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Senegalese opposition leader, Sonko in ‘medical emergency’

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Senegalese opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko was according to one of his aides and lawyers admitted to a hospital for a medical emergency on Sunday in Dakar.

Sonko’s politician party, Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF), which was dissolved last week by authorities, also confirmed the development through a statement on Monday.

The party added that it held the authorities “responsible” for his health, but there have been no comments from the government on the matter.

The controversial politician had last week revealed that he had started a hunger strike from custody after being arrested this week, as his lawyers condemned his arrest. His hunger strike follows a recent arrest which has resulted in seven new charges against the politician who has been a vocal critic of incumbent President Macky Sall.

He was jailed on Monday for a number of offences, including inciting insurrection, criminal association with a terrorist undertaking, and undermining state security.

This came after many tragic incidents of public protest and two consecutive convictions for defamation and “corruption of youths.” On the same day, the government declared his party disbanded.

Sonko had written to the court last week from prison to express his displeasure with the verdict, which his attorneys claimed was a requirement for the judgment to be overturned and a new trial to be ordered.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has confirmed that Juan Branco, one of Sonko’s lawyers, was arrested last weekend after several days of cat-and-mouse games with the authorities. The Franco-Spanish lawyer is in the hands of an elite police unit and remains in custody.

Politics

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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