Thursday, October 31, 2019

Another Test-Fire of Super-large Multiple Rocket Launchers Conducted in DPRK
Pyongyang, November 1 (KCNA) -- The Academy of Defence Science of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea succeeded in another test-fire of super-large multiple rocket launchers on Thursday afternoon.

The Academy of Defence Science organized the test-fire to verify the security of launchers' continuous fire system.

The successful test-fire result was directly reported to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on the spot.

After receiving a report of the Academy of Defence Science on the military and technical appreciation of the test-fire, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction over it and sent congratulations to the national defence scientists who are devotedly struggling for developing the self-defensive military muscle of the country and bolstering up its armed forces.

The perfection of the continuous fire system was verified through the test-fire to totally destroy with super-power the group target of the enemy and designated target area by surprise strike of the weapon system of super-large multiple rocket launchers.
Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Myohyangsan Medical Appliances Factory
Pyongyang, October 27 (KCNA) -- Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, inspected the Myohyangsan Medical Appliances Factory under reconstruction.

Supreme Leader of the Party, state and armed forces Kim Jong Un learned in detail about the reconstruction and updating of the factory, looking round the factory.

Seeing the whole of the factory, he said that the interior and exterior of the factory now befit a model factory in medical field and it was perfect both in terms of architectural beauty and technology. He said that the factory was given a complete facelift and its look changed fundamentally.

He acknowledged the factory was built into a high-tech factory capable of mass-producing different kinds of highly efficient medical appliances which are badly needed by hospitals in the country.

Putting into operation trial medical apparatuses produced by the factory, he learned in detail about their performance.

Stressing that it is important to produce lots of medical apparatuses vital for protecting and promoting the people's life but they have to be of high quality, above all, he said in earnest tone that it is precisely an issue related to the outlook on the people.

Calling for putting all the medical appliances to be produced by the factory on the level of those produced by the developed countries, he said the factory should look for data on modern medical appliances, steadily update designs and products in an innovative way to suit to the situation of hospitals in the country and the constitution of patients and thus develop and produce quality medical appliances of high performance and practicability.

Noting that the modernization project of the factory is being done as planned by the Party in general but there are some drawbacks when seen in detail, he pointed to the insufficient quality of the construction that comes short of the needs of design and engineering.

The exterior wall tiles and seams of some buildings are not smooth enough and some areas have uneven plastering, he pointed out, criticizing the final work that has not been done in a delicate manner.

He said that he would send a unit high in construction skill soon and the factory should set right the drawbacks of the construction and complete it to be flawless and functional by the end of this year.

He was accompanied by leading officials of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea Kim Yo Jong, Jo Yong Won, Ri Jong Nam, Hong Yong Song, Hyon Song Wol, and Jang Song Ho, Chairman of Jagang Provincial Committee of the WPK Kang Pong Hun and Director of a bureau of the State Affairs Commission Ma Won Chun.
Choe Ryong Hae Makes Speech at 18th NAM Summit
Pyongyang, October 29 (KCNA) -- Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), first vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, who is leading a delegation of the DPRK, made a speech at the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a powerful independent force against imperialism, a peace-loving force against war, he said, and went on:

The NAM has played a significant role in achieving independence and progress of the developing countries and safeguarding global peace and security.

The present international situation bears a resemblance to the early days of Cold War between the East and the West when the NAM was born.

Now is the time when the NAM Member States should turn out in the resolute fight for building a peaceful and prosperous world, an independent and just world, braving through the challenges with concerted efforts.

Now the situation on the Korean peninsula is at a critical crossroad of either moving towards durable peace along with the trend of détente or facing again a touch-and-go crisis.

A year has passed since the adoption of June 12 DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement. But the DPRK-U.S. relations see no improvement and the situation on the Korean peninsula is still caught up in the vicious cycle of escalated tension. This is ascribable to the U.S. pursuit of its anachronistic policy hostile to the DPRK and its continued political and military provocations.

Comrade Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, stated in his historic policy speech in April that there is a need for the U.S. to quit its current method of calculation and approach us with a new one.

We believe that preventing war and achieving durable peace on the Korean peninsula fully accord with the ideals of the NAM and it will also contribute to safeguarding global peace and security.

In view of its mission and ideals, the NAM is a group for international justice, and it is a force that has potential to realize international justice.

We take that a most pressing task now for the NAM is to struggle for realizing a genuine international justice.

If international justice is not realized, the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter will be reduced to a blank sheet of paper, and worse still, the sovereignty and the right to existence of small countries and NAM member states will never be guaranteed.

The countries, which value justice, should build on their strength on the principle of self-reliance and self-development and bring earlier a new independent and just world by uniting and cooperating with each other under the banner of anti-imperialism and independence.

Along with the political unity, the NAM Member States should develop South-South cooperation by strengthening exchange and collaboration by regions and continents on the principles of equality, mutual benefits and complementing one another.

In the face of ever-increasing sanctions and pressure of the hostile forces to deprive our Republic of its sovereignty and right to development, the people of the DPRK are making dynamic efforts to build a powerful socialist country by dint of self-reliance and self-development.

The Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will discharge its responsibility and role as a member state of NAM to invariably maintain the purity and ideals of the Movement, further develop the friendly and cooperative relations with its member states and strengthen and develop the Movement. 
President Kim Il Sung's Visit to Krasnoyarsk Hydro-electric Plant Marked
Pyongyang, October 30 (KCNA) -- A monument to the revolutionary activities of President Kim Il Sung was erected at the Krasnoyarsk Hydro-electric Plant in Russia.

Engraved on the monument are letters in Korean and Russian reading "Comrade Kim Il Sung, President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, visited the Krasnoyarsk Hydro-electric Plant on May 20, 1984."

An unveiling ceremony of the monument took place on the spot on October 25.

Present there were figures of various circles and masses in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the charge d'affaires a. i. and staff members of the DPRK embassy in Moscow.

The participants laid floral baskets and bouquets before the monument.

The director for Foreign Relations of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Administration said:

President Kim Il Sung enjoyed a bird's-eye view of the Krasnoyarsk Hydro-electric Plant at this place 35 years ago.

The unveiling ceremony of the monument is of greater significance as it is held this year marking the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the Russia-DPRK Agreement on Economic and Cultural Cooperation.

I am convinced that today's event will positively promote the development of the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries which were put on a new high level since the Russia-DPRK summit held in Vladivostok in April.

The chairman of a board of directors of foundation for veterans' pension in Krasnoyarsk noted that the personality of President Kim Il Sung as a great man can be found well through the fact that the people of the territory warmly welcomed the President who visited the plant.

