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Sudan military arrests rebel group leader Yasir Arman

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By JOHN ADUKATA
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Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) on Wednesday arrested rebel group leader Yasir Arman, accusing him of fuelling the protests in the crisis-hit state, credible sources confirmed.

Mr Arman arrived in Khartoum two weeks ago and declared his support for a civilian-led government in Sudan.

His arrest came a few days after he was summoned by Sudan’s Intelligence agency.

Last week the military junta asked Mr Arman to leave the Sudanese capital Khartoum but he did not heed the warning.

Mr Arman is the secretary general of Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement-North (SPLM/A-N), an armed faction led by Malik Agar in the Blue Nile region.

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Sudan’s military council also accused Mr Arman of enjoying foreign support.

Mr Arman faced a death sentence by a Sudanese court in 2011, due to his roles in the civil war that erupted in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions.

In statement on May 29, 2019, Arman confirmed that the TMC has requested him to leave the country.

“I received six requests, five of them from TMC deputy chairman and one from TMC chairman himself, ordering me to leave the country, but I will never implement that,” he said.

-Additional reporting by Mohamed Amin

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University, county partner in mass production of protective gear : The Standard

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Laikipia County has partnered with Dedan Kimathi University of Technology to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent spread of coronavirus.
The first 1,000 body suits for medical staff who come into close contact with infected people and 7,000 face masks for distribution to boda boda operators, community health volunteers and enforcement officers, are expected to be ready by the end of this week.
“We are in a fight for survival against the Covid-19. We must do whatever we can first even as we look for help from elsewhere,” Dedan Kimathi University Vice Chancellor Ndirangu Kioni (pictured) said.
SEE ALSO: Mystery over death of Moi University student Prof Kioni said the institution and Laikipia County were seeking to fill gaps in the fight against the virus, and the network of entrepreneurs under innovation programme had come in handy.
The university has trained eight local manufacturers from Laikipia County who are working with 40 sub-contractors.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards has approved the bid by the university to manufacture the protective equipment as coronavirus gets to community transmission phase.
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Under the partnership, the institutions are also working on mass production of ventilators and hand sanitisers, through Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that are under the Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development programme.
The Ministry of Health last week projected that the country could have 10,000 coronavirus cases by the end of April, if people do not strictly adhere to the guidelines put in place, putting a strain on medical facilities.
SEE ALSO: State to upgrade towns in Laikipia CountyMass production of the PPEs is part of the preparations that the county government is making as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rises. Although Laikipia has not recorded any Covid-19 case, so far, a model released by its department of health indicates that it is likely to record more than 14,000 infections in a worst-case-scenario and up to 600 cases in the best-case-scenario.
There are nine production centres at the university and by SMEs in Nyahururu and Nanyuki. Four other SMEs are producing hand sanitisers.

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State clears way for affordable fertiliser : The Standard

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Farmers maintain one-meter distance while planting in Mangu Estate, Nakuru County. [Harun Wathari/Standard]
Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) has partnered with Moroccan fertiliser manufacturer, OCP Group, to enable smallholder farmers access low-cost input.

