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Somalia Shuts Down Underground Prison Over Abuse Allegations

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Somalia Shuts Down Underground Prison Over Abuse Allegations

Somali Security Minister said on Sunday, the government has closed an underground prison where extreme suspects and journalists were held, after abuse allegations were made against the government.

Ahmed Abukar said that Godka Jilaow prison, which held hundreds of prisoners including suspected al-Shabaab fighters, would be turned into a technical school. Prisoners would be transferred elsewhere, he said.

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The prison, which was run by Somalia’s intelligence agency, has been closed as part of efforts to improve the country’s human rights record, he said.

There were many allegations that prisoners were tortured in the underground cells, according to human rights groups. The prison was used by dictator Siad Barre to jail his critics before he was deposed in 1991.

Many suspects have been held in prison for years without charges, while others faced military trials, according to rights activists.

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Military courts in Somalia continue to try a broad range of cases, including terrorism-related offenses, in proceedings that are far short of international standards for fair trials, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

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At least 23 individuals were executed in 2017 following military court convictions, the majority on terrorism-related charges, the group said.

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

African leaders have agreed, at a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, and a quick restoration of the constitutional system through a political process, amid pressure for a handover of power to civilians.

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The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power or be suspended from the A.U. TMC took over after president Omar Al-Bashir was ousted earlier this month.

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The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power to civilians immediately.

Egypt`s Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said at the end of the summit in Cairo, they have agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement required measures.

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

Mozambican authorities have warned of a tropical storm that could hit the country this week, just one month after cyclone Idai ravaged the nation. The next organized tropical cyclone, to be named Kenneth could also affect Tanzania.

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The National Institute for Disaster Management’s spokesman, Paulo Tomás says, they will keep abreast of the evolution of the weather system.

Last month, cyclone Idai killed at least 960 people in parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving some 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President’s Rule

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President's Rule

Egypt’s election commission has announced, 88% of voters had approved changes to the constitution that could allow president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi stay in power until 2030. The amendments would also give the president new powers over the judiciary.

The commission says, voter turnout during the three-day referendum was nearly 44 and a half percent and almost 90 percent approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no.

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The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice presidents.

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His critics questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced and are asking how can a constitution be changed to fit one person.

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilized Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.

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After the announcement was made, Al-Sisi sent the message quote “I am your god.”

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