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Madagascar’s leader will not run in elections

Andry Rajoelina, the leader of Madagascar has announced that he will not run in elections due to be held later this year.

He stated his reasons as an attempt to end the country’s political crisis. Rajoelina has been pressured to find a solution to the crisis.

At the same time of his announcement not to run as a candidate he announced the planned dates for both the parliamentary and presidential election. The parliamentary elections have been announced for September, with the presidential election following in November. Read More…

8 months older Airbus 330 crash in Tripoli

An Afriqiyah Airways originating from South Africa, has crashed on approach to Tripoli International Airport in Libya at around 06:00 Eastern European time (0400 UTC).

The aircraft was an Airbus 330-202 (serial number 1024), and was delivered on 8 September 2009.

Initial reports indicated everyone on board died, which officials say is 93 passengers and 11 crew, but later developments say an eight-year-old boy was the sole survivor; however, this is unconfirmed.

The plane left Johannesburg in South Africa with the aim of transferring at Tripoli before heading to the final destination, United Kingdom’s London Gatwick Airport. Read More…

Nigeria swears in new president

Goodluck Jonathan, the acting president of Nigeria, was formally sworn in today, several hours after president Umaru Yar’Adua died.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

The oath of office was administered in the capital Abjua. According to the constitution, Jonathan will be the country’s leader until next elections next April; he is also to nominate a vice president, who must be approved by the senate.

Jonathan already has been running the country when he became acting president since February, when Yar’Adua was hospitalised in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

After being sworn in, Jonathan made an address. “While this is a major burden on me, and indeed the entire nation, we must – in the midst of such great adversity – continue to gain our collective efforts towards upholding the values which our departed leader represented […] One of the true tests will be that all votes count, and are counted, in our upcoming presidential election,” he said.

Yar’Adua, aged 58, was buried earlier in the Katsina state; the government has declared a week of mourning.

Nigerian President Yar’Adua has died

Presidential aides and state television announced yesterday that the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, died.

Umaru Yar'Adua

Yar’Adua ascended to the presidency in 2007, but was later taken ill, and had not been publicly seen for the last few months.

He was hospitalised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to get inflammated tissue around his heart treated; it was later diagnosed as acute pericarditis.

According to the BBC, Nigerian reports indicated the president died between 21.00 and 22.00 local time (20.00 to 21.00 UTC) in Abuja, the capital.

Goodluck Jonathan, the vice-president, became the acting president this February; under the constitution, he is to now be sworn in formally and will appoint a new vice-president.

The Nigerian Television Authority broadcast the news, saying: “The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, died a few hours ago at the presidential villa. Security aides notified the national security adviser, General Anou Bissou, who immediately called the acting president. The late president has been ill for some time.” Read More…

Dozens dead in Somali mosque blasts

Twin bomb attacks near a mosque in Mogadishu, Somalia kill 39 people and injure 70, the bombs were placed at opposite ends of the ground floor of the Abdala Shideye Mosque as people were awaiting the Dhuhr midday prayers.

It is believed that Fuad Mohamed Kalaf, an upper-level official within Al-Shabaab, was the intended target of the attacks. Kalif was reported to have suffered only minor injuries to his hands.

Somalia, which has not had a functional central government since the 1991 deposing of President Siad Barre, is controlled by several different factions. The area of the capital where the bombings occurred, including the mosque and the Bakara market, is under the control of Al-Shabaab, a militant organisation that is engaged in a struggle against the United Nations backed Transitional Federal Government.

The attack was the deadliest in Mogadishu since the Hotel Shambo bombing in December 2009.

DR Congo is ‘rape capital of the world’

A top United Nations official has called the Democratic Republic of the Congo the “rape capital of the world”.

Margot Wallström

The UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Margot Wallstrom, said that the UN Security Council needs to “punish the perpetrators in DR Congo”.

Data collected by the UN shows that 200,000 cases of sexual assault have been reported in the last 14 years, 8,000 of which occurred last year and 1,244 of which occurred in the first three months of 2010.

The UN’s mission has been trying to combat the problem by escorting women when they go to market and working closely with the local officials. Read More…

Sudan president wins re-election

The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been declared the winner of this month’s elections, after the first multiparty polls in 24 years.

Omar al-Bashir

Salva Kiir, a former rebel leader, meanwhile, was also declared president of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan in separate elections.

According to the Sudanese election commission, al-Bashir won 68% of the vote, while Salva Kiir obtained 93% of the vote out of slightly more than 2.5 million total votes.

“The first [was] Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. He was the candidate and won,” said Abel Alier, the chairman for Sudan’s National Elections Commission.

Observers and the opposition complained of fraud in the elections; two of al-Bashir’s main opponents withdrew before the voting began, accusing the polling process of being rigged. Al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, which issued a warrant for his arrest, although al-Bashir denies the allegations.