Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:42:00 +0000Nigeria poll delay: opposition condemn decision authorities postponed Saturday’s national election by a week, just hours before polls had been due to open, prompting the opposition candidate to accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of seeking to “disenfranchise” voters. The electoral commission said the postponement was due solely to logistical factors and denied political pressure had played any part in the decision. Buhari and his rival, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, both urged voters to stay calm. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, said the election would now be held on Feb. 23, adding that the date was “sacrosanct” and that campaigning would be suspended until then. Buhari, in power since 2015, faces a tight election contest against Atiku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and its top oil producer. Nigerians expressed dismay and anger over the delay, in a country where 84 million people have registered to vote. Past elections have been marred by violence, intimidation and ballot-rigging, and the postponement raised the possibility of unrest. “They (the government) are not following the rule of law… This is a total ploy, it is not true that they are not ready” said opposition supporter Oscar Humphrey, 37, in the northern city of Kano, a key battlefield in the presidential race. In President Buhari’s hometown of Daura in northern Nigeria, student Dauru Balarabi also expressed dismay, saying he had gone there specially to vote. “I spent my morning, my time, my energy for the elections so actually I am not happy,” he said. The electoral commission’s Yakubu attributed the decision to delays in transporting electoral materials. “(The postponement) has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence, nothing to do with availability of resources,” he told a gathering of foreign election observers and reporters. He said some sensitive election materials had been distributed but all had been retrieved and returned to the central bank and an audit would now be conducted. In Nigeria the central bank stores election materials for safe keeping.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:42:00 (Hawa Suleiman Issah) 22 bodies pulled from mine, 8 more alive rescuers pulled the bodies of at least 22 illegal gold miners out of shafts west of Harare that were flooded earlier in the week, and rescued eight more alive, officials and witnesses said on Saturday. The accident involving about 70 miners in Battlefields, 175 km (109 miles) west of the capital, happened on Tuesday night and has shone a light on the risks run by illegal gold miners, who last year contributed Zimbabwe’s record of 33 tonne bullion output. The government has declared the incident a disaster. Henrietta Rushwaya, the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, which represents small-scale miners, said at least 22 bodies had been identified in the shafts and tunnels. “We hope we will be able to retrieve all of the people in time,” Rushwaya said.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:21:00 (Hawa Suleiman Issah) 15 troops killed, others injured in North Sinai Egyptian military personnel were killed or wounded in a clash on Saturday in North Sinai in which seven militants were also killed, the Egyptian military said. The breakdown of military casualties was not immediately clear. However, two security sources told Reuters that some of the injuries were serious. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack on its news agency AMAQ, adding that at least 15 Egyptian troops were killed, revising an earlier figure of 20 killed south of the provincial capital of Arish after clashes with “various kinds of weapons.” The group did not provide evidence for its claim. Security forces launched a campaign a year ago against Islamist militants focused on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, and say they have killed several hundred militants since then. “Combing operations and elimination of the terrorist elements in the area where the incident took place is ongoing,” the military spokesman said in a statement. The security sources said operations were taking place under aerial cover. Since 2013, Islamist militants have repeatedly targeted security checkpoints and Egypt’s Christian minority.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:17:00 (Hawa Suleiman Issah) campaigns in Guinea-Bissua commence electoral campaigns for the March 10 legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau kicked off on Saturday. The various candidates in the election have until March 8 to convince voters. There are already processions in the country’s main cities. Samori Cabral, PAIGC support said he hopes that PAIGC will win and that Guinea Bissau will change. “In fact, in Gabu, it’s not just the posters that represent the PAIGC. Some of the people we can see also represent the PAIGC. Long live the PAIGC! Long live the PAIGC!,” said Braima, another PAIGC support. “We will choose the one that will be best for all, to govern us. The one that will make us feel good. We don’t want to relive what we’ve already experienced,” said Ma by Melo Soares Neto, female voter. The evils facing Guinea-Bissau’s people is political and military instability. The stakes of this election are therefore high, allowing Guinea-Bissau to emerge from the political crisis in which it has been plunged since 2015. Against the backdrop of a possible lifting of sanctions imposed on the country by the international community since the 2012 coup d‘état. this is First test before the election. The March 10 elections are expected to renew the 102 seats in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, with 15 deputies for the movement for alternation and democracy (Madem) and 41 deputies for the Party for Social Renewal (PRS). The PAIGC, after a dissent by Mademoiselle’s deputies, currently has 42 deputies. Other small parties control the rest of the seats.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 08:41:54 +0000editorial@africanews.com Voters in Jos disappointed with elections postponement voters have expressed disappointment at the postponement of the presidential election by the electoral body on Saturday. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), early on Saturday shifted the elections until February 23 adding a scheduled proceeding of the vote was not “feasible.” Across the country, many voters were unaware of the sudden postponement. In Jos city , capital of Plateau state central Nigeria, people came out as early as 6 am to cast their ballots only to find out the election was not taking place as planned. “I don’t know that they canceled the election. I came out of my house with my PVC to go and vote. All of a sudden, and I heard that they cancel election,” A Resident. “People traveled from here to different places, different states to go on and cast the votes, and just of a sudden, they wake up to tell us that the election has been postponed. It sucked,” Another Resident. “And it is a great setback to our economy, imagine the whole day has been canceled, no transaction, nothing,” Another Resident. INEC insisted the postponement is necessary to ensure a free and fair vote. The west African country postponed presidential elections in 2011 and 2015 over logistics and security concerns.Sun, 17 Feb 2019 08:22:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com proposal to scrap term limits shelved parliamentary committee tasked with amending Sudan’s constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another term said on Saturday it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes, state news agency SUNA said. The move comes amid almost daily street protests since mid-December, initially sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages, against Bashir’s nearly 30-year rule. SUNA cited “special emergency commitments” as the cause for the delay without providing further details. A majority of lawmakers had backed the proposed amendment two weeks before protests broke out and had tasked an emergency committee with drafting the changes ahead of the parliament’s first session in April. Bashir, an Islamist and former army officer, came to power after a military coup. He won elections in 2010 and 2015 after changes in the constitution following a peace agreement with southern rebels, who then seceded to form South Sudan. He is now facing unprecedented opposition to his rule, with street protests involving hundreds of people almost every day. Elections are expected to be held in the spring of 2020. ALSO READ: Will Sudan’s Bashir fall at the hands of relentless protests?Sat, 16 Feb 2019 16:07:05 +0000editorial@africanews.com's why Nigeria's election was postponed in transporting electoral material, rather than external pressure was the reason Nigeria’s presidential and national elections were postponed, according to the chairman of the electoral commission. “Our decision was entirely taken by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence, nothing to do with availability of resources,” Yakubu, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), told a gathering of foreign election observers and reporters. Yakubu said some sensitive election material had been distributed but all had been returned to the central bank and an audit would now be conducted. The commission also confirmed that campaigns would remain closed, for the presidential election. INEC announced in the early hours of Saturday that the vote would now be held on Feb. 23. Summary of Yakubu’s address to stakeholders No election today because of delays in transporting electoral material INEC is not under any external pressure Distributed election material has been returned to central bank Audit to be conducted Campaigns remain closed ALSO READ: Atiku, Buhari urge voters to ‘remain calm’Sat, 16 Feb 2019 15:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Tshisekedi wants 'reduced and better armed' UN peacekeepers president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi says his government will work with the United Nations to draw up a withdrawal plan for the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission. Relations between MONUSCO and DRC’s government during Kabila’s tenure were tense, and the latter consistently called for the implementation of a 2010 resolution that ‘required the United Nations Secretary General to prepare a withdrawal plan’. Tshisekedi’s take on MONUSCO In his first formal meeting with diplomats held on Friday, Tshisekedi called for a “better armed” UN peacekeeping force that can operate in the restive parts of DRC. He reiterated his predecessor’s position that it was time to draw up a withdrawal plan for the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission, which has been present in DRC for 20 years. Tshisekedi, who was inaugurated last month says the UN troops “should be reduced and better armed and prepared” to fight the numerous rebel and militia groups which hold sway over large areas of the country. About MONUSCO Has up to 17,000 members One of the biggest UN peacekeeping missions in the world Created in 1999 during second Congo War (operating in DRC for 20 years now) Has annual budget of $1.153 billion Tshisekedi said he wanted a mutual exchange with diplomats and foreign allies “as soon as possible,” but underscored Kinshasa would “protect its political independence… and sovereignty.” ALSO READ: Did DRC president ask EU to lift sanctions on Kabila appointees?Sat, 16 Feb 2019 14:41:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com 8 gold miners rescued on Saturday Zimbabwe, the rescue of eight illegal miners on Saturday renewed hope for about 70 people who were earlier this week trapped in flooded shafts, in accident that the government has declared a disaster. The accident in Battlefields, 175 km (109 miles) west of Harare, happened on Tuesday night and has shone a light on the dangers facing illegal gold miners, who last year contributed a large part of Zimbabwe’s record 