Tuesday 27 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Around 30 Cameroonian soldiers fighting the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram were arrested after a demonstration to demand the payment of bonuses and some leave, the defence ministry said Monday. The soldiers on Sunday "set about stopping traffic with barricades on national route number one," the ministry said in a statement broadcast on state radio. The men were demanding that they be immediately relieved from duty, as well as "the payment of bonuses for 'international soldiers' in line with those granted to their comrades from UN peace keeping missions," the statement said.
(Voice of America 06/06/17)
Hundreds of internally displaced persons in northern Cameroon are deserting camps near the Nigerian border, saying they no longer feel safe after a series of suicide bombings. The Kolofata central mosque on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria is now a sanctuary for 70 people who began escaping a nearby IDP camp last Friday, after two suicide bombers disguised as refugees begged for food and blew themselves up. Nearly a dozen people, including the bombers, were killed and 30 people were wounded. Forty-year-old Samari Bakassia lost his wife in the attack. Bakassia says he fled the IDP camp with their two-month-old baby because their safety could not be guaranteed. He says they are scared and are now relying only on God...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Two suicide bombers killed nine other people and wounded 30 on Friday near a camp in northern Cameroon housing civilians displaced by Nigeria's Boko Haram militants, the region's governor and other officials said. The bombers - both men - entered the town of Kolofata, around 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border with Nigeria, before dawn on Friday, posing as refugees looking for food before the start of the daytime fast for Ramadan. "Once among the population, they detonated their explosives, one after the other. The official death toll is 1l, including the two suicide bombers, and 30 wounded," Mindjiyawa Bakary
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(Vanguard 06/01/17)
Tens of thousands of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon have decried their living conditions in camps in Cameroon, lamenting that the federal government has abandoned them. The refugees said they would rather return home to engage in economic activities that would guarantee their survival than continue to depend on humanitarian gestures to survive. Wondering whether federal government had not forgotten them, the refugees, who were displaced from their homelands in the insurgency-ravaged North East, said their food ration had been drastically reduced. “Hunger is the reason we left Nigeria after Boko Haram chased us from our homes. We are very hungry here. The quantity of food usually given to us has been greatly reduced. We want to ask; are we no...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/31/17)
Thousands of Nigerian refugees uprooted by the jihadist group Boko Haram have returned home from Cameroon in recent weeks, piling pressure on aid agencies and communities in Nigeria's hungry northeast, United Nations officials said on Tuesday. More than 11,000 returning refugees have arrived in the border town of Banki, in Borno state, this month after food rations were cut in camps for the displaced in Cameroon, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Thousands of these returnees have moved to nearby Pulka - hugely increasing the need for emergency aid in a town where food and safe drinking water are already severely limited, and more arrivals are expected imminently, the U.N. agency said. "Some said they...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(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 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Cameroon will have to "swallow" their disappointment and will take their bronze-medal match at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku "like a final", promised coach Emmanuel Maboang Kessack. Oman edged out the Indomitable Lions 5-3 on penalties after a 0-0 stalemate to face hosts Azerbaijan in the final of the football tournament, leaving Cameroon with only a bronze-medal playoff against Algeria to save face. "This defeat is difficult to swallow. We had the chances, we had the ball but we couldn't score. It's frustrating," explained coach Maboang Kessack after the game. "We are disappointed as we really wanted to win for Cameroon. But we are still a young team and we have one more game to go." Central defender...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(IRIN 05/18/17)
It’s a Monday evening in Bamenda, the main city in troubled English-speaking Cameroon. The gates of the Vatican Express bus depot are shut, just like five other coach companies in town. Any other day and there would be at least five long-distance buses ready to leave for the rest of the majority French-speaking country. But once a week there’s a near-complete shutdown of businesses and public services. Mondays are now “ghost town” days throughout Cameroon’s two anglophone regions: Northwest and Southwest. The boycott action has been called by a civil society coalition protesting English speakers’ “oppression, marginalisation
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...

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