The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia, figures from the Africa CDC showed…reports Asian Lite News
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the African continent has reached 2,137,871, while the death toll stood at 51,248, according to health authorities.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Saturday that a total of 1,807,531 people infected with the virus have recovered across the continent so far, Xinhua news agency.
The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia, figures from the Africa CDC showed.
The southern region is the most affected both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases as well as deaths, it was noted.
The northern region is the second most affected, according to the Africa CDC.
He also stressed that the Ethiopian army undertook the operation “with precision and due care for citizens ensuring civilians are not targeted”…reports Asian Lite News
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has confirmed the “full command” of the conflict-ridden Tigray region’s capital, Mekelle, which the completion of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF)’s military operations.
“The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle,” Ahmed said on Saturday, as he emphasized the “main operation” of the fighting between the Ethiopian army and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) “is now successfully concluded”, reports Xinhua news agency.
“With full command of the regional capital, this marks the completion of the ENDF’s last phase. Federal police will now continue their task of apprehending TPLF criminals and bring them to the court,” Ahmed said in a statement issued on Saturday.
According to Ahmed, the ENDF has thus far managed to secure the release of thousands of Northern Command officers held hostage by the TPLF, secure the Northern Command camp, and take control of the airport, public institutions, the regional administration office and other critical facilities.
He also stressed that the Ethiopian army undertook the operation “with precision and due care for citizens ensuring civilians are not targeted”.
According to Ahmed, the people of the Tigray region “have provided utmost support and cooperation to the ENDF in all corners”.
The Prime Minister also stressed that “we now have ahead of us the critical task of rebuilding what has been destroyed, repairing what is damaged, returning those who have fled, with utmost priority of returning normalcy to the people of the Tigray region”.
“The federal government appreciates the concern shown by the international community,” Ahmed said, as he called upon “friends of Ethiopia to join hands in rebuilding the Tigray region and giving its people the respite, humanitarian assistance and security they deserve”.
Ahmed’s remarks came shortly after the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defence Forces, Berhanu Jula, announced on Saturday that the Ethiopian army has “fully controlled Mekelle city”.
Noting that the Ethiopian army is now in full control of TPLF’s last stronghold, the Chief of Staff stressed that the defence forces “are now hunting anti-peace forces in and around Mekelle city”.
According to Jula, more than 7,000 service members, who were captured by the TPLF fighters during TPLF’s assault on the army base near Mekelle city, which eventually led to the start of the fighting, have been freed.
The latest development came after the federal government last week announced the commencement of the “third and final phase” of the military operations towards Mekelle, a city of more than 500,000 people where senior TPLF leaders are believed to be stationed.
Since the early hours of November 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, which rules over the Tigray region.
The federal government’s operations followed the TPLF’s attack on the Northern command base of the Ethiopian Defence Force, a division stationed in the region for over two decades and based in Mekelle.
Prior to the ongoing fighting, the Ethiopian government has blamed the TPLF for masterminding various treasonous acts across the country.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Ethiopia have helped each other in time of difficulties, setting an example of China-Africa unity in fighting the pandemic, said the Chinese president…reports Asian Lite News
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged on Tuesday to work with his Ethiopian counterpart Sahle-Work Zewde to enhance China-Africa and the Belt and Road cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to both countries and peoples.
Xi made the remarks in an exchange of congratulatory messages with Zewde on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Xinhua news agency reported.
In his message, Xi said over the half a century since the establishment of China-Ethiopia diplomatic ties, traditional friendship of the two countries has been getting stronger.
In recent years, with the building of the China-Ethiopia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, the two countries have been deepening political mutual trust and achieving fruitful cooperative results in various fields, said Xi.
The two sides have rendered mutual understanding and support to each other on issues of their core interests and major concerns, and have coordinated closely in international and regional affairs, he said.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Ethiopia have helped each other in time of difficulties, setting an example of China-Africa unity in fighting the pandemic, said the Chinese president.
Noting that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Ethiopia relations, Xi said he is ready to work with Zewde to take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary to implement the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, enhance cooperation on jointly building the Belt and Road, and make more positive contributions to building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
In his congratulatory message, Zewde said that over the past 50 years since the establishment of Ethiopia-China diplomatic relations, bilateral ties have been deepening continuously on the basis of close coordination and political mutual trust and bilateral cooperation has yielded fruitful results.
The Ethiopia-China relations have been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, which laid a solid foundation for deepening bilateral cooperation in various fields, and for benefiting the two countries and peoples in the future, Zewde said.
Zewde expressed his willingness to work closely with President Xi to continuously promote traditional friendly relations between the two countries, deepen and expand bilateral cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has expressed his concern over recent developments in Ethiopia.
