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Kenya holds a re-run of the presidential election

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Kenya is currently holding a re-run of the presidential election which is being boycotted by the main opposition.

Security authorities have been bulked and are spread across the country as voting gets underway in the East African country.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, has urged people to vote and remain peaceful.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who has pulled out of the election re-run, has called on his supporters to boycott it.

Kenyatta was declared the winner of the August 8 vote but the election is being rescheduled due to irregularities.

The polls on Thursday opened at 06:00 am local time with tens of thousands of police and other security personnel deployed to protect voters and polling stations.

“Our forefathers fought and died for the right of the African to vote, we dare not reject this inheritance,” President Kenyatta said on the eve of the election.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared Kenyatta was the winner of the August 8 vote but later the Supreme Court of Appeal annulled IEBC’s decision, which led to inflammatory rhetoric and attacks on the IEBC.

Prior to the election, a senior member of the IEBC fled to the United States after receiving death threats.

Approximately more than 70 people have been killed and injured in violence since Kenyatta was declared the winner in August’s election.

Odinga wanted a re-run of the presidential election to be held at a later date, but a bid to delay the election failed after only two out of seven Supreme Court judges attended a hearing on Wednesday.


More details to follow. Image 1 of people casting ballots from Ghafla! ■

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Africa

Fighting causes thousands to flee Congo

Over 70,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s have fled from conflict in the eastern province of Ituri since January, the United Nations reported this week, a small part of the estimated 4.5 million Congolese displaced across the country.

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Eli Ridder | The Avro Post

Over 70,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s have fled from conflict in the eastern province of Ituri since January, the United Nations reported this week, a small part of the estimated 4.5 million Congolese displaced across the country.

Lendu aggressors started a wave of attacks against the Hema community in December 2017 without their specific motive known, reported Al Jazeera.

Tensions between the two tribes have existed for the many years since Belgium held the colonial power over Congo, with the Lendu tribe suffering due to a “disproportionate access to education and wealth” that resulted in a socioeconomic gap remaining in place to current day, Alex Mcbride Wilson wrote.

The 70,000 displaced make up the number of those that fled to nearby Uganda, but thousands more have fled to other parts of the Congo as well.


More details to follow. Image of a U.N. peacekeeper and Hema villagers standing amid the wreckage of a village within the Djugu area of Ituri province. Alex Mcbride Wilson/Al Jazeera.  ■

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Africa

Hundreds killed in Algeria military aircraft crash

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Eli Ridder | The Avro Post

At least 257 died after a military aircraft crashed in northern Algeria shortly after it took off from the Boufarik airbase by the capital Algiers on Wednesday morning, according to the defence ministry.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, but the army chief has launched an investigation into the crash.

Many of the dead are army personnel, their families and crew members in what has been identified as the deadliest place crash since July 2014, and the second worst since 2003.

The Ilyushin II-76 was travelling to Bechar in the African country’s southwest, before falling out of the sky.

Previously, a military aircraft crashed in 2014 over Algeria killing 77.


More details to follow. Image of crash scene from ABC News 7.  ■

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Africa

Rwanda begins crackdown on religious buildings

Rwanda has prohibited mosques in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, from using loudspeakers during the call to prayer.

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Lucky Landono | The Avro Post

Rwanda has prohibited mosques in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, from using loudspeakers during the call to prayer.

The government says the calls, made five times a day, have been disturbing residents of the Nyarugenge district, home to the capital’s biggest mosques.

However, an official from a Muslim association criticized the measure, arguing they could keep the volume down instead of banning it.

In February, the government also closed down around 700 churches for not complying with building regulations and noise pollution.

The government says the Muslim community has complied with the recent ban.

“I have found that they have begun to respect it and it has not stopped their followers from going to pray according to their praying time,” Havuguziga Charles, a local official from Nyarugenge, said.

The government continues to curb substandard churches across the East African country.

Dozens of small Pentecostal churches and one mosque were closed during the crackdown on substandard religious buildings in Rwanda.

The government argues the measure has been taken due to some preachers deceive their congregation with misleading sermons.

But some preachers have accused the government of trying to control their message to congregants in a country accused by human rights groups of suppressing free speech.

The majority of Rwandans are Christian and Muslims make up around 5% of the population.


More details to follow. Image of Rwandan parliament from Ventures Africa. ■

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