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Twin attacks leave at least 29 people dead in Burkina Faso1 minute read

One vehicle rode over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Barsalogho area killing 15 people.

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Children stand outside a school used as a shelter after 2 attacks kill 29

At least 29 people were killed in two attacks in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday, in a region prone to jihadist violence, the government said.

One vehicle transporting people and goods “rode over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Barsalogho area” leaving at least 15 passengers dead, government spokesman Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said in a statement.

A security source said most were traders. Meanwhile, around 50 kilometres away, 14 people were killed when food vans travelling in convoy were attacked, the spokesman added. Local sources said many of the dead were the drivers of the three-wheeler vans, which were carrying provisions for people displaced by fighting.

Read: Murder on altar: Six killed in Burkina Faso Catholic Church attack

“Military reinforcements have been deployed and a thorough search is underway,” Dandjinou said. Burkina Faso has been struggling with an Islamist militant revolt since 2015.

The country’s army has been increasingly targeted by jihadists. Earlier this month, an attack on a military base in northern Burkina Faso killed 24 in an unprecedented blow to the army in its campaign against jihadists.

The insurgency, which came from neighbouring Mali, began in the north but has since spread to the east. Since 2015, more than 500 people have died in attacks that have become increasingly violent especially in the north and the east, according to a toll compiled by reporters.

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The capital Ouagadougou has been attacked three times, including a March 2018 jihadist assault on the military headquarters that left eight dead. A summit of regional heads of state is due to be held in Ouagadougou on Saturday to discuss the security situation.

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East Africa News

Aston Villa sign Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta

27-year-old becomes first Tanzanian to play in the English Premier League

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English Premier league side Aston Villa have completed the signing of Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta for £10m on a four-and-half-year deal, subject to a work permit and international clearance.

The 27-year-old scored 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Villa manager Dean Smith hailed the signing “I’m really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club, he has scored goals throughout his career and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Samatta makes history as the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League but will be unavailable for Villa’s home match against Watford on Tuesday.

Samatta who is captain of the Tanzanian national side expressed his joy at making the move “I’m so excited, it’s a huge step for me in my career. It’s a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League.

“I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch Gabby Agbonlahor when he was here.”

Samatta is Villa’s third signing of the January transfer window following loan signings of midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.

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President Kenyatta launches Kenya’s first green bond at London Stock Exchange

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President Uhuru Kenyatta today rang the bell to kick off the trading of Kenya’s first green bond at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Speaking during the launch, the President urged UK investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing in Africa and AS a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” President Kenyatta said. The President is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit.

The $40 million (over 4 billion shillings) bond by Nairobi-based property developer Acorn Holdings, started trading today at the LSE and becomes the first Kenya shilling corporate green bond to be listed in the United Kingdom. The bond, which was first listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange last week, will help Acorn Holdings raise funds to build environmentally friendly accommodation for 50,000 university students in Nairobi.

The Kenyan leader applauded last year’s signing of an MoU by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange to work with Kenyan companies to help them expand their footprint by jointly listing on the bourse in Nairobi and in London. 

“I note that to date the LSE has admitted over 200 bonds from across the world, raising over 33 billion Pound Sterling worth of capital for sustainable development,” he pointed out. 

Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Honourable Alok Sharma, said one of the reasons the green bond was happening was because of the support the UK government has provided in terms of the regulation environment and the partial guarantees for investors.

“This is a landmark moment here as well as in the whole of London for we are here today because of the UK-Africa Investment Summit. We have over eight of the 50 fast growing economies in the world in Africa,” Mr Sharma said.

President Kenyatta, along with other African leaders, is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit.

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Dos Santos distances self from daughter’s alleged corruption during his reign as Angolan President

“The (former) President of the Republic… had no direct participation in diamond sales,” ex-president dos Santos stated in a letter to Angola’s parliament and constitutional court.

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Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos./CNN

Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos on Friday denied links to alleged public company embezzlement during his rule, in his first response to corruption investigators last month freezing his daughter’s assets.

“The (former) President of the Republic… had no direct participation in diamond sales,” ex-president dos Santos stated in a letter to Angola’s parliament and constitutional court dated January 13 and seen by AFP on Friday. 

Dos Santos also denied “participation in the sale of crude oil” produced by Sonangol, claiming revenues were monitored by the finance minister and only incorporated into the state budget after parliament’s approval.

“The (former) President of the Republic… has never transferred (money) to himself or to any other state,” he concluded. “(Those) who said he did it lied!”

Isabel dos Santos, the ex-president’s billionaire first-born, has been the target of an anti-corruption campaign led by her father’s successor President Joao Lourenco. 

She is accused of using state-owned firms to divert over a billion dollars for her personal enrichment, allegations she denies and calls part of a political vendetta.

The investigation is looking at alleged irregularities involving diamond marketing firm Sodiam and Sonangol — Angola’s national oil company, which was handed over to Isabel dos Santos by her father in 2016.

In the letter to Angola’s parliament and constitutional court, dos Santos distanced himself from investigations into illicit enrichment during his rule.

It is the first time he has responded to allegations surrounding his daughter, who has repeatedly claimed her innocence.

Lourenco forced Isabel dos Santos out of the state oil firm within months of coming to power in 2017. He has since launched a purge of his predecessor’s administration.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled the oil-rich southern African country with an iron fist for 38 years.  

During this time, top positions were awarded to the ex-president’s cronies and wealth accumulated in the hands of a select few.

Last month, prosecutors froze the bank accounts and holdings owned by Isabel dos Santos and her Congolese husband Sindika Dokolo.

Dos Santos’ children claim they have been unfairly targeted by Lourenco’s anti-graft campaign.

His son Jose Filomeno went on trial last month for allegedly embezzling $500 million (around 450 million euros) from Angola’s sovereign fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.

Nicknamed “Zenu”, he is the first member of the dos Santos family to be prosecuted and faces a maximum of 12 years in jail if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Zenu’s half-sister Welwitschia was suspended from Angola’s parliament in October for absenteeism and “unjust enrichment”.

The majority of the dos Santos have moved abroad. Thousands follow Isabel and Welwitschia’s jet-setting lifestyle on Instagram.

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