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Gambia:President Barrow says 2019 is a turning year for success, says economic grows
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

President Adama Barrow

President Adama Barrow

President Adama Barrow has described 2019 as a turning year of success for his government saying that the economy of the country has registered a significance improvement.

President Barrow was speaking during his third time of addressing the state of nation at the National Assembly in Banjul on Thursday where he spoke about quiet verities of issues regarding the development of the country.

“I am proud to report that the country economic growth has general strengthened while inflation has now moderated. For the past two years the economy grows by 4.8 per cent and improved to 6.5 per cent in 2018,” he said.

According to him, estimates indicates that the current account deficit narrowed to 1.5 per cent of GDP in the first half of 2019 compare to a deficit of 1.7 per cent of GDP of the correspondent quota of 2018 in the balance of payments.

He added: “the improvement in the current account balance is attributed to the increase of foreign inflows related to the support of diaspora remittances and tourism.”

He said the exchange rate of the country’s dalasi (money) remains broadly stable which he said is supported by “market confidence in an increase

He said the total expenditure and net lending has declined from 11.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product last year to 10 per cent of the GDP in early part of 2019, adding “government physical operation for the first six months of 2019 indicated that total revenue and grants stood at 9.8 percent of GDP compare 8.6.of GDP in the same period last year.”

Despite the government announcement of economic growth, many Gambians complaint that they are not feeling the growth of the economic and that living is increasingly getting harder and unbearable in the country.

 

 

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Mozambique: Elections period clouded by attacks on civil society leaders, activists and journalists
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Serving and former Presidents from several countries graced the signature ceremony of a new peace accord between the government and the leading opposition movement recently

Serving and former Presidents from several countries graced the signature ceremony of a new peace accord between the government and the leading opposition movement recently

Amnesty International has today published a human rights briefing for all parties and candidates taking part in the Mozambican election after revealing a shocking catalogue of abuses carried out against human rights defenders, activists, journalists and other members of civil society over the past few years.

The briefing, Turn the page! A human rights manifesto for Mozambican political parties and their candidates, details dozens of examples of prominent civil society activists and journalists facing intimidation, harassment and violence because of their work, ahead of the 15 October election.

“In Mozambique, challenging the government comes with devastating consequences, including abductions, arbitrary detentions and physical attacks. You speak out at your own risk,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“Civil society leaders, journalists, human rights defenders and activists are facing more risks as the country approaches polling day. This briefing is bringing to the fore a pattern of human rights violations that all political parties and candidates must take seriously and stand against as they go to the polls.”

Harassment and intimidation

In the aftermath of the October 2018 municipal elections, civil society leaders, human rights defenders and activists, religious bodies and the media were targeted for harassment and intimidation, including receiving death threats for their role in monitoring and disseminating the results following the vote.

They received threatening messages, warning that they should “be careful” and that their “…days are numbered” simply for doing their work. Some were even threatened with “… disappear[ing] without a trace”. They were blamed for contributing to the defeat of the ruling party, the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), by organising individuals to monitor polling stations and publish live election results.

Two journalists were threatened for publishing election related information on social media in Tete Province, with the editor of the weekly Malacha newspaper receiving death threats for publishing election results on his paper’s Facebook page.

Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment

 South African businessman, Andre Hanekom, died at a hospital in Pemba in January 2019 after he was shot in the arm and stomach and abducted in August 2018 by four AK’47-armed masked men in Palma district, Cabo Delgado province. He was held by state security forces under mysterious circumstances and denied private visits from family throughout his detention despite a judge ruling that his detention was illegal and ordering his provisional release on bail. During the military detention, Hanekom was allegedly subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

On 27 March 2018, unknown gunmen abducted Ericino de Salema, a human rights lawyer and political commentator, outside the offices of the Mozambican Union of Journalists in Maputo. The men beat him up, breaking his arms and legs, and later abandoned him on the road, leaving him for dead. Salema, a well-known critical voice in the country, was told by the men that he “talks too much” and that they wanted to teach him a lesson. Before the attack, he had received threatening phone calls from unidentified individuals.

Attacks on people, arbitrary arrests and detentions

Brutal attacks in the Cabo Delgado Province by a local extremist group locally known as ‘Al-Shabab’ has claimed at least 200 lives and forced thousands of others to flee their homes since October 2017.

