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US imposes financial sanctions on CAR militia leaders

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The United States has imposed financial sanctions against two militia leaders accused of collaborating on violence intended to destabilise the Central African Republic, which is struggling to end years of division and bloodshed.

John Smith, director of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said the assets of Abdoulaye Hissene and Maxime Mokom were both frozen, although it was not clear whether either holds any property within US jurisdiction.

Generally, US nationals are also prohibited from transactions with those under sanctions.

Hissene is a chief in the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition that ousted then-President Francois Bozize in 2013. Mokom is an leader in the Christian militias known as anti-balaka, which arose in reaction to Bozize’s ouster.

Violence between the Seleka and the anti-balaka, which included waves of ethnic cleansing, has left the country deeply divided along religious fault lines.

Smith said: “today’s action underscores our ongoing efforts to target those responsible for fuelling violence and human rights abuses in the Central African Republic.”

The allegations against Hissene and Mokom, who initially hailed from rival armed factions, underline the increasingly convoluted web of alliances between rebels and militias that continue to undermine security despite successful elections.

US authorities accuse them of collaborating as part of a plot to overthrow Central African Republic’s transitional government in September 2015 and attempting to derail through violence a constitutional referendum later that year.

They were suspected of planning to disrupt the arrival of President Faustin-Archange Touadera at the airport in the capital, Bangui, June 2016, raising fears of a possible coup attempt.

“From seemingly opposing sides of the conflict, Hissene and Mokom have in the past few years conspired to keep the war going, much for their own personal benefit,” said Ruben de Koning of The Sentry, which researches the financing of conflict in Africa.

Both Hissene and Mokom have commanded fighters during a new wave of clashes that has struck the centre of the country since November.

The violence, among the worst since 2015-16 elections, has stretched the capacity of a UN peacekeeping mission and highlighted the chaos that still reigns in much of the former French colony.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Man United sweating over De Gea fitness

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Manchester united has suffer injury blow after David de Gea picked up a muscle injury on international duty, Spain took no chances to substitute him with Kepa Arrizabalaga in 60minutes.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not given any update on his fitness ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool.

The United goalkeeper appeared to tweak a hamstring while taking a goal kick during the second half of Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden on Tuesday night.

They face current league leaders Liverpool who possess a potent front three in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and Solskjaer will be desperately hoping his star goalkeeper will be fit, with United on a woeful run of form.

While, United could be without their De gea and Paul pogba this weekend, Liverpool are set to welcome back their star goalkeeper Alisson.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Bahaa admits standing-in for Mo Salah in Tv ads

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Ahmad Bahaa says he has acted as a stand-in for the Liverpool and Egypt striker in TV commercials.

Electronics engineer Bahaa told an Egyptian talk show on Al-Nahar TV he had appeared as Salah in mobile phone and soft drinks adverts, as well as an anti-drugs campaign.

“I did several ads with Salah,” he said.

Bahaa only appears in wide shots, not close-ups.

Mo Salah and Ahmad Bahaa

Seeing double? Mo Salah and his lookalike

“Salah of course can’t stay for long to shoot a single ad,” Bahaa explained.

“I would spend a couple of days [shooting] here, while they complete [filming] with him in England.

“This is just to speed up the process because he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.”

@ Anttention Fresh,                
We work hard to ensure that any news brought to you is legitimate and valuable so we leave out the noise. This material, and other digital content on this website, may be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part BUT give us credit as your source. 

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