| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The Justice minister of the Gambia Abubacarr Tambadou announced on Thursday in Banjul that the government is to set up a Truth and Reconcialition Commission in six months to look into crimes allegedly committed by the former public officials under ex-president Yahya Jammeh's government. "A Truth and Reconciliation Commission with appropriate reparations for victims will be set up within the six months and public hearings will be expected to commence by the end of the year," Tambadou explained during a press conference, adding that "we will need to adapt the lessons learnt from other TRCs to our particular context in the Gambia". Tambadou also informed that he will be advocating to remove the death penalty...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Gambian protesters called Monday for the execution of the former head of the nation's intelligence agency and eight subordinates, as the men appeared in court charged with murdering a political activist. Family members, sympathisers and friends of Solo Sandeng, who died in custody in April 2016 after his arrest for leading a peaceful protest for political reform, made the demand outside the Banjul court where the men's trial opened Monday. "We need a death sentence" the crowd chanted, also shouting "you bastards have killed all our important people," as the courtroom filled to capacity for the case.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(RFI(EN) 03/17/17)
The Gambian government has requested that Senegal deploy an extra 1,000 soldiers as part of the regional military force in the country, Gambian President Adama Barrow told RFI in an interview on Wednesday. Barrow met with French President Francois Hollande during a two-day visit to Paris this week that focused on obtaining financial support for Gambia. "We are demanding 1,000 soldiers from Senegal to increase the numbers to make sure we are in a secure position," said President Barrow, in reference to a security treaty the two neighbouring countries recently signed.
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession,"...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
The former third-in-command of The Gambia's notorious intelligence services has revealed where murdered activist Solo Sandeng was buried, police sources told AFP Thursday, almost a year after his death sparked rare protests. Sandeng led a peaceful opposition march for political reform on April 14, 2016, but died in detention shortly after his arrest by state security agents, unleashing a wave of anger among Gambians who voted out longtime leader Yahya Jammeh eight months later. Saikou Omar Jeng, who was the...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
The ex-head of The Gambia's notorious prison system has been charged over the disappearance of the former spy chief and senior military figures after a coup attempt in 2006. David Colley ran the prisons nearly nonstop from 1997 onward under Yahya Jammeh, the longtime leader of the west African state, who was forced out of power in January after a contested election. "(Colley) is charged with abuse of office, but is yet to appear in court," Gambia Police Force press...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Journalists in The Gambia on Tuesday urged the country's new leadership to uphold their pledge to respect media freedom after a violent public assault on a reporter by President Adama Barrow's supporters. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, was hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power this year...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Journalists in The Gambia urged the country's new leadership on Tuesday to uphold its pledge to respect media freedom following a violent assault on a reporter by supporters of President Adama Barrow. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, described being hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power earlier this year from Yahya Jammeh, whose authoritarian 22-year rule was marked by arrests and intimidation
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Almost 100 prisoners including rapists and robbers have been freed from Gambian jails as the new government struggles to reform an overcrowded system that long relied on strict mandatory sentencing. Even first-time offenders were given sentences without parole under the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, and the new government has vowed to overhaul unsanitary penitentiaries they say are unfit for purpose. A government source told AFP Friday that new President Adama Barrow had pardoned scores of prisoners from three different...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
When Gambian intelligence officers arrested journalist Ebrima Manneh at his newspaper, he asked an office guard to save some tea. "I'm coming right back," he said, according to colleague Alhagie Jobe, who was present in the newsroom. That was on the afternoon of July 11, 2006; since then, neither his colleagues at the Daily Observer nor his family have seen him again. Rights groups say Manneh is one of dozens of Gambians who disappeared without trace during the 22-year rule of president Yahya Jammeh, which ended last month when he fled the country.
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
Gambia's dreaded former spy chief -- whose watch was marred by allegations of killings and torture -- and eight subordinates were charged Thursday with killing a leading opposition member in April. Yankuba Badjie headed the National Intelligence Agency, which rights groups say carried out arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and torture during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh's 22-year rule. Badjie and the eight others pleaded not guilty to the charges by prosecutors. The nine men, including the NIA's former director of operations,...
(The Guardian 02/23/17)
Ministers say scale of looting by autocratic former leader Yahya Jammeh was much higher than originally thought and that he left country $1bn in debt. The former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh stole far more money from the state than previously thought, the new government has alleged, leaving the country with a “monstrous debt” of more than $1bn. The autocratic former leader of the small west African country siphoned off at least $50m from social security, the country’s ports, and the...

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