All Uganda news

Red Pepper

Subscribe to Red Pepper feed
The Newspaper of the year
Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Winnie Nwagi Drinks Air at Sheraton Hotel

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 16:15
Winnie Nwagi Drinks Air at Sheraton Hotel

She is curvy, endowed and widely lusted after but Winnie Nwagi seems to be very broke.

Well according to our impeccable sources, Winnie Nwagi is too broke to afford even a single bottle of booze…..ok, a soda.

She was spotted by our moles at Sheraton Hotel’s ‘Equator bar’ seriously drinking air during an event for PR firms and personalities.

“She was yawning, biting her own gum and swallowing dry saliva,” revealed the source.

Winnie, who was invited to make a celeb guest appearance, seemed to have totally been forgotten, and she couldn’t bail herself out.

The entire 3 hours or so that she spent at the bar were dominated by constant yawning, and serious WhatsApping.

Unlike other celebs, Winnie never had a single comforter or gango who would cheer her up or better still, buy her a drink.

Winnie in her trademark forehead covering weave, settled for the couch, and fingered her phone all evening, while wondering what she had done to deserve that.

This comes shortly after snoops busted her with a short-nailed middle finger that left everyone wondering what she uses it for.

In case you missed it, Winnie’s all other fingers have artificial nails, with an exception of the middle finger, which apparently helps her in cleaning her gigantic bean.

Desire denies secretly bonking her Nigerian ex-Lover

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 15:57
Desire denies secretly bonking her Nigerian ex-Lover

Mid this week, social media was slowly being littered with stories that singer Desire Luzinda was secretly bonking her Nigerian ex-lover Franklin Emoubor.

Before the rumor hatched, fading rear queen Desire was quick to trash the talk, deeming it baseless and a brainchild of witch hunt.

“When they see you rise at a greater speed, they come up with all sorts of false stories to get you off track but they are too fast to forget that nothing can knock me down…

I stand still and strong because he who that is in me is greater than the one that is in the world. My fans temuva kumulàmwa” she posted.

She posted the above message with attached screenshots of the then viral story that she was back with her Nigerian tormentor.

Another screenshot however, carried a story of how she was banging former Vice president and now struggling politician Prof Gilbert Bukenya.

Desire Luzinda who rose to fame a few years ago because of her nudes is now struggling and fading ot a rocket speed, thanks to her determined eclipse viewers.

For starters, Desire and her Nigerian lover split over a year ago, after the latter leaked her naked pictures on social media.

From then, Desire has been rated as one of the most luscious sex icons, until recently when she lost her trademark figure.

Heavy Drinker Pemba Quits Booze

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 15:01
Heavy Drinker Pemba Quits Booze

Cruising posh cars, hard partying characterized by excessive boozing all night long, bonking city babes is what has defined Tanzanian born socialite and businessman Jackson Pemba ever since he emerged on the social scene a few years back.

However, the Pemba Sports Africa Limited Director has shockingly quit booze if his current lifestyle is anything to by.

The free spending showbiz loving lad who splashes shillings and dollars in city bars was a few days back overheard telling friends at Miki’s Bar in Munyonyo that he is off the pint.

Pemba reasoned that he wants to become a respectable person in society and has therefore ditched his drunkard ways.

He added that because he now deals with very important people in government and the corporate world, he needs to keep a sober mind.

Sources close to Pemba told snoops that he quit booze in May and has been alcohol free for the past six weeks or more.

“Wine, beer and whisky fill every corner and gap of my life. I love drinking, be it for work or pleasure but for six weeks now, I have not tasted booze and I love it,” Pemba is quoted to have told pals at Miki’s Bar.

It however remains to be known how long he can keep sober considering his love for the beer.

Police Severely Beat Kizza Besigye Supporters

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:55
Police Severely Beat Kizza Besigye Supporters

On July 12, 2016, the Uganda Police Force was filmed beating supporters of FDC’s Kizza Besigye as they welcomed him from Luzira prison where he had spent over 2months on charges of treason.

Police men on a patrol truck that was in Kizza Besigye’s convoy as he headed to his Kasangati home, they abandoned their role of guarding the FDC icon and resorted to caning his supporters.

