Japan To Allow Mass Tourism, But Only In Tour Groups

PSG 2022 Japan tour. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)


Japan announced Thursday it will reopen to tourists from 36 countries starting June 10, ending a two-year pandemic closure, but travellers will only be allowed in with tour groups.

The decision comes after the government last week said it would test allowing small group tours with visitors from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore from this month.

On Thursday, the government revised border controls to resume accepting package tours from 36 countries and regions where the Covid situation is relatively stable, it said in a statement.

The countries include Britain, Spain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia.

Japan will also expand the number of airports that accept international flights to seven, adding Naha in its southern Okinawa prefecture and Chitose near Sapporo in northern Hokkaido.

For most of the pandemic Japan has barred all tourists and allowed only citizens and foreign residents entry, though even the latter have periodically been shut out.

All arrivals have to test negative before travel to Japan and most must be tested again on arrival, though triple-vaccinated people coming from certain countries can skip the additional test as well as a three-day quarantine required for others.

Tour groups are expected to take responsibility for ensuring visitors respect Japan’s near-universal mask-wearing and other measures that have helped keep the toll from Covid-19 comparatively low.

Just how many people will be able to take advantage of the careful reopening is unclear. A daily cap on people entering Japan is to be doubled to 20,000 next month, though tour groups are not expected to be counted in that figure, local media has reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said he wants to ease border control measures, but moves are expected to proceed slowly, with strong public support for the current restrictions.

Japan welcomed a record 31.9 million foreign visitors in 2019 and had been on track to achieve its goal of 40 million in 2020 before the pandemic hit.

Deforestation Surges In Brazil Atlantic Forest – Report

Handout picture released by the SOS Mata Atlantica showing an aerial view where native vegetation has been cut down to give space for eucalyptus plantations, in the Setubinha region, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, on May 20, 2022. (Photo by SOS Mata Atlantica / AFP)


Deforestation surged 66 percent last year in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, according to a new report, compounding fears over the rampant destruction of the Amazon rainforest further north.

The “Mata Atlantica,” which stretches down Brazil’s eastern coast, lost 21,642 hectares (53,479 acres) of forest cover from November 2020 to October 2021, up two-thirds from the year before, according to the report, which was based on satellite monitoring data and published late Wednesday by an environmental group.

Cutting down that forest — the size of more than 20,000 football fields — released the equivalent of 10.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, said the group, SOS Mata Atlantica.

“We weren’t expecting such a huge increase. We thought the Atlantic Forest would be a bit more immune to the explosion of deforestation (in other parts of Brazil), as a region with more governance and policing,” spokesman Luis Guedes Pinto told AFP.

“It shows the Atlantic Forest is also suffering from the dismantling of environmental policies and legislation.”

Deforestation has surged in Brazil under President Jair Bolsonaro, whom critics accuse of gutting environmental protection programs to benefit Brazil’s powerful agribusiness industry.

Since the far-right president took office in 2019, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75 percent from the previous decade, according to official figures.

Like the Amazon, the less-known Atlantic Forest is a critical buffer against climate change, and a key ecosystem without which Brazil’s supplies of food, water and hydroelectric power would be threatened, experts say.

Its destruction “is a disaster not just for Brazil, but for the world,” Pinto said.

“Research shows the Atlantic Forest is one of the biomes that will have to be urgently restored if we are to reach the goal of holding global warming to 1.5 degrees C in line with the Paris climate accord.”

WHO Assembly Slams Russian Attacks On Ukraine Health Facilities

A file photo of a signpost with WHO emblem.


WHO member states strongly condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine and attacks on healthcare facilities in a resolution overwhelmingly adopted on Thursday.

The resolution, carried by 88 votes to 12 at the World Health Organization’s annual assembly, did not impose any sanctions on Russia but underlined Moscow’s isolation on the international stage in yet another global forum.

The resolution “condemns in the strongest terms” Russia’s “military aggression against Ukraine, including attacks on healthcare facilities”.

It urged Russia to “immediately cease any attacks on hospitals” and other healthcare sites.

Ukrainian ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko said the February 24 full-scale Russian invasion had triggered a huge health and humanitarian crisis in and outside the country.

The assembly “must be crystal-clear about where responsibility for this health crisis lies: it lies with the Russian Federation”,” she said.

The resolution was brought by Ukraine and co-sponsored by countries including the United States, Britain, Japan, Turkey and the European Union except Hungary.

Of the 194 WHO member states, 183 had the right to vote. Eighty-eight voted in favour and 12 against, with 53 abstentions and 30 countries absent.

