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Archive for Tanzania

Newsline: Tanzania Opposition Leader Seeks Refuge With German Ambassador

Tanzania’s main opposition leader Tundu Lissu sought refuge at the German ambassador’s residence in the city of Dar es Salaam, claiming he feared for his life after a contentious election. Lissu and other opposition leaders were briefly detained by the police last week after calling for nationwide street protests against the East African country’s Oct. 28 election, which they said was rigged in favor of the ruling party. The electoral body said the poll was free and credible. “I’m staying at the German ambassador’s residence since Monday because of threats on my life,” Lissu told Bloomberg on Saturday by telephone. Unidentified people had threatened to deal with him “once and for all,” he said. “I read that as: They are out to kill me.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-07/tanzania-opposition-leader-seeks-refuge-with-german-ambassador) Calls to the Dar es Salaam police chief, Lazaro Mambosasa, weren’t answered. Police said recently that the security situation was calm, with no incidents of election-related violence.

Newsline: US embassies in Africa speak up on police killing

As Minneapolis burns over the police killing of George Floyd and shock and disappointment in Africa grow, some U.S. embassies on the continent have taken the unusual step of issuing critical statements, saying no one is above the law. The statements came as the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned the “murder” of Floyd and said Friday the continental body rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.” Africa has not seen the kind of protests over Floyd’s killing that have erupted across the United States, but many Africans have expressed disgust and dismay, openly wondering when the U.S. will ever get it right. Mindful of America’s image on a continent where China’s influence has grown and where many have felt a distinct lack of interest from the Trump administration in Africa, some U.S. diplomats have tried to control the damage. The ambassador to Congo, Mike Hammer, highlighted a tweet from a local media entrepreneur who addressed him saying, “Dear ambassador, your country is shameful. Proud America, which went through everything from segregation to the election of Barack Obama, still hasn’t conquered the demons of racism. How many black people must be killed by white police officers before authorities react seriously?” The ambassador’s response, in French: “I am profoundly troubled by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Justice Department is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority. Security forces around the world should be held accountable. No one is above the law.” (https://www.startribune.com/in-unusual-move-us-embassies-in-africa-speak-up-on-floyd/570889852/) Similar statements were tweeted by the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Uganda, while the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya tweeted a joint statement from the Department of Justice office in Minnesota on the investigation.

Newsline: Tanzania summons US diplomat over COVID-19 warning

Tanzania summoned the top US official in the country to convey objections over a misleading advisory on the COVID-19 situation in the East African nation, local media reported. Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Colonel Wilbert Ibuge met acting US Ambassador Inmi Pattreson at the Foreign Affairs office in Dar es Salaam, according to news website The Citizen. A statement by the Foreign Ministry said the US Embassy posted advisories on its Twitter page on May 13 and May 25 that said “Dar es Salaam is not safe due to the presence of a large number of COVID-19 patients.” (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/tanzania-summons-us-diplomat-over-covid-19-warning/1855065) The advisory also claimed that several hospitals in Dar es Salaam were “overwhelmed by patients.” The Tanzanian Foreign Ministry said such claims were not true and were likely to distress and cause panic among Tanzanian citizens and foreign nationals, according to the report. Tanzania has recorded 509 COVID-19 cases, including 21 deaths and 183 recoveries to date, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

Newsline: Zimbabwe protests US sanction against its Tanzania ambassador

Zimbabwe protested against US sanctions against its current ambassador to Tanzania for his alleged role in the repression of a post-election demonstration that killed six people last year in his country. Anselem Sanyatwe, former head of the presidential guard, is accused of commanding the soldiers who opened fire in August 2018 on demonstrators protesting against a delay in publishing the results of the previous month’s presidential election. The Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement that it had summoned the United States Ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, to “express its dissatisfaction” with the sanctions imposed on Mr. Sanyatwe. (https://www.africanews.com/2019/08/03/zimbabwe-protests-us-sanction-against-its-tanzania-ambassador/) The United States has denied him entry to its territory for “his involvement in serious human rights violations”.

