Friday 20 April 2018
(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 did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Britain is set to send helicopters to bolster a key French counter-terrorism operation in Mali in a package of measures to be agreed at a summit near London on Thursday. The commitment will come as Prime Minister Theresa May meets French President Emmanuel Macron at an army base near the British capital, with immigration and global aid also on their agenda. In a separate move, Italy's parliament on Wednesday also approved a ramped up military presence in Niger by agreeing to send an initial 120 troops with 350 more to follow as Rome looks to stem migration and people-trafficking of African migrants. European powers are desperate to stem the flow of African migrants crossing the Mediterranean and are spooked by...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Five Sahel countries - Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso -- on Monday launched their second anti-Jihadist operation in the troubled region, after talks in Paris with their partner France. After the discussions between the defence ministers of the so-called G5 Sahel and their French counterpart no details were released about the new operation due to "security reasons". "We are moving forward... the joint force is gaining momentum... the first operation has taken place, the second one is starting today," Malian Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly told a press conference, alongside his G5 counterparts and French Defence...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Defence ministers from five countries in the Sahel were meeting Monday with French counterpart Florence Parly in the latest push for a pooled force fighting jihadism in the fragile region. The brief meeting, in which senior military officers were to take part, aims at setting down a concrete timetable for deploying the so-called "G5 Sahel" force, which carried out its maiden mission in November with French support. The unprecedented initative brings together Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which aim to create a fully fledged force of 5,000 troops by mid-2018.
(APA 01/13/18)
APA-Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) - Le Prince Albert II de Monaco, en visite de travail et d’amitié de 72 heures au Burkina Faso, a inauguré vendredi matin, un centre de formation de la Croix-rouge, à Loumbila, localité située à une vingtaine de kilomètres au Nord-est de Ouagadougou. La construction du Centre de formation polyvalente de Loumbila a été financée par la Croix-Rouge monégasque dirigée par le Prince Albert depuis plus de trente ans. La principauté de Monaco, a-t-on appris, a déboursé plus de trois (3) milliards de francs CFA pour la réalisation de l’infrastructure inaugurée ce vendredi matin, en présence du président Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Après l’inauguration du Centre polyvalent, son Altesse sérénissime (SAS) le prince Albert II de...
(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 into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign. The decision was made by the defence and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said late Monday. Their countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that last year launched a joint military force to combat jihadism plaguing the region. Pledges last month brought total funding over the 250 million euros ($298 million) needed to get the force up and running following a maiden mission in the volatile border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in November. A summit of donor nations is...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
The former security minister in Burkina Faso's transitional government has been arrested as part of an investigation into an "attempt to destabilise" the country. "Colonel Denise Auguste Barry was arrested this (Friday) morning in connection with an investigation into an attempt to destabilise the state," a senior gendarmerie officer told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that it was a "recent" affair. "For now, he is still being interviewed at the gendarmerie camp," he added. Communication minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou confirmed his arrest, saying: "The minister of security (Simon Compaore) has informed us of the investigations that are ongoing and involving Denise Auguste Barry.
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Burkina Faso is banning imports from North Korea to comply with tough UN economic sanctions punishing Pyongyang's weapons programmes, the government said Wednesday. The decision comes after an inquiry by the United States in October showed that Burkina Faso was still trading with North Korea despite sanctions imposed the month before. "Following this inquiry, we conducted a thorough investigation at the commerce ministry and at the level of the finance department and found that there were economic operators importing from North Korea," said Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. "Instructions have been give to the two ministries to end these importations," he said.
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Qatar's emir was to tour six West African nations starting Wednesday in search of new markets, six months after Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cut ties with the wealthy emirate. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwa al-Khater told a press conference that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's mission would begin in Mali, and include stops in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal. The visit is part of Doha's drive to open up new markets and diversify its economy amid an ongoing blockade by its neighbours, Khater said. She said the six countries on the emir's itinerary had "strong economic potential and opportunities despite some security challenges in some of them". The emir is to sign cooperation agreements in health,...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(APA 12/15/17)
APA-Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) - Bientôt, la capitale burkinabè, Ouagadougou, va bénéficier d’une voie de contournement longue de 125 kilomètres, a-t-on appris vendredi, de source gouvernementale. Selon le ministre en charge des Infrastructures Eric Bougouma qui s’est exprimé jeudi sur le sujet, à l’issue du conseil hebdomadaire des ministres, cette voie va coûter 181 milliards de CFA. Il a précisé que le projet sera exécuté en quatre ans et qu’un accord est en train d’être trouvé avec l’Entreprise Bonkoungou Mamadou et fils (EBOMAF) pour son exécution. Le ministre a indiqué qu'avec ses sept grands ronds-points, cette voie de contournement va traverser les sept routes nationales autour de Ouagadougou et devrait permettre de fluidifier le trafic dans la capitale burkinabè, de sécuriser...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Oil-rich Gulf countries pledged 130 million euros Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as French President Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders in a bid to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The G5 Sahel force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir promised 100 million euros ($118 million) at the talks while the United Arab Emirates offered 30 million euros, as both seek to show commitment to fighting extremism. That brings total pledges over the 250 million euros initially needed, a relief for Macron who had...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
A Senegalese court on Thursday delayed the trial of popular Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall on charges of embezzling public funds until January 3, as his lawyers denounced a "hasty" start to proceedings. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($3.3 million, 2.8 million euros) -- a charge he denies and which backers say is politically motivated. The court's president Maguette Diop called a special hearing for January 3, after ordering Sall's supporters to calm down after they packed the courtroom to catch a glimpse of a man now facing his 10th month in pre-trial detention. Security was tight at the court in central Dakar, and Sall waved and smiled as "Khalifa president!" was shouted from the gallery as...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates put forward $130 million Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as France's Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders to an effort to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. The $100 million (85 million euros) from oil-rich Riyadh and $30 million from the UAE bring the total pledged funding over the initial 250 million euros needed in the short terma, a relief for Macron who had lobbied the Gulf and US for cash.
(Agence Ecofin 12/12/17)
Huawei International has officially started construction works for the first stage of the national fiber optic backbone project, on December 10, 2017. This stage which extends on a distance of 2,001 km was officially launched in Gaoua, in the region of Bafuji, by the president of the Republic, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (photo). This first phase is estimated to cost CFA50 billion. It was financed via a 12-year loan with a 3-year grace period, backed by the Bank of China (60%) and BNP Paribas (40%). French engineering group Tactis will be in charge of monitoring and controlling of works which will last a year. According to Hadja Ouattara/Sanon, the minister of digital economy and posts’ development, once these works are...
(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 in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...

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