The resolution said the war was seriously impeding access to healthcare in Ukraine and having wider health implications across the region.

It also urged Russia to respect and protect all medical and humanitarian personnel as well as the sick and wounded, in line with international law.

The resolution also called for safe, rapid and unhindered access to people in need of help, and the free flow of essential medicines and equipment.

– 256 attacks on health –

The WHO has verified 256 separate attacks on healthcare in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. The WHO said 75 people have died and 59 have been injured.

Some 212 attacks involved heavy weapons.

The WHO does not go into further detail to protect the anonymity of victims and contributors.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said he hoped other bodies would use the verified information and “take the necessary action for any criminal investigations that are required”.

Since the invasion, Ukraine and its allies have tried to maximise Russia’s diplomatic isolation, particularly within the United Nations.

The World Health Assembly is the annual gathering of the WHO’s member states and serves as the UN health agency’s decision-making body.

Russian deputy ambassador Alexander Alimov rejected “all of the allegations” made by Filipenko, saying the resolution was “clearly anti-Russian”.

Russia earlier asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “to visit in person in order to learn about Russia’s efforts to resolve the healthcare and humanitarian crisis”.

– ‘Genocide’

In what Western nations branded a cynical manoeuvre, Russia and Syria brought a counter-resolution strongly condemning attacks on civilians and health infrastructure, which copied large chunks of the Ukrainian resolution — while removing all reference to Russia.

“The one thing they haven’t taken is responsibility for the health emergency they alone are causing,” said US ambassador Sheba Crocker.

“Russia is asking you to look away from the gruesome reality.”

British ambassador Simon Manley tweeted: “What a joke. This is based on some twisted alternative reality in which Putin’s forces haven’t been bombing hundreds of Ukrainian health facilities and killing thousands of civilians.”

Poland’s ambassador Zbigniew Czech said: “Let’s be honest: what we are witnessing in Ukraine is genocide.”

Crocker added: “There is no reason for any of this. It is wanton destruction of health care, services, and life for purely political aims, justified on the basis of lies and disinformation.”

China’s diplomat said: “The integrity and sovereignty of all countries, including Ukraine, must be respected… It is in no-one’s interests to continue hostilities.”

WHO chief Tedros has repeatedly called on Russia to stop the war.


Eleven Babies Die In Senegal Hospital Blaze

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa.


Eleven newborn babies have perished in a hospital fire blamed on an electrical short circuit in Senegal’s western city of Tivaouane, authorities said Thursday.

In the latest in a series of hospital deaths that have exposed the weaknesses of the nation’s healthcare system, President Macky Sall announced the tragedy on Twitter before declaring three days of national mourning.

“I have just learned with pain and dismay about the deaths of 11 newborn babies in the fire at the neonatal department of the public hospital,” Sall wrote after the fire late Wednesday.

“To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy,” he tweeted.

“Where is Mohamed?,” asked one of the distraught mothers outside Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, a city that has a population of 40,000.

Her baby son was taken to the hospital 10 days ago and was baptised on Monday, Mohamed’s 54-year-old father Alioune Diouf said.

The city’s mayor Demba Diop said the fire had been caused by “a short circuit and spread very quickly”.

Local media quoted witnesses saying gas bottles exploded preventing any rescue attempts.

Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr was quoted in media reports also blaming an electrical fault.

– ‘Beyond heartbroken’ –

The maternity unit was equipped to take care of 13 babies.

“At the time of the fire, there were 11, whom nurses were unable to save,” the minister said.

Mayor Demba Diop said “three babies were saved”.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that he was “beyond heartbroken with this tragic news.

“I’m sending my deepest condolences to the parents and families of the babies who lost their lives.”

Health Minister Sarr, who had been in Geneva attending a meeting with the WHO, said “an investigation is under way to see what happened”.

The tragedy in Tivaouane comes after several other public health incidents in Senegal, which suffers from a great disparity between urban and rural areas in healthcare services.

In the northern town of Linguere in late April, a fire broke out at a hospital and four newborn babies were killed. The town’s mayor cited an electrical malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward.

– ‘This is unacceptable’ –

Wednesday’s accident came over a month after the nation mourned the death of a pregnant woman who waited in vain for a caesarean section.

The woman, Astou Sokhna, arrived at a hospital in the northern city of Louga in pain. The staff refused to accommodate her request for a C-section, saying it was not scheduled.

She died on April 1, 20 hours after arrival.

Sokhna’s death caused a wave of outrage across the country over the dire state of the health system. Sarr acknowledged two weeks later that the death could have been avoided.

