Africa at a glance

Wednesday October 30 2019

Rescuers search through the debris following a

Rescuers search through the debris following a mudslide in Gouache, Baffoussam III Municipality in west Cameroon region on October 29, 2019. At least 42 people, including four pregnant women and 26 children, died when their houses were swept away on October 28, 2019 following days of torrential rain. PHOTO | NDI EUGENE NDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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  • Ecowas threatens sanctions in Guinea Bissau poll row

The Economic Community of West African States whose forces are nursing a fragile return to stability in Guinea Bissau has threatened sanctions against individuals who "try to prevent the normal election process."

The warning comes after President Jose Mario Vaz appointed Mr Faustino Imbali, 63, as the country’s new prime minister only a day after sacking the government of Aristides Gomes,64, who Ecowas recognises.

Ecowas encouraged the defiant Mr Gomes to continue preparations for the November 24 presidential vote in which Mr Vaz, 61, will seek a second term in office as an independent after falling out with the ruling African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

  • Nigeria grapples with disease that has killed 18

Nigeria was on Wednesday trying to establish the nature of a disease that has struck 45 people in Katsina state, northwest Nigeria, killing 18 of them in the past three weeks.


Dr. Shamsudeen Yahaya, Executive Secretary of Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said 11 samples have been taken to Lagos for analysis.

According to witnesses patients suddenly lost consciousness and traditional treatments and modern aids like drips had failed to stabilise them. ’

  • Pregnant women among Cameroon landslide dead

Bodies of four pregnant women and 26 children aged below 15 years were among 42 victims of the Monday landslide in west Cameroon

The bodies were pulled from the rubbles of 16 houses that had been submerged after 24 hours of rescue, the Cameroon Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji said.

More than a dozen people are yet to be accounted for after a heavy downpour on Tuesday evening forced search and rescue to be suspended.

  • Egypt, Ethiopia to meet in Washington over Nile dam

Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said it would take part in mediated talks in Washington on November 6 over the controversial $4 billion dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile.

Mr Shoukry said the meeting with Sudan and Ethiopia would seek to break the deadlock in the ongoing negotiations regarding the Renaissance Dam, despite the other two having not confirmed attendance.

Mr Shoukry said US officials would act as "intermediaries to bring about a fair and just agreement" after Addis Ababa and Cairo agreed last week to resume sittings at the prodding of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Zimbabwe to boost cash supply with new notes

Zimbabwe will introduce new two-Zimbabwe dollar notes and coins next month in a bid to resolve cash shortages stifling the country's ailing economy

It would also put trading of its RTGS money on the Reuters platform to increase transparency and quell a thriving black market that has knocked off more than a third of the currency's value against the dollar.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said on Tuesday in Harare five (Zimbabwe) dollar notes would also be introduced to "ensure we do not starve the market."

  • Flights to resume at Libya capital's wary airport

Flights are to resume at Tripoli's Mitiga airport which was closed nearly two months ago following several bombings in the ongoing battle for the Libyan capital.

The UN recognised Government of National Accord announced "the reopening of airspace and resumption of air traffic" at Mitiga International Airport through Transport Minister Milad Maatoug.

However, it will be two weeks before schedules resume fully amid fears of targeted airstrikes by Libya National Army forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar despite the airport playing no military role in the conflict.

  • Two million Zambians face food insecurity

More than two million Zambians are facing "severe" food insecurity after drought and flooding reduced harvests, the Red Cross said Tuesday.

Zambia Red Cross warned the drought had left an estimated 2.3 million people facing "severe food insecurity", up from 1.7 million a month ago.

Southern Africa is grappling with one of the worst droughts in decades that has left more than five million rural Zimbabweans, about a third of the population, facing food shortages.

  • Angolan ex-president's daughter loses parliamentary seat

The Angola parliament on Tuesday suspended the mandate of Ms Welwitschia dos Santos Tchizé, daughter of former President Eduardo dos Santos, from parliament over absenteeism.

It is the first time an MP has lost a seat in Parliament for dereliction of duty following the vote by the ruling MPLA and two main opposition UNITA MPs as legislators from three other parties abstained.

The former first family and incumbent President João Lourenço have clashed since 2017 over the war on corruption that has forced the female scions of dos Santos to live abroad following alleged death threats.

  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg declines $52,000 green award

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday refused to accept an environmental award, challenging politicians to back words with deeds on climate change.

She was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation, winning the organisation's annual environment prize.

A representative told the audience she would not accept the award before she posted on Instagram from the United States that the people in power should "start to listen to the current, best available science."