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Jacob Zuma must step down – South Africa’s ANC

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The African National Congress (ANC) has said the country’s President Jacob Zuma must leave office, but the ruling party said no deadline was set for him to resign.

Secretary-General for South Africa’s ruling party, Ace Magashule said on Tuesday that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) believes Zuma’s removal “should be treated with urgency”.

However, the party’s scribe said that the NEC had not discussed any motion of no-confidence against the embattled head of state.

“The NEC, therefore, decided as follows: To recall its deployed, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance with Rule 12.2.21.2 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to ‘recall any public representative’.”
“We will deal with that matter” if Zuma refuses to heed the party decision, which was taken after exhaustive discussion. Magashule said.

Although the party has decided Zuma is under no constitutional obligation to resign, which means if he refuses to step down, the party will have to navigate the prospect of calling for a motion of no-confidence against Zuma in parliament.

Zuma has vowed to stay in office until his tenure ends despite being faced with several corruption charges.

He has found to have given favor to an Indian-born immigrant family known as the Guptas, in what became known as the state capture scandal.

But the defendants of Zuma says he is being targeted unfairly in a system that is underpinned by corruption.

The president has been a member of the party since 1958 and is considered a stalwart of the party.After being in exile, he returned to the country in 1990.

Zuma has survived several “no-confidence” votes in parliament and until early February believed he would survive another. But the tide has changed and several of his allies abandoned him.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected as president of ANC in December has been clear that he had no intention of humiliating Zuma.

The party reportedly wants him to step down rather than dragging the process to a no-confidence vote in parliament, which he is likely not to win.

The ANC’s statement did little to stem the tide of frustration among South Africans who want the president gone, and there is still no indication that Zuma is willing to stand down

The ANC has been careful in trying to spin the recall of Zuma as a matter of transitioning to Ramaphosa and not as a punitive measure.

This has only muddled the decision to recall Zuma even further.

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Africa

Lithium Discovered In Ghana

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Ghana, a nation on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, is known for diverse wildlife, old forts and secluded beaches, such as at Busua. Coastal towns Elmina and Cape Coast contain posubans (native shrines), colonial buildings and castles-turned-museums that serve as testimonials to the slave trade. North of Cape Coast, vast Kakum National Park has a treetop-canopy walkway over the rainforest.

Ghana has discovered a new mineral, Lithium in commercial quantities.

Lithium, which is among the top 10 most expensive minerals in the world was discovered in the Volta Region by the Minerals Commission.

According to the Chief Executive of the Commission, Kwaku Addai Antwi-Boasiako, the mineral was identified during a nationwide exploration exercise.

The mining activities will start but we want to attract investments into the Volta Region, that is where we have the Lithium and all these rare minerals. These are the minerals of the future. Lithium is about green energy and renewable energy. So if you have lithium and all these rare minerals in the Volta Region, you will want to expand the base of mineral production.

The presence of these minerals is as important as having the money to mine them for now, we know we have it,” he told Citi News.

Mr. Antwi-Boasiako added that the Commission was making efforts to ensure that the discovery sites are not encroached upon by illegal miners.

He further noted that the Commission will follow due procedures before it considers issuance of licenses to companies to mine the mineral in the country, noting that it will primarily consider electronic applications from interested investors to avoid issues of corruption.

What is Lithium and  What are its Benefits? 

Lithium can be used for the manufacture of batteries, heat-resistant glass, ceramics, among other things.

Both lithium metal and its compounds have many uses. Lithium stearate is mixed with oils to make all-purpose and high-temperature lubricants.

Lithium hydroxide is used to absorb carbon dioxide in space vehicles

Lithium is alloyed with aluminum, copper, manganese, and cadmium to make high-performance alloys for aircraft.

Bahnmetall consists of lead-containing 0.04% lithium, 0.7% calcium and 0.6% sodium is harder than pure lead and was used for railroad car bearings in Germany.

