Africa International

Somali Prime Minister condemns terror attack on government spokesperson

Mogadishu [Somalia] (ANI/Sputnik): Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble condemned the terrorist attack targeting a car with the Federal Government Spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, the Office of the Prime Minister said on Sunday.Earlier on Sunday, Somalian news portal Garowe Online reported that a suicide bomber attacked a vehicle with the Federal Government Spokesperson in the Somalian capital city of Mogadishu, which resulted in the latter being injured. “The PM H.E Mohamed Roble strongly condemns the odious terrorist attack targeting Government Spokesman, Mr Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu who sustained injuries today but is in stable condition. The PM wishes Mr Moalimuu a quick recovery,” the office tweeted.According to Garowe Online, the radical Islamist al-Shabaab movement, affiliated with al-Qaeda (terror group banned in Russia), has claimed the responsibility for the attack, threatening to carry another attack next week.The Al-Shabaab group is engaged in an armed conflict against…

Africa International

Bus accident claims 8 lives in east Nigeria

Abuja [Nigeria] (ANI/Xinhua): Eight people were killed and another severely injured after a bus lost one of its tyres in motion and somersaulted several times on a highway in Nigeria’s eastern state of Taraba, said the police on Friday.Usman Abdullahi, a spokesman for the police in Taraba, told reporters that seven passengers were confirmed dead on the spot but another died while receiving treatment at a local hospital following the lone accident on Thursday along the Iware-Wukari highway in the state. The ill-fated passenger bus was en route Enugu, in the southeast region of the country, travelling from Jalingo, the state capital of Taraba, when the unfortunate incident occurred, Abdullahi said.The official blamed the incident on overspeeding, calling on drivers never to exceed their speed limits and ensure that their vehicles are in good condition at all times.Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in…

Africa International

Malian armed forces say 8 soldiers died, 7 injured after recent terrorist attack

Bamako [Mali] (ANI/ Sputnik) – The number of soldiers who died as a result of a Wednesday attack in the western part of Mali increased to eight, and seven more were injured, the Malian Armed Forces said.On Wednesday, the military said that four army personnel were killed in the attack in the area of the village of Nara and about ten were injured. “Yesterday’s number of soldiers died increased from 4 to 8 people, 7 soldiers were injured and 3 vehicles destroyed. The enemy lost 31 people, weapons and ammunition were seized,” the military said in a press release, published on the website.The armed forces added that because of airstrikes, carried out by the Malian air force, the total number of terrorists’ casualties is still to be clarified, for which a search operation was launched.Despite the presence of UN and French troops in Mali,…

Africa International

Nigerian govt ends 7-month suspension of Twitter

Abuja [Nigeria] (ANI/Xinhua) — The Nigerian government on Wednesday ended its suspension of Twitter, seven months after it halted the operation of the California-based microblogging platform in Africa’s most populous country.The lifting of the ban in Nigeria would take effect from 12 a.m. local time on Thursday (2300 GMT Wednesday) after the U.S. company had agreed to meet all the conditions set by the Nigerian government, Kashifu Abdullahi, director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, said in a statement. “The Federal Government of Nigeria directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria,” said Abdullahi, who also participated in the government’s negotiations with Twitter.The official noted that Twitter is a platform of choice for many Nigerians to communicate, “therefore, our engagement will help Twitter improve and develop more business models…

Africa International

UN chief welcomes release of opposition members in Ethiopia, calls for ceasefire

New York [US] (ANI/Sputnik): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday welcomed the release of members of the opposition in Ethiopia and called on the parties to build on this significant step by reaching a lasting ceasefire.“I welcome today’s release from prison in Ethiopia of numerous detainees, including key opposition figures,” Guterres said in a statement. “I call upon the parties to build on this significant confidence-building step by agreeing a cessation of hostilities and a lasting ceasefire, as well as launching a credible and inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process.” Guterres also said he looked forward to meaningful progress in humanitarian access to all areas in Ethiopia affected by the war following his last contact with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.In December, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting the government forces since the military conflict broke out in November 2020, said…

Africa International

Novavax, Serum Institute file for emergency use authorisation of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa

Gaithersburg [US] (ANI): Novavax, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, and Serum Institute of India (SII), on Monday, announced a regulatory submission to the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (SAHPRA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) of Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate with Matrix-M adjuvant.“If authorised, the vaccine (known as NVX-CoV2373) will be manufactured by and commercialized by SII in South Africa under the brand name Covovax,” said Novavax in a statement on Monday. “Novavax is thankful for our long-standing history of partnership in South Africa to advance much-needed vaccines. This is exemplified by the country’s vital role in the Phase 2b clinical trial and booster study of our protein-based COVID-19 vaccine,” said Stanley C Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax.“Novavax and Serum Institute remains focused on delivering the COVID-19 vaccine – built…

Africa International

World-renowned Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey dies at 77

Nairobi [Kenya] (ANI): World-renowned paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, who unearthed evidence that helped prove humankind evolved in Africa, died on Sunday at the age of 77, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed in a statement.“I have this afternoon, Sunday 2nd January 2022, received with deep sorrow the sad news of the passing away of Dr Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, Kenya’s former Head of Public Service,” CNN reported citing Kenyatta’s statement. “On behalf of the people of Kenya, my family and on my own behalf, I send heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and associates of Dr Richard Leakey during this difficult period of mourning,” the statement added.Leakey is perhaps best known for his discovery of fossils, particularly the 1984 excavation of the bones of “Turkana Boy,” a nearly complete skeleton of a young male Homo erectus dating to 1.6 million years ago. He also…

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 10 million

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia](ANI/Xinhua): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 10,028,508 as of Saturday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union said the death toll across the continent stands at 231,157 and some 8,916,469 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Libya are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC.South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 3,513,813 cases. It is followed by Morocco and Tunisia, with 990,057 and 738,442 cases respectively.In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.According to the Africa…

