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Moshood Abiola - Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola - MKO - Nigerian - Nigeria News Headlines

Fraudulent. Not well-thought-out. Greek gift. Action smacks of desperation, hypocrisy. It’s for cheap political gains.These and more were some of the words and phrases that trailed Presdent Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as the nation’s new Democracy Day when he made the pronouncement on June 6, last year. President Buhari had said that his administration shared the view of most Nigerians that June 12th rather than May 29th or even October 1st was far more symbolic of democracy. In a sequel this year, the president had taken the honour for the late Chief Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 1993 election, and his family, a notch higher. He moved the fanfare and speeches that ought to have accompanied his inauguration on May 29 to today as part of activities for the first-ever commemoration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day. And the nation is in joyous mood. However, as the nation celebrates its symbol of democracy today, eminent Nigerians have tasked President Buhari on the need to use the occasion to reflect on the survival of Nigeria with a view to entrenching the numerous ideals of the late Abiola and indeed, the June 12 mandate. Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, human rights activist and former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Chief Ayo Opadokun, and the National Publicity Secretary of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, among others, said it was imperative for Buhari to make major policy statements on and how toHere's the full story.

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Edgar Lungu - Zambia News - Zambian Headlines

Zambia has no plans to seize the assets of Quantum Minerals Ltd and the copper producer intends to stay in the country despite the government’s move to wrest control of a rival miner, government and industry sources told Reuters. Canadian-listed First Quantum has looked on nervously as the Zambian government appointed a provisional liquidator to run Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), claiming KCM has breached the terms of its license. The move has unnerved international miners concerned about rising resource nationalism in Zambia and neighboring countries. First Quantum, scarred by having its operations in Democratic Republic of Congo seized in 2010, is embroiled in a dispute with the Zambian government after being handed a $5.8 billion bill last year for unpaid import duties. “The government will not touch First Quantum,” one source close to the government said. “Vedanta is very different from First Quantum.” Among the international miners, First Quantum has the most to lose in Zambia, which accounts for 83% of production from the company’s operating assets this year, excluding a new project in Panama. But the company also has bargaining power as the most profitable miner in Zambia and the biggest tax payer. In 2018, it said it paid more than $533 million in taxes to the Zambian government, including royalties, income and corporate tax. Two sources close to the company, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations, said First Quantum would stay, but would freeze investment and might put operations on hold. “They’ll not go.Here's the full story.

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Sharia, Sharia Law, Islamic Law

Shops were closed and streets were empty across Sudan on Sunday, the first day of a general strike called for by protest leaders demanding the resignation of the ruling military council. The Sudanese Professionals Association had called on people to stay home starting on Sunday, the first day of the work week, in protest at the deadly crackdown last week, when security forces violently dispersed the group’s main sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. The protesters say more than 100 people have been killed since the crackdown began last Monday. The protesters hope that by bringing daily life to a halt they can force the military to hand over power to civilians. The military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir in April after four months of mass rallies but has refused demonstrators’ demands for an immediate move to civilian rule, instead pushing for a transitional power-sharing arrangement. An Associated Press journalist saw heavy deployment of troops from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in several parts of Khartoum and its sister city of Omdurman. There are long queues for fuel in several areas in the capital. The internet remains cut off in Khartoum and other types of communications also restricted, with reports of mobile network services heavily disrupted. Security forces removed barricades from the main roads and opened the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters for the first time since the dispersal. The SPA urged protesters to avoid clashes with the RSF. Protesters have accused the RSF, which grew outHere's the full story.

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Sudanese, Sudan Protest

Two Sudanese rebel leaders were arrested early on Saturday, opposition sources said, shortly after meeting visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is trying to mediate in a crisis threatening a transition to democracy. Abiy had on Friday urged Sudan’s military rulers and civilian opposition to exercise “bravery” in trying to agree steps towards democracy after the worst bloodshed since the overthrow in April of President Omar al-Bashir. The Ethiopian premier visited days after Sudanese forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum where demonstrators were demanding civilian rule. Dozens of people have been killed since Monday. While no breakthrough was announced at the end of Abiy’s one-day visit, an aide to the Ethiopian prime minister said the talks went well and that Abiy would be returning to Sudan soon. The ruling Transitional Military Council thanked Ethiopia on Saturday for its mediation efforts, state news agency SUNA said. The TMC expressed its “openness and keenness to negotiate to reach satisfactory understandings that will lead to a national consensus…, leading to the establishment of a democratic transition,” SUNA said. ARRESTS However, two opposition figures who were at Friday’s meeting with Abiy said Ismail Jallab, secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and the armed group’s spokesman Mubarak Ardol were detained a few hours later. Abiy offered to mediate after the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance’s talks with the TMC over who will lead a transition period before elections had ground to aHere's the full story.

