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Angola: Ex-president Dos Santos steps down as MPLA party leader

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Dos Santos

The former president of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos who earlier this month said he made mistakes during his long rule but declared was holding his “head high” as he stepped down as leader of the ruling MPLA party.



The political exit of dos Santos came as President Joao Lourenco, a former defense minister, pledges to dismantle corruption that flourished under his predecessor, who took power in 1979.

At a party congress, more than 98 percent of the delegates elected Lourenco as the new chief of the MPLA, which has led oil-rich Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975.

In departing remarks, the 76-year-old dos Santos said he had not expected to be in power so long and that no “human activity” is free of mistakes.

Dos Santos defended his record and said the MPLA, whose Portuguese acronym means Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, was a party of transformation. He told more than 2,000 delegates he was ready to hand over party leadership.

The former president, who has had health problems, did not run in elections last year and instead campaigned for Lourenco as the ruling party’s candidate. Despite the show of unity, divisions emerged soon after the election.

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While some observers did not expect Lourenco to move boldly against his predecessor’s legacy, one of the new president’s first acts was to fire Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s daughter, as chair of state-owned oil company Sonangol.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos, son of the former president, was fired from his post at the helm of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund.

Angola’s main opposition party, UNITA, has questioned how far Lourenco will go to dismantle state corruption.

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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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