Africanews RSShttp://www.africanews.com/feed/Receive free and in real-time all news published by africanews.com, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:46:01 +0000Kenya: Fighting COVID-19, one mural at a time http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/kenya-fighting-covid-19-one-mural-at-a-time/A graffiti artist in Kenya has been taking it upon himself to teach people about COVID-19, and urging the public to adhere to the country's coronavirus regulations through his art. At a backstreet in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, the 25 year old Sammy Mwangi, also known as Sermon, is allowing his creative juices to flow. The young man is a graffiti artist who picks nondescript spaces and turns them into canvases for his art. "For this COVID season I have been doing what's based on COVID simply to sensitize the community about the seriousness of this ailment that is ailing the country right now. The yellow and the green are sensational colors, they tend to draw attention more quickly to the masses. It does also grow again into more like a job, in terms of like I am being commissioned. I have done so many commissions of graffiti like hotels, like people's houses," said Sermon. Sermon said he started at the age of 15, and with nothing else but curiosity, determination and a few cans of paint, he fell in love with graffiti. "I had been an artistic child all my life, I was told that by my mom. But by the day I found my neighbor's drawing book I really got fascinated by the different letters that he was doing. And as a child, you are like, 'wow, this is really interesting,'" he said. The artist said that coloring walls was a childhood game that later evolved into a valuable skill. He also adopted word forms, which is graffiti that stylizes words. "It took me roughly seven years to master even just a bit of it. So for me graffiti I started out as a fun kind of hobby and then overtime, I have actually started diving more into conceptual work," he said. During the coronavirus outbreak, Sermon is not the only one trying to get a message across to the community. Images like the work of Sermon have become common in Nairobi, showing how graffiti artists are trying to raise awareness around COVID-19 through their gifts.  Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:46:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/kenya-fighting-covid-19-one-mural-at-a-time/The Black model breaking through in Hong Kong [Inspire Africa]http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/the-black-model-breaking-through-in-hong-kong-inspire-africa/On this episode of Inspire Africa, The story of a young black woman modelling in Hong Kong and her challenge in breaking through an industry with a preference. = And a new generation of female fighters in Libya as combat sports gain wide popularity in the country = Plus later on the show, we meet with Nigerian environmentalist Doyinsola Ogunye who alongside volunteer children, is saving sea turtles and ridding a beach off plastic waste. Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:27:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/the-black-model-breaking-through-in-hong-kong-inspire-africa/Zimbabwe: Chinese company halts search for trapped miners http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/zimbabwe-chinese-company-halts-search-for-trapped-miners/The Chinese mining company operating in Premier estates Zimbabawe where 10 illegal miners were allegedly buried alive last week says it has halted search operations. The halt Zhong Jin says will run until police produce concrete evidence there were indeed missing persons from the local community. Ten persons were reportedly buried alive after the firm sealed some pits during a land reclamation exercise According to police, only two bodies have been recovered from the rescue mission. Zhong Jin general manager Yancey Feng said they were willing to cooperate with relevant authorities but were halting the mission for now until police complete their investigations and identify the proper location. “We have halted mission after working for four continuous days. We will cooperate and we are willing to assist the community but only after police completes investigations and identify the proper location". Feng said . Meanwhile, nearly 30 miners remain unaccounted for after around 40 informal miners got trapped underground in northeastern Zimbabwe last week.  According to Zimbabwe's miners federation, a shaft in a disused gold mine had collapsed.  The disaster occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres north of the capital Harare. Six men have so far emerged alive from the mine though r escue efforts failed to start until Friday after the generator used to drain the 100-metre long mine shaft jammed and another had to be found, according to authorities. Illegal mining of gold, which poses serious safety risks, is rampant in Zimbabwe and results in deaths of several people every year. In September, five artisanal miners were trapped underground when a shaft collapsed at Task Gold Mine in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province. Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:50:52 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/zimbabwe-chinese-company-halts-search-for-trapped-miners/Togo holds two opposition leaders on security-related charges http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/togo-holds-two-opposition-leaders-on-security-related-charges/Togolese authorities are holding two opposition leaders on accusations of plotting to destabilise the internal security of the state. Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, who in 2010 was the first woman in the country to run for president, has been in custody since Saturday. Her colleague, Gerard Djossou of the DMK party was the first to be arrested on Friday. The country's public prosecutor said an investigation was underway to establish the duo's role in the charge. The two had called for a demonstration over the weekend to denounce president Faure Gnassingbé. But Police did not clear the march citing the coronavirus pandemic. Gnassingbé won re-election in a vote in February but the opposition has accused him of rigging his way to victory. He has been in charge of the country since 2005 when his father Eyadema died while in office. He had ruled for 38 years at the time. In 2017, mass protests against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty broke out across the west African country before government used force to stop them.  Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:36:10 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/togo-holds-two-opposition-leaders-on-security-related-charges/Ethiopia: Abiy hails Tigray victory as region's leader vows to fight back http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/ethiopia-abiy-hails-tigray-victory-as-region-s-leader-vows-to-fight-back/Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addressed the country's parliament on Monday, heaping praise on the army for its truimph in Tigray, even as the region's embattled leader said his rebel forces were fighting back 'on all fronts'. Federal troops took Tigray’s capital Mekelle at the weekend, marking defeat for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the region's ruling party. But Tigray's fugitive leader Debretsion Gebremicheal on Monday said that the fighting was not over. Debretsion, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said he remains near the Tigray capital, Mekele, which the Ethiopian army on Saturday said it now controlled. Far from accepting Abiy’s declaration of victory, the Tigray leader asserted that “we are sure we’ll win.” He also accused the Ethiopian forces of carrying out a “genocidal campaign” against the Tigray people. With the Tigray region still cut off a month after the fighting began, no one knows how many people have been killed, and it’s difficult to verify the warring sides’ claims. In parliament, Abiy denied army soldiers had killed civilians or damaged any installations in Mekelle. Each government regards the other as illegal after Abiy sidelined the once-dominant Tigray People’s Liberation Front after taking office in early 2018. The fight is about self-determination of the region of some 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.”  He asserted that his forces held an undetermined number of “captives” among the Ethiopian forces, including the pilot of a fighter jet that his side claims to have shot down over the weekend. A communications blackout in the region has made it virtually impossible to verify the claims made by either side.  The Tigray leader also asserted that his forces still have several missiles and “we can use them whenever we want,” though he rejected a question about striking at the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, saying the primary aim is to “clear Tigray from the invaders.” He again accused Abiy of collaborating with neighboring Eritrea in the offensive in Tigray, something Abiy’s government has denied. Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:15:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/ethiopia-abiy-hails-tigray-victory-as-region-s-leader-vows-to-fight-back/Kenya records huge spike in covid cases http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/kenya-records-huge-spike-in-covid-cases/After a huge spike of recorded covid infections in the country, Kenya has declared November the darkest month since the coronavirus pandemic struck the country in March Health minister Mutahi Kagwe said the number of cases recorded this month has doubled those recorded in October and September combined. According to the ministry of health, over 28,000 cases and 456 deaths were recorded in November. Authorities in the country now fear that cases may increase during the December festivities. The doctors' union in the  country had earlier in November accused the government of not protecting healthcare workers who are treating Covid-19 patients, after the deaths of four medical practitioners last week. Although it is unclear if they had contact with coronavirus patients, rhe medical practitioners are reported to have died in a 24-hour period. Thirty healthcare workers, including 10 specialist doctors, have so far died from Covid-19, according to the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Doctors Union. The total number of confirmed cases in the east African nation now stands at 83, 316. Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:06:25 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/kenya-records-huge-spike-in-covid-cases/Tunisian media sees big change 10 years after uprisinghttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/tunisian-media-sees-big-change-10-years-after-uprising/The Arab uprisings a decade ago were supercharged by online calls to join the protests - but the internet was soon flooded with misinformation, weakening the region's cyber-activists. When Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011, rumours and uncertainty created "panic and hysteria", said ex-activist and entrepreneur Houeida Anouar. "January 14 was a horrible night, so traumatic," she said. "We heard gunfire, and a neighbour shouted 'hide yourselves, they're raping women'." As pro-regime media pumped out misinformation, the floods of bogus news also spread to the internet, a space activists had long seen as a refuge from censorship and propaganda. Journalist and researcher Hakim Beltifa says the ground was ripe for "the spreading of fake news". "Fake news fed off people's mistrust" of traditional, state-owned media outlets which "obscured the reality and kept the people in ignorance," he wrote for online magazine The Conversation. When Egyptian state TV accused American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken of giving free meals to pro-democracy protesters at Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square, the rumours were repeated online, amid a string of reports of foreign powers allegedly infiltrating the protest movement. But activists and journalists on the ground found little evidence of fried chicken. Most demonstrators were getting by on pita bread and kushari, a popular, ultra-cheap street dish of rice, pasta and lentils. Ghost bloggers Soon, a slew of fake stories originating online was undermining trust in internet sources. One example was the infamous case of the "Gay Girl of Damascus". Amina Abdallah Arraf was a young Syrian-American lesbian, anti-regime activist and author of a blog widely followed by observers of the Syrian uprising. Except she never existed. When Amina was reported "kidnapped" in Damascus, her worried followers mobilised to rescue her from the hands of the Assad regime. But they discovered that the blogger, who had been an icon of Syria's pro-democracy movement, was in fact Tom MacMaster -- a bearded American in his 40s living in Scotland and hoping to achieve some literary fame. "That seems fairly bland today as we've learned to be more suspicious of this type of fabrication, but at the time, suspicion was far less prevalent," researcher Yves Gonzalez Quijano said. Another invented personality was Liliane Khalil, supposedly a US journalist covering the "Arab Spring" for a number of media outlets, and who had indirectly expressed support for the Bahraini government. Despite a mass of public information about Khalil, who was accused by many activists and researchers of being a fake, her true identity has never been revealed. Online mistrust The two cases, with their carefully-crafted back stories and manipulated images, were early examples of what soon became a trend of misinformation online. Researcher Romain Lecomte says that regimes were soon able to "infiltrate discussions" online, spread doubt about reported abuses and "sow confusion and misinformation". "Mass political use of the internet" was a game-changer, said Lecomte. Many online activists began to question the democratic power of the internet. That has sparked the phenomenon of fact-checking services, along with dilemmas about whether to allow "fake news" to flourish or to censor it and risk compromising democratic freedoms. In the early years of the Arab uprisings, chatrooms and sites such as Lina Ben Mhenni's blog "A Tunisian Girl" had fuelled growing protest movements and side-stepped censorship. But the flood of misinformation took away much of the credibility of cyber-activism, said Gonzalez Quijano. It "has never recovered from being used, or rather manipulated, by political powers that are better organised than activists on the ground," he said.