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TEHRAN (FNA)- The administration of President Joe Biden has given approval for Nigeria to buy advanced attack helicopters worth nearly $1 billion despite concerns about the country's human rights record./Photo Courtesy FNA

Nigeria is battling a series of threats from criminal gangs and extremists in the North, AFP reported.

The State Department on Thursday announced the approval of the $997 million sales of 24 Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopters and related equipment to Nigeria. The related equipment includes guidance, night vision and targeting systems as well as engines and training support, the department said in a notice to Congress.

The sale was initiated after Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a visit to Nigeria in November last year.

Blinken also made clear the United States' regard for Nigeria as a partner in combating terrorism in West Africa and the Sahel.

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in Sub-Saharan Africa," the department told Congress.

The deal is also intended to "better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability, build interoperability with the US and other Western partners, and will be a major contribution to US and Nigerian security goals", the notice reads.

Nigeria's security forces have long been accused of human rights violations in their operations, with personnel involved often escaping justice.

In October 2020, the army opened fire at a demonstration in the country's economic hub where hundreds were protesting against police brutality, killing 11 people and injuring many others, according to a government-backed panel.

During Blinken's visit in November, he said the US was looking forward to seeing the full results of the investigation and would make a decision on arms sales to Nigeria based in part on the findings and whether those responsible were held accountable.

Nigeria is also facing a growing threat from armed gangs and extremist rebels who are now working together in the country's troubled Northwest and threaten to further destabilize an already volatile region.  Source: FNA



The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it is pleased with South Sudan's peace partners for the achievements they have made in the implementation of the security arrangements. 

On Tuesday night, President Salva Kiir announced a unified armed force command, integrating the opposition commanders into the armed forces. 

In his statement to journalists in Juba on Thursday, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Nicholas Haysom hailed South Sudan's peace partners for the milestone.

"I would like to recognize the progress made by the parties for overcoming the impasse in reaching the 3rd of April agreement on security arrangements regarding specifically the unified command and the control structure. I take note of the presidential decree on the 12th of April which is a crucial and necessary step for the implementation of the peace agreement. It is important to recognize that all parties cooperated and contributed to making it possible," he said.

He further commended the country's presidency for the milestone saying "It sends a strong signal to the people of South Sudan, that indeed they are committed to peace and stability.'

Haysom also raised concerns about ongoing sub-national violence in parts of the country, condemning the attacks on civilians.

"I am discouraged by the resurgence of sub-national violence along with the attacks by armed youths and militias that have turned the country from North to South from East to West. I was saddened to learn that only last week, thousands of people in Leer County in Unity were forced to flee their homes following a surge of fighting along with disturbing reports of sexual violence, looting, and destruction of civilians and humanitarian properties," he said. "I strongly condemn this violence and attacks on civilians but in particular attacks on humanitarians and the looting of the lifesaving supplies and assets, and these are unacceptable." 

Haysom says women and children have continued to suffer the consequences of the violence in Leer County and other parts of the country.

On elections, the UN chief said, all indicators point to a lack of preparation for the elections but he insists the parties still have the opportunity to create an environment for the conduct of elections expected in December.

"An electoral management body has not been put in place, the laws have not been enacted and the structures necessary to conduct elections under the difficult conditions in South Sudan – I mention the difficult conditions but am referring of course to the reliance in modern elections on logistical infrastructure which is required," Haysom explained. "But I also had pointed to the need for the political conditions to be adjusted. And I think here, we would have drawn attention to the need for an open political space within which the parties can contest each other’s viewpoints. Our anxiety is that elections in a space where the conditions are not appropriate would likely lead to violence before, during, and after elections."

Haysom says that with a strong approach the parties could create the necessary environment both technical and political to ensure parties are ready for the election. 

"As we get closer to December, which is the anticipated date for the elections, if we follow the peace agreement, it may become more apparent that the country will not make the deadline. All I am suggesting is that there still is an opportunity to make that deadline if they seize the task ahead with both hands and make progress," he concluded. - Radio Tamazuj

John Magufuli. The efforts to “demagufulify” Tanzania are continuing, but these have to grapple with obstacles at every turn and accept these as part of the legacy of the departed leader that will die very hard. PHOTO | FILE

The efforts to “demagufulify” Tanzania are continuing, but, as I expected, these have to grapple with obstacles at every turn and accept these as part of the legacy of the departed leader that will die very hard.

That is the way the cookie crumbles, and to expect anything less would be to engage in daydreaming.

See, for five years and some, John Magufuli ran the country like it was his personal fiefdom. He beat “his” party — for which he had absolutely no respect — into submission, rewrote its governance rules, put at its helm his appointed hatchet men and made it do his bidding, all in the space of five years.

He handpicked minions and gave them responsibilities they could not qualify for, flouted every rule in the book and these rendered his people dizzy with the incalculable powers they now wielded.

Mere mortals, most with pedestrian abilities at best, these individuals grew fangs, scales, claws and talons overnight, went around harassing people, organising gender-based violence and leading raiding parties on people’s property.

They did this with such impunity that one was made to wonder if the president — who was known to have a soft spot with for his lads — really knew what they were up to and whether, if he knew, he even cared. 

The perennial excuse that “the man was good but his advisers were bad” cannot stand scrutiny when used about this man.

Several times, after swearing in the people he had appointed to go harass his country men and women, all he told them was “don’t forget you have those hours you can detain people without trial”. It is safe to assume that he knew what they were doing and did not give a hoot how far they went.

