Sunday, October 31, 2021

UN Chief to Sudan Army: Reverse Coup, Take Heed of Protests

People chant slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Pro-democracy groups called for mass protest marches across the country Saturday to press demands for re-instating a deposed transitional government and releasing senior political figures from detention. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

CAIRO (AP) — The U.N. secretary general urged Sudan’s generals on Sunday to reverse their takeover of the country, a day after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the largest pro-democracy protest since last week’s coup.

Antonio Guterres said the generals should “take heed” of Saturday’s protests. “Time to go back to the legitimate constitutional arrangements,” he said in a tweet.

He was referring to a power-sharing deal that established joint military-civilian rule following the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

The U.N. envoy for Sudan, Volker Perthes, meanwhile, said he met Sunday with Abdalla Hamdok, the deposed prime minister who remained under house arrest in the capital Khartoum.

“We discussed options for mediation and the way forward for Sudan. I will continue these efforts with other Sudanese stakeholders,” he said.

Since last week, U.N. representatives have shuttled between the military and leaders of the pro-democracy movement.

A military official said that other efforts are underway, also supported by the U.N. but conducted by a Sudanese committee that began separate meetings last week with Hamdok and coup leader Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to release the information, said that Hamdok is still the main candidate for heading a Cabinet that would report to the leading generals. But should he not accept, other Sudanese figures could.

It remains unclear what mandate such a government would have. Burhan had repeatedly said in the weeks prior to the takeover that the military will hand over power only to an elected government. Before the coup, Sudan was ruled by a transitional government that included a joint military-civilian sovereign council and a Cabinet, headed by Hamdok, that ran the day-to-day affairs.

The official said in these negotiations, the prime minister has insisted on the release of all government officials and political leaders arrested since the coup, before engaging in “meaningful talks” to form a new government.

Hamdok also demanded the return to the pre-coup constitutional order that would set a deadline by which the complete leadership of the country would be handed over to civilians, he said.

Burhan has given an initial approval to release the majority of the detained officials, but said a few must remain in custody for allegedly playing a role in a coup attempt that was thwarted in September, the official said.

He added that another issue is semantic — the military does not consider their takeover as a coup, arguing that they had already been part of the ruling government.

Burhan said he would install a new technocrat government soon, with the aim of holding elections in July 2023. But the pro-democracy movement also fears the military has no intention of easing its grip and will appoint politicians it can control.

Any new prime minister besides Hamdok would also likely face rejection by the pro-democracy protesters.

Eric Reeves, a Sudan expert at Smith College, said the standoff between the military and the protest leaders is likely to be prolonged, given that pro-democracy protesters see the takeover as “a naked power grab.”

“Neither side—civilian and military—has an easy way to climb back or down from the crisis,” he said.

He called on the U.S. and the European Union to pressure Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt — the main backers of the Sudanese generals, to not offer assistance to a military-led government, especially to shore up Sudan’s already battered economy.

Burhan has claimed that the takeover was necessary to prevent a civil war, citing what he said were growing divisions among political groups. However, the takeover came less than a month before he was to have handed some power to a civilian.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which was in the forefront of the uprising against al-Bashir and now leads the anti-coup protests, insists on the removal of Burhan-led military council and holding those behind the takeover accountable.

“We need a full civilian government after our 2-year experience with the generals,” said Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for association.

Many businesses and shops, meanwhile, remain shut in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, in response to calls from the protest movement for strikes and civil disobedience.

Authorities have also reopened many roads and bridges linking Khartoum neighborhoods on the sides of the Nile river. Other remained blocked by makeshift barricades set up by protesters overnight.

The protests on Saturday were the biggest so far since the coup. Security forces shot dead three protesters in Omdurman during the protests, bringing the tally to at least 12 dead and over 280 wounded since Monday, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Committee.

The Sudanese police said its forces did not use live ammunition against protesters on Saturday.

Guterres, the U.N. chief, expressed concern about violence against protesters on Saturday, calling for perpetrators to be held accountable.

Ethiopia’s Rival Tigray Forces Claim to Take Strategic City

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Tigray forces said Saturday they have taken control of a key city on the route to Ethiopia’s capital, while Ethiopia’s government denied it and the United States urged the Tigray fighters to halt their advances as the yearlong war intensifies.

Tigray forces spokesman Getachew Reda told The Associated Press the fighters took the strategic city of Dessie on Saturday afternoon. He also asserted they already had “commanding positions” on the outskirts of the nearby city of Kombolcha and had its airport in their sights.

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu rejected that as “fabricated propaganda” and told the AP that Dessie and its surroundings were under military control. Phone calls to residents of Dessie didn’t go through, complicating efforts to verify both sides’ claims.

Taking control of the crossroads city of Dessie and Kombolcha would put the Tigray forces in position to move south along a major highway toward the capital, Addis Ababa. Getachew said “it’s a matter of days” before the fighters will be able to physically link up with another armed group, the Oromo Liberation Army, with which it struck an alliance earlier this year.

The Tigray forces say they are pressuring Ethiopia’s government to lift a months-long blockade on their region of around 6 million people. Thousands of people have been killed since the war began in November 2020 after a political falling-out between the Tigray forces, who long dominated the national government, and the current government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The Tigray fighters have taken the war into Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, moving south through Amhara toward the capital, since recapturing much of their region in June.

“We don’t want to be in charge. We don’t want Abiy to take an entire nation down with him, either,” Getachew said. The prime minister has urged all capable citizens to war.

The U.S. statement on Saturday called on the Tigray forces to halt their advances in and around Dessie and Kombolcha, withdraw from Amhara and Afar and not to use artillery against cities.

The U.S. urged both sides to begin cease-fire negotiations, saying “there is no military solution to this conflict” which it said has cost “countless lives.” It also said it continued to be “alarmed by reports of the deliberate denial of humanitarian assistance” in Tigray, where the United Nations has reported a “de facto humanitarian blockade.”

WHO Director-general Tedros Unopposed for 2nd Five-year Term

October 29, 2021

World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus waves as he arrives for a meeting of G20 finance and health ministers at the Salone delle Fontane (Hall of Fountains) in Rome, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The World Health Organization says its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is running unopposed for a second five-year term. The U.N. health agency made the announcement Friday after the deadline for candidacies for the next five-year term expired on Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization said Friday that its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is running unopposed for a second five-year term.

Tedros, the first African to head the U.N. health agency, has overseen its complex response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overshadowed his tenure. Trained in biology and infectious diseases with a doctorate in community health, he is also the first WHO chief who is not a medical doctor.

The U.N. health agency made the announcement after the deadline for candidacies for the next term expired last month and Tedros name was proposed by 28 countries: more than half of them European, and three African: Botswana, Kenya and Rwanda. The formal selection of the next director-general takes place at the WHO’s next assembly in May.

A former health and foreign minister from Ethiopia, Tedros — who goes by his first name — received a strong endorsement when France and Germany announced their support for him shortly after the nomination period closed.

Tedros has repeatedly aired concerns about the deadly Tigray conflict in Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian government shunned his candidacy over his criticism and positions in the former Tigrayan-dominated national government. It has accused him of supporting the rival Tigray forces.

