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OAS to isolate embattled Venezuelans leader in their annual meeting.

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Source: Reuters – Latin American leaders will seek to increase pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and further isolate the embattled leader when the Organization of American States (OAS) begins two days of meetings on Thursday in Medellin,

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The organization will also debate eventual sanctions on the oil-producing country, OAS secretary Luis Almagro said late on Wednesday, without giving further details.

Most of the 35 OAS members back Maduro’s rival Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency after rejecting the 2018 election due to massive irregularities.

But some countries still back Maduro or regularly abstain from votes on Venezuela and may prevent the body from reaching a consensus resolution.

“We need to keep working on an incremental process of pressure and this meeting is part of that process,” Almagro told journalists. “But we also recognize that every country has a sovereign right they can use on any of the items on the agenda.”

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, has remained in political limbo as its economic and humanitarian crises have worsened. Hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicines have led four million Venezuelans to flee.

Colombia has borne the brunt of the exodus, receiving an estimated 1.3 million migrants.

Although Venezuela announced its withdrawal from the OAS in April 2017, its political situation has dominated recent meetings.

The OAS accepted Guaido appointee Gustavo Tarre as a representative to the body from Venezuela’s National Assembly.

Almagro, a diplomat from Uruguay, said earlier on Wednesday that Maduro was destroying democratic institutions and the rule of law. He highlighted child malnutrition and the deaths of patients in hospitals due to lack of medical treatment.

Maduro has accused the OAS, which is based in Washington D.C., of being a pawn of the United States.

The assembly will also address the situation in Nicaragua, which is facing a political crisis amid protests against President Daniel Ortega.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb, Helen Murphy and Michael Perry


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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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24 Hours Across Africa

South Africans ask Nigerians for forgiveness as they troop out in masses

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Say no to Xenophobia, South Africans troop out in masses carrying banner and asking for forgiveness from Nigerians after weeks of xenophobic attacks.

The south Africans sangs as they marched through the street and also held up a banner which called for unity among Africans, week after the attack which led to destruction of properties and looting of shops owned by foreigners.

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