Monday 22 January 2018
(Xinhuanet 07/26/17)
Burundi is eyeing the leather business in addition to coffee and tea to bring the country cash money, the Burundian second vice-president said Tuesday after visiting two tannery companies. "We are identifying and promoting products for export that can bring cash money to the country's treasury. We assume that leather and animal skins can generate a lot of foreign currencies," Joseph Butore said after visiting both tannery companies. He said the leather sector can compete with the country's coffee and tea sectors that are "traditionally" bringing foreign currencies to the ...
(The Associated Press 07/26/17)
Burundi-born Eric Ndayisenga and his friends in exile religiously listen to a radio station that urges liberation from the deadly political violence back home. One day the report brought grief instead. His sister Zainabu and a friend had been found dead, stabbed and their throats slit, in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. Ndayisenga believes his sister's fate would have been unknown if not reported by the station linked to the Forebu rebel group, supported by exiles who press the international community to act on Burundi's crisis. Hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled the small East African nation in the two years since President Pierre Nkurunziza set off protests
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Two members of a teenage robotics team from Burundi who went missing after a competition in Washington last week have been located and are safe, the city's Metropolitan Police Department said on Tuesday. The teens, Don Ingabire, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, were spotted last week crossing the border into Canada. The Metropolitan Police Department would not say on Tuesday where or when they were found, citing department procedures for missing persons. "The others are still missing, so the case is still under investigation," police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal said. Four boys and two girls from the African nation were last seen on July 18 after the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge concluded. Organizers have said the disappearance may have been "self-initiated"...
(The Associated Press 07/25/17)
Six Burundian teenagers who disappeared after an international robotics competition in Washington probably left because life is hard in the East African nation, not because they feared insecurity at home, the director of a school that sent two of the teens said Monday. Esperence Niyonzima, who is the director of Iteletique, said parents she spoke with "were not concerned" by their disappearance. "These teens are young," Niyonzima said. "I do not think they disappeared because they fear insecurity. They were not in insecurity in Burundi really." Burundi has been plagued by sporadic violence since April 2015
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(Xinhuanet 07/24/17)
Gunmen killed a minibus driver in an ambush in western Burundi on Saturday nigh, police said Sunday. "Four criminals armed with Kalashnikov guns ambushed the passenger minibus at Kagunuzi in Buganda district in Cibitoke province around 21:30 (19:30 GMT)," Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said. "They shot dead the driver and seriously injured another passenger who was evacuated to one of the hospitals in the capital Bujumbura," said the spokesman. The minibus had only the two persons on board, said Nkurikiye, adding that security forces intervened and exchanged gunshots with the gunmen and those "gunshots burned" the passenger minibus. He said before ambushing the passenger minibus, those gunmen had ambushed a motorcycle, but the motorcyclist was unhurt. Security has been...
(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,"...

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