33 tonne bullion output. “So far we have managed to bring out eight miners alive and we are yet to assess and find any more people down there who are still alive,” Tapererwa Paswavaviri, the government deputy chief mining engineer told reporters at the accident scene. The miners, who were covered in mud, were whisked away by officials before speaking to reporters. Rescuers briefly stopped operations due to rain. State of disaster declared Local Government Minister July Moyo said in a statement on Friday the government had declared the incident a disaster and that up to 70 people could have been trapped in the pits. The government has launched an appeal for $200,000 to be used “to pump out water, feeding the bereaved families and the (rescue) teams on the ground, transportation and burial of the victims”, he said. “Given the magnitude of this disaster, we kindly appeal to individuals, development partners and the corporate world for assistance in cash and kind,” he said. Anxious relatives and other miners have continued to camp at the mining site hoping to see their colleagues amid frustration that the rescue process was taking too long. Artisanal mining Battlefields and surrounding areas are rich in gold deposits and popular with artisanal miners, known locally as “Makorokoza” or hustlers, who use picks and shovels and generator-powered water pumps. The makeshift shafts and tunnels can easily collapse in the rainy season when the ground is soft. The pits are dotted around a clearing some 8 km from the main dirt road. On the edges are shacks made of plastic which serve as accommodation for those digging for gold. Artisanal mining is not banned outright in Zimbabwe, although it is largely unregulated. A study by parliament cited by the state-owned Herald showed that artisanal and small-scale miners may have contributed more than half the 24.8 tonnes of gold Zimbabwe produced in 2017. The country also has valuable platinum, diamond, gold, coal and copper deposits.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 13:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com rebels in Ethiopia give up arms: Oromo officials in Ethhiopia’s Oromia state say up to 1,000 fighters with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebel group have given up arms and entered rehabilitation camps. Popular among the largest ethnic group, the Oromo, the OLF fell out with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1992 and soon began launching armed attacks. Last year, reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed removed the OLF from a list of terror organisations, and after peace talks in Eritrea’s capital Asmara, the group’s exiled leadership made a triumphant return home. The deal between the government and OLF has run into trouble recently, with Addis Ababa deploying soldiers against armed members of the group it claimed were robbing banks and attacking residents in the remote west of the country. The OLF denied this, and has accused the government of failing to meet its promise of integrating its combatants into the armed forces. “Parts of Oromia regional state, which had been suffering from unrest, are returning to normalcy, with OLF fighters giving up their arms and re-integrating back to their local communities,” Admasu Damtwe, head of communications for Oromia, told state media on Thursday evening. ALSO READ: Ethiopia’s Oromia state signs ceasefire deal with OLF “The insecurity in parts of Oromia where OLF fighters used to operate had led to the suspension of basic government services including education, but now with OLF fighters abandoning armed struggle, the government can focus now on development works,” he added. His claim has not been confirmed by the OLF. The Oromos are the largest of Ethiopia’s some 80 ethnic groups, with 35 percent of the nation’s nearly 80 million inhabitants. After the fall of Ethiopia’s Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991, the OLF was part of the country’s transitional government. But after numerous disputes with the leadership it quit and demanded the creation of the independent state of Oromia.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 12:11:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's UDPS warns Belgium against any destabilisation Republic of Congo, ruling party of the new President Félix Tshisekedi has warned Belgium against any destabilisation in a speech marking the 37th anniversary of the formation, of the UDPS, a part of the opposition party. Jean Marc Kabund, President of the UDPS said they they will not accept injunctions, intimidation or predation of their natural resources. “If today Belgium becomes the den of all those who want to destabilize the country, of all those who are tempted by rebellion, or by uprisings in the country, we warn them,” said Jean Marc Kabund, President of the UDPS. “Because we now have the supreme magistracy. This proves that the struggle we have fought for 37 years has really paid off. We have the power, we have the supreme magistracy,” said – Benoît Langola, activist. Former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and former Katanga Governor Moïse Katumbi live in Belgium. They had supported the other opposition candidate Martin Fayulu in the presidential election, who is challenging Tshisekedi’s election and claiming victory. Since his inauguration on January 24, President Tshisekedi has developed a speech on the establishment of the rule of law and national reconciliation. On the way to a rally in Butembo in North Kivu on Friday, Opposition leader Martin Fayulu repeated that he had been “robbed of victory”. Since his inauguration on 24 January, President Tshisekedi has developed a need on the establishment of the rule of law and national reconciliation. Kabund also referred to the still-deferred funeral of Tshisekedi’s father and founder of the UDPS, Etienne Tshisekedi, who died on February 1, 2017 in Brussels, where his remains are still being held. “The new government must take office. Be patient. We will bury him with all honours.” he noted.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:02:21 +0000editorial@africanews.com poll delay: Atiku, Buhari urge voters to 'remain calm' explains postponement In its meeting with stakeholders on Saturday, INEC explained that delays in transporting electoral material were the reason behind the poll extension. INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu insisted that the commission was not under any external pressure to postpone the vote. “Our decision was entirely taken by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence, nothing to do with availability of resources,” Yakubu told a gathering of foreign election observers and reporters. Yakubu also said an audit would be conducted since some sensitive election material had been distributed but had since been returned to the central bank. Asked whether candidates can resume efforts to canvass for votes, Yakubu said campaigns remain closed. Frustrated Nigerians In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, people gathered for morning prayers after which they had planned to vote. “We are disappointed and deeply pained by the postponement of the election. We spent our all night without sleeping hoping to vote today and just hearing the news that the election was been postponed,” said one worshipper, Auwolu Usman. Kabiru Sale, 27, who sells oil in the northern city of Kano, said the move took him by surprise. “I am not happy with the suspension. I had already gone out to cast my vote only to be told on the way about the suspension. I do not really understand why they suspended the election,” he said. Reactions from main political parties The chairman of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondu, said the move was “dangerous to our democracy and unacceptable”. He said it was part of an attempt by Buhari to “cling on to power even when it’s obvious to him that Nigerians want him out”. Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party also criticised the electoral commission for the delay. The president had cooperated fully with the commission to ensure it had everything it had demanded to conduct free and fair elections, it said in a statement. Disappointed Buhari warns against civic disorder President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday expressed disappointment and dismay over the postponement of the polls, saying INEC repeatedly assured the political stakeholders of its readiness to conduct polls. ‘‘This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission,’‘ Buhari said in a statement. We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) February 16, 2019 The president, who said he is travelling to Abuja for the INEC meeting with candidates and political parties, urged Nigerians to remain calm and refrain from civil disobedience. Buhari and Atiku had travelled to the northern states of Katsina and Adamawa to cast their votes. Atiku urges supporters to be patient Nigeria’s opposition leader, Atiku Abubakar appealed to voters to be patient, following the electoral commision’s decision to delay the vote until Feb. 23. “I’m appealing to Nigerians to please come out and vote and I’m asking them to be patient about it,” he said. He later said Buhari’s administration was behind the delayed elections, without offering any evidence. “By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turnout is low on the rescheduled date,” he said on Twitter. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) February 16, 2019 Africanews in Lagos Africanews’ journalists, Jerry Bambi and Brigette Ugwe, are in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital where they are engaging voters to share their reactions and thoughts on the election postponement. A registered voter in Falomo Under bridge Ikoyi, Lagos told our journalists that he had come as early as 6am to this polling unit and was disappointed over the postponement which he says has gulped a lot of tax payers monies. #NigeriaDecides2019 Maxwell , a registered voter in Falomo Under bridge Ikoyi Lagos, had come as early as 6am to this polling unit. He is disappointed over the postponement which he says has cost the taxpayer a lot of money. Reports from jerrybambi1</a> and <a href="">Nigeriasinsight— africanews (@africanews) February 16, 2019 Social media reactions Several Nigerians took to social media to express their disappointment and frustration with INEC, pointing out that the commission had four years to organise for the election, and waited until citizens had travelled and committed the day to voting, before announcing the poll delay. Hashtags like #ThisIsNigeria, #electionpostponed, #CoupAgainstNigeria and Canada were used to capture these reactions. READ MORE: Nigeria’s voters frustrated by election postponement INEC postpones elections Five hours before polls would open for Nigeria’s presidential election on Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced a postponement of the polls, citing logistical challenges. “Following a careful review of the implementation of this logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible,” INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu told journalists. Breaking News: The #NigeriaDecides2019 Elections now to hold on; 23rd February, 2019 for Presidential and National Assembly while the Governorship, State House of Assembly and the FCT Area Council Elections is to hold on 9th March, 2019.— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) February 16, 2019 ‘‘Consequently, the Commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019. Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9th March 2019.’‘ READ MORE: Nigeria Presidential election postponed due to logistics Presidential elections in 2011 and 2015 were also delayed over logistics and security issues. Nigeria is also dealing with pockets of instability and past elections have been marred by violence, intimidation and ballot rigging. Authorities had bolstered security in much of the country. Dozens of policemen and other security forces were deployed from police headquarters in Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Borno state that has been worst hit by the Boko Haram militant group and its offshoot, Islamic State in West Africa Province. The president’s spokesman said INEC was expected to hold a meeting at 2pm local time (1300 GMT).Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:57:37 (Daniel Mumbere) use #ThisIsNigeria to voice disappointment over poll delay Nigerians have taken to social media to express their disappointment with the electoral commission’s decision to postpone the national elections, which were scheduled to begin today. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a statement in the early hours of Saturday morning, saying it had come the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible. INEC cited logistical constraints that could come in the way of conducting free, fair and credible elections. READ MORE: Nigeria Presidential election postponed due to logistics Social media reactions Reactions on social media were laced with anger, frustration and disappointment with the country’s electoral commission. INEC was blasted for at least three main reasons; Election was postponed in 2011, 2015 and now 2019 INEC repeatedly said they were ready, and not considering a postponement INEC announced postponement on Saturday morning after most people had already travelled and committed the day to vote #ThisIsNigeria To be very honest I am very disappointed at the level non chalancy displayed by inec</a> .It is very appalling that a country such as Nigeria can not do anything right for once.A lot of people have spent their time,money and energy in ensuring they procure their PVC,</p>&mdash; Dr. Uduma (beethovenic7) February 16, 2019 I cannot hide my disappointment in INEC but one thing I know for a certain, Nigeria will be great again in my lifetime. #ThisIsNigeria— Gospel Igboro (@lase_official) February 16, 2019 He thought he had it all under control. Until the Cabal dialed his number. #NigeriaDecides2019#RejectBuhari#RejectElectionPostponement#ThisIsNigeria— Mr_Izrael ?? (@Israelbaiye) February 16, 2019 This is unbelievable?, postponing a whole presidential election on election day??. After all preparation, has Buhari travelled for emergency health care again #ThisIsNigeria— chuksfavourite (@OgoOn80) February 16, 2019 Welcome to NIGERIA – where elections are postponed few hours to voting.#ThisIsNigeria #INEC— Collins Offiong (@CollinsOffiong1) February 16, 2019 SUGGESTED READING: Nigeria’s remake of ‘This is America’ music video goes viralSat, 16 Feb 2019 09:03:32 (Daniel Mumbere) Presidential election postponed due to logistics’s presidential election, which was due to be held on Saturday has been postponed by a week, the chairman of the country’s electoral commission said hours before polls were due to open. Addressing journalists in the early hours of Saturday, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said the delay was needed to hold a free and fair election. “Following a careful review of the implementation of this logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible,” he added. INEC in a statement said following a careful review of the implementation of ots logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the electionzs as scheduled is no longer feasible. He said the commission would later in the day be meeting with key stakeholders at the International Conference Centre, Abuja to discuss issues surrounding the development. “Consequently, the Commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019. Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9th March 2019. This will afford the Commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our elections,” he said. Nigeria's presidential election, due on Saturday, now postponed to February 23 – Electoral Commission chairman— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 16, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari faces a tight election contest in Africa’s largest economy, top oil producer and most populous nation against the main opposition candidate, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar. The country’s presidential elections in 2011 and 2015 were also delayed over logistics and security issues.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 07:25:20 (DIBIE IKE Michael)'s suspended chief justice charged over assets declaration breach tribunal on Friday charged Nigeria’s suspended chief judge for breaching asset declaration rules but adjourned his trial until after Saturday’s presidential elections. The government has come under criticism and accusations of meddling in the judiciary after President Muhammadu Buhari last month suspended Walter Onnoghen, raising fears of interference in the elections. The tribunal adjourned Onnoghen’s trial to March 11. Saturday’s vote is expected to be tight between Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president. Nigeria’s chief judge has a key say in resolving electoral disputes, and Onnoghen’s suspension has led opponents of Buhari to accuse him of interfering in the electoral process and of showing regional and religious favouritism. The European Union and the United States have also voiced concerns. Onnoghen appeared before the code of conduct tribunal (CCT) for the first time on Friday and pleaded not guilty to a six-count charge including non-disclosure of his assets after he became the chief judge. REUTERSSat, 16 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com DRC president ask EU to lift sanctions on Kabila appointees? Felix Tshisekedi on Friday met with the diplomatic corps at an event where he stressed that the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, under his tenure will do all it takes to protect its political independence. His address also touched on how the new DRC was pushing for partnerships founded on respect, mutual cooperation and total defense of its territorial integrity. Tshisekedi is reported to have called on the European Union to lift sanctions imposed on over a dozen officials of the former government led by Joseph Kabila. The sanctions were renewed with days to the December 30, 2018 elections. But an RFI journalist who covers the DRC noted in a tweet that the president did not verbally make the call in his address but that it was contained in a speech that was made available to the press. His first meeting as president with the European Union was in Addis Ababa during the 32nd African Union heads of state summit where he met with EU Foreign Affairs chief, Federica Mogherini. The subject of sanctions lifting was important as DRC went to the polls. Kabila’s preferred candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary was included on the sanctions list for his role in suppressing protests when he was Interior Minister. The AU in July 2017 made a strong case for the lifting of sanctions but it failed to achieve the results. Days to the December elections, Kinshasa sacked the EU envoy in what it said was a retaliatory measure. Then candidate Tshisekedi vowed that soon as he became president, he will ensure the return of Ambassador Bart Ouvry to the country. The president also said he had given orders for Congo to expedite talks with the EU with respect to establishing an equal nature of diplomatic presence. Cette expulsion de l'Amb. de l'UE illustre bien la nervosité et l'incertitude qui règnent dans le camp sortant. Je présente, au nom de la RD Congo, mes excuses à Bart Ouvry et à l'UE, et m'engage à le rappeler à Kinshasa et à rouvrir la Mson Schengen, dès mon élection prochaine.— Félix A. Tshisekedi (@fatshi13) December 28, 2018Sat, 16 Feb 2019 06:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) election 2019: Voting postponed for a week journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:18:59 +0000editorial@africanews.com pool for Nigeria polls: ECOWAS, AU, Commonwealth, EU, UN have become fairly routine across much of Africa. There has been on average six presidential polls per year since 2016. At the center of an average election are the candidates and their respective parties, the elections body, the voters, the security agencies and also crucially, the media. But with these elections comes observer missions, that have increasingly become key stakeholders in the bigger election enterprise. From the sub-region, continental and international blocs, teams are dispatched to ‘observe’ and to report on the good, the bad and what could be made better. The first presidential vote for 2019 is in Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest economy, Nigeria. Some 84 million plus voters are expected to cast votes for over seventy candidates. Observer missions have been dispatched to the country to as usual observe the process. The Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the Commonwealth, European Union and United Nations have all sent their teams on the ground. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, chairperson has over the last few days met with delegations from the respective groups assuring that his outfit was ready to deliver credible polls. Who is leading which delegation? ECOWAS – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian president (2007 – 2018) African Union – Hailemariam Desalegn, former Ethiopian Prime Minister (2015 – 2018) Commonwealth – Jakaya Kikwete, former Tanzanian president (2005 – 2015) European Union – Marie Arena, Belgian lawmaker serving in EU parliament United Nations – Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Head of UN office for West Africa and the Sahel The main aspirants being the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari – seeking a second and final term and former vice president Atiku Abubakar – pushing for perhaps his last attempt to go one step past his last political post. During the signing of a final peace pact between Buhari and Atiku on February 13, the Commonwealth and ECOWAS representatives were present. The pact was put together by the National Peace outfit is led for an ex-military ruler, General Abdul Salaam Abubakar.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) critical to future of democracy in Nigeria, across Africa – U.S. United States says Nigeria’s presidential elections slated for today, February 16, is critical to the future of democracy in the country and across Africa. The U.S. view was contained in a press release following calls between Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and the two main aspirants in the race – President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-VP Atiku Abubakar. Pompeo spoke to both men with barely 24-hours to the polls and stressed Washington’s support for the Nigerian goal of a free, fair and credible poll that reflects the will of the voters. “The Secretary noted the conduct of the elections is critical for the future of democracy in Nigeria and across Africa,” a statement attributed to him said. Buhari is seeking a second and final term in charge of Africa’s most populous nation and its largest economy. He came to power in 2015 becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent – at the time Goodluck Jonathan. The impact of Nigeria’s politics and its economy has made it a big brother across especially the West African subregion and the wider continent. Over 84 million potential voters are expected to cast ballots across the 37 states with over 70 candidates on the ballot paper. Buhari is running on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC with Atiku Abubakar leading the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party. Earlier today I received a call from US Secretary of State, SecPompeo, who reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to free and fair elections in Nigeria. Wishing you all a peaceful elections, wherever you are. God bless Nigeria.