MonitorsPublished on Dec 27, 2016
Africa Monitor | Volume V: Issue XXVI |


At Security Council, UN Chief underlines need to tackle root causes of human trafficking

Highlighting the plight of victims of human trafficking, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined on December 20 the need to ensure justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators, as well as to address underlying factors by focusing on human rights and stability. "If conflict gives oxygen to traffickers, human rights and stability suffocate them," Mr. Ban told the Security Council on December 20 at its ministerial-level meeting on the theme trafficking in persons in conflict situations. It also featured briefings from Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), And Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. "We need strategic leadership in ending war - and also in preventing conflicts and sustaining peace," added the Secretary-General, noting the UN's commitment to supporting its Member States in early action and in preventive diplomacy. He further drew attention to the importance of implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the promise of "a life of dignity for all people" is delivered, and called on all countries to ratify all international human rights, refugee, labour rights and crime prevention conventions, and to put efforts into their effective implementation. "The majority of trafficking victims are women and girls. Our response must include special attention to their rights," he noted. He also underlined the need to decrease funding for terrorists to make everyone, and in particular those who risk being trafficked, safer. "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and others are using trafficking and sexual violence as a weapon of terror - and an important source of revenue. He further highlighted the need to respect and implement international law as well as strengthen national legal protections to ensure justice and accountability. He also stressed the importance of supressing trafficking syndicates by targeting money-laundering and criminal proceeds. "The problem of trafficking is international in nature - and only an international response can succeed," said Mr. Ban, adding: "Let us work together to help the December 20 victims of trafficking while creating a more stable and just world for all." As an outcome of the meeting the Council adopted a consensus resolution, recognizing the various complexities and challenges of trafficking, in which it called on all UN Member States to take "decisive and immediate action" to prevent, criminalize, investigate, prosecute and ensure accountability of those who engage in trafficking in persons, including in the context of armed conflict. In his remarks, Mr. Fedotov, UNODC chief warned that the pervasive nature of human trafficking meant that "there is no single measure, no one step in any given part of the world that can address this problem alone." Indeed, building effective action requires a strong framework of international cooperation and shared responsibility, starting with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol against Trafficking in Persons. He went on to note that on December 21, UNODC will launch the 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, which provides a snapshot of the state of national responses to the challenges of human trafficking. Based on reliable data and information provided by Member States, it establishes that an increasing number of trafficking victims from conflict-affected countries such as Syria, Iraq and Somalia have been detected in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Picking up that thread, Special Representative Bangura told the Council that a range of extremist groups are using sexual violence to advance their military, political, economic and ideological aims, pointing out that, of the 48 groups listed in her most recent report, 37 were non-State actors and seven are designated as terrorist groups. "They restrict women's rights, autonomy and freedoms, and use sexual violence as a tactic to strike fear into the hearts of civilians," she explained. And while this is not a new phenomenon and neither was the trafficking in and exploitation of women and girls, she said, the combination of those two evils today seems "unprecedented" in its scope and brazen brutality. Recognizing sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism calls for a rethinking of the response, she said, noting that the crime represented the very front line in the battle against violent extremism. "To disrupt human trafficking was to help disrupt the business of terrorism," she said. Source: UN News Service

Dar, Lilongwe sign 180-megawatt joint power deal

Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180-megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90mw. The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country. The implementation of the projects follow agreement over development for Songwe River Basin (SRBDP), signed by the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Gerson Lwenge and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr George Chaponda. They signed the agreement in Mbeya during a special ministerial meeting by the two countries whereby some of the projects to be implemented will include dam construction, tree planting and irrigation schemes. Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Eng. Lwenge pointed out that the project is expected to cost the two countries more than 500 million US dollars. He went on to say that the project will benefit seven districts in the two countries whereby for Tanzanian side the five districts are Kyela, Ileje, Mbeya, Momba and Mbozi. In Malawi, the minister said, the project will be implemented in the two districts of Chitipa and Kalonga, adding that this will go hand in hand with the construction of dams and modern irrigation schemes. "This project will benefit our people in so many ways since we are expecting to produce 180 megawatt of electricity, which will be shared equally between the two countries," said Eng. Lwenge. He added that for irrigation, they intend to develop a total of 3,000 farms in both countries, which have the size of 600 hectares each. These farms will be used for rice farming, which has a good market in and outside the country. In addition to this, fishing activities will also be improved," noted Eng Lwenge. For his side, Dr Chaponda said that when the project is completed, it will help in strengthening relationship between the two countries, expand business; and that once the basin is developed, it will help the river to stay on course in its origin place. Source: Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Rwanda to host major African cancer conference

The conference, scheduled for November 7 to 10, is a major forum in the cancer community in Africa as it brings together multidisciplinary specialists from the world to discuss how best to reduce the impact of cancer on the continent. The four-day-conference will serve as a platform for presentation of latest research, sharing of expertise and information to aid in cancer management and research in Africa. Dr Christian Ntizimira, of Rwanda Palliative and Hospice Care Organisation, and a member of the education and training committee in cancer of AORTIC, said this is a huge opportunity for Rwanda, especially in terms of advancement for health sector. "We are excited about the opportunity; this will benefit the country in different areas. There will be a chance to exchange experiences in terms of fighting cancer, we will have the chance to have so many experts on cancer control and treatment from all over the world, we will exchange our experiences and also be able to extend our networking and partnership," Dr Ntizimira told The New Times. AORTIC is an African based NGO that is dedicated to the promotion of cancer control and palliation in Africa for over 25 years. Source: The New Times

Seminar stresses silencing guns in Africa

Participants stressed the need for building a peaceful continent by 2020. The 4th high-level seminar on peace and security held in Algerian province of Oran called on the acceleration of "Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020" implementation. The seminar concluded on December 19, reported Xinhua. The seminar urges the African Union Peace and Security Council to speed up the development of a road-map which would be practical measure to implement the process. Participants also recommend to boost the role of African Standby Force (ASF) and reinforce partnership between AU Peace and Security Commission and the UN Security Council, to provide support for the peacekeeping missions and sustainable peace and stability in Africa. Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, in his closing notes, stressed the commitment of African and international partners in terms of strengthening the continent's capacities to find and implement solutions for Africa's problems, and ultimately contributing in preserving global peace and security. Source: The Ethiopian Herald