The attacks have continued despite a heavy military presence in affected areas. The province has become a no-go area for journalists, researchers, scholars and non-governmental organizations, and many who have tried to access the area have been arbitrarily detained by security forces without arrest warrants.

For example, journalist Amade Abubacar spent nearly four months in arbitrary pre-trial detention earlier this year for reporting on the attacks and fleeing residents.

While in detention, Amade was subjected to ill-treatment, including 12 days in incommunicado military detention, denial of family visits and poor medical treatment. He is facing several charges, including “public incitement through electronic media”.

On 30 June 2018, Zimbabwean journalist Pindai Dube, working for eNCA, an independent television news station based in Johannesburg, South Africa, was arrested by police in Pemba while conducting research in Cabo Delgado province. He was accused of spying and released three days later without charge. It is not clear why security forces won’t allow anyone access to the area.

Suppression of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association

 In the past five years, the authorities have escalated their crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

On 18 January 2019, Fátima Mimbire, a human rights defender and researcher with Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), at the time, received intimidating messages and death threats through social media. The attacks began after her organisation launched a campaign denouncing a move by the Mozambican government to repay over USD$2 billion in loans which were secretly and illegally acquired to set up three state-owned companies. Known FRELIMO militants had been advocating violence against her on social media, including Alice Tomás, a member of parliament who called for Fatima “to be raped by 10 strong and energetic men to teach her a lesson.”

On 2 December 2017, a gunman threatened to kill Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of IKWELI, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique. The gunman accused da Silva of publishing articles that tarnished the image of a local politician. Da Silva has continued to receive death threats via phone calls and SMS for his investigations on illegal trafficking of natural resources, people and drugs as well as allegations of corruption, election fraud and land grabbing.

On 23 July 2018, the Council of Ministers issued a decree requiring journalists and media organizations to pay prohibitive accreditation and licensing fees for both local and foreign press wanting to report on the country.

“As Mozambique moves closer to the election in less than a month, political parties and candidates who are contesting it must commit to a culture of respect for human rights and outline a concrete plan to build a rights respecting society,” said Deprose Muchena.

 “Full respect for the human rights of everyone should be the new cornerstone of Mozambique post-election. Anything less is not acceptable.”

 Background

 Mozambique will hold its sixth general election since the end of the civil war in 1992, on 15 October 2019. The vote will combine presidential, legislative and provincial elections.

*Source Amnesty International

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Gambia: Junta Spokesperson Describes Gov’t White Paper on Janneh Commission as Witch-Hunt
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Captain Ebou Jallow

Captain Ebou Jallow

Ebou Jallow, former Spokesperson of Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) has described the government white paper on commission of inquiry as ‘purely political process to malign and witch-hunt perceived enemies’.

The commission of inquiry, also called Janneh Commission was setup in 2017 to look into the financial activities and dealings of ex-president Yahya Jammeh and his close associates from 1994- 2016.

The government white paper of commission of inquiry report of 1600 page strongly recommended that Ebou Jallow, Edward Singhateh and Yankuba Touray all former members of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) have been asked by Gambia government to return stolen monies belonging to the state in the sum of thirty two million, two hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($32, 220, 000).

Ebou Jallow former Spokesperson, Edward Singhateh, Defense Minister and Yankuba Touray former Minister of Local Government were found culpable by the commission of inquiry otherwise Janneh Commission for failing to account for $32, 220, 000 loan from Taiwan and thus liable for the accounts unaccounted for.

They have also been indicted by the commission for obtaining $35m loans from China on behalf of the Gambia government out of which only $2.3m have been deposited at the Central Bank of the Gambia while $2.7m is been claimed to be handed over to Yahya Jammeh then Chairman of the Military Junta.

“Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are hereby ordered to pay back to the state the sum of $32, 220, 000 within 30 days from the publication of this white Paper failing which their properties will be forfeited to the state and sold. The proceeds of sale shall be applied to the payment of monies for which they are found to be liable in the report, in addition to criminal proceedings to be instituted against them,” government white paper submitted.

The white paper noted that Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are no longer fit to hold public offices for eternity as well as banned from holding any director position in any state enterprise in The Gambia for fifteen (15) years effective from 13th September, 2019.

