Posts tagged as: radio

KDF Airstrikes in Somalia Reportedly Killed Militants

Photo: Jared Nyataya/Nation

Kenyan soldiers during their “Operation Linda Nchi” against the Somali Al-Shabaab militia.

A Somali military officer says several Al Shabaab militants and commanders were killed in series of KDF airstrikes in War-Gaduud area near El Wak city in Gedo region in this week.

The official who spoke condition of anonymity, told Radio Shabelle that those killed in the aerial bombing include deputy commander of Al shabaab in Gedo region Ali Shangalow.

The Military source confirmed that the operation also killed two other al-Shabaab militants.

Al-Shabaab is yet to release a statement on the reported air strikes by Kenyan military jets.

Somalia

EU Condemns the Recent Executions in Somalia

The European Union considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to provide deterrence… Read more »

No Media Freedom in Burundi, Reporters Without Borders Says

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

Reporters without Borders (RSF) ranks Burundi the 160th out of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF says the country was the 156th in 2016. It is ranked behind all the East African Community countries.

The situation in Burundi has become more and more complex since the outbreak of the 2015 crisis. The main independent radio stations have remained closed since the May 2015 coup attempt, according to RSF report. On 14 May, on the eve of the coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza, five media were destroyed. Two of them namely Isanganiro and Rema FM were allowed to reopen. The three remaining others which are Bonesha FM, Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) and Télévision Renaissance are still closed.

RSF says new government propaganda media outlets have been created. This NGO says Burundian Journalists find it hard to work freely and are often harassed by security forces encouraged by an official discourse associating non-aligned media with enemies of the nation. The journalist Jean Bigirimana’s disappearance in July 2016 has still not been solved, says RSF.

Innocent Muhozi , Chairman of the Burundian Press Watchdog (OPB) says, it is not surprising that Burundi moved from its 156 in 2016 to 160 in the 2017 ranking by RSF in terms of press freedom. “Media freedom is not possible when the right to life and the fundamental human rights are violated,” says Muhozi.

Gabriel Bihumugani, Deputy Chairman of the Burundi’s media regulator (CNC) dismisses RSF report. He says it was written on the basis of false information. “RSF only considered the events of 2015 and the disappearance of Jean Bigirimana, journalist at Iwacu Press Group.” Burundi journalists are not ill-treated,” he says.

Bihumugani says the press regulator left no stone unturned to find Jean Bigirimana but in vain. “CNC urges competent authorities to give clarification on the journalist’s disappearance”, Bihumugani says. He says CNC is doing its best to guarantee press freedom.

Burundi

My Life Is in Danger, Says Opposition Leader

Burundi’s main opposition leader and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Agathon Rwasa has claimed his life is in danger… Read more »

Cameroon: Agriculture – New Project to Boost Productivity

By Amindeh Blaise Atabong

The five-year project worth over FCFA 75 billion and expected to create 6,000 jobs was officially launched Monday by MINADER.

Government has launched another project to scale up agricultural productivity in the country. The Agriculture Value Chain Development Project code named PD-CVA and sponsored by the African Development Bank to the tune of over FCFA 75 billion will create 6,000 jobs for youths and over 24000 indirect jobs.It will improve living conditions and ensure food security. Launching the project in Yaounde on Monday April 24, 2017, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Henri Eyebe Ayissi declared government’s resolve to steadily pursue its ambition to remain the agricultural giant in the Central African sub-region.

According to the Minister, the project which covers the Centre, South, East, Littoral and South West regions will not only improve the agriculture value chain but will go a long way to create youth employment through involvement in agri-businesses. He also noted that the first-of-its-kind project in Francophone Africa will develop agricultural infrastructure. Going by Tabi Jackson, PD-CVA Coordinator for the South West region, the five-year project will entail the putting in place of processing facilities, capacity building by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, supporting research to derive improved seeds, amongst others. There shall equally be the putting in place of some 1,000km farm-to-market roads. Mahamat Abakar, PD-CVA National Coordinator has assured youths will have easy access to loans for their ventures in the oil palm, banana/plantain and pineapple sectors. He noted a great part of the project will benefit women.

