Children living in conflict prone countries across the world are at high risk of being forced or recruited into armed groups thus denying them a normal life.
Today (February, 12th, 2021) countries across the globe are marking a day aimed at demanding for an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
A global campaign Red Hand Day – was launched to stop the recruitment of children and adolescents under the age of 18 for armed conflicts.
“More children could be pushed into joining armed groups in conflict zones as families face increasing poverty due to the covid-19 pandemic, UN says.
The exact number of child soldiers is unknown, however, in 2019 alone about 7,740 children – some as young as six – were recruited and used as fighters or in other roles by mostly non-state armed groups, according to United Nations data.
According to World Vision International, an estimated 250,000 boys and girls are still affected by recruitment and use.
“In many conflicts, children take a direct part in combat. However, their role is not limited to fighting. Their tasks can vary, from combatants to cooks, spies, messengers, and even sex slaves. Children are not soldiers. Let’s end violation of children’s rights,” Save the children an international organization says.
Sara was a 12-year-old schoolgirl when she was abducted in 2015 by an armed rebel group in South Sudan and taken to remote bushland to loot villages and abduct other children.
” Our first morning in the bush, we were instructed to start looting civilians and attacking villagers within the region. The things we did to them were terrible,” sara told reuters journalist.
She recounts her experience that villagers were tied up and we were looting everything. Those who resisted and did not want to give up their belongings would be killed. “Sometimes, our loot was so heavy that rebels needed help to carry the guns. I was 12 when I held one for the first time.”
“One day, I tried to escape with a group of boys. But we were followed and caught on the way. Rebels tied us up for three days and beat us continuously. Most commanders said we should be killed but luckily our lives were spared thanks to one of them who was willing to forgive us.”
Rwanda Concludes Commemoration Week
Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic and rain, Rwandans have this Tuesday soldiered on and gathered at Rebero Genocide Memorial in the capital Kigali for a ceremony to conclude the week-long activities of the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi claimed more than a million lives.
Rebero Genocide Memorial, is a resting place for 12 politicians and more than 14,400 victims of the Genocide.
Rebero Genocide Memorial is a resting place to politicians who were killed during the genocide either because they were Tutsis or were against the brutal regime and became victims of their political views because they were portrayed to be an impediment to the planned genocide.
Commemoration of the politicians who were killed before and during genocide against the Tutsi began in 2006. This was after a cabinet resolution of 21/06/2006 that designated July 2, 2006 a day to commemorate politicians who are victims of the genocide against the Tutsi and the event would take place at Rebero Genocide Memorial.
In the subsequent years, this event was marked at the end of the memorial week which takes place on April 13th every year.
Politicians Buried at Rebero Genocide Memorial
KAYIRANGA Charles, was member of the Liberal Party (PL) holding a position of the Director of Cabinet in the Ministry of Justice. He was born in 1949 in former Rukondo Commune currently Nyagisozi sector, Nyanza district. He was killed on 7/4/1994.
NDASINGWA Landuald, He was member of Liberal Party (PL) serving as its vice President. He was also minister of local government. He was born in 1947 and was killed on April 7th 1994 on grounds that he was suspected to be an RPF spy (ibyitso).
Maître NIYOYITA Aloys, He was a member of Liberal Party (PL) and was designated to becomethe Minister of Justice in the transitional government. He was born in 1954 in former Nyamutera Commune, Ruhengeri Prefecture. He was killed in April 1994.
KAMEYA André: He was born on May 15, 1946 in the Southern Province, Gisagara District in former Butare Prefecture. He together with his spouse were killed on the order from former Kigali Mayor Col Renzaho Tharcisse and Gen Laurent Munyakazi.Kameya Andre is a cofounder of Liberal Party (PL), also the Managing Director of Rwanda Rushya a bi-monthly newspaper, which opposed the genocidal regime. He was killed in June 1994 at Saint Paul in Kigali City.
RWAYITARE Augustin: He was member of Liberal Party (PL) and a vocal critique of Habyarimana government. He was born on April 20, 1956 in former Rukara Commune currently Kayonza District. He was the head of the Department for IDPs in the Ministry of Labour. He was killed on April 20, 1994.
