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Britain To Return Cock Statue British Soldiers Stole From Nigeria

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In 1897, British colonial forces raided a Court of Benin in what is now Nigeria and stole a bronze cockerel and shipped it out of Africa and kept it in Britain. It was later donated to Jesus College of Cambridge University in 1905.

However, in 2019, Jesus college decided to backtrack on keeping a stolen statue (Okukor) and announced it would hand it back to Nigeria.

The whole process to return the Okukor statue started in 2016 after students protested, saying it represented a colonial narrative. The college administrators decided to remove the statue from public view.

The college set up a working group to examine the legacy of slavery, and the group concluded that the statue “belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin.”

The Oba of Benin is head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Empire, centred on Benin City in modern-day Nigeria.

The college said Friday that it will hand over the statue to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments in a ceremony at Cambridge on Oct. 27.

His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, said he was “indeed very pleased and commend Jesus College for taking this lead in making restitution for the plunder that occurred in Benin in 1897.”

“We truly hope that others will expedite the return of our artworks, which in many cases are of religious importance to us,” he said.

Thousands of artifacts were looted after British imperial troops occupied Benin City in 1897.

However, the British Museum in London has said it doesn’t currently have plans to return parts of its collection.

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Politics

Police Blockades South Kivu Provincial Assembly

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The Congolese National Police is reportedly surrounding the South Kivu Provincial Assembly ahead of vote for censure against Governor Ngwabidje.

A motion was recently tabled before the assembly seeking to censure governor Ngwabidje and his government for mismanagement and incompetence.

The motion initiated by 12 deputies is scheduled for examination Thursday, December 02, 2021.

However, the President of the Provincial assembly Zacharie Lwamira has denounced the troops deployment saying this is tantamount to violation of the laws. The president of the Assembly warned against anyone who dares to prevent his institution from doing its constitutional work.

“I denounce for the benefit of provincial and national opinion, the situation which has prevailed in the Provincial Assembly since the transmission of the motion of censure against the provincial government of South Kivu. A large number of police officers besieged the provincial assembly in my area without my requesting it, ”he said during a press briefing held on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 in Bukavu.

Zacharie Lwamira also said that his bodyguard was withdrawn, and this, with violence without any information.

He informs that the security situation of all the provincial deputies of South Kivu is worrying following this situation and calls for the involvement of the national authorities.

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Politics

EAC Minister Call For ‘Readiness’ After Kampala Bombings

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East African Council of Ministers has called for the readiness of the possibility of more terrorist attacks in the region after the bombings of Kampala last week.

The Council of Ministers raised this concern at the Extra-Ordinary Council of Ministers meeting held in Arusha.

Ezekiel Niyibigira, the Burundian Foreign Affairs Minister in EAC said there are many possibilities of similar attacks in the region.

“Yesterday it happened in Uganda but tomorrow it may happen in another country as it happened in countries of our community like Kenya,” he said

Niyibigira called for improved relations among member countries to foster peace and security in the region.

“Burundi made an effort to help Rwanda when terrorists who were preparing to attack Rwanda arrested and they handed over to Rwanda two times and Rwanda handed over terrorists who attacked Burundi. This is very good progress we are making,”

Earlier this month Rwanda handed 19 armed terrorists to Burundi who had last conducted an attack in Burundi and fled to neighboring Rwanda.

George Odongo, the Ugandan lawmaker said the move of exchanging terrorists between two countries is a move of improved relations that need to be maintained.

He lauded that the building of relations is not a luxury but an important part as to why East African member countries integrated. We should guide ourselves in the direction of normalizing our relations between EAC countries because we can’t sit here and remain silent. It is not normal; it is wrong”

Last month, there were suspects that was targeting to detonate explosives in public spaces. Some of these suspects were allegedly found in possession of bomb-making equipment, including wires, nails and dynamite sticks and phones.

Some of the arrested suspects according to the crisis group, stated that the plotters were looking to punish Rwanda for its military intervention in Cabo Delgado, where its troops deployed in March in support of government efforts to stem the al-Shabab insurrection.

The Ugandan attack also comes after almost all EAC countries have either been attacked or got threats of attack.

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Politics

Burundi Targets Middle-income Status by 2040

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President Evariste Ndayishimiye is mobilising all Burundians both home and abroad to pool their skills and resources and develop Burundi.

Last week his government organized from November 18 to 19, 2021 a national forum on development, 1st edition.

“Together everything is possible,” President Ndayishimiye in his opening remarks at the forum convened at the Kigobe hemicycle in the town hall of Bujumbura.

According to him, it is possible, there are no thorns under our feet that prevent us from walking towards effective and inclusive development.

He deplored the unusual behaviour which encourages laziness, in particular the “benefactors and the commissioners”.

These kinds of behaviours prevent citizens from working and cause them to develop dependency. He underlined that the commissionaires are the vectors of underdevelopment. He also indicated that the flight of capital and brains remains one of the factors that handicap Burundi’s economic growth.

However, Ndayishimiye said that despite the challenges related to the instability of the macroeconomic framework, business opportunities abound in Burundi.

He cited the untapped sectors including industry, ecotourism, vocational education, social housing, logistics, health care, energy and ICTs etc.

For this 1st edition, 8 themes were on the agenda including rural development and food self-sufficiency, the macroeconomic framework for stability and sustained economic recovery, strengthening of human capital, development of the private sector, digitization. to stimulate development, the effectiveness of development aid, etc.

Among the other urgent recommendations resulting from this forum were the issue of foreign exchange, speed in monitoring the management and implementation of projects financed by technical and financial partners.

The other recommendation comes within the framework of monitoring and tracing export earnings and the use of foreign exchange granted to finance imports.

In the public finance sector, it is recommended to monitor the mechanisms for granting and monitoring exemptions and monitoring the execution of the public budget. Digitizing the system for collecting, processing and sharing information, and setting up consultation frameworks are also recommended for greater transparency.

The objective of this forum was to mobilize all the skills of Burundians living in Burundi and abroad to give their contributions to the various reflections and actions aimed at making Burundi an emerging country by 2040.

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