Tedros has been a leading voice urging wealthy countries with large COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles and the big pharmaceutical companies that make them to do more to improve access to the jabs in the developing world — a call that has largely gone unheeded. He has also called for a moratorium on booster shots so that more doses could be made available quicker to poorer countries, which has also mostly fallen on deaf ears.

WHO says more than 60 countries are now administering about 1 million booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines each day — about three times the number of first-time vaccine doses being administered daily in lower-income countries.

In recent weeks, WHO has faced mounting pressure over revelations in September from two independent experts who found that 21 WHO workers were accused of sexually abusing people during the agency’s response to an Ebola outbreak in Congo between 2018 and 2010, out of a total of 83 alleged perpetrators connected to the mission.

The Code Blue Campaign, which campaigns to end sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers and other staffers, called that the largest finding ever of sexual abuse in a single U.N. initiative in a single country or time period.

On Thursday, the European Union’s executive Commission said it temporarily suspended payments that fund WHO humanitarian operations in Congo in the wake of the revelations — a move that could affect millions of euros used for programs like emergency response, polio eradication and pandemic response in the African country.

“The reported facts are shocking,” a Commission statement said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and survivors of these misdeeds and the priority is to ensure that they are fully supported.”

AU to Buy Up to 110m Moderna Vaccines

White House brokered deal to defer delivery of doses intended for US

By Reuters

Oct 26, 2021 05:18 PM

Participants attend the 33rd ordinary session of the assembly of heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, Feb. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Participants attend the 33rd ordinary session of the assembly of heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, Feb. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

The African Union (AU) intends to buy up to 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc in an arrangement brokered in part by the White House, which will defer delivery of some doses intended for the US to facilitate the deal, officials told Reuters.

The AU's doses of Moderna vaccines will be delivered over the coming months, with 15 million arriving before the end of 2021, 35 million in the first quarter of 2022 and up to 60 million in the second quarter, according to a report by Reuters on Tuesday.

"This is important as it allows us to increase the number of vaccines available immediately," AU novel coronavirus envoy Strive Masiyiwa said in an email. 

"We urge other vaccine producing countries to follow the lead of the [US government] and give us similar access to buy this and other vaccines," the AU envoy said.

Masiyiwa said the Moderna purchase represented the first time the 55-member AU had secured vaccines that were not fully produced in Africa.

The new shipments of COVID-19 vaccine are well below what Africa needs to vaccinate its 1.3 billion people, who have had far less access to the life-saving vaccines than more prosperous parts of the world. 

Getting access to Moderna vaccines adds diversity to the AU's vaccine supply with different storage requirements.

The Biden administration is deferring delivery of 33 million doses it had bought from Moderna to give the AU its "spot in line" to make a purchase, according to Natalie Quillian, the White House's deputy coordinator for COVID-19 response.

"We are grateful to have helped negotiate this encouraging step forward between Moderna and the African Union that will significantly expand access to vaccines on the continent in the near-term," Quillian said.

The US, which has seen more than 700,000 people die from COVID-19, is flush with vaccines. 

The delayed Moderna deliveries will not have an impact on efforts to provide booster shots to already inoculated Americans, Quillian said.

Moderna said that it was working to make it possible to fill doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Africa by 2023 and has plans to build a manufacturing plant on the continent.

"This is the first step in our long-term partnership with the African Union," Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in a statement, referring to a Memorandum of Understanding to make up to 110 million doses of Moderna vaccines for the AU.

In September, the AU accused COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers of denying African countries a fair chance to buy vaccines and urged manufacturing countries, in particular India, to lift export restrictions on vaccines and their components.


Xi Calls for Concrete Actions on Climate Change

Developed countries urged to honor green pledges, take lead in promulgating technology

By Chen Qingqing, Zhao Yusha and Yan Yuzhu

Global Times

Oct 31, 2021 07:19 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on the world to promote a more robust, greener and healthier global development while addressing the 16th G20 Leaders' Summit in Rome, Italy via video link on October 31, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

On the same day when the highly expected COP26 convened, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed at a G20 session that concrete actions are essential for international community to properly respond to outstanding global challenges of climate change and energy issue, and developed countries should honor their green commitments and provide financial support to developing countries. 

President Xi called for G20 members to take the lead in promulgating the application of advanced technologies, and countries should fully, effectively implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The group adopted "Rome Declaration," on Sunday night, agreeing to help developing countries increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, key medical products and raw materials, and address related supply and financing constraints.

The declaration also says the G20 members look forward to the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, hailing them as an important opportunity for worldwide athletes to compete and a symbol of human resilience.

As COP26, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP), started in Glasgow on Sunday, the world's attention will focus on how leaders and delegations from more than 190 countries will deliver on their climate change promises. 

Developed countries need to lead by example on emissions reduction, fully accommodate the special difficulties and concerns of developing countries, deliver on their commitments to climate financing, and provide technology, capacity-building and other support for developing countries, Xi told another G20 session on Saturday. This is critically important for the success of the upcoming COP26, he noted. 

As a major contributor and participant in global climate governance, China has submitted an updated climate pledge, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UN days ahead of the highly expected meeting. It also issued a white paper last week to share with the world its dedication and experience in tackling global warming, which said China's target of achieving peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 marks the world's highest reduction in carbon emission intensity and the shortest time in achieving the goal of going from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in global history. 

China's responsibility on climate change is demonstrated by the pledges it has made so far, including reiterating that China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. A policy guidance released on October 24 added that the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption would increase to about 25 percent in 2030 and more than 80 percent by 2060, something that is not easy to achieve, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told Global Times on Sunday. 

The Chinese President highlighted the need for lowering the cost of reducing emission through technologies, and developing countries' need for help from developed countries, as they have to tackle climate change while ensuring livelihoods, Lin noted. 

Xi also said on Sunday that environmental protection and economic development must be coordinated and climate change must be addressed while people's wellbeing is ensured, adding that major economies should strengthen cooperation in this regard.

US President Joe Biden left on Thursday for the G20 leaders meeting in Rome and was expected to head to Glasgow later on Sunday. His departure to Rome was delayed as he had to attend the House Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, in what was likely to have been an attempt to secure the backing of progressive lawmakers for his agenda, after the failure to reach an intraparty agreement on the $1.5-2 trillion spending plan aimed at addressing issues including climate change. It means Biden will probably attend COP26 without a final US climate deal, driving doubts over whether the US agenda to cut emissions enough to give Biden credibility at COP26. 

Despite the ongoing tensions between China and the US, Lin noted that there's still a lot of room for the two countries to cooperate on this issue, as both are the largest emitters in the world and have to work together to address climate change. Without efforts from both sides, it's impossible to achieve any ambitious goal internationally. 

COP26 has been described by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as "the world's moment of truth." World leaders, delegations and experts agreed on the importance of the two weeks of meetings in fighting climate change as it would also be the moment for countries to take concrete steps in reducing emissions since they signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, under which countries agreed to step up efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"This year's COP meeting will generate various formal documents, as it is the first meeting that is endowed with legal force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Negotiations during the past years were not bound by law," Wang Mou from the research centre of urban and environment studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who is also a member of Chinese delegation to COP26, said during a recent online conference. 

Wang pointed out the difference between formal and informal documents by using the file passed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference as an example, saying it does not possess legal force, thus it cannot serve as a basis of further negotiation, and can be discarded by any party at any time, he said. 

