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Sudan, Major Rebel Group Sign Deal To Integrate Rebels Into Army

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Sudan, Major Rebel Group Sign Deal To Integrate Rebels Into Army

Sudan and a major rebel group have signed an agreement to integrate the rebels into the army within 39 months. Signatories of the deal said on Monday, the latest in a slew of agreements between the Sudanese government and long-running insurgencies.

Sudan’s ruling council and rebel groups restarted peace talks in October last year to end the conflicts after widespread protests toppled autocrat Omar Al-Bashir after a rule of 30 years and a transitional government took power.

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The government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) held talks in neighbouring South Sudan and reached an agreement that covers the southern Nuba mountains and the blue Nile states, said Tut Gatluak.

Yasir arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), described the security agreement as “historic”.

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Sudanese authorities say they are aiming for a comprehensive peace settlement that covers the country’s multiple civil conflicts.

However, a rebel group from the western region of Darfur and a major SPLM-N faction led by Abdelaziz Al-Hilu have held back from peace negotiations.

Under the agreement with Arman’s SPLM-N, the rebel fighters will initially remain in the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile under the command of the Sudanese army for 14 months before redeploying to other parts of the country for 13 months.

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At the end of the 39-month transition period, all the rebel units will be dismantled.

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South Africa: Ramaphosa Backs Removal Of Statues ‘Glorifying Racism’

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SA Leader Backs Removal Of Statues 'Glorifying Racism'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has given a nod to the removal of statues that glorify the country’s apartheid past. Ramaphosa said “any symbol, monument or activity that glorifies racism, or represents ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.

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The campaign to remove statues of historical apartheid figures has been growing in the country, gaining support mainly from blacks.

The South African president said in a virtual address on Thursday “monuments glorifying divisive past should be re-positioned and relocated.  He made the remark as the country marked heritage day, an annual public holiday, to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures.

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Ramaphosa said removal of the statues should not be taken as erasing history, but as a way of “being sensitive to the lived experiences of the country’s people. He said the objective is to build a united nation.

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

Mali’s new interim president Bah Ndaw is due to be sworn into office today.  The former defence minister was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held.

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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.

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Unusually Heavy Rains In Senegal Expose Big Gap In $1.4 Billion Flood Plan

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Unusually Heavy Rains In Senegal Expose Big Gap In $1.4 Billion Flood Plan

More than two weeks after heavy rains hit Senegal, residents are asking what happened to an almost one and a half billion dollars government plan to protect citizens from rising flood risk. Streets in the capital Dakar’s suburbs are reported filled with stagnant water.

Thousands of residents were affected when three months’ worth of rain fell earlier this month, forcing more than thirty-two hundred persons to abandon their homes in the poor, low-lying outskirts of the capital and nearby region of Thies.

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Many stricken residents likened their situation to more widespread floods in 2009 and 2012, crises which the authorities promised would be averted in the future through its nearly one and a half billion dollars 2012-2022 flood management program.

The international red cross figure shows the latest deluge critically impacted nearly seventeen thousand persons. Civil society groups and opposition leaders are now asking what happened to that plan which included improving stormwater drainage – a priority in many west African countries, where seasonal floods are proving increasingly destructive because of rapid urbanization in flood-prone areas and more intense rainfall.

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President Macky Sall says the government would soon provide an update on the plan and efforts to source funding for its completion. Some goals have been achieved. A $73 million stormwater management project, financed mainly by the world bank, built over 50 kilometres of canals and 21 basins.

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The World Bank says this and other measures have protected 167,000 persons from flooding.

A 2018 paper in the journal of flood risk management says, floods in west Africa, partly due to extreme weather events, have increased from fewer than two per year on average before the 1990s to over eight per year during the 2000s.

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