Cameroon

Journalist’s Attorneys File Appeal on Terrorism Charges

In Cameroon, lawyers for the Radio France International reporter sentenced to a decade behind bars late Monday already… Read more »

Sudan: Northern Sudanese Demand Gold Cyanidation Site Removed

Sawarda — Residents of six villages in Sudan’s Northern State have rejected the state government’s response to their demands concerning an immediate stop to the operations of the gold cyanidation site in the area of Sawarda.

Wael Hassan, the spokesman for the Sawarda “six-parties protest committee” told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that the state government has not yet fulfilled their promise to close the gold cyanidation plant in the area.

“The state government promised us on 9 April that the plant would be closed immediately. Yet, it is still operating,” he said. “But last week we received a statement from the authorities that the closure will be delayed.”

“We have written a reply saying that we insist on the immediate removal of the site. We hold the state government fully responsible for any developments in this regard.”

Hassan said that the members of the Committee would hand their letter to the state authorities on Monday. “We may have to take to the streets again,” he threatened.

Protests

For months, the people in Sawarda, Aru, Ashim, Kiweika, Abboud, and Wawa villages (between the 2nd and the 3rd cataract on the River Nile) have been protesting the gold cyanidation site in the area, as they fear the effects of the use of cyanide on human, animal, and environmental health.

Two weeks ago, the protesters took to the streets again. They blocked the highway between Dongola and Halfa, demanding the authorities to definitely remove the factory.

The authorities complied to the demands after a judge issued a decree to suspend the operation of the site.

“If the government does not implement the decision, the protest campaign will be stronger the next time,” Hassan told this station at the time.

He further said that a committee would be formed to monitor the dismantling of the factory that “should be completed within 15 days”.

Controversial

Cyanidation is a technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore. It is the most commonly used process for gold extraction. Because of the highly toxic nature of cyanide however, the process is controversial, and its usage banned in a number of countries.

Popular actions against the use of toxic substances in gold mining sites in northern Sudan and in South and North Kordofan, are growing stronger. In end March, angry residents of Talodi in South Kordofan set fire to the El Tagola gold extraction plant.

Sudan

SPLM-N Requests Mbeki to Delay Peace Talks to Fix Friction

The delegation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has asked the African mechanism mediating the… Read more »

Sudan: 40 New Cholera Cases in White Nile State

Um Jar — A woman died of cholera in Um Jar locality in White Nile state on Sunday.

Medical sources told Radio Dabanga that a woman cholera patient died at the Kateer Balla Health Centre on Sunday.

The health centres of Andalus, Kateer Balla, Arafa, and Um Jar town received 40 new cases in total on Saturday. The Um Jar Hospital admitted 13 new cases on Friday.

In the 20 villages in the area of Um Jar, located between Ad Duwaym and Rabak, at least 200 people are afflicted as well. According to the sources, Unicef has sent medical equipment, vaccines and medicines to the Um Jar Hospital, together with a team to conduct a field survey.

‘Watery diarrhoea’

On Friday, a coordinator at the Um Jar Health Centre told Radio Dabanga that about 900 people in Um Jar locality are stricken by ‘watery diarrhoea’.

Since September last year, people in eastern, central, and northern Sudan report cases of ‘watery diarrhoea’. Medics have confirmed that the disease concerns cholera.

The Sudanese authorities however, have instructed all medics and health workers to mention watery diarrhoea only. Earlier this month, a journalist was detained in El Gedaref in eastern Sudan for reporting about cholera.

“It seems a stigma for the government,” a UK-based Sudanese epidemiology specialist told this station in January. He feared that the silence by the authorities will turn into a long-lasting outbreak of cholera cases.

