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South Sudan heads lack leadership skills, says White House.

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The United States doubts whether South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar have the leadership qualities needed to deliver peace to the country at war since 2013, the White House said on Sunday.

Peace talks last week in the South Sudanese capital Juba need to be more inclusive to succeed, the White House said, adding that it will impose fresh sanctions on anyone who threatens the country’s stability.



The statement constitutes tough U.S. language about South Sudan, a country whose independence in 2011 Washington backed after a war with Sudan that lasted decades. Since then, tens of thousands have been killed in a civil war.

We are deeply concerned about the direction of the current peace process …. A narrow agreement between elites will not solve the problems plaguing South Sudan,” said the statement.

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It implored the warring parties to implement a ceasefire as a first step and condemned a move by the country’s parliament to extend the government’s term in office.

“South Sudan’s political leaders … have not demonstrated the leadership required to bring genuine peace … We remain sceptical that they can oversee a peaceful and timely transition to democracy and good governance,” it said.

On June 13, a U.S.-drafted resolution at the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo.

South Sudan’s parliament voted this month to extend Kiir’s mandate until 2021, a move likely to undermine the peace talks as opposition groups say the change is illegal.

Last week Kiir said he is ready to accept a peace deal to end the war and set up an inclusive new government. The proposed deal would give the country five vice presidents and also covers security and power sharing arrangements.

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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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