Rebels defeated in Northern Chad - Army

1 day ago

Chadian Defense Minister claims that the army “dislodged and cleared the enemy” in the northern region of the country.

The Defense Minister said this when he visited the violence -rocked regions of Miski in Tibesti on Saturday.

“We came to visit our forces in Miski, who dislodged and cleared the enemy. I call on the entire population of Miski, those who belong to the Chadian state, the fourth republic, to come to defense and security forces and leave the ground open to those who want to create problems, and we are ahead of them. “

The desert and mountainous zone of Tibesti bordering Libya and Niger, has experienced increased tensions for three months.

A security official told AFP that N’Djamena had deployed a strong military to ​Miski and aerial bombardments have taken place in recent days.

According to N’Djamena, the military deployment aims to “clean” the gold-mining areas of “illegal gold miners as well as arms and human traffickers.

The source added that the army seeks to isolate Miski by blocking all the routes that lead to this locality.

Chad’s extreme north is a desert area allegedly rich in precious metals. It purportedly attracts rebel groups present in neighbouring countries.

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Salif Keita decries violence against albinos

1 day ago

Malian afro-pop singer, Salif Keïta, has condemned violence perpetrated against albinos.

In a recent concert which brought together afro-pop fans on Fana, 120 km from the capital Bamako, the songwriter, alongside Senegalese musicians: Ismael Lô,and Maah Koudia Keït, as well as Georgian artist Bera, paid tribute to young Ramata Diarra, an albino girl killed in May.

“We are here today to remember Ramata and above all to ensure that justice is done to her,” Tem Fuh Mbuh, program manager for a human rights group in West Africa said.

Dozens of albinos are reportedly killed and their limbs amputated for rituals across the African continent every year.

Salif Keita said, “It means that albinos need safety and health, and that we need an African government to care for albinos, because we have the same rights as everyone else.”

5-year-old Diarra was abducted on May 13 in the middle of the night by armed men while asleep in the family residence. Her beheaded body was found a few hours later next to a mosque. Associations then denounced the “ritual crime” in the run-up to the presidential election.

Also known as the “Golden Voice of Africa”, Salif Keïta’s 45-minute performance threw light on his album, “L’autre blanc”.

The 69-year-old called on other colleagues including Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy and Grammy Award-winning Beninese songwriter Angélique Kidjo, to amplify his cry to end discrimination against albinos.

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Egypt's amateur boxers dream of famed WWE

1 day 1 hour ago

In Ismaila, the north-eastern Egyptian city, amateur boxers have a dream to replicate the famous American world wrestling in Egypt.

In an Egyptian schoolyard, these boxers come dressed in various costumes with their faces painted to put up a show for spectators.

The boxing ring is lit up with light effects with rock music in the background.

‘‘We hope that the name EWR will be known around the world, like World Wrestling. We want everyone to know our names, as everyone knows about WWE wrestlers. We want everyone to know who is Ashraf ‘Kabonga’, who is “Spiderman”, who is “Commando”, who is “Tiger”, “Lumberjack”, “Dracula” and “Batman.” Each of them should be known to the world, said Ashraf Mahrous, founder of a self-acclaimed Egyptian professional wrestling federation.

But the joy of nearly one thousand spectators was short-lived as enthusiastic young people got up and approached the ring. Organizers said was not in line with safety rules and decided to end the show.

‘‘We are not at the same level as the WWE wrestlers because of the lack of resources. And as individuals, we have high stamina in combat, even though our resources are very limited. We do it all ourselves, but the WWE wrestlers have people who support them financially and provide them with places to train, which makes it easier for them. They have a lot more experience than us, but as individuals, we have better endurance and better performance. God willing, we will reach and surpass them, said 28-year old wrestler, Momen Mohamed, nicknamed “Commando”.

37-year old, Ashraf Mahrous is married and a father. He founded the Egyptian Professional Wrestling Federation (EWR), an unofficial group of eight wrestlers in 2012. The group includes girls who dream of the famed American professional boxers. It now has some 50 fans across the country.

Nicknamed ‘ Kabonga, Mahrous has set up a rudimentary ring infront of his family home in a nearby village. Here, wrestlers come to practice in the middle of fields and small brink buildings under construction.

These dreamers are using social media to spread the word about the sport in Egypt. They hope the North African nation will have a wrestling federation to support the sport.

AFP

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Nigeria: Buhari's anti- corruption agenda vs Atiku's economic growth plans

1 day 1 hour ago

With less than three months to Nigeria’s presidential elections, the two main aspirants, president Muhammadu Buhari and the opposition’s Atiku Abubakar have unveiled their manifestos.

While Buhari’s manifesto, launched on Sunday focused on the fight against corruption, it was criticised by Atiku of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who said it did not address Nigeria’s economic problems.

“If the state of the average Nigerian has not improved in the last three and a half years, more of the same is obviously not what they need,” Atiku’s camp said.

Nigeria emerged from its first recession in a quarter of a century – largely caused by low crude prices – last year.

Buhari’s manifesto

President Buhari, who in 2015 became the first opposition candidate to oust a president through the ballot box, launched an anti-corruption agenda on Sunday, hoping it will be enough to help him secure a second mandate.

“We are committed to deepening the work we started this first term such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organised and utilised to do good for the common man,” he said at the manifesto launch.

Buhari, who is also the continent’s anti-corruption ambassador, has however been criticised by the opposition for embarking on a political witch-hunt of his rivals, in the name of fighting corruption.

The president however says actions like placing all government revenues and funds recovered in corruption investigations into the Treasury Single Account (TSA), have buffered the country from oil dependency.

Atiku’s economic-focused manifesto

Atiku, on the other hand, whose manifesto was unveiled on Monday, seeks to boost investment in the country’s oil sector if he becomes president next year.

According to a draft copy of his manifesto, Atiku’s plans include;

Introduction of bidding rounds for marginal fields and oil blocks
Privatisation of government-owned refineries

Issuance of new licences for greenfield investments in crude refineries

Nigeria’s is Africa’s largest producer of crude and remains largely dependent on sales of oil, which make up roughly two-thirds of government revenues, despite years of administration promises to diversify the economy.

ALSO READ: Nigeria’s main opposition candidate claims intimidation

Buhari’s plans for the economy

Buhari, who in 2015 campaigned on promises to improve security, the economy and tackle corruption, insisted at the Sunday manifesto launch in Abuja, that his party had delivered.

His economic plan now focuses on job creation, diversifying the economy away from a dependence on oil, and education.

The president vowed to overhaul buildings and subjects taught at 10,000 schools in each year of the four-year term, and retrain teachers to focus on science, technology and mathematics.

He said there was “scope for over 15 million new jobs” by expanding a nationwide vocational skills programme and improving access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans.

Up to 60 percent of Nigeria’s more than 180 million people are aged under 30, and the country is expected to become the world’s third most populous by 2050.

About the election

Nigerians will head to the polls on February 16, next year.

Nigerian electoral law provides for 90 days’ campaigning and Buhari is one of 78 candidates from 91 registered political parties contesting for the country’s top job.

However the campaign is expected to be a two-horse race between Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Given a history of political violence during elections, Buhari on Sunday urged all parties and their candidates to conduct ‘peaceful and decent’ campaigns.

“We have no other country, let us not set it ablaze because of politics,” Buhari said.

Twenty-four countries, including United States, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union also called for ‘free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections’ as campaigning began.

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