Located among the bush covered hills on the eastern side of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia, the Hamar tribe have unique culture and customs, one of them being a cattle-jumping ceremony where the beatings of the women take place.
The ceremony starts with all the female relatives performing a dance, during which they offer themselves as subjects to be whipped by men who have recently been initiated.
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The beatings go on until their backs turn bloody. During the beatings, women are not allowed to scream. They do not also flee the ceremony but rather beg the men to beat them over and over again.
The male initiation rite
The women accept these beatings to show their love and support of the initiate, and their scars give them a right to demand his help in time of need.
The man must subsequently leap across 15 cows in order to be allowed to marry and once that is achieved a celebration is held to end the ceremony.
Beatings are not just ceremonial
Women in the Hamar tribe are subject to beatings even after the ceremony at any time the man pleases unless they give birth to at least two children.
The rules of the tribe also say that men do not need to explain why they are beating the women as they can do so as and when they feel is right.
This has created deep scars at the backs of the women which they proudly show off as beautiful.
Hamar tribe — Depositphotos
In spite of these, women in the Hamar tribe are expected to be strong like the men and are supposed to do all household chores, take care of the children and sow crops as well as keep the cattle.
Hamar men can also marry more than one woman, but the women who are not first wives are treated more like slaves as they do a majority of the work
1990 following the Namibian War of independence, Namibia had registered her presence in the global arena.
Namibia is a member of important global organisations including the African Union, United Nations, South Africa Development Council, just to mention a few. Also, apart from the glorious mountains that dotted the beautiful landscape of the country, the Fish River Canyon, gold-grass plains of the Kalahari, wildlife such as the black rhinos, elephants, big cats, etc. all make Namibia an interesting tourist destination.
Apart from all these, however, the spectacular nature and custom of the Himba tribe in Namibia have brought her to international spotlight especially in recent times.
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The Himba people who are also regarded as the Omuhimba or Ovahimba people are indigenous people of Namibia living in northern part of Namibia especially in the Kunene region. Their numbers are big enough to form a city-state.
What makes this tribe so popular has to do with their way of living, clothing, economy, and interesting customs. One of the grapevines is that they offer guests sex for free and another point is that they adorned every newborn baby with bead necklaces. But there are other interesting facts about them.
Just like the Japanese who lived in isolation for much of their history under the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Himba people practically live in seclusion and are wary of external contacts. Although they engage in cooperation with neighbouring tribes; they would resist any form of contamination to their beliefs and culture. This is quite curious in a nuclear age.
The Himba people are predominantly farmers. They raise different breeds of livestock especially goats, cattle, sheep, etc. The women are largely preoccupied with collecting firewood, sourcing for fresh water for consumption, cooking and serving meals and engaging in other forms of artisanship.
Some of them are socially inclined and religious, worshipping the gods of their ancestors. The Himba people believed in polygamy and many of their young girls married off at an early age. This is not peculiar to them as most traditional African tribes still practice this custom.
It is not the case however that they don’t bath even if it’s not with water. One of the reasons why the Himba people don’t bath with water is because of their harsh climatic conditions as they live in one of the most extreme environments on earth. The harsh desert climate and the unavailability of portable water prevent them from having a ‘normal’ water bath. Yet, they looked extremely pretty with their traditional clothes, some of which exposed their bodies especially the women.
Their lack of bathing however has not resulted into lack of personal hygiene as they apply red ochre on their skin and partake in a daily smoke bath in order to maintain their hygiene.
Reuben Coussement described this process, “they will put some smouldering charcoal into a little bowl of herbs (mostly leaves and little branches of Commiphora trees) and wait for the smoke to ascend. Thereafter, they will bow over the smoking bowl and due to the heat, they will start perspiring. For a full body wash, they cover themselves with a blanket so that the smoke gets trapped underneath the fabric.”
In all of these, however, the Himba people are one of the warmest tribes in Africa and are courteous to strangers and visitors alike. They however frown at anything that will threaten their cultural values and traditions. Their frustrations at some interventions by the Namibian government, governments of Norway and Iceland, among others are evidence of this fact
The Lele people are a subgroup from the Kuba Kingdom of the Democratic Republic of Congo who originally resided along the Kasai River region. Due to the slash and burn agricultural system they practice, the Lele set up temporary villages as they move every ten to fifteen years.
