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President Xi Jinping Speaks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the Phone

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President Xi Jinping spoke with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the phone on 25 February.

President Xi noted that at this critical moment of the Chinese people’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, this phone call as well as the two letters of sympathies from the Prime Minister attest to the profound friendship and mutual support between China and Ethiopia as comprehensive strategic cooperative partners. Ethiopia has followed WHO recommendations and kept its normal ties and exchanges with China. China appreciates such expression of confidence.

President Xi stressed that the fight against the epidemic is the top priority of the Chinese government. Out of a strong sense of responsibility for the life and health of its own people and that of the world community, China has activated a national response mechanism and taken the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures. Our efforts are producing notable results, leading to a positive turn in the trajectory of the epidemic. The epidemic will not undermine the solid foundation of China‘s steady development in the long run. Not only do we have the confidence, capability and determination to win this battle, we will also minimize its impact and strive to meet this year’s economic and social development targets.

President Xi noted that when African countries were struck by Ebola in 2014, the Chinese government and personnel were the first to provide help, which contributed to controlling the epidemic. Now as China is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, African countries and people are rendering support through one way or another, fully demonstrating a brotherly friendship of solidarity and mutual assistance between China and Africa in times of difficulty.

African countries also face some challenges in epidemic control. China stands ready to provide additional, urgently needed medical supplies including test reagent. China is also prepared to speed up the implementation of the health care initiative, one of the eight initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, advance work on building the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and step up China-Africa cooperation on public health and disease prevention and control. As for Ethiopian students and all other international students in China, the Chinese side will do its best to care for them like its own.

On behalf of the Ethiopian government and people, Prime Minister Abiy expressed sincere sympathies to the Chinese people, and commended China for its effective response measures. Prime Minister Abiy noted that following a people-centered approach, China has placed the life and health of the people front and center. China‘s whole-of-nation response to the outbreak has not only effectively contained it in China, but also played an important part in curbing its spread across the world. The international community has witnessed President Xi’s strong leadership and China‘s efficiency in fighting the epidemic, which is truly admirable. Ethiopia is proud of what China has managed to do, and firmly believes that under the wise and strong leadership of President Xi, China will overcome the epidemic at an early date and minimize its impact on economic and social development.

As a close friend and brother, China has always been there whenever Ethiopia needed help. Now that China encounters difficulties, the Ethiopian people will stand with the Chinese people and brave the challenge together. Ethiopia attaches great importance to its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China, and will work with China to deepen cooperation in various fields and pursue greater progress in bilateral relations and Africa-China relations.

 

Foreign

President Geingob proposes liquidation of country’s flag carrier Air Namibia

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Namibian President, Hage Geingob, has proposed the liquidation of the country’s flag carrier, Air Namibia.

Speaking to lawmakers while giving the State of the Nation Address, Geingob said since the airline was not making a profit, the country could not afford to keep rescuing it.

Air Namibia must be liquidated; we have a serious problem with Air Namibia.

“It must be restructured; it is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out.

“We must do something about it,’’ the President said.

Since October 2019, the airline has been forced to cut its operating costs to the bone after the treasury refused a 2-billion-Namibian-dollar ($118 million) bailout.

The airline had warned in November that it might be forced to shut down operations if it did not receive a rescue package.

The situation has been made dire by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which saw the airline freeze operations for about two months as the country was on lockdown.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Namibian president worried about country’s high debt stock

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Namibian President Hage Geingob on Thursday said he is concerned about the country’s projected debt stock for 2020/21, which has surpassed the debt threshold set by the Southern African Development Community.

“It is not acceptable, we did not expect the economic downturn, the drought, and COVID-19,” Geingob said during his State of the Nation Address.

“Now we have to divert funds. That debt is not sustainable. We must do something to bring it down. I admit the debt is not manageable. We must just do something to manage it,” he added.

According to the 2020 budget presented in parliament last week, Namibia’s debt stock for 2020/21 fiscal year is seen rising to 117.5 billion Namibian dollars (7 billion U.S. dollars), or 68.7 percent of its GDP, from the 54.8 percent estimated for the 2019/20 financial year.