 

However, Jallow, who is based in US in response on his Social media network, said the Janneh Commission just like the TRRC is not in compliance with Gambian Constitution. It has now turned out to be nothing but a purely political process to malign and witch-hunt perceived enemies.

“It was the Minister of Justice himself, Ba Marie-Tambedou through Saihou Saidy-Leigh of the UDP who cajoled me into participating in the Janneh Commission, and I accepted it knowing fully well what I was going to do: debunking lies. I have no doubt today that President Barrow is nothing but an unfortunate president with an incredibly sinister and incompetent administration at his service constantly misleading him into serious errors in governance,” former junta spokesperson said.

He explained that: “Nobody has ever served me an adverse mention from The Gambia government according to law. The Gambian Constitution Section 204 states clearly – (1) “Where a Commission of Inquiry makes an adverse finding against any person, it shall, at the time of submitting its report to the President, inform such persons of the finding and the reasons therefore.”

“Yet The Gambia government blatantly abused its authority and went on a smear campaign in a typical fashion of a banana republic calling the establishment of a bona fide diplomatic relation between two sovereign countries a “forgery”.  President Barrow’s government also nose-dived further to the deep end of mendacity by accusing me of being part of “the AFPRC that failed to account $32,220,000 of the loan from Taiwan,”

According to him, he resigned from the AFPRC just about two months after the Gambia Government secured the loan from the Republic of China Export-Import Bank, and $30M of those proceeds were deposited at the Republic of Gambia Special Development Account with the Citibank, NY; $2.3M was deposited in a Special Government Account with the Central Bank in cash; and Yaya Jammeh kept the remainder in his custody at the State House at 1 Marina Parade.

Jallow further explained the entire loan package was later ratified by The Gambia National Assembly into law and if the Gambia government was interested in the truth rather than political chicanery they could have easily identified and traced every transaction from those bank accounts managed by the Gambia Central Bank.

“The records of these transactions exist. I have copies, and so do the Citi Bank of New York and the Central Bank in the Gambia,” he said.

 

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Cameroon: International Day of Democracy commemorated with a call for inclusive Participation
September 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Speakers at the International day for Democracy organized by CHRDA

Speakers at the International day for Democracy organized by CHRDA

The 2019 edition of the international day of democracy has been celebrated with a call for the government of Cameroon to create a favourable environment for the participation of everyone in the democratic process. During the celebration on September 15, organized by the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Africa, CHRDA on the theme “Strengthening inclusive participation in democratic participation in Cameroon”, speakers talked about the shortcomings that have characterized the democracy in Cameroon.

This day comes at a vital point in Cameroon’s history where the country is characterized by crisis such as the Boko Haram insurgencies, the crisis in Anglophone Cameroon, marginalization of various groups of persons amongst others.

The International Day of Democracy is celebrated on September 15 every year since the resolution was passed on November 8, 2007, in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The day is celebrating for promoting the tenets of democracy with this year’s theme being “Participation”.

During the event women and youths were called upon to be part of the political process. To Shey Lesley, Founder of Lesley Foundation, the youths should get themselves register on the electoral register so as to take part in the upcoming elections such as the legislative, regional and municipal elections.

Speaking to Fah Elvis Tayong, journalist, political analyst and member of the opposition MRC Party he said the government has not respected the rights of active, substantive and meaningful participation in the country. “The key actors in the conflict are not present and the environment is not favourable because you cannot tell me the Diaspora that is sponsoring the fighters in the bush to come for a meeting in Yaounde – it cannot go.”

“In the present instance, the principle of neutrality is expected; those to chair the dialogue are to be acted by both parties in the conflict. We need a neutral environment whereby neutral persons come in who doesn’t have any interest to the parties. But now that we are not seeing this, the dialogue is heading towards a total failure.”

On the issue of inclusive democracy in Cameroon, Fah Elvis is of the opinion that is a term in Cameroon that works on paper but practically it is zero. He wondered, “How many youths are in? How many conditions have been made favourable for people to be in? How many women hold key positions- 63 ministries are there but how many are there for women, disabled? At the end of it, the issue moves but on theory but practically it is zero.”

