EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Congo election latest—We begin today here in Africa, where the runner up in Congo’s contested presidential election has appealed for a recount.
AUDIO: [Sounds from court, judge talking, man stamping papers]
Martin Fayulu claims he won the Dec. 30 vote by a wide margin. The Catholic Church had election monitors at 40,000 polling stations and backs Fayulu’s claim. But the country’s electoral commission declared Felix Tshisekedi the victor.
Leaving mass on Sunday, Fayulu said he had faith in the eventual outcome.
FAYULU: [Speaking in French]
He said, “Go meditate on Psalm 125. Those who have trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion. It does not change.”
Congo’s Constitutional Court has until the end of the week to rule on Fayulu’s appeal.
Fayulu and his supporters claim the outgoing government made a deal with Tshisekedi to sway the election in his favor. Pre-election opinion polls indicated Fayulu was the clear favorite.
Unrest in Sudan—Next we go to Sudan, where calls for President Omar al-Bashir to step aside continue to grow. Anti-government protests spread to the capital on Sunday.
AUDIO: [Sounds of protests]
Police fired tear gas at protesters marching through the streets of Khartoum. They carried banners with the words “peace, justice, freedom.”
Protests first erupted in outlying provinces on December 19th after the government tripled the price of bread. But they quickly escalated into nationwide rallies against Bashir’s three-decade rule.
Abdul Wahid al-Nur heads a rebel group from the Darfur region of Sudan. From his exile in France, he called on Western nations to help oust Bashir.
NUR: I am calling the United States, President Trump, you are the leader of the biggest democracy, leader of the values, it is time for you to help Sudanese people.
The government claims the recent protests have left 24 people dead. But Human Rights Watch puts the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff. Police have arrested nearly 1,000 protesters.
The International Criminal Court has wanted Bashir for crimes against humanity since 2009. The U.S. State Department has listed his government has a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.
China to release Kazakh prisoners—Next we go to China, where the government has agreed to release more than 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs detained in the western region of Xinjiang. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry made the announcement last week. The ethnic Kazakhs have been held in internment camps for Muslims and other religious minorities.
One Chinese-born Kazakh man who spent time in a camp last year said his captors tortured him.
AUDIO: [Man speaking in Kazakh]
He said, quote—”The worst memory is when they showed me my relatives’ photos. I still remember that moment. It’s more difficult than being kept in the well.”
The freed prisoners must renounce their Chinese citizenship and apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Kazakhstan. The move is widely seen as an attempt to quell international criticism of China’s crackdown on ethnic and religious minorities.
Meanwhile, police in Chengdu continue to hold 20 leaders of Early Rain Church. One member told China Aid he was severely tortured during a 48-hour interrogation.
Good news for stranded migrants—And finally, we end today with good news for migrants trying to find new homes in Europe.
AUDIO: [Sound of celebration]
Nearly 50 migrants stranded in a charity rescue boat celebrated last week after learning nine European Union nations reached a deal to take them in. Italy and Malta had previously refused to allow rescue boats carrying the migrants to land.
The resettlement deal includes nearly 300 migrants in total.
Migration to Europe from Africa and the Middle East peaked in 2015 as more than 1 million people fled their homes. Last year, only 114,000 migrants sought refuge in Europe.
That’s this week’s World Tour. I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.