labeling him “Mr. Six months.”
“Mr Six months! The youngsters you promised laptops eight years ago are now old enough to see through your lies. The youth you promised eight million jobs in eight yrs can see through the wheelbarrow lie you are now peddling. It has been eight yrs Mr Six months and not three years. No Mr Six months!”
“There are people like ‘Mr. Six Months Time’, In six months time we shall give all children in schools laptops, in six months time we shall give one million jobs to our youth, in six months we shall build 47 modern stadia, in six months we shall build tarmacked roads,” said Raila.
President Kenyatta had indicated that he would prefer a person from an ethnic community other than any of the two that have produced the country’s past presidents to succeed him. Many leaders welcomed his statement except those in Ruto’s camp. Ruto hails from the Kalenjin community, which produced a long-serving head of state in Kenya’s political history. The late Daniel Moi served for 24 years before retiring in 2022.
Kenya:Deputy President Ruto skips Executive meeting at the State House
February 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Deputy President William Ruto was conspicuously absent during the executive meeting led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi.
The reason why the second in command snubbed the meeting is yet to be established, but speculations state that a fall-out could have triggered Ruto’s absence with his boss.
Ruto has openly differed with President Uhuru Kenyatta in the calls for a referendum. The deputy president has maintained that the constitution amendment pushed by Kenyatta and his handshake brother Raila Odinga is not a priority for Kenyans.
Prior, the Head of State had accused Ruto of campaigning instead of helping him fulfil Jubilee’s government promises to citizens.
In an attempt to curb early campaigns, he cracked the whip on Ruto allies holding senior positions in the government both in the Senate and the National Assembly alleged to be driving Ruto’s agenda.
Consequently, last week President Kenyatta dared his assistant to resign, accusing him of doublespeak.
“On one hand, he is saying the government has failed, and on the other hand, he is saying we as a government have done this and that development. That is doublespeak; you can’t be speaking of the failures of a government where you serve while at the same time outlining what you refer to as we have achieved as a government. You better resign,” ” said President Kenyatta.
Meanwhile, the Thursday meeting at the State House brought together Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries. They deliberated on the status of ongoing National Government programmes covering Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030 flagship projects.
State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said President outlined his vision and priorities for this year, including the completion of ongoing Government projects and programmes across all sectors and regions of the country.
Kenyatta also directed the officials to ensure adequate public resource utilisation in service delivery, noting Kenyans must always get the highest value return for their money.
The President appealed to the officials to embrace teamwork and unity of purpose to deliver the promise of a better and prosperous Kenya for all.
Kenya’s Amendment Bill 2020 gathers pace
February 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The race to pass the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020, also known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum Bill, is gaining momentum.
The County Assemblies are now the centre of the focus in the push for the constitution amendment. Last month, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) passed the draft Bill to the Members of County Assemblies for approval.
At least 24 County Assemblies of the 47 are required to give the Bill a nod before it goes to the National Assembly.
By Thursday, February 18, eight Counties had passed the Bill, the latest being Kisii County.
The Assembly approved the Bill on Thursday, according to Speaker Amos Onderi.
Other Counties that have passed the BBI referendum Bill are Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Kajiado County Assemblies.
Only Baringo County has rejected the Bill.
It is being projected that Counties from the deputy president William Ruto’s backyard, such as Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Bomet, and Kericho, will reject the Bill.
Ruto has publicly rejected calls for a referendum, claiming those behind it are driven by selfish ambitions.
The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) holds its 12th General Assembly of the Governing Council
February 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
ABUJA, Nigeria, February 18th, 2021, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The 12th General Assembly of the Governing Council of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) will be held virtually on the 18th February 2021.
The biennial Assembly brings together the 55 Ministers responsible for Water and Sanitation otherwise called the Governing Council, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Member States Focal Point Officials, as well as representatives of the Africa Union Commission.
The Assembly will be preceded by the Technical Advisory Committee Session from the 15th to 17th.
At the General Assembly, the Governing Council will consider recommendations from the Technical Advisory Committee and make decisions which will guide policy and strategic directions for AMCOW for the next two years.
During the meeting, H.E. Alain-Claude BILIE-BY-NZE, State Minister & Minister for Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Gabon and current AMCOW President, will formally hand over the presidency of AMCOW to Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia.
The General Assembly is also expected to consider the adoption of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines which aims to provide the necessary guidance to African countries develop Sanitation and Hygiene policies necessary in creating a firm foundation for improving access to sanitation and hygiene services thereby improving the health and wellbeing of the African population, and strengthen continent’s resilience to pandemics like the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which has put increased pressure on existing water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, and slowed down investments in the water and sanitation sector.
The Governing Council will further provide guidance on AMCOW’s strategic pathway and coordination to drive Africa’s resilience, recovery and growth through improved access to water and sanitation services.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of AMCOW.
For more information about AMCOW, please contact:
Mrs. Maimouna Tall,
Communications and Visibility Manager
mobile: +001 470 510 93 20 or +221 77 695 37 93 (WhatsApp)
Mr. Lawrence Nzuve,
mobile: +254 727 364 905
Notes to Editors:
AMCOW is an inter-governmental, Pan-African, non-budgetary institution working under the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment of the African Union (AU) and provides political oversight on water resources and sanitation in Africa. AMCOW’s mission is to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development, and poverty alleviation among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services, and is mandated to provide political leadership in the implementation of the African Water Vision 2025 and water components of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. For more information, refer to our website https://www.amcow-online.org
Terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina denies Rwandan citizenship
February 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
Terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina has objected to the jurisdiction of the High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes to try him in a hearing where he is accused of terrorism-related crimes.
Rusesabagina who appeared in court alongside 20 other co-accused on Wednesday said he is a Belgian citizen and requested the court to change that his case file.
He also prayed to the court to have his case transferred to Belgium if Rwanda accuses him of any crime saying Rwandan courts had no jurisdiction to try him.
The 66-year-old was a leader of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) in French acronym. It is a coalition of opposition groups, which has an armed wing known as the National Liberation Forces (FLN) also in French.
He was arrested in August 2020 when he believed to have been flying to Bujumbura’s capital of Burundi only to find himself at the Kigali International he allegedly brought himself to Kigali International airport.
The case was heard by judges from the Nyanza based High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes located in the Southern Province but used the Supreme Court chambers to allow more people to attend given the bigger space of the court.
The court proceedings were live-streamed on YouTube channels on the links provided.
It also attracted both local and international media with some livestreaming it.
Rusesabagina is accused alongside 20 other suspects including the famous Callixte Nsabimana alias Sankara who was the Spokesperson of FLN and 19 other suspects all but one are male.
Rusesabagina faces nine crimes including the formation of an irregular armed group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, abduction as an act of terrorism, and armed robbery as an act of terrorism.
The prosecution alleges that Rusesabagina’s MRCD through its armed wing FLN launched the attacks in Rwanda’s Southern Province through Nyungwe forests and killed civilians, injured others, and committed other crimes.
The attacks were carried out between 2018 and 2019 and at least nine people in the Nyabimata sector in Nyaruguru district were killed according to the prosecution.
FLN had earlier claimed responsibility of the attacks.
Presenting his defense, Rusesabagina whose lawyer is Gatera Gashabana admitted the details read out by prosecution as to who he was such as names, place and time of birth, parent’s names among other details but denied being Rwandan saying he acquired Belgian citizenship after denouncing the one of Rwanda.
“I am a Belgian citizen and have repeated it several times this being the fifth one, this should be changed in my case file,” Rusesabagina told a three-bench Judges.
Lawyer Gashabana told the court that his client was appearing in a wrong court stressing the Rwandan courts had no judicial competency to try him.
“Given that Rusesabagina has no Rwandan citizenship but he is a Belgian citizen, I find that the court has no competency to try him and your only responsibility should be to send him back to Belgium’s court,” said the seasoned lawyer.
The government was presented by three prosecutors led by Deputy Prosecutor General Angelique Habyarimana who Rusesabagina’s claims of not being a Rwanda does not strip Rwandan courts of the powers so long as the crimes were committed on Rwandan territory.
The prosecutors also said that there is nowhere in official documents Rusesabagina has legally denounced Rwandan citizenship which is the one of origin.
While Rusesabagina said that the prosecution in Rwanda had referred his case to Belgium prosecutors before and they should the latter proceed, the prosecution said Rwanda had issued an arrest warrant against the suspect.
The prosecution said there were two indictments against Rusesabagina, one issued in 2010 and sent to its Belgian counterparts while it also issued an international arrest warrant against the suspect in 2018 according to Bonavanture Ruberwa, one of the prosecutors, said.
After spending more than five hours, the presiding judges said they deliberated on Rusesabagina’s objection on which they could not pronounce as it raised concerns of the court’s jurisdiction.
The hearing will resume on February 26, according to the judge.