The mayor of Divnogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk Territory stressed that the unveiling of the monument would make the Russian people recollect the history of friendship with the Korean people forever.
18th NAM Summit Held
Pyongyang, October 29 (KCNA) -- The 18th NAM Summit was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 25 and 26.

Attending it was a delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) led by Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, first vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

Present there were 3 000 persons including heads of states and governments of 120 member states of NAM, high-level delegations and delegates and representatives of several international organizations.

At the summit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros who worked as the chairman of the 17th NAM Summit made a report on the 2016-2019 NAM work.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev who was elected the chairman of the 18th NAM Summit made an opening address.

He in his address underscored the need to strengthen the role of NAM on the basis of the principle of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in other's internal affairs.

After congratulatory speeches the issues on peace and security, disarmament, human rights and Middle East situation were discussed.

Choe Ryong Hae made a speech there.

And speeches were made by delegates of 97 countries and international organizations.

A final document of the 18th NAM Summit, the "Baku Declaration" and others were adopted there.
Assad: Liberating Northern Syria from Kurds 'Ultimate Goal'
Fri Nov 1, 2019 12:07AM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with the Arab country's state television network, published on November 1, 2019. (Photo by SANA)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his country's ultimate goal is to restore state authority over Kurdish-controlled northeastern regions in the wake of an abrupt US troop withdrawal and a Turkish offensive against the Kurds there.

In an interview with state TV on Thursday, the Syrian president also said an agreement last week between Turkey and Russia to drive out Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) militants from a 30-kilometer "safe zone" along the border was a step that would help Damascus in regaining control, though gradually, over the northeastern areas.

The Turkey-Russia deal, which would halt the weeks-long Turkish invasion, calls for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish militants from areas along the Turkish border with the aim of establishing a "safe zone" that Ankara claims will be used to repatriate some of the three-million-plus Syrian refugees it currently hosts.

Assad said during the interview that agreement is "temporary."

"We have to distinguish between ultimate or strategic goals... and tactical approaches," he said, stressing that his forces will eventually reclaim territory taken by Ankara's latest offensive.

The Kurdish YPG militia had reached a deal with Damascus to take up positions near the border after US President Donald Trump's announcement of pullout of US troops in northeastern Syria left them feeling abandoned.

Assad, however, added that Damascus will not demand that armed groups there hand over weapons immediately when the army enters those areas in a final deal with the Kurds that restores state control.

'Erdogan Syria's enemy'

The Syrian head of state said he did not intend to call Turkey an "enemy"و but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many Turkish political elite were enemies of Syria because of their hostility towards the Arab neighbor.

"We must ensure that we don't turn Turkey into an enemy and here comes the role of friends" such as Russia and Iran, he said.

"Erdogan and his group are enemies, because he leads these policies, but until now most of the political forces in Turkey are against Erdogan’s policies," he argued.

Assad noted that Iran and Russia, as state-guarantors of Syrian peace efforts, have been negotiating with Turkey over the past year.

Both Tehran and Moscow, along with Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement have helped Syria with its war against foreign-backed militancy over the recent years.

The Syrian president asserted that Turkey had agreed as part of the Astana peace talks to end its presence in Idlib province. However, he said, the Syrian forces decided to liberate the province.

"The Turks did not abide by this agreement, but we are liberating Idlib," he said. 

"In the end, we liberated areas gradually through military operations.  The same will apply in the northern region after exhausting all political options," Assad added.
US Intervention Root Cause of Crisis in Lebanon: Hezbollah Parliamentary Bloc
Thu Oct 31, 2019 06:52PM

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announces the resignation of his government in the capital Beirut on October 29, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The parliamentary bloc of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says US intervention in the Lebanon is the root cause of the ongoing political crisis in the West Asian country.

The Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc at the Lebanon parliament made the remarks in a televised statement released on Thursday, saying, “We condemn US intervention in Lebanon, which is the root cause of the current chaos.”

The statement then touched on the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri after a spate of street protests engulfed the capital Beirut, saying that his resignation wasted the time needed to implement the package of reforms, widely seen as fundamental to steer the cash-strapped Arab country out of an economic collapse.

The Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc further stated that Hariri’s decision to step down also wasted the time required in order to approve the 2020 state budget.

“We hope that binding parliamentary consultations will follow their normal course in a bid to form a government. We call on the security services and the army to carry out all their responsibilities to ensure the security of citizens, and not to leave them unprotected,” the statement added.

Hezbollah's parliamentary wing then called on the governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, Riad Salameh, to take practical measures to prevent an economic collapse.

Hariri’s resignation was 'no secret' to Lebanon political parties

Meanwhile, Lebanon's Arabic-language al-Joumhouria daily newspaper, citing unnamed sources close to Hariri, reported on Thursday that all political parties in the country were aware of his decision, which was being deliberated.

“It (the decision) was made in Lebanon. There was no need to act surprisingly,” the sources said.

They noted that Hariri did not insist on staying in power, “but he would not hesitate to assume responsibility if re-appointed prime minister.”

France urges Lebanese authorities to accelerate govt. formation

Separately, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Lebanese officials to expedite the formation of the government.

“Following the resignation of PM Saad Hariri, it is essential for the future of Lebanon to accelerate the formation of a government that can proceed with the necessary reforms the country needs,” Le Drian said in a statement released on Thursday.

He added that the Lebanese citizens’ right for peaceful demonstrations must be preserved.

Hariri submitted his resignation to President Michel Aoun on Tuesday.

Under the constitution, Hariri’s cabinet would stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.

For thirteen days, Lebanese from across the country's sectarian and political divides had been pouring onto the streets and blocking major roads to call for the resignation of the government ,and for the ruling elite to be held accountable for decades of corruption.

The protests began on October 17 when the government proposed imposing a tax on Whatsapp calls, along with other austerity measures.

Salameh on Monday dismissed reports that Lebanon’s economy will collapse in a matter of days in the wake of anti-government protests.

“I am not saying that we are going to have a collapse in a matter of days. I am saying we need to have a solution in a matter of days to regain confidence and avoid collapse in the future,” Salameh said in an interview with CNN television news network.

The senior Lebanese monetary figure underlined that a “solution” to the crisis is needed within days in order to restore confidence and avoid a collapse.

Growth in Lebanon has plummeted in the wake of endless political deadlocks and an economic crisis in recent years.

The country hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and their presence is often blamed for putting pressure on the already struggling economy.

Unemployment stands at more than 20 percent, according to official figures.

