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Russian Tupolev Tu-160 - Russia News Headlines

Russia landed two nuclear-capable bombers in South Africa on a training mission on Wednesday, a flight apparently timed to coincide with President Vladimir Putin’s opening of a flagship Russia-Africa summit designed to increase Russian influence. The two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers touched down at Waterkloof air force base in Tshwane on Wednesday, the South African National Defence Force said. Russia’s Ministry of Defence has said the mission is designed to nurture military ties with South Africa. Speaking before dozens of African heads of state at a two-day summit in the southern Russian city of Sochi, Putin called for trade with African countries to double over the next four to five years and said Moscow had written off African debts to the tune of over $20 billion. The first Russia-Africa summit is part of a Kremlin drive to win business and restore influence that faded after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which backed leftist governments and movements across the continent throughout the Cold War. “Many Russian companies have long and successfully worked with partners from the most different sectors of the African economy and plan to expand their influence in Africa. We of course will provide support at the state level,” said Putin. The prize is greater political clout on a continent with 54 United Nations member states, vast mineral wealth and potentially lucrative markets for Russian-manufactured weapons. But Russia is starting from a low base. Although it has enjoyed considerable success selling arms to African countries, Moscow lagsContinue reading

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Felipe Nyusi, Filipe Nyusi - Mozambique

The face of President Filipe Nyusi beams from flags billowing across Mozambique’s city of Beira, where T-shirts and posters colour the streets with his Frelimo party’s signature red in what is usually an opposition stronghold. Frelimo’s show of force ahead of presidential, provincial and legislative elections on Oct. 15 could signal problems for the main opposition party Renamo, and also threaten a peace agreement signed between the two civil war rivals in August. While Nyusi is all but certain to be re-elected president, the peace deal has given Renamo hope of winning more political power in a country dominated by Frelimo since the southern African country’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Under the deal, provincial governors will now be picked by the main party in each province, rather than the government in Maputo, and Renamo is banking on traditional provincial strongholds such as Sofala to gain influence. “The biggest threat to the peace process is if Renamo does not deliver a good number of provinces,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House. The elections come at a difficult time for Mozambique, a poor country with a population of 30 million. Cities such as Beira were smashed by two devastating cyclones this year and there is a festering Islamist insurgency in the north, which is right on the doorstop of blockbuster projects to develop vast natural gas reserves. The projects led by oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Total are expected to attract investment ofContinue reading

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Abiy Ahmed - Ethiopia Politics News

During a high-level meeting at Ethiopia’s foreign ministry in July, officials were shocked by social media reports that their prime minister was visiting Eritrea. No one in the room had been informed of Abiy Ahmed’s trip, his second since clinching a peace deal last year that ended two decades of hostility between the two neighbours. “The foreign office was not in the loop,” said a senior official who was present. “We learned of it from the Eritrean media, on Facebook and Twitter.” The surprise visit is typical of Abiy, who both fans and critics say often relies on bold personal initiatives and charisma to drive change instead of working through government institutions. Nebiat Getachew, the foreign ministry spokesman, said policy was well co-ordinated but he did not confirm that Abiy had made the July trip without informing the ministry. The deal with Eritrea won Abiy international plaudits. Abiy Ahmed is the bookmakers’ favourite to win a Nobel Peace Prize on Friday after climate activist Greta Thunberg. But Abiy’s unpredictable style annoys some Ethiopians. It is unclear how much of the fractious ruling coalition — some form of which has been in power since 1991 — backs his reforms, or how durable those reforms would be without his leadership. He has already survived one assassination attempt: a grenade thrown at a rally last year. Lasting change cannot be built through a “cult of personality”, said Comfort Ero, Africa programme director at the International Crisis Group think tank. “None of Abiy’s promisedContinue reading

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Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe Politics Today

The family of Zimbabwe founder Robert Mugabe is pushing back against the government’s plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare and wants him to be buried in his home village instead, three relatives told Reuters. Zimbabweans have been confused about when and where they would get to pay their last respects to Mugabe since his death in a Singapore hospital on Friday after a long illness. Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup. Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his opponents. The Zimbabwean government said in a memo sent to embassies on Sunday that it planned to hold a state funeral for Mugabe in the National Sports Stadium on Saturday, with a burial ceremony on Sunday, but it did not say where the burial would be held. The choice of Mugabe’s resting place has been a topic of discussion since the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe would snub the offer of a burial at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power. If Robert Mugabe is buried in Kutama village, 85 km (52 miles) from Harare, it would be a major rebuke ofContinue reading

