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Archive for Africa

Newsline: Netherlands embassy no longer issues visas to Nigerians

The embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria reminded Nigerians that it is no longer in charge of issuing visas to them. Michel Deleen, the embassy’s charge d’ affaires, told NAN in Lagos that the embassy swapped its visa issuance processes in Nigeria with the French Consulate General in Lagos and the embassy of Belgium in Abuja. “Let me remind Nigerians that under these agreements, any Nigerian that wants to visit the Netherlands for business, study or tourism should always process their visa applications through the French consulate-general in Lagos and the embassy of Belgium in Abuja.”

https://www.thecable.ng/netherlands-embassy-no-longer-issue-visas-nigerians

Newsline: Former South African ambassador found guilty of hate speech

The South Gauteng High Court ordered former South African ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane to apologise to the gay community for his 2008 newspaper column which the court found to be harmful. Judge Dimpheletse Seun Moshidi found Qwelane guilty of hate speech emanating from a column he penned in 2008 while working as a journalist. ”The offending statements made against the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) community are declared by this court to be hurtful, inciting harm, propagating hatred as envisaged in Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Unfair Prevention of Discrimination Act of 2000. The applicant is ordered to tender to the LGBTIQ community an unconditional apology within 30 days, or another period as parties may agree upon,” Moshidi said. ”The apology shall be published in one edition of the Sunday Sun newspaper or publication of the same circulation as a Sunday newspaper in order to receive the same publicity as the offending statements. Proof of the publication of such apology shall be furnished to this court immediately thereafter.” The self-confessed homophobe was also ordered to pay the legal costs for the long-running case, including the postponements. Moshidi further dismissed Qwelane’s constitutional challenge of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act hate speech clause, which Qwelane said was ”vague and too broad.” The column, titled “Call me names, but gay is not ok” was published in the Sunday Sun newspaper, and drew widespread criticism from activists who accused Qwelane of promoting hate speech. It was accompanied by a cartoon that portrayed homosexuality as bestiality.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/former-sa-diplomat-jon-qwelane-found-guilty-of-hate-speech-10848983

Newsline: Saudi Arabia’s Nairobi embassy in lease dispute

Real estate firm Plumcon East Africa has sued the Saudi Arabian embassy for backing out of a deal that was to see it lease seven high end apartments in Nairobi’s Arboretum area. Plumcon says it made specific repairs to the seven apartments in 2012 at the request of the Saudi Arabian Embassy which afterwards refused to take up the housing units. The firm now wants Justice Thuranira to order the embassy to pay it damages in an amount that the court shall deem fair for the loss of business. The Saudi Arabian embassy was to pay Sh17.7 million yearly for the seven apartments before it terminated the agreement. The Saudi Arabian embassy however says Plumcon delayed in completing the requested fittings in the apartments. The embassy says its staff were to occupy the apartments on November 26, 2011 but that the units were far from ready by then. Plumcon however insists that it finished all repairs early enough and attempted to hand over the keys to the Saudi Arabian embassy on November 24, 2011. The embassy however refused to accept the keys and terminated the lease agreement, the firm says. Saudi Arabia’s embassy has now filed an application to dismiss the suit, arguing that it enjoys diplomatic immunity hence cannot be sued.

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/Saudi-Arabia-embassy-lease-dispute/996-4014626-i4ylkq/index.html

Newsline: South Africa to downgrade embassy in Israel

The ANC national policy conference has adopted a policy recommendation made by the ANC in the Western Cape to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office in a bid to reduce diplomatic ties to Israel. On Tuesday, the NPC adopted the downgrade recommendation and it is set to be ratified in December at the ANC’s elective conference. The resolution on the downgrade reads: “The commission called for the downgrading of the SA Embassy in Israel to send a strong message about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and the continued human rights abuses against the peoples of Palestine”. The ANC Western Cape made the recommendation because it says Israel has continued to treat Palestine with violence instead of attempting to reach a peace agreement. The Palestinian government has backed a two-state solution which would mean that both Israel and Palestine are recognised as sovereign states. Israel, meanwhile, has refused to endorse a two-state solution. The ANC has also supported a two-state solution. While the ANC NPC has adopted the policy recommendation, the party’s national conference in December will still have to approve the resolution before it is final and government can implement it. The government will continue to have diplomatic relations with Israel, however, because the Israeli embassy in South Africa will continue to be active.

https://mg.co.za/article/2017-07-05-anc-to-downgrade-south-african-embassy-in-israel

Newsline: Fake US embassy officials conning Malawians

United States Embassy in Malawi has warned Malawians to be wary of fraudsters who are demanding money from people in order to offer them employment as Health Surveillance Assistants. In a statement issued, the embassy says it is aware of recent reports in Zomba of individuals purporting to represent the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) charging individuals to apply for employment as Health Surveillance Assistant. According to the statement, the swindlers later disappeared after collecting the money and did not provide the services promised. The US Embassy has condemned the act saying it does not charge anything for employment. “The CDC, and all other US government agencies operating in Malawi, do not charge individuals to apply for employment,” says the statement. It also warns Malawians that if they are asked to pay money to apply for a job with US Government, they should not pay and should immediately report the fraudsters to the Malawi Police Service (MPS) or to the US Embassy. Meanwhile, the US embassy is working hand in hand with the police to establish people behind the malpractice.

https://malawi24.com/2017/07/03/fake-us-embassy-officials-conning-malawians/

Newsline: Netherlands to reopen embassy in Libya

The Dutch government is to reopen its Tripoli embassy. The news was broken to Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj and Government of National Accord (GNA) foreign minister Mohamed Siala at a dinner tonight in the Hague during their two-day visit to Holland. Their host, Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, flanked by ambassador Eric Strating, is understood to have said that diplomats will move from Tunis back to Tripoli in September or October. The envoys were pulled out in July 2014 as security collapsed after the Libya Dawn takeover in the capital. Holland’s NPO Radio 1 broadcast this evening that Koenders had admitted that security in Tripoli still left much to be desired. But he said returning Dutch diplomats to Libya was an important first step.

https://www.libyaherald.com/2017/06/29/dutch-to-reopen-tripoli-embassy/

Newsline: Zimbabweans in South Africa Storm Embassy in Pretoria to Demand Voting Rights

Scores of Zimbabweans living in South Africa stormed the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria, demanding the right to vote in the 2018 general elections, reports said. According to News Day, the protesters first gathered at the Union Buildings before proceeding to the Zimbabwean embassy to present their petition. Reports late last year indicated that Zimbabwe’s three million or so diasporans were most certainly not going to be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections unless they came home twice – once to register and then again to vote.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201706280535.html