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Zimbabwe Bans Coal Mining In Hwange And Other Game Parks

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Zimbabwe Bans Coal Mining In Hwange And Other Game Parks

Following concerns from conservationists in Zimbabwe, who accused two Chinese companies of exploring for coal in the biggest national park, Hwange, the government has banned mining in all its national parks.

After a cabinet meeting, information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters on Tuesday that “mining on areas held by national parks is banned with immediate effect. Steps are being undertaken to immediately cancel all mining title held in national parks.”

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The move came after campaigners took the government to court to prevent “ecological degradation” in parks.

Hwange, in western Zimbabwe, is home to the country’s biggest elephant herd with more than 40,000 of them, also with large prides of lions as well as buffalo, among other game and birds that are popular with tourists.

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Earlier, ANN reported elephants have been dying mysteriously in Zimbabwe.  There are more than twenty-two fatalities among the elephant population in the Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls.  Zimbabwe National Parks and wildlife Management Authority suspects bacterial infection, possibly from eating poisonous plants, could be responsible for the deaths.

Mutsvangwa also announced a ban on mining along most river beds, in a decision that would affect small-scale Chinese and local gold miners.

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Before the halt, two Chinese firms, Afrochine Energy and Zimbabwe Zhongxin Coal Mining Group had planned to mine in the park in a joint venture with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

China is a major investor in Zimbabwe and a close ally of the government.

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Uganda: Two Arrested Over Makerere University Fire / ANN News

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Uganda Two Arrested Over Makerere University Fire ANN News

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Soaring Inflation Hampers South Sudan Government / ANN News

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Soaring Inflation Hampers South Sudan Government / ANN News

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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.

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