Newsline: Tanzania slams US embassy over security alert

Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 20 warned the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam against issuing alarming alerts without following procedure. In a statement posted on the US embassy’s Twitter account on June 19, 2019, the US warned its citizens to take precautions over rumours of impending attacks in a tourist area in Dar es Salaam. (https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/Tanzania-slams-US-embassy/4552908-5166252-599rf6/index.html) On June 20 evening, Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs ministry issued a statement saying permanent secretary Dr Faraji Kasidi Mnyepe held consultations with Ms Janine Young, a representative of the US ambassador, over the alert. According to the statement, the US diplomat was summoned to explain the alert. Tanzania says the security alert was issued without following the correct procedure, and claimed that it was targeted at the general public and not US citizens only.

Newsline: EU recalls Tanzania ambassador

The European Union has recalled its ambassador to Tanzania, citing “the deterioration of the human rights and rule of law situation” in the East African country where one regional official last week called for the outing and arrests of homosexuals. A statement emailed to The Associated Press said the EU will be conducting a broad review of its relations with Tanzania. The statement does not cite specific issues, but there are fears of an impending crackdown against homosexuals after Dar es Salaam Commissioner Paul Makonda urged Tanzanians to spy on suspected gays and lesbians and to report their activities. Tanzania’s government has since issued a statement saying Makonda stated his opinion and does not speak for the administration. Tanzania’s government will continue abiding by all international treaties on human rights to which it has committed, it said, adding that it protects all human rights guaranteed in the country’s constitution.


Newsline: South African group pickets outside Tanzanian embassy for release of arrested activists

A group of people are picketing outside the Tanzanian embassy in Pretoria to demand the urgent release of 13 people, including two South Africans. Lawyers and activists working for social justice NGO Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Chesa were arrested in that country earlier this month for allegedly promoting homosexuality. But they have not yet been formally charged, despite intense talks with the Tanzanian police to release the group.


Newsline: Israel Plans to Open Embassy in Tanzania

Israel will soon open a fully-fledged embassy in Dar es Salaam to make it easier for visa processing and boosting trade between the two nations. The resumption of the diplomatic relations will mean the development of political and economic ties. Tanzania was among the first nations to establish diplomatic ties with Israel after it won its independence in 1963. But it was also among the many African nations that broke off ties with Israel in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi, Gil Haskel told East African Business Week the two nations are now working on establishing an embassy in Tanzania. “We are planning to open a full-fledged embassy in Dar es Salaam. The only hindrance for the time being is the global economic challenges, but once things are settled, we will open it,” Haskel said. He also confirmed that it is true, for the time being, that Tanzania has no embassy in Tel Aviv. He added that Israel use Nairobi as a regional embassy to serve Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.


Newsline: Libyan accused in embassy bombings to stand trial next year

A federal judge in New York on Thursday ordered a trial next year for Abu Anas al Liby, the Libyan charged in the 1998 deadly bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan set the date for Nov. 3, 2014. Al Liby will be tried alongside two other men indicted in connection with the bombings — Adel Abdel Bary, and Khalid al Fawwaz. All three defendants have been accused of planning the embassy attacks that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. All have pleaded not guilty. Al Liby was captured in Libya in October in a raid carried out by the U.S. Army Delta Force.


Newsline: Controversy in Tanzania over Rome embassy building purchase

Former Tanzanian ambassador to Italy Prof Costa Ricky Mahalu (63) told Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was aware of the two contracts used in purchasing an embassy building in Rome. Mahalu, who is the first witness in the corruption case he faces along with his assistant, former consular Grace Martin, revealed this when making his defence before presiding principal resident magistrate Ilvin Mgeta. Prof Mahalu and Martin are charged in a high profile grand corruption case with causing the Tanzanian government a loss of euros 2m during the purchase of the embassy building over ten years ago. He told the court that, he communicated with then Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Jakaya Kikwete [now President of the United Republic of Tanzania] about the process of purchasing the embassy along with two draft contracts. Prof Mahalu added that after the arrangement, Kikwete met with the owner of the building who told him about the two contracts when he visited the building in December 2001. Led by his defense counsel Mabere Marando, Mahalu told the court that, the Minister reminded him to make sure that the money was paid soon before other people bid for the same building and win it. He added that the owner of the building during the discussion with Kikwete insisted to be paid USD one million, as commitment fee and the Minister assured her that the money would be paid before the end of the year. He further said that, Kikwete visited the building when he was attending a SADC meeting in December 2001.