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24 Hours Across Africa

Ethiopia’s leader to meet Sudan over its crisis.

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Source:Reuters

Ethiopia’s prime minister arrived in Khartoum on Friday to meet the chief of Sudan’s ruling military council in a bid to mediate in the political crisis that has followed the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

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“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, together with his delegation, arrived in Khartoum, Sudan, this morning for talks,” Abiy’s office said on Twitter.

A diplomatic source said on Thursday that Ethiopia planned to meet members of both the ruling Transitional Military Council headed by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the opposition. Abiy’s exact schedule for Friday was not known.

The Ethiopian initiative follows the worst bloodshed in Sudan since Bashir was ousted by the military after four months of protests against his repressive three-decade rule.

The opposition says 108 people were killed in the storming of a civilian protest camp on Monday and a subsequent wider crackdown. The government put the toll at 61 people, including three security personnel.

The African Union on Thursday suspended Sudan until the establishment of civilian rule, intensifying global pressure on the military leaders to stand down

Both sides had been in talks over a civilian-led transition to democracy. But the already faltering negotiations collapsed in the wake of the crackdown.

Abiy Ahmed, who took office in Ethiopia last year and introduced political and economic reforms, has won wide praise for his diplomacy skills, including brokering peace with his country’s neighbor and long-time foe Eritrea.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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