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Third Kenyan opposition figure arrested amid crackdown
3 February 2018, 3:20 PM

Kenyan police on Saturday detained another key government critic over his alleged involvement in the recent mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president”, the third such arrest within four days.

George Aladwa is accused of helping to organise the January 30 symbolic swearing-in in Nairobi in front of tens of thousands of supporters, in a fresh challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election last year.

Police said Aladwa, who was arrested at his home on Saturday morning, was also being questioned over his role in a shooting Wednesday at the home of Odinga’s running-mate, Kalonzo Musyoka.
“Aladwa is being investigated over what happened at Kalonzo’s home. He is also being questioned over the chaos in (Nairobi) where he mobilised youths,” police spokesman Charles Owino told AFP.

Kenyatta’s victory in a re-run vote in October has sparked deadly clashes and polarised the country.

The government has denounced Odinga for trying to “overthrow” Kenyatta, while the opposition claims the election process was rigged and the result illegitimate.

At least 92 people have died in recent months, with most protesters killed at the hands of security forces, according to rights groups.

Aladwa’s detention follows the separate arrests this week of opposition firebrand Miguna Miguna and of lawyer TJ Kajwang for their alleged key roles in Odinga’s swearing-in.

The government also blocked three major TV channels to stop them from broadcasting the Tuesday’s “swearing-in”.

The stations remained off air on Saturday despite a court order issued Thursday to end the suspensions.

Police have also ignored a judge’s ruling to release Miguna ahead of his court appearance scheduled for Monday.

“Tension is building up and it is just a matter of time before it explodes,” the Daily Nation newspaper wrote in an editorial Saturday.

“It is absurd that Mr Odinga and his coalition members have chosen the path of confrontation… but the government’s reaction is equally revolting,” according to the paper.

The United Nations and the US have denounced the Kenyan government’s crackdown.

But Odinga’s inauguration has also alienated him from the international community, with Western diplomats saying they were not in contact with him.

International calls for dialogue between the two sides have for months been ignored by both the government and opposition.

UN Security Council to discuss human trafficking reports
27 November 2017, 9:52 PM

The United Nations Security Council will convene on Tuesday morning in New York after news reports and video footage emerged last week, showing African migrants in Libya being sold as slaves.

Permanent member France, which has taken the lead on the issue, says the meeting is aimed at creating a broader awareness on modern-day slavery while seeking a unified position from Council members against such acts.

Last week, the UN Secretary General expressed his horror at the reports and called on the competent authorities in the country to investigate without delay and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Libya’s UN backed government now says it is investigating the allegations, first reported by CNN, that hundreds of African migrants or refugees traveling through the country, most likely trying to reach Europe, had been bought and sold in slave markets.

The UN special political mission in Libya has indicated that it too is pursuing the matter with Libyan authorities while the Council will be briefed Tuesday by the High Commissioner for Refugees among others.

French Ambassador, Francois Delattre says his government wants Council to break the model of human-traffickers.

“We are working on every conceivable measure to fight against this scourge. So we don’t exclude anything. We’ll also hear from UNHCR Filippo Grandi and other briefers. This is a very important meeting and we wanted this meeting to be held. But we also want it to have some results and to open some new perspectives in the fight against human trafficking in Libya in particular.”

Italy, which holds the Council Presidency, has been among the main receiving countries of the more than 150-thousand migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea each year.

Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi says: “There was a telephone call between our foreign minister Angelino Alfano and French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drien on Saturday rather, and they together agreed to hold this meeting. It’s of course focused a lot on the recent news on the slaves in Libya so it’s going to be a very important issue to discuss.”

The UK’s Matthew Rycroft has urged the council to demonstrate unity on the matter.

“This is a huge issue and we need to make sure that we stamp out modern slavery in all its forms, including human trafficking including in Libya.”

Reports suggest that human beings were being sold in slave markets for as little as 400 dollars each, a matter the UN Chief Antonio Guterres has condemned.

“I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter. Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity.”

The UN has urged all countries to adopt and apply the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime while addressing migration flows in a comprehensive and humane manner.

SA Rugby welcomes RWC 2023 nomination, prepares for confirmation
31 October 2017, 2:38 PM

South Africa will deliver a “Triple Win” Rugby World Cup in 2023, pledged SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux on Tuesday after World Rugby announced that South Africa was the preferred candidate following a rigorous assessment of the competing bids.

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