By Patrick Obia
Liberia Presidential election heads to run-off
It is a toe-to-toe affair between incumbent president George Weah and former vice president Joseph Boakai in the ongoing Liberia presidential election.
The incumbent president has a slim lead of 43.8% of the vote while Mr Boakai gives him a close marking with 43.5%, provisional results show.
To emerge victorious, a candidate must garner more than 50% of the votes.
The election will go down as the nation’s edge-to-edge presidential election since the aftermath of the tragic civil war.
The Election Commission released the latest results after votes had been counted in more than 98% of polling stations, giving Mr Weah a slim lead of 5,456 votes.
Voting is set to be repeated in some parts of Sinoe, Nimba and Montserrado counties on Friday after ballots were tampered with by unknown people, the Commission said.
None of the 18 other presidential candidates received more than 3% in the first round, and the two main candidates are likely to seek their endorsement, as each vote will count in a run-off.
Mr Weah, a former international football star, is seeking a second term as president.
The president won a run-off in the 2017 poll with 61.5% to Mr Boakai’s 38.5%.
He got the most votes in the first round of that election – 38.4% to Mr Boakai’s 28.8%, suggesting that Mr Boakai fared better in last week’s poll.
Egypt to deny refuge to displaced Palestinians
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sis said the country will protect and deny refuge to displaced Palestinians seeking safety in Sinai.
He said should Egypt grant them refuge; any such move would turn the peninsula into a base for attacks against Israel.
Israel and Palestine have been at loggerheads for ages.
The Gaza Strip is effectively under Israeli control, and Palestinians could instead be moved to Israel’s Negev desert “till the militants are dealt with”, Sisi told a joint news conference in Cairo with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The border between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip is the site of the only crossing from the Palestinian territory that is not controlled by Israel.
Israel’s unprecedented bombardment and siege of Gaza has raised fears that its 2.3 million residents could be forced southwards into Sinai.
“What is happening now in Gaza is an attempt to force civilian residents to take refuge and migrate to Egypt, which should not be accepted,” said Sisi.
Reuters learned that Egypt is wary of insecurity near its border with Gaza in northeastern Sinai, where it faced an Islamist insurgency that escalated a decade ago.
Any transfer of Palestinians to Sinai would mean “that we move the idea of resistance, of combat, from the Gaza Strip to Sinai, and so Sinai would become the base for launching operations against Israel”, he added.
Jordan, which shares a border with the Israeli-occupied West Bank and absorbed most of the Palestinians who fled or were driven from their homes after the creation of the state of Israel, has also warned against Palestinians being forced off their land.
Police uncover illegal gun factory in Lagos, Nigeria
The Nigerian Police Force, Lagos State Command, says it has busted an illegal gun manufacturing hideout.
Barrel guns, pistols, cartridges and drilling machines were seized during the operation, Lagos State Police spokesperson Benjamin Hundeyin disclosed to BBC News. Adding that a notorious gang leader was among more than 30 suspects arrested.
Nigeria is struggling with widespread insecurity – from violent gangs to kidnappings for ransom and an Islamist insurgency in the north, especially in the northeast.
Last month, the army uncovered a gun-manufacturing factory in north-western Kaduna State.
AK-47 rifles, a submachine gun, and revolvers were among 26 weapons seized.
Last week, police said armed groups were smuggling weapons into south-eastern Anambra State from Cameroon.
Police on Tuesday identified two blacksmiths whom they said were behind the production of arms at the Lagos factory.
They were paraded alongside 30 other suspects and would be charged with various offences, including the illegal possession of firearms.
It is suspected that the arms were being supplied to criminals across the country.
Lagos State police spokesperson Benjamin Hundeyin said the raid on the factory followed a month-long investigation and “intelligence on a blacksmith”.
Uganda vows to track down killers of couple, tour guide
The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has vowed to fish out the killers of newly wedded couples on honeymoon and your guide in the country’s national park.
The government has pointed accusing fingers at the Allied Democratic Forces or ADF for killing a South African and a British national, and their Ugandan guide on Tuesday evening near the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The ADF, which began as an uprising in Uganda but has been based in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo since the late 1990s, pledged allegiance to Islamic State four years ago.
After operating primarily in Congo for years, it has stepped up attacks inside Uganda in recent months, including a raid in June on a secondary school that killed more than 40 people.
“It was a cowardly act on the part of the terrorists attacking innocent civilians and tragic for the couple who were newlyweds and visiting Uganda on their honeymoon,” Museveni said in a post on the social media site X sighted by Reuters.
“Of course, these terrorists will pay with their own wretched lives.”
Uganda and Congo launched a joint ground and air operation against the ADF in December 2021 in an effort to eliminate them from eastern Congo.
Uganda says it has succeeded in killing more than 560 fighters and destroying their camps, but Museveni on Wednesday acknowledged “gaps” in how the security services had dealt with “remnants” of the group that continue to pose a threat.
Heavy rain kills five in Zimbabwe
Not less than five children, including four siblings, have been left dead after a heavy rainfall and flood that damaged houses and key infrastructure on Monday, October 16, 2023, according to a local media report.
Four of them died after being struck by lightning on Monday late hours while sleeping with their mother in a hut in the eastern Manicaland province, with the mother unhurt. BBC News gathered.
The other child died from head injuries following flooding that damaged more than 17 homes at a village in Gokwe North, in the central Midlands province.
Two other children from the same village are reported to have been taken to hospital.
It comes amid widespread heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms, strong winds and hail in places between Monday and Tuesday, according to the meteorological agency.