The Minister stressed the need to return to dialogue and implement the rule of law while expressing the UAE’s solidarity with the brotherly Ethiopian people and highlighting the link between security and stability in the Middle East region and the Horn of Africa.
Sheikh Abdullah indicated that the region is witnessing new opportunities that must be seized and built upon, including the peace process in Sudan and South Sudan.
Moreover, he stressed the need to mobilize all international and regional efforts and ensure the stability of the region and the central role of Ethiopia in this vision, as well as work with the African Union and other relevant institutions, indicating that the UAE has made many contacts with partners in Africa, the region, and the international community to put an end to the conflict by peaceful means and avoid escalation in light of the sensitive situation that the region is witnessing.
Sheikh Abdullah also indicated that Ethiopia is the key to security and stability in the Horn of Africa and the region, underscoring the importance of preserving the institutions of the Ethiopian state and the unity of the federal system.
He expressed his concern over continued human suffering in the region and the displacement of thousands of innocent people, especially children, women, and the elderly due to recent military clashes, which could lead to a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the UAE’s support for a political solution and constructive dialogue in order to bring peace to Ethiopia, noting that the UAE would provide US$5 million through the World Food Programme and international organizations to help refugees affected by the humanitarian crisis. His Highness also noted the importance of adhering to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.
“I strongly welcome Italy’s steadfast and longstanding support to the UN efforts in Libya,” said Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Stephanie Williams during the signing ceremony…reports Asian Lite News
The UN Development Program (UNDP) announced that Italy has supported the Libyan political dialogue program by providing a financial aid of 450,000 euros ($526,000 ).
According to a statement released by the UNDP on Thursday, an agreement was signed during the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) held in Tunisia during which Italy provided the aid to the program, reports Xinhua news agency.
The agreement, signed by Deputy General Director/Central Director for the Mediterranean and Middle East countries of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luca Gori, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Gerardo Noto, has raised the total fund from Italy to UNDP programs to 14,500,000 euros targeted to support stability, security and prosperity in Libya, said the statement.
“I strongly welcome Italy’s steadfast and longstanding support to the UN efforts in Libya,” said Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Stephanie Williams during the signing ceremony.
“The stabilization of Libya is a strategic priority for Italy. Since the beginning of the crisis, we have been advocating that the only way to ensure Libya’s stability, unity and integrity was to pursue political dialogue,” said Gori.
“Italy is a key partner of the stabilization facility contributing to recover communities and benefit people affected by conflict all around the country.
“We are looking forward to continue working together for peace and inclusive development in Libya,” said Noto.
Under the auspices of the UN, the LPDF took place in Tunis with participation of 75 Libyans representing the social and political spectrum of Libyan society, with the aim of discussing a political roadmap to achieve lasting peace.
As of Thursday, the continent’s overall caseload and death toll stood 2,013,388 and 48,408, repectively, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)….reports Asian Lite News
African countries are on high alert for a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of confirmed cases on the continent hit 2 million on Thursday.
Africa reported its first 1 million confirmed cases on August 7 after it registered the first infection on February 14 in Egypt, reports Xinhua news agency.
As of Thursday, the continent’s overall caseload and death toll stood 2,013,388 and 48,408, repectively, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the testing level in Africa was still very low compared to other regions.
“Most African countries are focused on testing travellers, patients or contacts, and we estimate that a significant number of cases are missed,” says WHO’s regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti in late October.
The most COVID-19 affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia, figures from the Africa CDC show.
One of the worst-hit country at present is Morocco, which reported 6,195 cases on November 12, the highest daily spike since the onset of the pandemic in the country on March 2.
John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC, said that Africa has recorded an 8 per cent rise in new coronavirus cases in the past month.
“We cannot relent on our efforts to bend the curve. The virus tends to give you a sign that you are winning and it comes back more severely. We are strongly advocating for the control measures including the wearing of masks which we appeal to countries to subsidize masks,” he said.
In Africa and throughout much of the world, the increase in new cases coincided with the easing of restrictions and other measures put in place earlier this year to help stem the spread of the virus.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sounded alarm over the sudden increase in the infections and deaths earlier this month, adding that the government would not hesitate to impose stringent measures and avert a looming implosion.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens to be responsible in adhering to social distance measures in an effort to avoid or delay the second wave.
South Africa is now open to all international leisure and business travellers from all over the globe.
The opening of all international travel follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Wednesday that South Africa would be moving to augmented alert level 1, thus opening up international borders for all countries with effect from November 11.
