Africanews RSS Receive free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds. Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:47:21 +0000 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:47:21 +0000 Egyptian and Israeli leaders discuss the Middle East peace process Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:47:21 +0000 Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have held talks on how to resolve the Middle East peace process. The two leaders met on Monday ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Sisi separately met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his residency, where they agreed to continue to work toward a two-state solution. The meeting came just days after Egypt helped broker an agreement with the Palestinian Hamas group to dissolve the administration that runs Gaza and hold talks with Abbas’ Fatah movement, its Palestinian rivals . Egypt was the first of a handful of Arab countries to recognize Israel under the U.S.-sponsored peace accord in 1979. In recent weeks, Egypt has hosted delegations from Fatah and Hamas to help reach an agreement between the two sides and talk about the Gaza border. Girl-child education rights activist, Zuriel Oduwole ready to do more Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:34:43 +0000 Zuriel Oduwole from Nigeria is one of the youngest filmakers in the world today. At the age of 15, she has already interviewed 24 heads of state and government during which she tries to convince them about the need to invest in the Education of girls. “I have spoken to presidents and prime ministers, about making policies to ensure that girls go to school so that they don’t get married at a very young age like 12 or 13 which happens in some countries. So I have spoken to presidents mostly in the African continent like Nigeria, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, Liberia and also some here in Europe as well like Croatia and Malta.” Oduwole said. General observation and statistics indicate that African girls are less likely than boys to enroll and remain in schools. Oduwole’s dream up , speak up and stand up initiative has been helpful in empowering young girls and rebranding the image of Africa. Zimbabwe's main airport renamed after President Mugabe Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:14:38 +0000 One of Zimbabwe’s biggest airports is to be renamed after the country’s president Robert Mugabe. The Harare International Airport is to be renamed after the 93-year-old leader, authorities have said. A terse statement issued in early September by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe read: “Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control (AIRAC): With effect from 9 November 2017 Harare International Airport will be renamed R. G. Mugabe International Airport.” R. G. are the initials for Robert Gabriel – Mugabe’s other names. People have been reacting to the move seeing that it is the second national asset in recent times to be named after Mugabe – who is leader of the ruling Zanu-PF and its flagbearer going into poll slated for next year. The government disclosed in August this year that Zimbabwe was planning to construct a university worth 1 billion US dollars and that the facility will be named after Mugabe. The decision sparked anger and criticism from the opposition which says the government should instead focus on improving the existing underfunded universities around the country. Questions are also being raised over how the authorities will be able to come up with the amount with the current economic crisis the country is facing. According to the government, the new establishment would focus on science and technology and have an institute focusing on research and “transformative and revolutionary leadership.” The Robert Mugabe University joins other facilities named after Mugabe including the government’s school of intelligence, a main street in the capital Harare and the highway to his rural home. It will be situated 36 kilometres North West of Harare in Mazowe district, Mashonaland Central with the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Foundation as the responsible authority. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban U.N. peacekeepers pressed to do more with less as further cuts loom Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:02:14 +0000 Head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo,Maman Sidikou has revealed plan by the New York headquarters to make cut the world’s largest peacekeeping mission in the country. According to the cable seen by Reuters and facing an 8 percent, or $93 million, budget cut for 2017/18, Sidikou was told to revise staffing, slash fuel costs by 10 percent and streamline aircraft use – all without compromising the mission’s mandate. The mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUSCO, must work out how to juggle those demands with the need to respond to a growing political and humanitarian crisis in the central African giant. On Wednesday the 15-member U.N. Security Council will discuss peacekeeping reform during the annual gathering of world leaders. Ethiopia, council president for September, said it expected about 10 heads of state or government to attend. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is due to represent Washington. Diplomats said the council was due to adopt a resolution pushing for improved accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in peacekeeping performance and to make peacekeepers more agile and flexible. “My intention is to do everything to preserve the integrity of the peacekeeping missions, but, of course, to do also everything possible to make it in the most effective and cost-effective way,” U.N. Secretary-general Antonio Guterres told reporters last week. But critics worry that harsh cuts could harm peacekeeping operations in some volatile African states. Nigeria army backtracks on Biafra 'militant terrorist' tag Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:24:26 +0000 The Nigerian Army says last week’s labeling of separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group was more a pronouncement than a declaration. The Nigerian Defence Headquarters on September 15 had said after an analysis of a set of actions undertaken by IPOB in recent months, “The Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to confirm to the public that IPOB from all intent as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation.” But the country’s chief of defenses staff was on Monday quoted by local media portals as saying the move was a pronouncement in the interest of security in the restive region. “What the defence headquarters did was to make a pronouncement. It wasn’t a declaration per se. “But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the government is doing the right thing,” Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai said. The Army had over the weekend disclosed that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was currently on the run. He reportedly went into hiding after the military’s declaration now turned pronouncement that IPOB was a ‘militant terrorist organisation.’ Before the latest development, Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had faulted the army’s declaration declaring it as ‘unconstitutional,’ he was joined by other legal minds who kicked against the move. Their argument bordered on the fact that it was not for the military but the government to so declare a body as a terrorist organization. Aside the military, a forum of governors in the country’s South East also proscribed the activities of Kanu and IPOB. His whereabouts remains unknown till date. The federal government has also filed a suit before the Abuja Federal High Court seeking the revocation of the bail granted to Mr Kanu, who is standing treason trial along with three other people. Some sources hint that that Kanu might have gone underground and security officials are contemplating about following the legal process by holding his sureties responsible. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Uganda's unsolved murders: body of 21st woman found Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:20:30 +0000 In a series of unresolved murders in Uganda, the 21st body of a woman has on Tuesday been found in Entebbe, near the capital, Kampala. 38 year old Harriet Nantongo , wife of Musiba Noah had gone missing on the night of September 14. Her body lay lifeless in a Katabi Council bush, Wakiso district, around 30 kilometers from the city center. Yes. It's true. Body of Nantongo Harriet, wife to Musiba Noah in Kabale'A' Katabi town council.— Asan Kasingye (@AKasingye) September 19, 2017 JUST IN: Another woman has been found dead in Entebbe, near Kasenyi landing site. Details in our bulletins today. #NTVNEWS— NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) September 19, 2017 Police are still trying to figure out the mystery, and have linked the killings to ritual murders. Emilian Kayima is the spokesperson of Kampala Metropolitan Police. “We have not concluded on our search but the criminals who are doing this and their motives and their accomplices in this criminality – possibilities of human sacrifice and witchcraft cannot be ruled out but they are just there – possibilities.” Members of parliament stopped work for two days to mount pressure on ministers and police over the unresolved murders in three districts around Kampala, but the phenomenon is far from over. Some residents suspect the murder victims are killed elsewhere and the bodies later dumped. At least 21 bodies of young women have been found since May and Police are on the spot to bring those responsible to justice. The government has defended the Police, who earlier this month said they had arrested 30 suspects and charged 13 of them, listing possible motives including domestic rows. There is fear and panic in the central part of the country with alleged reports of a serial killer on the loose. Raziah Athman Ethiopia must step up political reforms, U.S. 'disturbed' over ethnic clashes Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:48:34 +0000 The United States says Ethiopia must open up its political space if its is to cement its place in the future as a “strong, prosperous and democratic nation.” This was contained in a press statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. The September 19, 2017 statement was referring to reports of escalated ethnic violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions. “We are disturbed by the troubling reports of ethnic violence and the large-scale displacement of people living along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, particularly in Hararge, although the details of what is occurring remain unclear. “We urge the Ethiopian government to conduct a transparent investigation into all allegations of violence and to hold those responsible accountable. At the same time, on the local level, communities must be encouraged and given space to seek peaceful resolutions to the underlying conflicts,” the statement read in part. The government has admitted that clashes along the border of Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions have displaced around 50,000 people, deaths of another 50 people have been reported according to a senior regional official. Calls for Ethiopia to reform have been long trumpeted – but political watchers say Addis Ababa has done very little in that direction. October 2016: EU chief tasks Ethiopian PM to initiate inclusive political dialogue quickly October 2016: Ethiopia’s political crisis: Norway worried, calls for participatory politics November 2016: Ethiopia: Canada stresses need for ‘peaceful and inclusive dialogue’ December 2016: Ethiopia: Amnesty and EU concerned over arrest of top opposition figure February 2017: Ethiopian government lambasted for flipping on political reform promise April 2017: Ethiopia must act on democratic reforms – Canadian diplomat to PM May 2017: Ethiopia must respect rights, open democratic space – 14 US Senators May 2017: Ethiopia needs impartial protest death probe, must release Oromo leader – EU MPs May 2017: Ethiopia replies EU MPs: Quit criticisms and give ‘constructive support’ Ethiopia must allow protest probe, end crackdown: 38 E.U. MPs pile fresh pressure The clashes which have been put down to competition for resources between people in both states has prompted the government to send the military in. The Somalis are predominantly pastoralists whiles the Oromias are largely farmers – the fight for common resources like water and land is part of the official reason advanced. Another reason is that a referendum meant to clearly define the border regions of the respective states has yet to be fully implemented. Amidst all of that, Oromo activists hold that the chaos is championed by a federal police unit known as the ‘Liyu Police.’ Activists aver that the unit is stoking the violence with the aim of giving the Oromia region – one of the biggest and most populous in the country – a bad name. “We believe Ethiopia’s future as a strong, prosperous, and democratic nation depends on open and inclusive political dialogue for all Ethiopians, greater government transparency, and strengthening the institutions of democracy and justice. These recent events underscore the need to make more rapid and concrete progress on reform in these areas.” the release concluded. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Recovery of Egyptian tourism still a mirage in Luxor Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:08:16 +0000 In Luxor, a jewel in the archeological tourism of southern Egypt, Abu Aya spent most of his idle time sitting in front of his souvenir shop in the souk of the city. Despite a resumption of tourist bookings resulting in a slight quiver in attendance, he has not yet found a smile. “This improvement is not yet beneficial to traders and families in the region,” he says. With the owners of the neighboring shops, this 47-year-old salesman dressed in an ample galabeya gray (traditional dress of Upper Egypt) recalls these beautiful days when foreign visitors flocked by thousands. “Before, my galabeya was full of dollars and euros,” he recalls. Collapse Like him, nearly 4 million Egyptians worked directly or indirectly in this sector before the 2011 revolt, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Twenty years ago, an extremist group killed 58 foreign tourists in Luxor in front of Hatshepsut temple, but visitors returned there afterwards. This is not the case since the popular uprising of January 2011, which caused the fall of the dictator Hosni Mubarak: the ancient temples are deserted and Egypt remains plunged in the economic crisis. Tourism, one of the main resources of the country, is the cost of a chronic instability. Since the fall of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in the summer of 2013, security forces are confronting extremist groups targeting the police, the army and the Coptic Christian community. In October 2015, 217 passengers and seven crew members of a Russian MetroJet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh (Sinai) were killed in an action claimed by the Islamic State (EI) group. Several European countries then dissuaded their nationals from visiting certain parts of Egypt. Result: the collapse of the sector is spectacular. In 2010, Egypt had a record of 15 million visitors. They were only 5.3 million in 2016, according to the Ministry of Tourism, nearly three times less. Maher Abdel Hakim, hotel expert and coordinator of the tourism committee in Luxor and Aswan, another mythical city in southern Egypt, confirms that traders in Upper Egypt have been greatly affected. “Previously, tourists walked around the monuments, wandering around in carriages, buying souvenirs, gold jewelery and various craft items. Everyone was a winner,” he recalls. In the courtyard of the temple of Luxor, built more than 3,400 years ago, only a small number of Egyptian tourists walk between the gigantic columns engraved with Pharaonic inscriptions. Persevering, the drivers of carriages follow them and negotiate the price of the ride. “I will accept any price you offer, I just want to feed my horse,” one of them said to potential customers. New tourists Tourism revenues amounted to almost $ 12 billion in 2010. Evaluated by the Central Bank of Egypt at just $ 1.3 billion for the first three months of 2017, these revenues increased by 128% compared to the same period of 2016. Enthusiastic, hotel expert Mr. Abdel Hakim expects hotel occupancy of 30% at the end of the year against 23% in 2016 and 17% in 2015, with attendance increasing traditionally in winter. He attributes this improvement to the arrival of new tourists, Chinese or Indians. “We also note an increase in tourism from the Gulf, which was previously limited to Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada”, on the shores of the Red Sea, he said. Above the temples of Karnak, Hatshepsut or Ramesseum, balloons of all colors always carry tourists. But, for one year, the passengers are indeed mostly Chinese. Despite a new attempt at an attack in 2015, Luxor is sure, Abu Aya said. Ann Zhu, a Chinese tourist, agrees. “I feel safer in Luxor than in Cairo, and the people here are great,” said the 28-year-old. Ahmed Hassan, a hot-air balloon pilot, assures himself that he has gone to Mandarin. “But relying on Chinese tourists would be like putting all of his eggs in one basket,” he admits. AFP Archaeological discoveries in Luxor bring more tourists to Egypt[no comment] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:35:55 +0000 Egypt’s antiquities authorities said a series of discoveries made in the ancient city of Luxor contributed to the overall increase in tourists visiting the country this year. 