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Venezuela -- called to
work together ---- at 
gas forum in Algeria
March 2nd, 1pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum, Rafael Tellechea, 
called today to work together in the construction of a 
cooperation consensus among the member states
 of the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries (FPEG).
 
During his speech at the seventh summit of the 
organization, held in this city, the Venezuelan 
Minister said that from the Bolivarian 
Republic “we promote and focus” 
the political will of the members 
of the Forum -- to become an 
organization with greater 
international influence.
 
In order to mediate in the balance and valuation of gas 
at world level - in the energy market, he pointed out.
 
Tellechea insisted on the need to continue working 
together, ‘moving our organization’ as the 
construction of a consensus and 
cooperation among the 
member countries.
 
The also president of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) 
said that the PGEF represents 70 % of the world’s
 proven gas reserves and 40% of its exploitation.
 
In this sense, he emphasized that this resource plays a 
‘leading role as a raw material’ in the industrial and 
agricultural value chains, as well as in other 
areas of production on a global scale.
 
The head of PDVSA, commented on Venezuela’s successful 
progress in cooperation with other countries, in which the 
second license for gas exploitation has already been 
granted, and mentioned the agreements with 
Trinidad and Tobago, which summarize the 
real possibilities of safe investment, 
he said.
 
He revealed.. that they are currently carrying out studies
for 
‘the possible assignment of a gas export license’ to 
Bolivia --- as part of the agreements signed last year 
during the visit of President Luis Arce to Caracas.
 
The Bolivarian Minister for Petroleum, stated that his 
country will continue to advance in the exploitation 
of gas reserves for the benefit of the people, and 
reminded that the South American nation is in 
first place in oil reserves in the world.
 
He affirmed that Venezuela has placed its liquid and 
gaseous hydrocarbon reserves at the service of 
humanity for the development of the peoples, 
under the framework of respect and a win-
win relationship.
 
Tellechea celebrated the incorporation of countries such 
as Mozambique, Senegal and Mauritania to the FPEG 
and praised the Algiers Declaration which, in his 
opinion, represents the solid bases for ‘our 
association in the short, medium and
 long term’.
 
Yesterday ---- Algeria’s Sonatrach and PDVSA companies 
signed two memorandums of understanding to improve 
collaboration in the energy sector, which includes
 the exploration, extraction and training of 
Venezuelan specialists.
 
 
__________________________________________
 
 
 
Ethiopia: Army ready - 
to maintain legacy of 
Adwa Victory
March 2nd, 11:44am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
In his remarks at the 128th Adwa Victory Day, Chief of the 
General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, 
Birhanu Jula, affirmed the readiness of the army to
 maintain the legacy of the Adwa Victory and 
defend the nation from any internal and 
external threat.
 
The Adwa Victory Day - is being celebrated in the capital 
Addis Ababa colourfully at the newly built Adwa Victory 
Memorial ---- under the theme “Adwa is a Pride for All 
Black People.”
 
Field Birhanu Jula, said, 128 years ago, Ethiopia stunned 
the whole world by decisively defeating the well-armed 
Italian invading force - at the battle of Adwa.
 
The victory is our historical virtue - and we are 
committed to maintain this virtue and to turn
it into more success, he noted.
 
The Adwa Victory resulted from the unity, resilience and 
gallantry of Ethiopians, pledging readiness of the army 
to maintain the unity and sovereignty of the nation.
 
Field Marshal Birhanu stressed the need for this 
generation to maintain the unity and solidarity 
shown by their forefathers in various ways.
 
The Chief of the General Staff expressed his appreciation to 
the Government for building a grand memorial in honour 
of the grand victory and immortalize the sacrifices of 
the triumph of Ethiopian heroes and heroines.
 
“This year’s celebration is unique - for it is celebrated 
ata time when we are finalizing the Grand Ethiopian 
Renaissance Dam (GERD) project and preparing
 for its inauguration,” he underscored.
 
“Ethiopia has accomplished several mega projects in 
various parts of the country, and the army is ready 
to maintain the peace and stability of the nation 
to ensure that the ongoing development 
activities are advancing well.”
 
Field Marsha Birhanu called on armed militants in the
country to stop their belligerence which, he said, is
a mission of external enemies, calling the general 
public --- to stand in unison for the sovereignty 
of Ethiopia.
 
The Chief of the General Staff, added, that Ethiopia’s quest
 to the sea outlet is crucial in enabling the nation continue 
its role in maintaining peace and stability across the 
region. The celebration - is mainly coordinated by 
the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF).
 
The ENDF conducted a military parade and an Air Show 
as part of the celebration, as youths performed plays 
depicting the participation of Ethiopians at the 
battle of Adwa, and the victory at large.
 
The anniversary is also being celebrated in 
all regional states, city administrations,
institutions, embassies & consulates
..... all over the world.
 
 
 
________________________________________
 


US, UK accused of hindering 
investigation into UN chief’s 
'plane crash in 1961
March 2nd, 11:24am
 (PressTV)
 
Scholars have accused the United States and the United 
Kingdom of impeding a United Nations investigation into 
the 1961 airplane accident that resulted in the death of 
UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld.
 
Hammarskjöld, a Swedish national, was killed in a plane 
crash, which was allegedly taken down intentionally
on 
September 18, 1961, while en route to mediate
ceasefire - between UN peacekeepers in the 
Congo and separatists from the breakaway 
Congolese region of Katanga.
 
During a conference in London, attendees were briefed by 
Stephen Mathias, the UN assistant secretary general for 
legal affairs, on the latest developments in the
 investigation, which aims to obtain 
archived documentation from 
member states.
 
The attendees expressed concerns that both the US
 and UK ----- are delaying the transfer of potentially
 crucial information.
 
“While Belgium, Sweden and Zimbabwe, demonstrated 
serious efforts, the US and UK responses were wholly 
inadequate and showed contempt for the UN inquiry,” 
said the organizers of Thursday’s conference, the
 Institute of Commonwealth Studies at 
the University of London and
the Westminster United 
Nations Association.
 
“The most recent general assembly resolution to renew the 
investigation was co-sponsored by 142 UN member states 
out of 193 – but not by the US and the UK,” said Susan 
Williams, a researcher whose 2011 book “Who Killed 
Hammarskjöld” contributed to the reopening of 
the UN inquiry.
 
Paul Boateng, the former UK high commissioner to South 
Africa, said: “The work must continue because it is part 
of a wider struggle to support democracy, the 
international rule of law, and the UN, 
all under increasing threat.”
 
“There must be no stone unturned to get at the truth.
The suspected murder of a UN secretary general 
is a crime too grave, to be obliterated by time.”
 
The crash resulted in the death of 15 other passengers, 
and its first inquiry... which was carried out by the
Rhodesian authorities, concluded that the crash
 was the result of a pilot error, but the finding
 was controversial.
 
People who witnessed the crash on the ground 
had claimed that they saw another aircraft 
apart from the chief’s.
 
At that time, French and British intelligence officers 
were reported to be near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia
 (now Zambia), where the crash took place, while 
US intelligence officers were monitoring 
communications from Cyprus --- and 
reported hearing communications
 consistent with the UN plane 
coming under fire.
 
Hammarskjöld was killed amidst a contest for resources in 
Africa during the post-colonial era, during his last journey, 
he was en route... to a clandestine gathering aimed at 
mediating an end to the civil conflict in the newly 
liberated Congo, a nation abundant in minerals 
and teetering on the edge of collapse.
 
In the year before, the eastern province of Katanga, had 
declared ''independence'' in 1960. While being a major 
contributor to the country’s economy, this region is 
renowned for its vast ore deposits --- including 
uranium ore --- used in the atomic bomb, 
which was dropped on Hiroshima.
 
 
 
______________________________________
 


Egypt provided medical aid to some 
42,000 Palestinians from Gaza
March 2md, 9:28am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced today 
that some 42,000 of the 48,000 Palestinians who 
have looked for shelter in Egypt from Gaza were 
treated in national hospitals.
 
The spokesman for this ministry -- Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, 
told Palestine TV that the number of injured Palestinians 
treated in Egyptian medical centres exceeds 3,000, to 
which must be added another thousand transferred 
to other countries - for specialized treatment.
 
The official further said that 60 percent of the total number
 of admissions are women and minors. He revealed that 
Palestinians are treated in 86 Egyptian hospitals, 
both public and private.
 
Abdel-Ghaffar urged the international community to exert 
more pressure on Israel to force it to allow more medical 
aid into the Gaza Strip, which has been under attack
 since October 7.
 
In this regard, he noted that thousands of trucks loaded 
with vital goods are being held up on the Egyptian side 
of the Rafah border crossing because of the delaying 
actions of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
 
This week, the Egyptian Minister of Health, Khaled Abdel-
Ghaffar, revealed that some 10,700 injured Palestinian 
minors were vaccinated in Egypt against polio, 
measles, rubella and mumps.
 
Our specialists -- provide care to Palestinians in 
ophthalmology and eye surgery, plus intensive
care, m
otorhinolaryngology, anesthesia and 
orthopedics, among others, he said.
 
