United Nations human rights experts have called on Uganda to drop charges against activists and opposition supporters who were arrested ahead of next month’s presidential election.
They accuse security forces of excessive force during political protests and rallies. Leading opposition candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, says military police ran over and killed one of his bodyguards on Sunday. He says he, along with his entire campaign team, has been arrested on Wednesday. More than 50 persons have been reported killed and nearly 600 arrested during political protests last month.
President Yoweri Museveni is running for a sixth term in office in January’s poll. Opposition candidate, Bobi Wine, is seen as Museveni’s strongest challenger.
Meanwhile, a Ugandan human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, was granted bail by the high court in the capital, Kampala after being held in custody since his arrest last week. The financial intelligence authority accused him of money laundering.
The civil society sector in the east African region has referred to his arrest and prosecution as an act aimed at intimidating and silencing activists.
Several NGOs and activists in the country have had their bank accounts frozen or probed by Ugandan authorities.
Ghana Opposition Condemns Election Tribunal Timeline
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.
43 Africans Drown Off Libya In First Mediterranean Shipwreck Of 2021- UN
The first migrant ship wreck in the Mediterranean this year has seen at least 43 African migrants drowned off the coast of Libya on Tuesday while trying to reach Europe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said in a joint statement ten survivors were rescued and brought to shore by coastal security in Zuwahra after their boat capsized in rough seas.
Libya is the major route for migrants seeking to reach Europe from Africa. The U.N. Agencies called for reactivating state-led search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and for a halt to returning migrants to “unsafe ports.”
Britain Helps Kenya Prepare For Roll-Out Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Kenya says it is expecting from next month 24 million Astrazeneca and oxford university vaccine doses.
Health minister Mutahi Kagwe says the vaccines were ordered through an African Union (AU) initiative.
UK foreign minister, Dominic Raab, who is on a one-day visit to Kenya, is quoted as saying Britain was helping the country to prepare to roll out the vaccine.
Raab is quoted as saying it was not just a moral duty, but in the British national interest, to see Kenyans vaccinated as soon as physically, and logistically possible.
Kenya has confirmed nearly one hundred thousand coronavirus cases and has tested more than one million of its 48 million people. There have been eighty-two and a half thousand recoveries and seventeen hundred thirty-four deaths.