“We are encouraging all the women to actively participate in democracy because this is the only medium through which their voices can be heard” said Nyonsue Ebi Epey, Founder/CEO of Centre for Reintegration, Empowerment and Transformation Cameroon (CREET CAM), while adding that, “The best we can do is continuous sensitization and advocacy for these women. To my fellow activists, you should not be discouraged when talking to women because most at times when we talk to women, they feel like there is a system already in place which will not listen to their opinions…”

She went further to call on the government to create an enabling environment which will make women want to participate in the democratic process. “An enabling environment means creating structures that are accommodating. There are structures already in place but these structures are not accommodating”, she said while adding that, “Women are not participating fully because the system in one way or the other hinders them from participating and they do not see the need for starting something that their voices will not be heard.”

To violet Yigha Fokum CHRDA Gender Officer and Deputy Executive Director, the main problem hindering women from participating in democracy stems from the socialization issue. She said, “Most women have been socialized to belief that they are always in the kitchen and they cannot be at the decision making table. CSOs have been doing a lot to make women know that they have to pick up. It is time for them to make their voices heard, let the world know that experiences and their worth because they are the ones bearing the brunt of the ongoing crisis in Cameroon.”

Participants and speakers at the close of the commemoration of the International Day for Democracy

Participants and speakers at the close of the commemoration of the International Day for Democracy

The UN Secretary General on his part has urged each Government to respect its citizens’ right to “meaningful participation” in the political process. He said, “At heart, democracy is about people”. “It is built on inclusion, equal treatment and participation, and it is a fundamental building block for peace, sustainable development and human rights”.

While saluting all who “strive tirelessly to make this happen”, he affirmed that these values and aspirations “cannot be seen as tokens or lip service” but must instead be “real in people’s lives”. “Yet the International Day of Democracy takes place at a time when trust is low and anxiety is high”, Mr. Guterres continued. “People are frustrated by growing inequalities and unsettled by sweeping changes from globalization and technology”.

He attributed this to their seeing “conflicts going unresolved, a climate emergency going unanswered, injustice going unaddressed, and civic space shrinking”. “As we mark Democracy Day, I urge all Governments to respect the right to active, substantive and meaningful participation”, concluded the Secretary-General`

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Gambia: Ex-President Jammeh Gets Life Ban from Holding Public Office
September 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Yahya Jammeh ruled the tiny West African country for two decades [Issouf Sanogo/AFP]

Yahya Jammeh ruled the tiny West African country for two decades [Issouf Sanogo/AFP]

Gambia Commission of inquiry that is setup by coalition government to look into the financial dealing of former President Yahya Jammeh and his close associates has recommended to pressed legal actions against the Former President Yahya Jammeh for economic crime, corruption and theft as well as banning him from holding public office for the rest of his lives.

The commission of inquiry report of 1600 page strongly  recommended that  Ebou Jallow, Edward Singhateh and Yankuba Touray all former members of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) have been asked by Gambia government to return stolen monies belonging to the state in the sum of thirty two million, two hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($32, 220, 000).

The three  have also been banned from holding public offices in the country as well as clear unfit to manage or run any state enterprises for the rest of their lives.

This latest development came on the heels of the submission of the report of the commission of inquiry launch by the government of President Adama Barrow in 2017. It was tasked to look into the financial activities and dealings of ex-president Yahya Jammeh who is alleged to have embezzled over one billion dalasi within his 22 years reign.

Ebou Jallow former Spokesperson, Edward Singhateh, Defense Minister and Yankuba Touray former Minister of Local Government were found culpable by the commission of inquiry otherwise Janneh Commission for failing to account for $32, 220, 000 loan from Taiwan and thus liable for the accounts unaccounted for.

They have also been indicted by the commission for obtaining $35m loans from China on behalf of the Gambia government out of which only $2.3m have been deposited at the Central Bank of the Gambia while $2.7m is been claimed to be handed over to Yahya Jammeh then Chairman of the Military Junta.

The government threaten the trio of losing their assets on failure to pay back to the state within 30 days with possible legal actions taken against them.

The commission found them responsible for overthrowing a democratically elected government that subsequently sets the stage and substantially enabled former President Yahya Jammeh perpetrate and perpetuate unprecedented looting of more than D1.1billion.

“Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are hereby ordered to pay back to the state the sum of $32, 220, 000 within 30 days from the publication of this white Paper failing which their properties will be forfeited to the state and sold. The proceeds of sale shall be applied to the payment of monies for which they are found to be liable in the report, in addition to criminal proceedings to be instituted against them,” government white paper submitted.

