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  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • South Sudan treason charges dropped April 24, 2014
      South Sudan withdraws charges against four top politicians accused of the alleged coup plot that triggered the civil war.
    • Nigeria rapist to be stoned to death April 24, 2014
      An Islamic court in northern Nigeria sentences a man of 63 to death by stoning for raping a girl of 10 and infecting her with HIV.
    • Lupita Nyong'o named most beautiful April 24, 2014
      Kenyan Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, 31, is named the world's most beautiful person for 2014 by the US People magazine.
    • Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 23, 2014
      Four people, two of them police, are killed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by a car bomb outside a police station.
    • DR Congo train in deadly derailment April 23, 2014
      At least 63 people have been killed after a freight train overloaded with passengers derailed in Katanga in south-eastern DR Congo, officials say.
    • Bomb 'kills senior Egypt policeman' April 23, 2014
      A senior Egyptian police officer has been killed by a bomb blast in the capital, Cairo, officials say.
    • SA row over 'banned' Malema advert April 23, 2014
      South Africa's public broadcaster says it refused to broadcast an advert from the controversial politician Julius Malema, saying it incited violence.
    • Mali group says French hostage dead April 22, 2014
      Islamist militants in Mali say French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal, who was kidnapped in 2012, is dead.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      A woman, originally from South Africa, is arrested after three children are found dead at a house in south London.
    • Moroccan Jew asks to join Islamists April 23, 2014
      A Jewish lawyer in Morocco challenges the political establishment by asking to join the ruling Islamist PJD party, it is reported.
    • Pistorius 'had no acting coaching' April 22, 2014
      Oscar Pistorius' family denies claims the athlete took acting lessons ahead of his testimony in the murder trial of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
    • Al-Jazeera trial sees video evidence April 22, 2014
      A court in Egypt is shown video and audio evidence in the trial of three al-Jazeera journalists accused of terrorism-related offences.
    • VIDEO: Film features plight of African park April 24, 2014
      The lethal realities of life in Virunga National Park are the subject of a British documentary which has just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
    • VIDEO: Sudan hopes for bird-watching boost April 24, 2014
      Environmental campaigners in Sudan are promoting the country as a tourist destination for bird watchers in a bid to boost revenue, which could then be used to protect nesting sites and rare birds from extinction.
    • VIDEO: What is 'beauty' in Africa? April 24, 2014
      As Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o is named the world's most beautiful person a new documentary explores the beauty debate from an African perspective.
    • VIDEO: Ethiopia's Jewish community divided April 24, 2014
      Thousands of Ethiopian Jews have been left disappointed by an Israeli government decision to end a 30-year-old programme that saw tens thousands of Ethiopian Jews airlifted to the Holy Land.
    • VIDEO: Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 24, 2014
      A car bomb has exploded outside a police station in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing four people.
    • VIDEO: Horror of S Sudan massacre filmed April 23, 2014
      The White House has strongly condemned the massacre of civilians in South Sudan calling it a betrayal of the people by their leaders.
    • VIDEO: Grim journey through 'new Rwanda' April 22, 2014
      The United Nations says the on-going conflict in South Sudan has a disturbing echo of events in Rwanda 20 years ago.
    • VIDEO: Footage shows Nigeria kidnap school April 22, 2014
      More than 180 Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing after being snatched from their classroom last week.
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    • Netanyahu: Abbas must end Hamas pact April 24, 2014
      Israeli Prime M Netanyahu tells the BBC Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must abandon his pact with Hamas if he wants peace talks to resume.
    • Mother charged with triple murder April 24, 2014
      Mother charged with three counts of murder after three children found dead at house in south-west London
    • New Russia drills after Ukraine raid April 24, 2014
      Russia announces new military exercises on its border with Ukraine, after Kiev orders troops to move against separatists in the east.
    • FBI probe teacher 'abused boys in UK' April 24, 2014
      A convicted paedophile abused children at a private school in London where he taught, its chair of governors confirms.
    • Barclays wins pay package vote April 24, 2014
      Barclays shareholders vote to approve the bank's remuneration package, which includes higher bonuses despite a 30% fall in profits.
    • Firefighters to stage fresh strikes April 24, 2014
      Firefighters in England and Wales are to stage strikes on 2, 3 and 4 May over a long-running pensions row, the Fire Brigades Union says.
    • Post Office staff agree pay deal April 24, 2014
      The postal union, the CWU, says it's secured a pay deal covering more than 3,000 staff at Crown Post Offices worth up to 7.3% over 3 years.
    • Police make Syria plea to UK women April 24, 2014
      British counter-terrorism police chiefs make an unprecedented appeal to Muslim women to persuade their relatives against travelling to Syria to fight in the civil war.
    • Crime falls 15% in England and Wales April 24, 2014
      Overall crime in England and Wales falls by 15% in 2013, an official survey shows - but there are signs, according to police figures, of rises in certain categories.
    • Ecclestone denies bribery in Germany April 24, 2014
      Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone denies charges of bribery at the start of his trial in Munich and says he will fight to clear his name.
    • Cyber gang leader jailed for scam April 24, 2014
      The leader of a gang which stole £1.25m from two of Britain's major banks in a "sophisticated and organised" cyber attack, is jailed for five-and-a-half years.
    • BBC suspends its CBI membership April 24, 2014
      The BBC announces it is to suspend its membership of the employers' organisation the CBI during the Scottish independence referendum campaign.
    • Treats in moderation make kids happy April 24, 2014
      Seven-year-olds are happier when they are allowed sweets, snacks and television in moderation, suggests a study of children's well-being.
    • Warhol works found on Amiga disks April 24, 2014
