Tuesday 23 May 2017
(Xinhuanet 05/23/17)
The Justice Minister of the Gambia Aboubacarr Tambadou on Monday said they have obtained a court order to freeze the known assets in the country belonging to former president Yahya Jammeh. "We have obtained a court order freezing the known assets in the country of the former President Yahya Jammeh or companies directly associated with him," he said at a press conference at his office in Banjul. The freezing order affects 131 land properties held in the personal name of Jammeh or companies or organizations directly associated with Jammeh, Tambadou explained, adding that they have found out that 86 different bank accounts were held in the personal names of Yahya Jammeh or companies associated with...
(Voice of America 05/23/17)
Gambia's government used a court order Monday to seize assets belonging to exiled former President Yahya Jammeh. They include nearly 90 bank accounts and 14 companies linked to Jammeh. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou says Jammeh stole $50 million in public funds before fleeing Gambia for Equatorial Guinea in January. Jammeh and his associates have been unavailable for comment since he left the country. Jammeh ruled Gambia for 22 years before losing December's presidential election to Adama Barrow. He contested the results for several weeks before giving up and fleeing the country. His long-ruling political party lost April's parliamentary elections to the opposition United Democratic Party. Along with allegations of looting public funds, investigators in Gambia are also probing a number...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Two fugitive former army officers have been indicted over the 2004 murder of prominent Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, judicial sources said. The court in Banjul also separately issued an arrest warrant for ex-interior minister Ousman Sonko over the death of former intelligence chief Daba Marenah. Hydara, 65, an outspoken critic of then president Yahya Jammeh, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Banjul in December 2004. He was the editor and co-founder of the...
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
The head of the African Union delegation to Gambia said the continental body is ready to help the country prepare the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look into atrocities committed in the past two decades, local media reported on Thursday. Pierre Buyoya made the comment after his delegation held a closed-door meeting with the country's vice president Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang. "We came to the Gambia to see which way the African Union can assist, concretely, in confronting some of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded...
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
The Gambia's president swore in six new judges to top courts Monday, with Gambians dominating the list in a country that long relied on foreign justices under the former regime. Courts were long seen as a tool used by The Gambia's ex-leader Yahya Jammeh to consolidate power, jailing opposition activists and even members of his own cabinet. Justices from abroad were hired and fired with alarming frequency. Chief Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow said the four appointed to the Supreme Court...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Gambians want swift justice for the crimes of fallen dictator Yahya Jammeh's regime but the new government faces an uphill battle to jail the most prolific abusers. Silenced for 22 years, victims shot or tortured by Jammeh's security services are now speaking out, along with families whose loved ones have been pulled from recently found unmarked graves. But the cash-strapped government refuses to put anyone else in the dock, burnt by a high-profile, politically charged case this year that has run into procedural and systemic problems. "In terms of prosecutions, we are not at that stage yet," Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told AFP in his dimly-lit office in central Banjul
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Switzerland said Wednesday it has extended the detention of former Gambian interior minister Ousman Sonko after "progress" in a crimes against humanity probe. Sonko was a top lieutenant of The Gambia's fallen dictator Yahya Jammeh, who was forced from office in January by west African powers after he refused to accept defeat in a December election. Sonko has been accused of overseeing and committing torture while heading the interior ministry from 2006 to 2016. He fled to Sweden after Jammeh sacked him in September, before arriving in Switzerland in November. Swiss authorities arrested Sonko in January and have since interviewed witnesses, seized documents and asked for additional evidence from
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
As the rebel slave who defied his captors, Kunta Kinte, immortalised in print and on screen in "Roots", put The Gambia on the map for historical tourism. But the island where he and tens of thousands of west African slaves faced the horrors of being chained, branded and separated before leaving their homeland forever, is under threat from sea erosion and neglect. Kinte's descendants, along with heritage officials, warn that without urgent action, 550 years of history could be lost. They are pressuring the new government to preserve the country's historical memory for the next generation of Gambians and tourists.
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(AfricaNews 04/14/17)
Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, a prominent pro-democracy activist in the Gambia has been named ‘Woman of the Year’ by the New African Woman magazine. She was awarded along with other African women who excelled in their chosen fields. Her award was received by a representative. Tambajang who holds the post of Minister of Women’s Affairs was also nominated by President Adama Barrow as his Vice-President – but constitutional age limit made it impossible for her to hold that post. The award...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent...

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