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Trending News this Week (July 27th – August 2nd)
Trending News this Week (July 27th – August 2nd)
Posted

By - Adedoyin Shittu

Posted - 03-08-2019

Outside the Continent
Boris Johnson’s Conservatives Lose Seat To Anti-Brexit Parties
Boris Johnson, Britain’s new prime minister, saw his parliamentary majority reduced to a single vote on Friday after his governing Conservative Party lost a special election just as it faces a tough fight over Brexit.
The Tories were defeated by the opposition Liberal Democrats in a contest for the seat of Brecon and Radnorshire in Wales. Jane Dodds won 43% of the vote to 39% for Conservative Chris Davies, who was battling to retain his seat after being convicted of expenses fraud.
It was the first electoral test for Johnson since he succeeded Theresa May as prime minister just over a week ago. Johnson has promised to extract the U.K. from the European Union by Oct. 31, even if it means leaving without a deal to ease the transition.
But Dodds ran against that idea and used her victory speech to issue a warning to Johnson, urging him to “stop playing with the future of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit now.”

Iran restarting activities at Arak heavy water nuclear reactor
Iran is to restart activities at its controversial Arak heavy-water reactor, the head of the country’s nuclear agency announced on Sunday.
Heavy water can be used to produce plutonium, which is used in nuclear warheads, according to the report. Renovations recently were completed on the Arak heavy water plant, which allows it to increase its capacity.
At the beginning of the month, Iran announced that its stockpiles of enriched uranium had breached the limit set out in the nuclear deal it signed with the world powers.
Since the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal one year ago and reimposed economic sanctions, Iran has begun to abrogate parts of the deal.
Under the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord, Tehran agreed to repurpose the facility towards research and medicine.
But in the latest escalation over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, told lawmakers on Sunday that it would renege on the commitment, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Latest on US – Iran war
On Wednesday the US imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, targeting the country’s top spokesman and potentially hurting chances of diplomatic talks amid rising tensions between the two countries.
The sanctions against Zarif would block any property or interests he has in the US, but the Iranian foreign minister said he had none.
Iranian president reacted to the sanctions the next day by accusing the US of, “childish behaviour”.
“They (Americans) are resorting to childish behaviour … they were claiming every day: ‘we want to talk, with no preconditions’ … and then they sanction the foreign minister,” Rouhani said.
“This means they have lost the power of rational thought.”
On Wednesday, Iran Iran’s Foreign Minister said Iran is ready for dialogue if Saudi Arabia is also ready
“If Saudi Arabia is ready for dialogue, we are always ready for dialogue with our neighbours,” Zarif said. “We have never closed the door to dialogue with our neighbours and we will never close the door to dialogue with our neighbours.”
Iran has dismissed the offer by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s, to the country to address the Iranian people as a “hypocritical gesture.”
Foreign Minister Zarif on the issue said, “You don’t need to come to Iran.” He suggested Pompeo instead grant visas for Iranian reporters to travel to the US and interview him, accusing him of having rejected their requests.

Hamza Bin Laden ‘killed in air strike’
Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead. Hamza Bin Laden, the son of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, died in an air strike, US media outlets report, citing intelligence officials.
The place and date of death were unclear.
Hamza has called for “acts of terrorism” in Western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for his father’s killing, the U.S. State Department said in 2017 when it designated him as a global terrorist.
He also threatened to target Americans abroad and urged Saudi tribes to unite with Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to fight against Saudi Arabia.
The State Department had previously offered a reward of up to $1 million for information that led “to his identification or location in any country” and called him a key al Qaeda leader.
In March, Saudi Arabia announced it had stripped Hamza bin Laden of his citizenship, saying the decision was made by a royal order in November, 2018.

Britain on Thursday ruled out exchanging an Iranian tanker detained by Gibraltar for a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf.
“We are not going to barter: if people or nations have detained UK-flagged illegally then the rule of law and rule of international law must be upheld,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said while on a trip to Bangkok.
“We are not going to barter a ship that was detained legally with a ship that was detained illegally: that’s not the way that Iran will come in from the cold,” he said. “So I am afraid some kind of barter or haggle or linkage is not on the table.”

