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EU to blacklist up to 20 Belarus officials to press leader | Belarus News

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The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on up to 20 senior Belarus officials suspected of election fraud and the crackdown on protesters and is likely to put President Alexander Lukashenko on its list at some point, the bloc’s foreign ministers said on Friday.

“We have general agreement on how the list will be structured and who will be, more or less, on the list,” Czech Republic Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek told reporters at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Berlin.

However, the technicalities involved in legally finalising the list will not be concluded for at least another week.

Asked whether the Belarusian president will be hit by a travel ban and asset freeze, Petricek said he believes “Lukashenko should be on the list”.

“The question is whether in the first stage, or a later stage if there is no progress,” he said.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius agreed that Lukashenko should be on the list now, but he acknowledged that there may be “tactical reasons” to keep the Belarusian leader off.

Lithuania had tabled its own list of 118 officials.

A gradual approach

Some countries prefer a gradual approach that would ratchet up pressure by adding more names progressively if Lukashenko failed to enter into talks with the opposition.

Greece and Cyprus are also believed to be demanding sanctions be slapped on Turkey for what they say is its illegal energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean before the two countries agree to the measures against Belarus. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday he stands ready to send police to Belarus if protests there turn violent, but sees no such need yet.

Linkevicius said: “We cannot exclude this invasion,” and that the EU must also send a clear warning to Russia.

Also on Friday, Ukraine froze contact with Belarus and joined the EU in condemning the recent elections in its northerly neighbour as not free nor fair.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there was no reason to break off diplomatic relations entirely, but added Ukraine would take a decision on imposing sanctions on Belarus after seeing what the EU would do.

“We put all contacts on pause until the situation in Belarus stabilises,” he said.

Ukraine has so far been guarded in its language when commenting on the political turmoil in Belarus.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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