Ghandour receives Chinese envoy to Africa

The Foreign Minister, Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour received, in his office on December 22, the Chinese envoy to Africa, Zhong Jianhua. The Meeting discussed bilateral relations and joint cooperation under framework of strategic partnership between two countries in all fields. The two sides stressed importance of consultation and coordination in speeding up implementation of projects agreed upon. The meeting tackled the situations in South Sudan, what could be Source: Sudan News Agency (Kharrtoum)

Ugandans lead way in the switch to mobile money remittances

Remittances sent by the Ugandan diaspora play an incredibly important role in the Ugandan economy. The World Bank estimates that $1.099billion will have been sent home by Ugandans abroad in 2016, contributing to four per cent of GDP. A few years ago, if you were receiving a remittance from a friend or relative living overseas, you would either go to your local forex bureau to collect your money, or receive a transfer to your bank account. Now data released by money transfer service World Remit shows that Ugandans are leading the globe when it comes to a new way of receiving remittances - getting them sent direct to their phones. The reason behind this rapid change is the tremendous success of Mobile Money in recent years. According to Bank of Uganda, only about six million Ugandan adults have an account at a formal financial institution, a figure which hasn't changed much over the years. Mobile money on the other hand has seen a dramatic growth. There are now 21 million mobile money accounts in Uganda - and the majority of adults have one. WorldRemit and leading telecoms operator MTN launched instant overseas money transfers direct to MTN Mobile Money accounts in January 2016. In the space of a year, WorldRemit customers now send 20,000 transfers to the MTN Mobile Money accounts of their friends and relatives in Uganda, with over 100 new customers signing up every month. In fact, 77 per cent of all WorldRemit transfers to Uganda now go to mobile money accounts. Mobile money provides an instant, convenient and totally secure way to receive vital remittances on your phone. No more taking the bus to your nearest town to visit the forex bureau. No more standing in line. No more worrying about safety when carrying large amounts of cash. Uganda is already renowned for being one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world when it comes to the adoption of mobile money. Now we're seeing Ugandans at the forefront of mobile money remittances. With over 400 million registered accounts worldwide, Mobile Money is transforming lives by allowing people to access financial services for the first time. And following Uganda's example, it will almost certainly become the method of choice for receiving remittances in many countries around the world. Source: The Monitor


Government, UN peacekeepers assess progress in CAR crisis

Both sides acknowledged that though the country had returned to constitutional rule, disarmament of fighters remained a major concern. The government of the Central African Republic, CAR and the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, MINUSCA, on December 20, 2016, shared notes on efforts to put the country back on the rails after three years of war. A statement released by MINUSCA at the end of the meeting in the capital, Bangui, said both sides agreed that though transparent polls were held this year, followed by the inauguration of President Faustin-Archange Touadera on March 30, disarmament of fighters remained a major concern. At a joint press conference following the meeting, Government spokesman, Théodore Jousso, said the authorities and partners were working hard and the palpable results could not be expected in a day. His MINUSCA counterpart, Vladimir Monteiro, stressed the determination of the UN to continue to protect civilians, strengthen State authority, ensure the protection of human rights and tackle impunity. Monteiro recalled that regular meetings were held in the course of the year between MINUSCA military and police commanders and their CAR counterparts as well as the leaders of the country. Jousso noted that collaboration between government and UN peacekeepers had already begun to yield fruit, especially in the rest of the country where normalcy had started to return, though not yet felt in Bangui. Source: Cameroon Tribune

Germany invests Rwf30 billion in energy sector in Rwanda

Efforts to boost power generation are set to receive timely support thanks to Germany's commitment to invest Euros 32.5million about Rwf30 billion into the sector. The funding, according to Ronald Nkusi, the director of external finances at Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, will help in the rehabilitation and privatisation of the hydropower stations Rusizi I and Rusizi II at the border between Rwanda, Burundi and the DR Congo. Nkusi said the support is timely and will help boost sustainability in terms of energy generation and distribution capacity. On December 16, German Ambassador Peter Woeste and the Executive Secretary of the Communauté économique des pays des grands lacs (CEPGL), Herman Tuyaga, exchanged documents finalising the German commitment with Energy. The contribution, according to Amb Woeste, will strengthen the regional cooperation and stability. Amb. Woeste commended the decision of the German government to release the huge grant. The ceremony was witnessed by the Head of Development Cooperation of the German Embassy, Stefan Sckell, and the head of the government-owned Bank for Reconstruction (KfW) of Germany, Markus Bär, and representatives from Rwanda's energy sector. Rwanda targets to extend power to at least 70 per cent of the households in the country by 2018. To achieve this ambitious goal, government projects to boost electricity generation to 563 megawatts within the next two years. Earlier this year government and the European Union, signed a financing agreement worth €177 million (about Rwf157 billion) to support the energy sector over the next five years. The financing agreement was the first of a series to be signed in the coming months as part of a €460 million programme of EU grant financial assistance to Rwanda agreed in 2015. Rwanda's power generation capacity currently stands at about 190 per cent, with hydro-power accounting for more thhan 97.37 megawatts of the country's total installed capacity, thermal is at 51.7 megawatts, methane accounts for over 10 megawatts, while 8.75 megawatts is produced from solar energy, among others. Source: The New Times

