Namibia objects to Israel’s AU observer status .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – Namibia, like her neighbour South Africa, has on Thursday expressed its objection to the decision by the African Union (AU) Commission to grant Israel observer status in the continental union.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation Executive Director, Penda Naanda said in a statement that the Namibian government is deeply concerned and disappointed that the AU Commission received credentials from the Ambassador of Israel.
“Granting observer status to an occupying power is contrary to the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, particularly at a time when the State of Israel is increasing its acts of oppression in total violation of international law and disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
“It is also contrary to the firm and solid commitment of the Heads of State and Government of the AU to support the Palestinian cause, as evidenced in the various declarations adopted at each Ordinary Session of the Assembly. Namibia believes in the two states as a solution to the issues between the State of Israel and Palestine.
“Namibia, therefore, disassociates itself from granting observer status to the State of Israel, while the reason for Israel loss of the observer status in 2002 remains unchanged. Namibia maintains that Israel can only re-gain observer status at the AU on condition that it ceases to occupy Palestine, and grants its people the right to self-determination,” Naanda said.
Naanda stressed that Namibia will officially submit its reservation to the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in due course.
Namibia’s objection came a day after South Africa also objected to a similar decision by the AU Commission. In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the South African government described the decision as “unjust and unwarranted.” Pretoria further accused the AU Commission of taking the decision unilaterally without consultations with its members.
“It is therefore incomprehensible that the AU Commission chooses to reward Israel at a time when its oppression of Palestinians has been demonstrably more brutal. The South African government will as the Chairperson of the Commission provide a briefing to all member states on this decision which we hope, will be discussed by the executive council and the assembly of heads of states and government,” read the statement.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on July 22, 2021, received credentials from Aleli Admasu, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ethiopia.
Mahamat noted in a statement that the conflict between the State of Palestine and Israel has been a cause of great concern for over seventy years with various regional and international actors having participated in the search for peace between the two nations.
He noted that a lasting solution was required to ensure the co-existence of both nations and to allow their people to live in a state of peace and stability.
Malawi: Chakwera justifies job creation strategy.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula
President Lazarus Chakwera has rallied behind his 1 million job creation ideology, despite a backlash that the campaign promise is not making worthwhile strides.
Before assuming the office of the President, Chakwera and nine other leaders of other political parties came to full popularity at the back of a promise to create more jobs for the youths, who form the country’s largest population.
But a year down the line, government through the ministry of labour has previously said a policy to regulate the initiative is only being developed.
Speaking to BBC Hard Talk, Chakwera insists young more and others have been employed through the Affordable Input Program,- an agricultural subsidy program.
He said his belief is that there is need to empower people so that jobs are created.
Asked on issues of nepotism, against a report that he had appointed his daughter to diplomatic works in Brussels, Chakwera was quick to dismiss the reports.
This contradicts what state house press secretary told the media last week that the president’s daughter deserved the appointment because she is qualified.
Chakwera also defended his entourage saying each had a different role.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by Information Gospel Kazako has clarified that Sean Kampondeni, (Chakwera’s son in law) travelled because he is the assistant to the President while Violet travelled because she is the First Lady’s assistant.
There has been a massive backlash over Chakwera’s interview on BBC with others stating on social media that he underperformed while some feeling he was at his best.
Nigeria: State Sponsored Terrorism Against The Yoruba People Must Stop- -Attorney Ade Omojola On ICC Case Against President Buhari .
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
State sponsored terrorism against the Yoruba people in Nigeria has reached alarming levels and must be stopped at all costs, says Aderemilekun “Ade” Omojola, ., a U.S based Attorney in New Jersey who recently filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court ,ICC against Nigerian officials.
The complaint accuses multiple members of the Nigerian government of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity amongst other charges. Officials listed in the complaint include Muhammadu Buhari, President; Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Comptroller-General, Customs; Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, Police, Former Inspector General; Mohammed Adamu, Police, Former Inspector General; Usman Alkali Baba, Police, Current Inspector General; Tukur Yusuf Burutai, Former Chief of Army Staff; Farouk Yahaha, current Chief of Army Staff; Sadik Abubakar, Air Force, Former Chief of Air Staff; Ahmed Abubakar Audi, Former Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, current Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Muhammed Babandede, Comptroller General, Immigration Service; Abubakar Malami, Lawyer,
Minister of Justice, Attorney General.
“We filed the Submission at the ICC, because we cannot secure justice for the Yoruba people within Nigeria, due to the hijacking of the federal government, by agents of Fulani identity, who are promoting the Fulani agenda,” says Ade Omojola in an exclusive interview with Pan African Visions.
To Omojola, a reasonable outcome from the ICC, would be to launch a thorough investigation, and to ultimately prosecute and punish as many individuals as are found to have been complicit or active in facilitating the evil that is befalling the Yoruba people.
Could you start by giving us some background and context into the case you have filed against Nigerian leaders at the ICC?
Nigeria’s federal government is now dominated by the Fulani, along with the security agencies; we allege that they are complicit and actively supporting Fulani terrorism against the Yoruba People, in an attempt to take the land, and subjugate them into a political minority and permanent underclass.
