| Africatime
Sunday 23 April 2017
(AL Jazeera 01/27/17)
New president arrives from Senegal on Thursday after weeks of political turmoil that left his country in disarray. The Gambia's new president Adama Barrow will return to the capital Banjul on Thursday, days after long-standing ruler Yahya Jammeh, who initially disputed the election results, was forced into exile. Barrow had to be inaugurated in neighbouring Senegal as regional powers threw their weight behind the new leader and threatened military intervention if Jammeh refused to stepped down after 22 years in power. "He [Barrow] is leaving tomorrow and will arrive in Banjul at around 4 pm [1600 GMT]," aide Amie Bojang told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday. The official said the priority would be "putting into place the pillars of...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/17)
Switzerland on Thursday detained former Gambian interior minister Ousman Sonko, who is accused of committing grave abuses under the regime of ousted president Yahya Jammeh. The arrest, confirmed by Swiss prosecutors, comes as The Gambia prepared to welcome their new president Adama Barrow, who had fled to Senegal after beating Jammeh in a landmark election that sparked a political crisis. Sonko had been one of Jammeh's top allies, serving in his presidential guard before leading the interior ministry from 2006 to 2016. Jammeh sacked him in September and Sanko fled to Sweden where his request for asylum was rejected. Sonko was detained in the Swiss capital Bern following a complaint filed by rights
(AFP (eng) 01/26/17)
Jubilant Gambians prepared Thursday to welcome home their new president Adama Barrow, who was elected almost two months ago but fled to Senegal when his predecessor refused to step aside. Barrow's return at 1600 GMT will cap days of anxious waiting in the tiny former British colony that was thrown into chaos when longtime leader Yahya Jammeh refused to leave after losing a December 1 vote. Barrow took the oath of office at his country's embassy in Dakar a week ago and a multinational African force then entered The Gambia to ensure his safe return home and Jammeh's departure. Gambians said they were looking forward to their freedom after two decades of Jammeh's iron-fisted rule. "I'm 100 percent a Barrow...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
The Gambia's new president will cap a prolonged political crisis by returning to Banjul on Thursday, after fleeing to Senegal for his safety. President Adama Barrow flew out of his tiny west African country on January 13 to meet world leaders in Mali as ex-leader Yahya Jammeh's refusal to step down and hand over power threw the nation into crisis. Barrow's aide Mai Fatty confirmed to AFP on Wednesday that the new president was preparing to head home from Senegal, where he has been since January 15. "Yes, tomorrow afternoon," Fatty told AFP in Dakar. Jammeh finally left on Saturday by which time Barrow had been sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, but unease has...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Gambian President Adama Barrow's administration faced a backlash Tuesday after admitting its new vice-president may be constitutionally barred from serving and confirming ex-leader Yahya Jammeh will be permitted to keep a fleet of luxury cars. One day after naming Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang as deputy leader, an outcry broke out after local media alleged she was 67 years old, two years over the legal maximum to serve in the post. Barrow spokesman Halifa Sallah told journalists he was aware of the reports and advisors were recommending a parliamentary vetting process be put in place to avoid a similar situation, without confirming Jallow-Tambajang's true age. Several phone calls to Jallow-Tambajang by AFP went unanswered on Tuesday. "I have spoken to President Barrow that...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/25/17)
Equatorial Guinea confirmed on Tuesday it was hosting ousted Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who fled his country after West African troops threatened to remove him by force if he did not concede his election defeat. Information Minister Eugenio Nse Obiang confirmed that Jammeh was in the country in a statement sent out to journalists. He gave no further details. Jammeh plunged Gambia into turmoil in December when he refused to accept losing to Adama Barrow, demanding a new poll. But the former soldier finally relinquished power on Saturday under strong diplomatic pressure backed up by several thousand West African troops
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
New Gambian President Adama Barrow is expected to receive a security report this week that could greenlight his return to the country, the head of the regional ECOWAS group said Tuesday. Barrow won a December election, but for weeks incumbent Yahya Jammeh refused to recognise the result, setting off a crisis that saw the new president take his oath of office in neighbouring Senegal last week. Worried for his safety, Barrow has yet to return from Senegal. Speaking at a briefing in Nigeria's capital of Abuja Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the troops were working to secure Banjul and the surrounding area. "Today or tomorrow, we will be able...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