Ruling alliance, Opposition resume talks in the DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, members of the presidential alliance and the country’s main opposition coalition met again on December 22 to try to hammer out a deal on delayed elections. Mediators from the Catholic Church say the two sides need to reach an agreement before Christmas, but so far neither side is showing signs of compromise. The Archbishop of Kisangani, Monseigneur Marcel Utembi, took a firm line as he reopened the talks in Kinshasa. Utembi said the church mediators are not inclined to look favorably on further undue postponements and delaying tactics. He expressed the church’s firm wish that a compromise be found before Christmas. Utembi is the president of CENCO, the organization that represents the Congolese Catholic Church, which is mediating the dispute over delayed elections. The talks were suspended on December 17 while a delegation of Congolese archbishops visited the pope to seek guidance on the crisis. During the break, at midnight on December 19, DRC President Joseph Kabila's elected mandate expired. He intends to remain in office until polls can be held. The leader of the Rassemblement, the country’s main opposition coalition, Etienne Tshisekedi, responded by declaring Kabila "illegitimate" and calling the population to "peaceful resistance." Security forces, heavily deployed since last week, put down sporadic demonstrations that started early December 20 and continued into December 21 in Kinshasa and other Congolese cities. Human Rights Watch says security forces have killed 34 people and it is still verifying additional reports. The police have given a lower toll. A spokesman told reporters on December 21 that 21 civilians have been killed, most by stray bullets or while engaged in looting. The police said one of their officers was also killed. But the Rassemblement has returned to the negotiating table. The secretary general of Tshisekedi’s party, Jean-Marc Kabund, spoke to journalists as the talks resumed. He says, “We have come to find a solution as to the illegitimacy and illegality of Mr. Kabila. We have come to negotiate the departure of Mr. Kabila from power. That is all the population needs to know.” The Rassemblement boycotted talks earlier this year that provisionally set the presidential election for April 2018. The electoral commission says it needs time to prepare an updated voter roll. Kabila has so far refused to agree to the Rassemblement’s demand he publicly commit to not seeking a third term, which is forbidden by the Constitution. The coordinator of the youth activism group the Fourth Way, Jean-Marie Kalonji, does not see the point of further dialogue. Kalonji told VOA that CENCO must explain to the people why the negotiations are continuing because the people of the DRC are turning the page and Kabila is no longer president. He says the dialogue does not make any sense and that is why the Congolese youth protested on December 19th without the opposition calling for it. Tensions do not look to be abating any time soon. A police spokesman said that the enhanced security presence will remain in place until the end of the year. Source: Voice of America

Umushyikirano 2016 - Adopted resolutions push for a wealthy Rwanda by 2050

The government should set up a deadline when Rwanda will be financially independent and also prepare a multi-year plan to deliver the nation to a high-income economy by 2050. The recommendation is among 12 resolutions from the 14th National Dialogue (Umushyikirano), which were announced on December 22 by the Prime Minister's office during a press conference. The resolutions called for continued efforts to promote good governance and efficient delivery of services to citizens, while also promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans through programmes like civic education training (Itorero), fighting genocide ideology, and helping genocide survivors recover their destroyed property and access therapy for trauma. They also urged the government to keep up the 'Made in Rwanda' campaign to bolster local production, prepare major irrigation projects in Eastern Province's districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza, and Kirehe, as well as set up a deadline when Rwanda will be able to adequately finance its national budget. The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said that preparing Vision 2050 when it is envisaged that the country will be a high-income economy will require having different medium term plans such as five-year programmes. With now Rwandans having urged the government to prepare the proposal, Gatete said, its policy-makers and technocrats will move to action. "There is a lot of work that has to be done along the way as we prepare and implement Vision 2050," he said at the press briefing on December 22. Gatete said at the National Dialogue that under current initial planning towards Vision 2050, Rwanda is projected to be an upper middle income country by 2035 with a per capita annual income of more than $4000 while it will be a high income economy by 2050 when every Rwandan will be earning at least $12000 a year with a relatively high standard of living. With the country's annual per capita income hovering around $720 today, Gatete said that the country's economy will need to be at an average annual growth of above 10 per cent, doubling its current growth rate, if Vision 2050 is to be achieved. As for Rwandans to adequately finance their national budget, Gatete said the target means moving from the current 18.7 per cent rate of reliance on financial donations for the budget to less than 10 per cent. That will require efficient collection of taxes, prudent management of public funds, and working hard to increase the amount and quality of goods and services produced in Rwanda, he noted. "Between 5 and 10 per cent aid for the national budget is what is normal in financially independent countries. At that rate, if the aid stopped there wouldn't be a crisis," Minister Gatete noted. The resolutions from the 14th National Dialogue have also tipped officials on the need to uphold accountability in the use of public finances and efficient coordination across different levels of government to improve service delivery. The minister for cabinet affairs, Stella Ford Mugabo, told journalists at the briefing that officials will move immediately to implement all the resolutions from the National Dialogue. "The institutions in charge will move to the planning process in order to implement the resolutions," she said. The dialogue, which run for two days from December 15 to December 16 last week, was held under the theme of "Shaping Together the Rwanda We Want" to emphasise the collaboration between leaders and citizens as a pillar for continued development. Source: The New Times


UN human rights report urges end to 'unimaginable abuse' of migrants in Libya

A joint report launched on December 13 by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) citied "unimaginable" human rights violations and abuses of migrants in Libya as a result of the breakdown in the crisis-riven country's justice system. "People smuggled or trafficked into Libya face torture, forced labour and sexual exploitation along the route, and many while held in arbitrary detention," Martin Kobler, the Secretary General's Special Representative for Libya and Head of UNSMIL in a news release. The report, entitled Detained and Dehumanised: Report on Human Rights Abuses against Migrants in Libya also stated that migrants were held in detention centres mostly run by the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), and had no access to lawyers or judicial authorities, no formal registration, and no legal process. In addition, some migrants were held in "connection houses," on farms, in warehouses and inside apartments. They were forced to work and earn money for their onward transport. "We are called animals and are treated as animals," a 16-year-old boy from Eritrea had told UNSMIL. The report also described armed men, allegedly from the Libyan Coast Guard, abusing migrants by bringing them to shore, beating, robbing, and taking them to detention centres. "The list of violations and abuses faced by migrants in Libya is as long as it is horrific. This is, quite simply, a human rights crisis affecting tens of thousands of people," said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report also urged Libyan officials to immediately release the most vulnerable migrants, with a view to urgently ending all arbitrary detentions; reduce the number of detention centres; ensure women were held separately from men; improve conditions of detention and protect detainees from torture and all other forms of abuse; and, in the medium-term, decriminalize irregular migration and adopt an asylum law. In addition, "the report lays bare the suffering endured by these migrants who have experienced unimaginable abuse and, in some cases, fallen victim to the despicable trade in human lives," stated High Commissioner Zeid, adding that the report "appeals to our compassion and our resolve that the rights of migrants should be fully protected and respected, whatever their status." Irregular migration was against the law in Libya, which was why migrants were being detained. As a result, OHCHR urged the country to adopt a regular asylum law. UNSMIL also said that it has received reports indicating that some Libyan State employees or local officials may have been involved in the smuggling and trafficking process. Source: UN News Service

