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East Africa Politics News

Eritrea’s President Afwerki Arrives Ethiopia For Three-Day Working Visit1 minute read

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President Isaias Afwerki of Eritea, on Monday, arrived Ethiopia for a three days working visit.

Afwerki – who is accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Osman Saleh, and his adviser Yemane Ghebreab – is expected to discuss further enhancement of bilateral ties as well as the consolidation of regional cooperation with his host, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia and Eritrea ended two decades of tension in 2018 and signed a peace deal.

Eritrean Minister for Information, Yemane Gebremeskel, said that the visit was initiated by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“The two Heads of State will hold extensive consultations on further enhancement of bilateral ties as well as the consolidation of regional cooperation,” he said in a Twitter post.

The visit came in the wake of accusation by Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders, specifically from the former minister of foreign affairs Seyoum Mesfin, that “Abiy Ahmed let the Eritrean president Isaias Afeworki rape Ethiopia.”

Afwerki flew directly to Jimma city, in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, where he was received by Abiy Ahmed.

The last time the Eritrean president visited Ethiopia was in May 2019 soon after Ethiopia declared a state of emergency as part of preventive measures against the spread of the Coronavirus disease, and this is for the sixth time for him to visit the country since the two countries ended hostile relation in July 2018 following Abiy Ahmed’s take over of office as prime minister.

East Africa Politics News

Tanzanians Vote To Decide New President

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Voting in Tanzania’s presidential election began on Wednesday, with an opposition leader who survived being shot 16 times facing off against an incumbent who claims prayer can prevent COVID-19.

The run-up to the East African country’s polls had been marred with violence.

Rights groups and the opposition have reported intimidation.

On Tuesday, as early voting began in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, the archipelago’s main opposition candidate was arrested and his party claimed police shot five people dead, Police deny this.

President John Magufuli, in power since 2015, is widely expected to win, despite the recent return to the country of opposition challenger Tundu Lissu, in exile since the attempt on his life three years ago.

He survived an assassination attempt when his car was sprayed with more than 30 bullets outside his home in Dodoma.

He suffered 16 bullet wounds and had to be airlifted to Nairobi and later Belgium, where he underwent several operations to save his life. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.

In October, Lissu’s campaign convoy was tear-gassed in northern Tanzania, after a disagreement with the police on which route it was supposed to take.

Lissu was also suspended from campaigning for one week by the national electoral body, which he called “yet another indication of a discredited and compromised electoral system.’’

Press freedom has been severely curtailed in the lead-up to the vote, with new rules introduced in August requiring foreign journalists to be chaperoned on assignments by a government official.

Down through the years, Magufuli has received lots of international media attention due to his government’s crackdown on gay people, banning the sale of lubricant and subjecting arrested gay men to forced anal exams – a recognized human rights violation.

Most recently he caused derision after saying prayer and herbal steam baths could help prevent infection with coronavirus and later declaring the country free of the virus.

His handling of the pandemic has come under heavy criticism, with critics saying he did too little, too late, to stem the spread of the virus.

The United Nations and the African Union Commission urged Tanzania to ensure polls are peaceful and fair with results are expected in a few days.

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East Africa Politics News

Botswana, SADC Congratulate New Seychelles President

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Botswana President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi on Tuesday sent a congratulatory message to Seychelles’ newly-elected President Wavel Ramkalawan.

Masisi, also chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, said the bloc applauds Seychelles for its peaceful election campaign.

“This is a reflection of the political maturity of the country.’’

Seychelles held presidential and national assembly elections from Oct. 22 to 24.

The SADC comprises Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Opposition candidate, Ramkalawan, was declared the winner of the Seychelles presidential election after polling 54.9 per cent of the votes.

The last time an opposition candidate won the election in Seychelles was in 1977 and winner Ramkalawan reaffirmed a pledge to increase minimum wage after COVID-19 stifled the tourism-dependent economy.

Seychelles State House in a statement published on its website disclosed that Ramkalawan and his Vice-President, Ahmed Afif, will be inaugurated on Monday.

Ramkalawan, a former Anglican priest, defeated President Danny Faure after three decades of unsuccessful runs for the presidency of the East African nation with an Indian Ocean archipelago famed for its natural beauty and rare wildlife.

Faure got 43.5 per cent in the vote held from Thursday through Saturday, the electoral commission announced.

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Parliament in Somalia endorses new PM Roble’s Cabinet

The new Cabinet formed includes eight women – four ministers, a State minister and three deputy ministers.

Bernard Akede

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The new Cabinet formed

The new Cabinet formed last Monday by Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, has been approved by the Lower House of the country’s Federal Parliament.

A list of 71 ministers, State ministers and deputy ministers was presented by the Premier to the legislators, stating that their selection was based on their integrity and capacities.

“I have selected the ministers upon closely examining their abilities to deliver services to the people,” he said in a brief speech.

All MPs present, 188 in number, voted in favour of the new Cabinet by show of hands.

The new Cabinet formed includes eight women – four ministers, a State minister and three deputy ministers. 

While delivering a speech to seek parliamentary approval of his portfolio holders and political programme, PM Roble emphasized the zeal of his government to tackle the country’s most pressing issues, particularly insecurity as well as the smooth running of the anticipated general election in 2020 and 2021.

The return of most of the deposed PM’s Cabinet members had been anticipated by many analysts.

However, in the new Cabinet formed, a number senior ministers lost positions. Among them were the holders of the Defense, Internal Security, Interior, Information and Education dockets.

The ministers of Commerce and Industry as well as Public Works did not appear in the new list.

Those who retained their positions in the cabinet include Deputy PM Mahdi Mohamed Guled alias Khadar, Foreign minister Ambassador Ahmed Issa Awad and Finance minister Dr Abdirahman Dualeh Beile.

Others are Health minister Dr Fawzia Abikar Nur and Planning minister Jamal Mohamed Hussein.

The new Cabinet comprises of 27 ministers, 27 deputy ministers and 17 state ministers.

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