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Five Years After Arrest Warrant, Kenyan Lawyer Surrenders To ICC

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A Kenyan lawyer, Paul Gicheru, has surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) five years after it issued a warrant for his arrest, relating to post-election violence in Kenya.

Gicheru, another Kenyan, Phillip Bett; and a third unnamed individual were charged in 2015 with obstructing the course of justice, interfering with the prosecutors’ witnesses in the case against alleged organisers and funders of the violence in 2007.

According to a statement by The Hague-based court, released on Monday, Mr Gicheru surrendered to the Dutch authorities after five-year-long search.

“Today, 2 November 2020, Mr Paul Gicheru surrendered to the authorities of The Netherlands pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court,” reads the statement from ICC.

“The Court, through the Registry services, submitted a cooperation request to the Dutch authorities for the arrest and surrender of Mr Gicheru to the Court upon completion of the necessary national arrest proceedings.”

Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova had on February 9, 2015, issued warrants of arrest against the trio. The judge directed that the three be arrested in Kenya or any other country, and their premises be searched after which they were to be presented before the ICC. On March 10, 2015, the judge withdrew the warrant of arrest for the third person.

More than 1,000 people were killed, 900 acts of rape and sexual violence were documented, and approximately 350,000 people were displaced.

The ICC accuses Mr Gicheru and others of operating a scheme to approach witnesses, corrupt them, and get them to withdraw from the cases.

Mr Gicheru has not commented.

Gicheru is facing six counts related to interfering with the witnesses. In the first count, he is accused of trying to bribe witness P397 with Sh1 million and Sh5 million to have him withdraw testimony against a suspect in the court.

In the second count, he is accused of trying to bribe witness P-516 with Sh500,000 to recant his testimony. He is accused of trying to persuade witness P-613 to withdraw as a prosecution witness. He is also accused of trying to persuade witness P-800 by offering a bribe of Sh2.5 million to Sh1.5 million to influence prosecution witness to withdraw.

In the fifth count, he is accused of trying to induce witness P-495 with Sh2.5 million to withdraw as a prosecution witness. Lastly, he is accused of trying to bribe witness P-536 with Sh1 million to Sh1.4 million to withdraw as a prosecution witness. The court documents that all crimes were committed between 2013 and 2014.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were among six people indicted by the ICC for their role in the violence.

After years in court the ICC prosecutor dropped the cases against Mr Kenyatta in 2015, and Mr Ruto a year later, blaming witness interference.

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EU Says Aid Pact With Ethiopia Not Respected

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With at least 46,000 refugees fleeing to Sudan and more than 100,000 in Tigray, the European Union (EU) has said the agreement with the Ethiopian government isn’t respected.

The EU and the Ethiopian government agreed on a pace for the provision of humanitarian access but Europe says the Ethiopian government’s access is partial and is filled with bureaucracies.

Some children in Tigray are malnourished according to the EU, with Ethiopia claiming that the war is over.

However, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Debretsion Gebremichael has said that the claims made by the Ethiopian government are lies.

He accused the government of killing civilians in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital which has over 500,000 people.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has said the top generals in the TPLF have been captured or killed.

Ethiopia is planning for an election in 2021 after its postponement in August.

The TPLF is dubbed a rebellious group by Mr Ahmed after they engaged government in armed conflicts for exactly a month now.

On the 4th of November, the Ethiopian government said its military base and state properties have been attacked, and it launched counteroffensives against the Tigrayan forces.

Ethiopia launched its final offensive last week when it claimed it has taken over Mekelle, without harming any civilian.

The TPLF has accused the Ethiopia and Eritrea of shelling Tigrayans and looting materials. Mr Ahmed has denied this.

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Militants Ambush, Kill 25 Mozambican Soldiers

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Villages in Mozambique's northern region grapple with faceless jihadists

No fewer than 25 members of the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM), including a colonel and a major, died in an ambush by Islamist militants in Matambalale village in the district of Muidumbe, local media reports have said.

According to reports, 15 others were injured in the ambush.

A group of military personnel were on manoeuvres in that region when the incident happened on Sunday, according to local media.

The victims were part of a group sent to that district to reinforce security after last week’s attacks where homes were set ablaze and residents killed.

The army has not been available to confirm or deny the reports.

The three-year insurgency has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced about 500,000 others in Cabo Delgado, according to official statistics.

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Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique

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No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.

News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.

The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.

The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.

He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

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