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 11:25:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/tunisian-media-sees-big-change-10-years-after-uprising/Former footballer Papa Bouba Diop dies at age 42http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/former-footballer-papa-bouba-diop-dies-at-age-42/Papa Bouba Diop , the Senegal midfielder who scored the goal that delivered one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, has died.  He was 42. "FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop, ” the sport's governing body said Sunday. Diop was the hero when Senegal shocked defending champion France 1-0 in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. It was Senegal's World Cup debut and the win sent the West Africans on a run to the quarterfinals to match the best performance at the tournament by an African team. “Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero, ” FIFA said in its tribute on Twitter. Diop was first called up to play for his country at the age of 21 and made more than 60 appearances for Senegal from 2001-08. He played club soccer in Switzerland, France and Greece and for four teams in England: Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Birmingham. Diop was 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters) and nicknamed “Wardrobe” because of his commanding presence. He was loved in Senegal because of that goal against the French, the former colonizers of Senegal, but also for his likeable personality off the field along with his skill on it. The 2002 Senegal team is still loved at home and Liverpool's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane wrote of Diop on his official Twitter page: "It was with a broken heart that we learned of your departure. Know that you will remain in our hearts forever, even if you left without saying goodbye to us." The Premier League expressed its condolences, as did Diop's former clubs.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 11:04:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Afolake Oyinloye)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/former-footballer-papa-bouba-diop-dies-at-age-42/Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy set to appear in court on Mondayhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/former-french-president-nicolas-sarkozy-set-to-appear-in-court-on-monday/Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial on Monday This is the second time the trial are set to begin after the November 23 session was postponed. One of the three defendants, the former high magistrate Gilbert Azibert, had requested for a postponement, citing his fragile health in the relation to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. The court rejected his request last Thursday. Gilbert Azibert should therefore appear in person for the hearing today. This marks another fresh attempt to kick start these proceedings.  Nicolas Sarkozy faces a ten-year prison sentence and a million euros fine for corruption and influence peddling, like his co-defendants who were already tried in addition for violation of professional secrecy. The former French president together with his lawyer Thierry Herzog are suspected of having, tried to bribe Gilbert Azibert, who was then in charge of Cassation Court. It is alleged that Nicolas Sarkozy and Thierry Herzog used a false identification as Paul Bismuth, who happens to be a former high school friend to the lawyer. According to the prosecution, Nicolas Sarkozy was seeking to obtain classified information to influence proceedings before the high court related to the Bettencourt case - in which he had obtained a dismissal at the end of 2013. In return, he would have given Gilbert Azibert a "boost" for a prestigious position in Monaco, a position he never obtained. Investigators had from 2013 been wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog as they delved into allegations of Libyan financing in Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 10:21:25 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/former-french-president-nicolas-sarkozy-set-to-appear-in-court-on-monday/Ghana deploys military in the volatile Volta region ahead of electionhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/ghana-deploys-military-in-the-volatile-volta-region-ahead-of-election/Ghana army has been deployed to the Volta region in preparation for the presidential election on December 7. The Volta region is mainly seen as the opposition stronghold. Local leaders have cried foul lamenting that this will lead to fear and intimidation to the local voters. The Volta Regional House of Chiefs together with the opposition NDC is now calling on government to withdraw the military from the region. The government on the other hand has maintained that the deployment has been done in most vulnerable places to prevent terror attacks. They further dismissed that the deployment is polically instigated. The Ghanaian government deployed military after September violence by the secessionists from the western Togoland. The latter, who demand the creation of an independent state between Ghana and Togo, then set up roadblocks, attacked police stations and kidnapped members of the security forces.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 08:18:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/ghana-deploys-military-in-the-volatile-volta-region-ahead-of-election/Burkina Faso elections: Kabore's party fails to clinch majority parliamentary seatshttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/burkina-faso-elections-kabore-s-party-fails-to-win-majority-parliamentary-seats/Despite winning the much hyped presidential election, Burkina Faso ruling party for the elected leader Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Mouvement du people MPP fail to clinch majority of the parliamentary seats in the just concluded election. The electoral commission announced that the ruling party only obtained 56 seat and therefore does not reach the absolute majority of 64 seats, out of a total of 127. Kabore’s party which won the recently concluded election in the first round with 57.87%, can however obtain this majority through a coalition with other minor allied parties. Political analysts now point at possible union between Kabores’s party and the New Times party that belongs to current Minister of Transport, Vincent Dabilgou, which supported his candidacy. It can also count on other small parties, such as the Union for the Renaissance / Sankarist Party that clinched 5 seats, the RPI with 3 seats and the PDC that has 3 seats. The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the party of former President Blaise Compaoré, driven out of power October in 2014 after 27 years in power, became the second political force with 20 seats. Its candidate, Eddie Komboïgo, came second in the November presidential election with 15.48% of the vote.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 07:12:32 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/burkina-faso-elections-kabore-s-party-fails-to-win-majority-parliamentary-seats/Tigray children resume learning in makeshift classes in Sudan refugee camphttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/tigray-children-resume-learning-in-makeshift-classes-in-sudan-refugee-camp/The Um Raquba refugee camp in eastern Sudan once housed Ethiopians fleeing famine, but now life has flooded back into the isolated camp as refugees seek safe haven from the Tigray conflict. "A month ago, this was just a piece of desert, but now it's turned back into a town," camp director Abdel Basset Abdel Ghani told AFP. The sound of hammering and digging rings out as people build temporary huts, while elsewhere children take lessons in makeshift classrooms. Young people kick a football around in the dust while others line up to refill containers of water. More than 44,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan since fighting broke out in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region on November 4, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The rapidly growing Um Raquba refugee camp, located some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the border, once housed refugees who fled Ethiopia's 1983-85 famine that killed more than a million people. It was closed 20 years ago but reopened for a second time earlier this month. Tasfai Burhani and his wife, who arrived Thursday from the Hamdayit transit centre in neighbouring Kassala province, are among those building a hut for themselves. "For now, we'll live here. After that, we'll see," said the farmer, aged around 20. - Rapid expansion - Authorities have assigned them a 200 square metre (over 2,100 square feet) area and have provided them with rudimentary materials and tools to make the wicker shelters. Others less inclined to build the structures themselves or who are convinced their stay will be brief have opted for white tents distributed by UNHCR. Um Raquba is Sudan's only official refugee settlement. Other camps near the border are transit centres where new arrivals are registered before being directed towards Um Raquba. The camp now houses almost 9,700 people, according to the UN refugee agency. Some 2,100 huts have been set up since the settlement was reopened this month, camp director Abdel Ghani said. Toilets have been put in place across the camp and UN children's agency UNICEF has installed water tanks. "Luckily the region has a lot of (underground) water, even though the infrastructure is poor," Abdel Ghani said. He said the camp can accommodate "20,000 people, but the number of arrivals here is constantly going up." An additional 3,000 huts are planned to fill the gap in demand, he added. - Makeshift schools - Shelters were initially concentrated in the middle of Um Raquba, but now extend for a radius of up to a kilometre, AFP correspondents said. At the centre of the settlement, international organisations have opened offices that people visit in the hope of receiving aid. Small vegetable stands have sprung up too, and while some refugees prefer to prepare their food themselves with ingredients distributed by the United Nations, most queue up three times a day for meals from the World Food Programme's tents. Sitting on the ground in one hut, around 50 young children were excited to be back at school after the trauma of fleeing conflict. "We have two schools in the camp, each school has 600 children," aged seven to 17, Will Carter, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Sudan, told AFP. Without paper, pens or a blackboard, the children repeated the numbers from one to 10. "We are lucky that among the refugees who fled we have some teachers," Carter said. "Now, we give them basic maths, Tigrean language and English (lessons)." According to UNHCR, 45 percent of the refugees are children.Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:59:33 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/30/tigray-children-resume-learning-in-makeshift-classes-in-sudan-refugee-camp/France, UK reach deal on channel crossinghttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/france-uk-reach-deal-on-channel-crossing/Twice as many patrols and more technological means to monitor French beaches along the English Channel from Tuesday December 1. They will include drones, radars, cameras and night vision binoculars. The deal was made between Paris and London to try to stop migrants crossing the Channel. The United Kingdom will spend more than 31 million euros on this. The issue has been poisoning relations between the two countries for months. London accuses Paris of not doing enough to prevent migrants from reaching the other side. Since the beginning of the year, more than 8,000 people have attempted the crossing in canoes, kayaks or even swimming, simply equipped with life jackets. Officially, seven people have died. In reality, probably many more. Immigrants have mostly tried to board trucks and ferries, but traffic has been considerably reduced with the pandemic.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 16:53:57 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/france-uk-reach-deal-on-channel-crossing/Nigeria massacre: number shoots up to at least 110http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/nigeria-massacre-number-shoots-up-to-at-least-110/The number of farm workers killed on a rice farm in northeastern Nigeria on Saturday has shot to at least 110 people, according to a United Nations report. The massacre is the deadliest attacks in the region suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram, locals said. The victims were buried on Sunday. "We shall ensure more recruitment of Civilian JTF and more Hunters so that our people will take the fight to all the nooks and crannies of this area", said Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum. Earlier, a militia leader Babakura Kolo, who helped the survivors told AFP that ‘’we have recovered 43 dead bodies, all of them slaughtered, along with six others with serious injuries.’’ He added that "it is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram who operate in the area and frequently attack farmers." The victims were laborers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away. They had travelled to the northeast to find work, another militiaman Ibrahim Liman who gave the same toll said, adding that 8 others were missing, presumed to have been kidnapped by the jihadists. The UN report did not mention Boko Haram as perpetrators. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attack. He said "the entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings." In September, Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents. The nefarious group and ISWAP, its IS-linked rival, have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign. They accused them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them. At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict, which has displaced around two million since 2009. The violence has also spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 16:08:59 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/nigeria-massacre-number-shoots-up-to-at-least-110/Sudan needs $150 mln to tackle refugee crisishttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/sudan-needs-150-mln-to-tackle-refugee-crisis/Some $150 million is needed to tackle the refugee crisis in Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency boss said Saturday. Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have fled from the embattled northern Tigray region to seek refuge in Sudan. Filipo Grandi, who said this during a visit to the camp, appealed for donor support. ''Five hundred people per day, this is what we got in the last few days. Five, six hundred refugees coming into the country per day. In rich countries, this would be bring governments down. In here, the government of Sudan has kept the border open. UNHCR, the UN and humanitarian community need about 150 million dollars for the next six months to help the government of Sudan manage this refugee crisis", he said. The Tigray conflict broke out on November 4 between Ethiopia's federal forces and leaders of the region's ruling party. Sudan has since become a refugee for over 43,000 Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the intense fighting. The East African nation is accommodating the mass refugee influx as it struggles with its own economic crisis. The country is also going through a fragile transition since the April 2019 ouster of long serving leader Omar al-Bashir, after unprecedented mass protests, triggered by economic hardship.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:47:45 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/sudan-needs-150-mln-to-tackle-refugee-crisis/Libyan MPs vow to ‘’end division’’http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/libyan-mps-vow-to-end-division/Some 123 Libyan legislators have pledged to "end the divisions" that undermine their country. At a meeting held between 23-28 November in Tangiers, Morocco, the law makers said they would begin by convening the elected parliament as soon as they return home. The House of Representatives has not met for two years, as the North African nation has been hit by violence and chaos since the toppling and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. "For the time being, the meeting's results are very good. We agreed to meet in Ghadames (city at the Libya-Tunisia border, ed.) to unify the legislative power, for us to continue working on unifying the divided institutions, to ensure that our country is stable and to get rid of foreign intervention as best as possible", said MP Rabiaa Abou Ras. Her fellow colleague, Member of Parliament for Tabrouk, Abdenabi Salhine said ‘’we need an executive power that will help unify the divided institutions in Libya, and that same power will try to alleviate the suffering of Libyan citizens who suffer from lack of liquidity, gas, electricity, and gasoline." Two rival administrations have been vying for control of the country. These are the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the eastern administration supported by part of the elected parliament. The house is deeply divided, with sessions taking place in parallel in the east and west. At the end of five days of talks in Tangier, Morocco, 123 of the parliament's 180 members pledged on Saturday to put an end to "hate speech" and "divisions" that undermine Libyan institutions. They vowed to hold "parliamentary elections and to complete the transition as soon as possible.’’Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:55:48 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/libyan-mps-vow-to-end-division/Tunisian-French actor describes Hollywood’s ‘Mosul’ film as historicalhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/tunisian-french-actor-describes-hollywood-s-mosul-film-as-historical/Hollywood has churned out plenty of war movies about conflict in the Middle East in the past two decades, but none quite like "Mosul." The movie places Arab actors in the roles of heroes and uses the Arabic language to tell the story of a local SWAT team battling ISIS three years ago in Iraq's third-largest city. "Avengers" directors Joe and Anthony Russo produced the film, saying it matched their goals of amplifying voices of those who traditionally aren't heard in Hollywood. "It is important to us that we try to tell stories that are not Anglo-centric, that are not Hollywood-centric. And, you know, it was one of the more profound moments in our careers when one of the actors on the movie told us that this was the first time that he was able to play, as an Arabic actor, a hero in a film and not a terrorist or a villain. And that's a disturbing notion", Joe Russo said. Adam Bessa, a Tunisian-French stars as a police officer who joins the hardened SWAT team. For him, 'Mosul' is a milestone in Hollywood productions. "It's historical, you know, to have the opportunity to do it and to tell this story in the Arab language, Iraqi dialect, Arab actors. As said Matthew, you know, to have the opportunity to express yourself in this kind of production thanks to the Russos and Matthew for trusting us. I mean, yeah, of course, I have messages, people all over the place. My mother is like, 'I'm going to watch it without subtitles?' I was like 'Yeah, you're going to watch it without subtitles", Bessa said. "Mosul" is now available worldwide on Netflix.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:35:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/tunisian-french-actor-describes-hollywood-s-mosul-film-as-historical/ Pope appoints first African-American cardinalhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/pope-appoints-first-african-american-cardinal/Pope Francis has created 13 new cardinals, including a first African-American Archbishop from Washington, putting his personal stamp on the body that will one day choose his successor. Under the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, the cardinals knelt one by one at the feet of the head of the Vatican, who placed quadrangular scarlet cap, or biretta, on their heads. The new cardinals are a diverse group, with members hailing from Italy, Malta, the Philippines, Chile, Brunei, Mexico and the United States. And for the first time, the cardinals included an African-American. The 72-year-old Archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, said he was a "symbolic individual" for being made the first African-American cardinal. This reflects not only the changing face of the church of 1.3 billion faithful, but also the Jesuit pope's belief in priests focused on the world's poor. Since Francis' election in 2013, the Argentine pope, the first from the Americas, has created 95 new cardinals in ceremonies known as consistories. Those named by Francis now make up the majority of those cardinals under the age of 80 who will elect his successor. That ups the chances that the pope's quest to make the Roman Catholic Church more inclusive, transparent, and more focused on defending the most vulnerable members of society, may continue after his passing. During the ceremony, The Pope warned the new cardinals not to be seduced by their new "eminence" and stray from being "close to the people". "The scarlet of a cardinal’s robes, which is the color of blood, can, for a worldly spirit, become the color of a secular 'eminence’. When you feel that, you will be off the road", he said.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 11:04:51 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/pope-appoints-first-african-american-cardinal/Nigeria: at least 43 farm workers killed by Boko Haramhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/nigeria-at-least-43-farm-workers-killed-by-boko-haram/At least 43 farm workers have been killed and 6 others wounded by Boko Haram near the northeastern city of Maiduguri on Saturday. Anti-jihadist told militia that the victims were working in a rice field before the attack. According to the militia, the assailants tied up the agricultural works and then slit their throats in the village of Koshobe. "We have recovered 43 dead bodies, all of them slaughtered, along with six others with serious injuries," said militia leader Babakura Kolo, who helped the survivors. "It is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram who operate in the area and frequently attack farmers", he added. Another militiaman Ibrahim Liman said ‘’ there were 60 farmers who were contracted to harvest paddy in the rice fields.’’ 8 others were missing and presumed to have been kidnapped by jihadists, he told AFP. The bodies were taken to Zabarmari village, two kilometres away. They would be kept here ahead of burial on Sunday, resident Mala Bunu, who took part in the search and rescue operation said. In September, Boko Haram militants killed 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents. Boko Haram and ISWAP, it IS-linked rival, have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign. The nefarious group accuses their victims of spying and passing information to the military and local militia fighting them. At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict, which has displaced around two million since 2009.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 09:01:18 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/nigeria-at-least-43-farm-workers-killed-by-boko-haram/Sharp rise in pensions, salaries as Mauritania marks 60th anniversaryhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/sharp-rise-in-pensions-salaries-as-mauritania-marks-60th-anniversary/Mauritania marks 60th independence anniversary on Saturday. President Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani presided over the event after announcing sharp increases in pensions and salaries in the health and education sectors on Friday night. "I pay here, a deserved tribute and express deep appreciation to the heroes of our valiant resistance for the valiant acts of bravery and sacrifice, at the price of their blood, to defend the homeland in the name of its freedom and dignity", he told the gathering in the capital, Nouakchott. Health sector workers will benefit from a 30% increase in their salaries and a generalization of their risk premium, the president announced Friday night in a televised speech. The Mauritanian head of state stressed the efforts made by health workers during the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 169 lives for some 8,000 cases in in the country. On education, the president said premiums of teachers have been increased to encourage them to work in remote areas of the country, describing them as a ‘’priority’’. Pensioners will see their pensions doubled and now paid every month, instead of every three months currently, President Ghazouani added. The ceremony saw parades by security officers, while locals were present to express their pride for the celebration. "It is a proud day for us because it marks the recovery of our freedom. It is a beautiful day that we are happy to celebrate every year", a resident Fatima Ahmed said. The Islamic Republic in Northwestern Africa gained its independence from France on November 28, 1960.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 09:55:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/sharp-rise-in-pensions-salaries-as-mauritania-marks-60th-anniversary/Ethiopian army claims control of Tigray cityhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/ethiopian-army-claims-control-of-tigray-city/Ethiopia’s army has said it had taken control of Mekele, the capital of the embattled northern Tigray region on Saturday. Officials said they were now hunting for the dissident leaders. The announcement came after heavy shelling was reported in Mekele. The army Chief General Berhanu Jula told the press that over 7000 soldiers have been freed. "We are looking for anti-peace forces hiding in every nook and cranny. We freed more than 7000 North division soldiers. We control our North division camp and all tanks and heavy weapons", General Jula said. Earlier on Saturday, the local government said that heavy shelling had rocked the centre of Mekele.This statement was confirmed by two humanitarian officials with staff in the city, AFP reports. More than three weeks of fighting in Tigray has left thousands of people dead, with tens of thousands more fleeing to Sudan for refuge. Prime Minister and winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy Ahmed announced November 4 that he had ordered military operations against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). On Thursday, he ordered a "final" offensive against the Tigray military. The TPLF was contacted on Saturday after the army's statement but could not be reached immediately.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 07:28:45 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/ethiopian-army-claims-control-of-tigray-city/Free hotline for Ethiopian refugees in Sudanhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/free-hotline-for-ethiopian-refugees-in-sudan/A shack in Sudan's Hamdayit refugee centre is offering free communication services for Ethiopian refugees. It’s just a small gesture allowing the refugees to connect with family and friends at home, thus providing badly needed relief at such trying times. A sign posted outside of the shack reads ‘’ restoring family links’’. The phone and messaging service has been set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. The refugee centre in Hamdayit is filled with some 30,000 refugees. Most of them have fled with a few belongings and clothes on their back, escaping the conflict between leaders of the northern Tigray region and the Ethiopian federal forces. More than 43,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan since fighting broke out in Tigray on November 4, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said as he visited Sudanese camps this week. Sun, 29 Nov 2020 07:57:07 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/29/free-hotline-for-ethiopian-refugees-in-sudan/New Covid-19 cases in Mauritiushttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/new-covid-19-cases-in-mauritius/After more than six months without a local case of Covid-19, Mauritius recorded two new local cases. The popular tourism destination has been marketing itself as Covid-safe to attract tourists in Europe particularly. Mid-November a 29-year-old man was tested positive after being infected by his father, who returned from Australia via Dubai on October 24. The contact tracing exercise initiated found another case of local transmission of Covid-19 yesterday. A 57-year-old woman who had prolonged and close contact with the 2 initially positive cases. The patient is asymptomatic and was transferred, from isolation to hospital, the ministry of Health told. Two cases imported from COVID-19 were also detected friday from persons in quarantine. They are a man and a woman from France and have a stable state of health. Mauritius has so far registered 501 cases of Covid-19, the country has 10 deaths, 443 persons have been cured of the disease while the number of active cases is 48. 