What are the issues between the Yoruba tribes and the Federal government?
The federal government, or I should say, the Fulani government, has become a lever in the hands of the Fulani, who have hijacked it, and are using its powers and resources to crack open the society, for Fulani from across Africa, who aren’t even Nigerian, to dominate Yoruba ancestral lands, and to subjugate the Yoruba People as a permanent underclass. Violence and terrorism are their principal tools, for which Fulani terrorists have been imported; the federal government is allegedly complicit and actively facilitating through a supply chain, this the violent terrorism of the Yoruba People. They are doing the same to our brothers in the Middle-Belt and the South East.
The crimes took place in Nigeria, why are you suing at the ICC and what competence or jurisdiction does it have over crimes of that nature perpetrated in Nigeria?
We filed the Submission at the ICC, because we cannot secure justice for the Yoruba people within Nigeria, due to the hijacking of the federal government, by agents of Fulani identity, who are promoting the Fulani agenda. Those facilitating this evil are the ones running the Nigerian government. Abubakar Malami, for example, is the supposedly the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, but he has become a minister of injustice, in purposefully failing to protect the Yoruba People, by refusing to enforce the law via prosecution of government officials, who are complicit or actively facilitating these crimes.
Whereas, under the Rome Statute, to which Nigeria became a state party on June 1, 2000, the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over acts of genocide and crimes against humanity, in cases where the government refuses to do anything meaningful about the situation.
Is there any precedence for the kind of justice or case you have lodged against Nigerian authorities?
- On November 22, 2017 the ICC, through the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted Ratko Mladic of the former Yugoslavia, of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; the court went on to sentence him to life imprisonment.
- In April 2012, the ICC, through the Special Court for Sierra Leone, convicted Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia of Liberia of terror, murder, and rape; the Court went on to sentence him to 50 years in prison.
The images are pretty shocking and traumatizing for the human conscience, how were this obtained?
We issued a call for our People to send to us evidence of the atrocities, and we received hundreds of still and motion images, some of which were included in the Submission.
Nigeria is a deeply polarized country, we see a so many high profile authorities listed, what about the local authorities in whose jurisdictions the atrocities took place?
It is impractical to list local government officials, because the incidents occur across several local government jurisdictions throughout Yoruba land. Whereas the purpose of the Submission is to trigger an initial review by the ICC prosecutor, and a subsequent investigation by the ICC. We have every confidence that when the ICC launches a full-scale investigation, many other individuals who are not listed in the submission will also be brought before the Court.
With many of the accused persons from the Northern part of the country, are you concerned your team may be criticized for wading into the sectarian political fights of Nigeria?
The very essence, the foundation, and the roots of what the Yoruba are facing is ethnic, or as you put it, “sectarian” in nature, in that the Fulani seek to dominate Yoruba ancestral lands and subjugate the Yoruba as a permanent underclass. As the fruit is subject to the roots, the claims, and most likely the ultimate solutions will, by nature, have a heavy ethnic or “sectarian” element.
Do you intend to use just the documents you have available or are there plans to have some of the victims testify in person?
We will follow the lead of the ICC, cooperate with them in the investigation, and facilitate whatever is necessary to secure justice for the victims.
What kind of reaction have you received from the public and the Nigerian government on the case?
News of the filing went viral, particularly in Nigeria and among Yoruba Civic Organizations, who ensured that the Nigerian news media gave it due attention. Yoruba People have been elated about the Submission; someone even wondered why it took so long for someone to file such a submission with the ICC, while another person contacted me to confirm if the Submission were real or a rumor circulating on social media.
With regard to the Nigerian government, shortly after the Nigerian news media broke the news of the filing, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered television and radio stations not to disclose “details” of the activities of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in daily Newspaper Reviews” as reported by the Daily Trust and several other news outlets. We believe news of the ICC filing caused the government to target the media houses with this order, because when the ICC decides to investigate, they could likely begin their investigation with information documented in the archives of the news organizations, who report these stories.
From gathering evidence, and hiring lawyers , running such a case should require considerable resources, where are the funds coming from or everything is pro bono?
The greatest expense thus far, has been the time spent in producing the Submission to the ICC, which I have offered pro bono to our beloved Yoruba People, as a sacrifice, in our pursuit of justice for the unfortunate victims, many of whom have perished, thereby paying a much greater price.
What will be considered a reasonable outcome for you and the victims you represent in this case?
A reasonable outcome from the ICC, would be for the for the ICC to launch a thorough investigation, and to ultimately prosecute and punish as many individuals as are found to have been complicit or active in facilitating the evil that is befalling our People.
If the case does not go in your favor, how far are you willing to go to get justice?
We have filed our Submission, at the appropriate venue, in accordance with the rule of law, and we have every confidence that justice will be served.
SADC stand by force has not yet arrived in Mozambique
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
The SADC stand by force has not yet arrived in Mozambique, despite the mandate envisaged that the deployment of the force should happen as from 15 July, defence ministry spokesman Omar Saranga said yesterday.
An advance team has arrived, as well as security analysts. Pictures of a South African military transport plane have been circulating, apparently at the airport of Pemba in Cabo Delgado.
