Kalonzo: OKA and Azimio in talks to form super alliance
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has given the clearest hint that a deal between the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja could be sealed soon.
Mr Kalonzo said although they were yet to agree on the modalities, the talks are ongoing.
Speaking yesterday in Kisii County, he said the deal would lead to the formation of a grand coalition that will be a game-changer in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Wiper leader said at the forefront of the talks are President Kenyatta, Raila and other OKA principals. The alliance has Kalonzo, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and United Democratic Party’s Cyrus Jirongo. Mr Kalonzo was upbeat that they would reach a deal soon. “The time to win the presidency in the first round is in the making. We are in talks to make this a reality. We are in talks with like-minded leaders, “ he said.
The Wiper leader said he does not harbour any grudges against any aspirant and that a united force bringing together OKA and like-minded leaders would be the beginning of ‘big things’ to come. He added that they would be equal partners in the coalition. Mr Kalonzo was in Kisii to market OKA and his Wiper party. His foot soldiers led by Borabu MP Ben Momanyi urged him to ensure they strike a deal with Azimio.
(Source: The Standard)
Hope for better relations as Samia meets opposition leader Tundu Lissu
Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s meeting with opposition figure Tundu Lissu in Belgium on Wednesday could signal mending of relations between the opposition and the government.
Lissu, the Deputy Chairman of opposition political party Chadema, had made prior requests to meet the Head of State, who is also the chairperson of ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
According to a statement issued by the Director of Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus, the two leaders held brief discussions in Brussels, focussing on pertinent issues in Tanzania.
“During their talks, the two discussed various issues of interest to the welfare of the United Republic of Tanzania,” the statement says.
Lissu went into exile in Belgium after an attempt on his life four years ago.
He, however, was back in Tanzania to run for the 2020 presidential election and emerged second after the then incumbent John Pombe Magufuli.
(Source: The East African)
Uganda drops mandatory Covid tests for travellers
Uganda has dropped the mandatory requirement for Covid-19 testing at its main entry point in Entebbe.
The announcement on Wednesday, follows a Monday Cabinet decision that noted that few new cases were being recorded at the airport and that the threat of new coronavirus variants and community transmissions has reduced.
“Mandatory Covid-19 testing of all incoming travellers at Entebbe International Airport upon arrival has been stopped with effect from 16 February 2022,” said Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director of health services at the Ministry of Health, in a statement.
Uganda has, however, maintained the requirement for travellers to be tested 72 hours before arrival or departure from the airport.
“Our health workers will continue to screen all travellers both at arrival and departure and verify their Covid-19 test certificates,” said Dr Mwebesa.
(Source: The East African)
French court decision was long overdue – activists
Different activists and Genocide survivors have reacted to the latest ruling by France’s highest court saying that it brings an end to a fallacy that has prevailed for over two decades.
This follows the decision by the French cassation court, the highest in the European country, dismissing findings by French magistrate Jean Louis Bruguiere who accused former RPA officers of shooting down the plane that carried former President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994.
At least seven former officers of the liberation army were indicted by the French magistrate in a case that was dismissed by many – including would-be key witnesses – as politically motivated.
The shooting down of the plane near Kigali International Airport preceded the Genocide against the Tutsi by the then regime where over a million people were killed.
Speaking to The New Times, Yolande Mukagasana, a survivor, author, and researcher on Genocide said that it is saddening that after 20 years, France came to this decision while all along “they knew the truth.”
(Source: The New Times)
Tigrayan soldiers accused of raping and killing civilians in Ethiopia’s civil war
Tigrayan soldiers killed civilians and gang-raped women and girls in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, a human rights organisation has claimed, in the latest accusation of atrocities made against fighters engaged in the country’s civil war.
Troops with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) shot dead at least 24 people in the town of Kobo in one day last September, according to Amnesty International.
The organisation also accused Tigrayan forces of raping and sexually assaulting at least 30 women and girls as young as 14 in and around Chenna, a village north of the Amhara regional capital, Bahir Dar.
“Evidence is mounting of a pattern of Tigrayan forces committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in areas under their control in the Amhara region. This includes repeated incidents of widespread rape, summary killings and looting,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa.
Last week, lawyers acting for Tigrayan civilians in a complaint filed to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights said that, while reports suggested abuses had been committed by different parties, Tigrayan civilians constituted “the overwhelming majority of victims”.
(Source: The Guardian)
NCEA Statement on the Ill-informed US House Foreign Affairs Bill
The National Council of Eritrean Americans (NCEA) strongly deplores the House Foreign Affairs Committee bill introduced by Representatives Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Young Kim (R-CA) concerning the war in Ethiopia.
The bill, “The Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act,” instead of bringing peace and stability, will only encourage the party that has been obstructing peace in the Horn of Africa for three decades to continue with its reckless and destructive adventures. It rewards the belligerent group, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, for dragging the region into mayhem.
The TPLF, designated a terrorist group by the Ethiopian Parliament, has time and again made its intentions for Eritrea very clear. It was harboring and training Al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist elements to destabilize Eritrea. In fact, the late TPLF leader, Meles, openly told Karl Wycoff, President Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, that the TPLF had intentions of sending terrorist units into Eritrea, groups “that you [USA] don’t like.”
TPLF military as well as civilian leaders are also on the record stating that they don’t accept Eritrea’s internationally recognized borders and they want to build their Greater Republic of Tigray at the expense of the Red Sea territory. To this extent, TPLF had Illegally occupied sovereign Eritrean territory for nearly two decades.
“We thus call upon all the members of the US House of Representatives concerned about peace and stability to reject this malicious, coercive bill pushed by the TPLF lobby and its enablers within the Biden Administration,” said the NCEA.
(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)
Somalia: Elections Must Be Finalised Amid Worsening Drought, Security Council told
Somalia’s leaders must put aside their differences and urgently conclude a credible election process, the UN’s senior official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, noting that national elections are now more than a year behind schedule and women’s representation remains significantly off-track.
James Swan, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), briefed ambassadors on recent political developments – including the conclusion of Upper House of Parliament elections, and the ongoing House of the People election – as well as increasing attacks by Al-Shabaab militant group and a deepening humanitarian crisis triggered by one of the region’s worst droughts in decades.
Meanwhile, Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region is facing one of the most severe droughts in decades.
Mr. Swan warned the Council that some 7.7 million Somalis require humanitarian assistance this year, with 4.3 million impacted by drought and more than 270,000 displaced.
According to the recently released Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Assessment, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 1.4 million children in Somalia – nearly half of the country’s under-five population – are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition due to the ongoing drought.
A critical shortage of water has forced families to migrate to urban and peri-urban centres, adding to the 2.9 million people who were already displaced by conflict and climate change. Since November 2021, water prices in some of the worst-affected areas have risen by as much as 72 per cent.
Warning the Council that the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia currently stands at only 2 per cent funded, the Special Representative reiterated his call on donors to increase their support.
(Source: UN News)
Sudan arrests former ruling council member again
Sudanese authorities have arrested a former civilian member of the ruling Sovereign Council, according to members of his party – the latest in a wave of arrests since last year’s coup.
Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman, a member of the Unionist Alliance party, was stopped by security forces while driving home in the capital Khartoum on Sunday, the party said in a statement.
It is the second time he has been arrested since an October 25 military takeover led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, an episode that could derail a fragile political transition to full civilian rule.
Faki was removed from his position and initially kept in custody after the October coup, before being released.