South Sudan minister commends Uganda for hosting refugees

“Since the first war broke in Sudan, a number of people have crossed into Uganda as refugees,” said the minister.

She said hospitality provided by the Ugandan government has enabled South Sudanese children to attend school and the rest have settled and access healthcare from existing health facilities.

According to the minister, her country is trying to find everlasting peace solutions so that its citizens can return to rebuild the country.

“We have meetings ongoing supported by IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] and Uganda to ensure peace returns in South Sudan,” explained N’apwon.

She also encouraged traders from Uganda to continue trading with South Sudan, saying a lot is needed for Juba to settle economically.

“In the past, we have had ambushes by rebels along the roads, but since then, such activities have stopped,” stressed the minister.

Meanwhile the minister appealed to members of the international community to support the peace process in Africa’s newest nation.

She commended President Yoweri Museveni’s efforts in uniting rival leaders in South Sudan and other nations in the Great Lakes region.

Breaking: Alhassan resigns from Buhari’s cabinet to vote for governorship ON AUGUST 1, 2018

The minister of women affairs and social development, Senator Aisha Alhassan has resigned her position in order to contest the 2019 governorship election.
In the letter, however, President Buhari raised a condition of supporting her so long as she vies on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Alhassan had famously last September vowed that she would not support Buhari’s second term ambition on the claim that he had promised to serve only one term and that she would only support former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Abubakar who was at that time in the APC has now defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. It was yet unclear yesterday if she would follow Abubakar to the PDP. Alhassan was the candidate of the APC in the 2015 governorship election and lost it by the whiskers. In his acceptance of her resignation letter, Buhari said: I have today received your letter notifying me of your intention to contest for the governorship of Taraba State in the 2019 election. Let me thank you on behalf of the Federal Executive Council and Nigerians for your services as minister under this administration. I note with passion your past contribution to our great party APC during and after the 2015 elections. As you are aware I am totally committed to free and fair elections. Our policy is to support all APC candidates. I wish you well in your ambition to be governor of your state. Rest assured that all security agencies as well as INEC will have my full support to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in 2019

Deadly poll violence in Zimbabwe capital

Three people were killed in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare after troops opened fire on rioting opposition supporters, police say.

The government says the army was deployed in central Harare to help police restore order.

The opposition MDC Alliance condemned the crackdown, saying it was a reminder of the “dark days” of Robert Mugabe’s rule.

It alleges that the governing Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday’s elections.

Parliamentary results show the Zanu-PF heading for a big majority.

The presidential result has yet to be declared. However, the MDC Alliance insists that its presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won Monday’s election.

European Union monitors have expressed concern over the length of time it is taking to declare the presidential result.

What are the two sides saying?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the opposition leadership was responsible for Wednesday’s violence, which he alleged was designed to disrupt the electoral process.

He had earlier urged patience and calm following the first elections since long-serving ruler Mr Mugabe was ousted from power.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the army had been deployed in Harare to disperse a violent crowd and to restore “peace and tranquillity”.

He added: “The presence of the army is not to intimidate people but to ensure that law and order is maintained. They are there to assist the police.”

A spokesman for Mr Chamisa condemned the deployment of soldiers and the subsequent loss of life.

“Soldiers are trained to kill during war. Are civilians enemies of the state?” he asked.

“There is no explanation whatsoever for the brutality that we saw today.”

Correspondents say the violence was confined to the centre of Harare – an opposition stronghold – while other parts of the country remain calm. Latest reports from the capital suggest the security forces are in control of the streets.

‘Chaotic scene of burning tyres’

Army vehicles and police trucks rolled into Zimbabwe’s main city on Wednesday after the wait for the election results took an ugly turn.

MDC Alliance supporters had been gathering in various parts of Harare since the morning, but when news came that Zanu-PF had won the majority of seats in parliament and that the presidential results were not ready, the previously upbeat mood changed.

Opposition supporters went on the rampage down Harare’s busy streets, heading towards an old Zanu-PF office and carrying large stones, sticks and anything else they could grab along the way. The crowd chanted: “We want Chamisa.”

They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as the winner.

Riot police using water cannon and tear gas arrived to a chaotic scene of burning tyres and an unrelenting crowd. There were hundreds of them. They jeered and pelted the police vans with stones.

In another part of the city where more opposition protesters had gathered, the army used whips to disperse them.

Today’s clashes may not have been on the scale of the “days of old”, where intimidation by security police was the order of the day, but it’s certainly not the peace many had been praising until now. Something has changed here.

Acid victim’s daughter, 18, calls for tougher sentences

Acid victim’s daughter, 18, calls for tougher sentences

Tragic loss: Joanne Rand with daughter Katie, 18, and showing her acid burns in the days before she died PICS: PA

A TEENAGER responsible for Britain’s first acid killing was jailed for 17 years yesterday.