Government also disclosed in the white paper that Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are no longer fit to hold public offices for eternity as well as banned from holding any director position in any state enterprise in The Gambia for fifteen (15) years effective from 13th September, 2019.

The report added; “Consequently, the government has decided that they (Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray) are not fit to hold public office and should be banned, and Mr. Ebou Jallow, Mr. Edward Singhateh and Mr. Yankuba Touray are hereby banned from holding public office for the remainder of their lives. They are also banned from holding any director positions in any state owned enterprises in The Gambia for fifteen (15) years from the date of publication of this white Paper”.

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Gambia Opposition Leader Predicts Failure in Barrow Led Gov’t
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Musa Yali- Batchilly, leader of Gambia Action Party

Musa Yali- Batchilly, leader of Gambia Action Party

Musa Yali- Batchilly, leader of Gambia Action Party (GAP) has stressed that a cartel government is destined to fail, as the miseries of President Barrow led government will continue to unfold unless they change and find the right trajectory that will mould people’s lives and destiny as a nation.

In an exclusive interview with Pan African Visions correspondent based in Banjul GAP leader pointed out that the inconstancy and ineptness of his administration has proved otiose that investigation was the only choice left which implies simple failure to achieve a desired result.

“A government that does not put the interests of her people ahead of individual gains shall be a surplus to requirements. Our problem as a nation is President Barrow and never shall we expect to have solutions as long as the corporate thieves and sharks stay in our public offices. The President is the problem and we must get rid of him when we want to tailored out the solutions. Constitutionally, diplomatic passports cannot be issued in the absence of the President whose assent must be sought for approval,” he said.

He asked that: “Now, tell me how those crooks, drug peddlers and smugglers were issued with diplomatic passports without his acknowledgement? What kind of procedures did they followed and what are the responsibility of the officials of the Foreign Affairs’ Ministry? An administrative failure to the maximum extent possible”

He alleged that “We are in a state where Party Leaders and other relevant stakeholders are denied diplomatic passports in the name of different ideologies or seen as enemies but given to foreigners, drug dealers, family members and every Tom, Dick or Harry as if they’re entitled for accession.

The diplomatic passports issued to our Justice Minister’s family members, was a sign of injustice to the families of electorates who voted for the change. This is where justice begins. It’s pathetic that our Justice Minister cannot even administered justice at the detriment of poor Gambian people. Many others not only him but unfortunately, his acts were exposed. Many will be discovered as time goes on. They struggled for their families when the very people who sacrificed so hard to effect this change are neglected. Along the road, some were divorced, jailed, died and even some names were procured to death penalties had the previous regime still in power. How about our mothers, sisters and fathers when they are sick the government cannot even provide them with medications, are they not citizens who deserve better treatment?

He pointed out that there are important things that the government should prioritize and quit from irregularities.

He added that: “Our roads remain dilapidated, our resources are exploited by the foreign powers, our streets and houses goes without electricity supply, our taps goes without clean drinking waters, our hospitals remain without drugs, the farmers hope continue to dwindle and our educational institutions continued to be inefficient and unproductive”   He urges the President Barrow to take on more serious works as expected.

 

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Mozambique: 10 dead in Frelimo election campaign
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

At least 10 militants and supporters of the ruling Frelimo party lost their lives in northern Mozambique at the end of another “vote-hunting” day for the general elections sheduled for 15 October.

In the tragedy, occurred at the 25 de Junho stadium in Nampula, 85 other people were injured, Frelimo Provincial Secretary Agostinho Trinta told the press.

“The accident happened at the end of a show when our members and supporters were trying to get out of the gate, which led to confusion where some people fell and others trampled.”

It is not yet clear what caused the crash, but Pan African Visions learned that there was a failure to coordinate police teams and the security team of the Head of State. According to a source, at the end of the event, the confusion was set up when a huge human frame wanted to see him closely and greet him, but some exit doors were closed for security reasons.

Joaquim Sive, provincial police commander was suspended following the incident, the source said.

The Frelimo Provincial Party Committee issued a note presenting the most condolences to the families of the bereaved members, and further informs that it has already reported to the Mozambican Police for due legal expertise and procedures.

According to Trinta, a committee has already been set up to monitor the families of the victims, including the wounded, and to provide all necessary support and solidarity.

