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DR Congo Ebola Responders Strike Over Unpaid Salaries

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DR Congo Ebola Responders Strike Over Unpaid Salaries

Health workers responding to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo have gone on strike over unpaid salaries. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, this will hurt the country’s ability to identify and treat Ebola patients.

The Ebola epidemic in western DR Congo has spread steadily into remote villages across Equateur province since the first case was identified on June first. At least 88 persons have been infected and 36 individuals have been killed by the virus.

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The W.H.O.’s Ebola incident manager, Mory Keita said local laboratory technicians, case management teams and contact tracers blocked access to the Ebola testing laboratory in the city of Mbandaka, the provincial capital on Saturday in protest against the health ministry’s recent publication of their pay scales, which they say were too low, and the government’s failure to pay them since the start of the epidemic.

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In June, Congo celebrated the end of a separate Ebola outbreak in the east of the country, the second-worst on record, which killed more than 2,200 persons over two years.

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The virus strain responsible for the more recent outbreak in Equateur is genetically distinct from the strain in the previous outbreak, and is believed to have originated from an animal source.

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

Mali’s new interim president Bah Nda`w has been sworn into office today, Friday at a ceremony in the nation`s capital, Bamako.  The former defence minister and retired army colonel was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held. Colonel Assimi Goita, will serve as deputy president.

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Nda`w said, in his inauguration speech, that he will end militant insurgency in the country’s north and stop organized crime.

The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

READ:  Ebola: DRC Confirms 14 New Cases In One Day

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Ethiopia Charges 2,000 Over Violence After Musician’s Murder

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Haacaaluu Hundeessaa

In Ethiopia, nearly 2,000 persons have been charged over deadly violence that followed the killing of a popular singer in June.

More than three months ago, at least 166 persons were killed when violent protests erupted following the murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, some in protests against authorities and some in ethnically-targeted attacks.

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Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the country’s attorney general, Gideon Timothewos said the arrested persons are being charged for their conduct that resulted in the death of hundreds of citizens.

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He did not give details on the charges or on whether any prisoners had been released without charge.

On June 29, Haacaaluu was shot dead while driving in the capital Addis Ababa. He was one of Ethiopia’s biggest musical stars and a powerful political voice, with many of his songs speaking out on behalf of his Oromo ethnic group and calling for more freedoms.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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