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Africa at a glance – The East African



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  • Nigeria’s Buhari, Obassanjo clash over insecurity

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has asked former president Olusegun Obasanjo to “consider” his language after the latter said in an open letter that insecurity could lead to genocide in the country.

The killing of the daughter of an influential Yoruba chief Reuben Fasoranti by armed robbers last Friday appeared the trigger of the exchange.

Obasanjo, 82, however, said criminality was being seen as a “Fulani” menace and that to contain Boko Haram “carrots must outweigh sticks.”

He asked President Buhari to convene a national conference on the problem of insecurity confronting Africa’s most populous country.

  • First woman to run for Mozambique presidency

Mozambique’s Democratic Alliance Coalition (CAD) has picked Ms Alice Mabote, 70, as its candidate for the October 15 presidential election.

The human rights activist becomes the first woman to run for the presidency since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1990.

“I know I will face stones in the way but the will to change the country’s way is stronger. I decided to take a step forward “because our youth, children, women and men deserve better”.

Three other opposition candidates will also contest against incumbent President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo party.

  • Cameroon senior military official to be charged

A week after the US banned national Gendarmerie Inspector General Jean Claude Ango Ango from entering the country over involvement in corruption will appear in court on August 6.

Sources said he would be charged with wildlife trafficking, a charge for which he could be jailed for up to six years.

Two of his accomplices have been found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail or a fine of $3,000 and to pay damages of $113,358.

  • Sudan generals seek immunity in power deal

The ruling Transition Military Council is demanding that its members be spared future criminal actions over their conduct during the seven month protests.

The demand, sources said, is holding back the signing of an agreement brokered by the Africa Union that would return the country to civilian rule in three years.

Besides the violent dispersal of protesters that left at least 63 dead on June 3, some of the ruling generals are wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur.

  • Egypt parliament approves controversial NGO law

Egypt’s parliament on Monday approved amendments to a controversial law that rights groups say imposes strict curbs on non-governmental organisations.

The changes come after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced last November that the law needed to be more balanced.

The new draft law prohibits NGOs from transferring or receiving funds from persons or entities, other than pre-determined sources, without official approval.

Transgressions would attract fines of up to $55,000).

  • Mali govt rejects call for dialogue with jihadists

Mali hasrejected a call for dialogue with jihadist groups made by the International Crisis Group in the restive centre of the country which this year has seen a surge in violence.

Despite aid from French and UN forces, Central Mali this year has also seen a spate of tit-for-tat ethnic massacres between the Fulani and Dogon communities.
Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame told AFP that the crisis in central Mali was a result of the prolonged occupation of northern Mali by jihadist groups like Katiba Macina and the Macina Liberation Front.

They are part of a wider Sahel jihadist alliance, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), which is linked to al Qaeda.

  • Burkina Faso probes deaths of 11 people in drug unit cells

Prosecutors in Burkina Faso have launched an investigation into how 11 people died in custody overnight in cells at the premises of the anti-drugs unit in the capital Ouagadougou.

Prosecutor Maiza Sereme said police informed her office of the deaths and autopsies were being conducted.

Burkina Faso is one of the main transit points for drugs from the ports of West Africa towards the Malian and Libyan deserts.

In June, the authorities burned 35,300 tonnes of narcotics: a quarter of the previous year’s drugs seizures, according to CNLD, the country’s anti-drugs watchdog.

  • US judge slashes jury award in Roundup cancer case

A US judge on Monday slashed damages a jury ordered Monsanto to pay in a Roundup cancer trialfrom $75 million to $20 million, saying the sum was “constitutionally impermissible.”

District Court Judge Vince Chhabria denied a request by Monsanto for a new trial in the case which is one of more than 13,000 lawsuits related to the weed-killer launched in the US.

The judge endorsed the approximately $5 million in compensatory damages that Monsanto was ordered to pay the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman.

  • Worsening world hunger affects 821 million, says UN

More than 821 million people suffered from hunger worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday as climate change and war pushed malnutrition up for the third year in a row.
The rising hunger makes it difficult to achieve by 2030 one of the UN sustainable development goals – a world free of hunger.

“Without food security we will never have peace and stability,” said David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme, calling for inclusive programmes that integrate nutrition in poverty reduction efforts.

  • AIDS deaths down a third since 2010: UN

The fight against HIV/AIDS is stalling as funding dries up just when the use of anti-retrovirals has helped bring down its fatalities by a third from 2010.

UNAIDS says in its annual report that HIV-related deaths fell to around 770,000 in 2018 from 1.2 million in 2010, with Africa leading the improvement.

Of an estimated 38 million people living with HIV, 23.3 million have access to some antiretroviral therapy (ART), the report shows.

Intravenous drug users, gay men, transgender people, sex workers and prisoners, the report said, contributed more than half of new HIV infections globally.

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