 
 
__________________________________________



Parliament of Angola - generally 
approved new political division
February 29th, 5:22pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
After two days of intense debates, the deputies to the 
National Assembly of Angola (unicameral Parliament) 
today generally approved the Political-Administrative
 Division Bill with 101 votes in favour.
 
The parliamentarians from the group of the Movement for 
the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the mixed group
 made up of the Social Renewal Party and the 
National Front for the Liberation of Angola 
(FNLA) supported the proposal, while the 
two from the Humanist Party of Angola 
(PHA) abstained.
 
As expected, the deputies of the group of the National 
Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) 
voted against (79), because they consider that it 
is not a priority or decisive issue for the 
efficiency and effectiveness of the 
country’s governance.
 
Another issue that this political formation has pointed out 
is that the issue is a maneuver by the Executive not to 
advance in the process of implementing autarky.
 
The Minister of State and head of the Civil House of the
 Presidency, Adão de Almeida, pointed out that the 
opposition showed great concern about the
 institutionalization of local authorities, 
but that is an issue that has nothing 
to do with the political division, 
which is only a question of 
territorial organization, 
he pointed out.
 
He added that in the process of preparing the country for
 the establishment of autarchies, the Government has
 presented 11 law proposals, while Unita has only 
presented two; something that he considers 
contradictory with the discourse that the
Government does not want the 
process or hinders it.
 
The Political-Administrative Division bill, after the vote
 in Parliament, will now be debated in the specialized 
commissions, and then return to the plenary 
analysis and the vote.
 
The proposal --- provides for the creation of two new 
provinces resulting from the division of the current 
territories of Moxico, which will become Moxico 
and Cassai-Zambezi, and Cuando Cubango, 
which will multiply into Cuando 
and Cubango.
 
In this way, the country would have 20 provinces, 
325 municipalities and 375 communes, since the
 suppression of some infra-municipal level 
districts, the elimination of the distinction 
between urban districts and communes,
 and the conversion of some of these 
units into municipalities.
 
The regulations aim to promote balanced territorial 
development, bring public services closer to 
citizens and rationalize the services of the
 State administration, increasing their 
effectiveness, efficiency and equity.
 
 
_____________________________________
 



PM of Haiti Visits Kenya --- 
to Detail International Aid
February 29th (teleSUR)
 
Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, met with Kenyan
 President William Ruto, today, to discuss details of
 the deployment of a UN-authorized international 
mission in Haiti.
 
The mission in Haiti will be led by the African country 
with the aim of confronting gangs operating in the 
Caribbean country - and returning public safety.
 
The President of Kenya said in X "Kenya partners with 
the people of Haiti for our common heritage. We are 
offering the experience and knowledge of our 
police officers in the Multinational Security 
Support Mission (MMAS) in Haiti, as 
mandated by the United Nations 
Security Council and guided 
by our courts".
 
The Kenyan mission in Haiti was made possible by 
negotiations on behalf of the Caribbean country 
at the UN headquarters, because - in 2022, 
when the Haitian government asked for 
help to restore order, Nairobi refused 
to act on the basis of its policy of 
non-interference in other
 countries' affairs.
 
The UN Security Council authorized in October 2023 the
 dispatch of a support mission to the Haitian National 
Police, in response to the request made a year 
earlier by the Haitian Prime Minister to 
eradicate armed gangs.
 
But despite approving the deployment it was not until 
mid-February that a Haitian delegation held meetings
 in Washington with US and Kenyan authorities - to 
plan the arrival of MMAS to the Caribbean island.
 
Another factor that hindered and delayed the mission
 is funding, which comes from countries such as the 
United States, Canada and France. However, aid 
from these countries has been very weak
 and scarce.
 
Although the leader of the mission will be Kenya, 
countries such as Jamaica, Antigua and 
Barbuda and Barbados ---- will also 
contribute military forces.

____________________________________


Hungary refused to transfer 
$18 million for weapons
 for Ukraine - and sent 
them to Chad
February 29th, 12:44pm
(Izvestia.ru)
 
The Hungarian government refused to transfer $18 million 
to the European Peace Fund (sic) to pay for weapons for 
Ukraine and sent it to maintain security and stability in
 Chad, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said 
on February 29 at a press conference after a meeting 
in Budapest with his Chadian counterpart Mahamat 
Saleh Annadif.
 
The head of Hungarian diplomacy noted that he is in favour 
of an early peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, 
so the country did not send funds to the fund, "which 
could have been used to pay for weapons already 
sent to Ukraine."
 
"We decided to use this $18 million to strengthen security 
in Chad ---- to create a new training facility to train army 
officers in Chad, and to improve the capabilities of the 
Chadian Armed Forces," Szijjarto explained.
 
Earlier, on February 27, he noted that Hungary strongly 
opposes sending Western military personnel and 
weapons to Ukraine. According to him, the 
Ukrainian conflict should be ended, 
not expanded.
 
Earlier, on February 23, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor
 Orban said that Ukraine will not be able to defeat 
Russia in the conflict, despite weapons and 
finances from the West ---- so the conflict 
should be resolved through diplomacy.
 
In the same month, he drew attention to the fact, that the 
strategy of the European Union (EU) on Ukraine was not 
crowned with significant success, both in military and 
political terms, and the association itself has almost 
became a party to the conflict.
 
Western countries have stepped up military and financial 
support for Kiev against the backdrop of the Russian
special operation to protect the Donbass, which 
began on February 24th, 2022 ---- due to the 
aggravation of the situation in the region 
as a result of Ukrainian shelling. 
 
At the same time, statements about the need to reduce 
support for Ukraine, have been increasingly voiced
 in the West, recently.
 
 
___________________________________________________


Equal partnership ----- how Russia is 
strengthening its position in Africa
by Elizaveta Komarova, Irina
Taran, 
and Vladimir Duyun
February 29th, 4:19am
(RT.ru)
 
Russia constantly supports African countries and fulfills its 
obligations in the field of humanitarian aid, Malian Foreign 
Minister Abdoulaye Diop said during a visit to Moscow. 
 
According to him, cooperation with the Russian Federation 
in the military sphere has strengthened the security of the 
West African republic and it intends to develop ties in this 
direction. Diop also stressed that Russia always pays 
attention to the interests of its partners and 
respects their political choice.
 
 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in turn, said that
 Mali's defense capability is being strengthened thanks
 to the work of Russian instructors, the training of 
military personnel on the territory of the Russian
Federation and the supply of equipment
 from Russia.
 
According to experts, Mali and other African countries --- 
appreciate that Moscow is striving for equal partnership. 
This allows us to increase cooperation many times 
over, analysts say.
 
Russia keeps its word on helping African countries,
Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said 
during a visit to Moscow.
 
"I would like... to express my gratitude to the Russian
 Federation for its support -- for the constant support 
that Russia provides to Africa and Mali. I would like
to remind you that Russia abides by its obligations 
in the field of humanitarian assistance. We were 
promised humanitarian aid ---- and all this was 
concretized. We're talking about fertilizers,
wheat and diesel fuel. 
Today, it all came
true.  And --- it 
was very important," 
said Diop.
 
According to him, Mali's military partnership with
Russia, has strengthened the security of the 
West African republic.
 
"Cooperation with Russia has contributed to this goal. Mali 
had money, but our partners simply refused to sell us
 weapons and equipment, and here -- our potential 
has been strengthened. And now, we are seeing
the results… Because the (UN) mission --- left 
the country, we occupied all these facilities. 
And among them -- there are facilities that 
were - not under the control of the Malian
 state. Now Mali is present in all regions. 
And this hasn't happened ---- for ten 
years," Diop said.
 
As he stressed, the Malian army, now, 
"has the ability to defend its territory."
 
The Minister of the African Republic considers it necessary
to "continue to strengthen - and strengthen" cooperation 
with Russia, including in the military and military-
technical spheres.
 
"We are glad that Russia provides training for a large 
number of our specialists, but, of course, we need 
to diversify this cooperation, and we need to 
achieve good economic cooperation,"
 Diop said.
 
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, 
the two countries actively cooperate in the military 
and military-technical spheres.
 
"We now see -- how Mali's defense capability is being 
strengthened thanks to the work of our instructors,
the training of personnel on the territory of the 
Russian Federation -- for the Malian armed 
forces, as well as, thanks to the supply 
of Russian equipment," Lavrov stated.
 
For his part, Diop stressed that Russia "always pays
 attention" to the interests of partners and 
respects - their "political choice".
 
The Malian Foreign Minister added - that ties between
 the two countries have become even stronger - after 
the meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin 
and Malian Transitional President, Assimi Goita,
at
 the Russia — Africa summit.
 
Increasing interaction
 
Recall that, in July 2023, St. Petersburg hosted the summit, 
as well as the Russia-Africa economic and humanitarian
forum. These formats brought together the official 
delegations from 48 countries (27 represented at
the first and second person levels) and five of 
Africa's largest integration associations. 
Following the summit, a number of key 
documents were adopted, including 
the declaration and action plan of 
the Russia-Africa Partnership 
Forum.. for 2023-2026.
 