'Djantoli': Mali's digital health booklet for infants [The Morning Call] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:38:30 +0000 Mali’s digital health booklet for toddlers Pistorius to return to court after state's appeal against "lenient" sentence Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:37:25 +0000 South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will hear the state’s appeal against the six-year murder sentence handed to Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius on Nov. 3, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday. The state will argue that six years in jail is too lenient a sentence for the murder by Pistorius of Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, in 2013. “The state, in the papers, we stipulate clearly that the sentence imposed is shockingly low,” said NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku. “The presiding officer has the discretion to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence when compelling and substantial circumstances exist. But… with this matter, the presiding officer exercised that discretion in a very lenient manner.” Women’s rights groups in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women say Pistorius has received preferential treatment compared to non-whites and those without his wealth or international celebrity status. The SCA told state prosecutors and the defence in November that they would need to argue their cases in court before it would rule on the matter. State prosecutors, led by advocate Gerrie Nel, say the sentence was too lenient as the jail term was less than half the 15 years they had sought. In his arguments at the trial, Nel said Pistorius had shown no remorse for the 2013 shooting. Lawyers for the gold medallist, known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, say he did not deliberately kill model and law graduate Steenkamp. The athlete was originally convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail. That conviction was increased to murder by the SCA in December 2015 and his sentence increased to six years by trial Judge Thokozile Masipa. She dismissed in August 2016 a request by Nel to appeal Pistorius’ sentence, saying she was not persuaded that there was a reasonable prospect of success at another court. Nel then launched his case at the SCA, in Bloemfontein, 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Johannesburg. Reuters Zimbabwe's opposition leader "recovering well" in South African hospital Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:40:37 +0000 Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is “out of danger” in hospital in South Africa after being airlifted from Harare at the weekend following the sudden onset of severe vomiting, a party source said on Tuesday. Tsvangirai, who is due to challenge President Robert Mugabe in elections next year, was recovering well but had been told by doctors to avoid stress and strain until at least the weekend, the source said. The 65-year-old’s symptoms came on suddenly at a meeting of his opposition coalition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on Thursday evening in Kadoma, a city around 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the Zimbabwe capital. The MDC sought to play down Tsvangirai’s hospitalisation, describing it as “routine” and denying local media reports that he was on life support after being airlifted to Johannesburg in the early hours of Saturday morning. Tsvangirai has been receiving treatment for colon cancer since last year but says he is in good health. His sudden illness was not thought to be related to his cancer or cancer treatment, two party sources told Reuters. It comes a month after Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a favourite to succeed 93-year-old Mugabe, was rushed to South Africa for emergency medical care. Mnangagwa, who has since returned, denied local media reports he had been poisoned. Reuters Kenya's election re-run may delay, IT firm says machines won't be ready Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:47:05 +0000 A French IT company that supplied the electronic system used in Kenya’s nullified election last month has told the country’s election board that its technology would not be ready to use again by the Oct. 17 date set for a re-run of the vote. Earlier this month, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the results of the presidential election held on Aug.8 and ordered a new poll within 60 days. The election board then declared the re-run of the election would be held on Oct. 17. In a letter from Paris-based OT-Morpho to Kenya’s election board, dated Sept. 18 and seen by Reuters, the company said the two electronic systems it supplied for the vote would have to be reinstalled for the re-run. “This represents a very significant amount of work, which cannot be secured by October 17,” the letter read. Reuters Ivory Coast: A fire ravages a large market in Abobo [no comment] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:18:32 +0000 Fire has razed the main market in Abobo, a neighbourhood in the Ivorian capital Abidjan on Sunday night damaging goods and property. Press review [The Morning Call] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:48:17 +0000 Social media awakening grips Accra, Ghana [Hi-Tech] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:27:24 +0000 Ghana embraced the global Social Media Week conference last week in the capital Accra where thousands of people engaged in activities including workshops and training sessions on how best to utilize social media. Social media experts and professionals in the media, marketing and technology sectors engaged individuals and organisations on improving themselves and society online. Among the issues discussed were how to make money off content, pursuing a digital career, and then enhancing your professional brand using LinkedIn. The conference adds Accra to the list of over 22 cities to organise the Social Media Week. The event gained the attention of the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, who praised the organisers Echo House for bringing it to Ghana. He made the remark via his Twitter page where he directed his government to use social media to bring development to the people. The event witnessed over 20 speakers and was climaxed with a fashion show for Instagram and the Accra Is Connected concert showcasing the creative resource of the city. Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more. 'Nuclear disarmament' for the world? [The Morning Call] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:52:42 +0000 Though the theme for the 72nd UN general assembly session centers on “Placing the human being at the heart of efforts for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”, discussions on the Nuclear testings of North Korea are expected to play a major part. Only a week ago, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth sanctions resolution since 2006 over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. We speak with the Vice president of the Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament Jean-Marie Collin on Nuclear disarmament efforts for the world in general. Hannane FERDJANI 72nd UN general debate opens: 10 African leaders to speak [The Morning Call] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:47:29 +0000 Ten African Presidents are billed to speak today in New York on the formal opening day of the general debate of global leaders at the 72nd session of the UN Assembly. There will be two rounds of speeches with 18 lined up in the morning, and 18 in the afternoon. President Alpha Conde of Guinea is scheduled as the first African leader to speak and seconded by Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. While Jacob Zuma of South Africa will complete the day. The theme for the 72nd session centers on “Placing the human being at the heart of efforts for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”. Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump is due to deliver a longer speech when he addresses the UN General Assembly for the first time. He is expected to call for a harder line on North Korea and Iran. [Speech] Muammar Gaddafi at the 64th UN General Assembly in 2009 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:44:00 +0000 In the name of the African Union, I would like to greet the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and I hope that this meeting will be among the most historic in the history of the world. In the name of the General Assembly at its sixtyfourth session, presided over by Libya, of the African Union, of one thousand traditional African kingdoms [trans.] and in my own name, I would like to take this opportunity, as President of the African Union, to congratulate our son Obama because he is attending the General Assembly, and we welcome him as his country is hosting this meeting. This session is taking place in the midst of so many challenges facing us, and the whole world should come together and unite its efforts to defeat the challenges that are our principal common enemy — those of climate change and international crises such as the capitalist economic decline, the food and water crises, desertification, terrorism, immigration, piracy, man-made and natural epidemics and nuclear proliferation. Perhaps influenza H1N1 was a virus created in a laboratory that got out of control, originally being meant as a military weapon. Such challenges also include hypocrisy, poverty, fear, materialism and immorality. As is known, the United Nations was founded by three or four countries against Germany at the time. The United Nations was formed by the nations that joined together against Germany in the Second World War. Those countries formed a body called the Security Council, made its own countries permanent members and granted them the power of veto. We were not present at that time. The United Nations was shaped in line with those three countries and wanted us to step into shoes originally designed against Germany. That is the real substance of the United Nations when it was founded over 60 years ago. That happened in the absence of some 165 countries, at a ratio of one to eight; that is, one was present and eight were absent. They created the Charter, of which I have a copy. If one reads the Charter of the United Nations, one finds that the Preamble of the Charter differs from its Articles. How did it come into existence? All those who attended the San Francisco Conference in 1945 participated in creating the Preamble, but they left the Articles and internal rules of procedures of the so-called Security Council to experts, specialists and interested countries, which were those countries that had established the Security Council and had united against Germany. The Preamble is very appealing, and no one objects to it, but all the provisions that follow it completely contradict the Preamble. We reject such provisions, and we will never uphold them; they ended with the Second World War. The Preamble says that all nations, small or large, are equal. Are we equal when it comes to the permanent seats? No, we are not equal. The Preamble states in writing that all nations are equal whether they are small or large. Do we have the right of veto? Are we equal? The Preamble says that we have equal rights, whether we are large or small. That is what is stated and what we agreed in the Preamble. So the veto contradicts the Charter. The permanent seats contradict the Charter. We neither accept nor recognize the veto. The Preamble of the Charter states that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest. That is the Preamble that we agreed to and signed, and we joined the United Nations because we wanted the Charter to reflect that. It says that armed force shall only be used in the common interest of all nations, but what has happened since then? Sixty-five wars have broken out since the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council — 65 since their creation, with millions more victims than in the Second World War. Are those wars, and the aggression and force that were used in those 65 wars, in the common interest of us all? No, they were in the interest of one or three or four countries, but not of all nations. We will talk about whether those wars were in the interest of one country or of all nations. That flagrantly contradicts the Charter of the United Nations that we signed, and unless we act in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to which we agreed, we will reject it and not be afraid not to speak diplomatically to anyone. Now we are talking about the future of the United Nations. There should be no hypocrisy or diplomacy because it concerns the important and vital issue of the future of the world. It was hypocrisy that brought about the 65 wars since the establishment of the United Nations. The Preamble also states that if armed force is used, it must be a United Nations force — thus, military intervention by the United Nations, with the joint agreement of the United Nations, not one or two or three countries using armed force. The entire United Nations will decide to go to war to maintain international peace and security. Since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, if there is an act of aggression by one country against another, the entire United Nations should deter and stop that act. If a country, Libya for instance, were to exhibit aggression against France, then the entire Organization would respond because France is a sovereign State Member of the United Nations and we all share the collective responsibility to protect the sovereignty of all nations. However, 65 aggressive wars have taken place without any United Nations action to prevent them. Eight other massive, fierce wars, whose victims number some 2 million, have been waged by Member States that enjoy veto powers. Those countries that would have us believe they seek to maintain the sovereignty and independence of peoples actually use aggressive force against peoples. While we would like to believe that these countries want to work for peace and security in the world and protect peoples, they have instead resorted to aggressive wars and hostile behaviour. Enjoying the veto they granted themselves as permanent members of the Security Council, they have initiated wars that have claimed millions of victims. The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. No country, therefore, has the right to interfere in the affairs of any Government, be it democratic or dictatorial, socialist or capitalist, reactionary or progressive. This is the responsibility of each society; it is an internal matter for the people of the country concerned. The senators of Rome once appointed their leader, Julius Caesar, as dictator because it was good for Rome at that time. No one can say of Rome at that time that it gave Caesar the veto. The veto is not mentioned in the Charter. We joined the United Nations because we thought we were equals, only to find that one country can object to all the decisions we make. Who gave the permanent members their status in the Security Council? Four of them granted this status to themselves. The only country that we in this Assembly elected to permanent member status in the Security Council is China. This was done democratically, but the other seats were imposed upon us undemocratically through a dictatorial procedure carried out against our will, and we should not accept it. The Security Council reform we need is not an increase in the number of members, which would only make things worse. To use a common expression, if you add more water, you get more mud. It would add insult to injury. It would make things worse simply by adding more large countries to those that already enjoy membership of the Council. It would merely perpetuate the proliferation of super-Powers. We therefore reject the addition of any more permanent seats. The solution is not to have more permanent seats, which would be very dangerous. Adding more super-Powers would crush the peoples of small, vulnerable and third world countries, which are coming together in what has been called the Group of 100 — 100 small countries banding together in a forum that one member has called the Forum of Small States. These countries would be crushed by superPowers were additional large countries to be granted membership in the Security Council. This door must be closed; we reject it strongly and categorically. Adding more seats to the Security Council would increase poverty, injustice and tension at the world level, as well as great competition between certain countries such as Italy, Germany, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Japan, Brazil, Nigeria, Argentina, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Iran, Greece and Ukraine. All these countries would seek a seat on the Security Council, making its membership almost as large as that of the General Assembly and resulting in an impractical competition. What solution can there be? The solution is for the General Assembly to adopt a binding resolution under the leadership of Mr. Treki based on the majority will of Assembly members and taking into account the considerations of no other body. The solution is to close Security Council membership to the admission of further States. This item is on the agenda of the General Assembly during the present session presided over by Mr. Treki. Membership through unions and the transference of mandates should supersede other proposals. We should focus on the achievement of democracy based on the equality of Member States. There should be equality among Member States and the powers and mandates of the Security Council should be transferred to the General Assembly. Membership should be for unions, not for States. Increasing the number of States Members would give the right to allcountries to a seat, in accordance with the spirit of the Preamble of the Charter. No country could deny a seat in the Council to Italy, for instance, if a seat were given to Germany. For the sake of argument, Italy might say that Germany was an aggressive country and was defeated in the Second World War. If we gave India a seat, Pakistan would say that it, too, is a nuclear country and deserves a seat, and those two countries are at war. This would be a dangerous situation. If we gave a seat to Japan, then we should have to give one to Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. Then Turkey, Iran and Ukraine would make the same claim. What could we say to Argentina or Brazil? Libya deserves a seat for its efforts in the service of world security by discarding its weapons of mass destruction programme. Then South Africa, Tanzania and Ukraine would demand the same. All of these countries are important. The door to Security Council membership should be closed. This approach is a falsehood, a trick that has been exposed. If we want to reform the United Nations, bringing in more super-Powers is not the way. The solution is to foster democracy at the level of the general congress of the world, the General Assembly, to which the powers of the Security Council should be transferred. The Security Council would become merely an instrument for implementing the decisions taken by the General Assembly, which would be the parliament, the legislative assembly, of the world. This Assembly is our democratic forum and the Security Council should be responsible before it; we should not accept the current situation. These are the legislators of the Members of the United Nations, and their resolutions should be binding. It is said that the General Assembly should do whatever the Security Council recommends. On the contrary, the Security Council should do whatever the General Assembly decides. This is the United Nations, the Assembly that includes 192 countries. It is not the Security Council, which includes only 15 of the Member States. How can we be happy about global peace and security if the whole world is controlled by only five countries? We are 192 nations and countries, and we are like Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park. We just speak and nobody implements our decisions. We are mere decoration, without any real substance. We are Speakers’ Corner, no more, no less. We just make speeches and then disappear. This is who you are right now. Once the Security Council becomes only an executive body for resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, there will be no competition for membership of the Council. Once the Security Council becomes a tool to implement General Assembly resolutions, there will be no need for any competition. The Security Council should, quite simply, represent all nations. In accordance with the proposal submitted to the General Assembly, there would be permanent seats on the Security Council for all unions and groups of countries. The 27 countries of the European Union should have a permanent seat on the Security Council. The countries of the African Union should have a permanent seat on the Security Council. The Latin American and ASEAN countries should have permanent seats. The Russian Federation and the United States of America are already permanent members of the Security Council. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), once it is fully established, should have a permanent seat. The 22 countries of the Arab League should have a permanent seat. The 57 countries of the Islamic Conference should have a permanent seat. The 118 countries of the Non-Aligned Movement should have a permanent seat. Then there is the G-100; perhaps the small countries should also have a permanent seat. Countries not included in the unions that I have mentioned could perhaps be assigned a permanent seat, to be occupied by them in rotation every six or twelve months. I am thinking of countries like Japan and Australia that are outside such organizations as ASEAN or like the Russian Federation that is not a member of the European or Latin American or African unions. This would be a solution for them if the General Assembly votes in favour of it. The issue is a vitally important one. As has already been mentioned, the General Assembly is the Congress and Parliament of the world, the leader of the world. We are the nations, and anyone outside this General Assembly will not be recognized. The President of the Assembly, Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will produce the legal draft and set up the necessary committees to submit this proposal to a vote: that from now on, the Security Council will be made up of unions of nations. In this way, we will have justice and democracy, and we will no longer have a Security Council consisting of countries which have been chosen because they have nuclear weapons, large economies or advanced technology. That is terrorism. We cannot allow the Security Council to be run by super-Powers; that is terrorism in and of itself. If we want a world that is united, safe and peaceful, this is what we should do. If we want to remain in a world at war, that is up to you. We will continue to have conflict and to fight until doomsday or the end of the world. All Security Council members should have the right to exercise the veto, or else we should eliminate the whole concept of the veto with this new formation of the Council. This would be a real Security Council. According to the new proposals submitted to the General Assembly, it will be an executive council under the control of the General Assembly, which will have the real power and make all the rules. In this way, all countries will be on an equal footing in the Security Council just as they are in the General Assembly. In the General Assembly we are all treated equally when it comes to membership and voting. It should be the same in the Security Council. Currently, one country has a veto; another country does not have a veto; one country has a permanent seat; another country does not have a permanent seat. We should not accept this, nor should we accept any resolution adopted by the Security Council in its current composition. We were under trusteeship; we were colonized; and now we are independent. We are here today to decide the future of the world in a democratic way that will maintain the peace and security of all nations, large and small, as equals. Otherwise, it is terrorism, for terrorism is not just Al-Qaida but can also take other forms. We should be guided by the majority of the votes in the General Assembly alone. If the General Assembly takes a decision by voting, then its wishes should be obeyed and its decision should be enforced. No one is above the General Assembly; anyone who says he is above the Assembly should leave the United Nations and be on his own. Democracy is not for the rich or the most powerful or for those who practise terrorism. All nations should be and should be seen to be on an equal footing. At present, the Security Council is security feudalism, political feudalism for those with permanent seats, protected by them and used against us. It should be called, not the Security Council, but the Terror Council. In our political life, if they need to use the Security Council against us, they turn to the Security Council. If they have no need to use it against us, they ignore the Security Council. If they have an interest to promote, an axe to grind, they respect and glorify the Charter of the United Nations; they turn to Chapter VII of the Charter and use it against poor nations. If, however, they wished to violate the Charter, they would ignore it as if it did not exist at all. If the veto of the permanent members of the Security Council is given to those who have the power, this is injustice and terrorism and should not be toloerated by us. We should not live in the shadow of this injustice and terror. Super-Powers have complicated global interests, and they use the veto to protect those interests. For example, in the Security Council, they use the power of the United Nations to protect their interests and to terrorize and intimidate the Third World, causing it to live under the shadow of terror. From the beginning, since it was established in 1945, the Security Council has failed to provide security. On the contrary, it has provided terror and sanctions. It is only used against us. For this reason, we will no longer be committed to implementing Security Council resolutions after this speech, which marks the 40th anniversary. Sixty-five wars have broken out: either fighting among small countries or wars of aggression waged against us by super-Powers. The Security Council, in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations, failed to take action to stop these wars or acts of aggressions against small nations and peoples. The General Assembly will vote on a number of historic proposals. Either we act as one or we will fragment. If each nation were to have its own version of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the various instruments and each were to have an equal footing, the Powers that currently fill the permanent seats would be confinded to use of their own soverign bodies, whether there be three or four of them, and would have to exercise their rights against themselves. This is of no concern to us. If they want to keep their permanent seats, that is fine; permanent seats will be of no concern to us. We shall never submit to their control or to their exercise of the veto that was given to them. We are not so foolish as to give the right of veto to the super-Powers to use so they can treat us as second-class citizens and as outcast nations. It is not we who decided that those countries are the super-Powers and respected nations with the power to act on behalf of 192 countries. You should be fully aware that we are ignoring the Security Council resolutions because those resolutions are used solely against us and not against the super-Powers which have the permanent seats and the right of veto. Those Powers never use any resolutions against themselves. They are, however, used against us. Such use has turned the United Nations into a travesty of itself and has generated wars and violations of the sovereignty of independent States. It has led to war crimes and genocides. All of this is in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. Since no one pays attention to the Security Council of the United Nations, each country and community has established its own security council, and the Security Council here has become isolated. The African Union has already established its own Peace and Security Council, the European Union has already established a security council, and Asian countries have already established their own security council. Soon, Latin America will have its own Security Counci,l as will the 120 non-aligned nations. This means that we have already lost confidence in the United Nations Security Council, which has not provided us with security, and that is why we now are creating new regional security councils. We are not committed to obeying the rules or the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council in its present form because it is undemocratic, dictatorial and unjust. No one can force us to join the Security Council or to obey or comply with resolutions or orders given by the Security Council in its present composition. Furthermore, there is no respect for the United Nations and no regard for the General Assembly, which is actually the true United Nations, but whose resolutions are non-binding. The decisions of the International Court of Justice, the international judicial body, take aim only at small countries and Third World nations. Powerful countries escape the notice of the Court. Or, if judicial decisions are taken against these powerful countries, they are not enforced. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an important agency within the United Nations. Powerful countries, however, are not accountable to it or under its jurisdiction. We have discovered that the IAEA is used only against us. We are told that it is an international organization, but, if that is the case, then all the countries of the world should be under its jurisdiction. If it is not truly international, then right after this speech we should no longer accept it and should close it down. Mr. Treki, in his capacity as President of the General Assembly, should talk to the Director General of the IAEA, Mr. ElBaradei, and should ask him if he is prepared to verify nuclear energy storage in all countries and inspect all suspected increases. If he says yes, then we accept the Agency’s jurisdiction. But if he says that he cannot go into certain countries that have nuclear power and that he does not have any jurisdiction over them, then we should close the Agency down and not submit to its jurisdiction. For your information, I called Mr. ElBaradei when we had the problem of the Libyan nuclear bomb. I called Mr. ElBaradei and asked him if the agreements by the super-Powers to reduce nuclear supplies were subject to Agency control and under inspection, and whether he was aware of any increases in their activity. He told me that he was not in a position to ask the super-Powers to be inspected. So, is the Agency only inspecting us? If so, it does not qualify as an international organization since it is selective, just like the Security Council and the International Court of Justice. This is not equitable nor is it the United Nations. We totally reject this situation. Regarding Africa, Mr. President, whether the United Nations is reformed or not, and even before a vote is taken on any proposals of a historic nature, Africa should be given a permanent seat on the Security Council now, having already waited too long. Leaving aside United Nations reform, we can certainly say that Africa was colonized, isolated and persecuted and its rights usurped. Its people were enslaved and treated like animals, and its territory was colonized and placed under trusteeship. The countries of the African Union deserve a permanent seat. This is a debt from the past that has to be paid and has nothing to do with United Nations reform. It is a priority matter and is high on the agenda of the General Assembly. No one can say that the African Union does not deserve a permanent seat. Who can argue with this proposal? I challenge anyone to make a case against it. Where is the proof that the African Union or the African continent does not deserve a permanent seat? No one can possibly deny this. Another matter that should be voted on in the General Assembly is that of compensation for countries that were colonized, so as to prevent the colonization of a continent, the usurpation of its rights and the pillaging of its wealth from happening again. Why are Africans going to Europe? Why are Asians going to Europe? Why are Latin Americans going to Europe? It is because Europe colonized those peoples and stole the material and human resources of Africa, Asia and Latin America — the oil, minerals, uranium, gold and diamonds, the fruit, vegetables and livestock and the people — and used them. Now, new generations of Asians, Latin Americans and Africans are seeking to reclaim that stolen wealth, as they have the right to do. At the Libyan border, I recently stopped 1,000 African migrants headed for Europe. I asked them why they were going there. They told me it was to take back their stolen wealth — that they would not be leaving otherwise. Who can restore the wealth that was taken from us? If you decide to restore all of this wealth, there will be no more immigration from the Philippines, Latin America, Mauritius and India. Let us have the wealth that was stolen from us. Africa deserves $777 trillion in compensation from the countries that colonized it. Africans will demand that amount, and if you do not give it to them, they will go to where you have taken those trillions of dollars. They have the right to do so. They have to follow that money and to bring it back. Why is there no Libyan immigration to Italy, even though Libya is so close by? Italy owed compensation to the Libyan people. It accepted that fact and signed an agreement with Libya, which was adopted by both the Italian and Libyan Parliaments. Italy admitted that its colonization of Libya was wrong and should never be repeated, and it promised not to attack the Libyan people by land, air or sea. Italy also agreed to provide Libya with $250 million a year in compensation over the next 20 years and to build a hospital for Libyans maimed as a result of the mines planted in Libyan territory during the Second World War. Italy apologized and promised that it would never again occupy the territory of another country. Italy, which was a kingdom during the Fascist regime and has made rich contributions to civilization, should be commended for this achievement, together with Prime Minister Berlusconi and his predecessor, who made their own contributions in that regard. Why is the Third World demanding compensation? So that there will be no more colonization — so that large and powerful countries will not colonize, knowing that they will have to pay compensation. Colonization should be punished. The countries that harmed other peoples during the colonial era should pay compensation for the damage and suffering inflicted under their colonial rule. There is another point that I would like to make. However, before doing so — and addressing a somewhat sensitive issue — I should like to make an aside. We Africans are happy and proud indeed that a son of Africa is now President of the United States of America. That is a historic event. Now, in a country where blacks once could not mingle with whites, in cafés or restaurants, or sit next to them on a bus, the American people have elected as their President a young black man, Mr. Obama, of Kenyan heritage. That is a wonderful thing, and we are proud. It marks the beginning of a change. However, as far as I am concerned, Obama is a temporary relief for the next four or eight years. I am afraid that we may then go back to square one. No one can guarantee how America will be governed after Obama. We would be content if Obama could remain President of the United States of America for ever. The statement that he just made shows that he is completely different from any American President that we have seen. American Presidents used to threaten us with all manner of weapons, saying that they would send us Desert Storm, Grapes of Wrath, Rolling Thunder and poisonous roses for Libyan children. That was their approach. American Presidents used to threaten us with operations such as Rolling Thunder, sent to Viet Nam; Desert Storm, sent to Iraq; Musketeer, sent to Egypt in 1956, even though America opposed it; and the poisonous roses visited upon Libyan children by Reagan. Can you imagine? One would have thought that Presidents of a large country with a permanent seat on the Security Council and the right of veto would have protected us and sent us peace. And what did we get instead? Laser-guided bombs carried to us on F-111 aircraft. This was their approach: we will lead the world, whether you like it or not, and will punish anyone who opposes us. What our son Obama said today is completely different. He made a serious appeal for nuclear disarmament, which we applaud. He also said that America alone could not solve the problems facing us and that the entire world should come together to do so. He said that we must do more than we are doing now, which is making speeches. We agree with that and applaud it. He said that we had come to the United Nations to talk against one another. It is true that when we come here, we should communicate with one another on an equal footing. And he said that democracy should not be imposed from outside. Until recently, American Presidents have said that democracy should be imposed on Iraq and other countries. He said that this was an internal affair. He spoke truly when he said that democracy cannot be imposed from outside. So we have to be cautious. Before I make these sensitive remarks I note that the whole world has so many polarities. Listen: should we have a world of so many polarities? Can we not have nations on an equal footing? Let us have an answer. Does anyone have an answer as to whether it is better to have a world of so many polarities? Why can we not have equal standing? Should we have patriarchs? Should we have popes? Should we have gods? Why should we have a