Three midwives on duty the night Sokhna died were given a six-month suspended prison sentence on May 11 by the High Court of Louga for “failure to assist a person in danger” in connection with her case.

Amnesty International’s Senegal director Seydi Gassama said his organisation had called for an inspection and upgrade for neonatal services in hospitals across Senegal after the “atrocious” death of the four babies in Linguere.

With the new tragedy, Amnesty “urges the government to set up an independent commission of inquiry to determine responsibility and punish the culprits, no matter the level they are at in the state apparatus”, he tweeted.

Opposition lawmaker Mamadou Lamine Diallo also responded with outrage to the Tivaouane blaze.

“More babies burned in a public hospital… this is unacceptable @MackySall,” he tweeted.

“We suffer with the families to whom we offer our condolences. Enough is enough.”

IMF Says Sri Lanka Aid Contingent On Debt Sustainability

In this file photo an exterior view of the building of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the IMG logo, is seen on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file photo an exterior view of the building of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the IMG logo, is seen on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP


The IMF said Thursday it is committed to helping crisis-battered Sri Lanka, but any aid program will be contingent on ensuring the nation’s unsustainable debt can be managed.

The cash-strapped South Asian nation of 22 million people is facing its worst crisis since independence: it has suffered months of dire shortages of food and medicines, as well as intensifying anti-government protests.

Sri Lanka has defaulted on its $51-billion foreign debt and on Tuesday appointed international consultants to help restructure its international sovereign bonds and bilateral loans.

The government also effectively ended subsidies on fuel by raising prices to a record high on Tuesday.

An IMF team held two weeks of discussions with authorities in Colombo and expressed commitment to continue to work on a package of “concrete measures” to end the crisis.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of the ongoing crisis on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups,” the IMF said in a statement.

The Washington-based crisis lender welcomed the appointment of advisors to work with the country’s creditors.

However, since the country’s public debt is “assessed as unsustainable, approval by the Executive Board of an IMF-supported program for Sri Lanka would require adequate assurances that debt sustainability will be restored,” the statement said.

Local officials have said it could take another six months to finalize an IMF aid program.

The fund said the talks were “focused on restoring fiscal sustainability while protecting the vulnerable and poor,” as well as reforms to enhance growth.

Chelsea Sale Gets Green Light From UK Government

File photo of Chelsea. Ian KINGTON / AFP


The British government announced Wednesday it had approved Todd Boehly’s £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) purchase of Chelsea football club from the sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

The Premier League club was put on the market in early March, days before Abramovich was sanctioned by Britain following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The billionaire, also the target of European Union sanctions, was described by the UK government as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Chelsea have been operating under the terms of a strict government licence that expires on May 31, meaning they have been unable to renew contracts for existing players and have faced a transfer ban.

Completion of the takeover has been a lengthy process due to concerns over the potential for Abramovich to profit from the sale of the London club.

But the Premier League gave the green light on Tuesday evening and hours later ministers said they would permit Chelsea’s sale.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, whose brief includes sport, tweeted: “Given the sanctions we placed on those linked to Putin and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the long-term future of the club can only be secured under a new owner.

“We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals.”

A consortium led by Boehly, a co-owner of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, beat off competition to agree a record deal to buy the club earlier this month.

At one stage it seemed close to collapse over concerns proceeds would not reach good causes as promised by outgoing owner Abramovich.

The Russian, who bought Chelsea in 2003, denied he had asked for his £1.5 billion loan to the club be repaid when the sale was concluded.

The government said in its statement it was satisfied that the “full proceeds” of the sale would not benefit Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual.

“We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war,” it added.

Of the total investment, £2.5 billion will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account to be donated to a charitable foundation for the benefit of victims of the war in Ukraine.

The new owners will commit £1.75 billion in further investment “for the benefit of the club”.

– Transfer budget –

Former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon told the BBC that the end of the saga would be a “complete relief” for everyone connected to the club.

“We’ve got a very short transfer window and plans will have been made before,” he said.

“They have already lost some players through not being able to re-sign them so I think everybody — the squad and the management — will be relieved they can get on with the job they’re employed to do.”

Thomas Tuchel’s side, who won the Champions League last season, finished third in the Premier League — 19 points behind champions Manchester City — and were beaten by Liverpool in the finals of the FA Cup and League Cup.

The German manager is set to lose key defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Tuchel, in an interview on Chelsea’s website conducted before the sale was confirmed, said the club had been operating at a “huge disadvantage” and would need to be nimble in the transfer market.

Reports on Wednesday said the former Paris Saint-Germain boss would be handed a £200 million transfer kitty.

