Guinea rocked by reports of Coup d’état; AU urges Ethiopia to do more for humanitarian aid

Guinea rocked by reports of Coup d’état, soldiers say they have taken over

Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital have said in a short broadcast on state television that they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state.

Unverified videos shared on social media on Sunday apparently showed President Alpha Conde being surrounded by soldiers. His whereabouts were unclear.

According to news agencies, this followed earlier reports of heavy gunfire in Conakry near the presidential palace though it was unclear who was responsible. Guinea’s defence ministry said that an attack by mutinous special forces on the presidential palace had been repelled, though it was not immediately clear who held power.

An unidentified soldier, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, said in the broadcast that they planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later. But the defence ministry said the attempted insurgency had been put down.

“The presidential guard, supported by the loyalist and republican defence and security forces, contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants,” it said in a statement.

“Security and combing operations are continuing to restore order and peace.”


SA’s top court dismisses bid to postpone local elections

The Electoral Commission’s bid to postpone local elections scheduled for October 27 was denied by South Africa’s top court on Friday, according to court records. The judgement is a setback for the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which pushed for a postponement and has struggled to register thousands of councillors who are due to run in municipal elections.

In local government elections in 2016, the ANC suffered its worst performance since storming to power in South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, losing cities such as Johannesburg to rival opposition parties.


SA’s Ramaphosa says July violence exposed inequalities, urges citizens to get vaccinated

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that the upheaval in Kwa-Zulu Natal and portions of Gauteng in July had revealed the country’s social and economic deficiencies. Ramaphosa said more effort needs to be done to prepare law enforcement authorities to respond to such scenarios during a question-and-answer session in parliament on Friday.

He scoffed at the concept that the government was implementing limits in order to deny citizens their rights.

“I do not buy into the notion that this is being done by authoritarian, dictatorial governments around the world to force people to be vaccinated,” Refusing to be vaccinated, according to Ramaphosa, puts not only the lives of individuals at risk, but also the lives of others, leads to an increase in illnesses, and harms the economy.

The President also urged all South Africans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as one of the most important tools in combating the pandemic, emphasizing that more needs to be done to educate people and combat vaccine reluctance.

In response to questioning from Parliament, Ramaphosa slammed individuals who advise people not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that it is safe and evidence-based. He stated that a large-scale campaign to promote vaccination uptake was in the works, and that he would personally participate.


Tigray: AU urges Ethiopia to do more for humanitarian aid

The African Union (AU) has called on Ethiopia’s government to do “more” to allow humanitarian aid to reach Tigray, which has been engulfed in violence for the past 10 months, and to guarantee that the people do not starve.

“We know that the Ethiopian government is doing its best, but we want more to be done to ensure that people do not starve,” AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye urged Friday. “Women and children (must) not continue to be victims of a conflict that is not of their own making,” he posited.

A spokeswoman for Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday that the government was striving to make access easier, but that “the violent behavior and violent nature of the TPLF is making (things) very difficult for humanitarian actors,” revealed Billene Seyoum. However, Bankole Adeoye also urged both sides “to come to the table” for negotiations. The dispute is a sensitive topic for the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Uganda arrests top academic for “espionage”

The military said Ugandan security agents arrested one of the country’s most distinguished academics on Thursday for “espionage.” Lawrence Muganga, the vice-chancellor of the private Victoria University, was arrested in broad daylight at the institution’s main building, which is located on one of Kampala’s busiest streets.

Army spokeswoman Flavia Byekwaso responded to comments concerning the academic by saying that claims that Lawrence Muganga had been kidnapped were untrue. “He was arrested by the joint security forces for espionage and illegal stay in the country,” she said, adding that investigations into the case “have begun.”

Born in Uganda and of Rwandan ethnic origin (Banyarwanda), Lawrence Muganga was the spokesman for a part of this community living in Uganda. He has condemned the Ugandan government’s “marginalization” of this community, alleging that it has refused to provide identity cards to its members because they are seen as foreigners.


Tunisia, Ivory Coast clash in AfroBasket final on Sunday

Tunisia’s chances of retaining their AfroBasket championship are still alive after Dirk Bauermann’s team defeated Cape Verde 75-65 in the first of Saturday’s semi-finals at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda’s capital. Tunisia is seeking to become the first team since Angola in 2009 to win back-to-back AfroBasket championships. Tunisia had a ten-point lead at halftime and a 15-point lead by the end of the third.

On Saturday, the Ivory Coast defeated Senegal 75-65 in Kigali to advance to their first AfroBasket final since 2009. The lead changed hands seven times in a closely contested opening period, but the Ivorians stepped up a gear in the second and held an 11-point advantage at one point before going into halftime with a 36-29 edge.

When Ivory Coast takes on Tunisia in the final on Sunday, they will be trying to win their first continental title since 1985.


Zimbabwe tenders apology to Kenyan blogger after airport tiff

Zimbabwe has apologized publicly to a Kenyan blogger over extortion allegations made at the country’s main airport. The said blogger revealed the immigration office claimed that Kenyans were allegedly using Zimbabwe as a conduit for illegal immigration to neighboring South Africa,

The blogger, who goes by the handles AfricanTigress on social media and is only identified as Marceline by Zimbabwe’s government spokesperson Nick Mangwana, claims an employee at the Robert Mugabe International Airport withheld her passport while demanding a bribe.


Famous Ethiopian music legend Alemayehu Eshete dies

Alemayehu Eshete, a legendary Ethiopian musician, died on Thursday in Addis Ababa at the age of 80. The performer, nicknamed “the Ethiopian Elvis,” died of a heart attack shortly after being admitted to the hospital. The singer, who was born in 1941, was one of the most popular performers of the early 1960s. He also performed contemporary Ethiopian music. He was one of Ethiopia’s first singers to make music in English and other languages.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was saddened to hear that Alemayehu Eshete, a role model for many singers, has passed away, and said: “Ethiopia will always be honored in his works.  Those who worked for Ethiopia will not die, but will rest in glory,” the Prime Minister added.


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