world of so many polarities? We reject such a world and call for a world where big and small are equal. The other sensitive point is the Headquarters of the United Nations. Can I have your attention, please? All of you came across the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, crossing the Asian continent or the African continent to reach this place. Why? Is this Jerusalem? Is this the Vatican? Is this Mecca? All of you are tired, have jet lag, have sleepless nights. You are very tired, very low, physically. Somebody just arrived now, flying 20 hours. Then we want him to make a speech and talk about this. All of you are asleep, all of you are tired. It is clear that all of you are lacking energy because of having to make a long journey. Why do we do that? Some of our countries are in nighttime and people are asleep. Now you should be asleep, because your biological clock, your biological mind is accustomed to be asleep at this time. I wake up at 4 o’clock New York time, before dawn, because in Libya it is 11 in the morning. When I wake up at 11 o’clock it is supposed to be daytime; at 4 o’clock I am awake. Why? Think about it. If this was decided in 1945, should we still retain it? Why can we not think about a place that is in the middle, that is comfortable? Another important point is that America, the host country, bears the expenses and looks after the Headquarters and diplomatic missions and looks after the peace and security of the heads of State who come here. They are very strict; they spend a lot of money, New York and all of America being very tight. I want to relieve America of this hardship. We should thank America; we say to America, thank you for all the trouble that you have taken on yourself. We say thank you to America. We want to help reassure America and New York and keep them calm. They should not have the responsibility of looking after security. Perhaps some day a terrorist could cause an explosion or bomb a president. This place is targeted by Al-Qaida, this very building. Why was it not hit on 11 September? It was beyond their power. The next target would be this place. I am not saying this in an offhand manner. We have tens of members of Al-Qaida detained in Libyan prisons. Their confessions are very scary. That makes America live under tension. One never knows what will happen. Perhaps America or this place will be targeted again by a rocket. Perhaps tens of heads of State will die. We want to relieve America from this worry. We shall take the place to where it is not targeted. Now after 50 years United Nations Headquarters should be taken to another part of the hemisphere. After 50 years in the western hemisphere, for the next 50 years it should be in the eastern hemisphere or in the middle hemisphere, by rotation. Now, with 64 years we have an extra 14 years over the 50 that Headquarters should have been moved to somewhere else. This is not an insult to America; it is a service to America. We should thank America. This was possible in 1945, but we should not accept it now. Of course this should be put to the vote in the General Assembly — only in the Assembly, because in section 23 of the Headquarters Agreement it says that the United Nations Headquarters can be moved to another location only by a resolution of the General Assembly. If 51 per cent of the Assembly approve relocation of Headquarters, then it can be moved. America has the right to make security tight because it is targeted by terrorists and by Al-Qaida. America has the right to take all security measures; we are not blaming America for that. However, we do not tolerate these measures. We do not have to come to New York and be subjected to all these measures. One president told me that he was told that his co-pilot should not come to America because there are restrictions. He asked how he could cross the Atlantic without a co-pilot. Why? He does not have to come here. Another president complained that his honour guard could not come because there was some misunderstanding regarding his name when it came to granting a visa. Another president said his own doctor could not get a visa and could not come to America. The security measures are very strict. If a country has any problem with America, they will set up restrictions on the movements of member delegations, as if one is in Guantanamo. Is this a Member State of the United Nations, or is it a prisoner in the Guantanamo camp that cannot be allowed free movement? This is what is submitted to the General Assembly for a vote — moving the Headquarters. If 51 per cent agree, then we come to the second vote: to the middle of the globe, or to the eastern part. If we say that we must move the Headquarters to the middle of the hemisphere, why do we not move to Sirte or Vienna? One can come even without a visa. Once you come as a president, Libya is a secure country. We are not going to restrict you to 100 or 500 metres. Libya has no hostile actions against anybody. I think the same holds true of Vienna. If the vote says we should move Headquarters to the eastern part, then it will be Delhi or Beijing, the capital of China or the capital of India. That is logical, my brothers. I do not think there will be any objection to that. Then you will thank me for this proposal, for eliminating the suffering and the trouble of flying 14, 15 or 20 hours to come here. No one can blame America or say that America will reduce its contributions to the United Nations. No one should have that bad thought. America, I am sure, is committed to its international obligations. America will not be angry; it will thank you for alleviating its hardship, for taking on all that hardship and all the restrictions, even though this place is targeted by terrorists. We come now to the issues that will be considered by the General Assembly. We are about to put the United Nations on trial; the old organization will be finished and a new one will emerge. This is not a normal gathering. Even son Obama said that this is not a normal gathering. It is a historic meeting. The wars that took place after the establishment of the United Nations — why did they occur? Where was the Security Council, where was the Charter, where was the United Nations? There should be investigations and judicial intervention. Why have there been massacres? We can start with the Korean War because it took place after the establishment of the United Nations. How did a war break out and cause millions of victims? Nuclear weapons could have been used in that war. Those who are responsible for causing the war should be tried and should pay compensation and damages. Then we come to the Suez Canal war of 1956. That file should be opened wide. Three countries with permanent seats on the Security Council and with the right of veto in the Council attacked a member State of this General Assembly. A country that was a sovereign State — Egypt — was attacked, its army was destroyed, thousands of Egyptians were killed and many Egyptian towns and entities were destroyed, all because Egypt wanted to nationalize the Suez Canal. How could such a thing have happened during the era of the United Nations and its Charter? How is it possible to guarantee that such a thing will not be repeated unless we make amends for past wrongs? Those were dangerous events and the Suez Canal and Korean war files should be re-opened. Next we come to the Viet Nam war. There were 3 million victims of that war. During 12 days, more bombs were dropped than during four years of the Second World War. It was a fiercer war, and it took place after the establishment of the United Nations and after we had decided that there would be no more wars. The future of humankind is at stake. We cannot stay silent. How can we feel safe? How can we be complacent? This is the future of the world, and we who are in the General Assembly of the United Nations must make sure that such wars are not repeated in the future. Then Panama was attacked, even though it was an independent member State of the General Assembly. Four thousand people were killed, and the President of that country was taken prisoner and put in prison. Noriega should be released — we should open that file. How can we entitle a country that is a United Nations Member State to wage war against another country and capture its president, treat him as a criminal and put him in prison? Who would accept that? It could be repeated. We should not stay quiet. We should have an investigation. Any one of us Member States could face the same situation, especially if such aggression is by a Member State with a permanent seat on the Security Council and with the responsibility to maintain peace and security worldwide. Then there was the war in Grenada. That country was invaded even though it was a Member State. It was attacked by 5,000 war ships, 7,000 troops and dozens of military aircraft, and it is the smallest country in the world. This occurred after the establishment of the United Nations and of the Security Council and its veto. And the President of Grenada, Mr. Maurice Bishop, was assassinated. How could that have happened with impunity? It is a tragedy. How can we guarantee that the United Nations is good or not, that a certain country is good or not? Can we be safe or happy about our future or not? Can we trust the Security Council or not? Can we trust the United Nations or not? We must look into and investigate the bombing of Somalia. Somalia is a United Nations Member State. It is an independent country under the rule of Aidid. We want an investigation. Why did that happen? Who allowed it to happen? Who gave the green light for that country to be attacked? Then there is the former Yugoslavia. No country was as peaceful as Yugoslavia, constructed step by step and piece by piece after being destroyed by Hitler. We destroyed it, as if we were doing the same job as Hitler. Tito built that peaceful country step by step and brick by brick and then we arrived and broke it apart for imperialistic, personal interests. How can we be complacent about that? Why can we not be satisfied? If a peaceful country like Yugoslavia faced such a tragedy, the General Assembly should have an investigation and should decide who should be tried before the International Criminal Court. Then we have the war in Iraq — the mother of all evils. The United Nations should also investigate that. The General Assembly, presided over by Mr. Treki, should investigate that. The invasion of Iraq was a violation of the United Nations Charter. It was done without any justification by super-Powers with permanent seats on the Security Council. Iraq is an independent country and a member State of the General Assembly. How could those countries attack Iraq? As provided for in the Charter, the United Nations should have intervened and stopped the attack. We spoke in the General Assembly and urged it to use the Charter to stop that attack. We were against the invasion of Kuwait, and the Arab countries fought Iraq alongside foreign countries in the name of the United Nations Charter. In the first instance, the Charter was respected, The second time when we wanted to use the Charter to stop the war against Iraq, no one used it and that document was ignored. Why did that occur? Mr. Treki and the General Assembly should investigate to determine whether there was any reason at all to invade Iraq. Because the reasons for that attack remain mysterious and ambiguous, and we might face the same destiny. Why was Iraq invaded? The invasion itself was a serious violation of the United Nations Charter, and it was wrong. There was also a total massacre or genocide. More than 1.5 million Iraqis were killed. We want to bring the Iraqi file before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and we want those who committed mass murder against the Iraqi people to be tried. It is easy for Charles Taylor to be tried, or for Bashir to be tried, or for Noriega to be tried. That is an easy job. Yes, but what about those who have committed mass murder against the Iraqis? They cannot be tried? They cannot go before the ICC? If the Court is unable to accommodate us, then we should not accept it. Either it is meant for all of us, large or small, or we should not accept it and should reject it. Anyone who commits a war crime can be tried, but we are not livestock or animals like those that are slaughtered for the Eid. We have the right to live, and we are ready to fight and to defend ourselves. We have the right to live in dignity, under the sun and on earth; they have already tested us and we have withstood the test. There are other things as well. Why is it that Iraqi prisoners of war can be sentenced to death? When Iraq was invaded and the President of Iraq was taken he was a prisoner of war. He should not have been tried; he should not have been hanged. When the war was over, he should have been released. We want to know why a prisoner of war should have been tried. Who sentenced the President of Iraq to death? Is there an answer to that question? We know the identity of the judge who tried him. As to who tied the noose around the President’s neck on the day of sacrifice and hanged him, those people wore masks. How could this have happened in a civilized world? These were prisoners of war of civilized countries under international law. How could Government ministers and a head of State be sentenced to death and hanged? Were those who tried them lawyers or members of a judicial system? Do you know what people are saying? They are saying that the faces behind the masks were those of the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and that it was they who put the President of Iraq to death. Why do the executioners not unmask their faces? Why do we not know their ranks? Why do we not know whether they were officers, judges, soldiers or doctors? How does it come about that the President of a State Member of the United Nations was sentenced to death and killed? We do not know the identity of the executioners. The United Nations is duty-bound to answer these questions: who carried out the death sentence? They must have legal status and official responsibilities; we should know their identities and we should know about the presence of a physician and the nature of all the legal proceedings. That would be true for an ordinary citizen, let alone for the President of a State Member of the United Nations who was put to death in that manner. My third point on the Iraq war relates to Abu Ghraib. This was a disgrace to humankind. I know that the United States authorities will investigate this scandal, but the United Nations must not ignore it either. The General Assembly should investigate this matter. Prisoners of war held in Abu Ghraib prison were torturers; dogs were set on them; men were raped. This is unprecedented in the history of war. It was sodomy, and it was an unprecedented sin, never before committed by past aggressors or invaders. Prisoners of war are soldiers, but these were raped in prison by a State, a permanent member of the Security Council. This goes against civilization and humankind. We must not keep silent; we must know the facts. Even today, a quarter of a million Iraqi prisoners, men and women alike, remain in Abu Ghraib. They are being maltreated, persecuted and raped. There must be an investigation. Turning to the war in Afghanistan, this too must be investigated. Why are we against the Taliban? Why are we against Afghanistan? Who are the Taliban? If the Taliban want a religious State, that is fine. Think of the Vatican. Does the Vatican pose a threat to us? No. It is a religious, very peaceful State. If the Taliban want to create an Islamic Amirate, who says that this makes them an enemy? Is anyone claiming that Bin Laden is of the Taliban or that he is Afghan? Is Bin Laden of the Taliban? No; he is not of the Taliban and he is not Afghan. Were the terrorists who hit New York City of the Taliban? Were they from Afghanistan? They were neither Taliban nor Afghan. Then, what was the reason for the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan? If I truly wanted to deceive my American and British friends, I would encourage them to send more troops and I would encourage them to persist in this bloodbath. But they will never succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Look what happened to them in Iraq, which is a desert. It is even worse in mountainous Afghanistan. If I wanted to deceive them I would tell them to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But no, I want to save the citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I tell them: leave Afghanistan to the Afghans; leave Iraq to the Iraqis. If they want to fight each other, they are free to do so. America had its Civil War, and no one interfered in it. There were civil wars in Spain, China and countries all over the world — no place on Earth has been free of civil wars. Let there be a civil war in Iraq. If the Iraqis want to have a civil war and fight each other, that is fine. Who says that if the Taliban form a Government they would possess intercontinental missiles or the kind of aeroplanes that hit New York? Did those aeroplanes take off from Afghanistan or Iraq? No; they took off from American airports. So why is Afghanistan being struck? The terrorists were not Afghans or Taliban or Iraqis. Why are we silent? We must never be war devils: anyone who does not speak the truth is a silent devil. We are committed to international peace and security. We do not wish to scorn or ridicule humankind. We want to save humanity. As President of the General Assembly, Mr. Ali Treki should open an investigation of the assassinations file — in addition to the war files. Who killed Patrice Lumumba, and why? We merely want to record it in the annals of African history; we want to know how an African leader, a liberator, came to be assassinated. Who killed him? We want our sons to be able to read the history of how Patrice Lumumba, the hero of Congo’s liberation struggle, was assassinated. We want to know the facts, even 50 years on. That is one file that should be reopened. And who killed Secretary-General Hammarskjöld? Who fired on his aeroplane in 1961, and why? Then, there is the assassination of United States President Kennedy in 1963. We want to know who killed him and why. There was somebody called Lee Harvey Oswald, who was then killed by one Jack Ruby. Why did he kill him? Jack Ruby, an Israeli, killed Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed Kennedy. Why did this Israeli kill Kennedy’s killer? Then Jack Ruby, the killer of the killer of Kennedy, died in mysterious circumstances before he could be tried. We must open the files. The whole world knows that Kennedy wanted to investigate the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor. This