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Nairobi (AFP) In its heyday, half a century ago, East Africa’s Safari Rally was renowned as being among the toughest in the world, a formidable challenge for car and driver, across escarpment and savannah. Winners have included Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Ari Vatanen, and the difference between victory and defeat sometimes depended on which car avoided herds of cattle wandering on the road. The rally’s fall from grace was slow but steady and, after the 2002 edition, it was dropped from the World Rally Championship (WRC) altogether.Read More
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) Boko Haram killed at least 20 people and wounded scores of others in coordinated attacks on a military camp and villages around the flashpoint northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which they also tried to infiltrate across a defensive trench, officials said Monday. The brazen operation — which unfolded around the very city where Boko Haram was born — turned the spotlight on the authorities’ struggle to quell the jihadists’ nearly nine-year-old offensive. Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base in the Cashew Plantation area at the entranceRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, apologised to people harmed in recent political unrest and reached out both to the political opposition and longtime rival Eritrea at his swearing-in on Monday. Abiy is the first ethnic Oromo to be selected by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as prime minister in its 27 years of rule. In a parliamentary session, Abiy formally replaced Hailemariam Desalegn, whose surprise resignation in February came after more than two years of anti-government protests led by the Oromo. “Ethiopians livingRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Injuries emerged as a key factor as South Africa batted on before declaring at tea on the fourth day of the fourth Test against Australia at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday. South Africa declared at 344 for six, setting Australia a formidable target of 612 to win, or more realistically needing to bat for four sessions or a possible 131 overs to avoid defeat. Captain Faf du Plessis hit 120 and Dean Elgar made 81. They shared a fourth wicket partnership of 170, the best for any wicketRead More
Jerusalem (AFP) Israel announced Monday it had reached a deal with the UN refugee agency to cancel a controversial plan to deport African migrants and replace it with a new one that will see thousands sent to Western countries. A minimum of 16,250 migrants will be resettled in unspecified Western nations under the agreement announced in a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Netanyahu was to speak about the plan in an address later in the afternoon. Netanyahu in January announced the implementation of a programme to remove migrantsRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, apologised to people harmed in recent political unrest and reached out both to the political opposition and longtime rival Eritrea at his swearing-in on Monday. Abiy is the first ethnic Oromo to be selected by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as prime minister in its 27 years of rule. In a parliamentary session, Abiy formally replaced Hailemariam Desalegn, whose surprise resignation in February came after more than two years of anti-government protests led by the Oromo. “Ethiopians livingRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Winnie Mandela, the former wife of South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, died on Monday aged 81, triggering an outpouring of tributes to one of the country’s defining and most divisive figures. The firebrand activist died in a Johannesburg hospital, her family said, adding that she had “fought valiantly against the Apartheid state” and that she was known “far and wide as the Mother of the Nation”. Winnie Mandela, who was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, played a high-profile role in the struggle to end white-minorityRead More
Freetown (AFP) The results of Sierra Leone’s run-off presidential vote are “expected” by Thursday after a delay due to disagreements over the method of counting, the National Electoral Commission announced. The outcome of the March 31 ballot — pitting opposition challenger Julius Maada Bio against the ruling All Peoples’ Congress (APC) candidate Samura Kamara — was due to be announced at the start of the week. But the commission had to “briefly” interrupt the counting of the ballots after a dispute over the method of tallying results, the NEC said.Read More
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) Crowds of mourners flocked Monday to Winnie Mandela’s home in the heart of South Africa’s Soweto township, a centre of anti-apartheid resistance that remained her base decades after white rule fell. Neighbours, supporters and passers-by assembled to sing and chant at the gates of her modest two-storey red-brick home in the Orlando neighbourhood shortly after her death was announced. “I was friends with her mother for some time. I saw it on the TV just now and came here to check and was shocked,” said ConstanceRead More
Paris (AFP) African leaders and celebrities have led tributes to South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Mandela who has died aged 81. The former wife of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela was, along with her husband, an international symbol of resistance against white-minority rule. Here are some of the reactions to her death: – Anti-oppression symbol – Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate archbishop: “She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defianceRead More