Burundi Government Says Will Not Join Peace Talks

Burundi’s government will not take part in peace talks with the opposition scheduled for Wednesday, a senior official said, casting doubts on efforts to end months of violence.Part-REF-TS-Par8166109-1-1-0

“No dialogue tomorrow neither on January 16 as many may think, because there has been no consensus on that date,” Joseph Bangurambona, the permanent secretary in Burundi’s foreign affairs ministry, told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

The talks in neighbouring Tanzania were announced last month as part of regional efforts to resolve a crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term in office – a move opponents described as violating the constitution.

On Monday, explosions hit the capital Bujumbura, injuring at least two people, police and civil society representatives said.

Two devices were thrown by people riding on motorcycles, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said.0,,18421771_303,00

The African Union (AU) has said that there may be “catastrophic consequences” for Burundi and the region if political differences are not resolved peacefully.

This comes a day after Burundi’s former army chief of staff Jean Bikomagu was assassinated, further indicating the possibility of renewed conflict in the country which has witnessed violence since April over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term.One of them hit the compound of a Catholic convent, causing a woman who had taken shelter there to lose a leg.

Nkurunziza won the July presidential elections despite deadly violence and boycott by the opposition parties and civil society groups.

AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Sunday called for “utmost restraint” from all sides.

“This despicable act, and multiple other acts of violence recorded in recent months, illustrates yet again the gravity of the situation in Burundi – and the real risk of seeing a further deterioration with catastrophic consequences both for the country itself, and for the whole region,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

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Gambian female workers mandated ‘to cover hair’

The Gambia’s government has banned its female employees from leaving their hair uncovered at work, a leaked memo quoted by private newspapers says.

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President Yahya Jammeh declared the Muslim-majority country an Islamic republic

Women should use a “head tie and neatly wrap their hair”, the memo said, without giving reasons for the ban.

Last month, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh declared the Muslim-majority country an Islamic republic.

He added that no dress code would be imposed and citizens of other faiths would be allowed to practise freely.

The Gambia is popular with Western tourists because of its beaches.

Mr Jammeh withdrew the former British colony from the Commonwealth in 2013, describing the organisation as neo-colonial._87485970_gettyimages-133959801

The United States Dissapointed Over Rwandan President’s Decision To Run for Third Term

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Paul Kagame could theoretically serve until 2034 under the recent changes to Rwanda’s constitution. Photograph: Solan Kolli/EPA/Corbis

Press Statement

John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 2, 2016
The United States is deeply disappointed that President Paul Kagame has announced his intention to run for a third term in office.
With this decision, President Kagame ignores an historic opportunity to reinforce and solidify the democratic institutions the Rwandan people have for more than twenty years labored so hard to establish.

The United States believes constitutional transitions of power are essential for strong democracies and that efforts by incumbents to change rules to stay in power weaken democratic institutions. We are particularly concerned by changes that favor one individual over the principle of democratic transitions.

As Rwanda moves toward local elections this year, presidential elections next year, and parliamentary elections in 2018, we call upon the Government of Rwanda to ensure and respect the rights of its citizens to exercise their freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful assembly — the hallmarks of true democracies.

The United States remains committed to supporting the free and full participation of the Rwandan people in the electoral processes ahead.

Sierra Leone ACC Boss now Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Sierra Leone: President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has appointed the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

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Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara

The minister of Agriculture  minister, Joseph Sam Sesay, has also been relieved of his duty and replaced with Prof. Monty Jones.

Below is the press release

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No More First Class Travel For Ghanaian Public Officials

The President of Ghana, John Mahama, has banned public officials from first class air travel in a renewed effort to cut wasteful spending.

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John Mahama: determined

Ghana – The ban, according to report,  come into effect as the country implements an IMF aid deal to revive state finances, the government said on Tuesday..

“The president issued the directive this week asking all ministers and other top officials to avoid ‘unwarranted’ foreign trips on the public purse,” said Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah.

Ghana, a major producer of cocoa, gold and oil, began a three-year program with the International Monetary Fund in April to fix its economy.

The country’s economy has been dogged by high deficits, a widening public debt and unstable local currency.

The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, told media on Tuesday the cabinet is also discussing a financial accountability bill.

The schedule would impose penalties such as dismissal or jail time for public officials who are found to violate it.

“It is expected to be clear enough to enable the general public to see malfeasance if there is any and hold the agency involved accountable,” he added.

Adapted from http://africanleadership.co.uk/

Sierra Leone Public and Political Affairs minister pledges Le40 M for Rehabilitation of Bai Burreh Memorial Hall

Port Loko, Sierra Leone – The minister of Public and Political Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay, has pledged the sum of forty million Leones (Le40M) as his personal contribution towards the rehabilitation of Bai Bureh Memorial Hall in Port Loko.

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Alhaji Kemoh Sesay

The minister who is an indigene of Port Loko district made the pledge at a meeting held in Port Loko over the weekend, which sources say marked the actualization of a long awaited dream by the people of the district.

The hall was named after Bai Bureh, Chief of the Temne, who led the Hot Tax War in 1898 in Sierra Leone.

Hon. Alhaji Kemoh Sesay said Port Loko is the birth place of the All Peoples Congress Party and it is proper for them to continue to play a fatherly role.

The Member of Parliament for Constituency 55, Hon. Binneh Bangura, said in his capacity as Deputy District Chairman of the APC, it is apparent that President Koroma would like to have his successor from Port Loko District and that the District should be in readiness to assume that responsibility when the time shall have come.

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“Bai Bureh, Chief of the Timini when a prisoner at Sierra Leone in 1898.”

Port Loko district was one of the hardest hit by the Ebola crises and one of the last hotspots in the fight against the virus.

Residents and indigenes of Port Loko district are hoping the pledge made by the minister will spur others to join the processes of building back the district.

“Port Loko needs intervention and we hope this pledge by Alhaji Kemoh Sesay will inspire others to contribute in the rebuilding of our shattered district,” said Kadiatu Bangura, a trader and resident of Kasseh.

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Bai Burreh Memorial Hall