Trump says US will impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese Goods
US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will hit China with punitive tariffs on another $300 billion in goods, prompting Beijing to warn it was the wrong way to resolve the trade war.
Trump’s move jolted US and Asian stock markets and came just a day after US and Chinese trade negotiators revived talks aimed at ending the year-long dispute.
The announcement means virtually all of the $660 billion in annual trade between the world’s two biggest economies will have tariffs on it.
The 10 percent duties will take effect September 1, and come on top of the 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in imports already in place.
Trump later raised the possibility he could increase the duties further.
“The 10 percent is… for a short-term period and then I can always do much more or I can do less, depending on what happens with respect to a deal,” he said at the White House, adding, “it could be lifted up to well beyond 25 percent.”
As a result of the 10% tariffs on Chineses goods, Shanghai shares went down by 1.7%, Hong Kong market dropped by over 2%, yuan is at its lowest since November 2018 and rare earth, agriculture shares rose on potential demand boost.

Inside Africa
North Africa

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Tunisia Approves Holding Early Presidential Elections
Tunisia’s Independent High Electoral Authority has recently approved holding early presidential elections, the ISIE’s deputy head announced on Sunday.
Farouk Bouasker said the decision will be published in the Official Gazette soon.
“The elections schedule has been approved and will be published soon in the Official Gazette”, he was quoted as saying by Agence Tunis Afrique Press (TAP).
He said electoral campaigning was reduced from 22 days to 13.
A meeting between the ISIE and political parties scheduled for Tuesday was aimed at informing them of the new detailed calendar.

Latest on the Sudan Uprising
Five demonstrators, including four students, were shot dead on Monday during a rally in the town of Al-Obeid in central Sudan.
“Five martyrs fell under sniper fire during a peaceful rally,” said the committee of doctors close to the protest movement in the country through a statement. Dozens more were injured after snipers opened fire on a protest in al-Obeid over fuel and bread shortages.
Sudan’s authorities have ordered all schools nationwide to suspend classes indefinitely amid mass student demonstrations over the shooting dead of five people at the protest.
A military council directive says their doors should remain closed from Wednesday – July 31. “Orders have been given to governors of all states to shut kindergartens, primary and high schools from tomorrow (Wednesday) until further notice,” the official Suna news agency reported.
Demonstrators accused paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of carrying out the shootings.
Sudan’s military council spokesman said on Friday that nine soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the country’s most powerful paramilitary group, have been dismissed and detained in connection with the killing of protesters.
Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi added that the governor of North Kordofan state and its security council would also be held accountable for the killing of six people, including four schoolchildren, in the state capital El-Obeid on Monday.
Opposition groups have accused the RSF, led by the deputy head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, of killing scores of protesters demanding a return to civilian rule since President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April.
The RSF’s commander, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, has previously denied these claims and blamed “infiltrators” instead.

Libya plans closure of three detention centres
Libya plans to shut down three of its biggest migration detention centres, the country’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha has announced.
The centres in question are in Misrata, Tajoura and Khoms.

Prisoners go on a hunger strike in Egypt
About 130 inmates at a prison in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, have been on hunger strike for more than six weeks to protest against inhumane conditions and the denial of family visits, rights group Amnesty International has said.
The authorities at al-Aqrab maximum security prison in southern Cairo have retaliated against the detainees by “beating them, applying electric shocks with tasers and punished some of them with disciplinary measures”, Amnesty quoted a statement from the detainees as saying.
“By refusing to allow detainees to see their families, the Egyptian authorities are flagrantly flouting both Egyptian and international law and displaying callous cruelty,” Amnesty added.

Saudi Arabia deposits $250 million into central bank of Sudan
Saudi Arabia has deposited $250 million into the central bank of Sudan to support its financial position, the Saudi Finance Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The financial grant is part of a package with the United Arab Emirates worth $500 million announced in April. Both countries pledged an overall $3 billion in aid, with the rest going towards fuel, wheat and medicine.
The grant is aimed at alleviating pressure on the Sudanese pound and achieve stability in its exchange rate, the ministry said.

