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Infos: South Africa: ANC re-elects President Ramaphosa – official

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa adresses the African National …   –   Copyright © africanews Jerome Delay/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved. By Rédaction Africanews and Euronews with AFP Last updated: 20 hours ago South Africa The ANC, South Africa's historic ruling party, on Monday renewed its confidence in Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the movement

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Infos: South Africa: ANC re-elects President Ramaphosa – official
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa adresses the African National …   –  

Copyright © africanews

Jerome Delay/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

South Africa

The ANC, South Africa's historic ruling party, on Monday renewed its confidence in Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the movement and therefore run the country, at a congress in Johannesburg.

Ramaphosa, 70, who remains popular with the public despite a recent scandal, won 2,476 votes from African National Congress (ANC) delegates. He received 2,476 votes from ANC delegates, compared to 1,897 for his only competitor, former health minister Zweli Mkhize, 66, who was implicated last year in a corruption scandal.

The overwhelming vote for the president paves the way for a second term if the ANC, increasingly challenged by unemployment and the energy crisis, wins the 2024 general election. 

In the long hours leading up to the vote, which continued late into the night on Sunday, uncertainty reigned. Mr. Mkhize threatened to trail the president, who had enjoyed a comfortable lead a few days earlier.

According to a source close to Zweli Mkhize, agreements had been made long ago to win votes in strategic provinces. The tactics had been worked out “long before the conference” and unveiled at the last minute “to counter the culture of intimidation” within the party.

Cyril Ramaphosa started out as the favourite, having been far ahead in the nomination of candidates last month and endorsed by the ANC, which saved him from impeachment last week in parliament. 

The president himself has been embarrassed for months by a corruption scandal: He is accused of keeping bundles of dirty money at home, preferring to cover it up when intruders stole the money during a burglary in 2020. 

– Best asset –

During his speech Friday night at the opening of the party's congress, Ramaphosa was loudly interrupted by dozens of delegates, singing and banging on tables, miming a windmill with their hands to call for change.

His supporters countered with a raised index and middle finger, demanding a second term for the man Nelson Mandela had called the most gifted of his generation. 

The profile of the next deputy president was also expected. The ANC elected Paul Mashatile, 61, from Johannesburg's poorest township, who has been the party's treasurer, to the post, which traditionally serves as a launching pad for future presidents.

If Ramaphosa, who has not yet been charged, is caught up in the Phala Phala scandal — named after the property where a burglary in 2020 revealed the embarrassing wads of cash — the constitution provides for his deputy president to succeed him.

Recent polls show that “Cyril”, perceived as an affable and composed leader, remains popular with South Africans. This is much more than the party, which has been torn apart by rival factions and has been losing ground at the polls for the past decade amidst poverty, staggering inequality, crime and constant power outages that are disrupting the economy.

In the run-up to the 2024 general election, the ANC has no credible alternative to Cyril Ramaphosa, who remains its best asset, many analysts note. 

Cyril Ramaphosa comes from a modest family in Soweto, a bastion of the struggle against apartheid. He made his fortune in the business world before returning to politics a decade ago.

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            Foreign

            Infos: Pope Francis in DRC on a “mission of peace”

            Pope Francis greets well-wishers after arriving in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023   –   Copyright © africanews Jerome Delay/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved By Rédaction Africanews and Serge Koffi Last updated: 9 hours ago Pope Francis The plane carrying the Holy Father arrived at Kinshasa International Airport in the middle of Tuesday afternoon.

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            Infos: Pope Francis in DRC on a “mission of peace”
            Pope Francis greets well-wishers after arriving in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023   –  

            Copyright © africanews

            Jerome Delay/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

            Pope Francis

            The plane carrying the Holy Father arrived at Kinshasa International Airport in the middle of Tuesday afternoon.

            A dozen dignitaries including Congolese Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, alongside civil and religious authorities met him at the foot of the plane.

            Pope Francis was then escorted in his Popemobile to the Palace of the Nation where he met the Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi.

            The pontiff expressed his regret that the country, and more widely the African continent, still suffers from various forms of exploitation.

            “This country and this continent deserve to be respected and listened to, they deserve to find space and receive attention. Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: Africa is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered. May Africa be the protagonist of its own destiny!”, said Pope Francis

            Alongside the Pope, the Congolese president spoke of the challenges facing the  Continent, notably security and the preservation of the environment.

            “The removal of security threats in our country will certainly contribute to the effectiveness of the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment. Your pastoral visit will surely contribute to strengthen this determination and our people are ready to welcome your message of peace, hope, comfort, strengthening and brotherhood”, said Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the DRC

            Africanews reporter Serge Koffi added:

            “According to the organisers, Pope Francis will not be visiting the east of the country where the security crisis has lasted for more than two decades.

