A South Sudanese court sentenced a Brazilian woman to two years in prison on Friday for transporting drugs into the country.
Juliana D`Oliviera was arrested at the Juba International Airport on 31 July 2022 after three kilograms of cocaine was found in her possession.
During the court verdict in Juba on Friday, High Court Judge Duoth Kulang sentenced Juliana D`Oliviera to two years imprisonment effective from the date of arrest on 31 July 2022 and later to be deported to her country. The judge also imposed a fine of 500,000 SSP on her.
D`Oliviera was charged under Section 384 of the South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008 with unlawful possession or use of dangerous drugs.
The presiding judge also fined her two aides Taban Bosco Musa, a South Sudanese airport security Officer, and Onyimba Joseph, a Nigerian national, with 500,000 South Sudanese Pounds or a one-year jail term.
D`Oliviera earlier told the court that she was sent by someone in Brazil to deliver the drugs to a person who security operatives failed to arrest in Juba.
Reacting to the court verdict, Tong John Clement, a defense counsel of the convict, welcomed the ruling saying justice has been served.
“In my opinion, it is good. It shows the power our courts have in dispensing justice considering the fact that the case presented by the public prosecution was insufficient. The case was lacking a lot of evidence, that is why we got this judgment which was good in the general context,” John said.
Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel Loro Silvio Loro expressed dissatisfaction with the court ruling.
According to the law, the convict has 14 days to appeal against the court ruling. - Radio Tamazuj
Burundi will maintain a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the government said Tuesday, even as it hosted Moscow’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. And while some nations have condemned the invasion, others like Burundi say they won’t be taking sides. Instead, Gitega said it will back peaceful means of resolving the conflict.
“Burundi decided to be on the side of the solution and not on the side of problems…Burundi, like any other country, is sovereign, and we choose partners for the interest of our people,” Foreign Affairs Minister Albert Shingiro said after a closed-door meeting with Mr Lavrov in the commercial capital Bujumbura.
“Burundi advises parties in conflict to embrace dialogue as soon as possible …as the President (Evariste Ndayishimiye), who is the diplomat-in-chief of this country, has opted as the path of our foreign policy. All countries all over the world are our friends,” said Mr Shingiro.
The visit by Mr Lavrov is the first of a top official from Russia to the country in 60 years. But it comes against the backdrop of continued campaigns by Russia to retain friends and allies in Africa. Isolated in the West for the Ukrainian invasion, Moscow has invested in a diplomatic charm offensive elsewhere, especially in Africa and Asia.
In Africa, Lavrov has visited four times since the war began. And a majority of African countries have refused to condemn or even vote against Moscow in the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council meetings.
“We highly appreciate the neutral and responsible position of Burundi and especially the fact that Burundi understands the root causes of this conflict. As far as the causes are concerned, the causes are as follows: The West uses Ukraine to make threats against Russia,” said Lavrov at the joint press briefing.
“The West steps on people’s rights, especially those at the border with Russia and those that have embraced Russian culture.”
Mr Lavrov and President Ndayishimiye also held a closed-door meeting in Bujumbura.
On Monday, the top Russian diplomat made an impromptu visit to Nairobi, Kenya, where he met separately with President William Ruto, the Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula and Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua.
His visit came hot on the heels of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Africa trip, presenting his country’s ten-point agenda for peace.
The plan includes global food security, radiation and nuclear safety, energy security and the release of all prisoners and deportees.
Lavrov is expected to fly to South Africa for a ministerial meeting of members of the BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - slated for June 1 and 2. - MOSES HAVYARIMANA, The EastAfrican
South Sudan on Wednesday rejected the renewal of sanctions and an arms embargo by the UN Security Council.
The Security Council extended the sanctions regime imposed on the country for one year, which also included asset freezes and travel bans.
Several members stressed that instead of sanctions, the country needs a carefully managed support system to facilitate its transitional journey and overcome its security issues.
South Sudan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Dau Deng Malek said his country regrets and objects to any renewal of the sanctions because this is unjustified.
“This was done in bad faith and with ill intention under the spotlight of being a state with a lot of abuses,” Deng told Anadolu by phone in the capital Juba.
He said they have done their part as the government by implementing the provisions of the 2020 peace agreement and have gone far to implement the provisions of the benchmark that was earmarked for the removal of these sanctions.
Deng said the renewal of the sanctions and arms embargo will affect the implementation of the security arrangement.
“We wanted to graduate (the unified forces) to the second phase and deploy (them), but now that will not happen. We had planned to arm and deploy the unified forces to the cantonment sites,” he said.
He added that the sanctions will be the main factor that affects the economy, trade, commerce and the security of the country.
“Prices will now shoot up because we are a landlocked country and South Sudan relies heavily on things imported from the neighboring countries,” he said.
Deng said that investors will not have an interest in coming to South Sudan because it is a country under sanctions.
“This is a bad name, and we are very unhappy with it,” he added.
UN Security Council Resolution 2683 (2023) was adopted by a vote of 10 in favor (Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US) to none against, with five abstentions (China, Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique and the Russian Federation).
The Council strongly condemned past and ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties, including by armed groups and national security forces.
It further condemned the targeting of civil society, including journalists, human rights defenders and humanitarian personnel, emphasizing that the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity bears the primary responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Council decided to renew until May 31, 2024 the measures on arms imposed by paragraph 4 of Resolution 2428 (2018), which direct all member states to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of arms to the territory of South Sudan.
It also decided that the notification requirements set out in paragraph 2 of Resolution 2633 (2022) shall no longer apply to the supply, sale or transfer of non-lethal military equipment solely in support of the implementation of the terms of the peace agreement and related technical assistance or training on such equipment.
By other terms, the Council decided to renew until May 31, 2024 the travel and financial measures imposed by Resolution 2206 (2015), according to which all member states shall take measures to freeze the financial assets of designated individuals and prevent their entry into or transit through their territories.
Further, the Council decided to extend until July 1, 2024 the mandate of the Panel of Experts as set out in paragraph 19 of Resolution 2428 (2018), adding the panel should provide to the Council an interim report by Dec. 1, 2023, a final report by May 1, 2024 and updates each month.
The Council reiterated its readiness to review arms embargo measures through, inter alia, modification, suspension or progressive lifting of these measures in the light of progress achieved on the key benchmarks. It also requested the Secretary-General, in close consultation with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the panel, to conduct an assessment of progress achieved no later than April 15, 2024.
Tigere Chagutah, Regional Director, Amnesty International, East and Southern Africa, welcomed the extension of the UN arms embargo on South Sudan.
“The UN Security Council vote sends a clear message to the South Sudanese government that it must act urgently to implement the Joint Action Plan on addressing conflict-related sexual violence, among other benchmarks set by the Security Council under Resolution 2577 of May 2021.
“Although this vote is a positive step, we regret that South Sudan will now be allowed to import ‘non-lethal’ equipment without the need to inform and request an exception from the Security Council’s sanctions committee,” said Chagutah. - Benjamin Takpiny, Anadolu Agency
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