Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, October 26, 2021.
Tanzania ‘categorically’ disassociates itself from resolution calling for expulsion of Western Sahara from AU
Tanzania on Tuesday said that it was “categorically” disassociating itself from a resolution that called for the expulsion of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from the African Union, describing the de facto sovereign state as “the last colony in Africa.”
It followed a resolution reached during a seminar organized in Dar es Salaam on October 16, 2021 by two local organizations working around the areas of peace and security, the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) and the Tanzania Peace Foundation (TPF), which called on the AU to expel SADR from the continental union, describing SADR as “the only non-state entity sitting among 54 sovereign and independent States.”
The ongoing conflict between SADR and the Kingdom of Morocco goes as far back as 1973 when the Polisario Front, a rebel national liberation movement by the Sahrawi people, waged an insurgency against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975.
After the withdrawal of Spanish colonial forces, in February 1976, Polisario Front declared the establishment of the SADR. In the same year, Morocco annexed Western Sahara, an almost 80 per cent of the SADR territory that the Polisario Front has been advocating for its freedom from the Moroccan government.
“[Western Sahara] is a tragic case of decolonization which has yet to see its conclusion,” a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said. “The non-recognition of SADR’s sovereignty as a state is a blatant disregard for the principles enshrined not only in the African Union Consultative Act, international instruments and institutions but also international laws.”
Tuesday’s statement by the government on the Western Sahara issue was a complete departure from the foreign policy left behind by the then-President John Magufuli whose insistence on economic diplomacy pushed Tanzania more to Morocco, something which came at a huge price to Sahrawi people and their movement against what they call Moroccan occupation.
In November 2018, for instance, when representatives of liberation movements from across southern Africa gathered for a reunion in Namibia’s capital Windhoek, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) decided to reserve its vote on a resolution expressing solidarity with people still under the Israeli and Moroccan occupation, inviting criticism from some commentators.
But the government said in its statement on Tuesday that Tanzania’s position on the question of Western Sahara has not changed, saying the East African nation “has always stood firm on human dignity.” The government says that it recognizes the “inalienable right of the People of Saharawi in their quest for self-determination.”
Dr Muhidin Shangwe, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), described the government’s latest embrace of the SADR as a “right move” in a Twitter post. He was one among several other analysts who welcomed the government’s reaffirmation of its support for Saharawi people.
Germany releases over Sh190 billion to fund water services, GBV in Tanzania
Tanzania and Germany on Tuesday signed a funding agreement of 71 million Euros (about Sh190.5 billion) that the latter has committed to release to fund water, maternal health, tourism and the fight against Gender-based violence in the country.
The funding agreement was signed in Dar es Salaam by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Amina Khamis Shaaban and head of Germany Delegation, Marcus Von Essen.
According to Ms Amina, out of the released fund, a total of 24 million Euros will be channeled to maternal health while six million Euros has been set aside to solve conflicts between human beings and wildlife.
“Other areas which will get a portion from released funds are mitigation of consequences caused from COVID-19 in the tourism sector, anti-poaching and improvement of infrastructure of human settlements surrounding National Parks whereby a total of 15 million Euros will be spent,” Ms Amina was quoted as saying.
She added that 20 million Euros will be used to improve water services in the rapidly growing towns and remaining 3 million Euros will be spent to improve water services in the selected urban areas.
Lion cub Simba rescued in Russia’s Urals city sent to Tanzania
The Russian News Agency TASS reported on Tuesday that Simba the lion cub, who suffered severe injuries and was brought for treatment in Russia’s Urals city of Chelyabinsk from Dagestan in summer 2020, has been sent to Tanzania after recovering, quoting the Russian Copper Company.
On June 30, 2020, news broke that a criminal case was opened over the cruel treatment of the lion cub in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan. According to TASS, the investigation was launched by prosecutors after reports emerged online of the cub. According to the prosecutors, in February-March 2020, an unknown individual inflicted numerous bodily injuries to the eight-month-old lion Simba.
After veterinarians and animal rights activists found the lion cub with injuries in Izberbash, a town in Dagestan, on March 24, 2020, it received all the necessary medical assistance. The lion cub was sent to a rehab center “Save Me” in Chelyabinsk.
“A special flight carrying Simba the lion and Eva the leopard has taken off from the Chelyabinsk international airport to Kilimanjaro,” TASS quoted the Russian Copper Company’s department for informational policy and communications as saying.
“The animals were sent to a rehab facility, Kilimanjaro animal crew wildlife [and] educational center, in the town of Moshi (Tanzania), where comfortable enclosures with a free large area have been built for them. Specialists will be monitoring the cats’ adaptation and life round-the-clock,” the company’s department for informational policy and communications said.”
A private Boeing 737-500 was especially re-equipped to transport Simba and Eva, according to TASS.
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