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Equatorial Guinea Lawmakers Banned From Foreign Travel

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Equatorial Guinea Lawmakers Banned From Foreign Travel

Equatorial Guinea’s lawmakers have been banned from foreign travel unless authorised by Vice President Teodorin Nguema Obiang, the president’s son, according to a note from the presidency obtained by AFP on Thursday.

“On the grounds of national interest,” lawmakers must submit a request to travel abroad to the head of the National Assembly or the Senate “with the agreement of the vice president,” said the note dated July 27.

Some lawmakers in Malabo confirmed the information to AFP.

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In June, the country’s civil servants were hit with a similar ban.

According to sources, the move is linked to an attempted coup that took place in December, the details of which were announced by the Equatorial Guinean government in January.

The authorities say the operation involved a group of men from Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan, but some of the ringleaders were civil servants who had travelled to Europe in late 2017.

Several foreign nationals have also been accused of fomenting the thwarted coup.

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It was followed by the arrests of scores of opposition activists and the banning of their party, the Citizens for Innovation (CI), purportedly over scuffles that took place before legislative elections last November.

The CI has been calling for the release of its jailed members, saying the president had failed to uphold a promise of amnesty announced in July which was supposed to smooth the way for a “national dialogue”.

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President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled the small, oil-rich state with an iron fist since August 1979.

His son Teodorin, aged 49, was handed a three-year suspended prison term by a French court last year and fined $35m for money laundering, corruption and abuse of public assets.

He was found to have embezzled $173m to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included a six-storey mansion on the upscale Avenue Foch in Paris.

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

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This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

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Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

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UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

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The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

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