Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was buried in Cairo Tuesday, a day after he died following his collapse in court and nearly six years since his ouster by now President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, leaving the country in a leadership crisis as the incumbent plans perpetuity.
Here are key dates in Egypt since the Tahrir Square-led revolt known as the ‘January 25 revolution’ which drove Morsi’s predecessor Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011.
On January 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians, inspired by the Tunisian revolt that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, protest in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt demanding longtime dictator Mubarak’s overthrow.
On February 11, after days of vast protests centred in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Mubarak’s newly appointed vice president Omar Suleiman announces that the president has resigned and the army is in charge.
A crackdown on the protests has left at least 850 dead.
Islamist parties win a majority of seats at parliamentary elections between November 2011 and January 2012.
On June 30, 2012, Morsi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, wins 51.7 percent of the vote to become Egypt’s first civilian, democratically elected president. He is also the first Islamist to head the country.
Egypt’s military rulers dissolve parliament in June. In August, Morsi dismisses military chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and replaces him with Sisi, in a purge of top brass.
On July 3, 2013, following massive protests against Morsi’s divisive rule, the military led by Sisi overthrows Morsi and detains him. Morsi denounces a coup and calls on his supporters to defend his legitimacy.
On August 14, police disperse two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, killing about 700 people in clashes, according to official figures.
The government names the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation” in December.
Sisi is elected president with 96.9 percent of the vote in May 2014. His election comes after the approval of a new constitution bolstering the military’s powers.
In late 2015 a new parliament is elected, packed with Sisi supporters.
Sisi presides over a fierce clampdown. Hundreds of suspected Islamists are sentenced to death or life in prison in mass trials slammed by rights groups.
Secular opposition activists are also jailed.
Local and international rights groups accuse the regime of torture, forced disappearances, summary executions and repression of dissent.
The authorities deny the accusations, pointing to the need for stability and the fight against terrorism.
The country also witnesses deadly attacks, perpetrated mainly by the Islamic State group, which kills hundreds of police officers and soldiers in attacks centred on the Sinai peninsula.
On October 31, 2015, a Russian airliner carrying tourists from an Egyptian beach resort explodes after taking off, killing all 224 people on board. IS says it had planted a bomb on the plane.
On November 24, 2017, a suspected IS attack on a mosque in the Sinai leaves more than 300 dead.
More than 100 die in attacks on Christians, also claimed by the group.
In February 2018, the army launches a vast “anti-terrorist” operation.
Backing for Sisi
In February 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Cairo for the first time in a decade and signs a deal to build the first Egyptian nuclear power plant.
In March 2015, the Obama administration lifts a partial freeze on military assistance decided after Morsi’s overthrow.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia visits Egypt in April 2016.
In April 2017, US President Donald Trump praises Sisi as the Egyptian leader visits Washington. Sisi is hosted at the White House for a second time in April 2019.
In October 2018, Sisi visits Paris, where he receives strong support from President Emmanuel Macron, who in turn visits Egypt the following January.
In March 2018, Sisi is re-elected with 97.08 percent of the vote. His only opponent is one of his supporters.
In April 2019, a controversial constitutional revision allowing the extension of Sisi’s presidency and strengthening his powers is approved by referendum.
On June 17, 2019, Morsi collapses in court during a retrial over charges of collaborating with foreign powers and militant groups.
He arrives at hospital dead, according to the attorney general’s office.
Rights groups say the Islamist was denied medical treatment in detention and demand an investigation.
PepsiCo to buy South Africa’s Pioneer Foods for $1.7 billion
PepsiCo has offered 110 rand per Pioneer ordinary share in what would be its second largest deal since 2010
PepsiCo has struck a deal to buy South Africa’s Pioneer Food Group for $1.7 billion, the companies announced on Friday, lifting Pioneer’s shares and boosting a sector that has been hit by drought and tough trading conditions.
The U.S. drinks and snack group see Pioneer Foods’ product portfolio as complementary to its own and would help PepsiCo to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by adding manufacturing and distribution capabilities.
“Pioneer Foods forms an important part of our strategy to not only expand in South Africa, but further into sub-Saharan Africa as well,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a statement.
