Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

politics

Malawi: Initial results put opposition leader Chakwera in the lead
June 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

Malawi Congress Party, Lazarus Chakwera is poised of a win in Malawi’s fresh presidential election, preliminary results show.Photo/AMOS GUMULIRA AFP

Malawi Congress Party, Lazarus Chakwera is poised of a win in Malawi’s fresh presidential election, preliminary results show.

Unofficial results have put the leader of the country’s oldest party in the lead with relatively about 58% of the votes against the incumbent President Peter Mutharika whose Democratic Progressive Party still trails.

Chakwera is claiming the results having bonded with about eight other parties including the one led by Vice President Saulos Chilima, the UTM and former President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party.

The parties traded under the banner Tonse Alliance.

Mutharika on the other hand, patterned with the United Democratic Front, a party led by Atupele Muluzi, son to former leader Bakili.

The electoral commision is at the moment still receiving results from districts and has thus far announced results from three out of the twenty eight districts.

The commission legally holds eight days to announce the winner of the results.

Initially, a big twist came about when one of the candidates Peter Kuwani of the Mbakuwaku Movement applied to the commision to disqualify Mutharika and Chakwera for fielding new runningmates.

Kuwani had argued that this was against the court order that stances ahead of the elections remain as it were in the nullified poll.

MEC Chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale however announced that the commission found that the arguments did not hold any water.

Meanwhile, Malawians are still anticipating the announcement although Tonse Alliance followers have stormed the social media in celebratory posts.

0
Read More
COVID-19 Ceasefire Challenge to Cameroon Government and Non-State Armed Groups
June 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr Denis Mukwege Nobel Peace Prize 2018 is a signatory to the petition

(Toronto, London)  A group of world leaders is calling on Cameroon’s warring parties to lower their weapons to let health workers tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Nobel Peace Prize laureates, former heads of state, and others are asking the government of Cameroon and the Anglophone militias fighting for independence to declare a humanitarian ceasefire, echoing the UN’s global ceasefire call. The conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions began in 2016 and has claimed thousands of lives and forced more than half a million people to flee their homes. Cameroon has one of Africa’s highest rates of COVID-19 infection, and civilians are caught between conflict and coronavirus.

The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon today issues a COVID-19 ceasefire challenge to the Cameroon government and the non-state armed group leaders in the Anglophone conflict. They also challenge select international bodies to use all tools at their disposal to encourage a ceasefire. They are joined by 15 respected leaders in the international community as follows:

Doctor Denis Mukwege

Nobel Peace Prize 2018

Panzi Hospital and Foundation, Democratic Republic of the Congo and United States of America

Professor Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize 2006

Founder of the Grameen Bank, People’s Republic of Bangladesh

The Honourable José Ramos-Horta

Nobel Peace Prize 1996

Former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

The Honourable FW de Klerk

Nobel Peace Prize 1993

Former President of the Republic of South Africa

The Honourable Oscar Arias Sánchez

Nobel Peace Prize 1987

Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica

The Right Honourable Joe Clark

Former Prime Minister of Canada

Former Foreign Minister and Minister of Constitutional Affairs of Canada

The Honourable Ricardo Lagos

Former President of Chile

International Council of Nurses

Swiss Confederation

The Right Honourable Harriet Baldwin, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom

Former United Kingdom Joint Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development

The Right Honourable Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom

Former United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development

US Ambassador (ret.) R. Niels Marquardt

Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

US Ambassador (ret.) John Yates

Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

US Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Isom

Former United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

Doctor Simon Adams

Executive Director of The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, United States of America

Ms. Ewelina U. Ochab

Co-Founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response, United Kingdom

Cameroonian names are intentionally withheld


Together we:

  • Applaud UN Secretary-General Guterres’s call for a global ceasefire to mitigate COVID-19 in conflict zones, including in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions;
  • Echo this ceasefire call, and emphasize that COVID-19 cases cannot be reduced while infrastructure is being attacked, populations are harmed and displaced, and medical and humanitarian aid cannot reach all parts of the North-West and South-West regions; and note that the rate of coronavirus infection in Cameroon is among the highest in Africa;
  • Implore all parties to put the people’s immediate health, lives and livelihoods ahead of military objectives;
  • Challenge the warring parties in Cameroon’s Anglophone conflict to bravely and publicly declare a humanitarian ceasefire, as follows:

1 – We challenge the government and military of the Republic of Cameroon to call a ceasefire in the two Anglophone regions.

