ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Ethiopian army brigadier accused of leading a failed coup against a regional government has been killed in a firefight with the security forces, a spokesman for the Ethiopian prime minister’s office said Monday.
Brig. Gen. Asamnew Tsige was killed on the outskirts of Bahir Dar, capital of the restive northern Amhara region, Nigussu Tilahun told The Associated Press.
Ethiopian forces had been hunting down Asamnew since soldiers loyal to him on Saturday attacked a meeting of the Amhara government, killing the regional governor and his adviser. The regional attorney-general, wounded in that attack, died of his wounds on Monday, according to local media reports.
The attack in Bahir Dar was followed hours later by the assassination in the national capital, Addis Ababa, of the chief of Ethiopia’s military and a retired army general by a bodyguard.
The killings are widely seen as an attack on Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was elected last year.
An internet shutdown remains in force across Ethiopia following the Saturday killings.
Asamnew, the renegade brigadier blamed for the violence, had been pardoned by Abiy after being jailed by the previous government for allegedly plotting a coup. He had recently been inciting a rebellion by the people of Amhara in posts on social media, according to reports in Ethiopian media.
Addis Ababa was peaceful Monday as soldiers stood guard in Meskel Square and manned roadblocks throughout the capital.
The 42-year-old Abiy has captured the imagination of many with sweeping political and economic reforms, including the surprise acceptance of a peace agreement with Eritrea, the opening of major state-owned sectors to private investment and the release of thousands of prisoners, including opposition figures once sentenced to death.
Although Abiy’s reforms are widely popular, some members of the previous regime are unhappy with the changes and the prime minister has survived a couple of threats.
Last June, a grenade meant for Abiy killed two people and wounded many others at a big rally. Nine police officials were arrested, state media reported. In October, rebellious soldiers protested over pay and invaded Abiy’s office, but the prime minister was able to defuse the situation.
Ethiopia is a key regional ally of the U.S. in the restive Horn of Africa region.
Tibor Nagy, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said the latest violence was a “shock, but it could have turned out so much worse,” adding: “Thankfully Prime Minister Abiy escaped this attempt, because there are many, many more people in Ethiopia who support his reforms than those who are opposed to them.”
Speaking in South Africa on Sunday, Nagy said that “there are vestiges of the old regime” who are opposed to Abiy.
“I wish I could say that this is will be the last of these attempts, but no one can be certain,” Nagy said.
Flags are flying at half-mast Monday, which has been declared a day of national mourning following Saturday’s violence.
The Super Eagles players are on a massive $95,000 bonus each to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles are already guaranteed $10,000 for their 1-0 win over Burundi on Saturday. They are also guaranteed $20,000 if they win their remaining Group B matches against Guinea and Madagascar.
The players will receive $12,500 should they record another win in the round of 16.
Gernot Rohr’s men will get $15,000 and $17,500 respectively for victories in the quarter-final and the semi-final, while a win in the final will see the three-time AFCON winners earn a $20,000 match bonus each.
“Group stage wins: $10k; Round of 16: $12.5k; QF: $15k; SF: $17.5k. And if they win the final: $20k. So, each player would earn $95,000 for winning AFCON2019,” a member of the Nigeria Football Federation’s Reforms Committee, Osasu Obayiuwana, disclosed.
He added that Rohr would earn twice the amount of what his players get, while goalkeepers trainer and assistant coach Alloy Agu and Imama Amapakabo will receive 75 per cent of what Rohr gets. The backroom staff are entitled to 75 per cent of what the players earn.
The Eagles take on the Syli Nationale of Guinea in their next Group B match on Wednesday, at the Alexandria stadium.
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The man accused of trying to seize control of Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region was on the run with some of his supporters on Monday but a number of other plotters have been arrested, a senior government official said.
The government has said General Asamnew Tsige masterminded gun attacks that killed four people including the national army’s chief of staff and Amhara’s state president on Saturday night.
“The main people behind the failed coup are still at large and the security forces are hunting them,” the prime minister’s press secretary, Negussu Tilahun, said.
