A 50-year-old woman who tested positive in Uganda is the second patient to be killed by the Ebola virus, a health ministry official said Thursday, the second fatality since the virus spread from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. “The deceased has been confirmed as the grandmother of the five-year-old boy who died. Both victims had attended the burial of an Ebola patient in Congo, but returned to Uganda”, the official continued on condition of anonymity.
Arrangements are being made to bury the woman in Kasese, a district in western Uganda close to the DRC border, the official added. The health ministry announced Wednesday that Uganda had recorded three cases of Ebola infection in the first known cross-border spread since an outbreak began in eastern DRC last August.
All three were from a single family that travelled to DRC to care for a relative, who also died of Ebola. The five-year-old later died and his three-year-old brother and 50-year-old grandmother tested positive for the virus upon returning to Uganda. The grandmother is the second patient to be killed by the Ebola virus in Uganda.
The family was quarantined in a hospital in Bwera, in Kasese district. Eight others who had been in contact with them were also being monitored in an isolation ward. They and frontline health workers are due to be vaccinated Friday with a new drug designed to protect them against the virus, the health ministry said.
East Africa has been on high alert since the outbreak was declared in the eastern DRC provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. More than 2,000 cases have been recorded in DRC – around two-thirds of them fatal.
The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting Friday to determine whether to declare the outbreak “a public health emergency of international concern,” a major shift in the mobilisation against the disease.
National Oil Company warns that any attempt to disrupt the sector would escalate unrest
“Any deliberate disruption of oil sector operations will severely impact national revenue streams, potentially render NOC in contravention of contractual obligations
Libya’s National Oil Company has warned that any bid to tamper with the sector could escalate unrest in the country after the parliamentary speaker called for a halt to production. In a statement issued late Saturday, NOC said it “is concerned by recent calls for the shutdown of national oil production”.
“Any deliberate disruption of oil sector operations will severely impact national revenue streams, potentially render NOC in contravention of contractual obligations, and create further division in the country.” Libya has been in conflict since the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival administrations vying for power and to control its oil wealth.
The conflict has been exacerbated since April when commander Khalifa Haftar, who is based in the east of the country where most oil fields are located, launched an offensive against the capital Tripoli. The city is the seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), while the elected parliament which supports Haftar is based in eastern Libya.
Last week parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh Issa said oil production must cease, accusing the GNA of using oil revenues to finance the militias fighting Haftar, in an interview with an Egyptian news channel.
The country’s oil company, which is headquartered in Tripoli, has repeatedly insisted on its neutral status and refused to be drawn into the conflict. “This crucial source of income to the state, vital to all Libyans, must remain de-politicised and uninterrupted,” NOC said on Saturday.
But it also called for “economic transparency – including the equitable distribution of oil revenues nationally – to be embraced by all parties as an integral element of Libya’s future stability, and any lasting political settlement”. Libya’s oil revenues are managed by the country’s central bank, which is also based in Tripoli.
Both Haftar and the eastern parliament have repeatedly said that oil revenues are not evenly distributed and accuse the GNA of using the funds to finance its militias. Last month UN envoy Ghassan Salame said that Libya – which produces more than a million barrels of oil a day – was “committing suicide” and plundering its oil wealth to pay for the war.
On Saturday he met Haftar to discuss the Tripoli offensive and ways to “accelerate the transition towards reaching a political solution” in the country, the United Nations said.
Ivory Coast hope on Nicolas Pepe to banish memories of disastrous AFCON outing
The 2015 champions were held by Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and lost against Morocco to make an undignified exit from Gabon after the first round.
Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara sees Nicolas Pepe as one of the young stars who can banish the memories of a disastrous Africa Cup of Nations title defence two years ago. The 2015 champions were held by Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and lost against Morocco to make an undignified exit from Gabon after the first round.
Kamara hopes Pepe, the 22-goal second highest French Ligue 1 scorer last season behind superstar Kylian Mbappe, can ensure there is no repeat of that debacle in Egypt. “We are building a team to match the great ones of the past and hope players like Nicolas can take us a long way in Egypt,” said Kamara.
