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Uganda Bans Election Monitoring Group Ahead Of Polls

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Uganda authorities have banned a coalition of more than 60 organizations formed to monitor the country’s 2021 general elections.  The government says it is illegal. Ugandans will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in January.

Uganda’s national bureau for non-governmental organizations, which regulates the activities of non-profit organizations, says the coalition, the national election Watch-Uganda, was not registered.

The bureau’s head, Stephen Okello, says the group should halt its activities with immediate effect, including issuing of statements.

It also says some of the organizations under the group were neither registered nor had permits to operate in the country.

The Ugandan government has been critical of non-profit organizations, accusing some of them of promoting foreign interests and duplicating government’s work.

Action Aid International Uganda, in a statement on its website, said the group was formed last month to promote electoral integrity, enhance citizen confidence and participation.

In 2017, police raided the offices of at least three such organizations, accusing them of involvement in illicit financial transactions and subversive activities to destabilize the country.

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Okonjo-Iweala Named Forbes Africa Person Of The Year

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Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has on Tuesday been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2020.

Forbes Africa disclosed this in a tweet saying Okonjo-Iweala who is a candidate for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has been named “The 2020 African person of the Year.”

Reacting to the news, Okonjo-Iweala said she is “thrilled to be named Forbes Africa-CNBC ‘2020 African of the Year’ following in the footsteps of my great brothers Paul Kagame and Akin Adesina.”

She added “This award is for Africans suffering the health and economic impact of COVID-19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspires me”.

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Mauritania Uncovers Illegal Migration Networks

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Mauritanian authorities say they have uncovered more than 30 illegal migration networks and repatriated around 4,000 persons to various west African countries.

Interior minister, Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, told local media there had been an increase in the number of persons trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands – an alternative route to the Mediterranean Sea where some migrants have been deterred by stricter controls and instability in Libya.

The United Nations has called for greater efforts to disrupt people-smuggling rings, after more than 140 persons died off the coast of Senegal in October in the deadliest shipwreck of the year.

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Amnesty Urges UN To Maintain South Sudan Arms Embargo

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Amnesty International is urging the United Nations Security Council to maintain its arms embargo on South Sudan amid what the human rights group calls “extreme violence by government forces, and an increase in attacks on civilians, including war crimes.”

The UN security council is due to conduct a mid-term review of its arms embargo and other measures on South Sudan before mid-December.

The council first established an arms embargo on South Sudan in 2018.  It was renewed last year and subsequently extended by a year in may this year.

Amnesty says it had documented “a series of extrajudicial executions, forced displacement, torture, and destruction of civilian property by government and former opposition forces.”

The group cited a four-fold increase in violence in the states of Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap and Western Equatoria between April and June compared to the same period last year.

Amnesty says as South Sudan was calling for the embargo to be reviewed earlier this year, “government soldiers were shooting civilians, burning homes, raping women and girls, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their villages in the south of the country.”

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