The death of George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody last week, is facing fierce condemnation in Africa as two separate autopsies released Monday both found Floyd’s death to be a homicide.
The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Friday condemned the police “murder” of Floyd in the United States.
Mahamat was referring to the death of George Floyd on May 25 shortly after a white police officer in Minneapolis held him down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe.
“I strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said in a statement.
“I urge the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin,” said the statement from Mahamat.
The president of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo, also condemned the killing on Monday night on his official facebook account as violent protests continue in dozens of U.S. cities following his death in police custody.
“Black People, the world over, are shocked and distraught by the killing of an unarmed man, George Floyd, by a white police officer in the United States of America. It carried with it an all too painful familiarity, and an ugly reminder,” said the president.
“We stand with our kith and kin in America in these difficult times, and we hope that the unfortunate, tragic death of George Floyd will inspire a lasting change in how America confronts head on the problems of hate and racism,” said Akuffo-Addo.
Former African presidents also joined the condemnation.
The Forum of Former Heads of State and Government has urged African countries to “raise a strong protest” to the killing and demand that the “perpetrators of this crime and all other crimes of this sort be punished in the strongest terms”, according to a statement released by former Beninese President Nicephore Soglo.
“While we note the action taken by American authorities in charging one of the officers who was caught on camera kneeling on an unarmed (George) Floyd, it is equally concerning that incidents of police brutality against African American citizens are on the increase,” the party said in a statement available to Xinhua on Tuesday.
The cascade of recent cases involving police brutality against black Americans “has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives,” the ANC said.
“It’s deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin,” the party said.
The ANC urged the South African government to engage with the American government through established diplomatic channels to diffuse racial tensions and build social cohesion among different races.
“Despite the American constitution granting citizenship to every American, and blacks are Americans, the political and economic system is biased against those at the bottom of the social pyramid,” said Elisio Macamo, a sociologist from Mozambique, currently a professor of African Studies at the University of Basel.
“The racial problem in America is, on the one hand, the sequel to a poorly worked past and, on the other hand, a manifestation of the limits of a liberal political culture that does not place the creation of opportunities as a means for the individual to actually enjoy freedom,” said Macamo.
Zambian human rights specialist Eugene Kabilika challenged the United States to demonstrate by example the human rights it purports to promote by dealing sternly with perpetrators of criminal injustice.
Kabilika, who is Caritas Zambia Executive Director, further explained that the history of the U.S. is full of such unfortunate stories of racial discrimination against African Americans noting that they (African Americans) have undergone many struggles that include being freed from slavery and having the opportunity to vote.
He further asserted that such happenings create instability and lead to lack of peace in the world, adding that it is up to the leaders to move into the right trajectory and failure to which the world becomes unsafe for all.
Pirlo says Suarez unlikely to join Juventus after all
Juventus are unlikely to sign FC Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez afterall, coach Andrea Pirlo said on Saturday as he prepared for the start of the new Serie A season.
Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri last month in spite of having no senior coaching experience, will make his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday.
He said Juventus needed a centre-forward but that there was not enough time for Suarez to obtain an Italian passport.
Juventus have already used up their limit of two non-EU signings following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Arthur and United States international Weston McKinnie.
They will only be able to add Suarez if he can obtain an EU passport.
“We’re all waiting for a centre-forward. There is still a long way to go in the transfer window. So, we’re calm and happy, we’re not in a hurry,” said Pirlo.
“Suarez is difficult because it takes a long time to get the passport. So, it’s unlikely that it could be him”.
Although Suarez is eligible for Italian naturalisation as his wife is a citizen of the country, the process usually takes several years.
This is a detail overlooked in much of the speculation linking him to the Serie A champions over the last month.
Pirlo said Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski would share the role against Sampdoria.
“Neither Kulusevski nor Ronaldo will start in the classic centre-forward position. They will try to move according to what the other does,” said Pirlo.
“There will be rotations to allow as many people as possible to arrive in the area.”
The 41-year-old said he was relaxed ahead of the new season where he would be expected, at the minimum, to bring Juventus a tenth successive Serie A title.