Sudan

Sudan’s Agricultural Bank Signs Agreements With Us Companies

The Sudanese Agricultural Bank has signed four agreements with major American companies in the fields of axial… Read more »

Nigeria: What Hope for Kaduna Airport After Abuja’s Upgrade?

On Wednesday, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport resumed operation, six weeks after it was shut down for the repair of its runway. Kaduna Airport was used as alternative while the repair lasted.

Industry sources put the cost of movement of flights to Kaduna, the preparation of the airport to serve as alternative, including associated projects and security at about N3.2 billion.

The Kaduna airport witnessed flurry of activities during the given period when most of the domestic airlines and few international carriers operated at the airport. The temporary designation of the airport as alternative to Abuja galvanised economic activities, creating inevitable market around the airport, as businesses yearned to meet miscellaneous demands of passengers, from eateries to other services.

But now that huge flight traffic has returned to the airport at the Federal Capital Territory, which has become beehive of activities since Wednesday as airlines, which battled with challenging logistics and initial low load factor and passengers that have to travel three hours from Abuja to Kaduna to board their flights, heaved a long sigh of relief.

To effectively serve as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was upgraded to Category 9 with improved fire cover, expanded and rehabilitated runway, improved instrument landing system and erection of the passenger terminal, which was literally abandoned when the airport remodeling progamme was terminated.

The Voice Ominidirectional Radio Range (VOR) at the airport was repaired in addition to the repair of other navigational aids, air traffic personnel were deployed and airspace services and weather reports improved. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was toying with security and perimeter fencing at the height of the period the airport served its purpose.

Before it served as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was receiving about two commercial flights a day, so it was never a busy airport and that explained why there was no hurry to rebuild its terminal as the hajj terminal was put in use for the lean number of passengers that travel through the airport.

However, now that the airport facilities have been upgraded, THISDAY learnt that Arik Air, Medview and Air Peace may operate to the airport. Arik had been operating to the airport in the past.

Industry observers while acknowledging the upgrade of facilities at the airport lamented that they would become underutilised now that traffic has moved back to Abuja.

“From the road reconstruction to the deployment of security operatives, the Kaduna airport projects must have cost over N3.2 billion. They spent billion because all the vehicles from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa were escorted by security operatives in their pick-up vans. So you can estimate how much that cost the federal government. When I travelled from Abuja to Kaduna to board flight to Lagos we were escorted by two policemen in Hilux van until we arrived. All the vehicles that left were escorted. They would put road safety (Federal Road Safety Corp) at the back; they would put police escort in front. The money spent on these activities is crazy,” an inside source told THISDAY.

THISDAY learnt that beyond serving as alternative to Abuja airport, there had been plans to upgrade the airport and make it a very active airport, operating international flights and also given it a prime place by government. To this end, there are indications that government will ensure that an international flight operates to the airport beyond Hajj flights, which operates at least twice every year.

THISDAY authoritatively learnt that the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai had written to the management of Ethiopia Airlines to continue its operation to Kaduna after it served as alternative to Abuja, promising to give it all the support it needs. Although Ethiopia Airlines has not replied the state government but it may give that request a serious consideration because of the good relationship between Nigeria and the airline. Indications show that although the state government made that request to the airline, it is tacitly supported by the federal government and the aviation agencies.

“It has been part of the whole scheme when government announced that Kaduna would serve as alternative airport to Abuja while the runway in the later undergoes repairs. It was a scheme orchestrated to upgrade facilities at the airport, but what was done is not bad. We hope that government should show similar commitment to the upgrade of other airports. In case of emergency, Kaduna is the closest airport to Abuja, so a flight under distress after taking from Abuja has an alternative airport to land in. This is why we advised to ensure that all busy airports have airfield lighting and can operate in the night in case of emergency,” a source remarked to THISDAY.

