IDRISS DEBY’S STATE FUNERAL UNDERWAY (1952-2021)
We begin the news in North Africa, the state funeral of Chad’s President Idriss Déby is now underway in the capital N’Djamena before he’ll be buried in his native region.
Those in attendance include French president Emmanuel Macron ignoring rebel warnings for foreign leaders to steer clear.
Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma laid a wreath by the casket of the fallen Chadian President.
Today’s ceremony includes a military march-past, and a speech by his son and named successor, General Mahamat “Kaka” Déby Itno.
After the ceremony in N’Djamena, Déby will be buried in his native region.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warns that Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province is in a spiraling crisis as thousands of people continue to flee their homes amidst violence.
The WFP says recent attacks in Palma have affected 50,000 people. Many have fled Palma to Pemba on boats making their perilous journey over choppy waters. Thousands are still trapped in Palma and Quitunda, while the UN agency continues working round the clock to secure access to those most in need.
In East Africa, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric says aid has started reaching as many people as it should as the humanitarian situation in the region remains alarming.
Every member of the UN Security Council has called for increased aid during a closed-door meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Still in the East, the chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Mahamat has applauded the report by Rwanda on the role of France in connection with the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in the East African Nation.
The report, commissioned in 2017 and released on Monday, labelled France a “collaborator” of the extremist Hutu regime that orchestrated the killings of about 800,000 people and outrightly rejected the position that Paris was blind to their genocidal agenda.
The years-long investigation by U.S. law firm Levy Firestone Muse said France knew genocide was coming but remained “unwavering in its support” of its Rwandan allies, even when the planned extermination of the Tutsi minority was clear.
There is still no evidence that French officials or personnel directly participated in the massacre of Tutsis.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Over now to Central Africa, where more than 92,000 refugees have sought safety in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the past four months according to local authorities following post-election violence in the Central African Republic (CAR).
On 22 April, the UNHCR reported it had registered over 52,000 refugees, and registration is still on.
The UN High Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi has visited the DRC and met with refugees in a remote area of the country marked by the Ubangi river.
In Somalia, the African Union has condemned the extension of President Mohammed Farmajo’s term.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council which made the announcement after hours of closed-door meeting, will also be sending a special envoy to the capital Mogadishu to help resolve the political impasse.
AU also urged all parties in the country to “immediately resume dialogue on the basis of the September 2020 Agreement”.
The council called on Somali political leaders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any actions that may lead to an escalation of tensions and further undermine the stability of Somalia, the Horn of Africa region and the continent.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has concluded a workshop in Juba to provide assistance to the displaced.
The Protection of Civilians site in Juba was re-designated into a conventional camp for internally displaced people in 2020.
The UNMISS workshop provides a platform for displaced persons to express concerns and to build confidence between the community and the Mission.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU), says the death toll from the pandemic stood at over 118,000 while over 4 million patients across the continent have recovered from the disease.
According to the Africa CDC, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt are among the African countries with the most cases in the continent.
Southern Africa remains the most affected region, followed by Northern Africa and Eastern Africa, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent.
The World Health Organization and Africa Centres for Disease Control have urged African countries not to destroy expired Covid-19 vaccines.
The UN health agency is asking that African countries on the continent hold on to expired stock and wait for further guidance.
The call comes after Malawi and South Sudan announced plans to discard more than 70,000 doses of expired Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.
The Africa CDC has been in discussions with the manufacturer and has been reassured that the vaccines are still safe three months after the listed April 13 expiration dates.
LOOMING MEASLES OUTBREAK
The world health organisation has warned that several African countries are at risk of measles outbreak due to delay of measles immunization in 2020 which was also delayed due to Covid-19.
Ahead of the African Immunization week slated for April 24 to 30, WHO says fifteen African countries delayed measles immunization drives last year as they dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven of these countries have now completed the campaigns, while eight remain outstanding, posing a risk of major measles outbreaks.
An estimated 16.6 million African children missed supplemental measles vaccine doses from January 2020 to April 2021 while eight countries in the continent have reported a major outbreak of the disease during the same period.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on world leaders to act fast in tackling climate change.
Guterres spoke on the rise insea-levels, scorching temperatures, devastating tropical cyclones and epic wildfires.
This is backed by reports released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) underscoring the severity of the climate crisis.
SOUTH AFRICA LEAGUE
In sports, the Premier Soccer League has confirmed no fewer than EIGHT suspensions for this weekend’s Premiership matches.
There are seven premiership matches scheduled for the period Friday, April 23 to Sunday, April 25.
The pick of the matches is undoubtedly Sunday’s clash between log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and ailing Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld.
Neither team has any player suspended.
TODAY’S MIDDAY RECAP IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MOJISOLA ADEBOLA, IBIYEMI ABOYADE AND OLUWATOSIN SAMPSON.
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