"I believe that the fruits of the past two years' negotiations will be passed, or at least recognized during this COP meeting, to give them legal status," Wang said. 

A key role

As a major emitter, China's position and solutions to the climate change fight caught public attention ahead of the COP26.

While some Western leaders and media continued pressuring China "to do more" to tackle climate change, some experts who had taken part in climate negotiations and policy-making said China has done "very well" in delivering on its promises as a developing country in fighting global warming, and played a leading role in energy restructuring. 

"Under the current energy structure, there's no country in the world that can do as well as China does," Pan Jiahua, director of the institute of eco-civilization studies of the Beijing University of Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Given that coal still plays a dominant role in China's energy sector compared to the EU and the US, China has been boosting measures to cut emissions and transition from coal reliance to a clean energy path, Pan said, noting that China's cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy accounts for one-third of the world's total current installed renewable energy capacity. 

The world may, to some extent, be inspired by China's ambitious goal of hitting peak emissions before 2030 and reaching for carbon neutrality by 2060. It is hard to imagine even a few years ago or when the Paris Agreement was signed, that more than 100 countries have put forward their goals for carbon neutrality whether by year 2050 or 2060, according to experts. "I believe the cohort effect is largely related to China setting up such ambitious goals," Wang noted. 

He also pointed out that Japan and South Korea are the ones that have been most directly influenced by China. Although we dare not say China has played a "leading role", at the very least it has been a "very important contributor," Wang said.

Major obstacles 

However, climate change negotiations face obstacles not only on differentiated targets but also on how much every country contributes to cutting emissions, according to experts. "Also, there's a money problem. Developing countries need more financial support in fighting climate change and in transforming their economies to low-carbon emissions. China has been providing coordinated help and has been much more generous than developed countries like the US and Europe," Pan said. 

Wealthy countries confirmed last week that they failed to meet a 2009 promise to deliver $100 billion annually by 2020 in climate finance to help poorer nations cut their own emissions and build resilient systems to weather worsening storms, floods and other climate impacts, Reuters reported on Sunday. 

It has also led to mistrust among developing countries and undermined rich nations' requests that the developing world cut emissions faster, and the COP26 will need to produce a plan to turn financial support into a reality, according to the media report. 

Leaders of the G20 called for "meaningful and effective" action to limit global warming at 1.5C, Reuters reported, citing a communique.

However, the communique contained few concrete actions and made no reference to a specific 2050 date to achieve net zero carbon emissions that scientists say is vital to stave off disastrous climate change, the media report said.

While some analysis pointed out that the success of the COP26 would be judged on whether all the delegates can agree on a 1.5C goal, the underlying question is how to make progress, according to experts. Meanwhile, some Western media pointed out that unlike some developed countries, China has not offered clear support for the 1.5C target.

"We do not actively promote the revision of this target, nor do we oppose it," Wang said, noting that from China's stage of development as well as its future development demands, it is unnecessary for us to actively promote the 1.5C process.  

"China's target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 was more ambitious than the two-degree target," he said. 

China Warns US on Taiwan Question in Rome amid Tensions

Subversive damage to ties includes a war between

By Yang Sheng and Cui Fandi

Global Times

Nov 01, 2021 12:55 AM

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for photo prior to their meeting on October 31, 2021 at a hotel in Rome on the sidelines of the G20 of World Leaders Summit of Rome. Photo: AFP

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Rome, Italy, the first face-to-face meeting between the top diplomats of the two countries after Blinken made a provocative statement challenging China's sovereignty on the Taiwan question, saying the US will support the island's secessionist authorities "robust" participation in the UN system.

According to the videos released by Yuyuan Tantian, a social media account affiliated with China's state broadcaster CCTV, Blinken and US delegates arrived at the residence of the Chinese delegation, entering via a side door. The meeting lasted for about 50 minutes. Wang and Blinken took photos together after the courtesy greetings, but did not shake hands or have a COVID-safe elbow bump, media reported.

Chinese analysts said these details show the atmosphere of the meeting was as tense as China-US relations, and although it will not ease the situation, keeping communication open will at least help the two sides avoid conflicts and manage their differences. On the US' constant provocations on the Taiwan question, Washington should take note of the gravity of the situation if China decides to retaliate, since the US has already provided excuses for China to activate the Anti-secessionism Law, experts suggest. 

According to the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang pointed out at the meeting that the US has repeatedly claimed it is China's changing status quo that caused recent tensions in the Taiwan Straits, which is totally untrue and a serious misrepresentation to the international community.

"The Taiwan question is the most sensitive matter between China and the US, and if the question is mishandled, it would bring subversive damage to overall China-US ties," Wang said, stressing that the real status quo of the Taiwan question is that there is only one China, and Taiwan is a part of China, and the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same country.

History has proved that any attempt to change the status quo will bring serious damage to stability in the Taiwan Straits, and even create a Taiwan Straits crisis.

Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies and a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that "the subversive damage to overall China-US ties" mentioned by Wang include "a war between the two countries" or other catastrophic consequences.

The crux of the current situation in the Taiwan Straits is that Taiwan secessionist authorities have repeatedly attempted to break the framework of the one-China principle, and the US is to blame for its connivance and support of secessionist forces, Wang Yi said. 

Wang demanded that the US side commit to a genuine one-China policy, not a fake one, that the US fulfill its commitments to China, and that the US truly implements the one-China policy, instead of saying one thing but doing another.

In contrast to the March meeting between the top diplomats of the two countries in Alaska, when the Biden administration had not yet fully defined its China policy, the meeting in Rome focused on very specific issues, particularly the Taiwan question, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"The main purpose of the meeting for the Chinese delegation was to warn the US to be careful in its words and actions on Taiwan question, otherwise the China-US relationship and cross-Straits relations would be seriously damaged." 

The reason China wants to stress the Taiwan question, an internal affair, with the US in this meeting is that it hopes the US understands its current approach is seriously shaking China-US relations, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Blinken has reaffirmed that "the US will keep insistence on the one-China policy," according to the website of Chinese foreign ministry. 

Lü said the US is unlikely to stop its provocative moves on the Taiwan question, and in the future, military tensions in the Taiwan Straits could escalate further. Since China has already pointed out the US duplicity on the Taiwan question, it is likely the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will send military aircraft to fly over the island. "This is a pressure test for the US 'one-China policy,' as this way we can see what consequences the US would like to face to keep its duplicity," Lü said.

Recently, the leader of the Taiwan secessionist authority openly confirmed a US military presence on the island. "If the Chinese mainland wants to solve the Taiwan question once and for all, the case is a perfect pretext to activate the Anti-secession Law," Xin noted. "The US should note how serious the consequences would be if they keep supporting the secessionist authority on the island diplomatically and militarily."

Hard to cooperate

Wang told Blinken at the meeting that "I am willing to build regular contact with you, to have frank and timely exchanges of views… to avoid miscalculation and explore cooperation."

Blinken said the US agrees that the two countries should develop bilateral ties based on the spirit of mutual respect, and be willing to keep communication with the Chinese side, to responsibly manage differences and avoid confrontation and crisis.

Wang also expressed China's serious concerns over the problems caused by US acts that damaged China's rightful interests, and demanded the US to correct mistakes to bring China-US ties back on track. Both sides also discussed issues including climate change, energy supply, the Iran nuclear deal, the Korean Peninsula situation, Myanmar and Afghanistan, and agreed to continue dialogues on dealing with global challenges.

