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Botswana Opposition Challenges Election Results In Court

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Botswana Opposition Challenges Election Result In Court

Botswana’s election, spokesperson for main opposition party, Moeti Mohwasa says opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change, UDC, party has challenged results of 16 parliamentary constituencies that were won by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, BDP, in last month’s election.

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UDC didn’t do as well as in 2014 when it won 18 seats. President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s party retained power because BDP won big in the southern part of the country, traditionally an opposition stronghold.

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High court registrar, Michael Motlhabi said in a statement that election petitions were urgent and had to be tried and determined within 90 days.

BDP has ruled Botswana since independence from Britain in 1966. The country has enjoyed stability and prosperity because of its plentiful diamond resources.

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At his swearing-in this month, Masisi promised to transform Botswana’s economy by creating more jobs and countering excessive dependence on diamonds.

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Botswana Ruling Party Member Claims ‘Vote Rigging’ In October Election

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Botswana Ruling Party Member Claims 'Vote Rigging' In October Election

A member of the Botswana ruling party says there was vote rigging in the elections held two months ago in which he participated.

The Botswana democratic party, which has ruled the country since independence in 1966, was declared winner of the election.

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The ruling party member told a court that he ferried thousands of people to vote in the opposition stronghold, Gaborone. He also said there was double voting.

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The runner-up in the election, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), had complained of irregularities in some constituencies and filed the legal challenge against the election result.

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A panel of high court judges, hearing the UDC’s petitions, is set to rule within 90 days of the submission.

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Rwanda Scraps Tax On Sanitary Pads 

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Rwanda Scraps Tax On Sanitary Pads 

Rwanda has scrapped taxes on sanitary pads following South Africa’s move a year ago.

Ministry of gender and family promotion said, in a tweet, it was moving in the right direction as the government has added sanitary pads to a list of goods that are vat exempted.  He said this would make them more affordable.

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Most activists have held that the unavailability of pads, stemming from their cost, continued to affect especially school girls across Africa. There has been a sustained push for governments to scrap the taxes.

Consumers expect to pay much lower amounts for pads as soon as the directive begins to be implemented.

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Zambia and Kenya provide sanitary pads for schoolgirls. The U.N. Children’s agency, UNICEF, estimates one in 10 African girls miss school during their periods, which means they fall behind in their studies, and often drop out of school.

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In neighbouring Uganda, oxford university researchers have found absenteeism was 17 percent higher among girls who had no access to sanitary towels or information about puberty.

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At Least 71 Soldiers Killed In Attack On Niger Military Camp

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At Least 71 Soldiers Killed In Attack On Niger Military Camp

Islamist militants have killed 71 soldiers in Niger in an attack on a remote military camp near the border with Mali.  Authorities say this was the deadliest raid ever against the Nigerien military.

Army spokesman, Colonel Boubacar Hassan said on state television on Wednesday, several hundred militants attacked a base in the western Niger town of Inates over a period of three hours on Tuesday evening.  That is the same area where Islamic State’s west African branch killed nearly 50 Nigerien soldiers in two attacks in May and July. But this time, the army said, insurgents used artillery shells and kamikaze vehicles.

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Hassan said, 12 soldiers were wounded, while an unspecified number of others were missing. A significant number of militants were also killed.

Niger authorities said president Mahamadou Issoufou has cut short his visit to Egypt as a result of the attack.

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Meanwhile French president Emmanuel Macron, along with Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou, has announced that a summit scheduled for Monday to discuss security issues in the Sahel Area has been postponed to early next year.

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