Ethiopia Warns Eritrea As Sudan Oil Talks Collapse
These are top stories making headlines today January 20 in East Africa's leading media outlets.
Khartoum Says Oil Deal With Juba Depends On Border Security
Sudan and South Sudan failed to resume their talks on oil as scheduled on Tuesday, 17 January, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa despite efforts to the contrary by mediators of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
The collapse of the talks comes amid increased tension between the recently separated countries due to the absence of a deal on the transit fees that the land-locked South Sudan should pay for the use of Khartoum’s pipeline infrastructure to bring its oil to export terminals in Sudan’s red sea port.
Juba accused Khartoum of “stealing” its oil after the latter moved to confiscate portions of the southern oil shipped through its territories, claiming that Juba has not paid any fees since South Sudan seceded last year.
In an interview with Reuters, Karti said Khartoum would continue to confiscate what he termed as its right in southern oil as long as Juba remains unserious in reaching an agreement on transit fees.
"If they are not ready to sit down and conclude an agreement, we will take our right. We will take our entitlements," he said.
According to press reports, South Sudan demanded that its northern neighbor pay an equivalent of 1.4 million barrels of oil to resume talks, Sudan Tribune reports.
"Nobody can hamper us from taking our right. This is our entitlement," Karti stressed.
Sudan’s oil-dependent economy has suffered a massive loss when South Sudan took with it 75 percent of its previous daily output of 500,000 barrels of oil when it seceded in July last year as per a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil wars between the two sides.
According to Karti, South Sudan’s support for the rebels Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in Sudan’s border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile was hindering the talks.
Governance Body Urges Media To Promote Governance
Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) has called on media houses to play a critical role in strengthening good governance principles and practices in the country, The New Times reports.
The Chief Executive Officer of RGB, Prof. Anastase Shyaka made the remarks during a consultative meeting on the ‘Role of the media in promoting good governance’.
“You should be at the centre of good governance practices implementation while playing an educative role to the public,” Prof. Shyaka, told members of the media. He stated that RGB and the media should reinforce each other in championing good governance values.
During the meeting, journalists were urged to support the Governance Month which kicked off on December 13, last year. It aims at assessing and strengthening good governance through service delivery and hear demands of ordinary citizens.
Prince Bahati, from Radio Hope, called on the Government to support the media more proactively.
“We need the government’s support to reach the grass-roots level because we alone cannot achieve that goal,” he said.
Cyril Turatsinze, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, pointed out that without the media, the government cannot achieve its targets.
“Media is an important tool in building the nation. Much is needed to strengthen our partnership,” he noted
Court Rejects Parliament Bid On Oil Probes
The Constitutional Court has rejected the bid by the Parliamentary Commission seeking to join the Attorney General in defending the work of Parliamentary committees in probing oil bribery allegations and accusations of contempt of Parliament.
The Constitutional Court judges, in their ruling read by Registrar Erias Kisawuzi on Thursday, ruled that the application is incompetent because the Commission has no mandate to represent Parliament in Court.
They said that the Commission was established to cater for the welfare of MPs and not legal representation of the institution. They said that it is the Attorney General who is the principal legal officer mandated to defend all government officials and departments.
The Commission last month applied to the Constitutional Court to be allowed to defend their stand in setting up the committees, saying that the Attorney General does not seem to be representing their interests well.
They said that they did not agree with what the Attorney General filed in defence to a petition filed by a voter Severino Twinobusingye to stop the probes by Parliament and its Committee into the oil sector and contempt of Parliament.
Twinobusingye contends that Parliament was biased against ministers Hillary Onek (internal affairs) and Sam Kutesa (foreign affairs) who are accused in allegations of soliciting for bribes. Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was dragged into the allegations along the way, going by a WikiLeaks cable from the US envoy which the latter has since dismissed as false.
President Yoweri Museveni has on several occasions said his local and international Police probe has since proved the allegations as malicious and fictitious forgeries, New Vision reports.
Mutula Faulted Over Comments On Ocampo Six Ruling
Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo has come under criticism over his remarks on the fate of presidential bids by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto if charges facing them at the ICC are confirmed.
Mr Kilonzo on Wednesday accused the two of “impunity” for declaring that they would not drop their presidential ambitions regardless of the much-awaited ruling on their cases arising from the 2007/8 post-election violence.
