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The airline, which is owned by Air France-KLM, apologised to the Kenyan government [File: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu]

The governments of Kenya and Tanzania have hit out at KLM for spreading “unfounded” claims after the airline published an advisory warning of travel disruptions due to purported civil unrest in the two countries.

The carrier had said that “civil unrest” between Friday and Monday could potentially force flights to be cancelled, before amending its alert to refer to an unspecified “local threat in Tanzania”.

 

Kenya’s transport minister Kipchumba Murkomen said on Saturday that he had protested to the airline over “this unfounded, false, insensitive and misleading information that paints Kenya in bad light”.

“We will escalate this discussion through diplomatic channels,” he warned in a statement.

 

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Tanzania’s government also criticised the advisory, with the Minister for Works and Transport Makame Mbarawa saying there was no truth to the claims.

“This statement is baseless, alarmist, unfounded, inconsiderate and insensitive and has caused unnecessary fear and panic,” he said in a statement, urging travellers to ignore the advisory.

 

The airline, which is owned by Air France-KLM, apologised to the Kenyan government on Saturday, saying the advisory was “only meant for our customers in Tanzania”.

But the alert was “erroneously also shared with our customers in Kenya”, it said.

 

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Air France-KLM has a 7.8 percent stake in Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways, with the government owning 48.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Kenyans on social media have been calling for Nairobi to take action against the airline.  SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

 

JUBA, JANUARY 28th 2023 (SUDANS POST) – President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny on Saturday evening inaugurated a new street in the nation’s capital Juba and named it after visiting Pope Francis.

The street – which is now H.H Pope Francis Road – begins at the Kololo Junction right to the Vatican embassy in Juba.

It also passes along the embassy of the European Union and that of the United States.

Kiir and Machar who had signed a peace agreement in September 2018 made an inspection visit within the capital to purposely open the new wrote ahead of the visit next week by Pope Francis to the country.

“President Salva Kiir Mayardit, joined by first vice president Riek Machar Teny and vice president for services cluster Hussain Abdel Bagi Akol, and other senior government officials, oversaw the preparation for the Ecumenical Peace pilgrimage by Holy Father Pope Francis,” the presidency statement said.

Speaking minutes ahead of the inauguration of the street, the president said the road has been named His Holiness H.H Pope Francis Road and noted that “the road was named after the Holy Father as a gift by South Sudanese to Pope Francis.”

Kiir’s security advisor Tut Gatluak who is the head of the implementation committee of the slow peace process called on the people of South Sudan to “open their hearts and receive the blessings of peace and reconciliation that comes with the papal visit.” - Sudans Post

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. [File, Standard]

Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta has accused Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities of abandoning last year's agreement signed in the Angolan capital, Luanda, which aimed to address the crisis in the DRC's North Kivu province, where government forces are battling M23 rebels.

While briefing parliament on Thursday in the capital city Kigali on the country's diplomatic relations with its neighbors, Biruta said Rwanda maintains good relations with all its neighboring countries except those with the DRC, which he described as "very poor" due to tensions over the M23 rebel group.

Last November, African leaders at a mini-summit in Luanda agreed on an immediate ceasefire in North Kivu province, the immediate withdrawal of M23 rebels from the occupied areas, and the disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed groups, among others. 

"You hear the Congolese government saying, and the international community supports them, that the agreement was not respected because the M23 did not withdraw as required," Biruta said.

"They never talk about the rest... the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebels) disarmament or other foreign armed groups, the refugee issue, the political talks, yet all these are part of the (Luanda) communique," he said. 

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi has accused the M23 of "faking" withdrawal from areas it recently captured in the east.

Biruta said that Rwanda remains ready to participate in all initiatives aimed at finding solutions to the current violence in the eastern DRC.

Relations between the two neighboring countries have soured since fighting resumed between M23 rebels and DRC government troops. 

The DRC accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels, a charge Rwanda denies.

Kigali has in turn accused the Congolese army of allying with the FDLR, whose elements are accused of participating in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. The Standard/Xinhua

The National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF) has withdrawn medical services payment for Nairobi Metropolitan Services staff (NMS).

