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AFRICA NEWS BRIEF • April 28, 2016


South Sudan: Aid Agencies Say Return of Machar to Improve Humanitarian Situation

Juba — Two international humanitarian agencies on Wednesday welcomed the return of South Sudan’s Riek Machar, who has been sworn in as vice-president, saying it will help improve humanitarian situation in the country. In separate statements, Oxfam International and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said the arrival of former rebel chief in Juba on Tuesday raises hopes of permanent ceasefire in the youngest nation. Oxfam’s Country Director in South Sudan, Zlatko Gegic said Machar’s return to Juba is a positive step towards the formation of South Sudan’s transitional government of National Unity.

Equatorial Guinea: World’s longest-serving president wins sixth term with 99% of the vote

Teodoro Obiang Nguema has never received less than 97 per cent of the vote in an election. On Monday, with partial results indicating that 99.2 per cent of the vote has gone in his favour, Equatorial Guinea’s leader was surely all set for another seven years in a seat that has no doubt molded to his figure. One-sixth of African countries have an executive who has been in power for more than 20 years, which equates to nine out of 54 of the continent’s leaders. Mr Obiang, who took power nearly 37 years ago in a bloody coup, has Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea and King Mswati III of Swaziland for company. But Mr Obiang is most similar to José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola. Mr Dos Santos and Mr Obiang preside over Africa’s second and third highest crude-oil producers, respectively, and are accused of embezzling much of the resulting wealth, while not distributing it fairly, if at all, to their citizens.

Sierra Leone: Clashes erupt as the country celebrates Independence Day

Police fired guns and teargas at the headquarters of an opposition party and arrested supporters during celebrations for Sierra Leone’s Independence Day on Wednesday, the party and police confirmed. Hundreds of people had gathered outside the headquarters of Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to celebrate the holiday and the party’s founding in 1951. The day is celebrated with carnival-like dances in the streets. “We warned them not to come out with their masquerade because they did not have a permit to do so,” police official Al Shek Kamara said.

Nigeria: Labor Unions Proposes N56,000 As New Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly proposed N56,000 as the new minimum wage to the federal government as against the present N18,000. The NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said this at a news conference yesterday in Abuja. Wabba, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said both the NLC and the TUC made the formal demand on the proposed national minimum wage to the federal government on Tuesday.

Burundi: New Tool Promotes Human Rights of People Most At Risk of HIV Infection

A human right is a freedom of some kind – for example to choose how you live or express yourself – but many people, particularly in Burundi, do not know or understand their rights. They are something to which everyone is entitled as a human being. The basic principle of human rights is that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, gender, disability or any other characteristic. Access to food, education and healthcare among other basic needs, are also rights to which all humans are entitled.

Liberia: Weah Expected to Launch Third Presidential Bid

Liberian football legend George Weah of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party is expected to accept a petition from his supporters Thursday to run for president in the coming 2017 general elections.

Weah, who is now a first-term senator for Montserrado County, first ran for president in 2005 and came second to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He ran again in 2011, this time as a vice president to Winston Tubman and again his party came second to Sirleaf.

Nathanial McGill, national chairman of the CDC, said the 10-year administration of President Sirleaf has failed to improve the welfare of Liberians in spite of the enormous international goodwill it has received.

Cape Verde: 11 Killed at Military Base

Eleven men, including eight soldiers, were killed at a military barracks in Cape Verde. Officials in the West African nation said Tuesday that a disgruntled soldier, now missing, is suspected of killing the soldiers and three civilians, including two Spanish nationals. A statement posted on the government website said “personal motives” inspired the attack, ruling out an attempted coup or violence linked to drug gangs.

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