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Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

 

Erdogan: la Turquie ne peut seule faire face à un nouvel afflux de réfugiés syriens

Publié le 22.12.2019 à 23h51 par AFP

Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a averti dimanche l’Europe que son pays ne pouvait faire face à lui seul à un nouvel afflux de Syriens fuyant l’intensification des bombardements dans la province d’Idleb, que le régime de Damas cherche à reprendre aux jihadistes.

Des dizaines de milliers de personnes se sont dirigées vers la frontière avec la Turquie en raison du nombre croissant des frappes aériennes des forces gouvernementales syriennes et russes sur la région de Maaret al-Numan, dans le nord-ouest syrien, depuis le 16 décembre.

« La Turquie ne peut accueillir une nouvelle vague de réfugiés en provenance de Syrie », a martelé M. Erdogan au cours d’une cérémonie à Istanbul, ajoutant que plus de 80.000 des trois millions des habitants de la province d’Idleb l’ont quittée pour aller vers des zones situées près de la frontière turque.

Si, en conséquence, le nombre des migrants augmente, « la Turquie ne portera pas seule ce fardeau », a-t-il ajouté.

« Les effets négatifs de cette pression que nous subissons seront ressentis par tous les pays européens, à commencer par la Grèce », a-t-il mis en garde.

L’Europe assisterait alors aux mêmes scènes qu’en 2015, au moment de la pire crise liée à une arrivée massive de réfugiés qu’elle ait connue depuis la fin de la Deuxième guerre mondiale, quand un million de personnes avaient fui vers ce continent.

Le flux de passages vers l’Europe s’est tari à la faveur d’un accord conclu en 2016 entre Ankara et l’UE, mais le président turc a récemment menacé de laisser passer les candidats à l’exil.

Les responsables turcs affirment que la Turquie héberge actuellement environ cinq millions de réfugiés, dont quelque 3,7 millions de Syriens chassés par le conflit qui déchire leur pays depuis 2011.

M. Erdogan a par ailleurs annoncé qu’une délégation turque se rendrait lundi à Moscou pour des pourparlers en vue de tenter de mettre fin aux attaques contre la région d’Idleb.


Macron et Issoufou tentent de mobiliser contre le jihadisme


Maroc : Le film documentaire « Guerre oubliée » remporte le Grand Prix du Festival du film sur la culture sahraouie hassanie à Laayoune

Maroc : Le film documentaire « Guerre oubliée » remporte le Grand Prix du Festival du film sur la culture sahraouie hassanie à Laayoune – Journal de BanguiMaroc : Le film documentaire « Guerre oubliée » remporte le Grand Prix du Festival du film sur la culture sahraouie hassanie à Laayoune – Journal de Bangui


Lecturers without PhD are living in denial

GEORGE MANYALIBy GEORGE MANYALI
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The court may have dismissed the demand by universities of having a doctoral degree to lecture at the institutions, but lecturers without a PhD will soon be isolated and could stagnate in one position for a long time.

Truth be told, the situation on the ground is different. Just like any other business organisation, universities develop and implement their internal policies or statutes to guide them on enhancing the requisite quality standards to achieve their short- and long-term goals.

The core businesses of the university are teaching and research. The research component is key to the country’s economic development and readiness to tackle economic challenges.

Lecturers and postgraduate students are integral parts of the research team.

In most universities around the world, lecturers without a doctoral degree are not allowed to start research laboratories, pursue their own research and advance their careers in academic science.

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This implies that non-PhD lecturers are prohibited from supervising master’s or doctorate students.

This policy ensures that the quality of postgraduate degrees awarded by Kenyan universities is not compromised.

One of America’s founding fathers and the country’s fourth president, Mr James Madison, once said that “knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives”.

Let these words of wisdom inspire the lecturers without PhD to work hard for the qualification. In fact, this is the only way for them to advance their careers.

A common trend in the human resources recruitment process today is that universities are employing individuals who already have all the skills for a job as well as state-of-the-art knowledge required to use those skills effectively. Most of those individuals are PhD holders.

This is unlike in the past, where employers would hire non-PhD holders and then train them by giving them incentives such as paid study leave, fee waivers and partial scholarships.

RESEARCH FUNDING

Apparently, higher education in Kenya is experiencing increased demand with more students attending vocational training centres (TVET), colleges and universities yet government support is declining.

Hence, universities are not receiving enough capitation in order to offer such incentives as partial scholarships and paid leave.

