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Ethiopia: Threat of Major Hostilities in Mekelle Seriously Imperils Civilian Lives - Bachelet

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[OHCHR] Geneva -- "The highly aggressive rhetoric on both sides regarding the fight for Mekelle is dangerously provocative and risks placing already vulnerable and frightened civilians in grave danger," the High Commissioner said. "I fear such rhetoric will lead to further violations of international humanitarian law," she added, expressing alarm at reports of a heavy build-up of tanks and artillery around Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray province following the Government's issuance of a 72-hour ultimatum.

Egypt singer Mohamed Ramadan faces lawsuit over photo with Israelis

BBC News Africa  

Mohamed Ramadan is accused of "insulting the Egyptian people" with the images from a Dubai party.

South Africa: Malawi's Bushiri Wanted For Rape

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[allAfrica] Cape Town -- South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority has issued three warrants of arrest against Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church founder Shephered Bushiri for rape.

South Africa: Threat to Early Childhood Development Sector

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[New Frame] A number of early childhood development centres have been forced to close because of Covid-19, resulting in a bleak present and future for the many children who depend on them.

Sudanese shows solidarity towards Ethiopian refugees

Africanews  

Ethiopian refugee Sejamara and her husband had no plan when they left for Sudan after conflict hit the Tigray region, but they have been welcomed by residents across the border. Hungry, thirsty, and fatigued, they arrived at the Sudanese border town of Hamdayit after walking several hours and wading through the Setit river in the early days of the conflict. To their surprise, they got a warm reception from a local who even offered them a place to stay. "We first asked them to help us find a place to sleep. They told us we could sleep and live with them here. We asked them for a house we could rent, but they informed us that there weren't any available at the moment. We're still living with them until now," Sejamara said. Despite the language barrier, their Sudanese host Araby Hassan Mohamed said he couldn’t abandon them. His utter generosity became a relief to both Sejamara and her husband. "We are hosting our Ethiopian brothers after they fled fighting and arrived to the (Um Rakuba refugee) camp. However, they could not find shelter in the camp and the living situation was difficult there. So they came to us and we welcomed them in our homes,"  Eissa Hassan , Sudanese farmer living in Hamdayit said. Sudan now hosts about 36000 Ethiopian refugees with many in transit camps near the border, according to Sudan’s refugee commission. Ethiopia's northern Tigray region has been rocked by bloody fighting since November 4, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the launch of military operations there. The ongoing conflict is reported to have killed hundreds of people and forced thousands more to flee into neighboring Sudan.

Brazil: Protests over the killing of black man by white guards

Africanews  

Brazilian police used tear gas and rubber bullets Monday to disperse protesters marching against the killing of a black man by white guards at a Carrefour supermarket. Several days of protest have erupted in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, after video footage last week showed 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas being punched in the face and head by a security guard while another guard held him. Monday's march occupied a street and interrupted traffic in front of a Carrefour branch in the city. A small number of protesters threw stones and fir eworks at the police, who dispersed the group using tear gas and rubber bullets, AFP reporters witnessed. Carrefour promised to earmark $5 million to fight against racism, saying that "we know that we cannot repair the loss of the life of Mr. Joao Alberto." "This action is the first step by our company to combat prejudice and structural racism, which is urgent in Brazil, so that it gains even more strength and support from society," it said in a statement. Carrefour has faced a wave of boycott calls and sometimes violent protests outside its stores across Brazil, drawing comparisons with the killing of George Floyd in the United States in May and the ensuing protests. Carrefour chief executive Alexandre Bompard was swift to condemn the killing as a "horrible act," and sent his condolences to the victim's family and cut ties with the private security company that supplied the two guards.

Kenya: Kenyans to Pay Sh327 to Get Coronavirus Vaccine

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[Nation] Kenyans could pay Sh327 each to get a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed jointly by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, the Nation has learnt.

Cameroonian´-born Youssoufa Moukoko set to become the youngest player to feature in Champions league

Africanews  

The 16 years old Youssoufa Moukoko is now poised to become the youngest person ever to feature in the Champions league when they will face Club Brugge on Wednesday. This follows another record last weekend when he became the youngest professional player to play in the Bundesliga "It is difficult to talk about it and to answer immediately. We will see today (Monday) in training and so on. And we have very, very many players available in attack. We have a lot of attacking possibilities. And we will see," Lucien Favre, Borussia Dortmund head coach said. Born in Yaoundé Cameroon, Moukoko has always had the passion for football. His unique talent has seen him rise as a star at this early stage. His fellow team mates like the famous Haaland think positive about his career. "I think he's the biggest talent in the world right now. 16 years and one day that's quite amazing. He has a big career ahead of him," he said. Moukoko has had an enormous goal sensation in the youth league and has scored 141 goal in 88 youth matches for Borussia Dortmund since 2017. Moukoko scored 13 goal in four games for Dortmund under 19 team this season and 34 in 20 games last season. He has been training regularly with the first team since August He could beat the record held by Nigeria's Celestine Babayaro, who was 16 years, 87 days when he played for Anderlecht in 1994/95.