Airstrike Hits Libya Field Hospital, Killing at Least 4 Doctors and a Paramedic
Libyan health authorities say an airstrike hit a field hospital south of the capital, Tripoli, killing at least four doctors and a paramedic.
Malek Merset, a spokesman for the health ministry of the U.N.-supported government, says the attack took place late Saturday in the Zawya district.
Forces based in the country’s east are currently fighting for control of the capital’s southern outskirts against militias allied with the Tripoli-based government.
Health authorities did not say which side was behind the airstrike, which wounded eight health workers.
The Tripoli-based government blamed the airstrike on the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by commander Khalifa Hifter. The LNA could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hifter’s LNA began its offensive on Tripoli in early April. In past weeks, the battle lines have changed little.

West Africa
Nigerian Army Buries Soldiers At Night In Secret Cemetery
A report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claims that the Nigerian Army has been burying hundreds of soldiers in secret unmarked graves, in a bid to cover up the casualty figures in the ongoing war against insurgency within the North East.
According to the report, at the northern edge of Maiduguri city’s sprawling military base, a vast field of churned soil conceals the hidden toll of a deadly offensive by the allies of Islamic State.
It further states that after dark, the bodies of soldiers are covertly transported from a mortuary that at times gets so crowded the corpses are delivered by truck.
The report says that the bodies are laid by flashlight into trenches dug by infantrymen or local villagers paid a few dollars per shift.
WSJ says its report is based on accounts from Nigerian soldiers, diplomats, and a senior government official.

Dozens of mourners ‘killed by Boko Haram
The attack this weekend carried out on mourners in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll of 23, a local official said Sunday.
Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault Saturday by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri.
“It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.
Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering. Dozens more were killed as they tried to chase after the jihadists.
The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, while giving a slightly different account of the attack.
Bunu Bukar Mustapha told AFP 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists.”
Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by local residents when the fighters approached their village. The residents also captured 10 automatic rifles.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Boko Haram group and rival Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) splinter group have often carried out attacks in the area.

Senegal to crack down on huge plastic waste by enforcing law
Tired of seeing Senegal’s seascapes spoiled by ever-growing mounds of cheap plastic bags, authorities plan to crack down on polluters by imposing fines and further restricting plastic use.
The West African country, whose beaches on the Atlantic attract tourists from all over the world, is one of the world’s biggest contributors to ocean plastic despite having a population of just 15 million.
Across Senegal, plastic containers are strewn across roads, often with goats and cows feeding on them, while rubbish can be seen floating in the sea.

Kidnappers Reduce Ransom On Siasia’s Mother From N70m To N50m
The kidnappers of Mrs Beauty Ogere Siasia, the mother of former Super Eagles striker and coach, Samson Siasia, have reduced their ransom demand for her release to N50 million from the initial N70 million. Mrs Siasia, 79, was kidnapped 16 days ago alongside 65-year-old Florence Donana and her 17-year-old granddaughter in Bayelsa State.

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Nigeria to label Shia group a ‘terrorist organisation
The bail hearing for the leader of the Nigerian Shia group Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has been postponed for the second time in a fortnight.
It was meant to be on Monday but the High Court in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, will now hear the bail application on 5 August. Dayo Apata, Nigeria’s solicitor general, confirmed in a mobile text message that a federal court in Abuja had granted the government permission to proscribe the IMN, a terrorist group. A move offering the authorities the chance to clamp down harder on the group.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s followers have been protesting regularly since he was arrested.
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has been detained since 2015, in the aftermath of clashes between his followers and the army, and charged with culpable homicide, murder, unlawful assembly and disruption of the peace.
The first time he was seen in court after his arrest was in May 2018.
He was not at the court on Monday either. His lawyer cited health reasons.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s followers have been protesting regularly since he was arrested.

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Cameroon detainees go on hunger strike
Detained leaders of Cameroon’s Anglophone separatist movement have begun an indefinite hunger strike.
They say they are concerned over the whereabouts of around 200 of their comrades after riots in two separate prisons last week.
The detainees say they also have fears that a “genocide” of English-speakers in Cameroon will take place.
The secessionist movement has been campaigning to create an independent state called “Ambazonia”, made up of the North-West and South-West regions – the two English-speaking regions in a country where French is the most widely spoken official language.
Their lawyer Joseph Fru told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that his clients feared that the “profiling of Ambazonians” by Cameroon authorities was a “prelude to a genocide”.
Political leaders of the Ambazonia movement were arrested in Nigeria in 2018 and transferred to Cameroon where they are facing trial.
Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.
Some of them took up arms in 2017.

