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Zimbabwe Says 55 Elephants Have Starved To Death In 2 Months

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More Than 200 Elephants Die In Severe Drought In Zimbabwe

At least 55 elephants have starved to death in the past two months in Zimbabwe’s biggest national park as a serious drought forces animals to stray into nearby communities in search of food and water, the wildlife officials revealed on Monday.

Spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Tinashe Farawo said “the problem is real, the situation is dire.”

According to Farawo, all animal species have been affected including birds but the head count for elephants has been easy as these mammals are huge. Other animals such as lions at Hwange National Park have been affected.

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Overcrowding in Hwange contributes to the destruction of vegetation. The park can handle 15,000 elephants but currently has about 53,000, Farawo said.

“The single biggest threat to our animals now is loss of habitat,” Farawo said. “We have managed to significantly reduce poaching … we were losing hundreds of elephants in past years, but last year we only lost not more than 20 to poaching.”

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Investigations showed that at least 55 elephants had died from lack of food and water in the park, which holds the biggest elephant herd of 50,000 animals.

As animals stray from Zimbabwe’s wildlife parks they destroy crops and sometimes kill people, Farawo said, adding that more than 20 people have been killed this year alone.

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Zimbabwe, with support from neighbours Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, failed to lobby the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to lift a ban on ivory trade at a meeting in August.

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Soldiers Killed In Attack On Mali Army Camp, Militants Suspected

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Soldiers Killed In Attack On Mali Army Camp, Militants Suspected

Mali government says at least twenty soldiers have been killed by suspected Islamist militants in a pre-dawn attack on an army camp in Sokolo- central Mali on Sunday.

Officials said, the identity of the attackers was not immediately clear. But the government said in a statement, terrorists entered the camp killed the soldiers and caused significant material damage.

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An official said the gunmen arrived on motorbikes and that all those killed were gendarmes or paramilitary police. A witness described the scene as complete chaos.

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Islamist groups with links to Al Qaeda and Islamic state often operate in central and northern Mali and have used the area as a base to attack soldiers and civilians in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger and beyond.

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Seven Million Ethiopians In Need Of Humanitarian Aid – NDRMC

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Seven Million Ethiopians Need Food, Humanitarian Aid - NDRMC

Ethiopia state owned news agency (ENA) has reported that seven million people are in need of humanitarian aid, including emergency food assistance in Ethiopia.

The National Disaster Risk Management Commission’s spokesperson Debebe Zewede is quoted by E.N.A as saying, the country will need more than 1 billion dollars in humanitarian aid because Ethiopia has been facing a recurrent drought which is affecting the lives of the people and the country’s economy.

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Debebe said initial assessment shows, six million people are receiving food aid this year. Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous country with approximately 113 million people.

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Burundi Ruling Party Chooses Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye To Replace Nkurunziza

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Burundi Ruling Party Chooses Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye To Replace Nkurunziza

At the national conference of Burundi’s ruling CNDD-FDD party in the province of Gitega on Sunday, general Evariste Ndayishimiye was confirmed as the candidate in the may presidential elections.

His confirmation points to the fact that president Pierre Nkurunziza may actually retire.  He has served three terms.

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Ndayishimiye is an Nkurunziza ally and ruling party secretary-general.  He has fought as a rebel alongside Nkurunziza during Burundi’s civil war that killed at least 300,000.

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Nkurunziza became president in 2005 after signing the Arusha accord that ended the 13-year civil war.  He was re-elected unopposed in 2010 in an election that was boycotted by the opposition.

He claimed he was eligible for a third term in 2015.  His rationale was that lawmakers, not the general population, chose him for his first term. Critics have called that move unconstitutional.

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