Somali coast left drenched by Tropical Storm Gati

Africanews  

Flood waters continued to wreak havoc in the coastal town of Bosaso in northern Somalia on Monday, a day after Tropical Cyclone Gati hit with heavy winds, followed by unprecedented rains that caused widespread flooding. The cyclone was said to be the strongest ever measured in this part of the world and the governor of Bosaso town described the situation as a "huge calamity". "These rains have brought upon us a huge calamity. Several villages were severely affected by the floods, but the hardest hit is our coastal city of Bosaso." Abdisamad Abwaan, Governor of Bosaso town said. Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph. It's the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country. Northern Somalia usually gets about 4 inches of rain per year; but data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show Gati could have received around 8 inches over two days.

Young Kenyans have their say about politics, corruption and their sense of belonging

This Is Africa  

Our findings suggest that it is time to take Kenyan youth seriously as politically important actors.

Nigeria: UK Parliamentarians Propose Sanctions Against Violators of Protesters' Rights

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[This Day] Lagos and Abuja -- The United Kingdom parliamentarians yesterday recommended sanctions against government officials and security agents who abused the rights of #EndSARS demonstrators last month.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Son-In-Law Back in Court

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[The Herald] Former Air Zimbabwe chief operations officer and the late former President Mugabe's son-in-law Simba Chikore has been summoned back in court to answer to allegations of hiring security services from Safeguard Security company in 2017 without following proper tender procedures.

Never Been To Vic Falls? Here’s Why It’s Your Perfect Summer Holiday Destination!

AfricaDotcom  

Victoria Falls lies on the mighty Zambezi River, forming a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Known as the “Smoke that Thunders” because of the clouds of mist that rise up when it’s in flood.

Namibia: Geingob's 'White' Comments Unified Nation - Ombudsman

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[Namibian] OMBUDSMAN John Walters says the remarks Swapo president Hage Geingob made at a Swapo rally on the number of white Namibians registering to vote were unifying.

Skin condition: 'Psoriasis has made me a stronger person'

BBC News Africa  

A Nigerian student who struggled with psoriasis for years has written a book about her experience.

Nigeria: Govt to Ban Fish Importation in Two Years

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[This Day] Abuja -- The federal government has announced plans to end fish importation in the next two years as it asked fish importers to consider producing fish locally.

Congolese ex-warlord 'Sheka' sentenced to life in prison

Africanews  

A former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo was sentenced Monday to life in prison for war crimes and mass rape, a decision hailed by the United Nations as a blow against the "impunity" of armed groups in the country. Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka was convicted of "murder, rape, sexual slavery and enlisting children under 15 years old", a military court ruled at the end of a trial that lasted two years. The UN representative in DR Congo, Leila Zerrougui, said the ruling showed that "impunity is not inevitable". Sheka founded the Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) militia, active in DR Congo's restive North Kivu province, where he claimed to be fighting the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR. A warrant was issued for his arrest in January 2011 after a series of attacks in which the NDC and two other groups allegedly raped nearly 400 people in 13 villages between July 30 and August 2, 2010. The NDC was also accused of having recruited at least 154 children into its ranks. His soldiers were blamed for razing almost 1,000 homes and businesses and leading about 100 people off into forced labour. Due to the rape accusations and other acts that could constitute crimes against humanity, Sheka had been subject to UN sanctions including the freezing of his assets and a worldwide travel ban. Despite the warrant for his arrest, the former minerals trader unsuccessfully stood in the country's 2011 general election as a candidate for parliament. After evading arrest for years, Sheka turned himself in to UN peacekeepers in July 2017 and was prosecuted along with three co-defendants. One of his co-accused was also sentenced to life in prison on Monday, another to 15 years in prison and the last was acquitted, according to the verdict of the North Kivu Operational Military Court. "We are satisfied with this verdict, it is a strong signal to other warlords," Kahindo Fatuma, a spokesman representing the victims, told AFP. "The victims will be a little bit relieved." Sheka's conviction "is an important step in the fight against impunity and a testament to all those who took personal risks in the pursuit of justice," said Thomas Fessy, senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch. - 'Incredibly complex' - "The authorities have proven today that they are capable of handling an incredibly complex case, both legally and from a security point of view," Daniele Perissi, head of the Great Lakes Program of the NGO TRIAL International, said in a statement. Dozens of armed groups are active in eastern DR Congo, a lawless region rich in mineral resources. They have wrought havoc there in the decades since the official end of a 1998-2003 war, which claimed millions of lives. The NDC still exists under the name NDC-Renovated, or NDC/R. Last July, a faction of the NDC/R overthrew its leader, Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, accusing him of "serious violations". The new leaders of the movement also affirmed their willingness to "surrender their weapons". Over eight months, around 1,300 people were killed in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, according to a UN estimate in June. The ADF, among the most notorious of the armed groups plaguing the eastern provinces, is accused of killing more than 800 civilians in the Beni region since October 2019.