Prime co-accused pin Rusesabagina
One of Rusesabagina’s co-accused Callixte Nsabimana has pinned Rusesabagina who referred to as ‘my boss’ saying he was surprised by hearing that Rusesabagina was not a Rwandan and yet he coordinated and financed attacks with a belief of becoming the Rwandan president once they win and overflow the current government.
“I was Rusesabagina’s vice-president in (MRCD) and I wonder how he claims not to be a Rwandan while his aim was to become the president when we launched the rebel group,” Nsabimana who pleaded guilty of all 16 accusations said.
Nsabimana prayed to the court to ignore Rusesabagina’s claims and proceed with the trial saying he could not be the victim of the delay. He was arrested in 2018 and has since been in prison.
Cameroon Anglophone Crisis: A Legacy On The Line For Cardinal Tumi
February 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Andrew Nsoseka
Many in Cameroon and beyond are increasingly asking how Christian Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala Archdiocese, who at the beginning of the Anglophone crisis was an outspoken sympathiser of the Anglophone problem, has of recent, seemingly evolved to a sympathiser of the government.
Many have suggested that his abduction, or probably negative impacts of the crisis, and separatists’ atrocities, or all of the above may be responsible for the shift in the Cardinal’s recent views, expressed in latest media outings.
Cardinal Tumi, who over the years, has been regarded as Cameroon’s moral voice, was one of the country’s prominent voices articulating the Anglophone problem when it resurfaced in 2016, and morphed into an armed conflict. Like many others, the Cardinal criticised the military option employed to quell down dissenting voices. The Cardinal had also questioned the nature of the political undertakings that led to the reunification of the two Cameroons, urging that there is a need to revisit them.
He has never been reserved when it comes to criticising the political steps that were taken after reunification which are largely blamed for creating the Anglophone Problem in Cameroon. Acts like the tampering with the Federal Constitution and doing away with pillar constitutional provisions that robbed Anglophones of their ability to have an idntoty and decide their fate as well as partake in the management of their affairs have mainly influenced the Cardinal’s sympathy for the Anglophone crisis and the actors spearheading it.
At the beginning of the crisis and even when it escalated, Cardinal Tumi remained one of those staunch critics of government’s action. Most of his public outings made government stakeholders uncomfortable as he spared no words in condemning government’s overall attitude and response to the issues raised.
The Cardinal who spearheaded the idea of a third All Anglophone Conference, said after listening to the various interventions of prominent voices in the Anglophone crisis, he discovered that the “leaders were not saying the same thing”. He said he then conceived an idea to hold a general conference of all Anglophones so that they can debate and come out as one front with a singular demand where in a dialogue forum, they can voice it out as one, to their francophone brothers whom they united with.
Asked at the time by Elie Smith, whether the Cardinal was tele-guided by the Yaounde regime, as many had claimed, the Cardinal responded, “Surely if there is any body to be pushed around in Cameroon, it is not Cardinal Tumi. I have my personal conviction”. He had said.
The Cardinal’s initiative which was embraced by all prominent religious leaders in Anglophone regions, finally did not hold, due to lack of authorisation from government.
In an Interview with STV’s Peter Nsoesie, the Cardinal said the separatist fighters whom has talked with severally, have come to him for blessings, and that he did bless them, and talked to them frankly. He said he told them that he condemns their attitude of killing those who do not share their ideology. “I told them, I disagree on three points, number one, your intolerance; those who disagree with you, you are ready to kill them, that is not the solution to your problem. Secondly, your intolerance with schools. You are now fighting against the future of your brothers and sisters. Who will rule with you? Will you rule alone if you come to power tomorrow? You will be intolerant to the opposition. You can’t imagine countries in the world without the opposition. Opposition is useful. And then finally, those who are abroad, they say for those who are in the bushes around the country, they contribute financially for their wellbeing in the forests. If you have money in the forest, what do you do with it? I told one, a relative of mine, a surgeon, to also come home with his wife and children, if he is serious, so that others should contribute money and give him to live and fight in the forest. Since then, he has not telephoned me.”
In an interview with CRTV’s Joe Chebonkeng, Cardinal Tumi once defended Separatist fighters, stating that “We pray for these boys in the bushes, we pray for the army. Most of the killing is done by the army, it is not done by the boys.
‘Do you have empirical facts’, Joe Chebonkeng asked, “of course, objective studies”, the Cardinal responded “and it is still going on. In Kumbo, 400 people have been killed, the Bishop of Kumbo Diocese and his priests have made a study and the majority of those who have been killed, have not been killed by these boys. They do not have the sophisticated arms that the army has, maybe if they had, they would have killed more, but they don’t have. The army comes in, maybe a rebel boy has killed a military officer and run away, the army comes in, enter a family and they kill everybody” ‘is that true?’, Chebonkeng asked, to which the Cardinal responded at the top of his voice, “it is perfectly true, and I am ready to die for it.”
The Cardinal who spearheaded the botched All Anglophone General Conference, in an interview with Equinoxe TV, had confessed that a survey conducted by the organisers to sample the preferences of Anglophones in Cameroon regarding the form of state was deliberately tailored to blot out the option of separation. He however stated that the majority of respondents opted for total separation, even when they tried to take away that option. “In our questionnaire to the Anglophones on the form of state, we tried to influence the Anglophone opinion, but we did not succeed. Therefore, it shows how deep the problem is.”
The Cardinal said when they asked respondents about their preferred form of state, they deliberately named just unitary, decentralisation, and federation, and intentionally left out the option of total independence, “69 percent of Anglophones said they wanted absolute separation, that was the word they used, that is to say, secession”.
The Cardinal said the respondents in the space provided for other options, opted for absolute separation. He said the report was drafted, and sent to the President, through the Prime Minister.
Expressing a personal view, Cardinal Tumi has repeatedly said in a dialogue, the option of separation should be on the table, and if the separatists convince others that it is the best option, it should be granted, especially as the two factions that make up modern Cameroon were once separated.
Cardinal Tumi’s Sympathy For Separatists Dwindles
On Thursday, November 5, 2020, Christian Cardinal Tumi and the Fon of Nso, HRM Sem Mbinglo were abducted in Babessi, as their convoy drove to the Nso palace, where the Fon had escaped earlier on, as a result of the crisis.
In Babessi, the two were abducted and hours later, the Cardinal was released. Following his release, Cardinal Tumi wrote a book titled, “My Night In Captivity” in which unlike before, he proposed that it would be best for the country, if the military takes over the whole country, including the troubled regions.
The Cardinal opined that in such a situation of military takeover, power is also taken from the separatists, and then the military organises an election in which a leader for the country is chosen, to bring order to the whole country. In some of his media outings, the Cardinal in his shift from a pro-separatists stand, rather suggested that the greater fight should be for the unity of Africa, so that the little fights like creation of new states can be put to rest.
Personally, the Cardinal says he favours Federalism as the best option. In Babessi, while in separatists’ custody, the Cardinal told them that he will rather opt for Federalism than secession. Like many Anglophones, the Cardinal might have grown weary of some of the atrocities carried out by separatists, and thus fears a scenario where they take over and build a society where opposing voices are not entertained. However, like any progressive voice, Cardinal Tumi still supports the option that all opinions should be entertained, and whichever the afflicted and concerned persons favour should be adopted.
RDC/Urgent : Félix Tshisekedi nomme Sama Lukonde Kyenge comme Premier Ministre
February 15, 2021 | 0 Comments
Le Chef de l’État, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi vient de nommer Monsieur Sama Lukonde Kyenge au poste de Premier Ministre en vue de diriger le prochain Gouvernement de l’Union Sacrée de la Nation.
Cette nomination qui intervient dix-sept jours après la démission de l’ancien Premier Ministre, Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba.
Il sied de noter que le nouveau locataire de la Primature, âgé de 43 ans a successivement été Député national, Ministre de la Jeunesse et Sports, et plus récemment Directeur Général de la Gécamines.
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Benin 2021:SET PARTISAN POLITIC ASIDE TO BAN PRIMARY MISOGYNY AND NÉANDERTALIAN SEXISM FROM THE DEBATE
February 15, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ambassador Omar Arouna*
If you are a keen observer of Beninese politics in these tumultuous times of pre-electoral turmoil, you have surely already seen the recent video of the interview with Dakpè Sossou. Eminent member of Parliament in Benin under the colors of the Progressive Union Party (supporting the actions of the government and chaired by the emblematic figure Bruno Amoussou), ardent defender of President Patrice Talon, the deputy Sossou missed an opportunity to be silent with a demonstration of ordinary sexism.
The parliamentarian in contemptuous terms for women, opined on the relevance of the candidacy for the presidency of Benin of Reckya Madougou, standard bearer of the opposition party THE DEMOCRATES whose honorary president is none other than the former President of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi.
