Africa Today blog

The flagship African show in Press TV

Has Egypt the right to still lay hold of a colonial agreement on the Nile?

Posted by AT on May 19, 2010

Africa Today 56
Topic: Has Egypt the right to still lay hold of a colonial agreement on the Nile?
Broadcasting date: 11th May 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
1- Dr Wafik Moustafa
Chair, Conservative Arab network

2- Vincent Magombe
Director, Africa Inform International

Watch the whole episode on Press TV website

Description:
Sudan and Egypt’s refusal over revision of 1959 colonial treaty on the distribution and use of the Nile waters.

Brief:
Countries of the Nile Basin Initiative must call Egypt’s bluff. The North African country is threatening to withdraw from the pact if the other Nile Basin partners sign a new Co-operation Framework Agreement.
The new agreement is meant to replace the lopsided colonial-era treaty that gave Egypt extraordinary monopoly over the use of Nile waters, while the countries from which the river originates were starved of the vital resource.
The previous agreement was signed in 1959 between Britain, the dominant colonial power then, and Egypt and Sudan.
Besides Ethiopia, the other countries now part of the pact — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo DR — were still under colonial rule, and at independence, inherited a Nile treaty heavily tilted in favour of Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt, in particular, has over the years employed the language of threats to retain its unjust hold over the Nile waters. Under the prevailing treaty, Egypt claims 55.5 billion cubic metres or 87 per cent of the Nile’s annual flow.
This means the countries downstream cannot tap the water for irrigation, domestic use, hydro-electric power or industrial use without Egypt’s permission.

A fierce tension is rising between Egypt and seven other countries along the Nile Basin over the issue of sharing of the Nile River. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo DR are poised to sign a new pact on equitable use of the water without Egypt and Sudan, the two largest consumers of the Nile basin. The previous agreement signed in 1959 between colonial power Britain, Egypt and Sudan gave Egypt a monopoly over the use of Nile waters which has its source from Ethiopia. Africa Today examines whether Egypt is still justified in maintaining a colonial agreement that gives it the sole use of the Nile waters?

About 300 million people live along the Nile basin, with most living in Egypt. The other countries, except Ethiopia, inherited the 1959 Nile treaty heavily in favour of Egypt and Sudan. A new pact by these countries will however address this problem and allow them to be able to use the water for irrigation, domestic use, hydro-electric power without Egypt’s permission. With some of these countries allies of western powers, will Egypt be looking to Israel, a force in Egyptian politics, for support, in helping it enforce the colonial agreement.

Emails:

Viktor Moadana, Nigeria.

I must say big congratulations to the Tanzanian government for her good gesture towards the refugees’ naturalization. I hope the Tanzanian government will handle this properly.
I will also like to call on the AU (African Union) to support this good integration. It is indeed a mark of unity amongst Africans.

Nomleth Blackstar , South Africa
I am a South African & it is saddening that my country has been affected by division once again. I love my south Africans black or white but it is unfair when things go bad in South Africa, black people will be blamed for the wrong things. Why should we see colour when things go wrong? We are fighting each other instead of fighting the bad government who doesn’t care about the country.

Text:
Innocent, Zambia

I am a refugee living in Zambia. I thank Tanzanian’s government for the good job they have done for refugees. We hope Zambian government will do the same.

Moosa, South Africa
We in South Africa feel embarrassed when reading in the media about our president spending 80 million rand on junkets when the very people who voted him in are hungry and cold. What an embarrassment to the poor.

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Will racial tensions undermine South Africa’s hard won democracy?

Posted by AT on May 1, 2010

Broadcasting date: 27 april 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
Studio:
1- Gugulethu Mseleku, Managing Director, SAFISO
2- Thandi Makiwane, Community Activist

3- Phone guest from Johannesburg
William Gumede, Wits University Management School

part1

Description:
South Africa’s High Court banned ANC’s youth leader Mr Malema from singing the racially charged apartheid-era song with the words “kill the Boer”. It ruled the song was hate speech, although the ANC is appealing. Now some are blaming his actions motivated the killing of white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche.