Lü said if the US fails to correct its mistakes and keeps being provocative on sensitive matters like the Taiwan question, there is no chance for the US to get any cooperation or assistance from China.

"As long as the US stops provoking, China-US relations will be able to return to a reasonable track. Under such a framework, China and the US can explore more normal international relations issues, such as the G20, economic cooperation and environmental management," said Diao.

Stop Scapegoating China! Chinese FM Rejects US Intelligence-led Origins-tracing Report

By Global Times

Oct 31, 2021 02:03 PM

Will Uncle Sam be able to continue deceiving the world in terms of investigation into COVID-19 origins?

The US should stop all scapegoating and blame-shifting moves and focus instead on domestic efforts and global cooperation in fighting COVID-19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Sunday in response to the so-called declassified assessment on COVID-19 origins released by the US intelligence agency.

The US should stop political manipulation and create conducive conditions for scientists all over the world to conduct origins-tracing cooperation. It should stop attacking and smearing China and respond to the legitimate concerns of the international community. It should receive World Health Organization experts and open up its biological labs at Fort Detrick and biological experiment bases for investigation, read the remarks made by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Sunday.  

Political manipulation and intelligence-led origins-tracing in disregard of international justice will only further undermine the general atmosphere for science-based global cooperation in origins-tracing, hamper international cooperation in combating COVID-19, and cost more lives, Wang stressed.

The remarks came as US intelligence agencies on Friday released a new, more detailed version of their August review of whether coronavirus came from animals or leaked from a lab.

When the US intelligence agency released the so-called unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins in August, China made clear its firm opposition. A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie, Wang noted. 

China lodged solemn representations with the US after the intelligence-led origins-tracing report was first released in August, urging it to listen to doubts from the international community and stop politicizing the issue. The Chinese Embassy in the US released a statement slamming the move.

No matter how many times the report is published or how many versions it comes in, it will not change the fact that this report is in essence a political and false one, with no scientific basis or credibility, Wang said in the Sunday statement. 

The origins study of the novel coronavirus is a serious and complex scientific issue, which should and can only be carried out by global scientists in cooperation. The use of intelligence agencies to trace the origins is in itself an iron-clad proof of politicization. The US intelligence services have a deplorable track record, with their falsification and deception tactics known by the world, Wang stressed.

Recently, more than 80 countries have stated their explicit position of opposing politicization of origins-tracing and upholding the joint China-WHO study report through various means including writing to the WHO Director-General, releasing statements and sending notes. Over 300 political parties, civil organizations and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement opposing politicization of origins-tracing to the WHO Secretariat. These are voices of justice in the international community, Wang said.

Global Times 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Malians Protest French Military Presence, Call for Troops Withdrawal

Saturday, 30 October 2021 10:51 AM

Press TV 

 Hundreds of protesters are seen in a demonstration in the capital Bamako against the French military presence in the West African country. (Photo via Africa News)

Hundreds of Malian protesters have taken to the streets in the capital, Bamako, to demonstrate against the French military presence in the West African country.

The protesters gathered in central Bamako on Friday, chanting anti-France slogans and calling for the total withdrawal of French troops from their country.

"We are here for Mali, we are here to demonstrate our national sovereignty. To remind the whole world that sovereignty belongs to the people and that those who have not understood this must get up to speed today," said Mohamed Ousmane Mohamedoun, a member of Mali’s National Transition Council and a protest organizer.

“Because the transition for us today is the result of decades of mismanagement, misgovernance of our country and bad partnerships," he added.

Mali has become increasingly engulfed in violence since a Tuareg uprising in 2012 was hijacked by extremist militants, who perpetrated ethnic killings and attacks on government forces and civilians despite the presence of French and UN troops.

Earlier in the month, Mali’s Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga said there is evidence that France has been training “terrorist” groups operating in the West African country.

Mali says it has evidence that France has been training “terrorist” groups operating in the West African country.

A French mission began operating in Mali in 2013 to allegedly counter militants that Paris claims are linked to the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups.

This summer, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a gradual drawdown of France’s military presence in the Sahel and the end of the French military operation known as Barkhane.

Mali accused France of abandoning the conflict-ravaged country with the “unilateral” decision to withdraw troops. Mali’s military-dominated government then asked private Russian security companies for help in its fight against terrorism. 

Ever since, tensions have been high between France and its former colony.

The French Barkhane force, operating in Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania, currently has 5,000 troops in the region.

Iran Urges Sudanese Sides to Engage in 'All-inclusive' Dialogue

Friday, 29 October 2021 11:40 PM 

Press TV 

Pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, 2021. (Photo by Anadolu)

The Iranian Foreign Ministry says Iran is “closely monitoring” Sudan’s recent developments in the wake of a military coup, calling on all Sudanese sides to engage in dialogue to ensure the promised democratic transition of power is carried out in the North African country.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeid Khatibzadeh said on Friday that the "suspicious events that occurred in recent days in Sudan clearly do not contribute to the process of democratic transition" in the African country.

“The undemocratic removal of part of the governing body ignores the will of the Sudanese people and will not achieve the goals that the people of the country are pursuing,” he added.

“There are signs of effective interference of foreign agents in these developments to such an extent that Zionists do not conceal the fact that they are pleased with these actions," the Iranian official added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that Iran emphasizes the need for "vigilance" by the Sudanese Governing Council, and invites all internal parties in the country to take part in "all-inclusive Sudanese-Sudanese dialogue."

Huge anti-government rallies, mostly over deteriorating economic problems, engulfed Sudan more than two years ago, with protesters, mostly young Sudanese, demanding former president Omar al-Bashir to step down.

Bashir was ultimately deposed through a military coup following months of protests in April 2019, after ruling over the African country for three decades.

In August that year, a governing council, comprised of civilian and military leaders, was founded to run the country.

The transitional civilian-military administration, Sudan’s highest executive authority, is tasked with leading the country to free and fair multiparty elections.

However, a military coup was staged on Monday that dissolved the fragile government. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained and put under house arrest in a move that infuriated the Sudanese and sparked international outcry, including from the UN Security Council.

Other civilian leaders are in military detention.

The 15-member council on Thursday urged the restoration of the civilian-led transitional government and called for the immediate release of all those detained by the military.

Hours after the apparent military coup, Sudan’s main opposition coalition called for civil disobedience and protests across the country.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan's de facto leader since 2019, insists that the army’s seizure of power does not constitute a coup, alleging that the transitional government was overthrown to avoid a civil war in Sudan.

Burhan has already fired six Sudanese ambassadors, including to the US, EU, China, and France, who had expressed their opposition to his actions.

Anti-coup protesters in Sudan plan mass demonstrations, and the coup leader has said the ousted prime minister has been offered a chance to return to power.

Since Monday, the military has mounted a harsh crackdown on protesters, who have been chanting slogans like “returning to the past is not an option,” and “civilian rule is the people's choice.”

According to medics, at least 11 people have been killed and 170 others wounded in protests since the army's power grab.

The US, EU, Britain, Norway, and some other countries in a joint statement stressed their continued recognition of the “prime minister and his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the transitional government.”