— Atiku Abubakar (atiku) February 15, 2019 Full Statement: Secretary Pompeo’s Calls With Nigerian Presidential Candidates President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke with major Nigerian presidential candidates President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in advance of the country’s February 16 presidential election. The Secretary noted the deep and long-standing partnership between the United States and Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous democracy and largest economy. He underscored U.S. support for the Nigerian goal of free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people. He welcomed both candidates’ signing of a peace pledge and public commitment to renounce violence and to accept the results of a credible process. The Secretary noted the conduct of the elections is critical for the future of democracy in Nigeria and across Africa.Sat, 16 Feb 2019 04:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) protest hub: Police stoned to death by protesters in Khartoum protest updates: December 2018 – February 1, 2019 February 15, 2019: Police pelted to death by protesters A Sudanese policeman has died from his wounds after protesters threw stones at a police vehicle passing close to demonstrations in the capital Khartoum, a police spokesman said on Friday. The vehicle was passing the area by chance late on Thursday, the spokesman said, adding that a number of suspects had been arrested. The case brings the official death toll during protests that have spread since Dec. 19 across Sudan to 32, including three security personnel. An opposition-linked doctors’ syndicate said last week that 57 people had been killed in the protests. “The vehicle was pelted with stones, and they were police returning from training and had no link to the dispersal of the unrest,” said police spokesman Hashem Ali. Security forces dispersed protests close to the presidential palace in Khartoum on Thursday, rounding up several dozen of them and driving them away in pick up trucks, witnesses said. On Friday police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people who protested after leaving a mosque in Omdurman, across the Nile from central Khartoum, witnesses said. REUTERS February 14, 2019: Zero retreat till Bashir is history, arrests in Khartoum Organizers of anti-government demonstrations in Sudan have reiterated their determination to continue mobilizing people until they overthrow the regime, excluding any dialogue with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Driven by a deep economic crisis, Sudan has been shaken since December 19 by almost daily demonstrations triggered by the government’s decision to triple the price of bread and other essential commodities. “The opposition forces are united behind the demands of the people. They are working in harmony to overthrow the regime, and to continue demonstrations or sit-ins,” Sara Najdullah, Secretary General, Association of Sudanese Professionals said. ¨Read our story here: Protest organisers vow to oust president Omar al-Bashir Security forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters close to the Sudan’s presidential palace on Thursday, before plainclothes officers armed with plastic piping rounded up around 30 people, witnesses said. Police then chased activists through side streets as smaller rallies broke out across downtown Khartoum. Demonstrators chanted “Peaceful, peaceful against the thieves” and “Down, that’s it!” – their central demand for President Omar al-Bashir to step down. The detained protesters, most of them young men and women, were driven away in pickup trucks, witnesses said. A police spokesman could not be reached for comment. Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, have held near daily protests since Dec. 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power. The president and his ruling National Congress Party have shown no sign of bowing to those demands and have blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign powers. He and senior officials have used more conciliatory language in recent weeks, promising to release detained demonstrators. But activists say hundreds remain in detention. An opposition-linked doctors’ syndicate said last week that 57 people have been killed in the protests. The government puts the death toll at 31, including two security personnel. Security forces have used teargas, stun grenades and live ammunition to break up demonstrations. The unrest has been fuelled by a deepening economic crisis marked by high inflation and shortages of bread, petrol and cash. The Sudanese pound fell to a record low on the black market on Thursday. REUTERS February 13, 2019: Sudan govt using hit-squad against protesters The BBC is reporting about how the Sudanese government is employing special hit-squads to crackdown on anti-government protests that continue to spread across the country. The BBC’s investigative wing, Africa Eye, pooled together videos shared by Sudanese caught in the protest whiles taking testimony of a victim of alleged state torture. The BBC says it analyzed over 200 videos over the past weeks which showed low-level thugs under orders from the feared intelligence outfit, the NISS. “Some of these protesters tell us about a secret and widely feared holding facility – The Fridge – where the cold is used as an instrument of torture,” the BBC report said. President Omar Al-Bashir remains adamant about calls to step down. According to him only polls not protests will lead him out. Sudanese are expected to elect a president in 2020. February 12, 2019: Professors arrested for planned protest Security forces arrested 14 professors who were gathering to protest outside Khartoum University on Tuesday, witnesses said, as anti-government demonstrations neared the end of their eighth week. Doctors also rallied outside state and private hospitals in Sudan’s capital and other cities against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, witnesses added. Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, have held near daily protests since Dec. 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power. Photos posted online on Tuesday showed people holding banners marked with “Freedom, justice and peace”, “No to torturing and killing protesters” and other slogans. Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed in the protests since they began on Dec. 19, while the government puts the death toll at 31. Bashir has blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign powers and showed no signs of bowing to demands to quit. But he and some senior officials have adopted a more conciliatory tone in recent weeks and promised to free detained protesters. REUTERSFri, 15 Feb 2019 21:45:02 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, February 15, 2019 samples the pictures of the day’s news.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:38:41 +0000editorial@africanews.com electoral regulations that guide Nigerian voters Nigerians head to the polling stations on Saturday to cast their votes in the presidential election, there are several concerns and suspicions that the main political parties could engage in electoral malpractices and fraud. On Thursday, president Muhammadu Buhari repeated the assurance that his government is committed to delivering a free, fair and peaceful election. Both Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have accused each other of plotting to rig the election. The suspension and subsequent charging of Nigeria’s chief justice, Walter Onnoghen, has also raised fears of interference in the elections. Onnoghen, who is accused of failing to disclose his assets as required by the law, would have played a key role in resolving any electoral disputes arising from Saturday’s vote. Saturday’s vote is expected to be a tight contest between Buhari and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar. READ MORE: How diverse id the list of Nigeria’s presidential candidates In this article, we will look at highlights of Nigeria’s electoral laws and processes, having already documented a background to what will be the sixth quadrennial elections since the end of military rule in 1999, and profiled the presidential candidates. Clinching the prize The President of Nigeria is elected using a modified two round system, to serve a four year term of office. To win in the first round, a candidate must receive a majority of the vote and over 25% of the vote in two-thirds of the states. If no candidate meets this threshold, a second round is held, pitting the top two candidates against each other. Members of the House of Representatives are elected to 4-year terms, concurrent with the president, using first-past-the-post voting (simple majority) in single-member constituencies. Members of the Senate are elected to 4-year terms, concurrent with the president, from 108 single-seat constituencies into which the States are divided (three each) and one single-seat constituency consisting the Federal Capital Territory, all by first-past-the-post voting. Voting procedures To vote in the forthcoming elections, one must be; 18 years old a Nigerian citizen a registered voter present a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) at the polling station Voting opens at at 8:00am (local time), and closes at 2:00pm READ MORE: Nigeria’s election regulations and guidelines Election facts Presidential elections are held on the 3rd Saturday in February of any general election year. Election of governors and members of the National Assembly are held two weeks thereafter. In case of the need for a second round in the presidential election, it shall be held within 21 days following the announcement of first round results. To contest the election outcome, a petition must be filed within 21 days after the official results were declared. Election tribunals including the Court of Appeal for presidential and governorship elections, shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition. The courts may however adopt the practice of delivering its decision first, and defering the reasons for the verdict to a latter date. At a glance 72 presidential candidates 360 members to be elected to House of Representatives 109 Senate members Population: 200,962,417 (2019 est.) Registered Voters: 84,004,084Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:30:53 (Daniel Mumbere) President breaks silence after a week of violent protest President Jovenel Moïse broke his silence on Thursday evening, after a week of violent demonstrations. Moïse spoke in the aftermath of violent clashes between police and protesters in the capital, Port-au-Prince. “I will not leave the country in the hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers,’‘ he said. The Haitian president says his government is listening to the cries of the people. ‘‘We are listening to the people and a package of measures has been taken by the government. I asked the Prime Minister to come and explain them and apply them quickly to relieve our misery”, Moïse added. The United States has recalled its non-essential diplomats and their families out of the country while urging its citizens not to go to the country. Since February 7, anti-government protesters have been calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse. At least 7 people have been killed during protests over social inequalities, aggravated by alleged systemic corruption. AFPFri, 15 Feb 2019 16:26:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com's electricity company eyes 'green bonds' Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) says it may issue a green bond as part of its push into renewable energy sector. The company said it could become the first company to take advantage of the government’s so-called “green bond” initiative. A financial mechanism is expected next week specifically aimed at boosting private investment in renewable energy. “The fact that geothermal energy is our priority somehow mitigates the effects of declining hydrology and our successful geothermal strategies and you can see that we don’t have power outages or rationing because we are able to fill the void’‘, said KenGen CEO, Rebecca Miano. Green bonds help to finance projects in the renewable energy, energy-efficiency, green transport and wastewater treatment sectors. KenGen is 30 percent owned by