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Kevin Boateng completes loan move to bacome first Ghanian to play for Barcelona.

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Spanish and European football giants, Barcelona, have confirmed the signing on loan of former Ghana international, Kevin Prince Boateng.

The 31-year-old becomes the first Ghanaian and fourteenth African player to wear the colours of the Catalan club.

“FC Barcelona and US Sassuolo have arrived at an agreement for the loan of the player Kevin-Prince Boateng for the remainder of the 2018/19 season. The agreement includes an €8m purchase option,” the club said in a statement on Monday, January 21.



Kevin and his footballer brother Jerome were born to a Ghanaian and a German couple. His brother, however, opted to play for the German national team.

He, on the other hand, was an international in Germany’s lower national teams until he achieved dual German-Ghanaian nationality in 2010.

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He was part of Ghana Black Stars that played in two World Cups – South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. He faced his brother when Ghana and Germany met in both tournaments.

The first match ended 0-1 in favour of the German team, while in 2014 the match ended with a heroic 2-2 draw.

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Boateng becomes the 14th African footballer to wear the Barca shirt. Other notable African players to have played for the side include: Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o Fils, Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure and Seydou Keita of Mali.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Cameroon crisis: Ambazonia separatists get life sentences

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A leader of Cameroon’s separatist movement, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, and nine of his followers have been given life sentences by a military court in the capital, Yaoundé.

They were convicted of rebellion, among other charges.

Their lawyers accused the judge of bias and withdrew from the proceedings.

The English-speaking separatists argue they are marginalised by the bureaucracy and school system in the majority French-speaking country.

The defendants had been arrested in Nigeria in January 2018 and deported back to Cameroon.

The court session on the verdicts, which started on Monday, went on until 05:30 (04:30 GMT) local time Tuesday morning, reports the BBC’s Leocadio Bongben.

By that time the defence lawyers had already withdrawn from the proceedings but continued to stay in the court as spectators.

Defence barrister Joseph Fru said there were irregularities in the proceedings, including the judge’s biases, but the military court rejected his evidence.

The long list of charges included rebellion, complicity in terrorism, financing terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, propagation of fake news and lack of identification.

The court also ordered the 10 to pay a fine of 250bn CFA francs ($422m; £359m) to the government for civil damages and 12bn CFA francs for court costs.

What’s happening in Cameroon?

Among the 10 who were convicted was Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the so-called Governing Council of Ambazonia – the name separatists have given to Cameroon’s Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.

Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

The current crisis started in 2016 when lawyers and teachers went on strike over the use of French in courts and schools.

In October 2017, activists declared autonomy over the two English-speaking regions – a move rejected by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

Some took up arms in 2017 and the crisis has forced more than 500,000 people from their homes.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Saudi Arabia implements end to travel restrictions for Saudi women: agency

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Reuters – Saudi Arabia has begun implementing previously announced changes that allow adult women to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

“The passports and civil status departments and their branches in all regions of the kingdom have started to implement the amendments stipulated in the royal decree,” the report said, citing an interior ministry source.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Gareth Jones

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