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Algeria: Protesters Demand For The Release Of Journalist Khaled Drareni

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Algeria: Protesters Demand For The Release Of Journalist Khaled Drareni

Hundreds of Algerians have taken to the streets in the capital, Algiers, for the second week of protests demanding the release of detained journalist Khaled Drareni.

The journalist was sentenced to three years in prison in March and has since become a symbol of the fight for press freedom.

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An international campaign of support and demonstrations in favor of his release were recently organized in Paris, New York and Geneva.

A petition launched in Algeria has gathered some 2,000 signatures from journalists and civil society personalities.  Khaled Drareni has received the support of many Algerian artists. In recent months, authorities have accused journalists of threatening the “national interest” and many have been sent to prison as a result.

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Reporters without borders recently denounced the deteriorating context for press freedom in Algeria. The country ranks 146th out of 180 in 2020 world press freedom index, down 27 places from 2015.

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Drareni`s appeal has been set for next week.

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Cameroon Deploys Army Ahead Of Elections

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Cameroon Deploys Army Ahead Of Elections

Cameroon authorities have deployed military personnel on the streets ahead of protests scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday.

The army said, all military personnel have been put on alert in Cameroon for four days starting Monday, over fears the Tuesday protests could cause severe public disorder.

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Opposition leader of the Cameroon renaissance movement, Maurice Kamto has been calling for peaceful protests, demanding that president Paul Biya step down, and that regional elections in the Anglophone regions be reformed, so to include the marginalized communities.

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Members of the government have been quick to criticize the call for protests made by opposition leader Maurice Kamto, labelling his movement as an insurrection. They also are forbidding all demonstrations, threatening any protestors with “life imprisonment” should they answer Kamto’s call on Tuesday.

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Since 2017, security forces have been violently repressing activists demanding the independence of the Anglophone regions.  The instability, has forced half a million people from their homes.

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Nobel Laureate Launches Peace Campaign In Liberia

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Nobel laureate launches peace campaign in Liberia

Liberia’s Nobel Peace prize winner and peace activist, Leymah Roberta Gbowee will launch a campaign against election-related violence today.

Liberia is scheduled to hold mid-term senatorial elections in December.

Gbowee says the campaign will involve hundreds of young people who will be peace ambassadors.

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Gbowee urged young people not to get paid by rival politicians to propagate violence.  She said the usual $20 paid for those acts of violence has led many young persons away from paths that could have made them doctors, lawyers and scientists.  She said instead, many of the young persons are walking the streets of Monrovia maimed and as amputees.

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The campaign will also encourage voters to question those seeking elective positions.

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Uganda Eases Restrictions Despite Virus Surge

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Uganda Eases Restrictions Despite Virus Surge

The Ugandan government has announced a further easing of coronavirus Restrictions in the country, even as the covid-19 infection rate continues to rise. President Yoweri Museveni says the country cannot remain under restrictions indefinitely, citing the economy’s weakened health in the wake of the pandemic.

The president said international borders will be reopened for tourists- who would have taken coronavirus tests at least 72 hours before arrival, and taken straight to their holiday destinations. Returning Ugandan citizens, who have tested negative for COVID-19, will be allowed to self-isolate at home. The president also said, places of worship are now allowed to reopen but with a limited number of congregants.

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Other raft of measures taken by the government to keep the country running includes, lifting a ban on private and public transport in districts bordering neighboring countries, allowing resumption of outdoor sports activities with no spectators.

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Final-year students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will resume learning in mid-October, but a decision on the other categories of learners will be made by January next year.

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The country began easing restrictions in may but rate of infection continues to rise. At least 6,000 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed with 63 deaths. The health ministry blames the rise in infections on the public’s complacency to social distancing and wearing of masks.

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