Compounds such as LiAlH4 and organolithium reagents (LiMe, LiPh, etc.) are very important as reagents in organic chemistry

Lithium metal has the highest specific heat of any solid element and its sometimes used as battery anode material (high electrochemical potential). Lithium compounds are used in dry cells and storage batteries.

Lithium is used in the manufacture of special high strength glasses and ceramics sometimes, lithium-based compounds such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) are used as drugs to treat manic-depressive disorders.

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Nigeria: Some school girls rescued after Boko Haram attack

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Sources in Nigeria says some missing schoolgirls have been found days after an alleged Boko Haram attack on the northeast part of the country.

Police said on Wednesday that 111 girls from the state-run boarding school in Dapchi, in Yobe state, were unaccounted for following an attack by the armed group on Monday night.

“Some of the girls … have been rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them”. Spokesman for Yobe Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, Abdullahi Bego, said late on Wednesday

He added: “The rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian army.” Bego did not give a specific number of those saved.

Bego’s statement was the first confirmation the girls had been abducted.

Initially, the students were reported to have fled the attack with their teachers at the sound of gunfire.

In an interview with the AFP news agency, a senior military source in Maiduguri revealed that the schoolgirls were found abducted on the border between Yobe and Borno.

“The girls were abandoned with their vehicle. It had broken down and the terrorists panicked because they were under siege by pursuing soldiers.” He said

“The fear is that some of the other girls may have been taken along by the terrorists because the girls were not in a single vehicle. Only those in the broken down vehicle were lucky,” the source further added.

Reporting from Maiduguri, Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris said
“There were conflicting numbers on how many girls were taken and that it’s difficult to ascertain what exactly happened.” Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris reported from Maiduguri.

“Reports say that 76 students may have been rescued by the Nigerian army and at least two bodies have been recovered,” he said.

More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million others forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since Boko Haram launched a campaign in 2009 aimed at forming a breakaway state.

Over the years, the armed group has kidnapped thousands of adults and children.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently said the era of Boko Haram violence “is gradually drawing to end”.

However, the group continues to launch attacks in the country’s northeast, and its leader remains at large.

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Israeli Government has jailed Seven asylum seekers refusing deportation

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The Israeli authorities have transferred seven Eritrean asylum seekers to prison indefinitely after they refused to be deported to Rwanda. An Israeli human right group reported.

The asylum seekers are the first to be placed in indefinite detention since the Israeli government announced it would force tens of thousands of African migrants to choose between deportation to a third country or incarceration for an unspecified length of time.

“This is the first step in a what is a globally unprecedented deportation operation, a move tainted by racism and complete disregard for the life and dignity of asylum seekers,” the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and ASSAF, two Tel Aviv-based refugee rights groups, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The organizations say two of the seven detained asylum seekers are survivors of torture. They were detained on Tuesday and are currently in the Saharonim prison in southern Israel

Meanwhile, hundreds of asylum seekers began a hunger strike late Tuesday in the Holot detention center to protest the imprisonment of the seven Eritreans, Israeli media reported.

600 deportation notices
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has said there are about 27,000 Eritrean and 7,700 Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel.

The Israeli government announced plans to deport the remaining asylum seekers In November last year without their consent.

Israel has issued deportation notices to about 600 people to date, the human rights groups said.

The third countries expected to take in the deportees are widely thought to be Rwanda and Uganda, Israeli media have reported, though both African countries have denied making formal deals with the Israeli government.

“It is mind-boggling that Uganda and Rwanda agree to take part in this deportation plan and enable Israel to treat African asylum seekers – some of them fleeing from genocide and dictatorship – in this manner,” the rights groups said.

In January, the UNHCR urged Israel to reconsider its deportation plan. It said at least 80 asylum seekers deported by Israel between 2015 and 2017 “risked their lives by taking dangerous onward journeys to Europe”.

Along the way, “they suffered abuse, torture, and extortion before risking their lives once again by crossing the Mediterranean to Italy”, said William Spindler, a UNHCR spokesman.

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