private investors and 70 percent by the state. The company, which supplies 70 percent of Kenya’s electricity, has shifted its focus in recent years. ReutersFri, 15 Feb 2019 15:02:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com Government Summit: Leaders prioritize climate change solutions 7th edition of World Government Summit was held in Dubai, gathering world leaders alongside experts in the sectors of technology, economy, environment and wellbeing. The event, which ran from 10-12th February, hosted approximately 4,000 participants from 140 countries to discuss key global solutions. For the third time, climate change was high on the WGS agenda amongst different speakers: HARRISON FORD Actor and longterm environmentalist Harrison Ford was one of the biggest names at the annual UAE event. ——SECONDARY IMAGE 1—— Harrison Ford at the WGS The Vice Chair of the Conservation International charity spoke about marine ecology, calling climate change the “greatest moral challenge of our time.” “If nature isn’t kept healthy, humans won’t survive. Simple as that,” Ford said in an eco-awareness video ahead of WGS, titled ‘The Ocean’. LAURENT FABIUS Meanwhile, former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, now President of the French Constitutional Council, said that governments shouldn’t be “selfish” and put their own interests ahead of protecting the planet. Having been central to the development of The Paris Agreement – the world’s first climate change accord, struck in 2015 – Fabius reflected on the current state of the global climate change battle. “We had a great victory in The Paris Agreement – which I was honoured to chair – and there has been a lot of reports since, showing that it’s urgent and important. That’s the positive side,” he told Euronews, “But, the negative side is that the figures are awfully bad and that we have to be urgently more active if we want to save humanity.” Fabius also said that the US withdrawal from the deal was “dangerous”, sending the wrong message to the international community. However, his hope lies with the American general public. “Three quarters of the American population think that climate change does exist, that it has a human origin and that there is a necessity for action – and that’s important too,” he said. Fabius also admitted that there was a degree of ambiguity surrounding the definition of carbon neutrality. He explained that whilst some consider it to mean not using fossil fuels at all, others believed it to be a matter of compensating carbon emission with other sustainable solutions. ——SECONDARY IMAGE 2—— Former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius speaks to Euronews at the WGS “We could not have a more precise definition because there was not an agreement,” he said, “Imagine that, for instance, Saudi Arabia is not very happy if you say that in 2050 I have to leave their oil in the soil.” The former foreign minister of France also stressed that the consequences of global warming extended beyond environmental issues. “If the temperature keeps on being warmer and warmer, you have problems with food and water,” he said. “Then you have migration – not only by millions but dozens of millions – and at the end of the day you have problems of conflict and war.” Fabius hopes that the international community will realise efforts need to be applied multilaterally to tackle climate change. DR. THANI AL ZEYOUDI This year, there was a particular focus on the impact of environmental issues on the health of populations. According to the Centre of Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, last year at least 5,000 people died – with almost 30 million needing emergency aid, due to extreme weather. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment said that this especially affects children and their nutrition, having a negative impact on their growth and development. ——SECONDARY IMAGE 3—— UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi speaks to Euronews’ Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham at the WGS Al Zeyoudi also highlighted that air-borne pollution is not restricted by borders. With regards to seas, more than 33% of the Arabian Gulf’s marine species could be lost by 2090, so said scientists attending the WGS Climate Change Forum. According to Al Zeyoudi, this prospect jolted the UAE government into action. “We have very tough regulations against overfishing to make sure that fish stocks are maintained for the future generations,” he told Euronews, “At the same time, we’re replanting some of the mangroves.” … AND MORE FROM THE GROUND The summit opened with a discussion about globalisation and how governments can design the ‘future of humanity’. During the opening speech, Mohammed Al Gergawi, the UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said that the value of the creative jobs industry adds up to $2.5 trillion. He also estimates, however, that by 2030 there would be a shortage of around 85 million jobs within the sector. To fill the gap, he said that the government was committed to teaching creativity and imagination to the UAE’s youth. ——SECONDARY IMAGE 4—— UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed Al Gergawi opens 2019’s World Government Summit In other sessions, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri spoke of wanting to make his country more “like Dubai”. He also underscored how the implementation of anti-corruption reforms would help Lebanon overcome its economic crisis and attract foreign investment. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, called her WGS meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan about economic reforms, “constructive”, reiterating that the IMF stood “ready to support the country.” In the AI sphere, musician launched his voice assisted technology platform, Omega, in partnership with UAE shopping mall operator Majd Al Futtaim. ——SECONDARY IMAGE 5—— Will.I.Am speaks to Euronews at the WGS The platform recognises context based on dialogue, the tech entrepreneur explained. “If you say play Drake, it will play Drake and I can follow-up the question by saying, “What’s going on with him?” Our system knows that “him” is Drake from the first command,” he explained. The service – which the Grammy-winner assures doesn’t access user data like Siri and Alexa – is also being developed to understand multiple dialects of Arabic to enhance people’s retail, entertainment and overall living experience. SEEN ON SOCIAL: SNAPS FROM THE WGS UAE-based Shiva posted this shot of her at the WGS, mentioning she learned a lot from speaker Tony Robbins. View this post on Instagram World Government Summit ? #worldgovsummit #mydubai #shivadventures #explore #اكسبلور #igers #museumofthefuture #museum #museumofthefuturedubai #edgofgoverment #future #dream #happy #fotouae #igersdubai #igers #worldgov #worldgovernmentsummit #dubai #uae #hhshkmohd #faz3 #travel #travelintime #القمه_العالميه_للحكومات #futuristic #tech #techgeek #selfie #artificialintelligence #innovation A post shared by شڤ | Shiv (@shivmohd) on Feb 10, 2019 at 6:31am PST And American AI-fan Milena posted this video from the Summit’s Museum of the Future exhibit, highlighting ethical AI. View this post on Instagram she’s beauty and she’s grace A post shared by Milena Pribić (@milenapribic) on Feb 10, 2019 at 10:34pm PSTFri, 15 Feb 2019 14:56:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com Gupta is no longer a wanted man: South Africa police*Police in South Africa have provisionally withdrawn an arrest warrant for Ajay Gupta, a businessman and friend of former president Jacob Zuma. The case against Gupta relates to allegations made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, who said that a member of the Gupta family offered him the job of finance minister and a large bribe if Jonas would help the Gupta family with its business ventures in South Africa. “The warrant for Ajay Gupta was provisionally withdrawn,” said Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the Hawks police unit. “But it can be reinstated.” The Guptas, who fled the country after Zuma was recalled from the presidency by the ANC in February last year, have denied any wrongdoing. SUGGESTED READING: Ajay Gupta says he will testify to S. Africa’s state-capture inquiryFri, 15 Feb 2019 14:45:53 +0000editorial@africanews.com on security ahead of Nigeria polls across Nigeria have spoken out over the continuous acts of terrorism in the country. They are urging the international community, religious leaders and other royal monarchs to support the Nigerian Army’s fight against such barbaric acts. “ As of now the Nigerian Army is neutral, because the army leadership under the present Chief of Army staff since his assumption of office has been nothing but pure professionalism so they are nonpolitical, they are non-tribal and they are non-sentimental. There, all they know is united Nigeria”, said Osun State, King Olowu of Owu. There are fears that the wave of attacks and displacement of persons could impact on the West African nation’s impending polls. Ezenwa Nwagu is a political analyst. “There is nobody who can get into the mind of the insurgents but whatever it is, the resilience of the Nigerian people will over shadow that. The Nigerian people are interested in voting, it’s not the first time in 2015 we virtually even had to postpone elections on account of insurgency but as we speak, Nigerians have shown a lot of resilience, we have shown a lot of interest’‘, he said. The electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission has assured that both armed and non-armed security personnel will be deployed to boost security. Many young Nigerians still remain uncertain of the security situation and elections, having lost faith in the governance system in Nigeria. “Let your vote count, it is the most important thing that you have right now, let’s elect the right person that can control this country, control our military, dictate the right spot for Nigerians and make employment free”, said voter, Engineer Kenny Obafemi. The state of security in Nigeria has for the past ten years been plagued by insurgents. In recent year’s, the UNHCR said herdsmen are responsible for the deaths and displacement of over 320,000 persons in just four months. With the 2019 elections just 24 hours away, acts of violence are still being recorded the northern regions of Nigeria.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:41:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com's PM calls for snap election [International Edition] is caught in the political crosswinds and is headed for its third general election in less than four years after failing to get its budget through parliament. Meanwhile, the battle over the legitimate leadership of Venezuela is now focused on a single heavily guarded shipment of humanitarian aid. A showdown now looms as the self proclaimed interim leader sets aid entry. Also, the world’s most infamous cartel boss El Chapo has been found guilty in a US court of drug trafficking. He faces spending the rest of his life behind bars. Stay with us as these are some of the stories we have in store retracing the major current events covered by our various editorial teams presented by Elayne Wangalwa.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:40:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com and wife team up in boxing debut [The Morning Call]’s often said there are dangers associated with working together as husband and wife. A man and his wife should work separately so that each one of them enjoys his/her independence. But this is not the case for this couple in the United Kingdom.