Govt withdrew from African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2 Dec; decision will prevent individuals and NGOs filing rights cases directly against govt. NGO Human Rights Watch 12 Dec reported that authorities were putting increasing pressure on Burundian refugees to leave country, including by intimidation; Home Affairs minister 3 Dec denied govt was forcibly expelling refugees. Police 20 Dec arrested prominent human rights lawyer Tito Magoti; authorities 24 Dec charged him with economic crimes including non-bailable offence of money laundering.
Next year’s elections in Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago, will be hard fought. With the ruling party changing the rules in its favour, they could turn violent. The islands’ politicians should urgently meet to discuss levelling the playing field and lowering the risk of clashes.
Al-Shabaab remains focused on recapturing power in Somalia, but it continues to plot attacks in Kenya and Tanzania – and perhaps in Uganda as well. To counter the movement, East African states should eschew heavy-handed crackdowns and work instead to reduce its appeal to potential recruits.
Originally published in The East African