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Police chief detained after deadly blast at Ethiopia PM’s rally

Ethiopian officials say two people have died and dozens more are injured, after an explosion at a huge political rally for the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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Ethiopian officials say two people have died and dozens more are injured, after an explosion at a huge political rally for the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Abiy described it as an “unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united”.

He was whisked away immediately after the blast, thought to be from a grenade thrown amid thousands of people in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square.

The capital’s deputy chief of police is in custody over security lapses.
A further eight policemen have been detained and are under investigation for failing to secure the site.

Ethiopia’s health minister tweeted that two people had died. He said 44 people remained in hospital, five of them in a critical condition.

Mr Abiy only became prime minister after his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn unexpectedly resigned in February.

He is also the country’s first leader from the ethnic Oromo group, which has been at the centre of nearly three years of anti-government protests that have left hundreds of people dead.

Since taking office he has begun passing a series of reforms, including unblocking hundreds of websites and TV channels.

The blast happened moments after Mr Abiy had finished a speech in the capital.

He has also said he is ready to implement in full a peace deal with Eritrea that was signed in 2000 after a two-year war.

Eritrea has condemned the attack on Mr Abiy’s rally.

Politics

Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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Farmgate: South Africa’s ruling party, ANC, defends President Ramaphosa, wants panel reports rejected

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has told the country’s lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm.

The party’s Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress said Paul Mashatile, “the president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic.”

Meanwhile, in his defence, President Ramaphosa in a statement to the Constitutional Court said “the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it, and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me.”

Ramaphosa wanted the panel report “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

According to one of the party chieftains, Mashatile, while addressing journalists on the development, the party’s National Executive Committee’s decision to back Ramaphosa is said not to have been unanimous.

“Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report,” Mashatile said.

The Parliament on Thursday received a report on an investigation on the president after a huge sum of money in cash was reportedly found (stolen) on his Farm.

President Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing but confirmed that a robbery occurred and an estimated $4 million was stolen at the farm back in 2020, on his game farm.

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