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EXILED CONGOLESE OPPOSITION LEADER TO CONTEST FOR PRESIDENCY

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Exiled Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi vowed on Monday to return to Democratic Republic of Congo by June to lodge his candidacy for a presidential election to replace President Joseph Kabila, currently scheduled for December.

“I’m not scared of returning to Congo,” Katumbi told a news conference in Johannesburg. He left Congo in May 2016 for medical treatment after being accused by prosecutors of hiring mercenaries.

“I will be there to present my candidacy,” he said, although he declined to give a more precise date.

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The TP Mazembe owner and bankroller is sought after by Congolese authorities over two cases his lawyers says are merely political witch hunts. Law enforcement authorities have promised to arrest him if he returns to the country.

The political climate is very tense in the DRC where the mandate of President Kabila ended on December 20, 2016. Elections are scheduled for December 23, 2018.

For the past three months, marches – banned by the authorities – have been held at the call of Catholic church to ask President Kabila to declare publicly that he would contest as a candidate. 14 people have so far died as a result.

The opposition accuses President Kabila of looking for ways to extend his stay in power.

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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