IDRIS DEBY PASSES ON WHILE DEFENDING CHADIENS ON THE FRONTLINES
We begin at this hour in Cameroon, Central Africa where President, Paul Biya has expressed his condolences on the death of Chadien President Idriss Deby.
Biya through his official twitter handle wrote to Deby’s son, expressing his most sincere condolences to the bereaved Chadien nation.
He notes it is a huge loss for Chad, the Central Africa sub-region, and the entire African continent.
In sharp contrast to what the country’s constitution stipulates, Mahamat Deby, son of Late Idriss Deby will now lead a transitional military council for 18 months at the end of which a new president must have been democratically elected.
Deby died on Tuesday from injuries sustained on the frontline of a fight against rebels.
This News Central report looks at the life and times of the late President Deby.
In West Africa, sources from Dikwa in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Borno, have reported the abduction of about four aid workers by Boko Haram in recent attacks.
While the Nigerian Army says the abduction has not been brought to its attention, a chat with the Director of Army public relations, Brigadier General Yerima, revealed that no formal complainthas been made to the Nigeria Army.
The UN recently announced that it is suspending humanitarian operations in Dikwa and Damasak while it tries to evacuate its boots on ground.
In the horn of Africa region, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says disturbing reports continue to emerge of widespread abuse of civilians in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, almost six months since conflict erupted in the area.
UNICEF spokesperson, James Elder, says there is no end to the conflict in sight, after returning from a visit to the northern Ethiopian region.
James Elder underscored the impact on women and girls, and tagged it a protection crisis.
The conflict is the result of months of escalating tensions between the Ethiopian Government and the dominant regional force, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
In East Africa,Somalia’s election impasse took a new turn this week as President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo made a trip to DRC where he held talks with Africa Union Chairperson, President Félix Tshisekedi.
The talks come amid growing concerns in the Horn of Africa nation following Parliament’s decision to pass a one-person one-vote election model.
President Tshisekedi, in February this year, said fostering peace and security on the continent will be one of his priorities. The question now is, how effective will the AU intervention be?
In North Africa, Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has met with his visiting Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly to discuss boosting bilateral cooperation.
A statement issued by the Libyan government’s information office says the two officials talked about regional and international issues of mutual concern, and agreed on the importance of enhancing political coordination and consultation on such issues.
The statement also opened discussions on resuming the Egyptian embassy’s operation in Tripoli, facilitating the people’s movement, supporting trade, and starting direct flights.
The two sides signed partnership agreements in various fields, particularly electricity, communication, infrastructure, technical cooperation and investment.
NOW TO NEWS CENTRAL’S CONTINUED COVERAGE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ACROSS AFRICA…
In West Africa, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported zero COVID-19-related death for the ninth consecutive day as the fatality toll remains 2,061.
The West African country last registered a COVID-19-related death on April 11.
The NCDC has conducted over 1.87 million COVID-19 tests since February 27, 2020, adding that 120 infections were registered as at Tuesday, bringing the cumulative number of cases to a little over 164 thousand.
It said the additional infections were registered from seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The breakdown of cases show Enugu had 53, Lagos-22, Rivers-18, Ogun-8, FCT-7, Abia-6, Kano-6 and Bauchi-1.
COVID-19 SOUTH SUDAN
In East Africa, the South Sudanese Government has announced that all the learning institutions in the country will reopen on May 3 after a year of closure due to coronavirus.
The Government says the country is now witnessing a “significant decline” in virus cases.
Learning institutions in the country were closed down in March last year as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Finalists in primary and secondary schools were allowed to resume classes in October to prepare for national examinations.
Education Minister Awut Deng Acuil said there were recommendations for schools to provide learners and teachers with hand washing facilities, sanitisers and face masks to keep them safe while at school.
In Southern Africa, Government officials say Covid-19 voluntary vaccinations for all people in Bulawayo and Harare will be intensified to achieve national herd immunity.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister, received the first jab in the country in February which was followed by the vaccination of front-line workers.
President Mnangagwa received his Covid-19 vaccination in the resort town of Victoria Falls last month where he also launched the Second Phase of the national vaccination program.
The Second Phase targeted residents of the country’s premium tourism city, all border towns and citizens who have chronic illnesses.
Officials of the World Health Organization say more than 650,000 children have been immunised across Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, two years into a malaria vaccine pilot scheme.
Global advisory bodies for immunisation and malaria are expected to convene in October to review data on the vaccine and consider whether to recommend using it more widely.
The RTSS vaccine is the only existing jab shown to reduce malaria in children. It acts against plasmodium falciparum – the most deadly malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa.
The WHO’s World Malaria Report 2020 noted progress against the mosquito-borne disease has levelled off, particularly in African countries bearing the brunt of cases and deaths.
DEREK CHAUVIN CONVICTED OF MURDER IN MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD
A U.S. jury has found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of African-American George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year.
Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May. His death sparked of a summer of unrests in major cities across the world
Chauvin was found guilty on three charges. His bail has since been revoked and he is now in custody.
Judge Peter Cahill read the guilty verdict prompting celebratory scenes outside the court, where several hundreds of people cheered at the announcement.
As the Floyd’s family lawyer, Ben Crump, rightly said, the verdict marks another turning point in black history in the United States.
In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s Treasury is sticking to its economic growth estimate of 7.4 per cent.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the forecast is achievable because of recent good rains that will boost farm output to the highest in four years.
The International Monetary Fund however expects the economy to grow 3.1 per cent this year, after contracting for the past two.
The southern African nation still faces a 241 per cent inflation rate and foreign-currency shortages.
The disposable incomes of most workers who earn in local currency has shrunk.
NIGERIAN E-HAILING CABS PROTEST POLICE INTIMIDATION
In West Africa, members of the Association of Private E-hailing Cab Driver and Private Owners in the West African country of Nigeria say no to police intimidation.
This follows their protest over inordinate fare prices was interrupted on Tuesday in the country’s commercial city of Lagos.
PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX REPORT
Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has recorded further decline as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, shows the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January 2021 at 44.9 index points; a 4.7 point drop from the 49.6 index points recorded in December 2020.
Similarly, the non-manufacturing PMI fell by 2.4 points to 43.3 index points in January from 45.7 index points in December 2020. A composite PMI above 50 points indicates that the manufacturing/non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding, 50 points indicate no change while a performance below 50 points indicates a contracting sector.
The apex bank’s Economic Report for January 2021, states that “the Composite Manufacturing PMI contracted to 44.9 index points, from the 49.6 index points recorded in the preceding period. The decrease is associated with decline in demand, rising production cost and supply chain bottlenecks experienced by many firms, in the period under review.
EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE
All six English Premier League teams involved in the European Super League have now withdrawn from the competition.
Manchester City were the first club to pull out after Chelsea had signaled their intent to do so by documenting their intention to withdraw.
The other four sides – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have all now followed suit.
The Super League remarked it would reconsider the most appropriate stepsto reshape the project.
The 12-team Super League was announced on Sunday to widespread condemnation.
Liverpool said their involvement in the proposed breakaway league has been discontinued.
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