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Covid-19 Derails South Sudan’s Peacekeeping Troop Rotation

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused South Sudan to suspend troop rotation in its peacekeeping operation. The move is aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.  But this has raised procedural concerns and poses immediate and longer-term implications.

Five Asian countries are affected by this suspension.  China, South Korea, India, Nepal and Cambodia contribute a third of sixteen thousand peacekeeping staff currently deployed by the united nations mission in South Sudan.

Some experts believe this decision to suspend the troop rotation will have an immediate effect on the mission and the UN’s broader peacekeeping capacity.  It is also believed there would be implications for long-term peace and stability in South Sudan.

Experts say a prolonged stalled troop rotation would very likely cause severe fatigue among troops overdue for replacement. Rotations usually happen every twelve months.

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Madagascar Takes Last Stand On COVID-19 Vaccine, Refuses Immunization

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Madagascar has affirmed its decision not to participate in the global coronavirus vaccine initiative- COVAX for the access to COVID-19 vaccine once they have been approved and licensed.

The government spokesperson confirmed the island will instead resort to its traditional herbal mixture that its own scientists discovered earlier this year to stem the virus. The World Health Organization has not approved the mixture.

Vaccines in Madagascar have never been popular among the general population. The island in 2018 was among the last four countries in the world registering polio cases from its stance on vaccines.

Meanwhile, the government spokesperson said they were waiting to see the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine first in the countries that will first use it.

The World Health Organization has urged on Friday countries in Africa to prepare for the arrival of a vaccine as soon as possible. W.H.O warned that African countries are far from ready to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention AfricaCDC has also said vaccinating people will be a big challenge in Africa where more than 2.1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed –that’s less than 4% of the global total cases.

People on the Africa continent have been urged to rely on the public health measures that have been put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

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Arrests At Kenya Airport Over ‘Fake’ COVID Papers

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At least 21 travellers who were headed to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been arrested by Kenya airport officials in Nairobi for using faked certificates declaring them free of COVID-19.

Earlier this week the UAE decided to stop giving visas to citizens of 13 countries, including Kenya, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria.

Local media report that the ban was imposed after travellers from Kenya were found with fake certificates upon arrival in the Gulf state.

Amid rising cases of coronavirus, Kenyan government on Thursday announced they are limiting the number of guests at wedding ceremonies. The number of guests allowed has been reduced to 50 because of rising coronavirus cases in Kenya.

The inter-faith council said even food in weddings will only be served to the parents and siblings of the wedding couple. Church services will now not take more than 90 minutes.

Kenya has recorded 80,102 confirmed coronavirus cases including 1,427 deaths.

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Ethiopia PM Meets AU Envoys But Bars Them From Tigray

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After more than three weeks of military conflict in Ethiopia, the country’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has on Friday met an African Union mission in Addis Ababa to try to mediate between his government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Initially, Abiy has refused to negotiate with the TPLF and has rebuffed calls for dialogue as “interference” in Ethiopia’s internal affairs as he branded international efforts to bring the two parties to the table as “unwelcome”. After Friday’s meeting with three special AU envoys,

The prime minister, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize said in a statement after Friday’s meeting with three special AU envoys that his government was seeking to ensure the protection of civilians, it was opening a humanitarian corridor, and it will welcome back Ethiopian refugees who fled into Sudan.

However, the prime minister said his government would continue its efforts against what it calls the “TPLF clique”.

The government has already said the AU envoys – former presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa – will not be allowed to travel to Tigray.

Abiy said he appreciated the “esteemed African elders” for their “readiness to support”, “this gesture and… the steadfast commitment this demonstrates to the principle of African solutions to African problems.”

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