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Sudan Signs Historic Peace Deal With Five Rebel Groups

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The Sudan’s government has signed a peace agreement with five key rebel groups in the country on Monday in a significant step in the transitional leadership’s goal towards resolving multiple, deep-rooted civil conflicts.

The deal- signed with the five rebel groups and the transitional government of Sudan at a ceremony in neighbouring South Sudan, aims to end 17 years of conflict in the western region of Darfur and southern states.

Two key rebel groups refused to sign the deal, after boycotts by some movements during the negotiations, which covers issues such as land ownership, power sharing and the return home of the millions displaced by the fighting.

Previous agreements to end the long running conflict have failed to hold. Fighting between government forces and rebels has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and millions have been forced to flee from their homes.

The rebel groups that signed the deal include the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Minni Minawi’s Sudan liberation Army (SLA), both of the western region of Darfur, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Malik Agar, present in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

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Volunteer Dies As Hopes Fade For Trapped Zimbabwe Miners

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Miners trapped in a Zimbabwe mine have still not been rescued several days after the shaft collapsed.

A volunteer is said to have died while trying to rescue the miners in Bindura, northern Zimbabwe. His body was retrieved on Sunday.

A local newspaper reports, a boulder rolled down onto the man, pushing him into water near the shaft opening that rescuers have battled to drain for days.

Efforts of Zimbabwe mines’ ministry and local mining companies have been hampered by inadequate machinery and breakdowns.

It’s not clear how many miners are trapped, but officials say they could be more than a dozen. Family members who have camped at the site for days are losing hope.

Illegal mining has increased in Zimbabwe because of high unemployment and economic problems.

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WHO Warns That Malaria Fight Has Stalled

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The World Health Organization says progress in the fight against malaria appears to have stalled.

The agency has warned, in its annual report on malaria, that the number of cases and deaths related to the disease has remained largely unchanged in the past two years, in contrast to the dramatic falls seen since the turn of the century. It’s feared that a shortage of funds for anti-malaria programmes will be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Malaria kills at least 400,000 persons every year, vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Efforts to control the mosquito-borne disease are also being threatened by growing resistance to some drugs.

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Ethiopian PM Declares Tigray Operation Over After Army Captures Capital, Mekelle

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Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has declared the end of military operations in Tigray after announcing the capture of the region’s capital of Mekelle.

Although it is difficult to confirm the claims because of the government’s communications blackout, the prime minister said the army had entered the city and is “fully in control” of Mekelle.

Leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has a different message:  he has vowed, in a statement to Reuters news agency, that his forces-the TPLF will “fight to the last.”

The conflict has reportedly claimed hundreds of lives and has displaced thousands since it began earlier this month.  Abiy had accused the regional party of attacking an Ethiopian army command headquarters in Mekelle.

As a result of reported sporadic gunshots on Sunday, some residents are said to have fled the city.

The U.S. Embassy in neighboring Eritrea has reported six explosions were heard in Asmara, the capital, late on Saturday.  Tigrayan forces have a beef against Eritrea.  They accuse the country of supporting Ethiopian forces in the conflict.

The prime minister said in a twitter statement the government has completed and ceased military operations in the Tigray region.  He also said federal forces would continue apprehending TPLF leaders and bring them to the court of law.

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