Friday 24 November 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Ten major Egyptian rights groups on Wednesday urged an appeals court to free Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading dissident in the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak. The court of cassation, which handles appeals, is set to rule Thursday on the activist's case after he was sentenced to five years in prison over an illegal protest. The rights groups urged the court to "uphold justice and the rule of law and to rectify gross violations of the law" which they say led to Abdel Fattah's imprisonment. Once described by the authorities as an "icon of the revolution" of 2011, 35-year-old Abdel Fattah was among dissidents arrested after a November 2013 protest outside parliament in defiance of a law that...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Ministers of Water and Irrigation of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Wednesday discussed on ways to continue the two commissioned studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which are not progressing at the required level. Egyptian Irrigation Minister, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Affairs, Muataz Musa, and Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele, have on Tuesday visited the dam's construction site in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz regional state on the Blue Nile River, located some 40km east of Ethiopia's neighboring country Sudan. Since the commencement of the construction of the dam, the three countries agreed to conduct an assessment by an International Panel of Experts (IPoE) so as to build trust among Ethiopian...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Sun-choking debris cast off by volcanoes more than 2,000 years ago starved headwaters feeding the Nile river and hastened the downfall of ancient Egypt's last kingdom, researchers said Tuesday. Eruptions in the 3rd- and 1st-century BC -- including one of the biggest blasts in the last 2,500 years -- coincided with crop failures, large-scale revolts, and the withdrawal of Egyptian armies from the battlefield, they reported in the journal Nature Communications. Up to now, researchers had struggled to find an explanation for these events. "Volcanic eruptions may have had a central role in the eventual collapse of the Ptolemaic dynasty," the journal noted in a summary. The findings, the authors said, also highlight the risk today of climate engineering schemes...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Six Egyptian soldiers and 24 militants were killed as the Egyptian army foiled terrorist attacks on checkpoints in North Sinai province, the Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement on Sunday. The foiled terrorist attempt in mid-day targeted checkpoints in Qawadis area in North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, said Egypt's military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay in the statement. "Another terrorist was injured and two four-by-four vehicles used by the terrorist elements were destroyed," the spokesman added, noting that the forces are currently combing the area in search for escaping terrorists. The confrontations came two days after a terrorist attack killed six soldiers in the restive province on Friday. North Sinai has been the center of anti-government...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Militants in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula fired two rockets towards Israel on Sunday night, Israel's military said in a statement. "Two rockets fired from the Sinai area hit the Eshkol Regional Council," the statement read. Eshkol is a region in southern Israel. A spokesperson for the regional council said there was no immediate report of injuries, adding that the rockets apparently landed in an empty field. The incident came two weeks after Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket towards Israel, which failed to reach Israeli territory. Israeli's army responded by attacking a Hamas post in the besieged enclave with artillery.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Militants shot and killed three policemen and two civilians in a "terrorist" attack Monday involving a bank robbery in Egypt's provincial capital of North Sinai, the interior ministry said. It was the latest in a series of attacks in the restive province, where a local affiliate of the Islamic State group is based. The ministry said "terrorist elements" opened fire at policemen guarding a bank in El-Arish, killing three of them, as well as a two civilians, including a woman. The militants then fled the scene with "sums of money", the ministry said in a statement.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Four Egyptian policemen and two civilians were killed and 22 others were injured in an attack by militants on a security post in North Sinai province on Monday, security sources said. Egypt is fighting an insurgency against militants affiliated with Islamic State in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula where hundreds of security forces have been killed since 2013. Witnesses said five SUVs, each carrying four armed militants, fired at security forces nearby MarGerges Church and a branch of National Bank of Egypt, in Arish, the capital of North Sinai. “The militants fired shots randomly in the street as if they were celebrating with some of them raising their black flags (of Islamic State) and they...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
