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Hard-hit Nigerian airline sacks dozens of pilots

Kunle Falayi

BBC Yoruba, Lagos

At least 70 pilots have been sacked at one of Nigeria’s main airlines, Air Peace, in a restructuring which the company says became important in order for the company to stay afloat.

The airline said it had two options: Either to sack and reduce the salaries for staff members who remained or be unable to pay salaries and fulfil other financial responsibilities. It chose the former.

Few weeks ago, the airline’s boss Allen Onyema called on the government to provide the aviation industry with bailouts to enable airlines stay afloat.

But airlines have not been included in the government’s $6bn (£43bn) Covid-19 stimulus plan which would see various sectors of the economy given access to loans to lessen effects of the pandemic.

A statement from the spokesperson for Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, said the review was first done in terms of pay cuts of between zero to 40% depending on the salary grades. But that was not enough to help the airline.

Even though domestic air travel has now reopened in Nigeria, the damage is already done.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had said that for each month the aviation sector was closed, the industry in Nigeria was losing $77m.

Zimbabwe leader vows to 'flush out bad apples'

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President Mnangagwa blamed Western nations for fomenting instability

Zimbabwean's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has given a stark warning to opposition figures and human rights campaigners amid growing uproar over corruption and economic mismanagement.

In a televised address on Tuesday, the president condemned the "machinations of destructive, terrorist opposition groupings".

"Those who promote hate and disharmony will never win. The bad apples that have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out. Good shall triumph over evil," he said.

Opposition supporters and activists had last week called for anti-government protests, but security agencies ordered people to stay indoors. Some activists including Booker-longlisted author Tsitsi Dangarembga were arrested and later released on bail.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights say more than 60 people have been detained.

Mr Mnangagwa in his speech said "security services will continue to carry out their duties with appropriate astuteness and resolve".

"We shall overcome attempts at destabilisation of our society by the few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors," he said.

Here is a video clip of President Mnangagwa's speech:

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Africans online stand with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter

Social media users across the continent have joined the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign to condemn the military-led crackdown and arrests of opposition politicians and journalists in Zimbabwe.

They are calling for Zimbabwe's government to respect the rights of those protesting against alleged human rights abuses and corruption.

The campaign started in Zimbabwe where activists told their stories of incarceration.

Many in the continent have urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government to dialogue with its critics as opposed to arresting them.

South Africa's opposition figure Julius Malema also joined the campaign:

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UN plane hard landing injures 11 in Mali

Eleven people, including United Nations employees, sustained injuries after a UN aircraft made a hard landing at an airport in Mali's eastern city of Gao, the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) said.

The plane left the capital, Bamako, Monday morning carrying four UN personnel and seven crew members.

It suffered extensive damage during the incident, the mission said in a statement.

An investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident, it added.

Jacdec, which monitors aviation safety, tweeted photos of the plane:

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