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Sierra Leonian government sets committee to investigate deadly protest

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The government in Sierra Leone has appointed a renowned civil society activist, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, to investigate the deadly protests that killed scores weeks ago.

The activist will chair a 15-person committee charged with investigating the deadly protest that rocked the country early this month.

The August 10 protest took place mainly in Freetown and parts of the northern region of the country. The protesters said they were demonstrating against rising cost of living.

According to the statement from the Press Secretary at State House, the government says the Special Investigation Committee will investigate “both the immediate and underlying causes, sources of financing, execution and consequences of the insurrection, as well as the response of the security forces.”

“We have worked very hard as a nation for nearly two decades. We thought violence was completely taken away from the tools that would be used to resolve our differences,” Bio said at the event held at the Hastings Police Training School outside Freetown.

“We are hopeful that their death would help to bring eternal healing to our land and end the senseless actions of the enemies of our dear country, who are eager to divide us,” he added in a tweet.

Earlier in the month, demonstrations descended into clashes between security forces and youth demanding the president’s resignation, because of “economic hardship” in protests in parts of Freetown and other areas in the Northern part of the country.

At least 10 people including security personnel were killed during clashes between the protestors and security forces.

Metro

Inflation rate rise to all time high at 9.6% in Algeria in three years

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For the first time in three years, the inflation rate in Algeria has risen to an all time high of 9.6 per cent at the end of August, in what economists in the North African country say is as a result of rise in the prices of basic commodities globally and its impact on local markets.

The Deputy Director-General of the Algerian National Office of Statistics, Hamid Zaydouni, who disclosed this during a hearing at the Finance Committee of the People’s National Assembly on Thursday, said Algerian market recorded an inflation rate of 7.23 per cent during 2021, the highest in nearly three years.

“Algeria is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the prices of various products, some of which have increased by more than 100 per cent, amid warnings by consumer protection associations that the rise would weaken people’s purchasing power,” Zaydouni said.

“Over the past three years, the inflation rate in Algeria ranged between 3.5 and 7.5 per cent.

“The high prices have affected subsidised goods such as cooking oils, semolina and farina,” he added.

Zaydouni added that from 2021, the inflation rate of 7.2% was calculated but the average inflation rate has been 8.8% per year since then.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2019, most African countries have been on the threshold of rising inflation as global economy had experienced enormous pressure.

The war between Russia and Ukraine which broke out in February has also contributed to the economic crisis in the continent with inflation growing at an alarming rate, often forcing countries to raise interest rates, hoping to slow down the inflation which has continued to rise to all time high.

According to statista.com, the “overall inflation rate in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 is expected to grow today whopping 12.2 percent, with the surge following a global tendency, as consumer prices soar all over the world, impacting advanced as well as emerging and developing economies.”

As at August, Sudan had the highest inflation in Africa as of 2022 with the rate reaching 245 percent.

Sudan is closely followed by Zimbabwe with the second-highest inflation on the African continent, averaging 90 percent.

Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, amongst others have had to raise their interest rates at some point due to inflation.

 

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Egyptian police officers jailed six years for torturing man to death

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Two Egyptian policemen who tortured a civilian to death in their custody have been sentenced to six years in prison by a court on Thursday.

The convicts were found guilty of murdering Mahmoud Khamis Gaber while he was in police custody, by a Minya Criminal Court which also heard that the torture included electric shocks and sexual abuse on the victim in 2019.

The victim’s lawyer told the court that Gaber was arrested after public prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him following accusations that he possessed a firearm and ammunition without a licence.

The court was told that he was tortured to death in an effort to get him to confess to the possession of an unlicensed weapon.

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