Before the 1920s when the White administration had not been established, the Lele mostly engaged in fights with other groups over women. They did not quarrel with other tribes or raid other villages for anything apart from women. Any big debt or crime amongst them was also settled by handling over a woman. Hence, they were puzzled as to why men should kill each other for any other reason if women were not involved.
Unity is essential amongst the Lele because of the type of polyandry practised in the village. The Lele call it hohombe, or ngalababola, which means “wife of the village”. It is worth mentioning that one out of ten or so Lele women becomes a village wife. The rest are mostly in polygynous marriages. An anthropologist, Mary Douglas gave an in-depth understanding to who a village wife is amongst the Lele people.
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A village wife is either captured by force, seduced or taken as a refugee, or betrothed from infancy. She is initially married to several men in the village who may or may not have other wives already.
A Lele village wife. Credit: tripdownmemorylane
A village wife is treated with much honour and enjoys her honeymoon which lasts for a period of six months or more. She does not cook, draw water, cut firewood or do any of the usual work of women. If she wishes to go to the spring or to bring back some water, one of her husbands will declare that she must not carry the load and will accompany her, shouldering the calabash.
Moreover, a newly captured village wife can accompany the men on their hunting escapades, which is not allowed for an ordinary woman. This is mainly done to stop her from being recaptured to her original village. She does not eat vegetables as her devoted husbands bring her squirrels and birds every day and the people’s delicacy, which is antelope’s liver is reserved for her.
As she does not cook, she eats the food sent to her husbands by their mothers or their wives. Men and women do not eat together but during her honeymoon, the village wife is able to eat with her husbands.
During this period, she sleeps with a different man in her hut every two nights but any man in the village is entitled to have relations with her during the day.
At the end of the honeymoon, she is allotted a limited number of husbands, sometimes as many as five. She lives with these men, cooks for them and has relations with them in her house. Although her husbands can claim damages from any man who sleeps with her in her hut, she is available to the rest of the village when she is outside her home.
With time, the village wife has the power to eliminate husbands from her household and may do so until she has two or three. This initiative may not always come from her. For instance, a man quarrels, or is jealous, or marries a wife who is jealous, and for these or similar reasons takes his belongings out of her house.
Village wives. Credit: wikipedia
A child of the village-wife is called mwanababola, meaning child of the village because he/she belongs to all the men. The child usually indicates one or two men who have been social fathers to him if asked who the father is. The village as a whole will be responsible to pay the dowry for future wives on behalf of the sons of the village wife.
Senegalese footballer, Krepin Diatta, might not have been so popular until he scored that screamer of a goal for his side during their opening game against Tanzania at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations games in Egypt. But, that is not what has been of grave concern to him since then.
After images and videos of the player started going around on social media, many poured onto the internet to troll his looks, teasing him even further after it was discovered that the midfielder, who plays for the Belgian side, Club Brugge KV, had an even “better-looking” girlfriend.
Completely surprised and disappointed at the comments he has been receiving about his looks especially from fellow Africans, the player has hit back terming them as “racist” comments.
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The matter escalated after a tweet by an African model named Nora Pinging put the 20-year-old player in a position of discrimination after she called him a ‘frog’ and went on to state that she would never agree to marry him even if she was given 50 million dollars.
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Naturally displeased with her tweet which she has since deleted, fans of the footballer poured onto her page to hit back at her while calling into question her reasons for thinking that the player did not deserve a ‘pretty’ lady as a girlfriend.
Former Chelsea star and Ivorian football legend, Didier Drogba, in response to the critics, encouraged him to instead be strong and focus his attention from all the negative reviews because “you are very talented.”
Senegal have a game more to play at the AFCON to decide whether or not they will make it to the last 16 stage after they lost their game against Algeria on June 27, 2019.
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Meet the Namibian actor who helped gross $60m for the 1980 film ‘The Gods Must be crazy
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Nǃxau Toma_Photo: Facebook
Born in Namibia and a member of the San also known as Bushmen, N!xau Toma, famously called the African bush farmer, was an actor who spoke fluent Jul’hoan, Otjiherero, Tswana as well as some Afrikaans which are dominant languages in the south of Africa.
