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No Civilian Casualty, Property Destruction in Mekelle Takeover – Ethiopia PM

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The Ethiopian government has denied there were civilian casualties in the fighting between federal and regional troops at Tigray capital, Mekelle.

A doctor had alleged that at least 27 people – including a 4-year-old, a 78-year-old and a family of four – were killed when Ethiopian forces attacked Mekelle.

But a statement from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office on Monday says there have been no civilian casualties, and refers to Tigray regional forces as “the criminal clique”.

Reports, quoting the doctor, had said medical services in Mekelle were strained, with no antibiotics and meals for patients and medics among other things.

The statement from Abiy’s office on Monday says “the active phase of the operations has come to an end”, and the government is now “restoring law and order” while resettling those who’ve fled the region.

The prime minister insists that the regional forces had been defeated despite denials from the regional leaders.

Abiy also said the Tigrayan forces that the military has been fighting for the last month do not have the capacity to mount a guerrilla war from the mountains in the northern region.

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East Africa Politics News

Kenyans Applaud Priest for Lambasting President Kenyatta, Others

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A Kenyan priest, Rev Sammy Wainaina, has warmed his way into the hearts of most Kenyans after he lambasted the top politicians over their handling of the country’s affairs.

A video of the Wainaina, who is the provost of the All Saints Cathedral in the capital Nairobi, slamming President Uhuru Kenyatta and others has been widely shared on social media.

Commenters praised the reverend for speaking truth to power.

In his Sunday sermon, Wainaina criticised an ongoing campaign to change Kenya’s constitution that will see the post of a prime minister and deputies reintroduced in the executive arm of government.

He said the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) would not solve the country’s urgent problems like unemployment and poverty.

“We have money for BBI which will only benefit a few people at the top, the kingpins… but we have no money to build schools, then our children [are forced ] to learn under trees,” he said.

“Let me remind Kenyans that when your tribal man becomes the president or takes the five top seats, you will remain poor,” he added.

But he saved his most stinging criticism for President Kenyatta, who recently said that Kenya was losing more than two billion shillings ($18m) a day to corruption.

“What are you telling Kenyans when you confess that? That you are defeated? Who will then save this country if the president cannot save us?” he asked.

“Mr president, you have the ethics and anti-corruption commission, you have the director of public prosecutions, you have the national intelligence service, you have every government machinery at your disposal.

“Either the government knows who is stealing the Kenyans’ money, or the government is part of the stealing?” he said, adding that he would no longer host politicians in his church.

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Uganda Election: Bobi Wine Files Arbitrary Detention Complaint

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Police arrest Ugandan pop-star MP Bobi Wine, supporters teargassed

The Presidential candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in the Uganda election, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine, has filed an arbitrary detention complaint to the United Nations (UN).

The Ugandan military has since Friday surrounded Bobi Wine’s house, a day after Uganda conducted presidential elections, barring him from going out or receiving visitors.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Bobi Wine, said: “Nigerian human rights lawyer Femi Falana has filed this complaint on my behalf to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Arrest.

“We are challenging my continued illegal confinement by the Ugandan police and the military.”

Long-time president Museveni, 76, was re-elected with almost 59 per cent of the vote, followed by 38-year-old Wine, with roughly 35 per cent.

Wine says he will legally contest the result of the presidential election, alleging “widespread fraud” during the Jan. 14 poll, which was seen as Uganda’s first election in which there was a real threat to Museveni’s rule.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has retained power for 35 years.

He had changed Uganda’s constitution to enable himself to run for yet another five-year term.

The election had been overshadowed by violence since campaigning began, with almost daily violence being reported.

The internet was shut down across the country shortly before the start of voting.

It has since returned, although social media remains unavailable.

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Ugandans Go to the Polls; This Time to Vote for Mayors

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The Ugandan electorate on Wednesday returned to polling stations to elect city mayors and district chairpersons.

According to Electoral Commission (EC) road map, Wednesday’s elections of District Local Government Councils shall include elections for District/City Chairpersons, Lord Mayor, Mayors, and Councillors at local government level.

The poll is holding about a week after presidential and parliamentary polls were held. However, local media say voter turnout are low in the local government council elections compared to last week’s elections.

Analysts say the low turnout was expected as some voters were unhappy with how the general elections were conducted.

Popular musician Jose Chameleon, real name Joseph Mayanja, is contesting to be mayor of the capital, Kampala. His rivals include Nabilah Naggayi, Dan Kazibwe, Godfrey Nyakana and incumbent Erias Lukwago.

Under the Local Government Act, District chairpersons are among others, mandated to preside over meetings of the executive committees of the districts, monitor the general administration of the districts and implementation of council decisions.

Meanwhile, the results of the presidential election continued to generate tensions locally and internationally. A Nigerian senior advocate and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), on Tuesday dragged President Yoweri Museveni to the United Nations over the illegal house arrest of his main challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine.

Bobi Wine, 38, has not been seen outside of his home since the Presidential election held last Thursday.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie E. Brown, who went to Wine’s resident to check on his health and safety, because he has “effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,” was turned back by the army, a Facebook post said.

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