Uganda police kill 5 suspects as probe into suicide bombings widens

Ugandan police shot dead five suspects and arrested 21 people on Thursday as part of an investigation into twin suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group that killed four people.

 

Tuesday’s explosions were the latest in a string of attacks in the country, which has tightened security and mounted an investigation into the bombings.

 

President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to defeat “the terrorists”.

 

The attacks in the capital Kampala occurred within minutes of each other, with two suicide bombers on motorbikes disguised as “boda boda” motorcycle taxi drivers detonating a device near the parliament building, while a third attacker targeted a checkpoint near the central police station.

 

Ugandan police said the attacks were the work of “domestic terrorists” linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that the United States has linked to the Islamic State armed group.

 

On Thursday, counter-terrorism officers killed “four suspected terrorists in Ntorokoe” in the west of the country, who were allegedly crossing back in to the DRC.

 

Suspects rounded up

Meanwhile, a fifth man was reported killed outside Kampala as he tried to escape arrest. Police identified the man as Sheikh Abas Muhamed Kirevu, a known local Islamic leader who they allege was “responsible for re-awakening the terror cells in Kampala”.

 

Police also say 21 suspects have been arrested as part of their crackdown on the ADF, which Kampala also blames for two attacks in October.

 

Last month police arrested a number of alleged ADF operatives and warned that extremists were believed to be plotting a new attack on “major installations”.

 

Two die as Uganda ex-army minister injured in assassination attempt

Child soldiers: The forgotten trauma of abducted children

The ADF, historically a Ugandan rebel group, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in the eastern DRC.

 

Experts consider the ADF to be the bloodiest of more than 120 armed groups that roam eastern DRC, many of them a legacy of two regional wars a quarter of a century ago.

 

President Yoweri Museveni is due to make a televised address to the nation this Saturday evening, in the wake of the deadly attacks.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Libya’s parliament speaker enters presidential race

Libya’s parliament speaker Aguila Saleh registered Saturday to run in next month’s presidential election, joining a military strongman and the son of Moamer Kadhafi in the contest.

 

Libya’s first ever direct presidential poll, due on December 24, comes as the United Nations seeks to end a decade of violence in the oil-rich nation since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled the dictator Kadhafi in 2011.

 

Saleh is the 24th candidate to sign up at the offices of the electoral commission, the HNEC, with the 77-year-old registering his details in the eastern port of Benghazi.

 

“I came to the HNEC office in Benghazi to submit the documents necessary for my candidacy,” said Saleh, appealing to Libyans to take part in the vote, in a speech broadcast by the Libya Tantakheb station.

 

Saleh is considered to be close to eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar, who registered his name in the race on Tuesday.

 

Divisions

That move came just days after Seif al-Islam Kadhafi declared his own candidacy, a decade after his father’s death in a NATO-backed uprising.

 

Pro-Haftar forces remain in control of much of eastern and southern Libya, and some analysts have voiced scepticism over the chances of a free and fair vote.

 

Nearly three million Libyans — out of total population of some seven million people — have so far registered to vote.

 

But the runup to the vote has been marred by bitter divisions over the legal and constitutional framework, and many in western Libya have rejected any run by Haftar, who led a devastating but ultimately unsuccessful campaign to seize the capital before he was pushed back in 2020.

 

In September, Saleh ratified a contentious electoral law criticised for bypassing due process and favouring a bid by Haftar.

 

On Friday, hundreds of Libyans protested in the capital Tripoli and in the city of Misrata over the law.

 

Demonstrators stamped on posters of Haftar and Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

 

Both presidential and legislative polls had been slated for December 24, but in early October parliament split the dates of the vote by postponing legislative elections until January, a move criticised by some.

 

The path to the ballot box has been lined with disputes over the constitutional basis for the polls and the powers to be given to whoever wins.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Sudanese call for anti-coup protests as death toll rises to 40

Sudanese anti-coup activists called for mass protests on Sunday, as medics said the number of people killed since last month’s military takeover had risen to at least 40.

 

Both the United States and African Union have condemned the deadly crackdown on protesters and called on Sudan’s leaders to refrain from the “excessive use of force.”

 

Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25 declared a state of emergency, ousted the government and detained the civilian leadership.

 

The military takeover upended a two-year transition to civilian rule, drew wide international condemnation and punitive measures, as well as provoking people to take to the streets.

 

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) have urged protesters to keep up their campaign.

 

On Saturday, pro-democracy activists made online calls for mass anti-coup protests with a “million-strong march on November 21”.

 

The SPA is an umbrella of unions which were instrumental in the months-long demonstrations that led to the ousting of president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

 

Protests on Wednesday provoked the deadliest day so far, with the toll of those killed now standing at 16 after a teenager who was shot in the head died, medics said.

