Friday 18 August 2017
(APA 07/11/17)
The visit to Eritrea's capital Asmara by an African Union (AU) High Level delegation has been postponed, according to a statement from the pan-African bloc on Monday. The chairperson of the AU Commission announced on July 3 during the 29th AU summit that the high-level delegation led by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, would travel to the Horn of African nation. The delegation was to discuss with the Eritrean authorities the developments in the region, and also exchange views on the AU's initiative to develop a Horn of Africa Strategy, said the chairperson. At the request of the Eritrean authorities and due to a conflicting calendar, new dates will be agreed upon through consultations with the...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Africa has several new sites on the United Nations world heritage list, including an old royal capital in Angola, the Eritrean capital of Asmara and a desert area in South Africa that was inhabited during the Stone Age. UNESCO said this weekend at a meeting in Poland that Mbanza Kongo in northwest Angola was the capital of the Kongo kingdom, a largely independent state between the 14th and 19th centuries. The U.N. cultural agency says Asmara, which experienced large-scale construction under Italian rule in the 1930s, showcases "early modernist urbanism" in an African context. And it says the Khomani cultural landscape at South Africa's border with Botswana and Namibia testifies to the way of life of the once-nomadic San people...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
The people of Eritrea have long said their capital Asmara is like no other city in Africa, and on Saturday the UN agreed, designating it a World Heritage site. The proclamation ends a long-running quest by Eritrean authorities to have the city's unique architecture, which includes an art-deco bowling alley with coloured glass windows and a petrol station built to resemble a soaring aeroplane, recognised by the UN cultural body, UNESCO. It's also a rare example of positive world recognition for the Horn of Africa nation that is a major source of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe due to the country's repressive policies.
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union said on Tuesday that Qatar must mediate with neighbouring Djibouti over the two countries' disputed border. The Gulf nation brokered a peace deal between the two countries in 2010 over the disputed Red Sea region of Doumeira, which has been the site of disagreements and clashes between Eritrea and Djibouti for decades. Qatari troops withdrew from the contested border last month when the Horn of Africa nations signalled their support for Saudi Arabia after it accused Doha of supporting Islamic terrorism. Djibouti claims Eritrean troops moved into the disputed territory for one day after the Qatari withdrawal, raising fears of an armed confrontation such as the one that broke out in 2008. While Djibouti...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Djibouti will turn to the African Union to help it resolve a long-running border dispute with Eritrea, the Horn of Africa nation's foreign minister told AFP on Monday. Qatari troops who patrolled the tense frontier pulled out last month after both Djibouti and Eritrea sided with Saudi Arabia when it severed ties with Doha over its alleged ties to Islamic extremists. Djibouti's Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said that after Qatari troops left the disputed Doumeira region, Eritrean soldiers moved in but left the next day, elevating tensions between the two countries and leading the AU and UN to call for restraint. "As long as this border is not demarcated, it will remain a source of tension ... in the...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
The U.N. Security Council is calling on Eritrea and Djibouti to peacefully resolve a land dispute along their border. Djibouti accused Eritrea of deploying troops to occupy the contested area, known as Ras Doumeira, after a contingent of 450 Qatari peacekeepers departed last week. If true, the move could threaten a return to war for the first time since the countries fought over the land in 2008. In a news conference Monday, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz, the permanent representative of the president of the U.N. Security Council, said that council members supported an African Union initiative to deploy a fact-finding mission to the border and that all parties should work to "maintain an atmosphere of calm and restraint." The U.N...
(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 in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The UN Security Council on Monday urged Djibouti and Eritrea to resolve their border dispute peacefully after tensions flared following the withdrawal of Qatari peacekeepers from a buffer zone. Djibouti accused Eritrea of moving its forces into the buffer zone last week, a day after Qatar, a mediator in the border dispute that turned violent in 2010, announced the troop pullout. After hearing a UN report, the Security Council called "on the parties to resolve their border dispute peacefully in a manner consistent with international law," said Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Llorenty, this month's council president. The council "would welcome the consideration of future confidence-building measures," he told reporters after the closed-door meeting. Council members welcomed a plan by the African...
(APA 06/19/17)
Ethiopia called on all parties for restraint as tension between Djibouti and Eritrea has intensified along their borders, the country’s Foreign Ministry said. In a press release issued on Monday, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for restraint from “escalating tensions and resolve differences in peaceful means”. Tensions rocked the two neighboring east African countries over a disputed border territory after the withdrawal of Qatari peacekeepers. The release said that Ethiopia fully supports the statement issued the Chairperson of AU Commission on the situation including the deployment of fact...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
The African Union on Saturday urged "restraint" as tensions intensified between Djibouti and Eritrea over a disputed border territory after the withdrawal of Qatari peacekeepers from a buffer zone. Djibouti has accused Eritrea of occupying territory following the departure of the Qatari troops, threatening the revival of a long-standing, sometimes violent dispute. AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat called for "calm, restraint" and said the body would send a "fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border." The Qatari pullout comes as the Gulf emirate is locked in a bitter dispute with Saudi Arabia and its allies over alleged ties to Islamist extremists...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Qatar has withdrawn its peacekeeping troops from the Djibouti-Eritrea border, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, after years of mediating in a territorial dispute between the two African states. "The state of Qatar informed the government of Djibouti that it has withdrawn all its troops deployed on the border line in Djiboutian territory," a ministry statement said. The ministry said Qatar had been an "impartial diplomatic mediator" in the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea, which led to armed...
(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...

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