 Death toll in Egypt church bombing rises to 26

Death toll of the St. Peter and St. Paul church bombing increased to 26 after the death of a 70-year old woman who sustained serious injuries caused by the explosion, the Ministry of Health said on December 16. The blast, which coincided with the Muslim celebration of the Prophet's Birthday, took place at the church attached to one of Egypt's most symbolic sites for Copts, St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral. Dozens of worshippers were injured in the explosion, many of whom are women and children attending Sunday mass. According to the latest statement by the health ministry, the number of those injured is 46. One day after the explosion, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi identified the suicide bomber to be a 22-year old man by the name Mahmoud Shafiq. The interior ministry announced later that people in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood group schemed the attack on the church. The ministry said then that it arrested four people including a woman, all of whom assisted the suicide bomber. On December 13, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered on December 14 the detention of the four, 15 days pending investigation in the case. The prosecution ordered the arrest of two fugitives over the case. The defendants are accused of joining a terrorist group, possessing explosives, inciting premeditated murder, participating in bombing the church and assisting a suicide bomber to carry out the attack. Source: Aswat Masriya

Uganda, Egypt strike deal on Nile river

President Museveni and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed on December 18 with the plan to make River Nile a transportation highway to the Mediterranean Sea to reduce import-export costs. President Museveni said at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries that the alternative route on River Nile, which has its source in Uganda, would go up to Egypt's northern Alexandria seaport city. The port handles about 80 per cent of Egypt's imports and exports. "We are, however, looking at the security problems in South Sudan and Sudan and see how they can be solved," Mr Museveni said, referring to a meltdown in Uganda's northern neighbour triggered by political stalemate between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-turned-rebel leader Riek Machar. President Museveni said they will work with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an African Union economic development initiative, to "use this free highway to the Mediterranean sea". There has been a row between Egypt and countries that share River Nile over the usage of the Nile waters. Egypt, basing on a 1929 agreement it signed with the British colonialists, insists to continue with veto rights over how other Nile basin countries should use the Nile waters. But Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burundi opposed this old colonial agreement and decided on a new agreement that Egypt declined to sign. There has also been growing dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt over the former's construction of the $4 billion, 6000 Megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile planned to be operational by next year. In the memorandum signed between Uganda and Egypt December 18, Egypt committed to invest in beef, solar energy and livestock industry. There were no specifics on expected amount of capital inflow or the timeline for the investment. "I encourage Egyptian private sector to invest in Uganda's livestock and energy sector,"Gen al-sisi said. The two leaders formed a Joint Permanent Commission that will implement all these investment plans. On arrival at State House Entebbe, President Fattah al-Sisi and his host first held a tête-à-tête before going for bilateral talks attended by ministers. However, a dramatic scuffle between the two presidential guards preceded the calm and collected diplomatic engagement. The push and shove began after more than required number of the visiting leader's escorts wanted to access the meeting room. It is customary for host countries to manage security of a foreign leader and it is unclear why guards of the Egyptian president, on December 18, felt the pressing need to take care of his security themselves. In the melee, President Museveni's guards outsmarted their Egyptian counterparts, blocking entry to those not authorised. President Museveni will, on invitation by his counterpart, visit Egypt early next year. Source: The Monitor

Egypt calls on Opposition to join National Dialogue

Egypt has called on the opposition to speed up to join the National Dialogue. The Egyptian Ambassador to Khartoum, Oama Shaltout who met on December 21 the Assistant of the President, Engineer, Ibrahim Mahmud Hammed, at his office, has revealed that the two sides have reached understanding on a number of issues which will contribute to supporting the joint cooperation relations between the two countries via reactivation of the strategic partnership document which signed recently , in Cairo, in the summit meeting between the President of the Republic, Field Marshal, Omer Al-Basher and the Egyptian President, Field Marshal, Abdul Fatah Al-sessi. Ambassador Shaltout described the meeting as cordial and discussed the bilateral relations and means for promoting them further. The Egyptian Ambassador has expressed his country's support to the national dialogue and its outcomes. Source: Sudan news Agency (Khartoum)


Zimbabwe-China trade to reach U.S.$1 billion mark

Trade volumes between Zimbabwe and China are set to go beyond the $1 billion mark by year-end. China imports tobacco, cotton and various minerals from Zimbabwe while local businesses have turned to the East Asian economic giant for electronic, clothing and other finished products. Speaking on the sidelines of a handover of various educational materialand equipment by Tian Ze China Tobacco Company to Dunnoly Primary School in Beatrice on December 21, Chinese Economic and Commercial Consular Mr Li Yauhui said trade between the two countries continues to firm. "Trade volumes between Zimbabwe and China had reached about $948 million as of September this year and we expect it to have surpassed the $1 billion mark by the end of the year," he said. Mr Li said the export-import balance still favoured the Chinese as more goods, especially tobacco, were being exported to the East. Zimbabwe exports at least 55 percent of its tobacco to China. Addressing guests at the handover ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Huang Ping, hailed the Tian Ze China Tobacco Company for ploughing back into communities that support their business. "Your corporate social responsibility activities show that you are not in Zimbabwe for profit making only but also to help in the economic development of Zimbabwe," he said. He urged Chinese companies operating in Zimbabwe to assist in the development of communities. "I am going to mobilise more Chinese companies to plough back into the communities as an appreciation of the economic partnership we enjoy as the two countries." Tobacco Industry Marketing Board chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri said tobacco exports to China had surpassed the $1.5 billion since Tian Ze joined the Zimbabwean market. "Tian Ze started operating in Zimbabwe in 2004 and the company has significantly and importantly altered the tobacco industry in the country. "Zimbabwean tobacco farmers export between 50 to 60 percent of their produce to China providing a ready market," he said. Tian Ze managing director Mr Ye Hai said his company's participation in the tobacco industry has brought positive results to the farmers and Zimbabwe at large. "As some of you might be aware, Tian Ze Tobacco Company supports sustainable agriculture in Zimbabwe and plays a part in the promotion of the mutual friendship that exist between Zimbabwe and China," he said. Besides offering the best and most viable pricing model, Tian Ze also provides interest free loans, free technical support, training and service to contract farmers so that they improve on tobacco production. Source: Forum on China-Africa cooperation (Beijing)