Furthermore, the National Research Foundation (NRF) has not released research grants for the past two financial years. That means only established scholars can source funds from international funding bodies.

Non-PhD holders’ access to funds is limited to postgraduate students. Cases of non-PhD lecturers attracting grants or becoming principal investigators in internationally funded projects are quite rare.

The prospects of newly recruited young staff at universities starting their research groups and advancing in their academic career is higher compared to old non-PhD holders.

The promotion of young PhD staff to management positions based on merit is likely to isolate lecturers without PhDs. The court ruling does not, therefore, relieve the lecturers’ pressure of attaining a PhD.

The non-PhD lecturers should forever be their own governors and arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Dr Manyali is Dean of the School of Science at Kaimosi Friends University College. [email protected]


With heavy rains during the festive season, beware of Rift Valley Fever

ANDREW TUIMURBy ANDREW TUIMUR
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Just as the Kenya Meteorological Department had warned, above average and prolonged rains have been pounding the country.

The rains have come with a lot of challenges and the national and county governments have been working to minimise the negative effects of the torrents — such as disease outbreaks.

The Ministry of Health and the principal secretary for Livestock Development issued a joint statement on the likelihood of a Rift Valley Fever (RVF) outbreak in the country.

It included safety measures, what the national government is doing and what is expected of the county governments. Strategic vaccinations to prevent disease outbreaks have been done in the endemic areas.

RVF is a viral zoonotic disease — meaning it can be transmitted across animals and human beings.

RVF outbreaks follow heavy rains, which create favourable conditions for the multiplication of mosquitoes — the main vectors of the disease through their bites.

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All historic RVF outbreaks have been recorded following above average prolonged rains like the current ones.

And all have left in their wake economic losses through closure of livestock markets as well as animal and human deaths.

But with prior planning in collaboration with communities, veterinary and health workers, the losses can be minimised and the outbreak prevented.

The government is already creating awareness across all the audience groups to increase the risk perception index of the public and that of disease suspicion in veterinary and public health workers.

The goal is timely reporting and subsequently prevention interventions.

Recently, the Zoonotic Disease Unit (ZDU) trained medics and vets from Narok, Kitui and Mandera counties on RVF surveillance, social mobilisation, communication, prevention and control.

Counties have also been directed to heighten awareness on RVF for timely reporting of suspected cases.

In animals, RVF manifests clinically through massive abortions in sheep and deaths of young stock.

Sheep and calves are considered the most susceptible; in other species, the disease will present with non-specific symptoms like fever, foul-smelling bloody diarrhoea and lack of appetite.

In human beings, RVF presents with fever, headache, weakness, nausea, stomach discomfort and headache and can result in death.

In the previous outbreaks the country lost vets who got infected while treating sick livestock.

The disease is transmitted from animals to human beings through contact with body fluids of infected animals.

This occurs during slaughtering and when farmers and vets assist their animals to give birth or during disposal of afterbirths without proper protection.

At most risk are vets, animal health assistants, slaughterhouse workers and farmers.

INSPECTED MEAT

The heavy rains, coupled with the festive reason, is, therefore, something that we must educate the public on to minimise the adverse effects of RVF.

As is customary of Kenyans, there will be a lot of slaughtering of livestock during this festive season. This year, however, a lot of caution should be practised.

Do not eat meat that has not been inspected and stamped by an official health inspector as safe for human consumption.

Home slaughters are unlawful as the animal is not taken through antemortem and postmortem examination to certify it safe for human consumption.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION

Handling an RVF animal could be catastrophic if slaughtered for consumption at home.

With increased demand for meat, let us be on high alert not to consume home-slaughtered animals.

Farmers should report abortions in their livestock to the vets for quick follow-up.

Similarly, any animal health worker who comes down with feverish conditions after treating an animal should present themselves to the nearest health facility for medical examination.

Dr Tuimur is the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. [email protected]


Focus on busy sports year

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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As most sports take a Christmas and New Year break, athletes and sports federations should not lose focus on their objectives as 2020 is going to be one of the busiest.

Athletics Kenya has its plate full, considering the many major events athletes will compete in, the highlight of which will be Tokyo Olympic Games due July 24 to August 9.

After successfully staging the World Under-18 Championships in Athletics in 2017, Kenya is again preparing to host the World U-20 Championships from July 7-12 at Moi International Sorts Complex, Kasarani.