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Pope Francis - Vatican News

Pope Francis urged the people of Mozambique on Thursday to nurture their hard-earned peace and strive to provide equal opportunities for all so as not to slip back into civil war. Francis addressed President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo party and leaders of the Renamo opposition at the colonial-style presidential palace, where peacocks roamed lush gardens in contrast to bustling streets outside. The two sides in the former Portuguese colony fought a 15-year civil war that ended in 1992 and killed about a million people. But only last month did they sign a permanent ceasefire. “In the course of these years, you have come to realize how the pursuit of lasting peace – a mission incumbent upon all – calls for strenuous, constant and unremitting effort. For peace is like a delicate flower, struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence,” Pope Francis told them. Some fear that as the country of 28 million people approaches new elections scheduled for next month, violence could break out, particularly in rural areas where the former rebels have more sway. Ossufo Momade, leader of Renamo, was in the audience for the papal address and received a round of applause when the president mentioned him. In his address to the pope, the president vowed to help build a nation “where non-violence becomes a culture lived by all, where politics is practiced through the force of argument and not the force of arms.” But Francis said if they wanted lasing peace, leaders hadContinue reading

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Afrophobia, Xenophobia

South Africa’s government acknowledged on Thursday that prejudice was partly to blame for deadly rioting that has targeted foreign businesses, as those attacks and reprisals overshadowed a continental economic conference for a second day. President Cyril Ramaphosa had hoped the World Economic Forum conference in Cape Town would serve as a shop window for his efforts to revive South Africa’s ailing economy and boost intra-African trade. But the backdrop of violence has dominated proceedings, above all exposing dormant tensions between the host country and Nigeria, the continent’s two biggest economies. At least five Africans have been killed this week in attacks on foreigners in South Africa. On Wednesday local companies MTN, and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria after retaliatory attacks, and threats of reprisals forced Pretoria to shut its embassy in Abuja, its foreign minister said. Nigeria’s vice president boycotted the meeting on Wednesday over the rioting. On Thursday Jim Ovia, chairman of Nigeria’s Zenith Bank and a co-chair of the whole event, also withdrew, citing the “hypersensitivity of the issues surrounding the lives and well-being of Nigerian citizens living in South Africa.” In Abuja, Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed said it was recalling its High Commissioner to South Africa. As his ministers sought to manage the fallout, Ramaphosa cancelled his appearance at the WEF plenary session to address a crowd of protesters demonstrating for a second day about violence against women. Speaking in his place, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said most South Africans disapproved of the attacks on foreignersContinue reading

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Abdelkarim Zbidi, Tunisia

Tunisia’s Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi will amend the constitution if he wins September’s presidential election to end an “unreasonable” division of power between the prime minister and the head of state, he told Reuters, a move rivals oppose. Zbidi, among a few prominent candidates in a field of 26, is supported by some secular parties, but he said in a Reuters interview on Tuesday that he is ready to work with the moderate Islamist Ennahda. He also said he would quickly reopen Tunisia’s embassy in Syria, citing a need for security cooperation and the difficulties faced by Tunisians living there. Despite economic troubles, Tunisia has had a smoother march towards democracy than any of the other Arab nations that tried to follow its example in 2011 by throwing off autocratic rule, and it will also hold a parliamentary election in October. On the constitution, he did not say whether he would prefer to switch to a wholly parliamentary system or a presidential one, saying this was something that should be decided in a referendum. The constitution agreed in 2014 after years of rule by strongman president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali split power between the president and a government chosen by parliament. Though directly elected, the president only controls foreign and defence policy, while most other powers are held by the prime minister, proposed by the biggest party in parliament. “The constitution disperses powers and decisions between the prime minister and the president,” said Zbidi, 69, speaking in French. “This isContinue reading

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Japan vs China in Africa News

Japan hosts development talks with African leaders this week, looking to boost its presence on the continent and offer an alternative to investments by an increasingly assertive China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wants the latest round of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to help “launch impactful Japanese action” on the continent. And the meeting, held around every five years since 1993 in Japan or an African country, comes against the backdrop of expanding investment in China, which announced $60 billion in development funding for Africa last year. That figure is twice as much as Japan pledged at the last TICAD meeting in 2016. But analysts said Tokyo is unlikely to try to out-pledge China at this year’s talks, which start on Wednesday and run until Friday. It will seek instead to position itself as a partner of “quality”, offering high-impact loans and other assistance without the sometimes-controversial strings attached to money doled out by Beijing. Japan wants to drive Africa’s growth “with its high-quality infrastructure development, science technology and innovation”, Abe said recently. TICAD is a good opportunity for Japan to send a message about “its practical, well-planned lending”, said Sawaka Takazaki, deputy director of the Middle East and Africa division at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), a government-backed trade-promotion body. ‘Quiet’ diplomacy China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative, which offers hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese financing for massive infrastructure projects, has been eagerly embraced in many parts of Africa.Continue reading

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Al-Shabaab - al shabaab News Today