 

“One martyr passed away… after he succumbed to severe wounds after being hit by live rounds to the head and the leg on November 17,” the independent Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said. He was aged 16, it added.

Most of those killed on Wednesday were in North Khartoum, which lies across the Nile river from the capital, medics said.

 

Police officials deny using any live ammunition and insist they have used “minimum force” to disperse the protests. They have recorded only one death, among demonstrators in North Khartoum.

 

On Friday, small groups of protesters rallied in several neighbourhoods after prayers against the military coup, especially in North Khartoum, where people were seen building barricades across the roads. Security forces sporadically fired teargas to disperse them.

 

The SPA reported that security forces had “stormed homes and mosques” in there on Friday.

 

“We call for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations, including the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, to be held accountable,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

 

“In advance of upcoming protests, we call on Sudanese authorities to use restraint and allow peaceful demonstrations,” the US added.

The African Union, which suspended Sudan after the coup, also condemned “in the strongest terms” Wednesday’s violence, in a statement released Saturday.

 

AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat called on Sudan’s authorities “to restore constitutional order and the democratic transition” in line with a 2019 power-sharing deal between the military and the now-deposed civilian figures.

 

Sudan has a long history of military coups, enjoying only rare interludes of democratic rule since independence in 1956.

 

Burhan, the top general, insists the military’s move “was not a coup” but a step “to rectify the transition” as factional infighting and splits deepened between civilians and the military under the now-deposed government.

 

He has since announced a new civilian-military ruling council in which he kept his position as head, along with a powerful paramilitary commander, three senior military figures, three ex-rebel leaders and one civilian.

 

But the other four civilian members were replaced with lesser known figures.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Ethiopia hails return of looted artefacts

Ethiopia on Saturday hailed the return of precious artefacts looted by British soldiers more than 150 years ago, after a long campaign for their restitution.

 

The collection — recovered from Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands — includes a ceremonial crown, an imperial shield, a set of silver-embossed horn drinking cups, a handwritten prayer book, crosses and a necklace.

 

Most of the items were plundered by the British army after it defeated Emperor Tewodros II in the Battle of Magdala in 1868 in what was then Abyssinia.

 

The treasures were unwrapped before the media at Ethiopia’s national museum on Saturday, more than two months after they were formally handed over at a ceremony in London in September.

 

Ethiopia said it was the largest such repatriation of artefects to the country, with its ambassador to Britain, Teferi Melesse, describing it as of “huge significance”.

 

Calls have long been mounting in Africa for Western countries to return their colonial spoils, with many prized national treasures held abroad in museums or sometimes private collections.

 

Earlier this month, the West African state of Benin welcomed back nearly 30 royal treasures seized during France’s rule more than 130 years ago.

 

‘Great injustice’

 

The Ethiopian government is still fighting for Britain to return other stolen artefacts including sacred wooden and stone tabots or tablets, which represent the Ark of the Covenant.

The tabots are housed in the British Museum in London — which has a vast trove of foreign treasures — but have never been put on public display.

 

Ethiopia is also seeking the remains of Tewodros’ son Prince Alemayehu who was taken to Britain after the emperor committed suicide following his battlefield defeat.

 

“A variety of artefacts which are a legacy of our culture and values were looted during the battle and taken out of the country illegally,” said Tourism Minister Nasise Challi.

 

“Countless of our artefacts are found in various museums, research centres and in the hands of private individuals,” she said at Saturday’s event, appealing for their return.

 

Ethiopia, one of the world’s oldest countries with a rich and ancient cultural and religious heritage, has said it considers the ransacking of Magdala a “great injustice” that has been a thorn in relations with Britain.

 

Several of the returned items were due to be auctioned but were bought by the non-profit Scheherazade Foundation with the aim of repatriation. Others were acquired from private dealers or investors.

 

Among them was a set of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the 18th century, which had been due to be auctioned in the Hague.

 

Ethiopia is also negotiating for the return of a bible and cross that were set for the auction block in the United States.

 

“These restitutions are taking place in a global context where the role of museums in portraying colonial histories and the legitimacy of displaying looted artefacts is being questioned,” Ethiopia’s National Heritage Restitution Committee said in a statement in September.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

You lost to a better side – Ghana FA president Kurt Okraku tells South FA boss

Kurt Okraku, the president of the Ghana Football Association [GFA] has hit back at Danny Jordaan, who is the president of the South Association Football Association [SAFA] insisting he should admit they lost to a better side.

 

Andre Ayew’s first-half penalty was enough as Ghana defeated Bafana Bafana 1-0 to top Group G and book a place in the final playoff round.

 

Following the defeat, SAFA has launched a public attack on the officials of the game and have officially filed a complaint to FIFA, citing match-fixing and the influence of third parties in terms of betting on the game.

