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U.S SANCTIONS D R C GENERAL, REBELS OVER PROTEST CRACKDOWN.

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The United States issued sanctions on Monday targeting four military and militia leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo for engaging in “destabilizing activity” that has prolonged the conflict in that country, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Those sanctioned included Muhindo Akili Mundos, a general in the armed forces accused of a brutal crackdown on civilians in his sector. Senior rebels from three different militant groups also were sanctioned: Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga, Guidon Shimiray Mwissa and Lucien Nzabamwita, the Treasury said in a statement.

The U.S. action came days after the U.N. Security Council blacklisted the men for “planning, directing, or committing acts in the DRC that constitute human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.”

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 have been killed in anti-Kabila demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa and other parts of the country.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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