Kenya will also send teams to the Africa Cross Country Championships due March 1 in Lome and the Africa Senior Athletics Championship set for June 24-28 in Algiers.

World Athletics (formerly IAAF) has introduced a World Athletics Continental Tour, a series of one-day meetings outside the Diamond League featuring the world’s top athletes, next year.

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The Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA), too, has introduced Africa Athletics Tour, to be held in six cities, including Nairobi on May 2.

The World Athletics Tour will have nine Golden Label events from May to September with a possible 10th leg that Nairobi is bidding to host in May.

The CAA and World Athletics events will act as dry runs for the World U-20 and AK must plan well for them.

The success of these events and the performance of Kenyan athletes will greatly boost the country’s chances of winning the bid to organise the World Athletics Championships in 2025.

Kenya’s best Olympic performance was at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, where it won 13 medals — six gold, six silver and one bronze — all in athletics competitions.

Other federations must pull up their socks to also post good results in Tokyo.


Universities must show diversity, face of Kenya

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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Financial problems, sexual pervasion among some lecturers, poor quality of learning, lack of serious scholarly output and questionable degree courses have come to define a majority of universities.

All these challenges can be traced and blamed on management failure and a culture of impunity.

But the composition of university management is becoming another problem.

A cursory look at the calibre of senior management in most universities reveals that most top positions, especially among the councils, senates and faculty — such as vice-chancellors, their deputies, deans, heads of departments, college principals and registrars — are occupied by individuals from the community where the institution is based.

This means a university is basically run by people from the community that makes up the majority of inhabitants there.

This creation of tribal enclaves in universities does not happen by coincidence, however.

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It is deliberate, contrived and conspiratorial. Although most individuals holding these senior positions generally possess the credentials required for the titles, they don’t earn them in a fair and competitive manner as would be expected in a professionally run institution.

By failing to embrace diversity and multiculturalism in management, universities become insular and devoid of a nationalistic, let alone global, look.

Lack of ethnical and cultural heterogeneity engenders feelings of exclusion and discrimination among those who do not belong to the community holding the reins of power. This, in turn, reduces the university to an ethnic citadel.

Universities of repute across the globe go out of their way to ensure their management, faculty and student communities are as culturally diverse as possible.

Indeed, most craft their requirements for top positions to favour international applicants as they seek to attract foreign students through scholarships and other benefits. Most offer international exchange programmes.

LIFE SKILLS

A diverse institution is not only seen as more welcoming, flexible and globalised; it also prepares students for the real world, which is a melting pot of cultures and languages.

If a university is perceived as belonging to a certain community, how would it attract such a richly diverse faculty and student community?

The Constitution requires public institutions to observe ethnic diversity.

Universities, whether public or private, as the beacons of academics, should be at the forefront of actualising that.

Except for the unskilled jobs, all other positions must be filled competitively. Universities that do not embrace cultural diversity should be forced to do so. They must reflect the face of Kenya.


Roumanie : bougies et ballons blancs pour les morts de la révolution de 1989

Publié le 22.12.2019 à 21h51 par AFP

Un millier de personnes ont rendu hommage dimanche à Bucarest aux Roumains morts pendant la révolution de décembre 1989 et souhaité que la lumière soit faite sur les événements sanglants qui ont suivi la chute du dictateur communiste Nicolae Ceausescu, a constaté l’AFP.

Les manifestants ont observé une minute de silence place de la Révolution avant de laisser s’envoler des centaines de ballons blancs symbolisant selon les organisateurs « l’âme des 1.142 personnes tuées » il y a trente ans.

Les noms des victimes ont ensuite été lus et projetés sur la façade du bâtiment qui avait abrité le comité central du Parti communiste.

« C’est grâce à ceux qui sont morts en décembre 1989 que nous vivons dans un pays libre », a déclaré une manifestante bucarestoise, Veronica Nicolau, 52 ans.

« Je suis venu pour exprimer ma reconnaissance envers ces jeunes innocents qui ont été tués de sang froid. Un jour nous saurons la vérité et alors nous pourrons enfin célébrer la révolution et non plus la commémorer », a confié Petre Cojan, un retraité âgé de 73 ans, retenant à peine ses larmes.

Le président de centre droit Klaus Iohannis, qui s’est joint aux manifestants, et plusieurs ministres ont déposé des couronnes de fleurs et des bougies devant un monument érigé à la mémoire des victimes.