The government of the Republic of Cameroon holds a special responsibility to protect its citizens under international law. Citizens cannot be protected from COVID-19 and other catastrophic health threats in an active war zone. There should be a ceasefire to:

  • protect human life, health workers, patients, health facilities, and ambulances
    • allow unfettered access of humanitarian aid to the North-West and South-West regions

2 – We challenge all non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in the two Anglophone regions to call a ceasefire.

Thank you to APLM-SOCADEF for already declaring and renewing a temporary ceasefire. All other non-state armed groups are challenged to declare a ceasefire as well, to protect citizens from COVID-19 and other catastrophic health threats in an active war zone, and:

  • protect human life, health workers, patients, health facilities, and ambulances
    • allow unfettered access of humanitarian aid to the North-West and South-West regions

3 – We challenge the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General, the African Union and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie to:

  • use all instruments of power at their disposal to urge the Republic of Cameroon to call a COVID-19 ceasefire
    • ensure that Cameroon’s Anglophone conflict is on the agenda of the forthcoming UN Security Council meeting and all UNOCA sessions before the UNSC

The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon is an informal group of academics, activists, journalists, lawyers, and other concerned citizens around the world who believe in the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of Cameroon’s Anglophone conflict. For further information: www.cameroonpeacejustice.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Two-minute video communicating the challenge in English: https://youtu.be/K0a3ksfViAo

Two-minute video communicating the challenge in French: https://youtu.be/GXHwd5_OGA8

1.  Transcript of video:  DURING COVID-19, LET’S GO FROM VIOLENCE TO GUN SILENCE

Right now, we are facing a global emergency – the coronavirus. But in conflict zones around the world, it’s impossible for medical workers to do their jobs. That’s why, two months ago, the UN Secretary-General called for a ceasefire in places like Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.

This is a challenge to the Republic of Cameroon, and all the armed groups, to lower their weapons so that the deadly effects of the virus can be mitigated.

It takes bravery to call a ceasefire, of course, but that’s what it means to put people’s health first. We challenge everyone involved in the fighting to respect human life, and protect health workers, patients, and health facilities.

We challenge all the people carrying weapons to lower their guns and machetes, and allow humanitarian aid into the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. Thank you to APLM-SOCADEF for being the only party so far to declare a ceasefire.

This is also a challenge to the international community – that means the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General, the African Union, the Africa CDC, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie. They all have a role to play in urging the parties involved in violence in Cameroon to announce a ceasefire, to let medical workers take action against COVID-19.

All we are saying is give the COVID-19 ceasefire a chance.

Switch from violence to gun silence, but do it now. Before it’s too late.

This message is from The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon, and all those who agree.

2.  Statement by UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, which reiterates ceasefire call https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Statement%20Attacks%20June%202020.pdf

3.  Policy Brief: Risk of Mass Atrocities in Cameroon

https://www.ushmm.org/genocide-prevention/countries/cameroon/policy-brief-risk-of-mass-atrocities-in-cameroon

4.  Background to the Conflict

* Source The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon. This news release is also available in French.

# # #

1+
Read More
Malawi: Campaign for fresh presidential poll ends
June 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

Incumbent President Peter Mutharika is in a still political fight.
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika is in a still political fight.

Malawians will this Tuesday be voting in a fresh presidential election  following a court’s order for the same.

The official campaign for the elections has since been officially closed.

The campaign period has been dominated by two fronts, one in which the ruling Democratic Progressive Party entered into an alliance with the United Democratic Front while nine other parties led by the Malawi Congress Party and the UTM formed another electoral alliance under the banner Tonse (Together) Alliance.

Incumbent President Peter Mutharika whose 2019 re-election was challenged by the MCP and UTM has a tall order to defend the seat this Tuesday.

This is after the opposition block has formed a fierce challenge against him, apparently accusing his regime of nepotism, corruption and gross incompetence.

However, Mutharika says the opposition have only chosen to ignore development at the expense of various protests they have been endorsing.

More so, he also accuses them of conniving with court judges to nullify the 2019 elections, an accusation that recently saw legal practitioners in the country hold national wide demonstrations against what they dubbed as illegal attack on the role of the judiciary.

On the other hand, another candidate Peter Kuwani who leads the Mbakuwaku Movement has branded the other contestants of running cartels of corruption.

About 6.8 million Malawians registered to vote in the elections last year and a recent court order indicated that there should not be any new registrants in the system.

