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Gov't Will Absorb Shortfall In Pension Lump Sum Payment To Retirees — Akufo-Addo

ModernGhana News - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 19:11
Government will absorb the shortfall in the lump sum payment by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to public sector workers who retire this year, President Akufo-Addo has announced.
Categories: Africa

Commission On Small, Light Weapons Hopeful Of Probe Into Importation Of Pistols

ModernGhana News - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 19:11
The Senior Programmes Officer of the National Commission on Small and Light Weapons, Leonard Tettey, has said investigations ongoing into the illegal shipment of pistols and ammunition to the Tema Port will yield positive results.
Categories: Africa

AG Directed To Handle Ken Agyapong’s Suit Against Judge In Contempt Case

ModernGhana News - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 19:11
The Supreme Court has asked the Attorney General rsquo;s Department to handle Kennedy Agyapong rsquo;s application pending against High Court Judge, Amos Wuntah Wuni. Mr. Agyapong rsquo;s lawyers on September 17, invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of the Apex court to stop Justice Wuni rsquo;s contempt trial involving the Assin Central Member of Parliament, and to quash all orders made by the Judge in that respect.
Categories: Africa

UN envoy outlines progress towards cooperation in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

UN News Centre - Africa - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 19:07
Even as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in Africa’s Great Lakes Region continue to improve political, security and economic cooperation in line with a 2013 Framework agreement, UN Special Envoy Huang Xia told the Security Council on Tuesday. 
Categories: Africa

Election 2020: Interior Ministry Deploys 200 Police Officers To Guard MPs

ModernGhana News - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 18:53
The Ministry of Interior has with immediate effect, deployed 200 police officers to serve as guards to Members of Parliament (MPs) till the end of the year 2020. The officers will operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.
Categories: Africa

MPs Confident Improved Security Will Curb Attacks

ModernGhana News - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 18:53
Some Members of Parliament are hopeful of increased security following the killing of their colleague Mfantseman MP, Ekow Hayford. The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, is to make an in-camera statement on enhanced security for MPs later on Tuesday.
Categories: Africa

FROM THE FIELD: Cultivating a response to disasters in Malawi

UN News Centre - Africa - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 18:40
Farmers in Malawi who are struggling with the dual threats of climate change and an economic crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, are learning how to more accurately predict the weather and prepare for the eventuality of natural disasters, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Categories: Africa

Spain's Canary Islands see new influx of African migrants

BBC Africa - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 18:03
More than 1,000 have arrived in recent days and this year has seen a big increase from 2019.
Categories: Africa

Africa 'needs $1.2tn' to recover coronavirus losses

BBC Africa - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 14:55
The economic damage caused by coronavirus leaves the continent with a big repair bill, the IMF says.
Categories: Africa

#EndSARS protests: Nigeria president commits to ending police brutality

BBC Africa - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 12:09
Muhammadu Buhari responds to protests sparked by a video of a man allegedly being killed by officers.
Categories: Africa

South Sudan to change national currency

Sudan Tribune - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 06:11

October 9, 2020 (JUBA) — South Sudan will introduce a new currency in a bid to control the hyperinflation in the country and the collapse of the exchange rate, the government announced on Friday.

Speaking to reporters during a briefing about the outcome of the cabinet weekly meeting, the government spokesman and Information Minister Michael Makuei advised South Sudanese to deposit their money in the banks instead of holding it at home.

"So the cabinet has decided that the currency should be changed so that anybody who does not take the money to the bank is left out and will lose it," said Makuei.

"This is an advice to those who are holding money, South Sudanese money in their houses to hurry it to the banks now so that you avoid queuing up when the time comes for exchanging the currency," he added.

The minister said the decision to introduce a new currency was taken on the light of reports to the Council of Minister made by the governor of the central bank and representatives of the commercial banks about the financial situation in the country.

South Sudan which imports basic commodities and food from neighbouring countries has suffered an acute shortage of hard currency following the reduction of crude oil production and the sharp collapse of oil prince.

The dollar is selling for 500 South Sudanese pounds in cash transactions by traders in the black market in Juba, while the official rate remains at 160 pounds.

The cabinet chaired by President Salva Kiir formed a committee including the cabinet affairs minister, ministers of finance, trade and higher education as well as the central bank governor and representatives of commercial banks to set up a plan to harmonize the national economic policy.

