Sunday 19 November 2017
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
A citizen from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) was arrested Thursday in Burundi's Bubanza province over alleged witchcraft activities, local authorities told Xinhua in a telephone interview. The man was arrested at Muzinda in Rugazi district with a bag containing powder drugs made from forest leaves and a horn of a goat, said Rugazi's Administrator Sylvie Nizigama. She said the arrest was made after local residents reported a suspicious person hiding during daytime in a house, but seen out in the night. Nizigama indicated that the Congolese suspect admitted that he had come to protect a plantation of palm trees, belonging to the family hosting him, from thieves. "The suspect explained that...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
The director of a Burundi radio station said Friday his outlet is being temporarily taken off air after criticising the government over the killings of dozens of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). CCIB FM+, which is run by Burundi's chamber of commerce, had earlier this month aired an editorial lambasting authorities over their response to the deaths of 36 Burundian asylum seekers who were shot during a September 15 demonstration in DRC that also left one soldier...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
The U.N. Human Rights Council voted on Friday to extend the mandate of a Commission of Inquiry into human rights in Burundi, dealing a blow to an attempt by a group of African countries to replace the commission with a different team. Burundi’s ambassador told the other 46 members of the council that their decision on Thursday to send a team of experts meant the full inquiry was no longer needed. But the council voted by 22 to 11, with...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Wildlife guards funded by the WWF and other conservation groups have carried out systematic abuses against tribes in central Africa, an activist group claimed on Monday. Survival International, a British rights group, published a report containing more than 200 reported incidents against the Baka and Bayaka Pygmies in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic since 1989. It claimed some of the world's largest conservation organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), have illegally evicted the tribes from their ancestral homelands "in the name of conservation".
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
A United Nations commission urged the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, saying it had compiled a list of alleged perpetrators of violence during the country’s two-year crisis. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reasonable grounds to believe “serious human-rights violations and abuses” have been committed in the East African country since April 2015, its chairman, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said Tuesday in Geneva. The abuses included torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and rape, with most victims being opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, he said. The commission has drawn
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
At least 30 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces over plans to send some of them home, a Reuters witness and local activists said on Saturday. Police and soldiers opened fire as the refugees protested over the plan in the town of Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the activists told Reuters. Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende denied that those killed were refugees, saying that the clashes broke out when assailants from an unidentified armed group attacked an office belonging to the national intelligence agency.
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Troops shot dead 18 Burundian refugees in clashes in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials in the eastern province of South Kivu said Saturday, giving what they said was a provisional toll. A Burundian refugee said that more than 30 had been killed and at least 100 wounded. Interior ministry official Josue Boji said troops had tried to disperse the refugees by "firing in the air but were overwhelmed" when the group responded by throwing stones in Friday's confrontation. Boji said the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country's domestic intelligence...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
Congolese security forces killed at least 18 Burundian refugees during clashes over plans to send some of them home, local activists and a diplomatic source said. Police and soldiers opened fire as the refugees protested over the plan and tried to free some of their arrested compatriots in the town of Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the sources said. Activist Wendo Joel said the refugees had seized a weapon and killed a soldier, though that account was not confirmed by other sources. “The soldiers first fired in the air but there were many refugees,” Joel told Reuters. “I have counted 32 bodies.

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