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Red Cross Urges Nigerian Militants To Spare 2 Health Workers

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Red Cross Urges Nigerian Militants To Spare 2 Health Workers

The International Committee of the Red Cross made an urgent appeal on Sunday to an affiliate of the Islamic State organisation in Nigeria to spare the lives of two abducted health workers.

The women risk the fate of a colleague who was killed by the extremists last month, the statement said. “We urge you for mercy.”

The global aid organization urged Nigerian authorities and others who might have influence to help. “Speed and urgency are critical. A deadline that could result in the killing of another health care worker is less than 24 hours away.”

The three health workers were seized in March in Nigeria’s northeastern community of Rann, where thousands have sought shelter from the deadly threat posed by Boko Haram extremists and a recent offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province group.

That organization has grown into the largest ISIS-linked extremist group in Africa, with a “tentative” estimate of 3 500 fighters, the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point said in a report in August.

Mass abduction

The killing in September of health worker Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa led to outrage. She was abducted along with Hauwa Mohammed Liman, who was working in a local hospital supported by the ICRC, and Alice Loksha, a nurse who worked at a center supported by the UN children’s agency.

Nigeria’s government has said it continues to press for the release of all held captive by extremists, including Leah Sharibu, a student seized in a mass abduction in February. She remains held while more than 100 of her fellow students were released because she is Christian. Her mother in recent weeks has said her life was in danger.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared that defeating the extremists was a top priority when he took power in 2015, in recent days sent three Cabinet ministers to meet with the families of Sharibu and the abducted health workers, his office said.

Buhari has called the killing of Khorsa “an act of extreme barbarism; utterly reprehensible and inhuman.”

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African News

New Law To Criminalize Activities Of Opposition Political Parties in Tanzania

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New Law To Criminalize Activities Of Opposition Political Parties in Tanzania

At least ten opposition parties in Tanzania have said proposed amendments to a law governing political parties in the country would criminalise their activities.

Critics have accused President John Magufuli, of increasingly cracking down on dissent with restrictions on the political opposition, the media, bloggers and non-governmental organisations. His government denies the accusations.

Chairman of one of the 10 parties Hashim Rungwe, said at a news conference in the capital Dar es salaam, the proposed amendments would curtail constitutional freedoms.

He says the proposed bill is against the constitution and political parties were not involved from initial stages and their views were not considered.

Rungwe, says, the bill is full of criminal punishments for minor infringements which make political activities crimes.”

Among its provisions, the new law would ban parties from functioning as “activist” groups. It would give sweeping powers to a government official to suspend or fire a party member for a range of reasons, and also gives the official influence over internal party elections.

The government says the law, is needed to force parties to adhere to the country’s constitution.

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African News

Kenya Unveils New Currency Coins

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Kenya Unveils New Currency Coins

In Kenya, new currency coins that replace the images of presidents with animals has been unveiled.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said while presiding over the roll out in the capital Nairobi, the features on the new 1, 5,10 and 20 shillings coins embrace Kenya’s historical and cultural heritage.

Central Bank officials, say the new-look coins, featuring a lion, elephant, hippo and giraffe, will serve as a means of passing knowledge, conserving culture, and promoting Kenya’s global uniqueness. Authorities also say the coins have features that are more appealing to visually impaired people.

Kenyan constitution, that came into effect eight years ago, prohibits the use of a person’s portrait on the country’s currencies.

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Somali Lawmakers Drop Impeachment Motion Against President Mohamed

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Somali Lawmakers Drop Impeachment Motion Against President Mohamed

Somali legislators have dropped an impeachment motion against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. Close to a hundred members of parliament had submitted on Sunday a vote of no confidence on the president. They said he secretly signed agreements that touched on the use of Somali ports and economic and security cooperation with other countries including Ethiopia and Eritrea.

He was also accused of violating Somalia’s federalism law, and the rules and regulations of parliament. The impeachment process could not be initiated because of a lack of support and required number of signatures.

A parliamentary clerk issued a statement saying 14 legislators had withdrawn their names from the 92 who supported the move. They said their names were wrongly used, and they did not support the motion.

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