Sunday 18 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues,...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
Michel Gbagbo, son of Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, was sentenced Friday to six months' jail and a fine for "complicity in disclosing false news", his lawyer said. In an interview with the Koaci.com news website in May 2016, Gbagbo said "250 people are still in prison" after a political and military showdown in 2010-11 when his father refused to accept electoral defeat at the hands of Alassane Ouattara, the incoming president. Michel Gbagbo also said 300 other people...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
A former defence chief for the Ivory Coast's ousted leader was sentenced to 15 years on Thursday for conspiring against the government, the latest top aide of the former regime to be jailed. Moise Lida Kouassi, a defence minister under strongman Laurent Gbagbo, was convicted by a court in Abidjan of "conspiring to destroy or change the constitutional system" alongside three other defendants. Gbagbo was forced out after months of violence that followed his refusal to step down when rival...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
(Reuters) - A court in Ivory Coast has sentenced a former adviser to ex-President Laurent Gbagbo to 15 years in jail for plotting to overthrow Gbagbo’s successor, President Alassane Ouattara, the defendant’s lawyer said on Friday. Moise Lida Kouassi, who once served as Gbagbo’s defense minister, was arrested in Togo in 2012 for his role in a planned military coup against Ouattara, who beat Gbagbo in a U.N.-certified election in 2010. Gbagbo refused to step down after the election, dragging...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast's ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor. Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis. Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for "plotting against the authority of the state," an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw. According to the charge...
(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) 01/03/18)
Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday "to make a difference," the body's president said. "Peace and security are difficult to achieve," Kazakh envoy Kairat Umarov, who took the rotating presidency in January, told council members at a special ceremony. "You are going to have a real chance to make a difference." One after the other, ambassadors representing the council's six...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
A former Ivorian minister was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for complicity in a 2012 attack in western Ivory Coast that killed 18 people, including seven UN peacekeepers. Hubert Oulaye, 64, ex-public works minister under former president Laurent Gbagbo, "provided the financial means to establish a rebellion in the west" of the country, the attorney general said. "The accomplice is sometimes more dangerous than the perpetrator," she added. Oulaye dismissed the verdict as a "political conviction" and...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Qatar's emir was to tour six West African nations starting Wednesday in search of new markets, six months after Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cut ties with the wealthy emirate. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwa al-Khater told a press conference that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's mission would begin in Mali, and include stops in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal. The visit is part of Doha's drive to open up new markets and diversify its economy amid...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Hubert Oulaye, a former right-hand man to ousted Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, went on trial on Monday accused of a role in the death of 15 people, including seven UN peacekeepers. Oulaye, 64, is accused of using intermediaries to provide two million CFA francs ($5,300, 4,500 euros) for purchasing arms for men who carried out the attack. Seven Nigerians in the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, known as ONUCI, and eight civilians were killed in the assault near...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/17)
Ivory Coast will pay thousands of soldiers 15 million CFA francs ($25,782) each as part of buy-outs aimed at reducing the size of its unruly and mutiny-prone military, documents showed on Monday. Ivory Coast soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the country's 57th Independence Day at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast August 7, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago Africa’s fastest growing economy in 2016, Ivory Coast was hit earlier this year by successive uprisings by low-ranking troops. The...
(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.
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara opened a Europe-Africa summit on Wednesday calling for "all urgent measures" to end migrant abuses, including slave trading in Libya. The slavery revelations are casting a shadow over the Abidjan summit, which both sides hope will launch a deeper partnership to create jobs for Africa's exploding population while reducing mass migration and terrorism. "Given this wretched drama which recalls the worst hours of human history, I would like to appeal to our sense of responsibility to take all urgent measures to put an end to this practice, which belongs to another age," Ouattara told the summit.

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