He shot to worldwide prominence after an appearance as the lead role of the 1980 comedy film, The Gods Must Be Crazy. He became one of the most improbable and reluctant international celebrity after taking the role.
Image result for NÇxau ÇToma in The Gods must be crazy
N!xau Toma_Photo: Realtime News
In the movie, N!xau appearing as Xixo portrayed a gentle leader of a local tribal clan of Khoisan people. He was also a sober bushman with a comic smile who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle thrown out of an airplane. Upon discovering the bottle, he sees it as an alien object and it sets off into a comedy of errors.
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Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo: Egypt today
This comic role endeared him to viewers especially those in Asia who were convinced that he makes three eccentric movie sequels. The movie grossed $60 million dollars and according to Jamie Uys, the South African director who discovered the actor, N!xau, did not know the value of paper money and he let his first $300 wages blow away.
Despite his inability to attract heavy financial resource in the first movie, he had learned the value of money and demanded several hundred thousand dollars before agreeing to a recast in the film. He insisted that the money was needed to build a cinder-block house with electricity and a water pump for his family comprising of three wives and their children.
With patience and good humor, he toured the world and after 10 years of the glamour life, he stressed that he has seen enough of the “civilized” world, hence his decision to return to his home in the Kalahari.
Image result for NÇxau ÇToma in The Gods must be crazy
Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo: African Film Festival
N!xau uses the local dialect when filming, however, the interpretation and interlocking plots were explained by a narrator. He made it clear that he enjoyed the film and was excited to see himself on screen.
Mr. Uys was criticized for being cruel to N!xau and not taking him out of his environment but to his defence, he said he [N!xau] was born to act. ”All Bushmen are natural actors,” he said in a 1990 interview with The Associated Press. After the sequel, N!xau appeared in Hong Kong films and the Chinese film ”The Gods Must Be Funny.”
His inability to manage his income and have less value for material things was as a result of cultural practices.
Image result for NÇxau ÇToma in The Gods must be crazy
Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo:yasminroohi.com
When his film career ended, N!xau returned home to a newly built brick house. He tended his cattle and raised corn and pumpkins. He had a car for a while, but had to employ a driver because he had never learned to drive, The Namibian reported.
The entertaining actor N!xau Toma was found dead in late June 2003 near his home in Namibia after he reportedly went out to collect wood. He was believed to be 59 years old, and the exact cause of his death was unknown. He had suffered from tuberculosis in the past.
His name, N!xau is pronounced with the typical Bushman click used in southern Africa.
The 5 Principles of Ethical Journalism
The core principles of ethical journalism set out below provide an excellent base for everyone who aspires to launch themselves into the public information sphere to show responsibility in how they use information.
There are hundreds of codes of conduct, charters and statements made by media and professional groups outlining the principles, values and obligations of the craft of journalism.
Most focus on five common themes:
Five Core Principles of Journalism
1. Truth and Accuracy
Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. We should always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked. When we cannot corroborate information we should say so.
Journalists must be independent voices; we should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. We should declare to our editors – or the audience – any of our political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.
3. Fairness and Impartiality
Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable (in the face for example of brutality or inhumanity), but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.
Journalists should do no harm. What we publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but we should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.
A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold ourselves accountable. When we commit errors we must correct them and our expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical. We listen to the concerns of our audience. We may not change what readers write or say but we will always provide remedies when we are unfair.
Does journalism need new guidelines?
EJN supporters do not believe that we need to add new rules to regulate journalists and their work in addition to the responsibilities outlined above, but we do support the creation of a legal and social framework, that encourages journalists to respect and follow the established values of their craft.
In doing so, journalists and traditional media, will put themselves in a position to be provide leadership about what constitutes ethical freedom of expression. What is good for journalism is also good for others who use the Internet or online media for public communications.
This collaborative project aims to be the world’s largest collection of ethical codes of conduct and press organisations.
The AccountableJournalism.org website has been developed as a resource to on global media ethics and regulation systems, and provides advice on ethical reporting and dealing with hate speech.
Mynett and Omar, through her spokesperson Jeremy Slevin – repeatedly refused to comment when asked by DailyMail.com if they were having an affair.