Brief:
A call for calm by President Jacob Zuma went unheeded yesterday as supporters of white supremacy figurehead Eugene Terreblanche described his murder as a “declaration of war” by black South Africans on whites.

Terreblanche, the 69-year-old leader of the tiny Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), was battered and hacked to death as he took a nap at his farm at Ventersdorp, 100km from Pretoria, on Saturday afternoon.
Two farm workers, aged 21 and 15, were arrested almost immediately. Police said they had been upset about unpaid wages and yesterday officers were deployed to protect the farm. AWB secretary-general Andre Visagie told reporters gathered outside the farm: “The death of Mr Terreblanche is a declaration of war by the black community of South Africa to the white community that has been killed for 10 years on end.”

part2

There are fears of a looming racial conflict between White and black South Africans in the wake of the killing of Eugene Terreblanche. Some members of his group, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) say the killing was racially motivated and partly blame the leader of the ANC’s Youth league, Julius Malema for singing an apartheid song that stirred up racial hatred.

SOUNDBITE: Andries Visagie, AWB General Secretary:
“For us it is just a continuation of the murder of white people by black people in SouthAfrica.”

SOUNDBITE: Julius Malema, president of the ANC Youth League
“Majority of our songs, we can give you ten songs, they sing about boers, and how boers have brutalized our people.”

Reports estimate that 3,000 white farmers have been murdered since the end of apartheid in 1994 compared to some 50 people, mostly black who are killed every day. With the country deeply divided over these controversies, Africa today examines the impact of recent events on South Africa’s race relations.

part3

The South African Institute on Race Relations estimates that some 800,000 out of a total white population of 4 million have left South Africa since the end of apartheid. Moreover the remaining white farmers in the country have reduced to only about 40,000. A research from the Institute for Justice and reconciliation put new race figures as follows:

Source: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

24% don’t speak to other races
46% “never socialise” with other races
39% find people of other races “untrustworthy”
59% “difficult to understand the customs and ways” of people of other races

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How credible will Sudans elections be?

Posted by AT on April 20, 2010

Topic: How credible will Sudans elections be?
Broadcasting date: 20 April 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Guests:
Studio:
1- Vincent Magombe, Director, Africa Inform International
2- Dr Khalid AlMubarak, Media Counsellor, Sudan Embassy

Satellite:
Roshan Mohammed Salih, Press TV Correspondent

part1

Description:
Some parties have redrawn from Sudans elections and others are threatening to do so in the country’s historic elections from 11-13 April. This could also affect the peace deal as one of the main parties in the deal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – which serves in a coalition at national level with President Bashir – announced it was withdrawing from the presidential election and from polls in Darfur over fraud and security fears.

part2

Brief:
Sudan’s National Electoral Commission has said this month’s national polls will not be delayed, despite a boycott threat by a major opposition party.
The Umma party’s conditions for participating included a delay of four weeks for the creation of a new body to supervise the electoral commission. Many parties have either already withdrawn from the elections or are threatening to withdraw.

part3

This is Sudan’s first multi party elections in 24 years. The country was ravaged with war for two decades until a peace deal was agreed in 2005.

Frequent coup d’états and civil wars between government forces and Sudan people’s liberation movement are among the reasons why elections haven’t been held until now. Other factors include the Darfur crisis and the subsequent arrest warrant by the ICC for the country’s President Omar al-Bashir. Furthermore, a key sticking point in the 2005 peace agreement was broken when an Arab militia and SPLM clashed in Abyei area on north-south divide.

part4

Reasons for national election delays:
From 1958- coup d’états and Civil Wars between the North and South
2003- Darfur crisis
July 2008- Arrest Warrant for Omar-al-Bashir
2008- Clashes reported in Abyei

NCP campaign promises:
Provision of basic services across the whole country
Economic development
The current ruling party National Congress Party led by President Omar al-Bashir has made some key promises to provide basic services across the country and enhance economic development.

