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Archive for the category “Law”

Eritrea: Peace deal prompts hope of internal reforms, to improve fundamental human rights (19.09.2018)

The peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia has raised hopes that improving human rights will be front and centre on Eritrea’s path forward, according to a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Tuesday.

DAKAR, Senegal, September 19, 2018 -On 9 July, leaders of both countries signed a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, raising expectations that the end of the “no war, no peace” stalemate between them, would positively impact Eritrea’s internal human rights situation.

The thaw in relations between the neighbouring countries, who fought a bloody, unresolved war in the late 1990s, began earnestly in June, when Ethiopia’s newly-elected leader, Abiy Ahmed, made peace overtures to his counterpart.

Eritrean authorities must urgently embrace and implement bold measures to strengthen protection of and respect for human rights, justice and accountability – UN Rapporteur

Yet, repression reportedly continues within Eritrea.

“During the past 17 years, the Government of Eritrea has maintained tight control over the country, stifling any form of public debate and participation,” said Sheila B. Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea.

Eleven government officials who had criticised the President in an open letter, along with 10 independent journalists, were arrested in 2001 – silencing public political discourse an

“I have received reports that the former Minister of Finance,” Ms. Keetharuth continued, “who recently wrote two books on the current state of affairs in the country, including the rule of law, has been arrested in Asmara during the morning of 17 September.”

If confirmed, the arrest, on the eve of the 2001 clampdown anniversary, would question the will for genuine reform, “especially regarding respect for fundamental rights and freedoms,” the expert asserted.

According to Ms. Keetharuth, while comprehensive domestic reforms would be required for a free, fair, democratic society with all human rights entitlements, the Government can take immediate action towards that end in three concrete, urgent areas.

Firstly, the families of prisoners who have disappeared in Eritrean jails should be informed about the fate of their loved ones. Secondly, implementing the 1997 Constitution would provide a natural basis for a national legal framework and a society governed by the rule of law. And thirdly, the Government could inform new military conscripts that they would not have to serve beyond the 18 months stipulated by Eritrean law.

“The achievement of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia must be duly celebrated,” stated Ms. Keetharuth. “However, Eritrean authorities must urgently embrace and implement bold measures to strengthen protection of and respect for human rights, justice and accountability,” she concluded.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The unpaid positions are honorary, and independent from any government or organization.

 

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Bobi Wine is on the way home: But he isn’t really free!

Today’s statement from the Uganda Police Force (UPF) on the new Guidelines for his return tomorrow from medical treatment after the torture post Arua By-Election. Proves my point, that as long as you’re are a stark contrast and even a dissident of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Your freedom is equally limited because of your choice of political affiliation. By these means, the Police will only be allowed to meet with his family at Entebbe Airport and no one else.

This just proves how measured and controlled society is, as the Public Order Management Act, the Anti-Besigye Act is now used against Bobi Wine too. As the People Power are supposed to oppressed and silenced on his return. This just proves that and to what extent, as gatherings or assembling to celebrate, to walk in processions or even wish him welcome are forbidden by the authorities. They just have to silence the people, because that fits the paradigm of Bosco and Boscoites.

We know by now if the NRM or Bosco actually was travelling anywhere, it wouldn’t be with notification or even consideration of the laws applying to the opposition. They can just do whatever that fits and fill the forms later. That is what happened during the run-up to the General Election 2016. Therefore, the composed guidelines doesn’t apply to the government itself, only its dissident citizens whose not following the scheduled programming.

Robert Kyagulanyi will most likely be whisked away, maybe even in that famous black-van by the authorities, as they will be heavy armour and mambas on the streets. There will be like an occupation between Kasangati and Entebbe Airport. You would be thinking the greatest mass-murderer ever to grace planet earth was popping by for some quality matooke. However, it is just the return of Bobi Wine. Kamwokya and other parts of Kampala will also be under siege tomorrow. As the newsreels of arrest and possible house-arrest have been revealed to the public.

When coming back, he will again be tormented and even get the Besigye treatment of being transported between Police Stations and suddenly dropped of home at night for no other reason, that he is torn in the flesh of Bosco. Because Bosco cannot pay him off or silence his defiance against him.

