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Ethiopia ‘Begins Final Stage’ Of Tigray Assault

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Ethiopia`s government has progressed with its offensive operation on the northern Tigray region. Many countries, Africa Union, European Union and the United Nations have all called for de-escalation but prime minister Abiy Ahmed has said federal troops have begun the final phase of assault operation on the northern Tigray state.

At least 600 persons are reported to have been killed in the ongoing conflict that has lasted three weeks. Thousands more have abandoned their homes and fled to neighbouring Sudan.

In a statement, prime minister Abiy Ahmed said “great care” would be taken to protect the residents of the region’s capital, Mekelle, from harm as his troops head there. But he also warned residents to stay indoors.

He said thousands of Tigrayan forces and militia had surrendered in compliance to the 72 hours ultimatum. Tigray officials are yet to respond to the claim. It has been difficult to verify claims from either side because of a communications blackout. Abiy had given Tigray forces a deadline to peacefully surrender which ended on Wednesday.

Abiy Ahmed has continued to reject international intervention in Ethiopia’s internal conflict and said the Tigray situation would be resolved in accordance to laws and international obligations.

The un had asked the Ethiopian government to protect civilians as it expresses fears about their safety and welfare.

Meanwhile, Africa Union mission has arrived in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to try to mediate between the federal government and the northern Tigray state after three weeks of conflict.

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Rwanda’s Capital On Second Day Lockdown

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The Rwandan Capital-Kigali was plunged into a fresh fifteen days lockdown on Tuesday to curb the coronavirus spread. While the city of Kigali and other regions are in the process of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents are urging their colleagues to fear the pandemic, and implement the existing regulations.

This comes as some continue to make unnecessary movements contrary to the existing regulations.

Across the neighborhoods, in the small and big streets, there is still the flow of people. There are those heading to the markets, hospitals, and others sitting or walking around. Those who witness this kind of behavior are criticizing it.

A sector administration in Nyarugenge district said, local authorities have a responsibility to sensitize the public to comply with the directives issued by national authorities.

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EU Demands Probe Of Bobi Wine’s Alleged Abuses

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The European Union (EU) says it is concerned about the continued harassment of politicians and civil society activists in Uganda after last week’s general election. Opposition presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop star-turned-politician known as Bobi wine, has alleged being under house arrest in the capital, Kampala, since Friday, with soldiers laying siege on his home after he began disputing the results of the presidential election.

Incumbent, 76-year-old president Yoweri Museveni, was declared winner of the election. He has been in power since 1986, and the poll was his sixth elective term. Media report, the vote was marred by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and a nationwide internet shutdown.

In a statement, the EU council of ministers called on the Kampala government to restrain its security agencies, investigate allegations of abuses and bring to account all those responsible for violations.

EU ministers have said the internet shutdown disrupted the work of journalists, observers and polling agents expected to monitor the election.

On Wednesday, human rights organizations in Kenya asked international and regional bodies, to set up a mediation team, to address alleged election malpractices in neighbouring Uganda. The activists, under the banner of Africa Elections Watch, say unresolved injustices during and after elections may cause riots and widespread human rights violations across Uganda.

The activists say if no action is taken now, African leaders, seeking fresh presidential terms, may be emboldened to rig elections.

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Ghana Opposition Condemns Election Tribunal Timeline

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Ghana opposition leader John Mahama’s lawyers say the court’s timeline is unfair for the case addressing their concerns over December’s election.

Ghana’s supreme court had set the date on Wednesday, for the hearing next Tuesday of an election petition filed by the opposition seeking to annul the results over irregularities.

The court ruled that all parties must file their witness statements by Thursday afternoon and the supreme court will begin the main hearing on Tuesday. The supreme court says the strict timeline was to enable the hearing of the petition within 42 days of the election as prescribed by law.

Mahama’s lawyers say justice should not be sacrificed for speed.

They had applied for a review of the court’s decision to dismiss their request for the electoral commission to answer questions about the process of declaring results.

They had also applied for original copies of the statement of polls which contains constituency results.

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