At least 8,000 Gambians who fled the country have returned since strongman Yahya Jammeh went into exile after being threatened with regional military intervention, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. Political outsider and businessman Adama Barrow won a December election, but for weeks Jammeh refused to recognise the result, setting off a crisis that saw the internationally-backed Barrow take his oath of office in Senegal last week. Jammeh's defiance prompted more than 76,000 people to seek shelter in Senegal, the UN refugee agency said, citing Senegalese authorities. It said "more than an estimated 8,000 people, as of Monday, have returned to their native Gambia since the political crisis there ended" when Jammeh left the country on Saturday night. According to...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Gambian ex-president Yahya Jammeh will be allowed to keep his collection of 13 luxury cars and fly them out to his exiled home in Equatorial Guinea, a spokesman for new president Adama Barrow said Tuesday. Barrow's spokesman confirmed to AFP an agreement had been struck to facilitate Jammeh's exit on Saturday in order to end a weeks-long impasse caused by the ex-leader's refusal to recognise Barrow's election victory. "What is very clear is that arrangements were made and the government was fully prepared and supportive of ex-president Jammeh to leave and as a result they found it is better to leave with all his properties instead of coming down and checking properties," spokesman Halifa Sallah told AFP. An airport source...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Gambian President Adama Barrow has chosen a former minister of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh as vice-president, a spokesman said Monday. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang is often described as the woman who persuaded The Gambia's divided opposition parties to club together and field a single candidate in the December 1 election which Barrow eventually won. A former health minister in the early years of ex-leader Jammeh's 22-year rule, Jallow-Tambajang was specifically chosen to correct the gender balance in Barrow's administration, spokesman Halifa Sallah told journalists in announcing
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
The Gambia on Monday awaited the arrival of President Adama Barrow as his team said former strongman Yahya Jammeh plundered the nation's coffers before going into exile. Barrow, who was sworn in as the new head of state on January 19 at his country's embassy in neighbouring Senegal, has put off his return over fears for his safety. His team refused to confirm to AFP on Monday exactly when he expected to return. An aide to Barrow meanwhile accused Jammeh of emptying the state's coffers by plundering millions of dollars in his final days in power. "Over two weeks, over 500 million dalasi ($11 million) were withdrawn" by Jammeh, Mai Fatty said. "As we take over, the government of The...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
West African troops entered The Gambia Sunday to secure President Adama Barrow's arrival from neighbouring Senegal, as controversy erupted over the assurances offered to Yahya Jammeh to guarantee his exit. Jammeh flew out of The Gambia on Saturday, ending 22 years at the helm of the tiny west African nation, and landed in Equatorial Guinea a few hours later where he is expected to settle with his family. The Senegalese general leading a joint force of troops from five African nations said soldiers had nonetheless entered The Gambia to "control strategic points to ensure the safety of the population and facilitate... Barrow's assumption of his role." An AFP journalist in the Gambian border town of Farafenni saw a convoy crossing...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Officials in Equatorial Guinea refused to comment on Sunday on whether ousted former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh had arrived in the country. But in a statement, Equatorial Guinea's opposition denounced the presence of Jammeh, whose 22-year reign was marked by systematic human rights abuses, on their soil. Jammeh slinked off in the dead of night from The Gambia's capital Banjul in the early hours of Sunday on an unmarked plane alongside Guinea-Conakry's President Alpha Conde. The strongman's departure ended six weeks of political turmoil sparked by Jammeh's refusal to accept his election defeat to new Gambian President Adama Barrow. Following a short stopover in Conakry, the Guinean capital, Jammeh was due to head to Equatorial Guinea, a top Economic Community...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Gambia's exiled strongman Yahya Jammeh plundered millions of dollars in his final weeks in power leaving state coffers "empty", an aide to new President Adama Barrow said as West African troops prepared to secure his arrival. Jammeh flew out of The Gambia on Saturday, ending 22 years at the helm of the small west African nation, and headed for Equatorial Guinea where he is expected to settle with his family. A West African military force entered The Gambia Sunday -- greeted by cheers from relieved residents -- to provide security and allow Barrow, who has been in neighbouring Senegal for more
(NPR 01/23/17)
Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh has departed the country, after a weeks-long standoff as he tried to maintain his grip on power which culminated in West African troops crossing Gambia's borders. Now, the country is awaiting the arrival of new president Adama Barrow. He fled to Senegal for his own protection and was sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar last week. And as NPR's Eyder Peralta reports, Barrow's spokesman Halifa Sallah described a long list of tasks ahead of him at a news conference. "He has to end the state of emergency, he has to find a way to get thousands of Gambians back home after they fled fearing a bloody confrontation," Eyder reports. "Perhaps most importantly, though, Barrow...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/17)
Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh flew out Saturday from the country he ruled for 22 years to cede power to President Adama Barrow and end a political crisis. Jammeh refused to step down after a December 1 election in which Barrow was declared the winner, triggering weeks of uncertainty that almost ended in a military intervention involving five other west African nations. The longtime leader, wearing his habitual white flowing robes, waved to supporters before boarding a small, unmarked plane at Banjul airport alongside Guinea's President Alpha Conde after two days of talks over a departure deal. He landed in Conakry, Guinea's capital but set off again for Equatorial Guinea, where he will remain in exile, the president of the Economic...

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