Africa International

America not pushing for countries in Africa to choose between US, China: Ned Price

Washington [US]: United States is not pushing for countries in Africa to choose between a relationship with the US or China, the State Department has said after reports emerged that Beijing was appointing its own special envoy for the Horn of Africa.“We are committed to promoting peace, security and prosperity in the Horn and we’ll work with all partners who share our objectives in that,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a briefing on Thursday (local time), The Hill reported. “We don’t ask our partners to choose between the United States and any other country, that includes the PRC (People’s Republic of China). What we seek is not to make them choose but to give them choices,” he added.Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday announced the appointment of a US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, to take over…

Africa International

Blinken welcomes David Satterfield as US special envoy for Horn of Africa

Washington [US]: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that he looks forward to welcoming David Satterfield as US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa as the current diplomat in that position finishes his appointment in the next several days.“I look forward to welcoming Ambassador David Satterfield in the coming days as the US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa once Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman ends his appointment,” Blinken said in a statement via Twitter. Blinken noted that the Biden administration invited Feltman to this position in early 2021 but intended his appointment to last less than a year.“However, the ongoing instability in the Horn of Africa and the region’s interlinked political, security and humanitarian challenges demand sustained focus by the United States,” he said.Blinken also said he is confident Satterfield will help to promote a peaceful and prosperous Horn of Africa.Feltman…

Africa International

At least 9 people killed in Shipwreck off Tanzanian Coast

Dodoma [Tanzania]: At least nine people were killed in a shipwreck off the Tanzanian coast near Pemba Island, with the boat said to be carrying around 30-40 people on the way to a funeral, media reported on Wednesday citing local police.Pemba South police commander Richard Thadei said the boat heading to Panza Island from Pemba’s city of Chake-Chake on Tuesday evening did not reach its destination, overturning in the middle of the journey, as Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen reported. “So far nine bodies have been recovered and taken to the Regional Hospital for a medical examination so that the process of handing them over to their families can go ahead,” the police commander said.Ten people are missing and six others were rescued, according to the news outlet.Thadei added that the cause of the accident is was unknown, but ruled out bad weather conditions. Rescue…

Africa International

South African opposition allege cover-up of graft probe findings behind Parliament fire

Johannesburg [South Africa]: A South African opposition leader has implicated the ruling African National Congress in a fire at the national houses of parliament that erupted two days before the planned release of a damning report on a probe into government corruption.A commission was set up in 2018 to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the country’s public sector. It submitted its findings to President Cyril Ramaphosa in late December and was to make a part of the report public on Tuesday. “I suspect that information in there shows government corruption… I rise to say government itself led by Ramaphosa and his ministers and people deployed there might want this information to be destroyed,” Willie Madisha, of the Congress of the People, told Sputnik.The fire erupted early on Sunday in the oldest wing of the sprawling parliament complex in Cape Town,…

Africa International

Suspect in South Africa parliament arson appears in court

Cape Town [South Africa]: A 49-year-old man charged with arson in connection with the fire in the South African parliament complex appeared in Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday.The man is facing five charges including arson, possession of an explosive device, theft and housebreaking. The prosecutors are expected to add additional charges in the case, reported DW News. On Sunday morning, a fire broke out in the South African parliament in Cape Town. The National Assembly is situated in what is known as the New Wing, which suffered the worst damage in the blaze.The lawyer of the accused in the case, advocate Luvuyo Godla said that his client denies all the allegations and rejects all the charges against him. He said his client “denies and rejects those charges”.The court has remanded the case for seven days for the prosecutors to collect the bail information.A…

Africa International

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns

Khartoum [Sudan]: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation on Sunday, in an address broadcast by state television.“I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister. I leave this position to other sons and daughters of my homeland so that they can continue to govern the dear homeland and live out with it what remains of the transitional period toward a civil, democratic state,” the prime minister said. On October 25, Hamdok was arrested by the Sudanese military led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan. He was reinstated on November 21 after signing a deal that seeks to install a civilian cabinet that will be subject to military oversight.

Africa International

Ethiopia registers 3,998 new COVID-19 cases

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia]: Ethiopia has registered 3,998 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 424,340 as of Saturday evening, the country’s health ministry said.The ministry has reported 10 new COVID-19-related deaths and 410 recoveries, bringing the national death and recovery counts to 6,947 and 355,456 respectively. Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, has so far reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the east Africa region.Amid its national push for vaccination, Ethiopia has administered 10,916,348 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to the ministry.Ethiopia is among the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 in Africa, following South Africa, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Africa International

Tanzanian president confirms spreading of Omicron variant

Dodoma [Tanzania]: Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday night confirmed that there is the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron in the east African nation.“Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant which spreads fast, is already in our country,” President Hassan announced when she addressed the nation to bid farewell 2021 and to welcome the New Year. In her address televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the head of state reminded people to continue observing precautionary measures given by health experts.As the world is now experiencing the fourth wave of the pandemic, the president advised people to vaccinate against COVID-19, saying the vaccines are available free of charge.The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021, causing global alarm, with countries limiting travel and imposing other restrictions for fear it could spread quickly even in vaccinated populations.The World Health Organization has warned…

Africa International

Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 deaths continue to rise

Harare [Zimbabwe]: Zimbabwe recorded 27 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the highest ever since the omicron variant began, as the country’s deaths due to the virus continue to rise.On Tuesday, deaths stood at 24. While confirmed cases have levelled around 2,000 per day from a peak of 6,181 on December 10, deaths are on an upward trend, rising from a single-digit number early this month to double-digit figures now. As of Wednesday, the country had recorded 209,655 cases, 173,916 recoveries and 4,967 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.A total of 4,596 people in the country have received their booster shot since the administering of the third shot began on Monday this week.Some 4,112,241 people have received their first jab and 3,121,783 their second shot since the national vaccination drive began in February this year.