In November 2015, President Museveni summoned the police to brass on a similar issue of beating civilians.

“Why should a police officer beat up a civilian? Even barking at a civilian is not good. If a civilian becomes violent, handcuff him. Beating civilians is unacceptable to NRM. That behaviour belongs to different era,” roared Museveni.

Meddie Spends ‘Stolen’ Dime on Posh Ride

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 08:29
Meddie Spends ‘Stolen’ Dime on Posh Ride

Last week, it was reported that city businessman Meddie Ssentongo had diddled a South Africa based dude identified as Hassan Salman of about $800,000.

Meddie was said to have conned the unsuspecting businessman of his money when he sold him a property that the former had already sold to more than two other people.

Fresh news reaching this desk from South Africa is that Meddie, CEO of Electrolax General Merchandise and Construction Company has spent the money he allegedly diddled on purchasing a posh ride that he will add to his fleet.

According to sources, last week, Meddie bought a brand new 2015 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG Wagon.

The powerful German made ride is estimated to have cost $137,000 (about Shs500m).

He is said to have bought the ride during his trip to South Africa where he was hosted by business partner Chris Cameroon Gitawo.

The source adds that Meddie was connected to the car dealer by Gitawo, with whom the two are inseparable.

It will not come as a surprise to see Meddie cruising the vehicle on Kampala roads very soon.

Fille, MC Kats Fight Wedding Dimes

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 08:00
Fille, MC Kats Fight Wedding Dimes

Looks like celebrity couple of singer Fille ‘Clear’ Mutoni and her baby daddy MC Kats real name Katamba Edwin has to wait just a little bit longer for their much anticipated wedding.

Reports reaching this desk suggest that the two lovebirds have to wait a little longer to finally legalize their romance by walking down the aisle.

Sources close to the couple who preferred anonymity reveal to this desk that the gorgeous and curvaceous singer has fallen out with the pen sized master of ceremonies how also doubles as a television personality.

Snoops have established that the ‘No Retreat No Surrender’ singer is not happy with Kats after he misused the money which was meant to fund the couple’s wedding that had been scheduled for last month (June).

It should be remembered that Fille and Kats have been collecting money to fund their wedding since last year and had managed to raise a considerable amount after the singer’s concert last December at Centenary Park based Laftaz Lounge.

However, word doing rounds is that the former Expozed show host at Serena Hotel based NTV now presenter of After5 at NBS Television spent most of the money on other things.

Lovers Kats and Fille feeling each other at Tubonge Concert.


According to sources, Kats is believed to have opted to buy a piece of land and a car in the said money instead of fulfilling Fille’s dream of walking down the aisle.

As a result, the Rwandese born babe is said to be so bitter with Kats for spending their wedding money without her consent.

We are further told that the couple has been arguing over the issue as Fille is not interested in any of the explanations Kats has to offer.

“She is so heartbroken that the man she loves trusts could go behind her back. She feels betrayed” a source is quoted to have said.

Sex should not be Taught In Schools — Museveni

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 07:29
Sex should not be Taught In Schools — Museveni

In a Video posted by a local TV, NTV, President Museveni discouraged the teaching of sexual education in schools saying that there are other more appropriate avenues for teaching children about matters of sex and sexuality.

President Museveni was speaking at celebrations to mark world population day in Isingiro district on Monday.

Museveni also decried the increasing number of homesteads in Uganda still practicing subsistence farming, and promised to set a side one trillion shillings each financial year to support them to shift to commercial farming and create income at household level.

Museveni Trolled For Making A call On The Roadside

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 16:49
Museveni Trolled For Making A call On The Roadside

East Africans have taken to social media to troll president Museveni for making a stopover at Kyeirumba Village to make a phone call.

Currently on Twitter and Facebook, an explosion of photo-shopped images are spreading like wild fire depicting Museveni’s pictures as he sat on the roadside to make an important call.

The quick-witted citizens of Twitter have flourished in the abundance of meme-able moments and they include;

Desire Secretly Hooks FACO Boss

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 16:09
Desire Secretly Hooks FACO Boss

It has often been said that ‘Man Eateth Where He Worketh’. And this can be said of singer Desire Luzinda.