“So from 15 July to now activities have been undertaken in order to receive this force, which is rather substantial. Steps are being taken so that it can be received and carry out its work. That means there are advance teams which are working with our troops on the ground to receive the force,” Saranga said.
South African defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told members of parliament on Sunday that an advance party would determine if the full SADC force was needed; the size has not been revealed, but military experts advised SADC in April to send almost 3,000 troops plus helicopters, aeroplanes, patrol ships and a submarine.
Meanwhile, Rwandan troops, who have already arrived in Mozambique, have begun to engage the insurgents. They reportedly killed 30 insurgents, who were retreating towards the Tanzanian border, after encountering them at the village of Quionga.
President Filipe Nyusi has said that no other country supplying troops to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province has asked for anything in return, calling the help an “act of solidarity”.
Nyusi said that the situation had improved overall in the region compared to a few months ago, but he admitted that there were still areas controlled by insurgents, including Awasse, where intense fighting continues for an area that was under terrorist control until recently.
The president also reiterated that Mozambique was in charge of the foreign troops deployed to the country and that Mozambicans should not fear their presence.
According to the Ministry of Defence, besides South Africa and Botswana, Tanzania and Angola have also confirmed that they will send forces.
Government Of Ghana To Earmark $25million For Local Production Of Covid Vaccines.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the global shortage of coronavirus vaccines means that Ghana must develop its capacity to produce own vaccines domestically, and reduce the dependence on foreign supplies. He said Ghana must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare better to deal with any such occurrences in the future.
To this end, he said in an address to the nation on Sunday July 25 that the Committee he established, under the leadership of the world-renowned Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, has presented its preliminary report which, amongst others, recommends the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead this development.
According to the President, the Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise. The Institute, Mr. Akufo-Addo said will be charged with delivering six clear mandates.
These are establishing local vaccine manufacturing plants; deepening Research & Development (R&D) for vaccines in Ghana; upgrading and strengthening the FDA; forging bilateral and multilateral partnerships for vaccine manufacturing in various areas, such as funding, clinical trials, technology transfer, licensing, and assignment of intellectual property rights; building the human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacture; and establishing a permanent national secretariat to coordinate vaccine development and manufacture.
President Akufo-Addo further indicated the government is procuring some 18,478,670 vaccines through the COVAX facility, African Medicine Supply Platform and other bodies.
He noted that these vaccines will arrive in the country in the third quarter of the year. The United States of America through the COVAX facility is providing 1,000,000 Pfizer vaccines; the African Union is providing 229,670 Pfizer vaccines while the United Kingdom is giving out 249,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.
The Government of Ghana is also in the process of procuring seventeen million (17 million) single dose per person Johnson & Johnson vaccines, through the African Medicine Supply Platform, in this quarter.
Burundi: A Year in Office For President Ndayishimiye.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
-Despite positive gestures, rights organizations want him to do more
By Jean-Pierre Afadhali
After one year at the helm of Burundi, President Evariste Ndayishimiye is seen by some as a progressive leader who seeks to turn around a country that was isolated by the international community following his predecessor ‘s controversial third term marred by violence, but Human rights organizations and activists are calling for more changes and reforms.
President Ndayishimiye won elections in May 2020 and replaced President Pierre Nkurunziza who plunged the small east African into social, political violence for extending his rule to a third contested term in 2015. Crackdown on opposition, killings, international sanctions and other human rights violations that pushed about 400,000 people to flee to neighboring countries characterized Mr. Nkurunziza’s third term.
The new president was sworn in mid-2020 after a sudden death of his predecessor and elections held during Covid-19 pandemic that his predecessor had downplayed. Mr. Ndayishimiye, a former military general who has also been a secretary general of the ruling CNDD-FDD has taken a different path that appears to bring back Burundi on international scene by strengthening diplomatic relations with African countries, neighboring Rwanda and multinational partners who had cut ties with the Great lakes nation following the 2015 political crisis.
While the country’s president appears to turn the page, some remain cautiously optimistic saying a lot needs to be done to turn around Burundi and restore the once vibrant civil society and all public freedoms.
In late June the country held a mass to mark one-year-anniversary of president Ndayishimiye’s administration at a catholic church in the capital Gitega, in the centre of the country. During the mass that was attended by government officials, the president apologized for human rights violations his government is accused of. “We have violated the rights of our compatriots, others have been harassed, we have sowed hatred, we do not practice brotherly love, some authorities have failed in their responsibility, we ask forgiveness because we do not deserve to come before you,” said the president in the recent mass.
The country’s multilateral partners such as European Union (EU) had imposed sanctions on Burundi by stopping direct financial support to the government while the Organization of French speaking countries- La Francophonie suspended the country. The new president has made some changes welcomed by Human rights organizations and Burundi’s partners but they are calling on the new leader to do more by fighting impunity, initiating reconciliation process among others.
In addition to the amnesty of about 5,000 prisoners, the president has pardoned four journalists working with a private media outlet who were arrested in 2019, a gesture welcomed by campaign organizations. Regarding press freedom, one of private radio stations that were closed during the 2015 crisis called ‘Bonesha FM’ has been allowed to re-open by the country’s media regulator known as ‘National Communication Council’. Many journalists fled Burundi during 2015 crisis and authorities subsequently closed BBC and The Voice of America, a move that was seen by press freedom watchdogs as a media control tactic.
