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AFRICA

Liberia ruling party expels President Johnson Sirleaf

Liberia’s ruling Unity Party has expelled the country’s outgoing president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is accused by party leaders of meddling in last year’s presidential elections in which its candidate suffered a bruising defeat. Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been in power for 12 years, denies the party’s allegations that she held inappropriate private meetings with …

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Protests across Tunisia over economic austerity measures

More than 200 people were arrested and dozens were injured on Tuesday as a wave of demonstrations continues to shake several cities in Tunisia following new austerity measures in the 2018 budget, which are expected to increase the cost of living. The spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry Khalifa Chibani told local media outlets on Wednesday that 49 police officers …

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Nigeria sets deadline for political parties to select presidential candidates

Nigeria’s political parties must select their candidates for the country’s 2019 presidential election between 18 August and 7 October this year, the electoral commission said on Tuesday in a timetable of the polling process. Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 16 February 2019, marking the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term. Buhari has not said if he …

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Equatorial Guinea coup attempt condemned by AU and UN

The African Union (AU) has condemned an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea stressing that it will not condone any unconstitutional power seizures on the continent. The United Nations through its special envoy to the Central African nation, Francois Fall, had also condemned the attempted takeover promising to help Malabo with stabilization efforts. The AU Commission’s position was contained in a …

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A turning point in Ethiopia?

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn dropped a veritable bombshell last week, when he announced that political prisoners would be released and that a detention centre in the capital that had become notorious for torture would be closed. What made this all the more surprising was that the government had never before even acknowledged the existence of political prisoners (when dissidents …

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Ethiopia to free political prisoners and close notorious prison

The Ethiopian government will drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in a bid to ‘widen the democratic space for all.’ Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says the move to release all political prisoners is critical for national dialogue. The unprecedented pardon is expected to apply to both convicted political prisoners and those currently facing court …

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After 38 years in power, Equatorial Guinea’s president says he’s ready to go

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea said a war was being organised against his regime, days after a government official announced the discovery of a “destabilisation attempt”. A “war” is being prepared “because they say I have spent a lot of time in power,” the president said on Saturday, without saying who he was referring to. Neighbouring Cameroon had …

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UN Secretary-General urges President Joseph Kabila to step down

There have been angry protests in Democratic Republic of Congo, calling for President Joseph Kabila’s resignation. Kabila has been in power since 2001. His second term in office officially ended in December 2016, but he is still there – refusing to leave. The UN Secretary-General has now waded into the crisis following deadly clashes in the capital, Kinshasa. Congolese protested …

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George Weah declares war on corruption and poverty in Liberia

In his first press conference since his election as president, George Weah has promised that he would not tolerate corruption in his government while his focus would be the transformation of the lives of the masses. Addressing journalists, his partisans and supporters at his first victory press conference held at the headquarters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on …

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Coup foiled in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroonian mercenaries blamed

Authorities in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea say they foiled an overnight attempt to overthrow the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago – Africa’s longest serving leader. The attempt as reported by the French news portal Jeune Afrique took place overnight from Wednesday December 27 to Thursday December 28. Even though details of the incident are sketchy, there is said to be …

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George Weah: From international football superstar to an African president

George Weah emerged from Liberia’s slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country’s young to be voted president. Weah easily beat Vice President Joseph Boakai in Tuesday’s presidential run-off, the culmination of 12 years spent building political credibility to match his huge popularity. “You know I’ve been in …

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Book: Africa’s entrapment by ‘spirits, witches and gods’

Superstition, defined as “irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc”, is a phenomenon that is as old as humanity and it occurs in all cultures. Normal natural phenomena such as thunders and heavy rains used to be interpreted as the result of the actions of gods. With the increasing influence …

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George Weah or Joseph Boakai: Liberians choose new leader today

Liberians go to the polls Tuesday (26 December) to select either former international footballer George Weah (51) or Vice President Joseph Boakai (72) as their new president, in a vote that analysts say is too close to call. Campaigns over, ballot boxes and other electoral materials deployed across Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC) says all is set for today’s …

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Uganda parliament scraps presidential age limit, extends tenure to 7 years

The parliament of the East African country has scrapped presidential age limit, paving the way for Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, to rule until 2037 The Ugandan parliament on Wednesday evening (20 December) voted to scrap presidential age limit which was formerly pegged at 75 years. The controversial age limit bill was passed after going through …

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South Africa to take over White-owned land without compensation, says new ANC leader

In his maiden speech as president of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, appealed for unity in the South African ruling party, pledging to tackle corruption and support resolutions made to empower poor South Africans, including the expropriation of land without compensation. As the ANC elective conference came to a close, many including Ramaphosa breathed a sigh of relief …

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South Africa’s ruling ANC elects Cyril Ramaphosa as new leader

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has elected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its new leader. The former trade unionist and top businessman will replace his embattled boss; President Jacob Zuma; and would lead the ANC into elections slated for 2019. Ramaphosa polled 2440 votes as against 2261 received by his main rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the tightly fought …

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ECOWAS intervenes in Togo crisis, urges ”inclusive dialogue”

West African leaders have called on Togolese political actors to hold an “inclusive dialogue” to resolve the political crisis in the country. The Summit of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) made the call in Abuja, Nigeria, on Saturday. The conference expressed its concerns over persistent political tensions and condemned the forms of violence and …

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ICC awards $10m compensation to former Congolese child soldiers

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands; has awarded $10 million in compensation to child soldiers recruited by Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga. The ICC said Lubanga was liable to pay the full amount to his young victims and their relatives, but added it recognised there was no way he would be able to afford paying this compensation that is …

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