Main Parties in Sudan’s elections:
Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir – National Congress Party (NCP)
Salva Kiir Mayardit – Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM),
Hatim al-Sirr Ali – Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Sadeq Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi – Umma National Party (UNP
Hear: His main opponent the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement with other parties boycotted the elections in the North but campaigned in the South promising to provide basic services, Health and Education, Protect the South’s right to a state and Deliver the dividends of peace.

Sudan long borders with many other countries:
• Map to show the following: Central African Republic (1 165 km)
• Chad (1 360 km)
• Democratic Republic of the Congo (628 km)
• Egypt (1 273 km)
• Eritrea (605 km)
• Ethiopia (1 606 km)
• Kenya (234 km)
• Libya (383 km)
• Uganda (435 km)

The outcome of the elections are crucial as Sudan is the largest country in Africa and the 9th in the world surrounded by countries at North, Central and Southern Africa. The country’s large oil finds and natural resources has drawn interests from the Chinese and other multi national organizations.

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Why has there been an apparent silence on the LRA’s (Congo) latest killings?

Posted by AT on April 15, 2010

Africa Today 52
Topic: Why has there been an apparent silence on the LRA’s latest killings?

Broadcasting date: 13/04/2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Guests:
Ambrose Nzeyimana, Coordinator, Organising for Africa

Tedi Mavoka, Coordinator, DRC Vision

part 1

Description:
At least 321 people were killed and hundreds were abducted in one of the worst massacres by Africa’s most feared rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in the Democratic Republic of Congo in December.
A three-year-old girl was burnt to death during the attack on men, women and children, an investigation by a human rights group has revealed.
Villagers who escaped death were sent back with their lips and ears cut off as a warning to others of what would happen if they talked — a tactic used frequently by the LRA, which has terrorised much of northern Uganda and the border areas with Sudan and Congo for more than two decades.
The attack — which was unreported until now — confirms that the LRA has restarted terrorising the region despite losing its bases in Sudan a few years ago, when Khartoum, its main backer, signed a peace deal with south Sudanese rebels. According to Human Rights Watch the LRA also abducted at least 250 people during the attack, including 80 children.

part2

Why media silence?
International interests in diamonds
The LRA is spread across 15,000 square miles of dense forest and plains
Main supply line from Sudanese government in Khartoum
HRW report breaks the silence

Certain groups feel that there has been international silence on LRA’s atrocities in the northern part of the Democratic republic of Congo due to the illegal trading of the region’s diamonds.
UN believes the LRA is scattered across 15,000 square miles of dense forests which includes parts of Northern Congo and the Central African Republic.
Deputy Governor of the South Sudanese state of Western Equatoria, Col Joseph Ngere, believes the groups’ line of supply comes from the Sudanese government in Khartoum.
Is the Human rights watch report the catalyst for the story coming out?

part3

A report by Human Rights Watch has uncovered the massacres of about 321 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance army has been behind these killings and also the abduction of hundreds of civilians. The Massacre according to the rights group is one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in its 23 year history. The attacks carried out in December last year have been unreported until now. Africa Today asks why has there been an apparent silence on the LRA’s latest killings?

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50 years after the Sharpeville massacre, is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?

