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Dissidents amnesty law results into riots in Ethiopian prisons

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ETHIOPIA

A law granting amnesty to dissidents passed by parliament has resulted to outbreak of riots in six Ethiopian prisons.

Over the past two days, inmates attempted to escape by lighting fires in the prisons, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

A separate fire at a prison in the northern city of Mekele killed two people, Fana said, but it was unclear if the blaze was connected to the rioting.



“It is against the constitution and will hamper the peace, unity, and togetherness spirit of the people,” government spokesperson Kassahun Gofe said of the unrest, according to Fana.

Kassahun said the rioting was due to a lack of “understanding” about the amnesty law.

 The prisons affected by rioting were in the northern Amhara Region, the capital Addis Ababa and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Fana said.

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The reprieve was part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda that has seen Ethiopia’s one-party government make peace with various opposition groups.

Since coming to power in April thousands of prisoners, including high-profile opponents, have been released.

Abiy has also announced a slew of economic reforms and led a dizzying peace process with neighbouring Eritrea.

Earlier this month, state media reported that prison chiefs had been sacked for “failing to discharge their responsibilities and respect prisoners’ human rights”.

The announcement came as Human Rights Watch sounded the alarm over torture, rape and starvation at a notorious prison in the country’s volatile Somali region.

The reforms represent a stark departure for the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which, together with its allies, controls every seat in parliament.

 The violence came days after Ethiopia’s parliament passed an amnesty for dissidents charged with crimes like treason and attacking the government.

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Opposition candidate accuses President macky sall of draining the country funds to debt.

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Opposition candidate bidding for presidential race has accuse the sitting president for draining the country to debt, adding that he and his brother are personally profiting and laundering money from the newly discovery of oil and gas reserves, before drilling has even begun.



The wealth that has come with the discovery of oil and gas reserves in Senegal has created other problems for the African nation.

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However, President Macky Sall, who is aiming for a second tenure has discarded the claim by stating that he is committed to tackle corruption as promised before being elected.

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Nigeria: You must not allow bloodshed – US Congressman writes Buhari

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Chris Smith, a Political Editor United State Congressman has urged Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the Presidential election coming up this weekend will be free and fair.



In a letter to President Buhari, he states that the outcome of the election should replicate the standard past administration ensured. and also put in the necessary measures to ensure there wont be bloodshed.

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In addition, Smith said. “Given the magnitude of global problems Secretary Pompeo must contend with, he should consider appointing a Special Envoy for Nigeria vested with full authority. “The State Department must use all tools at its disposal, including visa denial and sanctioning authority, to hold accountable those who undermine democracy and foment sectarian and ethnic violence.

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