The budget also shows that Namibia’s economy is expected to contract by 6.6 percent this year and by 1.1 percent in 2021.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Namibian president proposes liquidation of country’s flag carrier Air Namibia

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Namibian President Hage Geingob on Thursday proposed the liquidation of the country’s flag carrier Air Namibia.

Speaking to lawmakers while giving the State of the Nation Address, Geingob said since the airline was not making a profit, the country could not afford to keep rescuing it.

Air Namibia must be liquidated, we have a serious problem with Air Namibia. It must be restructured. It is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out. We must do something about it,” Geingob said.

In October 2019, the airline has been forced to cut its operating costs to the bone after the treasury refused a 2-billion-Namibian-dollar (118 million U.S. dollars) bailout, and warned in November that it might be forced to shut down operations if it did not receive a rescue package.

The situation has been made dire by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which saw the airline freeze operations for about two months as the country was on lockdown.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

2nd LD Writethru: Burundi court upholds Ndayishimiye’s victory in presidential election

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Burundi’s Constitutional Court on Thursday upheld the May 20 presidential poll results which showed Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling party as the winner.

Charles Ndagijimana, president of the Constitutional Court, dismissed the election irregularities reported by Burundi Catholic bishops and Agathon Rwasa, presidential candidate of the opposition National Council for Liberty party.

Ndagijimana said the reports were unfounded, adding that no reported irregularity can taint the results of the elections.

Ndayishimiye of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.72 percent of votes and Rwasa got 24.19 percent in the results announced by the country’s electoral commission on May 25.

Rwasa, who filed the case in the court on May 27, said he would appeal to the regional East African Community Court if the domestic court rejects his appeal.

The Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission earlier said the elections were held in a “good and fair” manner.

The Constitutional Court ruling now paves way for Ndayishimiye to succeed current president Pierre Nkurunziza who has been in power since 2005.

Under the country’s new constitution promulgated in June 2018, the presidential term was extended from five to seven years and the president is allowed to serve two consecutive terms.

Ndayishimiye, born in 1968, was minister of home affairs and public security.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Palestinian president highlights Palestinians’ unity, land’s integrity as priority

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday highlighted the unity of the Palestinian people and the integrity of the Palestinian land as the priority of the Palestinian leadership.

However, Abbas said the reconciliation between his Fatah party and Hamas, ruler of the Gaza Strip, must be based on the standards set by the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to his letter to the Arab Peace Group published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

“We are counting on support of the Arab peoples to the Palestinians’ steadfastness against the aggressive Israeli measures,” he said in the letter.

The Palestinian president wrote the letter in reply to a letter by the Arab Peace Group, in which the group called for a unified Arab position to face the Israeli annexation plan, especially after the Palestinian decision to cut off ties with Israel and the United States.

The Arab Peace Group is a think tank including former Arab presidents, prime ministers and ministers, as well as intellectual and cultural figures, that calls for Middle East peace.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Oyo gets new Customary Court of Appeal President

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Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde on Thursday swore in Justice Aderonke Aderemi as the President of the Customary Court of Appeal with a charge on people in positions of authority to always act with humility and “a sense of tomorrow”.

“Whatever position anyone occupies is only temporary. We must always know that tomorrow will come when you will be out and have to give an account,” Makinde said at the ceremony.

Makinde urged Aderemi to use the new position to ensure that justice was served and in a timely manner.

While congratulating the new officer, Makinde said that his appointment was a clear demonstration of the fact that the state government was committed to doing what was right “without any political or religious coloration or gender bias”.

“If you look at all the Justices here, they are women. If you also look at the first five officials of the government, two are women. That is how I really feel we should operate, because whatever position we are occupying is just temporary.

“I will leave my position as the governor of the state and your tenure will end one day, but I pray you will end well.

“I want to use you as a point of contact to officials and leaders occupying positions of authority. We must have that sense of humility and do what is right all the times.