Improved International cooperation
In addition to the decreased human rights violations, the new head of state has ushered in a new era in diplomacy as he tries to improve political and economic cooperation with various African countries. This was done mainly through the signed bilateral agreements. Ms. Carina Teritsakian, a researcher at the Human Rights Initiative for Burundi (IDHB), a human rights organization said recently that in the past year in power, president Ndayishimiye initiated positive changes on diplomacy and international cooperation.
“Regarding international relations, President Ndayishimiye is certainly more open than his predecessor towards international partners. He knows what these partners expect from him, he has made efforts to renew dialogue with several countries, which will undoubtedly help Burundi to emerge from its isolation,” the human rights researcher was quoted as saying.
EU has started the process to lift sanctions that were imposed on Burundi in 2016 following political crisis and violence. The move that will boost the country’s economy as the European block plan to finance agriculture and the port of Bujumbura.
One of the recent state-visits to strengthen ties with several countries was in Kenya in early June at the time the East Africa’s leading economy was celebrating its self-rule locally known as ‘Madaraka Day’. The two countries signed several deals to boost their trade and development cooperation. President Ndayishimiye was quoted as saying: “Burundi fully appreciates the state of cooperation between the two countries and is hopeful that the agreements signed will effectively be implemented for mutual benefit,”.
Meanwhile Burundi remains one of the poorest countries in the world according to various reports. The 2015 political crisis affected the country’s economy due partly to international sanctions. The frosty relations with neighboring Rwanda worsened the situation as trade between two sister-countries stalled. Commenting on economic situation the main opposition politician inside the country Mr. Agathon Rwasa told the BBC that economic hardship continues to bite the population as many basic commodities are scarce. “It’s rare to find on the market the sugar produced in Burundi,” Mr. Rwasa who challenged Ndayishimiye in the last elections commented.
As the relations between Kigali and Gitega normalizes some expect it will boost trade relations. Rwanda’s prime minister Dr. Edouard Nigerente graced the ceremonies to mark the 59 years of Burundi’s independence making him the first senior government official from Rwanda to visit the neighboring country since 2015. Burundi accused Rwanda of having a hand the failed coup, but the latter denied any interference in its neighbors’ affairs.
While the new administration is keen on improving international cooperation, security remains a big challenge amid continued armed attacks in the country. The latest happened in late June in Muramvya province, Central Burundi in which dozens of people were killed in a roadside ambush. A similar attack had happened in the same province in May.
Human rights groups are calling on government for more political reforms and justice for the crimes committed in the 2015 crisis and a more control of ruling party’s youth league locally known as ‘Imbonerakure’ that were involved in several human rights incidents under Ndayishimiye’s predecessor and to some extent in the current government as they harass the population in rural areas. Rights groups also are saying the lack of dialogue with exiled political opponents hold back the country’s democratic gains.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial And A Roadmap For Enduring Peace In Nigeria’s South East
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Richard Mammah
The recent arrest and return to trial of the leader of the Independent People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has understandably raised the tempo and temper of discussions on the relations between Nigerians of Igbo descent and the mainstream Federal Government in the country.
Kanu, who had been undergoing trial in the country and was granted bail by the Federal High Court on medical grounds in April 2017 had before his current incarceration been living outside the country, following his flight to exile in the aftermath of a raid by the Nigerian military on his ancestral home in Abia State on September 14, 2017.
As the country awaits the resumption of his trial on July 26, the interval is being taken up by questions of how and where he was apprehended as well as his current state of health. However, the bigger issue remains: what is the potential effect of his trial on the South East question?
Indeed, in recent months, the Nigerian polity has been further inflamed by acts of insecurity related to the South Eastern part of the country.
Hitherto considered as one of the most peaceful regions in the country, it has however come to experience some of the extenuating crisis of insecurity that has sadly now almost become the standard fare across the country.
While the federal authorities are pointing almost every finger in the direction of Nnamdi Kanu and the Independent People of Biafra, along with their associated Eastern Security Network, ESN, other rounded observers and commentators say that the origins and dimensions of the crisis are indeed much deeper and broader, and proceeding from this they equally canvass that a rounded bouquet of solutions should be put on the table.
According to Abia Onyike of the Ala Igbo Foundation, the roots of the crisis clearly lie above the surface and as such its resolution should also be more than ankle-deep. His first charge is for the formal elected political authority in the region.
‘The South East Governors should be sincere in their commitment to the security of their region. Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi state has not demonstrated such sincerity of purpose. People see him as talking from both sides of his mouth. For instance, he claims that there are laws banning open grazing in the South East. That is false. Only in Imo State was the law made during the Government of former Governor Achike Udenwa. But the law is rendered comatose as it is not being implemented. The other four states in the South-East, namely Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi have no such laws as their State Houses of Assembly are yet to pass such laws. Passing the anti-open grazing law will help to checkmate the murderous activities of the FULANI Herdsmen in the South East, where the forests of over 700 villages are currently occupied by the AK-47 wielding Herdsmen.’
