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Kofi Annan, ‘The Elders’ team to engage political stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

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Former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan along with a team from ‘The Elders’ begin a three-day trip to Zimbabwe to engage political stakeholders ahead of general elections slated for later this month.

During the July 19 – 21 trip, the delegation is expected among others to meet political leaders, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the diplomatic community, civil society representatives and media.

A statement posted on the website of the Kofi Annan Foundation read in part: “The Elders, with the support of the Kofi Annan Foundation, will visit Zimbabwe from 19-21 July to meet political leaders and support all actors working for free, fair and transparent elections, an inclusive transition and a brighter future for the country.

“Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and the Kofi Annan Foundation and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will lead the delegation.

“He will be joined by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and UN diplomat,” the statement added.

The July 30 elections is the first post-Mugabe polls which pits incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa against main opposition Nelson Chamisa.

It is the first time in over three decades that Mugabe will not be on the ballot paper. The nonagenarian was deposed in what has been described as a military-led coup d’etat last November.

 

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Nigeria: Woman Dies During Church Deliverance in Lagos

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A 51-year-old woman, Taibat Kareem, has collapsed and died during a deliverance service in a Cherubim and Seraphim Church  community, Lagos after allegedly drinking a substance said to be given to her by the church prophet, Olowomeye Ola, for deliverance.



The issue provoked reactions from the residents who went to the church and brought out the pastor to mob him on the street.

However, before he could be mobbed, the Isheri Police Division moved to the church, arrested two suspects including the pastor and took them to the police station for interrogation.

The incident happened at Oriofe Street in Ijegun in the outskirts of Lagos where the church is located.

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According to the residents, her supplier, one Ayodele Isaac, a herbalist, invited the late Taibat, who dealt in local herbs, to take some herbs for sale. She was going to take the herbs when Pastor Ola accosted her and told her that she needed deliverance. He then took her to the church for prayers; it was during the prayer session that Pastor Ola gave her a liquid substance to drink. Immediately she drank the substance, she collapsed on the ground inside the church.

 Pastor Ola reportedly took her to his own room where he allegedly tried to revive her. It was in the midst of the confusion that the residents raised the alarm, attacked the pastor and attempted to mob him before the police rescued him.
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The corpse of the deceased, Taibat, was deposited at an undisclosed mortuary for autopsy while the two suspects mentioned over her death, Ola and Isaac, were transferred to the SCIID Panti, Yaba, for further investigation.

 When our correspondent visited Isheri Osun Police Division, the DPO was not around to comment on the incident.

However, police sources at the station that the matter had been transferred to SCIID’s Homicide Department.

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United States to reinstate diplomatic presence in Somalia.

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The United States will re-establish a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia, nearly 30 years after the U.S. embassy was closed as a civil war raged in the Horn of Africa country.

Somalia has been trying to recover from the conflict that engulfed the country in 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other.



“This historic event reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu,” the State Department said in a statement late on Tuesday.

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Somalia has in recent years faced an insurgency by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group, as well as famine and maritime piracy.

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While parts of the country are plagued by militant violence, a degree of stability in the capital, Mogadishu, has drawn investment from Somalis at home and abroad.

In September, the World Bank approved $80 million in grants to Somalia to fund public finance reforms, the first disbursement to the country in 30 years.

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