During the plenary session of the summit --- Vladimir Putin 
announced that the Russian authorities offer assistance
 in resolving conflicts on the African continent. 
According to him, in order to strengthen the 
security and sovereignty of African states, 
Russia has concluded agreements on 
military-technical cooperation with 
more than 40 African countries,
while part of the supplies,
have a gratuitous basis.
 
As stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry after the summit, 
Western states used "all possible methods of pressure" 
on African states, whose leaders decided to come to 
the forum in St. Petersburg. 
 
According to the ministry, it went "to the most primitive" 
when diplomats, including EU countries, went around
 the embassies of African states and demanded
 "that they stop relations with Russia, or 
minimize them --- do not participate
 in the summit."
 
However, the Kremlin said that Russia is ready to compete 
in Africa. Moscow was able not only to maintain close ties
 with the countries of the African continent, but also, to 
increase cooperation.
 
So, Russian companies together with South Africa will have
 to launch the first solar power plant by the end of 2024. In 
addition, Russia is helping build Egypt's first nuclear 
power plant, and construction is well ahead of 
schedule. In Ethiopia, the Russian side is 
upgrading hydroelectric power plants - 
& engaged in their network complex.
 
At the end of December 2023, after a 30-year break, Russia 
reopened its embassy in Burkina Faso. According to the 
Russian Foreign Ministry, this will strengthen the 
countries friendship --- and mutually beneficial 
cooperation. At the same time, the ministry
later reported, that the Russian side 
is preparing to open diplomatic 
missions in a number of
 African countries.
 
In January, Niger's Defense Minister, General Salifu Modi, 
said that the country, together with Russia, intends to
 increase the potential of its armed forces in the near 
future. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed 
such plans, emphasizing the importance of 
developing relations between the two 
countries in the defense sector.
 
 In addition, in the same month, the Russian Foreign 
Ministry drew attention to the fact that no one can
replace Russia - in ensuring the security of the 
Central African Republic - since the Russian 
Federation... performs the most complex 
and sensitive work.
 
In February, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced 
plans to expand the geography of flights to Africa.
 
"The Global South - wants to work with Russia"
 
According to political analyst Alexander Asafov, 
African countries, including Mali, appreciate 
that Russia strives for equal international 
cooperation, regardless of the domestic 
political and economic characteristics 
of the counterparty, which allows for
"multiplying the partnership".
 
"Russia promotes an approach --- that respects the 
sovereignty of all participants in the international 
political process, regardless of the size of their 
economy. Here, of course, the security factor 
is one key factor, since the sovereignty of 
these countries was violated within the 
framework of the colonial and neo-
colonial policies of the West... 
which imply..... that African
countries -- had no 
right
to a sovereign policy.'' 
 
''And here, of course, cooperation with Russia, as 
an equal partner for the countries of the African 
continent, plays an extremely important role.
The Malian Foreign Minister also speaks 
about this," the expert explained.
 
At the same time, according to Asafov, this approach is 
"new" for African countries, since the United States
 and the West as a whole --- act "according to 
different patterns."
 
"These are attempts at "colour revolutions" and military 
coups, military and economic pressure, and the denial 
of humanitarian aid. Here, of course, the threats that 
the United States broadcasts, are largely no longer 
working. States - protect only their own interests; 
they will willingly betray those who collaborated 
with them, if it is profitable, or if the partner 
ceases to bring benefits. The Afghan 
experience in this regard, is quite 
clear ---- for all the countries of 
the African continent" ---- the 
political scientist stressed.
 
The logic of a unipolar world is becoming a thing of the
 past, and the paradigm of a multipolar approach is 
being strengthened, which is recognized both in 
Africa and in the United States, Asafov said.
 
"Developing - not consolidating old models - is important for 
Russia and its allies in Africa. After all, the united West 
represents only about 15% of the world's population, 
and there are many more people who are ready for 
equal cooperation for the sake of the future,"
 the analyst is sure.
 
In turn, military translator and Africanist Andrey Esipov 
stated in a conversation with RT that Russia has 
"close military ties" with African countries.
 
"Our military specialists are present there, and certain arms
supplies are being made. For example, the Malian army 
received Soviet equipment, back in the 1980s. That is, 
people are familiar with the principles of operation of 
our weapons, but there are still specialists who 
speak Russian. As a result of the effective 
cooperation with the Russian Federation 
on this track, the Malian authorities 
managed to squeeze out the 
separatists to the north, 
which the UN mission 
failed to do," the 
expert said.
 
Russian troops in Africa, Legion - Media
 
As Esipov explained, due to the acceptable cost of 
weapons and military equipment from Russia, this 
equipment... is "quite affordable" for Mali and 
other countries of the African continent.
 
"The African states have a lot of experience in using 
Russian military equipment, which proved to be 
quite worthy in the hands of local soldiers," 
the analyst noted.
 
According to Asafov - African states take into account 
Russia's experience in a number of serious conflicts, 
for example in Syria. In addition, the Russian 
Federation.... has "experience in 
peacemaking" on the African 
continent, he recalled.
 
"One way or another, Russians in Africa are perceived as 
friendly --- not as those who came, to impose their own 
conditions, or rob --- but as those who ensure security
and sovereignty. Moscow has extensive experience 
of cooperation with the countries of the continent: 
with Mali, the Central African Republic --- and a 
number of other African states," the source 
added - to RT.
 
According to Esipov, Russia's support is important for 
African partners, as they are still getting rid of the 
remnants of their colonial heritage.
 
"The West still puts a lot of pressure on them, including 
indirectly. It is trying to impose sanctions by the forces 
of those African states that adhere to the pro-Western
line. Countries that pursue independent policies are 
threatened with military intervention." he said.
 
In turn, for Moscow, "broad cooperation" with Africa is
 an element of breaking the diplomatic blockade that
 the West was trying to organize, Esipov said.
 
"The whole world sees --- that the Global South wants 
to work with Russia and maintain normal relations," 
he concluded.
 
Strengthening its position on the African continent 
....gives Russia the opportunity to expand its 
network of allies, analysts agree.
 
"This is necessary -- for the development of multi-vector 
cooperation, including trade, technological and military. 
Mutually beneficial partnership is also expressed in
 the development of energy technologies. This 
mutually enriches Russia and African 
countries," Asafov concluded.
 
 
__________________________________



South Sudan to Vaccinate 
3.1 Mln Children in 
Polio Campaign
February 28th (teleSUR)
 
On Tuesday, South Sudan and United Nations agencies
 launched a nationwide polio campaign, aiming to 
vaccinate 3.1 million children.
 
According to the Ministry of Health, the World Health
Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund 
(UNICEF), three variant poliovirus cases have been 
confirmed in three of South Sudan's 10 states: 
Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria and 
Upper Nile.
 
"The reported cases involve children under five years of
 age. Unlike previous poliovirus outbreaks, the affected 
children have not received polio vaccinations," the 
Ministry of Health said in a joint statement issued
 in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
 
The Ministry of Health, with support from the WHO, UNICEF
 and other partners, has established an emergency
 response task force to coordinate the response, 
while increasing surveillance efforts to help
 halt the outbreak ....and prevent its 
further spread.
 
Awut Deng Acuil, the minister of General Education and
 Instruction, representing the minister of health, said 
that the campaign will target all children under five 
years of age in all 10 states and the three 
administrative areas of the country.
 
"We need to act quickly to prevent this outbreak from
 harming more children," Deng said, urging that all 
children under the age of five years should be 
vaccinated against polio --- to ensure the 
success of the week-long campaign.
 
According to the WHO, the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 
has been designed to provide safe and reliable protection 
against poliovirus and is genetically more stable than 
previous oral polio vaccine types.
 
This, it said, means that it has the potential to be 
effective in preventing new outbreaks of type 2 
circulating variant-polio viruses.
 
It is estimated that 33 percent of children have not 
received vaccination against poliovirus type 2, 
according to the WHO.
 
The country's immunization coverage has been affected 
by population movements and displacement, making it 
challenging to reach the children who need 
vaccinations the most.
 
"Polio, a preventable disease ---- should not affect any child 
anywhere," said Humphrey Karamagi, WHO representative 
for South Sudan, adding that the campaign provides a 
significant opportunity for vulnerable populations to
 receive critical interventions that could prevent 
life-threatening diseases ----- such as 
poliomyelitis-induced disability.
 
Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF South Sudan representative, said 
the nationwide campaign marks a pivotal moment in their 
continued efforts to combat polio in South Sudan.
 
"By leveraging the vaccine, designed for enhanced efficacy 
against poliovirus, we can strengthen our defenses and 
reduce the spread of viruses," Lasseko said.
 
Currently, paralytic polio infections are being 
reported ----- in several African countries. 
 
