Connect with us

Thousands of protesters gathered in central Algiers on Friday, piling pressure on President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to resign days after the country’s powerful military called for his removal.

The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah, on Tuesday asked the constitutional council to rule whether the ailing 82-year-old president is fit for office.

Bouteflika, facing the biggest crisis of his 20-year-old rule, has failed to placate Algerians by reversing a decision to seek a fifth term. “Streets pressure will continue until the system goes,” said student Mohamed Djemai, 25.

Protesters have ambitious demands. They want to overthrow an an entire political system and replace it with a new generation of leaders capable of modernizing the oil-dependent state and giving hope to a population impatient for a better life.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar

AFRICA UPDATE

ANC wins South Africa’s election with 57.5%

Published

on

The final tally of the South African election is out, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), winning 57.51% of votes cast.

The website of the Electoral Commission, which showed 100 per cent capturing of the 17 668 318 votes cast, showed that the ANC polled 10,026 047 votes, which is less than the 11 million votes won in 2014.

Analysts said the electoral performance was the worst since the party came to power in 1994, with legendary Nelson Mandela as president.

The biggest opposition Democratic Alliance got 3,618,992, representing 20.76% of the votes, also lower than the 22.2 per cent or the 4 million votes won in 2014.

ANC rebel, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Party came third with 1,881,331 votes, representing 10.79 per cent of the votes cast. In 2014, EFF got 6.35 percent of the votes.

With 26,779, 025 people registered to vote, turnout was estimated at 65.99 per cent.

According to the electoral body, 235,449 votes were voided in the 22,924 of the voting districts captured, out 22,925.

 

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Algerians demand sweeping change as President Bouteflika era ends

Published

on

Flag-waving Algerians have celebrated the resignation of veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, but vowed Wednesday to keep protesting to demand sweeping change to the country’s political system.

The 82-year-old’s departure, announced on state media late Tuesday, followed weeks of massive demonstrations that have shaken the North African nation.

Car horns sounded on the streets before jubilant crowds converged in the centre of the capital Algiers to cheer his departure.

Many Algerians have never known any president other than Bouteflika, who held power for two decades but was rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

‘TOO LITTLE, TOO LITTLE’

Protesters in Algiers welcomed his departure but said they were determined to continue demonstrating, rejecting any transition that leaves power in the hands of the “system”.

“I want my daughter to remember this historic day. Bouteflika’s gone, but it’s far from over,” said 35-year-old Amal, who wore a T-shirt with the slogan “I am against the system” and vowed to march again on Friday.

For 44-year-old engineer Hamid Boumaza, Bouteflika’s resignation was “too little, too late”.

“Bouteflika’s departure is no longer enough. We want them all to go. We want full freedom and we will march for as long as necessary.”

‘DEMOCRATIC CHANGE’

Algeria’s Constitutional Council said Wednesday it had accepted Bouteflika’s resignation and informed parliament that his post was officially vacant.

Some 20 Algerian civil society groups said they would refuse a transition of power that kept the same structure in place, calling for protests Friday for “democratic change”.

“Bouteflika’s resignation… is a first victory… but it is not enough,” they said in a joint statement.

Algeria’s constitution says that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, currently 77-year-old Abdelkader Bensalah, should now act as interim leader for up to 90 days during which a presidential election must be organised.

‘PROTECT THE PEOPLE’

Algeria has largely avoided the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring uprisings that brought down rulers in neighbouring Tunisia and Libya.

But discontent, particularly among the young, turned to anger after Bouteflika announced in February that he would seek a fifth term in office in an election that had been scheduled for this month.

He dropped his bid in the face of the mass protests but also postponed the vote, angering Algerians who saw the move as a ploy to stay in power.

Pressure mounted Tuesday when armed forces chief Ahmed Gaid Salah called for the president’s impeachment, insisting the military’s “sole ambition” was to “protect the people”.

BOUTEFLIKA APOLOGY

Soon after, state television announced that Bouteflika had submitted his resignation to the Constitutional Council.

The decision aimed “to contribute to the appeasement of the hearts and minds of my compatriots, to allow them to take Algeria towards a better future to which they legitimately aspire,” his resignation letter read.

Footage showed Bouteflika, dressed in a beige North African tunic and sitting in his wheelchair, handing the letter to the council’s head, Tayeb Belaiz.

In another letter published Wednesday by state news agency APS, he offered his apologies to the Algerian people for “every shortcoming”, but said he was “proud” of his contribution to the country.

“I leave the political stage without sadness or fear for the future of our country,” he wrote.

“God is witness to my sincerity and my loyalty.”

‘AUTHORITARIANISM’

Although credited with helping foster peace after Algeria’s decade-long civil war, Bouteflika has faced criticism for perceived authoritarianism.

Former prime minister-turned-rival Ali Benflis said his departure was the “woeful epilogue” to the past two decades and praised the protest movement as “a peaceful people’s revolution”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised “the mature and calm nature in which the Algerian people have been expressing their desire for change,” said a UN statement.

