Africa Briefs

14 February 2019 | Ekonomie
US slams repression in Zimbabwe

The United States Tuesday slammed police repression in Zimbabwe, weeks after security forces crushed protests there.

Washington also urged all parties to take part in the national dialogue that opposition forces have sat out.

State department spokesman Robert Palladino stressed US concern over "excessive use of force" by the government since country-wide protests have escalated against the doubling of fuel prices.

The United States urges all parties to come together immediately in national dialogue. "The dialogue process must be credible, inclusive, and mediated by a neutral third party," he stressed.

Police arrested more than 1 100 people, including leading trade unionists, lawmakers from Chamisa's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and some children in last month's violent protests. – Nampa/AFP

Sudan security agents detain professors

Sudanese security agents on Tuesday detained a group of university professors in Khartoum headed for a sit-in protest against president Omar al-Bashir's government, fellow academics told AFP.

Deadly protests have rocked the east African country for weeks since a government decision to triple the price of bread last December.

The protests have escalated into nationwide demonstrations against Bashir's government, with protesters calling for the veteran leader's resignation.

Security agents have regularly arrested professors and other professionals in a sweeping crackdown on protests since they first erupted on December 19. The anti-government protests have been led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of doctors, engineers and teachers.

Officials say 30 people have died in protest-related violence, but rights group Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed. – Nampa/AFP

Nigerian widows confront Shell in Dutch court

Four Nigerian women on Tuesday launched a court case in the Netherlands against oil giant Shell for alleged complicity in the execution of their husbands by the military regime in the 1990s.

The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel - the widow of Barinem Kiobel who was hanged in 1995 along with writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others - and is backed by Amnesty International.

Kiobel added in a statement issued through Amnesty that "over the years, Shell has continually fought to make sure this case is not heard in court. They have the resources to fight me instead of doing justice for my husband."

The Dutch court writ alleges that Shell helped in the arrest of the men, who had sought to peacefully disrupt oil development in the Ogoni region because of health and environmental impacts.

Shell denies all involvement in the men's executions. – Nampa/AFP

Egypt to vote on extending president's term

Egypt's Parliament has begun deliberations over constitutional amendments that could allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in office till 2034 - 12 more years after his current, second term expires in 2022.

The 596-seat assembly has already given its preliminary approval to the changes last week. The amendments are near certain to be overwhelmingly approved by the legislature, packed with el-Sissi's supporters, but will also need to be put to a national referendum to become law. – Nampa/AP

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