 
__________________________________
 
 
 
Horn of Africa: 58 Million plus 
People, Face Food Insecurity
 February 28th, 8:13pm
 (teleSUR)
 
On Tuesday, a joint report released by the Food and 
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
 (FAO) - and the Intergovernmental Authority 
on Development (IGAD) stated that some 
58.1 million people are acutely food 
insecure in the Greater Horn 
of Africa region.
 
FAO and IGAD said out of the number, 30.5 million were 
from six of the 8 IGAD member states namely Djibouti, 
Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. 
 
The other 27.6 million people were from Burundi, the
 Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic 
of the Congo and Tanzania.
 
"High levels of acute food insecurity, persisted in various 
parts of the region following El Nino-induced heavy rains 
and flooding during the 2023 October-December rainfall 
season, particularly in the Horn of Africa, compounded 
by ongoing conflicts, widespread displacement, and 
long-standing macroeconomic challenges," the
 institutions noted.
 
The bulk of those who are food insecure (23.4 million) are 
in DR Congo, followed by Sudan at 17.7 million and South 
Sudan at 4 million, according to FAO and IGAD.
 
"The food crisis in Sudan worsened as armed conflict 
spilled over to new areas, including the south-east 
states, interrupting agricultural activities, such 
as main season harvesting and winter wheat 
growing," the institutions said.
 
They noted that besides the food crisis, the Greater Horn of
 Africa region is grappling with multiple disease outbreaks, 
among them cholera, malaria, dengue and measles.
 
The European Union said Tuesday it has provided an initial 
185.6 million U.S. dollars to address humanitarian needs
 in the Greater Horn of Africa region.
 
"People in the Horn of Africa are facing mounting
 humanitarian needs as the region is plagued by 
multiple conflicts, climate extremes and 
economic shocks. Around 65 million 
are estimated to be in immediate 
need of assistance," the EU 
said in a statement.
 
The Horn of Africa is expected to experience heavy rains 
between March and May, the latest forecast by IGAD's 
Climate Prediction Centre shows, meaning the food 
crisis may continue in some countries... due 
to flooding.
 
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination 
of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 479 people were killed, 
and more than 5.2 million people were affected by 
El Niño-induced floods between October and 
December 2023 in Kenya, Somalia, 
Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia.
 
 
_________________________________
 
 
 
Egypt Regrets International
 Deadlock on Tackling 
Gaza's Crisis
 February 28th, 6:45pm 
(teleSUR)
 
On Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry 
voiced regret over the international community's failure 
to properly address the humanitarian suffering of 
Palestinians in Gaza.
 
He made the remarks in a 'phone talk with 
Tariq Ahmad, the British minister of state
for the Middle East, North Africa, South
Asia, the Commonwealth, and
 the UN.
 
The two sides discussed the worsening humanitarian 
situation in Gaza and the daily hardships faced by 
Palestinians, during which Shoukry condemned 
the "double standards" that have been applied 
to the issues.
 
During the talk, Shoukry stressed the crucial need to allow
 humanitarian and relief aid into the besieged Palestinian 
enclave, and voiced concern ---- about the severe 
ramifications of any Israeli ground operations 
in the southern Gazan city of Rafah.
 
MP Manon Aubry's text reads, "In Gaza, civilians are dying 
because European countries continue to supply weapons
 to Netanyahu. They are dying because the European 
Union, refuses to suspend its association agreement 
with Israel. They die because many legislators here 
support the risk of genocide and that is why their 
hands are stained with blood."
 
The two officials reaffirmed the legal, humanitarian, and
ethical responsibility of the international community to
end the crisis and halt Israeli violations in the region.
 
They also underscored the urgency of implementing
 a ceasefire, releasing hostages, and achieving 
a lasting peace.
 
Since Oct. 7, 2023, the Israeli occupation forces have been 
waging an intense offensive against the population in the 
Gaza Strip. Their warring actions have also affected 
the Palestinians residing in the West Bank.
 
The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to
 29,954 as the Israeli military killed 76 in the past 24 
hours, the Health Ministry said, on Wednesday.
 
 
_________________________________________
 
 
 
President Raeisi due in Algeria 
in 1st presidential visit 
in 14 years
February 28th, 6:15pm
 (PressTV)
 
President Ebrahim Raeisi of Iran is to visit Algeria over 
the weekend in a first trip by an Iranian president to
 the North African country... in 14 years.
 
Iran’s official IRNA news agency, said, on Wednesday,
Raeisi will travel to Algiers on March 2 at the official 
invitation of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
 
The Iranian president is scheduled to attend the seventh 
meeting of the leaders of the Gas Exporting Countries 
Forum (GECF) in Algiers.
 
IRNA said Raeisi’s trip to Algeria is in line with his
 administration’s efforts to bolster cooperation
 with regional and international organizations
 and to expand relations with Muslim and 
“like-minded” countries.
 
It said Raeisi will hold talks with Tebboune in Algiers,
 adding that high-ranking delegations from the two 
countries... will also negotiate and sign several
 memoranda of understanding during the trip.
 
The last time an Iranian president visited Algeria was 
in September 2010, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
 stopped for a few hours in Algiers as part of a
 regional tour ----- to hold talks with then 
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
 
The GECF was established in 2008 -- based on an initial 
proposal by Iran, a country which is one of the world’s
 largest holders of natural gas reserves and a top 
producer and consumer of the hydrocarbon 
resource. The forum has 13 permanent 
members and seven observers.
 
Raeisi’s trip also comes on the backdrop of Iran’s efforts to
 boost relations with countries in North Africa, including 
Sudan, with which Iran had strained relations in recent 
years, and with Egypt, a country with no diplomatic 
relations with Iran --- since 1979.
 
 
________________________________________

 
Republic of Congo starts exporting
LNG from project --- with Lukoil 
participation
February 27th, 8:57pm (TASS) 
 
The Republic of the Congo has started exporting 
liquified natural gas, as it produced the first 
batch at the Marine XII project of Italy’s 
Eni and Lukoil.
 
"With the first cargo, the Republic of the Congo enters
the group of LNG exporting countries, opening up 
opportunities for economic growth ...while 
contributing to global energy balance," 
Eni said in a statement.
 
The project, situated within the Marine XII permit, 
will achieve a plateau gas liquefaction capacity 
of approximately 4.5 bln cubic metres per 
annum and will mark zero flaring from 
operated activities in country. 
 
The volumes, will be marketed by Eni, strengthening and 
expanding the company’s LNG portfolio, and supporting 
efforts towards energy security and transition, the
 company said.
 
"The Congo LNG project, sanctioned in December 2022, 
came on stream after just 1 year, in line with the initial 
timeline: an achievement ---- made possible by Eni's 
distinctive phased and parallelized approach 
and its highly efficient execution plan," 
the statement reads. 
 
The first LNG cargo is currently being loaded and will 
sail to Piombino’s regasification terminal, in Italy, 
in the coming days.
 
''The first cargo of LNG from Congo is the result of the 
strong commitment of Eni and its partners and of 
the unwavering support of the Government of 
the Republic of the Congo.'' 
 
''Eni and the local partners shared work forces, know-
how and technologies, ensuring additional revenues 
to the country while contributing to Europe’s energy
security" - Eni's CEO, Claudio Descalzi, was quoted
 as saying.
 
 
_________________________________________
 
 
Egypt airlifts over 50 tons 
of aid to Gaza — TV
February 27th, 5:15pm (TASS) 
 
The Egyptian Air Force has airlifted at least 50 tons of 
various kinds of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,
 the Al-Qahira Al-Ekhbariya TV channel reported
 citing senior Egyptian officials.
 
According to the channel, Egyptian aircraft successfully
dropped ten tons of foodstuffs on northern Gaza. At 
least 45 tons of humanitarian aid were dropped, in
addition to the northern areas, in the central 
parts of the enclave, with the active 
involvement of Jordan and the 
United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
Foodstuffs and urgent humanitarian aid are among the 
cargoes delivered to the Gaza Strip via the air bridge.
 
Egyptian officials... have not yet
commented on this information.
 
Earlier on Tuesday, the TV channel reported on the plans 
of the Egyptian authorities to set up an air corridor for 
delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza by aircraft in 
cooperation with Jordan and the UAE, but did 
not provide data on the volume of cargoes 
planned to be sent to Gaza.
 
Typically, humanitarian aid is delivered to the Gaza Strip
 from Egypt by land, through the Rafah border crossing. 
Some countries, including the United States and Israel, 
have repeatedly accused the Egyptian authorities of 
allegedly impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid
 to the enclave. In response to these criticisms, 
Egyptian spokesman Ahmed Fahmy issued a 
special statement on February 9, in which 
he explained that his country opened the
 Rafah crossing from the very beginning 
of the escalation of tensions in Gaza, 
and that Israeli bombing was the 
only reason - for the forced and 
temporary halt in the delivery
 of aid -- to the population of 
the Strip - through the land 
crossing on the Egyptian 
border. 
 
Fahmy added that "once the shelling of the other side 
of the crossing ended, Egypt immediately undertook 
the necessary repairs and technical adjustments, 
facilitating the resumption --- of the flow of a 
substantial amount of humanitarian aid 
and assistance to the people of 
the Strip." 
 