Sudanese Protesters Take to the Streets against Bloody Coup

A man waves the Sudanese national flag as he chants slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

By Africa News with AP

Sudan's military coup opponents are demonstrating against General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane on Saturday, determined to get the democratic transition back on track despite five days of deadly repression.

The junta's response, with nine protesters already killed and more than 170 injured according to doctors, will be watched around the world, a senior US official has warned. "It will be a real test of the military's intentions," he said.

But the risk of a new bloodbath in a country plagued by conflict does not dampen the determination of the protesters, pro-democracy activist Tahani Abbas told AFP.

"The military will not lead us," she told AFP. And the "demonstration of a million" promised on social networks and by graffiti on the walls of Khartoum -- where the authorities have cut the Internet and telephone network -- is only a "first step".

In a country ruled almost continuously since its independence 65 years ago by the military, the street has decided to say no to General Burhane who dissolved on Monday the institutions of Sudan and arrested most of the civilian leaders.

On Saturday, a first march started from Omdurman, Khartoum's twin city, witnesses said, as security forces cordoned off the capital, blocking bridges linking it to its suburbs and searching passers-by and cars.

Official: US Unlikely to Push Sudan on Normalization with Israel Following Coup

Pressing to restore civilian-led transitional government, Biden Administration turns to UAE to exert its influence over Sudanese military


Sudanese Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan speaks during a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, on October 26, 2021. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

The United States is unlikely to pressure Sudan to move ahead with the Abraham Accords normalization agreement with Israel following a military coup in the African nation, a senior US official said Friday.

Former president Donald Trump agreed to support Sudan, including by removing the country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, after it consented under US pressure to normalize relations with Israel — a move it has not yet fulfilled.

The US official noted that military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was part of the decision and said the United States remained supportive of normalization. However, the current situation did not appear conducive to moving things forward.

“[The Abraham Accords are] good for the whole – good for Sudan, it’s good for the region,” the official said.

“But I just do not see us pushing a military government on this issue right now, given the fact that we do not see Sudan being stable as long as there’s a military domination,” the official added.

The official also demanded that Sudan’s military refrain from violence against mass protests planned Saturday, saying it would be a key test of intentions after the civilian government was ousted.

The official also estimated Friday that 20 to 30 people have been killed since the military takeover, higher than the toll of eight given by Sudanese health officials.

The official called Saturday a “real test” and said Washington was “really concerned” about the response to demonstrations that have been called to oppose the military’s removal of the civilian-led transitional government.

“The Sudanese people are preparing to take the streets tomorrow in protest of the military overthrow and we call on the security forces to refrain from any and all violence against protesters and to fully respect the citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“I think this is going to be a real indication of what the military’s intentions are and what, unfortunately, the casualty account could be,” he said.

The official warned that the military, led by Burhan, could try to prevent demonstrations entirely or close roads and bridges.

Pressure on Sudan’s military

On the diplomatic front, the United States has been in close contact with the United Arab Emirates which influenced Burhan’s decision to free the deposed civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

“We’re really focused on engaging the Emiratis, who have a relationship with General Burhan, to use that engagement — to use their credibility with General Burhan — to, in the short term, get those who were picked up” released, he said.

Around 30 political figures remain in detention since the takeover, the official said.

The United States, which under President Joe Biden has championed democracy, has suspended some $700 million in economic support to Sudan.

The aid was meant to back the democratic transition that started after longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir was toppled in 2019 faced with youth-led protests.

European countries have also put pressure on Sudan’s military but the key Arab powers of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and neighboring Egypt have emphasized stability in their statements.

Sudanese anti-coup protesters use bricks to barricade a street in the capital khartoum on October 27, 2021, amid ongoing demonstrations against a military takeover that has sparked widespread international condemnation. (AFP)

The US official did not deny the differences in approach but said the United States was seeking for the three Arab powers to push for democracy in Sudan.

“All three are very concerned with Sudan’s stability, and we simply do not see that a continuation of the type of military rule that General Burhan put in place and has in mind will keep Sudan stable,” he said.

Three Shot Dead During Nationwide Protests against Sudan Coup

Anti-coup demonstrators stage a ‘million-strong’ march against the military’s power grab.

A Sudanese protester holds the national flag next to burning tyres during a demonstration in the capital, Khartoum, Sudan, on October 26, 2021 [Mohammed Abu Obaid/EPA]

30 Oct 2021

Military forces shot dead three people during nationwide protests in Sudan on Saturday, medics said, as tens of thousands of people demanded the restoration of a civilian-led government after a military coup.

Sudan’s Central Doctors Committee said the three protesters were killed by troops in the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman during the nationwide protests after a military coup.

But Sudanese police denied shooting the protesters, saying on state TV that one policeman sustained gunshot wounds.

People carried Sudanese flags and chanted “Military rule can’t be praised” and “This country is ours, and our government is civilian” as they marched in neighbourhoods across the capital.

The protesters have called for a return to a path to democracy and rejected military measures and demanded the release of detainees.

According to Sudan TV, Sudanese security forces closed the majority of main roads and bridges in Khartoum, with the exception of the Halfaya and Soba bridges.

People also took to the streets in cities in central, eastern, northern and western Sudan. Crowds swelled to the hundreds of thousands in Khartoum, said a Reuters witness.

“The people have delivered their message, that retreat is impossible and power belongs to the people,” said protester Haitham Mohamed.

“This has been a miscalculation from the start and misunderstanding of the level of commitment, bravery, and concern the street has about the future of Sudan,” said Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group.

Civilian-appointed cabinet ministers supported the protests in a statement, and said the military “will not find free Sudanese or true democratic revolutionary forces to be their partners in power.”

In central Khartoum on Saturday there was a heavy military deployment of armed troops that included the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese this week protested General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s removal of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s cabinet on Monday, in a military takeover that triggered a deadly crackdown against protesters and led Western states to freeze hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

With at least 13 people killed by security forces and several pro-democracy activists detained, opponents of the military government fear a full-blown crackdown and more bloodshed.

Still, the protesters remained defiant, with organisers hoping to stage a “million-strong” march against the military’s power grab.

According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, authorities imposed restrictions on the internet and phone lines, prompting protesters to mobilise to protest using leaflets, text messages, graffiti, and neighbourhood rallies.

“We will not be ruled by the military. That is the message we will convey” at the protests, said rights activist Tahani Abbas. “The military forces are bloody and unjust and we are anticipating what is about to happen on the streets,” Abbas added. “But we are no longer afraid.”

fAn activist who gave his name as Mohamed said “the army should go back to its barracks and give the leadership to Hamdok”.

“Our demand is a civilian country, a democratic country, nothing less than that,” added Mohamed, who also plans to protest.

The United States, which denounced the coup and called for the restoration of the civilian-led government, said how the army reacts on Saturday will be a test of its intentions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sudan’s security forces must respect human rights and any violence against peaceful demonstrators is “unacceptable”.

The US continues to stand with “Sudan’s people in their nonviolent struggle for democracy,” he said in a Twitter post.

Neighbourhood-based resistance committees, active since the mass uprising against deposed President Omar al-Bashir that began in December 2018, have been central to organising despite the arrests of key politicians.

Al-Bashir, who ran Sudan for nearly three decades, was deposed by the army in April 2019 following months of protests against his rule.