Wednesday’s election campaign in the city of Nampula was attended by thousands of people who hosted the show run by Frelimo presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi.

 

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Cameroon: Case against Kamto Postponed to October 8
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

MRC Leader Maurice Kamto has been in prison for some 8 months now.

MRC Leader Maurice Kamto has been in prison for some 8 months now.

The case against Maurice Kamto, leader of the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM party and his political allies, and supporters have been postponed to the 8 of October 2019. Kamto, who was runner-up to the last presidential election, is accused of insurrection, rebellion and could face the death penalty.

On the 28 of January 2019, authorities in Cameroon arrested Maurice kamto and his supporters who had staged a peaceful protest march against the decision from the constitutional council, declaring President Biya as winner of the 2018 Presidential election.

The MRC Party alleges that the presidential election was rigged to favour the incumbent President Paul Biya who have been in power for 36 years. The MRC Leader says he is the winner of the election according to statistics obtained by him.

“While the charges against them were being read, one of them- counselor Christian Penda Ekoka- felt dizzy and I have to tell you what led to this discomfort. This audience was held in a sort of matchbox; forgive my use of the term. The room is very small and poorly ventilated. We were suffocating, and I think this is what led to the discomfort that caused suspension of the hearing,” Kamto’s lawyer, Ntchale Michel said.

Per multiple reports, the court case resumed after the collapsed member was taking to the hospital. The defense lawyers pleaded for the case to be adjourned, which the court did.

Speaking to the Secretary General of the MRC Party Barrister Ndong Christopher said, “We are now waiting for the case in October. His state of mind is clean, he is healthy. There is nothing to fear.”

Antoine Vey, French lawyer for Kamto speaking to AFP said, “There is no justification for Mr Kamto and his supporters to have been incarcerated for eight months in these conditions”, while indicating that “None of them took part in acts of violence, none called for acts of violence or rebellion, there is no reason for their arrest other than a political move.”

Many have reiterated the need for the Anglophone crisis to be resolved while political prisoners, and those arrested in connection to the crisis are freed. “I traveled more than 600 kilometers to attend this trial. For me, it’s a historical trial. We are asking the Biya’s government to do two things, solve the Anglophone crisis and release the political prisoners. This will calm tensions”, psychologist and president of an association for the protection of human rights, Germain Ekwala said.

Human rights groups have denounced the jurisdiction of the military court to try the case. Meantime, Cameroon’s former colonial master France, U.S.A, and the European Union has repeatedly called for the release of the MRC politician.

In March, the U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy told RFI that Cameroon would be “very wise” to release Kamto because his detention is widely perceived as politically motivated.

 

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President Mnangagwa Faces Embarrassment Over Disputed Burial Decision of Robert Mugabe
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa

President Mnangagwa consoles mourners at a funeral wake for the former President and National Hero Robert Mugabe, in Borrowdale, Harare, (Picture by Justin Mutenda,Chronice)

Harare-There are strong signs of fears come Sunday end of this week if it is finally decided that the late nonagenarian Robert Mugabe will be finally buried in Zvimba Rural his home area, 60 kilometres west out of Harare. An atmosphere of nasty animosity grips the Mugabe family versus the Government of Zimbabwe over the burial place of the purported founding Father of Zimbabwe.

This, the Pan-African-Visions Journalist confirms with whole-hearted truth that the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa may face remorseful embarrassment if the former President gets buried in Zvimba  his home of vestige. There has been growing nasty symptoms of misanthropy between President Mnangagwa and Mugabe family since the former President was ousted of power in 2017 on 21 November.

A close top source in Government contacted for comment took it up that there has been mistrust between the Mugabe family and the current Government leaders who removed Mugabe out of power. The source was caught hold of for comment late yesterday sun-set time after Robert Mugabe’s body had arrived.

‘’There are fears that President Mnangagwa may be embarrassed. There is a vibrant wave of mistrust, hatred and lack of faith in each other between the family and the Government led by Mnangagwa .

‘’Leading to the death of the former Leader last week on Friday in Singapore at Glen-Eagles Hospital , there have been spate of meetings about the burial of the former Leader who had announced a month before that he does not want to be buried at the Heroes Acre .

‘’The  Government obviously says the former President must be buried at the National shrine but this is against family members and relatives .There has been bad blood between two fighting groups ever since .

