Thursday 17 August 2017
(Reuters 07/24/17)
(Reuters) - U.S. law enforcement authorities on Friday were seeking six teenagers from Burundi who went missing after a robotics competition in Washington, two of whom had been spotted crossing the border into Canada. The teens, aged 16 to 18, were last seen Tuesday after the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge, Washington, D.C., police said. "We have been in touch with the Metropolitan Police Department; they told us that they are doing what they can to find those teens," Benjamin Manirakiza, first counselor in the Burundi Embassy in Washington, said in a phone interview on Friday. "We have confidence in the capacity of the police." A Washington police spokeswoman said the teenagers' disappearance was still under investigation on Friday, and declined...
(The Associated Press 07/21/17)
Burundi's president is urging the nearly quarter-million Burundians sheltering in Tanzania to return home, saying the country is now peaceful. President Pierre Nkurunziza is visiting neighboring Tanzania on his first visit outside Burundi since a failed coup attempt in 2015. The United Nations says more than 500 people have been killed in violence around Nkurunziza's ultimately successful decision in 2015 to seek a disputed third term. Rights groups and the U.N. say the violence continues. Nkurunziza made the remarks in a meeting Thursday with Tanzanian President John Magufuli. A statement from Tanzania's presidency says Magufuli wants Burundian refugees "to voluntarily return home." Tanzania's interior ministry says about 247,000 Burundians are in refugee camps in the Kigoma region.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
Six teenagers from a Burundi robotics team have been reported missing after an international competition in Washington and two of them were seen entering Canada, police said on Thursday. The four males and two females were last seen late on Tuesday afternoon when the robotics contest ended at the FIRST Global Challenge, police said. Authorities issued missing persons photographs of the six on Wednesday. Two of the Burundians - Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, and 16-year-old Don Ingabire - were spotted crossing the United States border into Canada, District of Columbia police spokeswoman Margarita Mikhaylova said. "We don't have any indication of foul play and we're continuing to investigate this case," she said. Police said they did not have information about how...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza arrived in Tanzania on Thursday for his first foreign trip in more than two years, seeking to revive political dialogue on the crisis in his country. Nkurunziza arrived with a heavily armed escort in the northwest Tanzanian town of Ngara, about 15 kilometres (eight miles) from the Rwandan border. The visit had been kept secret up to the last moment. He was welcomed by Tanzanian President John Magufuli at a football ground, where he was honoured with a 21-gun salute, live TV coverage on Tanzanian television showed. "Their discussion will cover, among other issues, the peace process" in Burundi, Macocha Tembele, an aide to former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa who has been working as a facilitator...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Six members of a Burundi robotics team competing in an international competition in Washington have been reported missing, police said Thursday. Police posted to Twitter photographs of the six -- four young males and two females who participated in the First Global Challenge robotics competition. "They went missing 7/18. Have info?" the tweet said. First Global said it called police after learning that "the adult mentor of Team Burundi was unable to find the group of six students of the team who participated in the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge." It said it makes sure that all students get to their dormitory at Trinity Washington University after the daily competition. They "are always to be under close supervision of their adult...
(APA 07/20/17)
Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pelonomi Venson Moitoi will be among top officials to preside over a review of applications by Comoros and Burundi to join the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a statement from her ministry stated on Wednesday. Img : Botswana to scrutinize Burundi bid to join SADC “The 19th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ is expected to deliberate, among others on issues on the consolidation of democracy in the region and the request from the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Burundi to join SAC,” the statement read in part. It says the outcome of the 19th MCO will form part of reports to be considered by the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit...
(BBC News Africa 07/20/17)
Six teenagers from Burundi taking part in a robotics competition in the US have been reported missing, police say. Four boys and two girls - aged from 16 to 18 - disappeared during the First Global Challenge tournament in Washington DC. The DC Police Department says they were last seen on Tuesday - on the closing day of the competition. Reports say two of the teenagers have since crossed into Canada but this has not been confirmed by the police. On Thursday, the DC Police Department posted fliers of the missing group on its Twitter page, asking members of the public to get in touch if they had any information. The teenagers were identified as Don Ingabire, 16, Kevin Sabumukiza,...
(The Associated Press 07/20/17)
BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Burundi’s president is traveling out of the country for the first time since the failed coup attempt of May 2015, a government official said Thursday. President Pierre Nkurunziza is visiting neighboring Tanzania to reinforce cooperation between the countries, said spokesman Jean Claude Karerwa Ndenzako. The East African nation is home to tens of thousands of Burundian refugees who have fled deadly political violence. In May 2015, Nkurunziza’s allies in the armed forces put down a coup attempt mounted while the president was attending a summit in Tanzania. The attempt followed weeks of street protests against Nkurunziza’s ultimately successful attempt to win a disputed third term. Hundreds of people have been killed in the violence since April...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Burundi's National Intelligence Service (SNR) has picked up a human rights activist and is holding him over an alleged breach of state security, a police source said Friday. Germain Rukuki, who has long worked for civil associations, was arrested by agents of the feared SNR in the northern Ngagara district of Bujumbura on Thursday morning after a dawn sweep by dozens of police, according to witnesses. "Germain Rukuki was arrested at his home in Ngagara, he is detained over a breach of internal state security," police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye posted in a tweet, without further details. "We denounce the arrest of this human rights activist by the presidential police of the SNR, who behave like a state within the state,"...
(Xinhuanet 07/13/17)
Four policemen were injured, two of them seriously, in a grenade explosion that targeted a police post in the Burundian capital Bujumbura Tuesday night, police said Wednesday. "An unidentified person last night exploded a grenade in a police post at Bwiza around 21:00. The criminal was aboard a pick-up that drove away after the grenade blast. Four policemen were injured, but one of them had very small injuries and did not need to go to the hospital," Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said. According to him, two policemen seriously injured on their legs were rushed to hospital, another policeman left the hospital after treatment. He blamed the attack which occurred in central Bujumbura on bandits who had been stealing cars...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
As the world Tuesday marked the World Population Day, the Burundian government is proud of the step reached on using contraceptive methods to controls births, the Burundian health minister said Tuesday in a statement. "In collaboration with our partners like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we were able to go from 2.7 percent of women using contraceptive methods in 2005 to 42 percent of women using such methods in 2017 in Burundi," Burundian Public Health and AIDS Control Minister Josiane Nijimbere said in the statement. She said the progress was made thanks to the Burundian government policy launched in 2006 of free medical care for pregnant women and children aged less than five years. "This world population day is...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(The Associated Press 07/10/17)
Burundi (AP) -- A Burundi official says eight people have been killed in a grenade attack on a bar in the country's rural northern area. Devote Ndayizeye, the administrator of Gatara commune in the province of Kayanza where the attack took place Sunday night, said two of the victims died of their wounds after being hospitalized. Ndayizeye said the attackers fled the scene and their motive remains unclear. Burundi has been plagued by sporadic violence since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term led to street protests. Nkurunziza won another term in disputed elections in July 2015 and remains in power, but Burundi has stayed unsettled. At least one armed group has announced a rebellion...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
A hand grenade blast killed at least eight people and wounded about 60 others in a bar at Shinya in northern Burundi, local officials and police said Monday. "Still unidentified criminals threw a grenade last night around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) into a group of a dozen people having a drink on Shinya hill in Gatara district," said the local administrator, Devote Ndayizeye. "Six people died on the spot and 66 others were injured, of whom 10 are in a serious condition," she added, stating that most victims had been taken to hospitals in the region. "Two other people among the badly wounded died of their injuries once they were already in hospital," Ndayizeye said. She noted that all casualty...

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