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African National Congress , ANC , South Africa News

A row within South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party about the role of the country’s central bank is unnerving investors because it is being driven by bitter factional battles rather than sober policy debate. Broadening the South African Reserve Bank’s remit to promote jobs and growth as well as taming inflation would not be seen by analysts as a problem per se, given other central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve have similar dual mandates. The worry is that the push to change the bank’s mandate is coming from a left-wing camp within the ANC that wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to change tack on a range of policies – and is using the Reserve Bank as a battering ram, some ANC members say. The damaging public row over the bank’s role comes at a time Ramaphosa is trying to build confidence in the economy by tackling long-standing issues such as inefficient state enterprises and corruption. “This is about the internal politics of the ANC and the factions that are fighting for influence,” said Melanie Verwoerd, a former ANC lawmaker and political analyst. The ANC is a broad ideological church that has governed South Africa since the end of white minority rule, but it is deeply divided over how to deal with the persistent poverty and unemployment that are hitting its support at the polls. The row within the ANC surfaced on Tuesday when Secretary General Ace Magashule, part of a group of ANC leftists and populists, said theHere's the full story.

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African Union - AF News

The African Union said on Thursday it had suspended Sudan until a civilian government was formed, intensifying international pressure on the country’s new military rulers to give up power. Ethiopia meanwhile will launch a mediation effort on Friday, diplomatic sources in Khartoum said. The moves take place after security forces cleared protesters from a sit-in camp in central Khartoum on Monday, killing dozens of people in the worst violence since President Omar al-Bashir was removed by the military in April after four months of generally peaceful protests. The opposition had been in talks with an interim military council over a civilian-led transition to democracy, but the negotiations faltered and this week’s crackdown marked a turning point in the power struggle. The United Nations and several foreign governments have condemned the bloodshed. The African Union’s Peace and Security Council, in a meeting in Addis Ababa on Thursday, decided to suspend Sudan from all AU activities until a civilian government has been formed. Suspension is the African Union’s normal response to any interruption of constitutional rule in one of its members. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was due to visit Khartoum on Friday to try to mediate between the military and an opposition alliance, a diplomatic source at the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum said. The source told Reuters that Abiy would meet members of the Transitional Military Council and the opposition’s Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces during his one-day visit. Ethiopia hosts the headquarters of the African Union but it wasHere's the full story.

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Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe Africa Politics Today

Zimbabwe and the European Union began political talks on Wednesday aimed at turning the page on hostile relations during Robert Mugabe’s rule, a step that could enable a resumption of direct financial aid for the ailing economy. During Robert Mugabe’s four-decade rule until 2017, he would routinely blame European “colonialists” for Zimbabwe’s problems, and snarled at EU and U.S. sanctions for rights and vote abuses. The EU has only kept sanctions on Mugabe, his wife and the state arms manufacturer, but is yet to resume direct funding to the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, preferring to channel money through local charities and U.N. agencies. With the economy afflicted by dollar shortages, fuel queues, power-cuts, and soaring prices, Mnangagwa has said restoring ties with the West and multilateral lenders like International Monetary Fund is one of his major priorities. At the start of the open-ended talks between diplomats and officials in Harare, EU Zimbabwe delegation head Timo Olkkonen said they would discuss issues including economic development, trade, investment, rights, rule of law and good governance. The government has already signed up to an IMF monitoring programme where it has committed to political and economic reforms in a bid to set a track record of fiscal discipline that could earn it debt forgiveness and future financing. At a separate event in a Harare hotel, Mnangagwa signed a new bill creating a tripartite negotiating forum intended to bring labour, business and government together to shape policy. The 76-year-old leader is under pressureHere's the full story.