“He looks forward to a peaceful and democratic transition process that reflects the wishes of the Algerian people,” it added.

The United States said the future of the country “is for the Algerian people to decide”.

Long-time ally Russia called for a transition without foreign “interference”.

TRANSITION

The foreign minister of former colonial power France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said he was confident Algeria’s “democratic transition” could continue “in the same spirit of calm and responsibility” seen in recent weeks.

Algerian business tycoon and long-time Bouteflika backer Ali Haddad was placed in detention Wednesday, days after being arrested while trying to cross into Tunisia with undeclared currency and two passports.

Haddad, described by Forbes as one of Algeria’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, was widely seen as a political tool of Bouteflika.

The judiciary has launched graft investigations and, local media report, banned a dozen Bouteflika-linked businessmen from leaving the country.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

#Xenophobic Attack: Community Condemns killing Of Nigerian In South Africa

Published

on

The President of the Nigerian Community in South Africa, Benjamin Okoli has criticised the killing of a Nigerian, Ire Chinello by an unknown attacker on 31st of March.

Okoli made this known in a provided information through a statement made available in Abuja, condemned the killing, which he described as cult related as senseless.

According to him, the killing was not a xenophobic attack but a cult related crisis among Nigerians living in South Africa.

He explained that the deceased, popularly known as Ire, was shot and killed at Sunnyside Pretoria, South Africa in what seemed like a cult related killing.

Okoli said: “There has been a spate of cult killing among Nigerians, that had claimed so many lives, as many as no fewer than 25 Nigerians lost their lives over a period of fewer than two years.

“This senseless killing has reduced us to near nothing in the eyes of the South Africans and the police, who see us as killers, cultists, fraudsters and drug dealers.

He further revealed that the South African police never take any Nigerian cases serious after a series of such attacks, “It makes the police not to take our cases serious, having considered it good riddance to bad rubbish.

”Our appeal, however, to the South African authorities is that the police must consider every case and investigate same on its merit with the aim of bringing the culprits to justice,” he said.

However, the Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, Godwin Adama, who also condemned the killings declared the cultism related cases as ”an alarming rate.”

“The killing of Mr Ire Chinello, a case of cult related killing at Sunnyside Pretoria; eyewitness account indicated that he was killed by unidentified gunmen, who fled the scene.

“Cult related killing among Nigerians has assumed an alarming proportion in South Africa,

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Cholera cases jump to 138 in Mozambique’s Beira after cyclone

Published

on

The number of confirmed cases of cholera in the cyclone-hit Mozambican port city of Beira jumped from five to 138 on Friday, as government and aid agencies battled to contain the spread of disease among the tens of thousands of victims of the storm.

Cyclone Idai smashed into Beira on March 14, causing catastrophic flooding and killing more than 700 people across three countries in southeast Africa.

Many badly affected areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe are still inaccessible by road, complicating relief efforts and exacerbating the threat of infection.

Although there have been no confirmed cholera deaths in medical centers in Mozambique yet, at least two people died outside hospitals with symptoms including dehydration and diarrhoea, the country’s environment minister Celso Correia said.

“We expected this, we were prepared for this, we’ve doctors in place,” Correia told reporters.

The government said for the first time that there had been confirmed cholera cases on Wednesday.

Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Institute said the local death toll from the tropical storm had increased to 493 people, from 468 previously.

That takes the total death toll across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi to 738 people, with many more still missing.

Vaccine to arrive

“Stranded communities are relying on heavily polluted water. This, combined with widespread flooding and poor sanitation, creates fertile grounds for disease outbreaks, including cholera,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

The World Health Organization’s Tarik Jasarevic said 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were expected to arrive on Monday.

The United States Defense Department said on Friday it had authorized an additional $8.5 million in humanitarian assistance for Mozambique, bringing the total to $15 million. About 50 US military personnel have been sent to Mozambique to assist with logistics, including transporting food and medical supplies.

Cholera is endemic to Mozambique, which has had regular outbreaks over the past five years. About 2,000 people were infected in the most recent outbreak, which ended in February 2018, according to the WHO.

But the scale of the damage to Beira’s water and sanitation infrastructure, coupled with its dense population, have raised fears that another epidemic would be difficult to contain.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Uganda Police Probes UN As Relief Food Kills Three

Published

on

Uganda Police is currently investigating a supply of food from the World Food Programme (WFP) after three people died and more than 150 others became sick in recent days, police said.

The food was part of a community feeding programme in the northeast Karamoja region, a semi-arid area where the UN food agency has long provided food aid for people facing poor harvests.

People suffered diarrhoea, nose bleeds and other health problems after eating the food, police said in a statement.

Police are “actively investigating the death of three people…from eating adulterated or poisonous food supplied by the WFP,” according to the statement.

Samples of the food and patients’ urine and blood had been sent to a government laboratory for analysis.

WFP was not immediately available to comment on the police investigation.

The food agency said on Saturday it had suspended distribution of Super Cereal – a fortified blended food – at all its operations in Uganda.

“From the outset, WFP has treated this as a matter of extreme urgency,” the agency said.