 

These allegations have clearly not sat well with the Ghana Football Association, who released a statement on Thursday, November 18, branding the allegations as false and irresponsible.

 

Reacting to the accusations, Mr Okraku questioned the competence of SAFA in the area of planning and urged them to accept defeat honourably.

 

“Danny Jordaan wasn’t even here in Ghana, but he was on TV telling people that Accra to Cape Coast is 9 hours. Are we not kidding?” Okraku retorted.

 

“When the Ghana Football Association thought it wise to airlift our players from Accra to Takoradi in order to shorten the distance, the South Africans decided to travel the 2-hour journey by road. Is that proper planning?

 

“The South Africans keep shifting goalposts. From being robbed by the referee to the match being manipulated by third parties to the match being played by ball boys.

 

“It is important that someone tells Danny [Jordaan] to speak the truth to the South African people to understand that their team, per their own judgement, is not good enough,” he added.

 

Ghana will face either Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia in the final playoff round for a place in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

PL: Impressive Watford humiliate Manchester United in 4-1 win as embarrassing Maguire sees red

More misery was heaped on beleaguered Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday as Watford sealed a deserved Premier League victory in front of a packed Vicarage Road.

 

In an electrifying first half, United were unable to deal with the high pressing of a well organised Hornets side and quickly found themselves in danger when Scott McTominay bundled forward Joshua King inside the box.

 

But United goalkeeper David de Gea came to the rescue as the Spaniard saved not one, but two Ismaila Sarr penalties. Each of the Senegal winger’s efforts were tame but Kiko Femenia managed to turn in the rebound from the first spot-kick, only for the goal to be ruled out because of player encroachment from both teams.

 

It was not long, however, before Sarr rectified his penalty misses by sending a right-footed shot across De Gea’s goal to double Watford’s lead after King had opened the scoring thanks to Emmanuel Dennis’ assist.

 

A second-half uprising saw forgotten man Donny van de Beek – brought on to replace McTominay, who received a yellow card – put the ball in the net from Cristiano Ronaldo’s knockdown following England winger Jadon Sancho’s searching cross.

 

But the nightmare continued for Solskjaer as Harry Maguire was booked twice in seven minutes and sent off.

 

A slither of hope looked to have arrived on 77 minutes when the lively Van de Beek found Ronaldo with a through-ball but the Portugal captain’s goal was ruled out for offside.

 

In the dying moments of the game, to the delight of the loud Watford faithful, Joao Pedro and Dennis added a third and fourth for Watford to pile more heartbreak on the travelling United supporters.

 

The defeat means United have tumbled down the table to seventh on 17 points, while Claudio Ranieri’s side are only four points behind them in 16th.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Ligue 1: Lionel Messi scores as 10-man PSG leave it late to beat Nantes

A late own-goal helped rescue 10-man PSG as they secured a 3-1 victory at Nantes.

 

Kylian Mbappe, who has been running down his contract ahead of an expected move to Spanish side Real Madrid, put his current side ahead after just two minutes.

 

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino had teamed the 22-year-old with both Lionel Messi and Neymar, but they were unable to add to their tally in the first of the first half.

 

In the second, Nantes applied the pressure and went close twice early on through Kalifa Coulibaly. The game started to settle out until Keylor Navas rushed out to clatter Ludovic Blas to prevent a goalscoring opportunity, and he was duly sent off.

 

Gianluigi Donnarumma was not given the nod despite his recent complaints over a lack of first-team action, with Sergio Rico on instead, and he soon made a vital point-blank reflex save.

 

Randal Kolo Muani brilliantly levelled for the home side when he backheeled the rebound from his own header past the line as Rico desperately tried to scoop it away moments too late.

 

There was more drama to come when with nine minutes of normal time remaining, Dennis Appiah’s attempt to cut out a Messi through-ball only to send it flying into the back of his side’s net, and Messi then added a late goal of his own in order to secure victory.

 

The result left Nantes in 11th, while PSG held onto first place.

 

Source: Modern Ghana

PL: Villa’s Gerrard era begins with win over Brighton

A stunning strike by Ollie Watkins and a late goal by Tyrone Mings gave Aston Villa a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday in Steven Gerrard’s first match as their new manager.

 

Villa scored on the counter-attack in the 84th minute after substitute Ashley Young carried the ball out of defence and found Watkins, who cut in from the left before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

 

Mings put the result beyond doubt when he scored Villa’s second in the 89th minute to snap their run of five league defeats that ended in the club sacking Dean Smith and replacing him with Gerrard on November 11.

 

The match looked headed for a goalless draw before the two late Villa strikes, with neither side able to carve out many clear-cut chances.

 

But Villa’s much-needed victory moved them up to 15th in the table on 13 points, four points above the relegation zone, while Brighton slipped one spot to eighth place.

 

Source: Modern Ghana