Somalia: Somaliland Journalists Detained, Accused of “False News”​

Press Release

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New York — Somaliland authorities should immediately release Ahmed Sa’ed and Abdirahman Mohamed Ege, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police on December 18 arrested the Somali journalists on allegations of publishing false news about the mayor of Berbera, a port city in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, according to Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of the advocacy group Human Rights Center, and Yahye Mohamed, the Somaliland Journalists Association executive director.

Their arrests came after Abdirahman and Ahmed ran separate television stories both alleging the mayor, Abdishakur Mahmoud Hassan, misused public property, according to Yahye and Guleid.

“Somaliland authorities must immediately release Ahmed Sa’ed and Abdirahman Mohamed, and permit reporters to operate without fear of arrest,” Angela Quintal, CPJ Africa program coordinator, said from Durban, South Africa. “Somaliland’s new president, Muse Bihi Abdi, should seize the opportunity to end such blatant attempts to intimidate journalists and make press freedom a priority for his administration.”

Berbera Mayor Abdishakur Mahmoud Hassan did not answer a call and text message from CPJ.

Following the journalists’ arrest, Berbera authorities brought Ahmed, who works for the privately owned Saab TV, and Abdirahman, who works for the privately owned Eryal TV, to a local court, which remanded them for seven days pending further investigation, Guleid told CPJ.

The detentions of Abdirahman and Ahmed follow the arrest on December 5 ofAbdirisak Dayib Alil. His arrest came after CPJ conducted its most recent prison census, which indicated that on December 1 Somalia was jailing one journalist, Mohamed Adan Dirir.

Somaliland’s police commissioner, Abdullahi Fadal Iman, did not respond to phone calls and text messages for comment from CPJ.

Reached yesterday, the recently appointed information minister Abdurrahman Abdullahi Farah asked CPJ to contact him today. CPJ was unable to reach the minister today: the phone connection was poor and the spokesperson did not immediately return a text message seeking comment.

SOURCE : Committee ToProtect Journalists (CPJ)

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Somalia: Political Uncertainty As Protests Spread in Ethiopia

At least 15 people were killed on December 11, 2017, when members of the Ethiopian Defense Force fired on peaceful protesters.

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The demonstration was prompted by the killing of an individual by members of security forces of Ethiopia’s Somali Region, in the latest chapter of a longstanding border dispute between Ethiopia’s two largest states — Oromia and Ethiopian Somali in Eastern Ethiopia.

According to reports from local authorities, one person died after being transferred to the hospital following the attack, and more than 12 were injured in the violence which began in Chelenko, a district town in eastern Oromia:

Reports on social media said that members of the Ethiopian Defense Force fired live bullets on peaceful demonstrators. The Ethiopian government has released a belated statement on the incident, but in an unusual move, the party governing Oromia — the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), a member of Ethiopia’s governing coalition, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) — released a strong statement accusing members of the Ethiopian Defense Force of violating the Ethiopian Constitution and vowing to investigate the killing of peaceful protesters:

Some suggested that the statement is merely a symbolic initiative. Others considered it as a signal of the power struggle raging within the multi-ethnic governing coalition, the EPRDF, which comprises four ethnic-based parties: the Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF), the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM):

The power struggle involving the four EPRDF parties has been simmering since last summer. The row between the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), was exposed when Abdula, the speaker of the Ethiopian Parliament and a prominent member of the OPDO, resigned from his position in October:

Power is heavily concentrated among members of the TPLF. However, there is some fear that if the OPDO continues down this road, it will be looking to defend itself using weapons, which could plunge Ethiopia into a civil war that will make the current conflict seem like just fisticuffs:

Despite the fact that the Oromo and Somali people who live along the border of Oromia and the Ethiopian Somali regions share close familial, religious and cultural ties, tensions are high along most of the disputed 1,000 km border. A brutal crackdown on the Oromo community living in Ethiopia’s Somali region has triggered a massive humanitarian catastrophe in eastern Ethiopia. By now, roughly 50,000 Oromos have fled into Ethiopia’s historical town, Harar, since last August.