The committee should submit its proposals to the next cabinet meeting with seven days, stressed the government spokesman.

It is not clear if the costly currency change process will be immediately or gradually implemented.

Makuei pointed to the need to produce food at home, saying that the country still importing potatoes and onions while the country has a very fertile land that just needs to be cultivated.

The government is expected to announce a series of measures to promote food production and to accelerate efforts to increase oil production.


Categories: Africa

FROM THE FIELD: Finding a meaning in life following conflict and family loss

UN News Centre - Africa - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 06:10
A woman in her 70s whose daughter was killed and whose grandchildren were abducted during two decades of conflict and insecurity in Uganda, has been speaking about how religion has helped her to find a meaning in life.
Categories: Africa

Mali hostages: Swiss woman killed last month

BBC Africa - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 00:41
Sophie Pétronin, one of four hostages released this week, alerted French officials to the killing.
Categories: Africa

Gracious David-West: Nigerian serial killer sentenced to death in Port Harcourt

BBC Africa - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 14:31
The nine killings provoked outrage, especially in the southern city of Port Harcourt, last year.
Categories: Africa

Sudan's partners to harmonize peace deal and transitional constitution

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 13:03

October 9, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Yasir Arman, deputy head of the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar and head of the SRF advance delegation, said that they will hold meetings in Khartoum with the government to harmonize the peace agreement and the transitional constitution, before the return of the alliance leader next November.

Khartoum witnessed yesterday a public meeting in the Freedom Square marking the return of the government negotiating delegation and the SRF advance to Khartoum after the conclusion of the peace talks in Juba.

The event was addressed by the Chairman of the Sovereign Council, the Prime Minister besides the heads of the government and SRF negotiating teams.

The orators emphasized that the signing of the peace agreement on October 3 is a realization of one of the revolution's slogans and a kick start to complete the programme of the transitional period.

In statements to Sudan Tribune, Yasir Arman renewed his happiness at his return to the country for the third time since the revolution and confirmed the arrival of the movement's leaders on November 3.

He revealed that his delegation would hold a series of meetings with the relevant committees to harmonize the text of the peace agreement and the constitutional document.

He said there is a clear way to harmonize the agreement with the text of the constitutional document and it was mentioned in the text of the peace agreement.

He stressed that the peace agreement will add great additions to the constitutional document, as it deals with vital issues that have not been addressed in the transitional constitution. Among these additions, he pointed to the issues of displaced persons, refugees, the system of government, issues of land, wealth and security arrangements.

"According to the text of the implementation matrix, the harmonization must take place within 10 days from the date of the signature, which took place on October 3," he added.

The peace agreement provides that if the text of the peace agreement contradicts the constitutional document, the text of the agreement shall prevail over the document.

Arman praised the international and regional support that the agreement finds, noting that the Arab League signed the agreement as a guarantor, joining the African Union, United Nations, European Union and the Troika countries.

He said that the peace agreement should be used to renew the transitional period, reviewing all that has been done, and forming a homogeneous transitional bloc for change from its three components: the civilians, the military and the armed groups.

Also, Arman welcomed the meeting of al-Hilu and Hemetti in Juba saying it represents a step forward towards a comprehensive peace in Sudan and expressed hope that al-Nur would join the ongoing efforts for peace.

"We hope that 2020 will be the year to silence guns in Sudan," he said.

Arman stressed that peace is the greatest success of transitional government during its first year.

He further stressed on the need to consolidate relations between Sudan and South Sudan to promote peace and stability in the two countries and the region.

"The cohesion between the two countries should constitute a model to be followed in Africa to resolve disputes between neighbouring countries," he added.


Categories: Africa

Kenya's Westgate trial: Man cleared of terrorism ‘seized by armed men'

BBC Africa - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 12:54
Liban Abdullahi Omar, who was found not guilty this week, was abducted by armed men, witnesses say.
Categories: Africa

South Sudan deserves better than Salva Kiir, says activist

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 11:29

October 8, 2020 (WASHINGTON) – South Sudan's President Salva Kiir may have been commended for his successful mediation in Sudan's conflict, but his own management of affairs in the world's youngest nation has largely been “disastrous”, a leading political activist said.

President Kiir waves hand to greet the Sudanese during the signing ceremony of Sudan democratic transition deal on 17 August 2019 (Reuters Photo)

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Thursday, Peter Biar Ajak said under the leadership of Kiir, quality of life has deteriorated.