Army chief of staff Seare Mekonnen and a retired officer were shot by Seare’s bodyguard at his residence in the national capital Addis Ababa, the prime minister’s office said.
Amhara state president Ambachew Mekonnen and an adviser were killed in the region’s main city Bahir Dar, it added.
Access to the internet appeared to be blocked across Ethiopia on Monday, users reported.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pushed through sweeping changes since coming to power in April, making peace with Eritrea, reining in the security services, releasing political prisoners and lifting bans on some outlawed separatist groups.
The changes have won him widespread international praise.
But the premier’s shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies at home, while his government is struggling to contain powerful figures in Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups fighting the federal government and each other for greater influence and resources.
Long-simmering ethnic violence has surged in some areas since the reforms. At least 2.4 million people have fled fighting, according to the United Nations.
The prime minister’s spokesman said the situation was calm in both Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar on Monday.
Ethiopia will observe a day of national mourning on Monday, parliament speaker Tagesse Chafo said on state television.
Residents of Kom Kom in Oyigbo local Government Area of Rivers State where an oil pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) exploded on Saturday say over 100 people were burnt in the fire. Some of the bodies, they claimed, were burnt beyond recognition while scores of corpses were still in the bush where the explosion occurred.
Residents also raised an alarm over the humanitarian disaster due to the fast decomposing bodies, stench and pollution of the swamp and the environment. A visit to the area on Sunday showed that the number of human casualties grew because many of the villagers were in the swamp scooping petrol gushing out of the ruptured NNPC pipeline.
Also affected were a number of palm wine tappers and local brewers of Ethanol who were in the swamp. Villagers said over 100 people were trapped in the huge fire because there was a free-for-all scramble for leaking petrol by the villagers before the explosion.
A villager who gave his name as Ogechi Nnamdi said: “Nobody at the scene of the explosion survived. People were rushing to the leakage site to scoop free fuel, suddenly we heard an explosion. At least, I saw about 20 dead bodies. 11 had been carried away. And more are in the swamp yet to be recovered. And it is difficult getting inside the swamp now because we are in the rainy season”.
He called for the decontermination of the area by the government to avoid the spread of diseases. Some of the villagers were observed recovering the charred bodies from the swamp and burying them in mass graves.
Most of volunteers were not putting on medical gears to prevent infections from the fast decomposing bodies. There were no presence of emergency officials from the Oyigbo local government, state or the Federal government at the time of the visit.
Our correspondent was assaulted by the pungent smell of decomposing corpses oozing out from the environment.
Promise Chibuzo Nwankwo, the House Of Assembly member representing Oyigbo Local Government Area, expressed his condolences to the families of victims of the disaster. He also condemned the activities of oil thieves who caused the disaster.
According to the lawmaker, “In the early hours of Saturday, 22nd June 2019, around 8:25 am there was an incident of fire outbreak in Oyigbo Local Government Area. “The fire outbreak which occurred in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) facility somewhere around Canaan Land Hospital, Izuoma Axis of Oyigbo local government area is as a result of oil bunkering.
“Until now the number of people injured are unconfirmed, but it is confirmed that scores of person’s were recorded dead.”
Burna Boy’s mother, Bose Ogulu got a rapturous response following an epic acceptance speech at the BET Awards on Monday.
The 2019 edition of the award which celebrates black people in film, music and arts, was held at the Microsoft Theatre in California.
Ogulu received her son’s award for ‘Best International Act’ and thereafter reminded the African-Americans to keep Africa in mind.
She said, “Thank you BET, Thank you Africa because that’s the constituency for which we got noticed in the first place.
“The message from Burna, I believe will be that every black person should please remember that you were Africans before you became anything else,”
The speech earned her a standing ovation and viral reactions on social media, especially from African-Americans who agreed with her statement.
