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The Africa Report: 26 July

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

N/A

TUNISIA BACK IN CRISIS

For the second time this year an opposition leader was assassinated in the deeply divided Tunisia.

58-year-old leftist leader Mohamed Brahmi was murdered in broad daylight outside his home when a group of gunmen opened fire on him.

His wife and children had witnessed Thursday's assassination.

Five months ago another opposition leader, Chokri Belaid, was killed.

Tunisia is regarded as the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions and these assassinations are seen as threats to the envisioned pluralistic democracy that inspired the uprisings.

Hundreds of demonstrators are laying blame on the ruling Ennahda Movement and President Moncef Marzouki, as well as hardline Islamists.

Ennahda has denied all allegations and claim they had no knowledge of this or involvement, condemning the assassination as an attempt to derail Tunisia's transition to a stable democracy.

All flights into Tunisia have been closed which signals further problems for a country that depends heavily on tourism.

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FRANCE'S MALI INTERVENTION APPROVED BY AFRICANS, CONDEMNED BY THE MIDDLE EAST

Pew Research Global Attitudes Project has released a survey report detailing the mixed reception to France's military intervention in Mali from African and Middle Eastern citizens.

The report, released on Thursday, comes just ahead of Mali's upcoming elections on Sunday which is hoped to reunify the country.

French military deployed 4500 troops in Mali in January this year in order to drive out al Qaeda from the northern regions of the country.

In general, countries like South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Senegal approve of the French military intervention with a median of 41% approval.

Senegal had a 91% approval rating whilst the highest disapproval rating came from Ghanaians.

Middle Eastern countries - including Tunisia and Egypt who regard themselves as part of the Middle East - Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine all say the French should never have intervened.

A clear religious split is illustrated in the data with the highest approval coming from Lebanon's Christians at 47% whilst the highest disapproval came from the Egyptians at 76%.

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FEARS OF SATA'S MEDIA CRACKDOWN IN ZAMBIA

Recent arrests of journalists and the blocking of watchdog websites have increased fears of a media crackdown in Zambia.

In late June, Zambian authorities are cracked down on an online publication called the _Zambian Watchdog _known to be critical of the country's government.

The two journalists, Thomas Zyambo and Clayson Hamasaka, were charged with sedition after police found in their possession, biographical notes on the President Michael Sata.

Sata ensured there would be media freedom when he was elected in 2011 and vowed that government interference in the media would immediately be done away with.