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Mali opposition, military join rally to celebrate Keita’s removal | News

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Mali’s opposition supporters have flooded into Bamako’s central square to celebrate the military overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, which their leaders hailed as a “victory of the Malian people”.

Thousands on Friday gathered in the capital’s Independence Square, the birthplace of a months-long protest movement, many of them draped in Mali’s national flag and blasting on vuvuzela horns.

They rallied three days after mutinying troops seized the country’s 75-year-old president, forced him to announce his resignation and unveiled a military government that would rule until a “transitional president” takes over.

“We have come here to thank you, to thank the Malian public for its support. We merely completed the work that you began and we recognise ourselves in your fight,” the military government’s spokesman, Ismael Wague, said.

Some of the placards brandished in the rally reflected resentment at perceived foreign interference in Mali’s affairs [Annie Risemberg/AFP]

Keita, who was elected for a second five-year term in 2018, announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying he had been given no other choice and wanted to avoid bloodshed.

The coup came after months of protests, staged by a loose coalition called the June 5 Movement, that were fuelled by anger at Keita’s failure to stem a bloody rebellion, revive the economy and tackle corruption.

‘We won’

In contrast to fierce condemnation abroad at the overthrow of an elected leader, many in the rally were jubilant at the change as they sang, danced and waved banners thanking the mutineers.

“I am overjoyed! We won. We came here to thank all the people of Mali, because this is the victory of the people,” said opposition supporter Mariam Cisse, 38.

Ousmane Diallo, a retired soldier aged 62, said, “We are here to celebrate the victory of the people. Just the victory of the people.”

“IBK has failed,” he said, using a common reference to the former president by his initials. “The people are victorious.”

But, he cautioned, “The military should not be thinking now that they can stay in power.”

MALI DEMONSTRATION 2

Malians celebrate the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in capital Bamako [Annie Risemberg/AFP]

“It’s a scene of joy. God delivered us from the hands of evil, we are happy, we are behind our army,” said a 59-year-old farmer who gave his name only as Souleymane.

Some of the placards brandished in the rally reflected resentment at perceived foreign interference in Mali’s affairs.

One read, “ECOWAS, a union of heads of state serving personal interests,” a reference to the 15-nation regional bloc that has led the condemnation of the coup and stands by Keita.

The bloc is to send envoys led by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday.

Another sign had the words “Barkhane” and “MINUSMA” crossed out, the latter a reference to the United Nation’s peacekeeping force in Mali.

US halts military cooperation

Meanwhile, Keita’s removal has dismayed Mali’s international partners, who fear it could further destabilise the former French colony and West Africa’s entire Sahel region.

The United States on Friday said it had suspended cooperation with Mali’s military in response to what the Pentagon referred to as an “act of mutiny”.

“Let me say categorically there is no further training or support of Malian armed forces full-stop. We have halted everything until such time as we can clarify the situation,” the US Sahel envoy J Peter Pham told journalists.

The US regularly provides training to soldiers in Mali, including several of the officers who led the coup. It also offers intelligence support to France’s Barkhane forces, who are there to fight affiliates of al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS).

Pham said a decision on whether Washington would designate the actions a coup – which could trigger a cut-off of direct support to the government – had to go through a legal review.

Will Mali’s coup leaders hand over power to civilians? | Inside Story



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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