            It is therefore here in Kinshasa, far from the shooting and fighting that the pontiff will launch his message of peace and reconciliation with the aim of easing tensions in this part of the DRC“.

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                        Infos: South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis

                        South Sudan prepares Papal visit   –   Copyright © africanews Africanews By Africanews Last updated: 9 hours ago South Sudan Pope Francis landed in the DRC's capital, Kinshasa, on Tuesday afternoon for the first Papal visit to the DRC since 1985. The visit to the Continent includes a trip on Friday to Juba, the capital of

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                        Infos: South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis
                        South Sudan prepares Papal visit   –  

                        Copyright © africanews

                        Africanews

                        South Sudan

                        Pope Francis landed in the DRC's capital, Kinshasa, on Tuesday afternoon for the first Papal visit to the DRC since 1985.

                        The visit to the Continent includes a trip on Friday to Juba, the capital of South Sudan and one of the poorest countries in the world.

                        “We hope this visit is a great opportunity for the people of South Sudan to reconcile, to reunite, and to rebuild their future as one people united”, said Andreas Mabior, Head of the choir.

                        Sister Sarah Gune Justin, a Catholic nun, added “(South Sudan, Ed.) We became helpless because of war, but with faith and trust in God we know that with the coming of the Holy Father to our country, we will experience the peace of Christ, and South Sudan is going to change, it’s not going to remain as before”.

                        The six-day trip to the DRC and South Sudan had been planned for July 2022, but postponed due to the pontiff's knee pain that has forced him to use a wheelchair in recent months.

                        “Hopefully his coming as already indicated in his motto of coming, this is his wish for the people of South Sudan, “to be united, to be one”. This is without any hesitation that is moving people of South Sudan to be one”, concluded Matthew Remijio, Catholic Bishop of South Sudan's Wau Diocese.

                        After gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan suffered a brutal five-year civil war, while continued conflict between rival ethnic groups exacts a terrible toll on civilians.

                        The Pope will be joined in Juba by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the leader of the Church of Scotland, on what he has called “an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace“.

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                                  Infos: Sacred Ivorian drum held in France about to be returned home

                                  The Djidji Ayokwe drum is emblematic of Ivorian culture and identity   –   Copyright © africanews africanews By Africanews Last updated: 3 hours ago France An Ivorian drum seized by France during colonization is about to be returned to the Ivory Coast. The sacred Djidji Ayokwe drum was used to communicate warning messages up to thirty

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                                  Infos: Sacred Ivorian drum held in France about to be returned home
                                  The Djidji Ayokwe drum is emblematic of Ivorian culture and identity   –  

                                  Copyright © africanews

                                  africanews

                                  France

                                  An Ivorian drum seized by France during colonization is about to be returned to the Ivory Coast.

                                  The sacred Djidji Ayokwe drum was used to communicate warning messages up to thirty kilometres around villages.

                                  In 1916 the drum was confiscated by the French colonial administration and transferred to France in 1930.

                                  The “talking drum”, as it was nicknamed,has been restored in a workshop near Paris under the supervision of the Quay Branly Museum.

                                  “You can see that it has been quite badly affected by wood-eating insects which have dug galleries, certainly repeatedly, and that this has structurally weakened the drum”, said Nathalie Richard, head of the conservation-restoration department at the Quai Branly Museum.

                                  “We consolidated the material, the wood itself, by impregnating it with a resin carried by a solvent. So the resin makes it possible to regain a slightly solid structure and to avoid small breakages on the edges, on the edges of the galleries, on the edges of the gaps, and so that vibrations and handling do not damage the drum any more”, concluded the head of conservation. 

                                  The drum is three metres long and weighs 430 kg. This wooden instrument is seen as carrying mystical properties and was used to warn of dangers, mobilise for war or summon villages to ceremonies or festivals.

                                  It is the first of a list of 148 works that Ivory Coast officially requested the restitution to France in late 2018.

                                  “The drum made it possible to transmit messages over long distances – up to 30 kilometres in all directions – to villages neighbouring the village of Adjamé where it was located and which were therefore interpreted by those who heard them through sound, since the Ebrié language is a tonal language”, said Hélène Joubert, head of the heritage unit of the Africa collections at the Quai Branly Museum.

                                  This traditional object, long claimed by Abidjan, is a central piece of the musical art of the Ebriés, an ethnic group in Ivory Coast.

                                  “This loss was extremely important psychologically, felt as a loss of identity and freedom. And to recover the drum is to recover one's identity and freedom”,  concluded the head of African collections. 

                                  The arrival of the Djidji Ayokwe at the Museum of Civilisation in Abidjan can only be confirmed once the French Parliament has voted on a law allowing its official return, similar to the restitution of historical pieces to Benin approved by the French parliament in December 2020.

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