Regional journalist association treasurer speaks out on EAJA situation

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By Staff Wrier

Former EAJA SG, Omar Faruk accused of Blackmail

Former EAJA Secretary General, Omar Faruk accused of Blackmail

Kigali-Rwanda-Jane Uwimana, the East African Journalist Association (EAJA) treasurer has talked to Great Lakes Voice on the situation within the regional association and the current status describing it as “tense mulled by wrangles.”
Jane Uwimana who sits at EAJA executive board and a delegate from Rwanda Journalists association says the regional body is facing internal wrangles of two factions. One camp is lead by Omar Farrouk who says he’s a delegate from Somalia Union of Journalists and another side lead by the current Secretary General Alexander Niyungeko from Burundi. The conflict is based on personal interests, she says.
Omar Farrouk, is accused of mismanaging EAJA cash, misconduct, defaulting, abuse of power and masquerading to be the representative of Somalia journalist union.
“Ever since I was elected in 2013, I am yet to assume my responsibilities. It’s said maybe because EAJA office in Djibouti is non-operational. Look, we have no official account, now office now, but in Bujumbura EAJA General Assembly, we agreed to open a new office in Addis Ababa which will be operational by December 2014.
“Omar Farrouk, uses blackmail, he has blocked all our official emails. He uses EAJA insignia to send fake announcements and emails. And for us, we don’t speak, our constitution is clear,” Uwimana added.
“I heard about our partners who had lost faith in EAJA, yes, it was because of mismanagement of funds by Farrouk. But wait, today we have a new committee, legally elected by general assembly. The executive board had suspended Omar on issues of misuse of funds, unethical behavior that lead him to be detained in Ethiopia and granted Non persona grata.
When he attended Bujumbura meeting, he accepted to pay back $42000 and the board cleared his suspension. He refused to attend the general assembly, also the chair supported him.
However, the General assembly refused lifting his suspension and went ahead to confirm Alexander Niyungeko as Secretary General.
Of course we are aware that we are dealing with Omar who has been long serving SG of EAJA, he uses trickery and he has also the president of EAJA on his side but I am convinced they are not genuine. Our side has a big number and we are genuine also you can see the will to do write.”
Great Lakes Voice sources say international Federation of journalist president called Jim is supporting Forrouk and his secretary General based in western Africa is supportive to change and favours Niyungeko side.

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