Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
The mediator in Burundi's nearly two-year political crisis on Sunday asked regional leaders to call an urgent summit as deep discord and a government boycott hamper peace talks. Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa wrapped up four days of talks with some 30 Burundian representatives who agreed on the basic problems, but not how to resolve them. He was tasked with ending problems that erupted when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term in April 2015, sparking unrest which killed hundreds and left 400,000 displaced. The biggest hitch is Burundi's fierce opposition to the process as long as it includes exiled main opposition...
(AFP (eng) 02/18/17)
Burundi's government on Friday asked Tanzania to arrest several leaders of the main opposition attending peace talks in Arusha in a bid to resolve a nearly two-year political crisis. The talks are the latest effort by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa to mediate the crisis in neighbouring Burundi which erupted when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in office in April 2015. But the government has once again refused to attend the talks and negotiate with the main umbrella opposition movement, the National Council for the Restoration of Arusha Agreement and Rule of Law (CNARED) -- which is exiled in Brussels. Bujumbura considers the party a "terrorist organisation" and accuses it of leading a coup plot...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/17)
The government of Burundi has said it will not attend peace talks scheduled to resume in Tanzania on Thursday, although the main opposition alliance has confirmed its participation. The talks are meant to find an end to a violent political crisis that began in 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term - a move opponents said violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended an ethnically charged civil war. "The government of Burundi finds some irregularities in the organization of this present session," a government statement said on Wednesday. Spokesman Phillipe Nzobonariba said the government objected to the presence of senior U.N. adviser Benomar Jamal, but did not say why. The government has repeatedly...
(Xinhuanet 02/16/17)
The Burundian government has decided to boycott talks due in Arusha, Tanzania on Feb. 16-18, aimed at settling the east African country's 2015 crisis, the Burundian government said Wednesday night in a statement. "The Burundian government will not send delegates to the Arusha talks due on Feb. 16-18 this year. Burundian citizens need international solidarity, but they have the right to be respected during their choice in the dialogue process," Burundian Government Spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba said in the statement. According to him, invitations of participants to the talks to be held under the auspices of former Tanzanian President and facilitator in the inter-Burundi talks Benjamin Mkapa were characterized by irregularities. "There are irregularities on the organization of the session notably...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Burundi's government affirmed Tuesday it will shun peace talks with opposition figures planned for later this week in Tanzania, dragging out a political crisis that has stretched for over a year. The talks are intended to resolve deadly political violence that has rocked the tiny central Africa nation for over a year, killing at least 500 people. Violence erupted when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in office in April 2015. At least 300,000 people have fled the country. Mediator Benjamin Mkapa, a former Tanzanian president, has invited "a group of 33 key figures" comprising on one side the government and its allies, and on the other side, their opponents, an African diplomat told AFP on...
(Xinhuanet 02/15/17)
The Burundian government has started a regional campaign to ask the country's refugees to voluntarily return home despite tension in the east African country. Government officials on Tuesday started their campaign in Uganda, the host for over 45,000 Burundian refugees who have fled violence at home since May 2015. "The government has made efforts to restore peace and deal with development now. We want the refugees to return home to contribute to our country's development," Pascal Barandagiye, Burundian home affairs and civic education minister, told reporters after meeting Ugandan government officials. Hillary Onek, Uganda's minister for disaster preparedness, refugees and relief, said the campaign should be supported. "We are sure the situation in Burundi is improving. We encourage the refugees...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Xinhuanet 02/14/17)
The Burundian National Media Council (CNC) has warned journalists tarnishing the east African country's image, the CNC vice-chairman said Monday at the celebration of the World Radio Day. "Media freedom is real in Burundi. This is a warning against journalists using internet to tarnish Burundi's image, who claim that there's no media freedom here (in Burundi). There are over 33 media companies including more than 24 radio stations, six television stations and three government owned media houses," CNC Vice-Chairman Gabriel Bihumugani told a press conference. According to him, there is "good collaboration" between the CNC and media in Burundi. The world radio day is however celebrated in the east African nation at a time when three radio stations have been...
(Xinhuanet 02/14/17)
Burundi will in August host the 2017 East African Community (EAC) military games and culture events, a senior Burundian army official said Monday at the launch of the first meeting to prepare those games. "This preliminary meeting has brought together delegates from the EAC armies. We are preparing EAC military games and culture events that take every year in one of the EAC member states," Brigadier General Marius Ngendabanka, a senior Burundian army official said. According to him, the EAC military games and culture events are taking place in Burundi for the second time. Burundi hosted the games for the first time in 2011 after its admission to the bloc in July 2007, with Rwanda, joining Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
East African leaders will meet in the Tanzanian town of Arusha on Feb. 28 to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that allows regional countries to export its agricultural products to Europe without attracting tax. Chris Kiptoo, Kenya's Principal Secretary in charge of Trade said Monday the matter is one of the agenda to be handled by the heads of state during the summit. Kiptoo explained East Africa Community (EAC) countries are supposed to sign as a bloc so that they can enjoy quota and duty free market access. "All the EAC countries ought to have signed the EPAs as a bloc with the European Union (EU) by Feb. 2. The deadline is over but only Kenya has signed and...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Governments across the East African region must devise bold and innovative strategies to re-energize the fight against corruption, said the senior anti-corruption advisor at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Tim Steele, during a regional forum held in Nairobi on Monday. While acknowledging that corruption was detrimental to regional development, peace and stability, Steele emphasized that political goodwill, law enforcement and public awareness are key to rooting out the vice. "Corruption not only inhibits development but also compromises security and cohesion in any country. Governments in this region must create an enabling environment to enhance the fight against this menace at all levels," Steele said. Senior policymakers, law enforcement agencies and experts from the east and Horn of...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(Xinhuanet 02/09/17)
Rwanda has serious concerns as Burundian refugees continue to arrive while the country's largest refugee camp has surpassed its capacity of 50,000 residents. Mahama camp located in Kirehe district, Eastern Province is now sheltering more than 53,000 refugees. It was established to accommodate Burundian refugees who massively fled to Rwanda when political crisis related to presidential elections erupted into violence in Burundi in 2015. Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, Seraphine Mukantabana, Rwanda's minister of disaster management and refugees affairs, said that the country's largest refugee camp is already overcrowded with Burundian refugees, creating serious concerns as more refugees continue to arrive.
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...

Pages