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Rival Groups Clash In Suburbs Of Libyan Capital

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Rival Groups Clash In Suburbs Of Libyan Capital

Explosions and gunfire echoed across suburbs of Libya’s capital on Monday as rival groups linked to the unity government faced off with tanks and pickups mounted with machine guns, residents and security sources said.

There was no official casualty toll from the health ministry but the office of Tripoli’s security services said one person was killed and three others were wounded, as the unity government condemned “outlawed groups” for the violence “terrifying” local residents.

The fighting broke out early in the day before easing off in the afternoon, although intermittent explosions were heard in the Ain Zara and Salaheddin neighbourhoods of southeast Tripoli.

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“I’m still hearing very strong blasts that are rattling the windows of my home,” a resident of Ain Zara told AFP by telephone, asking not to be named.

Another local resident, in Salaheddin, said tanks and several pickup trucks loaded with heavy machineguns were still deployed on the main roads of the suburb.

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“I hear shooting. I can’t leave the house,” he said, adding that apartments had been hit by shelling.

The UN-backed government of National Accord warned that “all those involved in this cowardly attack… are considered outlaws and will be pursued… without mercy”.

According to a source within the security services, the clashes pitted a militia linked to the GNA’s defence ministry to another affiliated to the interior ministry.

Since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been divided between the unity government in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east of the country.

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A myriad of militias, jihadist groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos.

Transitional authorities, including the GNA, have tried but failed to integrate the armed forces into a regular army, relying on militias to ensure the capital’s security.

In the summer of 2017, pro-GNA militias expelled several rival groups from the capital.

News24

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African News

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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African News

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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African News

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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