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Burundi Opposition Accuses Government Of Arresting Its Members2 minutes read

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The main opposition party in Burundi has accused the President Evariste Ndayishimiye-led government of mass arrests of its members.

The government alleged those arrested have links to rebel attacks in the west of the country.

But, the National Freedom Council (CNL) disagrees and while condemning the arrests said “CNL members are being arrested while we have nothing to do with the rebels”

CNL leader, Agathon Rwasa, who contested against Ndayishimiye – a retired Army General – in the generations earlier in the year, said nearly 100 of its members have been arrested in less than two weeks and most of them have not been taken to court.

CNL was the main challenger in May’s general election that saw the ruling party, National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), retain the presidency.

Mr Rwasa finished second with 24% of the vote while Ndayishimiye won the presidential election with 69 percent of the vote.

Ndayishimiye, who formerly served as the interior minister, took power in June.

He said his party’s representatives in the south-western Bururi province have been arrested for holding an “illegal meeting”.

Mr Rwasa added that there was “nothing illegal in a regular meeting of a political party”.

Last Thursday, a UN report said impunity for rape, murder and other abuses is still widespread in Burundi despite a change of government.

The U.N. report said there had been numerous rights abuses in Burundi during the May elections.

Ndayishimiye has promoted high-ranking military officers involved in human rights abuses, appointed some military officers to governorships previously held by civilians, and included two men in his cabinet under sanctions for rights violations, the report noted.

The security forces and youth wing of the ruling party, the Imbonerakure, continue to have almost total impunity for beatings, kidnappings and sexual violence, the report said.

Meanwhile, Burundian rebel group – RED-Tabara group – claimed responsibility last Friday for a spate of recent attacks on security forces and the ruling party’s youth league.

RED-Tabara group accused the CNDD-FDD’s youth wing of killing dozens.

The RED-Tabara group said it had between Sunday and Thursday engaged soldiers and police as well as members of the Imbonerakure youth league, which is often referred to as a militia.

Its spokesman Patrick Nahimana claimed the group killed 28 soldiers and police and 15 militia members and injured 40 in the western province of rural Bujumbura, southwestern Rumonge and southern Bururi.

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Nigeria’s President Buhari Condoles with Burkina Faso President over Father’s Death

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Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has put a phone with his Burkina Faso’s counterpart, Marc Christian Kabore, to commiserate with him and the nation following the demise of the president’s 90-year old father, Bila Kabore.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigerian leader said: “I am deeply pained and saddened to hear of the death of your beloved and respected father.

“He was an outstanding leader who cared for all. His life was devoted towards the progress of the Burkinabe nation and its people.

“May God give you, the family and the entire country the fortitude to bear the loss.

“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, please accept our heartfelt condolences.

“May God repose his soul.”

The deceased was a distinguished Burkinabe, who served as Minister of Finance in the 60s, a board member of the country’s Central Bank and at one-time, the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

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Inconsistencies In Guinea’s Presidential Election Results Worrisome – US

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The US has expressed concern over “inconsistencies” in preliminary results of Guinea’s presidential election.

In a statement, the US embassy spoke of a “lack of transparency in vote tabulations and inconsistencies between the announced results and tally sheets results from polling stations”.

Guinea’s 82-year-old leader Alpha Condé won a controversial third term in office, according to preliminary results, amid violent protests across the country.

The US has urged all parties to peacefully resolve electoral disputes through established institutions. It said it supported diplomatic efforts by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, the African Unions and the UN.

The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had declared himself winner and was prevented from leaving his house until Wednesday when he said the security officers outside his home had been withdrawn.

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Tanzania Election: Mwinyi Becomes 8th President of Zanzibar

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The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, has won the presidency of the semi-autonomous state, beating 14 other candidates.

Mwinyi polled 76.27 per cent of the vote which was equivalent to 380,402 votes.

His rival Maalim Seif Sharif of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) was arrested while trying to vote on Tuesday before being released hours later.

Mr Mwinyi is the son of Ali Hassan Mwinyi who served as the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1985 to 1995.

Zanzibar has a history of contested polls, including in 2015 when they were annulled for not being free and fair. The opposition boycotted the re-run and the CCM party’s candidate was declared the winner.

Ali Mohammed Shein is now stepping down after serving two five-year terms in office.

Zanzibar had 566,352 registered voters with 498,786 turning up at the polling stations on Wednesday October 28, a number that was equivalent to 88.07 per cent.

Mwinyi becomes the eighth President of Zanzibar since the revolution in 1964.

He has called on all the other contestants to come together to build one Zanzibar because as citizens they will need each other to build a prosperous Zanzibar.

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