Protests raged elsewhere in Ethiopia as well. A clash between followers of two football clubs from Ethiopia’s northern states, Amhara and Tigray, led to the death of a football fan from Tigray, which in turn caused episodes of violence in three universities located in the Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regional states.

Last week saw one particularly violent night at Adigrat University (situated in the Tigray region), where a student from the Amhara region was killed. Gruesome images of the victim subsequently went viral on social media:

In what appears to be reprisals, two students from Tigray were reportedly killed at Welega University, located in the Oromia region. The number of incidents and casualties, as well as the number of people involved and the ethnic tone of the conflict over the past few days, has raised the prospect of even greater violence in Ethiopia, according to analysts.

Uganda: The Money in Making Banana Fibre Products

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Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas after India with about 9 million tonnes produced annually. All this production creates tonnes of waste in form of stems and stocks. These are returned back to gardens to be used as fertilisers or mulching materials.

But the stems and stocks can be turned into fiber and used to produce different products which you can export and earn a living.

The banana fiber is a widely used product in making coarse woven fabrics for example sacks, ropes, twigs, sand bags, tents, webbings, canvas and screens, kit bags, tool bags, luggage, gunny bags and covers. Banana fiber can also be blended with wool and cotton to make blankets and carpets.

Here is how you can mint money from adding value to the banana stems and stocks into fiber.

Ideally, the fiber is extracted from the pseudo-stem of banana-establishing a banana fiber making plant to utilise the products of the variety of banana plantations in Uganda.

Start

Ms Victoria Byoma is Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s leather expert with vast knowledge in making products out of banana fiber which she sells locally and regionally.

It is a business you can do from the confines of your home with ease and you will be surprised at how it can sustain family needs for years.

Ms Byoma makes ladies’ hand bags out of banana fiber, centre pieces, ornaments, decoration items, table mats, mats, and purses among other products.

“This is the kind of business you can do in your free time. The beauty is the raw materials (banana fibers) are easily accessible-in our backyards, villages and markets,” she shares.

Investment capital

Ideally, this is a low-cost business to start. Many people would worry about starting capital but Ms Byoma says with Shs50, 000 you can start in this kind of business.

“All you need is a pair of cutters, wood glue, straw bond and varnish and you will be good to go,” she shares.

But if you want to do it on a large scale according to Uganda Investment Authority’s investment ideas report, this project can cost you $4,325 (Shs15.7 million) to mainly purchase the machine that will help you process the fiber.

This plant which can be imported from either India or China can also be fabricated in Katwe.

Producing massively means one would be processing 46,800 kilograms of fiber per year. In this case, one will be assured of revenue estimates worth $93,600 (Shs341 million), annually indicating a net profit margin of 72 per cent.

Production process

After getting the fiber from the machinery, it should be beaten in the stone beds, squeezed and be combed without pith content. It should be 100 per cent dried and packed by air tight polyethene bags.

Then production process starts with the extraction of the fiber from banana pseudo-stem. This process involves splitting the banana pseudo-stem into strips, injection in open vats followed by washing and drying.

By using traditional techniques, the fiber can be converted into various utility items. Production capacity is projected at 150kgs per day.

Production costs assume 312 days per year with daily capacity of 150 Kilogrammes. Depreciation (fixed asset write off) assumes a 4-year life of assets written off at 25 per cent per year for all assets.

Direct costs include: materials, supplies and all other costs incurred to produce the product. A production month is 26 work days.

Incentive

Industrialists’ Associations are allowed in the formulation of government policies on taxes and industries, through Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) representation in budget making.

Market

A wide range of products can be produced which enjoy good market in both rural and urban areas and these include weave bags, mats, wall hangings and sanitary towels.

Ideally, the dried fiber is used to make handbags and purses, sold at between Shs1,500 and Shs5,000 depending on the size, wall hangings at Shs5,000, a set of table mats selling at between Shs3,000 and Shs10,000, large sized floor mats costing Shs20,000 and bed side mats for Shs10,000.