Mugabe splashes millions on holiday as Zimbabweans starve

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's month-long annual vacation in the Far East is set to gobble over $6m at a time when the southern African country's economy is in a deep plunge. Zimbabwean authorities are failing to service the wage bill, the country's financial sector has been hit by a crippling liquidity crisis and at least 90% of the country's citizens are unemployed. Mugabe and his family, including a large entourage of security aides, left Harare for Singapore on December 20 night aboard a chartered flight. They are only expected back in the country at the end of January 2017. Zimbabwe's former finance minister, Tendai Biti, told the local Newsday newpaper that Mugabe collects at least $4m from treasury each time he embarks on foreign trips and at least $6m when he goes on his annual leave. "Every time the President leaves the country he takes with him $4m in hard cash which in most cases is raided from the RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) system," Biti was quoted as saying. "This is part of the reason why we have cash shortages, because accounts for ordinary people are raided to fund unnecessary travel. With his relatives and security personnel over the month-long holiday he could spend close to $6m." Although no exact figures could be obtained from treasury, the amount that Mugabe could spend during the current vacation may even be much higher, particularly after his spokesperson George Charamba revealed that the president would embark on other official trips in between his vacation. "The (annual) leave shall be interspersed with official engagements, including one which is related to the African Union," said Charamba. Mugabe will be joining other leaders of the continental body who are expected to convene in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from January 27 to 31 for the grouping's 28th summit. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has described Mugabe's trip to the Far East as "an expensive an unnecessary vacation". Source: news24WIRE

Malawians hail nurses body over ban to photograph victims

Malawians have hailed the Nurses and Midwives Council for stepping in swiftly to stop nurses who take pictures on accidents victims or patients and post them on social media. Facebook, Whatsapp and other social media platforms has of late been awash with pictures of accident victims or patients allegedly taken on smartphones by some unprofessional nurses. The nursing professional body is so concerned about nurses taking pictures of victims at the scene of accidents and in hospital and has prescribed punitive fines and other disciplinary actions for those nurses proved to be posting such pictures. In response, Malawians have thanked the council for their timely decision. Writing on Facebook, the Malawians asked the council to investigate the past incidents and punish the culprits. The Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) said that the trend was immoral and will not go unpunished. "This is morally, ethically and professionally wrong, besides causing more psychological trauma to the relatives of the concerned victims". Malawians have also blamed some police officers on the same allegations. However, police publicist James Kadadzera has said the police are professionals who cannot waste time taking pictures intead of helping accident victims. He howaever said culprits would be dealt with according to the laws and police regulations. Source: Nyasa Times

Diamond ring shame - Zimbabwean Judge orders Grace Mugabe to return seized property

A Harare judge has ordered Zimbabwe's controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe to return three properties that she seized from a Lebanese businessman in a botched US$1.35m diamond ring deal. High Court judge Clement Phiri on December 21 ordered President Robert Mugabe's wife to remove her representatives from the properties that she seized after Lebanese national Jamal Ahmed failed to repay the money that was paid by her for a polished diamond ring. The ring had been meant to be Mugabe's wedding anniversary to Grace. The year 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the Mugabes' wedding. Grace demanded a refund after she discovered that the diamond ring was polished. When the court initially sat on December 21, the First Lady was not represented but attorney Wilson Manase later stood for her. In passing judgement, the judge expressed unhappiness on the sheriff's failure to serve court papers at the Blue Roof residence of the First Lady in the leafy Borrowdale suburb of Harare. Ahmed's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa said security personnel at Mugabe's residence denied the sheriff to leave summons and he could not affix them to the gate or door in fear of breaching security protocol. Said Mtetwa: "He (the sheriff) had failed to serve the summons because of an armed soldier who barred him from further action. We were in the middle of the hearing when the presiding judge was called by the Judge President (George Chiweshe) and came back later and then granted an order compelling the First Lady to remove her representatives from the properties and to ensure that all workers at the properties who had lost their jobs were immediately reinstated." Grace is not new to controversy. At the height of the land reform, she grabbed a farm in Mazowe, about 30km north of the capital Harare. She later turned into an orphanage. More recently, the First Lady also grabbed another farm, Manzou, located in the same district that ruling Zanu-PF party insiders say she wants to turn into an animal sanctuary, rendering several families, mostly women and children, homeless. Source: news24WIRE