Africa International

UK pledges to provide $141mln to help vulnerable countries fight Omicron

London [UK]: The UK government has pledged £105 million ($141.7 million) in emergency aid to help vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, fight the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.“The UK is providing vital assistance to help tackle the spread of new variants around the world. This is key to securing our freedom and ending this pandemic once and for all,” UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a statement released by her office on Wednesday evening. The fund will be used to increase testing capacities and improve access to oxygen supplies for ventilators.It will also help to provide hygiene advice, products and access to hand-washing facilities, and for deep cleaning in schools, health centers and other public places.The foreign secretary also confirmed that the UK has delivered over 30 million COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries this year, as part of its commitment to donate…

Africa International

UN chief mourns death of Archbishop Tutu of South Africa

New York [US]: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday mourned the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, calling him a towering world figure for peace.“I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an unwavering voice for the voiceless,” said Guterres in a statement. “Archbishop Tutu was a towering global figure for peace and an inspiration to generations across the world. During the darkest days of apartheid, he was a shining beacon for social justice, freedom and non-violent resistance.”Archbishop Tutu’s relentless determination to build global solidarity for a free and democratic South Africa was fittingly recognized by the Nobel Committee in its decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. As chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he made an immeasurable contribution to ensuring a peaceful, yet just, transition to a democratic South Africa. His…

Africa International

Ugandan police bans New Year fireworks

Kampala [Uganda]: The Ugandan police on Monday announced that there will be no fireworks allowed to usher in the New Year over the weekend.Fred Enanga, police spokesperson told reporters here that for the second year running, fireworks are canceled due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19. Enanga said the public is urged to celebrate in small groups rather than large ones which may lead to the spread of COVID-19.He said in efforts to avoid crowding, churches are also banned from holding night prayers to usher in the New Year.“We expect Ugandans to be in the precincts of their homes or in their neighborhood. Since the New Year falls within curfew time, we shall be very strict during that time,” the police spokesperson said.Uganda’s ministry of health recently warned that the country was facing an upsurge of COVID-19 cases with over 10 percent of tested…

Africa International

Mohamed bin Zayed receives Prime Minister of Morocco

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has received Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch, who is currently on a working visit to the UAE.During the meeting, His Highness welcomed the Moroccan premier, wishing him a successful visit and a pleasant stay in the UAE. The Moroccan prime minister conveyed the greetings of King Mohammed VI, to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohamed, wishing continued progress and prosperity to the UAE and its people.Sheikh Mohamed conveyed his warmest regards to King Mohammed VI, wishing him continued good health and progress and development for the Kingdom of Morocco and its people under his wise leadership.His Highness also congratulated the Moroccan Prime Minister on King of Morocco’s trust in him to…

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 9.33 million

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia]: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 9,335,901 as of Friday afternoon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) said the death toll across the continent stands at 226,878 and some 8,467,210 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said Africa CDC.In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.

Africa International

Tunisia reports 5 more cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

Tunis [Tunisia]: Tunisia reported five additional cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, bringing the total number of Omicron infections to six, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported on Thursday.“The cases were discovered on Dec. 20, after testing positive for the virus at Tunis-Carthage International Airport,” Mahjoub Ouni, a member of the Tunisian scientific committee for the fight against the coronavirus, was quoted as saying by the agency. The five Omicron cases came from South Africa and quarantine has been applied along with all preventive and health measures, Ouni added.On Dec. 3, a 23-year-old man from a sub-Saharan African country has been confirmed as Tunisia’s first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases exceed 9.25 million

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia](ANI/ Xinhua): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 9,259,813 as of Wednesday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) said the death toll across the continent stood at 226,536 and 8,405,631 patients had recovered from the disease.South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC. According to the latest figures from the Africa CDC, the African continent represented 3.3 percent of all COVID-19 cases reported globally, as well as 4.3 percent of all COVID-19 related deaths globally. In terms of caseloads, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the…

Africa International

Nigeria declares fourth COVID-19 wave

Abuja [Nigeria]: Nigeria is now experiencing a fourth COVID-19 wave, health authorities in the country have said, attributing it to the rise in Delta and Omicron variants infections.The most populous African country has recorded a 500 per cent increase in infections in the past two weeks, Ifedayo Adetifa, head of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), said in a statement sent to Xinhua Tuesday. “The country is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave,” Adetifa said, noting as of Sunday, Nigeria had recorded 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths in the 36 states and the federal capital territory.Health authorities in the country are intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of the risk and the need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus, the senior public health official said.“The response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Therefore, individuals, families, and institutions also…

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases exceed 9.15 mln: Africa CDC

Addis Ababa [South Africa]: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 9,155,691 cases as of late Sunday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) said the death toll across the continent stands at 225,967 and some 8,329,481 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said Africa CDC.South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 3,292,609 cases, followed by the northern African country Morocco with 952,628 cases as of late Sunday evening, it said.