Kenya is urging the UN to list Al-Shabaab under the same sanctions as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, but foreign donors say the move could leave millions in drought-stricken Somalia without aid. The proposed listing — which could take effect as soon as Thursday — comes at a critical time in Somalia, where 2.2 million people, or nearly 18 percent of the population, face the risk of severe hunger. Al-Shabaab is already targeted under broader sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Somalia, which is heavily aid-dependent after three decades of conflict and economic ruin. Right now, UN agencies and humanitarian organisations are exempt from these sanctions, which enables them to deliver urgent aid without prosecution when they venture into territory controlled by Al-Shabaab. But Kenya wants to tighten the screws on the jihadist group after several deadly attacks on its soil, and the sanctions regime it proposes would remove that safeguard. “A measure like this will have the effect of criminalising humanitarian aid,” Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, told AFP. “Any measure that would impact the current provision of aid would have extremely serious and substantial implications.” If no member state objects before August 29 the Al-Shabaab listing under Security Council resolution 1267 will take immediate effect. Hundreds of millions of aid dollars for Somalia will then be thrown into doubt. In some cases, foreign donors said they may need to freeze payments for up to a year as they consider how to comply with the new sanctions,Continue reading

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Nabil Karoui - Tunisia

Tunisian police arrested presidential candidate Nabil Karoui on Friday after a court ordered his detention, the Interior Ministry said, in a case involving charges of money laundering but which Karoui’s party said was a politically motivated attempt to exclude him from the election race. Karoui’s own Nessma TV channel reported that the candidate had been arrested as he travelled to Tunis, and broadcast a video showing the police detaining him in his car. Karoui, 56, owner of the Nesma TV channel, is one of the frontrunners contesting the Sept. 15 election following the death last month of 92-year-old President Beji Caid Essebsi – the first head of state to be democratically elected in Tunisia following the popular uprising of 2011. “The indictment chamber charged in the cases of financial corruption decided today to issue two prison deposit cards against Nabil Karoui and his brother Ghazi Karoui,” Saber Horchani, the spokesman for the appeal court, told state news agency TAP. A judge ordered the detention of Karoui to face charges of tax evasion and money laundering, Mosaique FM radio reported. A judge decided in July this year to bar Karoui from travelling abroad after weeks of investigation on suspicion of money laundering. “The police arrested Karoui while we were on our way back from the city of Beja to Tunis,” said Osama Khelifi, a political adviser to the candidate. “They kidnapped the most prominent candidate in the presidential election so that (Prime Minister Youssef) Chahed can win the election in anContinue reading

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John Nwodo - Nigeria News

John Nwodo, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, says he will neither insult President Muhammadu Buhari nor call Nigeria a zoo. In an open letter to Ndigbo, Nwodo denied the allegations labelled against him by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He said Kanu’s latest “unprintable lies about me” prompted him to address the accusations “because, not to do so will make them credible amongst those who may not have heard my side of the story”. The Igbo leader said Kanu accused him of being a Fulani stooge. Nwodo said everything he had done proves his activism is in the interest of Ndigbo, adding that he had no role in the invasion of Kanu’s residence in 2017. He accused Kanu of making threats to his life and that of his family and also inciting IPOB members against him. “Nnamdi accuses me of being a Fulani stooge!! I am sure no reasonable Igbo man believes him. I have criticized President Muhammed Buhari more than any other Nigerian. Perhaps, what I don’t do is to insult his person or call Nigeria a zoo. I was trained to be respectful. I can disagree with you without being rude and impertinent,” Nwodo said. “No matter how sectional, incompetent or unproductive I consider the President of Nigeria to be, I must respect his age and office in my criticisms of him. As for the attack on my late father, I forgive Nnamdi. My father was Zik’s Minister and Okpara’s Minister. My father andContinue reading

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Melania Trump At Slave Castle In Ghana

Halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, the plane carrying Tani Sanchez and her daughter Tani Sylvester on a heritage tour to Ghana crossed paths with a powerful storm. A sharp drop in elevation hurled flight attendants to the floor. Passengers started screaming and crying. “‘Oh my God, I brought my mom! What did I do?’” Sylvester, 40, recalled thinking as the plane shook. “It was the scariest thing that has ever happened in my life.” After a few minutes, the pilot pulled the aircraft to safety above the dark clouds. Looking back, Sylvester sees the moment of terror as a nudge from the past, an invocation of the suffering of millions of Africans who were crammed into the lightless hulls of ships and sent in the opposite direction during the centuries-long transatlantic slave trade. “I think my ancestors were telling me, this wasn’t an easy trip for us,” she said. “They sailed over that same Atlantic Ocean. It was traumatising and scary for months, and I experienced five minutes of trauma and I was freaking out.” The two Tanis are among a growing number of African Americans exploring their ancestral roots in Ghana, which has encouraged people with Ghanaian heritage to return in honour of the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of African slaves to English settlements in what would one day become America. They had set off the previous day from Los Angeles, where Sylvester works for a digital-streaming service. But their family’s journey began nearly two centuriesContinue reading