Khartoum committee activist Hussam Ibnauf said the protest date had been well-advertised and he was confident of a big turnout.

“Everyone on the street … they know about October 30. If they know, the rest is easy,” he said. There was now “no fear factor”, he said.

No debt relief

Al-Burhan has insisted the military takeover “was not a coup” but only meant to “rectify the course of the Sudanese transition”, saying he is still committed to a democratic transition, including elections in July 2023.

Hamdok, an economist, was initially held at al-Burhan’s residence when soldiers rounded up senior government officials on Monday, but was allowed to return home under guard on Tuesday.

A US State Department official said Hamdok was, however, still under house arrest and unable to resume his work.

The US official said tens of billions of dollars of debt relief sought by Sudan would not happen as long as the army was attempting to direct Sudan unilaterally.

The US and the World Bank have already frozen assistance to Sudan, where an economic crisis has seen shortages of basic goods including food and medicine and where nearly a third of the population requires urgent humanitarian support.

Several mediation efforts have emerged but there has been no sign of progress towards a compromise.

On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the military to show restraint as he reaffirmed his “strong condemnation” of the coup.

“People must be allowed to demonstrate peacefully,” Guterres said.

Many pro-democracy protesters oppose a compromise with an army of which they are deeply mistrustful following several coups since independence in 1956.

Friction had been mounting between the civilian government and the army leading up to the latest takeover. One point of tension had been the pursuit of justice for alleged atrocities in Darfur in the 2000s, with the International Criminal Court asking Sudan to hand over al-Bashir.

“All those who accept or participate in dialogue with the military do not have the street’s support,” the Sudanese Professionals Association, which had spearheaded the protests against al-Bashir, said in a statement, demanding the full handover of power to civilians.

Magdi el-Gizouli, a political analyst, said al-Burhan’s calculation is that he can suppress the opposition by force if needed, while counting on the backing of people who crave stability.

While it was important that the army avoid violence on Saturday, al-Burhan’s opponents must make realistic demands, he added.


Some UN Officials Continuing to Interfere with Ethiopia’s Internal Affairs

October 30, 2021

ADDIS ABABA – Some officials of United Nations (UN) are shamefully continuing to interfere with the internal affairs of Ethiopia, so said Mukerem Miftah (PhD), Policy Study Lecturer at Civil Service University.

In an interview with Tigray Media House, terrorist TPLF’s mouthpiece Getachew Reda stated that, “While talking on the phone with a high-level UN official, he said that ‘Why donot the army generals come together and overthrow Abiy Ahmed from power?’”

Regarding the aforesaid issue and other related issues that are indicative of UN’s biased practices, The Ethiopian Herald approached Mukerem Miftah (PhD), Policy Study Lecturer at Ethiopian Civil Service University.

Mukerem said that UN’s stance regarding Ethiopia’s law enforcement operation is biased towards the terrorist TPLF and it does not take into account the reality on the ground. “There is much evidence to support this,” he added.

He restated that the United Nations was established with the aim of maintaining of international peace and security, promoting of the well-being of the peoples of the world, and international cooperation to these ends.

He also noted that it is difficult to say that the UN, since its inception, has been serving countries of the world in a fair and impartial manner with a global structure.

He further explained that, since the 1990’s, conflicts have erupted in Bosnia, Kashmir, Rwanda, Palestine, and elsewhere. As a result of these conflicts, large numbers of people around the world have died, he added.

“But the UN has done nothing to stop these conflicts and save lives other than issuing statements,” he indicated.

In general, the UN has not been successful in the past in promoting world peace and stability, he said, adding that, not only being ineffective, the UN is under the influence of superpowers and its decisions are in favor of a few world superpowers.

The organization has problems in making the stance of a few influential countries the right political decision and stance of the world, as to him.

He further noted that foreign powers are exerting undue pressure on the current Ethiopian government because of its commitment to protect Ethiopia’s national interest unlike the previous TPLF-led EPRDF government.

The main aim of Westerners including the U.S. is weakening emerging countries and looting their resources, they do not have partnership mentality or win-win strategy he opined.

He urged that the government must work to increase its acceptance by the general public. The Ethiopian government should strengthen its relationship with the general public, leaders of opposition political parties, scholars, religious fathers, and opinion leaders to thwart the conspiracies of the foreign forces and resist their undue pressure, he added.


The Ethiopian herald October 30/2021

Terrorist TPLF Commits Atrocious Crimes in Afar, Amhara: MoJ

October 30, 2021

ADDIS ABABA – Ministry of Justice (MoJ) disclosed the killings of hundreds of civilians while injuring several people in some areas of Afar and Amhara states occupied by the terrorist TPLF group.

The preliminary result of a joint investigation by MoJ and Federal Police Commission on crimes committed in Afar and Amhara states indicated that oriented killings and rapes were carried out in the areas.

Accordingly, some 466 and 257non-combatants have been killed by the group in Afar and Amhara states respectively. In addition, over 160 people also injured by the terrorist group in both states said MoJ General Attorney Affairs State Minister Fekadu Tsega yesterday in a press conference about the findings.

The investigation revealed that all the crimes were not done only for the physical appearance of the perpetrators. The crimes were committed intentionally and strategically to injure the moral of the people, he noted.

“It is painful to express the extent of cruelty that the crimes were committed as they are beyond human imagination. “The investigation uncovered atrocities of killings and rapes of which a woman found to be traumatized from frequent rape by two to 15 men,” he disclosed.

Likewise, in both Amhara and Afar states, the TPLF committed widespread and systematic looting and destruction of public and private institutions,including schools, health posts, cooperatives, churches, mosques, and offices of non-governmental organizations, the report pointed out. The report generally exposed rapes, murders and exceptional cruelties, crimes against property and international organizations committed by the TPLF, as to Fekadu.

The terrorist group also targeted private homes, historical and religious sites, as well as the premises and properties of USAID, Action Aid, and a Chinese road works contractor. In some instances ,the looting was supported by professional technicians who were brought in all the way from Tigray to disassemble and transport heavy machinery, indicating the premeditated, preplanned and systematic nature of the crime, it was mentioned.


The Ethiopian herald October 30/2021

Ethiopian-Americans to Punish Democrats with Ballot in Virginia

October 29, 2021


ADDIS ABABA– Ethiopian- Americans on their twitter messages stated that they are ready to make their voices heard and have their frustrations understood by block voting and demonstrating clearly their displeasure at the current administration’s frontal assault on Ethiopia during the Gubernatorial Election in Virginian that will be taken place on November,2/ 2021.

According to the collected twitter threads,the current administration’s support for TPLF terrorist group and demonization of Government of Ethiopia are clear as daylight though it knows the TPLF committing massacre against Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF)on November 4, 2020.

The source also said the liberal political-media complex is working day and night against Ethiopia and belatedly, both sides are scrambling to appeal to Ethiopians.

The Ethiopian-Americans recommended that Ethiopians will not be swayed by vacuous video messages or bland statements. Ethiopians demand change in the U.S. Foreign Policy towards Ethiopia and demand action. So far the Biden admin has been found wanting!

A Twitter page known as Addis Qnie said that Democrat president has designated the situation in Northern Ethiopia as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S. . I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

The page said that Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Ambassador Ricewas the person who gave the first official node to the TPLFs smear campaign alleging genocide. Samantha Power USAID director has consistently come out in support of TPLF positions.