Posted by AT on April 8, 2010

Africa Today 51
Topic: 50 years after the Sharpeville massacre which sparked the arm struggle, is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?
Broadcasting date: 6/04/10
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Studio Guests:
Mr Andrew Feinstein, Former ANC MP and author

Mr Leslie Maruziva, Chair, ZG Club

Phone Guest:
Maureen Mnisi,Chairperson, Landless People’s Movement

part1

Description:
Sunday 21 March 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the day that changed the course of South African history. When police opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters, killing 69 and injuring about 180, they inadvertently provided a catalyst for decades of armed struggle and forced the rest of the world to confront the iniquity of apartheid. White minority rule finally collapsed in 1994. Two years later it was in Sharpeville that the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, signed a new constitution.
On 21 March that year the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), a breakaway organisation from the African National Congress, mobilised black people across the country to demonstrate against laws that controlled their movement.
Thousands gathered outside the local police station in Sharpeville, challenging the police to arrest them for being without the pass books, or dompas, they were meant to produce on demand.

Part2

There were violent scenes and protests on the day South Africa marked 50 years since the Sharpeville Massacre. The protestors claimed promises made for freedom under the ANC government had not been fulfilled.

SOUNDBITE (Zulu) Busisiswe Mbuli, resident of Sharpeville township:
“Actually, the service delivery in this place is really not good at all. We cannot live in these shelters, they are right next to the tar road and the gas heating inside the shelter is not safe. And then there are the toilets. They are the worst.”

On 21st March 1960 about 69 people were killed and several injured when police fired on thousands of unarmed protestors in Sharpeville.
See:

SOUNDBITE (English) Reverend Mary Shenkane, eyewitness of Sharpeville massacre:
“The shooting started. All what we could see was people falling down. It was like a storm, when people were shot, bullets were getting into the bodies of the people, tearing actually the trousers and the clothes of people. Then it was taken in section, they would shoot one person first and then I think the command would say, then to the other person.”

Many South Africans living in Sharpeville now feel betrayed and neglected after the sacrifices that led to freedom. Africa Today asks is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?

Part3

21 March 1960-
Black South Africans protest Apartheid laws restricting movement Police fire unprovoked killing 69 and injuring hundreds

1994-
Apartheid rule collapses under armed struggles and international pressure

1996-
ANC’s Nelson Mandela signs a new constitution in Sharpeville

2010-
South Africa Marks 50 years since Massacre

21st of March 1960 saw unarmed black South Africans protest against segregation laws. Apatheid police forces responded aggressively, shooting 69 people dead, and injuring several others. This tragic event was the catalyst that sparked the armed liberation phase of South Africa’s resistance to Apartheid.

In 1994 the apartheid government collapsed after years of armed struggle and international condemnation

The Country’s first Black President Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution in Sharpeville in 1996

50 years since the massacre, many South Africans are remembering those who perished in Sharpeville.

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Why is Nigeria Still Incapable of Averting Religious and Ethnic Conflicts?

Posted by AT on March 31, 2010

Africa Today 50
Why is Nigeria still incapable of averting religious and ethnic conflicts?
 
Broadcasting date: 30 March 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests: 

Femi Okutubo, Publisher / Editor-in-Chief, The Trumpet Newspaper 

Mohammed Umar, Writer 

part1 

Description:
About 200 people have been arrested and 49 charged with murder after massacres at three Christian villages at the weekend, police in Nigeria said recently. 

part2
 

The announcement came as more details emerged of the violent outburst in the central Plateau state whose capital, Jos, lies at the faultline between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.
Up to 500 people were killed — estimates of the number of victims differ — and scores more have fled their homes since the attacks by Muslim gangs on the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Ratsat.
Survivors told how mobs armed with machetes were waiting for them as they fled their burning homes. The attackers asked people “who are you?” in Fulani, a language used mostly by Muslims, and killed those who did not respond in that language. Women and children bore the brunt of the three-hour killing spree in the early hours of Sunday. 

part3
 

 

About 500 lives were reported to have perished in the second string of attacks since January in Jos. Jos the capital city of central Plateau state in Nigeria lies at the faultline between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. 

Authorities believe the attacks on three Christian villages in the city were an act of retribution carried out by members of the Muslim Fulani community. 

SOUNDBITE: (English) David Keng, eye witness: (part overlaid by previous shot) “We heard gunshots, then we had some phone calls from the people in this area. By the time we were nearby, we heard the sound of the guns.” 

