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Omar al-Bashir charged over ‘killing’ of protesters1 minute read

The charges against Bashir came during an investigation into the death of a medic

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omar al-bashir
A Sudanese protester who was reportedly shot with live ammunition is treated by a paramedic

Sudan’s ousted president Omar al-Bashir has been charged over the killings of protesters during the anti-regime demonstrations that led to the end of his rule, the prosecutor general announced Monday.

“Omar al-Bashir and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators,” the office of Sudan’s acting prosecutor general Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said.

The charges against Bashir came during an investigation into the death of a medic who had been killed during a protest in the capital’s eastern district of Burri.

“The prosecutor general has recommended speeding up of the investigation of the killing of demonstrators,” the statement from his office said.

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Algeria to invest $3 billion in solar power, free up gas export

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The Coronavirus pandemic is proving to be the motivator for more economic diversification. An example of this, is Algeria’s plan to invest further in renewable energy and generate more electricity. The country intends to invest at least $3 billion dollars in this endeavor.

These new photovoltaic solar plants will generate a combined production capacity of 4000 mega watts (MW). The electricity will be consumed locally and excesses sold. The move will enable more gas to be sold externally.

Recently, Algeria lost its main gas supply destination due to cheaper alternatives with more supplies.

Currently, gas is used in generating about 98% of total electricity production in Algeria. But recent development has been encouraging Algiers to increase its exports of gas and crude oil, which are the main sources of Algeria’s revenue. Solar generated electricity makes up the remaining 2%.

Algeria’s Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerrad’s office announced the development on its website following a meeting of the government.

“In addition to meeting national demand for energy and preserving our fossil resources, this project will allow us to position ourselves on the international market,” it said in a statement.

It gave no details on where the electricity might be sold abroad or how much the proposed plants would contribute to domestic supply.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent global movement restriction has influenced the drastic drop in crude oil and gas sales affecting countries like Algeria. The past two weeks has seen a gradual rise in price but Algeria like many other OPEC members have announced plans to seek foreign loans in 2020 for the first time in years to fund what they called “strategic projects”.

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Morocco- Consumer Price Index dips

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Morocco has fallen. In March, the CPI recorded 1.5% dipping to 0.9% in April year-on-year.

Morocco’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Benchaaboun says the country’s economy has been hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak adding that plans are being set up to relaunch economic activity through promoting state investments, tourism and fostering domestic consumption.

According to the High Commission for Planning of Morocco, on a month-on-month basis, the index rose 0.1%. Food prices rose 2.7% while non-food prices dropped 0.3%. Core inflation, which excludes prices of volatile goods, was 0.1% month-on-month and 0.9% year-on-year.

The reduction in commercial activities has impacted negatively on the economy. Exports dropped during the first four months 61.5% due particularly to a retraction of sales of the car industry, aeronautics, electronics and textile, in a context worsened by the halt of tourism activity and fewer remittances.

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North Africa

Sports stars in Egypt hit with new taxes

Egyptian parliament has approved a draft law imposing financial development fees on football contracts

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The Egyptian parliament has approved a draft law imposing “financial development fees” on contracts related to the buying, selling, loaning or renewing the contracts of Egyptian or foreign athletes and coaches.

The new law states that a fee of 3 percent will be imposed on contracts lower than EGP 1 million, and 4.5 percent on contracts from EGP 1 to 2 million.

The law also states that a fee of 6 percent will be imposed on contracts worth EGP 2 to 3 million, 7.5 percent on contracts worth EGP 3 million to 5 million, and 9 percent on contracts worth more than EGP 5 million.

The committee also released a new article imposing a 10 percent tax on contracts worth more than EGP 10 million, and the games’ association will be responsible for collecting the newly imposed taxes and sending them to the tax authorities before registering the contracts, according to parliament’s statement.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told parliament’s budget and planning committee that the draft law comes out of necessity and aims to contain the disastrous impact of the international economic crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

“Please know that a finance minister is not a magician and he does not have a magic wand to procure financial resources,” said Maait, adding that “we as a government have a lot of duties such as offering subsidized goods and spending on services, and in this respect, we seek to generate new financial resources as long as these will not be a new burden for ordinary citizens.”

Approximately 15% of the players in the Egyptian Premier League are foreigners while 6 of the 18 clubs are managed by foreign coaches. The new law will affect high profile foreign stars like Zamalek duo Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia) and Achraf Bencharki (Morocco), Al Ahly’s Nigerian striker Junior Ajayi, Al Ittihad’s Ugandan winger Emmanuel Okwi and Pyramid’s Ghanaian attacker Jon Antwi among others.

Egypt’s foreign reserves fell by $5.4 billion, or 9.7%, to $40.1 billion at the end of March, a Central Bank of Egypt statement said on April 7. The central bank ascribed the decline to what it described as “an unprecedented blow to the global financial markets arising from the coronavirus epidemic.

Egypt was expected to earn roughly $16 billion from tourism in 2020 prior to the coronavirus crisis, which has dealt a direct blow to the aviation and travel industries.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday approved Egypt’s request for emergency financial assistance of $ 2.772 billion to meet the urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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