Ambassador Linda Thomas has tried every possible trick in the book to provoke the anger of the UNSC towards Ethiopia.

Senator BebCardin(Democrat) of Maryland, a state the largest Ethiopian population in the U.S. has denounced airstrikes against TPLF positions but never spoke against TPLF perpetrated Amhara and Afar massacres and atrocities.

 Bradsherman(Democrat) from California with a very large Ethiopian community denounced ‘humanitarian blockade against Tigray’ and called for naval intervention but never uttered a word about the suffering of people of Amhara and Afar at the hands of TPLF.

Batten Von who called incessantly on Twitter for removal of Ethiopia from AGOA and for sanctions against Ethiopian Airlines and Ethiopian coffee is Commissioner of Statewide Health Coordinating Council of the DC confirmed by a Democrat, Muriel Bowser The liberal media apparatus from CNNand Newyork Times to crooked media and democracy now have made sure that the story of millions displaced and brutalized in Amhara and Afar will never see the light of day.

Obviously, everyone shall and will vote based on their conviction. Voting right for many Ethiopians is tantamount to endorsing many of the things that they abhor as Americans. However, the sad reality is Ethiopian Americans have been taken for granted by the liberals.

­The Ethiopian Herald October 29/2021

Tanzania Gets Grant for Projects of Recovery Support for Biodiversity

By Xinhua 

Oct 30, 2021

Germany on Thursday granted Tanzania 45 million Euros (about 52.6 million U.S. dollars) to support various projects, including emergency and recovery support for biodiversity.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the grant will also finance the promotion of water security and climate resilience in urban areas, improve healthcare and traffic management for protected areas through digital solutions.

On Tuesday, Germany granted Tanzania 71 million Euros for financing various projects, including those initiated to fight poaching and prevent human-wildlife conflicts.

Agreements on the 45 million Euros grant were signed in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Emmanuel Tutuba, and the German Ambassador to Tanzania, Regine Hess.

Tutuba said the emergency and recovery support for biodiversity aims at providing funding to support COVID-19 repercussions for Tanzania’s tourism sector.

He said the objective of the traffic management for protected areas through digital solutions project is to control traffic problems in four national parks of Serengeti, Burigi-Chato, Mikumi and Katavi.

Tutuba said the traffic problems will be controlled by installing systems for monitoring and controlling vehicles, drivers and passengers entering the parks in order to mitigate the traffic problems in the parks.

Namibia’s Capital City Issues Alert for Possible Flash Floods in Coming Weeks

By Xinhua 

Oct 30, 20210

Namibia’s capital city municipality, the City of Windhoek, on Friday warned of possible flash floods and strong winds in the next couple of weeks and perhaps throughout the rainy season.

Such situations may lead to damage to properties, power cuts, flooding, and the use of some roads may become unsafe, the municipality said in a statement.

“The seasonal rainfall forecast points to a normal to above-normal rainfall season for most of Namibia, except the northwest areas where normal to below-normal rainfall is anticipated,” the statement said, quoting Namibia’s Meteorological Services. “The possibility of flooding and flash flooding in the traditional areas is not ruled out.”

The services said the likelihood of heavy rainfall events followed by hailstorms and lighting, which can be destructive to infrastructure and humans, are anticipated. 

African Court Equips Journalists with Human Rights Reporting Skills


Oct 30, 2021

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has upscaled strategic module to create a pool of knowledge-based Senior Editors and Journalists to publicise the mandate of the African Continental Court.

The media training for Senior Editors and Journalists on the work of the African Court therefore seeks to create a robust pool of journalists and editors across the continent who will be knowledge-based, positive and constructive in sensitising and increasing the awareness of the Court.

The trained journalists will also Train others where possible for outreach activities in their respective areas and also exert pressure on the States as they pro-actively push for implementation of the Court’s Judgments.

The ultimate aim is to create a vibrant and pro-active pool of journalists who are knowledgeable on the work of the Court and report accurately its activities on a regular basis.

Dr Robert Eno, African Court Registrar stated at the opening ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that the objectives of training was to establish within the continent, a special pool of skilful and knowledge-based journalists willing to publicize the work of the Court in the protection of human rights.

He said the training from October 28th to 30th also seeks to enhance professional skills on how to report African Court activities for improved coverage, create public awareness and understanding.

“Bolster a pool of Journalists to be called “Media Champions of the African Court” who would be tasked to consistently raise awareness, create and improve a better understanding of the Court to the public and encourage ratifications and declarations.

The African Court Registrar said the Core Journalists group would also act as pressure group on implementation of African Court’s Judgments; help in building a network of professional journalists/editors that promotes the exchange of experience.

He said the training also focuses on the development of senior journalists and editors who can act as future mentors for younger journalists interested in the work of the African Court.

It forms part of the African Court’s Communication Strategy to ensure that Information and Communication policy forms part of its comprehensive strategy and must be placed at the heart of its work and not as an add-on to its activities.

Dr Eno said the pool would be schooled on the broad framework of the African Union agenda on integration, development and shared values captured in the Agenda 2063 initiative and the African Governance Architecture (AGA).

Within the framework of the strategic module, scores of editors and journalists from Southern, Central, Western and Northern Regions would be trained.

It would help in building a network of professional editors and journalists that promote the exchange of experience, competition for better quality of work and the development of senior journalists and editors who could act as future mentors for younger journalists interested in the work of the Court.

African Court Places Media at the Epicenter of its Operations


Oct 30, 2021

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has placed the media at the centre of its operations, “it is therefore developing a human rights sensitive media to ensure that it discharges a mission of public service.

“I name it the administration of justice. Public service institution requires media visibility not only for the evident purpose of building awareness among the citizenry but foremost to meet the needs of accountability.

“It is important that the African Court delivers justice to the litigants before it but it is even of a more critical importance that the greater public is informed about whether and how the Court is doing so,” Lady Justice Imani D. Aboud African Court President stated.

Opening a three-day African Court Media Training for Senior Editors and Journalists in Dar es Salaam, the African Court President noted that it had rolled-out modalities to strengthening initiatives such as the media training.

“The African Court and the media are natural partners. Both institutions share the mandate of acting as watchdogs to public governance albeit through different means and processes.

“While the African Court undertakes governance oversight through judicial supervision of human rights protection, the media play the same role by shedding light on governance practices and ensuring that they keep the public abreast on how their representatives perform and whether they are discharging their functions in accordance with various laws and policies,” she stated.

Lady Justice Aboud noted that the African Court media training also aims at refining human rights communication through specialization.

“For the media to effectively play their role of human rights governance watch dogs, they ought to be trained to deal with the specialized and peculiar area of human rights, its litigation, adjudication, implementation and impact.

“Human right stories significantly differ from just any media topic. They target various stakeholders including citizens, litigants, civil society organizations, lawyers, judges, and also governments.

“In this respect, it is paramount to lay emphasis on the role that States play through regional human rights protection mechanisms such as the African Court,” she noted.

The African Court President noted that the role of media therefore becomes of a great importance as the Court celebrates the 15th anniversary of its operation and marks the beginning of a renewed approach to engagement with States as it takes the lead in its reforms in an era of States disengagement.

