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Africa united in fight against polio outbreak

An extensive vaccination campaign across 19 West and Central African countries is to begin today in an attempt to stem a year-long polio epidemic in the region.

A child receives oral polio vaccine

The United Nations and international aid agencies plan to immunize 85 million children under five. More than 400, 000 volunteers and health workers will take part in the campaign, visiting children in their homes.

The current polio epidemic has been going on for a year and there have been outbreaks in the last six months in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

These countries will be the focus of the campaign, along with Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Read More…

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Guinea troops kill opposition rally protesters

A crowd of around 50,000 people gathered at a stadium on the day, carrying signs that read “Down with the army in power” and calling for an end of the “Dadis show”. According to eyewitness accounts, the security forces came in trucks and threwtear gas on the crowd at first, but later took to open fire.

Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara

Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara

In the atmosphere of terror and panic, people started running, falling and getting wounded. Youssouf Koumbassa, an eyewitness claimed that the troops stripped down some female protesters. The equipment of a French journalist was seized and smashed.

Sidya Touré, former Prime Minister and now the opposition leader was also injured in the shootings and spoke to the BBC secretly from a hospital. Opponents have accused the junta of limiting freedom of speech and human rights violations. Camara said that the troops responsible for the shooting spree were out of his control.

Capt. Camara said that “uncontrollable elements in the military” are responsible for the shooting. The protest march was fueled by the indication of junta leader Capt. Camara breaking his pledge to not run in the next presidential vote due in January 2010. Read More…

Thousands displaced after heavy flooding in Burkina Faso

According to the United Nations’ humanitarian agency, severe flooding in Burkina Faso has affected over 100,000 people, following the country’s heaviest rainfall for ninety years.

Thousands of homes in the vicinity of Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, have been destroyed by the waters. Officials requested international aid for those affected by the disaster.

“I would like to join the government’s appeal for blankets, clothes and food, because there really is an urgent need for these things,” Ouagadougou’s mayor Simon Compaore said. Read More…

Guinea recalls ambassadors worldwide

Today, President Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power in a bloodless coup which followed the 22 December 2008 death of President Lansana Conté, announced the recall of 30 of Guinea’s ambassadors to other countries.

The order was made by a presidential decree on state television and is the first major diplomatic move made by the new leader. Read More…

Kabiné Komara announced as the new PM of Guinea

Kabiné Komara was born in 1950 into a Maninka family from the interior area of Upper Guinea and pursued his education in the Guinean capital..

Until the end of 2008 was a director at the African Export-Import Bank in Cairo, Egypt, Komara was announced as the new Prime Minister in a government radio broadcast on 30 December. Read More…

Military dissolves Guinean government

A military led group has announced on national television that it has dissolved the government of Guinea and suspended the country’s constitution.lansana_conte_27_july_2001a

The group performing the apparent coup d’etat has called itself the National Council for Democracy.

The coup took place just hours after the death of the Guinean president, Lansana Conte, who died aged 74. The cause of death is currently unknown. Before his death, Conte ruled the country as a dictator.

The now suspended constitution states that the president of the country’s National Assembly should become the new leader of the country. However since the constitution has been dissolved, it is unlikely this will take place.

President of Guinea submits to military

Today, the Guinean President Lansana Conté gave into military demands to remove his Minister of Defence, which was a main demand in the three day old military revolt in the African nation. The President also raised the pay of soldiers.

The revolt began when it was leaked that no promotions would occur for Officers unless they had 14 years of service. When this had been announced, junior officers began revolting and making demands of higher pay and the removal of the Minister of Defence, amongst other things.