Police Seal-off UNZA as Student Set Fire in Protest
Police in Lusaka have sealed-off part of Great East Road after University of Zambia students set fire and stoned motorists in protest of reported increase in tuition fees.
It is the second riot the Zambia Police has had to deal with in a day after officers and bus drivers clashed in the Southern Province city of Choma. Motorists leaving Lusaka’s Central Business District (CBD) heading to areas on the Eastern part of the city and the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport are being forced to find alternative routes.
“Cops have sealed off Great road. There is a fire around UNZA,” an eyewitness has told Zambia Reports. This is the third riot at UNZA this year as students were on the street in February and March protesting against the Patriotic Front government’s management style of the institution.
Gunshots rock Arua town as inmates riot
Gunshots rocked Arua town Sunday afternoon while security agencies battled to stall what seemed to be an escape attempt ( prison break) by the inmates at Arua central prison. According to witnesses, the fray started at about 3.PM following a rowdy noise that engulfed the prison premises in the Afternoon hours. A gathering of youth who were playing soccer on the Arua prison primary school ground said that they were baffled by the endless noise that was unusual in the confines of the prison.
“We always play here but got suspicious because we had never heard such noise before,” said one of the boys who identified himself as Hassan. Three of the inmates who had apparently managed to scale through the prison windows were seen by the New Vision reporter running bare chested past Arua prison primary school while taking off their prison uniforms. . Meanwhile other inmates were seen cutting the inner burglar proof window frames next to the prison main gate using a hack saw.
Efforts by the prison warders and the regional prison commander, Patrick Masiga to stop the inmates from cutting the windows proved futile as most of them defiantly continued cutting the window frames. “Ingia Ndani, kilamutu ingia Ndani,” a furious Masiga shouted a command to the inmates, loosely translated as “go back inside every body go back.” “Harakisha opesi opesi, asi tisatisa nyinyi,” loosely translated as “Hurry up, he should not intimidate you,”
Some of them were heard shouting at the other who were cutting the frame. More prison warders were deployed at 4.30 pm to penetrate the prison premises. A handful of UPDF officers from the nearby Arua military barracks reinforced the prison warders before a backup from the police anti-riot unit was convened. By press time, the New Arua District police commander, had ordered for the deployment of the Anti riot police to head to the prison facility.
Migrants at Saharonim prison protest their detention
Over 300 African asylum seekers held a protest at the Saharonim detention center over the weekend, demanding they be released from custody and allowed to move freely in the country, the Israel Prison Service stated on Sunday. The protest included some 340 African migrants from the 7 block of the detention center, the IPS said, who refused to return to their cells on Friday and remained in yard of the block.
The protesters told the wardens that they are being held illegally and must be released, and that until Sunday, efforts to speak to the prisoners failed. On Sunday morning, IPS officers moved in and removed the protesters from the yard. The IPS said that the protesters used passive resistance and therefore the IPS personnel did not use violent force or crowd dispersal means like flash bangs or tear gas.
Protest turns violent in China’s Guizhou Province
(CNA) A protest Friday against land expropriation by the authorities in Sansui County, in China’s Guizhou Province, turned violent, with police attacked and five police cars destroyed, according to a statement from the county government.
The statement said the authorities urgently mobilized over 200 police and security officers to bring the situation under control after around 100 angry protesters attacked workers and police assigned to carry out the land expropriation. Photos circulating on Chinese websites showed several police cars overturned and destroyed, with reports saying that police fired tear gas and arrested several protesters. The statement said that the protesters blocked the road leading to the scene with coffins and hurled abusive language at the police and workers while attacking them.
However, the county government did not say whether there were any injuries or any protesters were arrested. The Sansui Prosecutor’s Office and a local court jointly issued a demand that the participants turn themselves in before May 11 or face severe punishment. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have listed the urbanization of rural areas “to take better care of farmers” as one of their policy priorities, and the Sansui land expropriation was interpreted by county officials as a project under this umbrella.
However, the Sansui residents were quoted in online reports as saying that the violent protests only broke out after those who had their land expropriated discovered that it was to be used to build commercial properties or apartments for sale. Guizhou, in southwestern China, has a population of around 35 million people, 38 percent of whom belong to ethnic minorities.
‘Unprecedented’ pro-independence demo in W. Sahara
RABAT — Hundreds of pro-independence Sahrawi activists marched in Laayoune at the weekend, the Western Sahara’s largest city, in the biggest protest in several decades, Moroccan press reported Monday. Some 500 people marched peacefully late on Saturday afternoon, but violence broke out in the evening after the protest, wounding 21 policemen, according to several papers.
The clashes also wounded an unknown number of activists, Hamoud Iguilid, the local representative of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, told AFP. Mohamed Salem Charkaoui from Morocco’s official National Human Rights Council, cited by news website Lakome, said 2,000 people marched in the Laayoune protest.
Protests took place in other Western Saharan towns on Sunday, including in Smara, where 17 members of the security forces were wounded trying to disperse protestors who had set up barricades in the streets, the official MAP news agency reported. It gave no information on injuries sustained by the protesters, who it said tried “to occupy the street and block traffic, creating a chaotic situation.” Some of the demonstrators in Smara, around 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Laayoune, carried the flag of the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,” other local media reported.
French-language daily Aujourd’hui Le Maroc described the Laayoune protest, which coincided with a visit by a group of foreign journalists, as “an unprecedented gathering by the enemies of (Morocco’s) territorial integrity.” “The largest protest for separation in Laayoune’s history,” ran the headline of Arabic daily Akhbar Al-Youm, which also reported the presence of rebel Polisario Front and US flags.
Tensions have been running high in the disputed territory since the Security Council passed a resolution on April 25 which extended the UN peacekeeping mission for another year but omitted a Washington-backed proposal to broaden its mandate to include rights monitoring. The Western Sahara is a highly sensitive issue in Morocco, which annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 in a move never recognised internationally, and it lobbied furiously to have the US rights monitoring proposal dropped.
Dozens of demonstrators were wounded when a pro-independence protest turned violent a day after the UN vote, an Amnesty International representative in Laayoune said, adding that the police used “excessive force” to disperse the protesters. Morocco has proposed broad autonomy under its sovereignty for the phosphate-rich territory, but this is rejected by Polisario Front rebels, who took up arms to fight for an independent state until the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire in 1991.
Whiteclay protesters vandalize beer truck
A beer truck in the Nebraska border town of Whiteclay was vandalized by activists who were protesting the town’s alcohol stores near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Two eyewitnesses tell The Associated Press that more than a dozen activists confronted the truck’s driver Friday as he was making a delivery. Vic Clarke, a Whiteclay grocery store owner, says one activist flashed a knife and told the driver to leave town.
Group members then started stomping on his beer containers and throwing them into the street. The truck’s two front tires were slashed. The driver was not hurt. Native American activist Olowan Martinez says the activists were part a group she helped organize to protest Whiteclay. She declined to release names. Sheridan County Attorney Dennis King says criminal charges are likely.