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Coronavirus: Ghana Temporarily Suspends Foreign Travels By Public Officials

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In light of Covid-19 pandemic, Ghanian public officials and Gabonese members of parliament have been banned from travelling out of their countries for now, in measures to prevent coronavirus.

Ghana’s presidential chief of staff Akusua Frema Osei-Opare said in a letter president Nana Akufo-Addo has temporarily suspended foreign travel.

The letter stated that only essential and critical trips by will be considered and approved for public officials.

Meanwhile, speaker of the Gabonese national assembly Faustin Boukoubi has suspended all foreign trips by MPs.

In a memo to legislators, the speaker said all travel on behalf of the assembly had been suspended until further notice.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ghana or Gabon. Both countries have been running public announcements urging citizens to wash their hands frequently and avoid handshakes and hugs in the wake of coronavirus.

Both advisories stated that the suspension of foreign trips was a precautionary measure.

Ghana’s neighbours, Burkina Faso and Togo, have both recorded positive cases of the virus.

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South African President Condemns “Mindless & Bloody” Acts Of Terror Against Trucks

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South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the recent spate of attacks on foreign truck drivers that has seen dozens of lorries damaged or burned.

President Ramaphosa described it as “mindless and bloody lawlessness” and says it cannot be tolerated.

He has directed ministers in charge of transport and labour to investigate the attacks.

Groups representing lorry drivers have been protesting against the hiring of foreign drivers.

Police in Gauteng, South Africa’s financial hub, says it has arrested some of those allegedly involved in the attacks.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) director in Southern Africa, Dewa Mavhinga, termed the attacks as xenophobic as he shared a video of torched lorries and condemned the action. He said xenophobia must stop and perpetrators must be arrested.

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Research Says Most IS Attacks Happen In Africa

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The Global Terrorism Index an annual review of terrorism trends has found that sub-Saharan Africa saw the most attacks linked to the Islamic State group and its affiliates.

The review found that there were just under 14,000 deaths across the world linked to terrorism – the fifth consecutive year that figure had decreased.

The research also found that the largest decrease in deaths were in Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The largest increase in terrorism occurred in Burkina Faso – where deaths rose by 590%.

It also marks Mozambique, Mali and Niger as among the countries that have had a concerning increase in terrorist attacks.

The Global Terrorism Index developed by the think tank the Institute of Economics and Peace, warned that deteriorating economic conditions could make more people susceptible to extremist propaganda.

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Fears Of Locust Swarms Grips East Africa

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There are fears of a new wave of locust swarms invasion in east Africa. This week Kenya agriculture ministry of agriculture says it was standing in readiness to tackle the problem after locusts were spotted in a region bordering Somalia.

Locust swarms are a threat to food security. Kenya and its partners have budgeted 320 million dollars to deal with locust invasion.

A UN agency –  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of fresh waves of desert locust swarms in the horn of Africa region after cyclone Gati hit Somalia. It warned that the swarms would move south in Somalia and Ethiopia, reaching northern Kenya, from mid-December. UN says the scale of the migration could be substantial as the heavy rainfall in Somalia is expected to allow for widespread breeding.

Earlier in the year, billions of the insects destroyed crops across the region. It was the worst invasion of locusts for more than 70 years. The UN is warning that a second generation would be even be more destructive.

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