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Africa’s week in pictures: 14-20 August 2020

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A selection of the week’s best photos from across the continent and beyond:

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On Monday pictures emerge of the ship that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius split in two…

Workers collect leaked oil at the beach in Riviere des Creoles on August 15, 2020

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… on the previous Saturday workers collect oil that had leaked from the ship…

A picture taken on August 15, 2020 shows iridescence on the water at the beach in Petit Bel Air.

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…. The oil from the ship, the MV Wakashio, causes ecological devastation in the reef.

A man watches local TV coverage of resignation of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at a printing shop near the Independence Monument in Bamako, Mali.

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On Tuesday Malians watch television to see their president’s resignation speech…

Armed members of the FAMA (Malian Armed Forces) are celebrated by the population as they parade at Independence Square in Bamako on August 18, 2020.

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… President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had been arrested earlier that day by Malian mutineers who stormed through the capital, Bamako.

A farmer rides on his horse during a protest against farm attacks in Mookgophong on August 18, 2020.

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On Tuesday South African farmers stage a protest about attacks on farms. The two in the picture, Alwyn van Zyl, and his wife Pauline, were attacked in March. She survived but he died.

Morocco's Soufiane EL Bakkali (C) competes in the men's 3000metre steeplechase event during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

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On Friday Morocco’s Soufiane EL Bakkali competes in the steeplechase in Monaco.

A priest administers the Holy Communion during the service at the Notre Dame du Congo cathedral in Kinshasa on August 16, 2020

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On Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kishasa, Catholic Mass is celebrated for the first time since lockdown began in March.

Algerian volunteers desinfect the prayer hall ahead of the noon prayer at the El Fateh mosque in the El Afia de Kouba neighbourhood of the capital Algiers, on August 15, 2020.

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The previous day, volunteers disinfect the prayer hall in the El Fateh mosque in Algeria’s capital Algiers to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

A policeman, mask-clad due to COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, watches as people cool off in the water at el-Kettani beach in the Bab el-Oued suburb of Algeria's capital Algiers on August 15, 2020.

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In another part of the city people cool off at the beach.

A Senegalese man cleans himself along the coastline in Bargny on August 15, 2020.

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… Same day, different beach. This time in the small fishing village of Bargny in Senegal.

People bathe in the Mediterranean sea water off a beach in Libya's capital Tripoli near sunset on August 18, 2020.

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On Tuesday people relax at the beach in Libya’s capital Tripoli amid a heat wave and a power cut.

Pictures from AFP, Getty Images, EPA and Reuters.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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Opposition sidelined as Benin votes in presidential election | Elections News

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With most rivals in exile or sidelined, Benin’s President Patrice Talon looks set to win a second term in office.

Voters in Benin are set to cast their ballots in a presidential election on Sunday, days after deadly protests against President Patrice Talon, who is heavily favoured to win a second term.

Talon, a cotton magnate first elected in 2016, faces off against two little-known rivals, Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoue.

Opponents accuse the 62-year-old Talon of undermining Benin’s vibrant multi-party democracy by sidelining most of his main opponents.

Protests in several cities last week turned violent. At least two people died in the central city of Save when troops on Thursday fired tear gas and live rounds to break up protesters who had blocked a major highway. Five others were wounded.

In the commercial capital Cotonou, several people said they feared violence on election day.

“The events of these last days scare me,” said Christophe Dossou, a student. “I prefer to remain cautious.”

Benin’s President Patrice Talon denies targeting his opponents [File: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters]

Among the protesters’ complaints are Talon’s U-turn on a pledge he made as a candidate in 2016 to serve only one term, and changes he pushed through to election laws that he said were aimed at streamlining unwieldy government institutions. In practice, those reforms resulted in total control of parliament by Talon’s supporters and the exclusion of leading opponents from the presidential race.

One opposition leader Reckya Madougou was detained last month on accusations of plotting to disrupt the election, a charge her lawyer says is fabricated.

A judge from a special economic crimes court created by Talon also fled the country last week after denouncing political pressure to make rulings against the president’s critics, including the decision to detain Madougou.

