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Ivory Coast PM’s body flown home after death in Germany

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Bakayoko, who turned 56 last Monday died following cancer treatment in Germany.

The body of Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko was flown home on Saturday, two days after he died in Germany.

Bakayoko, who turned 56 last Monday and died following cancer treatment in Germany, was popular for reaching across the political spectrum in the bitterly divided West African country.

His death came just days after a rare trouble-free election in which all sides took part.

President Alassane Ouattara, dressed in a dark suit and wearing a black hat, welcomed the coffin at Abidjan’s international airport.

Hundreds of supporters of Bakayoko — known as “Hambak” — looked on from the sidelines as the coffin was taken to a funeral home, many of them wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with slogans including “Farewell HamBak, our inspiration!” or “HamBak forever in our hearts”.

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At ease in all walks of life, Bakayoko met regularly with religious leaders of all communities and ethnicities, political leaders and young people to urge them to listen to each other and not to resort to violence.

Earlier in the week, Ouattara called Bakayoko “my son and close collaborator, torn from us too soon”.

Bakayoko took over as prime minister in July last year after his predecessor Amadou Gon Coulibaly died following treatment in France for heart problems.

Coulibaly had been chosen to run in last year’s presidential election but his death prompted Ouattara to stand for a third term, a move that triggered a crisis with the opposition.

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‘Israel has the right to self-defense’ — Psaki

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PHOTO: White House press secretary Jen Psaki

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has stated that “Israel has the right to self-defense” against Gaza-based Islamist terrorists who have rained down over 2,000 rockets on southern and central Israel since Monday.

She noted that Hamas is a terrorist group, but stressed that the US is focused on de-escalation.

“It’s important to remember that Hamas is a terrorist group. They don’t represent the views, the families and the Palestinian people who are suffering. There’s no excuse for the rockets,” Psaki told journalists.

Meanwhile, US Secretary for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr landed in Israel on Friday, as part of Washington’s efforts to defuse the most intense fight between Gaza-based Islamist terrorists and the Jewish state since 2014.

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Barka da Sallah to Muslim faithfuls who don’t behave like terrorists — Kanu

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Nnamdi Kanu, rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)

Rights activist, Nnamdi Kanu, has congratulated Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr – one of the holiest occasions on the Islamic calendar.

Kanu, in a message Thursday, noted that his message and best wishes are directed to “Muslim faithfuls who don’t think and behave like the terrorists” who he said are presiding over the government in Nigeria.

“May the peace & blessings of your God Allah be and abide with you always,” said the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

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Rocket attacks: Nigerian govt frowns, send message to Israel

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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s federal government has expressed its displeasure with the rocket attacks between Israel and the Palestinian militant group in Gaza, Hamas.

In a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, ​​Nigeria’s federal government called on both sides to defuse hostilities.

“The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria is watching with great concern the unfolding developments with Israel and the State of Palestine and urges both parties to see reason and de-escalate the hostilities,” said Nwonye.

“The Federal Government further urges the two parties to remain committed to the two-state solution and, in the meantime, guarantee the rights of all citizens to live in peace and dignity.”

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