Guinea: funeral for protest victims

1 day 1 hour ago

Several opposition activists in Guinea Conakry on Friday, October 19, marched to mourn victims of Tuesday’s protest.

They condemned the impunity enjoyed by security forces, during the funeral ceremony of Ibrahima Bah, a 22 year old student shot dead during a protest march in the Guinean capital, Conakry.

According to the leader of Guinean opposition, Cellou Dalein Diallo, “all political agreements include this provision which commits the government to investigate and identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the crimes so that they can be brought to justice. Why isn’t it done? Lately, the exercise of Mr. Alpha Condé and his collaborators has been to say no, it is the opposition, it is the demonstrators who are killing the demonstrators.”

The bullet which stripped life off the Dalaba denizen, buried in Conakry on Friday, was allegedly fired by an agent of the anti-crime brigade.

Commissioner Boubacar Kassé, Police spokesman, said “the young man was shot in the chest while leaving a restaurant.”

One of the mourners said they have handed over the case to God for Him to judge.

“We forgive God but we cannot say that we have granted our forgiveness to those who have done so. Because if we give them our forgiveness, they’ll keep doing it. But we rely on God. He made his judgment.”

The opposition has protested government’s supposed violation of an agreement reached in August to install local elected officials after the disputed February 4 election.

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War Machine vs Charlie Wilson’s War – Tom Secker on Around the Empire

1 day 2 hours ago
Joanne invited me on the Around the Empire podcast to do a 'high level compare and contrast' of two war comedy films set in different wars in Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson's War and War Machine. The films are similar in many respects - both comedies, both have A-list lead actors, both set in wars in Afghanistan, both based on books - but politically they are diametric opposites. While Charlie Wilson's War glorifies the CIA's support to the mujahideen in the 1980s, War Machine criticises and satirises the US war in Afghanistan. This in-depth discussion gets into Zbigniew Brzezinksi, the CIA, Stanley McChrystal (and David Patraeus), Michael Hastings, the 'surge' policy and much more.

(Read more...)

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At least 59 killed as train hits crowd in northern India

1 day 3 hours ago

Indian Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani on Saturday said they should not be held responsible after a commuter train traveling at high speed ran through a crowd of people on the rail tracks in northern India killing at least 59 people on Friday, state officials said.

“It was a manned level crossing from both sides, and it was inter-locked and the track was made for trains to pass so as the train passed, the saddening incident happened, but the railway is not at all responsible for this incident,” Lohani said.

The incident makes it India’s worst rail disaster this year.

A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught. An officer in the police control room said it was hard to confirm the toll as there were dismembered body parts all over.

“Now a total 40 dead bodies has been brought to the hospital and apart from that, the 51 injured patients who were brought here, eight have been referred to the Medical College and some patients have also been taken directly to the medical college, and there too at least 20 dead bodies were taken,” said Chief Medical Officer, Hardeep Singh.

Hundreds had gathered to watch the burning of an effigy as part of the Dussehra festival celebrations, when a commuter train ran through the crowd.

The state police chief said emergency officials were still trying to ascertain the extent of the disaster on the outskirts of Amritsar in Punjab state.

India’s state railways, largely built during colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of underinvestment in rail safety infrastructure, as the priority has remained more on keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network daily.

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Benin: Ajavon seeks for political asylum in France

1 day 3 hours ago

Benin businessman and opposition leader Sebastien Ajavon who is under arrest is seeking for a political asylum in France,Ajavon has been living in France for several weeks.

A court in Benin on Thursday sentenced the Businessman to a 20 year in prison in connection with a 40 pounds of cocaine found in a shipping container in 2016.

His lawyer, Marc Bensimhon, has applied for political asylum in France in response to the arrest warrant issued by the Court of Punishment of Economic Crimes and Terrorism (CRIET).

His lawyers have also decided to appeal to the Supreme Court of Benin to demonstrate that the conviction of the opposition leader to 20 years in prison and a 5 million CFA francs (7,000 euros) fine for cocaine trafficking is not in accordance with the law.

According to one of his lawyers, Renaud Agbodjo it will take several months before Benin supreme court to make a decision.

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Ouagadougou: opening of youth centre

1 day 3 hours ago

France has reiterated its readiness to counter rising terrorism in Burkina Faso.

French Foreign Minister, and his Burkinabe counterpart Alpha Barry on Friday inaugurated La Ruche, a youth centre announced by Emmanuel Macron.

He gave a reassurance over the weekend in the capital Ouagadougou during a meeting with Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré to strengthen a joint anti-terrorism force in the Sahel.

French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the Centre is proof of France’s confidence in Burkinabe youth.

“This is the continuation of President Macron’s speech at the University of Ki-zerbo. France believes in the capacities of Burkinabe youth and demonstrates this by inaugurating this space, which is a place of creation, innovation and creation in the Burkina Faso of tomorrow.”

The youth centre is expected to fuse young talents, digital start-ups and the French higher education offer, as the first step towards containing terrorism in the West African country which has suffered recurrent jihadist attacks since March 2015.

Le Drian and his Burkinabe counterpart Alpha Barry said the youth centre is a delivered promise French President Emmanuel Macron made during his visit to Ouagadougou.

Three attacks have hit the capital, Ouagadougou, in two years. The most recent in March targeted staff of the armies and the French Embassy in Ouagadougou.

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