1,629 people are currently in quarantine as the country has opened its borders with compulsory 14 days quarantine.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 17:22:40 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/new-covid-19-cases-in-mauritius/Nigeria: Borno State residents vote in local gov't pollshttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/nigeria-borno-state-residents-vote-in-local-gov-t-polls/Over 5,000 internally displaced persons camp near Maiduguri in Borno State, Nigeria to vote in local government elections. Residents of the state are for the first time voting to elect officials for 27 local government councils in the state. Officers say the exercise is being undertaken under covid-19 protocol observations. "We are very much enlightened by NOA and other agencies in order to bring a social distancing among the people and the people are very much aware and definitely they respond to the advice", said Returning officer, Abdulrahman Bulama Ali. At total of 38 chairmanship candidates, including two university professors are contesting in Saturday’s local elections. The councils have been run by caretaker committees appointed by the state governors since 2012. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party told a local newspaper that it had fielded the two professors contesting in the local elections. Voting began at 8 am local time in 5,012 polling stations in Borno State and is expected to end at 2pm, officials said.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:43:55 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/nigeria-borno-state-residents-vote-in-local-gov-t-polls/Concerns grow over Algerian president's whereabouthttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/concerns-grow-over-algerian-president-s-whereabout/It’s been a month since Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was transferred to Germany for a specialized medical treatment. He has yet to return to the country. The 75-year old was transferred on Wednesday October 28th a day after the presidency announced his hospitalization without explaining the cause. Senior officials in Tebboune’s entourage in Algiers had developed symptoms for the novel coronavirus. The president was placed in what the government called ‘’voluntary preventive confinement.’’ It is not clear whether the Algerian president’s hospitalization was connected to exposure. State Television reported that his condition was stable. The absence of president Tebboune has raised concerns about the vacancy of power as was the case during the hospitalization of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika abroad after his serious stroke in 2013. His brother Said Bouteflika then took over the reins of leadership and tried to impose a 5th term of office for Mr. Bouteflika. This forced Algerians to take to the streets in February 2019. Mr. Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 that same year under the double pressure from the army and the unprecedented and peaceful popular Hirak uprising. Since his absence from the country to Cologne, Germany aboard a French medical plane, according to Algerian media, six communiqués, sometimes contradictory, have been issued by the presidency. Following announcement on October 28 that Mr. Tebboune was hospitalized in Germany for "thorough medical examinations", the presidency explained the next day that he was receiving "adequate treatment adding that his state of health was "stable and not worrying", without indicating what the president was suffering from. On November 3, the presidency announced that he was infected with Covid-19. Five days later, it indicated that the head of state was "on the verge of completing his treatment". Then on November 15, another statement said that he had completed his treatment and was undergoing "medical examinations".Sat, 28 Nov 2020 13:54:31 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/concerns-grow-over-algerian-president-s-whereabout/UNHCR sends emergency aid to Sudan, more expectedhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/unhcr-sends-emergency-aid-to-sudan-more-expected/The United Nations said Friday it had flown 32 tons of emergency aid to Khartoum, Sudan to quickly assist the thousands of refugees fleeing fighting and violence in Ethiopia. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR said a second shipment is expected to arrive by plane from Dubai on Monday. More than 43,300 refugees have crossed the border to Sudan so far. The number of refugees could reach 200,000 in the next six months according to humanitarian agencies. Visiting Khartoum to oversee operations, UNHCR boss Filipo Grandi expressed his solidarity and gratitude to Sudan for opening its borders to refugees. According to a UNHCR spokesman in Geneva half of them are children. Friday's flight brought 5,000 blankets, 4,500 solar lamps, 2,900 mosquito nets, 200 tarpaulins and 200 rolls of plastic. Monday's flight is expected to carry 1,275 family tents and 10 prefabricated warehouses to accommodate 16,000 people. Two more flights are planned.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 12:59:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/unhcr-sends-emergency-aid-to-sudan-more-expected/SADC leaders agree to respond to attacks in Mozambiquehttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/sadc-leaders-agree-to-respond-to-attacks-in-mozambique/The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has agreed to respond to the Islamist insurgency ravaging areas in northern Mozambique. Five presidents who attended an extraordinary summit in the Botswana capital Gaborone, have "finalized a comprehensive regional response" to the unrest in Mozambique, according to a SADC communiqué. The jihadists, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, have been active for three years in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique. They attack villages to sow terror and try to establish a caliphate. Attacks, including the killing of civilians and clashes with security forces in various parts of Cabo Delgado province, have increased in recent weeks. The UN considers the human rights situation "increasingly alarming". According to the United Nations and NGOs, the crisis has already caused, more than 2,000 deaths, over half of them civilians, and 350,000 displaced persons, in a strategic region for the exploitation of huge gas reserves. The southern African nation relies on the gas reserves to increase its income and become one of the world's main exporters. The presidents of Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe attended the meeting. Tanzania was represented by its Vice President and Mozambique by its Minister of Defense. Last week, Mozambique and neighboring Tanzania signed an agreement to fight jihadists locally known as Al-Shabab, meaning the ‘’youth’’ in Arabic. Sat, 28 Nov 2020 12:21:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/sadc-leaders-agree-to-respond-to-attacks-in-mozambique/Political stability in D.R. Congo {Interview}http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/political-stability-in-dr-congo-interview/Since President Félix Tshisekedi took power in 2019 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, political mechanisms have been put in place to bring political stability to the country. Africanews Journalist Pascale Mahe Keingna speaks to François Muamba Tshishimbi, Special Advisor to President Félix Tshisekedi on the outcomes of a number of initiatives taken by the President thus far to ensure political stability in Central Africa’s most populous nation.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 13:07:15 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Pascale Mahe Keingna)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/political-stability-in-dr-congo-interview/Brexit face-to-face talks resume todayhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/brexit-face-to-face-talks-resume-today/The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier arrived in London late on Friday ahead of the resumption of face-to-face talks aimed at securing a free trade deal. Mr. Barnier warned earlier on Friday that “significant divergences” remain between the two sides, but his counterpart David Frost called on Brussels to respect UK sovereignty. In-person talks were paused last week after one of the EU team tested positive for coronavirus, but they will resume in London on Saturday. Mr Barnier arrived in the capital by Eurostar, having earlier tweeted that the “same significant divergences persist”. Britain's chief negotiator David Frost on Friday said a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union could still be secured, despite a looming deadline and deadlock on key areas. He said: “Some people are asking me why we are still talking. My answer is that it’s my job to do my utmost to see if the conditions for a deal exist. It is late, but a deal is still possible, and I will continue to talk until it’s clear that it isn’t. “But for a deal to be possible it must fully respect UK sovereignty. That is not just a word, it has practical consequences. That includes: controlling our borders; deciding ourselves on a robust and principled subsidy control system; and controlling our fishing waters. “We look to reach an agreement on this basis, allowing the new beginning to our relationship with the EU which, for our part, we have always wanted. We will continue to work hard to get it, because an agreement on any other basis is not possible.” Negotiations have been deadlocked for months over the issues of fishing rights, the governance of any deal, and the “level playing field” conditions aimed at preventing unfair competition by cutting standards or increasing state subsidies.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 09:40:18 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/brexit-face-to-face-talks-resume-today/Remains of ex-Sudanese PM arrives in Khartoumhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/remains-of-ex-sudanese-pm-arrives-in-khartoum/The remains of Sudan’s former Prime Minister and top opposition figure arrived in Khartoum on Friday. Sadiq al-Madhi died from the novel coronavirus, his moderate Islamist National Umma party said on Thursday, while offering condolences to the Sudanese people. Madhi was transferred to the United Arab Emirates for treatment three weeks ago after being hospitalized in Sudan and testing positive for the virus. "The deceased Imam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi is one of the people who called for democracy in Sudan, despite the obstacles they faced in Sudan, and he is one of the people who persevered until Sudan reached a democracy that would be accepted by the world in general’’, said Badr Abdel Aziz, a Sudanese citizen. On Friday, the government declared three days of national mourning for the former premier. He was a staunch opposition figure during Bashir's long rule and threw his weight behind a mass protest movement that eventually prompted the military to overthrow the president last year. Mahdi was toppled in 1989 by now-ousted president Omar al-Bashir in an Islamist-backed military coup. Sudan has recorded nearly 17,000 coronavirus cases including more than 1,200 deaths.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 08:55:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/remains-of-ex-sudanese-pm-arrives-in-khartoum/Al-Ahly wins 9th African club champs league titlehttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/al-ahly-wins-9th-african-club-champs-league-title/Egyptian al-Ahly won its 9th African Club Championship title on Friday by beating Zamalek (2-1) in Cairo.  The most crowned club of the continent opened the score from a corner by midfielder Amr al-Soleya (5th), then Shikabala equalized for Zamalek. It was a spectacular strike from Mohamed "Afsha" Magdy (86th) that gave al-Ahly the victory. At an international stadium in Cairo almost empty because of coronavirus, Al-Ahly, started very strong with a first goal scored in the fifth minute by al-Soleya, ideally served by the Tunisian Ali Maaloul. The equalization came from a left shot from Shikabala (31st), the right winger of Zamalek, and a ball helped by the bar to enter the cage of the international Mohamed al-Shenawy. For most of the match, Zamalek dominated and exerted constant pressure on al-Ahly's players, thanks to Shikabala, Mostafa Mohamed and Morocco's Ashraf Bencharki. Al-Ahly was tensed for a long time and Zamalek missed several good chances to take the lead early in the second half, such as a shot from Mostafa Mohamed well stopped by Shenawy and another from distance, but on the post, from Ahmed Sayed "Zizo" (65th). The favorite finally got the upper hand, thanks to a superb goal (86th) from Mohamed "Afsha" Magdy. The Egyptian had almost scored a few minutes earlier on a shot controlled from close range by the Zamalek goalkeeper, Mohamed Abou Gabal. Thanks to this 9th title, al-Ahly will represent the African continent at the FIFA Club World Cup in February 2021 in Doha, Qatar.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 07:15:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/28/al-ahly-wins-9th-african-club-champs-league-title/Top Iranian nuclear scientist killed near Tehranhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/top-iranian-nuclear-scientist-killed-near-tehran/An Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program was killed Friday in an ambush on the outskirts of Tehran, authorities said. Iran's foreign minister alleged the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh bore ``serious indications'' of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate.  Israel, long suspected of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists a decade ago, declined to immediately comment. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once told the public to "``remember that name'' when talking about Fakhrizadeh. The killing risks further raising tensions across the Mideast, nearly a year after Iran and the U.S. stood on the brink of war when an American drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general in Baghdad.  