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Nigeria’s President Addresses #EndSARS Protesters, Promises Justice1 minute read

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President Muhammadu Buhari has, in a video posted on his Twitter handle on Monday, said the disbandment of the rogue unit in the Nigeria Police Force is the first step towards reforms.

The Nigerian leader’s address is the first time he would be speaking on the nationwide protests against the brutality and extrajudicial killings of men of the now-defunct Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) which began last week.

In the video, Buhari said SARS disbandment was a first step to “extensive police reforms”, adding that SARS officials found to be responsible for wrongful acts would be brought to justice.

Buhari also said he had ordered a probe into the killing of a young man in Oyo State during the recent protests.

He said, “I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force.

“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.

“We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.

“We deeply regret the loss of life of the young man in Oyo State during the recent demonstrations.

“I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated.

“Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that the vast majority of men and women of the police force are hardworking and diligent in performing their duties.

“The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force.”

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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Guinea’s Election: Questions Remain As To Credibility Of Result, Says EU

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Following the release of the provisional results that announced President Alpha Conde winner of the Guinea Presidential Election, the EU has said it doubts the “credibility of the result.”

The European Union said that although voting in Guinea was calm, “questions remain as to the credibility of the result”.

It said it had taken note of the provisional results that announced President Alpha Conde winner, a victory which ensured he secured his third term in office.

The EU said it supported the diplomacy efforts by the Economic of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to restore confidence.

A delegation of mediators is in the country and has met various political actors, including opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo who has been prevented from leaving his house.

“To this end, all actors involved in this process must be able to fully enjoy their freedom of movement and expression.

“It is also important that the means of communication, in particular access to the internet, are guaranteed in all circumstances,” the statement added.

There have been clashes between opposition supporters and security forces across the nation since the opposition leader declared himself the winner.

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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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