Going beyond the governors and appreciating the practical reality that the Nigerian constitutional and political structure today literally vests about all practical security functions at the federal tier of governance, Onyike then directs his attention to that tier:
‘The Federal Government headed by PMB should adopt the path of dialogue in dealing with the IPOB and other self-determination groups in the zone. After all, it was Buhari’s separatist style of governance and his anti-Igbo policies that gave rise to the renewed agitation for the restoration of Biafra since 2015. The youths can be assuaged if the Government can engage the leaders of these groups like Nnamdi Kanu of MASSOB and Uwazurike of MASSOB.’
Not done, the former aide of the Ebonyi State Governor, also appreciates the need for attention to yet be placed on one particular banana peel scenario that is related to the crisis:
‘The internal political conflict in Imo State which led to the imposition of Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court is at the heart of the security crisis in Igboland today. That is why it would appear that Imo State is a major flashpoint of the crises. There should be a way of resolving the problem, otherwise the youths seem hell-bent on resisting the Government of Uzodinma.’
Some other commentators have linked the crisis to the agitation for a President of Igbo extraction in the forthcoming 2023 polls. While everything could be said to be somewhat contextually inter-linked in the current Nigerian political playfield, the continued insistence by IPOB that its sights are set on a referendum to initiate the excision of the South East from the present Nigeria to bring into birth the State of Biafra continues to delegitimize this link. Indeed, the same IPOB has also been known to canvass the boycott of several lower level elections within the South East.
What is however not in doubt at the moment however is that a lot of attention continues to be placed on the Nnamdi Kanu challenge. Since his arrest for example, the nation has come to be seemingly divided between those who see him as the problem and therefore desire his expeditious trial and sentencing and those who caution that beyond Kanu, the nation does have a basket of problems to resolve and that any attempts to reduce the myriad of challenges in the country to a Kanu challenge would very clearly not achieve much. But it remains to be seen if good and better sense would prevail at the end of the day.
Kenya: Uhuru meets Irish minister in Mombasa.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
On Friday, July 23, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral and multilateral talks with the visiting Foreigner Affairs Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Simon Coveney.
Agriculture and technology transfer top the agenda of their discussion.
President Kenyatta lauded the Government of Ireland for its financing of the $10000 Irish potato value-chain project. The project, located in Nyandarua County, central Kenya, is implemented by the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).
Kenya’s Head of State welcomed Ireland’s decision to support Kenya’s dairy sector and encouraged the European nation to extend the same assistance to the beef sub-sector.
“We would appreciate help in this field (beef sub-sector) as it will go a long way in creating food stability amongst our people besides boosting meat exports from our livestock,” said President Kenyatta.
Uhuru said the country will continue partnering with Ireland through the Young Scientists Kenya organization on technology transfer.
Kenyatta noted YSK had given Kenyan youth a platform to incubate and exhibit their innovations through the annual national science and technology contest.
“Technology is one area where we are keen on improving as our youth are quite tech savvy. We have invested heavily and collaboration in this field will be of mutual benefit to both our countries. I see tremendous opportunities with your help in the technology world,” added Kenyatta.
On his part, Minister Coveney thanked the President for the Kenya Government’s commitment to building strong relations with his country, noting that the potato project in Nyandarua County was a significant success.
He expressed Ireland’s desire to expand its support to other Kenyan economic sectors, saying the European nation’s cooperation support for science and technology projects laid a firm foundation for the country’s economic prosperity.
“Cooperation through the Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) is also picking momentum and some of the members were able to come to Ireland and participate in some science events and competitions,” Mr. Coveney said.
Zimbabwe’s elections lobby organization dismayed by the failure of Electoral Commission to provide 2018 and 2019 accounts for audit .
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe’s Election Resource Centre (ERC) reports that it is dismayed by the failure of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to provide 2018 and 2019 accounts for audit to the Auditor General.
ERC said that they took the opportunity to remind ZEC that the Principles of Public Administration and Leadership under section 195 of the Constitution requires all institutions and agencies of government at all tiers to be accountable to parliament, cooperate with each other and 196 3 and to be accountable to the public for decisions and actions.
The ERC said that the ZEC is not an exception and that the commission must comply with the provisions of the law and best practices.
‘The use of finances by any Election Management Body is governed by principles of election administration of which transparency and accountability are key characteristics to foster trust and confidence. As a public body, ZEC has a responsibility to open itself up to public scrutiny and to account on how it uses public funds,’ ERC said.
It added that Parliament of Zimbabwe, equally, has the responsibility, on behalf of citizens, to hold ZEC to account periodically to foster a culture of transparency that should transcend all other functions of the public body.
It said that if the use of public funds by an election commission is shrouded in secrecy, then chances are high that the management of the elections themselves could also suffer the same fate.
‘We, therefore, encourage the ZEC to fully disclose its budgets and use of public funds as part of its efforts of building public and stakeholder confidence in its work. The ERC insists that in between elections, the prioritization of the use of funds by ZEC should be targeted at enhancing the integrity of the electoral process,’ ERC said.
It added that Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed election.