But this is the reality check. Ethiopia Airlines said that it would designate the latest aircraft to come out of Airbus, Airbus A350 to Abuja airport. It landed at Abuja airport with 265 passengers onboard on Tuesday afternoon, a day before the reopening of the airport. The aircraft has about 343 passenger capacity. Ethiopia Airlines operates Boeing B777 to Lagos with about 350-400 passenger capacity; it also operates to Kano with Boeing B737-800 with about 140 passenger capacity; it operates to Enugu with Boeing 737-800 with similar 140 passenger capacity, so where will the passenger for Kaduna airport come from, considering the airports proximity to Kano and Abuja?

But besides this reality, which seems to stymie the plan to have Ethiopia Airlines or any international operation beyond Hajj services in Kaduna, the Kaduna airport has all the necessary facilities to function as international airport. It has the largest remote parking space among the Nigerian airports. Now it has the most upgraded landing aids and runway. Government should not allow these facilities to be idle, so it should tinker ways to make the airport more functional. Allowing it to be underutilised will not justify the huge resources spent on its upgrade.

Legislator Disowns Dead ‘Husband’

Photo: Bill Oketch/Daily Monitor

Mourners carry the remains of Ambrose Eger for burial.

By Bill Oketch & Tobbias Jolly Owiny

Kole — The Woman Member of Parliament for Kole District has distanced herself from any attribution or portrayal which puts her in a relationship with deceased Ambrose Eger, a former lecturer of Gulu University. Eger died on April 8.

Whereas Ms Judith Alyek (Kole Woman MP), claims that no relationship existed between them, Eger’s relatives of Inomo clan and local leaders aver to the contrary. For instance, the Alebtong LC5 chairman, Mr Denis Johnson Okello, said Ms Alyek was the deceased’s wife, and that God had blessed the couple with two children who have grown up into adults.

Mr Bosco Olung, the deputy clan chief of Inomo clan, said the MP was married to their son Eger.

“She is married with children and if there was any misunderstanding in their marriage, the clan was not informed,” Mr Olung told Daily Monitor on Tuesday.

Disowned

However, following the loss, someone who did not sign the announcement record book placed an announcement on Radio Unity in Lira on Friday.

The announcement, aired on Friday evening and Saturday morning, indicated the MP Alyek’s husband would be buried on Saturday, April 15, at their ancestral home in Alebtong District.

Informed were the chairman of Lango Parliamentary Group, members of Parliament from Lango, LC5 chairperson of Kole, and all the district councilors of Kole, according to the announcement.

However on Saturday morning, the MP reportedly stormed Radio Unity with some man whom she was referring to as her husband to cancel the previous announcement. The MP, who was in the company of one Richard Odongo (husband), disowned Eger in the announcement.

In the controversial announcement, the legislator asked all the MPs from Lango and the district leaders of Kole to disregard the previous announcement saying it was done by her political saboteurs.

The management of Radio Unity told this newspaper that the legislator also refused to sign the announcement record book when asked to do so by the cashier.

Uganda

Man Who Demarcated Rwenzori National Park Dies

Abraham Lincoln Kaliba, the man who spent nearly seven years planting the boundary line for what would become Mount… Read more »

Sokoine – 33 Years On, Nation Misses the Selfless Leader

opinionBy Zephania Ubwani

Arusha — On April 12, 1984, Tanzanians suffered a lunch-hour shock: Prime Minister Edward Sokoine had died.

News of the tragic death in a road accident near Morogoro was so shocking that it left the then Morogoro regional commissioner Chrysant Mzindakaya bewildered.

After confirming that the PM was indeed dead, he was traumatised so that he was at a loss on how to relay the information to President Nyerere. On that particular day, Mwalimu was in Dar es Salaam, and apparently, was not that preoccupied with high-profile official functions.

If there was any notable information sent to newsrooms from the State House before the tragedy that day, it was the appointment of Prof Philemon Sarungi as the new director-general of the Muhimbili Medical Centre (MMC).

