South Sudanese former rebel leader, Riek Machar, says the two sides of the war-ravaged country will be unable to meet a May 12 deadline to form a unity government. He says key requirements for a peace deal have not been met.
Machar, who will regain his post as vice president under the deal, says the government and the rebels needed another six months before forming a unity government.
He spoke exclusively to Reuters news agency in Rome after he and South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, attended a two-day retreat, hosted by the pope.
Although few diplomats expected Kiir and Machar to meet the May deadline set in last September’s peace deal, the delay will cause further unease among the 12 million-strong south Sudanese population.
More than a third have been uprooted from their homes and around 400,000 have died in the civil war, which plunged parts of the country into famine. It has also been characterized by such extreme sexual violence and widespread ethnic cleansing, that the U.N. warned of a possible genocide in 2017.
Congo Lifts COVID-19 Curfew
The Republic of Congo has lifted an imposed nationwide curfew in 10 regions and relaxed it in the two main cities, in Pointe Noire and the capital- Brazzaville.
Authorities say the curfew will now run from 11pm to 5am local time. Several rights groups recently called for the full lifting of the curfew, saying relaxation of the measure had been counterproductive and had led to unemployment.
The country has reported nearly 5,000 cases of COVID-19 since March.
Cameroon Probes Kamto For ‘Plan To Trigger Insurrection’
Cameroon`s opposition leader Maurice Kamto is being investigated by the police on allegations that he wanted to cause an insurrection in the central African country.
The leader of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) party, Kamto had called for peaceful protests last week to push for electoral reforms, a resolution of the ongoing crisis in the Anglophone regions, and the resignation of long-time president Paul Biya but he could not lead the march because the security services put him under house arrest, and he has since not been allowed out of his home. Several opposition members were also arrested as security forces manned the streets.
A group of his lawyers went to the national delegation of public security and to the national gendarmerie to find out why he is being held under house arrest and were told, an investigation will be opened on him in the coming days on grounds that he tried to cause an insurrection.
Kamto demanding an explanation from the Cameroonian government during in an interview on Monday, for what he calls a de facto house arrest as a result of deployed law enforcement patrolling his residence day and night following demonstrations by his party last Tuesday against president Paul Biya`s regime.
South Africa Reports Record Job Losses
South African government’s statistics agency, says the nation`s economy has lost 2.2 million jobs in the second quarter of 2020- the largest fall on record.
South Africa’s lockdown – one of the strictest in the world – led to the largest economic contraction ever in the second quarter.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) defines an unemployed person as someone who is actively looking for a job – and because of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, it says most people who lost their jobs during that time were unable to look for a new one.
A clearer picture of the unemployment rate comes from stats SA’s figure for the number of people who were not economically active between March and June – the strictest period of the lockdown.
That figure is reported to have increased by 5.3 million people to 20.5 million.
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