Connect with us

Politics

Ethiopia/Tigray crises: Thousands dead, millions displaced as UN sets up enquiry

Published

on

Allegations of human rights violations against the Ethiopian government in its war against Tigrayan rebel forces has hit new heights with appointment of Former International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to head the UN commission of enquiry into alleged violations.

Report out of Geneva says the President of the Human Rights Council, Federico Villegas of Argentina, announced the appointment of the Gambian, as well as two other experts – Kaari Betty Murungi, a lawyer at the High Court of Kenya, and American Steven Ratner, a law professor – who will join the newly created commission.

Forces under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — the Ethiopian military, ethnic militias and troops from neighboring Eritrea — are fighting to oust the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or T.P.L.F., from its stronghold in the northern region of Tigray.

The conflict in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, has left thousands dead, forced more than two million people from their homes and pushed parts of the country into famine.

The Tigray Region is the northernmost regional state in Ethiopia. The Region is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama people. Formerly known as Region 1, its capital and largest city is Mekelle. Tigray is the fifth-largest by area, the fifth-most populous, and the fifth-most densely populated of the 11 regional states in Ethiopia. 96 per cent of Tigrayans are Orthodox Christian.

Since its outbreak in November 2020, the war, which began in Tigray (northern Ethiopia) and then spread to the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar, has been marked by numerous allegations of abuses on both sides.

In November 2021, a joint report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission documented possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the conflict.

Following the investigation, by December 2021, the United Nations at held a special session on “the grave human rights situation in Ethiopia”, hearing the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights warn that increasing hatred, violence and discrimination could escalate into generalised violence, and urge all parties to reassess the damage being done to the nation, and to pull back from a posture of war.

The Commission will be required to provide an oral update on its work during the fiftieth session of the Human Rights Council in June 2022 and a written report at the following session in September.

Politics

This is Uganda, not Kenya, Museveni warns planned protesters against ‘playing with fire’

Published

on

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has warned demonstrators that they will be “playing with fire” if they march to parliament on Tuesday to protest corruption.

In a televised address, Mr Museveni warned the Ugandan organisers that their planned protest would not be tolerated.

“We are busy producing wealth… and you here want to disturb us. You are playing with fire because we cannot allow you to disturb us,” he said.

Kenya’s anti-tax bill has sparked a wave of anti-government protests across Africa, with reports of planned nationwide protests also growing in Nigeria.

Mr Museveni is accused by his critics of ruling Uganda with an iron hand since taking power in 1986, but his supporters praise him for maintaining stability in the East African state.

The president also accused some of the protest organisers of “always working with foreigners” to cause chaos in Uganda. He did not elaborate.

Police had earlier announced that they had refused to permit the march to take place. Meanwhile, One of the main protest leaders told journalists that they would go ahead with it.

“We don’t need police permission to carry out a peaceful demonstration. It is our constitutional right,” Louez Aloikin Opolose was quoted as saying.The United Kingdom and the United States sanctioned Uganda’s parliamentary speaker, Anita Annet Among, for corruption earlier this year. Although she has denied any wrongdoing.

The sanctions prevent her from visiting the UK and the US. The UK also threatened to freeze her assets.

The United Kingdom has also sanctioned two government ministers fired by Mr Museveni for corruption.

The theft of thousands of metal roofing sheets for needy communities in north-eastern Karamoja has led to charges against Mary Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu. They deny the charges.

Political behaviours are observed to often have contagious effects in African politics, and the protest wave might spread further. For instance, in the post-independence era of the 1960s – 1990s military interregnums swept through the continent, and have recently returned notably amongst French-speaking African countries.

Museveni declared himself president of Uganda on January 26, 1986, after leading the National Resistance Movement (NRM) armed group in guerrilla war against Milton Obote’s regime. He has remained the leader of the East African country since then in an almost four-decade-long reign that put him in the league of longest-serving leaders in the continent with his peers being Paul Biya (Cameroon), Obiang Teodoro (Equatorial Guinea), Denis Sassou Nguese (Congo DR), Isaias Afwerki (Eriteria) Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (Djibouti) amongst others.