      A dozen previously unknown works created by Andy Warhol have been recovered from 30-year-old Amiga disks.
    • Martinez tips Moyes for rapid return April 24, 2014
      Everton boss Roberto Martinez backs predecessor David Moyes to make a quick return to management.
    • Rangers' finances fragile - Easdale April 24, 2014
      Rangers are in a "fragile" financial state and would not survive a second administration, a club shareholder tells BBC Scotland.
    • Woods hopeful of summer return April 24, 2014
      Tiger Woods hopes to return to competition this summer but is more concerned with his long-term fitness, his agent says.
    • Home nations in Euro 2020 scrap - SFA April 24, 2014
      Scotland will need to outdo their closest neighbours if Glasgow is to be a Euro 2020 host city, says SFA chief Stewart Regan.
    • Thursday's gossip column April 24, 2014
      Olic rejects Stoke, Man Utd want Shaw and Cavani, Moyes in shock Spurs link, Barcelona revive Luiz interest, and Wenger to sign new deal.
    • Labour to cut ties with Co-op Bank April 24, 2014
      The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in the UK.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • Caroline Kennedy backs Hillary Clinton for 2016 April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Caroline Kennedy, the current U.S. ambassador to Japan, says she would support Hillary Clinton if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency in 2016, and she hopes Clinton decides to run.
    • U.S. trade bank chief warns lawmaker 'political games' threaten exports April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will only hurt American exports and jobs by playing "political games" that threaten to shut down the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the bank's president said on Thursday.
    • Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies April 24, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new "red line" and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
    • Mississippi sets 20-week limit on abortions April 24, 2014
      (Reuters) - Mississippi will ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy from July, joining other conservative U.S. states that have placed restrictions on the procedure.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
    • Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 23, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
    • Exclusive: White House considers former banking lawyer for Fed board - sources April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former lawyer with the American Bankers Association is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to the board of the Federal Reserve, according to sources familiar with the efforts
    • Vote delayed on loan guarantee for World Trade Center developer April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - The board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey on Wednesday delayed a scheduled vote on whether to provide $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, the latest holdup for the project.
    • Democratic governors challenge Connecticut campaign finance law April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - The U.S. Democratic Governors' Association on Wednesday sued the state of Connecticut, saying its laws on political spending are unconstitutionally broad and limit the ability of political groups to buy independent ads backing candidates.
    • Hagel begins first trip to Latin America as U.S. defense chief April 23, 2014
      ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday his first trip to Latin America as Pentagon chief would add "muscle and sinew" to growing North American defense ties and highlight the importance of helping partner nations improve their militaries.
    • Georgia governor signs gun carry rights expansion into law April 23, 2014
      ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a broad expansion of gun carry rights into law on Wednesday, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions.
    • California lawmakers, bruised by scandal, turn to ethics training April 23, 2014
      SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California lawmakers, their reputation tarnished by fraud and corruption scandals, on Wednesday took a break from normal business to attend ethics training, the latest step by the state Senate to repair its image as elections loom.
    • U.S. Justice Department announces clemency review of drug offenders April 23, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department laid out new clemency guidelines on Wednesday that are expected to make thousands of drug offenders eligible for a reduction in the sentences they are currently serving.
    • U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit.
    • California GOP hopeful wants free college for science, math students April 23, 2014
      BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools.
    • California congressman woos Sriracha pepper sauce factory after odor complaints heat up April 23, 2014
      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from a Los Angeles community is seeking to lure the factory that makes the bestselling Sriracha-brand hot pepper sauce to his district after residents in its current location complained about the smell.
    • New Jersey governor's press aide subpoenaed in 'Bridgegate' probe April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - A New Jersey legislative panel investigating the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal subpoenaed the press spokesman to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and three other officials on Tuesday.
    • Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo April 22, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America's commitment to their defense without hurting Washington's vital ties with a rising China.
    • U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.
  • RSS – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why the abduction isn't shocking April 22, 2014
      No one knows where 77 abducted girls in Nigeria are -- and surprising still, no one's particularly shocked.
    • Slum dweller means business April 22, 2014
      Most success-hungry entrepreneurs would tell you there's not enough hours in the day -- try saying that to Buken Makokha.
    • Human viruses killing last gorillas? April 22, 2014
      They are the world's largest primates and yet the constant threat of illegal poaching, deforestation and now human diseases mean that soon the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out. Meet the woman trying to fix the situation before it's too late.
    • Is this the new Oprah? April 18, 2014
      Meet Mo Abudu: 'Africa's Oprah Winfrey.' The glamorous 49-year-old is conquering the continent one media empire at a time.
    • Ancient tribe living in the past April 18, 2014
      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
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Archive for May 4th, 2011

