Anger over re-introduction of tampon tax in Tanzania
A decision by Tanzania’s government to reintroduce a tax on sanitary pads and tampons has angered women in the country, with one activist saying it would have “heavy consequences” for women.
Taxes on female sanitary products — which are basic necessities — have come under increasing scrutiny across the globe, and Tanzania in 2018 decided to join those nations scrapping Value Added Tax on pads and tampons.
However the tax was re-introduced during the unveiling of this year’s budget last week with finance minister Philip Mpango saying retailers did not pass the benefit to consumers.
Sudan generals call for joint AU, Ethiopia transition plan
Sudan’s army rulers on Sunday appealed to the African Union and Ethiopia to unify their efforts in outlining a blueprint for a political transition in the crisis-hit country.
The generals, who seized power after ousting president Omar Bashir in April, expressed reservations about an Ethiopian proposal that, according to protest leaders, calls for a civilian-majority ruling body.
Ethiopia and the African Union have stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Sudan which has been wracked by tensions between the protest leaders and generals.
Mauritania ruling party’s Ghazouani declared presidential vote winner
Mauritania’s ruling party candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has won the presidential election with 52 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced Sunday, with opposition candidates crying foul.
Ghazouani obtained 52.01 percent of votes cast in Saturday’s presidential poll, easily beating main opposition opponents Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid (18.58 percent) and Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar (17.87 percent), according to the official figures.
Boubacar, addressing a news conference along with three other candidates, charged that “multiple irregularities… eliminated any credibility” of the election in the West African desert nation.
Chadian soldiers killed in Boko Haram attack: authorities
At least 11 Chadian soldiers were killed in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists at Lake Chad, the latest in a surge of attacks in the region, authorities said on Sunday.
“The Chadian army lost 11 men including three officers… and six soldiers were wounded,” the regional authority told AFP.
It added that Chadian forces killed “26 Boko Haram members” in fighting at Tchoukoutalia after the soldiers recovered cattle that the militants had seized.
Boko Haram militants have been waging a decade-long insurgency in northwest Nigeria, but the conflict has spilled into the Lake Chad region where Nigeria borders Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Ethiopia army chief, local officials killed amid regional ‘coup’ bid
Ethiopia’s army chief and a top local leader have been shot dead during an attempt to overthrow a regional government in the north of the country, underscoring political instability as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tries to reform the nation.
Violence flared on Saturday afternoon in Amhara, one of nine autonomous regions, when a “hit squad” attacked a meeting of top officials, Abiy’s office said Sunday.
Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told journalists the Amhara “coup attempt” was led by local security chief Asaminew Tsige, who was only last year released from almost a decade in prison over a 2009 coup plot.
The bodyguard has been apprehended while Asaminew was still on the loose, sources said.
Observers say that Abiy’s plans to hold an election in 2020 has stirred up bitter rivalries among politicians in the regions and seen a rise in ethno-nationalism.
Algeria arrests 18 protesters over Berber flag: lawyers
Algerian authorities on Sunday arrested 18 people who had brandished the Berber minority flag during an anti-government protest in Algiers despite a ban imposed by the military, their lawyers said.
They were detained during a mass protest Friday by Algerians demanding a political overhaul in the country where veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in April after weeks of demonstrations against his rule.
The suspects were accused of “undermining national unity” and could be sentenced to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Moroccans protest against US-led Mideast economic plan
Thousands protested Sunday in Morocco against a planned conference in Bahrain where the economic component of a US-led plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians is set to be unveiled.
Demonstrators gathered in the capital Rabat burned an Israeli flag near Morocco’s parliament and shouted “Death to Israel!” and “Death to the United States!”
The economic aspects of the US plan — dubbed the Peace to Prosperity workshop — are set to be discussed by attendees at a meeting in Manama on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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