Mali’s military government has postponed a presidential election expected to return the West African nation to democracy following a 2020 coup, a spokesperson said on Monday.
The presidential election scheduled for February 2024 is being delayed for “technical reasons” to allow the transitional government to review its election data and to address a new constitutional provision that would delay the second round of the vote, government spokesman Abdoulaye Maiga told reporters in Bamako, the capital city.
It is the second time Mali’s military government – which emerged from two coups in 2020 – has postponed its presidential election.
Politicians in Mali criticised the decision, which could draw economic sanctions from West Africa’s regional bloc, ECOWAS Associated Press opines. After the government promised to hold the election, the bloc eased sanctions on Mali in July 2022.
Mali is dealing with attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and former rebels whose year-long peace deal with the government failed in recent weeks.
When soldiers under Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew the democratically elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keta in Mali in August 2020, a wave of coups in Africa’s Sahel region began. The military said it would restore civilian rule within 18 months.
However, seven months into the transition process, military leaders removed the interim president and prime minister they had appointed and swore in Goita as president of the transitional government.
Nelson Mandela’s Daughter Dies
Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela, has died of cancer at 43, BBC News reports.
A spokesperson said she passed away on Monday evening, surrounded by friends and family.
Before her passing, Mandela became well known for detailing her cancer treatment. She was also open about her history of drug addiction.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said her work was inspirational. It said she raised awareness about cancer prevention and broke down the stigma surrounding the disease.
Mandela also spoke candidly about her struggles with depression and how she had been sexually abused as a child.
In addition, she campaigned for better road safety after her 13-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident in 2010. She later lost a son who was born prematurely. Four children survive her.
Mandela, who was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, documented her story in her autobiography When Hope Whispers.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at 32, she received treatment and was in remission, but the illness later returned.
Last year, she confirmed that she had cancer in her liver and lungs, which then spread to other organs. She was treated as an outpatient but was admitted to the hospital over a week ago.
In an interview with Kaya FM in April, Mandela said, “I’m learning to be okay with my eventuality.”
Her frank disclosures gained her a following on social media, where people on Tuesday have been leaving tributes.
Mandela was only 10 when her grandfather was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years in detention. She had only ever known him as an incarcerated man, so she was excited that he was coming home when he was released.
Burkina Faso junta suspends French magazine over ‘untruthful’ articles
On Monday, Burkina Faso’s military junta suspended the French news magazine Jeune Afrique for publishing “untruthful” articles that reported tension and discontent within the country’s armed forces, it said in a statement.
Jeune Afrique’s suspension was the latest escalation in a crackdown on French media since the West African country fell under military rule last year.
The statement accused the publication of seeking to discredit the armed forces and manipulating information to “spread chaos” following two articles published over the past four days.
Jeune Afrique said the ban was yet another attack on freedom of information in Burkina Faso.
Reuters observes that relations between Burkina Faso and its former coloniser France have soured since frustrations over worsening insecurity linked to a jihadist insurgency spurred two military takeovers last year.
These tensions have led to expulsion orders for diplomatic officials, including the French ambassador to the country, and fuelled a backlash against foreign media.
The junta has already suspended French-funded broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France24 for allegedly giving voice to Islamist militants staging an insurgency across the Sahel region south of the Sahara. Both media organisations have denied the accusations. Two French journalists working for newspapers Le Monde and Liberation were expelled from the country in April.
Liberation said the suspension was unjustified as the two journalists were of “perfect integrity” and had all their paperwork in order.
Eight electrocuted after heavy rains in South Africa
Eight people have been electrocuted after gale-force winds and heavy rainfall lashed South Africa’s Western Cape province.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes, including retirement village residents. Landslides and rockfalls forced the closure of several major roads leading into Cape Town.
Heavy downpours, which continued until late last night, caused several rivers to overflow, destroying infrastructure and causing widespread electricity outages.
Authorities disclosed to BBC News that more than 1,000 homes were flooded and 150 schools were damaged. Weather conditions have slightly improved, and mop-up operations are underway.
Kenya will start building nuclear power plants in 2027The authorities have said in their latest pledge that.
Kenya will begin constructing a nuclear power plant in 202s.
The 1,000 MW plant, which has been in the pipeline for several years, is part of the country’s ambition to move to clean energy and increase energy generation. Similar statements about the imminence of the start of the project have been made in the past.
The acting CEO of the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency, Justus Wabuyabo, told Kenya’s Business Daily newspaper that the agency is conducting site assessments and finalising organisation preparations to open bids for the plant’s construction.
Wabuyabo said the plant will be constructed in Kenya’s coastal region over six to 10 years, with the first plant beginning operations in 2034 at the earliest.
BBC News understands that some Kenyans have criticised the plan, claiming that a nuclear plant is unnecessary and the country cannot handle nuclear waste.
Currently, South Africa is the only country producing nuclear power commercially. Other African countries have started plans to adopt nuclear energy, including Rwanda and Egypt, which is currently building a $30 billion (£24 billion) nuclear power plant.