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Pirates Kidnap Five Ghanaians In Nigeria

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Nigerian Pirates

Five Ghanaians have been kidnapped by pirates who boarded the ship at 35 nautical miles off the Agbano Terminals in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

An advisory note issued on Monday to nearby vessels by both the United Kingdom-based maritime consultancy firm, Dryad Global, and the Italian maritime consultancy firm, Praesidium International, said the quintet were abducted from the Ghanaian flagged general cargo vessel AM DELTA with IMO number 9015929.

The statement said the Ghanaian flagged vessel was boarded by six to seven pirates on the 16th of November 2020 at 44 nautical miles South Brass.

It said, “Report indicates that the Ghanaian flagged general cargo vessel AM DELTA (IMO9015929) has been boarded resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew.

“The vessel is understood to have been boarded by 6 – 7 pirates. The kidnapped crew are all believed to be Ghanaians. Further reporting indicates that the perpetrators have damaged the onboard communications and navigation equipment. The vessel is believed to be drifting with two crew on board.

“This is the 9th incident within November alone. This latest incident takes the total volume of kidnapped personnel from vessels within the Gulf of Guinea to 115 across 22 incidents within 2020.

“This incident occurred closer to shore than the majority of incidents in 2020 which have thus far reflected the developed trend of incidents at the 80+nautical mile range. It is within a high traffic area that saw a large cluster of incidents in both 2018 and 2019. Following a spate of unsuccessful attacks on vessels previously it is highly likely that the perpetrators sought to return to areas of known traffic density and opportunistic targets.

“The boarding by armed perpetrators reinforces the critical risk rating in the Gulf of Guinea HRA after 7 incidents of unsuccessful approaches and attacks in the past week including two successful kidnappings in the last 4 days.

“As a result of the geographic spread of incidents throughout November, it was assessed as a realistic possibility that the incidents were perpetrated by more than one PAG or indeed two teams operating as part of the same PAG.

“With this being the second successful kidnapping within 4 days in areas that broadly reflect previous activity in November, the immediate risk to vessels may subside slightly. This however should not result in any change in security posture.”

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African Finance Ministers To Discuss Payments System For AfCFTA

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A new payment system for intra-African trade is in the works.

The African Union (AU) says its Specialised Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration will discuss the launch of a payment system for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) from December 1st to the 3rd.

The AU explained that the meeting will hold before the planned deadline on the ratification of the agreement on December 5.

The AfCFTA is one of the biggest free-trade agreements in the world right now, with a potential market of 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion

The Federal Government announced that it has ratified Nigeria’s membership of the AfCFTA ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.

Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu, said that the agreement would reduce the erosion of Nigeria’s currency.

The naira has suffered nearly 90% devaluation since 2016, through exports of Nigerian-made goods and services, and its exposure to other currencies.

AU’s Continental Payment System, when completed, would help to ease payment integration in AfCFTA countries. The theme of the meeting will be “Securing Africa’s Taxing Rights, Stemming Illicit Financial Flows and developing payment system for AfCFTA”.

The AU disclosed that it would be a major step towards the Agenda 2063 for Africa. The continental body also added that the meeting will discuss implementations of “Aspiration1”, which aims for continental inclusive growth and development.

They will also discuss how to prevent illegal capital flight and tax challenges surrounding the agreement due to the rising African Digital Economy.

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South Sudan Launches Fresh Attack on SPLA-IO Base

South Sudan’s army has on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO

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SOUTH SUDAN FRESH ATTACKS

South Sudan’s army on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO at the Morota Unified Training centre. 

The deputy spokesman of the SPLA-IO in Juba, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said the attack was ordered by General Moses Lokujo who defected from the group to join the SSPDF in September.

According to Colonel Gabriel “this morning November 26, at about 6:00am, the defected force of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who is now under the command and control of the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO component of protection force for Morota Unified Training Centre, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire.”  

The statement also confirmed the death of one SPLA-IO soldier and two others injured as the fighting continues.

Last week, the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSSAM-VM identified General Lokujo as being responsible for the recent displacement of civilians around Kajo-Keji area. He was also accused of blocking access to a military training camp.

The revitalized peace deal expects all the parties to desist from actions that may obstruct or delay the provision of humanitarian assistance, protection of civilians, or restrict the free movement of people.

The armed opposition group further urged the SSPDF to cease attacks against it while urging that security mechanisms established under the revived peace agreement be implemented to halt the attacks.

He called on the SSPDF command to restrain Maj. Gen. Lokujo from incessant attacks against the SPLA-IO.

“It should also be noted that the forces in Morota Training Centre are not only SPLA-IO forces but a component of the unified forces under the command and control of the JTSC and JDB. Therefore, attacking this force is not only a violation but a direct attack against the Security Arrangement in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.”

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Over 40 People Trapped in Zimbabwe Mine Collapse

Takavarasha said those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident, and that rescue efforts were ongoing.

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At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed.

This was disclosed by the head of Zimbabwe’s Miners Federation Wellington Takavarasha who said the incident occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of the capital Harare.

Takavarasha told reporters that the miners were working inside the unused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft caved in.

Six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

According to Takavarasha, those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident, and that further rescue efforts were ongoing.

Read also: 12 Illegal Miners Feared Dead in Zimbabwean Collapsed Mineshaft

Mining is a major source of foreign currency for Zimbabwe, where gold alone accounts for 60 per cent of exports.

The landlocked southern African country is home to vast gold and mineral reserves, including diamonds and platinum.

The gold sector provides jobs to nearly 10 per cent of the country’s population, according to the International Crisis Group.

Small-scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 per cent in foreign currency.

The remaining 45 per cent is paid in Zimbabwean dollars, which is notorious for its weakness.

Accidents are relatively common in decommissioned mines, particularly when the ground is loosened by rain.

 

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