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Eid Will be Under Lockdown for Many Muslims Across Africa

Muslims across Africa will begin observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan starting on Tuesday. For the second year, restrictions are in force in some countries during the month. Egypt has banned congregational prayers in mosques. Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi backpedalled on Sunday on a decision to extend the hours of a nightly curfew, following concern for people’s livelihoods. Mr Mechichi, who has long been at odds with President Kaïs Saïed, had on 7 April announced that a curfew aiming to curb a spike in Covid-19 cases would start at 7pm local time, instead of 10pm ahead of Ramadan. Two days later, Mr Saïed called on the prime minister to review the decision, to avoid the loss of thousands of jobs during the holy month in which Muslims fast until sunset. Last year, African leaders sent special Ramadan messages of hope to Muslims on the continent amid unprecedented restrictions to counter the spread of the virus.