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WHO: Kenyatta wants more patronage for local medicines as UN chief, Guterres, pushes for increased fund

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President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has called on purchasing organizations to prioritize the procurement of locally manufactured health products to put Africa in a better place in future medical emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenyatta made the call at the first in-person WHO Health Assembly since the beginning of the pandemic kicked off in Geneva, Sunday.

Uhuru Kenyatta, whose country is one of the 34 countries on the WHO executive board, praised World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his leadership during one of the WHO’s “most challenging periods” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Kenyatta, the pandemic “exposed the overdependence of developing countries to external markets” Kenyatta said, urging purchasing organizations such as the Global Fund to prioritize procurement of locally manufactured health products “from the countries they serve most.”

In a report at the beginning of the pandemic, the United Nations stressed the need for Africa to do more on local medical manufacturing as the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus exposed the continent greatly. As the supply of personal protective equipment became concentrated and scarce during the height of the pandemic, not much could be addressed in the continent in due time.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke by video message at the Assembly and reiterated that the assembly must discuss increased funding for the WHO after the pandemic showed that it did not have the resources to respond to a health crisis of this scale.

“The assembly will discuss how to make WHO funding sustainable, but there is no investment that brings more benefit than one that is made in health,” said Guterres, who called on the 194 WHO members to “invest in a healthier future for all.”

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Sudanese Janjaweed mercenaries fighting for Libyan warlord agree to withdraw, return home

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Seven Sudanese mercenaries who were members of the Janjaweed rebel forces fighting for Libyan warlord, Khalifa Haftar, have agreed to withdraw their services and leave Libya with immediate effect.

According to Libya Observer, the fighters made the decision early this month during a meeting held in Niger on June 11-12.

The meeting took place at the invitation of a French organisation which was attended by representatives from the United Nations (UN), the United States, the European Union, Norway, Turkey and Egypt.

The meeting had discussed practical ways to disarm the many rebel groups fighting in the North African country and how they might be reintegrated into the national army.

Libya Observer reports that about 30,000 mercenaries are fighting in the ranks of the Libyan eastern strong with the UN repeatedly asking foreign countries vying for influence in Libya to withdraw their mercenaries.

The meeting, which was the second of such to be held, had rebel groups and representatives from the governments of Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Libya were in attendance, and discussions were centred on modalities to withdraw all mercenaries from the countries.

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Egyptian court sentences 10 Muslim Brotherhood members to death on terrorism charges

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Ten members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court on Wednesday while 56 others bagged life sentences after they were convicted of supporting or carrying out attacks against security forces and sabotage of state infrastructure.

The defendants were also accused of committing premeditated murder and attempting to murder policemen and civilians, protesting, sabotaging, using of force, violence and threats with public officials to stop them carrying out their work.

The attacks were linked to incidents which took place in Cairo between 2013 and 2015, all traced to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Following the unrest, which led to several deaths, Egypt mounted one of the biggest crackdowns in its modern history on the Muslim Brotherhood following the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

The court also referred the defendants to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a possible appeal and an approval for a death sentence in January.

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