Category Archives: International

Egyptian President Becomes Head of the African Union

By Chuma Kisu

Egyptian President Addresses African Union after becoming  Chair.

Egyptian President Addresses African Union after becoming Chair.

According to international reports, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el- Sisi became the chair of the African Union (AU)) following a meeting by heads of state from the continent in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

The post rotates annually between the five regions of the continent.

The Egyptian leader is expected to focus on the fight against armed groups on the continent and rebuilding efforts of countries recovering from conflict.

“Terrorism remains a cancer that affects African nations and steals the dreams of our people and we must identify and combat those who fund terrorism activities on the continent,” Sisi said in a speech to the AU assembly shortly after his appointment.

Sisi stated that he will prioritize mediation and “preventive diplomacy” as one of the key mechanisms for promoting peace and security on the continent.

The new African Union chairman said that “counter- terrorism requires the identification of those who support and finance it and combating them collectively. While we are aware of the difficulty and complexity of the struggle, this remains the only appropriate way to uproot terrorism and eradicate it.”

Sisi takes the helm from Rwandan President Paul Kagame who focused on creating an African wide free-trade zone during his tenure.

Car Bomb Explodes In Somalia

Car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia.

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports, at least ten people were killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu when a car bomb exploded in a shopping mall Monday, February 4, 2019.

Mogadishu police officials have been quoted in international reports confirming the bombing in the capital’s business district.

According to police officials, the death toll may rise because of the number of those seriously wounded and a thorough search of the wreckage has yet to occur.

Some witnesses were quoted saying that the explosion rattled windows of several nearby business buildings.

Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliated group, has claimed responsibility for the attack. According to reports, they were also responsible for three car bombings in November 2018 that injured over 100 people and killed at least 52.

The bombs in Mogadishu were detonated near a hotel popular with visitors to Somalia and international journalists.

Since 2006, the group has carried out several attacks in Mogadishu, killing international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders, and peacekeepers, as well as Somalia’s government and military targets.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the group wants to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

The attack marks the second major terror attack carried out by Al-Shabaab in 2019 following several hours of siege last month in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. At least 21 people were killed.

At least 21 people were killed when militants from the terror group laid siege at the DusitD2 compound, an upmarket cluster of shops and hotel facilities in Nairobi.

The CFR is an independent, nonpartisan policy organization with an international membership. This membership includes individuals and corporations. It also includes journalists, civic leaders, students and religious leaders. It was founded in 1921.

Angola Decriminalizes Same Sex Relationships

Angola-map-1024x1002By Shujaa Kwanzaa

Angola has decriminalized same-sex relationships as stated by the Human Rights Watch agency.

The agency also reported that the Angolan government had created new sets of laws that ban discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation.

Individuals who refuse people employment or services because of their sexual orientation could spend up to two years in jail under the new law.

Angola’s parliament adopted a new penal code on January 23, 2019 for the first time since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975. This paved the way for lawmakers to remove the colonial provision characterizing same-sex relationships as “vices against nature,” the rights agency said.

“In casting aside this archaic and insidious relic of the colonial past, Angola has eschewed discrimination and embraced equality,” the Human Rights Watch said in a statement Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Angola joins the growing but few numbers of African countries that have decriminalized same-sex relationships.

Neighboring Mozambique removed anti-gay laws in 2015, while Sao Tome and Cape Verde have also abolished laws criminalizing gay relationships.

Oliver Mtukudzi Dies at Age 66

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi

By Shujaa Kwanzaa

According to international reports musician Oliver Mtukudzi of Zimbabwe died Wednesday, January 23, 2019 reportedly of complications of diabetes.

Popularly known as “Tuku” by his fans, Mtukudzi had been successfully performing for decades throughout Africa, as well as in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

Born into a musical family in 1952, his foot-stomping music has been described as a mixture of Zimbabwean pop style “jit” and South African township pop.

Through his distinct sound and inspiring lyrics, he documented the joy and pain of his countrymen who fought for freedom under colonial rule and died for democracy after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

Mtukudzii grew up in Highfield, a neighborhood in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. “So every song has something to do with that man in the street, he must be able to use it in his life,” he said.

According to reports Mtukudzi had more than 60 albums under his belt and released an album in 2013 titled “Sarawoga,” a tribute to his beloved son Sam, who died in a car crash in 2010 at age 21. The pair often performed together and he described the album as “therapy” to help him get over the death.

He has also been praised for his positive social and political influences. On Thursday Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared him a national hero. Mtukudzi’s funeral was held Saturday, January 26, 2019 in his home village north of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.