We have in our midst people who will feel that they have been shoved away from their dirty manger by the death of Magufuli, and they do not know how to reinvent themselves so as to be accepted as honourable members of society.

I believe some of them might as well come out, dust themselves up and start behaving like ordinary citizens, and contribute to the building of their nation.

But some of them are beyond local repair, having gone overboard in the exactions that they meted out to the people of this country. Some of them were involved in the thievery that went on all along the time that Magufuli was sitting at the top of the food chain.

A lot of them went much further and earlier, back in the day when the man who would become president was still doing his shenanigans in the construction industry.

These were the boys who were with him during his heyday of building roads and bridges, a lot of them sub-standard, the era of appropriating government houses and giving them out free.

Later came the days of land grabbing in all the provinces and the days of so-called “plea-bargaining,” a device put in place for him, by lawyers, to extort and shake down people who might have had issues with law enforcement and were desperate to buy their freedom. The catalogue is too long, the people involved in this chicanery too many.

So they will balk at any and every attempt to put the record straight, and will advance the same tired excuses we are always hearing, like respect for dead people, letting “bygones be bygones,” and concentrating on “going forward” lame excuse by people who do not want to look their past in the face.

Of course, there are those who genuinely thought Magufuli was for the good of this country because “he fought corruption” and stopped the “exploitation by imperialists,” to which I say, “fiddlesticks!”

We may soon know about the man’s so-called integrity, but I doubt the credentials of anyone fighting corruption who starts by killing the media and parliament.

Once you do that, how do you go about fighting graft, unless it is in the same way that he managed to “defeat Covid?” Prayer and fasting?

At some stage we will have to deal with a new culture introduced into our politic — assassination.

A couple of people have been mentioned as victims of assassination, real people who were known to the public, and who have disappeared without a trace!

While I may not be allowed to surmise that Magufuli killed them — at least they were known to disagree with him — but it is my duty as a public servant to say they have disappeared and their whereabouts are not known, and this happened on Magufuli’s watch.

Another one, lucky to be still around, had 16 bullets pumped into him, and now walks with a bad limp and a bullet still in his body as a souvenir!

Now, the media spaces which Magufuli forcibly closed down without using any recognised legal mechanism are reopening, thanks to President Samia Suluhu.

Those who may have been involved in the excesses for which some of us accuse Magufuli should feel free to come forward and answer our charges and press their case as to why we should treat this man as a great man.

Shouting down people who are asking legit questions will not cut ice. By Jenerali Ulimwengu, The East African

Jenerali Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via jeneralionline tv. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo Courtesy KDRTV


Azimio Coalition leader Raila Odinga’s cousin Jalango Midiwo has failed to accept defeat after loosing to ODM nominations to incumbent MP Elisha Odhiambo. 

While speaking on Friday April 15, Midiwo petitioned the ODM National Elections Board to redo the nominations, claiming that the process was unfair.

He noted that nomination kits came late and were not installed properly in some polling stations.

“The kits arrived at the polling station late, some of the kits in my stronghold were not configured,” Midiwo said as quoted by The Star Newspaper. 

Midiwo also saw malice in the way the personnel in charge of the nominations were identified, claiming that the majority of them were allies of his opponent.

“All the clerks in gem were teachers, teachers whom we know, and they are allied to the outgoing MP Elisha Odhiambo, we wonder how the clerks were arrived at and even the returning officer is a well-known friend of the outgoing MP,” Midiwo alleged.

Elisha Odhiambo received 7,405 votes in the nomination to become the Orange party’s contender for the Gem parliamentary seat, while Raila Odinga’s cousin received 6,383.

Jalango Midiwo is brother to the late Jakoyo Midiwo. By Ezra Nyakundi, KDRTV

  • File photo of British soldiers during their past military drill FILE/Photo Courtesy  
  • British soldiers accused of starting a bushfire in a village in Nanyuki, Laikipia County will now face charges after they lost their diplomatic immunity against lawsuits in Kenya.

    The British soldiers were accused of starting a wildfire at Lolldaiga Hills Ranch, a 49,000 acre sanctuary where they train, risking the lives of over 1,000 locals in March 2021.

    In a landmark ruling delivered on Wednesday, April 13, High Court Judge Antonina Bore argued that the United Kingdom government waived diplomatic immunity to legal action through an agreement that was signed in 2015.

    An undated photo of a signpost showing the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) located in Nanyuki
    A photo of a signpost showing the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) located in Nanyuki.

    The Judge noted that as a unit of the British Army, BATUK has no legal entity separate from the UK government.

    "It is evident that Kenya would have jurisdiction for civil claims and liabilities arising from activities in its territory under the agreement while the UK would have jurisdiction for civil claims and liabilities arising from activities in its territory," Justice Bore stated. 

    "The allegation in the petition is that British soldiers caused a huge fire in the military training grounds in Lolldaiga, which is in Kenya. Kenya, therefore, has jurisdiction."

    The judgment explained that the British soldiers are required to be sensitive to the traditions, customs, and culture of the people.

    "In the court's view this clause anticipated the kind of claim brought by the petitioners," concluded Justice Bore.

    The Judge ordered that The African Centre for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA) and the local people must now go through a dispute resolution process in a bid to agree on terms with the UK government.

    The case was filed by ACCPA against BATUK seeking compensation and reparations noting that the fire was caused by British soldiers.

    However, BATUK denied being behind the fire and maintained that its soldiers were protected from prosecution by diplomatic immunity. 

    UK government on the other hand, has not issued a statement following the landmark ruling. By GEOFFREY LUTTA ,

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