Chelsea have been transformed since Abramovich bought them in 2003 for just £140 million, winning 19 major trophies in his 19-year reign — including five Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.

Boehly also has a track record of delivering sporting success with the Dodgers.

Thanks to heavy investment in players, they have made the MLB (Major League Baseball) playoffs every season for the past nine years and won their first World Series for 32 years in 2020.

Tensions Rise Ahead Of DR Congo Presidential Election

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa


DR Congo’s presidential election is over a year away, but political tensions are escalating in the vast and volatile country as candidates line up and fears grow the vote will be fraudulent.

Elections in the central African nation frequently turn violent, with dozens of protesters killed. They are also often criticised by observers.

But the last presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2018, heralded the first peaceful transfer of power in Kinshasa since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The vote was nonetheless marred by accusations of irregularities and the European Union and others cast doubt over its credibility.

According to official results, incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi won, replacing former leader Joseph Kabila after 18 years in power.

Tshisekedi has declared he will stand for president again in a poll planned for late 2023.

However, fears of tampering are already stalking the electoral process, and pressures around political circles in the capital have begun to mount.

Tshisekedi’s ruling coalition in the national assembly recently rejected an amendment to electoral law that would have banned politicians from distributing money during campaigns, for example.

It also struck down an effort to force the publication of votes by polling station. At present, DR Congo’s electoral commission publishes a single tally of results.

“With these rejections, the electoral law enshrines tampering and fraud,” said opposition MP Claudel Lubaya.

Martin Fayulu, a politician who claims he was robbed of victory in the 2018 election, told AFP that if Tshisekedi wins the 2023 poll “the country will be at war”.

Fayulu, along with former president Kabila, who retains swathes of popular support, have both announced that they will contest the coming election.

– Little confidence –

On May 10, the president of the constitutional court Dieudonne Kaluba was removed from his position after a process of drawing lots for the role.

The unusual method for picking the role had never before been used in the country, and it raised suspicion the government was trying to control the court, which has the final say over disputed elections.

In November, the court under Kaluba had dropped a corruption inquiry into former prime minister Augustin Matata — who is also running for president next year.

There are whispers of interference at the electoral commission too.

Prominent Catholic and Protestant groups in DR Congo recently criticised Tshisekedi for allegedly placing a close friend in charge of the commission, for example.

Tresor Kibangula, an analyst at New York University’s Congo Research Group think tank, said recent developments do not bode well for the future.

“The process does not enjoy the confidence of many people,” he said, referring to the run-up to the 2023 poll.

There are also doubts about whether the election will take place next year.

The electoral commission, for example, has complained of receiving “homeopathic doses” — or insufficient funds — to organise the vote.

The DR Congo is notoriously corrupt. It ranked 169th out of 180 nations on Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perception Index.

And far away from Kinshasa, much of the east of the nation of 90 million people is also prey to myriad armed groups and civilian massacres are a regular occurrence.

Premier League Approve Boehly’s Takeover of Chelsea

File photo of Chelsea. Ian KINGTON / AFP


Todd Boehly’s proposed takeover of Chelsea moved a step closer to completion on Tuesday when the Premier League board announced it had approved his purchase of the London club.

A consortium led by Boehly, a co-owner of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, had already agreed a £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) deal to buy the Premier League club from owner Roman Abramovich on May 7.

And a Premier League statement said Tuesday: “The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

“The purchase remains subject to the (British) Government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”

Russian billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea on the market in early March, just before he was sanctioned by the British government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Completing the purchase has been a lengthy process due to government concerns over the potential for Abramovich to profit from the sale.

There had been fears the takeover would collapse because of the £1.5 billion debt owed by Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam Ltd, to Camberley International Investments, a Jersey-based company with suspected links to Abramovich.

Abramovich, who has said he has not asked for his loan to be repaid, is understood to have provided confirmation to the government that his associate, Demetris Ioannides, has resigned from the trust owning Camberley International.

Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the government were working with “international partners” to get the deal done.

The Premier League statement added: “The board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

“The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

“Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant Governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.”

Chelsea have been forced to operate under a special licence from the UK government since Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003, was sanctioned.

Under the terms of the licence, Chelsea were unable to offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.

The sale of the European champions brings the curtain down on 19 years of nearly unbroken success under the 55-year-old Abramovich, who has overseen five Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.

UN Security Council Calls For Reversal Of Taliban Policies On Women

In this file photo taken on September 23, 2019 the United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019. Ludovic MARIN / AFP


The UN Security Council on Tuesday called on the Taliban to “swiftly reverse” policies restricting human rights and freedoms for Afghan women, in a unanimously adopted statement.