Mynett is currently a partner at E Street Group, which bills itself as providing national progressive strategies for candidates, nonprofits and advocacy efforts.
Mynett started the firm in July of 2018, according to LinkedIn – only one month before Omar started paying the company for its services.
Previously, Mynett worked as former Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison’s national finance director. Omar took over Ellison’s seat when he ran for Attorney General.
Federal Election Commission records show Omar’s team began paying Mynett’s company in August of 2018, splashing out $62,500 by the end of 2018.
Payments continued into 2019, with $5,000, $10,000 and $12,000 chunks being shelled out every month, totaling just over $253,000 in a single year.
In January, Mynett posted an image on his Instagram of Omar’s name plaque outside of her congressional office, writing: ‘It’s been one hell of a journey. Incredibly proud of this fearless woman.’
Mynett is currently living in a luxury residential complex in DC’s trendy Petworth neighborhood where a two-bedroom apartment costs around $3,000 a month.
DailyMail.com approached him outside but the veteran political operative initially refused to confirm his identity, saying: ‘This is bizarre, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
When we spoke with him a second time as he pulled up in a bright blue Ford Mustang, Mynett told our reporter: ‘No comment.’
home in northern DC, worth $900,000.
‘I’m not in any position to talk whatsoever but I thank you for your concern. I’m sorry I have no comment at this time. But thank you sir.’
Mynett runs E Street Group with fellow veteran strategist William Hailer from a shared WeWork office space in DC.
Their website currently has a single accessible page displaying the message: ‘Accepting new clients by referral only.’ But an archived version accessed by DailyMail.com includes a lengthy ‘about us’ section where Mynett reels off his career accomplishments and boats of close ties with ‘national opinion leaders’.
‘Tim Mynett brings over 15 years of experience conducting high-level national fundraising and providing political and strategic advice to our clients at E Street Group,’ it says.
‘He has continually developed and implemented successful fundraising plans for national nonprofits, progressive advocacy efforts, and Democratic leaders in Congress. Throughout his career he has raised of over $100 million in gifts, grants, and donations.’
The profile goes on to say that Mynett has served as a lead fundraiser for a string of Dems including Ellison, Senator Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Congressman Ron Kind.
He’s also worked for national non-profits and ‘progressive organizations’ including Angelina Jolie’s Global Action for Children and the SEIU’s Change that Works initiative focused on passing Obamacare.
It adds: ‘Having spent the majority of his career based in DC while conducting extensive client travel to every corner of the country Tim has cultivated strong relationships with national opinion leaders and is a sought-after advisor to a diverse group of constituencies.’
Omar’s team have refused to say exactly what work E Street or Mynett does for her, how much either is paid, or what role they played in her election campaign.
A woman who answered the door to Mynett’s business partner William Hailer’s home in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday afternoon said he was asleep and took a contact number and email. Hailer never got in touch.
Mynett has been spotted by Omar’s sides at fundraising events, including at the California for Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Woodland Hills in March.
He was front and center for her speech, where the congresswoman made controversial remarks blaming 9/11 on ‘someone doing something.’
The following day, Omar and Mynett were seen leaving the out-of-the-way Caffé Pinguini in Playa Del Rey.
DailyMailTV learned that an eyewitness observed Omar and her companion holding hands while dining inside the bistro.
‘The bigger question is why they were at this particular restaurant,’ said the man who took the video. You don’t just stumble across Playa Del Rey on a chilly Sunday evening in March.
‘It’s so out of the way. It’s the sort of place you go when you don’t want anyone to know where you are.’
Omar’s private life has become the subject of massive speculation amid accusations that her second husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is in fact her brother and she only married him to get him entry to the United States.
She later divorced Elmi and remarried Hirsi, but now that marriage is headed for a second divorce.
Omar has refused to address her marriages, leading to criticism from political rivals and her hometown newspaper.
A small oil tanker that Iran accused of smuggling fuel was empty of any cargo when Iranian forces seized it at gunpoint in the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month, according to the company that chartered the ship.
Iran impounded the tanker Riah when it was scheduled to sail to Oman to load fuel for further shipment to Berbera in Africa’s Somaliland, said Rishi Kumar, who heads the charterer, KRB Petrochemicals. He denied Tehran’s assertion that the Riah was smuggling 1 million liters of fuel — about half its capacity — out of Iran and intended to transfer the cargo to foreign vessels.