The partnership will see Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) distributed to farmers at Sh2,300 per 50kg bag.
KNTC Managing Director Timothy Mirugi said the partnership with OCP Group through its subsidiary, OCP Kenya, was in line with the government’s objective of promoting agriculture under the Big Four agenda.
Mirugi said the fertiliser will be sourced directly from the manufacturer in Morocco, thus cutting costs normally charged by suppliers and middlemen and shouldered by farmers.
SEE ALSO: The CEO who sometimes goes without salaryThe move gives maize farmers a sigh of relief. The farmers have been buying the same amount of fertiliser for between Sh2,800 and Sh3,100 from some stores in the North Rift region.
Limited stocks
Farmers have been scrambling for limited stocks of last year’s carryover of subsidised fertiliser in Eldoret and Moi’s Bridge National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots. An official from the board, who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity, said they were yet to receive subsidy for the current year.
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During the opening of this year’s Eldoret Agricultural Society of Kenya show, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced that fertilisers for this year’s planting season would cost Sh2,300 per bag.
Uasin Gishu Agriculture Executive Samuel Yego recently said NCPB still has 32,000 bags of last year’s subsidised fertiliser at the Eldoret depot, and another 25,000 bags in Moi’s Bridge. He said this was inadequate since the county requires over 550,000 bags.
Yesterday, Mirugi told The Standard that they would guard supplies from unscrupulous business people who may buy the fertiliser in large quantities to sell at higher prices.
“We are targeting smallholder farmers to enhance food security and economic empowerment. Priority will be given to those who cultivate 10 acres. Those with 50 acres will also be considered after vetting,” said Mirugi.
He said mechanisms are in place to ensure the input only benefits farmers who produce maize, wheat and other food crops. “We are liaising with agricultural officials and county administrators, coordinated by county commissioners, to ensure only genuine farmers benefit,” he said.

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Mwathethe set to get one more year as KDF boss : The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta(left) and Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe during the celebrations of Mashujaa at Nyayo National Stadium. [Beverlyne Musili/Standard]
Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Samson Mwathethe is likely to have his term extended by a year.

If it happens, it would be the second time Gen Mwathethe’s stay in office would be extended. The first time was in May last year.
He was to officially leave office next month, but sources say there are no signs of ceremonies associated with the imminent departure of a KDF chief.
“If he was leaving, he would already have started visiting service command stations to bid them farewell. We would be seeing activities here and there but as of now, it is quiet. We are just waiting,” the source said.
There is speculation President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, may extend Gen Mwathethe’s term by a year.
Mwathethe’s predecessor Gen Julius Karangi also got two extensions.
Meetings for the military succession plans have been disrupted by the outbreak of coronavirus. Military chiefs are said to be planning to hold virtual meetings to plan the succession.
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The Number One Board, the organ that decides appointment and promotion of senior military officers and retirement or extension of contracts of Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and Kenya Air Force bosses, is expected to meet this month.
The KDF Act says a CDF, his deputy and service commanders shall serve a single term of four years, or retire upon attaining the mandatory retirement age.
But the Act also says the president may, on the recommendation of the National Defence Council, extend the CDF’s term for a period not exceeding one year in times of war or emergencies such as political uncertainty.
Mwathethe, a naval officer, was named CDF on April 17, 2015, replacing Gen Karangi of Kenya Air Force. This now means the seat will automatically go to Kenya Army, going by tradition.
Top on the list of those to succeed Mwathethe are his deputy Lt Gen Robert Kibochi, Army Commander Lt Gen Walter ole Raria and Lt Gen Leonard Ngondi, the force commander of the AU-UN Hybrid operation in Darfur, Sudan.
The other high-ranking officer who has a chance of being promoted to full General is National Defence College Commandant Lt-Gen Adan Mulata. He is, however, disadvantaged by the fact that he is from Kenya Air Force.
Whatever happens will depend on the outcome of the National Defence Council meeting where a decision on the way forward will be taken and the president advised accordingly.
Under the Tonje rules, the post of CDF is rotated among the three services – Kenya Army, Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy. The rules, by Retired Chief of General Staff Gen Daudi Tonje, have guided appointments in KDF.
There has been silent lobbying by those hoping to succeed Mwathethe.
The new CDF will oversee the transition from the Kenyatta presidency in 2022. Regarding Somalia, KDF is supposed to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country by 2021, which the new CDF will also oversee.
The KDF Act also notes that in appointing the CDF, the president shall take into account the service, seniority, military and formal civil education – a degree from a university – and military and security experience.
A military general is supposed to retire at 62, a Lieutenant-General at 61, a Major-General at 59 and a Brigadier at 57 years.

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CDF Samson MwathetheSamson Mwathethe

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