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Ethiopia: Major opposition parties merge as elections draw near.

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Two major opposition parties in Ethiopia have announced a merger as the country heads into elections slated for the year 2020. The move comes weeks after state-run FBC reported of talks to that effect.

The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), said they had “reached an agreement to work together to represent Oromia and the Oromo people’s interest.



OLF until recently was considered a terrorist organization by the government. OFC on the other hand remained a political group in the country during the height of Oromo protests that rocked the country partly contributing to change in leadership of government earlier this year.

Two of its leaders – Dr. Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba – became the face of the political struggle as they faced multiple criminal charges and spent long periods in detention. The state has since dropped the cases against them.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has stressed on occasions that the ruling EPRDF coalition was committed to ensuring the Ethiopia goes through free and fair elections in 2020.

Activists and political watchers have increasingly called for Addis Ababa to begin work on reforming the electoral system and the wider political playing field to guarantee a credible process.

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South Africa: Ex-Mandela cop wins appeal against police minister

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Major General Andre Lincoln, a policeman chosen by then-president Nelson Mandela to head an elite presidential investigative unit, has won an appeal in a civil case against the police minister in the Western Cape High Court.



Lincoln confirmed on Monday that his appeal, which is related to at least 15 years of legal wrangling, had been successful.

It is not yet clear how Lincoln now plans to proceed with the matter.

The judgment found that Lincoln had not proved a malicious prosecution in terms of some of the charges, that of drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident.

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However, it said in terms of the remaining charges, which he was previously charged with in a regional court, his claims against the defendant succeeded with costs.

The Minister of Safety and Security was therefore ordered to pay Lincoln’s costs in the appeal, which included the costs of two counsel.

Lincoln previously claimed that he had been involved in highly sensitive investigations, including a suspected plot by cops to kill Mandela at his 1994 inauguration, which he claimed was “covered up”.

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He had also previously faced 47 criminal charges and was convicted of 17 of these in 2003.

Lincoln then appealed the conviction and was acquitted on all the charges.

He believed that, due to the critical investigations he was busy with, other senior police officers had set him up and had him criminally charged.

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Dozens die as mud destroys Uganda villages

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A landslide following heavy rains in eastern Uganda has killed more than 40 people.



It is feared that the death toll could rise as a government rescue team reaches the Mount Elgon area.

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A river burst its banks and a torrent of mud and water swept villages away. Pictures from the scene show people retrieving bodies from the mud and carrying them away.

People gather at the scene of a landslide in Bududa area in eastern Uganda,

A landslide in the same region, Bududa, killed more than 300 people in 2010.

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