He also recalled -- that 80% of the support delivered to 
Gaza is provided directly by the Egyptian government, 
the country's humanitarian, and civil society 
organizations and Egyptians.
 
 
____________________________________



Ethiopia detains.... 
French ''journalist''
February 26th, 1:17pm
 (africanews)
 
A French journalist has been detained in Ethiopia 
while visiting the country for a recent African
 Union summit.
 
Antoine Galindo, a Paris-based correspondent for the 
Africa Intelligence website, was detained in the 
capital Addis Ababa last Thursday by 
plainclothes security officers,
 the news outlet's publisher, 
Indigo Publications ------ 
said in a statement.
 
Galindo had arrived in Ethiopia earlier this month 
to report on an annual African Union summit 
and had a visa authorising him to work 
as a journalist, the statement said.
 
Ethiopia's government has not publicly commented on 
Galindo's case. According to the statement by 
Indigo Publications, a judge on Saturday 
ordered the extension of Galindo's 
detention until March 1.
 
He has been accused of "conspiracy to create chaos 
in Ethiopia," the publisher said and called on the 
authorities to release him.
 
The journalist was denied bail ---- after police had
requested his continued detention so they could
access his phone records and apprehend
other suspects, CPJ said, 
citing
Galindo's lawyer.
 
 
____________________________________


 
Cuba's Parliament President, 
Esteban Lazo to visit Angola
February 26th, 11:59am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The Cuban National People's Power Assembly (Parliament) 
President, Esteban Lazo, will arrive in Angola on Tuesday 
for a three-day official visit, the Angolan Parliament's 
press office announced on Monday.
 
Lazo’s program in Luanda includes a courtesy meeting 
with National Assembly President Carolina Cerqueira 
and meetings with Angolan parliamentarians within
 the framework of the historic relations between 
the two institutions.
 
On Wednesday, February 28, Lazo and his accompanying 
delegation will attend the plenary session of the 
Legislative Branch to debate and approve two 
bills, one on cryptocurrency mining and the 
other on doping in sports.
 
On the same day, the Cuban delegation will tour the
 National Assembly building, the António Agostinho 
Neto Memorial, and former President José Eduardo
dos Santos’s sarcophagus.
 
They will also learn about the Cardenal Dom 
Alexandre do Nascimento Hospital Complex.
 
On February 29, the Cuban Parliament president will 
honour Cuban Commander, Raúl Díaz Arguelles -- by 
laying a wreath at the Alto de las Cruces Cemetery.
 
Lazo will arrive in Angola from South Africa, where he 
met with that country’s governmental leaders and
 political parties.
 
 
___________________________________________
 
 
Senegal:
Opposition candidates
vote 
in mock election..
to protest poll delay
February 26th, 11:20am
(africanews)
 
Senegalese presidential candidates on Sunday cast their 
ballots in a symbolic vote organised by a civil society 
organisation to denounce the postponement of the
 presidential election.
 
The country's election was scheduled for Sunday.
 
The presidential candidates who took part slipped
 their ballot papers into a box bearing the words
 "RIP 25 February."
 
“We cannot accept, with the stroke of a pen, being deprived 
of what is essential to us, that is to say, our freedom and 
democracy, and above all our ability to elect our 
leaders,” said presidential candidate and 
former Dakar Mayor, Khalifa Sall.
 
Some young Senegalese protesters defied a ban on their 
demonstration and gathered on the streets of Dakar to 
condemn the postponement.
 
"It hurts me a lot to see that our rights have been trampled 
on to bring us back today to an uncertain process,” said 
protester Ibrahim Deme.
 
On February 3, Senegalese President Macky Sall 
postponed the vote in a televised speech to 
the nation.
 
The postponement was rejected by opposition leaders who
 led a protest against it, resulting in violent clashes with 
security forces, arrests and mobile internet cuts that
 further deepened political tensions in one of 
Africa’s most stable democracies.
 
This year’s election, unlike previous years, has been
dogged by controversies from deadly protests - that
resulted in Sall announcing that he would not 
seek a third term - to the disqualification 
of two opposition leaders.
 
 
___________________________________


ECOWAS withdraws all 
sanctions imposed
 on Niger
February 24th, 1:47pm (TASS)
 
 The Economic Community of West African States
 (ECOWAS) decided to withdraw all sanctions,
 previously imposed on Niger, 
Reuters reports.
 
This decision.. was approved during the 
emergency ECOWAS summit in Abuja, 
Nigeria.
 
ECOWAS imposed political, economic and trade 
sanctions last year, after a group of senior 
presidential guard military staff came 
into power in late July.
 
 They ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

The 
Committee for the Salvation of the
Homeland - 
led by Presidential Guard
commander, 
Abdourahmane Tchiani,
has been 
established in the country.
 
 
_______________________________


South Africa ---- urges countries 
to testify at ICJ against Israel
February 24th, 1:46pm
 (PressTV)
 
South Africa has called on all countries to testify in a case 
it has filed against Israel before the International Court of 
Justice (ICJ) in order to punish the occupying regime for 
its activities against the besieged Gaza Strip.
 
South Africa’s Ambassador to the Netherlands 
Vusimuzi Madonsela made the appeal ------
on Saturday.
 
What Israel is doing against the Palestinians in the
 occupied territories, he said, is the worst form
 of apartheid.
 
“As South Africans, we see, hear, and feel deep within 
ourselves the inhumane discriminatory policies and
practices of the Israeli regime -- which constitute 
an even more extreme form of institutionalized 
apartheid,” Madonsela said.
 
He said as a country that was directly oppressed and
 suffered under the apartheid regime, it Is very 
important for South Africans to participate
 in preventing the suffering of others 
under the same regime.
 
The South African diplomat said his country considers 
filing this lawsuit against Israel at the ICJ as its duty 
to its people and the international community 
- to ensure that the occupying regime is 
made accountable for its actions.
 
The hearing comes - amid mounting international 
pressure on Israel over its savage campaign in 
the besieged Gaza Strip.
 
He also stated --- that South Africa has enough 
evidence to prove the regime has committed 
“genocide” in Gaza. 
 
Madonsela said his country expects the ICJ to declare 
that the continued occupation of the Palestinian land 
by Israel ----- is illegal and must end.
 
If, he said, the ICJ reaches this conclusion, South Africa 
is waiting for the appropriate punishment of the regime.
 
South Africa brought the genocide case before the ICJ, 
based in The Hague, the Netherlands, in January. 
Later in the month - the top UN court ordered 
the occupying regime - to stop its genocide
 in Gaza, among several other measures.
 
The top UN court is holding a fourth day of hearings on 
Israel’s decades-long occupation of the Palestinian
 territories. Representatives from several 
countries have addressed the 
Hague-based court.
 
The tribunal is holding a week of public hearings 
after a request from the UN, with 52 countries 
presenting their arguments on the issue 
of a nonbinding opinion, on the legal 
consequences of the occupation.
 
The ongoing hearings are related to a case 
brought by the UN General Assembly --- 
after a resolution in December 2022.
 
Since the Israeli occupation of Palestine in June 1967,
 the regime has perpetrated a raft of crimes, including 
the killing, displacement, kidnapping and torture of 
Palestinians - and the demolition of their homes.
 
Only since early October 2023 - Israel has killed over
 29,000 people, mostly women and children, in Gaza.
 
 
___________________________________________


UNHCR considers worrying 
deterioration of situation 
in DRC
February 24th, 10:14am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 
(UNHCR) described as worrying the deterioration of
 the humanitarian situation of civilians in the east 
of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 
According to figures published by the entity, over 144 
thousand people were forced to flee the outskirts of
 the city of Goma, one of the most affected by the 
resurgence of fighting in the neighboring city
 of Sake.
 
Reports claim that non-state armed groups also launched
a series of selective attacks against civilians this week
in Beni and in the territory of Irumu - in the province 
of Ituri.
 
UNHCR protection monitoring teams 
received reports of murders, 
kidnappings ---- and 
house burnings.
 
The agency asked local authorities to expand two sites
 for displaced people on the outskirts of Goma in order 
to deliver 900,000 shelters in 2024 together with 
other humanitarian agencies.
 
For their part, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the 
World Food Program called for immediate measures to
 protect children and families caught in the 
escalating hostilities.
 
“The increase in violence and displacement is straining the
 resources of both agencies to mount a comprehensive 
response that includes food, clean water, good 
sanitation, safe shelter, basic health care 
and protective services --- for women 
and children,” Stéphane Dujarric, 
spokesperson for the Secretary
General, said on Friday.
 
Aid workers also warned of the cutting of crucial land
 routes to facilitate the delivery of food and other 
supplies --- leading to shortages and price 
increases in local markets in Goma.
 
