Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:57:28 +0000More violence will rock Ivorian poll - Analyst campaigns in Ivory Cost took a violent turn last weekend with deadly violence in the city of Bongouanou, 200km north of Abidjan. Two people were killed as two ethnic communities clashed.  While the violence appeared spontaneous, regional bloc ECOWAS is worried. It has dispatched a delegation to the country to try and calm tensions.  Ethnically charged slogans and messages have increased as the west African country prepares for a presidential election on October 31.  Political analyst Sylvain N'Guessan says last weekend's clashes are a sign of more violence to come.  Watch here:  Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:57:28 (Rédaction Africanews)'I won': Cellou Diallo declares himself victorious in Guinea election's opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo declared on Monday declared himself winner of Sunday's vote, defeating Alpha Conde, the incumbent president. Speaking at a press conference in the capital Conakry a day after the hotly contested election, Diallo said he had emerged "victorious" despite "anomalies which marred the ballot". "I invite all my fellow citizens who love peace and justice to stay vigilant and committed to defend this democratic victory," the 68-year-old said, dressed in a sky-blue robe, from his party headquarters. Outside the building, supporters erupted in joy and chanted "Cellou, president". Elsewhere in the city, security forces fired tear gas canisters at crowds assembling in support of Diallo. Bakary Mansare, the vice-president of Guinea's electoral authority, told AFP that Diallo's self-proclaimed victory was "null and void". "It is not up to a candidate or a person to proclaim himself the winner outside the bodies defined by the law," he said. Conde's RPG party also said in a statement Monday that it condemned "with the utmost firmness the irresponsible and dangerous declaration" by Diallo. It called for its activists to remain calm. Diallo's announcement sets the stage for a showdown with the government, which insists that Sunday's vote was fair and that the official electoral authority must declare the results. Signs of a looming electoral dispute began to appear during the vote, however, when Diallo told reporters that Conde could "cheat" his way to power. 'Chaos' Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, a cadre in Diallo's UFDG party, said that results at individual polling states were public, enabling the party's own observers to conduct a count. "If we are the winners, we will defend our victory," he said. "We won't wait." Earlier on Monday, Guinea's government said in a statement that the opposition "clearly intended to create chaos and to call into question the real results that will come out of the ballot box". Much of the tension in Guinea relates to President Conde's controversial bid for a third term. He pushed through a new constitution in March which he argued would modernise the country. But it also allowed him to bypass a two-term limit for presidents, provoking mass protests. Prime Minister Kassory Fofana said that the opposition publishing results ahead of the official results was tantamount to pouring "oil on the fire". Second round Guinea's acrimonious political campaign saw Conde and Diallo trade insults, and was marked by violent incidents in some parts of the west African country. But it also raised the spectre of ethnic strife, with Conde accused of exploiting divisions for electoral ends - a charge he denies. Guinea's politics are mainly drawn along ethnic lines: the president's base is mostly from the ethnic Malinke community and Diallo's from the Fulani people. A second round of voting, if needed, is scheduled for November 24. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:10:18 (Rédaction Africanews) peace deal, EU tells Mozambique opposition European Union has said that a peace agreement signed last year in Mozambique cannot be renegotiated. In recent months, calls have grown to revisit the deal signed in August of 2019 between the government and the Renamo rebel group. In the agreement, Renamo agreed to renounce rebellion but a splinter group has been staging attacks in central Mozambique. “The peace agreement cannot be opened or renegotiated. (...) The message is to take advantage of this agreement, these opportunities, this process. There is a window that is still open, but it may be closed in a while. Personally I am quite optimistic,” said António Sanchez-Benedito, the European Union ambassador to Maputo.  “But at the same time, we have to recognize that there are still obstacles, that there are still challenges. I think that all Mozambicans have the conviction and above all the desire for this to be the definitive agreement,” he added. Renamo leader Ossufo Momade lost last October's vote to incumbent president Felipe Nyusi. The ruling FRELIMO party was accused of using violence to win the election. The EU is one of the guarantors of the deal and has committed millions of dollars to support its implementation. Mozambique , which is preparing to become the newest gas producer is also dealing with a militant insurgency which has driven hundreds from their homes in its north. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:15:04 (Rédaction Africanews) Champions League: Egyptians take charge as focus shifts to Cairo Ahly moved within touching distance of reaching the African Champions League final for the third time in four years, producing an impressive display to beat Wydad Casablanca 2-0 at home in the semi-final first leg on Saturday. Mohamed Afsha capitalised on an error by Yahya Jabrane to put the visitors in front early in the first half before Ali Maaloul slotted home a penalty in the 63rd-minute. The second leg encounter will take place this Friday in Cairo. New manager Pitso Mosimane is looking to claim his second Caf Champions League crown after one with South Africans Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Your favourite moment of the game? <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TotalCAFCL</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; #TotalCAFCC 🏆 (@CAF_Online) <a href="">October 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> Wydad last lifted the Champions League in 2017.  In the other semi-final encounter,  Zamalek inflicted the second home defeat on Raja Casablanca at home soil in twenty three matches with a 1-0 win in the first leg semi-finals of the Caf Champions League. Achraf Bencharki scored the lone goal at the Complexe V Mohamed in Morocco to hand the Egyptian side an advantage heading into the second leg. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">⚽ <a href="">@ZSCOfficial</a>&#39;s winning goal from our 𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗦𝗜𝗩𝗘 angle. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TotalCAFCL</a> | <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RCAZSC</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; #TotalCAFCC 🏆 (@CAF_Online) <a href="">October 18, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> Mon, 19 Oct 2020 17:18:07 (Rédaction Africanews) Critic of former president returns from exile gathered to greet Limam Chafi on his return from exile in Qatar on Sunday. Chaffi, a sharp critic of former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz fled Mauritania after charges were pressed against him. Chaffi's return points to changing political dynamics in Nouakchott.  "We think it is a new page that is opening up in which all Mauritanians will have their place'', said Chaffi as he spoke to reporters at his home.  Under president Mohamed Ould Ghezouani, Mauritania has freed or dropped charges against critics of the former regime and allowed prominent exiled figures to return. Former army general Ghezouani, became president in 2019, succeeding Abdel Aziz in the northwest African country's first peaceful transfer of power. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:27:15 (Rédaction Africanews)'s Empowering All-Female Diva Taxi Service Takes On Pandemic Stand Up, Pandemic Stand Down! Kampala, Uganda is serving a healthy dose of Girl Power amid a covid-19 pandemic that sees several women — who found themselves in months-long lockdown and unemployed, take on both new careers and self-defence training by way of Diva Taxi, a new female taxi driver service in the city. Company founder, Gillian Kobusingye, is proud of her employees, "Our ladies are extremely hard working, very motivated and I like their sense of pride when they are doing this work they are doing it with one heart compared to other people. And that's the difference we have to the competitors." Diva Taxi now boasts over 70 drivers and claims an industry-low fare commission rate of 25% in order to see the women thrive. Donna Ochen, a Diva Taxi driver, is happy with the means the professional opportunity financially affords her,  "When I saw the Diva Taxi company reaching out to all females who could be interested I decided to take it up because it would be an opportunity for me to serve and earn and support my family with the earnings that I'd get from driving." Filling a Much-Needed Void in the Industry Diva Taxi has a fleet of around 100 cars that serve as taxis, special school pick-ups and drop-offs and even functions like weddings. An unexpected and resounding successful start for the company that almost wasn't. Rebecca Makyeli, the manager and self-defence trainer at Diva Taxi, shares the very early days of the company's journey,  "They thought of the idea of why would we have our cars just parked in a compound and yet we can transport people and services from one place to another. So, coming up with this idea it started off as a joke, supported by friends, close friends and family, but eventually, the idea picked up and in June 2020 the company was registered and officially came into being." With its 72 drivers averaging 30 rides a week, Diva Taxi expects its service app — downloaded around 500 times to reach 2000 active users this year in the city of three million inhabitants. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:27:09 (Kizzi Asala) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes the run-off's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee made it through on Thursday to the final run-off to lead the World Trade Organization. Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as her country's first female finance and foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank. If she wins, she would become the first African to lead the global trade body. Yoo, 53, is South Korea's first female trade minister. She has enjoyed a career in trade diplomacy and foreign affairs in which she struck free trade agreements with China and the United States. "Both of the women in the final round are remarkably well-qualified according to the WTO. A candidate will be picked before November 7, whoever wins , will take over an organization in the middle of several crises and to help member states handle serious economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:18:10 (Rédaction Africanews) ends state of health emergency Madagascan government announced on Sunday, the end of the state of health emergency which was introduced due to the (COVID-19) pandemic. According the president Andry Rajoelina, the country had 96% recovery rate. He attributed the recovery to some of the measures taken like the distribution of more than seven million doses of Covid-Organics distributed free of charge throughout the island. Despite lifting the state of  emergency, the reopening of the country's borders which was scheduled for October 29 has been postponed due to the increase in cases in other countries. Nosy Be airport will remain open to countries not suffering from a second wave of the pandemic while International flights to mainland Madagascar remain completely suspended, As of Monday, October 19 Madagascar recorded 238 deaths out of over 16,000 confirmed cases Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:09:04 (Afolake Oyinloye)ôte d'Ivoire: Election Tensions Erupt in Fatal Ethnic Clashes and Violence A volatile presidential race with the current head of state Alassane Ouattara seeking a controversial third term saw mounting political tensions culminate in fatal ethnic clashes since Friday. Pascal Affi N'Guessan, President of the Ivorian Popular Front and current presidential candidate, addressed his supporters, "This phase of civil disobedience aims to prevent the delivery and distribution of any election materials, prevent the display of election posters, prevent campaign rallies, prevent the distribution and collection of voter cards. To demonstrate in all forms, and by all appropriate means, opposition to the ongoing electoral coup d'état." Civil Disobedience Leads to Belligerence The clashes began Friday when young Affi N'Guessan supporters erected barricades on the roads, to express the opposition's slogan of "active boycott" of the "electoral process" to "prevent the holding of any operation related to the election" on October 31. In spite of the presence of the police force, numerous roadblocks held by young opposition supporters prevented traffic on the two roads leading to the prefecture. As the main political opposition camps joined forces to denounce and boycott the current president’s perceived unconstitutional candidacy of the upcoming elections, supporters on both sides — often aligned by ethnicity with the Dioulas for Ouattara and the Agnis for Affi N'Guessan and Laurent Gbagbo, bumped heads in conflict in Broukro, a village on the outskirts of Bongouanou. Presidential Candidate's Residence Set on Fire According to local witnesses, the conflict saw many shops and restaurants looted and burnt, several cars set on fire and also resulted in at least 2 deaths — and even the burning down of the residence of the main opposition political candidate himself,  Affi N'Guessan in Bongouanou was burned down. In some areas, hundreds of pebbles, broken bottles and various objects, which were used as projectiles by both sides, littered the ground. Both communities suffered losses and each side denied culpability.  Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:18:35 (Kizzi Asala) PM Urges Candidates to Avoid Premature Victory Proclamations Political Atmosphere Guinean prime minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana seeks to quell mounting tensions and avoid a political crisis in light of the presidential election vote counting process — as he requests that candidates refrain from proclaiming victory before the actual results are announced in several day’s time. The main opposition rival Cellou Dalein Diallo is going head to head for the third time — the first in 2010 and the second in 2015, against the current president Alpha Condé who is seeking a controversial third term which has already sparked protests within the country. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:39:07 (Kizzi Asala) Remember Those Lost to Police Brutality in #EndSARS Vigil the Sacrifices Thousands of Nigerians gathered on Sunday for a vigil to remember those who lost their lives at the hands of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) — a police unit accused of brutality and human rights crimes. Created in 1984 to combat growing robberies in Nigeria, the unit is now disbanded following one of the largest youth-led protests the country has seen in a decade launched earlier in October by way of the social media movement #EndSARSNow. Around 100 people have been injured and at least ten have died in the demonstrations due to what Amnesty International believes was the use of excessive force by the police. Nigerian youth are now calling for national police reform.  Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:18:06 (Kizzi Asala) Counting Under Way in Guinea’s Presidential Election are In Polls closed in Guinea's presidential election on Sunday with the vote-counting process beginning immediately after as some 5.4 million people were registered to vote and mobilised at the polls in this year’s high stakes electoral process — which has been intense in light of current president Alpha Condé is seeking a controversial third term. Ibrahim Camara, the head of the polling station in Matam, described the vote turnout,  "A lot of people participated, we had more voters than non-voters, as in previous years." Mbalia Touré, the deputy head of the polling station in Matam, shared a similar sentiment,  "A lot of people came, so far we have used more than 3 packs of ballot papers. And each packet has 100 ballots, we are at 300 and something, around there." Mounting Political Tensions Many fear post-election discord as main opposition rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, suggested the president — with whom he has already exchanged insults during the campaign, may "cheat" in order to fulfil a life presidency. Initial ballot results are expected to be announced in several days with second-round run-off vote scheduled for November 24, if needed. The election follows months of political unrest, where dozens of people have lost their lives during security crackdowns on mass anti-Condé protests. Background Guinea's politics are mainly drawn along ethnic lines with the president's base being mostly from the ethnic group Malinke while opposition Diallo’s base being mostly from the Fulani ethnic group. After decades as an opposition activist, Condé, now 82 years of age, became Guinea's first democratically-elected president in 2010 and won again in 2015 but rights groups now accuse him of veering towards authoritarianism. Diallo, 68, was formerly a prime minister under authoritarian leader Lansana Conte. Conde and Diallo already went head to head twice before intense polls in 2010 and 2015, but this year’s face-off is surrounded by even more intensity. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:21:16 (Kizzi Asala) vote: Can Conde's longtime rival Dalein Diallo succeed?'s Cellou Dalein Diallo's third time in the running to become Guinea's next leader. The 68-year-old hopes this is the year he will succeed after voters cast their ballots in the first round on Sunday. Diallo is Guinea's leading opposition politician and faces the incumbent President Alpha Conde yet again alongside 10 other candidates. Conde is running for a controversial third term after the leader pushed through changes to the constitution, which sparked protests and subsequent deadly police crackdowns. Diallo was a former prime minister under the authoritarian leader Lansana Conte. He is a self-described technocrat and hopes his younger age compared to 82-year-old Conde will stand in his favour. He says the current leader should "retire with dignity" and is arguing for change after Conde's 10-year rule. He says Conde has a "catastrophic record" as poverty is rife in the mineral-rich country. There have been fears that the recent tensions have taken on an ethnic dimension, with Conde accused of exploiting divisions during the campaign -- a charge he denies. Guinea's politics are mainly drawn along ethnic lines: the president's base is mostly from the ethnic Malinke community and Diallo's from the Fulani people. Diallo's camp is suspicious of the fairness of the vote, and some supporters have warned they will not be "robbed" of victory. "We will do exactly as President Obama did. (If) we have our own results, we will tweet them," said Diallo's right-hand man, Fode Oussou Fofana. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 16:02:55 +0000editorial@africanews.com vote: Who is Conde, the leader seeking a third term?'s 82-year-old incumbent leader Alpha Conde is running for a third term in Sunday's tense presidential election. His bid was made possible after he pushed through a new constitution in March, which he said was to modernise the country but it also allowed him to run for another term. The move sparked protests and subsequent crackdowns, which killed dozens. What de we know about Conde? After decades as an opposition activist, Conde became Guinea's first democratically-elected president in 2010.  He was reelected in 2015. In both votes, he beat his main opposition rival Cellou Dalien Diallo, who he is facing again this year. Conde has promised to boost the economy tackle corruption and increase Guinea's electricity access. And make Guinea Africa's second economic powerhouse after Nigeria. Despite the promises, the mineral-rich country is one of the poorest in the world.  Conde calls for free election As he cast his ballot on Sunday, Conde said he hoped the vote would be " free, democratic and transparent".  "We are going to make sure that the polling stations are safe.  "Guinea cannot develop without peace, security and unity. So we call on all candidates to avoid any act of violence. If some want to cause unrest, national and international awareness will be duly raised," he said.  What do Guineans say about him? "In 10 years, Alpha Conde has done nothing," said Aminata Barry, a 36-year-old opposition supporter, adding that he had made "only promises". But Conde retains a bedrock of supporters who hail his efforts at economic revival. He drew huge crowds on the campaign trail, where he dismissed his many critics. "Despite his age, we want him for the future of our youth," said lawyer Sekou Diakate, 47, who was among thousands attending a Conde rally Friday. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 14:57:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com vote in high-stakes presidential election as Conde seeks third term started voting on Sunday in a tense presidential election which sees the 82-year-old incumbent Alpha Conde running for a controversial third term. The leader bypassed a two-term limit in March by reforming the constitution. The move sparked mass protests, which resulted in dozens being killed in  security crackdowns.  Campaigning for the first round of the vote was marked by insults traded between Conde and his leading rival Cellou Dalein Diallo. Sporadic clashes between rival supporters have broken out across Guinea in recent days, sparking fears of further violence on polling day. Diallo, 68, now Guinea's leading opposition politician, was formerly a prime minister under authoritarian leader Lansana Conte. Guinea's election is the first in a string across West Africa, which will be followed by Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger. Activists are concerned if Conde wins, it could bode ill for democratic norms in the region. Conde promised to boost the economy of the nation of some 13 million people, to tackle corruption and increase Guinea's lamentable electricity access. He has pledged to make Guinea "Africa's second (economic) power after Nigeria". But Guineans interviewed by AFP expressed deep frustration about the state of the country, regardless of their political stripes. The country is rich in minerals such as bauxite, iron and gold, and has abundant fresh-water resources. But it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. "In 10 years, Alpha Conde has done nothing," said Aminata Barry, a 36-year-old opposition supporter, adding that he had made "only promises". But Conde has a bedrock of supporters who hail his efforts at economic revival. "Despite his age, we want him for the future of our youth," lawyer Sekou Diakate, 47, who was among thousands attending a Conde rally told AFP on Friday. Some 5.4 million registered voters are due to cast their ballots, and initial results are expected to be announced several days afterwards. A second round is scheduled for November 24. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 11:35:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com protests against police violence enter tenth day against police violence in Nigeria entered the tenth day on Saturday with more than 10,000 people invading the streets of Lagos. Mothers also joined the march in the city centre of Nigeria's economic capital.  "I am here to come and protest against the killing of my children, against the killing of our children, against the killing of the youth," said Adepeju Dinyo. "We want a new Nigeria where righteousness, peace and justice reign, where our children can live, can go to school and work and live their lives in peace." The rallies started last week after a video did the rounds online showing a man being beaten, apparently by police from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit. The police unit has killed and tortured many Nigerians, according to human rights groups. Since the protests began, at least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured, according to Amnesty International, which accuses the police of using excessive force against the demonstrators. The #EndSARS campaign has attracted international support, including from supporters of Black Lives Matter in the U.S. and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey who retweeted posts from Nigerian demonstrators. In response to the widespread demonstrations by young Nigerians, the government said it would disband the SARS unit last Sunday.  But the protesters are now calling on the government to be accountable, fight corruption and grant more freedoms. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 09:57:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com election: Trump and Biden go at it — from a distance — in town halls Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden squared off, in a way, in duelling televised town halls that showcased striking differences in temperament, views on racial justice and approaches to a pandemic that has reshaped the nation. Coming just two and a half weeks before Election Day, the events Thursday night offered crystalizing contrasts and a national, if divided, audience. But it seemed unlikely to have produced a needed moment for a president running out of time or opportunities to appeal beyond his core base. He was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 215,000 American lives, and evasive when pressed about whether he took a required COVID-19 test before his first debate with Biden. Angry and combative, Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group — and only testily did so regarding white supremacists. The president also appeared to acknowledge revelations from a recent New York Times report that he was in debt and left open the possibility that some of it was owed to a foreign bank. But he insisted that he didn’t owe any money to Russia or any "sinister people" and suggested that $400 million (€341.8 million) in debt was a "very, very small percentage" compared to his overall assets. Biden denounced the White House’s handling of the virus, declaring that it was at fault for closing a pandemic response office established by the Obama administration in which he served. Though vague at times, he suggested he will offer clarity on his position on expanding the Supreme Court if Trump's nominee to the bench is seated before Election Day. After Biden’s 90-minute town hall event formally concluded, the candidate spent another half-hour taking questions from those in the audience who didn’t get an opportunity during the televised program. Trump and Biden were supposed to spend Thursday night on the same debate stage in Miami. But that faceoff was scuttled after Trump’s coronavirus infection, which jolted the race and threatened the health of the American president. Trump wouldn't say whether he had tested negative on the day of his first debate with Biden on Sept. 29, allowing only, "Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t." Debate rules required that each candidate, using the honour system, had tested negative prior to the Cleveland event, but Trump spoke in circles when asked when he last tested negative. The presidential rivals took questions in different cities on different networks: Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia. Trump backed out of plans for the presidential faceoff originally scheduled for the evening after debate organisers said it would be held virtually following his COVID-19 diagnosis. The town halls offered a different format for the two candidates to present themselves to voters, after the pair held a chaotic and combative first debate late last month. The difference in the men’s tone was immediate and striking. Trump was Trump. He was loud and argumentative, rebuking his FBI director, fighting with the host, Savannah Guthrie, complaining about the questioning — and eventually saying for the first time that he would honour the results of a fair election, but only after casting an extraordinary amount of doubt on the likeliness of fairness. "And then they talk, ’Will you accept a peaceful transfer?'" Trump said. "And the answer is, ‘Yes, I will.’ But I want it to be an honest election, and so does everybody else." He again sought to minimize revelations from a New York Times investigation that he has more than $400 million in debt and suggested that reports are wrong that he paid little or no federal income taxes in most years over the past two decades. Biden, meanwhile, took a far different, softer approach with audience questions. The former vice president, who struggled growing up with a stutter, stuttered slightly at the start of the programme and at one point squeezed his eyes shut and slowed down his response to clearly enunciate his words. At times his answers droned on. Holding a white cloth mask in one hand, the Democratic nominee brought a small card of notes onstage and referred to it while promising to roll back tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He said doing so would save, as he consulted his notes, "let me see ... $92 billion (€78.6 billion)." Biden vowed to say before Election Day whether he will support expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate and hold the House after November. Trump or Biden? What will each mean for key European issues? He has for weeks refused to answer the question but went further Thursday night. He said, "I’m still not a fan" of expanding the court, but said his ultimate decision depended on how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court "is handled" and "how much they rush this." Biden also blasted Trump's foreign policy, declaring that "'America first' has made ‘America alone’" and "This president embraces all the thugs in the world." He turned introspective when asked what it would say if he lost. "It could say that I’m a lousy candidate, that I didn’t do a good job," Biden said. "But I think, I hope that it doesn’t say that we’re as racially, ethnically and religiously at odds as it appears the president wants us to be." Biden said he plans to participate in next week’s debate but he would ask Trump to take a COVID-19 test before arriving. "It’s just decency" for everyone around him, including non-candidates like camera operators, Biden said. The two men are still scheduled to occupy the same space for a debate for a second and final time next week in Nashville. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 09:26:22 +0000editorial@africanews.com teacher's beheading: what we know so far teacher beheaded on a street near Paris on Friday afternoon has been named as Samuel Paty by French Education MinisterJean-Michel Blanquer. The suspected killer, who officials said was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, was armed with a knife and a plastic pellet gun, was later shot dead by officers in a nearby town, police said. French authorities have launched an anti-terror investigation. President Emmanuel Macron called it an "assassination" and an "Islamist terrorist attack". Here's what we know about the attack so far: Who was the victim? Paty, a 47-year-old history and geography teacher, was decapitated near the school in the commune of Conflans Saint-Honorine, northwest of the French capital, at around 5 pm local time. Police told the AFP news agency that he had hosted a class discussion with secondary school students about cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Some Muslim parents said they had complained to the school and French media reported Paty had received a number of threats in the wake of the class. Blanquer said the school had taken "appropriate" steps in response to the complaints in setting up measures that both "supported the teacher and opened up a dialogue with parents". The minister added he would prepare a pedagogical "framework" on how to address the attack with students when they returned to school after half term. He said a minute's silence would be organised. President Emmanuel Macron visited the Bois d'Aulne school and met the history teacher's colleagues on Friday evening. He said afterwards: "One of our citizens was assassinated tonight because he was a teacher, because he taught students about the liberty of expression, the liberty to believe or not to believe. "Our countryman was the victim of a cowardly attack. The victim of an Islamist terrorist attack." AFP President Emmanuel Macron called the attack an "assassination" said AFP Who was the alleged perpetrator? His alleged attacker was reported to be 18 years old, of Chechen origin and born in Moscow. Officials said he was shot dead in the neighbouring town of Éragny after he acted in a threatening manner and failed to respond to an order to put down his weapons. Officials said he was unknown to intelligence services. French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told reporters the suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March, was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets. His half-sister joined the Islamic State group in Syria in 2014, Ricard said. He didn't give her name, and it is not clear where she is now. The prosecutor said a text claiming responsibility and a photograph of the victim were found on the suspect's phone. He also confirmed that a Twitter account under the name Abdoulakh A belonged to the suspect. It posted a photo of the decapitated head minutes after the attack along with the message “I have executed one of the dogs from hell who dared to put Muhammad down.” Ricard said the suspect had been seen at the school asking students about the teacher, and the headmaster had received several threatening phone calls. France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said authorities investigating the killing of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday arrested nine suspects, including the teen's grandfather, parents and 17-year-old brother. A picture of the decapitated teacher was posted on social media immediately after the attack on an account that belonged to the assailant shot by police, France's national anti-terror prosecutor said on Saturday. What's the background to this attack? The incident came as the French government works on a bill to address Islamist radicals who authorities claim are creating a "parallel society outside the values of the French Republic". This marks the second terrorism-related incident since a trial began into the January 2015 massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published cartoons depicting Muhammad. The magazine republished them this year as the trial got underway. Three weeks ago, an 18-year-old from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing two people outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices. He told police he was upset about the publication of the caricatures. His victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. How have people reacted to the incident? Charlie Hebdo tweeted on Friday: "Intolerance just reached a new threshold and seems to stop at nothing to impose terror in our country." European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday expressed her condolences to the victim's family and said her "thoughts were going out to teachers in France and throughout Europe" after the attack. "Without them (teachers), there are no citizens. Without them, there is no democracy," she added. The Assembly of Chechens in Europe, which is based in Strasbourg, France, said in a statement: "Like all French people our community is horrified by this incident." Sun, 18 Oct 2020 09:06:14 (Emma Beswick) AT LEAST 14 SOLDIERS KILLED IN AMBUSH Nigerian soldiers were killed in an attack on a military base in the northeast of the country. Nigerian military authorities say the jihadists from the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) group attacked the Jakana military base on Friday with machine guns and grenade launchers, an offensive followed by intense fighting. The IS-affiliated group has recently intensified attacks on military and civilian targets in the region. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 20:08:51 (Rédaction Africanews) as suspects in S.Africa white farmer murder appear in court ran high Friday as two black suspects appeared in a South African court over the murder of a white farmer which has sparked racial tensions. A barbed wire fence ringed the court house in the central town of Senekal and police and a water cannon were deployed as opposing groups of white farmers and black activists gathered near the site. Around 2,000 supporters of the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters gathered for eight hours under scorching heat for a protest. Crime in this sleepy but rich farming area, 300 kilometres (180 miles) south of Johannesburg, is centred mainly around stock theft, which farmers say is rampant. Murders are relatively rare. But on October 2, the body of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner was found. He had been strangled and tied to a fence at a farm in Paul Roux near Senekal. A silver cross with his name engraved on it has been erected at the spot where the body was discovered. - Unrest - The killing of white farmers is a highly emotive issue in South Africa. Some conservative groups claim that farmers are victims of a genocide and the government is not doing enough to protect them. "This young man is paying with his life, he is going to help us solve the (crime) problem," Horner's employer Gilly Scheeper, 58, said in reference to the attention brought to the case. Scheeper has hired private investigators to run a parallel probe into the death "because police here are corrupt". The motive for the murder has not been established, but a police officer who is investigating the case said the farmer's wallet went missing after the attack. A dozen policemen guarded the court house on Friday, dressed in bulletproof jackets and armed with assault rifles. Elsewhere around the court's precincts, police patrolled in cars and from a helicopter. The two suspects -- Sekwetja Mahlamba, 32 and Sekolo Mlatlaletsa, 44 -- wore grey jerseys as they appeared for their bail hearing. One of them has previously been arrested 16 times and convicted four times for stock theft and housebreaking. "I don't think that they should get bail because of the seriousness of the offence," investigating police officer Gerhard Peter Myburgh told the court. "This incident has also caused unrest in Senekal to such an extent that there were people who tried to remove the suspects from court," said Myburgh. - 'Acts of criminality' - Whites, mainly farmers, stormed the court house and torched a police van when the suspects first appeared in court last week. The alleged instigator of last week's court rioting, businessman Andre Pienaar, is in custody facing charges of public violence, attempted murder and incitement. The suspected killers' bail hearing will continue on October 20. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 19:34:55 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Concerns over electoral register ahead polls materials have been sent- the ballots, and the ballot boxes are in place. Over 90% of the electoral voters' cards have been distributed. According to Mamadi Kaba, spokesperson for Guinea's National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni), everything is ready for the country's presidential election. But maybe not really. On the eve of the crucial election, some members of the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni) have raised issues about the electoral process. A surprise declaration signed by four commissioners of the institution list on five pages alleged breaches and violations of the electoral code. Their report still points to duplicates, voters with several cards, but also cards that have disappeared in some localities. In conclusion of the statement: “Doubt is settling on the credibility of the process. This opens the door to probable post-election disputes". - A campaign that had started timidly - Twelve candidates are in this race for Guinea's presidency. Over the last two week of campaigns, they have given many speeches, and amid exacerbating intercommunal tensions, violent incidents were recorded. Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana's convoy was attacked en route the central part of the country to campaign on behalf of the outgoing president. A few days later, main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo in turn encountered hostility from people blocking his route to the Kankan region, the stronghold of President Alpha Condé. The UFDC party headquarters in the region was ransacked. Homes and shops of people perceived to be pro-opposition were torched and or vandalized. This violence was unanimously condemned by local authorities and political parties. - Sunday's election - There are some 5.4 million registered voters in Guinea, many of whom are expected to cast their ballots on Sunday. President Conde who is 82 is running for a controversial third term. For nearly a year the country was plagued by massive demonstrations against his candiacy. But it remains to be seen how things would play out during the votes and how credible it would be. Initial results are expected to be announced several days afterwards. Sun, 18 Oct 2020 08:58:50 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) campaign for Guinea's opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo huge crowd gathered in Conakry on Thursday to show their support to Guinea's main opposition leader and presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo during his final rally ahead of the Sunday's election. A sea of people, mostly without masks, took the streets of the capital of the country to see Diallo, who greeted them from the top of a truck. The 68-year old-candidate has denounced President Alpha Conde's decision to run for a third term in office, calling it unconstitutional. This will be the third face-off between Conde and Diallo, who first ran against each other in the country's historic 2010 election that came after more than a half-century of dictatorship. For months, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Guinea, and dozens have died in demonstrations opposing another term for Conde. The current president insists he is following the will of the people by running in October 18 vote, after a public referendum approved it in March. Diallo, of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea party, warned last month that Guinea has an unreliable voter registry, where more than three million people are not correctly registered and that the electoral commission has said it is unable to correct the shortcomings. While the incumbent president previously defeated Diallo in both the 2010 and 2015 elections, many in Guinea say that Conde's popularity has sharply fallen as a result of his decision to seek a third term. After surviving colonialism and dictatorship, many Guineans are fearful of the president's intentions. Opponents now believe that Conde, 82, will use the new constitution to restart the clock on his term limits, potentially giving him another decade in power. - 'Hate speech' - Kabinet Fofana, a Guinean political scientist, warned there was a danger one of the candidates would not accept the outcome of the election. "A major difficulty is the question of recognition, acceptance of the results of the ballot boxes," he said. The outcome of Guinea's poll is likely to resonate further afield too, kicking off a string of elections this year across West Africa. Activists are concerned that a win for Conde would bode ill for democratic norms in the region. Aside from the third presidential term, Guinea's election campaign has been marked by fears of increased ethnic tensions in the diverse country. For example, Conde -- who normally speaks French when addressing the nation -- last month told voters in the Malinke language that backing an opposition Malinke candidate amounted to voting for Diallo. Politics in Guinea are mostly drawn along ethnic lines. President Conde's party is largely backed by Malinke people, and Diallo's UFDG by Fulani people, although both insist that they are pluralist. Against a backdrop of concerns about ethnicity, representatives from the United Nations and African Union warned against "ethnic hate speech" in Guinea this month. - 'To the cemetery' - Diallo has accused Conde on the campaign trail of exploiting ethnic divisions -- a charge which he denies. But the opposition candidate has also called into question the 82-year-old's ability to govern Guinea, urging him to "retire with dignity". "He no longer has the physical and intellectual capacity to carry out this demanding function," Diallo told French broadcasters, of Conde. Conde -- in seeming defiance of the criticism -- has crisscrossed Guinea at a fast clip over the past week, promising excited crowds to make the country "Africa's second (economic) power after Nigeria". Despite huge mineral and fresh-water resources, Guinea remains a poor country, where about half of its population of some 13 million people live in poverty. The president, for his part, has repeatedly criticised Diallo's tenure under Conte, an autocrat. He has also brushed off gibes about his age. "Those who want to send me to the cemetery will go before me," he told party activists in the southern city of Kissidougou. Ballots open in Guinea on Sunday morning; a second round is scheduled for November 24. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 14:34:17 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Alpha Conde meets supporters ahead presidential President Alpha Conde met with supporters in the country's capital on Friday, during the last rally ahead of Sunday's presidential election. Conde, 82, is seeking a third term in office, insisting his attempt to prolong his rule does not make him a dictator, even as opposition protesters slam his candidacy as an illegal power grab. Speaking to supporters in Conakry, Conde vowed to "focus on the social conditions of Guineans" if he were re-elected in the weekend's poll. The electoral campaign has already seen deadly protests and many fear an increase in violence after the results are announced. More than 50 people have been killed in anti-Conde protests since October last year, Amnesty International said this month, urging the government to investigate. Conde made history in 2010 when he became Guinea's first democratically elected president since independence from France in 1958, raising hopes that the country could finally emerge from a long history of corrupt rule. Sunday's vote is also the third match-up between Conde and his long-time rival Cellou Dalein Diallo, whom he defeated in 2010 and 2015. The president maintains his candidacy for a third term is legal because the constitutional changes were approved by voters in a referendum earlier this year. Diallo, the opposition candidate, is urging the international community to monitor Sunday's vote, accusing the government of rigging the electoral lists. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 13:47:58 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Reopens Mosques For Friday Prayers Muslims have returned to mosques to perform Friday prayers for the first time since March when all places of worship, including churches and synagogues were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Riyad mosque in Rabat, that can hold more than 3,000 worshippers on a normal day, was restricted to a total of 200 people, both men and women. This week, the Ministry opened another 5,000 mosques but insisted that all preventive measures against COVID-19 should be taken into account to preserve the safety of worshippers. In July, the Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry reopened 5,000 out of the 50,000 mosques in Morocco but for the five daily prayers only. Worshippers were not allowed to attend the sermon and perform the Friday prayer because this service attracts large crowds.  The decision to reopen more mosques and allow Friday prayers and sermons was welcomed by worshippers frustrated by the effects of the pandemic on their spiritual lives. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 13:54:40 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) of Aborted Seal Pups Mysteriously Wash Ashore the Namibian Coast Fur Seal Mothers in Nambia are Desperate On the coast of Namibia, thousands of dead seal pups have washed ashore as reported by a conservancy group on Wednesday. Pelican Point peninsula, a tourist destination known for its colony of seals and school of dolphins is where the unfortunate pup graveyard was discovered. Dr Tess Gridley , a researcher at Namibian Dolphin Project who also works with the non-governmental organisation Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN), attempts to explain the mind-boggling situation. The doctor summarises, “So normally cape fur seals would give birth from mid-November until early December - that’s the height of pupping that we would normally expect but what has been happening this year is there has been an increase in abortions that was first seen starting in August and really sort of peaked just last week in October and what Ocean Conservation Nambia which is led by Naude Dreyer has been seeing out at the Pelican Point colony is hundreds if not thousands of aborted fetuses they are sort of scattered along the coastline. He’s also been observing very thin females and this is also a cause for concern.” Mysterious Abortions According to the nation’s Ministry of Fisheries, researchers had noticed a higher than normal number of seal abortions at Pelican Point but could not pinpoint a specific cause or give exact numbers. Speculations of poor nutrition, leading to starvation or even bacterial or virus infections are some loose theories but an adequate investigation is necessary. Dr Gridley shares the focus of the current efforts, “So right now it’s really about careful monitoring and gathering as much scientific data as possible and really trying to get a grip on what’s happening at Pelican Point in Namibia.” The OCN is currently looking into the matter and it appears that the situation — albeit alarming, is not at all hopeless. Dr Gridley draws from her expertise and experience in the field to relay what could be expected going forward in the handling of the ecological upset, “There are about 1.7 million cape fur seals in total and about a million of those are actually in Namibia so in terms of the overall number of animals, they are quite resilient to these effects but one issue that we do think might happen in the future is you’ll see a dip in reproduction potentially going forward particularly now for those animals that have unfortunately died they are not going to be recruited into the population so you might see a localised effect at the Pelican Point colony and also we are trying to monitor to see whether there is a wider scale impact that might affect other colonies as well.” An Investigation is Underway Very careful documented sampling — which can take many months to obtain, will be essential as far as analysing the sufficient data on the ground in order to truly resolve the underlying cause and ideally help restore balance to the ecosystem so that the mother seals in Namibia no longer feel the desperate need to abort their pups. Sat, 17 Oct 2020 11:05:35 (Kizzi Asala) Gambia Reopens its Borders Post-Covid-19 Lockdown Gambia reopened its borders on Friday after a six-month lockdown in light of the covid-19 pandemic. Banjul airport will remain closed till October 31 however due to construction work. A popular tourist destination, travel restrictions hit the economy hard on the West African nation — which has officially registered 3,644 coronavirus cases and 118 deaths.  Fri, 16 Oct 2020 19:54:06 (Kizzi Asala) 50 African Diplomats on Anti-Covid-19 Visit to China’s Sinopharm Health Mission China's largest, and the world's fifth human vaccine research, development, and manufacturing enterprise Sinopharm saw a visit from Ambassadors and senior diplomats from 50 African countries on Thursday to deepen cooperation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and build a better China-Africa health community. Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina, the Sierra Leonean ambassador to China, seems impressed by what he has seen so far, “This visit is so impactful and insightful. We've learned so much the greatness of China, how China is moving forward and moving this great nation forward, and also making sure that Africa is well and safe. So this cooperation, I believe, can empower Africa the more, it can strengthen that relationship the more.” The diplomats visited the exhibition centre and vaccine production lab and learned about the latest clinical trials of the company's Covid-19 vaccine - phase III for a possible candidate in ten countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, Peru, and Argentina. Over 50,000 volunteers are partaking in these trials. James Kimonyo, the Rwandan ambassador to China, is feeling positive about the possibilities, “It is reassuring to see how big the facility is, how much experience this organization, this company -- [a] subsidiary of Sinopharm, has accumulated over a period of time, developing vaccines on polio, on yellow fever, on smallpox, and many other diseases that have been treated or prevented by using the vaccines developed by this organisation. So for us, it's an eye-opener. It's reassuring and we hope that we get the vaccines anytime soon.” China's Covid-19 Help in Africa Since the onset of coronavirus in Africa, the Chinese government has provided over 400 tons of medical supplies to the continent and nearly 200 medical experts have also been deployed to train more than 20,000 African medical personnel. Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed back in May that developed Chinese Covid-19 vaccines will be a "global public good" - accessible and affordable to developing countries, especially those in Africa. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 18:48:09 (Kizzi Asala) Indicted as Libya Allegedly Financed His Campaign Illegally Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed on Friday his "innocence is again violated" after new charges were issued against him as part of an investigation into the alleged illegal campaign financing from Libya of his successful 2007 presidential bid. Sarkozy was charged with conspiracy earlier this week. The latest charge of "membership in a criminal conspiracy" adds to suspected crimes under investigation since 2018, including "passive corruption." The elder politician stated,  "I learned this new indictment with the greatest amazement (...). My innocence is once again flouted by a decision that does not bring back the slightest proof of any illicit financing. I will eventually prove my perfect innocence. I will put all the determination and energy I am capable of. Injustice will not win." Libya's late dictator is alleged to have ordered the transfer of €50 million to Sarkozy following a meeting between the two men in October 2005. Corruption Allegation The investigation was launched in 2012, notably after statements on Euronews by Saif-Ail Islam Gaddafi, the son of the deposed dictator - who told Euronews in an interview in 2011, "First of all, Sarkozy must return the money he accepted from Libya to finance his election campaign. It was us who financed his campaign, and we have the proof. We are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we ask this clown is to give the money back to the Libyan people. " So far, the judges have not gathered material evidence but rely on accusatory testimony, including that of businessman Ziad Takieddine, also under investigation in this case. Takieddine told Mediapart that he had given five million euros to Nicolas Sarkozy, while he was still Minister of the Interior, and to his chief of staff Claude Guéant, The suspicions of Lybian financing of Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign are added to other cases that have been poisoning the former French president for several years. He is due to appear next month before the criminal court in Paris in the so-called wiretapping case, a first for a former head of state in France. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 18:39:13 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Food Day: rising global food insecurity world Thursday October 16 commemorated World Food Day.  This year the UN took stock of the present situation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which it says has increased food insecurity- particularly in Africa. The World Food Program, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, reports 73 million people are affected by malnutrition in Africa. Oxfam the international aid group warns the situation is dire. Its latest warning given in the report called "Later will be too late" In 2017, after a large-scale food crisis, the international community had put forward a plan to address the situation. Three years later, food insecurity has reached extreme levels.  In Afghanistan, but also in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Southern Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Somalia, i.e. in six of the seven countries where the situation of food insecurity is the most worrying.... and the financial aid promised by the donor states has still not arrived. Food security is a state in which “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Africa, according the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, as almost 20 percent of its 1.2 billion population goes hungry. On a global scale, the current health crisis and economic recession could plunge half a billion people into poverty. According to NGOs, more than 12,000 people could die of hunger every day before the end of the year. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 16:53:58 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Signs Memorandum with General Electric towards $915m Project's Deal of the Decade? Authorities have signed a memorandum with US company General Electric (GE) in what could be Sudan's most significant agreement in the last 3 decades as Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok plans to increase the production of a power plant in El Fula, Western Kordofan, at a cost of 915 million US dollars. Khayri Abdul Rahman, acting Sudanese Energy Minister, shared some details, "Within the negotiations, there's also the topic of supporting the electricity sector through mobile stations (mobile electricity production units) with a capacity of 200 megawatts that we can generally use in emergency situations." GE aims to supply electricity to around 600,000 homes through mobile turbines and the restoration of three power plants. May Adul Halim, the representative of General Electric in Sudan, Libya and Egypt, also expressed a few words in light of the newly-signed memorandum, "This memorandum is a step towards a long-term relationship with the Sudanese government to provide access to the necessary energy and improve the power transmission network, in addition to improving and modernising the health care infrastructure, whether it is devices related to radiation, heart or tumours, as well as to primary care units, especially in the countryside and in villages far from cities." The Sudanese people face daily power cuts and parts of the country are not connected to the grid. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 16:39:07 (Kizzi Asala) of Cameroonian Opposition leader Denounce His House Arrest at Politician's "De facto" House Arrest The lawyers of Cameroonian main opposition leader Maurice Kamto denounced what they term his illegal house arrest on Thursday as the president of the Movement for the Revival of Cameroon party has been unable to leave his residence — surrounded by deployed law enforcement, since September 22 f ollowing thwarted political demonstrations that saw the arrest of numerous other citizens Cameroonians. The hearing has been postponed to October 29 amid earlier calls Monday from United Nations human rights experts also demanding his release as they remind Cameroonian authorities that every citizen under international law has the right to organise and participate in peaceful meetings — as well as free movement.  Fri, 16 Oct 2020 16:18:10 (Kizzi Asala)’s Ancient Islamic Chanting Renowned Artist Mahmoud al-Tohamy that Transcend Genres Mahmoud al-Tohamy, is a master of Islamic chanting, an almost 2,000 old art form known as "inshad." Son of celebrated singer Yassin al-Tohamy, the 41-year-old, was born to a family of religious chanters in the southern governorate of Asyut, Egypt and is inspired by the mystical Sufi branch of Islam and deeply committed to the spiritual essence of the ancient performance of devotional poetry and odes. Inshad Goes Global The students at his Cairo-based school for Islamic chanting established in 2014 can be proud of their instructor who is a globally-renowned artistic pioneer — whose innovative cultural fusions and seen him perform at numerous international festivals and even have one of his foreign-artist album collaborations snag him a Global Music Award in 2017. The self-described lover of Sufism ritualistic dancing, singing and the recital of prayers — decried by some fundamentalist branches of Islam as "heretical," and believes that Sufi Islam and its artform have "played a major role in correcting beliefs and ideas in times of extremism, violence and terrorism." Fri, 16 Oct 2020 16:08:54 (Kizzi Asala) army base attacked, colonel killed ahead polls was in the final hours of a feverish election campaign on Friday as security forces blocked access to central Conakry for unknown reasons, while a high-ranking official was killed in a military camp east of the capital. No official explanation was given for the setting up of roadblocks blocking access to the Kaloum neighborhood, where Guinean decision-making centers are located. A police officer deployed in the center said that President Alpha Condé is scheduled to travel to the outskirts of the capital for a final campaign meeting before Sunday's presidential election, where he is running for a third consecutive and contested term. These statements could not be verified. Apart from the near absence of traffic in a city that is normally close to saturation and an exceptional tranquility in streets that are usually tumultuous, the capital offered few signs of tension. On the other hand, during the night, about 100 kilometers northeast of Conakry, "armed men opened fire inside the Samoreyah military camp in Kindia, fatally wounding Colonel Mamady Condé," said Defense Ministry spokesman Aladji Cellou on his Facebook page. Colonel Condé was the commander of the camp's battalion of commandos, where the Guinean peacekeepers deployed in Kidal, northeastern Mali, are based. "The defense forces reacted immediately to secure the camp and its surroundings. The situation is under control in Kindia. Investigations are open and sweeps are continuing," the spokesman added. A military source in the camp on condition of anonymity said that the officer killed, facing accusations of "nepotism, ethnocentrism and especially of having blocked bonuses for soldiers returning from Kidal", had been threatened on several occasions. No link could be established between the events in Kindia and the measures taken in the capital. Blocking access to the center of Conakry is easy, as the center of Conakry is located on a peninsula. Guineans interviewed in Conakry are concerned about the conduct of Sunday's vote and even more about its aftermath, in a country accustomed to physical confrontation in politics. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 15:22:02 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) celebrity couturier Michael Cinco pivots to protective clothing during pandemic for high-end apparel & accessories fell out of fashion when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Sales of personal luxury goods could drop by up to 35 % this year, says Bain & Co., with the market not recovering to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022. After which time, the sector will gradually strengthen again to be worth a potential $386 billion dollars by 2025. Many in the global industry were quick to adapt, with brands like Chanel and Burberry using their supply chains to produce hospital gowns & masks for frontline health workers. United fashion front In the UAE, and marking the first-of-a-kind campaign in the region, The Arab Fashion Council, The Dubai Health Authority and The Dubai Design District created a joint initiative called #AThread4Cause . The goal of the project is to give back to the local community by supporting designers in producing diffusion lines of protective-wear. Michael Cinco medical gown designs part of A Thread 4 Cause Dubai-based Filipino couturier Michael Cinco, along with his workforce of 120, participated in the programme by making 3,000 protective lab coats with a sartorial twist. “I was thinking, ‘What can I give to the UAE government & community?’, which has been very good in supporting me and giving me the opportunity to run my business for almost 23 years now,” he told Euronews. “So, I immediately said yes when I was approached.” Dressed for success Cinco has been part of the region’s elite fashion pack since 2003, having carved out a reputation for sparkling, waist-hugging creations which have been worn by the likes of Beyonce, Rhianna, Mariah Carey and numerous regional royals. During the lockdown period, Cinco created a new collection called, ‘Impalpable Dream of Hope.’ Departing from his traditional, elaborate couture work, Cinco upcycled most of the materials for the line. “I was inspired to create a collection that will inspire people to dream, to have hope in the future,” he said. “This is the moment that people will fight to survive, and to be alive.” Restrictions on larger social events, such as weddings, has made Cinco rethink his approach towards his bridal business. Whilst his bespoke wedding gowns had previously sold for six-digit figures, recently, the designer has been especially mindful of people’s challenging economic situations. His silhouettes have also adapted with the times, going from voluminous constructs to simpler, elegantly pared-down offerings. Best foot forward Michael Cinco speaks to Inspire Middle East With designers from the Middle East and Asia increasingly coming to the fore, Cinco believes they stand out due to their use of intricate embroidery, generous embellishments and dramatic lines. “In Europe, they [designers] don't really rely on that kind of ornamentation to create a certain piece,” he said. “And I think fashion is flourishing here in the Middle East and in Asia, because there is a connection between the designers and the consumers. They have a mutual understanding.” Cinco remains irrepressibly upbeat about the future of the global fashion industry, and maintains that investing in a one-off couture piece is a better long-term financial decision than fast-fashion will ever be. SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: GARDEN DREAMS Egyptian model Sama captioned this shot with the phrase, “In your garden, you’re the creator.” With contributions from Nancy Sarkis and Arthur de Oliveira. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 15:54:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com to miss Rugby Championship in Australia Cup-holders South Africa pulled out of the Rugby championship on Friday citing complications caused by the pandemic.  The Springboks, who haven't played since winning the World Cup in Japan last year, blamed government travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns for their withdrawal. It means the competition in Australia from October 31 will be reduced from 12 games to six, involving only Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. "This is a hugely disappointing outcome for supporters and commercial partners," said South African Rugby chief Jurie Roux. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 12:03:16 (Rédaction Africanews) Surviving the pandemic without paid jobs [Business Africa] at private institutions in Uganda out of paid jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many of them are now turning to new businesses. Charles Ocici from Enterprise Uganda shares with us insights on the situation. And, new Covid-19 testing laboratories in Angola to process up to 6,000 tests a day with biosecurity cabinets. Plus, the women shaping the business landscape in Gabon. We take a look at the change they are driving in male dominated work environments. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 10:17:52 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi)'This is historic': France gives back Moroccan art seized from traffickers on Thursday officially handed over to the Moroccan authorities nearly 25,000 archaeological objects, which had been seized in France during three customs controls and which illustrate the "scourge" of looting of cultural property, according to officials. The handover took place in Marseille at the Museum of Mediterranean Cultures. The objects, which weigh a total of nearly 3 tons, will only leave for Morocco at the end of the month. The controls go back to 2005 and 2006 in Marseille and Perpignan. The drivers, all of Moroccan nationality, were driving luxury cars.  "Good people in all respects", because the objects were "treated, washed," said Guy Jean-Baptiste, the regional director of customs in Marseille. It took 15 years to return them to Morocco. Traffickers have also been fined a total of 120,000 euros. The objects seized were remarkable not only for their volume, but also for their typology, some of which were geological and others of which bore witness to "the history of men who preceded writing," said Xavier Delestre, Regional Curator of Archaeology at the Drac Paca. Among them, a crocodile skull, fossils, fish or reptile teeth or engraved plates, some of which date from the Neolithic period. "This is a historic moment because we can repatriate this heritage to find his native land," said Youssef Khiara, national director of Moroccan heritage. "The event of 2005 set in motion a process in Morocco," he added. Since then, the Moroccan authorities have trained customs, magistrates in order to have "qualified human resources to deal with the theft and trafficking of art. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 10:06:10 (Rédaction Africanews)'s Choupo-Moting scores on Bayern debut forward Eric Choupo Moting scored twice on his debut as Bundesliga and European champions Bayern beat Düren Merzenichin the German Cup. The Cameroon international combined well with French-born Senegalese forward Bouna Sarr, who also arrived at Allianz Arena this summer, to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Thomas Mueller scored a penalty in the 36th-minute. Choupo-Moting then made it 3-0 with a superb strike on 75 minutes.  