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Soldiers Kill Suspected Poachers In Botswana

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The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) on Monday reported the death of four suspected poachers in Sedudu, an Island between Botswana and Namibia, in the Southern Channel of Chobe River.

According to Col. Tebo Dikole, spokesperson for the BDF, the killings followed an incident between members of the BDF and the poachers.

“The matter has been handed over to relevant investigating agencies,” said Dikole, adding that the incident occurred while the mission was defending Botswana’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and national interests.

The incident comes against the backdrop of an alarming surge of organised poaching for rhinoceros and elephants, especially in the Western part of the country in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.

On the contrary, media reports from Namibia said the police have confirmed that the four were fishermen. Three of the deceased are Namibian natives while one is a Zambian, the reports said.

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Health

Algeria To Begin Free Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines In January

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Algeria’s health agency has said the north African country will begin the distribution of a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) in “a month’s time”.

Prof Kamel Sanhadji, president of the National Agency for Health Security, in a radio broadcast, said the coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out free for all Algerians.

He added that the usage of the vaccine will not be made compulsory.

“These days we are studying all vaccines scientifically, and if approved, we will start the vaccination operations a month from now in batches,” Senhadji said.

It is not known which vaccine Algeria has opted for, but Prof Sanhadji said his country would not acquire a vaccine unless the World Health Organization approves its effectiveness and quality.

Prof Sanhadji pointed out that Algeria has “the means and capacity to acquire all vaccines including those that require lower temperature storage”.

The official pointed out that in the next few days they will reveal the vaccine that Algeria will acquire.

He added that international flights from and to the country “would not resume until the vaccination had started”.

A health passport will then be required for all passengers to prove they have taken the vaccine.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Abdel Rahman Ben Bouzid told Algerian Radio that his country had begun negotiations with several international labs which announced the production of vaccines for the coronavirus.

As of Thursday, Algeria recorded 85,927 coronavirus cases, including 2,480 deaths and 55,538 recoveries.

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Southern Africa

South Africa’s Second Largest Refinery Shut Down After Explosion

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Following an explosion earlier on Friday, South Africa’s second-largest refinery has been shut down, Engen has announced.

The crude oil refinery in Durban exploded earlier on Friday, leaving seven people injured afterwards.

The fire resulting from the explosion was brought under control immediately, according to the Spokesperson of the refinery, Robert McKenzie. He also said there was no death recorded from the incident.

Engen has also launched investigations into the fire incident at the refinery which produces 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

“Engen is currently assessing its overall bulk fuels supply and demand position and implementing immediate mitigations to manage inventory and product supply requirements,” Engen said.

The refinery is largely owned by Malaysia’s Petronas but controlled by Engen.

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West Africa News

Ivory Coast Gives Passports To Former President, Gbagbo

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Former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo has been granted passports by the country, months after his acquittal by the International Criminal Court for committing war crimes.

Gbagbo, who has been on exile in Belgium was given his passports as part of current President, Alassane Ouatara’s conciliatory strategies.

Ouattara’s third term Presidential quest and victory caused an uproar with Gbagbo seeking to come home and contest but wasn’t granted a passport.

Gbagbo also championed the call for the boycotting of the elections which was rejected by several other candidates in the country.

The former President led Ivory Coast for 11 years between 2000 and 2011 and was removed from office following months of riot over his refusal to leave. His successor Ouattara granted him diplomatic and regular passports as part of his plans to bring his oppositions closer.

Read: Gbagbo Freed In Belgium After ICC Approval

Gbagbo’s candidate, Habiba Toure made the confirmation of the gesture of the Ivorian government on Friday.

Toure described the move as a means of appeasement.

Recall that French President, Emmanuel Macron had advised Ouattara to rally his political opposition, so they can work together.

Gbagbo, 75, was tried at the International Criminal Court, The Hague over the killing of thousands of people during the 2011 riots. He was acquitted in 2019 but Prosecution has filed an appeal against the judgement.

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