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Doubts trail Kabila’s ‘ready to step down’ declaration

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President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Joseph Kabila has agreed to step down when elections are held later this year. This is according to the information minister Lambert Mende in an interview with the Voice of America channel.

According to the minister, Kabila will, however, name a successor in July this year. He is barred from contesting for another term under the constitution.

His final term expired in late 2016 but an earlier court ruling said he could stay in charge till when elections are next held. The Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) says the inability to organize polls was based on the lack of an updated register and insecurity in parts of the country.

People on social media have reacted to Kabila’s promise to step down. There are those that doubt if the 47-year-old will leave especially given that he did not directly commit to go.

Others are concerned more about why he has taken it upon himself to openly elect a successor. For others, Kabila is only buying time till he pulls his next stunt.

A former United States Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State, Herman J. Cohen said he trusted Kabila to keep his word.

“In view of DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende’s statement in Washington January 31, I am now persuaded that there will be an election in December 2018, and that Kabila will not be candidate. Now vital that opposition unite around single candidate,” Cohen said in a tweet.

Joseph Kabila came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila. He has since won the last two elections organised in the resource – rich country, first in 2006 before his reelection for a final term in 2011. He was expected to step down in 2016 but failed to do so with the reason that the prevailing conditions were not suitable for an election.

The international community has pressed for elections to be held and for Kabila to step down.

A series of opposition protests have been clamped down by the police. The most recent being a peaceful march by the Catholic Church. Police fired tear gas as protesters holding green leaves and arrested a number of priests and portesters.

Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer but ranks very low on the U.N. Human Development Index. Congo has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Dozens were killed last month in demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa.

Kabila’s two main opponents are Felix Tshisekedi who leads the main opposition party – taking over the reigns from his late father Etienne Tshisekedi who died whiles seeking medical attention in Belgium in 2017.

The other opponent is a former ally and governor of the country’s Katanga Province Moise Katumbi. The owner of TP Mazembe football club is also in self-imposed exiled after a number of corruption charges were thrown at him. He promised to return in December 2017 but failed to do so.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Salah withdraws from Egypt Squad

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Egypt Football Federation has leave out Mohammed Salah on the upcoming AFCON qualifiers match with Kenya due to injury worries.

Egypt were grouped with kenya, Togo, Comoros in Group G, football fans has tipped Egypt to top the group due to their attacking threat.

The Egyptian talisman has now been ruled out of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers after due assessment by Egypt’s medical team.

The physios believe the Liverpool star’s injury, which was sustained from a challenge by Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury earlier last month, has been aggravated during the clash against Manchester City and needed time to heal.

The Egyptian frontman will miss the two matches scheduled this week.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures

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Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.

It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.

But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.

These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.

Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.

The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.

The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.

In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey

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