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Africa at a glance – The East African



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  • DR Congo Ebola outbreak declared global health emergency

The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern,” a rare designation only used for the gravest epidemics.

The year-old Ebola epidemic in eastern DR Congo, the second deadliest on record, has largely been contained to remote areas, but this week saw a patient diagnosed with the virus in provincial capital Goma, the first case in a major urban hub.

“It is time for the world to take notice,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

  • Ethiopian party to delay formation of breakaway region

An Ethiopian political party pushing for the creation of a breakaway region said Thursday it was prepared to go along with new plans for a referendum announced by electoral officials.

Leaders of the Sidama ethnic group in southern Ethiopia had planned to unilaterally declare their own federal state on Thursday – a move analysts warned could inflame Ethiopia’s political crisis and lead to bloodshed.

At present, Ethiopia is partitioned into nine semi-autonomous regions. The constitution requires the government to organise a referendum for any ethnic group that wants to form a new entity within a year of them requesting it.

  • South African corruption inquiry adjourns after Zuma’s lawyers say questioning unfair

A South African judge adjourned until Friday morning a public inquiry into state corruption, after lawyers for former President Jacob Zuma said he was being questioned unfairly.

The judicial commission of inquiry, which is hearing Mr Zuma’s response to allegations against him, had initially been scheduled to run from Monday to Friday.

The inquiry is looking into allegations that Zuma, ousted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in February 2018, allowed cronies to plunder state resources and influence senior appointments during his nine years in power.

  • Uganda scrambles to respond to fresh Ebola scare in Kasese

Ugandan authorities scrambled Wednesday to respond to a fresh Ebola threat after a Congolese trader died of the disease four days after she had been to Mpondwe market in Kasese district, western Uganda.

Ugandan health officials and the World Health Organisation insist that they have everything under control, as contacts with the woman have been identified and will be vaccinated for Ebola to prevent the virus from spreading any further.

  • Nine companies to vie for Zambia copper mining giant

Nine companies have shown interest in taking over Zambia’s largest copper miner, the mines minister said on Wednesday, adding that bids were expected to be submitted over the coming weeks.

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is at the centre of a legal battle between its London-based majority owner, Vedante Resources, and Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who has vowed to dissolve the firm.

  • ICC rejects Ugandan rebel leader Ongwen’s appeal

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Appeals Chamber has confirmed the charges against Ugandan rebel leader Dominic Ongwen, dismissing his challenge of the case.
The decision on Wednesday means Ongwen will stand trial for seventy counts, plus other additional charges of crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda when he was deputy leader of proscribed group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles wipes away tears with third place finish in Afcon

Odion Ighalo scored the only goal as Nigeria beat Tunisia in the third-place play-off at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ighalo, the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, tapped in after keeper Moez Ben Cherifia deflected the ball off his own defender Yassine Meriah.

In a slow-paced game between the two losing semi-finalists in Cairo, Tunisia went close as Ferjani Sassi and Ghaylene Chaalali shot wide.

  • Kenya-Uganda peace deal to herald new dawn at border

The Kenyan government has said that the cross-border peace agreement to be signed between Kenya and Uganda will benefit four million Pokot, Karamoja and Turkana people who inhabit the border area.

Kenya’s Chief Administrative Secretary for Devolution and ASALs Hussein Dado said that the cross-border programme with Uganda dubbed “Karamoja Cluster” is geared towards achieving lasting peace between the two communities.

  • UN peacekeeper, 6 civilians killed in Sudan border area

Unknown gunmen killed a UN peacekeeper and six civilians in the disputed region of Abyei on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, the regional governor said on Wednesday.
“Yesterday, unknown gunmen attacked the market of Amiet, North of Abyei,” said Kuol Alor Jok, governor of Abyei. He said one of the civilians who was killed was a child.

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