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Cape Town (AFP) Residents of drought-stricken Cape Town received good news Tuesday when city officials said they now face losing piped water to their homes by July 9 — a month later than last forecast. But Capetonians are not yet out of the woods. If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called “Day Zero” — the last day of normal water supply — people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons). The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year,Read More
Lome (AFP) Nearly half of the opposition supporters arrested during a wave of anti-government demonstrations in Togo will be pardoned, Ghanaian mediators have said as talks to end a six-month political crisis got under way in Lome. Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe “has decided to give a presidential pardon to 45 of the 92 people detained … following their participation in protests,” said Ghanaian delegation spokesman Daniel Osei late on Monday. “Togo’s courts will look at the situations of the other detainees on a case-by-case basis,” he added in a statement.Read More
Mangochi (Malawi) (AFP) A cholera outbreak in Malawi described as “very difficult to contain” has claimed nine lives and affected a total of 541 people nationwide, health officials said on Tuesday. The outbreak began in November near the landlocked southern African nation’s northern border with Tanzania and has since spread to other regions of the country. UNICEF’s representative to Malawi Johannes Wedenig told local media that “as long as people in Malawi don’t change the behaviour of using unsafe water, it’ll be very difficult to contain”. He urged Malawians toRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Libya’s coastguard rescued 441 migrants in two separate operations as their boats drifted off the western coast, the navy and a doctor said on Tuesday. Thirty-five women and 16 children were among 324 illegal migrants rescued in one of the operations on Monday with help from a fishing boat, a navy statement said. The migrants, from countries including Chad, Nigeria, Mali and Libya, were drifting in two inflatable boats about seven nautical miles from Zuwara near the Tunisian border after the engines failed, it said. The coastguard alsoRead More
Nairobi (AFP) More than five million people have signed up to vote in Burundi’s controversial constitutional referendum in May and elections in 2020, which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034. By the end of the inscription process on Saturday, “a total of 5,000,742 people” signed up, including Burundians living abroad, Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) was quoted as saying Tuesday by local media. The figure was higher than CENI’s estimate of 4.5 million earlier. This includes those who willRead More
Cape Town (AFP) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday he wanted “healing and atonement” following the 2012 massacre of 34 striking workers at a mine run by Lonmin where he was a director. “I would like to use this opportunity to address what role I played in my capacity as a Lonmin director in the events of that tragic week,” said Ramaphosa in an address to parliament in Cape Town. “I am determined to play whatever role I can in the process of healing and atonement for what happenedRead More
Maputo (AFP) Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has met the leader of opposition Renamo as part of efforts to broker peace between the group and his ruling Frelimo party. Renamo rebels fought a 16-year war against Frelimo until 1992, and unrest again boiled over between 2013 and 2016. Nyusi travelled to the remote Gorongosa mountains on Monday for talks with Renamo’s leader Afonso Dhlakama who has been in hiding since October 2015. The meeting follows a pledge by the president earlier this month to change the constitution to allow for theRead More
Cape Town (AFP) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday he wanted “healing and atonement” following the 2012 massacre of 34 striking workers at a mine run by Lonmin where he was a director. Ramaphosa has been dogged by allegations that he was partly responsible for the slayings, the worst police violence since apartheid ended, despite being exonerated by a judicial inquiry in 2015. “I would like to use this opportunity to address what role I played in my capacity as a Lonmin director in the events of that tragicRead More
Libreville (AFP) Separatists in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions have faced a violent crackdown since declaring the creation of “Ambazonia”, a self-proclaimed republic independent from the majority French-speaking country. The violence has helped fuel support for a growing separatist movement, including armed groups, who in turn have carried out a string of attacks on police and the military. Dozens on both sides have died, and tens of thousands have fled into neighbouring Nigeria. The political drive for the separatist cause began in 2016 after police broke up demonstrations by English-speaking lawyersRead More
Paris (AFP) Unrest has spread in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions since October as a secessionist movement has pushed for independence. Tensions can be traced back to events a century ago, when Britain and France occupied Cameroon, taking over Germany’s major colony in West Africa. – World War I split – Cameroon was a Germany colony until 1916, when British and French troops forced the Germans out. The two countries divided it into separate spheres of influence that were later formalised by the League of Nations, the forerunner to the UN. TheRead More