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Eritrea Releases Christian Prisoners On Bail

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Eritrea Releases Christian Prisoners On Bail

The Eritrean government has released on bail more than 20 prisoners who had been in detention for years because of their faith. The US State Department estimates there are twelve hundred to 3,000 prisoners of faith in Eritrea.

The prisoners, from Christian evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, are among those being held in a prison outside the capital, Asmara. Campaigners advocating for religious freedom also say three Jehovah witnesses have been in prison in the country for more than 25 years. A US-based Hannibal Daniel, who campaigns for religious freedom, said people imprisoned for about 16 years were among those freed.

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He said their conditional release could be linked to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Eritrean government has not officially commented on the reported release of the prisoners, but it has previously dismissed accusations of religious intolerance.

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Only four religious groups are officially recognized in Eritrea – Christian orthodox, Catholic church, Lutheran church and Sunni Islam.

A report by the US commission on international religious freedom says since 2002 all other religious groups have lacked the legal basis to practice their faiths publicly, including holding prayer meetings or weddings.

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African News

Uganda ‘To Begin Human Trials’ Of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Uganda 'To Begin Human Trials' Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Uganda is set to start human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine starting in November as the country continues to fight against the pandemic.

The vaccine trials are a partnership exercise between Uganda’s Virus Research Institute and the United Kingdom’s Imperial College.

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Uganda has recorded more than 7,000 coronavirus cases and 75 fatalies so far.

According to BBC, Monica Musenero who is the head of a presidential taskforce on epidemics is quoted as saying the first trial will be conducted on 10 Ugandans.

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She added that if successful, a second trial will involve about 100 to 200 persons followed by a final trial of between 1,000 and 3,000 persons.

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WFP Seeks Aid For South Sudan Flood Relief

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WFP Seeks Aid For South Sudan Flood Relief

Heavy seasonal rainfall, followed by devastating floods in South Sudan since June, have impacted more than 700,000 persons across the country. A large part of the nation is reported to be under water with the Nile River at its highest level in 50 years.

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South Sudan was already in a precarious situation due to food shortages from an overwhelming locust infestation and a health crisis from the global coronavirus pandemic.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has been providing food assistance to more than half a million persons in South Sudan’s flood-affected areas as the threat of famine increases within the country.

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A flood-displaced victim from Mathiang village says rains have destroyed everything, including houses, cattle, crops and sources of livelihood.

WFP spokesperson, Peter Smerdon says they are already under pressure in South Sudan because of conflict, high levels of displacement and, the added burden from flooding.

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World Food Programme is now seeking to raise 58 million dollars to continue providing relief.

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Libyans Protest Armed Militias In Tajoura City

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Libyans Protest Armed Militias In Tajoura City

Libyans have taken to the streets in the southeast of the capital Tripoli to protest against the presence of armed militias in the city of Tajoura.

Clashes broke out on Thursday between two militias loyal to the Tripoli-based and UN-recognized government of national accord. Militias used heavy weapons in a residential suburb that consequently resulted in the death of at least three persons. Several others were reported injured from the two camps and some private properties were damaged.

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The United Nations support mission in the country had called for an urgent security reform on Friday as they reminded both parties of international humanitarian law obligations.

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