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Mali’s Keita resigns as president after military mutiny | Mali News

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Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned late on Tuesday, hours after mutinying soldiers seized him from his home following months of mass protests against alleged corruption and worsening security in the West African country.

Speaking on national broadcaster ORTM just before midnight, a distressed Keita said his resignation – three years before his final term was due to end – was effective immediately. He also declared the dissolution of his government and the National Assembly.

“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Keita said in a brief address from a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako where he had been detained earlier in the day.

“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” he said. “I have decided to step down from office.”

It was not immediately clear who was leading the revolt, who would govern in Keita’s absence or what the mutineers wanted.

Images posted earlier on social media said to be taken at the Kati garrison showed Keita and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse surrounded by armed soldiers.

The M5-RFP coalition behind the protests signalled support for the mutineers’ action on Tuesday, with spokesman Nouhoum Togo telling Reuters news agency it was “not a military coup but a popular insurrection.”

Disputed elections

The news of Keita’s detention was met with alarm by the United Nations, the former colonial power France and elsewhere in the international community. But in the capital, anti-government protesters who first took to the streets back in June to demand Keita’s resignation, cheered the soldiers’ actions. 

“All the Malian people are tired – we have had enough,” one demonstrator said.

The political upheaval unfolded months after disputed legislative elections, and came as support for Keita tumbled amid criticism of his government’s handling of a spiralling security situation in the northern and central regions that has entangled regional and international governments, as well as a United Nations mission.

The downfall of Keita, who was first elected in 2013 and returned to office five years later, closely mirrors that of his predecessor.

Amadou Toumani Toure was forced out of the presidency in a coup in 2012 after a series of punishing military defeats. That time, the attacks were carried out by ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels. This time, Mali’s military has sometimes seemed powerless to stop fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

The 2012 mutiny also erupted at the same Kati military camp, and hastened the fall of Mali’s north to armed groups. Ultimately a French-led military operation ousted the fighters, but they merely regrouped and expanded their reach into central Mali during Keita’s presidency.

West Africa bloc ECOWAS calls for Mali unity government formation (2:29)

In recent weeks, anxiety had mounted about another military-led change of power in Mali after regional mediators from ECOWAS failed to bridge the impasse between Keita’s government and opposition leaders. 

Keita tried to meet protesters’ demands through a series of concessions, and even said he was open to redoing disputed legislative elections. But those overtures were swiftly rejected by opposition leaders who said they would not stop short of Keita’s resignation.

Dialogue urged

Then on Tuesday, soldiers in Kati took weapons from the armoury at the barracks and detained senior military officers. Anti-government protesters immediately cheered the soldiers’ actions, and some set fire to a building that belongs to Mali’s justice minister in the capital.

Cisse urged the soldiers to put down their arms.

“There is no problem whose solution cannot be found through dialogue,” he said in a statement.

But the wheels already were in motion – armed men began detaining people in Bamako too, including Keita, Cisse and the country’s finance minister, Abdoulaye Daffe.

Tuesday’s developments were condemned by the African Union, the United States, and the regional bloc ECOWAS. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sought “the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law,” according to his spokesman.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union, said he “energetically” condemned Keita and Cisse’s arrest and called “for their immediate liberation”. 

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France “condemns in the strongest terms this grave event.” J Peter Pham, the US envoy to the Sahel, said on Twitter that the US was “opposed to all extra-constitutional changes of government”.

ECOWAS denounced “the overthrow by putschist soldiers of the democratically elected government” and ordered the closing of regional borders with Mali as well as the suspension of all financial flows between Mali and its 15 members states.



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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