Africa International

4 killed, 12 injured in train collision in Ghana

Accra [Ghana]: At least four people were killed and 12 others injured after two trains collided head-on in the Western Region of Ghana, police confirmed on Saturday.Sebastian Folivie, an officer of the Western Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service, told Xinhua that the incident involved two manganese cargo trains traveling in the opposite directions on the Tarkwa-Kojokrom route close to midnight Friday. He said one train developed a brake failure and ran into the other train around the Wassa Manso community.The police officer said a rescue team from the Ghana National Fire Service was quickly dispatched to the scene, and the team cut open the mangled coaches to rescue those trapped in the wreckage.He said three of the injured were treated and discharged, and the four bodies were deposited at the morgue in the same hospital pending identification and collection.“Police investigations are underway…

Africa International

IMF approves extended credit release of USD 212mn to Congo

Washington [US]: The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Executive Board has approved the immediate release of more than $212 million to back up the international reserves of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, the fund announced in a press release.“The conclusion of the first review under the ECF [Extended Credit Facility] arrangement enables the immediate disbursement of $212.3 million to reinforce international reserves, given downside risks to the domestic and global economy outlook and recovery,” the release said on Thursday. The ECF arrangement continues to support the authorities’ medium-term reform program to foster macroeconomic stability and sustainable development by stepping up domestic revenue mobilization, strengthening governance, and reinforcing monetary policy, the release said.On Wednesday, the IMF’s Executive Board “completed the first review of the arrangement under the ECF for the DRC. The completion of the review enables the immediate disbursement of SDR[Special Drawing…

Africa International

UNHCR faces funding shortfall to meet needs of refugees, IDPs in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia]: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday said it only received 72 percent of the 164.5 million U.S. dollars it wants to meet the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in Ethiopia.In its latest situation update report published on Wednesday, UNHCR said it has only received 72 percent of the 164.5 million U.S. dollars it wants to meet the needs of 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, 650,000 IDPs in Ethiopia as well as 120,000 Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan.The funds are needed to meet the shelter, education, health as well as water and sanitation needs of refugees and IDPs in Ethiopia as well as Ethiopian refugees in Sudan, the UNHCR disclosed.Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 806,374 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, mostly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan, as of October…

Africa International

Tunisian President Saied announces constitutional referendum, elections

Tunis [Tunisia]: Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday said that the country will hold a constitutional referendum next July and parliamentary elections would follow at the end of 2022.Saeid, in a speech on national television, announced, “popular consultation” with the Tunisian people and said that “other draft constitutional and other changes will be put forward to referendum” on July 25, 2022 – exactly a year after he sacked the government and seized wide-ranging powers, reported France24. Changes to the constitution would follow the public online consultation and parliament would remain suspended until a new one was elected, said Saied.Saied’s July 25 power grab initially won support from many Tunisians tired of political parties seen as deeply corrupt and incapable of solving the country’s deep economic woes, reported France24.But he has since faced mass demonstrations and growing accusations that he is becoming a new autocrat.…

Africa International

Zambia reports more Omicron variant COVID-19 cases

Lusaka [Zambia]: Zambia recorded eight more Omicron COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the cases of the new variant to 11, the country’s health ministry said Saturday.The health ministry said the new cases were all recorded in Lusaka, the country’s capital, with five of the patients having a history of traveling outside the country recently. Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said the cases consisted of five males and three females, aged between 18 and 76, of whom, five had been vaccinated against COVID-19.According to the official, the first three people who had contracted Omicron have recovered and tested negative.In remarks delivered during a COVID-19 update press briefing, the minister also said the country was on its way to the fourth wave going by the current trend of the pandemic, noting the country has started seeing increased cases of infection, with the rate of positivity going…

Africa International

South African President invites scientists from BRICS nations to study COVID-19

Pretoria [South Africa]: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited scientists from the BRICS member states to visit his country and study the coronavirus and its mutations with local specialists.“President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited scientists from fellow BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – to work alongside South African scientists in further researching the various characteristics of the COVID-19 virus and its mutations,” the office of South African President said in a statement, as quoted by Russian news agency Sputnik. “This cooperation takes place within the context of the establishment of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre in a virtual format,” the statement read.The development comes as WHO said that it was sending a technical surge team to South Africa province to monitor Omicron and help with contract tracing, amid a spike in coronavirus reinfections.Last week, WHO said that South Africa…

Africa International

Nigeria mulls buying Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, getting shot as donation

Moscow [Russia]: Nigeria is considering the procurement of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, but does not exclude the option of receiving it from Russia as a donation, Nigerian Ambassador in Moscow Abdullahi Shehu told Sputnik in his first interview since taking office.“You see there are two ways, either Nigeria will make a budget to acquire or maybe the Russian government can donate as part of its technical assistance to Nigeria. So … we are putting two options on the table. As Nigeria has already approved the use of Sputnik V in our country but we have not concluded discussions as to whether Russia will support Nigeria as part of technical assistance or Nigeria will have to purchase the Sputnik V,” Shehu said. Nigeria’s national drug regulator authorized the use of the Russian vaccine in mid-July. To date, Sputnik V has been authorized in 71…

Africa International

Zimbabwe to ban unvaccinated from public transport as Omicron wrecks havoc

Harare [Zimbabwe]: The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday expressed deep concern at the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country driven by the Omicron variant and plans to bar the unvaccinated from boarding public transport.“Cabinet notes with concern that there has been a sharp increase in the average total number of new cases reported per day during the past two weeks,” therefore the government will scale up vaccination and tighten measures to curb the spread of the virus, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said at a post-cabinet media briefing. COVID-19 daily cases have risen exponentially over the past week, rising from 40 on Nov. 28 to 2,555 on Monday.Mutsvangwa said the government will establish vaccination sites at the main intra and inter-city bus terminals to ensure that those not vaccinated can receive shots of vaccine voluntarily before boarding.Eventually those without a valid vaccination card will…

Africa International

Omicron: Uganda confirms seven Omicron COVID-19 variant cases

Kampala [Uganda]: Uganda on Tuesday reported that it has registered seven cases of Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant. Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, told reporters that seven people traveling into the country had tested positive for the variant. She said five of them came from Nigeria and two from South Africa.Aceng said the cases have been isolated and are being monitored. “They are not severely ill. So there is nothing to worry about. They have been isolated,” the minister said. Aceng urged the public to remain calm and continue embracing vaccination. The minister last week said the east African country would keep its borders open despite the concerns over Omicron. Aceng said the country has adequate measures in place at the points of entry to detect importation of any variant. Ministry of Health figures show so far some 7.6 million doses of the COVID-19…

