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W/A leaders converge on Accra for ECOWAS Summit

Accra will again host West African leaders for the 59th Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from Tuesday, June 15 to Saturday, June 19.

It comes barely a fortnight after meeting in an emergency session to discuss events in Mali.That meeting was called by Chair Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.Mali was suspended from the bloc and asked to follow the September 15, 2020 roadmap.

That meeting in May was attended by 10 heads of state.

The 59th Ordinary Session will be attended by all 15 heads of state in West Africa, except Mali, whose leader and coup maker Colonel Assimi Goïta is not recognised by the regional bloc.

Other dignitaries expected to attend the Summit include the ECOWAS President and Vice, commissioners and supporting staff and former Nigeria leader Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who is the ECOWAS Special Envoy, mediating the Mali political crisis.

The Summit would be preceded by the 46th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Mediation and Security Ministerial Council on Tuesday, June 15 and 86th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Council of Ministers on June 16 and 17 at the Movenpic Hotel in Accra.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to open the 59th Ordinary Summit at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel in Accra on Saturday.


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Senior al-Shabaab terrorist killed in central Somalia

Somalia National Army soldiers
Somalia National Army soldiers at Bulahawa town on May 11, 2016. 
File | Nation Media Group

Somali National Army (SNA) said Saturday that its forces killed a senior al-Shabaab terrorist in Middle Shabelle, central part of the country.

The SNA said Nuh Dhagool, who was leading the operation to extort the local populace to fund the group’s activities in town, was killed Friday night.

“The terrorist was the head of extortion in the coastal area,” the military said in a brief statement.

The group, which fights to topple the internationally-backed government, uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to finance its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.

The extremists have recently increased their attacks against African Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu, the national capital, targeting their bases, hotels and other public places.

Source: Nation Kenya

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Tigray forces say 1,000 Ethiopian soldiers freed from captivity

Wounded captive Ethiopian soldiers
Wounded captive Ethiopian soldiers arrive on a truck at the Mekelle Rehabilitation Center in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on July 2, 2021. 

The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) has announced release of 1,000 Ethiopian government soldiers who had been in captivity for weeks.

TPLF has taken control of the regional capital of Mekelle, following weeks of fighting over its control.

In a video the group shared on Facebook, hundreds of soldiers of the Ethiopia National Defense Force (ENDF) were seen being transported in several trucks for exit via an undisclosed corridor.

It was not immediately clear if the prisoners of war were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The TPLF has up to 10,000 army captives, most of them captured in recent military offensives operations launched to reoccupy Mekelle.

Source:Nation Kenya

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South Africa to increase army deployment to 25,000

Protests spread in South Africa after Zuma arrest

South Africa’s government is to increase its deployment of defence forces to 25,000, 10 times more than originally proposed, to curb widespread looting and violence in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The authorities also urged communities defending their businesses from looters to work within the law, warning against vigilantism.

Tens of thousands of businesses have been ransacked following the jailing last week of former President Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.

Some roads remain closed, buildings on fire and streets and shopping centres littered with debris.

Overnight 208 incidences of shopping mall looting and vandalism were reported.

However, officials say the cases of violence have decreased following the initial deployment of 2,500 soldiers on Monday.

Source: BBC

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