Dakpè Sossou told the journalist that “… (Rekya Madougou) is a very beautiful woman who should not have interfered in these (presidential) affairs, her possible election at the head of a country could creates problems for the country… “
Then in a completely uninhibited way tried to explain his sexist cliché by emphasizing: “that a beautiful woman like that is a mining reserve … when there are mineral reserves, for example oil in a country, we know what happens in this country? we don’t have any that’s here that’s why we have no trouble here … if you consider her a gold mine, a very beautiful woman, incomparable, charming, at the head of a country, I don’t think you will have peace as we currently have in Benin… ”
This comment seems to indicate that a woman’s physical appearance is the most important thing to her. It defies logic and is simply insulting, misogynistic, sexist, and archaic. No one takes a man’s physical appearance into consideration when considering the value of his opinions, positions or ambitions.
Women leaders around the world have shown that they are as capable as men of successfully leading their countries. Like their male counterparts, it is the quality of their thinking, the integrity with which they approach their work, and the strength of character that will determine their success as leaders. American women’s activist Wilma Pearl Mankiller (1945-2010) and the Cherokee Nation’s first elected woman leader said that “women in leadership positions can help restore balance and integrity to our communities. ” And yet faced with this affront of deputy Dakpé Sossou to Beninese women, there is not in the country a single politician (all tendencies combined), no personality, no opinion leader, no dissenting voice authorized to condemn, and repress with the utmost rigor these words and the author. Such outrageous remarks objectifying the whole of women by reducing it to a mining deposit which could stir up the enemy’s lust and which should only be exploited sparingly for personal enjoyment.
I am the father of two children – including a talented teenage girl, I am the son of my mother, a pioneer of the first class of women who joined the national police of Benin after our independence, and I am married to a woman whose leadership is researched on international development issues. In the name of our collective responsibility to bequeath to the future generation a more just and equitable country in terms of gender equality, I cannot pass this affront in silence without vigorously denouncing it, this display of prejudice or discrimination based on gender, against women and girls particularly in Benin.
It is therefore important that the entire Beninese political class, all Beninese and Beninese unreservedly condemn and denounce these misogynistic remarks by Dakpê Sossou who should immediately resign from his role as deputy representing the people. It is essential that the President of the Progressive Union Bruno Amoussou Party, from which the deputy Dakpê Sossou came, to expel him without any form of trial and this in the name of values that would not have to be associated with a character morally at odds with human values so that misogyny and sexism are never banned from political debate in Benin.
* Omar Arouna has served as Benin’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Benin’s representative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA.
The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is a policy, research, and educational organization headquartered in New York State with an office in Washington D.C. NYCFPA is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, institution devoted to conducting in-depth research and analysis on every aspect of American foreign policy and its impact around the world. The organization is funded by individual donors. The organization receives no corporate or government donations.
Advocacy Group Urges Biden Administration to Prioritize Cameroon Anglophone Crisis
February 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Nongovernmental advocacy group, the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations, CDN, which has for some time now being at the forefront of engaging parties, governments, and organizations towards seeking a lasting solution to the deteriorating armed conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, is hoping that the new US administration will step up and engage in concrete actions towards solving the crisis in Cameroon.
The coalition made up of individuals and organizations with mission to end the war in Cameroon and ensure durable peace have in an open letter to the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken urged him to move fast and coordinate the United States intervention towards ending the simmering crisis which has wreaked havoc in the North West and South West regions for over four years now.
The letter signed by Denis Foretia and Judith Nwana Co-chairs of the CDN urged the US government to uphold its rightful place as the guarantor of freedom and human rights and to lead the world in finding a durable solution to this escalating armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons.
“As a coalition of Southern Cameroonians and organizations seeking durable end to this escalating war, we are soliciting the leadership of the United States Government to mobilize international support, that only it can, to bring an end to the bloody armed conflict,” a section of the letter read.
In its February 10, 2021 letter, the coalition specifically urged the US government to designate a special envoy to serve as US meditator tasked to engage with all concerned parties, push the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution requesting immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Cameroon, and finally but most importantly to create and sendto the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon a U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Southern Cameroons (UNIAMSC).
The mission, the Coalition states, will be charged with creating and ensuring the necessary conditions for peace and security to return to the regions.
“This will provide the opportunity for the implementation of a UN-backed mediation process, without any preconditions, between the peoples of the Southern Cameroons and the Government of Cameroon to provide a long-lasting solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict,” he letter added.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) the on-going conflict has affected nearly three (3) million people in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon, created over 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), with over 60,000 as refugees in neighboring Nigeria, and an estimated 1.4 million in dire need of humanitarian assistance. For years now, schools have also shut down, with more than 900,000 children unable to attend school.
The CDN believes the only way to successfully cap the humanitarian crisis brewing from the heart of Central Africa will be for the United States to put in place a UN-mandated fact-finding mission, the release of all prisoners associated with the armed conflict, the putting in place of a UN-mandated third party mediation process and an honest mediated settlement addressing the root cause (s) of the conflict
Portugal may help Mozambique train forces against terrorists from April
February 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
Portugal may start in April to train Mozambican troops in order to step up the fight against terrorism and strengthen cooperation in the security area, Portuguese defence minister João Gomes Cravinho said.
Planning work is currently underway and equipment would also be provided, he said, adding that the training programme had already been agreed between Portugal and Mozambique and only needed to be signed off.
Mozambique had already asked the European Union for help in training its forces to battle the insurgency, which has alarmed countries across southern Africa and beyond and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
While Mozambique awaits for the help, the country is still battling with the insurgents. Government forces have killed six leaders of the Islamist terrorists operating in Cabo Delgado province.
One of those killed was a Tanzanian, and two were described as “Arabs”. The operations in which they were killed took place in Macomia and Muidumbe districts, where the forces are driving terrorists out of their hideouts.
South Sudan Peace parties agree to finalize formation of unity government within a week.
February 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan warring parties to the revitalized peace agreement have agreed in a meeting to complete the formation of government at all levels within a week, in an effort to end the country’s conflict.
This was reached during the presidency meeting this week in Juba.
“After extensive deliberations that lasted for three hours on a broad range of critical and pertinent pending issues revolving around the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The meeting resolved as follows; One, that completion of the process of formation of state government be expedited by finalizing the list of nominations and each one of the requisite presidential decrees effecting the appointment of the following in the course of one week,” said Nhial Deng Nhial, the minister of presidential affairs, in the press statement.
“State advisors, state ministers, state commission chairpersons, and members, county commissioners, state legislative assemblies, and county councils,” the minister added. “Two, that the unification of the top echelons of the army command shall be expeditiously carried out to pave the way for the commencement of the process to integrate all forces into a single national army under one unified command,” Minister added.
Meanwhile, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) in its 16th monthly meeting in Juba, noted that transitional security arrangements underpin stable, secure future for the people of South Sudan; but slow pace of peace implementation’s concerning.
RJMEC Interim Chairperson Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai reiterated that implementation of the TSA as envisaged in the R-ARCSS is vital. However, “no progress is reported on the training, graduation and redeployment of Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) under Phase I.”
He further warned that “protracted delays and passing of time without progress is detrimental to lasting peace in South Sudan.”
According to Minister Nhial, the graduation of the first batch of the unified forces currently in the various training centres across the country will be conducted without further delay, “notwithstanding the lack of equipment essential for their graduation and launch preparations to admit the next batch of trainees to the training centres.”
The presidency also resolved that the peace parties shall finalize the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) and the Councils of States on or before February 15, 2021.
But they are also yet to reconstitute the national legislature – the body responsible for enacting the reforms stipulated in the peace deal.
Of recently, the president completed the appointment of the state governors and their deputies in the ten states and three administrative areas of South Sudan.
According to the revitalized peace deal, the responsibility sharing ratio at state and local government levels shall be 55% for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, 27% for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition, 10% for South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and 8% for Other Political Parties (OPP).
However, the warring parties in the peace deal are yet to establish a unified command structure for the NUF (Necessary Unified Force), and addressing the ‘ranking’ (of personnel) process and the management of excess senior officers.
The financial constraints and clashes between the peace parties have been major obstacles toward the implementation of the 2018 peace processes.
The delays in peace implementation has been blighted with a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes across the country.
As the country looks forward to marking ten years of independence on 9 July 2021, the Interim Chairperson said “It is incumbent on all of us to push hard on the implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement so that the ten-year celebrations will mark not only the milestone of a decade of independence, but also significant progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.”
RDC/Sénat : Alexis Thambwe Mwamba a démissionné
February 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, président du sénat a démissionné ce vendredi 05 février de ses fonctions.
« Considérant d’une part que la confiance n’existe plus et d’autre part, l’installation d’un Bureau d’âge désormais opérationnel, je vous remets ma démission » a dit Alexis Thambwe Mwamba aux sénateurs.
A savoir qu’avant de rendre les tabliers, Thambwe Mwamba a pris soin d’envoyer aux sénateurs des éléments de défense par rapport aux accusations portées contre sa personne.
