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East-Africa

Kenya Pulls Out Of Maritime Dispute Case With Somalia

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Kenya government said on Tuesday that it had pulled out of the international maritime boundary dispute case with Somalia.

Details indicate that Kenya took this decision in protest at perceived bias and unwillingness of the court to accommodate requests to delay the hearings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya objected to virtual proceedings and asked the International Court of Justice to allow Attorney General Kihara Kariuki a 30-minute address to express its displeasure with the court’s conduct before public hearings in the Indian Ocean boundary dispute between the neighbouring countries begin.

“Whether they refuse to admit the request or grant it, we have reached tipping point, a point of no return. If you like, the irreducible minimum is for us to be granted time to complete our preparations with our new (defence) team and to present our case in normal conditions of physical appearance where we can put across our case without hindrance. A token, cosmetic appearance won’t do for Kenya,” said a government official quoted by a local daily.

“Kenya regrets that it has been compelled to take this step- unprecedented in its history in relation to any international adjudication mechanism- because of the unwillingness of the court to afford it a fair opportunity to prepare for and to present its case,” the AG wrote in the letter addressed to the court’s registrar Philippe Gautier.

“Since the case herein is not urgent for any reason, Kenya least expected the court would make this into the first case to be heard on the merits via video link, despite one party’s sustained and well-grounded objections,” the letter adds.

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East-Africa

Covid-19 Pushed 1million Tanzanians Into Poverty

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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has launched a Shs 1.3trillion robust Development Program which according to her government will see major reforms in the country’s socio-economic sectors mainly Education, Health, Water and Tourism in response to Covid-19 pandemic.

Her government said the program will be implemented for nine months and aims at boosting the country’s economy that has bee battered by the global health pandemic.

Samia said, her government had secured a concessional financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of U$ 567.25billion through Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

This RCF was created under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) as part of a broader reform to make the Fund’s Financial Support more flexible and better tailored to the diverse needs of Low income Countries including times of Crisis.

According to Dr. Mpango Phillip the Vice President, the multimillion facility extended to Tanzania would help bring changes to the country.

He said Covid-19 pandemic had affected Tanzania and families as the country’s work force had been reduced.

“Some families lost their breadwinners and about one million people have now entered into a list of poor people due to the pandemic,” he said.

He added that because of travel restrictions, the toursim sector has also suffered because the number of tourists visiting the country had significantly dropped.

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East-Africa

Burundi Ruling Party CNDD-FDD Struggles With Poor Service

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Poor service delivery has become inseparable from cadres of the ruling party in neighbouring Burundi according to leaks from the recent party meeting.

The CNDD-FDD party on September 30, held a meeting of all activists who exercise high positions in state institutions, to ask them to offer quality services and work for the well-being of citizens.

President Evariste Ndayishimiye who rose to power after winning a controversial election in May 2020 has been struggling to put together a functional government that serves peoples interests.

His government is struggling to wear a new coat to escape his predecessors but it isn’t a walkover. Ndayishimiye will serve a seven-year term in office and can renew the term once.

President Ndayishimiye warned the authorities of the country who do not perform effectively the tasks entrusted to them and who mismanage public goods.

Just like under the previous governments, the country has recently suffered grenade attacks leaving some dead and scores wounded. This puzzles President Ndayishimiye and affects his popularity.

Towards the end of September, explosions killed at least five people and injured 50 in Burundi’s commercial city Bujumbura.

The Interior Ministry said on Twitter that “unidentified terrorists” were responsible.

Two grenade explosions hit a bus parking lot in the city centre, according to seven eyewitnesses, while a third blast hit Jabe market in the Bwiza neighbourhood, according to another witness.

With all these attacks, President Ndayishimiye said on Thursday that the Lord revealed to him the enemies of the country.

Ndayishimiye lamented that there are still Burundians who enjoy shedding the blood of their brothers and who are not happy with a peaceful Burundi. He said that troublemakers have no place in Burundi or elsewhere in the world.

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East-Africa

World Bank Commits U$500million Aid To Burundi

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The World Bank has said, it will commit to extend over U$500million to support the Burundi government development projects.

This was revealed by Véronique Kabongo the representative of the World Bank in Burundi. She was visiting Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

According to details, their discussions focused on several points including confirmation of support in socio-economic development.

“We hope to commit this year a total envelope of U$500 million in donations to Burundi in various fields including trade facilitation, digitization, infrastructure and many others,” said Kabongo.

Meanwhile, in May, the World Bank Group approved a U$6 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support communities in restoring degraded landscapes and intensifying sustainable land management practices for more resilient food production and strengthened value chains.

“Climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier of fragility in a country like Burundi, and this additional financing builds on the recognition that landscape restoration efforts must be addressed to tackle multifaceted problems related to rural poverty, nutrition, food security, and land use at the community level” said the World Bank official then.

Burundi has a policy that requires all International NGOs to pursue an ethnic quota system which has since 2018 soiled the relationship between government and the NGOs.

In October 2018, the government slammed a three-month suspension on almost all international NGOs operating in Burundi earlier this month is part of a wider crackdown on civil society, analysts say, in a nation where an estimated 3.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Government officials claim the ban comes as a result of organizations violating an article in the General Framework for Cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and Foreign NGOs, a 2017 amendment that means recruitment of national staff must respect ethnic quotas laid out in the constitution.

But humanitarians argued that while the national constitution seeks to achieve ethnic balance within public administration, it does not include recruitment parameters for NGOs.

“The logic behind the constitutional law is to encourage power sharing … and no one is questioning power sharing as a principle at the government level … but why are these quotas being specifically implemented on INGOs and not other sectors?” Rachel Nicholson, an Amnesty International researcher, asked.

Some 130 international NGOs are represented in Burundi, according to a government official.

The suspension excluded those INGOs running hospitals and schools, in what some say is a tactic to avoid blame for any negative impacts of the suspension.

In June 2020, Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye officially took over as new president of Burundi replacing his former boss Pierre Nkurunziza who died from sudden sickness.

Nkurunziza had cultivated a very bad relationship with the international NGOs and other global institutions which later suspended aid to the East African nation.

Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye seems to be courting a new path with the NGOs and global institutions as he urgently seeks financial and technical support to rebuild the country after years of problematic leadership of his former boss.

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