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The East African : Sep 29th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 3, 2014 WELCOME CHANGE OF HEART The White Army, a South Sudanese anti-government militia. Now the rebel group, led by Dr Riek Machar, supports the continued stay of Ugandan soldiers in the country. Picture: File Rwandan tycoon takes govt to EACJ BY A CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican THE HIGHLY awaited case involving exiled Rwandan tycoon Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro and the Rwandan government in which he accuses the latter of wrongfully repossessing his assets kicked off this week at the East African Court of Justice. Mr Rujugiro, through his company Union Trade Centre contested decisions by Commissions of Abandoned Properties to take over management of his properties in the country. The EACJ First Instance Machar group declares support for UPDF in Juba This comes at a time when China has summoned D≥ Riek Macha≥ to Beijing to discuss the c≥isis By BARBARA AMONG Special Correspondent T he conflict in South Sudan saw significant develop- ments last week with Dr Riek Machar’s rebels finally coming to terms with the UPDF presence in Juba and the rebel leader travelling to Beijing, where he was expected to commit further to a peaceful settlement of the nearly one-year-old conflict. While opening their liai- son office in Kampala, rebel representatives declared support for the continued stay of Ugandan soldiers in Juba while Uganda on the other hand officially welcomed the Principal Representative of the rebels to Kampala. The official opening of a li- aison office in Kampala, players say, now gives Uganda leverage over the rebels and it is also seen as a sign of improving relations between the rebel movement and the government of Uganda. Machar’s Principal Repre- sentative to Kampala David Otim said the liaison office in Kampala will be used to promote the diplomatic relations between the rebel group and Kampala, and to co-ordinate the humanitarian, peace and reconciliation initiatives in Uganda with the aim of realising permanent solution to the war in South Sudan. Consensus on UPDF’s role “We in the SPLM/A (in op- position) are in the meantime in consensus that the UPDF in South Sudan should continue to play their positive role in protecting lives and property as we wait for full deployment of Igad’s protection force as per the AddisAbaba Cessation of Hostility Protocol,” said Mr Otim. This is a U-turn from the previous demand that Uganda should withdraw its troops from South Sudan as a prerequisite for the Addis Ababa peace negotiation and for a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and Dr Machar to take place. The change of heart on the side of Machar’s team follows a meeting in Kampala last month between Uganda’s security officials and Machar’s team. The developments in Kam- pala come at a time when China, one of the major oil players in South Sudan, has summoned Dr Machar to Beijing to discuss the crisis. Sources said China hopes to rein in Machar to commit to the peace talks and get a guarantee from him on protection of its interest in the oil fields. Dr Machar’s forces control the oil rich states of Unity and Upper Nile. An advance team, led by “Dr Machar will hold bilateral talks with officials of the Peoples Republic of China.” James Gatdet, spokesperson of Dt Riek Machar Dr Dhieu Mathok Diing, arrived in Beijing last week. In the delegation is Comrade Hussein Mar Nyuot, chairperson for the humanitarian committee and Dr Richard K Mulla, the chairperson for the justice and human rights committee. “Dr Machar will hold bi- lateral talks with officials of the Peoples Republic of China and try to forge mutual understanding,” said Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet. Prof Nathaneil Oyet, chair- man for the rebel faction’s national committee for political mobilisation, told The EastAfrican in an interview that Dr Machar would discuss China’s role in the peace process and the recent report that China was supplying arms to the Juba government. “We want to hold frank dis- cussions on, for example, the question of human rights violations by government,” said Prof Oyet. However, China’s worry, insiders say, is threats to its interests in South Sudan. The war, which broke out December last year, has affected oil production, reducing it from 300,000BPD to less than a half. China is the largest for- eign investor in South Sudan and Sudan oil industry. The China National Petroleum Corporation has 40 per cent stake in the oil fields, making it the largest. Division on September 22 heard the case in which Mr Rujugiro accuses the government of “unilaterally” taking over his UTC upscale mall valued at $20 million which houses over 80 shops. Mr Rujugiro argues that his properties were properly managed and not abandoned as alleged by the commission. Through his lawyer Fran- cis Gimara, Mr Rujugiro argues that the decision to take over his interests violates the EAC treaty provisions on good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, rule of law, social justice and maintenance of universally acceptable standards of human rights.” Citing several articles EAC Treaty, the business mogul says that actions similar to the ones that befell his interests in Rwanda defeat the objectives and purposes for which the Community was established including the obligation to enhance and strengthen partnership with the private sector and civil society in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic and political development. Mr Rujugiro, who has business interests in Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo, South Africa and Congo Brazzaville says that he was not informed when the decision to take over management of the mall was made. “The matter was brought 21 Rwandan tycoon Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro. Pict: File to his attention by his tenants who received a letter from Kigali City Abandoned Property Management Commission directing them to pay rent to it.” Mr Rujugiro also wants to overturn decisions to take over his residential house in Kicukiro valued at $2 million and his shares in Nshili Kivu Tea Factory. He maintains that his properties or shares were properly managed regardless of him living outside the country.Rujugiro also wants the government of Rwanda to be restrained from further interference in his business and management of his property and that the Court orders the Respondent to pay general damages as well as cost. However, Rwanda through Aimable Malala, who is representing the Attorney General, is challenging the competence of the court to hear a matter that was decided at the local governance level. Mr Malala says that the matter is not an action of an institution of the Community but rather it is an action by the City of Kigali, which cannot be equated to actions of the State. He further contends that Mr Rujugiro’s lawsuit is time barred as he became aware of the process of taking over the mall since July 2013. The EAC treaty indicates that such complaints can only be addressed by the court 2 months after a decision was taken. The court will rule after assessing the submissions of all parties and putting together the judgment. EACJ will notify the parties involved on when the judgment is ready. opment Network (AKDN) for its efforts in creating new innovation centres that seek to empower civil society groups around the world. In his address at the Clinton Glo- US p≥esident lauds AKDN fo≥ c≥eating new innovation cent≥es U By ALLAN OLINGO The EastAfrican S President Barack Obama has lauded the Agha Khan Devel- a civil society and this can only be achieved through concerted efforts. “I want to thank our partners in bal Initiative, Obama said that all countries can prosper by promoting this effort, including the government of Sweden and the Aga Khan Development Network and starting next year, six centres will be established in Latin America, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East and in Asia through which civil society groups will be able to network and access knowledge and technology and funding that they need to put their ideas into action,” Mr. Obama mentioned. Presidential memorandum President Obama also issued a Presidential Memorandum to US agencies engaged abroad directing them to defend and strengthen civil society abroad by consulting regularly with civil society organizations to explain the views of the United States. The Aga Khan Development Net- work (AKDN) is a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, and the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities. “I am pleased that we’re joined today by our many partners in this work, governments, civil society groups, including faith leaders, and men and women from around the world who devote their lives and risk their lives to lifting up their communities, and strengthening their nations, and claiming universal rights on behalf of their fellow citizens,” Obama said.
Sep 22nd 2014
Oct 6th 2014