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WHO Chief Denies Ethiopia’s Claim Of Backing Tigray Region

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The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has on Thursday denied an allegation from his own country, Ethiopia, that he was lobbying neighboring nations to provide arms and other support to the defiant Tigray region, which has been clashing with the Ethiopian government for two weeks.

Earlier, Ethiopia’s army chief accused the WHO chief of lobbying in favour of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in the ongoing fighting between Tiagray and federal troops.

General Berhanu Jula said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had “left no stone unturned” to support the TPLF and help get them weapons.  Tedros Ghebreyesus, is the country’s highest-profile Tigrayan abroad.

In response, Tedros said “there have been reports suggesting that I am taking sides in this situation,” adding that “this is not true, and I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.”

In a statement released on Thursday he added, “My heart breaks for my home, Ethiopia.” He recalled seeing war as a child and its “terrible human toll,” and he joined international calls for an immediate de-escalation.

Meanwhile, the use of offensives and ground troops have continued in Mekelle, Tiagrai capital. Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has refused international call for peaceful settlement. Abiy Ahmed says the military operation against Tigray is essential to restore law and order in the country.

The Ethiopian government also reiterated that it wants to repatriate the thousands of Ethiopians who’ve fled to Sudan and address their humanitarian needs.

UNHCR teams say they are on stand-by to provide assistance to the internally displaced and the Eritrean refugee populations within the Tigray region of Ethiopia, when access and security allow.

The International Community of Red Cross Africa regional director, Patrick Youssef, outlined the current situation, saying hundreds of civilians have been injured by the fighting and are being treated.

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Kenya Is Keen O Strengthening Trade And Investment Ties With Europe

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Kenya has expressed its willingness to foster a strong trade and investment relationship with Europe.  In that regard, president Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed the need for his country to work closely with the European Union to give private sector players the confidence to invest in the country and create jobs for Kenyan youths.  This was expressed during a virtual meeting between Kenyatta and the European Council president, Charles Michel.

The Kenyan leader also proposed a change of approach in the Africa-Europe cooperation model to make it more commercially oriented where the private sector will invest on the basis of returns, but at the   same time, creating opportunities for the continent.

On his part, Michel agreed with Kenyatta that there was need for Kenya and the rest of Africa to deepen their mutually-beneficial partnership with Europe.

He said the global covid-19 pandemic had presented Africa and the European Union an opportunity to strengthen their ties in sectors such as health, infrastructure and governance.

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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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