« Nous voulons savoir la vérité sur décembre 1989, nous voulons que les coupables soient jugés et que justice soit faite », avait lancé M. Iohannis quelques heures plus tôt, à l’occasion de l’inauguration d’une exposition consacrée à ce soulèvement.

Jusqu’au 22 décembre 1989, c’est sur ordre de Ceausescu que l’armée et la police avaient tiré sur la foule. Mais la plupart des personnes tuées, plus de 900, sont tombées après la chute du dictateur, à un moment où un ancien apparatchik communiste, Ion Iliescu, venait de prendre le pouvoir.

Ce dernier, élu président à trois reprises (en 1990, 1992 et 2000) est jugé depuis novembre pour « crimes contre l’humanité ». Il est accusé d’avoir orchestré une « vaste opération de diversion et de désinformation » afin d’ »obtenir une légitimité aux yeux du peuple ».

« Iliescu condamné pour le sang versé », ont scandé dimanche les manifestants, dont plusieurs ont raconté avoir été les témoins du discours fait par ce dernier le 22 décembre 1989 du haut du balcon du bâtiment du comité central avant que des tirs dont l’origine n’a jamais été éclaircie ne fassent plusieurs morts.

C’est du toit de cet immeuble que Ceausescu et son épouse Elena s’étaient enfuis à bord d’un hélicoptère quelques heures plus tôt, alors que des dizaines de milliers de personnes en colère s’étaient massées tout autour. La veille, une cinquantaine d’opposants au régime avaient été abattus ou écrasés par des chars.

Pour la première fois depuis 1989, ce bâtiment a été ouvert au public dimanche. Les Roumains ont notamment pu voir le bureau de Ceausescu et le sous-sol abritant des cellules où étaient emprisonnés des opposants.

Le soulèvement anticommuniste avait débuté le 15 décembre à Timisoara (ouest) avant de gagner Bucarest six jours plus tard.

Arrêtés le 22 décembre, Nicolae et Elena Ceausescu ont été passés par les armes à l’issue d’un procès sommaire le jour de Noël.


Inde : Modi assure que les musulmans nés en Inde « n’ont pas à s’inquiéter »

Publié le 22.12.2019 à 21h51 par AFP

Le Premier ministre indien Narendra Modi a tenté dimanche de rassurer les musulmans indiens face à l’inquiétude provoquée par sa nouvelle loi sur la citoyenneté, qui a entraîné des manifestations ayant fait au moins 25 morts et mis son gouvernement nationaliste hindou sous pression.

« Les musulmans qui sont les fils du sol indien et dont les ancêtres sont les enfants de notre mère patrie n’ont pas à s’inquiéter », a lancé M. Modi au cours d’un meeting à New Delhi, alors que les manifestations se poursuivaient dans plusieurs villes dimanche.

Celles-ci ont débuté il y a dix jours contre la loi sur la citoyenneté, jugée comme discriminatoire à l’égard des musulmans.

Votée le 11 décembre par le parlement indien, elle facilite l’obtention de la citoyenneté indienne par les réfugiés d’Afghanistan, du Bangladesh et du Pakistan, à l’exception des musulmans.

M. Modi a accusé le principal parti d’opposition indien, le parti du Congrès, d’indulgence vis-à-vis des violences et de « répandre des rumeurs selon lesquelles tous les musulmans seront envoyés dans des camps de détention ». « Toutes ces histoires à propos de camps de détention sont des mensonges, des mensonges, et des mensonges ! », s’est-il exclamé.

Toutefois, on recense pas moins de six de ces camps rassemblant plus de 1.000 migrants illégaux présumés dans le seul Etat d’Assam, dans le nord-est, où 11 autres doivent être installés, tandis que deux doivent voir le jour près des villes de Bombay et de Bangalore.

Le vice-ministre de l’Intérieur a pour sa part reconnu devant le parlement que 28 personnes étaient mortes dans de tels camps de détention ces dernières années.

Narendra Modi a par ailleurs assuré qu’il n’était pas question de mettre en place à l’échelle de l’Inde un « registre des citoyens », dont beaucoup de musulmans du pays craignent que ce ne soit une mesure qui pour l’essentiel les viserait.

Bien qu’elle ne concerne pas directement les Indiens de confession musulmane -14% de la population, soit environ 200 millions des 1,3 milliard d’habitants-, la nouvelle loi sur la citoyenneté a cristallisé les peurs et la colère de cette communauté. Et déclenché l’un des plus vastes mouvements de contestation de ces dernières années en Inde.