Source : The Monitor

Uganda: Judge – Most Land Grabs Are By Govt Officials, Soldiers

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Preliminary findings of the ongoing inquiry into land matters have revealed “a worrying trend” of highly placed individuals colluding to rob ordinary Ugandans of their land, the commission chair said on Tuesday.

Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire said the commission’s investigations have established a disturbing relationship between government officials, security personnel and politicians ganging up to evict locals from their land.

“This situation is critical and is a problem as far as customary land ownership is concerned,” Bamugemereire said yesterday at Boma hotel in Gulu municipality as the commission kicked off public hearings in the Acholi sub-region.

“In other districts, we observed that government officials, security agents and politicians are ganging up [on locals] and unlawfully evicting entire communities to create societies that are homeless,” she said.

Bamugemereire said information obtained from public hearings and investigations over the last six months majorly in Mubende, Wakiso, Masaka, Hoima and Jinja districts, shows that the situation in land management, registration and acquisition is worrying.

“We have also found that there is heavy encroachment in some places and depletion of protected areas such as forests, wetlands, and wildlife reserves. This encroachment is done with impunity and total disregard of the law and future of our country and we find this very worrying,” she said.

In those areas, she said, they have established cases of fraud in land registration including multiple titling, forgeries of letters of administration and court orders to illegally obtain registration, on top of outright forgeries of registration particulars.

The registration of one’s name onto a title should be conclusive evidence of their ownership of land in question. However, Bamugemereire said where multiple titling has occurred and outright fraud discovered, the existing system of registration will be rendered irrelevant.

LAND WRANGLES IN ACHOLI

Yesterday, the commission started their sessions by hearing from some of Acholi’s leaders. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, Gulu LC-V chairman; Francis Barabanawe, the municipal town clerk; retired Supreme court Justice Galdino Okello, Richard Santo Apiire and Rwot Kweri [clan leader] of Atiak made presentations.

Apiire said land wrangling has spread throughout post-conflict Acholi as a result of more refugees pouring into the country from South Sudan.

“The war in Sudan didn’t start recently…so the black people in the southern part of Sudan had to flee and when they fled, we accommodated them in the various parts of Acholi,” Apiire said.

“But they have remained refugees. One man was registered as a refugee in Adjumani refugee camp. He started claiming land and unfortunately sold this land to Uganda Revenue Authority at a price of about Shs 600 million. We have objected to this and told URA aliens don’t own land.”

In the Acholi sub-region, land is predominantly under customary ownership. The commission of inquiry plans to traverse the entire Acholi land which comprises of Gulu, Nwoya, Omoro, Agago, Amuru and Pader districts.

After two decades of armed conflict between the government and LRA rebels, people returned to their homes to find most land boundaries had either been destroyed or obscured by overgrown vegetation. Many elders who knew the history had also died, resulting in disputes between families, clans and individuals.

Acting Aswa regional police commander, Osteen Wilber Wanyama, said majority of crimes reported to the police are land-related.

“In terms of crime categorization, 80 per cent of the crimes that we handle are land-related. The commonest areas of crime here are mainly criminal trespass, malicious damage [of property] and assaults over land,” Wanyama said.

Source : The Observer(Kampala)

About Attitude               About Behaviour            About Values

Tanzania: Media Gets 7 Days to Air Views On Draft Laws

THE Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports has given seven days to media stakeholders to submit their views on the draft of the electronic and postal communications (content regulations) of 2017 and that of online content regulations.

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Such a move was reached at by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel during a stakeholders’ meeting on the draft of the Electronic and Postal Communications content regulations of 2017 and the Online Content Regulations in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.

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According to Prof Gabriel technology is growing too fast and its advancement is taking the world to an undefined place which requires preparedness. “As a nation, if we do not devise regulations and laws that will govern the sector, then its tantamount to moving on the wrong side of the road.

It is the obligation of the Ministry to put in place regulations that will set a good vision in the management and supervision of the information sector,” said Prof Gabriel. He observed that the contribution of key stakeholders is vital in coming up with regulations.