Africa Asia International

Omicron infected people not permitted to leave South Africa: Embassy

Moscow /Johannesburg.(South Africa): People infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant are not permitted to leave South Africa, the country’s embassy in Moscow old Sputnik on Tuesday. “South Africa follows and enforces globally recognised COVID-19 health protocols on travel. No infected individuals are permitted to leave the country,” the embassy said.The embassy also said that South Africa respects the rights of other countries to take all necessary measures to protect their citizens. “Our immediate concern is the damage that these restrictions are causing to families, the travel and tourism industries and business. South Africa has already started engaging countries that have imposed travel bans with the view to persuade them to reconsider,” the embassy added. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.…

Africa International

South African President says hospital admissions not increasing despite spread of Omicron

Moscow [Russia]: Hospital admissions in South Africa are not on the rise, despite a jump in active COVID-19 cases triggered by the new Omicron coronavirus strain, the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, told reporters.“Our hospital admissions are not increasing at an alarming rate meaning that people [who] may be testing positive are not in large numbers being admitted to hospitals,” Ramaphosa told reporters, as quoted by South African outlet Eyewitness News. The president, who is currently on an official visit to Ghana, has also criticized the nations that imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and a number of other African states after the detection of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the country.According to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, however, people must not worry as the new variant is more transmissible but seems to bring milder illness, as hospital admissions appear to show.“The tests still have to…

Africa International

Africa steps up Omicron variant detection as COVID-19 cases rise in southern Africa

Brazzaville [Congo]: African countries are stepping up measures to detect and control the spread of the Omicron variant as weekly new COVID-19 cases in the continent rise by 54 percent due to an upsurge in southern Africa, said the World Health Organization in a statement released on Thursday.The Omicron variant has now been detected in four African countries, namely Botswana, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, while more than 20 countries have detected the variant to date. Botswana and South Africa account for 62 percent of cases reported globally, said the WHO Regional Office for Africa based in Brazzaville, the Congolese capital. That Omicron variant is expected to be detected in more countries as national authorities step up surveillance and sequencing operations, said the WHO, adding that the detection of the Omicron variant is coinciding with a 54 percent surge in COVID-19 infections in Africa,…

Africa International

Flight bans amount to travel apartheid, says Antonio Guterres amid Omicron scare

New York [US]: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday described widespread travel bans imposed on southern African countries over threats of the Omicron variant as “unacceptable,” likening the restrictions to apartheid.“When we have now this virus everywhere, what is unacceptable is to have one part of the world that is one of the most vulnerable parts of the world economy condemned to a lockout, when they were the ones that revealed the existence of a new variant that, by the way, already existed in other parts of the world, including in Europe, as we know,” Guterres said during a news briefing, CNN reported. “We have the instruments to have safe travel. Let’s use those instruments to avoid this kind of, allow me to say, travel apartheid, which I think is unacceptable,” Guterres added.A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World…

Africa International

WHO urges countries to take ‘rational’ measures against Omicron

Geneva [Switzerland]: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday called for countries to keep calm and take “rational” measures in response to the new Covid variant Omicron.“We call on all member states to take rational, proportional risk-reduction measures,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing to countries, reported Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, the Omicron was already in the Netherlands when South Africa alerted the WHO about it last week.Netherlands health officials said that the new COVID-19 Omicron was detected in the country a week earlier than previously believed.“RIVM has found the Omicron variant in test samples taken in the Netherlands earlier in November. These samples were taken in the GGD test lanes on 19 and 23 November 2021,” National Health and Environment Institute said in a statement.The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), a new variant of the COVID-19, was first reported in Botswana on November…

Africa International

Omicron COVID variant threat: South Korea to restrict visa issuance, arrivals from 8 African countries

Seoul [South Korea]: South Korea’s government restricted on Sunday the issuance of visas and travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe amid the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, Yonhap news agency reported. Travellers from these countries will have to undergo a 10-day compulsory quarantine at a special facility and will have to conduct three PCR tests. Multiple countries worldwide have suspended travel from southern Africa amid the spread of the new coronavirus variant. The variant was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations — 32 — which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

Africa International

Sudanese army repels attack by Ethiopian troops with casualties on both sides

Khartoum [Sudan]: The Sudanese Armed Forces say an attack by Ethiopian soldiers and armed groups was repelled on Saturday in the border area between the two countries.According to a statement from the Sudanese military, obtained by Sputnik, the attempted incursion by Ethiopian forces and allied militia led to casualties on both sides. The Sudan Tribune reported on Saturday that the Sudanese army had repelled an attempt by the Ethiopian troops and the Amhara militia to push deep into Sudan, as part of an operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).Earlier this month, the Ethiopian parliament declared a six-month state of emergency throughout the country to protect the population from the TPLF rebels who are advancing toward the country’s capital Addis Ababa despite a ceasefire agreement signed this spring.A number of Western publications have reported that nine Ethiopian opposition factions formed a new alliance…

Africa International

New Variant: South African medical association says Omicron variant causes ‘mild disease’

Johannesburg [South Africa): The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus results in mild disease, without prominent syndromes, Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, told Sputnik on Saturday. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified on Friday the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations — 32 — which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.“It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home,” Coetzee said The official noted that…

Africa International

South African Minister calls travel bans by countries over variant ‘Omicron’ as unjustified

Cape Town [South Africa]: South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Friday termed the countries’ decision of imposing restrictions on travellers from the country amid concerns over the detection of ‘Omicron’ COVID-19 variant as ‘unjustified’ and said there is no proof that the new COVID variant is more dangerous or resistant to vaccines.The reaction came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’ and alarmed the siren among countries of the new variant. As reported by Sputnik, Joe Phaahla said that the reaction of countries in Europe and other regions to the emergence of a new coronavirus strain is “unjustified,” as currently there is no proof that it is more dangerous or resistant to vaccines.“We want to assure South Africans and other people elsewhere in the world that we…