Ikechukwu Aduba, police commissioner: “We have requested for reinforcements and have been reassured by the special general that reinforcement is on its way.” After ignoring earlier warnings, the security forces have arrested about 200 people and charged 49 with murders. 

The recent clashes in Jos are a very familiar problem in Nigeria. Some 2000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2001. The fighting is mainly religiously motivated between the Muslim North and Christian south. With many blaming the situation on the political wrangling at the top, How will Nigeria be able to change the pattern of power struggle and abuse? A problem that has existed for most of its 50 years of  independence.

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Will Mohamed ElBaradei force Hosni Mubarak out of power?

Posted by AT on March 24, 2010

Africa Today 49
Topic: Will growing opposition force Egypt’s and one of Africa’s long serving presidents out of power? 

Date of recording : 19 March 2010
Broadcasting date: 23 March 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests: 

Dr Wafik Moustafa, Chair, Conservative Arab network
Dr Kamal Helbawy, Chair of center for Study of Terrorism 

Watch the full show at Press TV Africa Today site

Description:
Around 30 Egyptian opposition politicians and activists have agreed to form a coalition for political change led by the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, who has said he may run for president. 

Members of long-marginalised opposition parties and protest movement leaders met Mr ElBaradei yesterday to launch a campaign for constitutional change before 2010 parliamentary and 2011 presidential elections. Several people involved in the talks said the group had agreed to form a “National Coalition for Change”, headed by Mr ElBaradei, 67.
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Egypt on Friday to a jubilant welcome. He has said that he would consider challenging Hosni Mubarak, the country’s President for almost 30 years. Decades of autocratic rule have weakened and fractured Egypt’s opposition.
Mr ElBaradei’s return has provided a new focal point to rally support. 

part1
 

Background:
With Egyptians due to vote in parliamentary elections this year and presidential elections next year, there are growing signs of political change. The latest is an agreement between about 30 opposition leaders and activists to form a coalition to challenge the current Egyptian President , Hosni Mubarak. The Coalition is led by former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei. 

part2
 

See: SOUNDBITE: (English) Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of International Atomic Energy Agency:
“You have seen how much support I got even before I set foot in Egypt. So it shows that people are ready, I would say even hungry for change.”
With growing support for change, Africa today asks if the presence of the former head of the UN Nuclear watch dog in the elections will be enough to challenge one of Africa’s longest serving presidents. 

part3
 

Timeline: 

1981 – A National Referendum approves Husni Mubarak as the new president. 

1999 – Mubarak begins his fourth term in office. 

2010 – Former UN nuclear chief Mohammed ElBaradei returns to Egypt and, together with opposition figures and activists, forms a coalition for political change.

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Is the UN wrong in placing sanctions on Eritrea?

Posted by AT on March 16, 2010

Africa Today 48
Topic: Is the UN wrong in placing sanctions on Eritrea? 

Date of recording : 12 March 2010
Broadcasting date: Tue 16 March 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa 

Guests:
Studio
1- Selam kidane, Human rights activist, Release Eritrea 

2- Mr.Sirak Bahlbi, Eritrean Community organizer 

Phone:
3- Thomas C. Mountain, Independent journalist, Horn of Africa 

Part 1

Part 2

Description:
On the 22nd of February 2009, tens of thousands of Eritreans and Friends
of Eritrea took to the streets of Geneva to voice their opposition to
Security Council Resolution 1907 (2009) which imposes sanctions against
Eritrea . The demonstration in Geneva was part of the world wide
demonstrations being held simultaneously in the United States , Australia
, Middle East and Africa . 
It is to be recalled that, on the 23 December 2009 the Security Council
adopted Resolution 1907 and sanctioned Eritrea for “providing financial
support to the Somali insurgents”, without ever producing any evidence.
The Security Council also called on Eritrea to acknowledge the nonexistent
“conflict with Djibouti “. 