ISMAILIA,Egypt (Reuters) - At least 24 militants and six soldiers were killed on Sunday in attacks on military outposts in North Sinai, the Egyptian military said in a statement. The statement did not give details, but security and medical sources said about 20 members of the security forces had also been injured when more than 100 militants repeatedly attacked security outposts south of the border town of Sheikh Zuweid. The attackers used car bombs and rocket propelled grenades (RPG), the sources said. The militants also clashed with the security forces using light weapons, the sources added. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. Hours later, air raid sirens went off in a part of southern Israel and the Israeli military...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA- Cairo (Egypt) - At least three policemen have been killed while repelling an armed attack on the National Bank of Egypt branch in central Sinai on Monday, said a source of the Interior Ministry. A group of terrorists attacked the bank and planted five explosive devices in the precincts of the branch, the source added. Security services of the bank exchanged fire with the terrorists, leaving three policemen dead. A number of terrorists were also killed in the attack. On Sunday, six army elements troops were killed in a military operation conducted on Sunday in North Sinai against terrorist elements. During the operation, 24 militants were killed and another one was injured when law enforcement forces thwarted a failed...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Six Egyptian soldiers were killed in a "terrorist" attack in restive North Sinai, where jihadists are active, the army's spokesman said on Friday. "Terrorist elements attacked a security post in El-Arish with hand grenades and firearms," Tamer el-Rifai wrote on his Facebook page. "The assailants fled and many were killed and wounded," he said, without giving further details. A jihadist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula has killed hundreds of troops and policemen since the army ousted Egypt's elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with an Islamic State group affiliate claiming responsibility for many attacks.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Armed militants killed at least six Egyptian soldiers at a military post in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said, in an attack later claimed by Islamic State. Attacks targeting security forces have been common since Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was ousted in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. The Egyptian army said in a statement earlier on Friday six soldiers were killed when “armed terrorists” attacked a checkpoint in Arish city with grenades and firearms. Islamic State said in a statement released by the group’s official news agency Amaq later on Friday that at least 14 “apostates” were killed, including one policeman. The group also said tens were injured in the attack. Egypt is fighting...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
An Egyptian court ordered Thursday a retrial of activist Ahmed Douma, a leading figure in the 2011 uprising that toppled the government who had been sentenced to life, a judicial source said. Douma was arrested in 2013 on charges of having clashed with security forces in Cairo two years earlier, and in 2015 sentenced to life in prison. The court of cassation cancelled the life sentence -- which in Egypt amounts to 25 years in jail -- and ordered a new trial, the judicial source said. Douma's lawyer, Khaled Ali, said he will request his release pending the new trial. "Now he is supposed to be released and then he can start his new trial normally," Ali told AFP. Douma...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended for the second time a state of emergency first declared following deadly church bombings in April, in a decree issued in the official gazette Thursday. The renewed three-month state of emergency will start on Friday, according to the decree. "The armed forces and the police will take the necessary measures to confront the dangers of terrorism," it said. Parliament approved the initial state of emergency in April after the two church bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group that killed at least 45 people. The state of emergency was then renewed on July 10.
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a "final" accord. Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt's government. Abbas welcomed the deal in comments to AFP and said he considered it a "final agreement to end the division" -- though many details remain to be resolved and previous reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed. It was signed in Cairo by new Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation for the talks, at the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
GAZA/CAIRO (Reuters) - Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war. The deal brokered by Egypt bridges a bitter gulf between the Western-backed mainstream Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, an Islamist movement designated as a terrorist group by Western countries and Israel. Palestinian unity could also bolster Abbas’s hand in any revival of talks on a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territory. Internal Palestinian strife has been a major obstacle to peacemaking, with Hamas having fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and continuing to call for...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
An Egyptian legal scholar and a leading figure in his country's embattled rights movement won one of the world's most prestigious human rights prizes on Tuesday. Mohamed Zaree, who heads the Egypt country office of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), was hailed by the Martin Ennals Award organisers as a "hero". Hans Thoolen, who created the prize in 1993 and chairs the jury, celebrated "the individual, heroic behaviour of this man, sitting all alone holding fort while the human rights situation around him is crumbling." Zaree has remained in Cairo to continue defending freedom of expression and association in his country even after CIHRS had its assets frozen and was forced to move its headquarters to Tunis...

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