Africa This Week: TWO GREENFIELD UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SHOT DEAD

MONDAY

CHAD APPOINTS NEW PRIME MINISTER

On Monday, in Central Africa, Pahimi Padacké Albert was appointed as the new Prime Minister of Chad.

54-year-old Padacké came in second in the April 11 election, and previously served as the country’s Prime Minister from the year 2016-2018. 

He had been appointed by Chad’s former President Idriss Deby.

The President of the National Transition Commission also appointed Idriss Youssouf Boy as his private secretary.

TWO GREENFIELD UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SHOT DEAD

In Nigeria, two of the unspecified number of students abducted from the Greenfield University in the northwest Nigerian state of Kaduna were killed.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan confirmed in a statement that the retrieved corpses were evacuated to a mortuary, and the University authorities were notified.

That brought the total number of students abducted from the school and killed by the bandits to five.

They were abducted on Tuesday last week by bandits from their private school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

In a related development, at least three students were abducted in Nigeria’s mid-central state of Benue. The students were from the Federal University of Agriculture, in the state capital, Makurdi. 

GUINEA DISCHARGES LAST EBOLA PATIENT

Guinea’s last Ebola patient was discharged from the treatment center on Monday.

For the World Health Organization, this marked the beginning of a 42-day countdown to declare the end of Ebola outbreak in the country.

In February, Guinea declared it was dealing with Ebola after reporting its first death since 2016.

WHO responded with newly developed vaccines to contain the epidemic that claimed thousands of lives in several West African countries between 2013 and 2016.

COTE D’IVOIRE CLEANS UP TRANSPORT SECTOR    

Cote d’Ivoire suspended all driving test instructors in an ongoing “clean-up” of the sector.

The move followed recent road accidents that have left many dead.

Transport Minister, Amadou Koné, said police officers will oversee the driving tests for three months from next week.

The Minister, who attributed the latest accidents to human error and not bad roads, said the suspension was not an incrimination of the licence.

SOMALIA JOINS AFRICAN RISK CAPACITY

Somalia joined African Risk Capacity, a body established to help African governments improve their capacities to respond to natural disasters.

The announcement came a day after humanitarian leadership declared drought in Somalia.

The agreement, was signed on Monday by Somalia’s Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management Minister, Khadija Diriye, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Run by 34 African Union Member States, ARC enables countries strengthen their disaster risk management systems and access rapid and predictable financing when disaster strikes.

PRESIDENT SAMIA PARDONS PRISONERS ON UNION DAY

In East Africa, Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan pardoned more than 5,000 prisoners to celebrate Union Day. Although pardoning prisoners on Union Day is an annual tradition, President Samia urged the released inmates to put into practice the lessons they learnt in prison and lead responsible lives when re-joining their communities.

Union Day marks the coming together of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the Republic of Tanzania on 26th of April 1964.

TUESDAY

CHAD PROTEST   

On Tuesday in Central Africa, at least five people were killed and 27 wounded following street clashes in Chad as protesters demanded a return to civilian rule.

Defying a ban on protests imposed by the military, demonstrators took to the streets of the capital N’Djamena and other urban centers, burning tyres in several neighbourhoods.

Tensions have been high in Chad since the sudden death last week of President Idriss Deby, who had ruled the impoverished desert country for three decades. 

French President, Emmanuel Macron, “emphatically condemned the repression of the demonstrations and the violence and called for a civilian unity government to be put in place to run Chad, until elections to be held within 18 months.

SOUTH SUDAN PEACE ACCORD  

The United Nations warned that the slow implementation of the peace accord in South Sudan is putting the country at risk of a return to large-scale conflict.

A new report has recommended that the arms embargo be extended and for new sanctions against those who hinder the implementation of the peace deal.

Since its signing three years ago, the country has experienced many incidents of violence between supporters of President Salva Kiir, and his rival, Riek Machar, who under the terms of the agreement was reappointed vice-president.

UN COMMENDS RWANDA’S EMERGENCY TRANSIT MECHANISM  

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on Tuesday commended the Government of Rwanda and Niger for welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya.

Grandi gave the commendation when he visited one of two Emergency Transit facilities in Africa providing life-saving support to asylum seekers stranded in Libya.

The High Commissioner also commended Rwanda and Niger for their continued solidarity and generosity, giving hope to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees in Africa in dire need of protection and safety.

EGYPT EXECUTES 13 GUILTY OF 2013 POLICE MURDER  

In North Africa, Egypt executed nine people found guilty of killing 13 policemen during the unrest in 2013 following the removal of Mohamed Morsi from power.

The nine were part of a group of 20 people sentenced to death for the attack on a police station, after security forces broke up a mass sit-in protest in Cairo by supporters of Morsi where hundreds of protesters were killed.

Amnesty International condemned the executions, saying it is a horrifying example of the Egyptian authorities’ contempt for the right to life.

SOUTH AFRICA’S FREEDOM DAY  

South Africa celebrated Freedom Day, marking 27 years since the first Democratic election in South Africa. 

It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first non-racial national elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group, including foreign citizens permanently resident in South Africa, were allowed to vote.

 Previously, under the apartheid regime, non-whites in general had only limited rights to vote while black South Africans had no voting rights whatsoever.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address urged South Africans not to give up on the journey and quest for true freedom.

SIERRA LEONE MARKS 60TH INDEPENDENCE    

The West African country of Sierra Leone also celebrated its 60th independence Tuesday, with little to no festivities due to the observance Covid-19 measures.

President Julius Maada Bio, in his presidential speech, appealed to the citizens to always foster peace and unity of the nation while reflecting on the growth of the country in the past 60 years.