The National Insurer withdrew the services due to Sh1.2 billion pending bills accrued over the last two financial years.

In a letter signed by Principal Secretary for Public Service and Gender Amos Gathecha, the medical services for the former NMS staff will be withdrawn until the bill is settled.

“In addition, NHIF has notified the State Department for Public Service of the decision to suspend the access to the scheme benefits with effect from Monday 23rd January, 2023,” the letter stated.

Nairobi County was required to settle the bill for the financial year 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 by December 2022.

The Johnson Sakaja-led administration was supposed to channel the funds to the State Department for Public Service for onward transmission to NHIF.

“It is noted that the said premium for the two (2) financial years ie. 2021/2022 and2022/2023 have not been paid to date, yet the staff of the former NMS have continued to access the scheme benefits,” the letter read.

“The purpose of this letter therefore, is to bring to your attention the NHIF notice of suspension of the cover for your necessary action,” it added.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) September 30,2022 officially handed over the transferred functions back to the Nairobi County Government.

On his part, Governor Johnson Sakaja promised to retain all staff that worked under NMS.

“There is no former NMS staff or former county gov’t staff, you are all staff of the Nairobi County government and you will work together as equals. We will have space for everybody,” he said.  By Irene Mwangi, Capital News

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and his Tanzanian counterpart Stergomena Lawrence Tax on Thursday afternoon held talks over issues of mutual interest and expansion of cooperation between the two countries.

During the telephone conversation, Amirabdollahian congratulated Ms. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on her appointment as Tanzania’s new foreign minister and underlined the need for expansion of cooperation in different fields, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

The top Iranian diplomat said fortunately, Iran and Tanzania share the same views at international organizations and expansion of ties, especially in trade and economic fields, has always been their top priority.

Iran’s foreign minister further stressed that Iran is ready to share its know-how and experience, particularly in knowledge-based areas as well as in the fields of agriculture, fishery, dam construction, watershed and irrigation, with the African country. 

Tanzanian Foreign Minister Stergomena Lawrence Tax for her part thanked Amirabdollahian for his verbal and written messages of congratulations on her appointment as the new top diplomat of Tanzania.

She called for expansion of cooperation between the two nations in different areas.

Ms. Lawrence Tax added that Tanzania has put on its agenda the pursuit of cooperation with Iran, especially in trade and economic fields and also the holding of the joint commission of the two sides as soon as possible.

 Using fake name for Persian Gulf will not change realties: spokesman

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani has said the use of a fake name instead of “Persian Gulf” by Iraqi officials is at odds with the principle of neighborly ties and friendly relations between the two countries.

Kanaani called on Iraq to correct this trend.

He said the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baghdad earlier objected to this move. Kanaani further said the Foreign Ministry’s Department General of Legal Affairs also filed an official note of protest with the Iraqi officials.
He stressed that the department described the move by the Iraqis as unacceptable and called on Baghdad to respect international names.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran expects the Iraqi officials to use the correct name for the body of water, which has been underlined by the United Nations as well. Kanaani said the name of “Persian Gulf” has been the same in documents, maps, diaries and ancient texts for thousands of years and the fabrication of unfounded phrases and words will not change this reality.

He noted that no country should seek friendship with others at the expense of the rich asset of historical solidarity among regional countries.

Iran condemns Israeli raid on Jenin camp
Kanaani has also strongly condemned Thursday’s brutal attack by the criminal forces of the apartheid Zionist regime against the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank that martyred and wounded dozens of oppressed Palestinians.

Kanaani said the silence and inaction of relevant international organizations and the fake defenders of human rights in the West toward the daily crimes of the occupying regime are painful and a cause for shame.

Kanaani also called for Islamic countries to adopt a united stance and act in concert in defense of the oppressed Palestinian people and their legitimate resistance against the Zionist occupiers.

Kanaani also demanded serious action in order to prevent inhumane and terrorist acts by the apartheid Zionist regime.

The Iranian foreign minister said on Twitter that the “ferocious attack and mass killing carried out by the Zionist entity in the Jenin camp” requires immediate action from the international community and Islamic countries against the criminals. Terhan Times

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