Details about the assassination remained slim in the hours after the attack, which happened in Absard, a village just east of the capital that is a retreat for the Iranian elite.  Iranian state television said an old truck with explosives hidden under a load of wood blew up near a sedan carrying Fakhrizadeh. As Fakhrizadeh's sedan stopped, at least five gunmen emerged and raked the car with rapid fire, the semiofficial Tasnim news agency said. Photos and video shared online showed a Nissan sedan with bullet holes in the windshield and blood pooled on the road. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators<br><br>Iran calls on int&#39;l community—and especially EU—to end their shameful double standards &amp; condemn this act of state terror.</p>&mdash; Javad Zarif (@JZarif) <a href="https://twitter.com/JZarif/status/1332345633425022976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pointed the finger at Israel, calling the killing an act of ``"state terror.'' ``Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice _ with serious indications of Israeli role _ shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,'' Zarif wrote on Twitter.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 21:51:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/top-iranian-nuclear-scientist-killed-near-tehran/The midnight attack on an army camp that plunged Ethiopia into warhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/the-midnight-attack-on-an-army-camp-that-plunged-ethiopia-into-war/It was late on the first Tuesday in November, and Captain Hussen Besheir, an Ethiopian federal soldier, was on duty at a guard post outside the military camp in Dansha. It was close to midnight when he saw headlights approaching. Ten armed members of the Tigrayan special forces got out of the vehicle and demanded to see the camp's commander. "'We're not here for you'," Hussen recalled them saying. "'We want to talk to the leaders.'" Hussen refused. An argument ensued and gunfire rang out. They were the first shots in a conflict that has since engulfed northern Ethiopia's Tigray region, killing many hundreds of people and forcing tens of thousands from their homes. This week AFP visited the Dansha barracks, home to the Fifth Battalion of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian military, after gaining rare access to Tigray, where a near-complete communications blackout has been in place since the fighting began. Shell casings littered the camp's grounds, and bullet holes were punched in the walls of buildings and sides of military trucks. A metal sign at the entrance reading, "We need to protect the constitution from anti-development forces and lead our country to renaissance," was so perforated with gunfire as to be almost illegible. 'Betrayal' Hussen and others described hours-long rifle and grenade battles against fighters loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), including special forces and militiamen, joined by some federal soldiers of Tigrayan ethnicity who turned against their comrades. Echoing a statement from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Hussen said soldiers "were killed in their pyjamas", adding, "What happened here is even worse than that." "Betrayal alone wouldn't describe the feeling that I have. These are soldiers who have been eating and drinking with us," he said of those former federal troops who allegedly turned their guns against them. The government in Addis Ababa has claimed the attack on Dansha - and a simultaneous assault on another barracks in the regional capital Mekele - as justification for its military offensive in Tigray since November 4. It points to an interview on Tigrayan media in which a prominent TPLF supporter, said a pre-emptive strike was "imperative". "Should we be waiting for them to launch attacks first? No," said Sekuture Getachew, in the interview, which Abiy's office has called a "confession". Confrontation between Abiy and the TPLF was a long time coming. The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades until anti-government protests swept Abiy to power in 2018. Since then the TPLF has complained of being sidelined and scapegoated for the country's woes.  The rift widened after Ethiopia postponed national elections because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tigray went ahead with its own vote, then branded Abiy an illegitimate ruler. Ethnic forces Tadilo Tamiru, a sergeant in the government-aligned Amhara special forces, was 50 kilometres to the south with his 170-strong unit, in a small town along the border between the Tigray and Amhara regions, when the fighting began in Dansha. They were ordered to march north to join the battle. "The support we provided the Ethiopian defence forces was very important," he said, claiming it turned the tide against the TPLF. In the hours and days after the fighting in Dansha, Abiy sent troops, tanks and jets into Tigray to oust the "criminal clique" of TPLF leaders. On Thursday, he ordered a "final" assault on Mekele, after the TPLF rejected a 72-hour deadline to surrender. 'A lot of shooting' Restrictions on access to the conflict zone make it hard to verify claims from either side, but a visit to Dansha revealed that a battle, limited in scope, took place: while the military barracks was bullet-scarred, the surrounding town was unscathed. Some shops were boarded up but the town - unlike others in Tigray visited by AFP - was far from abandoned. The main thoroughfare, tree lined and paved, was busy with cattle and vehicles, women roasting coffee on the roadside as a group of boys played pool at a pavement table. Relieved residents described fearfully listening as gunfire erupted from the barracks. "During the first night there was a lot of shooting. And when we woke up in the morning, we could see bullets everywhere," said Mulye Bayu, a wide-eyed 19-year-old in a floral dress, who runs a roadside cafe.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 21:35:27 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/the-midnight-attack-on-an-army-camp-that-plunged-ethiopia-into-war/Travel Visas to 11 Muslim Majority Nations Allegedly Halted by the UAEhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/travel-visas-to-11-muslim-majority-nations-allegedly-halted-by-the-uae/The UAE Has Supposedly Halted Travel Visas In light of an as yet unconfirmed and unexplained alleged ban on foreign visitors by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reports are coming out of several travel agencies located in countries on the African continent and the Middle East who claim that the issuing of new visas to citizens on their soil has been momentarily stopped. The news — or speculation, comes amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the UAE's normalisation deal with Israel. According to a document which surfaced this week and was leaked this week from Dubai’s state-owned airport free zone, restrictions against a range of nationalities have been declared and it appears that the supposed ban is confusingly aimed at 11 Muslim majority nations - in addition to Kenya and Lebanon. Meanwhile, citing an order from the country’s immigration authorities, the note to companies operating in Dubai’s airport free zone announced a pause in issuing all new employment, long and short-term visit visas “until further notice” from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Tunisia. No Official Response From UAE Authorities No reason has been offered and Emirati authorities are yet to acknowledge the suspension of issuing travel visas. When asked by The Associated Press (AP) about the order, the country's immigration department said it’s “not aware of any formal list of nationalities requiring visa suspension.” Dubai’s airport free zone confirmed the veracity of the document to the AP and said it was waiting for further clarification from officials. Meanwhile, across the region, agencies and authorities say their citizens are forbidden from entering the UAE. Rumours and Speculations The reports have reached social media where network feeds and news outlets worldwide with many foreigners wondering about the news concerning the country where expat workers and visitors outnumber locals nearly nine to one. In Kenya, locals are speculating over the supposed travel-ban and some people assume that the East African nation has made it onto the list over an incident involving forged certificates of “negative” coronavirus test results that were used in an attempt to travel to the region and resulted in 21 arrests on Thursday. People Want Answers On a more official level, four travel agencies in Nairobi, the capital city, stated that they were seeking clarification from Emirati authorities after dozens of tourist visas were rejected. According to one of the aforementioned agencies, Travel Shore Africa, 40 of its clients travelling to for Dubai had been blocked from boarding their flights at the last-minute on Thursday. All this comes as the UAE welcomes Israeli tourists for the first time in history and right in the middle of the pandemic that sees a surge in confirmed cases across the region. In addition, foreigners looking for work in the federation of seven sheikhdoms increasingly overstay their tourist visas amid a cascade of business shutdowns and lay-offs.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 20:16:43 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Kizzi Asala)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/travel-visas-to-11-muslim-majority-nations-allegedly-halted-by-the-uae/Kelly Rowland Samples ‘Mr Follow Follow’ of Nigerian Icon Fela Kutihttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/kelly-rowland-samples-mr-follow-follow-of-nigerian-icon-fela-kuti/New Wave Meets Nostalgia Nigerian Icon Fela Black-American recording artist, Kelly Rowland — one of the members of the legendary and award-winning R&B singing group Destiny's Child, premiered a video on Tuesday for the song titled ‘Hitman’ from her latest EP project ‘K’ which samples the genius instrumentals of the song ‘Mr Follow Follow’ of the Nigerian Icon and internationally-acclaimed musician extraordinaire, Fela Kuti. A wonderful take and pleasant intercultural fusion on a revolutionary classic tune that packed a political punch in its time. The Naija National Treasure Known as Fela Kuti ‘Mr Follow Follow,’ a track from the Zombie album released in 1976, is one of the culturally transformative and socially impactful songs that the Icon and impassioned social activist Fela Kuti was known to create. The 12 minute-long 70s Afrobeat is riddled with rhythmic politically-charged lyrical content that called out the Nigerian army - whose soldiers had often been accused of gross misconduct at that time. Within a month of the project’s release, the army launched an attack on Kuti’s Kalakuta compound — burning it to the ground and both sexually and physically assaulting Fela himself and the other inhabitants. The song urged Nigerians to not blindly follow the country’s political leaders to avoid the consequences of potential corruption leading Nigeria astray. Sadly, the lyrics of the song still apply today in 2020 in the light of the recent EndSARS movement that shook both the nation and international community — with a still even more unfortunate similar governmental reaction with the alleged national armed forces firing bullets into a crowd of Nigerian youth peacefully protesting in Lekki on October 20. Black America Riding the Afrobeats Wave Kelly Rowland’s ‘Hitman’ takes on a much more positive tone as she sings about a man who has caught her eye and won her affection. A suitable vibe for Rowland who — despite production efforts, appears to be pregnant with her second child with husband Tim Weatherspoon. Congratulations, Miss Rowland! Over the last two to five or so years, a growing trend of Afrobeats — already extremely popular and widely received not only on the African continent but in many different parts of the world, has been taking form among black-American artists in the United States. More and more intercultural and transcontinental collaborations — as far as Afrobeat song samples, African producers, African choreographers, African artists and African dancers being sought out by black-American artists and becoming more and more popular. Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ music video was choreographed by Kenya’s Sherrie Silver and featured various African dances such as various African dance from Angola, Nigeria's Ashoko and the South African gwara gwara. Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee had strong African fashions, styling and dance moves in the music video for their song ‘Made For Now’ and Beyonce Knowles’ ‘Black is King’ project features a huge selection of diverse African talent that produced a distinct Afro beats sound to the visual album’s tracks. Miss Kelly! Kelly Rowland has never been one to shy away from artistic experimentation as she already found success in Europe with her album, ‘Here I Am’ which had songs leaner closer to more Euro techno beats than her traditional fluid R&B musical roots. Not only have there been reports of ‘Hitman' being selected as one of the United States NFL’s “Songs of the Season” series, but her millions of fans are also already responding very positively to the song’s video release. Fri, 27 Nov 2020 18:54:40 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Kizzi Asala)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/kelly-rowland-samples-mr-follow-follow-of-nigerian-icon-fela-kuti/Tripoli community rebuilds school damaged by Libya fightinghttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tripoli-community-rebuilds-school-damaged-by-libya-fighting/At the Martyrs' School near Tripoli, teachers and parents are using the limited means at hand to repair buildings devastated by a year-long battle for the Libyan capital. Some of the walls have been repainted, furniture has been installed and ageing computer screens dusted off. But the roofs and other walls, pockmarked by gunfire and mortar blasts, remain grim reminders of the recent fighting. "We didn't want to sit and wait for help," said Najah al-Kabir, a teaching coordinator in a patterned jallaba gown and a hijab. She is taking part in a refurbishment campaign launched by staff and joined by enthusiastic parents of students from the surrounding Ain Zara district. "We're one family," Kabir said, standing in the playground of the primary school, damaged by weeks of artillery fire. "This school was our second home." When eastern Libyan military chief Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize the capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), Ain Zara found itself on the front line. The fighting degenerated into a long battle of attrition on the outskirts of Tripoli and lasted until June this year, when pro-GNA forces ended the stalemate by pushing Haftar's forces back eastwards. By the time the fighting ended, the school had been reduced to "ruins", Kabir said. "It needed to be rebuilt quickly," she added. 