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com decides: Will the polls be credible? [The Morning Call] stage is set for Nigeria’s presidential elections on February 16, 20108. Months of campaigns came to a close on Thursday for the more than 70 candidates hoping to clinch the country’s top seat. But what do Nigerians expect in these polls? Presidential candidates have vowed to hold peaceful elections this Saturday as campaigning came to a close on Thursday. In a national broadcast, outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari who is running for a second term in office, told Nigerians to choose between going backward or keeping with the momentum of change which, according to him, the country has been enjoying since his administration took over power in 2015. Buhari faces a strong challenge from Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party who has largely campaigned against the president’s record in office.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:05:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Review of February 15, 2019 [The Morning Call] review the headlines of Africa’s top newspapers on The Morning Call.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:05:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa's Caster Semenya vs IAAF: a battle over testosterone levels week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will hear a case between South Africa’s star athlete Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in what could be the climax of a tussle that has fuelled debate for almost a decade now. The court will deliver a ruling that will determine whether Semenya continues to compete in track and field events without the need for performance limiting medication as proposed by the IAAF. IAAF’s case The IAAF wants to introduce new rules that require such athletes to keep their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount “for at least six months prior to competing”. The IAAF classifies females like 28-year-old Semenya as athletes with “differences of sexual development” (DSD). ‘’...if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women. “Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level.” Semenya’s defence Semenya has previously said she chooses to focus on her health, and keeping in shape for competitions, rather than worrying about ‘IAAF’s business’. ‘I have no time for nonsense’: S. Africa’s Semenya responds to new IAAF regulations Her lawyers will argue next week that Semenya was born a woman, reared and socialised as a woman, and has been legally recognised as a woman all her life. That she has always competed in athletics as a woman, and should therefore be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination. Semenya, who is a two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion has also described the IAAF scrutiny, that she has endured since 2009 as unfair. ‘‘It is not fair. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born.’‘ Who will the court believe? The IAAF or Caster Semenya? Semenya will be counting on the precedent set in 2015 when CAS ruled against IAAF rules preventing another DSD athlete, India’s Dutee Chand from competing against fellow women, unless she took medication to limit her testosterone levels. @danmumbereFri, 15 Feb 2019 10:45:05 (Daniel Mumbere) girl shows devastating impact of Yemeni war by war, starving and living under a tree, 12-year-old Fatima Qoba weighed just 10kg when she was carried into a Yemeni malnutrition clinic. Qoba’s slide into starvation is typical of what is happening in much of Yemen. Makiah al-Aslami, a doctor and head of the clinic in northwest Yemen said “all the fat reserves in her body have been used up, she is left only with skin and bones. She will now continue to receive physical and mental treatment for a whole month, until she is able to have her health back.” Qoba, her 10 siblings and father were forced from their home near the border with Saudi Arabia and forced to live under a tree, Qoba’s older sister, also called Fatima, told Reuters. “No one has mercy or cares about us, no one helped us with this girl. If we stayed here and starved no one would know about us, we don’t have a future. Even our neighbours don’t care, they all live in the best of homes, and they never offered us a place to stay during the rain”, she said. Dr. Aslami says since the end of 2018, 14 deaths from malnutrition occured at the clinic “This situation will continue, I think it will get worse, not better. The siege is still ongoing, the air strikes and the war is still taking place, it has destroyed the water, destroyed education, all the resources, the drinking water is not pure, so what do you expect? You expect malnutrition, unemployment. A family’s salary is enough for one meal.” War and economic collapse in Yeman have driven around 10 million people to the brink of famine, according to the United Nations. The UN is trying to implement a ceasefire and troop withdrawal from Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah, where most of Yemen’s imports come from. But violence continues to displace people in other parts of the country, as access routes for food, fuel and aid is cut off. ReutersFri, 15 Feb 2019 10:22:14 +0000editorial@africanews.com did not sell out: Ramaphosa tells South Africans Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has defended his anti-apartheid struggle record, denying claims by a former comrade that he collaborated with the regime’s secret police in the 1970s. Defending his role in the struggle against white minority rule, Ramaphosa told parliament he had “refused” under “vicious” interrogation to give evidence against struggle companion Mosiuoa Lekota and others. Lekota’s claims Lekota, a fellow anti-apartheid activist who later defected from Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to form an opposition party, told lawmakers Wednesday that the president had given information to the secret police to avoid being sent to jail on Robben Island. Lekota said that Ramaphosa had written to the special branch police to accuse him and others of being communists — a punishable offence at the time. “You condemned us… The special branch rewarded you… and they sent you home,” Lekota charged. “We should have travelled together to the island to serve years for the struggle of our people.” Ramaphosa’s defence Ramaphosa never went to Robben Island, unlike Nelson Mandela, Lekota, and other anti-apartheid campaigners. He was detained twice: once held in solitary confinement for 11 months in 1974, and then jailed for six months in 1976. “I was arrested and transported to Pretoria central prison,” Ramaphosa said of his first arrest in 1974. “They started to interrogate me, which was quite vicious. They wanted me to give evidence against (Lekota). I refused. My neighbour (in prison) went and gave evidence.” Ramaphosa said he told his father, a policeman, that “I am not going to do it — I will never betray the comrades I was working with.” Ramaphosa added that when he was re-arrested in 1976, police warned he would “go and break rocks on Robben Island like Nelson Mandela.” “I said: ‘In the end, I’d rather go and break rocks and I will never, ever betray my people’,” Ramaphosa told parliament, to applause from the ruling ANC benches. Ramaphosa’s official record Ramaphosa was born in Soweto and was a student activist before becoming an trade union leader. He was a key negotiator in talks in the early 1990s between the white minority National Party and the anti-apartheid movement, which led to the end of South Africa’s system of legalised racial oppression. He was widely seen as Mandela’s chosen successor but instead became a wealthy businessman before returning to politics. Ramaphosa became president last year after the ousting of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, who faces a multitude of corruption allegations.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:12:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com police to restrict vehicular movement on voting day’s police chief has ordered restriction of vehicular movement on the election day with barely a day to the opening of polls in keenly watched presidential polls. The said restriction is expected to last for 12 hours – 6 am – 6 pm on Saturday. Inspector General of Police, IGP Adamu, also tasked citizens to remain law abiding and go out on February 16 to peacefully cast their ballots. A statement by the police read in part: “The IGP notes that the restriction will assist the security agencies in effectively policing the electoral process, thereby preventing hoodlums and criminally-minded elements from hijacking and disrupting the electoral process. “He urges the citizens to troupe out en-masse on the day of the election to exercise their franchise without any fear or apprehension as the Police & other security agencies have already put in place adequate security measures to ensure a safe, secure & conducive environment for a peaceful and credible election. “While regretting the inconveniences the restriction will cause the citizens, the IGP however warns that the Force will deal decisively with any individual(s) or group(s) that will want to test our common will in our resolve to ensure a peaceful election. “He therefore enjoins the citizens to steer-clear of vote buying, vote selling, hate speeches, circulating fake news, snatching of ballot boxes and other act(s) capable of truncating the people’s will noting that the Force will not hesitate to bring to bear the full weight of the law on anyone who engages in any crime during this period.” February 16 will be the first of a two-legged election process. The presidential vote which has over seventy candidates takes place before a legislative, gubernatorial vote follows weeks later. The presidential race is seen as a two-horse race pitting incumbent Muhammadu Buhari seeking a second and final term in office against former vice president Atiku Abubakar. The IGP is leading from the front as regard deployment to ensure a peaceful election. Our conventional personnel, the Airwing, Marine, Tactical squad, Intelligence unit and colleagues from other security agencies are all ready to provide a free, credible & violence-free elections— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) February 14, 2019Fri, 15 Feb 2019 05:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)'s Al-Sisi gets legislative backing to stay till 2034 Egyptian parliament on Thursday approved in principle proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2034 and boost his control of the judiciary. Parliament Speaker Ali Abdelaal said that 485 MPs of the 596-seat assembly voted in favour of the changes, comprising more than the two-thirds majority needed to pass the amendments. The proposed changes will now go for a review in a parliamentary committee and then return to parliament for a second vote before they are presented for a national referendum expected before the middle of the year. Al-Sisi won re-election last year in a landslide beating an unpopular candidate. Most strong contenders were forced to step aside in the run up to the vote. His current mandate expires in 2024 after which he could potentially serve three more terms which could mean he would have served as president for two decades – a total of five four year terms. He came to power in 2013 after deposing the then President Mohammed Morsi. Sisi, the army chief at the time stepped in to seize power because of anti-government protests. He won first vote in 2014. REUTERSFri, 15 Feb 2019 04:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com expected in Butembo, DRC town excluded from 2018 vote candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s disputed elections, Martin Fayulu, is expected in the town of Butembo today for a rally. Fayulu is expected to reecho his message of peaceful resistance to supporters and to assure them that the fight to have the will of Congolese voters was not going to stop. “He will take the opportunity to congratulate them on the high sense of civic spiritedness they have shown in organizing their own election in response to the (voting ban by) CENI,” a statement from an official source said. CENI, the DRC’s elections body, cancelled polling in Butembo and Beni over an Ebola-outbreak in both places – known to be opposition strongholds. People in the two towns lined up on the day of the vote and cast mock ballots whose results they promised to submit to CENI to be included in the result tallies. Photos: Congolese stage mock vote despite poll ‘blackout’ Voting in the December 2018 polls was also suspended in Yumbi where inter-ethnic violence claimed lives of hundreds with days to the polls. CENI said the three places will cast their ballots in March 2019. The December 2018 vote produced a new president in the person of Felix Tshisekedi even though multiple independent observers disputed the results which showed that Fayulu was the winner. A Constitutional Court challenge filed by Fayulu’s Lamuka coalition was dismissed paving the way for the swearing in of Tshisekedi. The handing over became the first time in DRC’s history that power was peacefully transferred. The country now has a living ex-president in Joseph Kabila who ruled for 18 years.