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AU Chairperson equates Africa to ‘collateral victim’ of Ukraine war

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Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has described the continent as the “collateral victim” of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Mahamat who disclosed in a message on Wednesday as the AU marks African Day, said the situation has further dented the continent’s ability to fulfil its “enormous promise and potential.”

The African Day is celebrated every year on May 25, which is the anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, which later metamorphosed into the African Union in July 2002.

In the message as the AU begins a three-day summit in Equatorial Guinea, Mahamat said as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war, Africa has been thrown into an economic crisis as many countries in the continent depended heavily on Russia and Ukraine who both produce approximately a third of global wheat and barley, and two-thirds of the world’s exports of sunflower oil used for cooking.

Mahamat added that the conflict has damaged Ukraine’s maritime and agricultural infrastructure, and that could limit its agricultural production for years which would continue to have a telling effect on Africa.

“By profoundly upsetting the fragile global geopolitical and geostrategic balance, it has also cast a harsh light on the structural fragility of our economies.

“The war in Ukraine is creating a perfect storm for developing countries, especially in Africa.

“This crisis is resulting in soaring costs for food, energy and fertilizer with devastating consequences on nutrition and food systems, while making it even more difficult for the continent to mobilize the financial resources needed to invest in its people.

“The most emblematic sign of these fragilities is the food crisis following the climatic disorders, the health crisis of COVID-19, amplified today by the conflict in Ukraine.

“This crisis is characterised by a shrinking world supply of agricultural products and a soaring inflation of food prices.

“And now, the continent has been hit hard by rising food costs caused partly by disruptions linked to the war,” the AU chair said.

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Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants’ deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

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Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has blamed the death of over 20 African migrants at the Morocco/Melillah border while trying to cross to Europe, on a “Mafia” trafficking syndicate.

The incident which happened late on Friday, saw a violent and fatal border incursion on the Moroccan border with the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla, leading to the deaths and injury to scores of Spanish and Moroccan officers injured.

While speaking on the incursion at a press conference in Madrid on Saturday, Sanchez said:

“If there is a party responsible for everything that happened on the border, it is the mafias that traffic in human beings.

“It was an attack on the territorial integrity of our country.

“The tactics of migrants trying to get into Melilla have changed. Before now, they used to spread along the whole length of the fence. Now they concentrate on the part where they think it is weakest,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez who paid tribute to officers on both sides of the border for fighting off “a well-organised, violent assault,” called on more stringent measures to be taken to avoid a future occurrence.

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South Africa: Eskom announces ‘Stage 4’ power cuts

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South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom says it will continue with “Stage 4” power cuts until Wednesday.

The power rationing has been through 3 stages. The stage 3 was a level of a power cut on an eight-level system under which the utility implements a seven and a half hour rolling outage across the country. The stage was a five-hour rolling blackout.

The utility said in a statement said “it regrets to inform the public that Stage 4 load shedding is anticipated to continue from 05:00 on Monday morning until midnight at least until Wednesday.”

“This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs.”

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd is South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, generating approximately 90% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 30% of the electricity generated on the African continent.

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