Eyewitnesses in Morogoro had scant memories of what happened. From the regional hospital mortuary, the RC found his office too far to relay official confirmation of the death to Dar, and instead marched to the nearby Post Office to make a call to the State House.

But to the general public across the country, information may have seemed unbelievable.

If such death could have happened today, some could have been taken as a joke, implying the source (of information) may have tried to gauge Sokoine’s popularity given that he was the force behind an unprecedented grand fight against corrupt officials. There was not much ‘drama’ in the few media outlets as would have been the case had such tragedy happened now with so many newspapers,electronic media and social media.

By late afternoon in what came to be considered a ‘black Thursday’, millions of Tanzanians had to grapple with the reality that the towering Sokoine was no more. The national broadcaster, Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam (RTD) cut its regular programmes to announce the death and relay past speeches by the fallen leader.

In Dar es Salaam the business was usual after the information spread like bushfire though hundreds of people clung on their radio handsets on updates on the death. But there was a significant decrease in movement of traffic after sunset. Many people were more inquisitive on the way a road accident had claimed the life of a leader who endeared himself with the common people. Sokoine was popular among the ordinary people in Dar es Salaam in many ways. In early 1983, a year before his death,he spearheaded the war against hoarders of basic foodstuffs that include the staple maize flour.

The crackdown brought relief and food on the tables of many families of the poor. They would have otherwise gone without enough food on the tables or forced to buy it at prices beyond their reach such that it would deny them other basic necessities. The commuter transport in Dar es Salaam city in those days (the early 1980s) was cumbersome and chaotic at best.

There were simply no enough buses to ferry people to their work or business places and back home despite many ministries and public corporations having large fleets of buses for their employees.

Hundreds of commuters literally across the city would often have to line up in order to squeeze themselves into an UDA bus. The fittest and lucky ones would go through but many would have to wait much longer at the bus stations.

e situation was certainly made worse by the economic crunch in the country that until the 1980s still professed the state-controlled economy. UDA was a state-run corporation.

Out of sympathy with the down-trodden, Sokoine ordered that privately owned buses be allowed to operate commuter service in Dar es Salaam in order to cope with the large number of commuters and UDA’s inability to offer service to the increasing numbers.

In just a few months, the city roads were flooded with all manner of trucks, pick-ups and private vehicles carrying passengers to different directions. Incidentally, that signaled the beginning to economic liberalisation. They were soon to be joined by buses owned by public institutions and which were purchased specifically to ferry employees to their work places.

The workers in government institutions, too, would remember measures taken by the late PM in ensuring they get their food rations in the height of critical shortage of basic necessities.

Mini-shops were opened in work places from where the employees and families in the neighbourhoods would get maize and cassava flour, sugar, soap, cooking oil, batteries for their radio sets and other consumer items which were in short supply.

It was partly due to this that two days after his death (April 14th), that a sea of humanity in Dar es Salaam turned up at the Karimjee Hall to give a befitting hero’s send off to Sokoine before the body was transported to Monduli Juu for burial.

A similar send off was accorded to the Nation Founder Mwalimu Nyerere at the National Stadium in October, 1999 following his death.

Sudan: Northern State Govt. to Close Gold Cyanidation Site

Sawarda — The residents of Sawarda and neighbouring villages in Sudan’s Northern State have welcomed the decision of the state government on Sunday to close a gold cyanidation plant in the area.

For months, the people living in Sawarda and surroundings (between the 2nd and the 3rd cataract on the River Nile) have been protesting the construction of a gold cyanidation site in the area, as they fear the effects of the use of cyanide on human, animal, and environmental health.

On Saturday, the protesters took to the streets again. They blocked the highway between Dongola and Halfa, demanding the authorities to issue a decision to remove the factory.

The activists continued their protest actions on Sunday, and cut the power supply to the factory. After a technical team started procedures to connect the power to the factory, a judge issued a decree to suspend the operation.

