Monthly Archives: May 2013

Ghana transfixed as court throws Mahama elections into doubt

Ghana’s Supreme Court must decide in the coming months whether or not to overturn December elections that handed the presidency to John Mahama, in a rare case of African judicial vigour that has transfixed the country. Proceedings in a packed courtroom, where opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo is challenging the outcome of the 2012 poll, are broadcast live on the radio and blare from cars and buses as the population of 25 million tunes in for the latest developments. Legal experts say the verdict, expected sometime between late June and August, is too close to call, and several believe there is a genuine chance the court could invalidate the victory of … Continue reading

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Libya GNC Chariman Muhammad al-Magarief resigns

The chairman of the Libyan General National Congress (GNC) has resigned under a law which bans from public office anyone who worked for the government of Col Muammar Gaddafi. In a statement aired live on Libyan TV, Muhammad al-Magarief said, “Parliament passed a political isolation law and everyone must comply with it.” The law on political isolation has been widely criticised for its sweeping scope, BBC correspondents say. Col Gaddafi was ousted in August 2011. “I place my resignation in your hands… and I do so with a clear conscience… with a head held high,” said Mr Magarief, as he ended his 40-minute speech to congress. It is currently unclear … Continue reading

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African neighbours to help fund Zimbabwe vote – Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said regional leaders will hold a summit to discuss how to fund an election later this year in which he is seeking to extend his three-decade rule, state media reported on Tuesday. Impoverished Zimbabwe needs $132 million (87 million pounds) for the election but conditions attached to the cash have divided the already fractious unity government, whose main players will be rivals for power in the vote. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has been pushing for funding with as few strings as possible and withdrew a request to have the United Nations fund the poll, saying the global body was trying to interfere in domestic issues. The MDC of … Continue reading

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Niger attackers came from Libya – Issoufou claims

slamist militants who carried out simultaneous suicide attacks on an army base and a French uranium mine in northern Niger two days ago came from southern Libya. Niger’s president said on Saturday. President Mahamadou Issoufou said the raids showed Libya was a source of regional instability, months after France launched an air-and-ground assault on northern Mali, which Paris warned had become a launchpad for attacks by al Qaeda-linked groups. The suicide attacks on Thursday killed 24 soldiers and one civilian and damaged machinery at Areva’s Somair mine in the town of Arlit, a supplier of uranium to France’s nuclear power program. Militants said the raids were in retaliation for Niger’s role in the French-led war on … Continue reading

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France embarks on major troop withdraw from Mali

France has begun a key stage of its military withdrawal from Mali, four months after sending troops to push Islamist rebels out from the north. A convoy of dozens of army trucks left a base outside the capital, Bamako, on its way south to Ivory Coast. Last month, France began withdrawing some of its 4,000 troops from the country. They plan to gradually hand over to the Malian army and a UN peacekeeping force, which will deploy in July ahead of planned nationwide elections. Saturday’s withdrawal comes just two days after Islamist rebels targeted an army barracks and French-run uranium mine in neighbouring Niger, killing 21 people. French Special Forces … Continue reading

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Uganda police defies court order to end newspaper offices siege

By Nkonge Ismail Kaggwa in Kampala Police in the Ugandan capital of Kampala have defied an order from a lower court demanding that they (the police) immediately end the siege of a Kampala leading daily, the Daily Monitor and a local tabloid Red Pepper that has now got into a fifth day. In the morning Thursday, there was a scuffle at the Daily Monitor Publications offices as a group of Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) mostly from the opposition stormed the offices in an attempt to force the police to end their siege. Led by Kalungu West Member of Parliament Gozanga Joseph Ssewungu, the group asked the police to explain … Continue reading

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U.N. aid chief says Sudanese rebels obstructing aid deal

Sudanese insurgents are obstructing a deal to deliver much-needed aid into areas under their control in two Sudanese states where almost a million people have been forced from their homes, the U.N. aid chief said on Thursday. The United Nations has been trying to get aid into South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where Sudan’s army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) for almost two years. Both states are in Khartoum-ruled Sudan, from which the new nation of South Sudan broke away in 2011 under a peace deal which ended decades of civil war. South Sudan adjoins both South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Hundreds of thousands of … Continue reading

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Severe famine forces 4000 Karimojong to go begging in Kenya

By Steven Ariong in Moroto At least 4,000 Karimojong in Kaabong district in Karamoja sub region in north-eastern Uganda have crossed to beg food in Kenya following the current severe famine which is hitting the district, District authorities have said. The Mayor of Kaabong town council Gabriel Loike said the district is currently facing severe famine following heavy rains of last year that affected crops in the district. “We are shamed of stopping these people from crossing to Kenya because as a district we have nothing to give them,” he said. The Member of Parliament for Dodoth East in Kaabong District Samson Lokeris said every day not less than 30 … Continue reading

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Uganda threatens to punish media over succession reports

Uganda threatened on Wednesday to penalise media for coverage of a purported plot to stifle allegations that President Yoweri Museveni is grooming his son for power. Speculation is growing that Museveni, in office since 1986, is lining up his son Kainerugaba Muhoozi to succeed him, a move that would likely test loyalties in Uganda’s ruling elite. Last week, a newspaper published a private letter by General David Sejusa calling for an investigation into claims of a plot “to assassinate people who disagree with this so-called family project of holding onto power in perpetuity”.The letter by Sejusa, one of Uganda’s most senior officers and long regarded as close to Museveni, has … Continue reading

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Boko Haram crisis continues as Nigeria air raids ‘kill militants’

At least 30 militants have been killed during air raids on their training camps in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say. An army spokesman said jets and helicopter gunships had been used to attack several camps. He told the BBC that a plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire but had managed to return to base. States of emergency were declared this week in three north-eastern states hit by Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency. Nigerian forces are trying to regain control in the states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Meanwhile, explosions and gunfire have been heard overnight in Katsina state. Residents have told the BBC’s Hausa service that banks, police stations and prisons … Continue reading

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