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Ivory Coast Opposition Leader Arrested for Treason

Nguessan ran for president for the Ivorian Popular Front party before announcing a boycott and calling for “civil disobedience.”



Ivory Coast opposition leader, Pascal Affi Nguessan, has been arrested for announcing the creation of a parallel government after boycotting last month’s presidential election.

The former prime minister was said to be detained in the South-Eastern town of Akoupe.

Nguessan ran for president for the Ivorian Popular Front party before announcing a boycott and calling for “civil disobedience.”

He previously served as prime minister from 2000-03 under President Laurent Gbagbo.

Read also: Five Die In Ivory Coast Election Day Clashes

Several opposition leaders face charges of terrorism and insurrection after rejecting President Alassane Ouattara’s re-election. They say he violated the constitution by seeking a third term, but President Ouattara has defended his decision, saying a new constitution in 2016 restarted his mandate, meaning he could run again. He won 94% of the vote in the 31 October poll.

After announcing a National Council for Transition (CNT) last week, the homes of several opposition leaders in the main city, Abidjan, were blockaded by security forces.

At least 40 people have been killed in clashes since August, reviving fears that the country could spiral into post-election violence.

Ivory Coast was plunged into a civil war in 2010 after President Gbagbo refused to concede electoral defeat to Ouattara in that year’s elections, and more than 3,000 people lost their lives.

Related: Ivory Coast election authorities reject Gbagbo, Soro appeals to run in October

Nguessan’s wife, Angeline Kili, said that he had been detained soon after public prosecutors confirmed that police were looking for him. She said she did not know where he was being held.

However, Genevieve Goetzinger, a spokesperson for Mr Nguessan, said on her Twitter handle that he had been arrested in Akoupe, at the gates of Moronou, while travelling to his hometown of Bongouanou.

Last month, Opposition Leader Nguessan and former President Henri Konan Bédié announced that they will boycott the elections.

President Ouattara had rejected their demands to postpone the vote and hold talks.

Read: Ivory Coast Holds Presidential Election

He initially said he will stand down but after his preferred successor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died of a heart attack in July, he reversed his position.

The UN, African Union and West African bloc Ecowas, in a joint statement have called on all political groups to exercise dialogue and restraint.

Central Africa News

Ethiopia, UN Strike Deal for Unimpeded Humanitarian Access To Tigray



The United Nation on Friday announced that an agreement has been reached with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray.

The UN Headquarters in New York confirmed the details of the deal through its spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

Dujarric said that the safe passage of aid supplies and staff also extends to the Ethiopian regions of Amhara and Afar, bordering Tigray, where fighting between federal and regional forces, has impacted around six million people during the past month.

A UN statement said until now, no supplies have been allowed into the conflict zone, which has displaced thousands, many across the border into Sudan.

UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) spokesperson based in Nairobi, Saviano Abreu, said earlier that the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin on Wednesday.

He added that the UN was committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict” and ensuring that aid was distributed “strictly based on needs”.

Dujarric said that all aid distribution would be carried out “in compliance with the globally-agreed principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality. This includes working to ensure that people impacted by the conflict are assisted without distinction of any kind other than the urgency of their needs”.

Many Ethiopians have also been internally displaced from Tigray, seeking refuge in Afar and Amhara, and the UN needs assessment would aim to reach those affected by the conflict, added Mr. Dujarric.

On Monday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) appealed to Ethiopia for urgent access to assist around 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray camps, who it was estimated had essentially run out of food.

Spokesperson in Geneva, Babar Baloch, said concerns were growing “by the hour, with hunger and malnutrition a real danger”.

Communications to the Tigray region continue to be severed, along with transportation routes, and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has reportedly rejected dialogue with Tigray’s regional leaders who are said to be on the run, after the regional capital was entered by federal forces last weekend.

The UN estimates that some two million are now in need of assistance in and around Tigray and some one million have been displaced by the fighting, including more than 45,000 who have fled across the border into Sudan.

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#EndSARS: Traders Association Pleads For Release Of Arrested Members



The Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) has appealed to the state and Federal Governments to release some of its members arrested during the #EndSARS protest which was hijacked by hoodlums.

The President of MANTAN, Alhaji Jamilu Abbas made the appeal while speaking in an interview in Abuja on Thursday.

Abbas said some traders, who were moving their goods from one part of the country to another to sell, were caught in between the crisis and were arrested and detained.

He noted that the plea became necessary because the detained traders were hardworking and contributing their quota to the economy of the country.

He, however, stated that the activities of hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest had caused a lot of havoc to members that were already affected by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, before the #EndSARS protest, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has taken a lot of traders out of business.

The president, however, pleaded with the government to compensate the affected traders with a view to support them to bounce back to business.

Meanwhile, Abbas also enjoined the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the plight of Nigerian traders in Ghana whose shops were destroyed while others were shut down.

He appealed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs not to relent efforts in resolving the misunderstanding between Nigerian traders and the Ghanaian authorities.

He emphasised the need for the Foreign Affairs Minister to sit with the Ghanaian Ambassador to Nigeria and have robust engagement with him with a view to resolve the matter once and for all.

The president noted that the action of Ghanaian authorities was not in conformity with the ECOWAS treaty which allowed free trade among member countries.

He said Nigerians in Ghana should be allowed to do their lawful businesses as Ghanaians and other foreigners were allowed to carry out their legitimate business activities in the country without hindrance.

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COVID-19: Namibia To Revive Economy Using Fiscal, Monetary Interventions – President Geingob



Namibia’s President Hage Geingob on Thursday said there was a need to stabilise the country’s fiscal position in order to reduce economic damage caused by the effects of COVID-19.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day cabinet retreat, Geingob said Namibia would administer fiscal and monetary interventions to revive the economy.

“Our economy has plunged into the deepest recession since independence. As we craft a set of interventions with ambitions to induce a recovery, it is imperative to bear in mind that this can only be achieved through a holistic approach,’’ he said.

President Geingob added that it was only once these preliminary steps had been taken to stabilise the country’s fiscal position, that the country can begin to craft and implement a transformative portfolio of policy interventions.

According to the president, Namibia has so far injected 1.3 billion Namibian dollars ($85m) into the health sector accompanied by 8.1 billion Namibian dollars stimulus package and the 500 million Namibian dollars SME loan scheme to help the economy recover.

Namibia’s economy is forecasted to contract by 7.8 per cent in 2020 before recovering to positive growth of 2.1 and 2.7 per cent in 2021 and 2022, respectively, the central bank has projected.

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