“We are excited by the full opening of our international borders because this is a strong testament of the fact that we are open for both business and leisure travel. This opening brings certainty for South Africa, as a travel destination putting us back on the map and on the radar for many travellers who want to come explore our beautiful country,” SA Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona said in a statement.
All travellers coming into the country will need to supply a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID test not older than 72 hours from the date of departure from their country.
“We know that now more than ever, traveller behaviour is influenced by trust and confidence so our country has put in place globally-benchmarked health and safety protocols. We thank all partners here in South Africa and across the world for their ongoing support and patience. As we gradually welcome tourists and business travellers from all over the world, we look forward to engaging with our partners once again as we work together to package South Africa for various tourists’ needs,” added Ntshona.
“While we know that there won’t an immediate influx of tourists as other countries are now experiencing second waves of the pandemic and have imposed travel restrictions for their citizens, we look forward to welcoming those tourists that are able to come. They can finally get to enjoy the wide-open spaces, scenic landscape, unique and authentic cultural experiences that South Africa has to offer,” concluded Ntshona.
South Africa recently won big at this year’s World Travel Market including Sun City voted as Africa’s leading casino resort, Plettenberg Bay as Africa’s leading beach destination and Durban voted as Africa’s leading city destination.
Earlier this year South Africa took top spot when booking company Tourlane asked its community where their perfect post-coronavirus trip destination would be. The survey saw South Africa as the go-to safari destination, packed with outdoor adventures, applauded for pristine and well-kept beaches.
“So over the coming weeks in cooperation with security services, we will begin deploying peacekeepers to place like Manyabol, Likongule, Duk Padiat, Yuai, and Waat to set up temporary bases,”..said Shearer…reports Asian Lite News
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it plans to set up temporary peacekeeping bases in the Jonglei region to help end inter-ethnic skirmishes.
David Shearer, special representative of the UN secretary-general for South Sudan said on Tuesday that the UN peacekeeping mission will need to locate their troops and staff to promote reconciliation and rebuilding in regions affected by conflict, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
“So over the coming weeks in cooperation with security services, we will begin deploying peacekeepers to place like Manyabol, Likongule, Duk Padiat, Yuai, and Waat to set up temporary bases or conduct extended long-distance patrols,” Shearer told reporters in Juba.
He said the UN mission’s seventh engineering contingents from countries including Bangladesh, China and Pakistan will commence a major road rehabilitation project during the dry season to help the troops patrol with ease.
“On this note, we are well underway with planning for UNMISS’ operations during the coming dry season. As you know, our approach to the protection of civilians is about being proactive, robust and nimble,” Shearer said.
The Jonglei region bordering Ethiopia to the east has long been plagued by ethnic fighting over cattle grazing grounds and access to water.
It has been an epicenter of cattle rustling between the Nuer, Murle and Dinka communities who often carry out retaliatory attacks against each other.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister said that his army is advancing on the capital of the northern region of Tigray where soldiers from the region are fighting the central government.
The government accused Tigray’s forces of destroying bridges near the city of Mekelle to halt the advance, the BBC reported.
Hundreds of people have reportedly died in nearly two weeks of clashes.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suggested on Tuesday that the fighting was coming to an end, saying “the final critical act of law enforcement will be done in the coming days.”
The conflict is rooted in long-standing tension between powerful Tigrayan party the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopia’s central government.
When Abiy postponed a national election due to coronavirus in June, tension escalated between the two groups. The TPLF sees the central government as illegitimate, arguing Mr Abiy no longer has a mandate to lead the country.
The government accused the TLPF of attacking a military base to steal weapons, which the TPLF denied. In response, Abiy ordered a military offensive, accusing the TPLF of treason.
A three-day deadline given by Prime Minister Abiy to Tigray’s forces to surrender expired on Tuesday.
As government forces advanced on Mekelle, Abiy’s officials said that Tigrayan soldiers responded by destroying four bridges and a section of a road between the city and towns of Shire and Axum.
The TPLF have not commented on the accusations.
At least 27,000 people have fled over the northern border to Sudan as the UN warned a “full-scale humanitarian crisis” is unfolding.
TPLF adviser Fesseha Tessema, a former Ethiopian diplomat, told the BBC that civilian sites in Mekelle were being bombed by federal forces.
“[The people of Tigray] haven’t done anything wrong, they are in their own homes, churches,” Fesseha said.
The federal government has denied targeting civilians and said that air attacks are aimed at the Tigrayan military.
Abiy suggested that a number of TLPF fighters had switched sides to the government but he did not say how many.
He added that his government was “ready to receive and reintegrate our fellow Ethiopians fleeing to neighbouring countries”.