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One dead, 40 injured, buildings swept away as South Africa mine dam wall collapses

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One person has been confirmed dead while 40 others were injured after the walls of a dam in South Africa’s Feee State collapsed, causing a flood that also swept away buildings and cars on Sunday, a provincial government statement said.

The disaster reportedly occurred in the diamond mining town of Jagersfontein, forcing officials to evacuate scores of residents of the area to nearby farms, the statement noted.

“One person was declared dead after the body was recovered, while 40 people, including one pregnant woman and four individuals with fractured limbs, have been taken to hospitals for treatment,” it said, as search and rescue efforts continued into the early hours of Monday at the dormant diamond mine once owned by De Beers, a unit of Anglo American (AAL.L).

“A detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the incident will be released upon compilation,” the office of the Free State Premier said in its statement on Monday.

Roads were also cut off while sources of drinking water were also affected, the statement said.

South African Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, who spoke on the disaster on Monday, said nine houses were swept away while 20 were completely damaged by flooding from the tailing dam.

“Compensation for fatalities, compensation in terms of damage to property will be taken as a responsibility of the company that owns the slimes dam,” he said.

Also affected was the state-owned power utility company, Eskom, which said in a separate statement it lost bulk electricity supply in the area when its Rietkuil substation was engulfed by mud.

The flooding also damaged cellphone towers owned by mobile operator Vodacom which said two of its impacted base station sites are now back online after deploying generators to power them, while MTN said it is looking for an alternative way to access a tower it shares with others in order to restore power and services.

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Sudan War: Gen. Al-Burhan says he’s ready for peace talks

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Sudan’s Army Chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan says he is now open for peace talks that could bring the war in the country to an end.

Before the surprise announcement on Friday, Al-Burhan had maintained a non-compromising stance and had refused all entreaties to enter into negotiations with his former number two man and main rival, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the Rapid Support Force (RSF).

However, Al-Burhan, in a statement in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said he had not sought military support on a recent regional tour and that his preference was for a peaceful solution to the conflict that has killed thousands and displaced millions of civilians.

“Every war ends in peace, whether through negotiations or force. We are proceeding on those two paths, and our preferred path is the path of negotiations,” Al-Burhan said.

Al-Burhan added that he believed that talks by Saudi Arabia and the United States in Jeddah which were stalled could still succeed.

In recent weeks, Al-Burhan has made a series of foreign visits after remaining holed up in Sudan for the first few months of the war, often sending representatives for talks.

In one of his visits to Cairo, Egypt, the Army Chief had said the purpose was to seek solutions and not military support, though he had asked other states to block external help that he claimed the RSF was receiving.

“We asked our neighbors to help us monitor the borders to stop the flow of mercenaries,” he had said.

The Sudan war which broke out between the army and the RSF in April 15 over plans for a political transition and the integration of the RSF into the army, has seen thousands of civilians killed and millions of others forced to flee the country.

Several ceasefire agreements entered into by the warring factions have been breached with both sides trading blames on their culpability, while previous claims by both sides that they want peace have failed to stop bloodshed.

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Nigeria’s Presidency apologises for UNGA goof

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The Nigerian Presidency has apologised over a blunder it made when announcing that President Bola Tinubu was the first African leader to ring the bell at the close of trade at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ) in the United States.

Tinubu had, on Wednesday, rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ headquarters in New York City on the sidelines of the 78th edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and used the opportunity to advance his foreign investment push in front of financial markets at the famous stock exchange.

“It’s a great honour for me to be here. I am happy to bring Nigeria to your doorsteps and I am honoured that we are here, today, with a bubbling Nigerian stock market that will evolve in the West African sub-region,” he said.

‘’The greatest economy in Africa is Nigeria. There is an immense opportunity in Nigeria, where you can invest your money without fear,” the president added.

Shortly after the ringing of the bell, the Presidency released a statement claiming that Tinubu had entered the history books as the first leader of an African country to get the honour of ringing the NASDAQ bell.

“In honour of President Bola Tinubu’s determined global push to aggressively attract foreign direct investment into Nigeria.

“The world’s second largest stock exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ), on Wednesday in the world’s financial capital, invited President Tinubu to ring the closing bell. Making him the first African President to ever receive the honour,” the statement, issued by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale said.

However, following a backlash, and fact-finding by Nigerians and media outlets that revealed that Tinubu was not the first African leader to ring the bell, the presidency, in a statement on Friday, retracted its claim and tendered an apology.

In the apology issued by Ngelale, the presidency said it later found out that a former African leader had previously rung the bell at NASDAQ, thereby debunking the initial claim of Tinubu’s historic achievement.

“We inadvertently referred to President Bola Tinubu as the first African leader to ring the bell at NASDAQ on Wednesday in New York, based on the information provided by a third-party event organiser.

“We have since found out that this information was/is incorrect as a former African leader has indeed had the privilege. This error is sincerely regretted,” the statement said.

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