Key words in the guidelines to Bobi Wine: “2.He will be availed security from the airport to his home” (UPF, 19.09.2018). That they will escort his dissident remains to his home and let him out of the public domain as much as possible and if that creates issues. They have the rights to arrest him, because the Police cannot be able to contain the public support of the MP. That is why they have banned all public display and welcoming gestures, as they wished these same sentiments would be every time Bosco leaves for shopping in Khartoum or Nairobi. Alas, that is not the case.

So because of this, we know that when Bobi Wine returns, he isn’t really free. That is anticipated and he should be aware as well, because he is now under the same line of fire as Besigye have been since leaving the NRM. Bobi Wine never left NRM, but he is a fresh torn and a problem for the President as his surge of popularity. Therefore, they will do what they have to contain him and also silence his support. To what level will show tomorrow, but we are not surprised if he enters the tarmac and is whisked away to an undisclosed location by the authorities. Peace.

Cameroon: South West Region – Buea – Launching President Paul Biya’s revised book “For Communal Liberalism” on 21st September 2018 (18.09.2018)

African Union: On the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Comments on African Migrants (18.09.2018)

UPF: Security Guidelines for the Return of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, MP Kyadondo East (19.09.2018)

 

Is Museveni afraid of Bobi Wine? The Quack is Staying home instead of leaving for UNGA!

Similarly, a political leader must diagnose correctly the ills of society. A doctor who does not diagnose his patient’s disease adequately is nothing but a quack. In politics we have also got quacks – and Uganda has had a lot of political quacks over the past two decades or so.” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 26th January 1986 – ‘Mere Change of Guard’.

Certainly, the ones who doesn’t get it, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is a quack, as he is Exellency and the Fountain of Honor. The 1986 rhetoric are really backfiring today, as he hasn’t shown the character, as he still promises the same remedies or simplification of problems as he did when he took power. The President still thinks that settles the score and proves that the ultimate quack is himself.

Well, this here isn’t about his lying self, this about that he is staying home. Not because he wants to save money and buy shoes for the population. Neither, is there more important tasks back home. As he has no trouble leaving for Addis Ababa or Khartoum, whenever he pleases, even Nairobi or Dodoma. Therefore, there are other reasons. I will first put the official line, which we all know isn’t true, because the political reality isn’t there. Just take a look!

President Museveni has elected not to attend the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that gets underway in New York today, according to highly-placed diplomatic sources” (…) “State House said the President has other “more important” issues to attend to while according to Foreign Affairs ministry, Mr Museveni tabled his decision for a Cabinet discussion two months ago. The President told Cabinet it was pointless to travel to New York when he was going to address the assembly for only 15 minutes. It is also costly in a way that each time he travels, he is accompanied by a big delegation. Cabinet endorsed the decision and the records are there,” State International Affairs Minister Okello-Oryem told Daily Monitor last Saturday” (Frederic Musisi – ‘Museveni skips UN General Assembly’ 18.09.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-skips-UN-General-Assembly/688334-4764512-fob5my/index.html).

The most important issue is that Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine is returning this week after a media frenzy in the United States, where he also gotten needed medical treatment after the Post-Arua By-Election torture. Which gave him a battering and hurt him for over 2 weeks between 14th August 2018 and when he was able to leave early September, after being blocked once by the authorities at Entebbe.

However, President Museveni has become a writer and steady speaker, because Bobi Wine can enlighten and put a spark on the youth in the ghettos. In a way that Museveni haven’t been able for years. As Museveni needs to pay Bebe Cool and Jose Chameleone to get crowds like he did before the elections in 2016. Bobi Wine can just show-up or even go door-to-door and get positive response. That is because, he speaks like the generation and the ones who has only seen Museveni as the President. The ones that never saw Yusuf Lule, Tito Okello, Milton Obote or even Idi Amin. Therefore, Museveni are struggling, he cannot manage to beat that and the message of Bobi Wine.