Africa International

At least 43 people killed, 46 villages burned, looted in Sudan’s Darfur region

Khartoum [Sudan], November 25 (ANI/Xinhua): At least 43 people were killed and 46 villages were burned and looted in Sudan’s West Darfur State, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan (OCHA) said on Thursday. “On Nov. 17, conflict broke out between Arab nomads and farmers from the Misseriya Jebel tribe in West Darfur’s Jebel Moon locality,” the OCHA said in a statement.“Initial reports indicate that at least 43 people have been killed, 46 villages have been burned and looted, and an unknown number of people were injured due to the ongoing fighting,” it added. (ANI/Xinhua)

Africa International

Top UN envoy for Libya resigns

New York [US]: The top UN envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis, has resigned, one month before crucial elections in the war-torn country, a UN spokesman confirmed Tuesday.“I can tell you that Mr Kubis has tendered his resignation and the secretary-general has accepted it with regret,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “The secretary-general is working on an appropriate replacement. We are all fully aware of the electoral calendar and are working as quickly as possible to ensure continuity of leadership,” Dujarric told a daily press briefing.Kubis is not leaving his post immediately and is expected to brief the Security Council on the situation in Libya on Wednesday, said the spokesman, who refused to say how long Kubis will stay.

Africa International

Two out of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti released

Washington [US]: Two of the 17 US and Canadian citizens, members of the religious organization Christian Aid Ministries, abducted in Haiti in October, have been released, the charity says.“We have learned that two of the hostages in Haiti were released. We praise God for this! Only limited information can be provided, but we are able to report that the two hostages who were released are safe, in good spirits, and being cared for,” Christian Aid Ministries said in a Sunday statement. At the end of October, a police source confirmed to the Nouvelliste newspaper that the kidnapped missionaries were alive and that FBI agents were helping with efforts to free the hostages.“We encourage you to continue to pray for the full resolution of this situation. While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the fifteen people who are still being held,” Christian…

Africa International

Over 1.8 mln square metres of land cleared of landmine in Angola’s Lunda Sul

Luanda [Angola]: More than 1.8 million square metres of land was cleared from landmines in 2021 in Lunda Sul province, Angola, the National Institute for Demining announced on Wednesday.According to the head of the department of the Institution Jose Dumba, the demining actions were done in agricultural areas and in the construction site of new infrastructures in Saurimo, the capital of Lunda Sul province. The official explained that during the process, 1,524 unexploded ordnance devices were removed, with emphasis on anti-tank mines, anti-personnel, grenades, PRG, unexploded ordnance, 60 and 80 MM projectiles, cannon, large and small ammunition cartridges, fuses, and various metals.He underlined that the institution is doing demining work throughout the entire length of Lunda Sul province.Dumba added that the clearing of the areas will allow the increase of cultivation areas and free movement of people and goods with greater security.On the occasion,…

Africa International

African Presidents commend intra-African trade fair

Durban [South Africa] : Addressing delegates at the Intra-African Trade Fair hosted in Durban, South Africa, the President of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the event was more about building bridges, with its sole purpose being to bring governments closer together.Ramaphosa said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement was bringing together all countries in the region under one banner. He said the idea behind partnerships such as IAFTF and the ACFTA was to advance trade. “Our mission as Africans is to advance trade in our continent. Goods, products and services exhibited at this event represent all the African countries. Its success rests on its participants. The ACFTA must try to connect all the regions and deepen economic integration. This trade fair is about building bridges. It’s about connecting countries. It brings together governments, investors, buyers and manufacturers from more than 55 African countries,” Ramaphosa…

Africa International

Son of slain Libyan dictator Gaddafi to run for president

Tripoli [Libya] : Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, son of Libya’s former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi will be running for the post of president, according to officials.He registered as a presidential candidate for the December 24 election, an official from the electoral commission said, reported The Jerusalem Post. Earlier in an interview with the New York Times in July 2021, Saif al-Gaddafi had said that he wanted to “restore the lost unity” of Libya.The 49-year-old, who before 2011 had been seen as his father’s presumed successor, said politicians in the decade since have brought Libyans “nothing but misery”.In 2011, after four decades in power, Muammar Gaddafi and his relatives were targeted in a popular uprising. Three of the dictator’s seven sons were killed in the uprising.Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi was captured by a Libyan militia in November 2011, days after his father was killed.Four years later, a Tripoli…

Africa International

Cuba threatens to sue Facebook over political manipulation

Havana [Cuba]: The Cuban foreign minister threatened on Wednesday to take legal action against Facebook, alleging that the social media network ignored groups trying to manipulate public opinion on the island.Bruno Rodriguez said that the digital platform hosted groups of people residing outside Cuba, specifically in the US, who altered algorithms and geotags to simulate their large presence in Cuba to influence opinions and destabilize the Cuban society. “As has already happened in other parts of the world, Facebook can be sued for these practices against Cuba in strict adherence to the law,” Rodriguez told foreign diplomats accredited to Havana.The minister accused the US-based social media company of fostering an atmosphere of hatred, discrimination and racial intolerance that undermined the Caribbean island’s right for self-determination.