Kumar’s account of the Riah’s seizure highlights the perils for tankers and crews braving the world’s most important waterway for energy shipments.
Tensions have flared in the Strait of Hormuz in recent weeks as Iran resists U.S. sanctions that are crippling its oil exports and lashes out after the seizure on July 4 of one of its ships near Gibraltar. Iran impounded a British tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait 15 days later. Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, accounts for about a third of the world’s seaborne oil flows.
Read more about Iran’s seizure of the tanker Riah near the Strait of Hormuz
Ship tracking data show that the Riah regularly shuttles through the Strait, and its route suggests it loads Iranian oil products in the nearby Gulf of Oman and transfers the fuel to other vessels off the coast of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, according to Tel Aviv-based maritime analysis firm Windward.
However, KRB Petrochemicals, based in the U.A.E., hasn’t been asked to use the Riah to transport Iranian oil since its charter contract started on June 15, Kumar said in a phone interview.
The Riah was in the Strait and sailing into the Gulf on July 14 when four small boats approached it near Iran’s Qeshm Island. Iranian forces boarded the ship, “put a gun to the captain” and ordered the crew to lie on the deck, Kumar said. They disabled the engine and towed the vessel to Iran, he said.
The 12 crew members, most of them Indian, were arrested. Nine mariners have since been released and will fly to New Delhi on Tuesday, while the remaining three, including the captain, remain in custody, Kumar said.
The Riah is owned by Iraq-based Riah Shipping & Trading Inc., he said. KRB Petrochemicals, the charterer, is based in Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone. The U.A.E.’s Federal Transport Authority said Monday it may bar the Riah from returning to the country if its investigation shows evidence of wrongdoing, Kumar said.
A U.A.E. government media official said last week that the Riah isn’t owned or operated by a U.A.E. company.
Africa times reporter
Cape town, South Africa
3yrs of civilian deaths in Yemen don’t hold US & allies back from selling arms to Saudis – Amnesty 3yrs of civilian deaths in Yemen don’t hold US & allies back from selling arms to Saudis – Amnesty
He added that successive Saudi governments had lost track of that effort, saying “we have to get it all back.” Bin Salman also said that funding now comes mostly from Saudi-based “foundations,” rather than from the government.
The crown prince’s 75-minute interview with the Washington Post took place on March 22. Another topic of discussion included a previous claim by US media that bin Salman had said that he had White House senior adviser Jared Kushner “in his pocket.”
Bin Salman denied reports that when he and Kushner – who is also Donald Trump’s son-in-law – met in Riyadh in October, he had sought or received a greenlight from Kushner for the massive crackdown on alleged corruption which led to widespread arrests in the kingdom shortly afterwards. According to bin Salman, the arrests were a domestic issue and had been in the works for years.
He said it would be “really insane” for him to trade classified information with Kushner, or to try to use him to advance Saudi interests within the Trump administration. He stated that their relationship was within a normal governmental context, but did acknowledge that he and Kushner “work together as friends, more than partners.” He stated that he also had good relationships with Vice President Mike Pence and others within the White House.
The crown prince also spoke about the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition continues to launch a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in an attempt to reinstate ousted Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as president. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced many more, driven the country to the brink of famine, and led to a major cholera outbreak.
Although the coalition has been accused of a large number of civilian deaths and disregard for civilian lives – an accusation which Riyadh denies – the crown prince said his country has not passed up “any opportunity” to improve the humanitarian situation in the country. “There are not good options and bad options. The options are between bad and worse,” he said.
The interview with the crown prince was initially held off the record. However, the Saudi embassy later agreed to led the Washington Post publish specific portions of the meeting.
Ethiopia has revoked a total of 412.6 hectares of land held by investors, including Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi for failure to create jobs and develop the city, as promised when the lands were awarded to them, head of Addis Ababa Land Bank Tesfaye Tilahun told the Voice of America.
The investors had promised to create jobs for the youth and develop Addis Ababa by building industries, hotels, a media center and other complexes in the busy city which has over 4 million residents.