Even if the ironies, is that the peasant message of Museveni in the 1980s isn’t far off what People’s Power is today in 2018. However, Museveni is a self-serving beast at this point and not eager to deliver anything else than wealth to the clan. The rest can just go amuse themselves in poverty. That is why he delivers breadcrumbs in the ghettos now, but didn’t do much for the three decades ruling. If he did, the UPDF wouldn’t go there last year to kill army-worms.

That is why Museveni is scared, because he knows he is a quack and failed. He knows that he is the big-man, His Excellency and President of three decades. That just continues to linger and has trouble with the kid who was 4 years old when he grabbed power. It is magical and sad at the same time.

That the man who blamed Obote for everything are delivering the same sort of nonsense and lack of development. On top of that, always asking for more time. While he trouble with a youngin’ who comes from the utter poverty and risen to the stratosphere. Someone he cannot control and speaks of the similar message as he did, when you was without power. Bobi Wine speaks of the same hope and liberty, as the ones Museveni promised the people, but however, never delivered.

That is why he is afraid and staying quacking at home. He will torment Bobi Wine, just like Museveni has done to other dissidents and he will deflect the misuse of power doing so. That is in Museveni’s nature. This is part of the fear, because Museveni cannot control Bobi Wine, just like Museveni cannot control Besigye. Both of them are vocal dissidents who are not afraid of him and that scares Museveni. That is why he don’t know what to do with them, as the world is watching.

While Museveni misused his words, there might be hope in People’s Power and Bobi Wine. Something Museveni cannot contain forever. That is why he is afraid and staying home. The 27 Guns will not change the guard this time. It will only make it worse. Peace.

Cameroon: North West Region – Press Release (18.09.2018)

Maldives: Statement by Asela Wickramasinghe on his spiritual advice to Abdulla Yameen (18.09.2018)

MISA Zimbabwe: Police Question Journalist Over Documentary (17.09.2018)

Commission on Human Rights Urges South Sudan to make peace and justice a reality (18.09.2018)

South Sudanese civilians continue to live in complete insecurity as the violence is ongoing, arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of the National Security Service are on the rise, some 6 million people – around 60 per cent of the population — live under “emergency” food insecurity and humanitarian assistance convoys are routinely attacked.

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 18, 2018 -The Commissionto use the opportunity created by the renewal of the peace agreement to ensure justice and accountability for the victims of the many crimes committed against its population.

While welcoming in its oral update before the Human Rights Council the “Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan” signed on 12 September, the Commission expressed doubts that the peace deal would endure as deadly fighting between opposing parties and attacks on United Nations peacekeepers had resumed less than 24 hours later.

South Sudanese civilians continue to live in complete insecurity as the violence is ongoing, arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of the National Security Service are on the rise, some 6 million people – around  60 per cent of  the population — live under “emergency” food insecurity and humanitarian assistance convoys are routinely attacked.

The many victims of the five-year conflict need justice if communities are to heal and rebuild the fabric of their society. The ongoing sexual violence against women and girls in South Sudan is pervasive and requires a sustained commitment to holding perpetrators accountable and addressing impunity.

“South Sudan is at war with its citizens and currently stands at the crossroads between hope and peace, on the one hand, and more missed opportunities, on the other hand,” said the Commission’s Chairperson Yasmin Sooka.  “Sustainable peace requires justice and accountability for serious crimes”

Timeline

The Commission in particular urged the African Union and the Government of South Sudan to agree on a timeline to fast-track the long-awaited Hybrid Court for South Sudan, the Commission on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation and the Compensation and Reparations Authority, all set out in Chapter V of the Peace Agreement to render justice and facilitate national reconciliation.

“Six months later, we are still waiting for this signature [by the President of South Sudan or his foreign Minister], which is required by the African Union to set up this court,” stressed Ms. Sooka.

The Commission, which includes two other international human rights law experts Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako, was mandated by the Council to monitor and report on violations, establish their circumstances, identify perpetrators and collect and preserve evidence that could be used to try perpetrators of serious crime. It recently visited South Sudan to meet with senior government officials, UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), humanitarian workers, civil society, the religious communities, as well as internally displaced persons. It also visited refugee camps in Eastern Darfur in Sudan, Arua in Uganda and Kakuma in Kenya, to talk with refugees from South Sudan as well as representatives of the opposition parties. The Commission is due to submit its report to the Human Rights Council in March 2019.

