Nairobi, Kenya: African Union endorses Kenya for UN Security Council Post

Monica Juma

The African Union (AU), today through a popular member vote, endorsed Kenya for a non-permanent membership to the United Nations’ Security Council. Kenya defeated Djibouti by a wide margin after garnering 37 votes against their rival who garnered 13 votes. The voting activity was in its second round. In the first exercise, Nairobi accessed the support of 35 countries with Djibouti City gathering the confidence of 15 countries. The first round had two AU members abstaining. Lack of a two-thirds majority win, for Kenya, in the first round justified the…

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Raila meets Indonesian President, discusses infrastructure development

African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development Raila Odinga today met Indonesia President Joko Widodo during the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in Bali. Earlier, Raila held talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi on “increased and improved collaboration between Africa and Indonesia in various sectors”. Present during the meeting were the host nation’s Ambassadors to Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. The Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue is a platform for the business community, government officials and other stakeholders from Indonesia and Africa aimed at ensuring collaboration in the infrastructure sector. The forum will be…

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Crisis Group warns of hurdles in implementing Sudan agreement

The International Crisis Group has given caution over the implementation of the Sudan power-sharing deal. In a statement, the organisation said the Junta might not let civilian authorities audit or control the sources of foreign exchange. “Caution is warranted, however. The junta signed the agreement only under intense external pressure from parties that included the AU, the U.S., the UK and the EU. Many of its members are beneficiaries of the patronage-based economic system that Bashir created,” they said in a statement. The Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation…

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Baktash Akasha sentenced to 25 years in prison

Baktash Akasha, a prominent member of the infamous Akasha family, today received a jail sentence of 25 years. Manhattan Presiding Judge Victor Marrero read the judgment and imposed a fine of US$100,000 on Baktash. Baktash Akasha, part of the wider Ibrahim Akasha’s family was extradited to the US alongside his brother to answer charges on drug trafficking. The duo pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to a plea bargain with the office of the Manhattan district attorney. The two brothers were extradited even at the face of a court…

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Huawei facilitated spying of Bobi Wine in Uganda, Wall Street Journal

Bobi Wine in court

According to the Wall Street Journal, Huawei Technologies aided the Ugandan government in amplifying surveillance on Bobi Wine’s private communications. According to the publication, technicians from the Chinese company intercepted encrypted messages in a Whatsapp group that had the membership of Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine, popularly identified as Robert Kyagulanyi, is a fierce critic of President Yoweri Museveni. His #PeoplePower movement is seen as a prominent threat to Museveni’s hold of power. Upon interception of the messages, the Huawei technicians shared them with Ugandan authorities. Security agencies used the messages…

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Winnie Byanyima steps down as Oxfam boss, to take up UNAIDS top job

Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima has stepped down to be the new United Nations Programme on HIV-Aids boss. “UNAIDS warmly welcomes the appointment of Winnie Byanyima as its new Executive Director. Ms Byanyima has more than 30 years of experience in political leadership, diplomacy and humanitarian engagement,” the global agency said in a statement on Wednesday. She takes over from Michel Sidibé, who was appointed Minister of Health and Social Affairs of Mali in May this year. “I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at…

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Al Shabaab attack army base in southern Somalia, casualties reported

Al Shabaab has attacked a government army base in southern Somalia with two car bombs and gunfire. BBC journalist Farhan Jimale said the military admitted there were casualties on both sides, but gave no figures. Earlier today, local media reported a suicide car bomb explosion followed by heavy gunfire reported in Awdheegle district in Lower Shabelle region. “We heard a huge blast and learnt that a military base was hit by a car bomb but we don’t know additional information,”  Dahir Hassan, a local resident, told Radio Garowe on the…

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African states challenged to own their peace processes

Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission has called for the African ownership of peace processes in the continent. This emerged during a meeting to review institutional relationships and partnership among the AUC, foreign states and international organisations in the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture and African Governance Architecture. The African Peace and Security Architecture and African Governance Architecture have The war in South Sudan, the regime change in Sudan, the collapse of the State in Somalia, and the conflicts in Burundi and DRC, the situation in Ethiopia as well…

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US political secretary in Sudan to push for implementation of peace deals

  US Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will on Wednesday meet with representatives from the Transitional Military Council and Forces for Freedom and Change and civil society. The State Department said the meeting will “encourage full and timely implementation of the agreements reached on July 17, and August 4, to create a civilian-led transitional government, and underscore our expectation that the transitional government will reflect the will of the Sudanese people.” John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, and Co-Founder of The Sentry, said the US has a unique opportunity…

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War on graft restoring investors’ confidence, outgoing envoys say

President Uhuru Kenyatta has yet again said no effort will be spared in ensuring corruption is completely destroyed. “We will remain focused on the fight against corruption. We hope that every institution will play its part to make this war successful,” Uhuru said at State House, Nairobi, when he separately bid farewell to outgoing EU Ambassador Stefano Dejak and British High Commissioner Nic Hailey on Wednesday. The President commended the two envoys for strengthening relations between Kenya and their respective jurisdictions during their tour of duty. Uhuru said Kenya appreciates…

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