The Lebanese Finance Ministry says the national debt is hovering around $85 billion, which accounts for more than 150 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Successive governments have failed to address a waste management crisis or improve the electricity grid, which is plagued by daily power cuts.
Death Toll in Saudi War on Yemen Hits 100,000: Report
Thu Oct 31, 2019 06:57PM

The Saudi-led war on Yemen has killed more than 100,000 people since 2015, a US-based database project that tracks violence has said.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) made the announcement in a report published on Thursday, saying that the figure included 12,000 civilian deaths in directly targeted attacks.

The report said 20,000 people had been killed this year, making it the second deadliest year of the war behind 2018.

The non-governmental organization also said April was the most lethal month so far this year, with over 2,500 reported killed, compared to approximately 1,700 in September.

“The third quarter of 2019 had the lowest number of reported fatalities since the end of 2017, but the number of civilian casualties rose from the previous quarter,” ACLED said.

The most violent provinces were Ta'izz, Hudaydah and Jawf, with more than 10,000 people reported killed in each of the regions since 2015.

ACLED said direct targeting by the Saudi-led coalition and its allies had been responsible for more than 8,000 civilian deaths over the past four and a half years.

The data covers everything from airstrikes, shelling and ground battles between various forces to bombings and violence at protests. However, their numbers do not include those who have died in the humanitarian disasters caused by the war, particularly starvation.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

In the relentless campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

The United States and the United Kingdom are the main supporters of Saudi Arabia in the war, providing the kingdom with billions of dollars in arms sales, training, logistical support and targeting assistance for airstrikes.
New Protests Hit Iraq as UN Envoy Warns of Infiltration
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:08PM

University students hold the Iraqi flag as they take part in a protest in Kerbala, Iraq October 28, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Students and schoolchildren have joined protests in the capital Baghdad and cities in southern Iraq, defying the education minister who had warned them against partaking in the unrest.

In the city of Diwaniyah on Monday, the union of universities and schools announced a 10-day strike.

Several local syndicates, including lawyers and engineers, have also joined the unrest, trying to prevent government workers from reaching their offices.

Iraq's higher education minister had asked students and education staff to stir clear of the unrest, saying Sunday that academic life should "stay away" from protests. 

In Baghdad on Monday, demonstrators gathered on campuses and in Tahrir Square.

The government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has pledged to fulfill protesters' demands while finding the elements who have infiltrated the protests to stir unnecessary violence.

UN special envoy warns of infiltration

UN special envoy for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert met with Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad on Sunday to discuss the protests, warning against attempts to infiltrate the ranks of protesters.

According to her twitter account, the envoy and Abdul-Mahdi agreed on "the need to protect the peaceful nature of the demonstrations."

They also emphasized the need for working together on the swift implementation of a reform package that the Iraqi government has introduced to address the protesters' demands.

Hennis-Plasschaert had earlier in the day met with President Barham Salih, discussing the same topics along with the electoral process and a national dialogue for political reforms in Iraq.

'Angle of Death' denies assassination report

Renowned Iraqi commander Ayyub Falih Hasan, better known as Abu Azrael or "Angle of Death," released a video rejecting rumors about his assassination.

In a brief video, Hasan said he was doing fine and his supporters did not need to worry about his well-being.

The statement came after a short video emerged online purporting to show an heavily injured Abu Azrael lookalike being rushed to the hospital while bleeding from a wound in the torso.

The rumors of Hasan's assassination by anti-government protesters and his possible death came after he was spotted on a few occasions speaking to protesters in an attempt to calm them.
Anti-government protests made a return in Iraq on Friday, as thousands of people once again took to the streets to vent their anger over corruption and less than optimal living conditions.

The protests soon turned deadly as armed elements opened fire on both protesters and security guards. Iraqi security agents have so far arrested a few gunmen and the country's elite Counter Terrorism Force has been deployed to the  streets to prevent damage to sensitive centers.
Iraqi President Says Premier Ready to Quit, Vows Early Poll After New Election Law Passed
Thu Oct 31, 2019 06:54PM

Iraqi President Barham Salih says the country’s embattled Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is ready to step down if a replacement is found, emphasizing that a snap parliamentary election will be held once a new electoral law is passed.

“The prime minister announced that he would be ready to submit his resignation if parties agreed on an adequate alternative within the context of the constitution and the law to avoid a constitutional gap,” Salih said in a televised speech on Thursday evening.

Emphasizing that a new electoral law will be presented to parliament next week, the Iraqi president added, “I am personally meeting and consulting with the various parties and blocs to achieve reforms within the context of the law to maintain the security of Iraq.”

“Supporting security forces is the responsibility of all of us. It will be in everyone's interest that demonstrators succeed in expressing their demands freely and peacefully, and that our security forces succeed in their tasks to preserve public security and prevent those who wish to infiltrate and exploit demonstration [from achieving their goals],” the Iraqi president said.

Salih added, “The fraternity between demonstrators and forces of the army and security helped turn these mass demonstrations into great celebrations of Iraqi nationalism, where national flags were hoisted and the national anthem was played in streets and squares.”

“Repression is unacceptable. The use of force and violence is also unacceptable. The solution lies in reforms. The solution hinges upon cooperation among all in order to maintain public security and confront criminals, who want to worsen the situation in Iraq,” he said.

“History has taught us that the voice of the people is stronger than any voice, and public will is the last. A bright and dignified future for Iraq is the goal of all of us… Given the current circumstances, keeping firearms in the hands of the government is of paramount importance. Weapons must not make their way into the hands of outlaws. There will be no security or contentment without this principle. This helps us maintain security and avoid battles and fighting between armed groups whenever they disagree,” Salih pointed out.

“We affirm here that corruption files will be immediately referred to the judiciary for decision in accordance with the laws in force. This issue is sensitive and has a high priority. Major corruption issues must be dealt with utmost transparency and devotion to law and public rights,” the Iraqi president said.

“We have already begun a continuous work for a new and convincing election law that addresses the problems of previous laws, and allows for fairer and more inclusive elections in the interest of people… We have also started in presidential circles to sponsor a national dialogue and work to address structural imbalances in the system of governance… The legitimacy of the government comes from people,” Salih concluded.

The ongoing demonstrations in Iraq follow a previous bout of anti-government protests in early October.

More than 200 have been killed and thousands of others wounded since the protests erupted, with security forces using tear gas and rubber bullets against those taking to the streets.
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde Says “Red Line Crossed”
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde says a red line is crossed in a reference to the massacre that has happened last week. when that happens, ” Let us say a red line should not be crossed ,” she said.