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 04:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of MTN Uganda tagged 'persona non grata,' deported Chief Executive Officer of telecommunication giants MTN’s operations in Uganda was on Thursday evening deported to his home country, Belgium. Wim Van Helleputte was reportedly booked onto SN Brussels flight after being classed a prohibited immigrant under Ugandan laws. The deportation order dated February 14, 2019 was signed by Gen. Jeje Odongo, the Minister of Internal Affairs. The order said in part that Helleputte “had been deemed to be an undesirable immigrant by virtue of section 52 (g) of the UGANDA CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT.” The latest action comes three weeks after two other top executives working in the country were thrown out. MTN Uganda, a unit of the South African telecoms firm, in late January said its Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Prentout, was detained at Entebbe airport after returning from a business trip and then sent back to France. The company, at the time, also confirmed that its Head of Sales and Distribution, Annie Bilenge Tabura, was arrested by security personnel as she arrived at its headquarters in Kampala and then deported to Rwanda. Police said on Twitter that the pair were deported “over their engagements in acts which compromise national security.” Last year, MTN Uganda said government security personnel had raided its data centre and disconnected four of its servers. MTN Uganda has more than 10 million subscribers and competes chiefly with India’s Bharti Airtel. MTN’s 20-year license expired in October. The firm applied for a 10-year extension and the Uganda Communications Commission gave it an interim renewal lasting 60-days pending resolution of a number of unspecified issues before a final license is issued. Ugandan authorities have said MTN has agreed to list its shares on Uganda’s local bourse as a condition of renewing its license, though the firm itself is yet to confirm this.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 03:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Olomide faces seven-year jail term over Paris sex assault prosecutors on Monday sought a seven-year prison sentence against Congolese music star Koffi Olomide. The 62-year-old musician is standing trial for allegedly sexually assaulting four former dancers who say they were held against their will at a villa outside Paris. The acts including those of violence, coercion and kidnapping were allegedly committed in the French capital between 2002 and 2006. Olomide, also appeared before the court of Nanterre, near Paris, for facilitating the entry and illegal stay in France of the plaintiffs. The musician denies these allegations. He is no stranger with controversy especially involving assault of his dancers. In the recent past Kenyan authorities arrested, detained and deported him over assault of his dancers at an airport. He returned home and was slapped with similar charges by authorities. He is also the subject of a judicial process in the Zambia, where he was previously barred from entering. Real name Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, Olomide is a household name across much of the continent’s Francophone nations. He is a singer, composer and producer who has often played at top events involving politicians. One of his recent gigs took him to Equatorial Guinea where he performed at an end of year presidential ball. View this post on Instagram Les Presidents sur la piste A post shared by Koffi OLOMIDE (@koffiolomide_officiel) on Jan 1, 2019 at 12:25pm PSTThu, 14 Feb 2019 23:01:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) hurts Burkina Faso mining sector and insecurity threats: Can Burkina Faso benefit from the income from its land while it is still facing jihadist attacks? With high-potential regions such as Nouna in the west and Essakane in the north, Burkina Faso is on the way to becoming an oil and uranium producer. Although research is still ongoing in the field, the country is attracting more and more investors despite the current terrorist threat. It should be recalled that the country already has many resources that could cover vanadium, titanium or iron or kimberlite. We hear more from Adama Barry, Vice-President of the Chamber of Mines of Burkina Faso.Thu, 14 Feb 2019 19:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com strives to accelerate integration takes stock of regional integration in Central Africa, the body struggles to accelerate the implementation of community projects due to lack of funding. Low regional integration continues to be a concern for the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States. A structural fragility that has an impact on the diversification of economies. At the last CEMAC Commission meeting held in Equatorial Guinea, the issue of funding for community projects was once again highlighted. Beer Wars in Nigeria The beer market is gaining momentum in Nigeria. Multinational and small producers are now fighting for the best sales prices. With an estimated consumption of 9 litres of beer per person per year, the multinational beer companies are counting on Nigeria’s strong human potential. Aggressive communication campaigns and sponsorship are raging to attract young people, estimated at more than 60%. How? Manufacturers and traders use schemes to make profits. More details in this episode.Thu, 14 Feb 2019 19:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com touts business experience as Nigeria campaigns end’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has for years faced criticism over accusations that he took advantage of his political career to grow his businesses. The 2019 presidential candidate was in charge of Nigeria’s customs, while at the same time managed a large import-export company. Leader of the Democratic People’s Party, is a multi-millionaire, having invested in many sectors such as oil, agriculture, telecommunications and more recently in health. His campaign has been focused on his business success story. “I felt that someone like me had to run, someone experienced in politics, experienced in leadership, experienced in business to try to restore and put the country back on the right track in terms of economic development”, he said. At 72, this election is his fourth attempt to become president. He is not new to the presidency as he served as vice president from 1999-2000. Atiku resigned in the face of ex-President Olusegun Obansajo’s ambition to amend the constitution to run for a 3rd term. Atiku Abubakar has been cited over money laundering cases. But the veteran politician hopes to be a unifier against President Buhari. He intensified campaign on social media by going on Facebook live and live Tweeting. Atilku held interactive question-and-answer sessions with his voters. Coming from a very poor family in Adamawa State in the northeast, and having had little education, Atiku promises to give back to his fellow people. “That’s why I want to be president, to give back to my country what it has allowed me to become,” he recently told AFP in an interview.Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:10:53 +0000editorial@africanews.com debate over the efficacy of homeopathy’s growing debate over the efficacy of homeopathy in France. Homeopathy has for long being used as alternative to orthodox medicine. Practitioners mainly rely on natural herbs to heal their patients. But its effectiveness is now been challenged. “That’s all there is to it, so that people want to take it, sincerely me, I have no reason to oppose it. Who am I to say that people do not have the right to take homeopathy? But by advantage, I’m a doctor, I do medicine every day, I do science, I have a science thesis, I did pharmacology and all that says that homeopathy has never proven anything”, said Mathias Wargon, Emergency Physician. A French company which specializes in homeopathy says the debate over the efficacy of the practise is needless. “We know that when we cut onion, it irritate our eyes, our noses drip. In homeopathy, we will use Onion in dilution to fight against these symptoms of runny nose and we can say that it is evil. What is important is not just the principle of similarity that I have just explained but also this principle to an extreme small degree,” said Deputy Managing Director of Boiron, Jean-Christophe Bayssat. The company fears thousands of job losses if authorities ban homeopathy in the country. “On the medical side, it’s been 220 years since these drugs have been on the market. For 220 years they have responded to public health issues. They respond to medical issues”, said Valérie Poinsot, Executive Director of Boiron. In the Spring, the High Authority of Health will rule over the continuous use or otherwise of this alternative medical practise. AFPThu, 14 Feb 2019 16:52:38 +0000editorial@africanews.com Uganda's Museveni grooming his son to be Commander-in-Chief?’s president Yoweri Museveni last week promoted his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba to the rank of Lieutenant General, which is the second highest rank in the country’s army. Muhoozi’s promotion from the rank of Major General, which he had held for nearly three years, was part of over 2,000 promotions confirmed by the president, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). “The President and Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces has confirmed the promotions of 2,031 UPDF personnel to various ranks,’‘ read part of a statement issued by the defence spokesperson. Muhoozi’s promotion is likely to intensify speculation that the president is grooming his son to succeed him. Proponents of what has come to be known as the ‘Muhoozi Project’ in Uganda argue that the first son has been fast-tracked through the army hierachy, as a way of grooming him to control the armed forces and eventually take over as head of state. Below is a timeline of Muhoozi’s progression through different ranks and positions within the army and state structures. 