Cholera kills 62 in Sierra Leone FREETOWN – Sierra Leone’s health ministry on Wednesday said an outbreak of cholera in the west African country has killed 62 people in less than a month. The western area, including the capital Freetown, and “three towns in the northern and southern parts of the country have now been declared cholera outbreak areas”, said a ministry statement.
Between June 23 and Tuesday, 62 people have died and 3 721 cases have been reported in the areas concerned, statistics showed.
A recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the disease had also spread to neighbouring Guinea.
Zim constitution draft complete
HARARE – Zimbabwe has finished work on the draft of a new constitution to pave the way for new elections, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Wednesday, more than three years after the process started.
Biti told lawmakers that the process of writing the draft had been “tortuous” and “acrimonious”, but that “at the end of the day we came up with a constitution.”
“Indeed history has been written in the last few weeks,” he said while presenting his mid-term budget.
A new constitution is a key condition of reforms agreed in 2008 when President Robert Mugabe was forced into a power-sharing deal with his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai to avoid a descent into conflict after a violent presidential election.
The document will be subject to a referendum before elections can be organised, possibly next year.
Freed European hostages in Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU – One of the mediators involved in helping to free three European hostages held for the past 10 months by a jihadist group in north Mali says the Italian and two Spaniards have landed in Burkina Faso.
The official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press, says the three landed by helicopter yesterday in Gorom Gorom, about 300 km north of the capital, Ouagadougou, where the official said they would soon be transferred. They will likely then fly back to their home countries.
Spaniards Enric Gonyalons and Ainhoa Fernandez del Rincon and Italian Rossella Urru are aid workers who were kidnapped from a refugee camp in southern Algeria last October. The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, known as MUJAO by its French acronym, freed them on Wednesday in Mali’s distant north.