Sunday 17 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
A bill to revise Gabon's constitution, which opponents say risks letting President Ali Bongo retain power indefinitely, cleared a hurdle after the country's lower house overwhelmingly approved it, sources said Friday. State media made no mention of the development but two lawmakers present told AFP the bill was passed in a plenary session Thursday and an official source who declined to give his name confirmed as much. The national assembly is composed almost entirely of members of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG). The text now has to go before the senate prior to examination by the constitutional court. Opposition leader Jean Ping last month slammed proposed changes which he deemed liable to violate the...
(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) 12/01/17)
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) 11/28/17)
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...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping on Saturday said he would try to scuttle proposed changes to the country's constitution, describing draft changes as "autocratic" and liable to violate the principle of separation of powers. "We must thwart this constitutional revision," Ping told a crowd of supporters in an address at his home in capital Libreville. "We need to derail it because it carries the seeds of the Republic's liquidation and... the establishment of a kingdom in Gabon". The proposed changes specifically focus on "determining the relationship between the president and the government in case of cohabitation", "strengthening parliament's oversight powers" and the creation of a Court of Justice...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Six countries in central and western Africa have breathed life into long-running plans to allow visa-free movement of people among their nations. At a summit in the Chadian capital of N'Djamena, the countries formally declared late Tuesday that the scheme had now been ratified by all members. The agreement gathers six francophone states -- Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo -- in a bloc called the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The association, set up in 2000, has a potential market of 30 million consumers, many of whom however, live in poverty.
(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...
(AfricaNews 09/18/17)
Gabonese Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoset Ngondet speaks of proposed amnesty to 400 post election prisoners, responds to allegations of discrimination and media censorship against opposition in the country. Our Correspondent caught up with Mr NGONDET in a press interview in Libreville where the prime minister discussed these and more on the general political situation in Gabon.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Gabon is weighing amnesty for about 400 prisoners who were jailed for their role in the violence that followed last year’s disputed presidential vote, according to Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet. President Ali Bongo asked the Gabonese government to “consider an amnesty law,” Issoze-Ngondet told reporters on Wednesday in the capital, Libreville. A commission will be set up to review the merits of every case, he said. Violence erupted a year ago in the central African nation after the announcement that Bongo narrowly won a second seven-year term against opposition leader Jean Ping in the closest election in the nation’s history. Protesters burned down shops and the parliament building.
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
Gabon is considering an amnesty for people involved in last year's deadly post-electoral violence, Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet said Wednesday. President Ali Bongo's re-election in August 2016, by just a few thousand votes, led opposition leader Jean Ping to accuse the administration of electoral fraud. Violence broke out days after the vote, and opposition figures say more than 50 people were killed in clashes. The official toll was only three dead. "Gabon's head of state Ali Bongo Ondimba has asked us to consider an amnesty law which would deal on a case-by-case basis with some situations involving people...
(APA 09/05/17)
The political rally of the Gabonese opposition scheduled for Monday at the Ntchoreret collage in Libreville has been called off, sources told the African Press Agency. “The owner of the premises was reportedly pressured into cancelling the rally, even though all the necessary steps had been taken for the event to be held," an opposition source explained. On the venue, national gendarmerie officers were deployed to stop anyone from accessing the building. "We have received firm instructions. Access to the...
(AFP (eng) 09/04/17)
Gabon on Sunday announced a ban on opposition leaders, including former top African Union official Jean Ping, from leaving the country in what it said was a "temporary, administrative measure". "This measure follows inflammatory comments by Jean Ping on August 18 when he called for public disorder, rebellion and insurrection," interior ministry spokesman Jean-Eric Nziengui Mangala said. Ping, a 74-year-old career diplomat, was narrowly defeated by incumbent Ali Bongo in Gabon's August presidential election and accused the administration of electoral...
(Al-Monitor 08/29/17)
With the objective of advancing his country's interests in the African continent, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid visits to Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad and Gabon on Aug. 14-17. The agenda included issues related to Egyptian national security, most prominently the Nile water dossier, and the military and technical support in countering terrorism in West Africa. Sisi's visits carried messages from the Egyptian political administration, most notably among them that Egypt intends to provide Chad and Gabon with immeasurable military and...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50...

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