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ECOWAS Court Orders Senegal To Pay Belgian Woman $89,793.25

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The ECOWAS Court has ordered the Republic of Senegal to pay 50 million CFA francs (about $89,793.25) as compensation to a Belgian, Mrs Lays Ghislaine, for violation of her right to liberty while in detention in the country prior to her extradition five years ago.

Delivering judgment, Justice Januaria Costa held the Republic of Senegal is liable for the violation of Ghislaine’s right to liberty.

The court however held that the State did not infringe on her right to dignity, the second plea made in the initiation application.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the media unit of the Court, the Community Court of Justice also dismissed other reliefs sought by the Applicant, declaring them unfounded.

Ghislaine had in her initiating application in suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/01/19 filed January 7, 2020, alleged she was arbitrarily arrested in September 2015 in furtherance of an international arrest warrant issued by a Belgian court and detained in prison by agents of the Respondent during which she was subjected to degrading treatment in the course of her extradition to Belgium.

The Applicant added that the process for her extradition exceeded the stipulated 30 days period provided for in the Senegalese law relating to extradition.

She averred that although the order for her extradition was issued on June 14, 2016, she was eventually extradited on Nov. 24, 2016 in contravention of Senegal’s law that provided that the victim if not extradited within 30 days should be released.

Her counsel, Mr Assane Ndiaye, claimed that his client also endured hunger strike and was wrongly diagnosed of cancer with the attendant fear and anxiety’

She therefore sought orders of the court declaring the Respondent liable for the violations, and the payment of 500 Million CFA francs as reparation, as well as the cost of litigation.

In response, the respondent did not counter the claims of the applicant on the applicable law concerning extradition but argued that the Applicant provided no evidence to back her claims of being detained beyond the stipulated time.

The respondent further argued that the hunger strike embarked on by the Applicant took place during the legal period of detention and that the medical report carried out by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) only suspected cancer.

The counsel added that the applicant did not prove how the disease was directly or indirectly related to her detention.

Also on the panel were Justices Gberi-Be Ouattara and Dupe Atoki.

In another suit, the court absolved the government of the Republic of Senegal of violation of the rights of another Senegalese, Mr Siny Dieng, who was tried and sentenced for money laundering and the funds seized by the government.

In the judgment also delivered by the Justice Costa, the court rejected the claim of the applicant that the trial and seizure of the estimated 100 million CFA, based on the order of a court violated his right to fair hearing and property as guaranteed by various legal texts cited in the initiating application in suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/50/19.

East Africa News

Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique

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No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.

News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.

The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.

The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.

He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

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East Africa News

Tigray: Ethiopia, U.N Reach Agreement On Provision Of Aids

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The Ethiopian government and the United Nations (U.N) have reached an agreement on the provision of access to humanitarian aids.

This was revealed by U.N officials on Wednesday, as they claim that the Ethiopian government has agreed to the provision of aids in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.

Ethiopia and Tigray, a powerful region in the north of the country, have been at loggerheads since the 4th of November.

The Ethiopian government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of destroying public properties and wreaking a havoc on the state.

This led to battles between the giant of the Horn of Africa and the rebellious Tigrayan forces.

The UN, through its refugee agency, warned about the lean supply of food to the more than 100,000 refugees in Ethiopia. At least 46,000 Ethiopians have also taken refuge in neighbouring Sudan, where they are short on food supply, according to the U.N.

Read also: UN Seeks $147m Support For Ethiopians In Sudan

Also affected in the food crunch are refugees in Eritrea, Ethiopia’s closest neighbours.

African envoys had called for a truce amid the Ethiopian government’s rejection of mediation from the international community.

Mister Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said on Monday that Mekelle has been captured, as he revealed that no civilian was hit in the process.

His claims were however rejected by the leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael who claimed that the Ethiopian government hit civilians in its onslaught on Mekelle.

The TPLF has refused to back down from its conflict with Ethiopia, denying that the battle is not over, contrary to the claims of Mister Ahmed.

Ethiopia is gearing up for its election in 2021, with political matters forming a part of the reasons for the ongoing conflict.

Mister Ahmed postponed the Ethiopian elections in August, citing COVID-19 as the reason for the decision. The TPLF has accused the Prime Minister of illegally leading government by buying himself more time through postponement of the election.

The TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before the emergence of Mister Ahmed in 2018.

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Health

COVID-19: 281 New Cases, 3 Deaths Reported in Nigeria

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Nigeria has announced 281 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on its verified website on Tuesday, said the West African nation also recorded three deaths.

The NCDC said that the new infections brought the total number of cases in Nigeria to 67,838.

Data obtained from the (NCDC) website showed that Lagos State recorded the highest number of infections with 123, while the Federal Capital Territory had 64, Kaduna and Imo reported, 38 and 15 infections respectively.

Rivers had 11, Plateau 8, Ogun 5, Bayelsa and Kwara had 4 each, Bauchi and Edo had 3 each; Kano 2 and Osun 1.

The agency reports that Nigeria has so far tested 779,708 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced on Feb. 27, 2020.

The agency said 148 patients have recovered from COVID-190 and have been discharged from different isolation centres in the country.

“Our discharges include 61 community recoveries in Lagos State managed in line with guidelines,’’ the centre said.

The NCDC stated that there were three COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Nigeria.

The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) was activated at Level Three to coordinate the national response activities.

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