Early this, the curvy singer signed a deal to become the face of FACO- a company that specializes in manufacturing and distribution of hips boosters and bum boosters among other ass-et enhancement products.

Looks like Desire is doing more than just business with FACO. Latest reports suggest that the ‘Nina Omwami’ singer is secretly seeing one of the top bosses at the company only identified as Mukasa.

The two are said to have hooked up months after Desire landed the deal to become the face of FACO.

According to inside FACO, Desire and Mukasa have been doing everything possible to keep their affair out of the public eye for reasons only known to them.

The two are said to normally meet at top and exclusive city hide outs and are always looking over their shoulders to avoid being smoked out together.

Desire Luzinda


One of the hideouts Desire and her secret lover have been seen is a top posh hotel in Kololo where they ‘discuss’ very sensitive ‘business’ related matters.

Desire scooped the FACO deal replacing fellow singer the bummy Stecia Mayanja whose contract was terminated after she made a controversial post on social media casting doubts on the efficiency of FACO products.

Gorgeous Knowles Hooks Ugandan Manager

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 15:43
Gorgeous Knowles Hooks Ugandan Manager

Rwandan songbird Knowles Butera real name Jeanne Ingabire Buteru, in an attempt to penetrate the local music industry, has hooked a Ugandan manager.

According to sources close to the sex oozing twenty six year old singer, she recently entered an agreement with a one Fred Rukundo to manage and promote her music in Uganda.

Fred is a music promoter under his Star Link Promotions that promotes music of a number of artistes from Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

When contacted about the development, Fred confirmed that he now promotes Knowles but added that she will still be based in Rwanda and is not be relocating to Uganda as said earlier.

“Yes I am working with Knowles promoting her music here. She will however be based in Kigali” says Fred.

He however declined to divulge any details regarding their partnership.

Fred also says he promotes Tanzanian duo Navy Kenzo adding that the ‘Kamatia’ hit makers are his longtime friends.

“I did their video ‘Cheza Kizembe some time back and signed with them as their authorized promoter in Uganda” he adds.

Fred has a history of getting worryingly close to his artistes.

Last year, he was said to be romantically involved with one his artistes Jackie Inna.

This was when she was signed to his real Star Music Crew as a budding artiste.

He was rumoured to have had a secret fling with her as he used to sneak into her apartment in Bugolobi-Kataza in the wee hours.

Fred was also linked to another of his artistes Laura Irene Uwimana, a Burundi born Kampala based singer.

His closeness to the two babes almost led to the split of Real Star Music Crew since both Laura and Jackie were members.

Shockingly, Fred was given the responsibility to manage Laura’s singing career by her wealthy Cameroonian lover Jean Pascal Nganou, a senior Economist at the World Bank.

Only time will tell regarding his working relationship with the gorgeous and curvy Knowles.

In a related development, word in Kigali is that Knowles has been ballooned by her boyfriend only identified as Clement who recently surprised her with an engagement ring.

They two are set to wed later this year. Knowles, who adopted her stage name from American R&B vocalist Beyoncé Knowles, is famous for her dancing and beauty.

Besigye Supporters Paralyze Kampala City

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 15:02
Besigye Supporters Paralyze Kampala City

By Serestino Tusingwire

Immediately after Justice Wilson Masalu Musene of High court granted bail to the former FDC presidential candidate Rt. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, his supporters were anxiously waiting for him all over the city starting from the high court up to his home in Kansangati.

His supporters were on the roadside cheering and waving at the flamboyant ex presidential candidate.

Besigye who have been in prison for over 60 days battling treason charges which he allegedly committed early May this year by illegally swearing in himself as the president of Uganda, has today Tuesday 12 July, 2016 been granted bail of UGX100m non-cash and ordered to appear in court always after two weeks starting from 26th of July this year.

Besigye who has been asked  by the high court to restrain from violence as long as he is still on trial,  has not taken more than an hour to pronounce that he is going to start from where he stopped. He said this while addressing his supporters at his home in Kasangati.

Hundreds of his supporters in and around Kampala city have been seen jubilating and waving at him with their renowned FDC V sign as he went to his Kasangati home.