The 31-year-old quit French champions PSG earlier this month. The win sent Bayern Munich through to the second round of the German Cup. The Bundesliga champions were missing many of their biggest stars - including Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski - due to international call-ups. But with the likes of Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez in the starting eleven, their was still way too much quality and experience in Hansi Flick's side. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 06:15:26 (Rédaction Africanews), Diallo campaign in Conakry ahead of Sunday's vote's main opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo arrived in the capital Conakry on Thursday ahead of this weekend's election, greeted by hordes of animated supporters. The city had earlier resounded to the sound of car horns as supporters of President Alpha Conde, who is seeking a controversial third term on Sunday, whisked through the city in a motorcade. After about a week of combative campaigning, the 82-year-old president himself returned to the capital on Wednesday amid heightened political tension in the West African state. Conde's re-election bid comes after he pushed through a constitutional referendum in March, which he argued would modernise the country, but which allowed him to bypass a two-term limit for presidents. Opposition to this triggered mass protests from last October, sparking a massive crackdown by security forces and claiming dozens of lives. Rights groups are increasingly critical of Conde, whom they say is veering towards authoritarianism. Diallo's motorcade proceeded through streets thronged with supporters wearing the green and white colours of his party Thursday, while a swarm of motorbike riders driving ahead of the opposition leader slalomed between the supporters. "We're tired, we want change," said unemployed mechanic Balde Mamadou Oury, 35. Twelve candidates are contesting Sunday's election in total. However most think only Conde and Diallo are serious contenders. After decades as an opposition activist, Conde became Guinea's first democratically-elected president in 2010 and won re-election in 2015. Diallo, 68, now Guinea's leading opposition politician, was formerly a prime minister under authoritarian leader Lansana Conte. After months of tension between the pair, Guineans interviewed by AFP expressed fears of potential violence on election day and the period that follows. Clashes between Conde and Diallo supporters have wounded several people in different parts of the country in recent days. 'Hate speech' Kabinet Fofana, a Guinean political scientist, warned there was a danger one of the candidates would not accept the outcome of the election. "A major difficulty is the question of recognition, acceptance of the results of the ballot boxes," he said. The outcome of Guinea's poll is likely to resonate further afield too, kicking off a string of elections this year across West Africa. Activists are concerned that a win for Conde would bode ill for democratic norms in the region. Aside from the third presidential term, Guinea's election campaign has been marked by fears of increased ethnic tensions in the diverse country. For example, Conde - who normally speaks French when addressing the nation - last month told voters in the Malinke language that backing an opposition Malinke candidate amounted to voting for Diallo. Politics in Guinea are mostly drawn along ethnic lines. President Conde's party is largely backed by Malinke people, and Diallo's UFDG by Fulani people, although both insist that they are pluralist. Against a backdrop of concerns about ethnicity, representatives from the United Nations and African Union warned against "ethnic hate speech" in Guinea this month. 'To the cemetery' Diallo has accused Conde on the campaign trail of exploiting ethnic divisions -- a charge which he denies. But the opposition candidate has also called into question the 82-year-old's ability to govern Guinea, urging him to "retire with dignity". "He no longer has the physical and intellectual capacity to carry out this demanding function," Diallo told French broadcasters, of Conde. Conde - in seeming defiance of the criticism - has crisscrossed Guinea at a fast clip over the past week, promising excited crowds to make the country "Africa's second (economic) power after Nigeria". Despite huge mineral and fresh-water resources, Guinea remains a poor country, where about half of its population of some 13 million people live in poverty. The president, for his part, has repeatedly criticised Diallo's tenure under Conte, an autocrat. He has also brushed off criticism about his age. "Those who want to send me to the cemetery will go before me," he told party activists in the southern city of Kissidougou. Polls open in Guinea on Sunday morning; a second round is scheduled for November 24. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 06:09:06 (Rédaction Africanews) Mobile Clinics Test for COVID-19 in Tripoli undergo testing for the Covid-19 disease at a mobile clinic in Tripoli to fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Although Libya earlier seemed to have passed the peak of Covid 19 contaminations, the situation has become dire in Libya. As the pandemic drags on, Libyans' reluctance to upend their daily routines has increased. And with Mosques opening last Friday in and around the Libyan capital city Tripoli, expert fear the new spike of contaminations. Libya has officially crossed the 45 000 mark in terms of contaminations. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 06:12:07 (Tancrede Chambraud) Neglect Covid-19 Safety Precautions of major cities in Cameroon have not been serious with social distancing measures and wearing of face masks.  Despite efforts by the government to prevent Covid-19 hugging, handshaking and the belief that the disease has not yet arrived Cameroon is the main talk on the streets.  The non respect of social distancing can be observed in markets; streets and parks. “ There are a bunch of Cameroonians from the start of this who thought that corona was a hoax. And many of them have never won a mask even for once. And till date they say that naturally an African is built to kill viruses. So they believe that their systems can even kill the viruses if it exists ”, Wain George Muam, a concerned Cameroonian, told Africanews. The Cameroon government has been conducting mobile Covid-19 screening in various cities across the country. The virus keeps circulating despite the high rate of healing in Cameroon. Track, Test and Treat Mobile screening is part of the governments’ (Track, Test and Treat) strategy. Few months back rapid test kits were made available making it possible to carry out more tests.  Cameroon’s Public Health Emergency Research Centre is aware of the negligence among the population. “ The community has realized that we have a high rate of healing as you mentioned. We have a very small number of people dying. And therefore they are relaxed because they no longer fear as it was the case when we were in early March ” alerts Prof Yap Boum, the deputy head of the centre. Daily Press briefings are organised by the Covid-19 coordination centre to keep Cameroonians updated on the evolution of the disease and the need to respect barrier measures. “ But what we are doing is actually trying to understand what is happening, and to achieve that we do what we call a cap survey. So we go to the field, we talk to the community and we try to understand what is their real understanding of the disease and where they are getting their information. And then that helps us now to go back and to reinforce the sensitization ”, Prof Yap Boum added. With a recovery rate of 94.9% and a fatality rate of around 2% public health officials in Cameroon satisfied with the results so far, keep calling for extra vigilance. It is not yet clear why the healing rate remains high among those suffering from the Covid-19 in Cameroon. Scientists are investigating if this is linked to a boosted immunity, numerous tropical diseases or the youthful nature of the population. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:24:34 (Elvis Boh) Bloggers Ready Themselves Ahead Of Sunday Presidential Election protests have shaken Guinea over the past year to oppose a third term of Conde. They were met with a ruthless crackdown, in which dozens of people were killed. Now many fear the elections could be rigged. As Guinea braces itself for its presidential election , Guineas's blogger association will deploy around 150 observers to report any possible incidents or frauds in Sunday's election. Concerns that come after months of political unrest in the West African state, where President Alpha Conde, 82, is bidding for a controversial third term. " On election day, we will have several e-observers, several people in the field who will send us data via digital channels, so the team will be in charge of managing all this data, classifying and analyzing it ", says Mamadou Alfa Diallo, the president of Ablogui. Alfa Diallo, the president of Ablogui, Guineas's blogger association, has decided to monitor any possible shortcomings in the elections.  They also keep tabs on president Alpha Conde's promises made along the way. " According to our analysis, 13% of the promises have been kept, which accounts to 40 commitments out of 345. But the other thing to note is that we have documented 47% of the promises that have not been kept, and by 'not kept' we mean that there has been no concrete action towards the fulfilment of these promises " explains Mamadou Alfa Diallo. Threats of an Internet Shutdown As the elections are just a few days away, Internet freedom monitors worry an internet shutdown could incapacitate reports of shortcomings on the day of the vote.  A shutdown that wouldnt be a first in Guinea: last march during the constitutional referundum, several websitesm including Ablogui, could not be accessed. Defying critics, he pushed through a revamped constitution in a referendum on March 22, which he argued would modernise the country, but which also allowed him to sidestep a two-term limit for presidents. At a press conference in Conakry this week, Ablogui's Alpha Diallo warned that internet restrictions would hinder the work of observers. "We are not going to allow what happened last time," he said, explaining that his group would document all blocks. Internet freedom monitors have their eyes trained on Guinea ahead of its tension-filled election on Sunday, fearing that the government will restrict access to social media to weaken the opposition. Worryingly for rights activists, internet disruptions accompanied the referendum -- a speech-crimping scenario they say will likely play out again. "It's very rapidly become an element in how elections are decided in Guinea," said Alp Toker, the founder of internet-monitoring group NetBlocks. Before the March referendum, the country's telecoms infrastructure firm Guilab announced repairs to its submarine internet cable, but it postponed the work after an outcry. But on March 21 -- without announcement -- access to apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp was disrupted, according to a report by NetBlocks. The report added that the disruption originated from Guinea's leading mobile internet service providers, Orange and South Africa's MTN. The African Union's special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Lawrence Mute, admonished Guinea for internet disruptions in an April statement. "Internet and social media shutdowns violate the right to freedom of expression and access to information," he said. Francois Patuel, a researcher on policing and surveillance in West Africa, said earlier disruptions were a "gross violation of freedom of expression". "The authorities must refrain from ordering further shutdowns," he said. Neither Conde's office, nor Guinea's telecommunications ministry responded to several requests for comment about internet restrictions. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:11:18 (Tancrede Chambraud) Faso: Sankara's Death Sent Before Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou. case on the Assasination of Thomas Sakara, the father of the burkinabe revolution has been sent before the military Tribunal of Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou. Sankara was killed in 1987, in a coup that saw his brother in arms Blaise Compaore come to power. During the 27 years of Blaise Compaore at the head of state, the death of Sankara, nicknamed the "African Che" in reference to his revolutionary role, was a taboo subject. But since he was overthrown in 2014, the case has benefited from the transitional democracy Compaore is since 2016 wanted by authorities, alongside his former general Diendéré who is accused of murder and breaching national security in relation to Sankara's death. Lawyers of the family claim the Burkinabe courts have received an important amount of documents related to the case from France, and demand these be made public. 33 years after his assasination, supporters of panafrican figure Sankara still demand that Burkina sheds light on the death of one of the most famous heads of state of the continent. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:48:12 (Rédaction Africanews) Municipal Police Chief Arrested Post-Kiosk Death Protests Cry for Justice Tunisia announced Wednesday the arrest of a municipal police chief following angry demonstrations in Sbeitla triggered by the death of a sleeping elderly man during the police demolition on Tuesday possibly without warning of an illegal kiosk in a working-class neighbourhood. Many officials continue to trade blame over the incident with the situation returning to normal a day after as security forces were deployed throughout the town in the central province of Kasserine. Tunisians online are calling for  all responsible be prosecuted. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 17:12:05 (Kizzi Asala) Election Campaign Begins as Opposition Urges Poll Boycott Tensions Mount The October 31 presidential election campaign launched on Thursday in Côte d'Ivoire with President Alassane Ouattara seeking a controversial third term against the opposition that joined forces in civil disobedience as some urged for a poll boycott. Pascal Affi N'Guessan, Ivorian Popular Front presidential candidate gave a public address, "We have decided to solemnly bring to the knowledge of all our voters, all our activists, and the people of Côte d'Ivoire, to the knowledge of national and international opinion, that the ongoing electoral process does not concern us in any way, that we are not at all concerned by this ongoing electoral process. That this electoral process is illegal, because it does not meet any international criteria, and that our activists - just like the Ivorian voters - should abstain from participating." Constitutional Coup Many Ivorians view Ouattara's candidacy as unconstitutional as per a two-term limit that the head of state’s camp argues was reset by a 2016 constitution revision.  The opposition accuses the Independent Electoral Commission and the Constitutional Council of bias while the International Crisis Group advocates to postpone elections to avoid a repeat of the violent electoral crisis ten years ago - as some have already died in violent anti-Ouattara-protests. Background Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Ouattara announced in March that he would not seek a third term, before changing his mind in August after the death of his designated successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. Ivorian law states a maximum of two terms, but the Constitutional Council said that with the new Constitution of 2016, the counter of Ouattara's two presidential terms has been reset to zero — which is fiercely contested by the opposition and many Ivorian citizens. Around 15 people died in August in violence surrounding protests after the announcement of his candidacy and clashes erupted in several localities after the Constitutional Council announced the list of candidates for the election. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 19:36:10 (Kizzi Asala) Exhibit Displays Importance Of Colours In African Art it be in traditional or contemporary art, colour has always been very much present in African art. It has now become a key element to artistic expression. In France, Lyon's Musée des Confluences hosts the "Africa in colour" exhibit, dedicated to showcase the evolution of colour in African art throughout the centuries, and highlights steps in the buid up of this essential part of this Art. "We see that pearls were used very early on in local production and in imports coming from Egypt, India.. And then came trade with Europe. Jewellery really was a seperate kind of art that was used to communicate the status of young people, to be married women, young initiated people...." explains exhibit chief Maïnig Le Bacquer.  Whether it be with industrial paint on a canvas or with Colored glass beads, the contrast created by the different materials and colours brings a liveliness to the work of art, in addition to meaning for the artist and the viewer. The same goes for clothes, cloth used for statues and traditional attires of patriarchs, and even by Congo's sapeurs is a sign of belonging to a group or a social status. The exhibit that showcases many more hidden coloured treasures will be opened to public until August 22nd 2021. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:03:30 (Pascale Mahe Keingna) Makay Massif Museum Exposition in France African Treasure The Makay Massif, a true Malagasy refuge in the heart of Africa. Completely isolated until the early 2000s, these valleys are home to numerous extraordinary animals and plants which have in turn given rise to new species. In Lyon, France, the Musée des Confluences has an exhibition that spans over 700 square metres, where visitors can explore. Hélène Lafont-Couturier, the director of the Musée des Confluences, talks about the Malagasy exposition, "Immersion is important, it's what gets us into a subject. When we cross the corridors before entering the exhibition we are in our lives, and when we enter the exhibition we stall because the universe is completely different, we enter these veils of colour with the sound of birds and we are elsewhere, suddenly we are immersed in the landscapes and we follow a story.” Drawings, photos, and contributions from scientists and explorers punctuate the visitor's journey through the massif. The director continues, "We transmit both the history of nature and that of humanity and also this link between humanity and its environment, i.e. both the fauna but also the flora and the entire living world.” Biodiversity is a fundamental aspect of our physical world that society could better know and understand. A mission that the Musée des Confluences hopes to accomplish via this exhibition which will go till August 28 2021. Stand up "The Musée des Confluences is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the Makay region in south-western Madagascar from October 16. This mineral fortress, which shelters both plant and animal groups, is still difficult for humans to access. The museum, therefore, offers us a total immersion in this still preserved region of Africa" - Pascale Mahé-Keingna of Africanews. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:23:16 (Kizzi Asala) Floyd Mural Unveiled As Family Celebrate his 47th Birthday celebrated George Floyd on what would have been his 47th birthday. In Houston where George Floyd grew up, friends and family gathered on Wednesday to pay hommage to the late George Floyd, by unveiling a mural painting to honor him. All over the United States Black Life Matters supporters came together around shrines or murals to celebrate Floyd, who died following an arrest last May. For the family, these demonstrations are a way to continue the fight for change. "Let’s get justice and make sure we can change the world, just like George wanted to do", said Family member of George Floyd Floyd died from suffocation after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes during an arrest on May 25th. Now the family demands change in the approach of police forces to arrests. Rodney Floyd, Brother of George Floyd, stressed the importance of the upcoming presidential elections "Let’s get out and vote and show our ancestors and everyone if we be the change, fight for the change, we’ll get the change"  For the family, change will have to come through the next president put in office, after the November elections. Police brutality had become a key issue during the campaign, prompting candidates to weight in, whilst protests and violent unrest took place in all of the United States biggest cities. Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden even posted on Twitter that he had made "a promise to his family that I won’t let him become just another hashtag", adding he would focus on the issue, should he become president. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 13:03:47 (Tancrede Chambraud) Marathon Champion Banned Until 2023 for Doping Thursday announcement sees Kenya's running champion Daniel Wanjiru banned from athletics for doping until 8th December 2023, The 2017 London Marathon winner was suspended in April based on allegations of taking a banned substance - which he denied, however, a tested sample returned levels of red blood cells which had no "physiological explanation," according to a statement issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). A similar finding from a test taken In March 2019 that also indicated the likelihood of a prohibited substance or method Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:54:04 (Kizzi Asala) Returns Remains of Congolese Independence Hero a Congolese Icon Nearly 60 years after his assassination in January 1961, a court in Belgium ruled on Thursday to give back a tooth- the only remains of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba which his relatives have been lobbying for years to realise this deeply symbolic gesture to the Congolese people. Ben Mangangi, a Congolese student feels inspired by the news, "Lumumba is a symbol of hope for us Congolese youth. He represents so much. He was a patriot who gave up his life for the development of the nation. He's an example of patriotism for everyone in our generation, to devote our lives to the nation after we finish our studies." A deeply symbolic gesture to eternalise Lumumba the Congo’s first prime minister at just 34 years old as an independent nation after advocating for an end to colonial rule. A military coup d’état fueled by alleged complicity from coloniser Belgium and the United States ended his short-lived regime and in turn dampened the country's hopes as the rise of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, rose to power. The authoritarian later renamed the country Zaire until his death in 1997 and his regime was characterised by the plundering of the state and its vast mineral riches. International Foul Play A Belgian parliamentary probe did determine that the government was "morally responsible" for Lumumba's death, while a 1975 US Senate committee uncovered a failed CIA plan to assassinate the revered Congolese prime minister. The tooth — the only physical remains of the hero as his body had been dismembered and dissolved with acid, in an apparent attempt to keep any grave from becoming a pilgrimage site, is certain to have  belonged to Lumumba because of where it had been retrieved, according to  Belgian officials. Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:38:47 (Kizzi Asala)