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Tanzania & Uganda Sign East Africa Oil Pipeline Deal

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Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania have signed the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline which both leaders described as third victory for the two countries.

Museveni said the two countries have in the past posted military and political victories and now with the oil pipeline deal it is an economic victory.

For President Samia Hassan, this was her first trip outside her country since taking oath as President of Tanzania following the demise of her predecessor John Pombe Magufuli.

At a ceremony broadcast on regional Television channels on Sunday, the French oil and gas exploration company Total E&P, China’s largest offshore oil and gas producer,Cnooc Ltd. and Uganda National Oil Co. were also participating partners.

With this agreement cemented, Uganda is scheduled to turn into a major crude oil producer and exporter.

Total also signed agreements with Uganda to develop this pipeline.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne called the signing of pacts a historic milestone for the production work and export pipeline that will draw more than $10 billion of investment.

“It’s a very large development, one of the largest that will be developed on this continent,” though just the beginning of a process that will see oil flow in early 2025, Pouyanne said.

Total’s own $5.1 billion bet on the project is for the rare frontier oil development that’s moving forward as most major companies are cutting spending. It also cements the French energy giant’s position as the leading player in Africa.

Total expects production to reach a plateau of 230,000 barrels per day. That’s higher than the output of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, two of Africa’s OPEC members.

Under this agreement, the partners will develop the Tilenga and Kingfisher discoveries near Lake Albert, as well as a 1,443-kilometer (897-mile) heated pipeline to transport Uganda’s waxy crude for export at the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The French explorer holds 57% of the oil field licenses and a large stake in the pipeline project.

Last year, Uganda and Total signed a Host Government Agreement (HGA) with the Ugandan Government for the development of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. 

The HGA will govern the export pipeline in Uganda and will cost approximately $3.5 billion. Construction was expected to commence in 2021.

Total E&P intends to undergo constructive dialogue with communities and NGOs involved in all project activities.

Uganda’s head of State also said that apart from oil the same corridor can be used can take a return pipeline supplying Tanzanian and Mozambican gas to Uganda and the great lakes region.

The gas according to him will be used to smelt the huge reserves of Iron ore that they have in Uganda.

According to Museveni, this project should serve to awaken all Africans that prosperity & strategic security, are only possible if we use the Pan-Africanist approach that gives us a bigger market & rationalizes economic linkages.

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Politics

Kampala Releases 58 Rwandans From Detention

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Taarifa investigative desk has reliably learned that the government of Uganda has freed a total of 58 Rwandans that have been languishing in detention centres run by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

A local news website in Kampala with close links to the Ugandan intelligence quoted what it referred to as  a top intelligence source in Uganda on condition of anonymity that the matters between the two countries are being handled at the highest level.

“This is why it is difficult to know what is going on until you see information being released to the press,” the source added.

The same website quoted an un-named source in Kigali also on condition of anonymity that “Uganda has started releasing Rwandans. Last night, 58 were sent back home to Rwanda.”

Rwanda has persistently demanded and conditioned Uganda to release Rwandans detained in various detention centers as a condition for reopening the border and restoring relations.

Signs of normalising relations between the two countries started blinking when President Yoweri Museveni recently handed a special message to Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s ambassador and permanent representative at the UN to deliver it to President Paul Kagame.

Days later, Museveni sent to Kigali another high profile official also his own son, Lt. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Duties and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).

At the current level, there are signs that the two governments are working back to back behind curtains to fix any unresolved concerns and revive positive relations.

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Politics

Sudanese Activist Against Oppression of Women Arrested

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The family of the head of the “No to Oppression of Women” group, Amira Osman said they ignore the whereabouts of the detained activist and called for her release.

On January 22, over 20 security agents stormed Osman’s house in Khartoum late in the evening and took her to an unidentified location. Her family said the armed men did not disclose to which security service they belong.

Amani Osman; a lawyer and Amira’s sister told reporters on Tuesday that they went to lodge a complaint at the police station but they refused and advised them to go to the General Intelligence Service (GIS) which arrested the activist.

She further added that the GIS denied having detaining her sister saying she was held at the women’s prison in Omdurman.

However, the family later learnt that she was not in prison.

“Now, my sister’s whereabouts are unknown,” she concluded.

For its part, her attending physician, Ihsan Fiqiri, spoke about her health condition.

She said that the detainee is partially disabled after a major automobile accident several years ago and as such, she needs special treatment.

“We believe her life is in danger,” she stressed.

The doctor called on the international community and human rights groups to put pressure on the Sudanese military authorities to free the activist.

Within their efforts to end the anti-coup protests, Sudanese authorities have arrested activists to prevent them from mobilizing civil society groups.

 

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Politics

Ugandan Parliament Suspends Funding for Joint FARDC-UPDF

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Ugandan parliamentarians have suspended funding for operations of the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo for lack of prior information by the government on the “Shujja” operations carried out against the ADF.

As in the DRC, the Ugandan parliament was not informed beforehand of the launch of the “Shujja” operations against the ADF.

For this violation of the rules, the deputies have suspended the financing of these operations until they are informed

Uganda’s Ministry of Defense had requested 89.7 billion shillings to fund the operation, but MPs said informing parliament should precede the commitment of public funds to the operation.

“During the deployment of the UPDF in the DRC, parliament was bypassed. We don’t know how many battalions are in the Congo. We have the right to know the exit strategy and casualty reports on our side,” said opposition leader John Baptist Nambese, in remarks relayed by Baraza Media.

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