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Nobel Body Urges Peace In Ethiopia Where Laureate Engaged In Conflict

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Amid the ongoing conflict in Tigray region, the committee that awarded the Nobel Peace prize to Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned about the conflict in Tigray region and called on all parties to end violence.

Ethiopia has resisted international pressure for mediation in the ongoing war in the country’s north. On Monday, the country’s air force bombed in and around the Tigray region’s capital, Mekelle.

prime minister Abiy Hamed received the Nobel Peace award in 2019 for making peace with Eritrea after a devastating 1998-2000 war and then lengthy standoff on the border.

Now, the Norwegian Nobel committee says in a statement it is concerned and is following the developments in Ethiopia closely as the nearly two-weeks-old conflict continued.  The Nobel committee says, it is the responsibility of all the involved parties to end the escalating violence and to solve disagreements and conflicts by peaceful means.

The committee rarely expresses views on actions of past Nobel laureates.

Prime minister Ahmed warned today, a deadline for rebel northern forces to lay down arms had expired, paving the way for a final push on the Tigray region.

State television reported on Tuesday Ethiopia has frozen the bank accounts of 34 institutions of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

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Kenya Warns Of A Second Wave Of Desert Locust

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Kenya is facing a second wave of desert locust invasion. The latest data from the country’s ministry of agriculture show studies had indicated the destructive pests would invade the country from central Somalia in December.  Kenya’s agriculture cabinet secretary, Peter Munya, says his country has measures in place to contain the spread of the pest mainly in counties bordering Somalia.

Kenya and development partners, including Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, has earmarked 320 million dollars to deal with the crisis and cautions farmers to be on the lookout.  Currently, some swarms of the desert locust have been spotted in Taita Taveta county, 350 kilometers south west of the capital Nairobi. Authorities say they have begun spraying with insecticides.

FAO country representative in Kenya, Carla Mucavi, says her organization is committed to supporting this fight so that Kenya can be food secure.

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Trump Imposes New Rule For Some African Travellers

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The Trump administration has announced a new rule of entry into the U.S. for 15 African countries whose citizens will now have to post bonds of up to $15,000 when visiting the country.

The new temporary travel rule takes effect on Christmas eve and targets visitor and business visas.   Affected African countries include Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Djibouti.  Others are Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Sudan.

The us state department says this move will deter those who overstay their visas.

President Donald Trump had made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term. The visa bond rule targets countries whose nationals had an “overstay rate” of 10% or higher last year and will now be required to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.

Meanwhile, president-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse many of Trump`s immigration policies, but untangling hundreds of changes could take months or years.

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Opposition Calls For Sanctions Against Tanzania Officials

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Tanzania’s opposition leader, Tundu Lissu has urged the international community to impose sanctions on state officials linked to human rights abuses in last month’s disputed general elections.

President John Magufuli won a second term in the election that was reported marred with violence and claims of fraud.

The UK and the united states said there had been systematic interference, but Tanzania’s electoral commission says there was no fraud.

Opposition leader Lissu has called on the international community in a tweet to “impose targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes, travel bans and such measures necessary to end the impunity. The opposition leader fled to Belgium soon after the election citing threats to his life. The government said there was no evidence of threats to opposition leaders.

He said the international community must hold president Magufuli’s regime and other enablers accountable for human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

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