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Sudanese Protest - Sudan

Sudan’s opposition on Tuesday rejected a plan by its military rulers to hold elections within nine months, a day after the worst bout of violence since Omar al-Bashir was ousted as president in April. At least 35 people were killed on Monday when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum, according to doctors linked to the opposition. The military council that has ruled since Bashir’s overthrow afterwards cancelled all agreements with the main opposition alliance. But Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) opposition alliance, said an open-ended civil disobedience campaign would continue to try to force the council from power. The opposition rejected all that Transitional Military Council (TMC) Head Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in his statement, Madani told Reuters. “What happened, killing protesters, wounding and humiliation, was a systematic and planned matter to impose repression on the Sudanese people,” he said. The atmosphere in the capital Khartoum was very tense on Tuesday as many roads were barricaded by protesters, many shops were shut and streets were mostly empty. Security forces were trying to clear the barricades, a Reuters witness said. Rapid Support Forces vehicles were patrolling the streets in Omdurman, on the other side of the River Nile from Khartoum, and firing into the air. The leaders of protests that forced Bashir from power after three decades of authoritarian rule in April have demanded preparations for elections during a transitional period led byHere's the full story.

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Olusegun Obasanjo - Politics News Headline in Nigeria

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, advised wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, to as a matter of urgency engage her husband in a “pillow talk” in order for him to know the true position of the state of the nation. Mrs Buhari had recently raised the alarm on how social intervention programmes for vulnerable Nigerians had failed in the North and the wanton killings of Nigerians by bandits. Obasanjo, who commended Mrs Buhari for speaking out her mind, said, apparently, the President’s wife had not adopted the bedroom approach to get her husband’s attention to the issues. Noting that in recent time, Mrs Buhari had spoken about her displeasure with how her husband’s government was being run, the latest being the challenge to security agencies to find solution to the banditry in the country., the former President said she should engage in pillow talk to draw Buhari’s attention to the issue. Obasanjo, who played host to the Editorial Board of a social media platform, “Penpushing Media”, at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Boardroom, advocated more advocacy and sensitisation to get the desired change in the country. In a statement by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo added that the media also played crucial role in the mission to turn the country for better. Obasanjo said the advocacy would raise awareness, “and we have to put all things on table to address these problems. Mind you, we have to be sincere and genuine with ourselves. “It is niceHere's the full story.

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United Nations

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Thursday extending an arms embargo and other sanctions against South Sudan over objections from African nations, Russia and China that the measure won’t help promote peace. The U.S.-sponsored resolution received 10 “yes” votes — one more than the minimum required for adoption — and five abstentions from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Russia and China. A fragile peace deal to end a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people was signed in September. But the committee overseeing its implementation says key elements have yet to be put in place. South Sudan had faced a May 12 deadline for opposition leader Riek Machar to return to the country and once again become President Salva Kiir’s deputy. It is the crucial next step in implementing the peace deal, but both South Sudan’s government and Machar’s opposition requested a six-month extension, which regional ministers approved earlier this month. Acting U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen expressed disappointment at the lack of African support for renewing the sanctions, stressing that “if there is to be any chance for lasting peace in South Sudan we must stop the flow of weapons used to fuel conflict and terrorize civilians.” He said the Trump administration wants to support African bodies taking leading roles in resolving disputes and conflicts on the continent but “support for this expanded role is difficult to envision if countries in the region are unwilling to support measures that incentivize warring parties to choose peace over war.”Here's the full story.

