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Supporters Of Central African President Touadera Celebrate Win



Supporters of Central African Republic`s president Faustin Archange Touadera are rejoicing to see him win the presidential election.

The electoral commission in C.A.R. declared winner of the December 27 presidential election, saying the incumbent president Touadéra, has been re-elected after securing nearly 54% of the votes.

There were a total of 16 candidates running for president – including three women.

Opposition candidates have said the election was riddled with massive irregularities.

A supporter told the media he was satisfied with the result of the elections because “professor Faustin Archange Touadera is a candidate that the people appreciate.”

With security levels at stake, the voting did not take place at all in 29 of the country’s 71 sub-prefectures and was curtailed in six others. Some locals are now worried about these current trends.

“what we like is peace. We don’t like rebellion, we don’t like unrest. May the world lives in peace, may the children go to school, the political class keep quiet and the rebels keep quiet,” a local said.

Touadera is now faced with an uphill task thwart the ever-growing rebellion from several armed groups in the Central African Republic.

Touadera, 63, a former prime minister with an academic background in mathematics, won a first term as president in 2016, the first elections after a coup and civil war that erupted three years earlier.

– farce –

Criticisms about the credibility of his victory were muted at the time — many saw the ballot, however flawed, as the price to pay for stability.

During his post-electoral honeymoon, Touadera gained an image as hard-working, competent and self-effacing. His supporters even found him too modest.

Today, though, Touadera’s detractors see him as the head of a “predator government”, rife with corruption, prolonging a scourge that has beset the car for decades.

Others say he was conned by the militias that hold sway over two-thirds of the country, sporadically attacking civilians and the army and fighting over mineral riches.

The opposition was quick to pile on the criticism after his re-election vanquished rival Anicet Georges Dologuele, who called the election a “farce”.

Voters in more than a third of the country’s sub-prefectures had been unable to cast their ballots because of a renewed offensive by militia groups.

Touadera struck a peace accord with 14 armed groups in february 2019, essentially bringing warlords into the government or administration.

The agreement alienated many in the population who had suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of militias.

“the accord weakened the president,” said Thierry Vircoulon, a car expert at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI).

To his supporters, Touadera has had to take on one of the world’s most thankless jobs.

The vote took place despite an offensive by a coalition of armed rebel groups which left thousands unable to cast their ballots.

On Sunday, rebel fighters attacked and partially occupied a diamond-mining town.

Four security, humanitarian sources and the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said in a statement at least five rebels were killed and two army soldiers wounded in the clashes in Bangassou, which lies on the southern border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rebels, whom the government and united nations say are backed by former president Francois Bozize, launched an offensive last month after the constitutional court rejected Bozize’s candidacy to challenge president Faustin-Archange Touadera in last Sunday’s vote.

Threats and attacks by the rebels kept more than 14% of polling stations closed on election day.

African News

Sierra Leone To ‘Impose Covid Curfew And Travel Ban’




Sierra Leone government has announced a re-introduction of lockdown on the capital city-Freetown.  Authorities also announced a night-time curfew throughout the country to counter what they call the “exponential” increase of coronavirus cases in the country.

Freetown has recorded more than half of the cases of infections in Sierra Leone.

The new measures, initially set for two weeks, and others made public on Thursday, will begin from Monday.

The government center for response to covid-19 also said in a statement, authorities have decided to restrict entry and exit from the western area, the territory corresponding to Freetown and its surroundings.

Restaurants and bars will have to remain closed on weekends and the wearing of masks remains mandatory in public places.

Sierra Leone has reported 3,081 cases of covid-19 and 77 deaths since march last year.

Travel outside Freetown considered essential is subject to a negative Covid test within 72 hours. An electronic pass will be introduced “to regulate essential movements,” the center said. It will also be accessible through a mobile application.

A curfew will be re-established throughout the country from 22H00 to 5H00 (local and GMT).

“Since December 2020, we observe an exponential increase in confirmed cases of Covid-19, largely due to the holiday season”, explains the government center.

Four out of five (80%) cases of infection were detected during routine testing or in travelers leaving the country. This is “a strong indication of active community transmission,” where the precise source of infection is undetermined, a sign of virus circulation and a complicating factor in the response” the government center said.

The former British colony of 7.5 million people had been hard hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which killed nearly 4,000 people in the country between 2014 and 2016. It is still struggling to recover from a civil war that killed some 120,000 people nearly 20 years after the end of the conflict.

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Central African Republic Declares Emergency As Rebels Surround Bangui




Central African Republic (CAR) has declared a state of emergency for at least fifteen days to combat rebels who have tried to lay siege on the nation`s capital Bangui.

C.A.R. declared the emergency on Thursday to help it crack down on armed groups, after the united nations’ envoy to the country asked the un security council for the deployment of many more peacekeepers or troops in response to a recent surge in attacks.

Authorities say this move will help the government to detain suspects without the authorization of prosecutors.

Rebel factions now control most of the country and are calling for the resignation of president Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the winner of December’s election.

Last week the rebels launched attacks on the capital’s suburbs, but withdrew after an intervention by the un peacekeeping force. The fighting has forced nearly 60,000 persons to flee the country.

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UK Bans Travel From Tanzania And DR Congo Over COVID




The United Kingdom has banned passengers from two more African countries, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of the Congo from today –Friday, in a move to stop the spread of coronavirus pandemic and the new variant.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said in a tweet on Thursday, all passengers from these countries except British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residents rights will be denied entry

Shapps said U.K is continuing to monitor COVID-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe.  He said this, alongside the suspension of travel corridors and pre-departure testing, will help protect its borders.

Earlier this month passengers from 11 other southern African countries were banned from entering the UK for similar reasons.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday, the continent’s COVID-19 death rate is now higher than the global average. Africa stands at two and a half percent against global average of 2.2%. It listed Democratic Republic of the Congo among 21 African nations with a death rate above 3%.

The authorities in Tanzania have downplayed the extent of the epidemic in the country and have not been releasing any data on infections or deaths.

In June last year, the Tanzanian president John Magufuli declared that the country was “coronavirus-free” thanks to prayers by citizens.

However, the World health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the country’s strategy on COVID-19.

The authorities from Tanzania or the DR Congo have not yet commented on the development.

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