Uganda hosts a large population of refugees mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where widespread insecurity has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

International tragedy! Check nationalities of Ethiopia plane crash victims

Published

on

People all over the World are worried at this time about the crash of Boeing 737 MAX 8 belonging to Ethiopian Airlines which reportedly killed all passengers aboard.

CNN reported that the passenger jet bound for Nairobi has crashed minutes after take-off, killing all 157 people on board.

Ethiopian Airlines shared this image and said it showed CEO Tewolde Gebremariam at the crash site. Source: BBC

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 left Bole airport in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, at 8:38am (05:38 GMT) on Sunday and lost contact with the control tower just a few minutes later, at 8:44am (05:44 GMT).

“There are no survivors,” the airline tweeted alongside a picture of CEO Tewolde GebreMariam holding up a piece of debris inside a large crater at the crash site.

The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board the plane. David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), wrote on Twitter that agency staff were among those on board Flight ET 302.

Grief and sorrow know no borders, but Sunday’s Ethiopian Airline crash is truly an international tragedy.

When the Nairobi, Kenya-bound plane went down shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, it killed 157 people, seven of them crew members and one a security official, an airline spokeswoman said. The passengers were from 35 nations, the airline says.
“Among the most affected, as you may expect, is Kenya, which had about 32 passengers on board,” said James Macharia, Kenya’s transport minister.

According to Ethiopian Airlines, these are the nationalities of the victims that have so far been identified:

  • Kenyans: 32
  • Canadians: 18
  • Ethiopians: 9
  • Chinese: 8
  • Italians: 8
  • Americans: 8
  • French: 7
  • British: 7
  • Egyptians: 6
  • Germans: 5
  • Indians: 4
  • Slovakians: 4
  • Austrians: 3
  • Russias: 3
  • Swedes: 3
  • Spanish: 2
  • Israelis: 2
  • Moroccans: 2
  • Polish: 2
  • Belgian: 1
  • Djibouti: 1
  • Indonesian: 1
  • Irish: 1
  • Mozambican: 1
  • Norwegian: 1
  • Rwandan: 1
  • Saudi: 1
  • Sudanese: 1
  • Somali: 1
  • Serbian: 1
  • Togolese: 1
  • Ugandan: 1
  • Yemeni: 1
  • Nepalese: 1
  • Nigerian: 1
  • UN Passport: 1

Total: 150 passengers 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Lailanews.com reports that Prof. Pius Adesanmi, a Canadian based Nigerian professor and satirist, who hailed from Kogi State was among the victims of the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed on Sunday from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya.

Adesanmi was said to be carrying a Canadian passport while another Nigerian whose identity is yet to be ascertained was carrying a UN passport, an Ethiopian Airline source in Lagos confirmed just now.

This means there were two Nigerians among the 157 souls on board the crashed 737-800 Max aircraft.

A Twitter user, John O. Oba, also tweeted:

“I just got information that Professor Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian professor with Carlton University in Canada is among those that died this morning on the ill-fated Ethiopia airline. On his way to attend the AU ECOSOCC committee meeting in Nairobi. RIP”‏

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

So Sad: 157 lives perished in a plane crash

Published

on

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane bound for Nairobi, Kenya capital city, crashed on Sunday.
The aircraft which took off from Addis Ababa, was said to have 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.
The crash occurred at 08.44 local time in Bishoftu, shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital.
The airline confirmed the incident in a statement. It, however, said it could not confirm if there are casualties.
According to the statement, search and rescue operations are underway near the crash site.
“Ethiopian Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight ET 302/10 March in schedule service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit),” the statement read.
“The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET-AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole lnternational Airport and lost contact at 08:44am.
“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities. Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency.”
The Boeing aircraft was reportedly new and had been delivered to the airline just four months ago.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

FG blasts Cameroonian govt over deportation of 40,000 Nigerians

Published

on

The Federal Government has condemned the reported deportation of 40,000 Nigerians, who were living in Cameroon as victims of Boko Haram from Rann Local Government of Borno State.

The government said it appealed to Cameroonian authorities not to chase out the victims of Boko Haram from Rann living in their country.

The Honourable Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Sadiya Farouq, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

She explained that the Federal Government made a passionate appeal for the refugees not to be chased out when Cameroonian authorities threatened to expel them from their country.
Farouq said the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will take appropriate steps on the matter in due course.

The statement reads: “It is highly regrettable and sad to note that despite the passionate appeal made by the Nigerian Authorities to the Government of Cameroon not to chase out the victims of Boko Haram attacks from Rann Local Government of Borno State, this appeal has been ignored.

“Information reaching us is that the Cameroonian Government has thrown out the Displaced Persons from Rann who ran into Cameroun for safety in total disregard for the appeal and a clear breach of the United Nations Charter and Convention on the protection of Displaced Persons which both countries endorsed.

“The United Nations Convention on Refugees and its 167 Protocol states that: ‘no contracting state shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his or her life or freedom will be threatened on account of his or her race, religion or nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’

Continue Reading

HEADLINES