 
_________________________________




Russian Foreign Ministry: Lavrov 
highly appreciates South Africa's
 efforts in Middle East settlement
February 22nd, 4:19pm
(RT.ru)
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during a meeting 
with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on the 
sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting, in Rio 
de Janeiro, highly appreciated the republic's efforts 
in resolving the situation in the Middle East.
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia 
informs about this on its website.
 
"In the context of the ongoing escalation of the 
Palestinian-Israeli conflict --- Lavrov highly 
appreciated the efforts of South African 
diplomacy to achieve a settlement of 
the situation in the Palestinian 
territories," the ministry said
 in a statement.
 
 
_______________________________

 
Press conference -------- highlights
Ethiopia’s bilateral commitments
February 22nd, 2:29pm
 (Prensa Latina) 
 
A press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
today focused on Ethiopia's bilateral commitments 
with South Africa, Brazil and Angola, on the frame
-work of the 37th Summit of the African Union.
 
The spokesman of the local Foreign Ministry, Meles Alem,
 pointed out that the cooperation agreements reached 
with these countries enhance relations with Addis 
Ababa and, in the case of Pretoria and Brasilia, 
will have a positive impact on the position 
within the Brics group (- Brazil, Russia, 
India, China and South Africa).
 
Alem also referred to the memoranda of understanding
 signed the day before during the 36th Ethiopia-Kenya 
Joint Ministerial Commission, which serve as an 
example of the two countries’ growing desire, 
to strengthen their already strong relations, 
the ambassador said.
 
The agreements seek to accelerate cooperation in key 
areas such as culture, tourism, oil sector development, 
wildlife protection, blue economy and fisheries, 
correctional services, among others.
 
The spokesman expressed gratitude for the Kenyan 
government’s decision to stop charging Ethiopian 
nationals for Electronic Travel Authorization.
 
He clarified that although his nationals will not have
 to pay for their visas or any other associated fees,
 they will be required to complete an ETA form 
online, prior to their arrival.
 
 
__________________________________________
 
 
Founder - of African regional 
entity warns of fracture risk
February 22nd, 1:21pm
 Prensa Latina
 
The former Nigerian president, Yakubu Gowon,
recommended to the Economic Community 
of West African States (ECOWAS) - to lift
the sanctions against three countries 
governed by the military - as an 
antidote to the danger 
of disunity.
 
Gowon, one of the founding fathers of the grouping in the 
Nigerian city of Lagos in 1975, issued his warning in an 
open letter to the leaders of the grouping’s member
 countries days before an emergency summit
 is scheduled to be held.
 
Neither my generation nor current and future generations
will forgive the breakup of our community, the 89-year-
old former president, wrote in his letter.
 
He also urged West African leaders to immediately 
consider lifting the sanctions imposed on Burkina 
Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger, and the withdrawal
by these countries ---- of their notification to
 leave ECOWAS.
 
He added the proposal for “the participation of the 
15 heads of State of the grouping in a summit 
meeting, to discuss the future of the 
community, security, and 
regional stability”.
 
 
___________________________________________
 
 
Ethiopia ---- has first centre 
for genomic sequencing
February 22nd, 1:13pm
 (Prensa Latina)
 
 Ethiopia has its first Integrated Centre for Bioinformatics 
and Genomic Sequencing of Pathogens for Surveillance
 and Research, located at the Public Health Institute, 
noted today the state television Fana Broadcasting 
Corporation.
 
Genomic sequencing, a powerful tool in laboratory science
 and public health, is crucial for generating genomic
 knowledge to make informed decisions and 
improve public health responses, the 
report said.
 
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 revealed that it supported the installation of the centre 
by providing technical and financial assistance --- to 
establish pathogen genomic sequencing capacity 
through implementing partners --- such as The 
African Society for Laboratory Medicine 
- among others - according to the
local 
news outlet.
 
CDC’s associate laboratory director in Ethiopia, Dr. Daniel 
Garcia, emphasized the importance of each country 
having an integrated genomic sequencing facility 
for the early detection and response to public 
health emergencies.
 
 
________________________________________


Cuba seeks to clarify situation of 
kidnapped doctors in Kenya
February 22nd, 1:10pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The President of the Parliament of Cuba, Esteban Lazo,
 spoke here with President William Ruto, in the context 
of the visit he is making as Special Envoy of the
 Government of his country.
 
Lazo, who is also the president of the Cuban Council of
 State is taking urgent steps to clarify the current 
situation of doctors Assel Herrera Correa and 
Landy Rodríguez Hernández, kidnapped in 
2019, by the Somali terrorist group 
Al-Shabaab.... while they were 
providing health assistance
 in Kenya.
 
According to unconfirmed information, the doctors died
 as a result of a bombing by the United States African
 Command (AFRICOM) on positions of the violent 
organization in the town of Dilib, Somalia.
 
The circumstances and characteristics...... of the military 
operation that the AFRICOM spokeswoman confirmed to 
have occurred, whether it was justified, and whether it 
was carried out with the obligatory care to avoid
 collateral damage, protect civilians and
 innocents, in accordance with 
international humanitarian
 law, are still unknown.
 
Since the first hours after receiving the news, the Cuban
 government has given absolute priority to the efforts, 
which will be maintained until all possibilities are 
exhausted to confirm the situation of the 
doctors, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs said recently in a statement.
 
 
________________________________________



Africa: Zimbabwe Within Range 
of Africa's Fastest Growing
 Economies
by Enacy Mapakame
February 21st, 2024
The Herald (Harare)
 
Zimbabwe remains within range of Africa's forecast 
average economic growth rate, albeit a projected 
slowdown.... in 2024, the Finance, Economic 
Development and Investment Promotion
Minister, Professor Mthuli
Ncube, said.
 
This comes, as the continent is set to remain
 the second-fastest-growing region after Asia.
 
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB)'s 
latest Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook 
(MEO) report on the continent, the region will 
account for 11 of the world's 20 fastest-
growing economies in 2024.
 
Up to 41 countries across the continent will, in 2024, 
achieve an economic growth rate of 3.8 percent, 
and, in 13 of them, growth will be more than 
1 percentage point higher, than in 2023.
 
While Zimbabwe faces a host of challenges among them
bad weather affecting agriculture production and 
therefore weighing on the overall economic 
growth rate, Professor Ncube highlighted 
the Government.. was taking measures 
to offset the challenges and pave the
way --- for a sound economic policy
 framework conducive for growth.
 
Zimbabwe's economy is estimated to have grown by 
5,3 percent last year while the impact of El Nino 
climate conditions is expected to slow down
the agriculture-driven economy's growth
to
 3,2 percent in 2024.
 
Professor Ncube was quoted in the AfDB's latest report, 
describing the bank's outlook perspective as being "on
point" and consistent with the reality in Zimbabwe, 
describing it as useful for economic planning 
across Africa.
 
He also urged the AfDB to continue its thoughtful 
leadership to help policymakers continue to 
build resilience to withstand shocks and
 drive growth.
 
"Zimbabwe expects slower growth due to climate shocks
 in the region. Southern African countries depend on 
agriculture for economic growth, so climate-
proofing agriculture is key," he said.
 
According to the Treasury, Zimbabwe's total public and
publicly guaranteed (PPG) debt, amounted to US$17.7 
billion, as at the end of September 2023, made up of 
US$12.7 billion external debt --- and US$5 billion 
domestic debt.
 
The World Bank opines that exiting the debt overhang 
would require ---- sustained strong growth, access to
 concessional financing and debt relief to expunge.
 But Zimbabwe is not alone in this --- as the debt
challenge is prevalent across the region.
 
"We are in talks with creditors... to ''restructure'' its 
(Zimbabwe's) debt, which is slowing economic 
growth. Internally, the country will focus on 
economic and governance reforms and 
reforms around property rights ---- to
 increase agricultural production,"
 said Professor Ncube.
 
Overall, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the 
continent is expected to average 3,8 percent and 4,2 
percent in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This is 
higher than projected global averages of 
2,9 percent and 3,2 percent, the
 report said.
 
According to the AfDB, the top 11 African countries
 projected to experience the strongest economic
 performance are Niger 11,2 percent, Senegal
 8,2 percent, Libya 7,9 percent, Rwanda 
7,2 percent, Cote d'Ivoire 6,8 percent, 
Ethiopia 6,7%, Benin 6,4 percent, 
Djibouti 6,2 percent, Tanzania
6,1 
percent, Togo 6 percent,
and 
Uganda at 6 percent.
 
"Despite the challenging global and regional economic
 environment, 15 African countries have posted output 
expansions of more than 5 percent," AfDB Group 
president Dr Akinwumi Adesina said, calling for
---- larger pools of financing and several policy 
interventions to further boost Africa's growth.
 
Africa's Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook, a
 biannual publication released in the first and third 
quarters of each year, complements the bank's 
existing African Economic Outlook (AEO), 
which focuses on key emerging policy 
issues relevant to the continent's 
development.
 
The MEO report provides an up-to-date evidence-based 
assessment of the continent's recent macroeconomic 
performance and short-to-medium-term outlook amid 
dynamic global economic developments.
 