Candidates:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) – Tonse alliance: Lazarus Chakwera

Mbakuwaku Movement for Development: Peter Kuwani

Democratic Progressive Party: Peter Mutharika.

0
Read More
Commonwealth Secretary-General urges peaceful,credible and inclusive elections in Malawi
June 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika with Commonwealth Sec Gen Patricia Scotland
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika with Commonwealth Sec Gen Patricia Scotland

Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, urges all electoral and political stakeholders in Malawi to play their part in contributing to a peaceful and credible presidential election in Malawi on 23 June 2020.

The Secretary-General said: “Malawi’s democracy, stability and development hinge upon the credibility of the forthcoming Presidential election. I encourage all stakeholders, including the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), political parties, civil society organisations, the media, religious authorities, traditional leaders, and every citizen, to work together and play their respective roles constructively to ensure that the outcome of this election truly reflects the will of the people. In particular, Malawi’s Government and Opposition must demonstrate leadership by honouring their commitment to democracy and respect for the rule of law, enshrined in Malawi’s Constitution and reflected in the Commonwealth Charter.”

The Secretary-General underscored the Commonwealth Secretariat’s commitment to supporting home-grown initiatives in Malawi that can contribute to a peaceful and credible process. 

The Secretary-General added: “The Secretariat is pleased to have partnered with national institutions to support their contribution to our shared goal of a peaceful, credible and inclusive process, especially at this challenging time when the pandemic has limited our options for direct engagement.”

The Commonwealth Secretariat is supporting partner national institutions – the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and the 50:50 Campaign Management Agency.

The Secretary-General concluded. “I wish the people of Malawi well as they look forward to exercising their democratic right to vote on 23 June.”

*Commonwealth

0
Read More
Tanzania investigates citizens suspected of terrorizing Mozambique
June 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

Tanzania says it is investigating the possible involvement of its citizens in the ongoing terrorist attacks in Mozambique since October 2017 which have already caused the deaths of over 1,000 people and several refugees.

The attacks take place in Cabo Delgado province, the far north of Mozambique which borders Tanzania. Some people already captured in connection with the attacks are from the region, including neighbouring Tanzania.

“We are conducting an investigation to find out if our citizens are involved in the attacks” the Tanzania’s high commissioner in Mozambique, Rajabu Luhwavi, said in Maputo moments after presenting has farewells to President Filipe Nyusi.

Luhwavi said it was in Tanzania’s interest to help fight terrorism in Mozambique, an evil that affected his own country as well and that it would be useful to unite the defence and security forces of the two countries in the fight against terrorism.

The reasons of the attacks are unknown, but the representative in Mozambique of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cesar Guedes, has argued that the traffic of heroin from Mozambique to Europe via Mozambique is one of the main reasons for the conflict in Cabo Delgado province, where the Mozambican forces are fighting terrorists inspired by islamic fundamentalism.

Interviewed by the Portuguese news agency Lusa, Guedes said that Afghan heroin production has tripled in the past ten years, and Mozambique lies on one of the corridors used to take the drug to consumer nations.

He argued that the Kenyan and Tanzanian authorities have increased their vigilance in recent years, pushing traffickers who might once have used the Kenyan or Tanzanian coast further south, to Mozambique “in search of new routes and new markets”.

The UNODC official argued that, in Cabo Delgado, the traffickers “prefer a situation of instability, because they can then choose better their space and time” to transport the drug.

0
Read More
Tensions entre la France et la Turquie : Trump à l’écart, l’Otan divisée
June 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

Depuis quelques années, les tensions sont montées d’un cran entre la France et la Turquie. Les deux pays s’opposant sur plusieurs dossiers notamment celui de la Syrie. Récemment encore, le président Erdogan critiquait également la politique française en Libye.

Mais ce qui risque de mettre le feu aux poudres, c’est …

Vous pouvez lire cet article sur La Nouvelle Tribune

La Nouvelle Tribune

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
Unite to Remove Barrow from Power-Gambians in US Tell Political Parties
June 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow
President Adama Barrow

United Gambia Association (UGA) a non-profit, non-political and non-religious association of Gambians mainly in the US which was a key funder of Coalition 2016,has called on political parties in the country to band together and remove President Barrow from power in 2021 similar to the ouster of President Jammeh in 2016.