« Au regard de ce qui vient d’être développé, la conclusion à titre principal est l’irrégularité de la procédure initiée en violation de la Constitution et du Règlement intérieur. Quant au fond, je ne vois aucun grief qui peut être retenu à ma charge. Ceci dit, considérant d’une part que la confiance n’existe plus entre un groupe des sénateurs et moi-même, et d’autre part, l’installation d’un Bureau d’âge désormais opérationnel, je vous remets ma démission en tant que Président du Sénat », lit-on dans ses réponses transmises au bureau d’âge de la chambre haute du parlement.
Pour rappel, Thambwe Mwamba est visé par la justice congolaise ainsi que l’Inspection Générale des Finances (IGF) pour des affaires des détournements des derniers publics.
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Kenya Condemns Coup in Myanmar
February 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya has joined the world in condemning the coup that occurred in Myanmar.
In an official statement, Kenya slammed the south-east Asian country’s military, saying it “recognises the primacy of democratic civilian government.”
“Kenya therefore calls for the restoration of constitutional order, respect for the rule of law, the resolution of any and all electioneering disputes through lawful mechanisms, as well as the immediate release of the civilian leadership detained unlawfully,” read the statement.
Also reacting to the military takeover and dentition of government officials, the US President Joe Biden said that the military’s action is “a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.”
“We will work with our partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s (another name of Myanmar) democratic transition,” said Biden.
Through its president Charles Michel, the European Union (EU) criticized the military and demanded the release of all detained civilians in the country. Michel stated that the elections’ outcome must be respected, and the democratic process needs to be restored.
According to the UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the coup is “a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.”
The UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelett, could not hide her shock. She also demanded the release of the detainees and ordered the military to avoid using unnecessary force.
In the early hours of Monday, the military took control of the country and handed over power to the military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposed a one year state of emergency.
The military shut down the internet, and all other communication channels, closed financial institutions, and detained de facto leader Aung San Sunn Kyi, President Win Myint, and other senior government officials.
In an address on military Myawaddy TV, the military said the leaders were detained in response to the alleged electoral fraud in the last year’s elections.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won 83 per cent of the total votes in November’s polls.
No violence was reported despite the troops blocking Nay Pyi Taw and the central city, Yangon.
Reports from the BBC on Tuesday indicated that communication systems had been restored and banks opened.
However, doctors working in government officials have reportedly threatened to down their tools from Wednesday to force for the release of Ms. Aung San Sunn Kyi and her group.
RDC : Les jours de Alexis Thambwe Mwamba au bureau du sénat sont comptés
February 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
La session extraordinaire qui s ouvre ce mardi 02 février au sénat est invraisemblablement la dernière que va présider Alexis Thambwe Mwamba comme président du bureau du sénat.
En tout cas, aujourd’hui plus que hier tout porte à croire que Alexis Thambwe va perdre son poste et même va faire la prison.
En effet, le procureur général près la cour de cassation a saisi le bureau du senat pour autoriser une instruction à charge du président du Sénat Alexis Thambwe Mwamba pour détournement des deniers publics. Et comme si cela ne suffisait pas, une pétition contre tous les membres du bureau du sénat sauf Samy Badibanga a été déposée ce mardi.
Au regard du contexte politique au pays, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba se conjugue déjà au passé. Et il le sait.
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RDC : Une session extraordinaire annoncée au sénat pour l’examen du projet de loi sur la ZLECAF
February 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Le sénat sera en session extraordinaire ce mardi 02 février 2021. La nouvelle a été annoncée dans un communiqué officiel signé par Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, président de cette chambre haute du parlement et dont copie est parvenue à Matininfis.net
Selon ce communiqué, un seul point est prévu à l’ordre du jour à savoir l’examen et l’adoption du projet de loi autorisant la ratification par la RDC de l’accord portant création de la Zone de Libre-échange Continentale Africaine (ZLECAF).
Il faut noter que ce projet de loi a été déjà adopté par l’Assemblée nationale et devra être examiné en deuxième lecture par la chambre haute du parlement avant d’être promulgué par le président de la République.
L’Opposition que nous allons devoir incarner aura toutes les chances d’être la plus responsable qui soit depuis 1960 (Tribune de Kikaya Bin Karubi)
January 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
La sagesse devant une bourrasque commande de se comporter comme le roseau. Cette plante aquatique à tige droite et lisse apparemment fragile se plie, laisse passer la menace, puis se redresse le moment venu, c’est-à-dire une fois le danger passé. Nous nous sommes toujours comportés comme le roseau. La guerre de libération de 1996, la guerre d’agression de 1998, les étapes de Sun City et du 1+4 etc. le prouvent amplement. La remontada est certaine.
L’Opposition que nous allons devoir incarner aura toutes les chances d’être la plus responsable qui soit depuis l’accession du Congo à l’indépendance le 30 juin 1960.
En effet, ce ne sera pas une Opposition autoproclamée comme l’a été 37 ans durant l’Udps de 1982 à 2019. Ce sera une Opposition parlementaire issue des urnes et, à quelque chose malheur est bon, rendue compacte après la requalification de la Majorité parlementaire ayant tout du patchwork qu’elle était jusque-là.
Ce sera une Opposition composée de femmes et d’hommes qui connaissent et maîtrisent les arcanes du pouvoir, de la gestion de la Res publica, ce qui n’a jamais été le cas de l’ancienne.
Elle sait ce que représente la conduite des affaires de l’État dans tous les domaines de la vie nationale : politique institutionnelle et non institutionnelle, administration publique, sécurité, justice, diplomatie, macroéconomie, social, culturel…
Elle n’agitera pas la rue par simple stratagème de victimisation pour s’attirer la sympathie des ONG de défense des droits de l’homme, des mouvements dits pro-démocratie, des médias et, probablement, des confessions religieuses. Cette stratégie stérile n’a pas pu venir à bout du régime dictatorial qu’elle combattait.
Républicaine, elle s’en tiendra à la légalité établie entre autres dans la loi n°07/008 du 04 décembre 2007 portant statut de l’opposition politique en République Démocratique du Congo, loi établissant ses droits et ses devoirs.
Aux termes de l’article 16, l’Opposition a pour devoirs de :
1. Respecter la Constitution, les lois de la République et les institutions légalement établies ;
2. Défendre les intérêts supérieurs de la Nation ;
3. S’abstenir de recourir à la violence comme mode d’expression et d’accès au pouvoir ;
4. Privilégier le dialogue et la concertation sur les grandes questions d’intérêt national et dans la résolution des différends politiques ;
5. Promouvoir le pluralisme politique et reconnaître le droit de la majorité à gouverner ;
6. Promouvoir la culture démocratique notamment par la tolérance, la non-violence et le soutien du principe de l’alternance dans le cadre d’une lutte politique pacifique ;
7. Concourir, par la libre expression, à la formation de l’opinion publique ;
8. Former et informer ses militants sur les questions touchant à la vie nationale.
Aux termes de l’article 8 de la même loi, les droits de l’Opposition sont :
1. Etre informée de l’action de l’Exécutif ;
2. Critiquer ladite action et, le cas échéant, formuler des contre-propositions, sous réserve du respect de la loi, de l’ordre public et des bonnes moeurs ;
3. Présider alternativement avec les députés et sénateurs de la majorité, les travaux des commissions de contrôle ou d’enquête de l’action de l’Exécutif ou d’en être rapporteur sans préjudice des prescrits des règlements intérieurs de chacune de ces Assemblées délibérantes ;
4. faire inscrire des points à l’ordre du jour des assemblées délibérantes.
A ce sujet, l’article 9 précise : « Le droit à l’information visé à l’article 8 est garanti à l’Opposition politique sur toutes les questions importantes de la vie de la Nation ».
LA REPONSE A TOUT EST DESORMAIS JURISPRUDENCE
Penser un seul instant qu’évoluer dans l’Opposition dans ce pays est un calvaire, c’est avouer qu’on n’a jamais sû ce que représente le Contre-Pouvoir dans un régime démocratique. C’est admettre qu’on a été opposant (des décennies durant) sans savoir pourquoi.
Quand, en plus, un tel aveu émane d’un cadre du parti aujourd’hui au Pouvoir, on comprend pourquoi la gestion de la Res publica fait flop et qu’on a vite fait de trouver dans le FCC un bouc-émissaire. L’Opposition FCC, la meilleure du pays en 61 ans d’indépendance, arrive d’ailleurs bien à propos, surtout lorsque la réponse à tout est désormais jurisprudence.
Barnabé Kikaya Bin Karubi
Ancien Député, Professeur, Université de KINSHASA, Faculté des Lettres, Département des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication, Kinshasa, R.D. Congo.
L’article L’Opposition que nous allons devoir incarner aura toutes les chances d’être la plus responsable qui soit depuis 1960 (Tribune de Kikaya Bin Karubi) est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
RDC : Christophe Mboso, candidat de l’Union sacrée à la présidence du bureau définitif de l’Assemblée nationale
January 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Le président du bureau d’âge, Christophe Mboso sera bel et bien candidat de à la présidence du bureau définitif de l’Assemblée nationale de la République Démocratique du Congo.
