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Military backs out but Ugandan court charges MP Bobi Wine with treason

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Robert Kyagulanyi, the Ugandan parliamentarian popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been charged with treason after a military court Thursday withdrew a weapons charge against him but ruled that he should be tried for treason instead.

The pop star, 36, was then re-arrested and charged in a civilian court. He sat in the dock during proceedings as his lawyers argued he was too weak to stand.

A frail Wine, wearing a Ugandan flag scarf around his neck, was seen walking out of court while being assisted on crutches during a brief adjournment on Thursday morning.

He has been in detention since August 15 and needs urgent medical care, his lawyers argued.

The lawmaker’s attorney told CNN last week that his client has been tortured and suffered multiple injuries while in detention.

“He could not stand because his leg had been injured. He was being carried by soldiers at the military court where he has been arraigned when I saw him. He complained of pain in his spine, and we could see he has really been beaten,” Erias Lukwago said.

Read also: Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

The magistrate court ruled that Wine could have access to his private doctors and the case was adjourned until August 30.

There have been large-scale demonstrations online and on the streets of Uganda to #FreeBobiWine, and musicians around the world such as Chris Martin, Angelique Kidjo, Damon Albarn and others have joined the campaign.

Museveni has ruled Uganda for nearly 33 years and recently got parliament to amend the constitution to drop age limits on leadership.

Politics

Burkina Faso expels 3 French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’

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According to a letter quoted by Reuters on Thursday, three French diplomats have been sent back to France by Burkina Faso’s military government for allegedly being involved in actions that are against the government.

The letter sent April 16 to the French embassy said that the three diplomats, two of whom were named as political advisers, were told they were not welcome in the country and had 48 hours to leave.

A request for comment was sent to the French foreign ministry, but they did not reply right away.

The West African country which is one of five countries in the subregion now run by a military has had a diplomatic rift with France, which used to colonize it. Since then, Ouagadougou has kicked out French troops, forced France to recall its minister, and shut down some French media.

In the last three years, there have been five coups in the area, with most serving relations with France. Recently, the World Bank warned that the most recent coup in Niger could make things more difficult for food markets in Nigeria and other West African countries.

According to someone who was there and knew what was going on but asked not to be named, the officials were kicked out because they met with people from civil society.

Rights groups around the world have said that Burkina Faso’s junta is violating people’s right to free speech and intimidating critics while it tries to handle a security crisis caused by rebels with ties to Iran and Al-Qaeda.

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Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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