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ECOWAS issues sanctions over Guinea-Bissau political crisis

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West African regional bloc ECOWAS hit 20 Guinea-Bissau politicians and businessmen with sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on Tuesday, accusing them of undermining efforts to resolve a prolonged political crisis.

The decision followed the nomination by President Jose Mario Vaz of Augusto Antonio Artur da Silva to the post of prime minister late last month, in violation of a 2016 ECOWAS-brokered deal.

Among those targeted by the sanctions were members of Vaz’s parliamentary faction as well has his son, Emerson Goudiaby Vaz.

“The Conakry Accord has not been implemented and as a consequence it is appropriate to apply sanctions to those falling short,” the bloc said in a statement.

For over two years, Vaz has been embroiled in a bitter dispute within his own ruling African Party of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) that has hobbled the government.

The impasse has sparked regular protest marches and raised fears of instability that diplomats fear could be exploited by drug traffickers, who have long used the turbulent nation as a transit point for shipments between South America and Europe.

Under the ECOWAS deal aimed at ending the impasse, Vaz had been meant to name a prime minister agreed in consensus with the rival faction, which is headed by former prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.

But Pereira’s supporters have rejected Silva’s nomination.

Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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