Su­dan fights Egypt over land

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

HARARE — Zim­babwe’s higher ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Jonathan Moyo has waded into the con­tro­versy over a na­tional pledge for chil­dren, which will be in­tro­duced in many schools at the start of a new term on Tues­day.

Some par­ents and churches are up in arms over the pledge, which chil­dren will be made to re­cite ev­ery day af­ter singing Zim­babwe’s na­tional an­them.

In it, chil­dren pledge their al­le­giance to God and the na­tional flag and pay their re­spects to “brave fa­thers and moth­ers who lost their lives in the Chimurenga [Zim­babwe’s 1970s war for in­de­pen­dence].”

The Zim­babwe Lawyers for Hu­man Rights (ZLHR) last week filed le­gal pa­pers to try to have schools stopped from forc­ing chil­dren to re­cite the pledge. The case is still be­fore the courts.

Church groups in­clud­ing the Brethren In Christ Church and the Chris­tian Al­liance have said they will in­struct chil­dren of their mem­bers not to re­cite the pledge.

In a se­ries of tweets on Mon­day, Moyo, a former in­for­ma­tion min­is­ter, quoted a sec­tion of Zim­babwe’s new con­sti­tu­tion that says “no per­son may be com­pelled to take an oath that is con­trary to their re­li­gion or their be­lief.”

“Court will de­cide whether the pledge vi­o­lates [Sec­tion] 60 (2),” Moyo said, adding: “I think it would have been bet­ter if a school pledge had been in­cluded in the con­sti­tu­tion as are other oaths.” KHARTOUM — Su­dan in­sisted on Mon­day it had “sovereign rights” over two bor­der ter­ri­to­ries whose own­er­ship has been the sub­ject of a long-stand­ing dis­pute be­tween Cairo and Khartoum. Su­dan has reg­u­larly protested at Egypt’s ad­min­is­tra­tion of Halayeb and Sha­latin near the Red Sea, say­ing they are part of its sovereign ter­ri­tory since shortly af­ter in­de­pen­dence in 1956.

Khartoum has since April stepped up its claim to the ter­ri­to­ries af­ter Egypt trans­ferred two Red Sea is­lands to Saudi Ara­bia in a move that trig­gered street protests in Cairo.

“We will not let go of our sovereign rights on the Halayeb tri­an­gle,” For­eign Min­is­ter Ibrahim Ghan­dour told par­lia­ment on Mon­day.

“We have adopted le­gal and po­lit­i­cal mea­sures to as­sert our rights in the Halayeb tri­an­gle.”

Ghan­dour said Khartoum was also try­ing to get a copy of the agree­ment be­tween Cairo and Riyadh on the trans­fer of the two is­lands in the Straits of Ti­ran.

“We need to gauge the im­pact of this agree­ment on our mar­itime borders,” he told law­mak­ers.

Cairo’s trans­fer of the two is­lands of Ti­ran and Sanafir to Saudi Ara­bia be­came a key fac­tor be­hind street protests in the Egyp­tian cap­i­tal last month.

More than 1 000 demon­stra­tors ral­lied on April 15 in Cairo de­mand­ing “the fall of the regime” in the largest chal­lenge to Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah al-sisi’s regime in two years. — AFP

Zim­babwe flag.

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