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Addis Ababa (AFP) More than 1,100 people have been arrested in Ethiopia since the nation declared a state of emergency following the prime minister’s resignation last month, state media reported Saturday. Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation came after more than two years of anti-government protests and increasing divisions in the ruling party. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has for the first time picked an ethnic Oromo, Abiy Ahmed, to be its new leader. He is set to be sworn in as prime minister early next week. The state-affiliated FanaRead More
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) Four teenage girl suicide bombers have killed two people in multiple attacks in northeast Nigeria, residents said Saturday, in the latest assault since the government announced it was in ceasefire talks with Boko Haram. The suspected Boko Haram attack took place late Friday in the northeast Borno state capital of Maiduguri, the epicentre of the group’s Islamist insurgency. The girls, estimated to be between the ages of 13 and 18, attacked the Zawuya settlement on the outskirts of Maiduguri, killing two people, residents told AFP. “We lostRead More
Dakar (AFP) A Senegalese court on Friday will deliver a verdict in a high-profile corruption trial that could make or break the presidential ambitions of the capital’s popular mayor, Khalifa Sall. After being held in pre-trial detention for nearly a year, Sall went before the court in January and February on charges of embezzling public funds. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison term for Sall and his financial director Mbaye Toure, and a fine worth nearly $10 million (more than eight million euros). A conviction could have far-reaching political consequencesRead More
Luanda (AFP) Tensions between Angola’s president and his long-serving predecessor have erupted into the open as an anti-corruption drive targets the former ruler’s family. President Joao Lourenco has pledged to crusade against entrenched state corruption and nepotism since taking over in September from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years. Battling graft is a cornerstone of Lourenco’s promised “economic miracle” that he hopes will halt the oil-dependent country’s economic slump caused by stubbornly low crude prices. A once-loyal minister under Dos Santos, Lourenco has purged state-run corporationsRead More
Libreville (AFP) Equatorial Guinea carried out a wave of arrests and torture after an attempted coup last December, activists say. Several members of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party among 38 who were held at the main police station in the capital Malabo — which they dubbed “Guantanamo” — told AFP of alleged abuse during their detention from December 28 to January 3. “We were tortured for a week,” said party activist Ernesto Obama Ondo, 42. “I received 150 lashes every day,” he said in Malabo. “My buttocks wereRead More
Tunis (AFP) Long seen as a pioneer for women’s rights in the Arab world, Tunisia is pushing ahead with reforms promised after its 2011 revolution — but campaigners say much remains to be done. The country’s 2014 constitution was praised as a key achievement in the revolt that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings. But much of it has yet to be passed into law, including provisions on gender equality. Now, moves are afoot on women’s political representation, interfaith marriage and theRead More
Harare (AFP) Illegal gold miners in Zimbabwe have seized a farm belonging to former first lady Grace Mugabe, local media reported, just four months after former President Robert Mugabe was ousted from power. Hundreds of aggressive squatters have taken over portions of Grace’s Smithfield estate in Mazowe, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Harare, and refused to move when she confronted them on Thursday. “Undeterred by the presence of the miners, who were waving shovels and machetes at her, Grace told them to leave the property but they would notRead More
Dakar (AFP) Leading Senegalese politician Khalifa Sall was handed a five-year jail term for fraud on Friday, a sentence that will rule him out of presidential elections due next February. Sall, 62, who is mayor of Dakar, had denied the charges against him as politically motivated. He had been accused of fraudulent use of public funds, for which he was also fined five million CFA francs (7,625 euros). He was found not guilty on charges of criminal conspiracy, money laundering and misappropriating public funds. Prosecutors had sought a seven-year prisonRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) Around 230,000 people have been driven from their homes in Democratic Republic of Congo, the government estimated Friday, a vastly different figure from the reports of humanitarian groups in the conflict-torn country. Kinshasa put the figure at “231,241 internally displaced people” compared with the more than four million estimate of NGOs, Bernard Biango, humanitarian affairs minister said at a governmental meeting broadcast on public television. At the same, Biango confirmed DR Congo’s “non participation in the Geneva conference” on April 13, called by the United Nations and theRead More
Dakar (AFP) Leading Senegalese politician Khalifa Sall was jailed for five years for fraud on Friday, a sentence that will rule him out of presidential elections due next February. Sall, 62, who is mayor of Dakar, had denied the charges against him as politically motivated. He had been accused of fraudulent use of public funds, for which he was also fined five million CFA francs (7,625 euros). He was found not guilty on charges of criminal conspiracy, money laundering and misappropriating public funds. Prosecutors had sought a seven-year prison termRead More