Saturday 27 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the...
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
Burundian First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo on Thursday described the east African country's fuel crisis as a "national" concern. "The fuel crisis hitting Burundi is not only a citizens' problem, but it is also a national concern. We (the Burundian government) are doing all our best so that in few days, the fuel crisis will be over," Sindimwo said. For about a month, the east African nation has been facing acute shortages of gasoline and gasoil at petrol stations countrywide, paralyzing transport of persons and that of goods. The country's fuel crisis has also caused the hike of food items at marketplaces. In April, Burundian Energy Minister Come Manirakiza told lawmakers at the National Assembly -- the country's parliament lower chamber...
(Iwacu 04/26/17)
Burundi Government accepts the proposal by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) to replace Jamal Benomar, his special advisor on the Burundian conflict, by Michel Kafando. Alain Diomède Nzeyimana, Deputy Spokesman for Burundi President, says the Presidential Office has received a letter from the UN Secretary General nominating Michel Kafando, the former chairman of interim government in Burkina Faso, to replace Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the resolution of Burundi conflict. "However, we have not yet received...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Two years after Burundi's president plunged the central African country into turmoil, the regime shows no signs of easing up on a crackdown that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee. The UN estimates that at least 500 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in April 2015. Aid groups say as many as 2,000 people have died. Nkurunziza's re-election move violated the two-term limit set by the constitution and a 2006 peace deal that...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Burundi reiterated on Monday the government's call for the repatriation of Burundian refugees who fled the country's 2015 crisis. "The campaign of sensitizing Burundian citizens living in refugee camps in neighboring countries has continued during the past three months and results are satisfactory," said Home Affairs and Civic Education Minister Pascal Barandagiye while presenting the three-month activity report. "We are convincing them to return home and come to build their nation," said the minister. According to him, many among those refugees were just "scared or fled rumors."
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Burundi's ruling party sought Wednesday to distance itself from a viral video showing members of its feared youth wing threatening to impregnate opposition women. Hundreds of the youths known as Imbonerakure -- "those who see from afar" in the local Kirundi language -- are shown in military-like formation singing "impregnate the opposition so that they give birth to Imbonerakure". The ruling CNND-FDD initially said the video which began circulating three days ago had been faked by the opposition, but was on Wednesday forced to admit its authenticity after it sparked outrage on social media networks.
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Across Burundi, citizens complain they are being extorted by authorities to pay "contributions" to finance monuments glorifying the ruling party or development projects. Members of the opposition, civil society and ordinary citizens contacted by AFP have denounced a system of forced dues in the country which has been mired in crisis for two years since President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a disputed third term in office. Many of the contributions go towards building offices for Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD, or a...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/25/17)
The United Nations has called on political parties in Burundi to commit fully to peace talks to resolve a two-year old political crisis in the east African nation. Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza's government said earlier this month it would not attend the talks led by the East African Community (EAC) aimed at ending the crisis sparked by his decision to run for a third term in office. "I urge all Burundian stakeholders to place their country's interests above their own...
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
East African Community (EAC) member states are fast tracking a comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff (CET) in order to protect infant industries, officials said on Friday. Kenya's Ministry of EAC Affairs, Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Betty Maina said the EAC will review the criteria used in classifying goods that enter the EAC. "The intention of the review is to make the rules of trade facility as well as attract investments into the region," Maina said during...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...

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