| Africatime
Thursday 23 February 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment,"...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(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...
(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...
(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.
(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,...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Burundi began Monday releasing a quarter of its jail population under a mass presidential pardon, but prisoners' rights groups voiced concern they were just making room for more political inmates. A first group of 300 were released from the Mpimba central prison in Bujumbura, but authorities aim to free some 2,500 of the total, which stood at 10,051 last month. The releases, which included 58 activists arrested in a police crackdown on demonstrators in April 2014, were aimed at "relieving...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/17)
The Rwandan Police said Monday they have intercepted 12 Burundian nationals on suspicion that they were being taken to Middle East countries in a human trafficking scheme. The Burundians were intercepted earlier this month at the Rwanda-Burundi border of Akanyaru on their way through Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, Police said. According to the Deputy Police Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Lynder Nkuranga, the Burundians including 11 women were destined to Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Police said three suspects including one Burundian...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Burundi and a UN agency on Thursday evening launched the country's 2017 humanitarian response plan (HRP) to address hunger affecting a quarter of the country's population. "The situation of hunger is due to natural disasters that are behind climate change, on the one hand, and to degrading relations between Burundi and some of its partners," Burundi's foreign minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe said at the launch of the plan. He also seized the opportunity to invite the international community to support...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Burundi said Thursday it would not follow through on its planned withdrawal of troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after reaching an agreement over the payment of wages. The EU funds AMISOM salaries, which are disbursed by the AU, but Bujumbura has not received them for months as European diplomats seek to avoid sending money directly to a government against which the bloc imposed sanctions in response to a nearly two-year-long political crisis. "We have found a solution that safeguards our national sovereignty and therefore the issue of the withdrawal of our soldiers from AMISOM no longer arises," Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi's first
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Young men belonging to Burundi's ruling party are growing increasingly powerful, often collaborating with national intelligence agents as they wage brutal attacks on perceived opponents, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. The US-based rights group said the youths, known as Imbonerakure -- "those who see far" in the local Kirundi language -- had been involved in arresting and attacking opposition members since the start of a political crisis in the country in April 2015. In the past three months HRW investigations...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Burundi authorities have banned the country's oldest human rights organisation, which had continued reporting abuses despite being suspended when political turmoil broke out nearly two years ago. A ministerial order made public Tuesday accused the Iteka League of "continuing to tarnish the image of the country and sowing hatred and division among the population." The rights group, established in 1991, took part in a two-year investigation with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) which resulted in a report released in November documenting state-sponsored violence and warning of the risk of genocide.
(AFP (eng) 01/01/17)
Burundi's environment minister was shot dead in the capital Bujumbura early Sunday, police said, the first killing of its kind since the country was plunged into political turmoil two years ago. Emmanuel Niyonkuru, 54, the country's water, environment and planning minister, was killed shortly after midnight, according to a tweet sent by police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye. The murder, the first of a serving government minister since Burundi sank into turmoil over President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid for a third term in 2015, comes after months of relative calm.
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up...

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