October 30, 2019

Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde is speaking out for the first time after the latest massacre that claimed the lives of 70-80 Ethiopians, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission figure, in Oromo region of the country.

The feeling of sadness, is beyond words when seeing when our innocent citizens are killed brutally and shockingly, when they are displaced and hassled because ethnicity and religion are employed for a political purpose.

It was in a twitter message on Wednesday that the president expressed her anger and frustration in the Ethiopian official language, Amharic.

One of her tweeds could be translates to  “A ‘red line’ that we have to draw and respect for the sake of our country and people has been crossed; we all have a role to play to rescue our country from the danger that it is facing. All concerned bodies have to do their part. Let us say a red line should not be crossed.”

She is the first top government official to condemn the massacre unequivocally.  At this writing, no other government official has openly expressed anger about the massacre in the Oromo region of Ethiopia which has shocked the entire country.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not said anything yet on his personal or official social media account. In his personal, account the last thing he tweeted about is his congratulatory message to Canadian Prime Minister whom he described as “my friend” on October 23, the day the massacre started. He tweeted “Congratulations to my friend @JustinTrudeau for your reelection victory. Wishing you all the best ahead.”

On October 26, the official Twitter account of the office of the prime minister shared an image of the statement which many Ethiopians described as “too little, too late.” In the letter, he said that all those involved in what he described as “conflict” will be held responsible and that his government will “decisively” work on that.

But what he did since a day after the “official statement” is appeasing, many Ethiopians on social media say, the very ideology that has become an inspiration for radical ethnic Oromo nationalists to unleash brutal killings of innocent civilians in the region.

On Wednesday, government media outlets reported that the office of the prime minister has organized a press conference. Who will be giving a press conference is unclear, and has become a point of speculation.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, which is reformed under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, has issued a stern statement calling for the Ethiopian government to hold all those responsible for the brutal and shocking killings of innocent citizens. 
Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Says Those Responsible Directly, Indirectly Should be Held Accountable
As Ethiopians are expressing frustration and anger over Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s handling of what many Ethiopians say is an orchestrated campaign that claimed several dozens of lives, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission tells government that those who are directly or indirectly involved in the inhuman and shocking killings of citizens should be held accountable.

October 30, 2019

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Commissioner, Daniel Bekele, had an interview with DW Amharic service, which was published on Monday, regarding the recent violence in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

He confirmed that the number of deaths is between 70 and 80. 10 of them were killed by a bullet during a clash with security forces that were deployed in the region to restore order.  The remaining were killed shockingly by a group of mobs either in the streets clubbed to death, or stoned to death. Others were burned alive. They were killed either in the street, in their residence or churches.  Worship places (churches and mosques) were deliberately targeted.

The number of people wounded, this is also confirmed by government sources, is well over 200 of which some could face a long term disability while the condition of others is said to be life-threatening.

Properties worth millions of Ethiopian birr, either belonging to individuals or public, are destroyed.

The commission has issued a statement on Wednesday calling for legal action against those who were involved directly or indirectly. “Those who are directly or indirectly involved in the violence must be held responsible legally,” said the statement.

As much as the ongoing reform measure has achieved tangible results within a short period, it is also experiencing complicated challenges, it was said.

It also pointed out that apart from the loss of lives, destruction of property and affecting normal life, it has challenged the rule of law and has endangered basic human rights; it was worrisome.

“The existing situation in Ethiopia is one that is believed to be conducive for expressing any demands or complaints in a legal and peaceful means. Although there were people who were interested in making their voices heard peacefully on the issue that caused the controversy, it is undeniable that there were also those who invited and committed violence directly or indirectly,” said the statement.

The commission commended the government statement in which it expressed that it will decisively ensure the rule of law and being those who are responsible before the law. But it also called for the Ethiopian government to implement it and embark on a systematic investigation.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said on Wednesday that the violence in Oromo regional state last week, the intensity and manner of it is worrisome.  It is the organization’s East African researcher, Fisseha Tekle, who told DW Amharic news. He said that there were signs of it from experiences before and that the government should have understood the early warning and attempt to prevent them, he said. The researchers also said that the magnitude of destruction that happened demonstrates the weakening in the capacity of the defense force. 
Ethiopian Patriarch Tearful Message for Followers of Orthodox Church

Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Mathias seem to have lost confidence in the capability and/or willingness of Ethiopian government to protect citizens from radical groups.

In Bale Robe, radical groups have declared new laws, like in the tradition of ISIS occupied areas, outlawing social or economic interaction with Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers, and ethnic Amharas too.

Ethiopian Patriarch, Abune Mathias I conveying message after the massacre of Ethiopian Christians
Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Mathias I, also Archbishop of Axum, Echege of St. Tekle Haimanot, has conveyed a message tearfully after  60 members of the church are brutally massacred by radicalized ethnic nationalists youth groups who call themselves as “qeerroo” in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

Solomon Kibriye has translated the message as follows:

“My Children, I am a religious father. I am your guardian. Nevertheless I have been unable to protect you from slaughter. I have not saved you from death. I am not a military leader. I do not have the ability to bring your killers to justice. I carry a cross in my hand, not a gun. My children, I am tearfully praying to our God about your suffering. I am also continuing to plead with the government. Today I am deeply grieved. I have the urge to weep like a child. My heart is crushed by grief. My eyes have had no sleep, but many tears. In the hopes day to day for improvement, we have been asking the government to put a stop to it. However we have seen nothing change. Instead I have caused my children to be massacred. While I was preaching to you about peace, those that do not know peace have deprived you of peace. My children do not hold a grudge on me. Do not think I am silent to your plight. I always weep for you. Lord send your Judgement, or come down to us. Rather than showing me the suffering of my children Lord, please bring my death closer. I have not been able to defend my children from what is being brought upon them. See it and render Your judgement.”

Thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers are displaced in some parts of Oromo region specially in Bale Robe and Dodola, Arsi, and are currently taking refugee in Churches.

Government claims that the security situation in those places is improved following the deployment of the Ethiopian Defense Force. However, residents say that they do not feel safe and still facing threats. Also, the government claims that it is arresting those who were involved in violence but there are reports the arrest, specially in Mojo, is actually targeting those were trying to protect themselves from Qeerroo attacks.

Prelates of the Ethiopian orthodox Church seems to have lost faith the government’s capability to protect Ethiopian Christians and in the capability to the government to enforce rule of law.

Ethiopian church dioceses in the country and abroad held prayer service on Sunday for those who were brutally massacred by radicalized ethnic Oromo youth groups called,Qeerroo, this past week in several towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

It was after the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian church decided on Saturday that the service was held across all Ethiopian church dioceses the world over.