Les manifestations ont été en majorité pacifiques mais certaines ont dégénéré, les contestataires jetant des pierres et brûlant des voitures. L’opposition a dénoncé « une répression brutale » des forces de l’ordre. Quelque 25 personnes sont mortes au cours des derniers jours, notamment dans l’Uttar Pradesh (nord), l’Etat le plus peuplé de l’Inde (200 millions d’habitants dont 20% de musulmans).


After immunity, governors want impunity; they can’t have either

KALTUM GUYOBy KALTUM GUYO
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Justice Mumbi Ngugi’s ruling that government officials step aside once charged with graft is written in the simplest of English and devoid of Latin legalese, that any governor with a basic understanding of English would know what it means.

This followed Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal’s application to be allowed to carry on despite corruption charges against him.

For the governors’ benefit, here is an excerpt from the ruling: “Kenyans could not have adopted Constitution 2010 to allow State officers to ride roughshod over the integrity required of leaders, face prosecution in court over alleged corrupt dealings and still continue to enjoy the trappings of office as they face corruption charges alleged to have been committed while in office….”

Staying away from office once you are charged in court for corruption just means staying away — in any language.

Governors are getting carried away by their egos even when implicated in graft, while ego has very little to do with the criminal matters that they face.

What is being determined of any suspect — be it as governor or any other citizen — in a criminal case is their culpability.

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COG’S FOLLY

The onus is on the suspects to rebut the claims. And governors have a great opportunity to do so in court. They should consider themselves lucky.

Many who steal the proverbial chicken in the village meet with death before they even reach the nearest police post.

Any means used to ensure due process is stipulated in the law. If that takes keeping suspects away from scenes of crime, which corrupt governors’ offices become, so be the law.

It is not the Council of Governors on trial as an entity but individual governors who chose to steal from public coffers.

CoG is not doing itself a favour by standing shoulder to shoulder with corrupt members.

It makes the rest complicit and exposes them to unnecessary litigation through vicarious liability.

Corruption has been damaging to the country and if CoG, as our leaders, don’t see that, then we are in an even deeper hole.

Last year, we thought it was bizarre when CoG demanded immunity for corrupt governors and they now want to be allowed to revel in impunity as we stand by and watch.

There is no democratic and sane society that will entertain the kind of impunity being perpetuated by CoG.

NEED FOR GUIDANCE

Governors must obey the law and stay away from public coffers. It is that simple. They are not above the law.

CoG should not allow itself to be used as a canopy by corrupt governors. It should educate them on the perils of corruption and clean its house, not demand cover for their misdemeanours.

Immunity and impunity are not a panacea for corruption.

The DCI, EACC, DPP and the courts need an environment that is free from threats and bullying to succeed in the corruption war.

CoG must not usurp the work of the Judiciary and criminal justice system by coaching them on how to do their job.

If some of the governors behaved in a criminal or gangster way, they should expect to be taken as they come — as criminals and gangsters.

The law cannot lay out a red carpet for governors who act outside the law by stealing from the public.

The thorny issue in the political sphere has been the character of some of the governors with a few having been accused of using forged academic papers, embezzling public funds and being complicit to murder.

KENYANS ARE FED UP

CoG has not been forthcoming in condemning such actions or telling the country how it plans to deal with rogue elements among their rank and file.

They were mute, too, as hell broke loose at the Nairobi City County and only came out after the horse had bolted.

Do they lose their tongues and only get them back when a governor is charged with corruption? Do they condone corruption?

Things must change around here! Kenya is angry and fed up with corruption and you can tell from King Kaka’s song, “Wajinga Nyinyi”, and the unanimous agreement with his sentiments, that Kenyans are running out of patience with corrupt leaders.

CoG now needs to deal with the impunity blinding them to the rot in society and join the rest of the country to fight graft.

FALSE HOPE

And free legal advice from me: corrupt governors must also realise that any lawyer telling them that they are innocent, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, is lying.

All they are interested in is a share in the loot and then leave you high and dry.

If CoG wants to stay on the honourable side of history, it needs to give its members honest advice on matters corruption.

Giving governors false hope that their ego will save them from the claws of justice despite their culpability in theft of public funds is misleading and unfair.

Let a corrupt governor bear individual criminal responsibility!