“It’s unfortunate they appear to say that Chapter Six has no meaning and also ridiculous that they appear to say that the Public Officer Ethics Act has no meaning. They should listen to careful legal advice,” he stated.
Mr Affey distanced the Wiper Democratic Movement from Mr Kilonzo’s statement, saying it was personal, Daily Nation reports.
“It should be treated as a personal statement. He should also desist from commenting on matters that fall under the domain of the ICC; he is not the court,” Mr affey saidJanuary 19, 2012.
Ethiopia Warns Eritrea Of Action Over Tourist Attacks
Ethiopia has warned that it will take action against Eritrea after five tourists were killed by gunmen who are believed to have crossed from the neighbouring Eritrea.
The tourists were attacked late on Tuesday in Ethiopia’s remote north-eastern Afar region near the Eritrean border. Four others were wounded in the shoot-out.
The assailants kidnapped two Ethiopians and two Germans and security forces on Thursday were continuing to search for them. A total of 27 tourists from Italy, Germany, Austria, America and Hungary nationals and two Ethiopians (a driver and a policeman) were visiting Erta Ale, one of Ethiopia’s most active volcanoes when they were attacked.
Ethiopia insists the attack was carried out by Afar rebels who were trained and sent by Eritrea. An accusation Asmara denied.
In a statement the Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs said the attack was carried out with the direct involvement of the Eritrean government, warning action against the regime in Asmara, further stirring tension between the two east African rivals.
"The Ethiopian government’s tolerance towards a regime that openly supports terrorist activity is inevitably wearing thinner by the day" reads the statement.
Ethiopia says it will “ be obliged to take whatever action is necessary to stop the activities of the Eritrean regime once and for all” unless the international community “assumes its responsibilities and takes the necessary steps to bring this abominable behavior to an end.
State House scoffs at MPs' attempt to impeach Museveni
State House has laughed off two opposition MPs who yesterday set off on what colleagues called “mission impossible” with their plan to begin impeachment proceedings against President Museveni next month.
The President was accused of committing economic crimes in contravention of the Constitution, but his spokesman, Mr Tamale Mirundi, suggested the whole thing is a joke.
“How?” he asked yesterday afternoon. “Those MPs who want to impeach the President are like a baby holding a sword; it cannot do anything with it. What’s the impeachment process? Why don’t they call for an election instead? Where will they get the required numbers? In fact, they are like a man who is impotent, he can stay with a woman, but he won’t get any child. The President cannot be scared by such empty threats.”
Mr Mirundi said “the Lukyamuzi group is playing politics of activism and not politics of achievement”. He suggested that they are using the President to divert attention from their failure to deliver in their constituencies.
“They are here shouting and doing nothing. They actually just want to think that Museveni would call them to give them money and keep quiet. But this will not happen. The President is not responsible for the current economic crisis and he has not been accused of any economic crime.”
Aruu MP Odonga Otto (FDC) and Rubaga South MP Ken Lukyamuzi (Conservative Party) had told a morning news conference at Parliament that they have 74 grounds upon which they will base their motion for removal of Mr Museveni.
Quoting Article 107 of the Constitution, Mr Lukyamuzi said the President can be removed from office if he has dishonestly done any act or omission which is prejudicial to the economy of Uganda.
“President Museveni is the one who ordered the Bank of Uganda to fraudulently print Shs2 trillion some two years ago, an act which has led to the state of inflation now at 27 per cent. That act is inimical to the economy of the country and it’s the President to blame for it,” Mr Lukyamuzi said without providing hard evidence to support the charge.
Mr Lukyamuzi added: “The impeachment proceedings begin next month with the collection of signatures amounting to one-third of all the members of Parliament eligible for voting.” Mr Otto said a team of six lawyers will draft their petition which will accompany the signatures before a formal motion is tabled in Parliament.
“We are giving President Museveni one month to resign or suffer the wrath of going through the impeachment process,” Mr Otto said.
“All his ministers are thieves and everything in government is rotting when he is looking. We have documented our evidence and when time comes Ugandans will hear more reasons why President Museveni must be impeached. Even if NRM MPs don’t sign, the opposition MPs will sign and whenever he travels to New York, they will ask him about the impeachment.”
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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