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Chief Willie Obiano - Nigeria News

Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano would conclude his second term in 2022. He is expected to hand over to a successor on March 29 of that year. To elect his successor, the state would hold election in November 2021 and this is about two years and four months from now. It may be deemed a long time, but the political atmosphere in the state is already gathering momentum, and politicians have begun positioning themselves for selection. Among many other things that would determine the next governor of the state is the unwritten zoning pact in the state. When Obiano leaves office in 2021, the Northern Senatorial Zone would have had eight years of rule in the state. Before now, the zone stood as the only in the state that hadn’t tasted power since the creation of the state in 1991. This perhaps were some of the issues that propelled former Governor Peter Obi to insist that the zone must produce his successor. His stand was reinforced by his former political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the search for a governor from that zone began. As 2021 draws near, the APGA, working with the already set rules had once announced that once Obiano concludes his tenure, Anambra South Zone would produce his successor. This is because Mr Peter Obi who handed over to Obiano after an eight-year rule came from the Anambra Central zone. The position of APGA on zoning the position to the South also talliesContinue reading

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Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Nmadi Kanu and Ike Ekweremadu

The immediate past Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was yesterday attacked in Nuremberg, Germany by some members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). Ekweremadu, the Chairman of the Senate committee on Environment gave the account of the event on his social media handle @iamekweremdu, assuring Ndigbo and his supporters across the nation that he was safe. He said: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg where I was billed to give a keynote address alongside the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who could not make it eventually. “I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South-east, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue. “I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organisers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue. “I am disappointed in their conduct. I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media. “I also rallied the South-east Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douseContinue reading

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Hage Geingob - Namibia News

Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani has revealed that his party will table a motion in parliament to impeach president Hage Geingob. He said this at an impromptu press briefing at the party’s head office in Windhoek yesterday. Venaani expressed concern with Geingob’s recent townhall meeting at Khorixas, where the president reportedly inferred that the reason the two Kavango regions are not developed is because they voted for the PDM (then DTA) in 1989. “That was a democratic right, and it remains the democratic right of Namibians to vote for any political party of their choice. Nothing allows the president to tell people that if they vote for us, they will not receive development,” the PDM leader charged. He said the president’s comments can be interpreted to mean that the reason the two Kavango regions and the Zambezi region are the poorest regions is because they did not vote for the ruling party. “The president is confirming what we have been saying for the last 29 years, which is that PDM members have been suffering over a number of years by not gaining any economic benefits in this country due to the policies of the ruling party,” he stated. Venaani, who called Geingob a ‘constitutional delinquent’, said the president’s comments were a major setback for democracy and freedom of political affiliation. “I was taken aback that our president, who was the chairperson of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Namibian Constitution, the constitution that guaranteed the rights of individuals, isContinue reading

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Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria Politics News Today Now

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar and his party, PDP, have called upon the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to grant all reliefs, including declaring the opposition standard bearer winner of the election as prayed in their petition. The petitioners, in their final address filed on August 14, through their lead counsel, Dr. Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), also said they had proved their claim that President Muhammadu Buhari did not possess the minimum academic qualification of a secondary school certificate to contest for the presidency. INEC had declared Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the election, having scored majority of the lawful votes cast at the poll. But Atiku and PDP challenged the declaration, saying Buhari did not win the election. Atiku and PDP in their petition filed at the tribunal on March 18, 2019, also alleged electoral irregularities allegedly perpetrated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in support of Buhari and APC by the agents of the federal government, including the military. The tribunal had on August 1 adjourned till August 21 for the adoption of final addresses by parties shortly after the respondents closed their defence against the petition of Atiku and PDP. The petitioners had called in 62 witnesses and tendered plethora of documents, including video evidence to prove their claims. While Buhari called in only seven witnesses and tendered few documents in defence of his victory at the poll, INEC and theContinue reading

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Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky, Ibrahim Zakzaky, El Zakzaky, Nigeria News

The federal government last night alleged that the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has breached the bail conditions that granted him leave to proceed to India for treatment. A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Information, Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe, said El-Zakzaky made demands for his international passport, insisting that he should be out in a five-star hotel. The statement noted that the leader of the IMN demanded free movement and access to “all kinds of visitors.” It said his antics infuriated the Indian government to the point that they were willing to fly him back to Nigeria. The statement alleged that on reaching Dubai on their trip to India, El-Zakzaky began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures”. “He requested that his passport be handed over to him but the State officials would not budge to his pressure. The situation became worse in India as he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks”. The statement noted further that “in addition, he demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds as well as requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star Hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital. “The request was refused on the ground that he came into the country for medicals and not as a tourist (more so that his Visa was issued on medical grounds and not for tourism). He also demanded that Police protection be withdrawn from him by the IndianContinue reading

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