Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/17/17)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday said the use of torture was "wrong" but faced criticism from a top rights monitor for not demanding an enquiry on alleged police excesses. "The use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media," Museveni wrote in a letter to police and intelligence chiefs. He expressed concern that security operatives "may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent," adding: "This is very unfair." "Somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured," said the longserving leader. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeatedly cited use of torture of detainees...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(The Observer 05/16/17)
A contingent of the Ugandan soldiers returning from the Central African Republic (CAR) are being accused of having sexually exploited or abused at least 13 women and girls since 2015. A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) says at least one rape was registered. In a statement issued by its Nairobi office, HRW says it interviewed 13 women and 3 girls early this year. The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers had been deployed in CAR since 2009 as part of the African Union's Regional Task Force to eliminate the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. In April this year, the ministry of defence announced the withdrawal of UPDF troops from CAR, saying the mission to neutralise the LRA had been...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
A Ugandan academic was released on bail on Wednesday after spending more than a month in jail on charges related to posts she made on Facebook criticizing the country's leader of three decades, Yoweri Museveni. Stella Nyanzi repeatedly accused Museveni and his wife Janet, who is the education minister, of breaking an election promise to offer free sanitary pads to schoolgirls so they do not have to skip classes. In the posts, made over several months, Nyanzi also accused Museveni - often in colourful language - of nepotism, extravagance, corruption and human rights violations. Appearing in court in the capital Kampala on Wednesday, she seemed to be walking with difficulty. A prisons spokesman said Nyanzi had been ill but that...
(Daily Monitor 05/11/17)
Uganda's electricity exports to Kenya grew 300 per cent in the four months to April as drought cut the neighbouring country's local generation of hydro-electric power by 347 million kilowatt hours. Kenya imported 92.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from Uganda in the four months compared to 13.66 million units in the same period last year - marking a 302 per cent growth, according to official data. This is a departure from last year when Kenya cut by half electricity imports from Uganda following the injection of the additional 280 megawatts geothermal power to the national grid a year earlier. But the drought, which follows low rainfall during the October and November rainy season, has left at least 1.3 million people...
(Daily Monitor 05/11/17)
Kampala — President Museveni has taken a leap of faith by deploying the military to fight reported graft in Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and restore foreign investors' confidence. Gen David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces, will according to a source, this or next week name the team which will report to the President through State Investment and Privatisation minister Evelyn Anite. This newspaper understands that Mr Museveni last Friday instructed Ms Anite to set up a customised anti-corruption office at UIA headquarters on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala and a toll-free line to enable investors and members of the public report corruption cases to UPDF. The soldiers, according to Ms Anite, will also handle complaints about delays in approving investment...
(Xinhuanet 05/11/17)
African states are scheduled to meet in Uganda next week to formulate a common position on migration and refugees in the international arena. Obiga Kania, minister of state for internal affairs told reporters on Tuesday that the three-day meeting that will also bring in experts from the UN and civil societies will start on May 15. The meeting dubbed Third Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM) will be held under the theme, ‘Towards a Common African Position on the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees’. Kania said the meeting is intended to be an open and all-inclusive platform for dialogue; bringing in national and regional perspectives and best practices of all relevant stakeholders. He said the overall goal is...
(AFP (eng) 05/10/17)
A Ugandan court ordered the release on bail Wednesday of a prominent academic charged after she called President Yoweri Museveni a "pair of buttocks" in a Facebook post. Outspoken university lecturer Stella Nyanzi, 42, who had been detained for more than a month, collapsed as she entered the court in Kampala for the hearing. Nyanzi was initially arrested a month ago for posting critical comments about the president's wife Janet Museveni, who is also education minister, after the government reneged on plans to supply free sanitary pads to poor schoolgirls. She was subsequently charged with cyber harassment for calling Museveni "a pair of buttocks"
(Reuters (Eng) 05/10/17)
Uganda hopes to raise $2 billion in donations at a U.N. refugee summit next month to help fund relief operations for refugees flowing in from neighboring South Sudan, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said on Tuesday. The east African country hosts a total of 1.2 million refugees, of which almost 800,000 are South Sudanese who fled the world's youngest country since the outbreak of civil war. Rugunda said Uganda faced difficulties in coping with the influx, which ballooned recently since the latest wave of violence erupted in July. "The ... numbers are placing a huge strain on our already stressed ability to cater for food," he told a news conference. "We are hoping that ... we will be able to raise...