Besigye was escorted by police and other operatives direct to his home for fear of causing chaos on his way home.

Police remains heavily deployed around his home until they confirm the situation is calm.

Besigye is the only Ugandan who is released on bail even when he is facing treason charges — Mirundi

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 13:31
Besigye is the only Ugandan who is released on bail even when he is facing treason charges — Mirundi

By Serestino Tusingwire

Tamale Mirundi the former presidential press secretary and renowned political analyst while appearing on NBS TV this morning said Kizza Besigye is the only Ugandan who can be granted bail even if he is battling treason charges.

He added that there are many Ugandan prisoners who are currently battling treason charges but their chances of getting court bail are so minimal.

“Besigye release is a relief to many Ugandans. We should all be happy the nation is maturing,” said Tamale Mirundi.

Kizza Besigye was today morning granted a Shs100million not cash bail by High Court judge Wilson Masalu Musene.

The judge cautioned Dr. Besigye to refrain from acts of violence and preserve peace in the community until case is disposed-off.

He was ordered to report to the registrar of the court once every two weeks starting July 26.

Initially, the state attorney Florence Akello had objected to Besigye’s bail application saying he had not provided court with enough documented evidence such as a birth certificate indicating he is 60 years of age.

On the issue of defiance campaign, the prosecutor said Dr. Besigye had defied court order and went ahead with his defiance campaign but the judge in his ruling said the issue of defiance campaign is before the constitutional court and therefore he cannot talk about it.

Besigye has been battling treason charges since Wednesday 11th May, 2016 when he was arrested after a video of him swearing-in as the president of Uganda went viral on different social media platforms.

5th Edition Of Vodafone Powertalks To Focus On Leveraging Technology For Tourism

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 12:24
5th Edition Of Vodafone Powertalks To Focus On Leveraging Technology For Tourism

As part of its continued effort to empower Ugandans through Information Communication Technology (ICT), and following the success of the past Vodafone Power Talks editions, Vodafone Uganda, a leading telecommunications company, has announced that it will hold its fifth edition of its empowerment forum under the theme, Leveraging Technology in Tourism: Lessons for Uganda, on July 28, 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

According to Vodafone Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Richardson, the fifth edition of the Vodafone Power Talks will feature success stories from the East African region, and also focus on identifying new and better digital marketing platforms that can be adopted by various players in the tourism and hospitality industry to boost both the country’s image and deliver better investment returns for their businesses.

“Uganda is fast becoming a leading tourism destination and the progressive SMEs involved in this space will have to be more innovative in the way they use technology to redesign tourism products to address individual needs, satisfy consumer wants and grow their businesses,” says Allan Richardson.

“There are a lot of lessons we can learn from the region and I am confident that our experienced panelists will be sharing exciting ideas and insights during this forum,” he added.

With technology, the world has turned into a global village and the internet has fast become the universal source of information for billions of people. This quarterly forum is designed to inspire Ugandans to harness the transformative power of technologies for growth at individual and business level.

The panelists for this edition include; Steven Asiimwe, the Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, Amos Wekesa, the Director of Great Lakes Africa Safaris, Kelley McTavish, the Executive Director of Pearl of Africa Tours, Belinda Namutebi, the iBrand Chief Brand Custodian, Phillip Kalibwami, the Director of Pearl Guide and Rosette Chantal Rugamba, the founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa based in Rwanda.

All delegates participating in the forum will be entered into a raffle draw with the chance to win a return ticket to Abu Dhabi, where the winner will experience the warmth of traditional Arabian hospitality, courtesy of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.

Recently, Uganda was named the second best honeymoon destination by the Huffington Post, a globally recognized online blog and news aggregator, hinting at the global attention that the country has received over the past few years leading to a booming market.

According to recent National Budget revelations, tourism contributes US$ 2.5 billion to Uganda’s GDP and approximately USD 1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings annually. This translates to 9% of national output and 26% of export earnings.

The forum is expected to attract over 250 SME entrepreneurs, managers and ICT enthusiasts from mainly the tourism and hospitality industry and others including; aviation, media, health and cultural attachés.