The participants stated that the Eritrean people would never kneel down
and that there was no external pressure that could break the will of a
strong and united population. 

Assembling in front of the UN Office in Geneva, the participants of the
demonstration chanted slogans in various languages denouncing the shameful
sanctions resolution, and messages from various Eritrean communities in
Europe as well as messages of solidarity and friendship from other Horn of
Africa communities were conveyed. They also submitted petition
representing over 100,000 signatories to pertinent UN officials. 

Part 3

Part 4

Timeline of major events in Eritrea:
1890-1941- Colonised by Italy
1952 – UN makes Eritrea part of Ethiopia.
1958 – Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) formed to break away from Ethiopia
1970 – ELF splits and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front created.
1993 – Eritrea becomes independent and joins United Nations.
1998-2000 – Eritrea-Ethiopia border clashes kill over 70,000
2000 Eritrea and Ethiopia agree ceasefire
2001 Eritrea and Ethiopia agree on UN-proposed mediation over border dispute
2003 Boundary commission rules disputed border town of Badme is in Eritrea. Ethiopia disagrees
2004 Ethiopia accepts ruling on its border with Eritrea but stalemate over Badme continues.
2006 UN report accuses Eritrea of providing arms and supplies to rival Islamists groups in Somalia. Eritrea denies the charge
2009 UN imposes sanctions on Eritrea. 

*****

This episode is also covered on THIS site

*****

Email From Mussie, Germany 

“Please use a new map Africa which shows Eritrea inside Africa. Eritrea is 

a member of AU and is already 19years old.” 

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How the Western Media Portay Africa?

Posted by AT on March 14, 2010

Western media depiction of African affairs

Host: Vuyiswa Ngqobongwana

Guests:

  • Dr Vincent Magombe, Writer and Broadcaster
     Ayo Johnson, African Affairs Commentator
     Ebere Nzewuji, Ben TV (on the phone)


 Broadcast on May 2009

Part 1

Part 2

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Is lifting of sanctions the key to securing the unity government in Zimbabwe?

Posted by AT on March 14, 2010

Africa Today 44
Topic: is the lifting of sanctions the key to securing the unity government in Zimbabwe?

Date of recording : 12 February 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Guests:

Lance Guma,
Broadcaster, SW Radi

Eldridge Culverwell
Zimbabwean Activist

Description:
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has urged the easing of targeted sanctions, saying there ought to be a reward for Zimbabwe’s progress. He made this remarks at The world economic forum.

Opening VT.
It has been over a year now since the ruling Zanu PF signed a power sharing deal, with rival Movement for democratic change, aimed at resolving Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis. The deal ended months of political standoff as President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai squabbled over details of a power sharing deal agreed in September 2008. Among some of the things agreed on were declarations of commitment to working together to find a solution to the political situation in Zimbabwe and implementing an economic recovery strategy and plan. The deal was signed with the aim of easing the economic crisis the country is suffering. This is as a result of sanctions imposed by western governments over disputed elections and the land reform programme. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, attending the world Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this year called for sanctions to be eased as a reward for improvement in Zimbabwe.

Africa Today asks is the lifting of sanctions the key to securing the unity government in Zimbabwe?

Key points of agreement:

Hear:
The two parties President Mugabe’s Zanu PF and Mr Tsvangarai’s MDC in signing the deal agreed on some key points and here are a few:
LAND QUESTION
The parties agreed to Accepting the irreversibility of the said land acquisitions and redistribution.
Another key point is
FREE POLITICAL ACTIVITY and FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION
That is Recognising the right to canvass and freely mobilise for political support and working together in a manner which guarantees the full implementation and realisation of the right to freedom of association and assembly.

Lastly, on
SANCTIONS AND MEASURES
The parties agreed tocommit themselves to working together in re-engaging the international community with a view to bringing to an end the country’s international isolation.

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