In a statement signed by its president Alhaji Abdoulie Drammeh and secretary Siaka Drammeh sent to Pan African Visions, the association stated: “It is our belief that 85% of Gambians are unhappy with the present situation. In order to bring change for the better, the political parties and Gambians at large must put their differences aside and join to uproot this corrupt government.

“It is our humble conviction that our unity is our strength. Therefore, we are appealing to our politicians to think about the consequences if they fail us in 2021. We raised these issues and concerns out of our love for country and responsibility as citizens. We will give our support and backing only to a united front.

“We felt disappointed and betrayed. We spent a lot of money in the struggle against Jammeh not only because we wanted change but reforms. Reforms of the security sector, electoral laws and governance system. But nothing has changed in terms of the corruption, the inefficiency, the bad judgement and multiple abuses continue all the time. We feel another coalition is more than necessary.”

The association warned that the country’s political parties will be held responsible “if they failed to unite to unseat Barrow in the 2021 presidential election.”
“We were convinced that this government will position the country on the path of good governance and sustainable development. But almost all the decisions and actions they take are threats to our democracy and national interests. We cannot sit quiet to watch again another political leader mislead this country. We believe Barrow is not the leader who can transform our lives for the better. We have now learnt our lesson well enough that we will not be silent and uninterested ever again,” the association added.

The association said “no politician or public officer can ever again fool or threaten our people or arrogate to yourself the control of truth, power and righteousness.”

“We are very concerned about the lack of unity in the country. It seems we are divided based on partisan politics today more than ever. It is high time we looked at each other with an open heart and mind,” the statement noted.

Gays and lesbians rights
The association also urged the country’s politicians not to waste their precious time debating about homosexuality because majority of Gambians will never condone homosexuality but said it “denounces whosoever is propagating for the rights and protection of gays and lesbians in The Gambia.”

0
Read More
South Sudan national army kills leader of “7th October Movement”
June 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol 

Captain Kerbono Wol
Captain Kerbono Wol

Juba – South Sudan national army has reported that businessman and philanthropist, turned rebel leader, Captain Kerbono Wol, has been killed in action in Eastern Lakes State, Bahr El Ghazel region.

Kerbino’s death comes just one week after he announced the formation of the 7th October rebel movement on June 5, named after the day, he allegedly led a riot in jail in 2018.

Wol had originally been detained in April 2018 and held at the Blue House without being charged. After the disturbance that October he was charged with violating sections 67, 72, 79 and 47 of the South Sudan penal code of 2008, but later was released in a presidential pardon in January 2020.

South Sudan People Defense Force (SSPDF) spokesperson, Maj Gen Lul Ruai said that Kerbino was hit by soldiers on Sunday during an operation in Lakes state. 

Maj Gen Lul says the offensive on Kerbino’s positions began last Thursday at Ayen Mayar village in the Amoukping area of Rumbek East county. The army spokesperson says three of his fighters and a local chief identified as Monydiar Maker Mangar, who hosted Kerboino at his home, were also killed.

“The 4 days offensive operations resulted in the neutralization of the threat, which was the killing of Wol Agok, along with two others at Ayen Mayar Villiage in Amukpiny in Rumbek East,” Lul told the Pan African Visions on phone.

However, Lazaro Akoon, brother to Kerbino

announced the demise of his brother, says he passed on this morning (Monday) during a military confrontation in his hideout.

“He was one of us and to us his body shall return. We appeal to the government as a family to have his body given to us for burial,” Akoon wrote it on his Facebook timeline.

Kerbino Wol earlier said his new group, the October 7th Movement, which he named after the day he rioted in detention, will fight the government of South Sudan to bring democratic change in the world youngest nation.

Army spokesperson Lul said that Kerbino was in the process to launch attacks against the government forces.

Wol Deng Atak, exiled politician described Kerubino Wol as a young man with promising future. 

“His death is a great loss to the nation,” Deng told the Pan African Visions. “His decision to fight against the government resulted from frustration of lack of justice to him as a person and for his country.”

Deng said the Juba government should have negotiated with him and bring him back. 

The observers say Kbino Wol is killed but the idea of justice, reform and peaceful South Sudan remain in the hearts of many South Sudanese. 

Army Spokesperson says Kerbino Will wasn’t interested for negotiation because he was in potentiality of rebellion nature.

According to Kerbino Wol, membership of his new group is made of young South Sudanese yearning for change.

South Sudan has emerged from a five – year conflict, but is still struggling to implement the 2018 peace deal.