President makes roadside phone call, Excites Villagers

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 12:08
President makes roadside phone call, Excites Villagers

Residents of Kyeirumba village in Isingiro district have urged the President to prevail over solar distributors to reduce the cost of batteries and enable easy access.

President Yoweri Museveni made a surprise stop at the high way at Kyeirumba village in Isingiro district to make a phone call shortly after attending the World Population Day commemoration in Isingiro district.

Curious residents started gathering when they saw the President talking while acknowledging cheers with his trademark thumb sign. He also directed his security not to block traffic while he made his call.

The President who made the phone call for about 30 minutes later talked to the residents who hailed him for the tarmacking of the 74 Kilometer road that links Uganda to Tanzania through Kikagati in Isingiro district. The road was constructed at a cost of Shs 178billion.

They also urged him to engage solar distributors to reduce the cost of batteries which are now at Shs 400,000 and to power distributors to make electricity cheaper.

The President pledged to engage stakeholders on reducing the cost of power in the rural areas.

Museveni orders evacuation of Ugandans from S.Sudan

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 11:38
Museveni orders evacuation of Ugandans from S.Sudan

President Yoweri Museven has ordered the evacuation by road of Ugandan citizens in South Sudan from Nisitu located east of the River Nile, according to Ugandan state media channels.

The Ugandan army has announced that it will be involved in conducting the evacuation of Ugandans trapped in Juba, but denied that their forces will enter the city.

Initially, the Ugandan press office at State House Uganda yesterday denied that Ugandan troops would deploy in South Sudan. “Let there be no speculation on UPDF deployment in South Sudan,” the office stated, citing UPDF Spokesperson Col. Paddy Ankunda.

He added, however, in a later statement on the social network Twitter that a “few troops” will be involved in evacuations to secure the free movement of civilians. “UPDF will not deploy in Juba,” he stressed.

This may mean that the UPDF road evacuation will take place from outside Juba with Nisitu junction used as an assembly point.

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency says it will assist South Sudanese refugees who are leaving their country to seek safety in Uganda.

According to Charlie Yaxley, spokesman of the agency’s office in Kampala, the majority of new arrivals will be hosted in the recently opened Pagarinya settlement in Adjumani.


South Sudanese warring parties declare ceasefire in Juba

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 11:15
South Sudanese warring parties declare ceasefire in Juba

Rival leaders in South Sudan have unilaterally declared cessation of hostilities to stop a four-day fighting between their forces in the national capital, Juba.

Heavy fighting had been going on between forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir, and the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA-IO) loyal to First Vice President, Riek Machar.

Hundreds of soldiers have been killed on both sides for the cause none of the two leaders could explain.

On Monday, probably in response to the mounting pressure from the international community, the two leaders agree to cease fire.

President Kiir issued an order read on the national TV by his information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, in which he declared the ceasefire.

“In exercise of powers conferred upon me under Chapter 1, Clause 5.2.1 read together with Chapter 2, Clause 1.3 of the Agreement of the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, August 2015, I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Supreme Commander of all other Regular Forces, do hereby issue this Republic Order for Declaration of Cessation of Hostilities between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO”, declared President Kiir.

President Kiir, according to the unilateral ceasefire ordered all government forces to return to their units and barracks.

The order gives all the government forces up to 12midday on Tuesday to cease hostilities, stop roaming the streets while carrying military weapons and in uniforms, and return immediately to their barracks. He warned that failure to adhere to the order would subsequently be followed with serious measures.

It remains unclear what motivated the decision of the president after an apparent total breakdown of command to control the manner in which government soldiers conducted themselves for the past four days, including breaking into shops and mercilessly looting them, instead of providing protection to the lives of the civilians and their properties.

The main Jebel market, located South west of capital, Juba, as well as Gudele in the west and markets in the residential areas inside Juba town, the capital of the new nation, were ransacked by the government soldiers using military vehicles to carry the loots.

President Kiir called on his army commanders to control their forces and that they should return to their barracks by Tuesday at 12 noon time. It was not clear why the ceasefire did not immediately come into effect and had to take another 24 hours to come into effect.

