Africa at a glance

Sunday April 21 2019

Omar al-Bashir

Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. He is under investigation for money laundering after a stash of $130 million was found at his home. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Cash hoard found at Omar al-Bashir's home

A large hoard of cash has been found at the home of Sudan's ousted president Omar al-Bashir and he is now being investigated for money laundering, prosecutors say.

Security services found euros, dollars and Sudanese pounds totalling more than $130m.

The ex-leader was placed under house arrest after months of protests led to his removal.

A source in Sudan's judiciary told Reuters new Mr Bashir was under investigation, telling Reuters prosecutors would "question the former president in Kobar prison".

A picture carried by the Netherlands-based media outlet Radio Dabanga shows men in army uniforms standing over what appears to be several sacks full of cash.

The money, which Radio Dabanga says was shown to reporters, was stuffed in bags designed to contain 50kg (110lbs) of grain.

On Saturday, Sudan's attorney general said a new committee would be set up to oversee anti-corruption investigations.

Thieves raid Barclays ATMs in Kenya over Easter

Nairobi police are looking for suspects who stole more than Sh10 million ($100,000) from three ATMs belonging to Barclays Bank over the Easter weekend.

The robberies happened at Mutindwa in Buruburu, Kenyatta National Hospital and at The Mater Hospital in South B; all in the outskirts of the Kenyan capital.

Police say Sh6,290,000 was stolen at Mutindwa, Sh4,315,000 at KNH and another Sh1 million at the South B machine.

According to a police report, investigators found no surveillance camera at the Mutindwa machine. Police say the ATM lobby was unmanned at the time of the robbery.

The robbers in South B smeared the CCTV camera with petroleum jelly which blurred footage, police said.

DRC scraps sentence for exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has annulled a three-year prison sentence against opposition leader Moise Katumbi.

The move could enable him to return home from exile in Belgium, according to his lawyer.

The decision by the Court of Cassation, the DRC's Supreme Court of appeal, overturned a sentence for alleged property fraud.

Katumbi, the former governor of the DRC's copper-mining Katanga region, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in June 2016, shortly after defecting from former President Joseph Kabila's ruling party and announcing he would run for president later that year.

He had fled Congo the previous month in the face of separate charges that he had hired mercenaries and was plotting against the government.

Katumbi denied all the charges, which he said were aimed at keeping him from running to replace Kabila, who was due to step down in December 2016 after 16 years in power.

Landslide in northern Malawi kills three, injures many

Three people died after a landslide hit a village in the Rumphi district in northern Malawi, with at least five still missing Sunday and many others injured and hospitalised.

Rumphi police spokesperson Tupeliwe Kabwilo told AFP that incessant rains in the area led to the landslide early Saturday which washed away an entire village nestled between Mphompha Hills and Lake Malawi.

Among the dead are two boys aged 12 and 15 and a 35-year-old woman, according to police.

The missing persons, who are feared dead, include a one-year-old boy, two other boys aged six and 10 as well as two women aged 35 and 46.

A Rumphi district council official who was at the scene of the disaster told AFP that the affected area was inaccessible by road and it would be impossible to mount a rescue operation.

He added that it was also possible for some of the missing bodies to have been washed into the lake, in which case the bodies would resurface within the next two days.
Disaster management officer Alufeyo Mhango told AFP that government ministries were preparing to step in to transport heavy duty excavation equipment over the lake as soon as the weather cleared.

UN peacekeeper killed in Mali mine explosion

A UN peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded on Saturday when a mine exploded as their convoy passed through central Mali, the UN mission in the country said.

The blast hit part of the Egyptian contingent of the UN force close to the Burkina Faso border, the UN stabilisation mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said. The peacekeeper killed was Egyptian.

One attacker was killed, according to a security source.

UN chief Antonio Guterres's office issued a statement saying the UN peacekeepers "responded, killing an assailant and apprehending eight others".

He urged Malian authorities "to take swift action to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice."

The UN mission was established in Mali after radical Islamist militias seized the north of the country in 2012. They were pushed back by French troops in 2013.

A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability. But the accord has failed to stop the violence.

Anti-Haftar forces near Libya capital launch counter-attack

Forces loyal to Libya's unity government announced Saturday a counter-attack against military strongman Khalifa Haftar's fighters, as clashes south of the capital Tripoli intensified.
"We have launched a new phase of attack. Orders were given early this morning to advance and gain ground," said Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for the Government of National Accord's (GNA's) forces.
Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 against the UN-recognised GNA, which is based in Tripoli, resulting in repeated fierce clashes on the southern edges of the capital.
Sustained rocket and shellfire could be heard in several districts of Tripoli on Saturday, after several days of less intense fighting and stalemate on the ground.

Haftar backs a rival administration to the GNA based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognise the authority of the Tripoli government.

The GNA counter-attack came a day after the White House said US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Haftar, to discuss "a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system".

Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi's rule

Egyptians started voting Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former coup leader who presents himself as a rock of stability in a turbulent region.

Voters were being asked to back amendments to the constitution to allow Sisi, 64, to run for another six-year term while boosting his control over the judiciary and giving the military even greater influence in political life.

The three-day referendum bucks the trend of North Africa's renewed uprisings, in which mass pro-democracy protests this month swept away veteran presidents in Algeria and Sudan.

FAA leaves Ethiopia out of multi-nation review of Boeing's troubled Max planes
The US Federal Aviation Administration is planning what it calls a comprehensive multi-nation review of the control systems of the Boeing 737 Max airliner to include experts from nine civil aviation authorities.

The review is to begin April 29 and is expected to take 90 days, the FAA announced Friday.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will be involved in the review; leaving out Ethiopia

The review will "evaluate aspects of the 737 Max automated flight-control system, including its design and pilots' interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed," the agency said.

That system is suspected to have played a role in the October 29, 2018 crash of a Lion Air flight near Jakarta, killing 189, and in the March 10, 2019 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane near Addis Ababa, killing 157.

Both crashes occurred shortly after takeoff.

Boeing Max planes -- the aerospace firm's all-time best-seller -- have been grounded worldwide since then, while engineers and investigators seek the exact causes of the crashes.

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