“All they did was make a fence around thousands square feet of land and left it for years. That is all they did. Instead of building the city, they gave the city a bad image, making it a place of waste collections,” said Tilahun, while explaining why 95 individuals and businesses lost their licenses.
Of the 412.6 hectares of land, 55 were associated with Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies (MIDROC), a private company that belongs to Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi. In 2005, MIDROC leased about 33,000 square feet of land in the heart of the capital, agreeing to build a city center there but only evicted locals and built a huge fence round the land.
Prior to the lease revocation, MIDROC has had a coarse relationship with Addis Ababa residents who have accused the company of polluting the environment and refusing job opportunities to locals, leading to a protest in the Oromia region of the capital because of the fear of losing their farmlands to MIDROC.
This week alone, 19 Ethiopian government agencies and 18 companies related to African diplomats or governments also had their licenses revoked.
The Somali government says it’s not ready to take any action that could threaten its relation with its neighbor Kenya. The announcement comes amidst simmering tensions over potential offshore oil deposits and an incident where Somali government officials and diplomats were denied entry to Kenya this week.
In a leaked protest letter, the Somali government raised concerns about what it called a Kenyan decision to deny entry visas to some lawmakers and diplomats, who had planned to attend a European Union meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Kenya’s foreign affairs minister, Monica Juma, said she wasn’t aware of the incident, and said she would be surprised if anyone with a valid visa is denied entry.
Oil, gas deposits
The incident was likely related to a dispute over which country controls 100,000 square kilometers of Indian Ocean believed to hold oil and gas deposits. In February, Kenya recalled its ambassador to Somalia because of the disagreement.
Somalia filed a complaint against Kenya in the International Court of Justice in 2014, saying it had exhausted all other avenues of finding a solution to the dispute.
In an interview with VOA, Somalia’s foreign affairs minister, Ahmed Isse Awad, said the maritime dispute is in court.
“Somali government and its people’s stand on the issue is that’s a court matter and there will be no negotiation and bargaining on that issue,” he said. “We want that matter to remain like that.”
But, Awad added, Somalia does not want to be a party to any problem with “Kenyan brothers and neighbors.”
When Somalia filed its complaint, Kenya filed a preliminary objection, saying the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries had avenues of dispute resolution. But the ICJ in 2017 ruled it has jurisdiction on the matter and ordered the countries to submit their arguments.
Maritime law expert Wambua Musili says the route taken by Somalia to resolve the dispute deviates from traditional practices in the region.
“The practice of the states within the East African region has always been an agreement,” he said. “Tanzania agreed with Kenya — they fixed their bordering. Tanzania agreed with Mozambique —they fixed their border. Mauritius and Seychelles agreed and they fixed their borders.So the state practice has always been in this region states agree on the border rather than take the matter to the court.”
Kenya is one of five African countries with troops in Somalia fighting militant group al-Shabab. Kenya also has at least 300,000 Somali refugees.
Zimbabwe:By Kevin J Kelley
East Africa’s extremist groups may be widening their influence to the south of the continent, deepening violence in countries such as Mozambique, according to a recent study by a US Defence Department think tank.
The Pentagon’s Africa Centre for Strategic Studies says its analysis of the region found that a two-year-old Islamist group in northern Mozambique responsible for scores of killings was inspired by radical Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo.
He had been accused of helping finance Somalia’s Al Shabaab insurgency and was assassinated by unknown assailants in Mombasa in 2012.
The Mozambique group, based in Cabo Delgado Province, is known locally as Al Shabaab. Authors of the Pentagon report however caution that “there is no direct link between the Mozambican insurgents and the Somali militant group.”
Last year, a study by the same authors noted that a co-founder of the Mozambican jihadist movement, Nuro Adremane, reportedly trained in Somalia, as did several of his followers.
“The first use of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Cabo Delgado on March 20, 2019, which reportedly killed several soldiers, has raised further questions as to whether Mozambican jihadists have received training from outside operatives,” the new analysis states.
IEDs manufactured by Somalia’s Al Shabaab have taken hundreds of lives in recent years.
Speculation regarding links to East African and global jihadist networks has also been spurred by the arrest of several Ugandans in northern Mozambique on terrorism charges.