'We cause confusion to win elections' - Zanu-PF

Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity in South Africa, Morelife Mapeture, has described as "normal" the infighting within the ruling party. In an interview with News24, Mapeture said internal squabbles were not a new phenomenon within the party. "Infighting is not new in the party; that is now normal especially considering that we are a year away from elections and people will always fight for positions." "Zanu-PF had splits in the 1960s and remember the Nhari rebellion etc and it (the party) came out strong. It had warring rebellions in the early 1980s and it came out strong; so wait for the next elections and you will see that we will be much stronger. So it's a survival strategy," Mapeture said. Mapeture was, however, evasive when asked about who would succeed veteran leader President Robert Mugabe. "As of the president passing on the baton, the constitution of the party is clear on that and there is no need for its discussion here. What should be the focus is what his leadership has delivered," said Mapeture. "Only God knows the future; if he fails to campaign in the next elections, the constitution has articles of such an eventuality so Zimbabweans let's not panic as we have so many capable leaders, both young and old, in the event of anything but we are very confident that Comrade RG Mugabe will do as per our instructions and as Zanu-PF we are still proud of the old man so far."Mugabe was endorsed by delegates, who attended the Zanu-PF annual conference held in Masvingo last week, as the party's 2018 presidential candidate. Mugabe would be 94 during that time. Reports indicate that Mugabe's deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is leading a faction calling itself "Team Lacoste" that is angling to succeed Mugabe when he eventually leaves office. On the other hand, First Lady Grace Mugabe, who now heads the women's wing of the revolutionary party, is allegedly heading another faction, made up of young Turks, calling itself Generation 40 (G40). Although both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have denied that they are harbouring presidential ambitions, Zanu-PF insiders say power struggles are intensifying within the party as both factions are seeking to consolidate their power in both Zanu-PF and government structures. Without aligning himself to any of the factions, Mapeture said there was nothing wrong with senior officials positioning themselves to lead the party and the country after Mugabe has left power. "There is nothing wrong with Vice President Mnangagwa being president after His Excellency RG Mugabe. The only issue is whether he meets the party criteria or not and whether he is going to win the provincial endorsements. If all that is met, then why not? Qualities can be improved in office," said Mapeture. While Zanu-PF is busy causing confusion in order to win power, the opposition says it is doing all it can to wrestle power from the nonagenarian and his party. Jealousy Mawarire, spokesperson of the Zimbabwe People First party led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru, said his party was focusing on building its structures in preparation for the 2018 polls. "What we are seized with now is building our party structures and introducing our party programmes to every level of leadership in the society," said Mawarire. "We do not care about the thugs in Zanu-PF. We know looting and squabbling are intrinsic values in any mafia organisation so we are not surprised when they fight and we don't read much into their skirmishes." However, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said it was aware of the fact that Zanu-PF factions had a tendency of coalescing when they were faced with a common and strong adversary. "A strong electoral coalition will be formed in time for the harmonised elections; that's for sure," said MDC Spokesperson Obert Gutu. "We are not underestimating the capacity of Zanu-PF regime to rig the next elections. We know that this beleaguered regime will break the bank in order to retain power. However, we have sharpened our tools of detecting and thwarting the planned rigging. We are definitely going to resoundingly win the 2018 elections." Source: news24WIRE


Release of 10,000 detainees announced in Ethiopia

Ethiopia says it is releasing nearly 10,000 people detained under its ongoing state of emergency but plans to charge almost 2,500 others accused of destabilising the country. Authorities have held about 12,500 individuals since declaring the state of emergency on October 9 after months of anti-government protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. Human rights groups, which accused the government of using excessive force in the protests, said hundreds were killed in the demonstrations in some of the country's worst violence since the ruling party came to power in 1991. Under emergency rule, detainees could be sent to rehabilitation centres without charge, the government had previously said. " have been given lots of trainings that were meant to give them lessons so that they won't be part of the destructive trend that we have seen in the past," Zadig Abraha, government spokesperson, said on December 21. "The state of emergency has brought about a tremendous change in the peace and security of the country. We have now returned to the status quo that we had before the violence." The mass release began amid growing concerns for the health of those arrested and calls from the international community for the government to release political prisoners. On December 20, Samantha Powers, US ambassador to the UN, in a tweet called on the Ethiopian government to release leaders of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused security forces of killing more than 500 people in the unrest since November 2015. The government, which is lead by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, has disputed that number but has denied UN requests for an international monitor. Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia's prime minister, denied in October that the police used extreme violence against protesters, but vowed that the the government would investigate reports of excessive force. The state of emergency included curfews, social media blocks, a restriction on opposition party activity, and a since-lifted ban on diplomats travelling more than 40 kilometres outside the capital without approval. Ethnic Oromos initially took to the streets in Oromia to protest against proposed land seizures that would add to the area of Addis Ababa and force farmers from their land surrounding the city. Protesters said the plan would also expand the capital's administrative control into the territory. The demonstrations soon spread to the Amhara territory in the country's north, where locals argued that decades old federal boundaries cut off many ethnic Amharas from the region. Protesters called on the government to end arbitrary arrests and respect regional autonomy and constitutional rights. Demonstrators took to the streets with renewed passion following a stampede during a protest at a religious festival in the town of Bishoftu, around 40km south of Addis Ababa, on October 3. At least 52 people were were crushed to death trying to flee when security forces fired tear gas into the crowd. In the days following, protesters torched several mostly foreign-owned factories and other buildings which they claimed were built on seized land. The unrest has been inflamed by underlying ethnic tensions. The Oromos and Amharas ethnic groups make up 60 percent of Ethiopia's population. Both groups say that the ruling coalition, which has been in power for a quarter of a century, is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who accounts for only six percent of the country's population. Protesters have alleged that the majority population of the Oromos and Amharas has created a natural threat to the government, who they say has repressed them in response. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had urged Desalegn to allow for the protests and said police response should be proportional during a visit to Addis Ababa two days after the beginning of the state of emergency, which is expected to last through April. Source: Al Jazeera (Doha)

