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One-third of Sudan’s population faces hunger crisis: UN

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The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), has raised an alarm over an imminent hunger crisis in Sudan, saying more than 30 percent of the people in the war-ravaged African country are currently facing a food crisis because of a number of compounding issues including political turmoil, conflicts, drought, effects of climate shocks, and rising global food prices.

A joint report by the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday noted that more 15 million people, about one-third of the population, face acute food insecurity across all of the country’s 18 provinces.

“The combined effects of conflict, climate shocks, economic and political crises, rising costs and poor harvests are pushing millions of people deeper into hunger and poverty.

Acute food insecurity is defined as occurring when a person’s inability to consume adequate food puts their lives or livelihoods in immediate danger,” said Eddie Rowe, WFP’s representative in Sudan.

The report also noted that living conditions have rapidly deteriorated across the cash-strapped Sudan since an “October military coup sent an already fragile economy into a free-fall, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine compounding the economic pain.”

The WFP warned food insecurity among people “may dramatically increase to unprecedented levels and ultimately lead to more conflict and displacement” unless Sudan receives robust support with agriculture inputs.

“We must act now to avoid increasing hunger levels and to save the lives of those already affected,” Rowe said.

Sudan was plunged into an economic crisis when the oil-rich south seceded in 2011 after decades of civil war, taking with it more than half of public revenues and 95 percent of exports.

The country became an international pariah after it was placed on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism early in the 1990s, excluding it from the global economy and preventing loans from global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

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Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

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An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of senior officials from Chad’s oil and banking sectors.

According to the government, the arrest has been on over the past 10 days.

The Minister of Communication and government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah on Sunday said the embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs (nearly 20 million euros) within the Chadian oil company (SHT) and the National Security Agency (ANS), the internal and external intelligence services, is conducting the investigation.

Among those arrested is the former private secretary of General Mahamat Déby, Idriss Youssouf Boy. Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were also questioned in the framework of the investigation.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been released as part of the investigation into financial misappropriations of 13 billion CFA francs at the SHT.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary” and some of the defendants will eventually be presented to a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, the spokesman added, without giving any details of the charges.” Koulamallah told journalists.

Chad is a modest oil producer, with 47 million barrels in 2021, The central African country joined the circle of African oil producing and exporting countries in the early 2000s and its economy is now very dependent on it.

It is not uncommon to identify corrupt trend in oil sector in Africa. Report says the 2005–2014 oil boom raised incentives for corruption across the oil industry’s value chain. A highly diverse set of private sector actors engaged in corrupt behavior.

Chad’s neighbour, Nigeria, who is also Africa’s largest oil producer, is perhaps the biggest reference to corruption in oil sector in the continent. Efforts from the Nigerian government to investigate and curtail the ill can be traced to the 1950s during the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. A panel of enquiry was set up to investigate a Two Billion, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira fraud which could not be accounted for by the NNPC.

The cases of corruption in the sector once again raises question if the liquid tressure has been a blessing or curse to the “black continent.”

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326 Mozambican Police officers dismissed for involvement in crimes since 2020

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The Mozambican Police Force (PRM), has dismissed 326 officers from the force since 2020 over their involvement in different crimes which include extortion, bribery, use of excessive force and violence against citizens.

The dismissal of the police officers was as a result of a 2020/2021 report on human rights abuse in the country put together by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), which was released last week in Maputo.

According to the 2020 report, many arbitrary detentions persisted including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

“Among various abuses, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

“For instance, four police officers were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel,” the report stated.

The OAM also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

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