New attacks

Just hours after the revitalized peace agreement, government forces (SPLA) were alleged to have attacked Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces in Yei River State, South of Juba, resulting in the deaths of 17 members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Moreover, two days ago, on 15 September, a SPLA soldier shot in the leg a UN peacekeeper in Yei about 1.4 km from a UNMISS base. Yei town experienced heavy shooting throughout the night, prompting the UNMISS to put it on security alert.

South Sudan is considered to be one of the most dangerous places in the world for humanitarian workers, with more than 13 aid workers killed this year alone.  In April, 10 aid workers were abducted and a UN peacekeeper killed in an ambush targeting a humanitarian convoy. In Wau, between June and late August, access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance was denied “for security reasons”, the Commission’s Chair noted.

Despite the stated commitment of the Government of South Sudan to address sexual violence, little has been done. According to a 2017 study by the Global Women’s Institute and the International Rescue Committee more than 65 per cent of women and girls in South Sudan have reportedly experienced physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lives. Women in South Sudan have been treated by government soldiers and armed actors to the conflict including local militias as spoils of the conflict. They also experience sexual violence during inter-communal violence between rival ethnic groups clashing over land and cattle and live with the threat of sexual violence on a daily basis which is fuelled by the lack of accountability and justice for these crimes.

And yet the Commission noted that, under pressure by the international community, the Government of South Sudan could muster the political will to combat impunity, as evidenced by the recent judgment in the Terrain Case, in which a Military Tribunal handed down jail sentences to ten soldiers for murder, rape, sexual harassment, theft and armed robbery.

Terrain case

While the victims in the Terrain case have welcomed the verdict, they have expressed their disappointment that only the foot soldiers were prosecuted while those with command responsibility have gone unpunished.

The Commission recalled that UNMISS in 2017 investigated and documented that more than 217 South Sudanese women were gang raped by government security forces including at SPLA checkpoints in Juba in the same cycle of violence of July 2016. To date, none of the perpetrators have been held accountable and nor have any of these women received any compensation from the government.

“The plight and suffering of South Sudanese women and girls can no longer be ignored; they urgently deserve justice, compensation and medical and trauma support services. The Terrain trial verdict should not be the exception, but the rule in South Sudan from now on,” declared Ms. Sooka.

Unaccompanied minors

The appalling living conditions have displaced 1.7 million people inside South Sudan. Another 2.5 million South Sudanese have fled the country, including more than 65,600 unaccompanied minors who crossed the border into neighbouring countries since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war in 2013, according to UNCHR.

Amongst the refugee population are a number of unaccompanied minors — 65,600 of them according to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) — who crossed the border into neighboring countries since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war in 2013. These unaccompanied minors are vulnerable to child-soldier recruitment, sexual abuse and exploitation, child labour, drug abuse, criminality, and poverty. They experience intense anxiety and trauma due to separation; they do not know where their family members are, or whether they are alive or dead; in addition they are left to fend for themselves.  UNHCR, UNICEF and the ICRC are doing incredible work in dealing with unaccompanied minors. UNHCR ought to have more resources to carry out their work, declared the Commission.

Given the acute levels of food insecurity in the country, the Government of South Sudan would be expected  to do its utmost to facilitate unimpeded access to UNMISS and humanitarian organizations. Instead the authorities resort to constant bureaucratic stalling which denies access and more alarmingly. Targeted attacks against humanitarian convoys together with these obstructions make it almost impossible to deliver emergency relief.

Death penalty

Finally, the Commission deplored that the Government of South Sudan has not abolished the death penalty or put in place a moratorium on executions despite calls from civil society and the international community to do so, with three executions taking place in May alone this year. A further 40 death-row prisoners have been transferred from state and county prisons to Wau and Juba central prisons, which are the only prisons equipped with execution chambers.  The Commission said it feared that the next few months could see many more executions among the 345 death-row prisoners detained across the country.

 

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