Tuesday 25 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
A second set of tests on the suspected remains of Burkina Faso's iconic ex-president Thomas Sankara have returned inconclusive, with "no DNA profile" to confirm it was his body, the family's lawyer has said. Sometimes referred to as Africa's "Che Guevara", Sankara died during a coup d'etat in October 1987 with the circumstances of his death a mystery. Although the 37-year-old former army captain's death certificate said he died of "natural causes", several reports have suggested he was executed by a hit squad at government headquarters. In May 2015, remains believed to be those of Sankara and 12 colleagues were exhumed from a cemetery in the capital Ouagadougou as part...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Burkina Faso's Diebedo Francis Kere on Tuesday unveiled his temporary pavilion in London's Hyde Park, becoming the first African architect to undertake the prestigious assignment given to a world-famous architect every year. Kere's Serpentine Pavilion comprises an indigo-blue structure with a latticed canopy, which is inspired by a tree in his hometown of Gando that serves as a central meeting point. "In my village, during the hot day, everyone is gathering under the tree, you have the mothers, the fathers, the elders then the kids," he said. "I grew up listening to stories in my village and the blue, here indigo blue, a natural colour, is so important to the culture." The expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework,...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
France's foreign minister said Thursday he was confident "we will get there" in convincing a reluctant United States to give United Nations backing to an anti-jihadist force drawn from five African countries. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which make up the so-called G5 Sahel, have agreed to set up a special counter-terrorism operation of 5,000 troops, but want UN logistical and financial support. "We think that it is necessary to support them in this endeavour, because the security of Africans will not come, in the end, only from Africans themselves," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking in the Senegalese capital of Dakar as part of a west African tour. France has presented a draft resolution to the Security Council...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(BBC News Africa 06/14/17)
A French soldier has been jailed for a year by a court in Paris for molesting girls aged three and five in a hotel swimming pool in Burkina Faso. Sebastien L, 40, and another soldier filmed the abuse and then befriended one of the girls' mothers, a French woman who invited them to her house. They left the camera behind and the woman alerted the French embassy after viewing the images. The two soldiers were immediately suspended and sent back to France. However only Sebastien L was charged, FranceInfo reported. He admitted to sexual contact with the girls during the incident in Ouagadougou and was sentenced to a year in prison followed by a one-year suspended sentence. He said he...
(AfricaNews 06/14/17)
A French court on Monday sentenced a soldier found guilty of sexually abusing two girls, ages three and five in Burkina Faso. Sebastien L was sentenced by a Paris court to a year in prison followed by a one-year suspended sentence, RFI reported. He was also ordered to pay compensation worth thousands of euros to the girls and their families. The offence took place in 2015 when he was stationed in Burkina Faso as part of French force fighting Islamists in the Sahel region. Sebastien was seen in a video, by a French-Burkinabe woman, abusing the girls in a hotel swimming pool. She alerted the French embassy and he was suspended and returned to France together with the one who...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(RFI 06/12/17)
France on Friday tried to convince the US to back a call for the UN to endorse an African military force to fight jihadists, drug smugglers and people traffickers in the Sahel region after American diplomats claimed the mandate was too vague. Following an African Union request for UN backing, France presented a draft resolution on Tuesday to back a decision by Africa's G5 - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger - to set up a 5,000-strong counter-terrorism force in the Sahel region. It would give a UN mandate to the G5 troops ...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
France on Tuesday proposed that the United Nations Security Council back a West African force to combat terrorism, drug and human trafficking by "eradicating the actions" of Islamist militants and organized crime groups in the Sahel region. The vast, arid zone has in recent years become a breeding ground for jihadist groups - some linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State - that European nations, particularly France, fear could threaten Europe if left unchecked. "We cannot afford to let the Sahel region become a new safe haven for terrorists across the world," French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters. France circulated a draft Security Council resolution on Tuesday to the 15-member body to authorize the West African force to use...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
France on Tuesday asked the UN Security Council to authorize the deployment of a five-nation African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region. A draft resolution circulated to the 15-member council would give the Sahel force a UN mandate to "use all necessary means" to "combat terrorism, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons," according to the text obtained by AFP. The Security Council could vote on the draft resolution as early as next week, diplomats said. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- which make up the G5 -- agreed in March to set up the special counter-terrorism operation of 5,000 troops for the Sahel region. The force will have its headquarters in Mali, but will be...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
France will ask the UN Security Council to authorize an African military force for the Sahel region that will be sent to root out jihadists and drug traffickers, the French ambassador said Tuesday. A French-drafted resolution is expected to be presented this week to the Security Council, which could vote on the measure as early as next week. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- which make up the G5 -- agreed in March to set up the force of 5,000 troops for the Sahel region. The force will have its headquarters in Mali, but will be under a separate command from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSMA, which has been deployed in the country since 2013. "France is going...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
The EU is giving 50 million euros to set up a joint African military force in the Sahel region to fight jihadists, the bloc's foreign affairs chief said Monday. The funds will help pay for the troops to fight terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal immigration, European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said in the Mali capital Bamako. "Stability and development of the Sahel region are crucial not only for Africa but also for Europe," said Mogherini. "This contribution will arrive very quickly and I hope (it) will set out the right path to other partners of the Sahel G5". Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso -- dubbed the Sahel G5 -- in March approved plans to build the force...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia, where they hailed peacekeeping efforts in the region but warned about threats to stability. Netanyahu, who had visited east Africa in July 2016, vowed that they had "no better partner" than his country after he was received by Liberian President and outgoing head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel. I believe in Africa. I believe in its potential, present and future. It is a continent on the rise," said the Israeli leader. "Africans are seizing the future. Israel wants to seize this future with you...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...

Pages