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DR Congo Ruling Party Headquarters Ransacked, One Shot Dead

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DR Congo Ruling Party Headquarters Ransacked, One Shot Dead

One person died at a protest on Tuesday against the arrival of the “pro-Kabila” candidate in a city in central DR Congo, days ahead of elections that will see the country emerge from the 17-year presidency of Joseph Kabila.

The unrest in Tshikapa, a city in the restive central Kasai region, also saw the presidential party’s headquarters there being ransacked, according to witnesses.

Details of how the victim died in Tshikapa were still emerging, but one local NGO said soldiers had opened fire to disperse protesting crowds in the city and shot a market woman in the head.

Another local source confirmed the death at the protest but gave no details of how the victim was killed. There no immediate official confirmation from local authorities.

The violence comes after at least one other person was killed and more than 80 injured in weekend clashes in the city, the latest unrest in the tense build-up to the December 23 ballot.

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“The soldiers, who were supporting the police, opened fire to disperse the demonstrators. A woman who was selling embers at the Sokajik market was hit in the head,” said the head of a Congolese NGO which was on site.

A campaign trip by “pro-Kabila” candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister and close ally of the president, was canceled after the violence.

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“The candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary will reschedule the visit to Tshikapa tomorrow or the day after tomorrow after assessing the security situation,” one of his relatives told AFP.

Images of the raided presidential offices were widely shared on social media.

Video posts also showed hundreds of young people, some armed with sticks, marching and chanting on Tuesday against the arrival of Shadary.

“At the moment, the city is paralysed. Only armed soldiers and police are moving but there are groups of young people who want to confront the security forces,” said Fabien Ngweshi, a journalist based in Tshikapa.

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A number of people have been killed in pre-election violence since the beginning of campaigning on November 22.

A civil rights group, the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ), said in a statement on Tuesday that ten people have died.

Twenty-one candidates are running to replace 47-year-old Kabila, who has ruled the mineral-rich nation since the assassination of his father in 2001.

Western governments are closely watching the election violence and vote outcome in the vast African state, which has never known a peaceful transfer of power since independence from colonial Belgium in 1960.

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African News

France Policies In Africa Is Creating Poverty – Italy’s Deputy PM

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France Policies In Africa Is Creating Poverty - Italy's Deputy PM

Italy`s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has reiterated on Monday that France’s policies in Africa were creating poverty and causing migration.  France had summoned the Italian ambassador to Paris to protest his assertions.

Di Maio told reporters, that France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states, prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees, leave and then die in the sea or arrive on western coasts.

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Di Maio was referring to the CFA Franc, a currency used in 14 west and central African nations, which is tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate, with the peg guaranteed by France.

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He called on the European Union to “address the question of the decolonisation of Africa, accusing France of still treating a number of African countries as vassal states.

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South Africa’s President Calls For Lifting Of Sanctions On Zimbabwe

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S.African President Calls For Lifting Of Sanctions On Zimbabwe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted. He said on Tuesday, his government was in discussions with Harare about how best to help.

He added that, Zimbabwe’s situation was a challenge for the whole of Africa and he planned to meet Zimbabwe president- Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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Meanwhile Mnangagwa has promised on Tuesday to investigate violence against civilians during protests and punish any misconduct by security forces.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) said on Tuesday security forces instigated systematic torture of residents. It says, the level of force used on those who died or injured and supported by medical reports pointed to police brutality.

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Police say three people died during violent demonstrations last week, but human rights groups say at least a dozen were killed.

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Uganda: Musicians Must Register And Obtain Licence Before They Release Songs – Govt

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Uganda: Musicians Must Register And Obtain Licence Before They Release Songs - Govt

Uganda’s government is proposing regulations for new songs. Junior Minister for Gender, Labour And Social Development, Peace Mutuuzo, said in an interview that the new regulations to govern the music and entertainment industry were already drafted and expected to be passed by cabinet by March. Adding that musicians and other artists will also have to register with the government and obtain a practising licence which can be revoked for a range of violations.

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A list of restrictions including requiring artists to submit to authorities, lyrics for songs and scripts for film and stage performances to be vetted. The minister said, content deemed to contain offensive language, to be lewd or plagiarised, will be censured. Musicians will also have to seek government permission to perform outside Uganda.

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Critics say the regulation is aimed at discouraging negative comments about the authorities who are rattled by the popularity of pop Star Bobi Wine and other critical voices in the entertainment industry.

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