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Africa

WHO investigating sexual abuse allegations amid Ebola fight in DR Congo

Issued on: 29/09/2020 – 22:03 The World Health Organization said Tuesday it was investigating allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by people identifying themselves as the UN agencys workers fighting Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Advertising Read more The WHO said its leadership and staff were "outraged" by recent reports of sexual abuse by people saying they were working for the UN health agency in the Ebola fight in the DRC. "The actions allegedly perpetrated by individuals identifying themselves as working for WHO are unacceptable and will be robustly investigated," it said in a statement. "The betrayal of people in the communities we serve is reprehensible," it said, stressing that "we do not tolerate such behaviour in any of our staff, contractors or partners." The WHO pointed out it had a "zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual exploitation and abuse". "Anyone identified as being involved will be held to account and face serious consequences, in..

Africa

The WhatsApp voice note that led to a death sentence

Music studio assistant Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by hanging on August 10 after being convicted of blasphemy by an Islamic court in northern Nigeria. The judgment document states that Sharif-Aminu, 22, was convicted for making "a blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed in a WhatsApp Group," which is contrary to the Kano State Sharia Penal Code and is an offence which carries the death sentence. The recording was shared widely, causing mass outrage in the highly conservative, majority Muslim, state, according to various reports. "Whoever insults, defames or utters words or acts which are capable of bringing into disrespect … such a person has committed a serious crime which is punishable by death," according to a translation of court documents provided to CNN by his lawyers. Sharif-Aminu, described by his friend Kabiru Ibrahim, as "kind, religious and dutiful," admitted charges of blasphemy during his trial, but said he had made a mistake. No legal representatio..

Africa

South African government docks minister’s salary

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using an aircraft belonging to the country's air force. The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans, misused state resources because of her "error of judgment" and docked her salary for three months starting next month.Mapisa-Nqakula didn't act "in the best interest of good governance" and "acted in a way that is inconsistent with (her) position," a statement from the presidency said.Her salary for the three months will instead go into a fund supporting the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic. There is a growing pressure from the opposition for Mapisa-Nqakula to step down despite the ANC promising to pay back the costs in excess of her approved budget for the trip."We travelled in an unusual manner," the ANC said in a statement, "and will reimburse the government for the costs in..

Africa

Bacteria infection blamed for further elephant deaths in Zimbabwe

Issued on: 29/09/2020 – 09:16 Twelve more elephants have died in Zimbabwe, taking the total death toll from a suspected bacterial infection outbreak to 34, wildlife authorities have said, days after scientists blamed water toxins for hundreds of elephant deaths in neighbouring Botswana. Advertising Read more "A total of 34 carcasses have been found… but some others have not been located," Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya told parliament on Monday. The animals died between August 24 and September 23 this year in and around the wildlife-rich forests between the famous northwestern Hwange National Park and the town of Victoria Falls. "They were found lying on their bellies" suggesting they had an "extremely sudden death", Mangwanya said. Tests conducted in Zimbabwe so far point to a disease called haemorrhagic septicaemia, which is caused by bacterial infection, he said. [embedded content] Rangers have ruled out cyanide poison..

Africa

Abortion an ‘obstacle race’ for women in Democratic Republic of Congo

Issued on: 29/09/2020 – 08:30 Every day an estimated 400 women have unsafe abortions in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. FRANCE 24 spoke to members of the NGO Afia Mama, which provides psychological, medical and legal support to women seeking an abortion. Advertising Read more Though the DRC has signed and ratified the Maputo protocol, which allows women to terminate a pregnancy in the case of rape or if it threatens their health, the Congolese penal code continues to prohibit abortions. "The fact that the law is inconsistent means that the state is not investing in the required infrastructure. There are no trained doctors and there is no information," says Afia Mama's director, Anny Modi. "So it really is an obstacle race for women who want to terminate their pregnancy." To facilitate access to reproductive rights, several MPs are now calling for an overhaul of Congolese legislation. "Our goal is to raise awareness, because there are many peRea..

Africa

UN report reveals Africa lost $800B in illegal transfers in recent years

[unable to retrieve full-text content] In tonight's edition: The UN sounds the alarm bell over illicit capital flight out of Africa…a loss it says is costing the continent tens of billions of dollars ever year. Mali's new Prime minister is sworn in as part of a transitional government tasked with steering the country towards elections and civilian rule. That, in the wake of the military coup that oustRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Africa

Egypts Nasser still a divisive figure 50 years after his death

Fifty years since Gamal Abdel Nasser's death, controversy over the legacy of the charismatic Egyptian president who championed Arab unity lives on in Egypt as deep divisions beset the Middle East. Advertising Read more Best known for his colloquial charisma and pan-Arab populism, he enraptured listeners with his radio broadcasts and inspired enormous pride inside the North African country and well beyond its borders. Nasser was feted as a bulwark against Israel, colonialism and poverty during much of his 16 years in power, first as prime minister and then president. Early successes included the thwarting, albeit thanks to US influence, of an invasion by Britain, France and Israel in 1956 after Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. Critics, however, saw him as a symbol of populist authoritarianism, economic folly and geopolitical imprudence which significantly compromised his standing by the time he died on September 28, 1970. To mark 50 years since his death, his oldest dau..

Africa

Dozens killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria governor’s convoy

Issued on: 26/09/2020 – 14:37 The death toll from a jihadist attack on the convoy of the regional governor in northeast Nigeria has risen to 30, security sources said Saturday. Advertising Read more Two sources told AFP fatalities from the attack Friday in restive Borno state had doubled as more bodies were found and now included 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia and nine civilians. "The tally has increased to 30 as many bodies were picked in the surrounding areas after the attack," one of the sources said, adding that "many people were injured". Sources had earlier told AFP that a convoy transporting Borno governor Babagana Umara Zulum came under attack from insurgents on Friday near the town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad. A second security source gave the same death toll of 30 from the assault and said the militants seized eight vehicles. "The terrorists made away with an armoured personnel carrier, a gun truck and six sports uti..

Africa

African court requests ex-Ivorian president Gbagbos voting rights be restored

Issued on: 26/09/2020 – 10:45 Ivory Coast should allow former president Laurent Gbagbo, who has been barred from running in next month's key presidential election, to vote in the poll, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights said Friday. Advertising Read more The court, established by African Union members in 2004, asked Ivory Coast to "take all necessary steps to immediately remove all obstacles" preventing Gbagbo from being added to the electoral roll. Ivory Coast withdrew its recognition of the court's jurisdiction in April this year. Gbagbo, who was president from 2000 to 2010, is not on the electoral roll which was updated this year, and thus cannot vote or be a candidate in the October 31 election. The Constitutional Council, Ivory Coast's top court, has rejected 40 of 44 applications to contest the election, which is taking place against a backdrop of extreme tension. Those barred include Gbagbo, 75, and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, 4..

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