Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Five young children perished in an arson attack during clashes in central Guinea on Tuesday, as anger over alleged fraud during weekend local elections turned deadly and tensions mounted ahead of the results. Sunday's local elections were the first since the end of the era of military dictatorship and follow eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis. Huts and houses were set on fire in the town of Kalinko, and "five Guinean infants died in the flames", Territorial Administration Minister Boureima Conde said on television on Tuesday, without specifying their age or identity. Unrest flared in the West African country after the ballot, and one person was killed in western...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
One person died in opposition party clashes with security forces in Guinea during vote counting for local elections, police told AFP on Monday, as activists alleged fraud marred the vote. Guinean opposition leaders have denounced the west African country's long-delayed local elections held on Sunday, saying vote rigging with proxy ballots happened in several polling stations. A special riot squad was deployed on Monday, and clashed in the western city of Kindia with supporters of former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, who leads the Guinea Union of Democratic Forces. Mamadou Alpha Barry, a police spokesman, said "one person who has yet to be identified was trampled to death during a stampede during a confrontation between the two sides." Energy Minister...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Guinean opposition leaders on Sunday denounced the west African country's long-delayed local elections as fraudulent, citing vote rigging in polling stations across the west African country. "There is fraud at the national level," said former prime minister Sidya Toure after polls closed at 1800 GMT. "We are seeing problems, especially concerning ink, in a lot of polling stations," added Toure, who heads the opposition Union of Republican Forces (UFR). The local elections are the first since the end of the era of military dictatorship and follow eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis. People chose among nearly 30,000 candidates for councillors, including 7,000 women, across the mineral-rich but deeply poor...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian Islamic preacher was killed in eastern Guinea after proselytizing to hunting communities in a remote region near the Mali border, police and lawyers said on Friday. The preacher’s death in the village of Kantedou Balandou on Tuesday was followed by the fatal stabbing on Wednesday of the head of a group of hunters, which authorities said was likely to have been a revenge killing. It was not yet clear who was responsible for the deaths. But they shed some light on the breadth of Saudi ambitions to spread conservative Salafist Islam in rural West Africa, and the sometimes violent opposition they face from people practicing traditional religions. “I can confirm that a Saudi preacher...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
A Saudi Arabian preacher was shot dead in Guinea's east after organising a prayer service that angered some villagers in the majority-Muslim West African country, local sources said Wednesday. The man, who was a member of a mission building mosques in Upper Guinea, was killed on Tuesday night in the village of Kantebalandougou, between the towns Kankan and Kerouane. He was "shot twice in the chest while riding a motorcycle with a villager on the way to get his car," a security source told AFP. According to a preliminary investigation, the preacher, along with two of his compatriots, had organised "a prayer that was not to the taste of the local population, particularly traditional hunters who then ambushed him," the...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Fourteen suspects held over a 2009 stadium massacre in Guinea which killed 157 people are to go before a criminal tribunal after a legal investigation concluded, the country's justice minister said. "I am happy to announce to you that the judicial investigation into the 2009 Conakry stadium massacre ended on December 29. (It) took almost seven years," said Cheick Sako. "The committal order to go before the criminal tribunal was taken at the same time on Friday, opening the way to trial," said Sako, adding a steering committee was being set up to deal with the "material preparation of the forthcoming trial." At least 157 people were killed and 109 women raped by troops during a massive opposition protest in...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/29/17)
MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Libya put 142 illegal migrants on a flight back to Guinea on Wednesday with the help of the U.N. migration agency, officials said, as the North African country steps up deportations to ease severe overcrowding in its detention centers. The number of people stuck in Libyan detention centers has risen dramatically this year after armed groups largely shut down the boat route to Italy from the smuggling hub of Sabratha. The International Organization for Migration flew the Guinean migrants from two western cities to the city of Misrata, from where they boarded a plane for Conakry. The deportations come in the wake of a CNN report on migrants being sold for slave labor that sparked an...

Pages