“We welcome the government’s decision, but at the same time we urge them to implement the decision as well,” Wael Hassan, spokesman for the Sawarda “six-parties protest committee” told Radio Dabanga on Sunday.

“If the government does not implement the decision, the protest campaign will be stronger the next time.”

Hassan further reported that a committee will be formed to monitor the dismantling of the factory. “According to our technical committee this should be completed within 15 days.”

Cyanidation is a technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore. It is the most commonly used process for gold extraction. Because of the highly toxic nature of cyanide however, the process is controversial, and its usage banned in a number of countries.

People living near gold mines in northern Sudan, and in south and North Kordofan, have been protesting the use of toxic chemicals for gold extraction for years. The actions are becoming stronger. In end March, angry residents of Talodi in South Kordofan set fire to the El Tagola gold extraction site.

Sudan

State-Led Investigation Into West Darfur Camp Killings

The Government of Sudan will form a committee to investigate the incidents in Kerending in El Geneina locality which… Read more »

Liberia: Container Truck Kills Many

By Emmanuel Mondaye

Terror struck the densely populated slum Community of Sonniwein down Johnson Street in Monrovia when a 40-feet container truck plying license plate TB-0511 reportedly conveying alcoholic beverages from a local company NICOM smashed two persons to death instantly and wounded several others on Saturday, 8 April.

Two of those injured in the incident reportedly died at the state -run John F. Kennedy Medical Center or JFKMC in Sinkor where they were taken for medical attention, increasing the number of deaths tofour.

Excluding the four deaths, about five other victims are in criticalcondition. At least two victims died instantly when the truck lost control and fell in the congested market area in the community.

Bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary inside the government hospital JFK, awaiting police investigation surrounding cause of the accident. The deceased include a middle-age woman, two children and a male water supplier.

Those in critical conditions are being attended to at the JFKMC, while another victim was admitted at the Marwa Clinic in Vai Town on Bushrod Island for medical attention.

Those under critical condition include Franklin Mayatee, Emmanuel Jimmy, Lassanah Azzan, Meshell Williams and David. A male victim killed in the accident was supplying mineral water to some customers in the Sonniwein Community when the truck smashed him and a girl to death on the spot.

A forklift was later ordered to the scene which removed thefallen container from over the two dead bodies. The driver of thecontainer truck, 38-year-old Mahammed Kamara, immediately fled the sceneand sought refuge at the Center Street Police Depot for fear of being attack by angry mob.

The container, according to eyewitnesses, lost control due to alleged break failure, while coming down the Johnson Street hill that leads to Rally Time General Market at about 5:30pm.

It smashed a yellow commercial tricycle, locally called ‘kehkeh’ beyond repair and also damaged parts of several homes constructed along the road in the congested community.

The head of the truck disconnected from the main body after it fell. Eyewitnesses say most of the victims were residing in the Sonniwe in Community in Montserrado County Electoral District #8.

Following the incident, Police authorities in Monrovia issued astatement saying, they are investigating the cause of the accident that resulted to the death of three persons.

The police say 11 persons sustained wounds of different degrees andare undergoing medical treatment at the JFKMC in Sinkor. PoliceSpokesman Sam Collins says a female Liberian journalist, who works withSuper FM Radio Station Rose Zazay, sustained wounds on her both legs.

Police assured the public that they have initiated aninvestigation into the incident and called on the public toremain calm in the wake of the ongoing probe.

The police also say they have in their custody the truck operator 38 -year old Mahammed Kamara to assist in the investigation. They arelaiming that efforts to establish contact with the owner of the truckhas not materialized. The Liberia National Police has requestedthe input of eyewitnesses to assist the investigation.

Liberia

2017 Elections Threatened?

Reports reaching this paper revealed that some unknown men are planning to lunch seditious activities along the western… Read more »

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