“After a month of Juve I have no doubts, but many certainties,” he said. “I have fitted in well, now the pitch will do the talking.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Reed grabs halfway lead, as Tiger misses cut at United States Open
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed put his sterling short game on display to grab the United States Open halfway lead on Friday.
Tiger Woods finished well outside the cut in windy conditions which humbled many of the game’s top golfers.
Reed only hit five fairways on a tough scoring day at Winged Foot but made a slew of stunning recoveries.
He then needed only 25 putts en route to an even-par 70 that left him at four under on the week and one shot clear of Bryson DeChambeau (68).
“I feel like the game is where it needs to be. I feel good,” said world number 10 Reed. “I just need to tighten a few things up here or there, but the short game is sharp, and when I play around a place like this, that’s what you need.”
Reed, who started the day one shot back of overnight leader Justin Thomas, grabbed the outright lead with a birdie on his final hole, the par-five ninth.
That was where his shot from a greenside bunker settled five feet from the cup.
Unlike the first round when 21 players finished under par in soft conditions, Winged Foot proved a much sterner test on Friday.
DeChambeau, Bubba Watson (69) and Hideki Matsuyama (69) were the only players from a 144-player field to break par.
DeChambeau, who has turned heads this year with his new physique and prodigious length off the tee, went out in the morning wave.
He muscled his way around a scorecard-shredding Winged Foot course like few others can.
The world number nine finished his round with a monstrous eagle at the par-five ninth hole where, after a 380-yard drive, he stuffed a pitching wedge to six feet.
“Confidence is at an all-time high right now, driving it well, iron play is fantastic, wedging is getting better each and every day, and I’m putting it like I know I can,” said DeChambeau, whose best major finish was a share of fourth place at this year’s PGA Championship.
Thomas (73), Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello (70) and Harris English (70) were all two shots off the pace heading into the weekend.
This was a tournament that was originally scheduled for mid-June but postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masters champion Woods (77) missed the cut for the eighth time in his last 15 majors after a round during which he made five bogeys and two double-bogeys over a miserable 11-hole run.
“Physically it was frustrating that I didn’t drive the ball as well as I needed to,” said Woods.
“Iron play was pretty much the way it has been. It’s been good, and I finally putted well. But on this golf course it’s imperative that you hit fairways, and I did not do that.”
Phil Mickelson’s latest bid to complete the career Grand Slam of golf’s four majors fell apart as the six-times runner-up carded a 74
He missed the cut after posting one of the worst 36-hole scores of his major career.
Among the others to miss the cut were defending champion Gary Woodland, PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, and top-20 players Tyrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Visa Ban: FG says sanctioning electoral offenders disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty
The Nigerian government has said it considers it disrespectful to the Sovereignty of the country for any outside country to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.
The Nigerian government made this known in a statement issued by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that this comes as a response to the recent announcement of the United States and the United Kingdom to impose visa restrictions on those who undermine electoral processes.
The Nigerian Government said it was committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the United States and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and United States to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the government said.
The government called on the partners to support security agencies by providing them whatever concrete evidence of observed misconduct to allow our laws and regulations to take their course.
The Nigerian government also expressed solidarity with the government and people of the United States as regards their forthcoming election, which it hoped would be free from interference and violence.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Kidnappers free ex-US Army officer in Ekiti
After four days in captivity, a former officer of the United States army and native of Ijan Ekiti in Ekiti, Mr Jide Ijadare, has been released by his abductors.
Ijadare was kidnapped about 2.05p.m on Tuesday at his palm oil producing factory on Tuesday alongside one of his staff.
A contractor working with the factory was also shot dead by the assailants.
A family source told journalists that Ijadare regained freedom after paying the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
The source said the abductors had called few hours after the incident and demanded for N20 million ransom.
“My brother was released this afternoon around 4.15 p.m and he has reunited with the family,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Sunday Abutu, confirmed that the victims had been freed
He, however, said that the police were not aware of any ransom being paid before the release.
“We are not aware of any ransom being paid.
” We believe he was released after the pressure the security agencies and local hunters had put on them by combing the surrounding bushes,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)