Xeneral Webster (below) threatened a man with a bottle of strong sulphuric acid during a row over a bike.

When the man kicked it away in a panic, it splashed over Joanne Rand, covering her head to toe as she sat on a bench after visiting her daughter’s grave.

The mother-of-three ran to a KFC to wash but died 11 days later after contracting septicaemia from her burns and suffering multiple organ failure.

Prosecutors said it did not matter that Webster had not kicked the bottle or targeted Ms Rand because it was his reckless actions in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, that led to her death. He knew the risks because he was the victim of an acid attack two months earlier and is scarred for life.

Judge Angela Morris told him: ‘You and your actions bear the responsibility for Ms Rand’s tragic demise.

Deadly risk: The killer cycles away with bottle of acid after it spilled over victim

‘The cost of your actions were incalculable and irreparable for her family and friends, and there is no sentence which this court can pass which can replace the value of her life.’

Ms Rand’s death at 47 was the second tragedy to hit the family after her daughter Charlotte Pitwell was killed in a car crash aged 19 in 2011.

Her other daughter Katie Pitwell, 18, called yesterday for possession of acid to be punished more severely.

She said after the hearing: ‘I think the buying of acid needs to be restricted, but also, if someone is carrying it, there should be tougher sentences because most of the time they do intend to use it for harm.

CCTV: The victim moments before she was hit by the acid

‘People need to know if they’re carrying that type of stuff it’s going to hurt someone or kill someone.’

Webster, 19, was initially charged with murder over Ms Rand’s death. But his trial was stopped in April after he admitted to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

His lawyers said he had written the victim’s family a letter to say he was ‘very sorry’ and had meant no harm.

But Ms Rand’s sister Jacqueline Joiner, who spoke at the hearing, turned to him and asked: ‘Do you feel any remorse for what you did? You certainly seem to have no regard for anyone, and need to be held accountable.’

After he was sentenced at Reading crown court, Webster screamed abuse at judge Morris, forcing security staff to drag him from the dock. Another of Ms Rand’s sisters, Lynn Ryan, described watching her deteriorate after being burned in June last year.

She said: ‘The day before Jo died, I will never forget the look in her eyes when she asked me, “am I going to die?”. I said no, but I didn’t know. She was so scared and afraid.’

Ms Joiner, 61, added: ‘We’ve kind of been sleepwalking through our lives for the past year, not thinking of it as real. It’s like a nightmare and you just can’t get your head round it.’

Webster, from west London, was also convicted of waving a samurai sword to threaten a woman a few days before Ms Rand was burned.

Malawi ex-leader Muluzi against savage politics, foul-mouthing President Mutharika

He was speaking  on Wednesday during the opening of the United Democratic Front (UDF) national conference in Blantyre.

Muluzi, who is also the founding member of the former ruling party and its patron said Malawians should not stoop so low to call Mutharika names, saying he deserves respect as Head of State.

Muluzi’s son, Atupele, who is also the president of UDF, is in the Mutharika 20 member Cabinet where he is serving as minister of Health.

He said calling Mutharika names like ‘Amtchona’ was uncalled for and urged Malawians to stop.

“As a person who fought hard to bring democracy, I find it disheartening when people call the President names,” he said.

The opening ceremony was also attended by controversial Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa and Mulhako wa Alhomwe chairman Leston Mulli.

Atupele went unopposed so too the secretary general Kandi Padambo as there were no challengers but the party has created the positions of four vice presidents for the north, the centre, the eastern region and the south.

At least 2, 500 delegates are attending the convention.

In an acceptance speech, the UDF president said there was need to move away from tobacco and maize growing, saying the crops’ future is fragile.

“Of course, at the heart of any progress must be a sustainable economy.  A great deal of effort has gone into stabilising the economy over recent years; We have seen the dividends through falling inflation and improved confidence.  However, only a very small number of people have actually benefited from this,” said Atupele.

“Having led the development of the economic recovery plan developed in 2013 I am clear that we now need to have a proper conversation as a country to decide what our new growth sectors need to be and what we need to do to unlock them.  If it really is agriculture, then we have to have an honest conversation about how we create value rather than just survive,” he added.

He said once voted into power, he would find alternative crops such as soya beans.

Atupele  also promised to improve the transport system once voted into power as well as improve internet services as farmers would easily find markets for their produce on the internet.

Comoros: China, Comoros to Facilitate Pragmatic Cooperation

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with visiting Comoros Foreign Affairs Minister Souef Mohamed El Amine in Beijing, capital of China, July 9, 2018. El Amine will attend the eighth ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) scheduled for July 10. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) — China and Comoros Monday vowed to strengthen mutual political trust and pragmatic cooperation.

The pledge was made by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and visiting Comoros Foreign Affairs Minister Souef Mohamed El Amine, who will attend the eighth ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) scheduled for July 10.