PepsiCo has offered $7.89 per Pioneer ordinary share in what would be its second largest deal since 2010, the companies said, with the news lifting the South African company’s shares by 29.32% to more than 100 rand.
Shares in agribusiness investment company, Zeder Investments, which holds Pioneer as part of its portfolio, also rose more than 22%.
“It’s a vote of confidence in South Africa at a time when we really need it,” Pioneer CEO Tertius Carstens says.
Food producers have struggled amid a slump in retail sales as consumers cut back and dry weather hit maize and other produce.
Pioneer, which uses maize in many of its products, reported a decline in half-year earnings in May, weighed down by shortages in the staple food.
“It’s almost a signal to other overseas companies that we are open for business. If PepsiCo is willing to put money down it may lift sentiment of other foreign investors that might come looking at South Africa for bargains,” said Greg Davies, equities trader at Cratos Capital.
Pioneer, whose brands include Weet-Bix cereal, Liqui Fruit juice and Sasko bread, is the latest consumer goods firm to be the target of a buyout after South Africa’s Clover Industries, which processes products including yoghurt, beverages, and olive oil, began takeover talks with a consortium of companies called Milco SA last year.
Pioneer was in talks over a potential deal with “a multinational organisation” in 2017, but that fell apart after South Africa’s credit rating was cut to junk status.
Aid worker, 5 others missing after jihadist ambush in Nigeria
The three-vehicle convoy was returning to Damasak from Layi village when the gunmen opened fire
Six people are missing following an ambush by suspected jihadists on a humanitarian convoy in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, an aid group said on Friday.
Action Against Hunger (ACF) said in a statement that a member of staff was among the missing after the convoy was ambushed in Kennari, a village outside Damasak Town near the border with Niger.
“One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing,” ACF said.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance,” they added.
A statement by the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator, Edward Kallon, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the attack.
“I call on all who may have influence to do everything they can to keep them unharmed and work towards their safe return,” he said.
An Islamic State-affiliated group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has been active in the area, repeatedly attacking military bases.
The three-vehicle convoy was returning to Damasak from Layi village where ACF runs a clinic for locals when the gunmen opened fire, according to a humanitarian source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
One of the vehicles veered off the road and crashed into a tree, killing the driver.
“The four were stuck in the vehicle and seized by the attackers,” the humanitarian source said.
“The occupants in the other vehicles abandoned their vehicles and fled on foot to Damasak, eight kilometres (five miles) away,” the source added.
The jihadist insurgency in northeast Nigeria has been raging for a decade.
Further complicating the conflict has been a split within Boko Haram. In 2016, ISWAP, a group that has sworn allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, broke away.
Since 2009, more than 27,000 people have been killed, some two million have fled their homes and milliions are dependent on aid.
NGOs have increasingly been targeted by jihadists.
Two female aid workers with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were murdered by ISWAP last year and an aid worker with the UN children’s agency Unicef is still being held by the group.
The trio were seized during a raid in the remote northeast town of Rann where three UNICEF staff were killed along with eight soldiers.
Guinean teen delivers child during exam and returns to finish
She was rushed to the local hospital where within 10 minutes she swiftly delivered a baby boy
The 18-year-old, from the town of Mamou in eastern Guinea, realised she was just about to give birth as she sat down for the physics part of her baccalaureate, a high-school diploma that entails exams in a range of subjects.
She was rushed to the local hospital where within 10 minutes she swiftly delivered a baby boy.
Just 40 minutes after leaving the examination room, she was back at her desk, stunning her family who had rushed to the clinic as well as the invigilators.
Her tale, recounted by the local media, was confirmed by the head of the exam centre, Mohamed Diakite.
Conde told reporters that she had told no-one, including her husband, that childbirth was imminent “out of fear that they would ask me to stay at home or go and see my doctor.
“I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine missing a single exam for my baccalaureate, which I have been studying for the whole year,” she said.
One of her relatives said that her husband, a corporal in the police, was delighted and was telling everyone who would listen about “this terrific woman”.
“Everyone in Mamou is congratulating them, and we are praying to God that Fatoumata gets her baccalaureate,” said the relative, expressing the hope that the baby is named Espoir, “Hope” in French.
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