News

Nigerian Activist Omoyele Sowere Remains In Custody Following Planned #RevolutionNow Protests

The founder of Sahara Reporters and 2019 presidential candidate, is being held under terrorism laws after attempting to organize a nationwide protest against insecurity.

Nigerian journalist, activist and politician Omoyele Sowere was arrested on Sunday for his efforts to lead a nationwide "Revolution Now" protest and is currently being held under terrorism laws, BBC Africa reports.

The peaceful protests were set to take place across 21 Nigerian cities on Monday. Several Nigerians were set to take to the streets to demand an end to widespread insecurity in the country, and push for free education and healthcare for all Nigerian citizens. Some organizers attempted to go ahead with the protests on Monday to little success. Those who did attempt to organize faced small run-ins with police.

Sowere remains in custody, after being accused of "calling for an overthrow of the Nigerian government," by organizing the protest. Though he should have been charged within 48-hours of being taken into custody, according to Nigerian law, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled that Sowere could be detained under terrorism laws, following a request from the Department of State Services (DSS) to hold him for further investigation. "The nature of offence of terrorism which involved the use of force, is a clear affront to the peace of the society," said the justice of his decision.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Uhuru Productions

In Conversation with Rehad Desai: "This was the biggest protest movement in post-Apartheid history."

The internationally-acclaimed filmmaker talks about documenting one of the largest student movements of the 21st century in 'Everything Must Fall'.

Everything Must Fall documents the Fees Must Fall movement which happened in 2015 and continued into 2016. It is a raw and uncensored account of what happened when thousands of South African students mobilized across the country and refused to be kept out of the very institutions they believed would end the cycle of poverty and unemployment that dominated their lives and those of their families.

The documentary, which is directed by Rehad Desai, is narrated by four of the prominent student leaders who were at the front line of violent clashes with police all the while fighting for the immovable belief that universities should not be elitist spaces that exclude the poor. Professor Adam Habib, The Vice Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand—the birthplace of the student movement—is also featured in the documentary.

Desai is a prolific South African filmmaker whose films have been screened at over 40 film festivals including Cannes. He's also a social activist who returned from political exile in the UK towards the end of Apartheid in 1990. Bring those two elements together and you have explosive documentaries such as Everything Must Fall and Miners Shot Down.

Miners Shot Down documented the 2012 Marikana massacre where 34 miners were gunned down by the police, all because they had asked for better wages and for their employers to simply "come and see how they were living".

We sat down with Desai to talk about some of the challenges he encountered documenting this historical movement and what touched him personally as a storyteller.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Sudanese protesters chant slogans and flash the victory gesture with a national flag at the protest outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on May 14, 2019. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Protestors and Military in Sudan Have Agreed to a Three-Year Government Transition

"We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations," says Sudan's top army General.

The Sudanese military and the country's opposition have agreed to a three-year transition period into full civilian rule, reports Al Jazeera.

Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta told reporters on Wednesday, that a new agreement between the military and the protest group Alliance for Freedom and Change would be signed within 24 hours. "We agreed on a transitional period of three years," he announced. "We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations," said Atta.

The decision comes after the army seized power following the overthrow of long-time president Omar al-Bashir last month. While his ousting was viewed as a victory won by the people, many protestors rejected the military's decision to take over and plans for a two-year military-led take over.

READ: Sudan's Revolution Isn't a Fluke—It's Tradition

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Post-Election Violence in Benin Threatens One of Africa's Most Stable Democracies

The threat of authoritarian rule is rattling the country as demonstrators, calling for an annulment to Sunday's election, were met with live bullets and tear gas.

Protestors and police have clashed for a second day in a row following Sunday's elections in Benin.

Demonstrators have gathered in the economic capital of Cotonou since Wednesday, denouncing the election, which had a notably low turnout, and left opposition candidates out of the running. Many are in support of former leader Thomas Boni Yayi and are demanding the annulment of the vote and for incumbent President Patrice Talon to step down.

Police forces fired live bullets at protestors who were gathering in the capital, reports Al Jazeera. One woman died on Thursday after being wounded during a protest. The violence has largely quelled on Friday according to Yahoo News, but police forces have maintained their presence on the streets of Cotonou.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.