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Gabon coup: Ousted President Ali Bongo released from detention



• Ousted Gabon President Ali Bongo
The military junta in Gabon has released ousted President Ali Bongo from house arrest.

The new military regime in Gabon said the democratically elected President is free to leave the country for medical treatment.The Government of Bongo was toppled following the announcement by the country’s electoral umpire that he had been re-elected for a third term in office.

Leader of the coup, Brice Nguema, an army general, was sworn in as interim president.

Nguema is Bongo’s cousin, and served as a bodyguard to Bongo’s late father.

He was also the head of the country’s elite military unit, the republican guard.

A statement signed by Nguema, announced Bongo’s release from house arrest.

“Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about,” Ulrich Manfoumbi, the military spokesperson said in the statement.

“He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups,” he added.

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Eight women accused of witchcraft killed with poison



Eight women accused of witchcraft killed with poison
• Guinea-Bissau
Eight women accused of witchcraft in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau have died of poisoning in the remote north, a senior official told AFP on Thursday.

After a sudden illness took the lives of two youngsters at Culade, in the Cacheu region, women were blamed and an animist priest forced them to drink poison.

The eight women, all aged over 50, died and 21 others were hospitalised at the local capital Sao Domingos, said Carlos Sanha, a senior administrative official in the town.

“It keeps recurring in this area,” where traditional animist beliefs remain strong, Sanha said.

“We intend to take the decisions needed to put an end to these practices from ancestral times.

“It’s sad and unacceptable in the 21st century. We can no longer tolerate such practices.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, four people died in similar circumstances in the same region, with local people fearing the virus was linked to witchcraft.


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Man dies after he was bitten by his pet lizard



A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet monster lizard named Winston

Christopher Ward, 34, had spent days clinging to life on a ventilator after being attacked by one of his two Gila monsters.

He died in the hospital on Friday, Feb. 16, Lakewood Police Department spokesman John Romero announced this week.

Jefferson County coroner’s officials have declined to say if tests confirmed yet that Ward had died from exposure to the lizard’s venom, or from an unrelated medical issue.

Ward’s girlfriend told police she had heard something that “didn’t sound right” and entered a room to find Winston the Gila monster’s mouth clamped down on her boyfriend’s hand, according to an animal control officer’s report.

She told officers that Ward “immediately began exhibiting symptoms, vomiting several times and eventually passing out and ceasing to breathe,” the report revealed.

Ward was rushed to a hospital and almost immediately placed on life support.

Five days later, he was declared brain-dead.

The victim’s girlfriend has since turned over the couple’s two pet Gila monsters, Winston and Potato, to Lakewood Animal Control.


More than two dozen spiders of various species were also removed from the couple’s home.

She told officers that Winston was purchased at a reptile exhibition in Denver in October, while Potato came from a breeder in Arizona in November, according to the animal control officer’s report.

Informed that Gila monsters were illegal in Lakewood, the woman told officers she wanted them out of her house as soon as possible, the report said.

Officers with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources sent the lizards to Reptile Gardens near Rapid City, South Dakota.

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The couple’s 26 spiders were rehomed at an animal shelter.

Gila monsters are large, venomous reptiles that can be found throughout the southwestern US and in parts of Mexico. Their bites can cause searing pain and make their victims pass out — but they are typically not deadly. Their venom is as toxic as that of a western diamondback rattlesnake and there is no antivenom for a Gila monster’s bite.

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Guinea’s military junta dissolves government, seals borders



Guinea, which is currently led by transitional President Mamady Doumbouya, is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule in 10 months

Guinea’s military junta, which seized power in a coup in September 2021, has dissolved the government.

The announcement was made through a presidential decree read on state TV on Monday by the presidency’s Secretary General, Brig Gen Amara Camara.

Mr Camara did not disclose the reason for the dissolution or say when a new government will be put in place.

Ministers in the dissolved government were ordered to surrender their passports and official vehicles.

Their bank accounts have additionally been frozen.

The junta also instructed security agencies to “seal” all the country’s borders until government ministries have been fully handed over to the junta.

Lower-level officials will temporarily manage state ministries until a new government is appointed, Mr Camara said.


The dissolved government was led by Bernard Goumou, who had been appointed prime minister by coup leader Mamady Doumbouya.

In September 2021, Col Doumbouya led Guinea’s armed forces to overthrow elected President Alpha Condé, after a series of protests over Mr Conde’s controversial bid for a third term.

Guinea and several other countries in West and central Africa have been hit by coups in recent years.

Others include Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon.

The coups have been strongly condemned by the West African regional bloc Ecowas, as well as the African Union and the UN.

Guinea is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule in 10 months, when the 24-month transition period set by the junta and Ecowas expires.

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