0
Read More
Preventing Hell in the Sahel
June 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Rebecca Tinsley

Trails of destruction and ruin left behind by Boko Haram/Iswap in Borno State, June 10, 2020.Pic Credit Elombah News
Trails of destruction and ruin left behind by Boko Haram/Iswap in Borno State, June 10, 2020.Pic Credit Elombah News

A British Parliamentary report, published today, criticizes the Nigerian security services for failing to protect thousands of unarmed farmers targeted by extremist militia. It follows the June 9th massacre of 81 people by Boko Haram in Borno State.

The UK Parliamentarians set out to examine the roots of the violence perpetrated by mainly Muslim herdsmen against mainly Christian farmers in the Middle Belt – a situation repeated across the Sahel, affecting people of all faiths, in Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and the Central African Republic.

The report concludes that climate change, desertification and a rapidly growing population threatens the livelihood of pastoralists, leading them to move their herds onto farmland. Problems that were previously resolved with traditional mediation have turned deadly due to the availability of cheap weapons from conflict zones in the region. Herders are emboldened by unscrupulous politicians and extremist Muslim clerics to destroy Christian villages and churches, targeting pastors, and carrying out “ritual slaughter” and mutilation. They also kill thousands of unarmed Muslims who do not subscribe to their particular interpretation of Islam.

Nigeria now ranks third on the Global Terrorism Index of the countries most affected by terrorism, more dangerous than Syria, Pakistan or Somalia. Nigeria is closely followed in the league table by other countries in the Sahel where turbo-charged jihadism is taking an increasing toll.

Yet, the international community seems to barely register the scale of the problem or the suffering of civilians, from West Africa to Sudan. Many diplomats persist in believing the war on terror is confined to the Middle East, ignoring or minimizing the potential for insecurity and economic disruption in Africa.

As the UK Parliamentarians’ report makes clear, countries continue to provide aid to the Nigerian government without demanding more from its security services and officials. I saw this when I visited the ruins of a village in Nigeria’s Plateau State. The mayor told me that when he heard the militia were about to attack, he called the security services, stationed nearby, begging them to come. Instead, the well-armed Fulani herdsmen arrived, carrying Islamic flags and yelling “Allah u Akbar” (God is the greatest). During the following eight hours, they separated the Christian civilians from the Muslims, destroyed the church, and ritually slaughtered the “unbelievers.” The following day, the mayor told me, the security services finally arrived, bringing a mechanic digger so the survivors could dig a pit for the hundreds of bodies.

Based on its research, Amnesty International concludes the security services demonstrate “at least, willful negligence; at worst, complicity” in attacks on Christians. Testimony from a former Nigerian army chief of staff confirms fears that the armed forces are “not neutral, they collude” in “ethnic cleansing” by expensively-equipped Fulani militia.

What should be done?

The international community could start by recognizing that desertification and climate change are impacting the life chances of millions of people in the Sahel. Young people in rural areas can no longer count on livelihoods as farmers or herders. Yet, quality education is not easily accessible, meaning they lack the skills to find employment. Extremist groups take advantage of these blighted prospects: most young men would prefer a life of adventure, riding around in a “technical” or Hilux truck in a militia, rather than working in a field in the heat.

The developed world could also stop subsidizing its agricultural produce while forbidding Africa from subsidizing its own farmers; and the West could stop dumping its agricultural surplus on African markets in the guise of aid.

Billions of dollars have been spent fighting the war on terror elsewhere, rather than addressing the impact of global climate change or trying to improve infrastructure, education and opportunities in the Sahel.

Some African leaders are also to blame for diverting the revenues from natural resources to grand status symbol projects, or buying property in London or Paris, rather than investing in their people’s potential. Responding to terror with the occasional military operation in the Sahel region only postpones the conflict: the root causes – marginalization and desertification – must be addressed if the radical jihadist agenda is to be undermined. 

Even the prospect of waves of migration from the Sahel to Europe has provoked only superficial remedies. For instance, the European Union works with Libya and others to stop boats crossing the Mediterranean, rather than addressing the reason why so many people are prepared to leave their homes and families, risking their lives to reach Europe.

If the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed anything about the international community, it is that nations seem incapable of working together in the face of an enormous and immediate risk to human life. What chance is there that there will be high-level diplomatic cooperation to tackle the environmental and demographic factors that jihadism exploits?

