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Archive for the tag “Vukasin Petrovic”

Press Release: Burundi Shuts Down Civil Society (23.11.2015)

Burundi 24.11

In response to the suspension of 10local human rights organizations on November 23 by the Burundian government, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“It is ludicrous that the government of Burundi would suspend many of the last remaining entities, including APRODH, working to promote peace and protect the fundamental rights of its citizens,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “Burundi is at a severe disadvantage without an active civil society, and any remaining legitimacy is slipping away with these oppressive tactics. The government of Burundi should immediately reverse these illegal suspensions and participate in, not just commit to, peace negotiations, which have the great potential to prevent a broader widespread conflict and reverse the country’s downward trajectory.”

Background:

Last week, the government of Burundi froze the bank accounts of some of the most prominent local human rights organizations, including FORSC, FOCODE and APRODH. Since April 2015 – when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to pursue a third mandate violating the Arusha Accords – most civil society leaders have been forced into exile and all local independent radio stations have been shut down.

Burundi is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, and is rated Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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Press Releases on the Coup d’etat in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso2

It’s been a day with heavy deployment in Burkina Faso. The recent activities are still under way and the reports from the ground and they will continue to come. The Coup d’etat which is happening as we speak is strange especially thinking about the recent process that the nation has been under in recent months. That the military has all of a sudden carried out! The releases that are released are from certain big organization, multilateral organization and bigger nations that have a say in the world.

African Union statement:

“The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, continues to follow with deep concern the situation in Burkina Faso following the abduction yesterday, in Ouagadougou, of the President of Faso, Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and some members of his Government, by elements of the

Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP), as well as today’s announcement of the appointment of “new authorities” (…)”She welcomes the unanimous condemnation by the international community of these acts, which constitute a serious threat to peace, stability and security in Burkina Faso, the region and the rest of the continent. She calls on all the AU Member States and the international community as a whole to ensure that this attempt to undermine the Transition is defeated. The AU considers the announcement by the military of the “dismissal” of President Michel Kafando and the attempt of substituting him with “new authorities” as null and void” (…)”The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the imperative for the defense and security forces to operate under the control of the political authorities. She stresses that the repeated destabilization attempts by elements of the RSP since the beginning of the Transition highlight the need for security sector reform in Burkina Faso, as part of the efforts to deepen democracy and strengthen the rule of law in this country” (African Union, 2015).

Amnesty:

“The situation in Burkina Faso is deeply worrying. The interim president and all those detained must be immediately freed and their physical integrity protected,” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher” (…)“The security forces must respect the right of the population to protest peacefully, and take action to avoid any more deaths or injuries,” (…)”The coup d’état comes just two days after the National Reconciliation and Reforms Commission recommended that the RSP be disbanded following accusations that its guards opened fire on unarmed protesters during last year’s anti-government protests” (Amnesty, 2015).

Freedom House:

“The Presidential Guard’s decision to detain key members of the transitional government weeks before the election is a direct threat to Burkina Faso’s transitional process,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “It is imperative these officials be released and citizens of Burkina Faso be given the opportunity to peacefully vote for their new government” (Freedom House, 2015).

South Africa;

“South Africa strongly condemns any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or the resolution of political disagreements through the use of force. This incident is a serious violation of Burkina Faso’s Constitution and the country’s Transitional Charter. South Africa calls for the immediate release of Interim President Kafando, Prime Minister Zida and other leaders, and appeals to the people and all political leaders in the country to refrain from any violent activities that may further undermine peace, security and stability in the country. We urge all involved, including Burkina Faso’s security forces, to adhere to non-violence, and to debate issues in a peaceful and inclusive manner” (RSA, 2015).

United Nation:

“The United Nations stands firmly behind the transitional authorities and President Kafando.  The Secretary-General notes the strong support of the people of Burkina Faso for a peaceful transition and urges compliance with the transitional calendar, including the upcoming elections.”(United Nation, 2015).

U.S. Statement:

“The United States strongly condemns any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or resolve internal political disagreements using force” (Kirby, 2015).

On a total different note:

“today confirms that operations at its Mana Mine in Burkina Faso have not been interrupted by the coup d’état that erupted yesterday in the Ouagadougou area” (…)”The Mana Mine is located 270 kilometers southwest and a five-hour road trip from the capital of Ouagadougou. We are closely monitoring the situation with our partners to ensure the continued safety and security of SEMAFO employees” (La Valliere, 2015).