involves international peace and security and weapons of mass destrucion. That is why we should open this file. Then there is the assassination of Martin Luther King, the black reverend and human rights activist. His assassination was a plot, and we should know why he was killed and who killed him. Then Khalil Wazir, or Abu Jihad, a Palestinian, was attacked. He was living peacefully in Tunisia, a Member State, and that country’s sovereignty was not respected. We cannot keep silent. Even though submarines and ships were detected along the coast of Tunisia, where he was killed, no one was accused or tried. Abu Iyad was also killed, and we should know how he was killed. He was killed in ambiguous circumstances. In Operation Spring of Youth, Kamal Nasser, a poet, Kamal Adwan and Abu Youssef al-Najjar, three Palestinians, were killed in Lebanon, a country that is a free, sovereign State member of the General Assembly. They were attacked and killed while sleeping peacefully. We should know who killed them, and he should be tried so that those crimes against humanity are not repeated. We have already talked about the size of the force used in the invasion of Grenada — 7,000 troops, 15 battleships and dozens of bombers — and President Bishop was killed even though Grenada was a Member State. Those are crimes, and we cannot keep silent. Otherwise, we will look like sacrificial beasts. We are not animals. Year after year, we are attacked. We defend ourselves, our sons and our children, and we are not afraid. We have the right to live, and the Earth is not destined for violence, but for us all. We can never live on this Earth in such humiliation. So those are the wars. The last file is that of the massacres. In the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 3,000 people were killed. That area, under the protection of the occupying Israeli army, was the site of a huge and calamitous massacre in which 3,000 Palestinian men, women and children were killed. How can we keep quiet? Lebanon is a sovereign State; a member of the General Assembly was occupied, Sabra and Shatila were under Israeli control, and then the massacre took place. Then there was the 2008 massacre in Gaza. There were 1,000 women and 2,200 children among the victims killed in the massacre in Gaza in 2008. Sixty United Nations facilities and another 30 belonging to non-governmental organizations were damaged. Fifty clinics were destroyed. Forty doctors and nurses were killed while carrying out humanitarian activities. This took place in Gaza in December 2008. The perpetrators are still alive, and they should be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Should we try only the underdogs, the weak and the poor of third-world countries, and not important and protected figures? Under international law, they should all face trial for the consequences of the crimes that they have committed. Otherwise, the role of the ICC will never be recognized. If the decisions of the ICC are not respected or implemented, if the General Assembly and the Security Council mean nothing, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency serves only certain countries and organizations, then what is the United Nations? It would mean that the United Nations is nothing and is insignificant. Where is it? There is no United Nations. Then, while piracy may be a phenomenon of the high seas, a form of terrorism, we talk about the piracy in Somalia. Somalis are not pirates. We are the pirates. We went there and usurped their economic zones, their fish and their wealth. Libya, India, Japan and America — any country in the world — we are all pirates. We all entered the territorial waters and economic zones of Somalia and stole. The Somalis are protecting their own fish, their sustenance. They have become pirates because they are defending their children’s food. Now, we seek to address that matter in the wrong way. Should we send warships to Somalia? We should send warships to the pirates who have attacked and seized the economic zones and wealth of the Somalis and the food of their children. I met the pirates, and I told them that I would negotiate an agreement between them and the international community that respects the 200-mile exclusive economic zone under the law of the sea, that protects all marine resources belonging to the Somali people, and that stops all countries from disposing of toxic waste along the Somali coast. In return, the Somalis would no longer attack ships. We will propose and draft such an international treaty and submit it to the General Assembly. That is the solution. The solution does not lie in sending more military ships to fight the Somalis. That is not the solution. We are addressing the phenomena of piracy and terrorism in the wrong way. Today there is swine flu. Perhaps tomorrow there will be fish flu, because sometimes we produce viruses by controlling them. It is a commercial business. Capitalist companies produce viruses so that they can generate and sell vaccinations. That is very shameful and poor ethics. Vaccinations and medicine should not be sold. In The Green Book, I maintain that medicines should not be sold or subject to commercialization. Medicines should be free of charge and vaccinations given free to children, but capitalist companies produce the viruses and vaccinations and want to make a profit. Why are they not free of charge? We should give them free of charge, and not sell them. The entire world should strive to protect our people, create and manufacture vaccinations and give them free to children and women, and not profit by them. All those items are on the agenda of the General Assembly, which has only to exercise that duty. The Ottawa Convention on Landmines forbids the production of landmines. That is wrong. Landmines are defensive weapons. If I place them along the border of my country and someone wants to invade me, they may be killed. That is all right, because they are invading me. The Convention should be reconsidered. I am not taking that defensive weapon to another country. The enemy is coming to me. On the Al-Qadhafi website, I call for that treaty to be modified or annulled. This treaty should be modified or annulled. I want to use anti-personnel mines to defend my home against invasion. Eliminate weapons of mass destruction, not landmines, which are defensive weapons. With regard to the Palestinian situation, the twoState solution is impossible; it is not practical. Currently, these two States completely overlap. Partition is doomed to failure. These two States are not neighbours; they are coextensive, in terms of both population and geography. A buffer zone cannot be created between the two States because there are half a million Israeli settlers in the West Bank and a million Arab Palestinians in the territory known as Israel. The solution is therefore a democratic State without religious fanaticism or ethnicity. The generation of Sharon and Arafat is over. We need a new generation, in which everyone can live in peace. Look at Palestinian and Israeli youth; they both want peace and democracy, and they want to live under one State. This conflict poisons the world. The White Book actually has the solution; I hold it here. The solution is Isratine. Arabs have no hostility or animosity towards Israel. We are cousins and of the same race. We want to live in peace. The refugees should go back. You are the ones who brought the Holocaust upon the Jews. You, not we, are the ones who burned them. We gave them refuge. We gave them safe haven during the Roman era and the Arab reign in Andalusia and during the rule of Hitler. You are the ones who poisoned them; you are the ones who annihilated them. We provided them with protection. You expelled them. Let us see the truth. We are not hostile; we are not enemies of the Jews. And one day the Jews will need the Arabs. At that point, Arabs will be the ones to give them protection, to save them, as we have done in the past. Look at what everybody else did to the Jews. Hitler is an example. You are the ones who hate the Jews, not us. In brief, Kashmir should be an independent State, neither Indian nor Pakistani. We must end that conflict. Kashmir should be a buffer State between India and Pakistan. With regard to Darfur, I truly hope that the assistance provided by international organizations can be used for development projects, for agriculture, for industry and for irrigation. You are the ones who made it a crisis; you put it on the altar; you wanted to sacrifice Darfur so that you could interfere in its internal affairs. You have turned the Hariri problem into a United Nations problem. You are selling Hariri’s corpse. You just want to settle scores with Syria. Lebanon is an independent State; it has laws, courts, a judiciary and police. At this stage, it is no longer the perpetrators that are being sought; the real wish is to settle scores with Syria, not ensure justice for Hariri. The cases of Khalil al-Wazir, Lumumba, Kennedy, and Hammarskjöld should also have been turned over to the United Nations, if the Hariri case merits such attention. The General Assembly is now under the presidency of Libya. This is our right. Libya hopes that you will assist in making the transition from a world fraught with crises and tension to a world in which humanity, peace and tolerance prevail. I will personally follow up on this issue with the General Assembly, President Treki and the Secretary-General. It is not our habit to compromise when it comes to the destiny of humanity and the struggles of the third world and the 100 small nations, which should live in peace always. Throwback to former Libyan leader Gaddafi's historic speech at the UN [Video] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:44:11 +0000 Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has made headlines worldwide for so many political and military reasons. One of the most iconic moments is his only address to the United Nations in 2009 during the world body’s 64th General Assembly in New York. Gaddafi’s appearance was his first in the 40 years of his rule at the time, and he broke protocol by stretching his 15-minute speech to 90 minutes. The then Chairperson of the African Union – who was wearing a brown traditional Libyan outfit with a black African continent brooch pinned to his chest – was introduced as the “Leader of the Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, President of the African Union and King of African Kings”. It took him 17 minutes to get to his main point calling for an African seat on the Security Council. Waving a copy of the UN charter, he denounced the permanent setup of the Security Council which he says encourages the treatment of other countries as “second-class citizens”. “It is political feudalism for those who have a permanent seat … It should not be called the Security Council, it should be called the terror council. It did not provide us with security but with terror and sanctions,” he said as he ripped a page out of the charter in a show of defiance. “Permanent is something for God only. We are not fools to give the power of veto to great powers so they can use us and treat us as second-class citizens … Veto power should be annulled,” he added before tossing the UN charter over his shoulder. Among his demands, he called for the relocation of the United Nations headquarters to Libya to avoid jet lag and insecurity in reference to the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attack in New York. Gaddafi wanted the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King to be thoroughly investigated and proposed that Israel and the Palestine be transformed into a single state called Isratine. He supported the Taliban to establish an Islamic state and called for the trial of those who “caused mass murder” in Iraq. He questioned the origin of Swine Flu and demanded 7.7 trillion dollars as reparation for colonialism in Africa. Below is the full speech in video and text. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } In the name of the African Union, I would like to greet the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and I hope that this meeting will be among the most historic in the history of the world. In the name of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session, presided over by Libya, of the African Union, of one thousand traditional African kingdoms [trans.] and in my own name, I would like to take this opportunity, as President of the African Union, to congratulate our son Obama because he is attending the General Assembly, and we welcome him as his country is hosting this meeting. This session is taking place in the midst of so many challenges facing us, and the whole world should come together and unite its efforts to defeat the challenges that are our principal common enemy — those of climate change and international crises such as the capitalist economic decline, the food and water crises, desertification, terrorism, immigration, piracy, man-made and natural epidemics and nuclear proliferation. Perhaps influenza H1N1 was a virus created in a laboratory that got out of control, originally being meant as a military weapon. Such challenges also include hypocrisy, poverty, fear, materialism and immorality. As is known, the United Nations was founded by three or four countries against Germany at the time. The United Nations was formed by the nations that joined together against Germany in the Second World War. Those countries formed a body called the Security Council, made its own countries permanent members and granted them the power of veto. We were not present at that time. The United Nations was shaped in line with those three countries and wanted us to step into shoes originally designed against Germany. That is the real substance of the United Nations when it was founded over 60 years ago. That happened in the absence of some 165 countries, at a ratio of one to eight; that is, one was present and eight were absent. They created the Charter, of which I have a copy. If one reads the Charter of the United Nations, one finds that the Preamble of the Charter differs from its Articles. How did it come into existence? All those who attended the San Francisco Conference in 1945 participated in creating the Preamble, but they left the Articles and internal rules of procedures of the so-called Security Council to experts, specialists and interested countries, which were those countries that had established the Security Council and had united against Germany. The Preamble is very appealing, and no one objects to it, but all the provisions that follow it completely contradict the Preamble. We reject such provisions, and we will never uphold them; they ended with the Second World War. The Preamble says that all nations, small or large, are equal. Are we equal when it comes to the permanent seats? No, we are not equal. The Preamble states in writing that all nations are equal whether they are small or large. Do we have the right of veto? Are we equal? The Preamble says that we have equal rights, whether we are large or small. That is what is stated and what we agreed in the Preamble. So the veto contradicts the Charter. The permanent seats contradict the Charter. We neither accept nor recognize the veto. ... Click here for the full text of the speech. Ismail Akwei Burkina Faso appeal against South Africa vs Senegal replay Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:55:29 +0000 Burkina Faso’s football federation FBF has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision by FIFA to call for a replay between South Africa and Senegal in November 2017, in the African qualifiers for the Russia 2018 World Cup. Burkina Faso claim that the decision could heavily impact their chances of qualifying for the World Cup. They are currently joint top of Group D with Cape Verde on six points. Senegal have 5 while the Bafana Bafana trail with a solitary point after their 2-1 victory against Senegal in November 2016 was cancelled following the ruling. FBF on 18 September 2017 the sports litigation court CAS a “statement of appeal” against the FIFA decision saying it was tainted by abuse of power. “The FBF continues to oppose a decision that is tainted by abuse of power and has nothing to do with the texts of the international football authority,” the statement read in part, attempting to draw FIFA’s attention to a number of illegalities contained in the decision. The match will be replayed within the November 2017 international window, unless the CAS rules in favour of Burkina Faso against FIFA. The exact date is still to be confirmed. Follow @Muisyo_ Victor Muisyo Pics of the day: September 18th, 2017 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:42:46 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Eding Sport, AC Leopards win Cameroon & Congo leagues [Football Planet] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:47:33 +0000 In this episode of the Football Planet, Victor Muisyo gives us details on the unusual run-in to the title by Eding Sport in the Cameroon’s Elite One League. Eding Sport is a club that was established just four years ago in 2012. The Congo Premier League is also wrapping up, and the AC Leopards of Dolisie have won a second double for the second season running. (Congo-Brazzaville is often confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC – the two are different countries) We also have updates on the ongoing WAFU Cup Ghana 2017. Follow @Muisyo_ Presidents of Zambia, Uganda and Malawi renew efforts to end child marriage Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:38:26 +0000 President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Peter Mutharika of Malawi have pledged to support efforts in ending child marriage in Africa by 2030. They made the pledge ahead of the opening of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly together with the African Union Social Affairs Commissioner Amira Elfadil at an END Child Marriage event organised by UN Women in New York . President Lungu acknowledged that the problem is ongoing in Africa and girls who marry young have been denied their rights. This point was buttressed by President Mutharika who said every child must be empowered to reach their highest potential in life. “We cannot harvest the best potential unless we stop early marriage,” he added. “Every child must be given empowerment and wings of hope to fly very high”- President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika. #ENDChildMarriage #UNGA— UN Women (@UN_Women) September 18, 2017 After a two-year parliamentary process and subsequent approval in February, President Peter Mutharika signed a constitutional amendment in April this year quashing a previous practice where minors aged 15 years and above can marry with consent from their parents. On his part, President Museveni said freedom of choice will come only if girls can be independent of parents and husbands. He added that policies against the practice are being implemented and the goal will be attained. “If they can get out of dependence on parents/husbands,then girls can have free choice”-KagutaMuseveni Uganda Pres. #ENDChildMarriage #UNGA— UN Women (UN_Women) September 18, 2017 The African Union Social Affairs Commissioner Amira Elfadil called on all men and the youth to participate in ending child marriage in Africa. “We need to ensure men &youth are all participating to #ENDChildMarriage in Africa”- _AfricanUnion Social Affairs Comm. Amira ElFadil #UNGA— UN Women (UN_Women) September 18, 2017 African countries account for 15 of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage globally and the region has the world’s highest prevalence of adolescent pregnancies, according to reports. In all, 40 percent of girls marry before age 18 in Africa and they have more children on average than those who delay marriage. This year, Malawi joined the likes of Gambia and Tanzania to ban child marriage after it raised the legal marriage age to 18. Perpetrators of child marriages in Malawi commit an offense punishable by five years imprisonment and a fine of about $143. Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh prohibited the practice which is now punishable by twenty years imprisonment. In Tanzania, a court ruled as unconstitutional sections 13 and 17 of the Tanzania Law of Marriage Act, which allowed girls to marry at age 15 with parental permission and at age 14 with the permission of a court. The parliament of Chad in December last year adopted a reform of its penal code which raises the legal marriage age from 16 to 18. Chadian President Idriss Deby also promulgated a law that punishes any person party to the marriage of a minor by 5 to 10 years prison sentence and a fine of 500,000 to 5 million FCFA (750 to 7,500 euros). Zimbabwe is yet to come up with laws to criminalize child marriages despite last year’s court ruling that outlawed the practice by striking out section 22(1) of the Marriage Act which allowed under-aged marriage in contravention of section 78(1) of the Constitution which sets 18 years as the minimum age. Other African countries who have already outlawed child marriages are struggling to enforce the law as the practice continues in the blind side of the authorities. Ismail Akwei Kenya's high court to hear case on secession of western region Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:27:19 +0000 Kenya’s high court has been petitioned to allow a community in the Western Province to hold a referendum on their secession from Kenya. The petitioners Mathew Okwanda Mwilitsa and Alex Misigo Matisa are pleading with the court to allow the pre-independence Abaluhya Community to decide their fate through a referendum, local media portal Daily Nation reports. The community, which was part of Uganda (Eastern Province of Uganda) was given to the then British East African Protectorate in 1962 without the consent of the people, the petitioners claim. “The inhabitants of the former Eastern Province of Uganda were between the years 1895 – 1962 a distinct, cohesive, homogeneous and a united community under the able leadership of their King Nabongo Mumia,” the petition read. “The merger of the former Eastern Province of Uganda with the British East Africa Protectorate was illegal, and the same violated the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Governing Assembly Resolution No. 1514 (XV) of 14th December, 1960. “The Government of the United Kingdom by design failed to resolve the Abaluhya Question when it was in a position to do so before granting independence to the British East Africa Protectorate; and therefore liable to pay reparations for the anguish and sorrow suffered by the said community to date,” it added. They are seeking for reparation from the United Kingdom; and are suing Kenya and Uganda for dividing their people. “The petitioners are personally and on behalf of their community urging the honourable court to be pleased to grant the people occupying the territory formerly known as the Eastern Province of Uganda leave to hold a referendum so as to exercise their right to determination in terms of their rights to nationality, territorial integrity, economic, social and culture as a people,” the petition demanded. Ismail Akwei Lesotho's population grows by less than 200,000 in 10 years - census report Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:27:13 +0000 Small landlocked kingdom of Lesotho has gained a population growth of 132,168 since 2006 when its population was 1,876,633. According to provisional results from its 2016 Population and Housing Census released by the Bureau of Statistics on Saturday, the country’s population as of April 10, 2016 is 2,008,801. 39.6 percent of the total population are minors including 403,000 males and 391,940 females, local media portal Lesotho Times reports. It adds that the average population density is 66 people per square kilometre and 349.8 people per square kilometre of arable land. “The results will provide us with benchmarks against which our performance as government and the nation should be measured, especially in tracking our performance in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2063, SADC RISDP and other developmental initiatives,” Minister of Development Planning, Tlohelang Aumane was quoted as saying. The United Nations congratulated Lesotho for conducting the census in line with the United Nations 2020 round of population censuses. The United Nations Population Fund Representative, Nuzhat Ehsan said Lesotho is the first African country to hold a digital census. “We are proud that Lesotho has been the first country within the 2020 round of censuses to conduct a digital population and housing census using hand held mobile devices (Android Tablets) for full implementation of the census,” she said. She encouraged the Bureau of Statistics to share its experiences with other African countries as the new data will help to strategize actions to ensure domestication and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Lesotho is encircled by South Africa. Ismail Akwei Four South Sudanese MPs, minister arrested over absence in parliament Tue, 19 Sep 2017 06:20:46 +0000 Four Members of Parliament and a minister in South Sudan’s Gok State were arrested for allegedly being absent at a parliamentary caucus sitting on Friday. According to another MP John Marik Makur, the officials were arrested by the security services for failing to attend the sitting, he told local Eye Radio. “The members who have been arrested were in the town. Some of them went for private businesses; some to the hospital but did not know there was a sitting,” he was quoted by Eye Radio on Sunday. The officials include Minister of Physical infrastructure Ayen Maan Ador, the parliamentary chief whip Santino Manyiel Mading, and MPs Simon Mayar Marial, Malek Machot Padai, Ater Machar. John Marik Makur said the officials were not aware of the sitting and were arrested on their way home after having a misunderstanding with the State’s governor. The Speaker of Parliament Umjima Phili confirmed the arrests but told the media that they were detained for conducting an illegal meeting outside parliament. It is not clear if they have been released and if charges have been levelled against them. The Gok State is one of the restive areas in South Sudan where sporadic fighting takes place. South Sudan has been ravaged by civil war since 2013, after President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, who is currently leading the armed opposition. The conflict has killed thousands of people and driven more than 2 million from their homes. Ismail Akwei Kabila joins peace campaign in DRC's restive Kasai region Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:16:59 +0000 President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, has travelled to the restive Kasai region to attend a forum for peace. Kabila is expected to preside over the opening session of a two-day forum in Kasai’s main city of Kananga. He arrived to heavy security in the area. It is not known whether he will be flying afterwards to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly that kicks off on Tuesday September 19. The main opposition have criticized the forum describing it as a mini rally for the ruling party. In attendance was Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala. “Peace is essential. Without peace we can not talk about development,” Tshibala was quoted by the AFP news agency. Kabila Et Tshibala au Kasai— Paulette Kimpiob (@PauletteKimpio1) September 18, 2017 The eastern Kasai region has been home to armed clashes over the last year. Militia and state forces have engaged in running battles that have lead to deaths and displaced thousands. There have also been reports to mass graves found in parts of the region. Two United Natiosn investigators were also killed in the region prompting the international calls for investigations. The U.S. has called for the U.N. Secretary-General to initiate a special investigation into the murder of UN officers Michael Sharp of the U.S. and Zaida Catalan of Sweden. As a member of the Human Rights Commission, the U.S. said it will support a resolution to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the ongoing human rights violations in the Kasai regions of the DRC. Kinshasa has so far fended off the overtures. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Exit on duty: African presidents who died in office [2] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 22:54:27 +0000 This is the concluding part of the article on African leaders who died whiles in office. It specifically chronicles deaths that occurred between 2012 to date. You may refer to the first part of the article “Exit on duty: African presidents who died in office,” as published on August 17, 2017. Here are a few statistics on the matter: Overall, 10 African countries buried their incumbent leaders. Only the year 2009 recorded two deaths – Gabon and Guinea Bissau 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014 recorded single casualties – Guinea, Nigeria, Libya and Zambia respectively. 2012 turned out to be Africa’s most difficult year of grief as four leaders died. Guinea Bissau lost two leaders in a spate of three years – one was assassinated in 2009 whiles the successor died of diabetes in Paris. NOTE: Within the context of ‘Succeeded by,’ this article doesn’t deal with persons who acted in presidential capacity but those who took over democratically after a leader died. Malam Bacai Sanha of Guinea Bissau – August 2012 Malam Bacai Sanha took over at a difficult time in the west African country. He succeeded assassinated leader, Joao Bernardo Vieira. Throughout his stay in office he suffered from health complications till his death in 2012. Bacai Sanha came to power in 2012. He governed for a 3-year period and died at the age of 64 in a Paris hospital. He took over from assassinated leader, Joao Bernardo Vieira. He was succeeded by current president Jose Mario Vaz after a string of leaders acted in presidential capacity. The cause of death was given as diabetes Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi – April 2012 Mutharika until his death was credited with broad successes in Malawi’s food and agriculture sector. He came to power in 2004 through the ballot box and secured re-election but died before his second term ended. He came to power: 2004, ruled for 8 years and died at the age of 78. He took over from Bakili Muluzi. He was succeeded by Joyce Banda – Africa’s second female head of state. The known cause of death is believed to be heart related issues. He suffered a heart attack in April 2012 and died two days later. John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills of Ghana – 2012 John Mills – a former Vice President of Ghana only managed to get the presidency on his third attempt. The former tax expert and law professor was also credited with economic and social reforms during his over three-year reign. He became president in 2008 after beating the ruling party’s candidate at the polls. His reign lasted over three years, elections were due when he passed on aged 68. He took over from John Agyekum Kufuor who had served his full 8-year term. He was succeeded by John Dramani Mahama, his then vice who went on to win the 2012 elections. The cause of death was reported as a stroke and throat cancer – it has been the source of disagreements as family continue to push for ‘the exact cause of death’ years on. Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia – August 2012 Zenawi was by far the most powerful Ethiopian politician from the 90s through to the 2000s. He is till date the one man who has served as President (1991 – 1995) and Prime Minister (1995 till his death). He was loved and loathed, loved for introducing multi-party politics to the country but loathed for the violent crackdown on protests by the Oromo ethnic group. The protests have not stopped and the crackdown has also not died down in the post-Zenawi era. Zenawi rose to power in 1991 and was leader of the country for over two decades, he died at the age of 57 in Belgium. He led the country right after fighting the Derg regime in liberation war that lasted years. The current PM Hailemariam Desalegn took over when Zenawi passed on. The cause of death was said to be an undisclosed illness. Michael Sata of Zambia – October 28, 2014 The last African leader to have ‘exited on duty’ is Zambia’s Michael Sata. He died three years after winning elections held in 2011. There were widespread rumours about his failing health after the polls. His absence at major functions also deepened speculation about his well-being. He died whiles seeking medical treatment in the United Kingdom. Came to power in 2011 after winning elections. He was leader for three years before his death aged 77. He succeeded Rupiah Banda and was succeeded by incumbent Edgar Lungu. Like Zenawi, cause of death is “undisclosed illness.” Aside the case of Guinea Bissau where President Vieira was assassinated in 2009 and in Libya where Gaddafi was shot dead, the eight others died of various ailments. There are those whose ‘cause of death’ are known whiles that of others remain ‘undisclosed’ or ‘unknown.’ Another trend that runs through is the overseas deaths, half of the leaders died whiles seeking medical treatment outside. Belgium, France, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Spain all featured. It brings into sharp focus the issue of sick African presidents and their choice of overseas medical treatment – a subject that we have previously discussed. Africa’s sick presidents and the overseas medical treatment Nigeria’s Buhari (The United Kingdom), Angolan leader Dos Santos (Spain), Zimbabwe’s Mugabe (Singapore) and Benin’s Talon (France). Exceptions are Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir who had heart surgery in Khartoum and Tanzanian first lady who was treated in a public hospital. Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa Digital journalist Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo [Photos] African leaders busy ahead of opening of 72nd U.N. General Assembly Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:03:45 +0000 African leaders are busily honouring engagements ahead of today’s formal opening of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the body’s headquarters in New York. Majority of them are holding meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA, others are taking advantage to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings. Ghana’s Akufo-Addo for example delivered a lecture at the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, on Monday, September 18. Zambia and Malawian leaders have been engaged in a campaign against child marriage whiles South Africa’s Jacob Zuma has been at the African Heads of State and Government Meeting on Climate Change. We share a series of photos of African leaders doing ‘political and diplomatic business’ ahead of today’s opening of the world’s biggest annual meeting of political leaders. Presidents Mutharika (Malawi) and Edgar Lungu (Zambia) join anti-child marriage campaigners at an event. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma at the African Heads of State and Government Meeting on Climate Change. Guinean President/A.U. Chairperson Alpha Conde and Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, at a meeting in New York. !×576_bonus-UNGAKaboreMeet.jpg Burkinabe leader Roch Marc Kabore at a meeting on sexual abuse. Ghana’s Akufo-Addo delivers a lecture at the Colombia university. Ugandan President Museveni met with South Sudan Vice-President to discuss issues of mutual interest. Politics meets business, Ivorian leader Ouattara with Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria. Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe is set to represent Burundi for the second year in a row. Ivorian president Ouattara meets with Rwandan Counterpart, Kagame, as Rwanda’s Foreign Minister looks on. With Kenyan President and his deputy perhaps concentrated on a poll rerun, Foreign Affairs chief Amina Mohammed seems in charge of Kenya’s delegation in New York. Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari on arrival in New York, he is billed to be the 8th speaker today. Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on arrival in New York. Cameroonian leader, Paul Biya, shared a photo of his arrival in New York, closely behind him is First Lady Chantal Biya. Brief about the 72nd UNGA Instituted since 1946, the U.N. General Assembly is the biggest annual gathering of world leaders as the body put it, ‘to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. 193 countries will have their leaders or representatives giving addresses. It is the first UNGA for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who took over last year from Ban Ki-Moon. Ki-moon stepped down after serving two five-year terms. The Summit takes place between Tuesday September 19 till Monday September 25. The theme for this year’s session is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”. One building. 