Islamic State said the organisation killed or wounded more than 40 Nigerian soldiers
Islamic State said via its Amaq news agency, a news outlet linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, that it killed or wounded more than 40 soldiers in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno in two separate attacks on Tuesday.
The group said militants attacked a military post in Baga and killed at least 15 soldiers before carrying out a second attack on an army barracks in the town of Benisheik, where they killed or wounded around 25 more.

China joins global vehicle boom, begins export of used cars to Nigeria
China has begun the export of second-hand vehicles to Nigeria – The move is part of the country’s reach for the global car market boom – Nigeria will be getting a batch of 300 cars in the first export sale China has started the export of fairly used cars to Africa, Asia and Europe, with Nigeria as one of the places that would be getting the first batch of 300 cars.

Key infrastructure for Dangote refinery leaves China for Lagos
China’s leading energy and chemical company on Monday (July 29) announced that a completed atmospheric tower it had built was sailing for the shores of Lagos in Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria.
The facility, which it described as the world’s largest is set to be installed at the Dangote Refinery, a facility owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. The wharf carrying the tower left in Ningbo and is set to arrive in Nigeria in weeks.
According to experts, the primary purpose of the atmospheric distillation tower is to separate crude oil into its components (or distillation cuts, distillation fractions) for further processing by other processing units.

Boko Haram Attacks Three Borno Communities Within 24 Hours
Within 24 hours this week, in an attempt to continue their rampage, Boko Haram terrorists attacked three Borno communities but were swiftly repelled by Nigerian troops.
According to MJTF spokesman, the terrorist group attacked Baga town in Kukawa local government area of the state but met their Waterloo as 10 insurgents were killed
The Nigerian Army claimed it lost a soldier.
However, the terrorists also attacked Benisheik, headquarter of Kaga local government at exactly 6 pm on Monday evening but the Nigerian Air Force and the ground troops repelled them.
Local vigilance group sources told SaharaReproter that it was a fierce battle between the government troops and Boko Haram terrorists, forcing the villagers to flee into bushes for safety.
Bama was also attacked at about 6:30 pm, SaharaReporters learnt, but the government soldiers were able to stop them from wreaking havoc.
Sources reported that “hundreds” of Boko Haram insurgents were seen, probably planning to attack east of Gajiram, Gudumbali, Damboa as well Jakana and Auno axis.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Ghana
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Ghana as the head of a Congressional delegation to hold discussions with President Nana Akufo-Addo Monday and to address Ghana’s lawmakers on Wednesday.
While in Ghana, Pelosi and other members of the U.S. Congress plan discussions on “regional security, sustainable and inclusive development and the challenges of tomorrow, including the climate crisis.”
Members of the delegation include the House Majority Whip James Clyburn, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Karen Bass and representatives Barbara Lee and John Lewis.

‘A country’ influencing Nigerian govt. not to release Sheikh Zakzaky: IHRC
Commissioner of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in the Middle East Haitham Abu Said says a major country is exerting considerable influence on the Nigerian government not to release the critically-ill prominent Nigerian Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky from the prison. According to him, “There is some unconfirmed information to date that a major country is pushing Nigeria’s government and security agencies to abandon Sheik Zacksaki in jail to get rid of him slowly. That is because Sheik Zakzaky has always taken national positions regarding the central issues and other strategic topics.”

Ghana ‘exports rosewood timber illegally to China’
About six million rosewood trees have been cut down in Ghana for illegal export to China since 2012, an environmental group says.
The rare species, which takes 100 years to grow, is mostly used to make imperial-style furniture in China.
The report blames corrupt officials in Ghana for forging documents to allow the wood to leave the country.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said in a report that the illegal trade and felling of rosewood trees has continued despite a ban being in place since 2012 and which has since been tightened.
Ghana and other West African countries are the victims of China’s insatiable and unchecked demand for rosewood, the EIA said.

Central Africa
Congo: 4th Case of Ebola Confirmed
A fourth person has tested positive for Ebola in the city of Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The latest case is the wife of a man who died on Wednesday. At least one of their children has also tested positive.
The man was the second case of Ebola detected on Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Rwanda. He had been in Ituri doing some artisanal mining, but travelled to outskirts of Goma where was admitted to hospital on 13 July.
He developed symptoms that tested positive to Ebola on Tuesday.
A priest in Goma died from Ebola earlier this month.

