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Criticisms greet DRC’s election to UN human rights council

Democratic Republic of Congo was among 15 countries elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three-year term on Monday, a moved criticized by Britain, the United States and rights groups after the vote by the 193-member General Assembly. While Congo was elected uncontested to the 47-member Geneva-based council, it still needed majority support. The country – beset …

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Cameroon: The long history of Anglophone discord

Since October 2016, protests and strikes related to sectoral demands have escalated into a crisis over the economic and political marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority. The crisis reached a new low at the weekend of 30 September-1 October when at least 17 people were shot dead by security forces and 50 wounded, according to Amnesty International. Mbom Sixtus, freelance journalist …

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Shock and revulsion over Mogadishu bombing

The bomb was as enormous as the flecks of torn skin smudging the ground are miniscule. Entire overcrowded buses were blown up, every passenger killed. No one in the vicinity was spared: shopkeepers at the side of the road selling khat; office managers; children fooling around or running errands for parents; a medical student about to graduate; mothers; fathers; sisters; …

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Somalia hit by deadliest terror attack since 2007

In what has been described as the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007, a massive bomb attack in a busy area of the capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed at least 230 people. Hundreds more were reportedly wounded when a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel. Police …

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Interview: Kenya’s opposition leader speaks to German media organisation

The withdrawal of NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga from the upcoming election rerun raises major political and constitutional challenges for Kenya. The country has seen many opposition rallies against the electoral commission that threaten public peace and security leading to government banning demonstrations altogether in the centres of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. It is currently unclear if there will be …

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Over 500 Anglophone protesters arrested in Cameroon: report

More than 500 people have been swept up in mass arrests following violent demonstrations in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions earlier this month, Amnesty International has said. Troops and attack helicopters opened fire on protesters calling for independence at rallies on 1 October killing more than 20 people and escalating a long-simmering conflict with the Francophone-dominated central government. A central government spokesman …

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Geoge Weah and VP set to contest Liberia’s presidential run-off

Former international football star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai held commanding leads in provisional presidential election results announced on Saturday, setting up a likely run-off next month between the two men. Weah and Boakai lead the 20-candidate field to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in what would be Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 …

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No Congo election until mid-2019, says electoral commission

A long-delayed election in Democratic Republic of Congo to replace President Joseph Kabila cannot take place until at least April 2019, the electoral commission has announced. This is certain to enrage opponents who say Kabila is clinging to power. The polls were originally scheduled for November 2016. The new schedule outlined by the electoral commission would torpedo an agreement between …

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Liberia: George Weah leads as early election results are released

Former international football star George Weah has taken the lead in the early election results announced by Liberia’s electoral commission on Thursday evening. The National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Jerome Korkoya announced the results of 1,232 polling places out of the 5,390 in the 15 counties. Weah led in 11 counties including Grand Kru, Sinoe, River Gee and Grand Gedeh …

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Liberians anxiously await election results

Vote counting is underway in Liberia where large number of voters turned out on Tuesday to vote for a new president and lawmakers. The National Elections Commission (NEC) in its last press statement at the close of polls said there was a high turnout in the largely peaceful process. Election officers and party agents stayed overnight to count ballots. NEC …

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Kenyan opposition leader withdraws from repeat presidential poll

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he would not stand in a court-ordered re-run of August’s presidential election that is scheduled for 26 October. Odinga has repeatedly said he would boycott the polls if the election board did not replace officials he blamed for irregularities in August. “In the interest of the people of Kenya, the region and …

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Nigeria: IPOB calls on US, EU to intervene in Biafra agitation

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group advocating for a separate state for the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria, has called for international intervention in the attacks on pro-Biafra activists. IPOB spokesman in a statement issued on Monday said the group denies all claims of violence as advanced by the army and the government. Whiles challenging the authorities to …

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8 dead in Cameroon as Anglophone activists call for independence

Soldiers shot dead at least eight people and wounded others in Cameroon’s restless English-speaking regions on Sunday during protests by activists calling for its independence from the majority Francophone nation, an official and witnesses said. The demonstrations – timed to take place on the anniversary of Anglophone Cameroon’s independence from Britain – came as a months-old movement against perceived marginalisation …

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Kenya’s ruling party moves to amend election law ahead of re-run

Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party has presented parliament with proposals intended to prevent the Supreme Court annulling the results of a coming re-run presidential election, as it did the last vote in August. The court struck down President Uhuru Kenyatta’s poll victory then, saying there had been illegalities and irregularities in the transmission of results. Kenya used two systems to transmit …

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Nigeria fixes date for next presidential election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the date of Nigeria’s next general elections. The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 16 February 2019, INEC said on its official Twitter account on Thursday. The date will mark the end of ailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term. He has not said if he will run again. Buhari came …

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Cameroon deploys army to Anglophone regions to face off secessionists

Cameroonian President Paul Biya has dispatched the military to the South West and North West Regions of the country ahead of Independence Day on 1 October to face off secessionists. The military deployment was officially announced by the Governor of the South West Region Bernard Okalia Bilai on Thursday after restricting movement of people and vehicles, closing all public places …

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Kenya’s election re-run postponed

Kenya’s new presidential election has been delayed to 26 October, after the country’s polls commission sought more time to reform voting processes. The re-run had originally been scheduled for 17 October. Kenya’s elections body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), has announced a new date for the presidential poll rerun ordered by the Supreme Court. A statement issued on …

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Tunisian women now free to marry non-Muslim men

Tunisia has lifted a ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men after years of campaign against the marriage law imposed in 1973. President Beji Caid Essebsi had promised a month ago that the ban will be lifted in respect of the 2014 constitution that guarantees women’s freedom. Spokesperson of the presidency, Saida Garrach is reported to have confirmed the lifting …

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