Ivory Coast is in Group D with South Africa – who they face in Cairo on Monday – Morocco and Namibia, a section widely regarded as the toughest of the six to qualify from. Here is a preview of the three-match Monday schedule, which also includes a Group E double-header in Suez involving Angola, Mali, debutants Mauritania and Tunisia.
Ivory Coast v South Africa – these countries resume a rivalry 21 years after drawing 1-1 in Burkina Faso, and a similar outcome at the Al Salam Stadium would not be surprising as neither side dare lose. “As much as every team wants to win its first tournament match, it is crucial not to lose because it puts you on the back foot immediately,” says South Africa coach Stuart Baxter.
While Ivory Coast has a potential matchwinner in Pepe from Ligue 1 runners-up Lille, South Africa hope Percy Tau can rise to the occasion after a season in the Belgian second division. The slightly-built attacker was signed by Premier League outfit Brighton last season, lent to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium, and his brace against Libya ensured qualification for Egypt.
South Africa had a puzzling build-up with Baxter rejecting a chance to play in a regional championship, then complaining that he had only one warm-up match, a draw against Ghana.
Angola v Tunisia – This is another match that brings together teams for only the second time in the Cup of Nations, with a goalless draw 11 years ago in Ghana ensuring both of quarter-finals places. It will be a record-extending 14th straight appearance at the tournament by the Tunisians, who failed to go beyond the group stage only four times.
“Our first target is the quarter-finals and after that, we shall see,” says cautious Tunisia coach and 19080s France star Alain Giresse. “Tunisia has been serious contenders in many Cup of Nations and my dream is to take them back to the top,” he said.
Angola is a workmanlike side whose star is a wide attacker from Egyptian giants Al Ahly nicknamed Geraldo – real name Hermenegildo da Costa Paulo Bartolomeu.
Mali v Mauritania – Mali created several negative pre-tournament headlines with FIFA threatening to ban the country from the Cup of Nations over squabbling among officials.
Mohamed Magassouba then took four days longer than any of the other 23 coaches to name his squad, without offering an explanation.
Such chaotic build-ups can build team unity or destroy it as Mali seek to regain a reputation for punching well above their weight in the African showpiece. “We have to do better than in the last two tournaments,” stressed defender Hamari Traore, referring to first-round exits in 2015 and 2017 without winning even one match.
Long-time pushovers Mauritania has improved steadily under French coach Corentin Martins, whose aim in Egypt is simply to “be competitive and achieve some victories”.
Court in Sudan orders authorities to resume internet services
Internet on mobile phones and fixed land connections was cut across Sudan by the ruling military council
A Sudanese court Sunday ordered authorities to end a nationwide internet blockade imposed by the ruling generals after a deadly crackdown on protesters earlier this month, a lawyer said.
Crowds of protesters were violently dispersed on June 3 by men in military fatigues, who stormed a weeks-long protest camp outside the army headquarters in Khartoum where they had camped to demand that the generals step down.
Internet on mobile phones and fixed land connections was cut across Sudan by the ruling military council, with users saying it was done to prevent further mobilisation of protesters.
Lawyer Abdelazim al-Hassan said he had filed a petition against the blockade, and on Sunday a court in Khartoum ordered that the services be resumed.
“I had filed the case 10 days ago and Judge Awatef Abdellatiff ordered the telecommunications department to resume the internet services immediately,” Hassan said. Authorities can appeal the decision.
For the generals the internet and social media are a threat.
“Regarding social media, we see during this period that it represents a threat for the security of the country and we will not allow that,” military council spokesman General Shamseddine Kabbashi said earlier this month.
The internet blockade was an attempt to quell new protests against the generals, who have so far resisted to hand power to a civilian administration as demanded by demonstrators, protest leaders say.
Tens of thousands of protesters were mobilised through online social media apps during the months-long campaign against the now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.
Protest leaders have resorted to neighbourhood campaigns to keep their movement alive, with activists mobilising supporters in night-time gatherings, witnesses said.
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