The move comes just days after female TV presenters were ordered to cover up fully, including their faces, the latest in a slew of Taliban restrictions on civil society, many of which are focused on women and girls.

In the text drafted by Norway, the council’s 15 member states said they were particularly concerned with the Taliban’s “imposition of restrictions that limit access to education, employment, freedom of movement, and women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in public life.”

The council said it called on the Taliban “to swiftly reverse the policies and practices which are currently restricting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghan women and girls.”

It demanded the Taliban re-open schools for all female students without further delay and expressed “deep concern” over the announcement that women must cover their faces in public, including on television broadcasts.

According to diplomats, negotiations on the text, which lasted nearly two weeks, hit road bumps when China and Russia objected to a focus on human rights.

Consequently, the document also includes paragraphs expressing “deep concern regarding the volatile situation in Afghanistan” in terms of humanitarian, political, economic, social and security issues.

In particular, the text cites drug trafficking and terrorist attacks targeting civilians, in addition to the need to restore the country’s financial and banking systems.



Euro Titles ‘No Help’ To Mourinho Ahead of Conference League Final

File photo of Jose Mourinho. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP


Jose Mourinho said Tuesday that his experience of European glory will be no help to him as Roma are one step away from their first major continental crown.

Mourinho has won two Champions Leagues, the old UEFA Cup and the Europa League, but said he was feeling the same pressure ahead of Wednesday’s Conference League final with Feyenoord in Tirana.

“There’s not going to be anything else in my head until after tomorrow,” Mourinho told reporters.

“Previous experience isn’t helping, I thought it would but it’s not, I’m exactly as I was when I managed my first final.”

Mourinho, 59, has won over supporters after a broadly successful first season in the Italian capital in which he secured Europa League football and took Roma to their first European final in over three decades.

He got Roma into Europe’s second-tier competition thanks to a 3-0 win at Torino on the final day of the Serie A season which gave them sixth place.

“We managed to win that final and now we have another target to go for,” he added.

“Now that we’re here we have to do everything possible to make history.”

Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini said that he was going into the most important match of his career, leading his boyhood team out for the final of a competition which attracted doubters at the start of the season but has provided plenty of entertainment.

The Italy midfielder, who was born and raised in Rome and came through the club’s academy system, has been a standout player under Mourinho and is keen to give Roma their first trophy since 2008.

“It’s my first final and I’m going to play it wearing this shirt,” he said.

“I couldn’t ask for more.”

Hungary Imposes State Of Emergency Citing Ukraine War

Map of Hungary


Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday imposed a new state of emergency in the country, citing the challenges posed by the ongoing war in neighbouring Ukraine.

Hungary is already under a state of emergency, linked to the Covid pandemic, which was due to expire next Tuesday.

“The world is on the verge of an economic crisis. Hungary must stay out of this war and protect the financial security of its families,” the nationalist leader said on Facebook, in comments that raised fresh concerns about the restriction of rights.

“This requires room for manoeuvre and immediate action. The government, exercising its right under the Basic Law, declares a state of emergency due to war as of midnight,” Orban added.

Shortly before the announcement, the Hungarian parliament, which had just been sworn in, amended the constitution to allow for such a measure.

Orban’s Fidesz party commands a two-thirds majority in the chamber.

Rules decided under the new law change will be announced on Wednesday, Orban said.

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) denounced the move, saying that “the state of emergency that has become permanent”.

The move gives Orban “more leeway than usual”, allowing him to “restrict or simply suspend everybody’s fundamental rights,” the group said, slamming what it described as the marginalisation of parliament.

Orban, in power for 12 years, is regularly accused by his Western partners of abuses of power in his country, a member of both the European Union and NATO.

Algeria President Sacks Central Bank Chief

Abdelmadjid Tebboune


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday sacked central bank chief Rostom Fadli, in office for less than two years, the presidency announced without giving any further explanation.

Tebboune “on Monday ended the functions of the Governor of the Bank of Algeria, Mr. Rostom Fadli, and appointed Mr. Salah Eddine Taleb to replace him,” it said in a statement.

Fadli had taken office in June 2020 as interim head of the central bank of Africa’s fourth-biggest economy, later being confirmed in the role.

READ ALSO: Adesina Says Africa Will ‘Feed Itself With Pride’ As AfDB Approves $1.5bn For Food Crisis

Algeria is a rentier economy dependent on oil exports for 90 percent of its foreign income, and therefore vulnerable to price movements.

Despite seeing those revenues explode in recent months with the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the North African country has also been hit hard by concurrent price hikes on its vital wheat imports.