“…we are commemorating and praying for those who thought that they were living among fellow humans but were unexpectedly devoured by wolves…” Archbishop Elias said in his sermon at the Holy Trinity Menbere Tsebaot Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where archbishops attended the memorial service.

He used the name “wolves” as euphemism in what seems to be an effort to avoid calling out names of radicalized ethnic Oromo youth group, qeerroo, whose coordinators are seemingly receiving orders from radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist activist, Jawar Mohammed, who used to be based in Minnesota,USA.

Video and pictures circulating on social media shows archbishops who were attending the prayer service at the Holy Trinity Church weeping.
Ethiopian People Will Not Continue to Be Ganged Up by “Neighborhood Gangsters”
October 29, 2019

Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party leader, Berhanu Nega, says that transitional government is not timely issue as an agenda. “If transitional government is important, I think that time has passed now,” he said.

With regards to what unfolded in Ethiopia in the past few days, Dr. Berhanu says that the intent is to make things ungovernable to Dr. Abiy Ahmed so that his government will appear as if it is weak.

He also spoke furiously that government has to stop lawlessness, and he seem to believe that government has power to do so.

He used the word neighborhood gangsters and hooligans in reference to those who are closing roads and causing chaos. In light of the ongoing massacre by this group and in light of hate ideology that is effecting ruthless and barbaric behaviors , it remains a question if relegating the group to a mere “gangster and hooligan” is an accurate understanding of the level of political problem in Ethiopia.
Egypt Says Washington to Host Meeting to 'Break Stalemate' on GERD on 6 November
Menna Alaa El-Din
Tuesday 29 Oct 2019

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been invited to a meeting in the US to discuss the stalled talks on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Cairo has said it has received an invitation, along with Ethiopia and Sudan, from the US for a meeting on 6 November to break the stalemate on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

At a press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry gave the date for the US meeting, nearly a week after the country announced the Trump administration has delivered an invitation to the three countries on the deadlock.

Shoukry described the idea of a mediator as a proof of good intentions, stressing that Egypt tries to cooperate and resolve all issues through its diplomatic and peaceful channels.

It’s unclear if Ethiopia or Sudan will attend the US-sponsored meeting, as Addis Ababa has not been positive about the possibility of a mediation attempt.

Shoukry has said that the idea of the mediator comes under the 2015 Declaration of Principles, signed by the three countries.

Per the declaration, if the parties involved do not succeed in solving the dispute through talks or negotiations, they can ask for mediation.

Cairo suggested in 2017 that the World Bank could be a mediator in the ongoing dispute; however, the proposal was rejected by Addis Ababa.

Shoukry said he hopes that all parties, including private companies involved in the dam, function under one standard, and not “double standards.”

"Unfortunately, we are monitoring some of the companies refrain from cooperation related to dam-building due to the lack of environmental, economic, and safety studies; while they overlook all of this when it comes to another dam, like the GERD, which hasn't provided such studies," Shoukry said.

The minister referred to the matter as a “substantive” issue for Egypt, stressing that "it's not about development, it's a matter of life.”

“The GERD issue is a scientific one that shouldn't be politicised. It should not be exploited to achieve political aims,” Shoukry said.

His statements come a few days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmedagreed during a meeting in Russia’s Sochithat the GERD’s independent technical committee should immediately resume its work in a more open and positive way.

The $4.8 billion dam, which is being built on the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan, will be the largest hydropower project in Africa when completed in 2022, generating more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity.

Tensions have been building up between Egypt and Ethiopia in recent weeks after talks on the technical details governing the operation of the dam failed to make progress.

Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam will diminish its water supply, which is dependent on the Nile, and is pushing for the dam's reservoir to be filled over seven years, while Addis Ababa insists on a three-year filling time.

Ethiopia maintains that the dam, which is nearly 70 percent complete, will not harm the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.
Egyptian Man Dies After Official 'Forced' Him Off Moving Train
By Joana Saba & Chris Bell
BBC Monitoring & BBC News
29 October 2019

Railway officials in Egypt have been arrested following the death of one man and life-changing injuries of another near the Nile Delta city of Tanta on Monday.

The man who died, named by local media as Mohamed Eid, reportedly jumped from a moving train with a second man, Ahmed Mohamed, when the pair were unable to pay a fine of 70 Egyptian pounds (£3.38) for travelling without a ticket.

In widely shared video online, passengers allege the conductor "forced" the men to exit the train while it was slowing but still in motion.

An investigation into the conductor - who denied any wrongdoing - is under way. The head of the train was also arrested.

"I did nothing and they are the ones who jumped," the conductor told Egyptian news website Masrawy.

"They opened the door of the train because they did not have the money for the ticket."

The incident has gripped local media and prompted angry recriminations online, where some social media users demanded the resignation of Egypt's Transport Minister, Kamel al-Wazir.

Responding to the incident, Mr Wazir, a former senior army officer, shocked many Egyptians by saying the man was "not a child".

"If you don't have money, why do you board a first-class train? Take a normal train that you can afford," he said, though he added he would personally visit the young man's family to offer his condolences.

According to the Youm7 news website, Mr Wazir has also promised compensation to the family of Mr Eid and Mr Mohamed.

'Ticket martyr'

By Tuesday, the Arabic hashtag translating as "the martyr of the ticket" had been used more than 24,000 times on Twitter.

"The punishment for those who do not have [money] has become murder now," comedian Waleed Abulmagd wrote on Facebook.

"We didn't know that the new system dictates that you either pay or you die," another user tweeted.

In February, the previous transport minister, Hashim Arafat, resigned after a train crash sparked a large fire at Cairo's main railway station, in which scores of people were killed or injured.

On Tuesday, railway authorities said at least four people had been killed and others injured in an accident involving a train in Luxor, southern Egypt.
Egypt Economic Growth Remains Stable at 5.6 pct in Q1 of 2019-2020 Fiscal Year: Minister
2019-10-31 02:05:17|Editor: Mu Xuequan

CAIRO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The economic growth of Egypt remained stable at 5.6 percent in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019-2020 starting in July, Egyptian Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed said Wednesday.

"The figure is considered one of the key indicators at this time when the global growth is slowing down, reaching 3 percent in 2019 and 3.4 percent in 2020," official news agency MENA quoted el-Saeed as saying.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted a 5.9-percent growth in Egypt in 2020, she added.

El-Saeed attributed the success of keeping the economic growth stable to the five sectors of internal trade, agriculture, real estate, industry and communication.