African Liberation Day May 21, 2011

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2011

African Liberation Day 2011 is perhaps one of the most significant ALD events. It comes during a time where imperialism is deepening its wars against Africa and African people around the globe.

Imperialism, led by neocolonial U.S. president Barack Obama drops bombs on the people of Libya. Meanwhile, imperialist intervention has reated crisis following elections in Ivory Coast. Africans in Haiti ontinue to suffer occupation and attacks that began following Haiti’s successful slave rebellion and worker’s revolution in 804, while police violence and economic quarantine continue to be the orm in African communities in the U.S.

However, even as imperialist white power deepens its war against Africans and other oppressed peoples, the resistance to these attacks grows. This struggle of African and other peoples against white power — whether in white face or in the black/brown faces of Obama, Mubarak, etc — is taking center stage, from Egypt to Congo, Haiti to D.C.

This historic African Liberation Day event was called for by Africans and others at the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations Conference on the Other Wars as an event to oppose imperialist wars in Africa and against Africans worldwide, and will be happening simultaneously with ALD events in England and the Bahamas.

Join us at this historic African Liberation Day for music, presentations, workshops and an incredible African marketplace as we celebrate the ongoing struggle of African people for liberation and oppose the imperialist wars against Africa and Africans everywhere!

Presented by the African People’s Socialist Party,

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Posted in AA > News and News analysis | 2 Comments »

Thousands have still not received the shelter assistance they need

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2011

MYANMAR: Three years later, still no shelter

BANGKOK, 3 May 2011 (IRIN) – Three years after Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, thousands still need shelter assistance, officials and aid workers say.

