The government of Gambia is demanding answers from the US government after the son of one its diplomats was killed by US Police after a car chase.
The Gambia says a thorough investigation should be carried out in the death of 39 year old Mamodou Lamin Sissay who was chased down by police cars before being shot and killed by police officers.
The killing of the son of the African diplomat comes on the heels of the death of an African American, George Floyd at the hands of US police in Minneapolis. The death has sparked ongoing protests in the United States as well as some parts of the world including London and Paris.
Mamodou refused to stop when he was flagged down by a police officer at SnellVille, Georgia at 03:49 am on Friday 29th May. A chase thereafter ensued leading to a shootout with the police.
According to investigators;
“Officers approached the vehicle and gave verbal commands for the driver to show his hands. The driver did not comply… the driver pointed a handgun at the officers. Officers fired at the driver and pulled back to take cover behind their patrol vehicles.”
During the standoff, the driver pointed his weapon and fired at the SWAT officers. One GCPD SWAT officer fired his weapon.”
Reacting to the incident, the father of the victim who is a diplomat with the United Nations, Lare Sissay said the police did not do enough to deescalate the situation. He also expressed disbelief at reports that his son had drawn a weapon on US policemen given their antecedents.
“We will do an independent autopsy and we want to get a private investigator to investigate the circumstances of his death and if necessary hire a lawyer to sue the Georgia state police. We’re not going to let it go,” he told a local newspaper in Gambia.
On Tuesday, the Gambian Ministry of foreign affairs directed its embassy in Washington to engage US authorities including the State Department to seek a credible, transparent and objective investigation.
Angola has cut the number of oil cargoes that it will ship to Chinese state firms to pay down debt to Beijing as it seeks to renegotiate repayment terms to deal with the crippling impact of the coronavirus, three sources familiar with the matter said.
Angola said this week it had asked for G20 debt relief and was in advanced talks with some countries importing its oil on adjusting financing facilities, but expects no further debt overhaul to be needed beyond this.
The sharp global economic slowdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic pushed Brent oil prices to their lowest levels since the late 1990s and U.S. oil futures to negative territory for the first time in history.
The price drop has put heavily-indebted Angola into a fragile state as it derives a third of state revenues from oil.
By far, its biggest creditor is China. Analysts say Angola has over $20 billion in bilateral debt with the lion's share owed to China. Much of the cash was borrowed to build roads, hospitals, houses and railways across the southern African country.
On top of its Chinese debt, Luanda secured a $3.7 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund last year and state oil firm Sonangol has borrowed $2.5 billion from banks between end-2018 and mid-2019, the IMF said.
A global oil output cut deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has added to Luanda's woes.
As an OPEC member, Angola was pressured to cut oil exports starting from May. The result has left the country with fewer and lower-value cargoes to split between paying off its Chinese debt and filling its depleted coffers.
The sources said that China's state-owned Sinochem would receive five cargoes in July, down from the usual seven or eight, while the trading arm of Chinese giant Sinopec called Unipec would receive none.
Unipec typically receives two to three cargoes earmarked as debt repayment.
Sonangol, Angola's finance ministry, Sinopec and Sinochem did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the relevant departments were in contact with Angola over its request for debt relief.
"These oil-backed loans create stronger interdependence (between lender and borrower) than traditional financing. This tactic of diverting cargoes is not new as seen elsewhere," David Mihalyi, a senior economic analyst with the Natural Resource Governance Institute, said.
Chad threatened to cut repayment cargoes to commodities trader and miner Glencore during a major loan restructuring in 2017. Similarly, Congo Republic has cut many repayment oil cargoes to Glencore and commodities trader Trafigura as discussions drag.
Angola is not the only African country heavily indebted to China. The IMF and ratings agency Moody's have raised concerns about debt levels in sub-Saharan Africa particularly with China.
Kenya has overtaken Angola as the third-largest economy in Sub-Sahara Africa, International Monetary Funds’ (IMF) fresh estimates released Friday has shown.
The East Africa’s largest economy, that has been the fourth largest economy in the Sub-Sahara Africa, has surpassed Angola to become third-largest economy in dollar terms.
Kenya now is behind Nigeria (1) and South Africa.
Bloomberg reports that Angola has contracted every year since 2016 as oil output declined, and the kwanza was devalued in 2019 while Kenya’s shilling held steady.
The coronavirus pandemic and restrictions to limit its spread will probably see Angola’s gross domestic product contract 1.4 percent in 2020, while Kenya’s is projected to grow by one percent, according to the IMF report.
According to IMF, Angola, an oil dependent country, recently had its national assembly approve a package of revenue and expenditure measures to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and minimize its negative economic impact.
Additional health care spending, estimated at $40 million (Sh4billion) was announced. Tax exemptions on humanitarian aid and donations and some delays on filing taxes for selected imports were granted.
While Kenya has earmarked Sh40 billion (0.4 percent of GDP) in funds for additional health expenditure and funds for expediting payments of existing obligations to maintain cash flow for businesses during the crisis, among other tax relief incentives.
Read More: Daily Nation