Atrocities continue despite President's call for dialogue in South Sudan

South Sudanese fleeing the country’s 3-year conflict say armed men are committing brutal atrocities and abuses against civilians. The refugees said extrajudicial killings also were common in areas they fled. Nearly all the refugees arriving in the Bidibidi camp in Uganda's Yumbe District over the past few weeks are from the former Equatoria state. Most of them fled from Lainya, Yei, Morobo and Kajokeji. South Sudanese refugee Chaplain Malesh said he fled his village in Lainya earlier this month when government soldiers and proxy militia began shooting villagers indiscriminately. "The Dinkas came to our area, at a place called Kirbat, and started shooting. This made people start running. If you see your neighbors running, why should you stay?" Malesh asked. Malesh, whose father died in the early 1990s and whose mother passed away 10 years ago, said that as the shooting continued, many villagers fled into the bush and hid there for days before making their way to Uganda, as he did. On the journey to Uganda, Malesh said he and his group met hundreds of other South Sudanese fleeing the country because of ongoing fighting. Clementina Danga, a mother of four from Morobo, was among them. Danga said government soldiers came to her home one day in September and immediately killed her husband as the children watched. "When they came to our home, my husband began to run. As he was running, they shot and killed him. We then decided to run into the bush," Danga said. That is where she and her children stayed for the next two months. They did not wait to bury her husband. Danga said armed men, whom she identified as government soldiers, committed other abuses in her village, forcing many people to run for their lives. Patrick Taban, another South Sudanese who fled from Yei, said he observed many atrocities. "I witnessed very many; the Dinkas shooting the civilians, innocent people, that one I witnessed. Even one of my neighbors was shot; the kids were shot. They were just shooting anyone," Taban said. Danga said the soldiers did not spare women as they rampaged through villages, adding, "the Dinkas are killing people, including any women they find." Taban said rampant insecurity that has been under way since the surge in fighting in July has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe that is driving thousands of people each day to cross into Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "All the people seriously, they are suffering there. There is no food, people are moving up and down. Even more of them are coming on the way by foot. Some people are throwing their bags on the way, even the clothes. People are dying of hunger," Taban said. Malesh said people in his village had expected a good harvest this year, but because of the surge in fighting in July between the South Sudan Army and troops loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar, farmers fled the village, leaving their crops behind, and that has pushed entire villages to the brink of starvation. "Hunger is real there. People fled their homes for the bushes and left behind all the crops they cultivated such as maize, sesame and peanuts. These are now being eaten by wild animals and birds," Malesh said. Danga said many villagers fled with their children into the bush. She said she briefly sneaked back home to gather food from her own garden to feed her children. "We survived by eating only cassava. Anytime I suspected there was nobody near our home, I would leave the children in the bush and sneak back home, dig up some cassava and bring the cassava to the children in the bush," she said. South Sudanese refugees arriving in Uganda say that as the war drags on, more people will continue to flee. The refugees say the only way others will stop streaming over the border is if the conflict ends, or there are no more people left in the villages. On December 19, President Salva Kiir called for a national dialogue to end the fighting and atrocities. He said the dialogue would be transparent and that people from all walks of life would be invited to participate. Source: Voice of America

Al Shabaab captures election delegates from central of Somalia

Somalia's armed group al shabaab says it has captured seven Somali delegates who participated in the Lower House election in Adado the interim capital of Galmudug state. The group displayed the elders in Barire district in lower shabelle region in southern of Somalia. The pictures show elders detained in a room covered with symbol, banners and flags of the militant group and they requested amnesty form the group. There are commend from the Somali government and Galmudug state about the detention. Delegates in the ongoing Somalia elections have demanded for government protection after allegedly receiving death threats from the Somali militant group Alshabaab. In an exlusive by Radio Dalsan's investigative team several delegates interviewed claimed that their lives were in danger and that they feared being targeted by Alshabaab. But speaking to Radio Dalsan a police official in Mogadishu said they will pick up the matter seriously "We will investigate those claims and the delagates have to come forward and report any threat" Inspector Ahmed Hussein of the Somalia National Police Force told Radio Dalsan " Our duty is to protect them" he added. The militant group of Al shabaab has already vowed that they will hunt everyone who taken part the ongoing election in Somalia. Source: Dalsan Radio (Mogadishu)

Sweden to release Sh230 billion tranche of aid for Tanzania

Sweden will issue 100 million euros (Sh227 billion) to support Tanzania's energy, education and vocational training and tourism projects in 2017. The money will also help support research, social protection and democratic accountability and transparency. "The amount is a part of the development cooperation strategy, which started in 2013 and will end in 2019. The total budget is Sh1.3 trillion, " the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Katarina Rangnitt, told The Citizen. She said support would also help Tanzania realise its dream of reaching a middle-income status by 2025, ensuring that women, children and young people are not left behind. "We are focusing on supporting the private sector to create job opportunities to the poor and marginalised groups including women and young people." Ms Rangnitt also hopes that 50 Swedish companies operating in Tanzania will contribute substantially in creating employment and paying taxes. She said openness, transparency and accountability were crucial to have a well-functioning society where the state is responsive to its citizens. She advised Tanzania to learn from Sweden on how to fight corruption effectively through transparency. However, she cautioned too much restriction of foreign trips for government officials could lead to lost opportunities. Relations between Sweden and Tanzania started in 1962. Swedish government has been supporting Tanzania since then in different development programmes worth $7 billion (Sh15.23 trillion). Swedish exports manufactured goods mainly machinery and telecom equipment. Its exports to Tanzania were worth $80 million last year. Around 400 Swedes live in Tanzania. Many of them are missionaries but there is a growing number of entrepreneurs. According to Ms Rangnitt, more than 15, 00 visited Tanzania in 2014. Source: The Citizen