In light of the above, ERC said that it recommended ZEC provide its accounts and financials to the Office of the Auditor-General for the years 2018 and 2019 for audit purposes, Parliament of Zimbabwe through the relevant Portfolio Committees summons ZEC to appear and be answerable for the failure to submit the accounts for audit purpose, ZEC to comprehensively consult election stakeholders and also provide its calendar of events and activities to ensure accountability to the citizens of Zimbabwe and to electoral stakeholders.
Nigerian Government Charged with Ethnic Cleansing, Systematic Terror, Rape and Slaughter of Landholding Yoruba Tribes.
July 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
Newark, N.J., U.S. – July 19, 2021 – A group of 22 international organizations led by the Yoruba Strategy Alliance have filed claims to the International Criminal Court against leading members of the Nigerian government. The claims allege that these members of the Nigerian government are complicit in fostering genocide against the Yoruba people in Southern Nigeria. Those charged include Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, and a number of military, police and other security officials.
The complaint alleges that the systematic rape and slaughter of the Yoruba people is part of a land annexation strategy being carried out by Fulani cattle herdsmen functioning as militia at the behest of the Nigerian government. The Nigerian government is currently dominated by members of the Fulani tribe.
“The Fulani are not indigenous to Nigeria, but have made no secret of their desire to have the whole country – including its oil money – to themselves. In the name of ‘one Nigeria,’ the Yoruba People initially welcomed Fulani herdsmen to share our ancestral lands, but now that they control the government they seek to dominate, terrorize and enslave the Yoruba,” said Aderemilekun “Ade” Omojola, Esq., a New Jersey attorney who filed the complaint in The Hague against Nigerian officials. “These so-called ‘herdsmen’ are the forward guard – storm troopers acting as militia and given free reign by the government to rape, slaughter and terrorize the Yoruba people with impunity as they take the land. Many of them aren’t even Nigerian. They’re brought in from surrounding countries, given a green light, handed AK-47s and sent into Yoruba territory.”
The complaint, filed with the International Criminal Court, accuses multiple members of the Nigerian government of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity amongst other charges. Those government officials named in the complaint are:
Muhammadu Buhari, President; Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Comptroller-General, Customs; Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, Police, Former Inspector General; Mohammed Adamu, Police, Former Inspector General; Usman Alkali Baba, Police, Current Inspector General; Tukur Yusuf Burutai, Former Chief of Army Staff; Farouk Yahaha, current Chief of Army Staff; Sadik Abubakar, Air Force, Former Chief of Air Staff; Ahmed Abubakar Audi, Former Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, current Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Muhammed Babandede, Comptroller General, Immigration Service; Abubakar Malami, Lawyer,
Minister of Justice, Attorney General.
“The state-sponsored terrorism against the Yoruba people has to stop,” said Omojola. “These so- called herdsman are merely death squads with cattle. They terrorize with impunity and have done so since Muhammadu Buhari took power as president in 2015 and placed Fulani tribesman in key police, military and legal positions.”
In 2016 the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement on a reported slaughter of the neighboring Igbo people “by armed Fulani herdsmen and associated militia,” in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Southern Nigeria. In the massacre, the UN noted that at least 40 people were reported killed in “what appears as a well-prepared raid carried out by some 500 men armed with guns, bows and machetes.”
Pointedly, the UN further noted that authorities were said to have been given advanced warning of the attacks but effectively failed to act.
Although the Nigerian government had communicated that it would “investigate” the matter, the UN Commissioner further noted that he was “worried by the complete impunity enjoyed so far by perpetrators of previous attacks,” citing more than 300 murders and 20,000 displaced in attacks by Fulani herdsmen that entirely destroyed 13 villages earlier that same year.
“Nothing has changed,” said Gani Alagbala, spokesperson for the Yoruba Strategy Alliance. “It’s only gotten worse in Southern Nigeria. The militia herdsmen actually video themselves now raping and beheading the Yoruba people so they can spread their terror even further. They do what they want because they know they will not be punished – they have government support and sanction for their atrocities. The International Criminal Court must act now – before this turns into Rwanda.”
The complaint against Nigerian public officials has been filed with the International Criminal Court and awaits decision by the Office of the Prosecutor as to whether an official investigation will be opened.
The complaint filed at the International Criminal Court can be viewed at the link below, BUT WARNING, the evidentiary pictures and video contained therein contain images of rape, murder and what can only be described as a gruesome beheading.
Attorney Aderemilekun “Ade” Omojola can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
An Epic Failure and Betrayal of the Liberation Struggle-Mabior Garang On South Sudan At 10.
July 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
The last ten years of independence in South Sudan have been an epic failure and a betrayal not only of the liberation struggle, but of shared cultural values as South Sudanese and Africans, says Mabior Garang.
In an interview with Pan African Visions, Mabior says the leadership in the country has failed to deliver the promise of the liberation struggle as the population that bore the brunt of the war effort have been deprived the dividends of peace.
The fact that we have a country is worth celebrating, says Mabior, the son of the country’s iconic revolutionary leader Dr John Garang. As a country, the years ahead are more than the last 10 years of disappointment Mabior Garang says in the exclusive interview to discuss decade of independence in South Sudan.
How do you sum up ten years of Independence for South Sudan?