“We should have reliable systems that will supervise our local content and this will only be realized by focusing on the interest of the entire nation. There is no freedom without boundaries… the government respects the profession, therefore we should avoid producing content that may harm or disrupt the peace and privacy of others,” noted the PS.

He further cautioned the media to be very sensitive with the nature of content being fed to the public. The media should know that news can be dangerous than a nuclear bomb.

The Ministry’s Legal Officer, Mr Evod Kyando high lighted on some of the issues that have been emphasized on the Electronic and Postal Communications including the need to consider challenged persons and protection of children.

He pointed out that content of education nature should not be less than two percent, where as music that is being aired out by the stations should not be less than 80 percent.

“Among other issues include content of sexual nature being broadcast from 10pm onwards … at times programmes have been aired live without notifying viewers,” said Mr Kyando.

Source : Tanzania Daily News(Dar  es Salaam)

About Behaviour               About Values            About Attitude

Women Become Governors In Kenya

For the first time in the history of Kenya, six women have been elected to key positions in the  East African country’s  governance structure, in the just concluded elections.

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Joyce Laboso, Member of Parliament representing Bomet and the  Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and  two former cabinet Secretaries, Annie Waguru and Charity Ngilu have become the first women to become Governors in the country.

Indeed, Laboso trounced the incumbent to emerge Governor of Bomet.

This without doubt, is a challenge to other African countries, where women  have stepped up  agitations to occupy  key positions in Government. Read more…….

 

Similarly independent candidates,  Mohamed Kuti of Isiolo and Ndiritu of Muhritihi of Laikipia also won Governorship seats in their respective states.  Read more……

Read this from Commission crowd

Missing Burundi Journalist Yet to Be Found

Missing journalist,  Jean Bigirimana has been missing since  22 July, 2016 and there has not been any evidence that he is dead.

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His colleagues in Iwacu Press Group, recently marked the first anniversary of his disappearance.

Bigirimana’s wife and children are worried, they are at a lose as to what has happened to their breadwinner. Read more…..

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Today, we enter the second day of the 2017 Presidential campaigns.

After very successful rallies in Ruhango and Nyanza Districts yesterday, RPF- Inkotanyi candidate, Paul Kagame is scheduled to meet supporters in Nyaruguru District in the morning and later he travels to Gisagara District for his final rally of the day.

Frank Habineza, the flag bearer and president of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, will be in Nyamasheke District, Western Province.

Meanwhile, independent candidate Phillipe Mpayimana heads to Muhanga and Nyanza districts for the second day of his campaigns. Read more….

Kenya: President Mocks Opposition Over Free Secondary Education

Press release

NAKURU, 4 June 2017 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta mocked the opposition today for copying his plan to implement free secondary education next year, and then pledging to do it a few months earlier.

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“You have to think. Then you have to plan. You cannot just copy, and then pledge to do it earlier,” President Kenyatta said on a campaign stop in Gilgil, as he wrapped up a three-day campaign blitz through Nyandarua, Laikipia and Nakuru counties.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, Nakuru Jubilee gubernatorial aspirant Lee Kinyanjui and a host of local Nakuru county leaders.

A day after the President unveiled key planks of his re-election bid that included free secondary education, scaling up the cash transfer programme for the elderly, increase and expansion of technical training institutes and health cover for mothers after maternity as the next steps in his transformation agenda.

“Politicians should not just wake up in the morning and tell Kenyans that they will do this and that and within a given period after they win elections without thinking or planning on how to go about such issues,” said President Kenyatta.

He added: “We’ve set aside Kshs 5 billion to expand infrastructure in schools to provide for the implementation of free secondary education. One cannot claim he can provide free education overnight without budgeting for it.”

The President and his deputy spoke on Sunday when they addressed thousands of Jubilee supporters at various stopovers as they at Free Area, Kikopey, Gilgil, Naivasha, Longonot and Mai Mahiu among other areas along the Nakuru-Nairobi road.

The President said the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga knows very well that policy making and implementation requires proper planning.

He said it is unrealistic for the Opposition to claim that it will implement the free secondary education a month after the August elections.

The Head of State point out that competition based on agendas and policy were key to the transformation of the lives of Kenyans.

