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Madagascar Lifts COVID-19 Curfew2 minutes read



Madagascar has lifted a curfew imposed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

President Andry Rajoelina also announced that sporting activities would be allowed but with an audience of not more than 200 people.

Passengers boarding domestic flights will be required to take a coronavirus test 48 hours before departure and will only be allowed to board if the test is negative.

Only one airport was cleared for international flights beginning this month with strict guidelines in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Madagascar recorded a spike in virus cases in July forcing the government to reintroduce a lockdown in the capital, Antananarivo.

But the restrictions were relaxed on Monday following a fall in the rate of new infections in recent weeks.

Curfew restrictions had initially been introduced nationwide under the country’s state of health emergency in March before being partially eased in June, with the 22:00 to 04:00 curfew remaining in place in designated virus hotspots.

The lifting of the curfew means that targeted restrictions have been eased in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission rates, including the Analamanga, Alaotra Mangoro, Diana, Sava, and Vakinankaratra regions.

Schools, entertainment venues, and sports facilities have also been authorized to resume normal operations with appropriate hygiene and distancing measures in place.

However, the use of face masks remains compulsory in public places.

Despite the easing of restrictions, Madagascar’s state of health emergency has been extended by a further 15 days until October 18.

As of Tuesday, October 6, health authorities have reported 16,570 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Madagascar, with 233 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

President Rajoelina had promoted a herbal tonic that he said cured Covid-19 but the World Health Organization has maintained that there is no cure for the disease.

The tonic is now being manufactured in tablets and continues to be distributed in the country.


Gunmen Abduct American In Niger



An American citizen was on Tuesday kidnapped in the southern of the Republic of Niger, U.S. and Nigerien officials said.

The incident reportedly occurred near an area where militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are known to attack, the reports said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction happened in Birnin Konni, a remote town close to the West African country’s border with Nigeria.

Though other details about the American were scarce, the US embassy in Niamey confirmed the abduction of its citizen in the area.

In a statement, the embassy says the US government urges the “immediate and safe” release of the victim adding that it is working tirelessly with the authorities in Niger to secure his release.

The US government is also in communication with the victim’s family, the statement says.

Some reports suggest six gunmen on motorbikes with AK-47 assault rifles kidnapped him from his rural home in southern Niger, leaving his wife, daughter and brother in the home.

The man is said to have lived in the village for several years keeping camels, sheep and poultry as well as growing mango trees.

It’s not yet clear who seized the American man. But Niger is battling various armed groups; and in that area – just across the border in Nigeria, kidnapping for ransom is rampant.

In August, six French aid workers, as well as their driver and local guide, were killed by gunmen in the Koure area of Niger’s Tillebery region, which attracts tourists who want to see the last herds of giraffe in West Africa.

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



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.

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Africa in 60 – October 27, 2020

In case you missed it, here are the stories across Africa that made the headlines on Tuesday October 27th, 2020, all in one minute.
Do well to click on the link in our bio to read more on these stories and other stories about #Africa
#AfricaFirst #AfricanNews



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