Nairobi (AFP) Opposition lawmakers in Burundi on Thursday said 42 activists had been arrested for illegally contesting an upcoming referendum that could let President Pierre Nkurunziza extend his stay in office. Those arrested “were held arbitrarily and have been imprisoned on the accusation of campaigning for a No vote,” Pierre-Celestin Ndikumana, who heads a coalition called Amizero y’Abarundi (“Hope of the Burundians”), told AFP. The plebiscite is about a planned change of the constitution that would enable Nukurunziza — in power since 2005 — to bid for two more seven-yearRead More
Nairobi (AFP) A group of Tanzanian Muslims who have been held in prison since 2013 on terror charges stripped naked in an unusual protest to demand the start of their trial, a witness said Wednesday. Some 60 Muslims were detained nearly five years ago following a series of deadly attacks in Arusha, a mainly Christian city in the north, but they have yet to go on trial. A witness, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident occurred on Tuesday morning when the group was on its way to courtRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Tanzanian President John Magufuli will not seek to extend presidential terms in the country, his party said Saturday, moving to quash calls from his own party to prolong his rule. Magufuli “informed party members and other Tanzanians that the ongoing debate about increasing the presidential term from five to seven years displeases him,” his ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) said in a statement. Such an ammendment was against the party’s rules and the constitution of Tanzania, the statement said, adding that Magufuli does not plan to makeRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Africans have reacted angrily after US President Donald Trump reportedly referred to their nations as “shithole countries”, with many accusing the US president of racism and ignorance. The 55-nation African Union condemned the remarks on Friday, while a statement from ambassadors of all countries from the continent at the United Nations demanded a retraction and apology. The African Group of UN ambassadors said it was “extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks by the president of the United States of America as widelyRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Thirty-six people were killed and 11 injured early Sunday morning in a head-on collision between a bus and a lorry on a road in central Kenya, police said. “The death toll is now 36,” said Rift Valley traffic police chief Zero Arome, explaining the initial toll of 30 had risen, “after six passengers succumbed to injuries in hospital.” The accident occurred at 3:00 am (0000 GMT)close to a notorious stretch on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. A bus travelling from Busia, in western Kenya, collided with a truck coming fromRead More
Nairobi (AFP) The United States carried out an air strike on Christmas Eve against the Shabaab Islamist group that left 13 dead, according to a statement released Wednesday. “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants on the morning of Dec. 24, 2017, in southern Somalia, killing 13 terrorists,” read the statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The United States has stepped up its operations in Somalia in recent weeks, with frequent strikes against Shabaab and a separate self-proclaimed branch ofRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenyan security forces raped, beat and assaulted civilians during violence in recent elections, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, claims rejected by police. “There was widespread sexual violence against women and girls, and sexual attacks on men,” HRW said, in a report titled, “They were men in uniform.” The violence, documented during Kenya’s election in August by HRW and other rights groups, recorded “police use of excessive force against protesters, killings, beatings and maiming of individuals, looting and destruction of property”. The report was based on interviews with 65Read More
Nairobi (AFP) Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has launched a campaign to promote a referendum to change the constitution that could see him rule until 2034. “It’s the day you’ve been waiting for,” Nkurunziza told a crowd of thousands of farmers in the central Gitega district on Tuesday, threatening those who sought to undermine the referendum vote slated for early 2018. The government adopted a plan in October to revise the constitution that, if passed by the referendum, would allow Nkurunziza to serve another two seven-year terms from 2020. “We takeRead More
Nairobi (AFP) Kenya’s opposition has postponed a ceremony to swear in its leader Raila Odinga as a parallel president after a controversial poll it boycotted, the party said Sunday. The National Super Alliance (NASA) had planned to inaugurate Odinga on Tuesday — Kenya’s independence day. The veteran politician had pulled out of the national election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The party said the decision to put back the swearing-in ceremony and launch of a new People’s Assembly to a later date was made “following extensive internal consultations and engagement”.Read More
Nairobi (AFP) Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said Saturday he was shocked by an attack on a UN base in the restive Democratic Republic of Congo which killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers. The soldiers were all members of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces participating in a peacekeeping operation in the conflict-torn eastern region of the country. “I am very shocked and saddened to hear of the deaths of our young, brave soldiers and heroes who lost their lives carrying out their peace mission in our neighbour the DRC,” Magufuli said in aRead More