DRC: Kabila’s candidate wins senate presidency
It is victory, but still a little disappointment for supporters of former Congolese President Joseph Kabila on Saturday during the election for the Senate presidency: their candidate won the senate presidency but with less margin. Mr. Kabila’s candidate, former Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, received only 65 votes to 43 for his opponent, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, in what was a secret ballot.

4 people working for Canadian firm abducted in eastern Congo
An official in Congo says that four people, including two expatriates, working for the Canadian gold mining company Banro were abducted last week in the southern Maniema province of eastern Congo.
Army spokesman for South Kivu province Capt. Dieudonne Kasereka said Monday that a South African, a Zimbabwean and two Congolese were taken on Friday and it is suspected that the kidnappings were carried out by Mai-Mai rebels who operate in that area.
He said the army is searching for the victims and three people have already been arrested on suspicion of assisting the kidnappers. He said that so far no ransom has been demanded by the kidnappers.

East Africa
Cases of suicide on the increase in Malawi
The government of Malawi and the civil society is worried by the growing high number of people committing suicide, reports the Nyasa Times
The police put the number of suicide cases at 133 between September 2018 and June 2019, all by individuals aged between 16 years and 40 years.
The government is to blame for the increase in suicide since it has failed to create opportunities for the youth since it lacks the good will to improve the youth welfare according to Lucky Mbewe.

Prominent journalist still being held days after ‘outrageous’ arrest
A prominent investigative journalist has been arrested in Tanzania, prompting an outcry of concerns about press freedom in the country.
Erick Kabendera was arrested by six plainclothes police officers on Monday night at his home in the east African nation’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Authorities are investigating the reporter’s citizenship and he was arrested after refusing to heed a summons, according to Lazaro Mambosasa, the city’s regional police commissioner.
“Kabendera has not been abducted … he has been arrested by the Tanzania Police Force as part of an investigation into his citizenship,” he told reporters. “He is in safe hands.”
Mr Kabendera, who writes for a number of local and international publications, was arrested despite a government probe concluding his citizenship was not an issue in 2013.
Tanzanian police have arrested a prominent investigative journalist, a senior official told Reuters on Tuesday, sparking calls for answers from authorities about the safety of journalists in the East African country.
Erick Kabendera, a respected freelance journalist who writes for several international publications, was detained on Monday at his house on the outskirts of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, by a group of men who claimed to be plain-clothed policemen, according to witness accounts.
Tanzania’s Inspector General of Police, Simon Sirro, confirmed that Kabendera was taken to a police station for questioning.

Kenya ruling that corruption suspect must step down
A Kenyan judge’s ruling that a county governor accused of corruption must step aside pending his trial could have widespread ramifications in the country, where senior officials are often charged with graft but rarely convicted.
Governance experts said on Monday that last week’s ruling could serve as a precedent in other high profile corruption cases, possibly leading to senior officials being removed from their jobs while they fight graft allegations.
Moses Lenokulal, the governor of Samburu County in central Kenya, was charged in May with corruption and unlawful acquisition of public property. Last Wednesday, High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi ruled that Lenokulal can visit his office only with the authorization of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, a government anti-graft watchdog.

Bobi Wine, Kizza Besigye dragged to court
A concerned Ugandan citizen has taken to court Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye for leading unregistered political organizations reports the Daily Monitor
Mr. Adens Rutaro Ntare accused Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and former FDC president Kizza Besigye of unlawful activities. He filed the case in court on Friday accusing Bobi Wine for appointing regional coordinators for his unregistered political organizations against Article 72 (2) of the constitution. and accused Besigye for establishing, running and mobilising political activities with unregistered political parties.

Ethiopia PM says ‘foreigners’ involved in June 22 foiled coup
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday that attackers in a failed regional coup in June had been trained by people who had come from foreign countries, without giving details.
“We have evidence that the suspected people were trained by people who came from abroad … There was a plan to murder other officials and generals,” Abiy told a news conference.
He said on Twitter his government was willing to open up the political space to ensure any transfer of power is done in a constructive manner rather than through terrorist acts without expanding on what transfers of power he might be referring to.
Those trying to seize power illegally would be held accountable, he added.