0
Read More
Black Members of European Parliament call for political action to combat Racism
June 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is a German Green MEP and co-president of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup

Alice Bah Kuhnke and Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, both members of the European Parliament, in this opinion piece, note that Europe has seen an increase in right-wing extremism and a shift to the political right in the last decade. This, they argue, has led to an increase in both racially and religiously motivated attacks against minority communities. They called for concrete political action to combat the systemic racism that is prevalent in European societies.

The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have highlighted the prevalence of racism, inequality and instability within our societies.

The subsequent uprisings have underlined the need for real political change. All over the world, people are gathering in their thousands to protest against racism and to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The time for change is now. The momentum has long been building. We need concrete political action to combat the systemic racism that is prevalent in our societies.

Racism is something we have both personally experienced in our lives.

The European Union is not an exception to the problem. We have both been stopped on several occasions by security personnel in the European Parliament asking us what business we had on the premises. None of our White colleagues have reported such experiences.

Discrimination, police brutality and institutionalised racism are very much present here.

Europe is home to more than 15 million people of African descent. Attacks driven by racism against people of colour are common.

Figures from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency show that one-in-three people of African descent have suffered racial discrimination.

Only 15 out of 27 EU member states have dedicated action plans and strategies to combat racism and ethnic discrimination and the European Union still lacks a framework for a strategy to combat all forms of racism.

During the last decade we have seen an increase in right-wing extremism and a shift to the political right. It is no coincidence that there has also been an increase in both racially and religiously motivated attacks against racialised communities.

For people of African descent, discrimination is multi-faceted especially when gender, sexual orientation and nationality, are taken in to consideration.

It is our duty as policy makers to acknowledge this complexity and to ensure that any legislation is drafted from an inter-sectional perspective.

Alice Bah Kuhnke is a Swedish MEP and vice-president Greens/EFA group.

Together, we must stand against all kinds of discrimination both offline and online. That change must also take place at European level in the form of strong legislation.

‘Shameful’

The lack of ethnic diversity in the EU institutions is shameful. We are supposed to reflect the people we represent – not only in the European Parliament, but across the institutions – and we have failed.

Only three percent of MEPs are people of colour; there is not a single commissioner of colour and there never has been.

These figures are a result of both institutionalised racism and discrimination. The diversity and inclusion strategy of the European Commission needs to be updated to include consideration of racial/ethnic origin and it must be implemented across all of our institutions.

The EU still lacks legislation on discrimination outside of the workplace.

The Directive on Equal Treatment, drafted to address this issue, has been blocked in the council since 2008.

This deadlock must be broken. We as Greens have taken the lead to push for action from the parliament in this regard.

Alice Bah Kuhnke [one of the co-authors of this piece] will meet shortly with the German presidency to discuss strategies the way forward. It is imperative that anti-discrimination legislation is adopted do that we can adequately address all forms of discrimination in the EU.

Bah Kuhnke has initiated a parliamentary debate with resolution to address the ongoing situation in the US. The European Union must show solidarity with the American people in a loud and critical protest against the misuse of power from the President, police brutality, attacks against journalists and the structural, systematic racism against the African-American people.

Moreover, the commission must also address the racial discrimination and police brutality within the EU.

As Black members of the European Parliament we led an initiative together with MEP Monica Semedo resulting in a letter signed by 121 of our colleagues, from four different political groups, calling on the commission to acknowledge and condemn systemic racism and police brutality in the European Union.

We also call on the commission to request studies from the Fundamental Rights Agency and Europol to investigate police brutality in the member states.

The collection of data in such studies must be dis-aggregated by racial and/or ethnic origin (as defined by the EU race directive) so that we can understand the true scope of the problem and develop relevant ways of addressing it.

We must make use of this moment to push for change. The leaders of our countries, all White, and predominantly male, must use their positions and their privilege to put the struggle against systemic racism and the resulting socioeconomic inequality at the top of the political agenda.

Equally, if president Ursula von der Leyen is serious about having a Europe that “leaves no one behind” we need concrete European legislation to address these issues, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis that has reinforced existing inequalities.

The time for change is now. Protesters need to know that the politicians are listening to the millions of people all over Europe calling for political action.

As Martin Luther King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard”. It is time that we listen.

Note: Members of Parliament (MEP) are – Alice Bah Kuhnke is a Swedish MEP and vice-president Greens/EFA group. Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is a German Green MEP and co-president of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup.

