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Suicide attacks kill 31 in Nigeria

Two suicide bombers have attacked a town in north-eastern Nigeria only hours after the country's army chief urged displaced residents to return home because it was safe.

The blasts hit the town of Damboa in Borno state on Saturday evening and residents say at least 31 people died.

The explosions were followed up by rockets fired from outside the town.

Boko Haram militants are suspected. Army chief Lt Gen Tukur Buratai had said they were no longer a threat.

"Let me use this opportunity to call on the good people of northern Borno... to return to their communities which have long been liberated by our gallant troops," he said at an inauguration ceremony for gunboats earlier on Saturday.

A four-month military operation started on 1 May to expel Boko Haram insurgents from northern Borno and the Lake Chad region.

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Zimbabwe legalises marijuana cultivation, but the farming is not affordable

Zimbabwe is the second African country after Lesotho to have legalized the cultivation of Marijuana in large quantities for “Medicinal and Scientific Use,” but the money required of interested farmers to acquire license is huge enough to scare citizens from venturing into the cultivation.
On Friday, April 27 the southern African country declared it legal to grow the narcotic herb which was hitherto an illicit drug whose possession in Zimbabwe could lead to a maximum imprisonment of 12 years.

Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Minister Dr. David Parirenyatwa was reported to have said in a Government Gazette that: “Production of Cannabis” is “for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations.”

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ECOWAS Expresses Concern Over Court Injunction On Sierra Leone Poll Run-Off

The ECOWAS Commission has noted with concern the interim injunction issued by a High Court on Saturday, March 24th restraining the National

Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Chief Electoral Commissioner of Sierra Leone from proceeding with preparations for the March 27th Presidential run-off election.

The Commission, in a statement noted that the on-going electoral process up to the time of the announcement of results of the March 7 general elections had been generally peaceful apart from minor incidents.

The Commission therefore “appeals for calm and stress the need for the citizens and all political actors and stakeholders to remain law abiding and allow the National Election Management Bodies to carry out their constitutional mandate.”

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Senegal closes schools linked to Turkish cleric in exile

Senegal's government has closed more than a dozen schools linked to a man the Turkish government considers a terrorist, underlining Turkey's growing influence in predominantly Muslim West Africa.

At least 3 000 children in Senegal have been affected as Turkey reduces the influence of Fethullah Gulen, who is labeled a terrorist by Turkey's government.

The schools closed last year were linked to Hizmet, a moderate Islamic movement developed from the teachings of Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in the U.S. and accused by the Turkish government of being behind a 2016 coup attempt.

The issue has taken center stage in West Africa with the recent visit by Turkey's president. About 30 countries have been affected in Africa.

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Nine government officials arrested after illegally releasing 36 female prisoners

The officials were allegedly involved in illegally releasing at least 36 parolees over a period of more than a year.
In what one could describe as a syndicate, nine government officials were arrested in the early morning hours of Friday in Soweto and Johannesburg on corruption charges after they were allegedly involved in illegally releasing at least 36 parolees for financial gain.

All the parolees were from the Johannesburg women’s prison, and were released over a period of more than a year without following proper procedures.

The officials were arrested in a joint anti-corruption investigation teams from the department of home affairs (DHA), and the department of correctional services (DCS), led by the South African Police Services (SAPS) Crime Intelligence, Police Minister Bheki Cele said yesterday morning during an urgent media briefing.

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Sierra Leone votes for new President

Voting is under way in Sierra Leone, where more than three million people are eligible to choose a new president, parliament and local councillors.

In the capital, Freetown, long queues could be seen at polling stations even before dawn.

President Ernest Bai Koroma is stepping down after serving two five-year terms.

His chosen successor, Samura Kamara, is being challenged by 15 other candidates – many of them promising to tackle endemic corruption and poverty.

Mr Kamara of the All Peoples Congress (APC) is one of three frontrunners – the others are Julius Maada Bio of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and former UN diplomat Kandeh Yumkella of the newly-formed National Grand Coalition (NGC).

One of the greatest challenges for the new leader will be to reconstruct a healthcare system following the huge Ebola outbreak in 2014 that killed nearly 4,000 people.

Only 200 doctors serve a country of seven million people.

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Nigeria's Buhari to tour hotspots after kidnappings and clashes

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will visit the state where 110 schoolgirls were abducted by suspected Islamist militants last month, his office said, one of a series of security incidents that has cast a shadow over his term.

The 75-year-old former military ruler will tour other security hotspots from Monday onwards, the presidency said in a tweet, including areas that have seen clashes between rival groups and what it called criminal activity.

Buhari came to power in 2015, promising to tackle Boko Haram militants in the northeast and chronic instability across a country split roughly between a Muslim north and a Christian south and encompassing about 250 ethnic groups.

The jihadits have lost most of their territory in the face of an offensive by Nigeria’s army backed by troops from neighboring countries. But attacks have continued and the mass abduction on Feb. 19 in the northeastern state of Yobe was a major setback.

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Zambian MP Sentenced To Death

A Zambian lawmaker has been sentenced to death by hanging after a court found him guilty of shooting dead a security guard.

Keith Mukata, a member of the opposition United Party for National Development, was found guilty of first degree murder by the Lusaka High Court.

Presiding judge Susan Wanjelani sentenced Mukata to death by hanging, but acquitted his girlfriend and co-accused Charmaine Musonda.

The two were both accused of killing security guard Namakau Kalila Kwenda at a law firm in the capital.

Justice Wanjelani said the fact three cartridges were found inside the gate confirms the deceased was shot by a person face to face.

Mukata’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal the sentence.

As much as Zambian laws provide for death penalties, convicts usually have their sentences commuted to life in prison instead.

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Rwanda closes '700 unsafe, noisy churches'

About 700 churches have been closed down in Rwanda for failing to comply with building regulations and for noise pollution.

Most of them are small Pentecostal churches. One mosque was also closed.

A government official told the BBC that some of the more than 700 buildings shut down have already reopened after they were approved by inspectors.

According to new regulations, all preachers must have had theological training before opening a church.

Pentecostal churches, often run by charismatic preachers claiming to be able to perform miracles, have grown rapidly in many parts of Africa in recent years.

Some are massive, attracting thousands of worshippers each Sunday, but others consist of tiny structures built without planning permission.

Church leaders have at times been criticised for using loud public address systems to attract worshippers.

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Kenyan woman busted with cocaine at Kotoka

A 26-year-old Kenyan woman has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) at the Kotoka International Airport for attempting to traffic substances suspected to be cocaine into the country.

The suspect, Ivy Mugure Daniel was arrested on January 9, 2018 at the Airport whilst undergoing arrival formalities.

This comes after the Board announced last week that a Tanzanian food vendor had been handed a five-year jail term after she was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport for possessing 2.3kg of speedball, a mixture of cocaine and heroin with a street value of $70,000.00.
According to NACOB officers detailed at Kotoka, Ms. Daniel arrived at the airport on board Ethiopian Airline flight ET 921.

She was however accosted by officers who asked for her check-in luggage and following a search, a big parcel wrapped with a black polythene material containing an off-white powdery substance weighing 3kg was discovered.


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