On his part, Machar on Monday evening also said he agreed to the cessation of hostilities in Juba with immediate effect from 8pm local time on Monday.

In a document he signed seen by Sudan Tribune, Machar called for “Disengagement of forces and immediate withdrawal of SPLA from SPLA IO positions.”

The opposition leader also called for intervention of a third party force to create a buffer zone.

“Ensuring the security and safety of SPLM IO leaders, members of advance team and the members of SPLM IO,” the document said.

He also called for review and operationalization of transitional security arrangements of Juba, Malakal, Bor, Bentiu and other areas in the country “as per Chapter two of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”


The decision by the two top rival leaders came after members of the United Nations Security Council expressed shock and outrage at the attacks on U.N. compounds and protection of civilians’ sites in Juba following clashes on Sunday.

In a strong worded statement, the United Nations called on the parties to ceasefire immediately and protect the lives of their people.

“The members of the Security Council reminded all parties, including government security forces, of the civilian character of the protection of civilian sites in South Sudan. The members of the Security Council stressed that attacks against civilians and UN premises and personnel may constitute war crimes,” the Security Council said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday.

The Security Council particularly protested the attack on the premises of the United Nations, demanding that those who attacked UN premises must be held accountable. The statement revealed that Chinese and Rwandan peacekeepers had been killed or injured in the attack.

The statement further added that the Security Council was ready to consider enhancing the capacity of the UN mission in South Sudan “to better ensure that it and the international community can prevent and respond to violence in South Sudan.”

The U.N. Security Council also emphasized that regional actors should attempt to bring an end to recent violence.

“The members of the Security Council encouraged states in the region to prepare to provide additional troops in the event the Council so decides,” the Security Council said. “The members of the Security Council encouraged countries in the region, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, to continue firmly engaging with South Sudanese leaders to address the crisis,” it added.


Besigye Finally Granted Bail

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 10:45
Besigye Finally Granted Bail

FDC presidential candidate in the Feb 18 Elections has been granted bail of Sh100m not cash.

Justice Masalu Musene said court was impressed by the high calibre of sureties presented by the FDC icon.

Besigye Paraded Mugisha Muntu; Nandala Mafabi, Roland Mugume, Joyce Sebugwawo, and Buhweju MP Francis Mwijukye as his sureties

Kizza Besigye who has been on remand at Luzira Prison since May 16 has been told to restrain from violence for as long as the trial is on and Starting July 26, he is expected to report to court once in every two weeks.

On the issue of Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign, Justice Musene said that he cannot discuss it because the matter is before the Constitutional Court.

For Detailed analysis of this trial please grab yourself a copy tomorrow’s RedPepper

Ethiopia blocks Facebook and other social media Platforms

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 18:19
Ethiopia blocks Facebook and other social media Platforms

Ethiopia has blocked social media sites across the country after university entrance exams were posted online.

The government said the ban was to prevent students being distracted from studying during the exam period and to prevent the spread of false rumours.

The blocked sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber.

They will be unavailable for several days while university entrance exams are taken, a government spokesman said.

“It’s a temporary measure until Wednesday. Social media have proven to be a distraction for students,” said spokesman Getachew Reda.

Ethiopia was among the first African countries to censor the internet and opposition blogs and human rights websites are frequently blocked.

Social media sites have gone down in Ethiopia before but only for a matter of hours, with the government previously denying any involvement. This is the first time social media sites have been publicly blocked nationwide.

An Ethiopian journalist who has covered the story, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, told the BBC that the clampdown “was just the beginning”.

“The government here is very keen to control social media,” he said. “They will learn from this, next time there is a protest they will use the experience to do another nationwide clampdown.”

Daniel Berhane, the editor of Horn Affairs magazine, said on Twitter: “This is a dangerous precedent. There is no transparency about who took the decision and for how long.”

In May, university entrance exams were cancelled after pictures of the test circulated on social media. A group supporting protests for greater rights for Ethiopia’s Oromo people claimed responsibility for the leak.

Traditional media in Ethiopia are tightly controlled by the government, leaving many reliant on social media to access and pass on information critical of the authorities.