The five sectors contributed 56 percent of the GNP during the first quarter, she said.
Egypt, South Sudan Sign MoU on Oil, Gas Cooperation
2019-10-31 02:45:58|Editor: huaxia

CAIRO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Egypt and South Sudan signed for the first time a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas cooperation, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It's the first legal framework that regulates relations between the two countries in the field of oil and energy," the statement said.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the South Sudan Oil and Power Conference being held in its capital Juba.

"The deal comes in the light of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's orientation toward encouraging Egyptian investments in Africa," official news agency MENA said.
Nile Dam Spurs Fears of Egypt-Ethiopia 'Water War'
Egypt fears Ethiopian dam could steam flow of Nile

Mohammed Amin   |

A dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over an upstream Nile dam has escalated into a heated war of words over the hydropower barrage.

Ethiopia is building a $4 billion dam on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan, saying the project is necessary to provide the country with much needed-electricity.

Egypt fears that the dam could stem the flow of the Nile, on which it depends for around 90 percent of its water supply.

Several months of negotiations between the two countries have failed to make any breakthrough, spurring fears of a military conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

Last week, Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said "no force can stop Ethiopia" from building the dam.

Egypt responded by saying it was "shocked" by the remarks, amid calls in local media for launching a war to stop Addis Ababa from building the dam.

Shortly afterwards, Abiy and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held talks on the controversial dam project on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi last week.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will hold a new round of talks in Washington next week at an invitation from the U.S. administration in an effort to solve the dispute.

William Davison, a senior analyst at the International Crisis group (ICG), believes that the current tension would not morph into a military conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Davison said the filling period and operation of the dam are the core of the Ethiopian-Egyptian dispute.

"I don’t think the current crisis is connected to any other regional conflict," he said.

The ICG analyst thinks that both countries still have a chance to solve the crisis through negotiations.

"The two countries still need to agree on the technical issues of the filling period and operation of the dam in order to know the impact of the structure [on Egypt's Nile share]," he said.


A Sudanese diplomat said Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok is preparing to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia in an effort to de-escalate the situation.

"Sudan can play a pivotal role in the mediation between the two countries," the diplomat said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

"Sudan…has a strong interest in solving the dam issue peacefully," the diplomat said.

Sudan, a downstream country, has participated in several rounds of technical negotiations that failed to break the deadlock over the dam.

Asma Alhusseini, an Egyptian expert on African affairs, believes that the dam dispute can still be solved through negotiations.

"There is no way for the two countries but to negotiate to solve the dispute through peaceful means," she said.

"The dispute is not that big and is related only to the filling period and operation of the dam and the two sides can still reach a deal about it," she opines.

Alhusseini warned of "disastrous results" if the Egyptian-Ethiopian dispute over the Nile dam turned into a military conflict.

"The escalation will lead to disastrous results on the security of the region and beyond," she said.

"The countries have to solve this crisis peacefully and give an example on how to solve conflicts in the African continent.

"The two countries have a lot of political, economic and social crises and need to focus on development and cooperation in terms of water issues to help open the door for a wider cooperation," she said.


Sudanese water expert Ahmed Almufti thinks that Ethiopia is seeking to control the entire water flow of the Nile.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Almufti called on Cairo and Khartoum to withdraw a 2015 "declaration of principles", which was meant to serve as a basis for negotiations on the controversial dam.

"The only way for Egypt and Sudan is to withdraw from the declaration and re-negotiate all issues related to the dam," said Almufti, the former secretary-general of the Nile Basin Initiative.

The expert believes that Russian and U.S. mediation would not solve the dam dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia.

"The best thing the Americans and Russians can achieve is to convince the Ethiopian side to extend the filling period of the dam to seven years, which is also a big loss for both Egypt and Sudan," he said.

"Ethiopia has succeeded in limiting the Egyptian and Sudanese demands to only the filling period of the dam, while abandoning their other water rights," he said.

"The only solution for the two countries is to withdraw from the 2015 declaration," Almufti believes.

In a report, ICG said the stable solution of the dam crisis is through partnership in development between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

"Forging an initial filling deal could increase trust among the parties, which is all the more important given the threat posed by rising temperatures in the Nile basin," ICG said.

"In the longer term, ICG supports the idea that the three countries, together with the other eight who share the Nile’s waters, establish a broader resource-sharing arrangement via the Nile Basin Commission that is to form once six of the eleven riparian nations ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA)."

ICG said the initial challenge lies in the position of the three countries regarding the filling of the dam's reservoir.

"Ethiopia wants to move quickly to expedite maximum power generation. Egypt is concerned about how the dam will be managed during drought years and wants the GERD [Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam] filled slowly enough that a sufficient volume of water can flow downstream each year during filling. Egypt also says it wants an office at the GERD site staffed with its own technicians” it said.
Egypt Says Washington to Host Nov. 6 Meeting on Ethiopia Dam Dispute
October 29, 2019 05:18 PM

FILE - The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia, Sept. 26, 2019.

CAIRO - The Trump administration has invited Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to a meeting in Washington on Nov. 6 to try to break the deadlock in negotiations over a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, Egypt's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Cairo said it accepted a U.S. invitation to a meeting of foreign ministers over the project that is the source of an escalating spat between the two African countries.

It was not clear if the other two countries had agreed to attend.

"The U.S. administration invited the three countries to meet in the United States on Nov. 6 in the presence of representatives of the American administration to discuss breaking the deadlock in the ongoing negotiations," Sameh Shoukry told a news conference with visiting German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

Egypt is worried that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction near Ethiopia's border with Sudan, will restrict supplies of already scarce Nile waters on which it is almost entirely dependent.

In recent weeks, Egypt has called for an external mediator on the issue, saying three-way talks have been exhausted.

Addis Ababa has previously rejected the idea, accusing Egypt of trying to sidestep the process.

On Thursday, Egypt and Ethiopia's leaders agreed to the immediate resumption of the work by a technical committee trying to agree on the operating terms of the Dam, an Egyptian presidency spokesman said.

There was no mention of a mediator in the statement.

Ethiopia is expected to start filling the reservoir behind the dam next year.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Briefs Cabinet on Russia Summit
30 OCT, 2019 - 00:10
Farirai Machivenyika
Herald Reporter

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo yesterday briefed Cabinet on the Russia-Africa Summit and the First Russia-Africa Economic Forum, which was held in Russia from October 22-24.

This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa while briefing the media on the 38th Cabinet Meeting Decision Matrix.

President Mnangagwa attended the Summit.