Hollywood actress, Yvette Nicole-Brown @YNB know Twitter, wrote, “Wisdom from @BurnaBoy’s mother #ForTheCulture at the @BET Awards:
“Remember, you were African before you were anything else. #BurnaBoy”
@KLE1967 said, “I’m happy to hear that. That’s an important message.”
@Edice tweeted, “Mother was deep with that statement! I felt that.”
NAN reports that Burna Boy’s mother has caught fan’s attention several times for her liveliness on stage, especially at shows and award ceremonies.
In January, she stole the show at the Soundcity MVP awards where her son clinched four awards, including the African Artist of the Year.
After appreciating producer, Phantom and Kanye West for the success of ‘Ye’, she told the crowd, “: “Expect more madness from Burnaboy this year.”
Organisers of the Big Brother Nigeria have announced that the winner of the upcoming fourth season will walk away with 60 million naira worth of prizes.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the e Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe noted that the increased prize money is part of significant improvement that is synonymous with the show.
He said, “Each edition of Big Brother Naija significantly improves on all aspects of the previous season and this year is no different.
“The winner of season four will walk away from the house with N30m cash prize and a top of the range SUV amongst many other exciting prizes.
“The Big Brother Naija winner will also emerge as the most popular and marketable personality on the continent, as the show is known to launch prominent careers in arts, entertainment and other supporting industries.”
The breakdown of the prizes for the winner includes a N30m cash prize; a top of the range SUV from Nigerian automaker, Innoson Motors and a trip to Dubai for two packaged by TravelBeta.
Also, the winner will get a home make-over courtesy Scanfrost; a year’s supply of Pepsi and One Africa Fest VVIP experience; a year’s supply of Indomie noodles & Munch it; and a brand new Oppo mobile smartphone.
There is also a bonus prize of two VIP Tickets to watch a European Football final game LIVE, courtesy BET9ja.
In 2017, Efe Ejeba walked away N25 million cash prize and an automobile valued at N5million.
Meanwhile, in 2018, Miracle Igbokwe walked away with N45m worth of prizes.
NAN reports that the highly anticipated fourth season of the reality show will premiere on June 30 after months of delay.
There’s no truce in the Nicki Minaj-Miley Cyrus word wars.
In a new episode of her “Queen Radio” show Friday, Minaj dismissed her fellow music star as a “Perdue chicken” as part of a back-and-forth feud that goes back to 2015.
“Perdue Chickens can never talk (expletive) about queens,” Minaj says, referring to herself as royalty. “But I do notice a lot of Perdue chickens have been trying to say the queen’s name for clout. And that’s always been happening. And that’s what (Cyrus) did in the first place. And the white girl cry and made the black girl seem like she was a bad guy… She disrespected me in a magazine article for no reason.”
In the process, Minaj also threw a crude accusation at Cyrus.
Minaj’s slam comes a few weeks after fans questioned whether Cyrus was throwing shade in her new song “Cattitude,” with the lyric: “I love you Nicki, but I listen to Cardi.” (Minaj and rap rival Cardi B got into an infamous brawl at a New York Fashion Week party in September.)
Cyrus clarified the lyrics on Roman Kemp’s Capital Breakfast radio show, saying there is no beef anymore, according to complex.com.
“They’re both queens. And anytime you want to feel powerful and strong, that’s my go-to: Cardi and Nicki,” Cyrus said on the radio show, according to People.com.
Nevertheless, fans looked back to the start of the beef between Cyrus and Minaj in 2015, which opened with Cyrus taking Taylor Swift’s side vs. Minaj in a New York Times interview, according to billboard.com. Minaj responded tartly in person days later at the VMA Awards, saying host Cyrus “had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?”
Minaj shared some personal news, too, during the radio show. She started riffing about pregnancy, before saying she wasn’t, “but we did get our marriage license,” she said, referring to boyfriend Kenneth Petty.
She continued, explaining she’s in a good place.
“I think I have what I was striving for, just happiness. It was so hard to get to a happy place. Now that I’m there I don’t want to compromise that for anyone or anything. Certain traveling things I don’t (want to) do it. I’m just enjoying my downtime.”