0
Read More
S. Sudan Urged To Set Up State Gov’ts As Intercommunal Conflicts Intensify
June 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

The peace parties formed a  presidency and cabinet in February in an attempt to end the country’s five – year conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people

Juba – The Troika, UNMISS has expressed concern over “escalated levels of intercommunal violence across South Sudan” which comes as a result of “vacuum created by” absence of state governments since February this year.

The two bodies say this could unravel the peace deal if not addressed on time.

The peace parties formed a  presidency and cabinet in February in an attempt to end the country’s five – year conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, before devastating the country’s economy.

But, a deadlock over state allocations has been delaying appointment of 10 state governors, including three administrative areas.

This, according to UN, has led to uncontrolled ethnic and inter-clan conflicts in some states, particularly in Jonglei, Warrap, Central Equatoria, and Lakes.

“In Jonglei, the vacuum created by the lack of governance has exacerbated cycles of inter-communal violence,” said Troika in a statement, referring to recent deadly fighting in Akobo areas.

In May, there was a renewed conflict in Central Equatoria areas, around Yei town and Lainya. Local authorities mentioned both signatories and non-signatories to the September 2028 peace deal of onslaught, but the NAS and government sequentially denies it.

“In Central Equatoria, the ceasefire signed in January between the government and non-signatory groups has broken down and we have seen heavy fighting between forces in recent weeks, with villages destroyed and their communities displaced,” it continues.

Escalating inter-communal conflict could derail the peace deal

However, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, head of the UNMISS, David Shearer has said the escalating inter-communal clashes in the country are causing immense harm to civilians and risk pulling organized armed groups into conflicts that could derail the peace deal.

In a statement, the UN Chief stated that between January and May this year; UNMISS recorded 415 violent incidents between communities, up from 129 during the same period in 2018.

It disclosed that while fighting between political parties has significantly reduced as factions broadly respect the ceasefire, the scope and intensity of the current outbreak of intercommunal violence could threaten this fragile peace.

In late last year, there has been an escalating cycle of tribal violence in Jonglei region, which involving the Dinka, Nuer and Murle communities respectively.

“Hundreds of people have been killed or injured, women and children abducted, cattle stolen, homes burnt to the ground and thousands forced to flee to escape the violence,” said Shearer.

Similarly, such violent attacks by armed groups had also occurred in northern Unity state, near Ruweng administrative area, as well as on the borders of Lakes and Warrap states with reports of further mobilization and potential revenge attacks.

“Fighters in uniform have been observed amongst those engaged in the violence indicating that more organized forces may be joining, which is a worrying trend,” said Shearer. “Tensions remain very high and we urge the groups to lay down their weapons and come together to reconcile.”

In Central Equatoria, the UNMISS stated that clashes are continuing between the National Salvation Front, Government and Opposition forces that have resulted in the death and displacement of civilians, rape and sexual violence against women and girls, and the destruction of property.

It says the fighting is counter to the terms of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed by all parties under the auspices of the community of Sant’Egidio in January.

“Much of the lawlessness and seizing of resources by armed groups stems from an absence of authority because political parties have failed to agree on the appointment of governors and local authorities in the 10 states,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

Shearer “Appointments need to be made now to help restore order.” “We strongly urge the Government and other parties to compromise and agree on these critical positions so the states can take steps to prevent conflict, build peace, and assist with the COVID-19 response which is vital given the rising number of cases across the country.”

Both Troika, UNMISS called for the urgent resolution of impasses among transitional government parties over the appointment of state governors. 

The Troika further called upon the peace parties to compromise and set up state governments.

“Any further delay creates uncertainty that undermines the transition process, slows the fight against COVID-19, and holds back efforts to end the violence that now threatens the hard-won peace,” said Troika in the press statement.

If unaddressed, heightened violence risks the achievements of the 2018 peace deal in South Sudan, a country which gained her independence from Sudan in 2011 after the decades of scorched – earth conflict.

0
Read More
Présidentielle US : Biden craint que Trump vole l’élection
June 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Entre Joe Biden et Donald Trump, la prochaine élection présidentielle s’annonce intense. En effet, les deux hommes se vouent une haine mutuelle et n’hésitent pas à se donner des coups. Dernier en date, celui de Joe Biden, qui a confirmé avoir peur de voir le président Trump « voler l’élection ». Selon lui, mê…

Vous pouvez lire cet article sur La Nouvelle Tribune

La Nouvelle Tribune

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
1 2 3 4 121