Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Tensions between Angola's president and his long-serving predecessor have erupted into the open as an anti-corruption drive targets the former ruler's family. President Joao Lourenco has pledged to crusade against entrenched state corruption and nepotism since taking over in September from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years. Battling graft is a cornerstone of Lourenco's promised "economic miracle" that he hopes will halt the oil-dependent country's economic slump caused by stubbornly low crude prices. A once-loyal minister under Dos Santos, Lourenco has purged state-run corporations of leaders appointed by his former boss.
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
The son of Angola's former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been charged with fraud linked to a $500 million transfer executed when he ran the country's sovereign wealth fund, prosecutors said Monday. Jose Filomeno dos Santos is accused of "fraud, misappropriation of funds, money laundering and associating with criminals," deputy chief prosecutor Luis Benza Zanga told a media conference. Nicknamed "Zenu", Filomeno dos Santos was appointed to head the $5 billion oil-fuelled sovereign fund by his father in 2013 but then was sacked by President Joao Lourenco, who took power in January.
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Prominent Angolan human rights activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais appeared in court Monday on charges of insulting a public authority after questioning the integrity of a former attorney general. The charges relate to a story Marques, 46, wrote in 2016 about the country's former attorney general's purchase of rural land designated for urban development. Marques, who runs the news website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras, another journalist who reproduced the article, face up to three years in jail...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Angola saw its first authorised anti-government protest in decades with about 10 people demonstrating Saturday in the capital against an amnesty those who have stashed vast wealth abroad. Despite the paltry turnout, the rally in the centre of Luanda was a milestone and hugely symbolic. Such an event would have been unthinkable during the regime of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos who ruled the oil-rich country with an iron fist for 38 years until he stepped down late last...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Former Angolan leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Friday he will quit as head of the governing party by 2019 after the ruling MPLA denied tensions with his successor, President Joao Lourenco. Dos Santos ceded the presidency to his former defence minister Lourenco following the ruling MPLA's victory in August elections but held on to the party's top job. The 75-year-old veteran leader who ruled for nearly four decades is battling ill health and said that he would retire from...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/18)
LUANDA (Reuters) - The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) is deeply concerned about rekindled tension in the violent Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and criticized the Angolan government for forcing some 500 refugees to return. Angola’s government forced 530 Congolese to return to Congo between Feb. 25 and 27, UNHCR said in a statement on Tuesday. Of those sent back, 480 were unregistered refugees staying at the Cacanda center managed by aid agencies in the frontier town of Dundo, the statement said. “Continuing instability poses a grave risk to civilian safety, including for several hundred refugees recently returned there from Angola,” it said.
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Angolan prosecutors appeared to waver on Monday in their pursuit of prominent human rights activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais who faces charges of subversion, defence sources said. The charges relate to a story Marques, 46, wrote in 2016 about the country's former attorney general's purchase of rural land designated for urban development. A court in Luanda postponed the case indefinitely, De Morais's lawyer Horacio Junjuvili told AFP by telephone. De Morais was charged with insulting public authority after...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
The trial of Angolan former vice-president Manuel Vicente for alleged corruption opened Monday in his absence in the Portuguese capital, raising tensions between the oil-rich African country and its former colonial ruler. Vicente, who headed Angola's state oil company Sonangol, is accused by the Portuguese attorney general of bribing prosecutor Orlando Figueira 763,500 euros ($934,600) to scrap two probes into suspected money-laundering opened in 2011. Angola, along with Nigeria, is one of Africa's biggest oil producers, pumping 1.7 million barrels...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The first major scalp claimed by Angola's new president Joao Lourenco in his war on corruption and nepotism was that of his predecessor's daughter, who was sacked as head of the state oil company. The next big name linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos was that of his son, Jose Filomeno, who was removed from his post at the top of the African nation's $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. Quick work for a president with barely 100 days...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Angolan President Joao Lourenco removed the son of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos from the top job at the oil-rich country's sovereign wealth fund, the presidency said on Wednesday. Jose Filomeno dos Santos, who was implicated in the "Panama Papers" offshore scandal, will be replaced by former finance minister Carlos Alberto Lopes. Last year's "Panama Papers" revelations showed how the world's wealthy used a discreet Panamanian legal firm to stash assets offshore. The investment fund under Dos Santos Jr's control has been shown to have transferred tens of millions of dollars to businessman Jean-Claude "Zenu" Bastos de Morais to run the organisation.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Monday denied "any tension" with his long-serving predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos, many of whose relatives and friends he has sacked from public office in a fight against corruption in the oil-rich southern African nation. In November, within three months of taking control of Angola, Lourenco sacked dos Santos's daughter -- Africa's richest woman -- as head of the state-run oil company Sonangol. In recent weeks, he has fired a string of other business figures...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...

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