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Liberian President Oppong Weah’s Son Jailed

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The son of Liberia’s ex-footballer president, George Weah, has been handed a six-month suspended jail sentence by a French court for “Ibiza-style” parties at his home in an upmarket Paris suburb.

George Weah Junior, 33, was also ordered to pay 20,000 euros (24,000 dollars) to his neighbours after more than two years of parties that were described as “unbearable” by one plaintiff’s lawyer.

Weah, also a former footballer, acknowledged the disturbances in court but said they were “without intention to cause harm”, according to a statement from the court in Versailles, south west of Paris, following the sentencing last Friday.

The suspended prison sentence was longer than expected, but lawyer Ludovic Tardivel, acting for one of Weah’s neighbours, called it “justified” and “an example.”

“My clients have suffered more than two years of parties as if they were in a nightclub, Ibiza-style… we’re not talking about little evenings between friends,” Tardivel told AFP.

Weah was arrested in Paris in February at a party in a rented apartment in central Paris in breach of a nation-wide curfew that is in place in France because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The arrest, allegedly for verbally abusing police officers, led to revelations in the French media about complaints from his neighbours in the normally quiet suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

“Every time the police come for the noise, he gets his diplomatic passport out,” one unnamed neighbour told Le Parisien newspaper in February. Others recounted evenings of loud electronic music at the 150 m2 apartment, drunken shouting from the balcony, as well as aggressive behaviour.

Another neighbour described the parties as “boom-boom music, with girls and champagne.”

Weah Junior signed for his father’s former club AC Milan as a 16-year-old and was selected in the Liberian national squad in 2017, but he spent most of his playing career in lower European leagues in Switzerland and Greece.

Le Parisien newspaper described him as unemployed and on the verge of starting a course in sports management.

George Weah has been president of Liberia, a poor West African nation founded as a haven for freed American slaves in the 19th century, since 2018.

The 54-year-old former striker became the first African to win FIFA’s World player of the year award in 1995.

Asked for his father’s reaction in an interview in February, Weah Junior told Le Parisien: “He’s very annoyed, very angry.”

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WATCH: Frail Gbagbo attends church in first public appearance since his return

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Laurent Gbagbo attended church on Sunday June 20

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo attended mass in Abidjan on Sunday, one of his first public appearances since returning home after nearly a decade in exile.

To the surprise of churchgoers, Gbagbo showed up at St. Paul Cathedral, where he was greeted by Cardinal Jean Pierre Kutwa.

The former leader appeared weak as he made his way to the altar before exchanging greetings with the presiding priest and subsequently taking a front row seat.

He wore an African print and was wearing his face mask throughout the service.

“The ceremony has been wonderful, his (Gbagbo) visit to the cathedral was a surprise for us, we did not know about his visit. So, we are happy. It’s happiness for Africa and for Ivory Coast.

“(I hope) that peace comes back in Ivory Coast and that God puts his hands on Ivory Coast, that he blesses the families of Ivory Coast” said priest Henri Akredizon.

“We have finished our conference, and we have come this morning for the closure of the conference, and it was a coincidence that we have found former president Laurent Gbagbo in church. I think it’s a matter of peace, we work for peace so everybody must go on the same line of peace.

“So, what we demand of the head of the state is peace in Ivory Coast and in the entire world,” stressed Jeanette Toure, president of National Association of Women of the Catholic Church in Ivory Coast.

The ex-president finally returned to Ivory Coast on Thursday after the ICC upheld his acquittal on charges related to the post-electoral violence that engulfed Ivory Coast after its 2010 president election.

While thousands celebrated his return, his opponents maintain he should be jailed in Ivory Coast, not given a statesman’s welcome.

Source: africanews.com

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Are you honourable members or horrible members? – Lumumba to Nigerian lawmakers

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Anti-corruption advocate, Patrick Lumumba

An anti-corruption advocate told federal lawmakers on Wednesday, June 16 that Nigeria’s development has been slow for far too long, owing to a lack of visionary leadership.

Patrick Lumumba, a former director of Kenya’s anti-corruption commission, also asked the Nigerian legislators whether they are “honourable members” or “horrible members.”

He asked of the legacies of late nationalists Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikwe and how much of their legacies had been preserved as he referred the lawmakers to them.

He said the clarity of vision and the instinct to marshal people is the antidote to tackle Nigeria’s many challenges, as this was what worked for the nation’s founding fathers.

The don who is also the Director, Kenya School of Laws, spoke at the launch of the House of Representatives Green Chamber magazine Wednesday, June 16 in Abuja.

“Nigeria has been becoming great for too long,” Mr Lumumba said in his speech.
“The time is now that Nigeria must be great. In fact, Nigeria should be in the same space economically as Germany is; Nigeria should be in the same space politically as the United States is.”

“You are the successors of Nigeria’s great leaders. The question that you must ask yourself now that you have been given the honour and privilege of serving Nigeria, you should ask yourself, are you honourable members or horrible members?” he asked amidst laughter from his audience.

According to him, whether members are “honourable” or “horrible” is determined by the kind of service they provide to Nigerians. He urged lawmakers to be servants of the people rather than masters, with the primary purpose of delivering the common good to Nigerians.

“Now that Nigerians have given you the opportunity to think for them, the question is: are you midwives of the good things of Nigeria, or are you midwives that kill the children of the creator.”

Source: www.mynigeria.com

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Africa’s 10 most peacful countries, Mauritius leads the pack – 2021 Peace Index Report

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Island nation of Mauritius is known for its pristine beaches

Mauritius has been ranked Africa’s most peaceful country according to the 2021 Global Peace Index, GPI, report released last week.

The island nation ranked first on the continent and 28th most peaceful country in the world according to a ranking of 163 nations.

Mauritius garnered 1.592 overall score which was 10 steps away from that of Africa’s second most peaceful country, Ghana, which ranked 378th on global ladder with 1.712 overall score.

Completing the top five most peaceful nations in sub-Saharan Africa are Botswana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

The sixth to tenth slots are occupied by Senegal, Tanzania, Malawi, Equatorial Guinea and Namibia respectively.

It means West Africa has dominated the top 10 countries with four countries in the top ranks – Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Senegal.

The GPI is an annual report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

It measures the state of peace in countries whiles assessing the countries in three domains: the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation.

Some key development indicators about Mauritius
Mauritius is the only African country to be in the “very high” category on the Human Development Index.

According to the World Bank, the country is classified as a high-income economy.

Mauritius is also ranked as the most competitive, and one of the most developed economies in the African region.

The country is a welfare state where government provides free universal health care, free education up through the tertiary level and free public transportation for students, senior citizens, and the disabled.

In 2019 and 2020, Mauritius was ranked the most peaceful African country by the Global Peace Index.

About the 2021 GPI

The 15th edition of the GPI also measured the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on peace.

This looked especially at the impact of the pandemic, and in particular, how its economic consequences will increase the risk of severe deteriorations in peace over the next few years.

Civil unrest rose 10 per cent globally, driven by the coronavirus pandemic, the GPI report added.

There were 14,871 violent demonstrations, protests and riots recorded globally in 2020.

The report said COVID-19 was a “multiplying force” in future political instability and civil unrest.

It added the level of this unrest going forward is likely to hinge on the speed and effectiveness of economic recovery. Countries with less debt and higher levels of positive peace were more likely to recover faster.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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