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Hemedti, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo - Sudan News

Six weeks after a coup d’etat in Sudan, high-profile military leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo is evolving into an increasingly influential political force. The involvement of so powerful a military chief in politics could undermine efforts to create a democracy in the northeast African country and provoke army officers who are wary of his ambitions, opponents and Western diplomats say. Dagalo, commonly known as Hemedti, is deputy chairman of Transitional Military Council (TMC) that has been running Sudan since President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s fall in April. Unlike junta leader Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Hemedti has grabbed the limelight, often delivering speeches in public as Sudan navigates a volatile transition period after a 30-year dictatorship. “Hemedti is playing an increasingly prominent role, ranging beyond his core security brief. This suggests an ambition to play a longer-term political role,” a senior Western diplomat told Reuters. “A more prominent leadership role for Hemedti would undermine the clear popular demand for civilian leadership in Sudan.” In his rise from humble beginnings as a desert livestock trader to one of Bashir’s most trusted aides in a country of constantly shifting alliances, Hemedti has shown his determination and skill at manoeuvring behind the scenes. A tall, imposing figure who has an office in the presidential palace, Hemedti is backed by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the widely feared paramilitary fighters who number in the tens of thousands and control the capital Khartoum. Hemedti also gained vital support from oil powers Saudi Arabia and the UnitedHere's the full story.

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Egyptian security forces - Egypt

Egyptian security forces have committed widespread abuses against civilians in restive northern Sinai peninsula, some of which amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday, urging other nations to halt military assistance. Egypt’s ground and air forces have been fighting Islamist insurgents in Sinai for years, in a conflict fuelled by wider Middle East dynamics and a history of state neglect and oppression of the poor and isolated region. The report accused security forces of arbitrary arrests including children, disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, collective punishment and forced evictions. While there was no immediate reaction from the Egyptian government, it has in the past responded to accusations of rights abuses by saying strong security measures were needed to curb Islamic State and other jihadists on its soil. New York-based HRW said its 134-page report was researched from 2016-2018 and based on interviews with 54 North Sinai residents and former government and military officials, as well as official statements and satellite images. The watchdog documented what it said were 50 arbitrary arrests of residents, including 39 cases where the detainee was held incommunicado at an undisclosed location. Some died in custody because of ill-treatment and lack of medical care, HRW said, citing former detainees. Reuters was unable to independently confirm its findings. The report also documented 14 cases of extrajudicial killing of detainees, using methods that match similar cases reported in a Reuters investigation published in April. Spokesmen for the military and for Egypt’s State Information Service, which liaisesHere's the full story.

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Felix Tshisekedi - Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has finally named veteran technocrat Prof Sylvestre Ilunkamba Ilunga as the prime minister but his choice has not only brought friction within the ruling coalition but also raised doubts among the opposition. First, Prof Ilunga, who has worked with former presidents Mobutu Sese Seko, Laurent Kabila and Joseph Kabila is seen as a frontman for the younger Kabila. Prince Buloko, a member of Congolese civil society, told The EastAfrican that Prof Ilunga will be likely to take orders from Mr Kabila and not President Tshisekedi, with the potential of derailing most of the reforms the new president had planned. Second, there is friction within the Common Front for the Congo (FCC) coalition of President Tshisekedi and former president Joseph Kabila the latter’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) is taking all leadership positions without considering smaller partners. Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDC) officials said Mr Kabila’s PPRD has taken the Speaker of the National Assembly, the PM and is now angling for the presidency of the Senate without considering other partners in the FCC Coalition. With only the Senatorial presidency remaining, Mike Nendaka of AFDC asserted that his party is the second largest political force in the country and deserve to be considered for one of the three leadership potions. In the opposition, Eve Bazaiba, the secretary general of Jean Pierre Bemba’s Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) expressed doubts about the ability of Prof Ilunga to bring changeHere's the full story.

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Cameroon Defense Ministry Opens Investigation Into Burning of Homes

Brussels — Cameroonian soldiers went on a rampage in the English-speaking North-West region on May 15, 2019, burning over 70 homes in Mankon, Bamenda. Soldiers dragged one man from his house, shooting him dead in the street. In a news release issued on May 16, the defense ministry announced that it had opened an investigation into the burning of homes and destruction of property. The government should hold soldiers involved accountable. “The government’s move to investigate these attacks on civilians and their property is an important step to ensure accountability,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The investigation should be prompt, independent, and impartial, but it should not end there. The government should immediately review other cases of alleged abuses by its security forces and prosecute those responsible.” Human Rights Watch interviewed 15 residents of Mankon, including 10 witnesses, who described how soldiers from the Air Force and the Rapid Intervention Battalion coordinated the attack. Human Rights Watch also reviewed satellite imagery showing over 70 buildings affected by fire and photographs and videos showing extensive destruction of property. Over the past three years, Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have been embroiled in a cycle of violence that has led to 1,800 deaths and uprooted half a million people from their homes. Government forces and armed separatist groups have committed serious human rights abuses against the civilian population. On May 15, following the killing of two Air Force soldiers by suspected armed separatists, security forces killed Nwacha Christopher Neba,Here's the full story.

