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South Africa wants UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond ‘stolen’ from its mine in 1905

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With the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, South Africa has called on the UK Royal Family to return one of the world’s largest clear-cut jewels, a 500 carat diamond, the Great Star of Africa, or Cullinan Diamond, with claims that the precious stone was stolen from one of its mines in 1905.

In 1907, a military commander, Luis Botha, said that the diamond was bought for 150,000 pounds, and then gifted it to Edward VII on his birthday, which outraged many South Africans.

A petition which has gathered over 10,000 signatures on Monday, demanded that the diamond which was gifted to the Queen should be returned to the South African Museum now that the monarch is no more.

But according to the Royal Collection Trust which oversees the collections of the British Royal Family, the Cullinan Diamond was presented to King Edward VII who was the British monarch at the time, in 1907, two years after its discovery in a private mine in South Africa’s old Transvaal province.

The Diamond was later presented to Queen Elizabeth on her ascension of the throne in 1952 at a time South Africa was a British Colony.

The Great Star of Africa is currently mounted on a royal scepter belonging to the Queen.

The Trust added that the Diamond which weighed around 3,106 carats in its natural form, was “the size of a human heart,” before it was sent to Asscher of Amsterdam to be cleft in 1908.

It was split into two parts, which were then turned into nine smaller pieces in total. The two biggest belong to the crown, and the other seven were Elizabeth II’s and she wore them as part of necklaces, rings, and other accessories.

After South Africa’s independence, they tried to claim back things that were theirs.

Metro

Another Ugandan health worker dies from Ebola Virus

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Another health worker in Uganda has died due to complications from the Ebola Virus Disease, making it the fourth recorded death of an official since the outbreak of the Sudan-strain of the virus in last August, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, who announced the death of the health worker, said the victim identified as Ms Margaret Nabisubi, an anaesthetic officer, died at about 4.33am after battling the infection for 17 days.

“The 58-year-old succumbed to Ebola at 4.33am this morning at Fort Portal Hospital (JMedic) after battling the disease for 17 days,” Dr Aceng said in a tweet.

“The late Margaret is the 4th health worker we have lost in the current Ebola outbreak after the probable case of a midwife, Dr Mohammed Ali and the health assistant in Kagadi District. May their souls rest in eternal peace,” Aceng added.

She added that President Yoweri Museveni was very concerned about the situation and has mandated the Ministry to do everything possible to contain the spread.

The country’s disease control agency, in a statement said so far, the confirmed cases of the virus infection have increased to 43 and the deaths have also increased to 13 as of Tuesday.

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ECOWAS mediator, Mohamadou Issoufou, meets Burkina Faso new ruler, Captain Ibrahim Traore

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The delegates of regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States have concluded mediation for Burkina Faso after recent unrest surrounding a military coup that ousted Lieutenant colonel Damiba last Friday.

The Friday coup was led by one of his trusted allies, Captain Ibrahim Traore, eight months after Damiba had overthrown the democratically elected President Roch Kabore in January and there has fear of a counter coup as shootings eusued at the capital on Saturday.

The mediator team led by Mahamadou Issoufou on Wednesday met with the country’s new ruler Captain Traoré who promised to keep the commitments made in July by the previous leadership regarding the organisation of elections and a return of civilians to power by July 2024 at the latest.

While briefing newsmen after the meeting, the mediator reaffirmed his commitment to the Burkinabe people.

“We will report on our mission to the current president of ECOWAS and to the heads of state. But I can already assure you that ECOWAS will remain at the side of the Burkinabe people.

“We will continue to accompany the Burkinabe people in this very difficult ordeal they are going through”, said Mahamadou Issoufou, ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso.

The West Africa sub-region has witnessed a series of military coups in recent years. In MaliGuinea, and Burkina Faso since August 2020.

 

 

 

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