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Mali Junta Seeks Three-Year Post-Coup Transition

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Mali Junta Seeks Three-Year Post-Coup Transition

A new report says Mali military coup leaders have told a delegation of west African mediators they want to stay in power for a three-year transition period.

Three days of meetings by negotiators from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who were in Mali last weekend ended without a decision on the structure of a transitional government.

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ECOWAS discussed a return to civilian rule with the military officers who ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last week.  ECOWAS delegation leader, Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan, says the mutineers are now seeking to oversee a three-year transition before elections.

After taking power, the junta leaders had said they acted because the country was sinking into chaos and insecurity which they said was largely the fault of poor government. They also promised to oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” amount of time.

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ECOWAS has said the only acceptable option was an interim government, headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months, and maximum of 12 calendar months.

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The coup has raised the prospect of further political turmoil in Mali and an expanding threat from Islamist militants and civil unrest.

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Burundi Opposition Condemns ‘Mass Arrests’

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Burundi’s main opposition party, the National Freedom Council (CNL), has condemned what it calls the mass arrest of its members who are accused of being linked to rebel attacks in the west of the country.

The party said nearly 100 of its members have been arrested in less than two weeks and most of them have not been taken to court.

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Party leader Agathon Rwasa told the BBC, that CNL members are being arrested while we have nothing to do with the rebels. CNL was the main challenger in may’s general election that saw the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, retain the presidency.

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He said his party’s representatives in the south-western Bururi province have been arrested for holding an “illegal meeting”. Rwasa added that there was “nothing illegal in a regular meeting of a political. The ministries of justice and security have not responded to the media`s request for comment.

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Rwasa finished second with 24% of the vote.

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Niger Postpones Reopening Of Schools After Floods

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Niger Postpones Reopening Of Schools After Floods

The Niger authorities have postponed the reopening of schools across the country following heavy floods that have reportedly killed more than 70 persons and displaced hundreds of thousands. Schools were due to reopen on October first, but the government has said they will now reopen on the fifteenth for the new academic year.

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Large parts of Niger have been affected by the floods following torrential rains and rivers bursting their banks. The capital, Niamey, and its surroundings has been the worst hit.

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Most of the flood victims are sheltered in schools and the authorities say they need time to relocate them to other shelters.

Earlier this year, students lost several months of learning when schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ:  Mali Junta Backs 18-Month Transition Government

Schools reopened briefly in early June and later closed for holidays but floods have now forced them to remain shut.

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COVID-19: Kenya Relaxes Burial Restrictions

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COVID-19: Kenya Relaxes Burial Restrictions

The Kenyan government has lifted restriction on burials that would now allow families to attend funerals of their loved ones.  Authorities have relaxed restrictions on funeral gatherings for those who died from COVID-19.

Previously, families watched from a distance as health officials in full protective gear took over burials. Protocols have been updated to allow families to give their loved ones decent burial. Chief administrative secretary Mercy Mwangangi told journalists on Tuesday “they will also allow any safe religious or cultural burial rites.

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Kenya health officials say bodies of COVID-19 victims do not transmit the virus. The world health organization and Africa CDC have not stated whether a corpse can transmit covid-19.

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Under Kenya’s revised measures, health officials will only be present in burials to guide the process and ensure safety.

The Kenyan government said last month previous burial restrictions were extreme.

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