“The fora gave opportunity for the President to promote Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities and the country’s re-engagement policy,” she said.

“Highlights of the Summit and Economic Forum include the following:

“The Summit was attended by 2000 Russian companies thus demonstrating that emphasis was more on economic ties rather than political relations; during the last five years, Russia has doubled trade with Africa and would strengthen economic cooperation by establishing business councils with African countries, increasing Trade Missions to Africa and leveraging on the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

“Solicitation by the Trade and Investment Chamber of Russia for Joint Investment Projects with African countries, including in the oil and gas, diamonds, information, and special economic zones sectors and the writing-off of US$20 billion worth of debt by the Russian Federation, in order to enable the benefiting countries to use those resources to spur economic growth.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa briefed the Summit on Zimbabwe’s ongoing socio-economic reforms and called for support for the country’s efforts to have the sanctions unilaterally imposed on it by the Western nations removed forthwith.

“He further called for the reform of the UN Security Council to make its membership more equitable and representative of all the world’s nations,” she said.

During the meeting, Zimbabwe and Russia signed two memoranda of understanding in geological exploration and exploitation of mineral resources and cooperation in environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

Meanwhile, Minister Moyo also briefed Cabinet on the activities undertaken in pursuance of the 25th October 2019 Anti-Sanctions call for solidarity with Zimbabwe.

“The minister noted that the majority of SADC countries had specifically issued bold solidarity messages calling for the immediate and unconditional removal of the sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Most SADC countries, the SADC Secretariat, the African Union Commission Chairman and other Governments from beyond the continent also made clarion calls for the immediate and unconditional removal of the sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe.”
Malawi: MCP Rules Out Dialogue On Peace With Mutharika
27 OCTOBER 2019
Nyasa Times (Leeds)
By Owen Khamula

Main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has ruled out holding dialogue with President Peter Mutharika to find last solution to the current political impasse.

Mkaka: let's sort the legitimacy issue first

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said there was no need to hold dialogue with Mutharika because, he said, his legitimacy as Head of State is fragile owning to presidential elections case.

"There is nothing to negotiate about. He is sitting on that position illegally and we are in court challenging his presidency. We cannot hold dialogue with an illegal president," said Mkaka.

Mutharika on Saturday called on the opposition and human rights activists for a roundtable discussion to end the political impasse which he said is a scare to foreign investors.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) member Richard Sembereka was cautious on his comment, saying although the president's call for dialogue was welcome, it has come late.

"We are giving this the benefit of doubt but still we are waiting for him to initiate the dialogue," said Sembereka.

Public Affairs Committee (PAC) chairperson Felix Chingota has said the quasi-religious body wants to meet all the warring parties during the second and final round of talks.

He said PAC wants to have Mutharika, MCP's Lazarus Chakwera, UTM's Saulos Chilima, Malawi Electoral Commission's Jane Ansah and HRDC meet together for dialogue.

Read the original article on Nyasa Times.
Malawi: Joyce Banda Asks Africa Women Leaders to Press Malawi On Police Rape
Photo: Tami Hultman/AllAfrica
Former president Joyce Banda (file photo).

28 OCTOBER 2019
Nyasa Times (Leeds)
By Judith Moyo

Former president Joyce Banda, who governed Malawi between 2012 and 2014, has informed the African Worman Leaders Network (AWNL), about the allegations of rape by police officers during ongoing post-election violence asking the body to ramp up pressure that allegations should be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators punished.

The NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) documented accounts from women and girls who said they had been sexually assaulted by police officers around Nzundwe. Mpingu and M'bwatalika areas in Lilongwe.

Banda said Malawi women and girls are facing serious challenges and one them is sexual exploitation.

She reported to the network which is a board member that women's rights group NGO-Gender Coordinating Network recorded evidence from several victims including three girls who said police raped them in their homes.

Banda said allowing the police to investigate its own officers is wrong.

"We get surprised that the police - who are alleged culprits - are the ones investigating this serious matter. A subject who has been suspected of having been involved in certain criminal elements cannot investigate himself," said Banda, who is married to former chief justice Richard Banda.

Banda said on Sunday at Kamilaza congregation of Church of Central Agrica Presbyterian of the Livingstonua Synod that the African body has since instituted its investigations on the alleged police sexual exploitation.

"We are also doing our own investigations and once we get the facts, we will seek justice," Banda said.

She said the network will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and is ready to take it to International Criminal Court, Inernational Court of Justice and Africa Court of Justice.

Earlier this month demonstrators set up roadblocks in the capital, which led to the deployment of the police. In the pandemonium that followed, a police officer was killed. Security officers stormed the area the following day, spraying teargas and attacking the public.

Emma Kaliya, a women's rights campaigner, described the conduct by the law enforcers as the "worst kind of gender-based violence".

Sandra Paesen, the EU ambassador to Malawi, also said: "We want an investigation [and] we don't want any violence against women in this country or any other country."

Last Wednesday, the British high commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, described the allegations as "disturbing" and said: "The UK believes that the best way to restore the police and public trust is through a thorough investigation."

Malawi has been facing a wave of violent protests since President Peter Mutharika secured a second term in May, which opposition leaders are now challenging in court, seeking a nullification of the presidential election.

Read the original article on Nyasa Times.
Lunzu School Shut Down After Student Unrest
OCT 29, 2019

Students going back home

On Monday night, Form Four and Form Two students at the Lunzu Secondary School were engaged in fights which resulted in the students setting on fire a multi-purpose hall and destroying other buildings.

“The tension within the school has been intense since yesterday [Monday]. There has been extensive damage done on various infrastructure at the school including the school and staff houses,” the school’s board chairperson Stanley Daudi said.

He added that the school was still evaluating the damage caused by the students.

One learner was injured during the fight and was treated as an outpatient at Mlambe Mission Hospital.

In a related development, students from M’manga Community Day Secondary School in Balaka this morning closed the M1 Road in protest against the school’s decision to ban students from wearing hijab.

Classes were suspended after some students wore the Muslim headscarf.

The school is run by the Anglican Church but Muslims in the area argue that people living around the school are usually involved in development projects at the school hence they are also part owners.
Political Instability Scaring Investors – Mutharika 
OCT 26, 2019

President Arthur Peter Mutharika says the current political instability is scaring potential investors from investing in the country.

President Mutharika was speaking to journalists Saturday at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on arrival from Sochi, Russia where he attended the first ever Russia-Africa Summit.

He said some foreign leaders and business executives he interacted with at the summit were wary of the instability in the country which could adversely affect their investments should they decide to come and invest.