“South Sudan cannot address its enormous challenges and thrive with Kiir in charge. Any hope for a better future lies with finding a rapid path to credible elections, which will finally allow the South Sudanese people to vote for leaders of their choice,” he said.

An estimated nearly 400,000 people in South Sudan lost their lives following the outbreak of a civil war in mid-December 2013, while millions were displaced internally and into the neighboring countries.

According to the activist now living in exile, Kiir has shown little interest in implementing the revitalized peace agreement reached in September 2018.

“Although it brought many of the warring factions back to Juba, Kiir's unwillingness to deliver on the specific commitments within it, the merging of warring militias into a national army, the reconstitution of the parliament and the establishment of sub-regional governments has created great risks of a new conflict emerging,” he argued.

The activist blamed the South Sudan leader for the inter-communal violence in many parts of the country, weak economy, rampant corruption practices and numerous cases of human right violations.

“South Sudan cannot improve the quality of life for its people with Kiir in power. He knows that the South Sudanese people will never reelect him in free, fair and credible elections. He sees conflict, endless negotiations to nowhere and severe repression as the only way of maintaining his grip on power,” further wrote Biar.

He added, But if the people can finally vote, they will undoubtedly send him home and elect visionary leaders who will rebuild South Sudan and restore enduring peace, development and human rights for all its people,”.

Last week, African leaders gathered in South Sudan's capital, Juba to witness the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, which promises to end decades of conflict in Sudan's Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions. The agreement, brokered by Kiir, is yet another milestone in Sudan's gradual transition to peace and democracy.


Categories: Africa

UN supports initiative for over 5 million IDPs in Sudan, S. Sudan

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 09:51

October 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Thursday pledged its full support to a new solutions initiative by governments of Sudan and South Sudan for over 5 million citizens of their countries who live in exile or as internally displaced people.

Displaced South Sudanese wait in line for food at the Dzaipi transit centre in Uganda (Photo: F. Noy/UNHCR)

The Initiative was reportedly announced at UNHCR's Executive Committee in a meeting of the two foreign ministers chaired by High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi.

“Today marks a great leap forward for long-awaited solutions for Sudanese and South Sudanese people as both governments agreed today to address the needs of refugees and IDPs. We whole-heartedly support the Initiative to rally more international support for solutions,” said UNHCR's Representative in Sudan, Axel Bisschop.

UNHCR also welcomed the support the solutions initiative was receiving from the start, including from the European Commission.

The meeting to launch the initiative was attended by international partners, including the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The regional bloc will lead the process to prepare a dedicated high-level meeting on solutions early next year.

All parties reportedly agreed that key factors for success will be the participation of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in the process, full regional engagement and contributions by other UN actors.

A first preparatory meeting will take place in Khartoum this month.

“The agreement can positively change the lives of over 1.8 million Sudanese displaced in their country and 700,000 who live in exile in the region,” stressed Bisschop.

“UNHCR stands ready to fully support solutions, with our expertise, presence and operational capacities across Sudan, from the Kordofans to Darfur,” he added.


Categories: Africa

The Kenyan school helping to rebuild communities along a violent border

BBC Africa - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 09:16
In a community torn apart by violence, this Kenyan school is bringing students together from opposite sides of the divide.
Categories: Africa

Military court jails 24 soldiers for rape, looting in South Sudan

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 09/10/2020 - 08:46

October 8, 2020 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese military court on Thursday sentenced at least 24 government soldiers to jail over rape and looting.

The soldiers, who were also dismissed from the national army, were found guilty of rape, looting as well as selling military equipment, obtained jail sentences ranging from two to 14 years in detention.

The military court tried 35 soldiers accused of rape and looting in Yei River county, but 11 of them were acquitted for lack of evidence.

"What we have done today is an indication that the SSPDF do not condone crimes against civilians and the government," SSPDF spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang told reporters on Thursday.

Meanwhile, South Sudan army chief of general staff, General Johnson Juma Okot said SSPDF is committed to fighting criminality within the army.

According to the presiding judge Joseph James Mayen, the soldiers can, however, appeal their sentences within 14 days.

South Sudan laws provide for protection of women and girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and gender-based violence, including rape, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.


Categories: Africa