An Ethiopian court on Wednesday convicted an opposition politician of encouraging terrorist acts after he criticised the government’s response to protests in Facebook posts. Rights group Amnesty International said the case of Yonatan Tesfaye, a former spokesperson for the opposition Semayawi Party who was arrested in 2015, was a miscarriage of justice. Yonatan was charged with “encouragement of terrorism” in May 2016 in relation to comments made on the social media site in 2015 in which he said the government had used excessive force against protesters. The charges were brought under a 2009 law that prescribes jail terms of between 10 and 20 years for anyone convicted of publishing information that could induce readers to commit acts of terrorism. “This is not a crime, yet he now faces up to 20 years in jail under this draconian and deeply-flawed law,” Michelle Kagari, Amnesty’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the...
LEADERSHIP EDITORS Migration experts from several African countries are meeting in Uganda to develop a common continental policy on migration. The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, who was represented by the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, said at the opening of the three-day meeting on Third Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM) that migration was a topical issue all over the world. He said “many countries now have to humanely deal with this topical issue especially by not closing their borders. “Africa has abundant resources and, therefore, its people should not be dying on dangerous journeys on the Mediterranean Sea in hope of better opportunities in Europe.” He stressed the need for African governments to study and share information on the current migration dynamics, trends and patterns to keep abreast with emerging issues. “We also need reliable data on migration at the national, regional and continental level to find sustainable and workable solutions to the challenges of...
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday said that it had repatriated 62,372 Somali refugees from Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014. The  UNHCR said in its bi-weekly update that some 707 refugees were supported to return to their home in Somalia voluntarily in the past ten days. According to the UNHCR, 23,058 refugees out of 62,372 returned in 2017 as the UN refugee agency steps up returns to the Horn of Africa nation. The UN agency said that road convoys to Somalia remained suspended due to the heavy rains in some parts of the Horn of Africa nation. UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of roads in the 12 designated return areas. However, flights to Mogadishu and Kismayo currently facilitate the voluntary return of those willing to travel by air. Kenya has been collaborating with the UNHCR to ensure a smooth...
The ongoing rumbling in the build up to August Kenyan Presidential and Parliamentary election is a sad reminder of the 2007 killings in the country’s Rift Valley. OMONU YAX-NELSON, JULIANA AGBO AND BLESSING BATURE. The political development in Kenya will once again come under searchlight in August, when voters are expected to file out to the polls to elect the country’s President and 349 seats parliament, which is made up of 290 elected from the constituencies, 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives. In preparation for the polls, political parties in Kenya have been holding primaries to choose the candidates who will represent them in the general elections. However, the exercise has been marred by violence in some regions. Party primaries notwithstanding, the August Presidential election is expected to be a direct contest between Raila Amolo Odinga of Orange Democratic Movement, ODM and the incumbent President, Jomo Kenyatta of...
Embattled President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said he had no idea why hundreds of thousands of South Africans had been calling for his resignation in recent weeks. “I am not worried about the political situation in South Africa. I haven’t heard that people are unhappy,” Zuma said in Durban. Zuma made the comments shortly before the opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa, which is taking place in the coastal city from May 3-5. South Africans have been demonstrating against Zuma in cities across the country since late March, calling on him to resign over corruption scandals and his decision to sack finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The dismissal of Gordhan caused the rand to plunge and prompted two ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa. Zuma said he didn’t know why people were protesting. “I don’t know what makes people so excited,” the president said. “Demonstrations are always there,” Zuma said, adding that he regarded...
South African President Jacob Zuma made a hasty exit from a May Day rally in Bloemfontein, on Monday after the crowd of workers that he was due to address became rowdy, with some booing and chanting slogans against him. The labour federation Cosatu abruptly cancelled Zuma’s speech and other addresses at the rally it had organised, as TV footage showed scuffles breaking out in the crowd, apparently between supporters who voiced their backing of Zuma and opponents of the president. Zuma and his entourage could be seen on live TV leaving the podium and being whisked away from the rally, in the central city of Bloemfontein, in a motorcade. Cosatu, a key political ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), last month called on Zuma to step down after his sacking of the finance minister triggered a sovereign credit rating downgrade to “junk”. Marches calling on Zuma to quit have drawn tens of...
The Chairman and President of Huajian Group, Zhang Huarong has stressed that security and a good environment are vital for investing in Africa. Huarong said this while hosting the China Africa Press Centre 2017 participants at the factory’s headquarters in Dongguan city, Guangdong, China. Huarong suggests that Africa should provide best services and environment (infrastructure) for investors as security is a vital issue for both staff and property. The group will be willing to expand its business in Africa so long as it’s dealing genuinely. "If a country wants to develop, the government has to be very open," he elaborated. Huajian Group hopes to expand investments by 2020. Huajian Group is considered to be the largest ladies shoe manufacturer in the world. Zhang Huarong is currently the Chairman of Asia Footwear Association, and Chairman of World Footwear Headquarters Base. The group’s export volume is about 80 million US dollars, with the Group's...
The Deputy Director General, African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Dai Bing has said that Africa will play a vital role in the upcoming Maritime Silk Road Initiative at the upcoming Belt & Road Summit in Beijing, China next month. This he highlighted recently, during a meeting with the China Africa Press Centre (CAPC). "Next month China will host the Belt & Road Summit. Africa will be invited as a vital participant of the Maritime Silk Road," he said. The Maritime Silk Road Initiative is another project alongside the Belt & Road Initiative. The project will link China through sea routes to countries and cities across South Eastern and Southern Asia, Europe and Africa. China's cooperation with Africa is further strengthened by the cooperations established as a result of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). "Chinese investments in Africa has been developing rapidly. FOCAC, is the latest...