The latest report is calling for cautious optimism given the 
challenges posed by global and regional risks. These risks 
include rising geopolitical tensions, increased regional 
conflicts, and political instability -- all of which could 
disrupt trade and investment flows, and perpetuate 
inflationary pressures.
 
Dr Adesina emphasised that fiscal deficits have 
improved ---- as faster-than-expected recovery 
from the pandemic helped shore up revenue.
 
"This has led to a stabilisation of the average fiscal deficit 
at 4,9 percent in 2023, like 2022, but significantly less 
than the 6,9 percent average fiscal deficit of 2020.'' 
 
''The stabilisation is also due to the fiscal 
consolidation measures, especially in 
countries with elevated risks of 
debt distress," he said.
 
 
________________________________________
 
 
 
DR Congo government dissolved 
after prime minister resigns
February 21st, 6:48pm
(africanews)

The prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 
Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, resigned on Tuesday 
triggering the dissolution of his government, 
the presidency said in a statement.
 
Lukonde handed his resignation to President Felix 
Tshisekedi eight days after the validation of his
 mandate as a national deputy.
 
He plans to join parliament, after being elected in
 the country’s December polls as a member of 
the assembly representing Kasenga district.
 
It is a legal requirement in the DRC that serving ministers 
are not members of parliament, which means one has to 
choose whether to remain a legislator or quit to remain
 in government.
 
In a second statement on Tuesday, the presidency said it 
had called on Lukonde’s government to continue running 
the country until the formation of a new administration.
 
Lukonde was appointed prime minister in February 2021, 
at the age of 43, following the break-up of the alliance 
between Tshisekedi’s coalition and that of former 
president, Joseph Kabila.
 
After Tshisekedi was re-elected in December, he named 
a representative to identify a majority coalition within 
the National Assembly --- in view of forming his 
next government.
 
According to the provisional results which must be 
confirmed by the Constitutional Court, the parties 
supporting Tshisekedi won almost 94 per cent 
of the seats in the assembly.
 
 
_________________________________________


Putin discusses grain delivery 
to African countries with 
Patrushev
February 20th, 8:41pm
(Izvestia.ru)
 
Russia has completed the delivery of 200 thousand tons 
of wheat to six African countries. This was announced
 by Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev 
during a conversation with Russian President 
Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday, February 20. 

A recording of the meeting was 
published on the Kremlin's 
Telegram channel.
 
"In Mali, in Burkina Faso, in Zimbabwe and in Eritrea, 25
 thousand tons were delivered, and in Somalia, in the 
Central African Republic, we sent 50 thousand tons
 each," he said.
 
Deliveries were made by order of the President - as 
humanitarian aid to the poorest countries of the 
African continent. According to Patrushev, 
there have never been, such large-scale 
humanitarian actions in Russia before.
 
The Minister also said that he is in contact with 
colleagues from these countries after the 
Russia-Africa summit, which took 
place last year.
 
Prior to this, on November 17, Dmitry Patrushev reported
 that Russia sent ships with grain to African countries. 
The first two vessels - 25 thousand tons each - left 
Russian ports - in the direction of Somalia and 
Burkina Faso. Other countries listed include 
Zimbabwe, Mali, the Central African 
Republic (CAR) and Eritrea.
 
Then, on December 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin
 noted that Russia sends grain to six African countries 
that need food, while some ships have already begun
 unloading on the continent.
 
On December 9, the official representative of the Russian 
Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, pointed out that the 
Russian Federation continues to transfer products to 
countries in need, free of charge. She noted that the
curtailment of the Black Sea initiative did not lead 
to the catastrophe that was predicted in the West.
 
At the same time, the diplomat added that the grain deal 
can be resumed - only if the sanctions against Russian 
agricultural companies are lifted.
 
The food deal was concluded on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. 
Its operation ended on July 17 at the initiative of Moscow 
due to the obligations not fulfilled by Western states - to
the Russian side on the export of agricultural products
and fertilizers from the Russian Federation. 
 
The country's leadership has repeatedly expressed 
concerns... about the problems associated with 
its possible extension.
 


_______________________________________________


TV5 Monde: flags of France and the
US
 are being burned in Congo — 
demonstrators are tired 
of the "hypocrisy" of 
Western partners
February 20th, 2024 
(source: TV5 Monde
translation by InoTV)
 
The flags of France and the US, are trampled; then they 
are burned. The message that the demonstrators want 
to convey is clear: they accuse these countries of not 
supporting them in their fight against the March 
23 rebels.
 
MOIZ HANGI, activist of the movement " Fight for Change
 "(Lucha): It is time for the Congolese authorities, to 
establish relations with other partners — sincere 
and not hypocritical. France, the UK and US are 
now helping Rwanda, and yet -- the reports of 
UN experts clearly show - and have already 
provided evidence - in favour of Rwanda's 
sponsorship of the "March 23 Movement".
 
Kigali denies claims that Rwanda supports the rebels in
 the DRC, but the demonstrators do not believe such 
denials. The protesters head to the town of Sake -
to
 express their support for the Congo forces and 
their partners in the fight against the 23 March 
Movement rebels, but they are stopped on 
their way to the city, after which --- the 
first speeches and demands begin.
 
BOB LVABOSHI, Jicho La Raiya activist: ...We also demand
 the presence of the Chief of Staff in close proximity to the 
DRC Armed Forces in order to eliminate the cacophony of 
orders on the front line, provide full logistical support to 
the armed forces and patriotic militias at the front, and 
close for 72 hours the embassies and consulates of 
all countries supporting Rwanda --- in order to 
prolong the crisis in the DRC. We call on 
citizens to be vigilant -- and provide 
assistance to the army - to the 
detriment of the enemy.
 
Meanwhile, representatives of North Kivu's civil society 
and the DRC Armed Forces and their partners were 
holding a meeting to take stock of the first results 
of Operation Springbok.
 
LIEUTENANT GENERAL FALL SIKABWE, in charge of 
operations in North Kivu and South Kivu: We have 
reached the heights in the vicinity of Sake - and 
the enemy is at the bottom of the same heights.
 So now there is a cat-and-mouse game going 
on at these heights and we are trying to 
consolidate our forces. We must work 
with the UN Stabilization Mission in 
the DRC, to address our mistakes 
and weaknesses, and fight - to 
ensure that the citizens who 
were forced to leave the 
vicinity of Sake - can 
return home and 
feel safe.
 
As for the international situation, the United States
 demanded the withdrawal of Rwandan troops 
present in the east of the DRC, and again 
accused Rwanda of supporting the 
March 23 Movement rebels. 

The 
Rwandan authorities on Monday 
said that they reserve the right 
to take all legitimate steps in 
their view .....to protect 
their country.
 
 
_____________________________

 

ECA, Google sign MoU to foster
 digital transformation in Africa
February 19th, 1:31pm
  (Prensa Latina) 
 
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 
and Google LLC (Google) - have signed a landmark
 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to foster 
and accelerate digital transformation in Africa 
...on the margins of the 2024 edition of the 
Africa Business Forum.
 
The partnership is founded on the complementary expertise
 and strengths of both parties who wish to collaborate on 
activities to support ECA’s mandate such as digital 
development in Africa in line with the African 
Union Digital Transformation Strategy for 
Africa (2020-2030) and Google’s Digital 
Sprinters Framework, and to leverage 
the power of information - and 
communication technologies 
(ICTs) ----- for the benefit of 
Africa’s digital economy.
 
As a general framework for collaboration, the MoU will seek 
to further explore specific key areas of interest pertaining 
to digital skills development for Africa’s burgeoning young 
population, startup development, increasing financial 
inclusion, strengthening cybersecurity and online 
safety measures, and advancing AI policy
 research for policymakers on 
the continent.
 
ECA’s Executive Secretary Mr. Claver Gatete, acknowledged
Google’s pivotal role in improving Africa’s connectivity infra-
structure, supporting Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs, 
and building digital capacity in emerging technologies
 through skills development for researchers, 
students and educators.
 
“This partnership, holds the potential to produce significant 
and influential outcomes in tackling digital challenges and 
narrowing the digital divide across the African continent,” 
Mr. Gatete remarked.
 
Africa -- with the lowest internet penetration rate globally, 
sees 63% of its population - without internet access. The 
ECA is committed to closing digital divides by promoting 
infrastructure development and affordability, sound
 regulatory environment, and fostering 
digital skills.
 
To tap into Africa’s digital transformation potential to meet 
the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063, 
it is crucial that the continent’s youth  projected 
to account for nearly half of the global youth 
population by 2030 - are prepared for a 
digital future and the 4th Industrial 
Revolution.
 
Doron Avni --- Google’s Vice President of Government 
Affairs&Public Policy, Emerging Markets, said: “With 
advanced technologies like AI, the most profound 
transformation is yet to come. Collaboration will 
be essential if Africa is to realize this 
opportunity and ensure no-one is 
left behind. We are excited to 
collaborate with the ECA to 
work towards this shared 
objective.”
 
