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Niger Coup: Air France extends suspension of flights to Mali, Burkina Faso

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Following the coup d’état in the Niger Republic, Air France has prolonged the suspension of its flights to and from Bamako in Mali and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso “until August 18”.

The French national carrier on Monday suspended flights to and from the two cities till August 11, days after Niger’s military rulers announced the closure of the country’s airspace due to the “threat of intervention”.

Air France, in a statement on Friday, said it was “in contact with the French authorities” to monitor “permanently the evolution of the geopolitical situation of the territories served and overflown by its aircraft” and recalls that “the safety of its customers and its crews is its absolute priority”.

Mali and Burkina Faso, both under military juntas, have expressed support to the perpetrators of the July 26 coup in Niger.

Sub-regional body, ECOWAS approved the use of force to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on Thursday but did not rule out diplomatic measures to end the crisis, while other countries like the United States, France and the Netherlands have also joined in on the sanctions.

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Morocco joins PPCA to phase out coal

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Morocco has joined an international campaign to phase out coal, Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), an effort to secure renewable energies in the next seven years.

With Morocco, PPCA has 60 national governments united by the desire to make a clean break with coal-fired power generation.

The United States, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Iceland, Kosovo, Malta, and Norway joined the global initiative earlier at the COP 28 climate summit, according to a statement from PPCA.

Without providing a timeline, the PPCA stated that Morocco “will work together with the PPCA to develop a plan for phasing (coal) out.”

Africa bears the least responsibility for climate change, yet it is already experiencing more severe effects than most other regions of the world.

The continent has the lowest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita of any region, contributing less than 3% of global energy-related CO2 emissions to date. Africa is home to nearly one-fifth of the world’s current population.

According to official figures, about 70% of Morocco’s electricity is generated from coal, with 20% coming from renewable sources thus far this year. By 2030, Morocco wants to increase the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix to over 52%.

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Seychelles declares emergency following explosion, flooding

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Officials in the Seychelles have confirmed that a blast at an explosives store wrecked buildings and caused massive damage to an industrial zone.

The explosion has prompted the president, Wavel Ramkalawan, to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.

The president called for a minute of silence on Thursday after telling reporters that the blast rocked the island and caused flooding due to heavy rains. Three people died as a result.

National television footage showed streets strewn with uprooted trees buried in deep mud and covered in debris.

“Following an explosion at the CCCL explosives store that has caused massive damage to the Providence Industrial area and the surrounding areas and major destruction caused by flooding due to heavy rains, the President has declared a state of emergency for today, December 7th,” President Wavel Ramkalawan’s office said in a statement.

“Everyone is being asked to stay at home. All schools will be closed. Only workers in the essential services and persons travelling will be allowed free movement.”

Tourists can still use the international airport and the ferries that travel between the islands, according to the government’s official social media.

Comprising 115 islands, the Seychelles is the least populous country in Africa, home to only 100,000 people.

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