Daily Archives: August 20, 2017

SADC pays tribute to Presidents Dos Santos, Ian Khama

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has paid tribute to outgoing Presidents Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola and Botswana’s Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

President Dos Santos of Angola is leaving after having serving his country since 1979.

In his closing remarks at the SADC summit on Sunday, President Zuma said President Dos Santos has been a key figure in SADC. He has been instrumental in pushing the regional integration agenda forward.

We take this opportunity to thank him profoundly for his contribution to the liberation struggle in the region and his outstanding contribution to SADC. We wish him good health in his retirement, said President Zuma.

Angola is preparing to hold parliamentary elections on 23 August. The regional bloc has wished Angola well in the upcoming elections.

The organisation also bid farewell to President Khama of Botswana, who is leaving office in April 2018. The neighbouring country is expected to go to the polls in 2019. However, as per the tradition of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), President Khama is expected to step down and hand over power to Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who will lead the party in the 2019 elections.

We thank President Khama for his active involvement and leadership in SADC. We will always remember his leadership of SADC during 2015/16. We hope that even during his retirement, he will continue to contribute to the work of SADC, said President Zuma.

The 37th summit, which was held under the theme, ‘Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value Chains’, ended in Tshwane on Sunday.

The summit called on member states to implement critical programmes of the organisation, including the conduct of regular democratic elections.

The summit saw the admission of the Union of the Comoros to the organisation, bringing the total membership of the SADC family to 16 member states.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Hospital Officials: Nearly 500 Dead in Sierra Leone Mudslides

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE � Churches across Sierra Leone held special services Sunday in memory of those killed in mudslides and flooding earlier this week, as hospital officials announced the toll had risen to nearly 500 bodies collected.

More than 600 people remain missing and rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day. The death toll earlier stood at 450.

The Inter-Religious Council called for the services to be held Sunday in honor of the deceased, as special prayers and recitals were offered in mosques Friday and Sunday.

The preacher at Buxton Memorial Methodist Church in Freetown, the capital, offered a sermon that looked at mankind’s contribution to the disaster, as a gospel band rendered the song “Papa God Sorry for Salone (Sierra Leone).”

Large-scale-burials have taken place all this week amid rainy weather that threatened further mudslides.

The government of the impoverished West African nation in recent days has warned residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack has opened. Thousands of people live in areas at risk and the main focus is making sure they leave before further disaster, authorities have told local media.

Aid groups are providing clean water as a health crisis looms.

“Water sources have been contaminated” and that officials “fear for an outbreak of waterborne diseases,” said Saidu Kanu, country director for World Hope International.

Foreign aid from the rest of the world is being sent to Freetown, said authorities.

Source: Voice of America