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Chad Locks Down Ndjamena Over Rising COVID-19 Cases



The Chadian government has locked down capital city Ndjamena for the first time since COVID-19 hit the country.

President Idris Deby has also declared a dusk to dawn curfew in the country due to rising infections.

With a daily increase of at least 19 infections, Chad’s 2,113 COVID-19 cases since March has seen at least 104 deaths.

The new lockdown will see the city’s borders being closed while airspaces are also being shut down. Cargo flights are however allowed to operate.

Schools, universities and public gatherings have been banned with gatherings of more than 10 people also restricted by the government.

The Central African country has recorded more than 1600 cases since the outbreak of the disease.

More than 2.7million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded across Africa, with more than 64,000 deaths reported according to statistics by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC).

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Central Africa News

COVID-19: Egypt’s Health Ministry Records 890 New Cases, 56 Deaths

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Egypt has now risen to 156,397, recovered cases are at 122,993, and 8,583 deaths.



The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed on Sunday, 890 new coronavirus cases, up from 887 on Saturday and 879 on Friday.

The ministry also confirmed that 56 more people had died of virus-related issues while 701people had recovered so far.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Egypt has now risen to 156,397, recovered cases are at 122,993, and 8,583 deaths.

The North African country has officially entered the second wave of the pandemic, after a steady rise of reported cases in November and December.

Government officials have continuously urged the public to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measures, and authorities have been instructed to strictly enforce the country’s mask mandate, which applies to public transportation and all indoor public spaces and.

Anyone who violates the mask wearing policies in these places, is subject to an instant LE50 fine, and restaurants and cafes breaking capacity rules are subject to an instant LE4,000 fine.

In late December, The Ministry of Education decided to again shift classroom learning back online and postpone exams ahead of the mid-year vacation that starts on January 16 and goes until February 20.

Students first-term exams will be taken once they return from vacation.

According to the country’s Health Minister Hala Zayed, Egypt has received doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, and is expecting more shipments.

The country will receive 20 percent of its vaccines needs via the AstraZeneca vaccine from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance by the end of January, the minister said.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health is also expecting a shipment of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine. The ministry signed for 25 million doses of the vaccine in September last year, and will begin clinical trials of the vaccine as soon as it arrives.

Egypt plans to roll out its vaccination campaign in early February, beginning with the elderly, healthcare workers, and those with underlying health conditions.

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Central Africa News

3,000 CAR Nationals Flee to Cameroon to Escape Violence



Tens of thousands of people have fled the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) with the Gado Refugee camp in Cameroon registering about 3,000 refugees.

About 60,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries over the last few weeks since six powerful rebel groups launched an offensive a few months ago to try and prevent the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

Touadera, 63, has struggled to wrest control of vast swathes of the country from armed militias since first winning power in 2016, three years after former President Francois Bozize was ousted by another rebellion.

The presidential election went ahead despite an offensive by rebel groups who tried to disrupt the vote after Bozize’s candidacy was rejected by the country’s highest court.

Touadera won five more years in power by securing more than 53% of votes in the December 27 election that was marred by violence.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number means a two-fold rise in just one week.

The arrival of those rebels was a blow, we fled with my husband in the hope of finding some peace, said Ihindou Melina, a refugee from the CAR.

Violence has escalated recently, with security forces on Wednesday repelling rebels trying to seize the capital Bangui, after intense fighting on the city’s outskirts.

At least one Rwandan peacekeeper has been killed and another injured, said the United Nations.

On Friday, at least one peacekeeper was killed and another two were injured during an attack against the UN soldiers in Grimari, a city located 200km from the capital, the United Nations Mission in the country said in a statement.

“So far we have registered nearly 3,000 people who are seeking refuge in Cameroon from the Central African Republic. These people, most of them, are women under the age of 50, they have come with children,” said Helen Ngoh Ada, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cameroon.

The UN refugee agency says Those who arrive at sites for the displaced have witnessed traumatic scenes of violence and that malnutrition rates have risen to serious levels.

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Rwandan Peacekeeper Killed in Bangui as Violence Escalates

The CAR has since been experiencing pockets of violence following the presidential elections that were held on December 27, last year.



One peacekeeper from Rwanda was killed and another injured in an attack by armed rebels on the outskirts of the city of Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR).

A statement by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) in the CAR condemned the attack, noting that the rebels directly targeted the peacekeepers who were deployed in several cities across the country.

“MINUSCA bows before the memory of this peacekeeper who fell in the service of peace in the country and expresses sincere condolences to his family and to the contingent and the Rwandan government,” it said.

“MINUSCA strongly condemns the attacks by coalition armed groups and their political allies including former President François Bozizé. The Mission holds them responsible for the consequences of this violence on the civilian population and stresses that attacks against peacekeepers can be considered as war crimes and prosecuted.”

Plans are underway to airlift the deceased peacekeeper back to the country for burial, said The Rwanda Defence Forces.

While speaking to the press,” Lt Col Ronald Rwivanga, Spokesperson of Rwanda Defense Forces said “The attack was repelled but unfortunately one of ours was killed and another was injured. The injured one is in stable condition and will recover.”

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased. We strongly condemn the attack, which clearly targeted peacekeepers in violation of international peacekeeping rules.”

The CAR has since been experiencing pockets of violence following the presidential elections that were held on December 27, last year.

The elections were disputed by rebels loyal to former President François Bozizé, whose candidacy was invalidated.

MINUSCA said. Wednesday’s attack was repelled by peacekeepers together with forces of The CAR with the help of military helicopters.

According to authorities, over 250 foreign workers fled CAR due to fears of being targeted by rebels who are disgruntled by President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s re-election.

Rwandan peacekeepers in the CAR are now totaling 750. 717 men and 33 women, who also provide security to President Touadera and government officials, on top of manning security posts and patrols in the country.

The UN mission said during the attack, the rebels suffered loss of life while some were arrested and weapons seized. 

After three Burundian peacekeepers were killed in an ambush on December 26, this is the second time that peacekeepers are being killed by rebels in election related violence.

While the government of the CAR and the international community considered the election a success, the result was rejected by opposition candidates, alleging poll irregularities and violence. They are pushing for a rerun of the general election.

Last month, Rwanda sent a contingent of soldiers to CAR to protect peacekeepers and quell election violence, following intelligence reports that there will be deliberate targeting of peacekeepers by the rebels.

These new contingent of Rwandan soldiers – sent under a bilateral agreement with CAR – are not constrained by UN rules of engagement that prevent UN troops from directly exchanging fire with rebels.

Election-related violence in CAR has revealed “major vulnerabilities that require rethinking the role MINUSCA and international stakeholders,” according to the humanitarian organisation Relief Web.

“The biggest weakness exposed by the polls is that 11,000 UN troops weren’t enough to secure the vote across the country. It took the deployment of additional Russian instructors and Rwandan soldiers to help stabilise some of the voting operations,” Relief Web said.

Some 632,000 people have reportedly fled CAR to neighbouring countries due to the violence that has been escalating.

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