Selon certaines sources proches de la présidence, le président du bureau d’âge est conscenti comme le candidat de l’union sacrée pour l’élection du bureau définitif de la chambre basse du parlement.
La nouvelle est confirmée par quelquus députés de l’union sacrée dont le député National Jean Pierre Kayembe Ilunga.
La même source indique que Jean Marc Kabund serait le candidat à la première vice-présidence et la deuxième vice-présidence serait réservée à L’AFDC-A.
Il faut rappeler que c’est ce jeudi 28 janvier 2021 qui est la date du dépôt des candidatures selon le calendrier électoral du bureau définitif.
L’article RDC : Christophe Mboso, candidat de l’Union sacrée à la présidence du bureau définitif de l’Assemblée nationale est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
AMERICANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT MUST BE CONSIDERED FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AFRICA
January 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Melvin Foote*
The four years of the Trump Administration has severly damaged U.S. foreign policy in a variety of ways! The framing of the Trump agenda as “America First”, has meant that the rest of the world, including Africa and the African world in the Caribbean and elsewhere, has suffered greatly! “Black Lives” certainly did not matter much for the Trump Administration here in the U.S. or globally!
U.S. policy towards Africa, has also been severely damaged! Early in his term, President Trump set the tone by completely denigrating African countries as, “xxxx hole countries”, with little or nothing to offer the world. President Trump has waged war and has gutted the U.S. Foreign Policy establishment, including the State Department, the United States Agency for International Development, trade agencies, and other government entities that implement policies and programs in Africa and other regions of the world! Perhaps worst of all is that President Trump removed all Black Ambassadors in Africa, with the exception of three, Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi in Senegal, Ambassador Natalie Brown in Uganda, and Ambassador Brian Nichols in Zimbabwe. Many African-Americans and other Americans of African descent, who spent their careers in support of foreign policy, retired or were encouraged to leave the system during the Trump administration!
The Constituency for Africa (CFA), a Washington, DC policy advocacy organization, has effectively advocated since the early 90s, for the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to be an African-American! In 1993 Ambassador George E. Moose was appointed by President Bill Clinton, as the first African-American in history to hold this position! All succeeding Assistant Secretaries for Africa were African-Americans, with the one exception of Ambassador Walter Kansteiner, who served as the Assistant Secretary for Africa in the administration of Republican George W. Bush, who appointed General Colin Powell as the Secretary of State, and Condolezza Rice as the National Security Advisor! The fact that General Powell and Dr. Rice are both Black, certainly left me with very little room to argue!
Other African-Americans who served in the position of Assistant Secretary for African Affairs since Ambassador Moose were:
- Ambassador Susan Rice (Clinton)
- Ambassador Constance Berry Newman (George W. Bush)
- Ambassador Jendayi Frazer (George W. Bush)
- Ambassador Johnnie Carson (Obama)
- Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (Obama)
President Trump appointed Ambassador Tibor Nagy, as his Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. Ambassador Nagy, who is a Hungarian immigrant, is a pleasant enough guy, and reflected the Trump foreign policy, but really did little in the four years to advance any significant Africa policy agenda.
CFA’s President Melvin Foote, is urging the Biden/Harris Administration to consider an African-American or other Americans of African descent, to fill the position of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Said Foote, “It is extremely important that the Biden/Harris Administration consider Black candidates for this critically important position at this point in time. While the challenges domestically in dealing with COVID-19, will certainly occupy the energies of President Biden and Vice President Harris, it is very important that we as a country reach out to the continent, in a way that will rebuild confidence that the U.S. values partnership with Africa and with African people.” Foote further stated, “It was very hard for me these past four years to look at the U.S. Ambassadorial corps in Africa in countries like, Ghana, South Africa, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and most others – all with white U.S. Ambassadors! Not only were the Ambassadors white — and for sure there are plenty of white African experts with tremendous knowledge and deep passion for Africa — but for the most part, Trump’s Ambassador Corps in Africa, were whites folks with little or no knowledge about Africa or the countries they were serving in, and little to contribute in terms of any serious policy agenda.
While the bench has pretty much been cleared of qualified Black candidates during the Trump administration, still there are a number of Blacks who could and should be at least considered. My short list of possible candidates would include the following:
- Ambassador Michael Battle, who formerly served as the US Ambassador to the African Union;
- Ambassador Rueben Brigety, who is now the Vice-Chancellor for the University of the South, and who formerly served as the U.S. Ambassador to the African Union;
- Ambassador Susan Page, former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan;
- Ambassador Robin R. Sanders, who formerly served as the U.S. Ambassador in the Republic of the Congo and in Nigeria;
- Ambassador Harry Thomas, who served as Ambassador to Zimbabwe; and,
- Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, who served in the position with distinction in the George W. Bush Administration. Choosing someone like Ambassador Frazer, would also be viewed as an opportunity to reach across the aisle and to show unity and to try and heal our nation, after the brutal 2020 elections.”
Now that the new Secretary of State, Honorable Antony Blinken has been confirmed by the Senate, those of us who follow Africa, will turn our attention to the important job of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs! “Black Lives do Matter” here!
*Melvin Foote is CEO & President of the Constituency for Africa (CFA). A pioneer in the field of African Affairs, Melvin Foote has over 35 years of experience and has worked in over 30 African countries
Kenya:Raila visits Githurai, booed by a section of youths
January 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday, January 27, rallied Githurai (an estate at the border of Nairobi and Kiambu counties) residents to support the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI).
Youths allied to the deputy President attempted to disrupt the Raila’s roadside rally by chanting “hustler slogan” synonymous with the second in command.
Nevertheless, the youths were pushed back by the AU envoy’s supporters.
The hustler faction resorted to throwing stones at Raila’s convoy forcing the police to hurl teargas at the youths to disperse them.
The opposition chief urged the youths to support the initiative saying it would bring positive and transformative change.
“BBI is not about me; it’s for a better Kenya, which entails bringing stability and a peaceful working environment for any Kenyan without tribe or ethnicity,”
At the same time, he reminded the youths of the Jubilee government’s promises, which are yet to be fulfilled with eight years gone.
Raila mentioned the laptop project, creating jobs, and building stadia as some of the areas where Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has failed.
“They promised you 1million jobs. By now, you should have 8million jobs…have you seen them?” he asked.
He continued, “Some of our children are about to sit for KCPE exams, but they are yet to see the laptops they were promised.”
He further called on the youths not to be swayed by the “Wheelbarrow” narrative spearheaded by Ruto.
“Most of you are learned, but now you are being promised wheelbarrows…Is that the kind of change you want?” He asked the youth.
On Tuesday, the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) gave the County Assemblies green light to debate the document after verifying 1.14 million signatures from the 4.5 million collected for the Building Bridges Initiative referendum.
“The verification exercise confirmed that 1,140,845 registered voters had supported the initiative. This is, therefore, to notify stakeholders and the general public that the initiative has met the requisite threshold as provided in Article 257 (4) of the constitution of Kenya, 2010,” said IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.
RDC : l’élection du nouveau bureau de l’assemblée nationale fixée au 3 février
January 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Le bureau d’âge a finalement rendu public le calendrier pour l’élection des membres du bureau de l’assemblée nationale. Cette élection est prévue pour le 3 février 2021.
Mais bien avant cette élection, le calendrier prévoit aussi le dépôt de candidatures pour le 29 janvier, l’affichage des listes des candidats pour le 30 janvier et la campagne ainsi que l’audition des candidats en plénière, le 1er et le 2 février.
La publication de ce calendrier va certes baisser d’un cran la tension observée dans le chef des députés encore fidèles au Fcc qui accusent le bureau d âge de mettre de côté ce pourquoi il est là.
Le bureau qui sera élu le 3 février va remplacer le bureau Mabunda qui vient d être déchu.
L’article RDC : l’élection du nouveau bureau de l’assemblée nationale fixée au 3 février est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
RDC : L’examen de la motion de censure contre le 1er ministre renvoyé à demain Mercredi
January 26, 2021 | 0 Comments
À l’unanimité, les députés nationaux ont accepté de renvoyer à demain Mercredi 27 janvier 2021, l’examen de la motion de censure contre le premier ministre, sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba qui se séjourne à Lubumbashi au haut Katanga en mission officielle.
Après avoir pris connaissance de deux correspondances qui certifient cette mission, les députés ont concédé pour le report. Sylvestre Ilunga passe donc demain devant les députés même si son sort est déjà scellé. Des isoloirs étaient déjà installés ainsi que des urnes pour le vote de la motion.
Au regard du nombre des pétitionnaires, ce passage à l’assemblée nationale risque d’être le dernier pour Ilunga Ilunkamba.