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Court Order - Judge Judgement

Kenya’s High Court on Friday upheld sections of the penal code that criminalize same-sex relations, a disappointment for gay rights activists across Africa where dozens of countries have similar laws. The judges’ unanimous ruling in the closely watched case was followed by activists’ vows to appeal. Many in Kenya’s vibrant gay community had hoped the court would make history by scrapping the British colonial-era laws and inspiring other countries in Africa to do the same. Activists argue that the laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adults are in breach of the constitution because they deny basic rights. The state should not regulate intimacy between gay couples, they say. One law punishes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and prescribes up to 14 years in prison for people convicted of homosexual acts. Another says “indecent practices between males” can bring up to five years in prison. The laws create an environment of fear and harassment even if they are not always enforced, activists say. “The issue is violence, discrimination and oppression,” one activist, Tirop Salat, said. The judges, however, said the petitioners had failed to prove how the laws violated their right to health, dignity and privacy and said the laws do not single out gay people. Kenya has no social pressure to legalize homosexuality, they added. “Acknowledging cohabitation among people of the same sex, where they would ostensibly be able to have same-sex intercourse, would indirectly open the door for (marriage) of people of the same sex,” said theHere's the full story.

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Emmanuel Macron and Khalifa Hifter - Khalifa Haftar - Libya - France News

Libyan commander Khalifa Hifter said in a meeting on Wednesday with French President Emmanuel Macron that he cannot work toward a cease-fire because he has no one with whom to negotiate. Hifter opened a military offensive on the Libyan capital of Tripoli in early April despite commitments to move toward elections in the North African country. Libya is divided between Khalifa Hifter, whose self-styled Libyan National Army controls the east and much of the south, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, who runs the U.N.-supported but weak government in Tripoli. During a more than hour-long closed door meeting, Macron asked Hifter to work toward a cease-fire and a return to the political process, according to a statement from Macron’s office. When the question of a cease-fire is put on the table, “the reaction of … Hifter is ‘with whom can I negotiate a ceasefire today?’ ” an official of the presidential Elysee Palace said. Hifter considers the Sarraj government is being eaten from within by armed militias and considers “it’s not for him (Hifter) to negotiate with representatives of these militias,” the official said. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the delicate talks and asked to remain anonymous. The closed-door meeting came two weeks after Macron hosted Libya’s struggling U.N.-backed prime minister, who has denounced Hifter’s offensive as an attempted coup. Macron’s office has expressed support for Sarraj. The official rejected claims that France is secretly backing Hifter, saying that France is trying “to create a dynamic” betweenHere's the full story.

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Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, Gaid Salah - Ahmed Gaed Salah - Algeria News

Algeria’s army chief of staff said on Wednesday he had no political ambitions in response to democracy activists who say that he intends to copy the authoritarian model of Egypt. The armed forces have been a pivotal power centre in Algeria for decades and have been managing a transition after mass protests forced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last month after 20 years in office. Street demonstrations have continued to press demands for a dismantling of the elite of independence veterans, security commanders and business tycoons that have run the major oil and natural gas producer since independence from France in 1962. “Everybody should know that we have no political ambitions,” Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah told state television. A presidential election has been scheduled for July 4 but an informed source said on Friday it might be postponed. Algerian activists say they are concerned the army-steered transition towards democracy will prove illusory as in Egypt. As Egypt’s army chief in 2013, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled freely elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, won election himself in 2014 and then suppressed Mursi’s supporters as well as the liberal opposition in a pervasive crackdown on dissent. In Algeria, analysts the army fears the crisis will continue at a time of worsening disorder in neighbouring Libya, where there is factional fighting for control of the capital Tripoli. Salah also said a fight against corruption and cronyism, among protesters’ main grievances, would continue and that he disagreed with some officials who said this wasHere's the full story.

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