“This is an area where there are still huge needs,” Arne Jan Flolo, first secretary of the Norwegian Embassy, which has been a major supporter of the ongoing shelter effort in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta since 2008, told IRIN in Bangkok.

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) estimates some 375,000 people (75,000 households) need housing across the south, 36 months after the worst natural disaster to strike the Southeast Asian nation.

“Yes, there has been progress, but there is no denying we need to do more,” Chris Bleers, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), added. The council has assisted in the construction and strengthening of more than 6,000 shelters in Myanmar’s badly affected Labutta Township.

A recent survey by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) reported that at least 62 percent of households in the delta still live in shelters that are not disaster resistant.

Massive needs

According to the government, more than 750,000 homes were badly affected by Nargis, which swept across the low-lying delta and parts of Yangon Division on 2 and 3 May 2008, killing more than 138,000 people, destroying 360,246 homes and damaging another 390,053.

But despite the enormity of the disaster, shelter was never given the priority it deserved from donors, say aid workers.

“The response of the international community was definitely not commensurate with the scale of the need,” Bleers said.

“I don’t know why more people have not stepped up. It simply doesn’t make sense,” said Olive Orate, project coordinator for the delta with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), one of just four agencies still working on shelter in the delta. It will likely wrap up operations by end-2011.

Photo: Contributor/IRIN
75,000 households have received no assitance

To date, ADRA has constructed 240 shelters in Labutta and would like to do more, but lack of financial resources is preventing it from doing so.

“Of course we want to do more. We simply can’t,” Orate said, noting the government had allocated two sites of land about 3km inland in Labutta where more than 1,000 units could be constructed, but did not have the resources to do so.

“There are still a lot of people along the shoreline who are living in almost temporary shelters,” Orate said.

Slow response

Under the Post Nargis Recovery Plan (PONREPP), of the US$173.6 million recommended for shelter recovery, just $30 million has been received, making it the least funded sector of all.

As a result, mainly female-headed households, households of elderly people without family support, as well as the disabled have been prioritized for assistance.

“Those families not falling into these categories are left to rebuild on their own based on the very dubious assumption that they can recover their livelihoods sufficiently to be able to do so,” Srinivasa Popuri, UN-HABITAT country programme manager, explained.

In fact, just 175,000 households have received any kind of assistance from the UN, government or NGOs, including 65,000 fully constructed units, with the rest receiving repair assistance in the range of $80 to $120 per family.

According to UN-HABITAT, more funding is needed for the shelter sector, with the minimum cost of a disaster-resilient shelter about $600. A $300 shelter lasts for two monsoon seasons, one costing $600 for seven to nine years and a $1,000 shelter for 10 to 12 years.



Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Residents of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, are understandably more concerned with dodging bullets than avoiding HIV

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2011

SOMALIA: Stigma, insecurity hold back HIV fight in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, 3 May 2011 (PlusNews) – Residents of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, are understandably more concerned with dodging bullets than avoiding HIV, but this lack of knowledge means widespread ignorance about HIV prevention, while people who are HIV-positive are often ostracized by their communities.

Today, Nasteho Farah Elmi is an active member of an organization for people living with HIV/AIDS, but six years ago, when her family found out she was HIV-positive, they sent her away.

“When my relatives found out… they gave me 50,000 Somali shillings [US$1.80] because they didn’t have any idea about the disease; they thought it could even be transmitted by looking at me,” Elmi told IRIN/PlusNews. “Moving from Afgoye [southern Somalia] to Mogadishu was strange because I didn’t know where to live.

“By Allah’s mercy I formed a Somali civil society organization named SOPHA [Ururka Faya-dhawrka Soomaaliyeed], which has supported me,” she added. “Now I am married a man who has HIV too and we continue to live together here in Mogadishu.”

According to local civil society organizations in Mogadishu, more than 300 HIV-positive individuals are registered and receiving care and support, including food supplements from the UN World Food Programme.