1999: Joined the army as a Cadet Officer 2000: Graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (UK), promoted to Lieutenant 2003: Promoted to Major, heads Motorised Infantry Battalion of the Presidential Guard Brigade 2008: Graduated from Fort Leavenworth (US), promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, commanding Special Forces Guard 2012: Promoted to Brigadier, commanding Special Forces Command 2016: Promoted to Major General 2017: Appointed Senior Presidential Adviser for Special Operations 2019: Promoted to Lieutenant General In 2013, the then coordinator of intelligence agencies in Uganda, General Sejusa alleged that individuals opposed to the alleged ‘Muhoozi Project’ were being targeted for assassination. Sejusa, in a letter that was leaked to and published by private media outlets, Daily Monitor and Red Pepper, alleged that president Museveni and his closest family members were plotting to install Muhoozi as president. Explaining Muhoozi’s rise The army has on several occasions defended Muhoozi’s promotions, saying he has earned them, and insisting that the army’s promotions board is not influenced by president Museveni. ‘‘Muhoozi’s promotion and progress has been normal. He is a disciplined, dedicated and highly trained officer who has been serving with us for a long time,” the acting army spokesperson Capt. Chris Magezi said in 2012. The president of Uganda serves as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, with authority to appoint the leadership of the army including the army chief and his deputies. Muhoozi himself has cited completion of courses and operational experience as some of the merits he has to justify his promotions to positions of command in the army. ‘‘Courses prepare you for the next level of command, which comes with a rank…all the units that I have commanded have been in operations, so I have the prerequiste operational experience,’‘ Muhoozi said in an interview with the national broadcaster. Length of service, age (where applicable), results of promotional exams by the defence forces council, character, discipline and performance are some of the other factors considered when promoting officers. Is Muhoozi interested in the presidency? Muhoozi has on several occasions distanced himself from reports of the succession plot, saying he is too busy with military work to nurse political ambitions. ‘‘I don’t have the ambition to be president. I am very happy being in the military and that is where I intend to stay for some time,’‘ Muhoozi said following his promotion to Major General in 2016. ‘‘It [Muhoozi Project] doesn’t exist, non-existent – that is a red herring. You have never heard of a message where I promote myself, it is always from the promotions board. That is the process in the military.’‘ .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Feasibility: can Muhoozi succeed his father? In an interview with Al-Jazeera in 2013, Museveni said the question of whether he can be succeeded by his son, can only be answered by ‘Muhoozi and the people of Uganda’, adding that ‘it is not in the short run’. The president also ‘advised’ his son to go through the procedures laid out in the constitution if he is interested in the presidency. The 1995 Uganda constitution stipulates that a president of Uganda must be a person elected by the citizens in a popular vote under universal adult suffrage. Muhoozi in Numbers 20 years in the army Led elite unit of UPDF (Special Forces Command) for 8 years 44 years old Museveni’s first born child and only son When sons succeed their fathers If Muhoozi were to succeed his father as president of Uganda, it would not be the first time it was happening in Africa. In Gabon, the current president Ali Bongo succeeded his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, after grooming that included being handed a cabinet position. In Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Nguema Obiang is a possible successor to his father, president Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who is currently Africa’s longest serving president, having assumed office in August 1979. In 2016, president Nguema promoted his son Teodorin to the position of Vice President in charge of defense and security. Other first sons that led their countries include Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta. SUGGESTED READING: Here are Africa’s longest serving presidents still going strongThu, 14 Feb 2019 16:35:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com State claims attack on Nigeria governor's convoy State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on the convoy of a state governor who was headed to a rally in northeastern Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s presidential election. The group said in a statement on its Amaq news agency that 42 people were killed in Tuesday’s attack on Borno state’s governor. Official sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday between three and 10 people were killed, and that some of them may have been beheaded. Boko Haram has waged a decade-long insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast which has killed around 30,000 people and forced about 2 million to leave their homes. Islamic State West Africa Province, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, has carried out a series of attack on military targets in the last few months. Security sources said earlier on Wednesday the gunmen opened fire at the motorcade transporting Borno’s state governor Kashim Shettima on his way from state capital Maiduguri to the market town of Gamboru for a rally. Two security sources said three people died. A government and a separate security source said as many as 10 people were killed. Some of those killed may have been beheaded, they said. There was no indication of how Shettima, a government politician, was affected by the attack. His spokesman could not be reached for comment. A security source said the convoy had returned to Maiduguri. Borno, the birthplace of Boko Haram, has been the state worst hit by Islamist insurgents. Incumbent Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term in office in Saturday’s elections in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest democracy. He faces a tight contest against his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a businessman and former vice president. REUTERSThu, 14 Feb 2019 15:41:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com observers in Nigeria of the Commonwealth Observer Group have arrived in Nigeria for the country’s general elections scheduled for February 16. The group led by former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, will be deployed to various regions of the country, to observe preparations for polling day. They met with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the country’s capital Abuja, on Monday. “The last Commonwealth Observer Mission recommended that we should abolish that archaic system, that as citizens or voters are accredited, they should be able to vote at the same time. And we have implemented this recommendation way back in January 2016, when we conducted one of the governorship elections in this country. Since then, we have conducted 194 off-season elections, and all have been conducted on the basis of simultaneous accreditation and voting,” said Mahmood Yakubu, Chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and a key member of the Commonwealth. This marks the sixth time a Commonwealth Observer Group follows elections in Nigeria since 1999. The role of observer missions is considered key for the upcoming elections in Nigeria, since previous elections have allegedly been marred with irregularities and fraud.Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:04:05 +0000editorial@africanews.com Joshua to defend his titles in New York on June 1 Joshua, IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion, will defend his titles on June 1st in the United States. The Brit, who had 21 victories by KO in 22 fights, will face America’s Jarrell Miller, nicknamed “Big Baby”, in the Madison Square Garden in New York. This is Joshua’s first professional fight in the United States. “Wembley means so much to me, it’s a wonderful and fantastic place. I fought in small halls, arenas, and it was an honour and a blessing to do so in the stadiums. But it’s time to change”, Joshua said. The Nigerian-British boxer also regrets the cancellation of a fight between him and Deontay Wilder, the undefeated WBC world heavyweight champion. “Deontay Wilder and I are the heavyweight world champions, and we were hoping to have this fight on April 13, but things didn’t go as planned, because of the boxing rules – I’m sure you’re aware of that. So we had to adapt and look for other options and Jarrell Miller arrived”, added. After the fight against Miller, Joshua, in the event of a victory, would logically have to compete for the supremacy of the heavyweights against winner of the Duel between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. These two contenders are expected to face each other by the end of the first half of 2019. ReutersThu, 14 Feb 2019 14:15:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com anti-corruption crackdown hits MP, ex-Luanda mayor governor of the Angolan capital, Luanda, has been summoned over financial crimes, the ANGOP news portal reported on Wednesday. Higino Carneiro who currently serves as a lawmaker on the ticket of the ruling MPLA is being probed among others over money laundering, abuse of power, criminal association and mismanagement of the capital. He is is barred from leaving the country according to prosecutors and is expected to report to the authorities regularly. Carneiro was in charge of Luanda between 2016 – 2017. He is being probed along with another lawmaker, Manuel Rabelais. Rabelais is indicted over his tenure as director of the Office for the Revitalization of Institutional Communication and Marketing, Grecima, he left the post in 2017. They are the first lawmakers to be indicted and placed under surveillance since the coming into office of President Joao Lourenco in 2017. Lourenco took over from long-serving Jose Eduardo dos Santos. He pledged to crackdown on corruption and revitalize the economy of one of Africa’s biggest oil producers. Lourenco’s anti-corruption crackdown has seen top ex-officials arrested and charged for financial crimes. His orders has also led to the dismissal of children of his predecessor from top state outfits. Isabel dos Santos was fired as head of state oil firm, Sonangol whiles her brother was also fired as head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Jose Filemon is the subject of an ongoing judicial investigation. Former governor of Luanda, Higino Carneiro, is the latest to be caught in the fight against corruption in Angola. He is accused of money laundering, abuse of power, mismanagement of Luanda, others. He isn’t allowed to leave country &must present himself to authorities regularly.— Zenaida Machado (@zenaidamz) February 13, 2019Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:48:45 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) protest leaves one dead clashes broke out again in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, leaving one person dead. AFP said, a young man was killed Wednesday afternoon, a few meters from the office of the presidency, which was blocked by police with tear gas. Protesters have been demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise over social equalities, exacerbated by systemic corruption. At least 7 people have been killed since the beginning of the anti-government protest on Thursday. A Haitian journalist was shot in the arm in the street at the city centre during shooting between police officers and a group of protesters, AFP said. Haiti has been plunged into a deep political crisis since February 7. Activities have been paralyzed by popular unrest in the main cities, often fraught with barricades. AFPThu, 14 Feb 2019 13:04:13 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest organisers vow to oust president Omar al-Bashir of anti-government demonstrations in Sudan have reiterated their determination to continue mobilizing people until they overthrow the regime, excluding any dialogue with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Driven by a deep economic crisis, Sudan has been shaken since December 19 by almost daily demonstrations triggered by the government’s decision to triple the price of bread and other essential commodities. ‘‘The opposition forces are united behind the demands of the people. They are working in harmony to overthrow the regime, and to continue demonstrations or sit-ins,’‘ Sara Najdullah, Secretary General, Association of Sudanese Professionals said These rallies have become a vast protest movement calling for a regime change against Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power since 1989. The protest movement includes doctors, teachers, engineers and others professionals. According to an official assessment, 30 people have died since the demonstrations began but Human Rights Watch and right activists reports 51 deaths. President Omar al Bashir has stated that only elections can lead to a change of government in Sudan. AFPThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:32:00 (Eric Oteng)