L’article RDC : L’examen de la motion de censure contre le 1er ministre renvoyé à demain Mercredi est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
The National Question and the Quest for Restructuring in Nigeria
January 26, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Chido Onumah*
To paraphrase the historian, mathematician, journalist, and public intellectual, Edwin Madunagu, every political history has its significant dates, landmarks or turning points. In Nigeria’s political history, for instance, landmarks would include October 1, 1960, (the day Nigeria gained independence from Britain), January 15, 1966, (when the first of what would become a tradition of military coups occurred), July 6, 1967, (the official start of the 30-month Nigeria-Biafra war) and January 15, 1970, (the official end of the civil war).
To these dates, I will add January 1, 1914, (the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates by the British to create Nigeria), May 27, 1967, (the beginning of state creation in Nigeria), and May 30, 1967, (the official declaration of the secessionist state of Biafra). The latter dates, May 27 and May 30, 1967, are significant in many ways. On May 27, 50 years ago, Yakubu Gowon, who served as head of state of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975, perhaps in anticipation of the audacious move by the Military Governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu, announced the division of Nigeria into 12 states from four regions. The division of Nigeria into 12 states and Ojuwku’s declaration of Biafra were decisions that would change the country forever.
Gowon’s action did not only alter the structure of Nigeria, it led to the reconstruction of the nascent nation through the lenses of the so-called Nigerian military; a military that was provincial in outlook as it was ill-equipped for leadership. The military centralized economic and political power and moved Nigeria from a federal republic to a unitary state. In many ways, we can conveniently say May 27, 1967, was the day Nigeria began to unravel and any attempt to understand the current crises and our inability to make progress as a nation must necessarily return to the action of the military junta on May 27, 1967.
The road to Biafra
Three days later, May 30, 1967, Lt. Col Ojukwu, a Nigerian soldier of Igbo extraction declared an “independent sovereign state of the name and title of Republic of Biafra,” officially excising the Eastern Region from Nigeria. Ojukwu based his action on the resolution, four days earlier, on May 26, 1967, of a joint conference of the Eastern consultative assembly and leaders of thought that asked him to declare the Eastern region as separate republic at an “early practicable date”.
The declaration of Biafra was the culmination of a series of tragic events. First was the bloodletting that started with the January 15, 1966, military coup. That coup led to the assassination of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Belewa, the country’s first and only prime minister and Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region, among other high-profile casualties. Some recollections by Edwin Madunagu in “Settling account with Biafra” (The Guardian, May 4, 2000) are apposite here: “One, the politics of the First Republic (1960-1965) was heavily characterised by ethnicity, especially towards the end of that tragic period. Two: Of the five army majors that are more frequently mentioned as leading the coup attempt, only one, Major Adewale Ademoyega, was non-Igbo by ethnic origin. Three: No Igbo political leader died, and the only Igbo military casualty occurred not because he was a target but because he was considered a ‘nuisance’. Four: The attempted coup was the culmination of a long period of political crisis in Nigeria, a crisis whose centre of gravity was Western Region where, before the military intervention, the crisis had become an armed popular uprising.”
On July 29, 1966, there was another military coup led by officers from Northern Nigeria and Lt. Col Yakubu Gowon became head of state. According to Madunagu, the coupists “first made a move to pull the Northern Region out Nigeria, but when they were advised that they were now in a military situation to rule the whole country, instead of a part of it, they dropped the idea of secession and became champions of ‘One Nigeria’. Lt. Col Ojukwu refused to recognise Lt. Col Gowon as head of state.”
The second coup led to the assassination, among other high-profile casualties, of the country’s first military head of state, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo, as well as the military governor of the Western Region, Lt. Col. Adekunle Fajuyi. This was followed by, as Madunagu notes, “mass killings not only in the North, but all over the country, except the Eastern Region. Now, multiply the May 1966 tragedy by a factor of 50, add to it the fact that the killings were now led by armed soldiers whose commanders were now in power and add to this the fact that the killings did not abate for at least five months and you begin to have an idea of what happened.”
The criminal indifference of the Nigerian state to the manifest pogrom against people from Eastern Nigeria, particularly Igbos, the repudiation by the Nigerian contingent (and the “unilateral implementation” by the Eastern regional government) of the agreement on decentralization of power reached at a meeting in Aburi, Ghana, involving the main protagonists, Yakubu Gowon and Emeka Ojukwu, at the instance of Gen. Ankrah of Ghana, finally paved the road to Biafra.
The accounts of what took place in those turbulent days are as varied as there are ethnic groups in Nigeria. But one thing is certain: the effects of those events, particularly the actions of May 27 and 30, 1967, are still being felt today. In one fell swoop, the military unilaterally restructured Nigeria according to its dictates. While Ojukwu drafted “unwilling” minorities in the Eastern Region to create a Biafran state where Igbos were in the majority, the Nigerian military which was nothing but the armed wing of a reactionary feudal class that had power thrust on it at independence began the implementation of an agenda of conquest. Interestingly, barely a year earlier, the section of the military that seized power after the January 15, 1966 coup had attempted to reconstruct Nigeria as a unitary state with the promulgation of the unification decree 34 of 1966. That attempt was opposed fiercely by those (including a section of the military) who felt they had lost out in the power equation. The rest is history.
When history repeats itself
Unfortunately, Nigeria is on the cusp of that tragic history repeating itself. Regrettably, 50 years after the declaration of Biafra many young Nigerians of Igbo descent are trying to recreate Biafra. A few months ago there were events in Nigeria and around the world to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra on May 30, 1967. Forty-seven years after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra War, Biafra still resonates with individuals and groups within and outside the country; perhaps, a testament to the fact that the war hasn’t ended in the minds of the protagonists and victims and the reality that many of the issues that propelled the civil war are still with us today.
So, how do we deal with this conundrum? Is Biafra the solution? In other words, can we solve the problems of 2017 Nigeria using the tragic solution of 50 years ago? As S.M. Sigerson noted in The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened at Béal na mBláth? “A nation which fails to adequately remember salient points of its own history, is like a person with Alzheimer’s. And that can be a social disease of a most destructive nature.”
Seventeen years ago, Edwin Madunagu, in the piece referenced above, admonished “the young Nigerians now threatening to actualise Biafra (to) forget or shelve the plan. In place of ‘actualisation’ they should, through research and study, reconstruct the Biafran story in its fullness and complexity and try to answer the unanswered questions and supply the missing links in the story. This is a primary responsibility you owe yourselves: you should at least understand what you want to actualise. If 30 years after Biafra, you want to produce its second edition, you need to benefit from the criticism of the first. History teaches that a second edition of a tragic event could easily become a farce—in spite of the heroism of its human agencies. On the other hand, those who enjoy ridiculing Biafra—instead of studying it—are politically shortsighted. My own attitude to Biafra is neither ‘actualisation’ nor ridicule. I propose that accounts should be settled with Biafra.”
Madunagu’s admonition needs no elaboration. It is clear enough for the young people pushing for the actualisation of Biafra, many of whom were born after the end of the Biafra war 47 years ago. The aspect of his position on Biafra that I want to focus on is the aspect that warns of the “political shortsightedness of ridiculing Biafra”.
Balkanizing the nation
When the military regime headed by Gowon divided Nigeria into 12 states, it sought to weaken the prospect of the different groups in the Eastern Region uniting against the Nigerian state. Of course, that action was music to the ears of minority groups, particularly those in the Eastern Region, who had long demanded their own state. With the creation of states, however, the military not only unilaterally abrogated the geo-political structure that existed then, it went a step further to destroy the principle of federalism on which Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and which had sustained and kept the country together. We need to understand that this principle was adopted not only to assuage the fear of domination by a single group in the country but as recognition of the differences (multi-ethnic and multi-lingual) of the various “ethnic nationalities” that were brought together to create Nigeria.
Part of Gowon’s broadcast on May 27, 1967, signaling the breakup of Nigeria into 12 states is pertinent here: “The main obstacle to future stability in this country is the present structural imbalance in the Nigerian Federation. Even Decree No.8 or Confederation or ‘loose association’ will never survive if any one section of the country is in a position to hold the others to ransom.
“This is why the first item in the political and administrative programme adopted by the Supreme Military Council last month is the creation of states for stability. This must be done first so as to remove the fear of domination. Representatives drawn from the new states will be more able to work out the future constitution for this country which can contain provisions to protect the powers of the states to the fullest extent desired by the Nigerian people.
“As soon as these are established, a new revenue allocation commission consisting of international experts will be appointed to recommend an equitable formula for revenue allocation taking into account the desires of the states. I propose to act faithfully within the political and administrative programme adopted by the Supreme Military Council and published last month. The world will recognise in these proposals our desire for justice and fair play for all sections of this country and to accommodate all genuine aspirations of the diverse people of this great country.
“I have ordered the re-imposition of the economic measures designed to safeguard federal interests until such time as the Eastern Military Governor abrogates his illegal edicts on revenue collection and the administration of the federal statutory corporations based in the East. The country has a long history of well-articulated demands for states. The fears of minorities were explained in great detail and set out in the report of the Willink Commission appointed by the British in 1958. More recently, there have been extensive discussions in Regional Consultative Committees and leaders-of-thought conferences. Resolutions have been adopted demanding the creation of states in the North and in Lagos. Petitions from minority areas in the East which have been subjected to violent intimidation by the Eastern Military Government have been publicised.
