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Mali soldiers promise elections after coup d’etat | News

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Soldiers who overthrew Mali’s president in a coup d’etat that drew international condemnation pledged on Wednesday to restore stability and oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved parliament late on Tuesday, hours after the coup leaders detained him at gunpoint, plunging a country already facing an armed movement against it as well as mass protests deeper into crisis.

Colonel-Major Ismael Wague – a spokesman for the coup-makers calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People – said they acted to prevent Mali from falling further into chaos.

“The social and political tension has undermined the proper functioning of the country for quite a while,” said Wague. 

“Mali descends into chaos day by day [with] anarchy and insecurity because of the fault of the people in charge of its destiny. Real democracy doesn’t go with complacency, nor weakness of the state authority, which must guarantee freedom and security of the people.”  

There was no word on the future of the now former president Keita.

‘Restoration of stability’

No casualties were reported during the military takeover. Borders were closed and a curfew will go into effect from 9pm to 5am.

Wague said all international agreements will still be respected and international forces, including the UN mission in Mali and G5 Sahel, will remain in place “for the restoration of stability”.

The French military has been silent since the coup began, refusing to comment on what its troops in Mali are doing as the crisis plays out.

The French government has not publicly commented since Keita’s resignation. The coup is a blow to France and to President Emmanuel Macron, who has supported Keita and sought to improve relations with former colonies in Africa.

The coup leaders also remain “committed to the Algiers process” – a 2015 peace agreement between the Malian government and armed groups in the north of the country, Wague said.

The coup coincided with opposition plans to resume protests against Keita. The June 5 Movement, named after the date of its first protest, focused public anger against the leader and made increasingly strident demands for his resignation.

Its campaign veered into crisis last month when 11 people were killed during three days of unrest sparked by a demonstration.

Condemnation

Mali coup: Soldiers promise to hold new elections

The takeover was quickly condemned by Mali’s regional and international partners, who fear Keita’s fall could further destabilise the former French colony and West Africa’s entire Sahel region.

Flanked by soldiers, Wague invited Mali’s civil society and political movements to join them to create conditions for a political transition.

“We are not keen on power, but we are keen on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions within the reasonable time limit.”

Late on Tuesday, anti-government protesters had poured into a central square in Bamako to cheer on the coup-makers as they drove through in military vehicles.

The capital was far quieter on Wednesday, with few civilians on the streets and most shops closed after overnight looting.

Videos circulating on social media showed people running through luxury compounds in the city, including properties identified as belonging to Justice Minister Kassoum Tapo and Keita’s son, Karim. 

The coup was condemned by Mali’s regional and international partners, who fear Keita’s fall could further destabilise the country and West Africa’s entire Sahel region [Anadolu Agency]

Landlocked Mali has struggled to regain stability since the Tuareg uprising in 2012, which was hijacked by fighters linked to al-Qaeda, and a subsequent coup that plunged the country into chaos.

Keita, 75, came to power in 2013 following the Bamako coup d’etat, promising to bring peace and stability and to fight corruption. He won reelection for a second five-year term in 2018.

On Wednesday, European Union Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said the bloc would insist on new elections in Mali within a reasonable timeframe, while China said it opposed regime change by force.

West Africa’s 15-nation regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States, on Tuesday suspended Mali from its institutions and closed its member states’ borders with Mali.

Having previously warned it would no longer tolerate military takeovers in the region, the bloc plans to send a high-level delegation to Mali to ensure a return to constitutional democracy.

The UN Security Council will be briefed on Mali behind closed doors on Wednesday at the request of France and Niger, diplomats said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for the immediate release of Keita and other detainees.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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