Dr Robert Eno, African Court Registrar noted that the objective of training was to establish within the continent, a special pool of skilful and knowledge-based journalists willing to publicize the work of the Court in the protection of human rights.

He said the training also seeks to enhance professional skills on how to report African Court activities for improved coverage, create public awareness and understanding.

“Bolster a pool of Journalists to be called “Media Champions of the African Court” who would be tasked to consistently raise awareness, create and improve a better understanding of the Court to the public and encourage ratifications and declarations.

The African Court Registrar said the Core Journalists group would also act as pressure group on implementation of African Court’s Judgments; help in building a network of professional journalists/editors that promote the exchange of experience.

Dr Eno said the training also focused on the development of senior journalists and editors who could act as future mentors for younger journalists interested in the work of the African Court.

It forms part of the African Court’s Communication Strategy to ensure that Information and Communication policy forms part of its comprehensive strategy and must be placed at the heart of its work and not as an add-on to its activities.

Western Media Pushing Africa Stereotypes on Ethiopia

October 29, 2021


ADDIS ABABA– The ongoing western media biased narrative on Ethiopia is aimed at supporting armed rebels, undermining elected government and forcing the stereotype that Africa is destined for war and famine ,so said a Journalist.

CBS Journalist Hermela Aregawi made the above statement during her latest interview with BNC News.

She noted that much of the western media is getting it wrong as the U.S .government had a long time relationship with TPLF who were once a rebels during the communist government and they were backed by the West to come into power for about 27 ending in 2018.

She mentioned that the situation seems that a lot of the western media is supporting the rebels’ narrative because the U.S. wants to support them because that is their way into power.

Emphasizing that the majority of the Ethiopian people have said they do not want that group to be in power and have voted for the current prime minister, she stressed that it would be logical that the U.S. should support the wishes of the majority of Ethiopians as opposed to supporting a rebel group that has been fighting the government as well as the Ethiopian people for the last year.

In contrary to their claim to liberate the Tigray people from the communist regime, she said : “ TPLF has strayed away from its goal revealing that Tigray is still very much poor and there’s not much that they’ve done for the very State itself.”

 She also indicated herself as an outlier among ethnic Tigray people to be able to speak out and say this narrative is not true.

“The narrative that the West continues to weave is we’re so tribalist that we are killing each other when in reality it’s not true.Much many of us are intermarried and much of my family is from different ethnicities and also the western media seems to want to paint the Ethiopian government as this savage government.”

Most recently with the air strikes,the media’s were pushing the narrative that they were targeting civilians when in fact they were targeting military armaments within the TigrayState.So, it just seems to be trying to weave that age-old story  that Africa is just destined to be in war, destined to have famine, as to her.

Despite the fact that the western media has been warning about famine for the last year, they ignored the very things that could lead to famine which is that humanitarian aid has been redirected to war, seven UN officials have been kicked out by the Ethiopian government, two UN whistleblowers have backed this idea that rogue UN officials are actually helping arm the rebel group that is fighting the majority of Ethiopians and the Ethiopian government, she noted.

Thus, she said it is not a genuine effort to actually help the people but to fuel the war that has killed tens of thousands and  displaced millions at this point.

According to her, though some of the politicians that were not a part of starting this war get to the negotiating table and tried to have a diplomatic conversation, the armed rebels have continued to move into other regions and so many people have died, thus she said that it is up to the Ethiopian government to continue to fight them just like any government would and end it militarily.

The narrative that western media is asking the world to believe about Ethiopia is that the government of Ethiopia is genocide of insurrectionist when in reality it is the TPLF that attacked first and the Ethiopian government is only actually fighting them back, as to her.

The Ethiopian Herald October 29/2021

Friday, October 29, 2021


OCTOBER 29, 2021

October 28, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Thursday said they want Abdallah Hamdok to form a new and independent cabinet to achieve the transition in Sudan.

Gen. al-Burhan was speaking at a meeting gathering some supporters for the military takeover al-Burhan criticised the coalition of the political forces that formed a joint transitional government with him for two years.

He further said he would appoint an “independent prime minister” to form a new transitional government adding that Hamdok remains his favourite candidate for the position.

“While I’m speaking you should know that we sent some people to meet him and discuss the proposition with him,” he stressed.

Multiple sources in Khartoum said that Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and his brother Abdelrahim who is the RSF Second Commander met Hamdok on Thursday.

But there were no details about the outcome of the meeting.

Al-Burhan said they would give him a green light to form his new cabinet adding they would only request him to choose a minister from the 18 Sudanese states.

He further said that the Sovereign Council would include a representative for every province. Sudan has six regions without further details.

In Khartoum, the security forces mainly composed of the RSF elements killed a protester, bringing to 11 the total number of killed demonstrators since 25 October.

However, there are calls for nationwide protests on Saturday 30 October.


DR Congo Army Kills 27 Rebels, Loses Four Soldiers

By Rédaction 

Africa News with AFP

The Congolese army said on Thursday that it had lost four soldiers and killed 27 militiamen in two days of fighting in several villages in the northeast of the country.

The fighting took place on Tuesday and Thursday in two villages in Djugu territory in Ituri province after militiamen from the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) group burned down more than 20 houses in four neighbouring areas and attacked an army position.

The military "found and saw 27 bodies of CODECO militiamen, and three AK 47 type weapons were recovered. Unfortunately, we lost four soldiers," Democratic Republic of Congo army spokesman Lieutenant Jules Ngongo said in a statement.

"We are continuing to search because we have caused enormous losses and damage in the camp of these militiamen."

In neighbouring North Kivu province, the army killed three rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group on Thursday, according to Captain Antony Mualushayi, an army spokesman in the area.

Gold-rich Ituri province has been plunged back into a cycle of violence since late 2017 with the rise of the CODECO militia, which claims to defend the Lendu community.

North Kivu and Ituri have been under a state of siege since May 6, an exceptional measure to combat armed groups, including CODECO and the ADF. Civilian authorities have been replaced by military and police officers.

All Set for COP26 Climate Change Talks in Glasgow

By Rédaction 

Africa News with AP

All is set for the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow- UK which will take place between October 31 and November 12.

It is expected that African leaders will use the summit to demand rich nations to deepen their pledges to fund the fight against climate change.

Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale is hoping that climate finance would be implemented within its framework.

"Already today, Africa is the hottest continent, while Africa has never emitted emissions that would create climate change. Therefore, we hope that climate finance, implemented within the framework of this COP are oriented towards adaptation, so that we can design an economic development that is compatible with climate change. It is important to know that Africa will not accept to limit its economic development to accompany the fight against climate change. That is why we are asking for support, financial support, support in technology, support in capacity building."

In 2009 rich countries first pledged to assemble $100 billion annually, to help poorer nations but this is yet to materialize. The negotiating basis for the coming talks in Glasgow.

Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale explains that the promise is no longer relevant.

"We have been waiting for more than 10 years for the promise of 100 billion dollars per year. Today, this promise has become obsolete, it is no longer relevant, and yet developed countries are still unable to mobilize the 100 billion dollars per year. Our view now is that we need to go much further than the $100 billion a year, which is not a goal of the Paris agreement, because in the Paris agreement it says that the $100 billion is a floor."

For wealthy economies, the big focus will be on cuts in carbon emissions to try to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.