Headlines 

Russian mercenaries fight shadowy battle in gas-rich Mozambique

(CNN)A deployment of Russian guns-for-hire, with links to the Kremlin, has sustained casualties in its fight against Islamist militants in Mozambique, multiple sources have told CNN. Prigozhin has routinely denied any connection to Wagner. Tracking Putin’s shadow army In early November, ISIS claimed its “Central African Province” had killed eight Mozambican soldiers. That was followed by reports of a clash on the border with Tanzania, close to international infrastructure being developed for exporting LNG supplies. Just how far ISIS is really connected to the insurgency is unclear. Emilia Columbo, a…

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Odds and Ends 

Pan-African e-tailer Jumia grows 3Q revenue, e-payments and losses

Pan-African e-commerce startup Jumia released its third-quarter financial results today. The numbers and presentation reflected some of the same past trends, with a dash of new, and nary a mention of a declining share price. The results Jumia — with online goods and service verticals in 14 countries — posted third-quarter revenue growth of 19% (€40 million) and increased its active customer base 56% to 5.5 million from 3.5 million over the same period a year ago. Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over…

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Mummified lion and dozens of cats among rare finds in Egypt

Discoveries near Saqqara necropolis shed light on ancient use of animals in worship A rare discovery of mummified big cats, cobras and crocodiles has been unveiled by Egyptian authorities. Egyptologists are thrilled at the cache, which includes dozens of mummified cats, 75 wooden and bronze cat statues, mummified birds, and an enormous mummified beetle three to four times the normal size. Egyptian officials hoped that the announcement would help to boost the countrys image abroad, and encourage more tourists to return. Its wonderful promotion for Egypt, said Khaled El-Enany, Egypts…

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Putin just took a victory lap in the Middle East. Now he’s turning to Africa

Sochi, Russia (CNN)For decades, the most visible link between Russia and the continent of Africa was the Kalashnikov. Rebel groups, national militaries and even police officers carried the Soviet-designed AK-47 rifle. They still do. But analysts believe Russia’s renewed interest in the continent is hardly altruistic. Guests arriving in Sochi were treated to an exhibit of Russian-made military hardware: military helicopters, fighter jets, and armored vehicles. The message is clear: the Kremlin is pitching itself to African governments as a reliable supplier of military expertise and modern weaponry — with…

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South Africa closes embassies in Nigeria, fearing reprisal attacks

(CNN)South Africa has temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, fearing reprisal attacks against its citizens, an official told CNN. The fallout from the outbreak of looting and violence that began on Sunday has been swift. Foreign nationals from countries including Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria were targeted. Since then Nigeria has pulled out of the World Economic Forum conference happening this week in Cape Town and plans to recall its ambassador, the country’s foreign minister said Wednesday. Zambia has refused to play in a friendly football…

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Ugandan pop star-turned-policitian Bobi Wine says he’s running for president

(CNN)Uganda’s pop star turned politician, Bobi Wine, has formally announced he will run for president in 2021. Wine is expected to challenge Museveni in the country’s 2021 elections. Museveni has ruled since 1982 and has changed the constitution twice to extend his stay in office. He has not declared his intention to run in the next elections. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has been staging a high-profile campaign to unseat Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents. The 37-year-old reggae star has sung songs that are highly critical of…

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Burkina Faso tightens press freedom amid security crisis

Law defined death sentence for media outlets criminalises demoralisation of armed forces One of Africas bastions of press freedom is attempting to enact harsh legislation that threatens journalists reporting on an unfolding security crisis, human rights organisations and press freedom advocates have warned. Burkina Faso, currently ranked the fifth best African country for media freedom, is attempting to criminalise the demoralisation of its defence forces by any means, and the dissemination of information that could undermine public order or security operations. Journalists who share information about military operations could face…

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Conflict and insecurity driving spread of diseases like Ebola, WHO chief warns

Deadly outbreak is global wake-up call, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells Guardian The head of the World Health Organization has called the worlds the virus would inevitably return while political instability continued in North Kivu and Iruri, the provinces at the heart of the outbreak. Quick guide Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Show Hide How bad is the current outbreak? More than 2,100 people have been infected with Ebola in theDemocratic Republic of the Congo since August last year, making the outbreak the second largest in history.…

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South African ‘Spaceboy’ set to be first black African in space dies in crash

(CNN)Mandla Maseko, the South African former DJ who won a chance to become the first black African in space has died in a motorbike crash, his family said in a statement. I pledge to serve and defend my country and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the law and with honour, dignity, courage and integrity. A post shared by Mandla Maseko (@mandlamaseko) on May 15, 2019 at 2:18am PDT He went on to become a private pilot and was also a corporal with the South African National Defence…

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Mediterranean will be ‘sea of blood’ without rescue boats, UN warns

Refugee agency says risk of people dying attempting crossing is at its highest The risk of migrants and refugees becoming shipwrecked in the Mediterranean and dying at sea is the highest it has ever been due to a lack of NGO rescue ships and the conflict in Libya hastening departures at an alarming rate, the UN has warned. If we do not intervene soon, there will be a sea of blood, said Carlotta Sami, the spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Italy. With favourable sea conditions, thousands of…

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South Africa elections: Incoming results suggest ruling ANC set to win diminished majority

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)Despite years of corruption allegations, a sluggish economy and sustained electricity blackouts, South Africa’s ruling ANC looks set to win a substantial majority in a critical national election. In the previous election, in 2014, the ANC won with 62% of voter support. The election year before that — 2009 — the party won 66% of the vote. In 2004, it got close to 70% of the vote. The partial results show the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), trailing with just under 22% of the vote…

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Rhino poacher killed by an elephant and then ‘devoured’ by lions

Police say the man entered the park with a group intending to shoot and kill rhinos A rhino poacher is believed to have been attacked by an elephant and then eaten by a pride of lions during an incident in South Africas Kruger national park. Police brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police received information that a group of men had gone into the park on 1 April in order to hunt rhino, when suddenly an elephant attacked and killed one of them. His accomplices claimed to have carried his body to…

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The big picture: the Rwandan Daughters project

Portraits of Rwandan rape victims and their children reveal the aftermath of the genocide 25 years ago Today marks 25 years since the onset of the Rwandan genocide. In just 100 days, between 7 April and 15 July 1994, seven in 10 Tutsis living in Rwanda were murdered by their Hutu neighbours. As many as 1 million people, including 10,000 Batwa pygmies, died. Whats less well known about those terrible months is that up to 250,000 women were raped. Many were infected with HIV and later died of Aids-related illness.…

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Headlines 

Uganda: US tourist kidnapped and held for $500,000 ransom

Security forces are hunting gunmen who abducted a 35-year-old woman and her driver inside a national park close to the border Ugandan security forces are hunting gunmen who abducted an American tourist and her driver inside a national park close to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Four kidnappers stopped a group of tourists at gunpoint around dusk on Tuesday as they drove through the Queen Elizabeth national park to see wild animals. Police identified the American as a 35-year-old woman, and said the kidnappers had later used her…

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Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

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