 
_____________________________________________
 
 
 
Díaz-Canel expresses condolences 
over Namibian president’s death
February 19th, 1:20pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Monday signed the
 book of condolences opened at the Namibian Embassy
 in Havana, due to President Hage Geingob's death.
 
According to the Presidency of the Republic on its X profile, 
the Cuban head of State wrote, “We will never forget the 
brother and his shows of solidarity, love and affection 
for the Cuban people.”
 
After Geingob’s death on February 4, Díaz-Canel wrote on X
 that he will always remember the warm welcome that he
 received during his visit to Namibia, and the African
 leader’s role - in favour of the historic relations of 
brotherhood between the two peoples.
 
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez also expressed deep pain 
at the news and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to
 the people, relatives and friends of Geingob.
 
Hage Gottfried Geingob was born in Grootfontein 
on August 3, 1941. He was 82 years old when 
he died.
 
 
 
________________________________________________
 
 
 
Cuba thanks Africa ----- for its 
support against US blockade
February 19th, 12:18pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Monday
expressed gratitude to Africa, for its permanent 
support against the blockade that the US has 
imposed on Cuba for more than six decades.
 
On his X profile, the head of Cuban diplomacy noted that 
that the 37th African Union Summit, held in Ethiopia
 recently, approved for the fifteenth consecutive 
time ----- a resolution calling for an end to 
Washington’s siege.
 
Rodriguez pointed out that the forum also condemned 
Cuba’s inclusion on the US State Department’s
 unilateral State Sponsors of Terrorism
 (SSOT) list, and requested
 its withdrawal.
 
Sunday’s text from the African Union, made up of 55 States 
from that continent, reaffirmed the organization’s full 
support for the Resolution --- approved every year at
 the United Nations General Assembly on this issue.
 
It also regretted the measures implemented by the US 
Government since November 9, 2017, to reinforce the 
blockade, and expressed its deep concern over the 
extension of its extraterritorial nature.
 
The document recognized that the White House’s hostile
 policy -- is the main obstacle to Cuba’s implementation 
of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
 
 
 
________________________________________
 
 
 

AU calls for --- Cuba’s removal 
from list of terrorist countries

February 19th, 12:15pm
(Prensa Latina) 
 
For the first time, the Assembly of the African Union 
(AU) -- called for the removal of Cuba from the US 
State Department's unilateral list of countries
 that allegedly sponsor terrorism.
 
At the 37th ordinary session of the African political 
organization which concluded on Monday, the AU 
Member States raised this demand and endorsed 
for the fifteenth consecutive time condemnation 
--- of the continuous and illegal economic, 
commercial and financial blockade 
imposed by Washington ---
against Havana.
 
The text reaffirmed support for the Resolution on this issue 
adopted every year by the UN General Assembly and 
regretted the measures implemented by the U.S.
government since November 9, 2017 which 
reinforce that unilateral action - amid the 
AU's deep concern over the extension 
of its illegal extraterritorial nature.
 
The African Union recognizes that the blockade is the main 
obstacle to the implementation by Cuba... of the 2030 
Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United 
Nations and shares this concern because of the 
importance that as a continental organization 
it attaches to the achievement of the 
objectives of that agenda.
 
President Barack Obama (2009-2017), removed Cuba 
from the list in 2015 after admitting that Cuba is not
 a sponsor of terrorist acts, but, Donald Trump,
a week before leaving the White House, 
reimposed the designation.
 
 
 

African Union condemns Israel’s  offensive in Gaza --- calls for  immediate ceasefire


African Union
condemns Israel’s 
offensive in Gaza --- calls for
 immediate ceasefire
February 17th, 4:45pm
 (PressTV)
 
The African Union (AU) - has denounced the Israeli
regime's 
“most flagrant” violation of international
humanitarian 
law, in the Gaza Strip, calling for
an immediate 
end to the ongoing war in the
besieged territory.
 
AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat made 
the remarks, during a speech at a summit in the 
Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Saturday -- 
alongside the Palestinian Authority’s Prime 
Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh.
 
“Rest assured -- we strongly condemn these attacks 
that are unprecedented in the history of mankind,”
 Faki said.
 
“We want to reassure you of our solidarity with the people 
of Palestine,” he added while accusing Israel of having 
“exterminated” Gaza’s inhabitants.
 
Azali Assoumani, president of the Comoros and the 
outgoing chairperson of the African Union --- also 
condemned “the genocide Israel is committing
 in Palestine - under our nose.”
 
“The international community cannot close its eyes 
to the atrocities that are committed that have not 
only created chaos in Palestine, but also have 
had disastrous consequences in the rest 
of the world,” he said.
 
Assoumani also praised the case brought by South Africa 
against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
 
Meanwhile, Shtayyeh called on the AU to demand an end to 
Israel’s ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people.
 
“Let the voice of Africa and the voice of your union - be loud 
for the freedom of Palestine -- and the right of its people to 
self-determination, and the embodiment of the Palestinian
 state and its recognition as a member state of the United 
Nations,” he said in his speech at the AU summit.
 
He further urged the AU to push to stop the war on Gaza, 
particularly the happenings in the southern city of 
Rafah, where over half of Gaza's 2.3 million 
people are now living, mostly in 
makeshift tents.
 
“Israel is an apartheid state - and a state of 
racial discrimination in law and practice,” 
Shtayyeh said.
 
“Israel is killing out of revenge, after 134 days of
 aggression, and wants to continue killing for 
as long as possible to serve Netanyahu's 
position as prime minister, this must 
not be allowed," he added.
 
The Palestinian prime minister also called for 
"boycotting settlement products and 
settlement institutions -----
 and settlers.”
 
He also praised countries that placed some settlers 
on "terrorist" lists, while calling for a halt to Israeli 
settlements expansion in the occupied West Bank.  
 
Israel waged the brutal war on Gaza on October 7 after
 the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, carried 
out a historic operation against the occupying entity
 in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against 
the Palestinian people.
 
So far, the occupying regime has killed over 28,800 
Palestinians, mostly women and children, and
 injured about 70,000 others.
 
The Tel Aviv regime has imposed a “complete siege”
 on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, 
and water...... to the more than two million 
Palestinians living there.
 
 
___________________________________



Russian Ambassador ----- Ethiopian 
Prime Minister expected to attend
 BRICS summit in Kazan
February 17th, 4:16pm
(RT.ru)
 
Russian Ambassador to Addis Ababa Evgeny Terekhin said 
that Russia is counting on the participation of Ethiopian 
P.M. Abiy Ahmed, in the BRICS summit in October.
 
As he noted in an interview with TASS, the format of the
 BRICS summit, implies the participation of top officials 
of the BRICS member countries, including, of course, 
the Prime Minister of Ethiopia - which is now a full 
member of the union.
 
"We hope that such a visit will take place," he said.
 
Earlier, China announced the need to use national
currencies between the BRICS countries.
 
 
____________________________________________

 
Sexual crimes drop
 in South Africa
February 17th, 12:49am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
The sexual crime toll in South Africa registered a 1.7% 
depletion between October and December 2023, 
official sources informed.
 
According to South African Police Minister Bheki Cele, 
such a drop in sexual crimes, which include rape,
 sexual assault and non-consensual physical 
contact crimes, is partly the result of a
 police awareness campaign.
 
Submitting the figures for the last quarter of 2023, Cele 
detailed provinces with a sexual crime reduction were
 downtown Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal 
(southeast), Limpopo (north), Northern Cape 
(west) and Eastern Cape (south).
 
 
____________________________________________


Kenya: Africa’s Agriculture Ministers 
Meet ----- to Boost Farm Research
February 17th, 12:05am 
(teleSUR)
 
On Thursday, agriculture ministers from Africa met 
in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to discuss ways 
of boosting research that will benefit farmers 
in the continent.
 
The third Association for Strengthening Agricultural 
Research in Eastern and Central Africa Council of
Patron Ministers meeting gathered ministers
from 
15 countries --- to review ways
to improve farm 
productivity and
the quality of crops -- to boost 
food security in the continent.
 
Mithika Linturi, Kenyan cabinet secretary in the Ministry 
of Agriculture and Livestock Development, said in his 
opening remarks that African governments should 
increase public spending on agricultural
research 
to increase the incomes
of farmers.
 
"Introduction of disease-resistant crop varieties will enable 
African farmers to reduce losses from insects and pests," 
Linturi said, adding that the application of research
 techniques ---- such as advanced seed breeding 
techniques can contribute to the growth of 
Africa's agricultural sector.
 
Josephine Lagu, South Sudan's minister of agriculture and 
food security, said that Africa remains a net importer of 
food even as the majority of its population works in the
 agricultural sector. She also noted that the use of 
high-yielding crop varieties will boost farmers' 
harvests and reduce reliance on agricultural 
commodity imports.
 
Hussein Mohamed Bashe, Tanzania's minister of 
agriculture, said that Africa needs to prioritize
 innovations that will develop machinery 
enhancing output in the continent.
 
He added that the use of locally developed 
organic fertilizers will also increase 
farmers' yields by improving 
soil health. 
 


AU Summit

AU summit