Malawi has been characterised by violent protests since May 21 Tripartite Elections which some opposition political parties say were incredible and marred by irregularities.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party leaders Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima are in court challenging the Presidential poll results which Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared Mutharika as winner.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has been organising what it calls peaceful demonstrations to force MEC chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah SC and commissioners to resign for alleged mismanagement of the polls.

Ansah has refused to resign saying she would wait for the outcome of the court proceedings.

Ironically, the demonstrations are characterised by violence, burning and looting of both public and private property to the surprise of the world at large which has ever regarded Malawi as among the most peaceful countries.

The President and his government have been asking the demonstrators to stop the protests and wait for the outcome of the court proceedings.

To this effect, President Mutharika told journalists at KIA that he is ready to work with everyone in the country, including the opposition parties and civil society organisations, to build a better future for Malawi.

Mutharika said the summit was aimed at building a new structure of relationship between Russia and Africa that would mutually benefit all countries involved.

The President further said there are a number of Russian investors interested in investing in Africa and Malawi, in particular, in the areas of agriculture, mining and information and communications technology, among other sectors.

“What we have to do now is to sit down and identify areas that these investors can invest in.

“After identifying the areas, we can then invite them to come and invest in identified areas,” Mutharika said.

President Mutharika left the country on Monday to attend the first ever Russia-Africa Summit.

Over 40 Heads of State and Government and more than 3000 delegates from across Russia and Africa attended the summit.

The President was accompanied by Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Kasaila and Minister of Trade Salim Bagus at the summit.

Report by Manasse Nyirenda Malawi News Agency

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Refugee Returns to Burundi Must Be Voluntary and Not Under Pressure
28 October 2019 

Burundian refugees stand by emergency shelters at Nduta camp in western Tanzania, November 2017.  © UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is repeating its call to ensure that refugee returns from Tanzania to Burundi remain voluntary and not under pressure, following a bilateral agreement between the two governments in August this year to increase return rates.

Recently, we have noted mounting pressure on Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers to return home - despite assurances from the authorities that all returns will be voluntary and free from intimidation, and no refugee will be forcibly returned.

We continue to call upon both governments to uphold refugees’ freedom of choice with regard to return, and to ensure that returns are made in safety and dignity, with UNHCR having access on both sides of the border to carry out its protection mandate, including monitoring returnees in Burundi.

UNHCR reiterates that the principle of voluntary return requires that repatriation should be based on a freely-exercised choice, devoid of coercion or pressure, and that UNHCR has full access to refugees in order to establish the voluntary nature of any returns.

UNHCR remains firmly committed to supporting durable solutions for refugees in Tanzania, including voluntary return to Burundi for those who want to go back. Others will need continued protection and support in Tanzania.

UNHCR is working with local officials to ensure refugee returns are voluntary and only taking place under the existing three-party agreement between the Tanzanian and Burundian governments and the UN Refugee Agency. Some 79,000 refugees have made the choice to return to Burundi under this arrangement since 2017.

UNHCR looks forward to the upcoming meeting of the Tripartite Commission, scheduled for late November – the best forum to discuss concerns and seek solutions, to ensure that refugees who have made the informed, free and voluntary decision to return can do so in safety and in dignity.

Tanzania currently hosts 206,000 Burundian refugees, the majority living in three refugee camps in western parts of the country.
Tanzania’s Economy Rises by 7.2 % in Q2
October 28, 2019

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Tanzania’s economy grew by 7.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, up from 6.1 percent in the same period a year ago, buoyed by growth in construction, mining and communications sectors, official data showed on Sunday.

In the first quarter of 2019, the East African nation’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent, according to the state-run National Bureau of Statistics.

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Maggie Fick
Death Toll from Tanzania's Heavy Rain Rises to 44
2019-10-27 22:14:15|Editor: xuxin

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) --Four more people have been killed by ongoing heavy rain in Tanzania, bringing to the death toll to 44, police said on Sunday.

Edward Bukombe, Tanga regional police commander, told Xinhua by phone that the four victims, including three children, were killed by flash floods in different parts of Handeni district.

"Today rescue teams found four bodies in different parts of Handeni district," said Bukombe.

On Saturday, the police official said the death toll from ongoing heavy rain in the region rose from 30 to 40.

Bukombe said a car ferrying 10 people was swept away by raging waters at dawn on Saturday after the driver had tried to drive through a flooded river in Handeni district, bringing to 40 the total number of people killed by current rains in the east African nation.

On Thursday, The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) issued a third alert in one month saying heavy rains were expected in parts of the country for five consecutive days beginning Friday.

The rains have also damaged infrastructure, including roads, bridges, crop farms and housing.

TMA said the rains were expected to disrupt transport and delivery of social services, submerge houses and cause flash floods in some parts of the country.

In May 2019, uninterrupted rainfall also caused serious flooding in Dar es Salaam, resulting in the displacement of over 1,000 households and the destruction of more than 1,500 dwellings and important infrastructure.
Tanzania Takes Delivery of Second Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
2019-10-26 22:17:03|Editor: xuxin

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania took delivery on Saturday of its second Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for the national flag carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) bringing to eight the total number of brand new delivered planes in its fleet.

Upon its arrival, the 262-seat Dreamliner christened Rubondo Island, a national park located on an island in Lake Victoria, received a water salute at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam in a ceremony officiated by President John Magufuli.

The delivery of the aircraft from the Boeing factory in Seattle, the United States, is part of plans by Magufuli's government to revive ATCL.

The government plans to purchase a total of 14 new aircraft for the airline, said Leonard Chamriho, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication.

The official said eight aircraft have already been delivered, with four more expected to arrive between next month and 2021.

Speaking shortly before he commissioned the new aircraft, President Magufuli said his administration will ensure total revival of the national airline which had been ailing for a long time.

"Tanzanians and I are the happiest today with the delivery of this state-of-the-art Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner bought using local financial resources," said Magufuli adding that the plane was flown by Tanzanian pilots from for 18 hours non-stop from Seattle to Dar es Salaam.

"I have always been telling fellow Tanzanians that we can achieve wonders. Our country is rich. We have minerals," said the president, challenging ATCL to work hard.

The delivery of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner brought to eight the number of new aircraft delivered to Tanzania since Magufuli took office in November 2015 and began reviving the loss-making ATCL.

Magufuli has personally taken charge of the revival of the state carrier, with his government spending hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing new planes.

Magufuli's government hopes that a more efficient national airline will help boost tourism, the main foreign exchange earner in Tanzania's economy.