You are watching Africa 54, your daily news and feature magazine-style program, from the Voice of America. Host Esther Githui-Ewart and a team of correspondents zero in on the big stories making news on the continent and around the world with context and analysis.
The humanitarian situation is growing more dire by the day and the United Nations says up to 200,000 refugees could cross into Sudan from Ethiopia in the next six to 12 months, fleeing the fighting in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. The Ethiopian government says this is a limited military action against some members of the TPLF — but the TPLF says this is a war against Tigray. The U.N. says almost 19-hundred refugees crossed the border Wednesday, for a total of 33,000 since the conflict erupted two weeks ago. People are running for their lives, one day laborer told VOA in a phone call Wednesday from a newly opened refugee center near the Sudanese city of Hamdai. Many of the people are sick and need medical treatment — and according to the U.N., there are many young men among those seeking refuge because they feared they would be forced to fight if they remained. UNICEF says inside the Tigray region, restricted access and the ongoing communication blackout have left an estimated 2.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance and out of reach.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is from Ethiopia, said in a tweet Thursday, “my heart breaks for my home, Ethiopia, and I call for all parties to work for peace to ensure the safety of civilians and access for health and humanitarian assistance to those in need.”
Ugandans are trying to recover on Friday from the chaos that erupted on Thursday. Police in Uganda say 16 people were killed and 45 others injured during street protests in Kampala following the arrest of opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine. Wine remains detained and his national unity platform party says police are not allowing anyone to see him in custody. Other opposition candidates say they are halting their campaigns until Wine is released. Patrick Onyango, Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson, says their security forces handled violent demonstrators who he says intended to set fires after the arrest of Wine. Onyango says police acted to stop protesters he alleges were pelting officers with stones and looting or damaging properties.
The resiliency of journalists who brave arrest, attacks, and repressive legislation was celebrated at the annual international press freedom awards on Thursday. Hosted by the committee to protect journalists, the 2020 awardees are from Bangladesh, Iran, Nigeria and Russia.
Kenya’s Shona community is stateless meaning they struggle to access basic services and many miss out on an education. But one Kenyan student is defying the odds to become the first Shona young woman to be admitted to a Kenyan university.
As the deadly coronavirus continues to rage across the U.S. and around the world, people are turning to COVID-19-related apps to figure out their day-to-day risks.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first top U.S. diplomat to visit Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Most of the international community views the settlements as illegal.
A54 Entertainment: Masaka Kids Africana Childrens Home supports orphans in Uganda in a multitude of ways. It provides safe living environments, education, and a music and dance program that delights millions of YouTube audiences around the world. The latest dance video, “This is Africa” – which premiered September 11th, announces the release of the group’s new music album ‘Let’s Praise.’
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