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Sierra Leone police to enforce transport restriction on election day

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Police in Sierra Leone have announced a ban on unaccredited vehicular movement during general elections to be held next week (March 7).

According to a press release signed by the police chief, Richard Moigbe, the police had agreed with all registered political parties and other stakeholders to undertake the measure.

The release said only vehicles accredited by the elections body, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will be allowed to ply the roads between 6 am to 7 pm.

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No vehicle unaccredited by NEC will be allowed to ply on polling day. This is done in the interest of public order and public safety pursuant to Section 18(3) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, and Section 32 of the Police Act of 1964.

It further clarified that the said restriction will be based more in the urban areas known as the District Headquarter Towns including the Western Area Urban and the Western Area Rural. No inter-District movement of accredited vehicles of political parties will be allowed, it said.

“The vehicle restriction does not cover the rural areas or areas outside the District Headquarter Towns.

“This restriction is not in any way inhibiting the free movement of voters and other persons going about their normal lawful business, as long as they do not loiter within 300 meters of a polling center,” the statement added.

The police also listed classes of vehicles that will be granted accreditation on March 7, among others: unbranded vehicles of political parties, the security agencies, election management bodies, observer and civil society groups as well as essential services and the diplomatic missions.

There is also arrangement for hired state buses and other commercial operators. Commuters can use the state buses for free but upon the production of a voter identification card. Consideration it said will be given to shuttling persons exiting or entering the country via the airport.

The move has been criticized by a section of rights advocates who insist that free movement does not in any way threaten the conduct of the polls. They point to neighbouring Liberia, Ghana who have conducted successful polls without such restrictions.

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Motherland News

PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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