Defiant fans are preparing to mark 10 years since Michael Jackson’s death as fascination with the King of Pop remains undimmed despite lurid claims of child sex abuse.
On Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the singer’s star continues to draw a constant scrum of selfie-snapping tourists, while nearby souvenir shops, street performers and even tattoo parlors report a brisk trade in all things Jackson.
Across the street at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, a statue of the singer is strategically perched above the box office to entice tourists. Staff at Madame Tussauds say Jackson’s waxwork remains a top draw.
Yet according to the groundbreaking HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” released earlier this year, it was just a few hours’ drive from the heart of Hollywood that Jackson used his celebrity and glamor to molest young boys at his fairytale-themed ranch.
While most fans who spoke to AFP were aware of the documentary, the adoration fostered from growing up with the “Thriller” megastar’s many hits supersedes all else.
“I came here actually only for him. I don’t take pictures with any other star,” said Dutch tourist Hooman Nazemi.
“Some stuff that they were saying in the doc was kind of hard, but you cannot say 100 percent it’s true … I just love him. I love him and I think everybody does.”
Antoine Baynes, 31, a Jackson impersonator who moonwalks along Hollywood Boulevard for tourists’ tips, said the allegations had done nothing to diminish his performances’ appeal — in fact, the opposite.
“After the HBO special came out I received just as much if not more attention than before. It kinda gave it publicity,” he said.
“Honestly I’ve married people as Michael Jackson. I have two weddings to do this Sunday, to do as Michael Jackson!”
The claims in the HBO documentary by two men who say Jackson sexually abused them for years as minors were not the first, but reignited the scandal after the star’s fatal overdose at age 50 in 2009.
In his lifetime, Jackson denied all child sex allegations and his estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO for “posthumous character assassination.”
On Tuesday, the anniversary of Jackson’s passing, die-hard fans from around the world have planned an “MJ Innocent Love Rally” through Hollywood to gather at his star on the sidewalk.
Other events include a “zombie dance” on Venice Beach and screenings of fan-made tribute films.
Those who cannot attend are invited to donate money for an annual ceremony placing roses by Jackson’s grave in the nearby Forest Lawn cemetery.
Organizers did not respond to a request for comment, but claim on Twitter that a record of more than 18,000 roses have been bought this year.
Yet numbers signing up to the events’ Facebook pages are conspicuously low, and pro-Jackson messageboards are rife with complaints about the lack of mainstream enthusiasm for anniversary events this year.
If the controversy has dampened commemorations — with Variety reporting that TV networks and producers have pulled the plug on long-planned anniversary programs — Jackson’s commercial clout remains substantial.
T-shirts, keyrings and coasters bearing the singer’s likeness remain on prominent display at Hollywood tourist stores lining the boulevard, outnumbered only by images of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
Of a dozen such shops visited by AFP, only one had removed Jackson memorabilia from its shelves, citing a decline in interest.
And for some die-hard fans, a throwaway souvenir just won’t cut it.
“We get people asking for the silhouette, with the hat, sometimes his signature,” said tattoo artist John Lopez.
“Maybe five or six each year. It’s no different this year.”
Underdogs had a big day at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt as Uganda won on its return to the tournament after 41 years and Madagascar held Guinea to a draw on its debut on Saturday.
Burundi, another African Cup first-timer, pushed mighty Nigeria all the way.
Uganda beat two-time champion Congo 2-0 in Cairo to start the second day of action. Both goals came through headers from set-pieces, with Patrick Kaddu scoring from a corner in the 14th minute and Emmanuel Okwi heading in a free kick early in the second half.
That put Uganda top of Group A on goals scored ahead of Mohamed Salah and Egypt, who won the opening game against Zimbabwe on Friday.
Uganda last played at the African Cup in the late 1970s. After winning on Saturday the players probably didn’t mind that their long-awaited return came at a near empty Cairo International Stadium, an illustration of the African Cup’s perennial problem with fan attendance when the home team isn’t playing.