Suspicion that East Africa’s jihadists are widening their territory of influence has also come from the activities of the Allied Democratic Forces, a terrorist group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo consisting mainly of Ugandan Muslims, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Mozambique’s “Al Shabaab” group, also known as Swahili Sunnah (Swahili Path), has grown more destructive and less discriminate in its attacks during the past year, the report says.
In addition to beheadings, the Mozambican militants have attacked numerous villages, causing displacement of thousands of Cabo Delgado residents.
They have also reportedly begun kidnapping women and girls.
By James Anyanzwa
Kenya is on course to renewing its $1.5 billion standby credit facility with the International Monetary Fund after signing a deal with selected banks to release close to Ksh1 trillion ($10 billion) in loans to the private sector despite the prevailing rate caps.
This comes after parliament rejected the National Treasury’s attempts to repeal the interest rate caps, leaving the government exposed in its renewed negotiations with the IMF for a facility that is designed to cushion the economy against external shocks and raise its credibility in the eyes of international lenders.
The EastAfrican has learnt that the National Treasury has made a renewed commitment to free credit to the private sector, now with rate caps in place, and to reduce the fiscal deficit to as low as five per cent in the next fiscal year (2019/2020) from 7.2 per cent in the last fiscal year (2017/2018) as part of the new conditions to return to the IMF programme, which expired in September 2018.
The EastAfrican has further learnt that the government’s progress in promoting financial inclusion also helped it win back the confidence of the IMF to restore the country to the latter’s two-year precautionary facility programme.
A government official privy to the negotiations told The EastAfrican that the agreement, which was signed last week between the Central Bank and top five banks to start lending to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises was in compliance with the IMF’s new conditions.
The five commercial banks–KCB, NIC Group, Commercial Bank of Africa, Diamond Trust Bank and Co-operative Bank–and the Central Bank, last week launched the pilot phase of a mobile loan product targeting MSMEs.
The five banks have set aside close to Ksh1 trillion ($10 billion) to lend to the MSMEs.
Under this programme MSMEs will receive unsecured loans ranging from Ksh30,000 ($300) up to Ksh250,000 ($2,500) with repayment profiles of one to 12 months, at an interest of nine per cent per annum compared with the current controlled rate of 13 per cent, considering that the Central Bank Rate is now fixed at nine per cent.
“Small and mid-size enterprises are the lifeblood of any economy, but many have struggled to secure the necessary financing to continue operations in the current economic climate,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge.
“IMF has always been against the rate caps because banks have not been lending to the MSMEs and have always concentrated on lending to the government and other corporates, when they consider less risky,” the source said.
“We have now talked to the banks to start lending to the MSMEs and with banks agreeing to lend to the private sector, IMF has problems with the rate caps,” added the source.
According to the source, the government’s significant progress in attracting the majority of its adult population into the formal financial system also played a big part in softening the hardline stance of the IMF.
Barely two weeks ago, Kenya’s National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich told Reuters in London that Kenya expects to finalise a deal with the IMF on a new standby credit facility in two months and that the fund was not insisting on the removal of interest rate caps as a precondition for a new deal.
“We are looking at a similar arrangement to what we had before. We have everything on the table and I would estimate that it won’t take us more than two months,” he said.
This news drafted from ethiopian government foreign website:
Ethiopia’s national interests have been completely redefined and re-evaluated since 1991, providing a new focus on the countrys internal vulnerabilities and problems, political and economic. The Foreign Policy and National Security Strategy identifies the major threats to Ethiopia and indeed to its survival: economic backwardness and the desperate poverty affecting a large majority of the population. The strategy also emphasizes the need for democracy and good governance and for the establishment of a democratic structure and government at all levels throughout the country. It underscores that without these Ethiopia would be unable to survive as a country and its very existence would be in doubt. Considerable progress has been made in the last six years, but more remains to be done.
With regard to bilateral relations, the policy clearly stipulates that Ethiopia will pursue engagement with all other countries on the basis of the principle of mutual interest and respect. Relations with all neighbors over the last two decades have been a testament to the seriousness with which the country has adhered to these principles. Ethiopia believes that whatever differences countries may have, issues of common concern can only be addressed on the basis of constructive engagement, of dialogue and in a manner that allows for a win-win outcome for all.
