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Ramaphosa Wants Vaccine Research Centre In South Africa

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South African president Cyril Ramaphosa wants vaccine research and development centre built in his country.  Ramaphosa said, during the online summit of BRICS countries chaired by Russia, the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the need to accelerate the establishment of the BRICS centre as agreed in their 2018 Johannesburg declaration.

South Africa is participating in several research initiatives with continental and international partners, including the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a covid19 vaccine.

The president also said the clinical testing of the vaccines needs to include African citizens to ensure that the vaccines are appropriate for them. He further stressed that vaccine development must be encouraged, especially for pharmaceutical companies.

South Africa is the worst hit nation by coronavirus on the African continent. 754,000 cases have been reported in the country, and more than 20,000 patients have died of the virus.

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Tigray’s Humanitarian Crisis Deteriorate

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The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR’s representative in Ethiopia, Ann Encontre says humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray regional state has deteriorated rapidly since the armed conflict broke out in the state earlier this month.

In an online interview, Encontre said with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, Tigray’s humanitarian aid operations are in trouble.

Encontre pointed out also that the armed conflict has stopped the locals from focusing on the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control which has become another crisis for the state.

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Uganda, South Sudan Forces Meet Over Border Clashes

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South Sudan and Uganda border authorities have met in the northern Ugandan City of Gulu to harmonize border security dispute between the two countries.

South Sudan chief of general staff, General Johnson Okot, who met with Uganda deputy chief of defense forces, Lieutenant-General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, called on the armies of the two countries to generate a memorandum of understanding in order to advance their pan African interests.

Tensions had been brewing along the border areas of Ngomoro in Lamwo district, and parts of Kitgum and Karamoja region.

An 18-member African Union group set up in 2016 for the delimitation and demarcation of the Uganda-South Sudan border has been unable to do its work because of fighting between groups loyal to South Sudan president Salva Kiir and his vice president Riek Machar.

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Uganda Deploys More Soldiers Amid Protests

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Uganda military has increased deployment of soldiers in the nation`s capital, Kampala, and other major towns to counter protests that broke out following the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Early weeks of campaigning have been marked by violence ahead of the country`s January election.

At least 28 persons have been killed across the country during violent protests, live bullets and teargas were fired in Kampala on Thursday, to disperse demonstrators. The police say more than 500 persons have been arrested.

Deputy army spokesperson, Colonel Deo Akiiki says more soldiers will be deployed at all major roads leading into the capital and increased security at sensitive areas such as fuel reservoirs and petrol stations.

A curfew is being enforced with immediate effect. Since Wednesday, groups of young people have set up barricades, burnt tyres and piles of rubbish in the streets of Kampala and other towns. They were met with a violent police response and dispersed with tear gas.

Bobi Wine was arrested at an election rally in the east of the country and accused of violating coronavirus prevention guidelines. He has been arraigned in court after two days in police custody. Several opposition presidential candidates suspended their campaigns, calling for Bobi Wine’s release.

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