The independence of South Sudan is incomplete. We have gone through the procedures of establishing a modern country. We are internationally recognised by the global family of nations at the United Nations. We have a flag and a national anthem. It is a great achievement. Many generations of South Sudanese sacrificed over generations for this noble cause. I do not want to belittle the struggles of our ancestors,
but the job is incomplete.
We have failed to deliver the promise of the liberation struggle. The civil population who bore the brunt of the war effort have not received their peace dividends. Our civil population continues to suffer in abject poverty. The material conditions of our civil population could be said to have been better in the old Sudan than in our nascent Republic. We were more independent in the liberated areas of the new Sudan. Today we use oil dollars to import simple things like tomatoes.
In summary, the last ten years of South Sudan’s independence have been an epic failure. A betrayal not only of the liberation struggle, but of our shared cultural values as South Sudanese and Africans. It would take volumes to explain this failure and the way forward. I write about these topics extensively in my blog MGS www.mabiorgarangspeaks.com .
Where were you on Independence Day in 2011, and was the present scenario or shape of South Sudan something you envisaged?
I was at the Independence Day ceremony. It was a joke at best. While most independence ceremonies in Africa occurred at the stroke of midnight, ours happened hours after midnight. This was the day countless generations fought and died for over the years. For our leaders not to be prepared for this day, was a bad omen. President Salva Kiir even apologized for the embarrassment and stated we would do it better next time. There is no next time for the independence of a country.
This has been the mischief of the first Republic of South Sudan.
It was the most disorganized event in the history of our country and a sign of things to come – a culture of disorganisation. Simply put, it was an embarrassment. The security of President Zuma had a scuffle with President Salva Kiir’s security. The President of Togo left in protest. I saw current President Uhuru Kenyatta share a plastic chair with the late Hon. George Saitoti. Princes came from Europe and could be seen wandering around. I saw Amb. Susan Rice stand on a crate of beer to deliver her speech.
I have been writing about this for over a decade. Some of my articles about this topic have been published in this gazette over the years.
A curious thing about the 10th anniversary is how little we hear about Dr John Garang, the historic leader of the struggle. How different is South Sudan from the vision he had?
The vision was of the SPLA/SPLM, perhaps because the brand Garang is associated with the vision, some leaders have rejected the vision. The vision of new Sudan was cognate to the vision of the new society expounded by the liberation Movements of the 1960s – which gave us independence through the principle of self-determination. It was not a vision of a new land, but of a new man and a new woman. It was a vision based on a concrete analysis of our objective realities and a resolution to the contradictions we identified in our land.
There are traditional elite in the country with vested interests who are the beneficiaries of the power relations established during the slave trade and colonialism. These power elites are an anti-people clique who have no interest in the triumph of the people’s revolution. They have used their intellectual mercenaries and hired keyboards to engage in a serious propaganda campaign to discredit the revolutionary theory which guided us during the Bush war days.
The vision of new Sudan has been erroneously portrayed as John Garang being against the independence of South Sudan. Whether this is deliberate or genuine confusion, is a different question altogether.
Coincidentally, the government has shelved celebrations or festivities because of COVID 19. Still, is it possible to pick some positives for us, what would have been some of those developments’ worth celebrating?
The fact that we have a country is worth celebrating. It is our right to rule or misrule ourselves. As long as we live, we can always correct the situation and hopefully learn from the mistakes. As a country, the years ahead are more than the last 10 years of disappointment. I am hopeful that through ‘political education’, we can transform the situation in the next decade.
What is your take on the revitalized peace agreement and the efforts by President Kiir and Vice President Machar to put the country back on the rails?
I will not make the answer about these two leaders. I prefer to look at them as a generation. As a generation of leaders, they have failed the future generations. However, mother nature is on our side, and we shall correct these mistakes in due time. The peace process has been turned into a zero-sum game. It is impossible to find peace with such attitudes.
As a generation, they sacrificed to give us this day and we give them full credit. That being said, I believe the lion’s share of this credit goes to those who never made it to see the Independence Day. Those who saw the day and inherited the new Republic, instead of paying back our civil population for their invaluable contribution to the war effort, plunged us back into a tribal war of attrition. This generation will be divided in two. Those who died before independence and those who lived to see the glorious day our country was born. The legacy of independence will be the credit of those who died during the struggle. The rest of their generation of so-called liberators will take the legacy of the failure of our first Republic to their graves. It will be their legacy, unless they come to their senses now and unite for the sake of future generations. It is not too late as long as they are still alive. But they are running out of time. To use the words of Jr. Gong, I am confident my generation will make a change.
The oil seems to be flowing again, what role did oil play in the crisis and any advice to the present government on efficient management of proceeds?
Oil played a big role. It was when the Governor of the oil producing region – H.E. Gen. Taban Deng – was sacked and no longer had control of the 2% oil, that the low intensity conflict started. The main role played by oil, however, has been in fueling the war as the revenues are used to invest in their war economy. The infamous oil curse is definitely at work in South Sudan.
What is your appraisal of the role played by the international community in helping South Sudan navigate these challenging first ten years?