Ethiopia relationship with Egypt is one of the many bilateral relations that the government of Ethiopia has been working hard to develop along these principles. Ethiopia and Egypt, of course, have a long relationship, dating back several thousand years. Apart from the cultural and historical ties that have bound them together for centuries, both countries have been closely involved in the cause of African unity over the last five decades. Central to any relationship however has been the River Nile which has been the strong bond tying the two countries and their peoples together for millennia. The Nile can and indeed should be a source of cooperation and mutually beneficial relations between Ethiopia and Egypt in a whole number of ways. This has not, however, always been the case. Indeed, the issue of the use of the Nile water has often been a major sticking point in the relationship, a major stumbling block to any sort of robust bilateral link that might have enhanced the interests of both countries.
Robust ties are, of course, exactly what both countries need to deal with another major interest of concern to both – the issue of security and a response to extremism and terrorism, something which has equally affected both. Surprisingly, perhaps, it is also something that neither Ethiopia nor Egypt have properly explored. Yet security, internally, as well as regionally in both the Horn of Africa and North Africa, is vital to both states. Ethiopia and Egypt have some of the largest populations in Africa; both have been affected by substantial terrorist atrocities. Producing an adequate response to terrorism is not just in their own interests. Both states have responsibilities to their regions and to Africa and the Africa Union in this regard. Equally, both have a heavy responsibility to avoid exacerbating, even inadvertently, the dangers posed by terrorist activity.
There are a number of causes why such co-operation has not been developed, and the major reasons revolve around the issue of the Nile. Indeed, all Egypts relations with Ethiopia over the last century or so have largely revolved around this more than anything else. Successive Egyptian governments have sought to ensure their continued control of the Nile water, and because of this it has not been possible to establish a regime for the river based on mutual agreement. Certainly, upper riparian countries, including Ethiopia, for a long time suffered from a lack of sufficient resources to develop their legitimate claims to usage of the Nile water. The policies pursued by Egypt on this did not help the confidence of the upper riparian countries towards this issue. There is a strong conviction in Ethiopia, which has been well-founded, that efforts have been made to prevent Ethiopia from accessing support for the purpose of obtaining the necessary financial support for hydro-electric projects, even where these projects would pose no harm whatsoever to Egypt.
Ethiopia attaches great importance to its relations with Egypt, over the Nile as in the area of security. It accepts that Egypt has legitimate interests in the use of the Nile River. Equally, it sincerely believes that the only way any controversy over the use of such a common resource can be settled is through dialogue and the principle of equitable utilization of the water, without causing significant harm to others. This is why Ethiopia has so strongly supported the Nile Basin Initiative and now the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement, negotiated among the Nile riparian countries over the last ten years. The upper riparian countries have time and again reassured the lower riparian countries, Egypt and Sudan, that they have not any interest in harming them or indeed any other country. Ethiopia strongly believes the Cooperative Framework Agreement is a formula for a win-win outcome for all.
Unfortunately, despite changing political and economic dynamics in the region, there are still those who want to set the clock back. It seems that concepts such as cooperation, dialogue and equitable utilization are anathema to such people. It appears some still believe in saber-rattling and diplomatic maneuverings to promote their own interests at the expense of all others. It should be noted however, the realities that held Ethiopia back in the past from utilizing the Nile water have changed and changed forever. Ethiopia is not only stable; it is no longer completely dependent upon third parties to make some use of its resources, including the Nile. Everybody will now be better served by constructive discussions and dialogue so that all potential in the relationship between Ethiopia and Egypt can be put to good use.
In fact, today the challenge that Ethiopia faces in its bilateral relations with Egypt is no longer as problematic as it has been. There are signs that attitudes are changing. There appears to be a growing realization that neither threats nor covert efforts against this or that riparian country can be successful. For example, bilateral economic relations between Ethiopia and Egypt are growing steadily, and can be expected to increase sharply in the future. Dialogue between the two governments is becoming more regular and more frequent. Both continue to face enormous challenges over the need to deal with extremism and terrorism. There can be no doubt of the value that a common approach would have. There are real possibilities for both parties to develop a sense of mutual trust that would further enhance understanding and cooperation. It is of course only such approaches that can bring the required and desired results and contribute to the enhancement of mutually beneficial relations between the two countries.
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