“Our colleagues in the Opposition are doing ‘copy-pasting’ of our projects and now competing with us on dates and when to implement projects we have already put in the pipeline,” said President Kenyatta.

The President said Jubilee has promised to implement the free secondary education in January next year because it has put in place proper mechanisms that will ensure its successful implementation.

In this connection, the Head of State said Kshs 5 billion has been set aside to improve schools infrastructure to ensure the success of the implementation of the free secondary education beginning January next year.

He said Opposition leaders had no agenda for Kenyans and were now thriving on politics of tribalism, hatred and confusion ahead of the next General Election.

The President urged Kenyans to be wary of such leaders who were out to divide them on tribal and religious lines to achieve their selfish gains at the expense of the country’s unity.

He told Kenyans to be courageous and say no to ethnic based political parties, which derail development and national cohesion.

“Kenyans should judge Jubilee by its development track record. This is why I ask voters to support leaders promoting politics of unity and development and ignore those dividing us on ethnic backgrounds,” said President Kenyatta.

“Leaders must be courageous to unite the people of Kenya so as to attain accelerated development and achieve cohesion in our country instead of dividing them on ethnic backgrounds,” added President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta said Jubilee was committed to peace and stability of the country unlike the Opposition that cared less for the two key ingredients of Kenya’s development and prosperity.

He commended different ethnic communities in Rift Valley for living together harmoniously and peacefully, saying development was elusive if there was no peace.

“Peace is paramount for development and this is why I ask you to continue embracing peace for accelerated development,” said President Kenyatta.

Deputy President Ruto urged voters to ignore the Opposition leaders who have nothing new to offer the country after failing to deliver when they served in senior positions in previous regimes.

“The August elections will be competition between those serious in service delivery and those engaging in propaganda,” said the Deputy President.

He said Jubilee’s development track record in less than five years cannot be compared to what others did in 30 years when they held leadership positions.

Source : Kenya Presidency(Nairobi)

South Sudan: Botched Vaccine Campaign Kills 15 Children in South Sudan

At total of 15 children have died in South Sudan after being given contaminated measles vaccines. Health officials said that the vaccines had been improperly refrigerated and were also administered by an untrained team.

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The UN has appealed for more funding to help nearly two million people who have fled South Sudan. A World Food Programme (WFP) official called their suffering “unimaginable.” (15.05.2017)

A new study has found that cases of the highly contagious disease have jumped significantly in the past year. Adults are poorly informed about their own vulnerability, the report found. (24.04.2017)

Children in rural South Sudan died as a result of a bungled vaccination campaign to combat measles, the United Nations and South Sudan’s government announced on Friday.

South Sudanese Health Minister Riek Gai Kok expressed “deep regret and sadness” at the deaths of the 15 children, who lived in the rural, south-eastern village of Kapoeta.

An investigation into the deaths supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN children’s fund UNICEF found that the children died as a result of “the administration of a contaminated vaccine.”

Around 300 children up to 5-years-old were treated during the four-day campaign which saw the local team using a single reconstitution syringe to mix multiple vaccine vials. The UNICEF-supplied vaccines were also kept in a building with inadequate refrigeration.

Another 32 children suffered from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, but were able to recover from their symptoms, a joint statement from the WHO and UNICEF said.

Children administering vaccines

Although local teams had been trained by development partners and the WHO, the investigation showed that local officials failed to follow immunization guidelines.

“We have to look into why the training was not passed on to the teams on the ground,” said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic in Geneva.

South Sudanese Health Minister Kok also noted that the team that administered the vaccines was not well-trained.

“The team that vaccinated the children in this tragic event were neither qualified nor trained for the immunization campaign,” Kok told a news conference.

The untrained team also recruited two children aged 13 and 12-years-old to administer the vaccines, the health minister added.

The risk of measles remains high in South Sudan due to an ongoing military conflict that has killed tens of thousands and seen almost 2 million people flee the country. According to the UN, the country has suffered from measles outbreaks caused by a backlog of unvaccinated children.

Source : DW