“Five places are testing [for HIV] in Mogadishu… people are referred for psycho-social support after they are diagnosed,” said Mohamed Sa’id, social director of the local NGO, South Central People Living with HIV. “Our members include civil servants, soldiers and so on, but they are not known because if anyone knew them, we are afraid they will be discriminated against.”

But it is particularly hard to work in areas of Mogadishu controlled by the Islamist insurgent group, Al-Shabab.

“We [SOPHA] have two centres; a treatment centre in Marka, in Lower Shabelle region and our head office is in Mogadishu’s government-controlled areas,” said Elmi. “In Al-Shabab-controlled areas, we can’t hold workshops because they already prohibited international aid organizations to operate in areas they control in south-central Somalia. For this reason, we hold the workshops in the government areas.”

According to Dahabo Abdi, a local journalist, the result is precious little HIV knowledge in the city. “The people of Mogadishu do not receive enough awareness, except sometimes radio stations speak about it,” she said.

“We are not like [the self-declared republic of] Somaliland, where I have seen in the media that the people are discussing HIV/AIDS in public,” said Osman Libah, deputy health minister of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.

Nevertheless, Elmi remains optimistic that the limited work going on in Mogadishu is having some impact on the attitudes of the city’s residents.

“Several years ago, people never welcomed us because of the stigma they have about the disease, but nowadays it seems that things are changing.”



Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Rising food prices have led to protests

Posted by African Press International on May 4, 2011

UGANDA: Government “won’t budge on food prices”

Rising food prices have led to protests (file photo)

KAMPALA, 3 May 2011 (IRIN) – The government of Uganda will not reduce taxes or consider food subsidies, despite an increase in violence that has led to a “national crisis”, according to the UN.

Minister of Information Kabakumba Masiko said the consistent government line since the “walk-to-work” protests began on 8 April still stood, though she maintained other measures were in place to address stability in the East African country.

“On the supply side, we are ensuring there will be enough food for our people,” she said. “The Bank of Uganda is also mopping up the excess currency that is contributing to the inflation.”

Opposition politicians and critics have blamed the lack of food and fuel reserves for contributing to skyrocketing prices.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, inflation jumped another 3 percent last month, reaching an annual 14.1 percent in April from 13.1 percent in March, while crop inflation rose from 29.1 percent in March to 39.3 percent.

The demonstrations against the rising cost of living have been led by opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who has vowed protests will continue.

On 29 April, riots broke out across the capital, Kampala, and five other centres across the country, killing at least five people and injuring hundreds more.

“We just woke up angry,” said George Lubwama, 27, a barber in Kasubi, where one person was confirmed by Red Cross officials to have been shot dead after live rounds and tear gas were used by security forces trying to dispel angry rioters.

The epicentre of violence in the city, Kisekka market, was taken over early in the morning by an elite military group led by President Yoweri Museveni’s son – journalists were reportedly barred from entering the area and threatened.

The height of the violence was widely seen as a protest against the violent arrest of Besigye the day before. Security forces smashed the former presidential candidate’s car window and sprayed him directly in the eyes with tear gas after an hours-long standoff, after which Besigye was thrown into a police vehicle.

The footage of the brutal arrest on 28 April was widely circulated and has brought criticism from domestic and international human rights bodies alike.

On 1 May, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called the manner in which Besigye was arrested “shocking”.

“The excessive use of force by security officers was plain to see in the television footage of the event. While I do not condone the violent rioting that followed, the Ugandan authorities must realize that their own actions have been the major factor in turning what were originally peaceful protests about escalating food and fuel prices into a national crisis,” Pillay said.

Meanwhile, Ugandans continue to feel the impact of increased food prices following a sharp increase in fuel prices in the past few months.

A Kasubi taxi driver, Robert Kawuki, says the rising costs have severely affected his livelihood. “It’s hurting me to the extremes,” he said.

Lubwama added that the politicization of “walk-to-work” protests was hurting those most affected. “He [Museveni] is fighting Besigye, but the greatest rebel is the economy now,” he said.



Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »


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