‘’There have not agreed yet. You will receive communication about the final decision in terms of burial. There is likelihood that there could be more nasty fears concerning burial place of the former Leader’’.

Mugabe’s Body Arrives..

His body arrived yesterday around 3pm in a Chartered plane. Grace Mugabe former First Lady was accompanied by Sydney Sekeramayi Former Minister of State Security, Ednah Madzongwe the former Senate President and Vice President Kembo Mohadi .

There was tense atmosphere of mistrust between two factions created by the nature of ZANU PF politics. There were groups of supporters on the side of Mugabe family and the other on President Mnangagwa’s side.

Grace Mugabe who kept on weeping bitterly according to sources who were at the airport was in black clothes, sad funeral regalia colours, with a face covered. President Mnangagwa later addressed people before the body was taken to his home at the blue roof in Borrowdale.

‘’We are here gathered to give homage to the Founding Father of our country. He is the man who led Zimbabwe to Independence. He has been our Leader since time memorial when we were fighting for black rule. He is a Pan-Africanist , said Mnangagwa at the Airport .

‘’We shall announce to you about burial arrangements but for now the body will proceed to his home in Borrowdale. I kindly urge you to attend in big number to pay your last respect to the icon of Zimbabwe’s Independence’’, he said .

 

 

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South Sudan; President Kiir, Machar agree on deployment of Forces before D-Day
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Salva and Machar.Photo/MFA

Salva and Machar.Photo/MFA

Juba – South Sudan president Salva Kiir and ex-rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar have agreed on the deployment of all forces before the formation of the power-sharing government in November 12, this year to end the five-year conflict.

Dr. Machar arrived earlier on Monday in the company of the deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and other senior council members.

Three-hours face to face talks between President Kiir and ex-rebel leader Dr. Machar focused on the discussion outstanding issues including security arrangements, number of states and their boundaries in line with the revitalized peace agreement.

This was a third time face to face meeting since they inked the revitalized peace deal with president Kiir in 2018. Machar was in Juba in October last year for celebrations to mark the signing of the deal.

The two rivals last met at the Vatican, Italy on the invitation of Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, in April this year.

South Sudan descended into war in mid-December 2013, when Kiir accused his former deputy-turned rebel leader for plotting a coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

With latest deal, returned Machar as the president Kiir’s first vice president, a position he held before the conflict broke in late 2013.

The two principals have broken-down the immense deadlock in the peace implementation process leading towards the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

Kiir, Machar talks end the need to timely establish the security arrangements, especially on ensuring that the necessary Eighty-Three Thousand forces for the Protection of the Presidency are mobilized, trained, and ready for the task.

Speaking to journalists, the Chair of National Pre-Transitional Committee, Hon.Tut Gatluak reiterated the commitment of the two leaders to ensure that the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity is formed by November.

On the other hand, Henry Odwar – the deputy chairperson of SPLM/A-IO, reiterated that the two principals are agreed and ready to the formation of the transitional government of national unity in November.

He further described the meeting as a great sign of commitment to realization of the revitalized peace accord.

Odwar also said it focused much on deployment of the 83,000-strong force before the formation of the government of national unity.

“This evening our meeting concentrated on security arrangements, because it’s one of the fundamental provisions of this agreement and we deliberated on how we can Fast Track so that the necessary forces of 83,000 will be realized before 11th of November,” Odwar told the reporters.

However, the political expert said this will produce a meaningful outcome and put an end to the political mistrust and humanitarian crisis in the country, and that will be a great achievement.

The power-sharing arrangements under the peace deal were supposed to take effect in May, but the process was delayed by six months until November as both sides disagreed over the terms and security agreement.

 

 

 

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Cameroon: Mixed Reactions as President Biya calls for National Dialogue
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

President Paul Biya addressed the Nation in an unprecedented State of the Nation's Address, September 10, 2019 in Yaounde

President Paul Biya addressed the Nation in an unprecedented State of the Nation’s Address, September 10, 2019 in Yaounde

The President of the Republic of Cameroon Paul Biya has called for a national dialogue by the end of this month in a bid to bring an end to the present upheavals in the North West and South West Regions. In an unprecedented address to the nation on September 10, 2019, the Head of State indicated that all stakeholders will be invited for the dialogue-something which has been called for by many.