WEDNESDAY

NIGERIA CALLS FOR FOREIGN SUPPORT IN TACKLING INSECURITY 

On Wednesday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari requested the assistance of the United States of America to tackle current insecurity challenges. 

Buhari made this call in Abuja during a virtual meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Bliken as part of his virtual tour of Africa.

He described Nigeria’s current security situation as worrisome and expressed the government’s commitment to tackling root causes.

Buhari said Nigeria is open to military collaboration and cooperation with friendly sister nations.

SLAIN GREENFIELD STUDENTS LAID TO REST   

Still in Nigeria, one of the students abducted from Greenfield University in Nigeria’s north-western state of Kaduna was buried that same Wednesday.

Five of the students abducted from the school have been killed by the bandits.

They were abducted last week Tuesday by bandits from the private school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

MOZAMBIQUE CREATES SPECIAL UNIT TO FIGHT INSURGENCY   

In Southern Africa where Mozambique is set to form a special unit to prosecute terrorism cases as the country faces a growing insurgency. 

The Attorney General, Beatriz Buchili, made the announcement on Wednesday while presenting her annual report to parliament. 

Buchili said the new special unit would be dedicated to investigating and prosecuting complex crimes.

Insurgency in the country broke out in 2017 and the rebels have stepped up attacks in the past year.

SOMALIA SUICIDE BOMB EXPLOSION   

In Somalia, police and health officials said at least seven people were killed and more than 11 others wounded when a vehicle exploded outside a police headquarter in the capital, Mogadishu.

A police spokesman, Colonel Abdiqani Qalaf, said the suicide bomber tried to drive into the headquarters near the ex-control Afgoye road, but was thwarted.

Qalaf said two soldiers and three passers-by were among the dead.

CHAD UNREST SLOWS DOWN 

In central Africa, the capital of Chad appeared calm on Wednesday with security forces deployed in large numbers and burning tyres still smouldering in the streets. 

This followed Tuesday’s protests where angry citizens were demanding a return to civilian rule clashed with the army.

Five people were killed in that clashes.

But, a Chadian civil society group put the death toll at nine, with dozens more injured.

Civil society groups have called for more demonstrations against the military, which took power after long-serving president Idriss Deby was killed on April 19th.

THURSDAY

UN WARNS OF LOOMING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN THE SAHEL REGION

The United Nations on Thursday warned of humanitarian situation in the Sahel as conflict in the region worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq said, according to the UN humanitarian office, from 2015 to 2020, violent attacks increased eight-fold in the Central Sahel and tripled in the Lake Chad Basin. 

Haq added that in 2021 the Humanitarian Response Plan to help six countries in the Sahel would require a total of 3.7 billion dollars.

TIGRAY CONFLICT

In Eastern Africa, local officials in Ethiopia said fighting has been recurring on the border between the northern Tigray region and neighbouring Amhara region.

Although the regional Tigray Peoples Liberation Front government was ousted within a month, eyewitnesses say the fighting is further evidence that pro-TPLF fighters have not given up.

Ethiopia is scheduled to hold delayed elections in early June. but due to the conflict, the polls have been cancelled in Tigray and there are fears of further violence in other parts of the country.

LADY JUSTICE KOOME GETS PRESIDENT UHURU’S NOD 

Staying in East Africa, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued the certificate of presidential nomination with respect to Chief Justice designate Martha Koome.

The President, in a message to the National Assembly, confirmed his appointment of Lady Justice Koome on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.

Speaker Justin Muturi informed the House of the nomination during the afternoon session, directing the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to proceed on the approval hearings.

DMALAWI DEEMS UNCONSTITUTIONAL 

The Supreme Court in Malawi ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional.

The court said the death penalty is against international human rights standards. 

This means that life sentences will be the highest punishment in Malawi.

The ruling noted that there have been no executions in the country since 1975.

This makes Malawi the 22nd sub-Saharan country to abolish the death penalty.

FRIDAY

AFRICAN UNION FACT FINDING MISSION TO CHAD 

A team from the African Union arrived in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad on Friday, on a seven-day fact-finding mission to assess the situation in the country and examine ways of a speedy return to democratic rule.

The delegation will produce a report at the end of its mission, which will enable the Peace and Security Council to adopt a definitive position on the measures to be taken.

Following several days of internal pressure, several member countries have called for Chad to be suspended from the African Union because of the Transitional Military Council’s takeover of power. 

QUEEN DLAMINI ZULU PASSES AWAY (1956 – 2021)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the Zulu royal family over the death of Her Majesty, Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, Regent of the Zulu Nation. 

Queen Shiyiwe, who assumed the role of regent following the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini on March the 12th, died on Thursday 29th April 2021.

The death of the Zulu regent has been officially announced by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, South Africa’s former minister of home affairs.

MADAGASCAR FOOD CRISIS WORSENS

The UN says as many as four million people in rural areas of Madagascar are food insecure following this year ‘s reduced harvest.

Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, United Nations Farhan Haq who stated that Production of rice, and maize has been badly hit by erratic weather and a locust invasion.

The official was citing information from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme.

NAMIBIA HEALTH SECTOR

And finally, on Friday, the Namibian Ministry of Finance accused 84 doctors of stealing millions of dollars through the government’s medical aid scheme.

The doctors were accused of fraud and abuse of the Public Service Employee Medical Aid Scheme.

The Ministry has launched a civil action against the doctors and has threatened to institute criminal charges against others.

The local daily revealed that some doctors have allegedly rushed to pay back the alleged amount in question for fear of arrest.

The Finance Ministry has not revealed how much has been lost through these scams, but a 2018 financial report by the International Monetary Fund indicated the government has been losing about $600 million per year.

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