Africa at a glance

Monday April 22 2019

Sudan opposition

rMembers of the Sudanese Professionals Association give a press conference in the capital Khartoum on April 15, 2019. Protest leaders have suspended talks with the military over return to civilian rule. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Sudan protest leaders suspend talks with army rulers

Protest leaders on Sunday said they suspended talks with Sudan's military council as they urged people to intensify their protest outside army headquarters in Khartoum and in other towns.

"We will continue the sit-in and we are suspending our talks with the military council. We are treating the military council as an extension of the regime," a spokesman of the protest movement Mohamed al-Amin announced in front of thousands of protesters gathered outside the army complex.

Amin also called on demonstrators to step up their protests until their demand for a transfer of power to a civilian council is met by the military.

The military rulers have resisted calls to transfer power immediately to a civilian body.

New army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has pledged to respond to demonstrators' demands within a week.


Madagascar president announces constitutional referendum
Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina has called a May 27 referendum on changing the constitution, to do away with the country's Senate and give more powers to the regions.

Rajoelina made both issues part of his campaign platform in the run-up to his election in December.

Rajoelina himself introduced the current constitution in 2010 during his first term as president.
The referendum will be on the same day as the legislative elections in a bid to cut costs.
Rajoelina first ruled from 2009 until 2014 after he was installed by the army when then president Ravalomanana was ousted following violent protests.

Thousands protest in support of Morocco activists
Thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in the Moroccan capital Rabat, calling for the release of dozens of activists jailed for up to 20 years over their role in a protest movement.

"The people want the release of the detainees" demonstrators shouted as they marched behind a banner supporting activists linked to the Hirak movement.

Earlier this month a court upheld the ruling against 42 people linked to the Al-Hirak al-Shaabi -- or "Popular Movement" -- protests which took hold of the marginalised Rif region in October 2016.
The rally, dubbed the "march of the Moroccan people: stop political injustice", was organised by detainees' families along with political and rights groups.

Suspected jihadists kill 12 Mali soldiers: security source
Suspected jihadists killed at least 12 soldiers in an attack Sunday in central Mali, a security source told AFP, updating an earlier toll.
"The new toll is at least 12 dead, including the post commander, a captain," the source said. An earlier report gave the death toll as at least 10.
The military outpost at Guire was attacked at around five in the morning, the source said earlier.

The Mali armed forces confirmed the attack on Twitter, without saying how many soldiers had been killed.

They said reinforcements were being sent to the Nara sector, about 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of the capital Bamako.

Team to visit US to seek Sudan's removal from terror list: army ruler
Sudan's army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said Sunday that a delegation will travel to Washington for talks to seek Sudan's removal from the US' state sponsors of terrorism list.
"A delegation will travel to the United States this week or next week to discuss removing Sudan from its state sponsors of terrorism list," Burhan said in his first interview on state television since taking power.
Burhan took the helm after predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf stood down less than 24 hours after becoming military council chief, following the ouster of long-time president Omar al-Bashir.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced financial support of $3 billion dollars for Sudan following the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.

The Sudanese pound surged on the black market Sunday on the news to 45 per dollar against 72 last week.

The official exchange rate is 47.5 pounds to the dollar.

British aid worker among two people shot dead at Nigerian resort

Two people including a British aid worker were shot dead and four tourists abducted from a resort in northwestern Nigeria in an attack on Friday, police said.

Gunmen stormed the Kajuru Castle Resort, 60 kilometres (40 miles) southeast of Kaduna City at 11.40 pm (2240 GMT) on Friday, Kaduna state police spokesman Yakubu Sabo told reporters on Sunday.

"They took away about five other locals but one person escaped," he added.

A Nigerian man believed by local residents in Kajuru to be the British woman's partner was killed in the attack, where a group of 13 tourists had arrived from Lagos.

In Kaduna and the wider northwest region, kidnapping for ransom has become an increasing threat as well as on the road to the capital, Abuja, where armed attacks have thrived.

Kidnapping in the region has spread from Nigeria's oil-rich south, where wealthy locals and expatriate workers are often abducted.

Northern criminal gangs made up of former cattle rustlers have been pushed into kidnapping after military crackdowns on cattle theft.
Tanzanian suspends gold-processing in Songwe

The Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko on Sunday ordered all gold-processing plants in the southern highland region of Songwe to suspend production following reports of smuggling out of the country.

"Intelligence reports show that some of the gold processors are not honest. They are smuggling processed gold out of the country," the minister said on a visit to inspect mining activities in the region.

He said some of the gold processors in Songwe region, bordering with Malawi and Zambia, were not adhering to regulations provided for in the gold processing business.
In March, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa launched a gold bullion market in Geita, a region in northwest Tanzania, and warned of punitive measures against smugglers.
The launch of the market was in line with President John Magufuli's directive to ensure that Tanzania takes a lead in international gold business.

The mining sector contributes around 4.8 percent to Tanzania's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the government.

Police arrest 24 illegal aliens in eastern Kenya

Police said Sunday they are holding 24 illegal immigrants who were arrested on Saturday during a sting security operation in Isiolo in eastern Kenya.

George Kinoti, director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said 18 Ethiopians and six Eritreans were arrested from a bush in an operation by a team of detectives in Merti.

"The immigrants were found being driven through the bush from Moyale to Nairobi to avoid detection. Driver escaped but is being sought," said Kinoti.

He said the suspects will be arraigned in court on Tuesday, charged with being in the country illegally.

Kenyan authorities have intensified a crackdown on undocumented migrant workers.

The country's immigration department has set up a hotline for citizens to report irregular migrants in their neighborhoods.