Before Biya’s address late on Tuesday, there were the expectations that the president might grant amnesty to arrest separatists and political leaders as a way to bring peace to the country.

Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute will chair the dialogue which would bring together governmental officials, and representatives of armed separatist groups. “The dialogue to be presided over by the prime minister will bring together all Cameroonians, especially traditional rulers, lawmakers, the clergy and all elected officials,” Biya said.

Without naming the countries, the president said the armed separatists were “mainly inspired from abroad,” and the solution to the crisis “lies within our Republic.” “Cameroon will remain one and indivisible,” Biya said at the end of the speech.

The Head of State equally indicated that great efforts have been made to solve the crisis and denied any marginalization of the English-speaking regions, saying he has always appointed ministers from there. “We should all know that we are Cameroonians, appointed to serve Cameroon, not our tribes or linguistic groups,” Biya said.

Nkongho Agbor Balla, an Anglophone activist, told Al Jazeera that “the call for an all-inclusive dialogue is very appreciated”, saying the announcement “should signal the end of arrests of Anglophones for their political ideas.”

“Whilst my expectations were not fully met in the speech, we should give peace a chance by supporting the dialogue process. I urge those who will be attending the national dialogue to call for the release of all those detained in connection with the crisis, the need for constitutional amendment and also to ensure that the form of the state is equally discussed at the dialogue table,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also welcomed the announcement. His spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement that Guterres “encourages the government of Cameroon to ensure that the process is inclusive” and “calls on all Cameroonian stakeholders, including the Diaspora, to participate in this effort.”

Much information but little substance-MRC official

Though many received the message from the head of state with so much joy, others say the president should put more substance in what he has said. Speaking to the Secretary General of the MRC Party, Barrister Ndong Christopher, he said, “the president has done a good thing by calling for a national dialogue. However, one would have thought him would have granted amnesty to all who are in prison in connection to the crisis.”

“The speech fell short of so many things” he said while indicating that “We expected that he will have granted general amnesty to those of the Diaspora and anybody in prison in the cause of the crisis. You cannot be calling Cameroonians to come from the Diaspora when amnesty has not been granted-it is a legal document to guarantee that those who ran away even if they come for the dialogue, nothing will happen to them.”

“We also expected him to grant pardon to all those political prisoners, and their militants who were locked up. I already see a CPDM dialogue issue as main people who should constitute the dialogue team are not present.” “We are waiting to see how the dialogue will be implemented but it is dead upon arrival because people like Ayuk Tabe and the Nera 10 are in prison for life, Kamto and his collaborators are in prison, honestly there is a problem. The Head of state has yet to demilitarize the North West and South West, he has not granted a general amnesty which is something which is prerequisite for dialogue.”

The MRC official has raised scepticism on the Prime Minister being charged with selecting those to be present for the dialogue. He said, “… The Prime Minister is there, and we all know it will be a CPDM affair. If Kamto, Ayuk Tabe and their collaborators are in prison, who then are those to dialogue with. The people they shall call are not the people who started the problem. Before you dialogue, you do so with the man who is giving you headache, not the man that is comfortable.”

The Anglophone crisis which has been going on for more than Two years now has seen many killed, displaced or become refugees in neighboring Nigeria. Attacks by both sides have left 1,850 dead, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, while the UN says 530,000 people have fled their homes. According to UN aid officials, more than one in six people in Cameroon-4.3 million need humanitarian aid, an increase of 30 percent from 2018.

 

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UN peacekeepers in DRC not ready to leave
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

UN peacekepeers in Congo

UN peacekepeers in Congo

UN  Secretary General Antonio Guterress has said UN Peacekeepers will not abandon Democratic Republic of Congo as security is still deteriorating in the east.

During a meeting with president of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi this Monday in Kinshasa, Guterres promised that  blue helmets will continue to ensure that the eastern parts of Congo  are secured.

Last year former president Joseph Kabila asked UN peacekeepers to leave, insisting their mission failed to bring peace in Congo.

Congo houses about 16 000 UN peacekeepers who entered in the country since 1998. It is the largest UN mission in the world.

Guterres  told president Tshisekedi that  UN would not ‘abandon the Congolese people’, BBC reported.

UN chief’s visit in Congo comes when the country is being on high alert after Ebola outbreak kills  2000 people since 2018.

Security deterioration is believed to have contributed to the spread of the outbreak.

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