In 2012, Skype was taken down in Ethiopia amid a clampdown on VoIP (voice over internet protocol) calls. The government claimed that the service was being used for fraudulent purposes.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution classifying the censorship of the internet as a human rights violation.

Source: BBC

IGAD Breaks Silence On South Sudan War

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 17:58
IGAD Breaks Silence On South Sudan War

IGAD chairperson, Hailemariam has said that he is deeply disturbed by the fighting and the deaths that have occurred in South Sudan capital, Juba

“As Chairperson of IGAD, I am deeply disturbed by the fighting and the deaths that have occurred.”

He also said that this violence must stop such that the recently signed peace deal is implemented.

“I would emphasize that both the Government and the opposition in South Sudan are duty bound to exercise restraint and avoid any measures that are likely to escalate the situation.”

“The leaders of South Sudan can, and must, demonstrate their determination and ability to rise up to this new challenge immediately. “

Below is the full statement

IGAD Chairperson’s statement on the situation in South Sudan

It is to be recalled that the Parties to the two and a half year-old conflict in South Sudan agreed to a peaceful settlement of their differences after the long-drawn out IGAD-led process of mediation and negotiation that culminated in the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity.

It was hoped that this process, midwifed by IGAD and its partners in the international community, including the African Union, would bring lasting peace and stability to the people of South Sudan.

It is deeply unfortunate that barely four months after the return of the SPLM-IO leader to assume his agreed position in government, it appears that hostilities have erupted once again threatening the sustainability of the peace agreement to which all sides have pledged their full commitment.

In the light of developments unfolding in Juba and in other parts of the country, it is clear that some unruly elements wish to backtrack on their commitments to peace.

The situation threatens to spiral out of control, once again exposing millions of civilians to senseless violence and the whole country to interminable chaos.

The leaders of South Sudan can, and must, demonstrate their determination and ability to rise up to this new challenge immediately. 

As Chairperson of IGAD, I am deeply disturbed by the fighting and the deaths that have occurred.

I would emphasize that both the Government and the opposition in South Sudan are duty bound to exercise restraint and avoid any measures that are likely to escalate the situation. 

Any extension of the current crisis, and a return to open conflict, could result in a return to the previous widespread violence against civilians.

This would be a terrifying disservice to the people of South Sudan.

It would also demonstrate a deliberate effort to undermine the firm determination of the regional countries, IGAD and the international community to end to violence and ensure peace and security in South Sudan.

While I am encouraged by the call for calm by the two leaders, there is no doubt that situation requires us all to redouble our efforts to help restore peace and stability in the country.

IGAD’s Executive Council will convene shortly to consider the situation on the ground and deliberate on the next course of action.

In the meantime, as Chairperson of IGAD, I would call upon all parties to refrain from violence and urgently take all necessary steps to restore peace and stability in the capital and other parts of the country.

10th of July 2016

Prime Minister Hailemariam of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,

Chairperson of IGAD

Al Shabab attack on Somali base kills 10 soldiers

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 17:33
Al Shabab attack on Somali base kills 10 soldiers

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants in Somalia have killed at least 10 soldiers in an attack on a military base southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

The fatalities came on Monday when the Takfiri group rammed a car packed with explosives into the base. Militants then stormed the base, sparking a heavy exchange of fire which lasted for hours.

Major Ahmed Farah from the nearby town of Afgooye said at least 12 militants were killed in the clashes while a spokesman with the Takfiri group claimed to have killed 30 soldiers.

The assault on the base 50 km (30 miles) outside Mogadishu was part of the group’s campaign to topple the Western-backed government.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly fighting between government forces and al-Shabab elements since 2006.

Takfiri terrorists have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government troops and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

AMISOM is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.

Al-Shabab members have continued to carry out attacks in Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in the seaside city in 2011.

Its victims have included international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and African Union peacekeepers.

Last month, a bomber first detonated a car with explosives at the gate of a hotel often used by politicians and tourists in the capital before the attackers moved in, killing at least 14 people.

The group claimed attack on another hotel in Mogadishu which killed at least 10 people and left 50 others injured.

On Sunday, more than 100 al-Shabab militants raided a police station in northeast Kenya overnight, wounding one officer and making off with arms and ammunition.

Source: PressTV