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Tigray Army General dies in Ethiopian prison

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A senior Tigrayan Army commander, General Gebremedhin Feqadu, has repeatedly died in an Ethiopian prison.

According to the Tigrayan External Affairs Office, Gen. Feqadu who was popularly known as “Wedi Necho”, and a former commander in the African Union Mission in Somalia “died in custody after he was arrested along with other senior officers in the early days of the war in 2020.”

The rebel authorities in Tigray are are also calling for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the General who has been described as a dominant figure in the Ethiopian army.

The External Affairs office said his death follows the suspicious deaths of two other generals as well as hundreds of Tigrayan officers and soldiers in Ethiopian custody.

In a statement on Saturday, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed Gen. Feqadu was murdered and vowed to avenge his death.

The statement which was issued by the TPLF spokesperson, Getachew Reda, reads:

“General Gebremedhin ‘Wedi Nechu’ Feqadu was everything they say about his distinguished military service in this article and more.

“Whatever they are going to say about the ‘cause’ of his demise, we have reason to believe that it is murder, pure and simple. Rest In Peace, my Hero!”

General Gebremedhin was in Kaliti prison facing charges in connection with the attack of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force on October 24, 2020.

He was charged with disconnecting radio communication between the Ethiopian Defense Headquarters in the capital Addis Ababa, and the Northern Command Force of the Ethiopian Defense Force, and handing over the radio to the TPLF force immediately before the war broke out in October 2020.

The general reportedly died on May 2 but his death was kept away from the public till avert outrage while the Ethiopian government is yet to announce if an autopsy was administered and what the result of it was.

 

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Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

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An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of senior officials from Chad’s oil and banking sectors.

According to the government, the arrest has been on over the past 10 days.

The Minister of Communication and government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah on Sunday said the embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs (nearly 20 million euros) within the Chadian oil company (SHT) and the National Security Agency (ANS), the internal and external intelligence services, is conducting the investigation.

Among those arrested is the former private secretary of General Mahamat Déby, Idriss Youssouf Boy. Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were also questioned in the framework of the investigation.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been released as part of the investigation into financial misappropriations of 13 billion CFA francs at the SHT.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary” and some of the defendants will eventually be presented to a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, the spokesman added, without giving any details of the charges.” Koulamallah told journalists.

Chad is a modest oil producer, with 47 million barrels in 2021, The central African country joined the circle of African oil producing and exporting countries in the early 2000s and its economy is now very dependent on it.

It is not uncommon to identify corrupt trend in oil sector in Africa. Report says the 2005–2014 oil boom raised incentives for corruption across the oil industry’s value chain. A highly diverse set of private sector actors engaged in corrupt behavior.

Chad’s neighbour, Nigeria, who is also Africa’s largest oil producer, is perhaps the biggest reference to corruption in oil sector in the continent. Efforts from the Nigerian government to investigate and curtail the ill can be traced to the 1950s during the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. A panel of enquiry was set up to investigate a Two Billion, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira fraud which could not be accounted for by the NNPC.

The cases of corruption in the sector once again raises question if the liquid tressure has been a blessing or curse to the “black continent.”

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326 Mozambican Police officers dismissed for involvement in crimes since 2020

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The Mozambican Police Force (PRM), has dismissed 326 officers from the force since 2020 over their involvement in different crimes which include extortion, bribery, use of excessive force and violence against citizens.

The dismissal of the police officers was as a result of a 2020/2021 report on human rights abuse in the country put together by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), which was released last week in Maputo.

According to the 2020 report, many arbitrary detentions persisted including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

“Among various abuses, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

“For instance, four police officers were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel,” the report stated.

The OAM also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

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