Meanwhile, businessman Sebastien Ajavon, who came third in the 2016 presidential poll, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, while another potential rival, ex-finance minister Komi Koutche, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzlement. Ajavon lives in exile in France, while Koutche lives in Washington, DC.

Talon denies targeting his opponents.

He has campaigned on his economic record, which includes improvements to key infrastructure such as roads, water and energy supplies.

Soldiers stand in line to block supporters of the incumbent president during an electoral campaign rally at Abomey-Calavi, on April 9, 2021 [Pius Utomi Ekpei/ AFP]

Benin, a country of about 12 million people, became Africa’s top cotton exporter in 2018 and recorded average annual gross domestic product growth of over 5 percent before the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we did was not easy,” Talon said at one of his final campaign rallies on Friday. “We are strong and we know how to get it done.”

He said he expects a “knock-out victory” for which there would be no need for a runoff vote.

The United States, German, French and Dutch embassies as well as the European Union delegation in Benin all called on Friday for calm and for the vote to go ahead in a free and transparent manner.

“We urge all parties to express their perspectives peacefully,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. “We urge the electoral institutions and courts overseeing these processes and verifying these results to ensure these elections are conducted freely, fairly, and transparently.”

Results are expected to be announced on Monday or Tuesday.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Trucks Traveling to Juba Get Military Escort

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Government of Southern Sudan has agreed to provide full military security and safety to all road users including Ugandan cargo truck drivers plying Juba – Nimule highway starting this week.

This was reached during a meeting between South Sudan government and Ugandan authorities on Friday at Elegu One-stop Border point in Amuru district, Northern Uganda.

High level security officials from both countries met to deliberate on the deteriorating security along major highways in South Sudan in which eight Ugandan truck drivers have been shot dead by armed men in the past weeks.

The Sudanese high-level delegation was led by the country’s Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Johnson Juma, Inspector General of Police, Gen. Majak Akech, and Director-General of Internal Security, Gen. Akol Khor.

The Deputy Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, Hon. Africano Mande was also present and four East African Ambassadors.

On the other side, Uganda’s delegation was led by Police Operations Director AIGP Edward Ochom, Director Crime Intelligence Col. Damulira among others high ranking officers.

“We have successively concluded our two days meetings with Ugandan authorities including the drivers who later agreed to resume the normal operation,” said South Sudan authorities.

“And as government, we assure them of full security on the major highways in the Republic of South Sudan and removal of the illegal road blocks and check-points for easy movement of trucks to Juba and others towns within the country.”

Last week, truck drivers from across the East African region protested the increasing insecurity in South Sudan, illegal taxes and also demanded for compensation of their deceased colleagues.

They parked their trucks at Elegu border and demanded for both governments to intervene before the situation deteriorates further.

In regards to compensation, Sudanese authorities agreed to pay for the victims but said that the process will be discussed through the foreign ministries of the two countries.

Although traders had also requested Ugandan authorities and in this case the UPDF to escort their goods to South Sudan, Lt.Col Deo Akiki said that “this can’t be a decision of UPDF. South Sudan is a sovereign State, therefore anything done on its territory at the moment has to be a bilateral matter beyond the two forces. It’s a government to government affair.”

ChimpReports understands that some trucks on Saturday left Elegu border for Juba under full security escort.

The post Trucks Traveling to Juba Get Military Escort first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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21 workers trapped in flooded mine in China’s Xinjiang | China News

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CCTV says rescuers have located 12 of the 21 trapped miners.

Eight miners have been rescued and 21 remain trapped in a coal mine in China’s Xinjiang region after flooding cut power underground and disrupted communications, according to state media.

The accident happened in Fengyuan coal mine in Hutubi County on Saturday evening, when staff were upgrading the site, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rescuers had located 12 of the 21 trapped miners, broadcaster CCTV said, but it was unclear if they were all together.

Rescue personnel were trying to pump water from the flooded shaft and have been piping air into the mine.

Pipes were being laid but the pumping operation was going to be challenging, CCTV said.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and enforcement of regulations is often lax.

In January, 22 workers were trapped in a mine in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance, leaving workers stuck underground for about two weeks.

Eleven men were pulled out alive, 10 died and one miner remained unaccounted for.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped underground in the southwest city of Chongqing – just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning at another coal mine in the city.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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