Ethiopia: Tigray rejects 72 hours ultimatum to surrender

Africanews  

Leader of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) Gebretsion Micheal rejected Monday the 72 hours ultimatum issued by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for the dissident region of Tigray to surrender. Nearly three weeks after the start of a military operation aimed at restoring its authority over this region of northern Ethiopia, the federal government on Sunday said it plans to "encircle" Mekele, the capital of Tigray and seat of the local government of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which it wants to replace with "legitimate authorities". Ten days ago, Mr. Abiy issued a first ultimatum to the Tigrayan fighters, calling on them to defect and join the federal army. A few days later, he announced that the military intervention in Tigray, launched on November 4, was entering its "final phase". "How many times (Abiy Ahmed) has he said three days? He doesn't understand who we are. We are a people of principles and ready to die to defend our right to administer our region," the president of Tigray and leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael said on Monday. "This is to cover up the defeat that (Ethiopian soldiers) suffered today on three fronts. In order to have time to regroup," he added, without specifying which fronts it was about. - "Your destruction" - The TPLF also announced, via its official news agency, Tigray Mass Media Agency, to have fired rockets on Monday at the airport of Bahir Dar, capital of the neighboring region of Amhara. This is the third time this airport has been targeted by TPLF attacks, which claims that it is used by Ethiopian aircraft bombing Tigray. On Monday, two residents of Bahir Dar told AFP they heard rockets falling. "Three rockets fell on the city near the airport area. We do not know if there are casualties or damage," said one of them. Field and independent verification of each side's claims is very difficult, as Tigray has been virtually cut off since the beginning of the conflict. No accurate account of the fighting, which has resulted in at least hundreds of deaths, is available either. More than 40,000 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in Sudan since November 10, fleeing the government offensive against Tigray, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Monday. "The road to your destruction is coming to an end," Mr. Abiy, prime minister since 2018 and Nobel Peace Prize winner the following year, wrote Sunday to TPLF leaders. The federal government now claims to control the locality of Edaga Hamus, 100 kilometers north of Mekele, and the army said last week that it controls Mehoni, 125 kilometers to the south. Both towns are on the main road to the regional capital. - Attempts at mediation - The army warned Sunday of an imminent attack on Mekele, which it intends to "surround with tanks". One of its spokesmen invited its half million inhabitants to "save themselves", announcing that there would be "no mercy". The Prime Minister accused the TPLF on Sunday of having destroyed many infrastructures in Tigray, including the airport of the ancient city of Aksum (northwest), also controlled by the federal army according to Addis Ababa, as well as "schools, medical centers, bridges and roads that were the property of the country". Calling for a rapid de-escalation of the conflict, the international community launched several mediation attempts. The African Union (AU), in particular, appointed former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, Liberian Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and South African Kgalema Motlanthe as special envoys. On Monday, the spokesman of the government crisis unit for Tigray, Redwan Hussein, declined in substance this mediation, but said that the government would "talk with these envoys out of respect for (...) African leaders. "There could be several scenarios in which the issue of a lasting peace could be discussed, but not with" the TPLF, Redwan said. The UN Security Council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday on the war in Tigray, at the request of South Africa, Niger, Tunisia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, diplomatic sources said Monday. This virtual meeting will be held behind closed doors. Tensions between Addis Ababa and the TPLF, which has controlled Ethiopia's political and security apparatus for nearly three decades, culminated in September in Tigray in a vote that the federal government called "illegitimate". Abiy justified sending the army to Tigray by accusing the TPLF of subsequently attacking two federal army bases in the region, which the Tigrayan authorities deny.

Black Friday And The Ethics Of AI

AfricaDotcom  

With Black Friday around the corner, many businesses have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) to identify changing consumer trends and optimise sales.

Kenya: Growing Demand for Fish Swim Bladder Threatening Species in Lake Victoria

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[Nation] A thriving trade in fish swim bladder is threatening the existence of the Nile Perch (mbuta) in Lake Victoria.

Imperial Invests In And Partners With Lori Systems To Expand Its Cutting-Edge E-logistics Technology Solutions Across Africa

AfricaDotcom  

Imperial, an African and European-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, announced an investment in and partnership with Lori Systems to expand its cutting-edge e-logistics technology solutions across Africa.

Ashburn Update