KABAGENI Vénantie: Former member of Liberal Party (PL) of which he was the first Vice President and was on the list of MPs to represent his party in Parliament. He was born in 1944 in former Kayove Commune, currently Boneza Sector in Rutsiro District. He was killed in Butamwa on April 11, 1994.
RUTAREMARA Jean de la Croix : He was member of Liberal Party (PL). He was born in 1958 in Gishari sector. He was killed on April 9, 1994. Yishwe ku itariki ya 9 Mata 1994.Like his fellow party members he was a devout critique of the brutal regime and the ideology of ‘PL Power’ faction.
NZAMURAMBAHO Frédéric : He was a member and President of the Socialist Democratic Party (PSD). He was born in 1942 in former Rukondo Commune, Gikongoro Prefecture ; currently Nyamagabe District. He was the Minister of Agriculture. PSD was one of the opposition parties critical of the regime in power. It played a crucial role in Arusha Peace Agreement. Together with his family, he was killed on April 7, 1994 by the Presidential Guards.
NGANGO Félicien : He was member of Democratic Socialist Party. He was the Vice President of the Party and a party candidate to represent his party in the Government as per the Arusha Peace Accord. He was killed on April 7, 1994.
MUSHIMIYIMANA Jean Baptiste : He was a member of Socialist Democratic Party. He was born on January 1, 1954 in former Ntongwe Commune currently in Kinazi Sector, Ruhango District. He was killed by the Presidential Guard soldiers on April, 1994.
KAVARUGANDA Joseph : He was born on May 8, 1935 in former Tare Commune, Kigali Ngari prefecture. He was killed by soldiers of the Presidential Guard in April 1994. He was the President of the Constitutional Court. He was member of the Republican Democratic Movement (MDR) political party.
RUCOGOZA Faustin : He was member of MDR political party. He was the Minister of Information during Habyarimana regime. Despite his position as Information minister, in November 1993, he never shied away from expressing his objection to Radio RTLM’s hate speeches and warned it even though it was a pro government protagonists.
He was killed on April 7, 1994. Together with his family members, they were arrested on April 6, 1994 immediately after the shooting of the Presidential plane.
60% of Tanzania’s Civil Servants Are Incompetent
Certain decisions made in the past by Tanzanian government officials are very laughable and shameful but the reason has been discovered by Prof Mussa Assad (pictured above) the Former Controller and Auditor General.
“Most public servants are not good enough or do not meet the required threshold, my only problem is when you get to the point where you see someone doing wrong and you can’t say it is wrong, then you are in the wrong place,” said Prof Assad.
Prof Assad has said there is a need to reboot the public service saying 60 per cent of the current crop lacks the necessary competence to serve as civil servants. He was speaking, April 10, during the launch of a series of public debates organized by the Morogoro Muslim University (MUM).
He said the problem is that people have become cowards; it has reached a point where some people just keep silent even when there is plenty going wrong.
“That’s why I say let’s start afresh with the few who are doing well, that will also a lesson for those who ‘in the future’ will be carefree, they know that their remedy is to set them aside and start anew,” he said.
He made references of certain government decisions which were reached in the past such as selling of government houses in Masaki and the Railway quarters in Gerezani, only for the same government to come back and buy what it sold at Sh6 million at over Sh200 million.
Regarding the Bagamoyo Port project, Professor Assad said there is a need for the Government to provide documentation for the project to make it public so that citizens can read it, look at its pros and cons and comment on whether it is good or bad.
“I cannot say whether the project is good or bad because I have not seen the documents but if the government provides information, we will comment and I am good in that area of analysis,” said Professor Assad.
It can also be recalled that in April 2017, former leader John Magufuli fired over 10,000 civil servants including high ranking officers, for forging and or using other people’s academic certificates to obtain their current positions.
Magufuli discovered this abnormality amid reports claiming the country was losing at least U$10 million a month in salaries and benefits to 19,708 ghost workers.
A government investigation that begun October 2016 found 9,932 people it said had faked their secondary school qualifications, a number equivalent to two percent of the country’s civil service.
“Right from now, those public servants using forged or other people’s certificates are dismissed,” Magufuli said at the time.
U.S. Africa Energy Forum Launched
The Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber this week announced the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF).
This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments.
Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments.
An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021.
Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber has invited all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.
This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike.
The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.
“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies.
Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” said James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power.
“The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.”
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