Bisigye speaking to media after his arrestFB
Uganda opposition leader, Kizza Bisigye speaking to the media after his arrest

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and about Africa.  In the week just passed we look at two Africa-related stories making headline news around the world.

Police arrest opposition party leaders in Uganda and Ethiopia releases bloggers as Obama visit nears.

Uganda crack down on the opposition

In the lead up to elections in Uganda, the strong arm of the law is taking a toll on opposition politicians who wish to oust long-time leader, Yuweri Museveni from office. A presidential election is planned for February, 2016 in the East African country. As we learned through the Mail and Guardian, a former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi was arrested, as well as Kizza Bisegye, a former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

While elections are now a norm in the country, the Guardian notes that “rivals to Museveni are hamstrung by harassment.”

In a separate look at the arrests The Washington Post notes that “Mbabazi represents an important challenge to Museveni, who has ruled the East African nation since 1986.”

Ahead of Obama visit, Ethiopia frees prisoners

Reuters News Agency
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn

After it was confirmed that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Ethiopia, the government quickly released six journalists, including columnist, Reeyot Alemu, who have been held up on terrorism-related charges.

According to New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) which welcomed the release of the prisoners, Ethiopia is the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea. The organization states that there are still many more journalists in prison in Ethiopia who need to be released.

Writing on the Public Radio International website, Jared Goyette thinks the reason for the release is because of president Obama’s upcoming visit to the country. As he says, the “timing hardly seems coincidental.”


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