Africa International

Sudan’s military chief says will not partake in government after transition period

Khartoum [Sudan] : Sudanese Commander of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in an interview with Al Jazeera that he would not partake in any government following the transition period.The remark came as demonstrations against c continue in the capital of Khartoum and several other cities, adding to the political crisis in the country. “We are committed to handing over power to a civilian government of national competency and we pledge to preserve the transition from any interference that can hinder it,” al-Burhan said on Sunday, reiterating commitment to completing the democratic transition and holding elections on time.The military chief also said that talks were currently underway with political parties and other figures on reaching a consensus to form a new government.Commenting on violence during protests, al-Burhan said that Sudanese soldiers did not kill demonstrators, noting that investigations were already launched…

Africa International

Libya’s presidential council suspend FM Najla al-Mangoush

Tripoli [Libya]: Libya’s presidential council on Saturday suspended Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush and barred her from travelling.According to the Egyptian newspaper Ahram, Libya’s presidential council spokeswoman Najla Weheba said that she was suspended from her duties and barred from travel. The council opened an inquiry into alleged “administrative breaches” by Mangoush, spokeswoman Najla Weheba told the Libya Panorama television channel, while El-Marsad news website close to eastern-based Khalifa Haftar said she took foreign policy decisions without consulting the council, reported Ahram.Mangoush is suspended days before a major international conference. US Vice President Kamala Harris is due to join French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders at a conference on Libya in Paris on November 12.

Africa International

Death toll from building collapse in Nigeria rises

Lagos [Nigeria] : Up to 38 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a 21-story building which collapsed here Monday afternoon with nine people surviving the disaster, state commissioner for information and strategy told reporters here on Friday.Gbenga Omotoso said rescue work was still ongoing and would continue until the government could account for everybody inside the building at the time of the collapse and certify that nobody was left behind. Omotoso said the retrieved bodies were ready for identification and DNA tests will be carried out for bodies that may be very difficult to identify.Omotoso did not reveal how many people are still trapped under the debris, but said 32 names of those still missing have been submitted to the state government.The governor of the Lagos state has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the collapsed building beginning on…

Africa International

UN Security Council calls for ceasefire in Ethiopia

New York [US]: The 15-membered United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressed ‘deep concern about the expansion and intensification of military clashes in northern Ethiopia’ and urged the warring sides to negotiate a “lasting ceasefire”.They further called to put an end to hostilities and to negotiate a lasting ceasefire, and for the creation of conditions for the start of an inclusive Ethiopian national dialogue to resolve the crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country, read the press statement of UNSC. The yearlong conflict between federal government troops and Tigrayan forces has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2.5 million people.The UN has said up to 7 million people in the regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar need help, including 5 million in Tigray where some 400,000 people are estimated to be living in famine-like conditions.The UNSC members expressed…

Africa International

UN Secretary-General expresses concern over escalation of tensions in Ethiopia’s Tigray

New York [US]: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over the recent escalation of tensions in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray.“Very concerned about the evolution of the situation in Ethiopia, I just spoke to [Ethiopian Prime Minister] @AbiyAhmedAli to offer my good offices to create the conditions for a dialogue so the fighting stops. We also discussed the upcoming visit by @UNReliefChief to Ethiopia to ensure humanitarian assistance for those who desperately need life-saving aid,” Guterres wrote on his Twitter page on late Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Ethiopian government declared a national state of emergency as part of measures to protect the population from the advance of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).The Ethiopian government and TPLF rebels have been engaged in year-long hostilities over control of the northern part of the country.The rebels are now moving southward and took control of…

Africa International

Ethiopia declares state of emergency to protect civilians from Tigray rebels

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia]: The Ethiopian cabinet has declared a state of emergency across the country as part of measures to protect the civilian population from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), national media reported on Tuesday.The decision is to be approved by the parliament’s lower house within the next 24 hours, the Fana broadcaster reported. The emergency comes after the government said on Monday that TPLF rebels killed more than 100 young people living in the northern city of Kombolcha, captured by the insurgents over the past weekend.The north of the African country has been engulfed in hostilities between government forces and the TPLF for almost a year. In November 2020, the authorities accused the TPLF of attacking a military base and launched a counter-operation supported by neighbouring Eritrea.In spring 2021, Ethiopia announced the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the Tigray region. In June,…

Africa International

92 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast

Tripoli [Libya]: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday said that 92 illegal migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya.The UN refugee agency tweeted: “92 persons were returned to Tripoli last night, among them 4 women & 3 children. They embarked one day earlier from Zuwara.” “Nearly 28,000 persons were returned this year to Libya by coastal security,” it said.Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.The UN agency has recently called on the Libyan authorities to address the dire situation of asylum-seekers and refugees.

Africa International

Jaishankar greets Zambian counterpart on country’s Independence Day

New Delhi [India] : External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar extended greetings to his Zambian counterpart Stanley Kakubo on the anniversary of his country’s Independence Day.The Minister said that India is committed to strengthening the long-standing ties of the two nations. “Warm greetings to FM Stanley Kakubo and the Government & people of Zambia on their Independence Day. Committed to strengthening of our long-standing ties,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

Africa International

Haitian police chief steps down as crime wave hits country

Port-au-Prince [Haiti]: Haitian police chief Leon Charles has resigned as the number of kidnappings and killings has surged in the country over the recent months, sparking mass protests, Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced on Thursday.“The director general of the Haitian National Police, Leon Charles, has submitted his resignation letter. Franz Elbe will replace him,” Henry was quoted as saying by the Nouvelliste daily newspaper. Earlier in the week, Haitians went on mass strikes protesting against the violence in the country and demanding that the government take action to fight gangs. The strikes were prompted by the recent kidnappings of believers and the assassination of a pastor in the center of the capital.The latest in the series of kidnappings happened last weekend, when 17 Christian missionaries, 16 Americans and one Canadian, including five children, were abducted and taken hostage during a trip to an orphanage…

Africa International

Many killed in South Africa’s bus crash

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Atleast nine people including a baby died on Tuesday when a bus that was travelling near the Tugela River in Bergville lost control and veered off the road, said paramedics. It’s believed that the bus was travelling from Durban to Johannesburg at the time of the crash.Speaking to Xinhua about the accident, Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said most of the victims were declared dead on the scene with one person dying in hospital. KwaZulu-Natal transport and community safety spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the cause of the accident was yet to know but suspected fatigue and excessive speeding as possible reasons. He said the crash was concerning because two incidents involving public transport killed 20 people in September. “We are saddened by this fatal accident and it seems we are having problems with public transport as a mass mover of people…

