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Ivory Coast President Plans To Modify Constitution Before Election

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Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara says he plans to modify the constitution ahead of the presidential election in October. Ouattara says the proposed changes would make the constitution more coherent.

The opposition claims the president`s aim is to sideline opponents from the country`s presidential elections this year.

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The current administration has dismissed the speculation that an age limit would be imposed on candidates, especially Ouattra’s main rivals, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bedie.

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President Ouattara himself has not said whether he will run for another term.

In ceremonies to mark the new year on Monday, Ouattara said his aim for modifications to the constitution is to further consolidate the state of law and bring institutions closer to citizens.

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He also said “I have just turned 78 and I’m not thinking about excluding anyone, myself included.”

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US Diplomat’s Remarks Stir Controversy In Cameroon

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US Diplomat's Remarks Stir Controversy In Cameroon

America’s top diplomat to Africa, Tibor Nagy, has caused a stir in Cameroon with comments he made in an interview on the separatist issue that has been rocking the country.  He criticized Cameroonian officials for not doing enough to solve the crisis that has claimed more than three thousand lives in the country’s English-speaking regions.

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Reactions are varied to Nagy’s comments. Some say he was merely proffering solutions, but others say he is unaware of the true situation; so, he should not be expressing any opinion on it.

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Nagy told radio France Internationale Cameroonians living in the northwest and southwest English speaking regions want decentralization and control over their own lives and their own historical heritage.

Spokesperson for the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, Ernest Ateba says Nagy has no mandate to speak to Cameroon.  He also said America should respect Cameroon’s sovereignty.

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Separatists also assailed Nagy for saying Cameroonians are unified.  They say they are fighting for an independent state they call Ambazonia.

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Deaths After Timket Stage Collapses In Ethiopia’s Amhara Region

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Deaths After Timket Stage Collapses In Ethiopia

A religious celebration in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state has turned deadly when a stage collapsed.  At least ten persons were killed. Dozens of injuries have been reported.

There was a high-level government delegation that attended the event, including president Sahle-Work Zewde and mayor of Addis Ababa.

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Journalist Samuel Getachew announced on twitter that families had begun removing bodies, and that the hospital had been overwhelmed.  He also said many of the injured had to be treated in make-shift beds.

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Timket celebration brings together thousands of Ethiopian and Eritrean orthodox worshippers to celebrate the epiphany, a festival that commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ.  This is one of the oldest and most important observed religious festivals in Ethiopia.

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Germany Hosts Summit On Peace, Politics In Libya

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Germany Hosts Summit On Peace, Politics In Libya

Leaders from 12 countries met in Germany on Sunday, in hopes of laying a foundation for a lasting cease-fire, between Libya’s rival governments.

German chancellor Angela Merkel invited to the summit world leaders, as well as representatives from the united nations, the European Union, the African Union, and the Arab League.  Libya’s two main rival leaders, former general Khalifa Haftar and Fayez Sarraj, were also present.

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who support Haftar and Sarraj respectively, spoke before the summit on Sunday, with Erdogan calling for Haftar to abandon what he called a “hostile attitude.”

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Turkey and Russia helped broker a fragile cease-fire in Libya which took effect last week, but both sides have accused one another of breaking it.

The leaders made a commitment at the summit to curb continued foreign interference in the conflict.

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U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who also attended, emphasized, before the summit started, “the need for a lasting ceasefire, a return to a U.N.-facilitated political process, and the end of all foreign intervention in Libya.”

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