Monday 18 December 2017
(Xinhuanet 12/14/17)
A three-day national congress organized by Rwanda's ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), opened Thursday at the party headquarters in the capital city of Kigali, as part of activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the party's establishment. In his keynote address, Kagame, who is also the chairman of RPF, described the anniversary as a milestone not only of years, but of efforts that changed the course of history of Rwanda as well as people's character. Formed in 1979 by Rwandan refugees in exile, the Rwandese Alliance for National Unity became the RPF in 1987. In 1994, RPF took power and ended the Rwandan genocide, which claimed over 1 million lives, mostly ethnic Tutsis...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has launched a campaign to promote a referendum to change the constitution that could see him rule until 2034. "It's the day you've been waiting for," Nkurunziza told a crowd of thousands of farmers in the central Gitega district on Tuesday, threatening those who sought to undermine the referendum vote slated for early 2018. The government adopted a plan in October to revise the constitution that, if passed by the referendum, would allow Nkurunziza to serve another two seven-year terms from 2020. "We take this opportunity to warn those who want to sabotage this project, whether by speech or actions," Nkurunziza said. "It will be a red line." The start of the campaign comes a day...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
Burundi's government has launched a fundraising drive for elections in 2020, presented as "voluntary" but condemned by rights groups as "organised robbery". Western electoral aid was cut in 2015, when Burundi was plunged into crisis as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought -- and went on to win -- a controversial third term. Between 500 and 2,000 people are estimated to have died in the ensuing turmoil, according to varying tolls. The government launched on Monday the contribution campaign for the next...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Burundi’s main opposition grouping said it is boycotting peace talks that resumed on Tuesday in Tanzania, leaving little chance that the negotiations will end simmering political violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. Burundi has been gripped by unrest since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a third term, which the opposition said violated the constitution as well as a 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war. He won a vote largely boycotted by the opposition, but protests sparked a government crackdown that has killed more than 700 people...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A new round of talks aimed at ending Burundi's lengthy political crisis began Tuesday in Arusha, Tanzania, though the negotiations were marked by the main opposition group's absence. Despite the absence of both the exiled leadership of the CNARED opposition and civil society and church groups, Burundian government officials described the talks as "totally inclusive". A programme handed out at the start of the talks said: "It is expected that these two weeks of discussion will allow participants to negotiate...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Two East African presidents on Saturday condemned a decision by the International Criminal Court to open a war crimes investigation into Burundi, saying it undermined regional peace initiatives. The court ordered a formal investigation on Thursday into crimes committed in Burundi from April 2015 to October 2017. “Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has condemned the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which ordered its prosecutor to launch an investigation into the Burundi conflict,” Tanzania’s presidency said in a statement on Saturday. Museveni is the current chairman of the East African Community (EAC) regional...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Saturday criticised the International Criminal Court (ICC) for launching a probe into alleged crimes committed during Burundi's political crisis. A statement from the Tanzanian presidency said the two leaders had condemned the move, during a meeting in western Uganda. "President Magufuli said this decision compromised efforts by the East African Community, which has put in place a committee charged with seeking a resolution to the Burundi conflict, led by President Yoweri Museveni and former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa," said the statement.
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Burundi on Friday slapped away any idea that it would help the International Criminal Court's probe into alleged crimes committed after the country spiralled into political turmoil in 2015. "Burundi rejects this decision from the very outset," said Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana, a day after The Hague-based court announced the investigation.. Burundi withdrew from the ICC on October 27 -- claiming it was biased against Africa -- "and was not notified of the ICC's decision to investigate Burundi before...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Burundi on Friday rejected plans by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to allow prosecutors to investigate war crimes in the central African nation, while rights groups and opposition politicians welcomed the move. Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana said Burundi would not cooperate with the Netherlands-based court, from which it formally withdrew on Oct. 26. The ICC still claims jurisdiction over crimes committed while Burundi was a member. “The government of Burundi heard a rumor through international media reports that ICC has given authorization to its prosecutor to start an investigation on Burundi,” she told a news conference.
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
Burundi has been gripped by turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a bid for a third term in office more than two years ago. On Thursday the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a full probe into alleged crimes committed during the crisis. Between 500 and 2,000 people have been killed, according to different sources, and more than 400,000 people displaced from their homes. Here is a summary of key developments in the crisis in the central African country. - Demonstrations...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
International judges have approved the opening of a full investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in Burundi, triggering anger Thursday in the crisis-torn African nation, the first ever to leave the war crimes tribunal. The decision to probe abuses in which at least 1,200 people may have been killed was made by judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on October 25, just two days before Burundi quit the world's only permanent war crimes court. The launch of the probe...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Burundi's president, Pierre Nkurunziza, has introduced strict controls over the country's renowned drumming rituals, banning female drummers and limiting the sacred tradition to official events. "It is strictly forbidden to those of the female sex to beat drums. They can however carry out female folk dances accompanying the drums," read a decree seen by AFP Thursday, that was signed late last month. All groups seeking to perform "cultural shows" must from now on register with the ministry of culture and...

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