Continue Reading

Politics

Look beyond Lungu, Hichilema, former minister Siamunene urges Zambians

Published

on

Former Defense Minister, Richwell Siamunene, suggests Zambians should see beyond President Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu if recent reconciliation efforts failed.

Siamunene made the position known while guesting on Saturday’s Prime Television Governance and Leadership Talk. “They needed to reconcile like yesterday. But if they fail to reconcile, Zambians should forget about them and choose other leaders among the 20 million citizens. Life shouldn’t be about the two,” he said.

Siamunene said the appeal for Presidents Lungu and Hichilema to reconcile was long overdue and that Zambians should turn elsewhere if they don’t while also urging the public to refrain from ‘joking when voting’ to enhance governance

“I think Zambian voters joke a lot when voting. We need to be as serious as Zambians; that is why the country is in this situation,” Siamunene said.

He stressed that ethnically motivated leadership was harmful.

Siamunene believed that leaders should be chosen based on their ability to advance development, not their wealth or education.

“Once you become a leader of the country, you cease to be family property and become part of the Zambian family. No friends or family considerations should influence decisions,” he said.

He underlined the necessity for exceptional leadership to fight corruption, saying that waiting for the President to authorize probes makes it academic.

Hichilema at his sixth attempt at winning the presidency in 2021 defeated the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, by a landslide – more than a million votes. Hichilema capitalized on the failings of Mr. Lungu’s six-year tenure which was criticized for human rights abuses, corruption, a faltering economy, and high unemployment. The two politicians have remained political enemies despite recent talks of reconciliation.

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Politics51 mins ago

This is Uganda, not Kenya, Museveni warns planned protesters against ‘playing with fire’

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has warned demonstrators that they will be “playing with fire” if they march to parliament on...

Strictly Personal2 hours ago

All eyes in Africa are on Kenya’s bid for a reset, By Joachim Buwembo

Whoever impregnated Angela Rayner and caused her to drop out of school at the tender age of 16 with no...

Politics3 hours ago

Look beyond Lungu, Hichilema, former minister Siamunene urges Zambians

Former Defense Minister, Richwell Siamunene, suggests Zambians should see beyond President Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu if recent reconciliation efforts...

Politics3 hours ago

Tunisia’s Kais Saied eyes reelection despite human rights concerns

In one of over twenty presidential elections scheduled to be held across Africa in 2024, Tunisian President, Kais Saied, declared...

VenturesNow5 hours ago

Dangote Refinery in crude supply negotiations with Libya

To get around issues with local supply, Nigeria’s Dangote refinery is in negotiations with Libya to get crude for the...

Metro8 hours ago

Nigeria: Presidency warns against planned nationwide protest, accuses opposition

The Nigerian Presidency has warned against a planned nationwide protest scheduled to kick off on August 1, saying it could...

Sports1 day ago

Former Gabon captain Aubameyang joins Saudi clubside Al Qadsiah

Former Gabon national team captain, Pierre Emerick, has joined newly promoted Saudi Pro League side, Al Qadsiah, on a two-year...

Tech1 day ago

Bio-Logical raises $1.3m to build climate resilience for Kenyan farmers

Climate-tech company, Bio-Logical, has announced raising $1.3 million to build the climate resilience of Kenyan smallholder farmers. The Nairobi-based firm...

Culture1 day ago

Mali’s ‘King of Kora’ Diabate passes on at 58

Mali’s most celebrated artiste, Toumani Diabate, popularly known as “King of Kora,” has passed away at the age of 58...

VenturesNow1 day ago

As inflation slows down, Angolan central bank maintains stable interest rate

The central bank of Angola maintained its main interest rate at 19.5% on Friday, noting a possible short-term improvement in...

Trending