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Former Burundian President, Pierre Buyoya Dies Aged 71

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Pierre Buyoya, a former President of Burundi has died at the age of 71, the country’s government announced on Friday.

Buyoya died on his way to receiving medical treatment in Paris, the French capital. Unconfirmed reports say he was sick as a result of the COVID-19 infection.

A Tutsi, he twice seized power in the country, and spearheaded a civil war that killed at least 300,000 Burundians.

Buyoya’s death has come two months after being convicted in absentia by a court in Burundi over the murder of his successor. The death of his successor, Melchior Ndadaye led to years of civil war in the country.

Before his demise, Buyoya worked as an African Envoy in Mali where he stayed before his death. He ruled Burundi for thirteen years in two separate terms between 1987-1993 and 1996-2003.

Buyoya left his role as the head of the AU Envoy in Mali and the Sahel after a Burundi Supreme Court in October, jailed him for life, in absentia.

The feared former leader staged various coups in the country and was a notorious figure during his lifetime.

Earlier in June, the sitting Burundian President at the time, Pierre Nkurunziza died as a result of a suspected COVID-19 infection.

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Sirleaf, Gebreyessus Not Impressed With COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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Former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan as disappointing and discouraging.

Sirleaf who co-chairs the World Health Organisation pandemic review said she’s highly disappointed with the roll-out plans which leaves African countries unable to benefit from the vaccines until 2022 or 2023.

“The panel is discouraged and frankly disappointed by the unequal plans for vaccine rollout,” the former Nobel Peace Prize winner was quoted to have told the Executive Committee of the WHO.

COVID-19 rollout plans and distribution have caused rising topics of a relegation of African countries to the backseat in the distribution.

Several bodies have raised concerns about attempts to sideline African countries in early distribution, with the rest of the world said to be earliest beneficiaries while African nations wait.

In the same vein, Tedros Gebreyessus, Director-General of the WHO said there may be a “catastrophic moral failure” if the lowest income countries of the world are abandoned in the vaccination plans.

“COVID19 vaccines are the shot in the arm we all need literally & figuratively. But the promise of equitable access is at serious risk.
39M+ doses have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries.
Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country,” he said.

He also called for the prioritisation of the aged and health workers in the vaccination programme.

African countries are expecting vaccines through the WHO’s COVAX facility, with all but 20 countries of the world signifying interest.

Among those who are yet to agree are the United States, China and Russia.

Norway has however promised to supply vaccines to low-income countries of the world, many of which are in Africa.

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CAR Election: UN, AU Urge Respect for Court Ruling

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The UN and regional bodies have urged all political actors in the Central African Republic (CAR) to respect the country’s Constitutional Court decision on the Dec. 27 general elections.

Senior officials of the UN, European Union, African Union and the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) made the appeal in a joint communique on Monday evening.

In its decision earlier on Monday, the court upheld the victory of incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, shunning reports and allegations of poor voter turnout.

The opposition has reportedly dismissed Touadéra’s victory as illegitimate, and demanded a re-run of the elections.

In the communique, the organisations pleaded with all sides to work towards consolidating democracy and the rule of law in the country.

Stressing the importance of dialogue in the quest for lasting peace and stability, they advised the central government to promote “national unity, respect for democratic principles, political and inclusive dialogue and good governance”.

The officials also called for strengthening of national institutions, pursuit of the peace process, fight against impunity, and the implementation of inclusive socio-economic initiatives.

These, they said, should include post-conflict reconstruction and development programmes to provide the people with the dividends of peace while alleviating their plight.

Since the election, six main rebel groups opposed to Touadéra’s election have formed an alliance with a threat to take control of the capital, Bangui.

The insurgents have launched series of attacks targeting government forces and UN peacekeepers.

The UN, EU, AU and ECCAS officials expressed concerns over escalating violence and coordinated attacks, including those aimed at capturing Bangui.

They strongly condemned the violence perpetrated by certain armed groups aimed at “undermining the electoral process and destabilise the country”.

The officials also flayed hate speech and incitement to violence fueled by disinformation campaigns.

“We encourage all actors to work together, in a peaceful climate, to create favorable conditions for the finalisation of the next stages of the electoral process, in particular the legislative elections,” they said.

The communique is signed by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security

Amb. Smaïl Chergui and the President of ECCAS, Amb. Gilberto Veríssimo.

The others are UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell.

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“We’re Out of Food And Stuck With An 18-month Old Baby” – Bobi Wine Cries Out

Bobi Wine has cried out to the world after being denied food and water in his house arrest. He has also revealed that an 18-month old baby is stuck with them in the house

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Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), opposition candidate in the just concluded Ugandan Presidential election has revealed the precarious situation he’s in with his family.

Bobi Wine, who garnered 34.8% of electorates’ votes in the election, has been under house arrest alongside his wife, and an 18-year old kid, who is his wife’s niece.

The musician and parliamentarian had earlier rejected results of the election, citing discrepancies in votes tallying and rigging.

Bobi Wine has been denied every form of access from outside and his wife was prevented from getting food from the garden.

As it stands, Bobi Wine said they’ve run out of water and milk, and need urgent supplies as they are stuck in their home.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has been criticised for his treatment of Bobi Wine pre-election and post-election, with the international community expressing their concerns at the violation of human rights.

The 38-year old Presidential candidate, his wife and some others have been held under a house arrest for six days now. The American Ambassador to Uganda made attempts to visit him on Monday but was turned back by soldiers at the entrance of his home.

The Ugandan Police have claimed they placed Wine under house arrest to prevent any form of chaos that may arise from his post-election reaction.

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