193 countries. Countless opportunities for change. #UNGA is here! News, video + much more:— United Nations (@UN) September 18, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Sirleaf, dos Santos, Khama: African leaders waving 'goodbye' to U.N. Gen. Assembly Mon, 18 Sep 2017 22:17:20 +0000 Three African leaders will be participating or sending representation to what will be their last official participation in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA kicks off today and is set to run till next Monday September 25. Whiles three African leaders will show up as ‘newcomers,’ at least three others will not show up again at least in presidential capacity. The newcomers include: President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; The Gambia’s Adama Barrow and Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo – the latter is reported to have handed the opportunity to his Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire. #Africa ‘newcomers’ at #UNGA #Gambia #Ghana, #Somalia— Alfa Ibn Muslim (@AlfaAllahguide) September 18, 2017 Those bidding the UNGA goodbye are leaders whose mandate run out this year or before the 73rd General Assembly scheduled for 2018. They are: Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – the first African female president. Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Ian Khama of Botswana. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf bows out this year after the country goes to polls to elect her successor in October 2017. As the first female president of sub-Saharan Africa, Sirleaf , 78, has led the west African nation since 2006, she is in the last days of her second straight term. She has been a regular attendee at the UNGA. She took over the country at the end of the civil war that saw former leader, Charles Taylor, jailed by an international court for war crimes. She is credited with returning the country to stability over the last decade. Sirleaf has overseen a rising economy that was badly hit by the outbreak of Ebola years ago. Her critics accuse her of sheilding corrupt officials and also of engaging in nepotism. She received Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in Liberia’s return to peace. According to an Executive Mansion (Liberian presidency) release, “the President departed the country on Sunday, September 17, 2017 and is expected to be away from September 18 – October 2, 2017. Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos Aside the first five years after Angola’s independence (1974 – 1979), the following 38 years has been under the leadership of one man: Jose Eduardo dos Santos – the 74-year-old who officially gave up the title of ‘President’ after the 2017 polls. Over his lengthy stay in power, he has been part of a group of world leaders who did not always travel to New York for the UNGA. Last year for instance, Angola was represented by Vice-president, Manuel Domingos Vicente. What is clear is that dos Santos will not be in New York neither will president-elect Joao Lourenco because his inauguration is slated for September 21. Despite stepping down as president, he maintains the powerful role of leader of the ruling MPLA – a move that many political watchers describe as holding on to considerable power even as he walks into retirement. But unlike Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, who is famed for making tough statements on the world stage, the UNGA may not even recognize his absence. Botswana’s Ian Khama Despite being born in the United Kingdom to Botswana’s foremost independent leader and one-time president, Ian Khama, returned home to serve in the military and then entered politics. Khama became president after then president Festus Mogae’s handed over to him in 2008 but won his first term in 2009. His presidential term runs out when the country goes to the polls in 2019 but the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has a tradition where the president steps down and hands over power to his vice-president with a year to expiration of his mandate. Incidentally, Khama, like dos Santos is not a fan of the UNGA, he has missed it several times leading opposition figures to raise issues but the country’s diplomat to the U.N. has recently risen to Khama’s defence. Botswana will be represented by vice-president, Mokgweetsi EK Masisi. “Not at all. It makes no difference. I must say whether or not our president goes to the general assembly does not affect the implementation of the development programmes here at home which are implemented through UNDP and other UN agencies. “There is no direct impact and he is not the only leader who is not able to come up there. It is not unusual and it is not an issue with fellow diplomats at all,” Anbassador Ntwaagae told The Midweek Sun. Kabila and DRC’s political uncertainty The case of the Democratic Republic of Congo cannot be firmed up due to political uncertainty. All things being equal, President Kabila should be on the list of those attending their last – if he does attend. But it remains to be known whether the DRC will hold elections this year or before the next UNGA and more importantly whether Kabila will contest in the said polls. He has served his second legal term and a political agreement bars him from contesting when next polls are organized. The electoral body continues its registration of people across the country but has maintained that an election is highly improbable for this year. Opposition protests are usually dispersed by police crackdown. Brief about the 72nd UNGA Instituted since 1946, the U.N. General Assembly is the biggest annual gathering of world leaders as the body put it, ‘to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. 193 countries will have their leaders or representatives giving addresses. It is the first UNGA for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who took over last year from Ban Ki-Moon. Ki-moon stepped down after serving two five-year terms. The Summit takes place between Tuesday September 19 till Monday September 25. The theme for this year’s session is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”. Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa Digital journalist Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo South Africa's ruling ANC gears for renewal Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:02:52 +0000 Former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the on-going challenges in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress-ANC, are only signals for a renewal. But the country’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, recently accused of extra marital affairs, urged members to focus on solving challenges ANC supporters are facing. The embattled party has seen a wave of infighting, divisions and no confidence votes against its president Jacob Zuma. “Any organization goes through periods of challenges and periods of renewal, and we shall be renewing our organization. Obviously we have to unite it along a programme of action, united in unity and united in action, because unity is not abstract”, Dlamini-Zuma said. Zuma’s ex wife who was attending the pan African business forum in Ghana expressed optimism about her leadership role in the ANC and South Africa. She will contest against Ramaphosa, also a front runner to replace Jacob Zuma when he steps down as ANC president in December. Whoever wins automatically becomes party’s flag bearer in the country’s presidential election. Raziah Athman Widening protests against the CFA franc rage on Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:06:45 +0000 Thousands of demonstrators on Saturday took to the streets in several French-speaking African cities, calling the Pan-African Emergency Movement to say no to the CFA, a currency they claim “prevents development” and is keeping countries in poverty. Members of civil society in Dakar-Senegal, Cotonou in Benin, Douala-Cameroon, Libreville-Gabon and Bamako in Mali have called for the abolition of the CFA, that is shared by 14 francophone African countries. These protests follow the burning of a 5,000 CFA note by Senegalese activist Kemi Séba last month. It is equivalent to $9.20. “We are asking to get out of the neo-colonial CFA Franc precision. It is important because ultimately for me the name does not matter.To have a currency called CFA, for me it does not matter. The thing is this currency, whatever its denomination, the FCFA should be a sovereign currency, or a currency whose monetary policy is defined by and for Africans”, Guis Marius Sagna, activist. Those protesting against the CFA, a common currency for about 155 million people, say it only favors the interest of France. But its defenders are arguing the importance of a stable common currency, compared to the Nigerian Naira or the South African Rand, floating currencies which often suffer from inflation, calculated on the basis of the US dollar. Raziah Athman Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu on the run: Nigeria Army Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:27:27 +0000 Nigerian military officials say the leader of Nigeria’s secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is currently on the run. He reportedly went into hiding after the military declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation. His whereabouts became unknown since the South East Governors Forum declared the activities of his group as proscribed. Biafra ‘militant terrorist’ tag: Nigeria army backtracks The federal government also filed a suit before the Abuja Federal High Court seeking the revocation of the bail granted to Mr Kanu, who is standing treason trial along with three other people. Some sources hint that that Kanu might have gone underground and security officials are contemplating about following the legal process by holding his sureties responsible. News Agencies Kenya's Jubilee Party accused of hatching life presidency plan Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:30:35 +0000 Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused the ruling party of planning to remove presidential term limit as well as the security of tenure enjoyed by judges by using what he describes as a “fake” majority in parliament. The opposition has also accused the government of hatching a plan to do away with the use of technology in the elections which will make it difficult to detect malpractices. Taking the floor during the rally in Nairobi’s Embakasi area, one of Odinga’s advisers Kalonzo Musyoka, lashed at local and foreign observers for their forth and back statements during the August 8 elections. The observers earlier praised the outcome of the polls before criticsing the transmission later after Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the presidential election. 15 killed in suicide bomb attack in northeast Nigeria Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:35:33 +0000 Suspected suicide bombers killed at least 15 people and injured 26 others on Monday in northeast Nigeria’s state of Borno, epicentre of the Islamist militant Boko Haram insurgency, the chairman of the local emergency agency said. The attacks are the latest in a series of bombings in the restive northeast that have killed at least 200 people since June 1, according to a Reuters tally. “Three suicide bomber infiltrated a settlement called Mashimari, in Konduga Local Government,” said Ahmed Satomi, chairman of Borno’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). The area is around 35 kilometres southeast of the state capital, Maiduguri. Another SEMA official said the suicide bombers joined a gathering of farmers in Mashimari before detonating their devices around 11:45 a.m. (1045 GMT) as they mingled with the group. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the use of suicide bombers is a hallmark of Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which is trying to create an Islamic state in the Lake Chad region that includes northeast Nigeria, has killed more than 20,000 people and caused over two million to flee their homes since 2009. Reuters Somalia parliament opens probe into handover of citizen to Ethiopia Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:51:03 +0000 Somalia’s parliament, the House of the People, has instituted a body to investigate the government’s decision to handover a Somali national to neighbouring Ethiopia. Their position was contained in a press release issued on Monday September 18, 2017 from the office of the Speaker of the House. It comprises 15 persons whose mandate is to report back on the circumstances surrounding the handover. Mogadishu’s detention and subsequent transfer of Mr. Abdikarin Sheikh Muse of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) to Ethiopia in August 2017 sparked outrage in the country. The action has been described as a breach of Somali and international laws – which decries refoulement. The parliament was on recess at the time the action took place, most lawmakers had gone on the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The Upper House met but deferred to the Lower Chamber to deal with the matter first. The current decision is one issued by the two houses, reports indicate. Somali parliament appoints commitee to probe the case of Qalbi-Dhagax following Somalia’s move to hand over the ONLF commander to Ethiopia.— Ahmed Mohamed Adan (@Ahmednairobi1) September 18, 2017 The ONLF group in a statement confirming the handover of its top official expressed worry about the possible mistreatment that Sheikh Muse was likely to face. “The Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refugee to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents. It has been intimated that Mr. Abdikarin was sacrificed in order ti get political support from the Ethiopian regime,” the statement read. It condemned the Somali regime and called for the release of Muse – who Ethiopia insists holds an Ethiopian passport and opted to return voluntarily. That claim has been roundly rejected by the family and the group which he belonged to. ONLF describes itself as “a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement whatsoever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.” The Ogaden region a disputed territory between both countries was the subject of a war in February 1977. Ex-Cuban president Fidel Castro okayed the deployment of 1000s of soldiers under the leadership of one General Arnaldo Ochoa to help Ethiopia in a war. The troops went to support the regime under Mengistu Haile Mariam to annex the Ogaden region. Somalia at the time, albeit allies of Ethioipia believed they were winning the war but forcefully surrendered the Ogaden plateau to the 17,000 Cuban soldiers. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ugandan campaigners against scrapping presidential age-limit arrested Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:33:21 +0000 Some 14 youth activists have been arrested in the Ugandan capital Kampala while campaigning against the proposed scrapping of presidential age-limit that will allow President Yoweri Museveni to contest in the next elections. According to local media portal Daily Monitor, the police bundled the activists into a truck on Monday morning and sent them to the Central Police Station where they were detained. The police did not say the reason they arrested the activists who were dressed in all-white, sharing fliers against the proposed constitutional amendment. This is not the first time campaigners against the amendment have been arrested. In July, some youth opposition groups launched a similar campaign and were arrested in the process for unlawful assembly. In 2005, a constitutional amendment was made removing the two-term limit for the presidency to allow Museveni to contest for elections. The age limit for a candidate to stand for president is currently 75 and President Yoweri Museveni, who is now 73, will be two years older than the limit in the 2021 election. Uganda’s deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana had denied that the proposal to scrap the age limit is a ploy to allow Museveni to stay on as president. Last week, Members of Parliament of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and some independent MPs passed a resolution to initiate the process of scrapping the presidential age limit currently pegged at 75. Ismail Akwei DRC says it has opened inquiry into fatal shooting of Burundian refugees Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:51:20 +0000 The Democratic Republic of Congo said Sunday that it had opened an inquiry after soldiers fired on Burundian refugees in the eastern South Kivu province, killing dozens. Government spokesman Lambert Mende also claimed that many of those killed during the clashes were members of an “armed group”, without providing details. The UN’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in the country had said Saturday that at least 36 refugees were killed in the violence in Kamanyola on Friday, in which a Congolese soldier also died. But Mende appeared to dispute this, saying: “It has even been claimed they had bibles: Was the Congolese army lieutenant killed after being hit by bibles?” Witnesses told AFP that many of the Burundians in Kamanyola were victims of religious persecution because they are followers of a female prophet called Zebiya, who has attested to seeing visions of the Virgin Mary in northern Burundi. Interior ministry official Josue Boji said Saturday that the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country’s domestic intelligence agency to demand the release of four Burundians who had been arrested for expulsion on Wednesday night. Boji said troops tried to disperse the refugees by “firing in the air but were overwhelmed” when the group responded by throwing stones. At least 124 refugees were also wounded. Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to the eastern DR Congo to escape a wave of violence that unfurled in 2015 after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term in office. Overall, the violence in Burundi has claimed 500 to 2,000 lives, according to differing tolls provided by the UN or NGOs, and more than 400,000 Burundians have fled abroad. Around 36,000 are in DR Congo, mainly in the overcrowded camp of Lusenda in the east, or several transit camps. AFP Haftar puts faith in Sassou Nguesso-led AU group to help solve Libya's crisis Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:29:32 +0000 Libya’s rival leader Khalifa Haftar has met with Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso in Brazzaville where he expressed faith in the African Union to solve Libya’s crisis. He visited the Central African country on Saturday, a week after the 4th African Union high level committee meeting on Libya chaired by Sassou Nguesso. “The AU has conducted mediations which I consider a duty to help the Libyan people, unlike other mediations by Western countries who intervene only for their own interest and not the interest of our country,” Haftar told the media after the meeting. “Although there is the international community that is helping us, the problems of Africans can only be solved by the Africans themselves, who are better acquainted with the problems that concern them,” he added. Haftar, who is the dominant figure in eastern Libya, said he was absent at last week’s meeting because of security reasons linked to his country’s fight against terrorist groups. The high level committee of the AU includes the heads of state and government of Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Uganda and South Africa who meet to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Libya. Haftar has made military gains on the ground in Libya since early last year and had rejected the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital, Tripoli. International efforts to broker a political deal have resulted in two meetings between Haftar and GNA Prime Minister Fayez Seraj, one in Abu Dhabi in May and the other in Paris in July. At the Paris meeting the two men shook hands on a ceasefire and elections next year, though doubts have been cast over Haftar’s commitment. Since the meeting in Paris, Haftar’s Libyan National Army has threatened to advance into the eastern city of Derna, and tightened a blockade around the city. Ismail Akwei Black dolls inspire children to embrace their African heritage [Culture on The Morning Call] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:25:05 +0000 While growing up, my mum bought me a black doll. I found that to be a bit strange and only played with the white dolls I had. I thought white was better than black because of the hair and the colour the dolls had. This actually meant that I didn’t love myself or where I came from without realising it. But as I grew up, I learnt to embrace how I looked like by loving my skin colour and the texture of my hair. Unfortunately when you went to the market to buy the dolls, you rarely get the chance to spot black dolls. There has been a lack of representation of African people especially when it came to dolls. But over the years this norm has been changed and now there’s a wide range of black dolls. Parents are now teaching their children the importance of diversity and the beauty in diversity through these dolls and children are also learning about their African culture and heritage from a very young age. Mala Bryan is a doll maker in South Africa known for her Mallaville doll collection. Her goal: “to inspire creative imagination.” Her dolls’ complexions range from the honey sun kissed tone all the way to the rich midnight complexion made popular by Sudanese model, Nyakim Gatwech, nicknamed Queen of the Dark. Taofick okoya is the founder of “Queens of Africa” in Nigeria. His dolls have been described as the Nigerian rival to the classic Barbie doll. His doll range depicts various Nigerian ethnicities.The dolls also reflects a variety of African hairstyles. Customers may opt for dolls rocking an afro, or alternatively one with braids or braid extensions. His mission is to spread a message which enforces young black girls their self-esteem, allowing them from an early age to have role models they can relate to. Tawfick Okoya says he wants his range of dolls to be a positive example of African history, culture and fashion so that girls can feel proud of their heritage. Rokhaya Diop from Senegal is the creator of Urbi dolls. Hers is a range of black and mixed dolls. Her dolls are exclusively reserved for black and mixed-race girls and are also intended for white girls, to make them discover other dolls which represent their friends. The idea to make these kind of dolls came to her when she decided to surprise her niece called Binta with a black doll, that actually resembled her appearance. Through her dolls, she sends a strong message that black is beautiful. That a little girl should not be ashamed of her hair, nor of her skin color. Kenyan police fire teargas after women attacked at election meeting [no comment] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:53:12 +0000 Kenyan police in the western city of Kisumu fired tear gas and bullets in the air on Wednesday (September 13) to disperse young men who broke into a hotel and beat women attending an election meeting, meeting participants said. Press review [The Morning Call] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:57:00 +0000 Hannane FERDJANI Mediator who helped secure release of Chibok girls wins $150K UN prize Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:12:38 +0000 A Nigerian lawyer who helped to secure the release of dozens of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 was on Monday announced the winner of a U.N. prize for providing an education to children uprooted by violence in northeast Nigeria. Zannah Mustapha is the founder of two schools which offer free education, meals and healthcare to its pupils, and even enrol children born to Boko Haram fighters to learn alongside those orphaned by the Islamist group’s eight-year insurgency. The Nansen Refugee Award, which is bestowed by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), has been won in the past by Eleanor Roosevelt and Luciano Pavarotti, and the winner receives $150,000 to fund a project complementing their existing work. “I am exceedingly happy and motivated to do more … I will scale up my efforts,” Mustapha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. “Some of the students that started in my school have graduated, and they are now going into university – I can use this money to help them complete the cycle,” Mustapha added. His first venture, Future Prowess, opened a decade ago and was the only school in Borno state in northeast Nigeria to remain open when Boko Haram in 2009 began their brutal campaign to carve out an Islamic state. The Islamist militants have killed hundreds of teachers and forced more than 1,000 schools to shut, leaving tens of thousands of children without an education, aid agencies say. [ID: “Education offers hope”] UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi hailed Mustapha for helping to foster peace and rebuild communities devastated by violence. “Education is one of the most powerful tools for helping refugee children overcome the horrors of violence and forced displacement,” Grandi said in a statement. Mustapha’s work also includes helping to negotiate the release of more than 100 of the 220-odd girls snatched from their school in Chibok in April 2014 in the biggest publicity coup of Boko Haram’s insurgency that prompted global outrage and the international campaign #bringbackourgirls. The return of 82 of the girls in May marked the second group release of the Chibok girls by the militants – with both deals brokered by Switzerland and the Red Cross and mediated by Mustapha – after a group of 21 were freed in October last year. A few others have escaped or been rescued but about 113 of the girls are believed to be still held captive by Boko Haram. The Islamist group has killed at least 20,000 people, uprooted more than 2.7 million and sparked one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, according to aid agencies. Despite being driven back from much of the territory it held, Boko Haram has ramped up attacks this year, targeting civilians and camps for the displaced with suicide bombings. Reuters Gabon's PM discusses political crisis [The Morning Call] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:58:05 +0000 Gabonese Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoset Ngondet speaks of proposed amnesty to 400 post election prisoners, responds to allegations of discrimination and media censorship against opposition in the country. Our Correspondent caught up with Mr NGONDET in a press interview in Libreville where the prime minister discussed these and more on the general political situation in Gabon. 'Returning the dead' ceremony Madagascar [The Morning Call] Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:57:05 +0000 Madagascar revives its ceremony of ‘returning the dead’. Hannane FERDJANI Pics of the day: September 15th, 2017 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:08:20 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. German elections: are refugees still welcome? Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:16:34 +0000 As part of our special coverage ahead of the German elections, we travel to Germany’s deep south, in the state of Bavaria. As the election draws near, tensions are running high in small towns, particularly on core issues such as immigration. Disagreement centres on how to integrate migrants into the labour market. Who should be allowed to stay and who should be sent back home? On a building site, we meet Thiare Ousseynou, an apprentice at ABS Kugelmann GMBH. Thiare is from Senegal, a country German authorities consider as safe. Political asylum is difficult to obtain for migrants from such countries. “When your parents back home are hungry, then it should be OK if their relatives manage to make their way to Europe so they can help out their parents in need,” he says. “There is no war in Senegal. But when you wake up in the morning and you have nothing to eat, this too is a kind of daily battle…” While the Conservatives and Social Democrats are calling for repatriation agreements to be drawn up with African countries, Green and left-wing politicians oppose such deals. Thiare’s boss has a high opinion of him – and would like to keep him. “He speaks good German. But a written test is a real problem. He has no problem communicating with colleagues on the building site, but if he does not pass the written test now he won’t get his certificate… and he will be threatened with deportation. Why should someone like him leave Germany? His country of origin should not matter. Germany needs qualified workers like him,” says Adolf Kugelmann. Asylum seekers not welcome everywhere Our next stop is Pfenningbach, on the boarder with Austria. This village of 300 people is preparing to take in 102 asylum seekers. Many in the village say they agree to welcome some refugees, but not that many. “The local council voted unanimously against the decision. But this local vote was simply ignored by the county council,” says local resident Franz Fuchs. “In our street, there are 12 houses with 25 residents. And now they want us to integrate 102 asylum seekers!,” exclaims another resident, Martha Danninger. “It won’t work out,” adds Christian Erntl, who’s also part of the conversation. “You can not squeeze 102 people into such a tiny place. Moreover these 102 people are mostly men from different countries. This will inevitably lead to tension and conflict.” “It doesn’t matter whether there are 102 Syrians, 102 Afghans or 102 Bavarians… when people live squeezed together like that it leads to conflict: first within the group, and then it will spread,” says Martha’s brother Franz. Laugh and learn Keep on smiling and learn the language – that’s the advice Rias Khan gives people when asked how to integrate into the labour market and into German society. We are in Parsdorf, close to Munich. Rias is from Pakistan. The manager of the garden center where he works received an “integration award” from the federal government for his efforts to help integrate immigrants. But the local authorities won’t give Rias a permanent resident’s permit. “I received vocational training, but I also received a deportation order. I do not know if I will be able to to stay or not,” he says. Rias’ colleagues as well as his boss at the garden centre are very supportive. “The problem is that workers should be protected from deportation during the three years of vocational training and two years after that. But this protection depends on their country of origin. If it is considered a safe country, the trainees face problems with the public authorities and need special approval,” says Sonja Ziegltrum-Teubner, manager at the Bayerische Blumen-Zentrale GMBH in Parsdorf. Cut the red tape Back in Munich, we meet the chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Driessen. According to him, about one third of refugees last year received some kind of training or job. But full integration into the German labour market takes at least seven years. The biggest obstacles, he says, are language, housing and bureaucracy. What should the priority be for the next German administration, we ask him. “We need to introduce a cut-off date. The procedure needs to be facilitated for all those who arrived before the spring of 2016. We need to cut all this bureaucratic red tape,” he tells us. While most political parties and a huge number of voters are in favour of granting protection to those who are persecuted, a growing number of people do not welcome economic migrants. We will find out soon whether voters will sanction Angela Merkel for her refugee policy. Join us on Euronews for our live coverage of the German elections on September 24. Hans von der Brelie South Africa, Senegal, Ghana march against Rohingya violence in Myanmar Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:51:42 +0000 Protest marches took place in some African countries including Senegal, South Africa, and Ghana against the violence by Myanmar security forces targeting the Rohingya Muslim-minority. Thousands came out in the streets of Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Dakar and Accra in solidarity with the over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh to escape a seeming ethnic cleansing. South Africa’s march was held last Wednesday and Friday with protesters demanding the intervention of the Myanmar government to end the violence. 🆘‼️😯🔥 Islamabad or Jakarta? Nope, this is South Africa! They protest 4 #Rohingya under “Allahu Akbar”. South Africa also under the crescent.— Onlinemagazin (@OnlineMagazin) September 15, 2017 One of the organisers of Wednesday’s Cape Town protest Hajji Allie told the media that they are also demanding the return of the Myanmar ambassador to South Africa to his country. The protest in Pretoria on Friday was held outside the Myanmar Embassy. Over 2,000 people protest outside #Myanmar embassy in #Pretoria calling for end to killings of #Rohingya people #SA4Rohingya #SouthAfrica— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017 In Dakar on Friday, the protesters from various religious organisations carried banners in solidarity with the Rohingya people as they marched from the central mosque in Dakar to the Obelisk Square. The leaders read statements in French, Arabic and English denouncing the violence and demanding action by the international community as well as the prosecution of the anti-Muslim Burmese Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu whom they want to be tried by the International Criminal Court for preaching violence. “He has destroyed the humanist teaching of Buddha and has transformed it into a racial persecution, mass murder and ethnic cleansing,” one of the organisers Mame Mactar Gueye read from a joint statement by the Jamra and Mbagn Gaccé Muslim groups in Senegal. They also called for Aung San Su Kyi to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize for her complicity. Protesters in #Senegal join solidarity with #Rohingyas & demand Int pressure on govt of Myanmar.— Benjamin Tetteh (@benjieluv) September 15, 2017 Dozens also gathered in Ghana’s capital Accra on Monday to march against the violence and especially against the sale of weapons to the Myanmar government by Israel. One of the organisers and spokesperson of the Freedom & Justice Group Irbard Ibrahim said they will deliver a petition to the Israeli Embassy in Ghana to end the sale of weapons to Myanmar. “The world cannot afford another Holocaust and what is happening now is the vile murder of a persecuted minority group,” he said. The group called on Canada to revoke the honorary Canadian citizenship conferred on Aung San Su Kyi, and also called on the Nobel Committee to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize. “The government of Ghana should make a strong case to the United Nations against the unfolding genocide in Myanmar and should take further steps in encouraging the Security Council of the United Nations to take immediate action against Myanmar,” a statement from the group added. Other protest marches have been scheduled to take place in the coming weeks in other African cities. The violence in Myanmar began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army camp, killing about 12 people. This was followed by retaliatory attacks by the Myanmar military which killed several Rohingya Muslims, torched their homes and left about 410,000 people fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh. The Buddhist-majority Myanmar said its forces are only clearing the insurgency of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army responsible for the August attacks. World leaders have called against the violence while rights groups are demanding sanctions against Myanmar’s generals who have not heeded to calls to end the violence. The government leader Aung San Suu Kyi has faced a lot of criticism for not speaking against the violence. She is expected to speak for the first time in a national address on Tuesday. Until the violence, about a million Rohingya lived in Rakhine State where they face travel restrictions and are denied citizenship. Many Buddhists regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Here are some images from the solidarity protests in Africa. Some of the images from the anti #Myanmar protest in #Pretoria today #SA4Rohingya #Rohingya #SouthAfrica— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017 Abuddist representative in #SouthAfrica joined protestors in condemning killings of #Rohingya people at the #Myanmar embassy #SA4Rohingya— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 15, 2017 #Rohingya Protest in South Africa— iTV Networks SA (@itv_sa) September 15, 2017 Protestors appeal to #SouthAfrica gov’t to expel #Mynmar envoy in #Pretoria over killings in #Rohingya #SA4Rohingya— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) September 13, 2017 Photo Credit: Hassan Isilow/ Twitter Ismail Akwei Peace and reconciliation forum kicks off in restive Kasai region Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:58:45 +0000 A forum for peace and reconciliation in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region will open on Monday September 18. The 3-day forum to be held in Kananga, brings together religious leaders, politicians and civil society groups from the five provinces in the restive region. Clashes erupted a year ago when the Congolese army killed the regional tribal leader of the Kamwina Nsapu militia. Since then, more than three thousand people have lost their lives, according to the Catholic Church. The United Nations estimates 1.4 million people have been displaced and says the region is on brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.