In Alexandria, Nigeria needed Odion Ighalo’s late winner four minutes after he came on as a substitute to deny Burundi on its debut.
Ighalo pounced on his first chance. The forward slipped in behind the Burundi defense after a backheeled pass by Ola Aina and stroked a right foot shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
Three-time champion Nigeria deserved the win on the second half evidence, but not on the first 45 minutes.
Then, Burundi was the more adventurous team on the biggest day in its soccer history.
Cedric Amissi controlled a long pass superbly but had his shot blocked by Nigeria keeper Daniel Akpeyi. Akpeyi struggled to keep out a powerful long-range free kick by Gael Bigirimana and Frederic Nsabiyumva hit the crossbar with a header.
Nigeria, one of the favorites for the title alongside Egypt and Senegal, ultimately prevailed over the tenacious newcomers after some second-half substitutions injected life into the team.
“It was a very difficult game,” Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said. “It was tough. We knew that they are a tough team. They can run and run and run.”
Nigeria tops Group B ahead of Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.
Madagascar also made its African Cup debut straight after in a double-header at Alexandria Stadium on the Mediterranean coast.
Sory Kaba gave Guinea the lead after running onto a long pass, pushing the ball past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien, and swerving past him to score in an empty net.
Madagascar responded twice in six minutes in the second half. Anicet Andrianantenaina headed in unmarked from a corner. Guinea’s defense stood waiting for the offside flag when Carolus Andriamahitsinoro scored from nothing for 2-1.
Guinea won a penalty, converted by Francois Kamano, to get a draw. Midfielder Naby Keita came on in the second half to make his return from injury and couldn’t connect with a cross in injury time that would have won it for Guinea.
Guinea coach Paul Put said his team gave away two “stupid goals.”
“I hope it’s a lesson for the players,” he said.
Nigeria clicked in the second half against Burundi after Ahmed Musa and later Oghalo came off the bench to lift a team that had struggled in the buildup with a number of players struck down with illness.
Coach Gernot Rohr said “half the team” had a fever this week and couldn’t train properly. Nigeria also said winger Samuel Kalu was recovering and had been released from the hospital after he collapsed at training on Friday with dehydration.
This African Cup has been switched from its regular January-February slot to June and July so it doesn’t clash with any European leagues. But that’s landed it in the middle of Egypt’s sweltering summer. Organizers warned teams that temperatures will rise to 34-38 degrees Celsius (93-100 F) and games will allow for two water breaks during play, in the 30th and 75th minutes.
Cardi B isn’t letting an indictment get her down.
During her performance at the 2019 BET Experience on Saturday, the 26-year-old rapper took a moment in between songs to proclaim “I ain’t going to jail” multiple times.
Wearing a sparkly purple look, complete with matching gloves and shoes, as well as fishnet tights, the crowd cheered as Cardi energetically repeated the phrase.
.@iamcardib came through with a message for everyone last night! 😭✊🏽Make sure you tune in for the #BETAwards tonight to see her perform! pic.twitter.com/AB1kzjTFbU
— #BETMusic (@BETMusic) June 23, 2019
Cardi’s proclamation follows her Friday indictment by a grand jury in Queens, New York, for misdemeanor charges stemming from an altercation at a strip club in August 2018.
Though the specific charges in the indictment are sealed until her arraignment on Tuesday, June 25, when Cardi was initially arrested in October she was charged with two misdemeanors, assault and reckless endangerment.
The incident occurred at the Angels Strip Club in Queens, when the “I Like It” rapper and nine members of her entourage allegedly threw chairs, bottles and a hookah pipe towards bartenders, two of whom were said to be injured.
According to legal documents obtained by ET, one bartender claimed that one of the drinks allegedly thrown by a member of Cardi’s group landed on her face, resulting in burning, itching and temporary blindness in her eyes.
Cardi rejected a plea offer from the Queen’s D.A. in April, and her lawyer has claimed she didn’t injure anyone during the incident.