Liberia's Finance Minister admits economy hit by recession

Liberia's economy is in recession and chances of salvaging it in the short term is far-fetched, Finance and Development Planning Boima Kamara told a news conference in Monrovia on December 21. "Slow economic performance owing to lowering global prices for Liberia's key export commodities, especially iron ore, rubber has triggered downward adjustment of real growth from 2.5% to -0.5%. This implies difficulties in realizing the full-approved revenue envelope, especially the full tax revenue component." Minister Boima Kamara. Kamara said National Budget has experienced a critical breakdown - declining from 6.7% in Fiscal Year 2015/2016 to 3.6% in Fiscal Year 2016/2017. Kamara added that the National Budget dropped from US$622 million in FY 2015/2016 to US$600 million for FY 2016/2017. The Finance Minister disclosed that the Ministry is unable to raise the projected budget for FY 2016/2017, due to changes in economic conditions which underpinned the draft budget during early May 2016. "Slow economic performance owing to lowering global prices for Liberia's key export commodities, especially iron ore, rubber has triggered downward adjustment of real growth from 2.5% to -0.5%. This implies difficulties in realizing the full-approved revenue envelope, especially the full tax revenue component," Minister Kamara asserted. According to Kamara, there was also limited support to the National Budget which was triggered by the frontloading of donors' commitment in 2014 to respond to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease. The Finance Minister maintained that government had taken a decision to reduce by five percent its spending cost, while foreign travels have been cut down. Minister Kamara further expressed the need for a shift to be made in Liberia's economy order to increase better revenue generation and job creation for citizens. He called for more focus on agriculture and manufacturing as possible ways forward in alleviating the economy from recession. The Chief Treasurer said building a resilient economy would depend on the good performance of the private sector and improved road connectivity to regions involved in agriculture. He said Liberia could no longer wholly depend on the extractive sector which is now failing the economy; instead there is a strong need to focus on the agriculture sector as a means of strengthening economic sustenance. He named the need industrialization and turning raw materials extracted from Liberia to finished products for the Liberian market and subsequent exportation. Minister Kamara noted that with promising growth trend in the agriculture sector, especially rice, cassava production and fisheries, there are prospects for a bright future beginning 2017, when the economy is expected to grow by 4.7%. Despite the decline in total resource envelope, Minister Kamara said the government remains committed to its delivery of critical services, especially in education and health, in addition to funding development driven articulated in the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) and Economic Stabilization and Revitalization (ESRP). The total resource envelope comprise of: US$524.96 million in revenue raised domestic sources (taxes and non-tax revenue) representing 87.46% of the total resource envelope; US$50.26 million in core grants and loans from external sources representing 8.37%; US$22.97 million in contingent revenue from both domestic and external sources representing 3.82% of total envelope; US$2.00 million as carry-forward from unspent revenue FY2015/16 budget representing 0.3% of total envelope. Total domestic revenue of US$526.9 million accounts for 87.8% of the total resource envelope of US$600.2 million. Total tax revenue of US$429.2 million is projected to grow by 4.1 per cent against the FY2015/16 approved budget as well as increased by 6.8 percent against the FY2016/16 actual outturn of US$401.9 million. This lower growth reflects the challenges the domestic economy faces. Total non-tax revenue of US$95.8 million is expected to increase by 55.2 percent against the approved FY2015/16 budget and will increase by 88.2 percent against the FY2015/16 actual outturn. Total contingent revenue of US$4.9 million will have to be sourced from domestic revenue streams, driven by increment in tax rates on tobacco, alcoholic beverages and GSM excise on outbound calls. Total core grants and loans are projected at a total of US$50.2 million in FY2016/17, expected to come from European Union under State Building Contract, USAID-FARA Agreement, International Monetary Fund and the Norwegian G=government. These figures represent decrease of 52.2 percent against the FY2016/16 actual disbursements. Total contingent loan is projected at US$18.0 million in FY2016/17, with the expectation that the Liberian Government will have to meet certain IMF benchmarks within the fiscal year. This figure represents 80.0 percent against the FY2015/16 approved projections. The total expenditure on the FY2016/17 Budget comprises recurrent expenditures of US$520.5 million or 86.7 percent, and the public sector plan (PSIP) expenditures of US$79.7 million or 13.3 percent. Source: Front Page Africa (FPA)

UK fears for passengers' safety as Nigeria plans Abuja airport closure

The British government has expressed concern over Nigeria's plan to close Abuja's Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport for six weeks in 2017. The UK Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, met with Nigeria's Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on December 22, three days after the government announced the planned closure. The government had announced on December 19 that all Abuja-bound domestic and international flights would be diverted to Kaduna for six weeks in 2017 to enable the government upgrade the airport's runway. Passengers would then be transported by government-provided buses to Abuja, some 210 kilometres away. Some Nigerians have expressed concerns about passengers' safety, amid reports of banditry and kidnapping along Kaduna-Abuja Road. Mr. Thompson raised the same fears on December 22, the News Agency of Nigeria reported. Mr. Sirika said the government would provide necessary security to travelers. He told the UK diplomat that the closure was to let the badly damaged airport runway be reconstructed. The minister said the runway would still be put to use while the work was ongoing on. He said the six-week closure was to take advantage of the dry season to reconstruct the mid-section of the runway. According to him, the government has put in place adequate arrangement to provide buses to convey passengers to Abuja or to railway station, depending on the choice of the passengers involved. A robust security arrangement involving the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Immigration service and Customs service have been made to escort passengers from Kaduna to Abuja during the period of closure. "I would rather lose $five billion than lose one person," the minister said. "Kaduna Airport will be used as alternative," he said. On the involvement of the airline operators, the minister said that all relevant parties were involved and assured Mr. Thompson of maximum comfort during the reconstruction. He commended the diplomat for the visit and extolled the relationship between Nigeria and the Government of United Kingdom. Source: Premium Times

AU supports Ecowas decision on Gambia

On Monday, 19 December, 2016, the President of the Republic of Chad and the chairperson of the African Union (A.U) Heads of State and Government issued a release to affirm their strong support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on its principled stand with regards to the situation in The Gambia. "The chairperson of the Union, once again calls upon the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a smooth transfer of power to the newly elected President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, as decided by the people of the country," AU chairperson added. Furthermore, the chairperson of the Union recalled the pronouncement made by the Peace and Security Council, on 6th and 12th December, 2016 and reaffirms the imperative need for an orderly and peaceful transfer of power to the President elect of The Gambia which is in line with the relevant provisions of the A.U Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. "I am calling on all defense and security forces in The Gambia to strictly abide by the Constitution and rule of law" cautioned President Idriss Deby Itno. The release further affirms his office's readiness to pursue and intensify coordination efforts with ECOWAS and the United Nations, in order to facilitate the speedy and orderly transfer of power to the President-elect, including its full support to President Muhammadu Buhari, in its capacity as ECOWAS Mediator in The Gambia. Source: FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda) This monitor is prepared by Harish Venugopalan, Research Assistant, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi
The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.