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Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye. Photo AFP

 

The United Nations special envoy's office to Burundi will close on May 31, five months after the isolated regime requested it shuttered, the secretary-general announced Thursday.

A highly political issue, the UN's presence has been a source of tension for years between the organisation and Burundian authorities, which have contested the need for UN Security Council observation mission.

The office was established after the central African nation was plunged into political crisis in 2015, when then-president Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a disputed third term, sparking violence that claimed at least 1,200 lives.

General Evariste Ndayishimiye was elected in May 2020 to succeed Nkurunziza, who died in June. UN investigators said in September that rights abuses have continued under Ndayishimiye.

Burundi notified the UN in November last year that its office would be closed by December 31, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday in his letter to the Security Council. But the two sides agreed that the UN needed more time and settled on May 31.

In a unanimously adopted declaration, the Security Council called on Burundi late last year to "cooperate" with the UN in promoting national reconciliation and the rule of law.

"There is important work ahead to advance national reconciliation, promotion of the rule of law and of an independent and effective judiciary," said the declaration.

After the UN envoy's office closes, the United Nations is expected to continue monitoring Burundi via the special envoy to the Great Lakes region, China's Huang Xia. - AFP/The EastAfrican

Photo Courtesy WCN 

 

By JULIUS MBALUTO 

 

Prince Philip, Queen’s husband has died. He was born in 1921 and he was about to reach 100 years in June 2021. Both

Buckingham Palace his death the death on Friday morning. Prince Philip is said to have died peacefully on Friday morning at Windsor Castle.

He was a father to 4 children, grand-father to 8 children and great grand- father to 10 children. World leaders including the UK Prime Minister have send their condolences.

Two flags at 10 Downing Streets are half-mast. National mourning has started and will end the day Prince Philip will be buried.

Details on how he will be mourned shall be shared by the government later.  Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip got married in 1952. He played a supportive role to the Queen over the years.

 

NAIROBI, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and the United Kingdom on Wednesday resolved to set up a joint emergency committee to address COVID-19 travel restrictions after London added Nairobi to its COVID-19 travel red list.

Raychelle Omamo, Kenya's cabinet secretary for foreign affairs, held talks with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab where they also agreed to bolster trade and regional security.

"They discussed the strength of our relationship on trade, regional security, and health and agreed to establish a Joint Committee to work together on addressing COVID-19 travel restrictions," the ministry of foreign affairs said in a brief statement.

It said the two officials underlined the need to work on strengthening trade and deepening regional security.

Britain sparked a diplomatic row on April 2 when it included Kenya in the COVID-19 travel ban red list effective Friday.

London said the decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 variants.

According to British Department of Transport, nearly a third of about 550 people who travel from Kenya to the UK each week have been testing positive to the COVID-19 variant originating from South Africa.

But Kenya criticized the move, saying the decision was "discriminatory" and lacked "logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic".

Kenya also said all visitors originating from or transiting through UK airports will be required to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government facility at their own cost.

Nairobi said that exemption from the new travel restrictions include cargo flights between the two countries and Kenyan nationals resident in the UK or transiting through the European nation's airports. - Xinhua

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