Sao Tome: Protests banned for 15 days around CPLP summit

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The government of Sao Tome has banned demonstrations for 15 days to ensure peace and order during the summit of the Community of Portuguese-language Countries (CPLP) from 21 to 27 August, it announced on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the cabinet on Wednesday, “due to the need to guarantee a climate of tranquillity and order during the period of preparation, the arrival of delegations and during the holding of the summit of the heads of state and government of the CPLP”, the security forces “are all involved in the activities of the safe city”.

“In this context, given the impossibility of deploying state security forces and services to guarantee the safety of people and property in the event of a demonstration, the government has decided, in view of the exceptional reasons, that for a period of 15 days (…), all types of demonstrations of a protesting or demanding nature are prohibited throughout the national territory,” the statement reads.

The statement adds that the cabinet has analysed all the work of the teams involved in preparing the summit and concluded “that the technical and operational conditions are in place to successfully host the conference”.

“The cabinet takes this opportunity to appeal to the people of Sao Tome and Príncipe to get involved and participate in a cordial manner in this very important event that will put the country in the spotlight,” the document emphasises.

The decision was announced two days after the relatives of Bruno Afonso, known as “Lucas”, the only survivor of the assault on the Sao Tomean military barracks last November, informed the authorities that “they will hold a demonstration” starting at 16:30 local time (17:30 in Lisbon), in the São Toméan capital, “with a view to demanding that the courts schedule the trial of the 25 November 2022 case and the release of Lucas, the only survivor of this massacre that took place in the Morro Barracks”.

Speaking to Lusa today, minutes after the release of the statement by the government, an uncle of “Lucas”, Vicente Lima, who is coordinating the protest, said that he would check with the police authorities and promised a reaction after consultation with the family’s lawyers.

Meanwhile, the statement from the government said that the cabinet had “analysed with concern the latest developments in the conflict on the African continent”, specifically in the western part of Africa, especially the tension between several countries in the region, and stressed “that it will continue to monitor the situation closely”.

The cabinet decided to authorise the entry and stay of a Brazilian Navy frigate “Liberal-F43” and the French-flagged ship “Ile de Sein” into territorial waters.

“Encouraged by the desire to regulate relations between the country and the Portuguese Republic, the cabinet approved the Convention on Social Security between the two countries in order to help guarantee the rights of their nationals in the area of social security,” the statement added.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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