Kenya: Police say suicide car bomber explodes near Mogadishu’s port

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Police in Somalia’s capital say a suicide bomber has detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near the port in Mogadishu as thick smoke billows over the area.

Col. Ahmed Ali says the blast occurred near the gates of the motor vehicle imports duty authority headquarters.

The car bomber sped through the first security checkpoint before police officers opened fire at the vehicle which exploded outside the gates, Ismail Mukhtar, spokesman for Somalia’s information ministry, told The Associated Press.

He confirmed that people were injured.

Swarms of locusts devastate parts of northern Kenya

TURKANA (Kenya), July 1 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The branches on trees around Kenya’s northern town of Lodwar have been stripped bare of leaves, bending downwards under the weight of voracious young locusts.

Numbers of locusts exploded in East Africa and the Red Sea region in late 2019, exacerbated by atypical weather patterns amplified by climate change. Swarms of insects flew west from Yemen, and this year reached Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Burundi's new cabinet includes two under Western sanctions over rights abuses

NAIROBI (Reuters) - New Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye unveiled a 15-member cabinet including two ministers who are under U.S. or European sanctions over their alleged role in violently crushing street protests.

Ndayishimiye, 52, a retired army general, won last month’s presidential election as the ruling party’s candidate, defeating six opposition contenders. He had been due to take office in August, but the death of predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza earlier this month brought the succession forward.

Kenya-US trade talks delayed until pan-African trade bloc comes into force: Pres Kenyatta

NAIROBI, June 23 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Kenya has delayed talks on a trade deal with the United States until a pan-African trade bloc comes into force, President Uhuru Kenyatta said, likely holding up what would be Washington’s first such pact in sub-Saharan Africa.

US President Donald Trump and Kenyatta agreed in February to start formal talks on a bilateral trade pact that might help offset concerns about China’s expanding investment imprint on the continent.

Kenya extends corona lockdown by 30 days

NAIROBI, June 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has extended a nationwide overnight curfew by another 30 days after warning that ending it risked tens of thousands of additional coronavirus deaths.

But the nightly curfew will be three hours shorter, running from 21:00 to 04:00, and several areas that had been under lockdown will now reopen.

Kenya troops planning to leave Somalia next year

NAIROBI, May 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — There is a plan for Kenyan troops to leave Somalia by December next year, local newspaper Daily Nation has reported, citing a new book by just retired military chief Samson Mwathethe.

The exit plan includes first ensuring the Somali army can take over security from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), which is also made up of troops from Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Burundi.

The strategy cites the creation of a buffer zone free of fighters from the al-Shabaab militant group along the Kenya-Somalia border.

Kenya and Uganda hit by power blackout

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya and Uganda were hit by a power blackout on Saturday after what distributor Kenya Power (KPLC.NR) said was a system disturbance in the transmission grid.

The neighbouring countries’ grids are interconnected.

Kenya Power said power went off at 5:49 a.m.(0249 GMT).

“Our engineers are working to identify and address the hitch, towards restoring normal electricity supply,” it said in a statement.

Kenya Power gave no more details on the system disturbance.

Kenya, Somalia and Rwanda hit by deadly flooding

NAIROBI, May 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Flooding as a result of recent heavy rains has killed more than 260 people across East Africa.

Kenya has been the hardest hit with the government recording 194 deaths.

In Rwanda, 55 people have died and floods have killed 16 in Somalia. In Uganda high water levels have trapped an estimated 200 patients inside a hospital.

East African countries have also been hit by a locust invasion and Covid-19.

The authorities in Kenya have told people in some of the affected areas to move away from “potential danger”.

WHO urges gradual easing of COVID-19 measures in Africa to avert new infections

NAIROBI, May 1 (NNN-Xinhua) — The World Health Organization (WHO) urged African countries to carry out gradual easing of anti-COVID-19 measures to avert new infections in the continent.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said that lifting of lockdowns and curfews for preventing the spread of the highly contagious viral disease should not be rushed in order to forestall a second wave of infections.

Visa gives Kenya's Safaricom 'missing link' for global payments

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Visa (V.N) and Safaricom (SCOM.NR) have agreed a deal which will connect the Kenyan telecom operator’s M-Pesa financial services platform with Visa’s global network of merchants and cards.

Under the deal, which requires regulatory approval, announced on Thursday by both companies, M-Pesa’s 24 million users and 173,000 local merchants will be linked to Visa’s 61 million merchants and its more than 3 billion cards.

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