Collation ongoing as Liberians await election results
Liberians are waiting patiently to hear the final result of Tuesday’s presidential election as collation has commenced.
Former Vice President Joseph Boakai is muscling it out with former 1995 Fifa World Player of the Year winner, George Weah, who is seeking a second them.
Local and regional election observers said that voting was peaceful despite clashes between rival political camps in the final days of the campaign.
Voter turnout was also reported to be high in a campaign dominated by the economic crisis and corruption allegations.
The country’s Election Commission said the first results would be announced later on Wednesday.
It is noted that a run-off will be held if no candidate secures more than 50% of the votes cast.
Parliamentary elections were held alongside the presidential election, with about 2.4 million people registered to cast their ballots.
Israel-Palestine crisis: Nigeria halts all Christian pilgrimages to Israel
Following the current crisis rocking Israel and Palestine, the Nigerian government has suspended all pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan.
Last Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel. At least 1,200 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing hostilities, while at least 1,000 Palestinians have died following retaliatory strikes on Gaza Strip from Tel Aviv.
A group of Easter pilgrims was supposed to jet out to Israel and Jordan on Tuesday, but the trip has been cancelled until further notice, Nigeria’s Christian Pilgrim Commission says.
“The war has created uncertainties in our planning for the main pilgrimage in December… we do hope the hostilities will end before the end of the year,”Sunny Udeh, the commission’s director for mobilisation and sensitisation, told the BBC.
On average, about 18,000 Christian pilgrims fly from Nigeria to religious sites in Israel and Jordan each year.
The commission said it would continue to monitor the situation in Israel as the safety of Nigerian pilgrims remained paramount.
The Nigerian government had earlier called for the “de-escalation of the hostilities and a ceasefire” between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters while advocating for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue.
Niger junta orders top United Nations official to leave the country
Niger’s junta has demanded that the head of the United Nations diplomatic mission should leave the country within 72 hours, accusing the UN of excluding Niger from its General Assembly last month, reports Reuters.
The army officers who seized power in a coup in July did not have a representative at the meeting of world leaders in New York.
In a statement dated October 10, Niger’s foreign ministry accused the UN of using “underhanded manoeuvres” instigated by France to prevent its full participation in the UN General Assembly and in subsequent meetings of UN agencies that were held in Vienna and Riyadh.
As a consequence, the government has ordered UN resident coordinator Louise Aubin to leave, said the statement.
The junta is following a pattern seen in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, which also grew hostile to the United Nations and former colonial ruler France after their militaries seized power.
Niger has already kicked out French troops and the French ambassador.
All three countries are struggling with an Islamist insurgency that has spiralled in recent years, prompting power grabs by army officers who promised to improve security.
Mozambique terror attack survivors sue TotalEnergies
About three survivors and four relatives of the victims of a terrorist attack in March 2021 when Islamist militants attacked in Mozambique have sued French multinational oil company TotalEnergies.
The survivors and relatives, who are said to be British and South African, are accusing Total of involuntary manslaughter and negligence for failing to protect its subcontractors.
Recall that dozens of people, including TotalEnergies subcontractors, were killed in March 2021 when Islamist militants attacked Mozambique’s port city of Palma.
The attack occurred near the site of a gas project partly owned by TotalEnergies.
Mozambique’s government claimed that 30 people died in the attack, but Alex Perry, an independent investigative journalist who investigated the attack, said 1,402 people died or went missing, including 55 Total workers.
The lawsuit claims that TotalEnergies failed to warn subcontractors working on the site about the risk of possible attacks.
The suit further accuses TotalEnergies of lacking proper safety or evacuation measures and refusing to fuel a helicopter that would have evacuated its personnel.
“It is not alleged that TotalEnergies directly caused the deaths of victims but that the company did not act in accordance with the expected diligence standards of a professional in its responsibilities,” a statement by their lawyers said.
TotalEnergies has dismissed the allegations of the survivors and victims’ families as “inaccurate”, adding that it evacuated all its personnel on the site, the Reuters news agency reports.
Former Burundi central bank governor arrested
Former central bank of Burundi governor Dieudonné Murengerantwari has been arrested after being sacked last week.
He is accused of money laundering and misappropriation of public assets.
Mr Murengerantwari, though, has not yet responded to the allegations.
Burundi’s economy is in deep trouble with a shortage of foreign currency that has made it difficult to import goods.
In recent years, it has also been hit by a shortage of fuel from time and a rise in prices that has worsened the cost of living crisis.
About 65% of the population of 12 million live in poverty, according to the World Bank.
In a statement, the justice ministry accused Mr Murengerantwari of “undermining the proper functioning of the national economy, passive corruption, money laundering and misappropriation of public assets,” as quoted by BBC News.
It did not give further details, but Attorney General Leonard Manirakiza said the ex-governor would remain in custody while investigations continued.
He has been replaced by a member of the bank’s board, Édouard Normand Bigendako.