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Nigerian oil union begins nationwide strike

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One of Nigeria’s largest oil unions launched a nationwide strike on Monday over the laying off of its workers, its general secretary said.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), whose members mainly work in the upstream oil industry, started the industrial action after talks with government agencies ended in deadlock, said Lumumba Okugbawa.

The move could hit the country’s crude oil production and dent exports, as was the case in December 2016 during industrial action by the union against Exxon Mobil. Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude exporter and oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

“PENGASSAN is on industrial action as a result of unfair labour practices by some companies, particularly indigenous oil and gas companies,” said Okugbawa.

The dispute arose after domestic oil and gas companies and marginal field operators laid off members of the union. Marginal fields refer to discoveries made by oil majors during exploration of larger acreage but which have been left for others to develop.

The union leader said office workers and staff working in distribution were among those taking part in the strike. He did not disclose the estimated number of workers involved in the strike.

Nigeria’s crude production has fluctuated over the last two years due to militant attacks, pipeline theft and industrial action.

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Protest leader arrested, charged with inciting violence in Zimbabwe.

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Armed police in Zimbabwe have arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

It comes as protests against fuel price hikes enters day 3 Wednesday. Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor, rose to prominence as a critic of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Beatrice Mtetwa is lawyer for Evan Mawarire.



Businesses and schools remain closed while mobile telecom networks enforce a government internet shut down in this Southern African nation.

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“I cannot say the stay away has been successful but at the end of the day we await to hear what the government will do because the people have spoken, they were not happy and up to now they are still in fear”, said Harare resident, Ronald Gwasira.

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“The way it looks people want to go to work but unfortunately it seems the transport operators are not willing to take them”, said Terrence Gumbi, another resident.

Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices.

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Kenya: Uhuru Kenyata promises avenge terror attack in Nirobi.

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Kenyan security forces have neutralised all four terrorists involved in the attack on a hotel complex in the capital Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday.

Kenyatta said about 700 people had been safely evacuated, vowed to avenge the 14 “innocent” lives lost.



“We are a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children. We will pursue relentlessly those involved in the planning and execution of this attack,” the president said.

‘‘I take note of Kenyans who took to social media to spread hope and criticise false information. You have shown the world bravery, patriotism and love.’‘

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he attack in numbers

  • 14 civilians confirmed dead

  • 700 people safely evacuated

  • 4 attackers neutralised

Victims

An earlier estimate put the death toll at 15.

Timeline of the attack

  • Tuesday 3pm (local time): Attack on dusitD2 hotel begins with two explosions

  • Tuesday 5:55pm: Al Shabaab claims responsibility

  • Tuesday night: AU, EU, UN, United States, Somalia condemn the attack

  • Tuesday night : Police announces it has secured 7 out of eight floors

  • Wednesday 6am: Gunshots ring out as police say at least two groups of people still trapped inside complex

  • Wednesday 8am: President Kenyatta declares terror attack and security operation ‘over’.

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