“While the present circumstances regrettably do not allow for consultations through plebiscites, I am satisfied that the creation of new states as the only possible basis for stability and equality is the overwhelming desire of the vast majority of Nigerians. To ensure justice, these states are being created simultaneously. To this end, therefore, I am promulgating a decree which will divide the Federal Republic into 12 states. The 12 states will be six in the present Northern Region, three in the present Eastern Region, the Mid-Western will remain as it is, the Colony Province of the Western Region and Lagos will form a new Lagos State and the Western Region will otherwise remain as it is.”
What the military regime of Gowon gave with one hand it took with the other. And that would become the hallmark of subsequent military regimes in Nigeria. Gowon failed to realise, or deliberately ignored the reality that the issue wasn’t the division of the country but the reluctance or inability of the military to keep its promise, viz., “This must be done first so as to remove the fear of domination. Representatives drawn from the new states will be more able to work out the future constitution for this country which can contain provisions to protect the powers of the states to the fullest extent desired by the Nigerian people.”
Unfortunately, that never happened. It couldn’t have, considering the rapacious and parasitic nature of the Nigerian military so-called and the interest it represented and still represents. Once the military couldn’t deliver on that promise, it also meant that the second part of its declaration that, “The world will recognise in these proposals our desire for justice and fair play for all sections of this country and to accommodate all genuine aspirations of the diverse people of this great country,” was nothing but meaningless soundbite by a rampaging military sub-class in desperate search for legitimacy.
Since then, there has neither been “justice nor fair play for all sections” of Nigeria. There hasn’t been any serious attempt to “accommodate all genuine aspirations of the diverse people of this great country.” The sham of a federation that the military created has evolved into a Frankenstein’s monster. Fast forward 50 years. Cleary, it is the nebulous federal government that is holding the country to ransom. The moment the military government took economic powers from the states, there was no way we could ensure justice and fair play. And once you can’t ensure justice and fair play, there is no way you can stop the concomitant disquiet.
The politics of state creation
When Gen Murtala Muhammed created additional seven states—three in the “South” and four in the “North”—bringing the total to 19 states, and a new federal capital territory, Abuja, on February 3, 1976, ten days before his assassination on February 13, he left no one in doubt that the conquest was real. While Gowon showed an inclination to balance Nigeria geo-politically, Muhammed ensured that the “North” had ten states while the “South” had nine. It has been alleged that the decision was to create four new states in the “North” and four new states in the “South”, but when Muhammed announced the creation of states, instead of creating two states (Cross River and Akwa Ibom States) out of the old South-Eastern State, he simply announced the transformation of South-Eastern State into Cross River State.
Subsequent military regimes continued the conquest, not just on the political front, but on the economic front as well. Ten years later, in 1986, when the self-professed evil genius, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, set up a Political Bureau to review the country’s political and democratic system, one of its recommendations was the creation of an additional state (Akwa Ibom State) in “South” to create a geo-political balance of ten states each between the “North” and “South”. Babangida spurned that recommendation. He did create Akwa Ibom State, but he added another state (Kastina State) in the “North” to maintain the imbalance. It was the same pattern that was adopted in subsequent state creation in 1991 (under Gen Babangida) and 1996 (under Gen Sani Abacha). Geo-politically, today, Nigeria is composed of 36 states: 19 states in the “North” and 17 states in the “South”.
Ordinarily this should not matter. After all, in a federation, the federating units (states) are supposed to manage their affairs substantially and contribute to the sustenance of the federation. Therefore, only those who feel their states can sustain themselves would clamour for the creation of such states. Of course, more self-sustaining states would mean more opportunities for the national government to benefit from the exploration and exploitation of resources in every state. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Nigeria.
In a country where the military had hijacked and centralized the control of economic resources and political power by, for example, arrogating to itself the authority to create local governments as well as placing itself in the position of chief dispenser of funds based on its own criteria, including population, land mass, number of local governments, derivation principle, etc., the dog eat dog demand for states was inevitable. Thanks to the military—the armed wing of Nigeria’s dominant power bloc—Nigeria has a weird federation where states can’t create their own local governments; where local governments are listed in constitutions that have been nothing but military decrees writ large. Thanks to the military, Nigeria has spurned justice and fair play and disregarded the genuine aspirations of the diverse people of this great country.
It is not for nothing that Nigeria is described as a federal republic. It was a choice made by the three regions in Nigeria preceding independence. Both the Eastern and Western regions obtained internal self-government (independence) in 1957, while the North got same in 1959. Each region could have opted to go its own way in 1960. We could have had three countries as opposed to one at independence. The decision by the regions to be part of a shared territory called Nigeria came with some obligation and expectation. There is little to suggest that the federating region were willing to jettison the greater part of their economic and political independence for the sake of “one Nigeria”.
In 1963, the regions (the precursor of our current states) controlled 50 percent of the revenues accruing from their region; today we are quibbling whether the states have right to as little as 13 percent. In a sense, this manifest heist by the federal government has perpetuated injustice in some sections of the country while condoning indolence in others. It is this quest for control, or lack of, that is at the heart of the Nigerian crisis.
The question then is what must we do to get Nigeria out of the current quagmire and ultimately save the country from self-destruction?
There are no easy answers, considering the historical trajectories of Nigeria and the beating the country has taken from rogue rulers (military and civilian) in the last 57 years. But we can start from somewhere. A genuine national conversation founded on shared existential experience can be a good starting point. We must come to the realization that we have very limited choices and time is of the essence. The single agenda of such national conversation is to work out an agreeable and sustainable structure for the country. This is critical for many reasons, the most important being that it is on such agreement that every other thing, including the survival of the country, rests. It is this sentiment that the late politician and lawyer, Chief Bola Ige, expressed when he noted: “There are two basic questions that must be answered by all Nigerians. One, do we want to remain as one country? Two, if the answer is yes, under what conditions?”
Undoubtedly, majority of Nigerians would respond in the affirmative to the first question. The question then is if we agree to remain together, under what conditions? Do we want a truly federal nation? Do we want a secular and egalitarian nation where the rule of law prevails? Do we want a semi-feudal and religious republic that poses as a modern democratic society? Do we want a nation where some citizens are treated as second class citizens? Do we want a nation where some people feel ostracized, marginalized, dispossessed and neglected or an inclusive nation of equal opportunities, freedom, responsibility and trust? The choice is ours, but that decision must involve majority of Nigerians. Enter the term restructuring!
To understand Nigeria and why we need to restructure the country, we need to debunk a few myths and lay bare certain facts. Myth: God used the British to bring Nigeria together and, therefore, not only is there nothing we can do about that, we shouldn’t attempt to alter what the British put together on behalf of God. Fact: Nigeria was brought together by the British for purely economic and imperialistic reasons. Myth: The size of Nigeria is an asset. Fact: Of course, size is an asset, but no country is great simply by the size of its population. Myth: Nigeria has always been one “united” country. Fact: Nigeria has not always been like this. Nigeria was basically two different countries (Northern and Southern Protectorates). The British brought these two countries together for economic, administrative and expansionist interests as well as its desire to check the burgeoning French interest in Africa. The evil colonialists created one country yet did everything to keep the people divided. The fault lines still exist today. Myth: Once the British “conquered” the people that would later form Nigeria, they lost the right to “self-determination”. Fact: The ethnic nationalities that were “conquered” by the British were not “conquered” collectively as one group and the fact that they were “conquered” by the British does not in any way vitiate their right to “self-determination”. Only a hegemonist and internal colonialist will push such a position. Myth: Nigeria is non-negotiable and indivisible. Fact: Nations are not eternal constructs; they come into being at certain historical junctures due to different factors and can likewise go out of existence for different reasons. Myth: Nigeria is a mere geographical expression. Fact: Nigeria is not a mere geographical expression. The country is simply no longer the sum of its constituent parts. There are people and institutions that are Nigerian.
So, let’s not romanticize Nigeria or take it for granted. Having said that, it is also important that we understand that there is nothing special about the way Nigeria was formed. And this is in response to those who refer to Nigeria as a “fictional nation” or an “artificial creation”.
Who is afraid of restructuring?
For those who fear the word restructuring, let it be clear that it doesn’t imply breaking Nigeria into tiny sovereignties or going back to the status quo ante. That is far-fetched. Of course, there are many positions just as there is much misperception and confusion when it comes to restructuring. Many people genuinely do not understand what is at stake when the issue of restructuring is mentioned vis a vis the politics of Nigeria, while others, for purely partisan and ethnic reasons, decide to conflate the issue.