'A terrible state' The UN children's agency UNICEF warned earlier this year that "attacks against schools and the threat of violence have led to (school) closures and left almost 200,000 children out of the classroom". The Martyrs' School is one of around 100 schools fully or partly destroyed during the offensive by Haftar, backed by Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Pro-GNA armed groups, whose counter-offensive was spurred by Turkey, used some schools to stock arms or as observation posts. By the end of the fighting, the Martyrs' School was "in a terrible state", said headteacher Saleh al-Badri. The establishment caters for 1,500 students in an area three kilometres from the next school, making it "important to reopen it as soon as possible," he said. Mahmoud Abdelkhalek, who lives nearby and sends his three sons to the school, was keen to get involved. "It seemed important that everyone get involved to fix it," he said. "A collective effort has brought it back to life."Fri, 27 Nov 2020 18:42:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tripoli-community-rebuilds-school-damaged-by-libya-fighting/How Could Halima Aden Abandon Millions in Modelling Gigs for Islam?http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/how-could-halima-aden-abandon-millions-in-modelling-gigs-for-islam/Walking Away from the Runway Halima Aden, the history-making hijabi high fashion model. A young Somali woman who has been a symbol of both religious and cultural barrier-breaking in the modelling industry chose to quit her remarkable — yet short-lived and still budding modelling career earlier this week. News that has dealt a blow to the global fashion industry which saw her presence as a step towards a push for diversity and inclusion in the often eurocentric and non-inclusive fashion houses in the West. Modest Beginnings Set the Tone The East African beauty was born September 19, 1997 at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where her family was being hosted following their escape from the civil war in Somalia. The Aden family then moved to the United States six years later to settle in St. Cloud, Minnesota where the Somali beauty would eventually see herself make her first cultural mark in history by being the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Although Aden placed as a semi-finalist, the historic moment of her being the first contestant to sport a burkini and a hijab received national media attention. From then on, the doll-faced beauty queen with her indigenous East African features signed a three-year contract (open to renewal) with IMG Models. A Fashion Icon in Hijab As is often the case with the most iconic international models who have gone on to attain supermodel status - such as the living fashion icon and ubermodel Iman - also from Somalia, and her protege the legendary and also iconic queen of the runway, Naomi Campbell, Halima Aden was well on her way to taking over the fashion industry as she continued to push boundaries, break barriers and make history. Aden modelled for so many international top high fashion designers and walked as a runway model for various fashion week events — Milan and London Modest in 2016, New York in 2017 and showcased her own turban and shawl collection Halima x Modanisa at Istanbul Modest Fashion Week in 2019 by way of a collaboration with modest clothing brand Modanisa. Aden was the first hijab-wearing model to be signed to a major modelling agency, to grace international runways and also the covers of Vogue Arabia, Allure, and British Vogue in June 2017 and Essence magazine’s January/ February 2020 issue. Yet another first for the trailblazing African woman was to wear a hijab and burkini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in May 2019. A historic moment that saw Aden post a heartfelt message about diversity to her huge Instagram following, "women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings...can stand together and be celebrated." An assertion to the world that was both celebratory and hopeful. Diversity, Modesty and Everything in Between However, not all was peachy and roses for the East African hijab-wearing pioneer in the fashion industry as the same very celebrated accomplishments were also often heavily criticised. Aden’s career — albeit successful and impressive, saw the Somali model often have to both literally and figuratively walk a fine line on the fashion runways as she faced the challenges of navigating her Islamic faith, her devotion to a modest lifestyle against the backdrop of an industry that can often be the antithesis of her values. On one hand, she would be lauded by some industry analysts for pushing the fashion industry in the West to be more diverse and inclusive — as far as her Muslim faith and her African features and many African and Afro girls and women admired, applauded and felt inspired by her image within the context of beauty. On the other hand, she would often find it difficult to get modelling work due to being hijabi and would find herself the target of criticism by some Muslims for modelling perceived “immodest” clothing or having men as makeup artists or stylists. As the first hijabi to accomplish such feats in the fashion industry — a rather polarising and very public position to be in, one can only imagine the weight of such a combined privilege and a burden. Muslim, Somali, Modest and Proud As the Covid-19 pandemic hit and slowed down almost all industries worldwide, Halima Aden found herself back home with her family surrounded by her beautiful Somali culture and Muslim faith — with a lot of downtime on her hands to reflect. Although her right to wear her hijab was made a non-negotiable part of her modelling contract from the start of her career and she never believed she had to conform to western society’s standards to be successful, the 2018 UNICEF ambassador came to the conclusion that her modelling career was making her slip further and further away from her core values as a modest Muslim woman. Hence, she announced her departure from the fashion industry - walking away from millions of dollars to be made and an industry that many only dream of penetrating. In her words as per her Instagram profile, “DEEN over Dunyaa.” Indeed, as a devout Muslim she is choosing her spiritual values i.e. Dīn (Arabic: دين‎, romanised: Dīn, also anglicized as Deen) over dunyā (Arabic: دُنْيا‎) i.e. temporal earthly concerns. On to Higher Heights for Halima Aden The now-former model expressed that if she had continued as she was that she might have even ended up taking the hijabi off altogether and so she has chosen to gracefully exit the industry to salvage her own essence. She has already received words of support from the aforementioned living fashion icon Naomi Campbell and internationally-successful recording artist turned beauty mogul and designer, Rihanna — for whom Aden featured in a Fenty Beauty campaign. One can only expect the continued success that awaits Halima Aden in whatever she chooses to do professionally from here on out. As it is her right as a Muslim, as an African, as a woman and as a human being, to choose how she wants to express her best self in her life.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 16:53:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Kizzi Asala)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/how-could-halima-aden-abandon-millions-in-modelling-gigs-for-islam/How is the Abu Dhabi Investment Office supporting startups and attracting foreign businesses?http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/how-is-the-adio-supporting-startups-and-attracting-foreign-businesses/In its October World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund projected a 6.6% contraction in the UAE’s growth this year. Recovery, the institute said, was not expected before 2021. Whilst oil price swings and the coronavirus pandemic have hit hard, the UAE capital Abu Dhabi says it remains committed to its economic growth & diversification plans. Moreover, last month, the agency Fitch reaffirmed the capital’s ‘AA’ rating and outlook as “stable”. It cited, amongst other factors, Abu Dhabi’s strong fiscal metrics and reduced exposure to tourism, real estate and retail, compared to neighbouring emirates. ADIO action The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is the central government hub supporting investment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its vision is to develop a thriving, knowledge-economy for Abu Dhabi that is competitive and diverse, whilst attracting FDI. How? The entity cites the UAE’s strategic location between East and West, its high ranking in regional reports relating to the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, plus its positioning on global competitiveness and innovation indexes. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, is an Emirati-American, London-trained economist who hopes to expand Abu Dhabi’s economy as the Director-General and CEO of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. The former Emirates NBD executive is interested in cultivating a viable ecosystem for SMEs and startups in the UAE’s capital. With a forward-thinking approach, Bin Hendi links diverse value systems across cultures to attract foreign investment. Accelerators A hashtag sculpture at Hub71’s space Ghadan 21 is a $13 million accelerator program looking to support SMEs in the country which is overseen by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. When Inspire Middle East asked about the impact of Coronavirus on Ghadan 21, Bin Hendi says adaptability is key, with Ghadan 21 being both a proactive and reactive program. The economist maintains that by adapting policy and with resources such as sovereign wealth funds, support from larger government entities, as well as the private sector, SMEs have the backing support to develop. The fostering of innovation in the capital has seen the creation of Hub71 , an international tech base, which brings together startups, top VC funds, and investors. AgriTech explorations Crops being grown inside hydroponic greenhouses ADIO has also encouraged innovators to flourish in the Agricultural Technology (AgTech) space, offering incentive programs, including financial incentives, to companies looking to relocate or expand in Abu Dhabi. Pure Harvest is a farming startup that has reaped the benefit of ADIO’s support & investment. Using climate-controlled, high-tech, hydroponic greenhouses located outside of the city, the company makes year-round farming possible in the arid desert. “ADIO’s financial commitment is helping us significantly, as it’s allowing us to add additional technologies to our current deployments here in Al Ain,” Sky Kurtz, the Co-founder and CEO of Pure Harvest told Euronews. “And last but not least, [we can] bring in some pretty key technical hires that we were previously having to contract. Now, we can bring [them] in-house to accelerate our technology development & roadmap.” Bin Hendi believes that, “Every company is a technology company or needs to become a technology company,” narrowing the ADIO’s focus on preparing companies to pivot. “Today what we're seeing with companies is that if they don't adapt technology, they're left behind,” Bin Hendi told Euronews’ Daleen Hassan. “But, if they adopt the wrong type of technology or don't get the support that they require, particularly in the micro and the SME space, then someone needs to be there to support them, So we provide those financial incentives, we provide the access and we provide the growth.” The general-director is particularly interested in the development of AgriTech in space, with the recent announcement of three companies the ADIO has invested in. “The first one that's looking at how it is it can develop technologies to help agriculture thrive in space. And this is aligned with the UAE’s Space Initiative. But also, more importantly, we believe that if we can grow crops in space, then the desert should become a very easy terrain for us to manage,” says Bin Hindi. Foreign investment Bin Hendi highlights that foreign investment is guided towards the growth of Abu Dhabi, creating job opportunities and a proactive relationship between the country and the investor. “FDI [foreign direct investment] is important to us, but we have financial instruments that we use to help make sure that that FDI is solid and is long term. We have a lot of approaches in various jurisdictions to how it is that we would attract that FDI to Abu Dhabi,” Bin Hendi told Euronews. ADIO is also focused on building bilateral ties in the near and long-term, which involves opening international offices to support global companies looking to establish and expand their operations in the capital. With the ADIO soon opening an office in Israel, the economist sees this opportunity as a mutual beneficial relationship, with possible growth opportunities for the two countries. Simplifying policies New resolutions to ease restrictions for foreign investors in the country were issued in March of 2020. Although Bin Hendi recognizes that these decisions were made on a federal level, he would like to expand that policy on more local ground. “We're looking at how it is that we can make it even simpler using that federal-level change in policy around these over 100 sectors to then drive our respective changes at the local level,” says Bin Hendi. “And you're going to start to see more and more of this come out soon in terms of regulatory changes.” Hoping these changes sees more engagement in the private sector, Bin Hendi encourages uncertainties to be addressed so as to facilitate collaborative efforts between the public and private sector. “It's very easy. It'll be a one-stop shop. You have a dollar that you want to invest in Abu Dhabi. We will give you the opportunity and make sure that we help support you through the entire process and the long-term partnership that you will create with us that's ongoing and we hope will continue to grow and thrive.” SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: WORK Yemeni