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Widespread Destruction In Equatorial Guinea After Explosions

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At least 20 persons have been reported dead, and 600 more wounded in Equatorial Guinea explosions.

Authorities said, a series of blasts occurred at a military barracks in the country on Sunday.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said the explosion at 4 p.m. Local time was due to the “negligent handling of dynamite” in the military barracks located in the neighborhood of an area in Bata.

The president said in a statement, “the impact of the explosion caused damage in almost all the houses and buildings in Bata.

The defense ministry released a statement late Sunday saying, a fire at a weapons depot in the barracks caused the explosion of high-caliber ammunition. It said the provisional death toll was 20, adding that the cause of the explosions will be fully investigated.

The country’s president said the fire may have been due to residents burning the fields surrounding the barracks.

State television showed a huge plume of smoke rising above the explosion site as crowds fled, with many people crying out “we don’t know what happened, but it is all destroyed.”

Officials in Equatorial Guinea have appealed for international help following the series of explosions.

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Idriss Déby: Macron’s Tribute To Chad President Killed By Rebels

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Slain Chadian president, Idris Deby, is being buried today, Friday in the capital city N’Djamena. The funeral is being attended by world leaders, including French president Emmanuel Macron.

Déby was a key player in security strategy in the Sahel region.

Macron addressed his words to the casket, saying “you lived as a soldier, you died as a soldier with weapons in hand.

He added “You gave your life for Chad in defence of its citizens.”

Chad military reported president Déby was killed on Monday while on the frontline leading his troops against fighters of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a group formed by dissident army officers in 2016.

Malian and Guinean leaders have arrived in N’Djamena despite warnings from the rebels that foreign leaders should not attend for security reasons.

Friday’s ceremony also saw a military march-past and a speech by Déby’s son, Gen Mahamat “Kaka” Déby Itno, who the army has named as the country’s new leader.

After a prayer is said at the grand mosque of N’Djamena, Déby’s body will be flown to Amdjarass, a small village next to his hometown of Berdoba, near the Sudanese border.

His son, 37-year-old general Mahamat Idriss Déby, has taken over power after his death.

Meanwhile, the US has urged its nationals in chad to exercise caution on the day of Déby’s funeral.

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Thousands Facing Hunger Over Mozambique Crisis – UN

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The United Nations says thousands of people are facing hunger as a result of the crisis in Mozambique. Several days of attacks in Palma last month were targeted at foreign workers and expatriates. Reports say the attacks have caused tens of thousands to flee.  Jihadists killed dozens of people in the five-day assault. At least 50,000 have been displaced – some to remote areas.

UN World Food Programme says the crisis in northern Mozambique is adding to a growing humanitarian crisis in the region. The agency says close to a million persons affected by the conflict in northern Mozambique are facing severe hunger, many lacking proper shelter.  The agency says malnutrition among children is also on the rise.

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Nigeria Heightens Security On Border With Chad

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Nigeria’s minister of defence Bashir Magashi says the country has heightened security on its border with chad following president Idris Deby’s killing by rebels.

The minister says this is because of external threats that would come from the influx of refugees. Magashi says only Nigerians living in Chad will be allowed back into the country.

Nigeria borders Chad in the north-east where Boko Haram militants have been active recently. Chadian soldiers have been part of the troops battling insecurity in west Africa.

Chad is seen as an important country to the international efforts to combat insecurity in the west African region.

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