Africa International

TS Tirumurti expresses India’s support to Haiti at UNSC amid crisis

New York [US]: Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations (UN) TS Tirumurti during the United Nations Security Council briefing on Haiti expressed India’s support to the nation, which is facing stalled elections, a surge in kidnappings and rampant insecurity.Tirumurti said that India is long associated with the people of Haiti and will continue to support them in the time of crisis. Haiti is facing one of its worst outbreaks of violence since 1986. The UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) has reported 944 intentional homicides, 124 abductions, and 78 cases of sexual and gender-based violence from January through August 31 in the country, Human Rights Watch informed.Tirumurti expressed his hope that all Haitian stakeholders will continue to engage constructively to find inclusive solutions to the socio-political challenges, including the drafting of the new constitution.Underlining that decisions need to be taken by consensus…

Africa International TOP NEWS UPDATES

Death toll rises to 50 in gunmen attacks in northwestern Nigeria

Lagos [Nigeria]: The death toll from gunmen attacks in northwest Nigeria’s Kaduna state has risen to 50 following the recovery of more corpses from last week’s killings, a local official said. Samuel Aruwan, the commissioner for internal security and home affairs in Kaduna, said in a statement sent to Xinhua on Monday death toll from an attack by unidentified gunmen on September 26 on the Madamai village of the Kaura local government area of the state rose to 38 as the troops found four more corpses.Aruwan said a village in the Zango Kataf local government area of the state was also attacked by gunmen a day after the Madamai village attack, and so far the troops have found 12 dead bodies. “This discovery was reported by troops of Operation Safe Haven as they continued with search-and-rescue operations in the area,” he said. Aruwan said…

Africa International TOP NEWS UPDATES

Over 10,000 people evacuated in western Cuba over Ida hurricane

Mexico City [Mexico]: More than 10,000 people have been evacuated in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio over the Ida hurricane, media reported.The total number of evacuees stands at 10,471. While 9,595 are sheltered in residential houses and 876 in evacuation facilities, the Juventud Rebelde news outlet reported on late Friday. The hurricane has already hit the island of Isla de la Juventud. The scale of the sustained damage has not been calculated yet, there are no reports about any victims.The US National Hurricane Center has registered Ida’s maximum sustained gusts of 75 mph on Friday afternoon.

Africa International

Madagascar’s Town Hall lits up in shades of Indian flag for Independence Day

Antananarivo [Madagascar]: Madagascar’s iconic building, Town Hall, here illuminated with the colours of the Indian flag on the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day.“Madagascar’s iconic building Town Hall, Antananarivo lit up with the Indian tricolour on the eve of the 75th Independence Day of India #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav,” tweeted the Indian embassy in Madagascar. The Embassy of India in Antananarivo also lit up in tricolour for the celebration of Independence Day. India is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, marking the 75th year of Independence amid patriotic fervour. A series of events are being organised across the country to mark the occasion.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Independence Day celebrations from Red Fort on Sunday.Meanwhile, the Indian embassy in Bhutan, on Saturday, reflected saffron, white and green to mark the celebrations for Independence Day.

Africa International

Over 150 wildfires amid anomalous heatwave reports Tunisia

Tunisia (Africa): Tunisia has confirmed more than 150 wildfires amid an unprecedented heatwave, which caused considerable material damage, Sky News Arabia reported on Friday.The media outlet estimates about 155 wildfire outbreaks across the country’s northern and central areas. The fire has destroyed livestock pens, bee farms, as well as hundreds of trees. In the provinces of Bizerte, Jendouba and Kef the fire approached residential buildings, resulting in explosions as many houses had gas tanks. There have been no reports of casualties so far.The country’s civil defense service’s spokesperson told the broadcaster that the firefighters continue working in Bizerte and Jendouba, having managed to localize 80% of wildfires. At the same time, the blazes have spread across 150 hectares (370 acres).Meanwhile, the head of the local forest protection agency told Tunisian news agency TAP that most of the wildfires were caused by arson.

Africa International

Zimbabwe COVID-19 cases pass 70,000 as 3rd wave sweeps through country

Harare: Zimbabwe hit a new record in COVID-19 cases on Monday, registering 2,661 cases in the past 24 hours as the third wave of the pandemic sweeps through the country. According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, all the 2,661 cases were due to local transmission and pushed Zimbabwe’s cumulative total to 70,426. The country also recorded 51 deaths on Monday, raising the national death toll to 2,236. Out of the 70,426 cases, 46,932 people have recovered from the virus. Less than 1 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, against a target of 10 million people by year-end. The government aims to inoculate 60 per cent of the population (10 million) people to achieve herd immunity. To date, Zimbabwe has received several batches of Chinese vaccines to ramp its national vaccination program. The last batch of…

Africa International

South African Experts: Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines Pfizer And J&J Are More Effective Against The Delta Variant Of The Coronavirus Than The Beta Strain

The anti-COVID-19 vaccines by US pharma majors Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that are being used in South Africa are more effective against the Delta variant of the coronavirus than the Beta strain, experts have said. The Beta variant, which was first detected in South Africa, caused a second wave at the beginning of this year whereas the Delta variant, first detected in India, is driving the current third wave in South Africa, resulting in increased lockdown restrictions as the number of infections and deaths have already surpassed those of the previous two waves. In a media briefing led by Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi on Friday, experts said that results in both laboratory research and field studies had shown that the vaccines were effective against the Delta virus. “What we have seen in the in vitro work is that the J&J vaccine…