Patrick Obia

last updated Thu, Sep 14, 2023 4:00 PM

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Bloodlet in Sudan, opposition leader jailed in DRC, Ugandan gov’t bans rallies, other African news

By Patrick Obia
| Updated 16:00 14/09/2023
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Bobi Wine in a rally. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The former leader of the Presidential Party in the Democratic Republic of Congo or DR, Jean-Marc Kabund, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for "insulting the head of state."

His sentence is higher than the three years the public prosecutor asked for.

The Court of Cassation ruled that “all the offences for which Mr Kabund was prosecuted were established,"  Kaddy Ditou, his lawyer, told the press.

They imposed "an accumulation of sentences" and sentenced him to "84 months of main penal servitude, equivalent to 7 years" in prison, added his lawyer.

Kabund announcing in July 2022 the creation of his own party, "Alliance for Change”, castigated “the absence of a clear vision”, “the notorious incompetence and institutionalised mismanagement characterised by carelessness, irresponsibility, enjoyment, and predation at the top of the State." Comments that he repeated during his trial.

AFP reports that among these offences are “insulting the Head of State and the institutions of the Republic” and “propagation of false rumours”. 

The conviction comes in a tense pre-electoral context.

Arrests of opposition figures and journalists have increased in recent months in DRC.

Sudan: The UN's envoy to Sudan has stepped down.

Volker Perthes had been working from outside of the country but had stayed on in his post despite being declared persona non grata by Khartoum in June.

That followed his denunciation of possible crimes against humanity committed during the civil war that erupted in the country in April. Since then, at least 7500 people have been killed in fighting between the army and the RSF paramilitary.

According to France 24, the violence has turned the capital into a battle zone, gutted infrastructure and the health system, forced more than 5 million people from their homes and taken on a brutal ethnic dimension in Darfur. 

On Wednesday, medics said at least 40 people had been killed in an air raid.

Uganda: Police in Uganda have banned political rallies organised by opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, citing public order breaches and defamation against the president, BBC reports.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tumusiime Katsigazi on Wednesday said one person had died and 10 others seriously injured in the National Unity Platform or NUP party rallies.

Katsigazi warned NUP supporters against what he described as "mob mentality against civilians and security enforcers".

The police also accused Kyagulanyi of promoting sectarianism in his rallies, which started on Monday.

Kyagulanyi has, however, vowed to go on with the rallies and urged his supporters to “wait for a signal”.

He is using the rallies to raise grassroots support ahead of the 2026 general elections.

Libya: The head of the UN's World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, says most of the deaths from the Libya floods could have been avoided.

Petteri told journalists the country could have issued warnings.

“Emergency management forces would have been able to carry out the evacuation of the people, and we could have avoided most of the human casualties,” the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

Libya has two rival governments, which has made it difficult to respond to disasters in a swift, coordinated manner.

Each government announced separate precautionary measures, as the recent storm that caused the flooding headed towards the country.

Over 20,000 persons have been reported dead in the flooding.

Gabon: General Brice Oligui Nguema, who overthrew Ali Bongo Ondimba two weeks ago in Gabon, notably accusing his regime of "massive embezzlement", announced on Wednesday a commission of inquiry into public procurement to track down "fraud".

"The president of the transition (...) decided today to reactivate the task force for controlling internal and external debt to verify all public markets. This task force will take up all the actions left suspended by the previous one without obvious reasons", announced the military in power in a press release read on public television.

The country "requires a careful and rigorous evaluation of public contracts in order to detect any irregularity or potential fraud", read a few minutes later on General Oligui 's account on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

A few days later, he publicly reprimanded hundreds of senior civil servants and public sector executives: “Come and return the embezzled funds yourself within 48 hours; otherwise, we will come and get you, and you will see the difference.” 

Jean-Marc Kabund Democratic Republic of Congo Volker Perthes Robert Kyagulanyi

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