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Briefing: Lawyers Demand Release of Rwandans in Uganda; Kiir in Kenya; Etienne Tshisekedi Body Repatriation Delays

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Etienne Tshisekedi Body Repatriation Delays

RIP: Etienne Tshisekedi (Internet photo)

The Democratic Republic of Congo will today Thursday receive the body of former Prime Minister and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi from Belgium, Chimp Corps report.

The body was expected to arrive in DRC on Wednesday afternoon but the repatriation was postponed at the last minute.

It is understood a military ceremony presided over by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders will first be held at Melsbroek military airport near Brussels before the body is airlifted.

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About 250 people are expected to accompany the body to DRC for a funeral ceremony on June 1.

African leaders are expected in Kinshasa, DRC ahead of the event.

They include Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Sassou Nguesso of Congo, João Lourenço of Angola, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo and Alpha Condé of Guinea.

Etienne is the father of current DRC president, Felix Tshisekedi.

The return of Etienne’s remains will mark two years since the former UDPS leader passed on in February 2017 in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 84.

Etienne’s body could not be repatriated due to the prevailing tense relations political tensions under then president Joseph Kabila.

Felix Tshisekedi was recently elected to take over from Kabila in a surprising election victory.

Lawyers Demand Release of Rwandans in Uganda

A group of Ugandan lawyers has asked government to comply with court orders to release Rwandans held in Uganda.

“If the government fails or refuses to comply with a court decisions, that is a clear and blatant violation of the law,” said the lawyers in a statement on Wednesday.

They said detaining people beyond 48 hours and not subjecting them to any due process of law and for the government of Uganda to say that actually the detainees are the ones breaking the law and they have never been produced before courts of law is in itself self-defeating.

Ugandan authorities say they arresting and interrogating suspected spies sent by Rwanda.

But the lawyers said if government fails or refuses to respect court decisions is a clear and blatant violation of the law.

“They have been detained without due process. They have been denied access to relatives, lawyers and doctors and some of them may never be seen again. As soon as you receive a court decision to deliver a suspect to court, and you do not do it you are in contempt of court,” said the lawyers.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the security organs which are not responding to court orders “do not have those people,” adding, “Let them provide details of the detention facilities where they are kept. Those are malicious claims. They go to court to frame the government of Uganda.”

However, lawyers said the government of Uganda should prevail over its security agencies, emphasising that as soon as court has order of release of production of suspects Is issued, “let it be complied with.”

South Sudan President Woos Investors at UN Habitat Assembly

Kiir being welcomed in Nairobi on Wednesday

President Salva Kiir is in Kenya where he joined President Uhuru Kenyatta at the United Nations complex to attend the high level plenary session of the ongoing first UN habitat assembly.

Addressing the session, President Salva Kiir outlined that the UN habitat agenda is a great initiative for sustainable infrastructure development and youth employment.

Kiir also stressed that unsustainable human settlement remains a major challenge urging the UN habitat to focus their strategic plan on South Sudan.

The President also stressed the dire need to develop South Sudan private sector encouraging investors to invest in his country.

The country has been struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the civil war.

But the country has since started pumping crude oil for western markets to obtain the much-needed funds for development.

The UN-Habitat Assembly was established by the United Nations General Assembly through a resolution endorsed on 20 December 2018, to help strengthen UN-Habitat’s mandate.

The event saw dignitaries discuss the importance of sustainable urbanization for their respective countries. The event was also attended by 40 ministers and high level representatives from 116 countries.

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