Afterthough:

Hope this was some insights and hope when it has transgressed over the recent day. I have nearly ever read that governments and human rights organizations have been positive to a coup d’etat in any country. So that they are telling and condemning of the actions of the military should been seen as reasonable in any sense. The process of the matter and the reactions is normal. I and other just pray that this lead to security and safety for the public. The Burkinabe should get political and economic freedoms that they deserve, because there to many coup d’etat’s in the country. If they get this by yet another coup d’etat we cannot be sure of. That this will generate wealth or generate any kind of stabile government is not certain. Especially when they jail the ones that we’re leading the transitional government that was in place for the moment and time. And the outcome of this will lead to outrage and issues between the public and the new military government. The issues between the Burkina Faso and the outside world will also be in jeopardy and the legitimacy of the government would be hard task. Reasons for the coup and knowledge will be dropped later and the stories behind will surface. For now we will hope and pray that this will lead to something good. Though it’s hard to know since the ones grabbing guns and taking it by force isn’t often a way to a healthy democracy or peoples republics. The last one who stepped aside and made a difference this way was Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings. But he is a rarity in this world. Peace.

Reference:

African Union – ‘THE AFRICAN UNION REJECTS AS NULL AND VOID THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MILITARY OF THE “DISMISSAL” OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE TRANSITION IN BURKINA FASO’ (17.09.2015) link:http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auc-press-release-burkina-faso-17-9-2015-.pdf

Amnesty- ‘Army must free detained leaders in Burkina Faso and avoid violent repression of protests’ (17.09.2015) link: http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/army-must-free-detained-leaders-in-burkina-faso-and-avoid-violent-repression-of-protests

Kirby, John – ‘Recent Actions by Elements of the Presidential Guard in Burkina Faso’ (16.09.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/246990.htm

LaValliere, Robert – ‘Business as Usual at SEMAFO’s Mana Mine in Burkina Faso’ (17.09.2015) link: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/press-releases/story.aspx?id=1003706346

Freedom House – ‘Burkina Faso: President and PM Detained Ahead of Vote’ (16.09.2015) link: https://freedomhouse.org/article/burkina-faso-president-and-pm-detained-ahead-vote

RSA – ‘South African Government expresses concern over the Republic of Burkina Faso’ (17.09.2015)

UN – SG/SM/17080-AFR/3208: ‘Outraged over Reported Detention of Burkina Faso Leaders, Secretary-General Calls for Immediate Release’ (16.09.2015) link: http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sgsm17080.doc.htm

Norman Thumuhimbise speaking out after the abduction and will report the Kampala Metropolitan Police tomorrow!

Finally is hespeaking to the world. After he was unjustly taken to custody by security organization earlier this week. Norman Thumuhimbise of the Jobless Brotherhood is being punished for speaking the truth and telling stories of youth who just want to work and not be unemployed anymore in Uganda. For that and for using peaceful tools to campaign for the cause that he is involved in. The Police and Security Organizations has done him and other oppositition people has also gotten this actions against them. And the world should take notice and give the regime a little of piece of mind. Instead it looks like it close it eyes shut because its in the wrong zip-code. If the giant media houses doesn’t care! I do.

One last thing:

The saddest thing is that he has to REPORT AGAIN to the KAMPALA METROPOLIAN POLICE!! After he has been unlawfully detained by people serving the security agencies and even the police. They interrogated him unlawfully and dumped him! Still has now to go back to the police and report himself. That can’t be just and lawful behaviour of the Police in the State of Uganda! Peace. 

Peace!

This is the press release on the 26th of August from Freedom House:

In response to the apparent abduction and detention of Ugandan youth activist Norman Tumuhimbise on August 19, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Freedom House is concerned by Ugandan authorities’ apparent abduction and illegal detention of Norman Tumuhimbise, a youth activist, in an undisclosed location until his release August 26,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The Uganda Police and Uganda Human Rights Commission should immediately investigate his abduction and release the findings publicly as soon as possible. As Uganda’s 2016 general elections approach, the Government of Uganda should ensure that the fundamental rights of human rights activists, as enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda, are respected.”

 

Press Release: Burundi: Police Barricade Parts of the Capital (13.08.2015)

In response to police in Bujumbura, Burundi barricading the neighborhood of Jabe to search residents’ homes and collect weapons, Freedom House issues the following statement:

“This is clearly an attempt by Burundian authorities to stifle peaceful freedom of movement and assembly in Bujumbura,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “Burundian authorities should not use the latest uptick in unrest to justify further repression of the rights of citizens,  as it exacerbates political polarization in the country.”

Background:
Since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to defy term limits in April, Burundi has spiraled into near chaos. Over 180,000 persons have fled the country, and more than 100 others have been killed. On August 2, General Adolphe Nshimirimana, seen as President Pierre Nkurunziza’s number two man, was assassinated. On August 3, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, prominent human rights activist, was assaulted. Police raids in Jabe and other neighborhoods in the capital are viewed as attempts to suppress opposition to Nkurunziza seeking a third term.

Burundi is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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