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The Africa Report: 3 July

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

Egyptian protesters calling for the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi react as they watch his speech on a screen in a street leading to the presidential palace early in Cairo on 3 July, 2013. Picture: AFP/ Mahmud Khaled
Local

TENSIONS RISE IN EGYPT

Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi has vowed to defend the country’s democracy, defying calls by hundreds of thousands of protestors for him to step down from office.

Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he is a member, received an ultimatum from Egypt’s powerful military that warned that negotiations must take place between Morsi, the Brotherhood and the Tamarod opposition.

The deadline for these negotiations is on Wednesday.

Already, 16 people have died in the clashes in Egypt, escalating fears of yet another Arab Spring as was seen in 2012 with the overthrow of former Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi announced on Tuesday that Egyptians, the military and the international community must remember that he was democratically elected in June 2012 and that if he were to step down, a dangerous precedent would be set for future governments.

The military are preparing to dissolve the country’s constitution and do away with the first democratic institutions put in place if Morsi does not meet their demands, which is to respond to the calls of the protestors.

Questions now turn to the Brotherhood who has unswervingly supported Morsi in his resilience.

However, after fighting for 80 years to gain power in Egypt, will the Brotherhood risk incumbency by defending Morsi or will they start negotiating with the opposition for the removal of Morsi from office?

The answer to this must be found soon as the economy is suffering, with oil having gone up to $102 a barrel, the highest it has been since May 2012, and the tourism industry in shambles.

Six cabinet ministers have already worked out on the Brotherhood’s government and more are expected to follow by the time the 48 hours given by the military has lapsed.
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SENEGAL CHARGES FORMER CHADIAN PRESIDENT

Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad and current fugitive in Senegal, has been charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of torture by a special Senegalese tribunal.

Habré led Chad from 1982 until 1990 when he was ousted by current Chadian president, Idriss Déby.

He then fled to Senegal where he has been in exile for the last 17 years under nominal house arrest.

Calls by the international community and the African Union had been ignored by Senegal up until recently when on 30 June Senegalese police arrested Habré.

He has appeared in court in Senegalese capital, Dakar, in an investigation that is expected to take 15 months.

His own country had already sentenced him with death in absentia for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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BRITISH SPENDING WATCHDOG QUESTIONS EFFICACY OF SUPPLYING ANTI-MALARIA NETS

In 2010, 25 million anti-malaria nets had been dispensed by the United Kingdom to Africa and by 2015, there will be 45 million nets in malaria-prone areas of Africa.

The supply of nets have increased by a quarter in households in malaria-prone areas of Africa but the increase in use has been less than half of that.  

Thus, the National Audit Office, the UK’s authority for certifying all government departments and public sector bodies’ accounts say that it costs £500 million to fund anti-malaria nets and are now questioning the effectiveness of this.

According to the authority, not enough UK-supplied anti-malarial nets are being used around the world and that the lack of usage among target groups, such as children, was disappointing.

(Edited by Carla Bernardo)

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