National and International News Roundup: 22nd October 2019

Seven soldiers accused of killing women and children in the Far North of Cameroon have pleaded not guilty at a military tribunal. The defence has asked that the hearing be held in camera. The trial has now been adjourned and the judge will rule on the request on 4 November. The killings were caught on video and the soldiers were arrested following a BBC Africa Eye investigation. The seven men have been charged with participation in murder, breach of regulations and conspiracy.

Mayors of Bamenda 1, 2, 3, Tubah, Santa and  Bali councils have expressed disappointment following the poor administration of the outgoing Senior Divisional Officer of Mezam Division. According to the mayors of these councils, Songa Pierre Rene, acting out of bad faith refused to approve most council projects that were intended to improve the living conditions of the people. Simon Emile Mooh was installed today in Bamenda by the governor replacing Songa Pierre Rene. The governor called on the new SDO to promote peace and development in Mezam Division.

The government delegate to the Bamenda City Council has pleaded with the population of Bamenda to value human life and stop the killing of people as a means of attaining freedom. Vincent Nji Ndumu at the commercial avenue ceremonial grandstand went on his knees and begged the people, especially fighters to reason together and stop the violence.  He regretted the recent killing of a police officer Polycarp Nwana and wardress Florence Ayafor. Governor Adolph Lele L’Afrique called for a minute of silence for all those killed.

Fako Chiefs have called on their subjects to patiently wait for the implementation of recommendations taken during the major national dialogue in Yaoundé. In a press conference in Tiko, the Chiefs said they presented their point of federalism as the best form of government during the national dialogue though it was rejected in favour of a Special Status. They call for an end to violence.

The trial of a Buea-based pidgin news broadcaster Samuel Wazizi has been adjourned to November 5th, 2019. Contrary to a habeas corpus application filed by the defence lawyers, Samuel Wazizi was not in court. The journalist has been in detention since August this year. Lawyers say there is the need to check if he is held in detention centres in Yaoundé or elsewhere as his current location remains unclear.

A corpse of a woman has been discovered at the Soa neighbourhood in Yaoundé. The body was spotted in a nearby bush this morning. Residents say the body must have been transported and dumped there by the killers. This is the third abandoned corpse found in the locality in less than a year. The body has been deposited at the mortuary and investigation opened to get the killers.

About 40% of babies in Cameroon are breastfed exclusively for six months. The statistics were given by the Minister of Public Health while presiding over activities to mark World Breastfeeding Day. Experts say breastfeeding babies exclusively for six months is the most effective way to fight against diseases in babies.

Six suspected bandits have been presented to the press in Maroua in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The gang is believed to have killed a young man three weeks ago in the course of one of their operations.

Emperor Naruhito has been enthroned as the 126th emperor of Japan. Cameroon Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute represented President Paul Biya in the ceremony today.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that “no force can stop Ethiopia from building a dam” on the River Nile despite objections from Egypt about the possible impact downstream. “That should be underlined,” he added while addressing parliamentarians in Addis Ababa.

Gambia’s former defence minister Edward Singhateh admitted ordering the execution of several soldiers on November 11, 1994, in his much-awaited testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. A former n° 2 of the military junta, he asked for forgiveness while denying several other accusations.

The UK-based budget airline FastJet has announced that it is suspending flights on its Mozambican domestic routes from this coming Saturday because of a fall in revenue. FastJet is also facing competition from Ethiopian Airlines, whose subsidiary Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines is now operating flights on several of the country’s main domestic routes.

Passengers have been left stranded at airports around South Africa following safety spot checks by the aviation regulator (CAA) that left several aeroplanes grounded. Both Comair, the company operating low-cost airline, and British Airways in South Africa issued a notice to its passengers. It said the grounding “related to irregular findings picked up during a recent audit of our maintenance and technical service provider, South African Airways Technical”.

Liberia’s President George Weah has appointed as deputy defence minister a man who had previously threatened to “kill” people who tried to loot his property during protests against the president. A few days before his appointment, Tarplah Z Davis went on Facebook and hit out at organisers of anti-Weah protests.

A new investigation in Libya by rights group Amnesty International has found evidence of what it calls “potential war crimes” committed by the different sides fighting in Libya. The armed forces of the Libyan government in Tripoli and their rivals from the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army headed by Gen Khalifa Haftar have been fighting in and around the Libyan capital, Tripoli, since April.

Facebook has announced new measures aimed at fighting the spread of misinformation on its platform. In a statement, the social media giant said it will now prominently label content rated false by third-party fact-checkers on Facebook and Instagram.

Five leaders of a Guinean opposition alliance have been sentenced in connection with a series of protests that hit the country last week. Abdourahamane Sanoh, the leader of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), was sentenced to a year in prison, four other leaders were given six-month sentences and two were acquitted. They had been accused of insurrection and disturbing public peace.

Students from Uganda’s Makerere University have stormed a police station in the capital, Kampala, to demand the release of their 15 colleagues who were arrested while protesting against a hike in tuition fees approved last year. The 15 female students were arrested on Monday as they attempted to march to the office of President Yoweri Museveni to ask for his intervention in the dispute.

Election campaigns in Botswana close on Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s general election. Nearly one million voters will be choosing members of the national assembly and local authorities. The government has declared public holidays from Wednesday up to Friday. (Source: BBC Africa)

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