Make no mistake, the “restructuring” of Nigeria both politically and economically has been a continuous process since amalgamation in 1914. The restructuring in 1939 saw the division of the South into two regions, the West and East. In 1946, the country was again restructured to create a federation of three regions: East, West and North. The process continued in I963 with the creation of Mid-Western Region out of the former Western Region, the unitary system in 1966 and beyond, the creation of 12 states on May 27, 1967, etc. Add to this, the emasculation of the states through the reduction of the percentage of revenue accruing to states from their resources.
Basically, what restructuring willdo is to createnew, workable and generally acceptable rules on how Nigeria should federate. We need to reorder the polity for effective governance. Clearly, our fortunes as a nation is tied to the kind of political, economic and social structure we put in place. We need to review revenue generation and allocation. We can’t talk or wish our way to prosperity as a nation. We must end financial irresponsibility and fiscal rascality by revisiting the issue of fiscal federalism. We must allow states to share greater responsibility in the policing of their states. We must abrogate local governments as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and allow states to create local governments according to their needs. We must redefine citizenship rights and banish the indigene-settler dichotomy. This is what restructuring is about. We must continue to interrogate Nigeria because our misleaders (past and present) have failed to forge a nation out of what was bequeathed to us by the colonialists. The nationhood question is never settled. The way out is to never be afraid to confront it.
Any attempt to understand and tackle Nigeria’s seemingly intractable problems must go back to the basic principles of the formation of Nigeria. We may not have it the way it was in 1960 or 1963, but it is important that whatever way we decide to have it, the decision is inclusive and acceptable. That is the essence of restructuring. Restructuring is not a silver bullet. It won’t solve all our problems, but trying to solve our national crises without restructuring the country effectively will amount to putting the cart before the horse.
The bottom line is that Nigeria is not working for Nigerians. It may be working for some Nigerians, either Igbos, Fulanis, Yorubas, Hausas, Kanuris, Efiks, Tivs or Ijaws, but for the majority across the country, it is a nightmare living the Nigerian dream. We can point to poor leadership, bad governance, corruption and the need for attitudinal change, but these are symptoms of a much insidious problem, the existential crisis that confronts Nigeria.
Nigeria is not working not because Nigerians can’t make it work or are not willing to make it work. Nigeria is not working simply because there is no incentive to make it work; there is no allegiance to the Nigerian dream, if it does exist. That explains the mindless corruption in the country, the contempt the rulers have for the country and its citizens, their eagerness to run it aground and their willingness to run to the Metropole at the slightest opportunity either for medical attention, to educate their children or simply to enjoy the good life. And, the country, the proverbial giant of Africa remains, in the words of Noble Laurette, Prof Wole Soyinka, “the open sore of a continent”; a nation that made billions of dollars from oil, yet (with Pakistan and Afghanistan) is one of the three-remaining polio-endemic countries in the world with one of the highest cases of out-of-school children and maternal mortality.
The purpose of restructuring, therefore, is to set Nigeria on the path of a civic nationhood, a modern egalitarian society, and not to create new fiefdoms for ethnic warlords. It aims to end internal colonialism wherever it exists in the country and to free the creative and intellectual capacities for Nigerians from the east, west, north and south, to contribute to the development of the country.
Can we reconstruct Nigeria? Can we reclaim the country and provide succour to millions of our countrymen and women in the east, west, north, and south who have endured decades of misrule, impoverishment, injustice and oppression? This is the question that should engage true patriots and the current generation of Nigerians. Can the post-civil war generation of Nigerians reclaim the country and create a new Nigeria that can become a global contender? I think it can. But nation building is not a tea party. This generation must learn to overcome the fear and loathing; it mustn’t allow our tragic history to repeat itself.
The future of Nigeria belongs to young men and men, millions who are unemployed and daily roaming the streets of major cities across the country. I share your frustration, pain, suffering, anger and anxiety. But no one feels the pain more than you and, therefore, you are in the best position to bring about the kind of change you and Nigeria need.
You must rise to the occasion. You are the future of this great nation. Nigeria of 2017 is not Nigeria of 1914, 1960, 1966, or 1967-70. John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, once admonished Americans, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” Kennedy was speaking to Americans and the “right” answer may not be in the interest of non-Americans, but the same principle can apply in our own situation. In seeking solutions to the country’s problems, you must learn from the past but you should not allow the past to cripple you. You must accept your own responsibility for the future. You should see yourselves as Nigerians first before being Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Ibibio, Fulani or Ijaw. And in seeking to deal with the Nigerian question, that should be your guiding principle.
Nigerian youth must seize the moment and define the kind of future they want to create. Nobody will live that future but you. Don’t let our crooked politicians and so-called statesmen define that future. You can’t leave the solution to Nigeria’s problems to those who created it in the first place for, as Einstein poignantly put it, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”Our rulers have defined themselves and the country for too long; they have no right to define you and the future.
Our rulers and so-called elders shouldn’t speak for you any longer. Don’t let a 90-year-old Edwin Clark or Prof. Ango Abdullahi, who as Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University from 1979–1986, was more of a despot than an administrator, ruining the future of many students in the process, speak for you. Don’t let the dishonourable men and women posing as your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives speak for you. Afenifere, Northern Elders Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, OPC, Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), IPOB, MASSOB, and sundry agglomeration of ethnic jingoists and bigots, shouldn’t speak for you.
Your reality and challenges—in the light of globalization and a world where oil is increasingly becoming irrelevant and advances in science and communication technology are changing the way we live and operate—are different from the realities of your forbears. Don’t let the prejudices of the past hold you down. We have wasted 57 years as an independent nation, we can’t afford to waste the next 50 years. As we mark the 50th anniversary of Biafra and the start of the civil war, we must remember our fellow citizens from the east, west, north and south and everywhere in between who lost their lives or loved ones, were injured or maimed for life in that unfortunate 30-month war and resolve to say never again!
I believe we can a build a nation where no group or individuals place their ethnic, sectional, state, regional or religious interests above the national interest. That is the condition precedent for the survival of Nigeria. That is what restructuring can do for us.
The eternal words of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, the great Pan-Africanist who died on Africa Day, May 25, eight years ago, are apropos: “don’t agonise, organise.”
*Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans. This essay was written in 2017 as part of a conference presentation. It is being published now because of its relevance to Nigeria’s current situation.
RDC : Fatshi nomme un nouveau directeur de cabinet, Guylain Nyembo
January 25, 2021 | 0 Comments
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RDC/USN : Le président de l’ACAJ exhorte le premier ministre à sortir par la grande porte
January 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
Le président de l’Association congolaise pour l’accès à la justice (ACAJ), Georges Kapiamba exhorte le premier ministre Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba à passer par la grande porte en démissionnant de lui-même.
Pour le président de l’ACAJ, le gouvernement Ilukamba n’était pas au service de la population congolaise, d’où inutile de s’accrocher au pouvoir.
“J’exhorte vivement le Premier ministre Ilunga Ilunkamba à démissionner avant le débat de la motion de censure à l’Assemblée Nationale, d’autant plus que la majorité de membres de son Gouvernement et lui-même ne travaillent que pour leurs propres intérêts et familles politiques respectives”, a-t-il écrit ce dimanche 24 janvier sur son compte tweeter.
Accusés de plusieurs griefs par les députés pétitionnaires, notamment des échecs répétés dans l’exécution de son programme, les fautes graves cumulées et l’incompétence notoire, le Première Ministre et son équipe gouvernementale sont appelés à se présenter à la plénière convoquée ce mardi 26 janvier 2021. Occasion pour le chef du gouvernement congolais de présenter ses moyens de défense sur les griefs lui reprochés, avant que la plénière ne passe au vote.
Rappelons que le président du bureau d’âge de l’Assemblée nationale, le doyen Mboso N’Kodia Christophe, a notifié, dans la plénière de ce samedi 23 janvier 2021, le Premier Ministre Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, de la motion de censure initiée contre lui et son gouvernement.
L’article RDC/USN : Le président de l’ACAJ exhorte le premier ministre à sortir par la grande porte est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
Union Sacrée : Lorsque l’informateur Lukwebo réunit 25 chefs de groupements et partis politiques autour du chef de l’État
January 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
Chaque jour qui passe donne une idée sur la configuration de l’Union Sacrée de la Nation et de la majorité parlementaire qui sera issue.
Ce mercredi 20 janvier, l’Informateur Modeste Bahati LUKWEBO a présenté auprès du Chef de l’Etat Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo 25 Chefs de regroupements et partis politiques ayant adhéré jusqu’ici à l’Union Sacrée de la Nation.
Ces leaders politiques représentent des centaines des députés nationaux, renseignent la presse présidentielle à matinfos.net.
Quant à la précision du nombre des députés nationaux membres de la nouvelle majorité parlementaire, l’Informateur a dit réserver la primeur au Chef de l’Etat ; toutefois, Modeste Bahati LUKWEBO s’est montré très optimiste.
« Il se dessine une écrasante majorité « , a-t-il conclu.
L’article Union Sacrée : Lorsque l’informateur Lukwebo réunit 25 chefs de groupements et partis politiques autour du chef de l’État est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.