The United Nations is warning against hate speech in guinea ahead of general election, that is set to hold presidential elections in mid-October. The incumbent, president Alpha Conde is seeking a controversial third term. U.N says, continued invoking of ethnic affiliations and hate speech in guinea’s election campaigns could lead to violence.
Amnesty international says at least 50 persons have been killed so far, during demonstrations against president Condé’s third term bid.
The United Nations rights boss Michelle Bachelet and acting special adviser on the prevention of genocide- Pramila Patten, have urged candidates to refrain from hate speech.
They said in a joint statement that there have been increasingly pervasive and divisive appeals to ethnic affiliations during the campaign.
Rights Activists Urge Mediation On Uganda Polls
Human rights organizations in Kenya are asking international and regional bodies, to set up a mediation team, to address alleged election malpractices in neighbouring Uganda.
The demand follows reports of alleged illegal arrests and detentions. Opposition presidential candidate, Bobi Wine, says soldiers laid siege on his house after he cast his vote on election day and restricted his movement since Thursday.
Six time leader, 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was declared winner of the election with 59% of the vote against Bobi Wine’s 35%.
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.
Media reports say last week’s vote in Uganda was marred by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and a nationwide internet shutdown.
France’s Macron Says Success In Sahel Enables Operational Change
France is aiming to boost its military strength in Africa’s Sahel region where its troops have been helping to fight insurgency.
French president Emmanuel Macron says France could “adjust” its operations in the Sahel region following successes against jihadist groups. Macron said the arrival of special forces from other European countries would allow France to make changes.
The French president assured that efforts at stability and victory against the jihadists will be maintained.
More than 5,000 French troops have been serving as part of operation Barkhane in support of the forces of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.
The soldiers face a growing insurgency by jihadist groups, which have significantly stepped up their attacks in the Sahel countries since last year.
EU Eyes Scheme To Share Surplus COVID-19 Vaccines With Poorer Nations
The European Union says it wants to set up a mechanism that would allow the sharing of surplus COVID-19 vaccines with poorer neighbouring states and Africa, in a move that may undercut a W.H.O.-led global vaccine initiative.
The EU, with a population of 450 million, has already secured nearly two and a half billion COVID-19 vaccine doses and candidates from six companies, although most of them still need regulatory approval.
EU health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, told lawmakers on Tuesday the body is working with EU member states to propose a European mechanism to share vaccines beyond their borders.
She said the mechanism would get vaccines to poorer countries “before COVAX is fully operational.” COVAX is the global scheme co-led by the World Health Organization. It was set up last summer to ensure a fair distribution of COVID-19 shots around the world.
COVAX is already operational but has so far struggled to secure vaccines. It announced in December deals for nearly 2 billion doses, but the largest part of these shots has been pledged by vaccine makers under non-binding accords because COVAX is currently short of money to book them in advance.
“Firms will not give you doses if you don’t pay in advance,” a senior EU vaccine negotiator said on condition of anonymity, noting that the EU initiative was the result of COVAX having fallen short of expectations.
Internal documents seen by Reuters showed in December that COVAX co-leaders saw high risks of failure for the mechanism because of insufficient funds and complex contractual arrangements.
The WHO has warned of risks to fair distribution caused by rich nations’ hoarding of available shots, but publicly remains upbeat about COVAX and the possibility of delivering the first vaccines this quarter.
Kyriakides said the EU vaccine-sharing scheme should prioritize health workers and most vulnerable people in the western Balkans, north Africa and poorer sub-Saharan African countries.
The EU official said the EU could give some vaccines to COVAX which would then distribute them to poor countries.
It is however unclear whether the EU will donate or sell its excess doses. Sweden has set up a mechanism to sell its surplus vaccines. Decisions on sharing vaccines are taken by EU governments.