Mogadishu Mayor Omar Osman dies in hospital after suicide attack
The mayor of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has died a week after being wounded in a suicide attack that killed at least six other people.
The female bomber blew herself up inside the office of Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman during a security meeting.
Militant Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack.
The mayor died in Doha, Qatar, where he was receiving treatment.

Burundi opposition offices ‘smeared with faeces’
More than 10 offices of the Burundi’s main opposition party have been set alight or defaced with human faeces over the last two months, a party official has told the BBC.
Therence Manirambona, the spokesperson for the National Congress for Freedom (CNL), said it was part of efforts to discourage democracy and terrify the opposition ahead of 2020 presidential elections.
The interior ministry has not commented on the incidents.
The CNL spokesman said the latest office to be vandalised was on Tuesday night in Gatete in western Rumonge district.

Rwanda closes Congo border to stop the spread of Ebola
The border between the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Rwandan city of Gisenyi was briefly closed on Thursday to stop the spread of Ebola. It comes a day after a second person died of the virus in Goma, which is home to about two million people. A third person, the young daughter of the man who died on Wednesday, is also reported to have tested positive for Ebola.
Traders on the Rwandan side were not able to cross the border on Thursday morning, a local journalist told the BBC Great Lakes service.
They are angry because they say their livelihoods depend on being able to do business in Goma, a commercial hub and the capital of North Kivu.
“I am more afraid of hunger than Ebola, they should not close the border,” Ernest Mvuyekure, a builder who travels every morning from Rwanda to Goma, told the BBC.
The border was later open that same day for ease of movement.

Ethiopian Migrants Die of Hunger and Thirst in Stranded Boat
At least 15 Ethiopians died after the boat trying to smuggle them into Yemen broke down and left them stranded in the sea without food or water for a week, a U.N. migration agency said.
Survivors said some died from hunger and thirst and others drowned themselves, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. A number reached Yemen but died before they could get medical help, it added.
“The migrants were traveling from Djibouti to Yemen when the smugglers’ boat broke down,” IOM said on Twitter late on Tuesday.
“Those on board reported that lives were lost due to hunger, thirst & intentional drowning, while some people died in Yemen, as they could not reach health facilities in time,” it added.
The boat, which was originally carrying 90 Ethiopians, arrived in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Monday, the agency said, without giving details on how it got there.
The whereabouts of most of the survivors was unknown, it added.

South Africa
South Africa Says Unemployment At Highest Level in A Decade
South Africa says unemployment has reached its highest level in a decade at 29%. Second-quarter figures released Tuesday show the number of unemployed rose by 573,000 over the past year, with only 21,000 jobs created.
It is the latest grim report for Africa’s most developed economy, which in May announced that growth had dropped by the most in a decade during the first quarter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration is under public pressure to turn around the economy and clean up corruption. That dissatisfaction led to the worst election showing in 25 years for Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress in May.

Cape Town ranked the most dangerous city in Africa
South Africa’s scenic city of Cape Town has been ranked the most dangerous city in Africa in 2018 in a study compiled by Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice
The city was placed 11th in the list of most dangerous cities in the world. The world’s most dangerous city was Tijuana in Mexico with the biggest cases of violence.
Of the 50 cities in the 2018 ranking, 15 are located in Mexico, 14 in Brazil, 6 in Venezuela, 4 in the United States, 3 in South Africa, 2 in Colombia, 2 also in Honduras and one each in Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

China gearing up to be a leading military power
As China celebrated the 92nd anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, its top brass have made it clear that China will always maintain a defence policy that is defensive in nature, and the country will always pursue an independent foreign policy. This is specified in the Chinese Government’s new Defence White Paper.
The Defence Attache, Wang Zhong at a celebration hosted in honor of the Chinese armed forces at the Chinese embassy in Pretoria emphasized that China contributes more troops to UN peacekeeping missions than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. At present there are around 2,500 PLA soldiers serving under UN blue helmets on the African continent. In addition to contributing to UN peacekeeping missions, China is involved in counter-terrorism and international humanitarian relief.
China has also recently hosted the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, and received a group of 100 young African officers in China.
At present the PLA is conducting a national defence and military reform with a view to achieving military modernization by 2035. The goal is for the PLA to become a leading military force in the world.

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