Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Congo's government met with members of a key rebel group on Wednesday for the first time since a landmark ceasefire was signed after months of renewed armed conflict in the oil-rich nation. Fighters loyal to ex-rebel chief Frederic Bintsamou -- seen as having disbanded after a 2003 peace deal -- rose up again in April last year in protest at the re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The fighting in the southern Pool region affected at least 138,000 people and halted district elections in July. It also cut off crucial transport routes between the capital Brazzaville and the main oil port -- worsening an already dire economic situation for the country affected by plunging crude...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(APA 01/17/18)
APA-Agadir (Maroc) - L’équipe congolaise de football a battu son homologue du Cameroun sur le score étriqué de 1 but à zéro, mardi à Agadir, dabs un match comptant pour la 1ère journée du Groupe D du Championnat d’Afrique des Nations Total 2018 qui se déroule sur terre marocaine. L’unique but de la rencontre a été inscrit par Junior Makias Mosita sur penalty à la 73ème minute. Grâce à cette victoire, les Diables rouges se positionne en tête de leur...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A four-month strike at Congo's sole public university ended Monday with staff resuming work after being paid arrears for three months and agreeing to further negotiations over unpaid wages. "In the interest of the nation... work is resuming on Monday January 8," a statement by the union of teaching and administrative staff sent to AFP said. Unions began the strike in September to demand the payment of quarterly subsidies totalling 1.2 billion CFA francs (1.8 million euros, $2.1 million). They...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
A key Congolese rebel group signed a ceasefire deal with the central government in Brazzaville on Saturday, after months of renewed armed conflict in the oil-rich nation. Fighters loyal to ex-rebel chief Frederic Bintsamou -- seen as having disbanded after a 2003 peace deal -- rose up again April last year in protest at the re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The fighting in the southern Pool region affected at least 138,000 people and halted district elections in July. It...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/17)
A team from the International Monetary Fund on Thursday wound up a mission to the Republic of Congo by expressing concern at debt and corruption before considering any bailout. "Congo's economy continues to suffer from the effects of low oil prices, unsustainable debt, and significant governance weaknesses," mission leader Abdoul Aziz Wane declared at the end of the visit. "A deeper recession of the non-oil economy in 2017 -- with growth estimated at -9.2 percent -- is hurting the most...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-western Africa to create an unprecedented border-free bloc. "To cross by car from Cameroon to Gabon, we pay 30,000, 45,000 CFA francs (45 euros/$50 to 69 euros/$80). There's no explanation why,"...
(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) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
The US and French embassies in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, said Friday Congolese authorities had beefed up security at their buildings after receiving threats. The French embassy on its website said "a message relating to possible attacks" had been received overnight Wednesday. "The French embassy asked the Republic of Congo authorities for additional security presence at the main sites of French interest (in Congo), in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire," it said. "Units of the Congolese security forces were deployed in the early morning of Thursday, November 30. These measures are still being applied," it said, thanking the authorities for their support.
(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.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(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...

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