business man and CEO Ammar believes success is the direct result of hard work.Sun, 29 Nov 2020 11:57:11 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/how-is-the-adio-supporting-startups-and-attracting-foreign-businesses/Tigray refugees turn to entrepreneurshiphttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tigray-refugees-turn-to-entrepreneurship/Ten-year-old Samarwat Tkhal fled fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region this month -- now she sells food to survive, among tens of thousands of fellow refugees building a new life in neighbouring Sudan. Tkhal, wearing a red T-shirt and yellow trousers, wanders the dusty streets of "Village Eight", a transit point just across the border into Sudan that has rapidly swelled into the size of a small town. It is the first stop for many of the Ethiopians fleeing their homeland. Tkhal holds up a box of chocolate cakes, as she shyly approaches potential customers. "My father gives me a box of 50 cakes every morning that I sell," she said. "I work from morning to night." Over 43,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan since fighting broke out in Tigray on November 4, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday, as he visited Sudanese camps crammed with those fleeing the conflict in northern Ethiopia. While praising Sudan for upholding its "traditional hospitality to people in need", Grandi warned that the host country also "urgently requires international assistance to support its efforts." - Heavy fighting - Hundreds have been killed in fighting between the federal government of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and dissident forces of the regional ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). On Friday, Abiy is due to meet African Union envoys to discuss the worsening conflict, after he ordered the army to launch a final offensive against Tigrayan forces. But while conflict rages at home, many of the refugees in Sudan are already eking out a living in their new surrounds. Taray Burhano, 32, walks the streets selling cigarettes -- one-by-one, not by the pack. "I'm not making a fortune," said Burhano, who, like many, escaped with only what he could carry for the hard trek across the baking hot bush. "But at least I don't sit around and think about what happened to us." Once a sleepy settlement, Village Eight is now a busy centre. - Entrepreneurs - Chekhi Barra, 27, sits on the ground waiting for clients. "Until a solution to the fighting is found, something has to be done," he said, adding that while aid is trickling in, people need more than what is provided. Barra fled with his wife and son from their home in the town of Mai-Kadara, where Ethiopia's rights watchdog this week said at least 600 civilians were massacred. Using the little cash he took with him, Barra invested in a box of 100 bars of soap, a basic necessity that he knows will generate a profit when sold individually. "I sell them for twice as much as I bought them," he said. Despite losing their homes and businesses, the new Ethiopian arrivals to Sudan are not wasting their time. Sylvia Tahai immediately resumed her work -- selling coffee. "As soon as I arrived, I went to buy coffee, cups, sugar and a coffee-maker", the 23-year-old said, as customers crowded around her traditional Ethiopian flask brewing on a charcoal brazier. Buhano Amha, 28, has built a stall where he sells tomatoes and onions. "I get my supplies three times a day, because the goods sell quickly," he said. Even small restaurants and bars are opening up -- built from any materials people can find. Taklay Manott, 49, said he ran the biggest restaurant in the Ethiopian town of Humera before he fled. In Sudan, he has hammered together a small cafe, with wooden planks for walls and a thatch grass roof for shade from the blazing sun. "I lost everything," said Mannot, who borrowed money from a Sudanese businessman to set up his new cafe. The restaurant is a basic shack, with six chairs and two tables, and he no longer has a complex menu. The only dishes on offer are fuul -- the staple Sudanese dish of fava beans -- and eggs. But amid the gloom, Mannot is looking to the future -- and he has no plans to go home. "I will not return to Humera," he said. "I have nothing more to do there."Fri, 27 Nov 2020 16:28:46 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tigray-refugees-turn-to-entrepreneurship/Abiy rules out dialogue with Tigray rebels in meeting with AU envoyshttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/abiy-rules-out-dialogue-with-tigray-rebels-in-meeting-with-au-envoys/Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again ruled out dialogue with the leaders of the rebel Tigray region during a meeting with African Union special envoys on Friday. Abiy told the envoys trying to end the conflict between Ethiopian troops and Tigray’s forces that he is willing to speak to representatives “operating legally” in the region, The Associated Press news agency reported on Friday. The meeting came as people in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray state braced for what Addis Ababa termed as the final phase of the conflict which started on November 4th. Abiy, who has resisted international mediation as "interference,'' said he appreciated the AU envoys' "elderly concern'' but told them his government's failure to enforce the rule of law in Tigray would `"nurture a culture of impunity with devastating cost to the survival of the country,'' according to his office.  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My utmost gratitude to President ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/CyrilRamaphosa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CyrilRamaphosa</a>⁩ &amp; his Special Envoys for their concerted effort to understand our rule of law operations. Receiving the wisdom &amp; counsel of respected African elders is a precious continental culture that we value greatly in Ethiopia. <a href="https://t.co/2utnEXG94o">pic.twitter.com/2utnEXG94o</a></p>&mdash; Abiy Ahmed Ali ?? (@AbiyAhmedAli) <a href="https://twitter.com/AbiyAhmedAli/status/1332289717333860352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Abiy's government and the regional one run by the Tigray People's Liberation Front each consider the other illegitimate. There was no immediate word from the three AU envoys, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano and former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe. AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo did not say whether they can meet with TPLF leaders, something Abiy's office has rejected. "``Not possible,'' senior Ethiopian official Redwan Hussein said in a message to the AP. ``"Above all, TPLF leadership is still at large.'' He called reports that the TPLF had appointed an envoy to discuss an immediate cease-fire with the international community ``masquerading.'' Fighting reportedly remained well outside the Tigray capital of Mekele, a densely populated city of a half-million people who have been warned by the Ethiopian government that they will be shown ``no mercy'' if they don't distance themselves from the region's leaders. Tigray has been almost entirely cut off from the outside world since Nov. 4, when Abiy announced a military offensive in response to a TPLF attack on a federal army base.  That makes it difficult to verify claims about the fighting, but humanitarians have said at least hundreds of people have been killed. The fighting threatens to destabilize Ethiopia, which has been described as the linchpin of the strategic Horn of Africa. With transport links cut, food and other supplies are running out in Tigray, home to 6 million people, and the United Nations has asked for immediate and unimpeded access for aid. APFri, 27 Nov 2020 15:56:39 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/abiy-rules-out-dialogue-with-tigray-rebels-in-meeting-with-au-envoys/Moroccan seasonal workers finally arrive in France to save Corsican clementine crophttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/moroccan-seasonal-workers-finally-arrive-in-france-to-save-corsican-clementine-crop/In France, clementine producers in Corsica are delighted that Moroccan seasonal workers are able to step in and help save their crops. Overwhelmed by the harvest and a shortage of labor, French farmers do seek services from the North African country every year during harvests. The Moroccan workers tested for Covid-19 before departure and upon arrival in relation to French Covid-19 guidelines. "It was really very, very important to have this labour force now, to be able to collect all these fruits which must not remain on the tree for very long, otherwise we will reach over-ripeness," Christophe Fouilleron, Clementine producer said. Corsica’s farms are suffering from a lack of workers that worries farmers facing real prospects of seeing their crops rotting on trees. Corsica produces 20,000 to 30,000 tons of clementine annually. Seasonal workers usually sign a contract of three to four months. 900 Moroccan seasonal workers have so far travelled to France this year. The government allowed them to bring in labourers during the pandemic but further directed that they should respect the safety measures. "The clementine harvest is not too affected by barrier gestures in the orchard because in fact each worker will be at his post, a little far from each other. Once the worker is working inside the tree, they are rarely on top of each other, so in the end they work normally, but with protective equipment, masks, etc," Christophe Fouilleron, Clementine producer said. In response to the economic crisis of 1973/74 the French government had banned the admissions of seasonal foreign workers. In 2010, France authorized under exceptional circumstances admissions of seasonal foreign workers.Sat, 28 Nov 2020 12:26:05 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/moroccan-seasonal-workers-finally-arrive-in-france-to-save-corsican-clementine-crop/Could herd immunity explain Senegal's low COVID-19 cases?http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/could-herd-immunity-explain-senegal-s-low-covid-19-cases/Senegal has been widely praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with few infections and life returning to normal, but the reason behind its success still divides experts. The government enacted a raft of anti-virus measures when the pandemic reached the West African nation. But some experts believe that herd immunity may explain the low level of cases. With a mostly youthful population of some 16 million people, the country has recorded some 16,000 coronavirus cases and 331 deaths to date, according to the health ministry. Like many African countries, Senegal would have racked up many thousands of deaths had it experienced an outbreak similar to the kind that ravaged Europe and the United States. Senegal is "one of the model countries in terms of implementing Covid-19 prevention measures and it has reaped the benefits," World Health Organization official Nsenga Ngoy said during a virtual press conference this month. The government closed its borders, schools and mosques when the virus first hit in March, as well as banning large gatherings and travel between cities, and imposing a night-time curfew. It also undertook medical care for ailing COVID-19 patients, and aggressively isolated people who had come into contact with positive cases. Authorities encouraged mask-wearing and social distancing too, measures that Ngoy said would continue to play a key role in keeping infections at bay. Abdoulaye Bousso, one of the government officials in charge of Senegal's coronavirus response, said that the measures staved off a collapse of the country's health system. Herd immunity hypothesis Mysteriously, however, Senegal has been registering fewer cases despite lifting its anti-virus measures -- and despite the fact that mask-wearing and social distancing have slackened considerably. The Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha in July saw swathes of the country travel to their home towns to celebrate with their families -- without a discernible effect on infection rates. Likewise for last month's "Magal" religious festival, which saw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims descend on Senegal's second largest city Touba. Referring to the Islamic festivals, Bousso told AFP that "perhaps the question of immunity needs to be brought to the fore". Massamba Sassoum Diop, the head of the emergency-healthcare organisation SOS Medecins Senegal, agreed. "We are aware that in Africa in general, and in Senegal in particular, we don't have the deaths we should have had," he said. The doctor is convinced that a substantial part of the population has already acquired immunity, and estimated that proportion at around "60 percent". The virus swept through Senegal's mostly young population between March and August, Diop suggested, offering an immunity that may explain the decline in deaths and infections. He pointed out that most recorded infections are in people between 20 and 60 years old, and that it is patients older than 65 who are most likely to die of COVID-19. "It spread around the country, we're sure," Diop said, explaining that about 30 percent of COVID-19 tests in Senegal used to return positive results, compared to roughly one percent now. 'Pessimistic hypothesis' Diop acknowledged that the herd-immunity hypothesis is unproven, but said a serological study underway in Senegal could provide answers when it is released in several weeks. Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr disagrees that herd-immunity is a factor. He told reporters on Tuesday that Senegal's low case numbers are "without a doubt due to the (government's) response". "If herd immunity were the response, the corollary would be an extremely high number of deaths," he said. Senegalese health experts, and the World Health Organization, are also warning against an overly optimistic interpretation of the virus situation in the country. And the government continues to urge vigilance. Health Minister Sarr said that current research available suggests that Senegal will be spared a second wave of infections. "But we are still working under what is known as the pessimistic hypothesis," he said. Fri, 27 Nov 2020 14:10:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/could-herd-immunity-explain-senegal-s-low-covid-19-cases/Portrait highlights plight of Yemen childrenhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/portrait-highlights-plight-of-yemen-children/An immense portrait of a child in Yorkshire England aims to highlight the plight of children in war-torn Yemen. The project is the work of a group of artists known as ‘’Sand In Your Eye’’ in the United Kingdom. "We watched the report and the report was telling us how children in the Yemen were really under pressure from climate change and war, but then COVID-19 and it was disrupting food supplies and medication as well. And so we looked into it a little bit further. And then UNICEF said that 6,000 children could pass away every single day because of this, these same reasons", Jamie Wardley, sand artist and founder of Sand In Your Eye said. The portrait is made up of 6,000 real-sized figures of playing children, symbolizing the 6,000 that UNICEF warned could die each day because of Yemen’s dire situation. "You know, you can't look at a child who is really, really poorly and not be affected by it, and then I think art also helps to visualize, make visual representations of things that are quite difficult to understand. And so behind me on my screen, I've got the images that we drew", he added. According to a recent report by UNICEF, millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the covid-19 pandemic sweeps across the country, amid a fall in global aid. Yemen's poor healthcare infrastructure is unprepared to battle the pandemic after five years of war between a Saudi-led military coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:17:31 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/portrait-highlights-plight-of-yemen-children/Madagascar takes last stand on Covid-19 vaccine, refuses immunizationhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/madagascar-takes-last-stand-on-covid-19-vaccine-refuses-immunization/Madagascar has affirmed its decision not to participate in the Covax global initiative for the access to Covid-19 vaccine once they have been approved and licensed. The government spokesperson confirmed the island will resort to its traditions concoction that its own scientist discovered earlier this year to stem out the virus. He further said that they were waiting to see the effectiveness of the vaccine first in the countries that will first use it. The tonic, based on the plant Artemisia annua which has anti-malarial properties, was not proven by the World Health Organization but had put it on sale to several African countries. Vaccines in Madagascar have never been popular among the general population. The island in 2018 was among the last four countries in the world registering polio cases from its stance on vaccines.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:39:05 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/madagascar-takes-last-stand-on-covid-19-vaccine-refuses-immunization/French police officers suspended for attacking black music producerhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/french-police-officers-suspended-for-attacking-black-man/French police officers involved in the b rutal beating of a black man over the weekend have been suspended.  Footage of the incident, showing officers repeatedly punching the music producer was posted to a news website Thursday, igniting widespread condemnation. According to French police reports , the man identified by his first name Michel, drew the attention of the police because he was not wearing a mask in the 17th district of the French capital on Saturday. "Without this video, I wouldn't be here before you today and maybe, without this video, you might be putting out the same story with the headline 'A young man assaulted,' well I'm no longer so young, I'm complimenting myself, but a young man assaulted police officers, tried to take their weapons, hit them, everything I've heard", Michel said. French Interior Gérald Darmanin said he asked for the suspension of the officers concerned as a precautionary measure. The four police officers are now being heard in custody by the IGPN , the body investigating police officer's behaviour. The incidents comes as President Emmanuel Macron pushes a new bill to criminalize filming police officers in a way that would put them in danger.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:31:48 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/french-police-officers-suspended-for-attacking-black-man/African football giants, Al Ahly, Zamalek to face off in Champions League finalhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/african-football-giants-al-ahly-zamalek-to-face-off-in-champions-league-final/Two African football giants from Egypt Al Ahly and Zamalek are set to make history as first rival teams from the same country to meet in the African Champions league this Friday. This year’s final will feature no fans from both sides and will also be decided by one match rather than over two legs since the first final in 1965. The Africa’s football governing body announced that the match will be held under the slogan no to fanatism and will be behind closed doors to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Zamalek hope to win their sixth CAF Champions League title and their first since 2002, while their arch rivals eye their ninth title. The match will be payed at Cairo stadium at 9 pm local time. This will be the 239th meeting between the two rivals that rallies on tens of million fans in the world. Al Ahly dominate past win counts with 102 victories against 58 wins for Zamalek. Al Ahly under the South African coach Pitso Mosimane won the last Egyptian premier league with a clear 21 point ahead of Zamalek. They also defeated the Morocco's Wydad Casablanca by 5-1 aggregate to reach the finals.  Zamalek had an aggregate of 4-1 against the Raja Casablance in the semis.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 10:09:36 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Oduor)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/african-football-giants-al-ahly-zamalek-to-face-off-in-champions-league-final/Tackling violence against women {Interview}http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tackling-violence-against-women-interview/The images of young girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 shocked the world. The girls, known as the Chibok girls became a symbol of violence against women in Nigeria. Six years have passed but violence against women is still very rife. On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, photographer Etinosa Yvonne puts a spotlight on these female victims of violence. ''It was like writing down what they were going through and how it affected their mental health. They don't understand what they're going through, they know they're getting psychological help. But because they can't contextualize it, they're going through what they're going through and they're trying to understand what's happening on a day-to-day basis. The problems of self-esteem are very present and I have noticed that many of them don't have confidence in themselves and this prevents them from trying anything, from trying to get out of this situation they find themselves in'', she said. Mental health problems is still taboo in society. But recently, the activism of a younger segment of the population has brought the issue to the fore. Yvonne’s project dubbed "It's all in my head" seeks to draw attention to the mental health struggles of survivors of gender-based violence, while rooting for increased support to tackle the issue. ''Because it's a taboo subject and people who have problems are told "oh you're crazy, you have to go to church or you have to go to an imam to get prayers". There has never been a need to sit down and discuss it. So they might stop saying that, but since it's a taboo subject they have to keep it (mental health) to themselves'', the photographer added. For the photographer, society needs to question the way it works and especially how both sexes are viewed. ''So, it will take a lot of education for us to be accommodating and to first be emphatic towards these people. I think that as a society there needs to be a lot of unlearning...the glorification of men, and the objectification of women also needs to end. Because we have a society in which women are seen only as objects of sexual desire, of housekeeping. All these horrible opinions have to stop. It's hard for people to say, "Okay, it's happening, it's wrong and needs to stop'', Yvonne said. But we have to make sure that both boys and men are part of a fairer world for the women of tomorrow. Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:14:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/tackling-violence-against-women-interview/Uganda police to probe deadly crackdownhttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/uganda-police-to-probe-deadly-crackdown/In Uganda, police have launched investigations into their violent crackdown on protesters last week leading to the death of dozens, a local newspaper reports quoting police spokesperson. Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson said the probe will "identify mistakes" that led to the collateral damage." There have been calls by European Union envoys for a full and independent investigation to ensure justice for victims. Last week, operatives in plain clothes were recorded by locals holding guns in the streets during protest over the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine was charged with flouting covid-19 restrictions and granted bail. He has returned to campaigning. On Friday, security Minister General Elly Tumwiine told the media that police and other security forces have a right to shoot and kill if protesters "reach a certain level of violence".Fri, 27 Nov 2020 07:46:29 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/uganda-police-to-probe-deadly-crackdown/Ex-Tunisian referee eulogizes Maradonahttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/ex-tunisian-referee-eulogizes-maradona/Tunisian former referee Ali Bin Nasser eulogizes the late Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday, describing him as a ''genius''. Nasser officiated the 1986 world cup quarterfinal, in which Diego Maradona scored his famous double against England. He admitted that he had doubts about the validity of Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal, but said the football legend's second strike in the game was a "masterpiece". In the 51st minute of a politically-charged last-eight clash in Mexico, four years after the Falklands War, Maradona outjumped England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net to give his country the lead. "I had doubts, but I didn't see the hand. I looked backwards until I got to the halfway line so that it would confirm to me 100 % that it was a goal, I tuned it in. And here, I thank the England players were really fair. Only Mr. (Gary) Lineker came to me and said "please, referee, hand ball", I said "please play" and that's it", he said. The 76-year-old said he believed he was a go-to man for FIFA in tough matches, and that the world football's governing body gave him a high rating for his performance in the game. Argentina netted their place in the semi-finals of a tournament they would go on to win when Maradona put them two goals ahead with a strike later voted the 'Goal of the Century'. The then-Napoli star evaded six England players' attempts to either tackle or foul him during a mesmerizing run from the halfway line, before prodding into an empty net. 29-years later, Maradona visited Bin Nasser while shooting an advertisement in Tunisia, giving him a T-shirt bearing the words "To my eternal friend Ali". "I was behind him, the first foul was on Maradona, I said "play, advantage". The second the same thing, then third, and then he went into the penalty area. What do I see? The defender's foot on Maradona's foot, and the goal in the back of the net after the 50-meter effort. I was proud to participate in this goal that was voted best goal of the century, I participated in advantage, even Maradona when he visited me at home, he said that it was thanks to this gentleman that I had this goal of the century", Nasser recalls. Fri, 27 Nov 2020 07:03:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/ex-tunisian-referee-eulogizes-maradona/Shortages in Tigray ''very critical'', UN sayshttp://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/shortages-in-tigray-very-critical-un-says/Shortages have become ‘’very critical’’ in Ethiopia’s embattled northern region of Tigray, the United Nations says.  The region of 6 million people is still sealed off as it faces threats by Ethiopian federal forces. Martin Plaut is a writer and an expert on Ethiopia. He says what is ‘’ much more likely is that the Tigrayans will head for the hills in the mountains, it's an extremely rough terrain.’’ ‘’If he has a quick victory then perhaps he will be able to establish control. Much more likely is that the Tigrayans will head for the hills in the mountains, it's an extremely rough terrain. And they know it very well, they spent 20 years fighting the previous government, which they overthrew in 1991. In the same time they don't control the skies. The skies are held by the jets of the Ethiopian Air force and also, the Tigrayans are said to be under attack from the United Arab Emirates who have drones based in neighboring Eritrea, and they are said to be using these drones against key targets’’, he said. Plaut noted that the trappings of Tigrayans in the fight is compounding an already dire situation. ‘’The BBC reported seeing Ethiopian federal troops now preventing people from crossing the river into Sudan. Which is why the numbers have dropped substantially from about 6.000 a day to about 700 a day. So people are being trapped in the fighting, and that is making their situation even worse. Once they get across the river of course they can get substantial aid and assistance. And the international community is moving heaven and earth to make that happen’’, Plaut added. More than a million people are now displaced. Fuel and cash are running out. The Tigrayan capital, Mekele cannot be accessed by the UN World Food Program over travel blockages. Communications links remain severed with the Tigray region since the deadly conflict broke out on November 4. Human Rights Watch is warning that ``actions that deliberately impede relief supplies'' violate international humanitarian law.Fri, 27 Nov 2020 05:53:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Rédaction Africanews)http://www.africanews.com/2020/11/27/shortages-in-tigray-very-critical-un-says/