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Sudan Agrees Those Wanted By ICC Should Appear Before Court

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Sudan Agrees Those Wanted By ICC Should Appear Before Court

Sudan’s government and rebel groups in Darfur have agreed on Tuesday that all those wanted by the International Criminal Court should appear before the tribunal, a list that includes ousted president Omar Al-Bashir.

Former president Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He has been jailed in Khartoum since he was toppled after mass protests last year. Information minister Faisal Saleh did not specifically name him when announcing the move, but said the decision applied to all five Sudanese suspects wanted by the ICC over Darfur.  Bashir is one of the five.

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Government and rebel groups reached an agreement during a meeting in South Sudan’s capital juba that included “the appearance of those who face arrest warrants before the international criminal court. Bashir’s lawyer had said the former president refused to have any dealings with the ICC because he believes it is a “political court.”

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Bashir has said the allegations made by the ICC, the world’s first permanent court for prosecuting war crimes, are part of a western conspiracy.

He faces five counts of crimes against humanity for murder, forcible transfer, extermination, torture and rape; two counts of war crimes for attacks against civilians; and three counts of genocide.

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South Africa Says Ports Remain Open Despite Lockdown

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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.

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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.

READ:  Security Officers Repulse Suspected Al-Shabaab Attack In Kenya

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Covid-19 Causes Low Voter Turn Out In Mali

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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.

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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.

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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.

READ:  Sudan Launches Its First Ever Satellite In Partnership With China

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Tanzania Extends Visas For Stranded Tourists

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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