Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, his country`s commercial planes have started overflying Sudan, as a result of a breakthrough meeting with Khartoum ’s de-facto leader.
Sudan granted Israel approval to fly over its territory, two days after Sudan’s military head of state, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, met Netanyahu in Uganda earlier this month.
Netanyahu told a group of visiting US Jewish leaders that the first Israeli plane crossed Sudan on Saturday, bound for South America. He said the new air corridor would cut the flying time on the route by three hours.
Netanyahu said Israel is now discussing rapid normalization of ties with its former foe, the Sudan.
Israel previously considered the Sudan a security threat because it suspected Iran used the Sudan as a conduit for overland smuggling of munitions to the Gaza strip. In 2009, regional sources said Israeli aircraft bombed an arms convoy in the Sudan.
South Africa Says Ports Remain Open Despite Lockdown
South Africa says its ports remain open to all types of cargo. The department of transport said in a notice shared by the South African maritime safety authority on its website that essential goods are being prioritized where possible.
The notice contradicts communications from port authorities last week that said South Africa’s bulk terminals, would shut for the duration of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The government has now decided that all cargo will be accepted for loading and off-loading to ensure a functional supply chain across all ports.
South Africa has the highest number of coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa, and the government is worried that infection rates could get out of hand if the virus starts spreading rapidly in the country’s poor and overcrowded townships. Health minister Zweli Mkhize says “hundreds of thousands” of coronavirus tests will be conducted to understand the true number of infections and halt their spread.
Covid-19 Causes Low Voter Turn Out In Mali
Mali officials are reporting a voter turnout of just 36 percent for the country‘s legislative elections.
Minister of territorial administration, Boubacar Alpha Bah, said on Thursday many chose to stay away from the ballot boxes because of threats of violence and covid-19 pandemic.
Mali went to the polls on Sunday, to elect new lawmakers in an election that has been long delayed over security concerns.
Polling day was marked by several violent incidents in the volatile north and centre, including kidnappings of officials.
Provisional results released on Thursday indicate a leading opposition figure, Soumaila Cissé, was elected in the first round, but also show a second round of voting will be needed in some districts where no candidate won a majority. The results also show many candidates who support president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta will likely face a second round of voting by the middle of this month.
Tanzania Extends Visas For Stranded Tourists
Tanzania’s immigration department says it is approving three-month visa extensions for foreign nationals who can’t leave the country because of the covid-19 pandemic.
Foreign visitors, who applied online, were granted the three-month visa extensions. Residents and holders of other passes, such as exemption certificates and dependent pass holders, have been given a one month extension at no cost.
The immigration department also says, if the pandemic situation persists after the expiry of the extension period, holders would have to report to the main immigration office in Dar Es Salaam. Those who have already surrendered their residence permits or passes have also been urged to report to the main office.
Tanzania has so far reported 20 cases of coronavirus, including one death and two recovered patients. The ministry of health has said it was tracing and monitoring more than 500 individuals who are believed to have had contact with those who have tested positive.
The nation has not suspended international flights and its border crossings are still open, but airlines have suspended flights to the country. Tanzania’s neighbors have also restricted cross-border travel as a precaution to stopping the spread of the virus.
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