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South Africa experienced over 50% infections in 24 hours as new Covid-19 wave hits town

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There has been a major setback in the fight against the global pandemic, Covid-19 in South Africa. Health authority says a new wave of the deadly virus driven by two new Omicron sub-variants in the country has led to a more than 50% increase in infections in 24 hours.

South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla, hinted last week that the country may be entering a fifth COVID-19 wave earlier than expected following a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days.

Worldometers reports that South Africa ranks 20 in the global ratings of death cases amongst 226 countries it collected data. That puts the country at the top of the list of cases and casualties in African countries.

The country relaxed mandatory negative results for inbound fully-vaccinated travellers, and other Covid-19 protocols last month but it appears the country might be forced to return to the relaxed rules with the development of the new wave.

According to official figures released on Thursday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases counted 9,757 new cases of Covid-19 in the country, 50% more than the 6,170 new cases counted the day before on Wednesday. 64 new deaths were also reported.

Two new Omicron sub-variants, whose virulence has yet to be determined, are causing the new wave of Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Zambian agency issues flood alert around Lake Tanganyika areas, advises relocation

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The Zambian Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) has issued a flood alert on areas surrounding Lake Tanganyika in Northern Province, warning residents in the affected areas to relocate and move upland to avoid being caught unawares.

Acting Director General of WARMA, Frank Nyoni, who face the warning, said the authority had observed rising water levels in Lake Tanganyika which are likely to cause flooding in some areas of Mpulungu and Nsama Districts.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday, Nyoni said the rise in the Lake water levels are due to intense rainfall received in the Northern parts of Zambia.

“The areas which are likely to be affected include Mpulungu Harbour, Kasaba Bay, Nsumbu Bay, Nkamba Bay, Chituta Bay, Mbete Bay and other areas along the shoreline,” Nyoni said in the statement.

The Acting DG stated that the Authority had observed that the water levels in “Lake Tanganyika had exceeded the long-term average with the highest lake water level of 4.36m which was recorded in 1964, exceeded by 0.53m as of 1 2th April, 2024, reaching a record high of 4.89m.”

“Furthermore, the Lake water levels are still rising and it is anticipated that the peak will be reached by June, 2024,” Nyoni added.

He therefore, advised that members of the public using the Lake and settlers along the lake shorelines in the affected areas should be on high alert and consider possibly moving upland as the Lake levels are still on the rise.

“The Authority will continue to monitor the Lake water levels and will keep the public informed of any changes in the situation,” he promised.

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Yoruba secessionist group seeks exit from Nigeria, writes open letter to Tinubu

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A secessionist group known as the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM) has written an open letter to Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu seeking to break away from the country.

The group, which describes itself as a leading figure in the self-determination struggle for a Yoruba sovereign state separate from Nigeria, said it was demanding to pull the Yoruba nation out of the present Nigeria through peaceful negotiations.

In the letter addressed to the President on Saturday, the group said it was prepared to negotiate terms of the secession from Nigeria due to the activities of suspected Fulani herdsmen in their region and in Nigeria as a whole.

The letter jointly signed by leaders of prominent Yoruba advocacy groups including Prof. Banji Akintoye, the national leader of the YSDM; Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, leader of the Yoruba National Defence and Otunba Ola Ademola, Vice-Chairman Yoruba Self-determination Movement, said:

“We have the honour to send to Your Excellency this important letter on behalf of the many millions of Yoruba people at home in Yorubaland in Nigeria and in the Yoruba Diaspora in almost all countries across the world.

“We send this letter most respectfully to Your Excellency as a follow-up to our earlier letter, dated August 06, 2022, which we delivered to your predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his exalted position then as President of Nigeria.

“Since 2015, the Fulani have been killing widely among the other peoples of Nigeria, including us Yoruba, destroying farms, villages and other assets, kidnapping men, women and children, extorting large amounts of money as ransom from friends and family of the kidnapped, and repeatedly asserting their intention to seize the homelands of all the indigenous peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of turning all into a Fulani homeland.

“In our Yoruba homeland, our people are resisting somewhat better, but the Fulani attacks and killings and kidnappings are unrelenting and are coming daily, leading to horrific instability, and forcing most of our farmers to abandon farming altogether, thereby dooming Yoruba people to years and years of famine. According to an unofficial estimate, the Fulani have killed as many as 29,000 Yoruba people in the years since 2015.

“And our reason is that we know that restructuring cannot keep the Fulani marauders away from our homeland – since, after restructuring, the Fulani would still be Nigerians like us, and would still have full citizens’ rights to come in large numbers, and with weapons and intent to kill and destroy and seize land, to our homeland.

“Their spokespersons have said again and again unambiguously that their Fulani nation has prepared all its citizens to fight their current war of subjugation and land seizure for decades and even centuries to come.

“We Yoruba must not underestimate the Fulani; we must not condemn our people to Fulani killings, destruction, raping, kidnapping and extortion of ransom for decades or centuries to come. Our Yoruba nation may not survive such prolonged battering.

“Your Excellency, we Yoruba Self-determination Movement, acting for and on behalf of our 60-million Yoruba people of the Ekiti State, Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, and Oyo State, plus the Yoruba Local Government Areas of Kogi State and Kwara State, and plus the Itshekiri homeland of Delta State, all together constituting the Yorubalnd in Nigeria, hereby most humbly place our crowning request before Your Excellency as follows:

“That the Nigerian Federal Government shall, within the next two months, but not later than June 15, 2024, inform us Yoruba Self-determination Movement that the Nigerian Federal Government have graciously agreed to our proposal for negotiation and that they have set up a negotiation team that will meet and dialogue with our Yoruba nation’s negotiation team.

“That as soon as we receive the communication from the Nigerian Federal Government, in response to this request of ours for negotiation; we shall forward the list of our negotiation team to the Nigerian Federal Government.

“That the Nigerian Federal Government’s negotiation team and our negotiation team shall meet to appoint co-chair persons, to agree on a date for the first negotiation meeting, to the negotiation venue, and to the negotiation agenda and process.

“That the Nigerian Federal Government shall invite the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, to send observers to the negotiation meetings.

“Your Excellency, please accept the best assurance of our highest regards and our best wishes.”

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