Africa at a glance

Thursday October 17 2019

Young people block the road as they protest

Young people block the road as they protest against a possible third term of President Alpha Conde on October 16, 2019, in Conakry. PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI | AFP 

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Mozambique President Nyusi takes commanding lead in poll

Projected results have put Mozambique president Filipe Nyusi leading with 72 per cent in elections conducted on Tuesday.

His nearest rival - Renamo's Ossufo Momande - was at 21 per according to Sala da Paz, a grouping of civil society organisations, which relied on observer reports.

The election has been largely passed as peaceful but with preliminary results expected on Thursday, the next key test for stability is acceptance of the outcome by the parties.

Sudan declares ceasefire in boost to peace talks

The Sudan transition government issued a decree for a ceasefire through out the country in a bid to pacify a rebel group that had threatened to pull out of the ongoing talks in Juba, South Sudan.


Lt. Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, Chairman of the Transitional Council of Sovereignty, ordered the ceasefire in response to a decision by the SPLM wing of Abdel Aziz Al-Helw to suspend negotiations over attacks in its territory.

SPLM is holding talks with government outside those with RUF, a grouping of six rebel groups, as five other groups under the Sudanese Alliance for Change, said they were willing to join the talks.

Guinea opposition trial suspended as more protests erupt

A Guinea court on Wednesday suspended until Friday the trial of eight opposition leaders accused of organising protests against President Alpha Conde, as fresh rioting broke out in the capital Conakry.

The opposition says at least 10 people , the official tally is nine, have died in three days of deadly clashes during protests against Conde's push for constitutional reforms that would let him run for a third term in office.

The eight on trial belong to an alliance of unions, political parties and civil society groups called the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) which formed in April and has appealed for a massive turnout in rallies.Foreigners in S.Africa appeal to be relocated after attacks

Hundreds of foreign nationals on Wednesday marched to Parliament in Cape Town, demanding to be relocated from South Africa after camping at the UN refugee agency offices for a week.

The foreigners, many of whom described themselves as asylum-seekers, say they no longer feel safe in South Africa after a surge of xenophobic attacks last month.

Sylvia Nahimana, a group representative from Burundi, said discussions with the government since 2008 to end the killings have been in vain.

Morocco King pardons journalist jailed for abortion

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni who was on September 30 sentenced to one year in jail for an "illegal abortion" and sexual relations outside marriage was granted a royal pardon on Wednesday.

In a case that had provoked a storm of protests from rights groups, the justice ministry said King Mohammed VI had pardoned the 28-year-old woman and four others.

The journalist made a victory sign as they emerged from El-Arjat prison near Rabat before joining her family and friends.

Fleeing DR Congo militias burn, loot villages

Congolese militia fighters fleeing a military offensive have burned and looted at least seven villages in the last five days in the country's restive east, forcing massive displacement.

Dozens of rival militias operate in DR Congo's North and South-Kivu provinces, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist-rooted group blamed for killing hundreds.

Community leaders said the militias set fire on houses and stole cattle at Nyamulongwe village after they flattened Kalonge, Lubemba, Kalongozi, Kyanama, Muganwa and Muburungu.

Price of bread rises to $1 in Zimbabwe

The price of bread shot up 60 percent overnight in Zimbabwe from nine Zimbabwe dollars (60 US cents) to 15 Zimbabwe dollars ($1) as bakers responded to rising production costs.

Bread is the country's second staple after a thick cornmeal porridge known in the local Shona language as "sadza," and the price increase will push more families towards hunger.
The National Bakers Association said its members were passing on the costs of imported wheat, electricity shortages and diesel-powered generators to consumers.

Inflation is officially at 290 percent forcing most families to survive on one meal a day and prompting strikes by professionals and civil servants demanding salaries be pegged to the dollar.

Logistics key to Africa trade bloc success - World Bank

World Bank President David Malpass has asked African government to harmonise tariffs and rationalise customs and border processes in order to leap the benefits of a continental free trade agreement.

All 55 African nations except Eritrea have signed onto the Africa Continental Free Trade Area which is due to take effect July 1, 2020 and 27 countries have ratified it.

The bloc would cover a market of $2.5 trillion and a population of more than one billion and improving logistics is viewed as a low hanging fruit compared to heavy investments in roads and ports.

Qatar moots laws to end abuse of migrant workers

Qatar announced plans Wednesday to scrap key aspects of its controversial "kafala" labour rules, including the requirement for some workers to obtain employers' permission to change jobs and exit permits to leave the country

Rights groups have long said the system fuels abuses and the reforms are a dividend of Qatar's selection to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup which requires migrants for the vast construction programme.

The authorities are extending the waiver on exit visas to domestic staff and employees of government bodies after granting it for other cadres last year.

The labour ministry said there would be a new law on minimum wage, labour transfer and abolition of exit permits which employers abused to keep workers against their will.