Friday 23 June 2017
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Hurbain Souomi was only five years old, but he still remembers the day he trekked 50 kilometres (30 miles) across the border into Liberia to escape gunfire strafing his Ivory Coast village. "There was shooting everywhere. My big sister rounded us up and we ran away to go to Liberia," he recalled, caught up in a wave of violence linked to a disputed 2010 presidential election that would leave 3,000 people dead. Now 11, Hurbain is nervous but excited to go home, ending six years as one of around 1,000 children growing up in neighbouring Liberia in refugee camps while separated from their families. Setting off from Bahn, a village in northern Liberia, a Red Cross convoy snakes through the...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
At least 14 people, mostly children, have died in Niger and 11 in Ivory Coast after heavy rains this week triggered landslides and caused homes to collapse, UN and local officials said Friday. The UN's humanitarian affairs office OCHA said 14 people had died when houses collapsed in Niger's capital Niamey with another four missing. Nine children were reported dead there earlier this week. In Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan, the toll from the rains climbed from eight to 11 on Friday, with one person unaccounted for and hundreds affected by landslides and flooding, rescue workers said.
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Festus Ogbonnah used to supplement his teacher’s salary by working as a part-time farmer in southeastern Nigeria until an armed band of herders moved their cattle through his field two years ago and destroyed his crops. He decided to quit working the land. “I had borrowed money to grow corn and cassava, and I lost everything,” Ogbonnah, 40, said by phone from the town of Opanda. “The herdsmen were armed with assault rifles and we couldn’t do anything about it.”...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
Ivory Coast armed forces chief Sekou Toure met on Wednesday with troops who had mutinied over pay, in a bid to heal deep rifts in the military. Journalists were allowed to briefly enter the barracks in the city of Bouake, the focal point of a revolt which left four people dead and nine injured, according to government figures. After the talks, which were closed to the press, Toure said his message had been that the armed forces had to end...
(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...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/30/17)
Abundant rainfall fell last week in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions, sparking fears that flooding could hinder harvesting of what is otherwise expected to be a strong mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The mid-crop marketing season opened on April 1. The world's top cocoa grower is now in its rainy season and heavy downpours are expected over the coming weeks. "The soil is very wet. If that continues there will be flooding and we will lose a...
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Three ex-rebels in Ivory Coast were killed Tuesday when police broke up a road blockade to end a protest by the former fighters over bonus payments. As many as 19 people, including five police personnel and gendarmes, were injured in the fighting in Bouake, the second-biggest city, Interior and Security Minister Hamed Bakayoko said in an emailed statement. The assault came after the protesters rejected talks to end their blockade of the southern access road to the town, Bakayoko said. The three people died when protesters “pulled the pin out of an offensive grenade which exploded,” he said in the statement.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
Four people were killed and many hurt when police clashed Tuesday with former rebels barricading the road into Bouake, Ivory Coast's second biggest city, in the spillover from a corrosive army mutiny over pay. The protesters said security forces opened fire to disperse them, but the government denied responsibility. "Security forces deployed conventional measures to maintain order," Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said in a statement. "But some of the armed demonstrators pulled the pin out of a grenade that exploded among them," he added. Three bloodied bodies were brought into the main Bouake hospital, an AFP reporter said, shortly after police stepped in to evict protesters who had obstructed the northbound road into
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
Soldiers in Ivory Coast said they halted their protest after the government agreed to pay them bonuses, ending a four-day mutiny that paralyzed several cities and left two people dead. The government will pay each soldier 5 million CFA francs ($8,374) before the end of the week and another 2 million francs at a later date, soldier Tahirou Diarrrassouba said by phone on Tuesday from the second-biggest city and center of the mutiny, Bouake. Troops in other cities that joined...

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