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KW 22: Thousands in Goma evacuated amid fears of further volcanic eruption, Mali’s top court declares coup leader Goita as interim president, Germany officially recognises colonial-era Namibia genocide

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Thousands in Goma evacuated amid fears of further volcanic eruption: Seismologists in the Democratic Republic of Congo reported 61 earthquakes in a 24-hour period on Saturday around the Mount Nyiragongo volcano, which erupted a week ago, warning residents to keep well away from lava flows. The 11,500-foot-high volcano sits around 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Goma, a city with an official population of 670,000, though several NGOs estimate it to be closer to 1 million. Speaking at a UN news briefing in Geneva, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that “thousands of residents from Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are displaced and on the move after an order from the authorities to evacuate areas that are at risk by further volcanic eruptions of Mount Nyiragongo”.,

Mali’s top court declares coup leader Goita as interim president: Mali’s constitutional court on Friday declared Assimi Goita, the colonel who led a military coup this week while serving as vice president, to be the new interim president. The judgement stipulated that Goita would „exercise the functions of transitional president to lead the transition process to its conclusion“, following his seizure of power this week. The constitutional court said it had made the decision due to the „vacancy in the presidency“ following the resignation of caretaker president Bah Ndaw. Soldiers detained Ndaw and prime minister Moctar Ouane on Monday, before releasing them Thursday after they resigned. But the twin arrests triggered a diplomatic uproar — and marked the second apparent coup within a year in the unstable country.,

Macron acknowledges French part in genocide: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday recognised his country’s role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, as the two countries seek to turn the page on decades of diplomatic tensions over the bloodshed. While Macron did not formally apologise, he highlighted how France had backed the genocidal Hutu regime of the time, ignored warnings of impending massacres and joined the world in abandoning some 800,000 mostly Tutsi Rwandans to a grisly fate. A report by a French panel released in March said French officials bore „serious and overwhelming“ responsibility for not foreseeing the slaughter. It said that a colonial attitude had blinded French officials. The report absolved France of direct complicity in the killings. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has accused France of responsibility in the genocide, earlier said they could „maybe not forget, but forgive“ France for its role.,

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Germany officially recognises colonial-era Namibia genocide: Germany has officially acknowledged committing genocide during its colonial occupation of Namibia, and announced financial aid worth more than €1.1bn (£940m; $1.34bn). German colonisers killed tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people there in early 20th Century massacres. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country was asking Namibia and victims‘ descendants for forgiveness. But activists say the aid is not enough to address the suffering inflicted.

Aid for vaccine production in South Africa: South Africa is struggling to vaccinate its population — less than 2% of its 60 million people have so far received even one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. During a joint visit to the African country, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn promised to help South Africa develop its own vaccine production capabilities, with Spahn saying Germany would invest 61 million dollars in the initiative.

Situation in Tigray is worsening: UN humanitarians expressed deep concern on Friday about serious and ongoing abuses carried out against displaced civilians who are also facing dire food insecurity in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, after months of conflict. In a related development, the Office of the High Commissioner for refugee agency (UNHCR) condemned the reported abduction of “at least several hundred” youths from camps for displaced people in Tigray earlier this week.

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WHO chief admits ’slow‘ response to Congo sex abuse claims: The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged the UN health agency’s response to sexual abuse allegations involving employees who worked in Congo during an Ebola outbreak was slow, following an Associated Press investigation that found senior WHO management knew of multiple cases of misconduct. As WHO’s highest decision-making body meets this week, countries were tackling subjects like how to reform the UN health agency’s emergency program after its missteps in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Assembly hasn’t devoted a specific agenda item to the alleged misconduct in Congo but held a roundtable talk on preventing sexual abuse on Friday.

Germany’s hydrogen alliance with Morocco threatens to fail: On the path to climate neutrality, the German government is using so-called green hydrogen produced on the basis of green electricity, which cannot be sufficiently produced in Germany, resulting in more partnerships with other countries. The great hope among future hydrogen suppliers is Morocco, which scores with plenty of wind and sun, as well as geographical proximity. German Development Minister Gerd Müller forged an „alliance“ in June 2020, and plans to build a first hybrid power plant with a seawater desalination plant and 100 megawatt electrolyser are well advanced. While everything went according to plan in March, the German government now suddenly has doubts about the realization of the plans.


At least 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would have to be delivered to Africa within the next few weeks in order to be able to carry out the necessary second vaccinations, according to the WHO.


„Europe’s response is radical. They’re closing their doors. I believe that Europe’s response should be to talk to Africans. First of all to see from which countries the majority of these migrants come from and to look at how we can, by working together, prevent these migrations, hold back these young people who are leaving.“

Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Morocco joins growing list of African countries to legalize cannabis: More countries are now decriminalizing the use of marijuana in Africa with the latest being Morocco. Morocco is one of the world’s largest producers of cannabis and suppliers illegal by-products like Hashish. The north African country adopted Wednesday the law authorizing the therapeutic use of cannabis, a major reform for this North African country considered as one of the first producers of hashish in the world. The legal use implies means it can only be used in medicine, cosmetics and even for industrial purposes.