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  • Botswana president says he will step down at the end of his term in April

    Khama succeeded former President Festus Mogae as president in 2008 after serving as Vice President since 1998. He was elected for a full five-year term in 2009 and re-elected in 2014 for his final second term.

    The former military commander will also be replaced as the leader of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) by his vice president who was elected in July to lead the ruling party.

    Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi will serve as interim president until the election in 2019 which will see four main opposition parties standing as a coalition to topple the ruling party which has been in power since 1966.

    Ian Khama says the country can achieve its vision by coming together to build the country.

    “While we will undoubtedly continue to confront significant challenges, when we place the interests of Botswana first we shall find the strength to overcome all obstacles,” he said.

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  • Somaliland shuts down schools until after Nov. 13 presidential elections

    The Education ministry announced this week that schools including universities will be closed from November 7 to November 15, two days after the polls.

    The directive follows a request from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) which says it will use most of the schools as polling centres.

    Somaliland is anticipating a smooth election which will be the first in the Horn of Africa region to be trouble-free and the first in Africa to use the iris-recognition biometric voter registration system.

    This election will mark a milestone in Somaliland's electoral development as it will be the first time that the incumbent has not challenged for the top job.

    The elections were scheduled to be held in March but was postponed due to the drought condition in the region.

    Three candidates are vying to replace the country’s fourth president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo who withdrew from running for a second seven-year term.

    The three candidates are former minister Muse Bihi Abdi of the ruling KULMIYE (Peace, Unity and Development Party); veteran politician Faisal Ali Warabe of UCID (Justice and Welfare Party); and then the former speaker of the House of Representatives Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi Irro of Waddani (National Party).

    They started campaigning on October 21 and so far, no incidents of violence have been recorded as each candidate was assigned specific days to campaign to avoid clashes.

    Out of the about 4 million Somaliland population, 704, 089 registered voters are expected to elect the new president. There are 1,642 polling stations in the 21 constituencies across the six regions of the country.

    A team of 60 international election observers from 24 countries have been deployed to the country by the international election observation mission (EOM) funded by the British government.

    “This election will mark a milestone in Somaliland’s electoral development as it will be the first time that the incumbent has not challenged for the top job,” said the leader of the team, Dr Michael Walls of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at the University College London.

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  • Togolese football star Adebayor angers anti-government protesters with comment

    Togolese international Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor has attracted some fury from anti-government protesters after his brief comment on the political crisis in the country.

    The captain of the Togolese national team who plays for Turkish top flight football club İstanbul Başakşehir said in a recent interview that the protesters should first think of contributing to the country.

    “If the President leaves, will the people without jobs find one more easily? Not sure. We have Libya as an example with Gaddafi. We saw this country with and without him. Libyans are regretting it! The Togolese diaspora in Paris who talk about marching, fly back to the country if you want to march,” he told French media So Foot after some hesitation.

    This comment attracted a lot of criticisms from opposition supporters on social media who also said they weren’t surprised because he had supported President Faure Gnassingbe in 2015 during the presidential election.

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  • Thousands urge peace in anti-Trump protest in S. Korea

    Thousands of South Koreans protested Sunday against an upcoming visit by Donald Trump and called for peace as the US President begins an Asian tour dominated by North Korea's nuclear programme.

    Trump, who arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, is set to visit the South from Tuesday to Wednesday as part of his first Asian trip as head of state that also includes Vietnam, China and the Philippines.

    He is scheduled to hold a summit with President Moon Jae-In and visit a US military base, with all eyes on his message to the North and its leader Kim Jong-Un.

    Tensions flared after Pyongyang staged a sixth atomic test in September and test-launched multiple missiles capable of reaching the US mainland, while Trump and Kim have traded colourful personal attacks.

    South Korea is a key US ally and hosts 28,500 US troops but many of Trump's critics in the South see him as a warmonger whose recent war of words with Kim has heightened tensions on the flashpoint peninsula.

    "We oppose war! Negotiate peace!" the protesters chanted in central Seoul, waving banners and balloons emblazoned "Peace, not war" and "We want peace".

    Many slammed both Trump and Kim for heightening the risk of conflict.

    "Trump and Kim... are using the current military standoff for their own political gain, while we South Koreans are trembling with fear of war!" one activist said on stage.

    One mother whose son is serving the South's mandatory two-year army conscription accused the US leader of putting her son's life at risk.

    "My heart stirs at every single word Trump says about North Korea," she said.

    Organisers estimated the number of protesters at around 5,000.

    Separately on Sunday a group of conservative activists held a rally to welcome Trump, urging Washington to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the South to guard against threats from the North.

    The latest standoff between Trump and Kim has raised concern among South Koreans, who have over decades grown indifferent to regular threats of attack from Pyongyang.

    But some Trump advisers say US military options are limited because any armed conflict on the peninsula would be expected to cause huge casualties.

    Seoul is home to 10 million people and only about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the heavily-fortified border, within range of Pyongyang's artillery.

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