Wednesday 23 August 2017
(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...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
- Burundian police on Monday said unidentified people Sunday evening blasted a grenade in Kayanza Province, northern Burundi, killing eight people and injuring over 50 others. Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on Twitter that the "terrorist attack" happened around 6:30 p.m.
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Burundian authorities have intensified an ethnically-driven purge of the army this year, risking renewed civil war in the central African nation, a French rights group said on Tuesday. Conflict in Burundi would alarm global powers because the fortunes of the country are so intertwined with its neighbour, Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in a 1994 genocide. The report by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is the first to shine a light on the impact of violence, which followed President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in April 2015, on the army. The report said the purge of officers from the Tutsi ethnic group comes as Nkurunziza, a Hutu, consolidates power following violence that has...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza and his ruling party have moved the country toward violent dictatorship, rights groups said Tuesday in a report that slams the international community for inaction. A "purge" of ethnic Tutsis from the army, a crackdown on opposition and media and a bid to change the constitution to allow unlimited presidential terms are signs of an "increasingly violent dictatorial regime", it said. The tiny central African state was plunged into political crisis in April 2015 when Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term which he went on to win. At least 500 people have been killed in ensuing violence, according to the UN -- although rights groups put the figure at over 1,000 --...
(The Associated Press 07/04/17)
BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) -- Burundi's ruling party is purging ethnic Tutsi army officers in a campaign of repression, a human rights group says, accusing the international community of inaction amid deadly political violence in the East African country. Hundreds of Tutsi soldiers in the national army have been murdered, disappeared or detained, and others have deserted, according to the new report by the International Federation for Human Rights and Burundi-based partners. Burundian authorities blame the Tutsi, an ethnic minority, for the instability, the report says. "The primary positions of command in the main army corps are now occupied by a Hutu majority, loyal to the president," the report says. "The army has become a highly politicized body." The international community's...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Xinhuanet 07/03/17)
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Saturday urged its former colonizers Germany and Belgium to pay compensations to the country for damages caused during the colonial rule. The remarks were made at Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in the capital Bujumbura during the celebration of the east African country's 55th independence anniversary. "Burundi's former colonial powers (Germany and Belgium) should admit atrocities made on Burundi and its people during the colonial rule. They should then apologize for those atrocities and compensate us (Burundi)," Nkurunziza said at the independence anniversary celebrations. Nkurunziza underlined that ...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
After five years of legal limbo, the remains of Burundi's deposed king Mwambutsa IV, who died 40 years ago, were reburied in Switzerland on Friday. The small, intimate ceremony in a Geneva cemetery was conducted under police protection, the ATS news agency reported. Mwambutsa led Burundi at independence from Belgium in 1962, but was deposed just four years later in a dispute linked to rivalries between ethnic Tutsis and Hutus, which still haunt the country. The monarch died in Switzerland in 1977, leaving clear instructions that his remains should never be returned to Burundi. But his daughter and the Burundian government campaigned for his remains to be repatriated, reportedly hoping to use the occasion to organise a ceremony promoting national...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
Burundi on Thursday said it has "faith" in the new UN envoy to the crisis-hit country but warned Michel Kafando against "bias" in favour of opposition groups, an accusation also levelled at his predecessors. Appointed last month Kafando, a former president of Burkina Faso, is the fourth UN envoy to be named since June 2015 after the Burundian government objected to his predecessors. The envoy's key role is to mediate an end to a deep and sometimes violent political crisis that began in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a controversial third term which he went on to win. However, the government refuses to negotiate with the exiled opposition, which it accuses of being...
(Xinhuanet 06/30/17)
The East African Community (EAC) leaders were on Tuesday urged to pool together and initiate dialogue with the Burundi leaders to end the stalemate in the country. Deo Hakizimana, President of the Independent Centre for Research and Initiatives for Dialogue (CIRID), a Geneva-based civil society organization, called on leaders of the regional bloc to work together to solve the stalemate through dialogue to save citizens from suffering. "The EAC is a respected strong bloc hence the need for the leaders in the region to strongly come out and engage the Burundian leadership and the opposition in solving the long standing misunderstanding in the country," Hakizimana said in Nairobi during the launch of Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa (PMSDA)...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...

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