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US Imposes Sanctions On Leader Of Mali Islamist Militant Group

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US Imposes Sanctions On Leader Of Mali Islamist Militant Group

The United States has imposed sanctions on a leader of an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group in Mali on Thursday. The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Amadou Koufa, a Salafist preacher and a leader of a group said to be an Al-Qaeda affiliate in the Sahel region.

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America has also warned of the influence of Islamic state in west Africa which it says was on the rise even as it lost territory elsewhere.

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U.S. sanctions block any assets Koufa may have under U.S. control and bar any persons or entities in the United States from any dealings or transactions with Koufa.

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The U.S. state department’s annual global terrorism report saw an increase in “widespread terrorist activity in northern and central Mali last year.

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Son Of Noted Muslim Preacher Shot In South Africa

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Son Of Noted Muslim Preacher Shot In South Africa

In the coastal city of Durban on Wednesday, a South African activist and son of a deceased prominent Muslim preacher is fighting for his life in a hospital after he was shot outside a court.

65-year-old Yousuf Deedat – son of Sheikh Ahmed Deedat – was shot in the head as he walked towards the Verulam family court on the outskirts of Durban with his wife, Police colonel Thembeka Mbele said.

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Deedat was rushed to a hospital for medical attention after an unknown suspect who fled in a car in an unknown direction opened fire, shooting him in the head.

On Wednesday, Deedat’s family said in a statement that “he is in critical condition in a local hospital. While his injuries remain severe, we remain hopeful for Deedat’s recovery.”

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Yousuf’s father, Sheikh, who died in 2005 was known across the world as a respected public speaker and writer who published several widely-distributed booklets on Islam and Christianity.

Sheikh was a prominent South African Muslim missionary who held several interfaith public debates with evangelical Christians. He was the founder of the Islamic Propagation Centre International, which aims for Islam to be heard and understood across the world.

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Police said they were still investigating the reason behind his shooting.

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Locust Plague Devastates Crops In Horn Of Africa

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Locust plague devastates crops in Horn of Africa

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said swarms of desert locusts have damaged tens of thousands of hectares across the Horn of Africa.

Bukar Tijani, FAO’s Assistant Director General, calling the swarms “vast and unprecedented,” adding that breeding is continuing on both sides of the Red Sea, in Sudan and Eritrea and in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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Ethiopian farmer Ahmed Ibrahim whose small grazing plot had been devoured by locust said “we have nothing else to sell at the market. How will I feed my eight children?” he asked helplessly.

The swarms spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into eastern and northern Kenya last week, threatening food production and the economy, Kenya’s then-agriculture minister said, before being fired in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

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A farmers’ association in Kenya’s northern Laikipia area said it was planning aerial spraying of pesticides to combat the worst locust plague since 1954. The FAO estimated one swarm in Kenya to be 40 km wide by 60 km long (25 by 40 miles).

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Peter Learpanai, a herdsman in the northern Samburu region said “these things are in their millions and will eat all the vegetation here. Our animals will not have anything to feed on.”

He added that “the government needs to get serious about fighting them.”

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Kenya: Kiunjuri, Rotich Out As President Reshuffles Cabinet

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GovernKiunjuri, Rotich Out As President Reshuffles Cabinetment Reforms Will Improve Service Provisions To All - Kenyatta

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has reshuffled his cabinet.  The president announced the changes during his state of the nation address from the coastal city of Mombasa.  Cabinet secretary for agriculture, Mwangi Kiunjuri has been removed and replaced by Peter Munya who is being moved from the ministry of trade.

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Henry Rotich lost his position as cabinet secretary for treasury to Ukur Yattani who has been confirmed as substantive secretary.  In the Tuesday shake-up, former Nyeri senator, Mutahi Kagwe, made a comeback after he was nominated as cabinet secretary for health, while environment principal secretary betty Maina was promoted to cabinet secretary for industrialization, trade and enterprise development.

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Apart from the shuffling of cabinet ministers and principal secretaries, the president also made some nominations for principal secretaries in four other ministries.  These nominations are expected to be approved by parliament.

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