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Rwanda’s Genocide Hero, Paul Rusesabagina, Appears In Court1 minute read

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Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the Hollywood movie – ‘Hotel Rwanda’ – as a hero, was on Monday brought before a Rwandan court amid tight security.

Prosecutors are expected to formally charge him and hear his plea today.

Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager, was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ as using his job and his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis fleeing the slaughter.

But last month, the 66-year-old was arrested on an international warrant. The Rwanda Investigation Bureau said he would face several charges including “terrorism, financing terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder”.

Rusesabagina’s family however said he was kidnapped from Dubai.

Rusesabagina has lived in exile since 1996 and is a strong critic of President Paul Kagame’s government.

Kagame enjoys widespread credit for returning Rwanda to stability after the genocide and boosting economic growth, however, his rule has been tainted by accusations of widespread repression.

While in exile, Rusesabagina started an opposition group, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). The group is said to have an armed wing called the National Liberation Front (FLN).

Rwanda has labelled the FLN, a group Rusesabagina has frequently expressed support for, as a terrorist organisation.

Rusesabagina’s alleged abduction, experts say, follows a pattern of repressive measures adopted by the Rwandan government to silence critics.

In 2013, Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda’s former spy chief and fierce Kagame critic, was strangled after being lured to a luxury hotel in Johannesburg in South Africa.

Kagame had said after the murder, “Any person still alive who may be plotting against Rwanda, whoever they are, will pay the price.”

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Nigeria at 60 Fashola

Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing @tundefashola
speaks of hope, which “we must never lose” as the country marks its 60th
Independence Anniversary landmark.

Watch the full video from 1st October on all our social media platforms.
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Malawi President Visits Harare today

President Chakwera is currently touring the region and had last week visited Zambia ahead of his trip to Zimbabwe.

Bernard Akede

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President Lazarus Chakwera

President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi has arrived Zimbabwe today for a two-day State visit.

Chakwera who assumed office after winning a run-off election in June, is making his inaugural visit to Zimbabwe accompanied by senior Government officials who already were in the country to bolster ties between the two countries.

Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Annie Yauka Kumwenda, told the Herald on Tuesday that “President Chakwera will be meeting with his brother, his Zimbabwean counterpart President Mnangagwa. Activities will include a brief meeting with the Malawi nationals living in Zimbabwe and laying of wreaths at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre.”   

Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka has led a 26-member delegation who already are in Zimbabwe, paving the way for President Chakwera’s visit.

Both countries are known to share a long history of ties which dates back to the pre-colonial era.

President Chakwera is currently touring the region and had last week visited Zambia ahead of his trip to Zimbabwe.

While in Zimbabwe, President Chakwera’s engagements will likely be concentrated on areas of cooperation and strengthening of the cordial relations that already exist between both countries.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo had already met with Minister Mkaka at his office in Harare on Sunday, in preparation for the meeting of both their presidents.

Issues discussed by both ministers included economic cooperation and the transit of citizens during the Covid-19-induced restrictions to contain the pandemic, amongst others.

Dr Moyo said: “As a practice within the region, any Head of State emerging out of a successful election normally pays courtesy calls on his colleagues in the region.

“We rekindled a lot of history between Zimbabwe and Malawi. We used to be the same people during the era of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

“This scenario concretises the symbiotic relationship which exists between the two countries.”

Minister Mkaka said the long relationship between the two countries and how they could assist each other going forward, formed the basis of what they discussed.

“It has been a great meeting between my counterpart and I, bordering on strengthening the relationship between Malawi and Zimbabwe.

“We have a long relationship that dates back even before we were colonised. We have a lot in common and we have more reason to work together. If we work together, we are going to improve the lives of our people,” said Minister Mkaka.

While in Zimbabwe, President Chakwera is also expected to meet with SADC ambassadors. Malawi and Zimbabwe share common cultures, values, and history and along with Zambia, they once were one country under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

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West Africa Politics

Ivory Coast’s Ban On Public Protests Ends Today

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The ban on outdoor protests in Ivory Coast will end today ahead of the West African country’s general elections holding on October 31.

President Alassane Ouattara announced the ban on demonstrations in a statement on August 20 following deadly clashes triggered by his decision to run for a third term.

He had earlier on Thursday, 6 August 2020 formally accepted his party’s nomination to be its candidate thereby defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.

Opposition claims President Ouattara’s third-term bid flouts the constitution.

With the end to the ban on Wednesday, the opposition plans to begin a campaign of civil disobedience against Ouattara’s third term bid.

The opposition is demanding changes to the constitutional court, the electoral commission, and the withdrawal of Mr Ouattara’s candidacy.

Ouattara has accused the opposition of frightening the public simply to disrupt the electoral process.

International Crisis Group has urged the Ivorian authorities to allow former President Laurent Gbagbo and exiled ex-Speaker Guillaume Soro to return to the country.

Supporters of Gbagbo and Soro have condemned the government for excluding them from the presidential election and threatened to hold protests.

A weekend rally by the opposition, which has urged a united front against the president, registered a low turnout.

Ouattara had on Thursday, 6 August 2020 formally accepted his party’s nomination to be its candidate and defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.

Ivory Coast’s October election is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara’s first election win.

His opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.

Opposition party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), called his decision to run “deplorable.” FPI spokesman Issiaka Sangare added: “Ivory Coast could have given another signal that would have allowed democracy to continue.”

Ouattara’s other main challenger will be Henri Konan Bedie, who was president from 1993-1999 and is the confirmed candidate of one of the country’s largest parties, the PDCI.

The race is expected to be the most aggressively contested since 2010 when Gbagbo’s refusal to step down after Ouattara’s victory sparked the deadly conflict.

Bedie had earlier on disclosed that he and Gbagbo have agreed that their parties would back the other’s candidate in the event of a second-round run-off against Ouattara.

The first round of polling is expected on Oct. 31.

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