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Chad suspends 10 parties for ‘disturbing public order’

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The government of Chad on Wednesday suspended 10 opposition parties for “disturbing public order” and “inciting violence” after they backed trade union calls for a mass protest over austerity measures.

The parties’ activities “have been suspended for a duration of two months,” Security Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said in a statement.

Citing security reasons, the authorities also announced on the radio that a march scheduled for Thursday by civil groups, trade unions and opposition politicians had been banned.

Chad is imposing cuts in public spending that the finance ministry says are vital to stave off bankruptcy.

The government is under pressure to cut costs to meet performance targets under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid programme.

The IMF opened up a $312 million (254 million euro) credit line last June. To gain a second tranche of credit, Chad has to improve its state finances and conclude negotiations with commodities trader Glencore over a debt of $1.45 billion, according to an informed source.

The government is lowering the wages of civil servants and increasing income tax, citing 800 billion CFA francs (1.2 billion euros/$1.5 billion) of debt to commercial banks and a sevenfold increase in the number of public servants over the past decade.

Civil service salaries in 2017 totalled 376 billion CFA francs, roughly the equivalent of the combined revenue from income tax and customs duties, according to official figures given to AFP.

Chad has endured two years of severe recession worsened by a slump in oil prices. That, along with the spending cuts have increased social tension and anger at President Idriss Deby, who has been in power since 1990.

Almost half the population of 14 million lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.

Trade unions initiated an indefinite general strike in the state sector on January 29, and followed this with strikes in the private sector on Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday’s planned rallies were preceded by a similar “Day of Anger” on January 25, which was also banned.

The 10 suspended parties include the Democratic Party of the Chadian People (PDPT), led by lawmaker Djimet Clement Bagao, which took part in a march on Tuesday called by unions.

The demonstration was dispersed by police, causing injuries, according to the opposition.

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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