The international community is a community of the various nations of the human family. It is not some tangible thing you can sit down and have a conversation with. By becoming an independent country, we joined this community of nations, and we are part of it. The international community did all they could, even from the days we were negotiating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The international community was the midwife to our newborn country – as it were. The world has a stake in our independence, and we have enjoyed tremendous good will. The leaders have squandered this good will and the world is tired of leaders who do not care about their own people.
We the leaders of South Sudan are solely to blame for the mess we are in today. It will be difficult for readers to understand this, and I shall expound on it in future writings. South Sudan’s slave trade history has influenced our constitution as a modern country. We are only a Republic by name, but we are closer to state Slavery than any other political philosophy out there. I remember Kenya even opened a whole office dedicated to helping South Sudan, so I cannot fault the international community for our country becoming a failed state.
It is shameful for our civil population to get food, clothing and shelter from taxpayers in other countries when our country is rich with oil, gold and vast arable land for agribusiness.
Looking at the future, what makes you hopeful for South Sudan and what are your fears?
I am hopeful because we have mother nature on our side. This generation will go with this mischief, and we shall continue to wage the struggle for fundamental change in our society. We have registered a local NGO in South Sudan and we have identified ‘political education’ as our method of struggle. Our aim is to have a politically empowered civil population which can build a free society to reflect its values. Through political education, we aim to demystify politics in the psyche of our peoples, who think politics is supposed to be a dirty game. Our basic documents can be found online on www.nationalconversationssd.com.
And about this future, what role for Mabior Garang, what will it take for you to join the government in Juba and contribute your quota in moving the country forward?
I am the Chairman of the board of trustees of the National Conversation South Sudan (NCSS) a.k.a. The Tomato Renaissance. Our organisation’s history is rooted in the history of the SPLA/SPLM Civil Authorities for New Sudan (CANS). As the country went through political changes leading to independence, the organization has undergone several incarnations as the objective realities have changed in turn. We have had to change our registration severally; from CANS to instructions of Legal Affairs-SSRRC Office, and finally Ministry of Justice.
Civility was lost in December 2013 and so the civil society had to either flee or go underground. Many of our members joined the SPLM-IO and we contributed our faculties to finding peace in Addis Ababa. We are using the opportunity of the current peace process to continue with our projects. We have no interest in power struggles in Juba. It is the contention of the NCSS that independence ended the political struggle in Africa. There is less need for the power struggles at the center, which are usually characterized by tribalism – a legacy of colonial politics.
The struggle we shall wage in the NCSS is not for political power of individuals or tribes, our struggle is for political empowerment, for our civil population to become bona fide citizens who understand their relationship to their government. It is only when the society is composed of empowered individuals that they can build a democratic society. Independence alone is meaningless without political education. Those fighting for independence in Biafra, Southern Cameroons, Tigray, Western Sahara and anywhere on the continent, should take the independence of South Sudan as a case study. There are many lessons to be learned. In conclusion, the NCSS is non-governmental, but we are most definitely political. We deal with macro politics as opposed to micro politics. Amandla!
Guinea: Under international pressure, Alpha Condé releases four political prisoners .
July 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
Isolated and under pressure from the international community, Guinean President Alpha Condé made a limited “magnanimous” gesture towards the opposition on Friday by releasing, under conditions, four members of the UFDG executive board who were arrested and imprisoned in the wake of the disputed presidential election of October 18, 2020 in Guinea. They are Ibrahima Cherif Bah, former Central Bank top official, Ousmane Gaoul Diallo, Abdoulaye Bah and Mamadou Cellou Baldé.
They were released after spending several months in a dismal Conakry prison reserved for the country’s common criminals.
The conditions of their release include, in particular, the prohibition to travel in the countryside without prior authorization from the prison authorities. In addition, they cannot organize political meetings, nor are they allowed to leave Guinean territory, a coercive regime already imposed on their UFDG boss, Cellou Dalein Diallo.
The release of these political prisoners coincides with the visit to Conakry of the Congolese leader and current chairman of the African Union Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo.
Diplomatic sources said that Mr. Tshisekedi Tshilombo was to discuss with his Guinean counterpart the political crisis in Guinea marked by repeated human rights violations and the turmoil in the sub-region, in particular the closure of Guinea’s borders with Senegal and Guinea Bissao. It is expected that the Congolese President would encourage Guinean counterpart to be flexible on these issues int order to break the deadlock.
Historical leader of the opposition turned president, Alpha Condé was once considered a hope for millions of Guineans, the one through whom socio-economic development was to come. But his categorical refusal to undertake reforms and especially his disproportionate ambition to remain in power for life at the end of his two constitutional terms, make him today an outcast on the international scene.
In September this year, the European Union, a key partner of Guinea, is due to consider sanctions to be taken against some twenty officials of the Guinean regime involved in various crimes ranging from the human rights violations to the misappropriation of public funds.
These officials, including the regime’s number 2 man and Defence Minister Mohamed Diané, could see their assets hidden abroad freeze and ban them from traveling to several Schengen countries.
“If such a measure is adopted by the European Union, it would further complicate the situation for Alpha Condé and I believe that the release of these opposition members is a calculated move that he would be willing to listen in order to avoid a deeper isolation of his regime,” said a Abidjan guinean political expert who did not want to be named .