China believes all countries are equal members of the international community, regardless of their size, strength, or wealth, Wang said.

He called on the two sides to coordinate closely in international affairs and foster a paradigm of relations of equal treatment and win-win cooperation between big and small countries.

Saying China will attach more importance to the cooperation demands of small and medium-sized countries, Wang expressed China’s willingness to support Comoros in its bid for sustainable self-development.

For the common interests of both China and Comoros, Wang called for continued mutual understanding and support on issues concerning the two countries’ core interests and major concerns.

El Amine said his country maintains the One China principle and supports China to achieve complete national reunification.

He thanked China for its long-term support and assistance in Comoros’ development, and expressed his hope to push forward bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction and human resources development.

Muslim Religious Leader Who Saved 300 Christians Fleeing Deadly Radicals to Receive Nigerian Honor

83-year-old Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, A Nigerian imam from the village of Nghar in Plateau State, is set to receive on Wednesday a national honor from President Muhammadu Buhari for his actions on June 24.

“I hid the women in my personal house and after that, I took the men into the mosque and hid them there,” Abubakar explains in an article in The Eagle online.

The Christians, who have been slaughtered in the mass this past year in Fulani raids, sought refuge from the armed radicals, who invaded 15 communities on that day.

When the Fulani arrived at Abubakar’s house, however, the imam claimed that the people inside were all Muslims, leading the herdsmen to move their search elsewhere.

Incident earlier reported that the herdsmen strongly suspected that the Christians had been sheltered by the imam, but still he did not allow them entry, despite fears they might burn down the mosque and his house.

Abubakar even prostrated himself on the floor in front of the radicals, crying and wailing, demanding that they leave.

And while the Fulani did agree to leave, they set two nearby churches on fire.

A Muslim religious leader will be honored for saving close to 300 Christians from Fulani herdsmen who wanted to kill them.

Breaking: Kwara Assembly Speaker, others defect to PDP

The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr Ahmad defected alongside other members of the Kwara state assembly on Wednesday.

His defection is coming less than 24 hours after Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed also defected to the opposition party.

“Today, as I and other members of the Kwara State House of Assembly dump the APC for good, I heaved a sigh of relief,” Mr Ahmad posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

“In 2014, I was terribly sad leaving PDP reluctantly with 36 other members of the House of Representatives. Today, I am the happiest leaving the APC for good.”

Details later…

POLITICSBREAKING: APC spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi confirms exit from party

Despite insisting he would not leave the ruling party through the backdoor on Tuesday night, Abdullahi took to his Twitter page to confirm his exit on Wednesday.

“In view of recent political developments in the country and within the All Progressives Congress (APC), I have decided to resign my position as the National Publicity Secretary as well as my membership of the party with effect from today.

“In the last few days, I have had to endure the flagrant usurpation of my role as the spokesman of the party in a manner that I consider unbefitting of a ruling party and inconsistent with my ethical standards.

“I have served the APC honestly and to the best of my ability and when I stood for and won my election at the last convention, it was a keen desire to continue to do so.

“However, in a situation whereby my loyalty is constantly brought into question; my subordinates deployed to subvert my office; and my views constantly second-guessed on the basis of my political affiliation, it has become imperative for me to review my position,” he wrote.

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF wins majority

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party appears set to win a majority in parliament after capturing 109 seats so far in national elections, the country’s electoral commission announced Wednesday.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has won only 41 seats so far. A total of 210 seats were contested.

Zanu-PF is led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power after Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule ended under the pressure of a military takeover in November 2017.

According to the electoral commission, 70% of registered voters cast ballots.

The commission has said it would only announce the result of the presidential vote once all 10,985 polling stations verified their results.

Both Mnangagwa and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa hinted they were ahead on Tuesday in the country’s first election without the name of former ruler Robert Mugabe on the ballot.

Mnangagwa, 75, who took power after helping to orchestrate a de facto coup against Mugabe in November, said he was receiving “extremely positive” information on the election. Meanwhile, Chamisa, 40, said his party was poised for victory.

Commission Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba told reporters in Harare on Tuesday that the commission was confident there was no cheating or rigging in the largely peaceful vote. Observers were present to monitor the election for the first time in years, including 20 teams from the US Embassy in Harare.

A report published by African Union observers Wednesday said that “by and large, the process was peaceful and well-administered

Chamisa — the country’s youngest ever presidential candidate — who took over the MDC leadership following the death of its founder Morgan Tsvangirai in February, tweeted on Tuesday that his party had done “exceedingly well.”

During the campaign, Chamisa aimed to appeal to younger voters with promises of electoral reform, tax cuts and jobs.

While his message may strike a chord, he does not have the same level of backing from the security forces or military who oversaw Mugabe’s departure.

But both men face a mighty challenge to help the country recover from the dire economic situation that was inflicted upon it by Mugabe’s rule