Sudan fights Egypt over land
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