(New Vision 05/10/17)
Uganda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) require $8b (about sh30 trillion) to continue to provide services to over 1.2 million refugees and host communities in the next four years. This translates into $2b per year. Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, said that President Yoweri Museveni and the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, will host a joint summit on refugees between June 22 and 23 in Kampala to drum up financial contributions to Uganda to support refugee operations. More than half of the 1.2 million refugees in Uganda are South Sudanese. On average, according to UNHCR and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) statistics, 2,000 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda daily in the last six months...
(New Vision 05/10/17)
Uganda through the Ministry of Health and the US government have entered a partnership aimed at enabling further biomedical research cooperation in preventing, diagnosing and treating the heavy burden of infectious diseases in Uganda. The fields for research and training include HIV/AIDS, malaria among other emerging diseases. Dr. Diana Atwine the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary signed on behalf of Uganda whereas Deborah Malac, the US Ambassador to Uganda signed on behalf of the US. Currently, Uganda and the US are working closely in the Rakai Health Sciences Program under the Ugandan Virus Research Institute (UVRI), MoH and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the US NIH and the Department of Health and Human...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Xinhuanet 05/08/17)
Seven people were killed and two others critically injured in a road accident on Saturday in the central Ugandan district of Masaka. Lamek Kigozi, Masaka regional police spokesperson, told Xinhua that seven people aboard an Ipsum van died on the spot following a head-on collision with a Rwandan registered trailer at Mpungwe along the Kampala-Masaka highway. The spokesperson said the accident occurred after the driver of the Kampala-bound trailer drove on the right-hand side of the road instead of the left, according to Ugandan traffic regulations. "The cause of the accident was reckless driving. The driver of the trailer forgot. He was keeping on the right hand side of the road as it's always in Rwanda," said Kigozi. He said...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
Thirteen men accused of involvement in the murder of high-ranking police officer Andrew Kaweesi and two aides appeared in court Friday, with some claiming they had been tortured while in detention. Some of the suspects were limping heavily as they arrived at the magistrates' court in the capital Kampala, and proceeded to display injuries they said were the result of police torture. Ahmad Senfuka Shaban, 30, a school teacher in Mukono, removed his shirt to show what appeared to be fresh injuries to his back, chest and left arm. In the dock another suspect told the magistrate judge, Noah Ssajjabi, that he and his co-accused had been held at the Nalufenya police station, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(New Vision 05/04/17)
The problem, noted Museveni, has been fragmented vision, pointing out the example of African governments that at one point persecuted the private sector. The President was on Wednesday speaking as the chief panelist on the subject “Agenda 2063: Infrastructure Update” at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, South Africa. The forum that started today (Wednesday) will run until Friday. “The political will has always been there. Many African governments have wanted to succeed since the 1960s. The problem has been ideological meandering, where you get one item and make it most important.
(Voice of America 05/04/17)
In Uganda, the case of a university lecturer jailed last month for allegedly insulting the president on Facebook has revived concern over what civil society groups say are growing efforts to limit freedom of expression in the country. Civil society groups in Uganda continue to campaign for the release of Stella Nyanzi. She remains behind bars awaiting a bail hearing, charged over allegedly calling President Yoweri Museveni “a pair of buttocks” in an online post. The university researcher had been on a public campaign to urge the president to fulfill his promise to provide sanitary pads to poor school girls. “We are seeing a state that is increasingly becoming intolerant of free speech, of right for association and so we...
(Daily Monitor 05/04/17)
President Museveni is on the receiving end of vitriolic criticism from the opposition and human rights world over his nomination of Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura for a three year term in what critics now say is an affirmation of his personal rule project and tougher times ahead for activists opposed to the three decade long regime. Opposition legislators have now vowed to give Gen. Kayihura a 'bloody nose' when he enters appearance for vetting before parliament's appointments committee at a yet to be communicated date while activists such as Kampala Lord Mayor painted a grim picture of increased suppression of dissenting voices ahead of the expiry of Mr Museveni's term in 2021 as the constitution bars him from...

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