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Pressure groups dare Guinea’s junta, call for mass protest despite government ban

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Guinea’s pressure group, The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) has called for a nationwide demonstration against the West African country’s military junta.

The group, which also led protests against former President Alpha Conde, called against the ban imposed by the junta on public protest.

According to a statement released on Friday by the group, it stands against “the junta’s manifest desire to remain in power forever,” its “refusal” of dialogue and its “unilateral management” of affairs.

The proposed “peaceful citizen demonstration” is planned for June 23 in the Conakry area and aimed to demand “a reasonable and consensual deadline” other than the 36 months set by the junta to return power to civilians.

Having revealed that it has received “proposals” for a political transition from different bodies, Guinea’s military leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, two weeks ago announced a 39 months transition period before the country returns to civilian rule.

The West African country had asked for more time to come up with a timetable for the transition after missing the April 25 deadline for transition into civil government by the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In a related development, another pressure group, the Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT-France) and Agir ensemble pour les droits humains (AEDH) has urged the Guinea authorities to restore the right to demonstrate “without delay.

Guinea is one of the West African countries that have recently experienced a military takeover of government. Mali and Burkina Faso are part of the negative trend.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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