“I don’t have any doubt that in your current position, not only will justice be served, it will be served in a timely manner. I wish you a successful tenure,” Makinde stated.

Speaking with newsmen, Justice Aderemi promised to put in her best to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

“I will put in my best as I have always done and continue to do my duty very well. I promise that cases will be attended to on time.

“My colleagues are working very hard and should continue to put in their best. We have a backlog of cases and shall deal with them on time.

To the Customary Court of Appeal, the issue of COVID-19 is a challenge because we have to find a way by which we are going to be sitting without feeling that we are not safe.

“Now, we are going to be scheming; we will be having a case at a time. We won’t be having too many lawyers or litigants in the court room, so that we will be able to observe social distancing very well.

“On rape cases, we will first of all have to get to increase the jurisdiction of the Customary Court of Appeal before we can deal them.

“As women judges, we have gone round the whole country, sensitising the people on what it means and the need to train our children.

“When you talk about rape, it could be the man or woman being raped. So, we take care of everybody. That is what I am going to do when we get there.” She said.

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Entertainment

Actors Guild set to eradicate sexual abuses in Nollywood —- National President

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The National President of  the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas, on Thursday said that he was comitted to eradicating all forms of abuses on actors in the Nollywood industry.

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Emeka Rollas, National President of AGN

Rollas told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that he had issued directives to Ronnie Dikko,

his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Sexual Harassment and Related Abuses, to open communication links on the issue.

“The recent revelation of alleged rape and sexual molestation on some individuals in the film industry is calling for serious attention and I must put an end to such an  abuse.

“It doesn’t speak well of us and of me  as the president of AGN, I must restore sanity into the Nollywood industry as part of my commitments toward  protecting my  members and the  image of this noble body.

“I have told my SSA to quickly open a special telephone line and an e-mail address through which the victims of this immoral act can reach out directly to the Guild.

” This wil  enable us seek redress and offer counseling process for complete healing to victims of sexual abuse,” he said.

He,  therefore , advised all victims of sexual abuse, molestations, financial demands and rape to make  the best use of the links to send their petitions and complaints to the guild.

He specifically directed victims to Ronnie Dikko who is the SSA and gave the  e-mail address as:

[email protected], or call 0705 397 5522 for direct information”.

According to him, the communication lines will be opened and all related matters will be treated with strict confidentiality and respect of victims.

Rollas also appealed to both seasoned and young  actors to feel free to speak out, promising that  their interests would  be protected.


Edited By: Josephine Obute/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Urgent: Burundian court confirms Evariste Ndayishimiye’s victory in presidential election

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Burundian constitutional court on Thursday said it approved the results of last month’s presidential election, declaring ruling party’s presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye as the president-elect.

The court also rejected the first runner-up’s complaints filed to the court, which challenged the provisional results announced on May 25.

The provisional results released by the National Independent Electoral Commission showed Ndayishimiye from the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.72 percent of votes in the presidential election, followed by National Council for Liberty’s Agathon Rwasa who got 24.19 percent of votes.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Turkey, Libya to enhance cooperation in Eastern Mediterranean: Turkish president

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Turkey and Libya agreed to further enhance their cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean over a deal made on maritime delimitation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“On maritime delimitation, we aim to improve our cooperation, including exploration and drilling,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Sarraj on Thursday met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara after GNA’s military said in a statement that they had regained control over Tripoli.

Erdogan welcomed the recent military success of the GNA forces.

Turkey supports the GNA both politically and militarily. Ankara deployed Turkish troops in Libya to train and advise forces loyal to Sarraj in Tripoli.

Sarraj and Erdogan discussed the ways of lifting embargos on Libya, the Turkish president said, “We are on the same page on the issue of continuation of oil exports of Libya,” he stated.

Erdogan called on international actors to prevent the “illegal” oil export of Hafter.

Sarraj expressed gratitude for Turkey’s “historical and responsible attitude.” He said they want to increase cooperation with Turkey.

Since the uprising which killed former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been divided between the powers of GNA and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

(XINHUA)

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