Friday 15 December 2017
(AL Jazeera 10/31/13)
The bodies of 87 migrants were found in Niger's northern desert after they died of thirst just a few kilometres from the border of Algeria, their planned destination, security officials said. The corpses of the seven men, 32 women and 48 children were in addition to five bodies of women and girls found earlier, a security source said. All died in early October after a failed attempt to reach Algeria that began in late September, the source added. Almoustapha Alhacen, a spokesman of local aid organisation Aghir In'man, confirmed the death toll and gave a graphic account of discovering the bodies. "The corpses were decomposed; it was horrible," he said. "We found them in different locations in a 20km radius...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/13)
NIAMEY | (Reuters) - Around 10 migrants from Niger have died of thirst and 50 are missing after one of the vehicles they were travelling in broke down in the Sahara, the governor of the Niger's northern region of Agadez said on Tuesday. Although the number of West Africans seeking to reach Europe has dropped in recent years, the route across the Sahara is still used by some migrants from the region and those from farther afield. Hundreds of those who make it to the Mediterranean have drowned trying to cross in recent months. "Two vehicles left for a neighboring country and when one of them broke down, ten people sadly died," Garba Maikido, governor of the desert region of...
(CNN 10/29/13)
(CNN) -- A U.N. peacekeeper was killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in recent fighting, according to a statement release Sunday from the spokesperson for the Secretary-General. The Tanzanian peacekeeper was part the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the unstable eastern part of the vast nation in Central Africa. The mission was joining the Congolese military in an effort to protect civilians about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Goma, the largest city in the region, the statement said. The mission said Friday it was on "high alert" and monitoring the clashes between Congolese forces and M23 rebels. The U.N .mission stated that about 5,000 civilians from the town of Kibumba crossed the border into Rwanda on Friday...
(Voice of America 10/29/13)
A spokesman for the African Union (AU) says high ranking officials from the group will meet in the Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan Tuesday to promote security and stability on the continent. “The whole idea is to bridge the divide between the policy makers and the practitioners,” said AU spokesman El-Ghassim Wane. “It is also to facilitate coordination [and] harmonization among special envoys among officials working on the same issues on the African continent, and it provides the platform for outreach for AU’s efforts on peace and security on the continent.” Also attending the meeting will be the leadership of regional economic communities, the United Nations, Arab League, European Union and member of bilateral partners, academic researchers and representatives of...
(Irish Examiner 10/29/13)
Scores of children were among the members of immigrant families who have been DNA-tested in the past two years. Around 220 DNA tests were carried out, mainly as part of family reunification proceedings where a relative of an individual who has been granted permission to reside in the State applies to the immigration authorities for permission to join them here. Most of the tests, 82%, were sought to establish the parentage of a child central to the application, but people needing to prove that they were siblings, half-siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents were also tested. Some of the most frequently tested nationalities were those from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda and Afghanistan. The Department of...
(Zimbabwe Independent 10/29/13)
Surprise of the week: the club of African presidents (aka the African Union) has held a special meeting and declared that African presidents should be immune from prosecution for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes while they are in office. They are taking this step, they say, because the International Criminal Court (ICC) is unfairly targeting Africans: all eight cases currently under investigation are about crimes committed in African countries. “We would love nothing more than to have an international forum for justice and accountability, but what choice do we have when we get only bias and race-hunting at the ICC?” said President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya (who by a strange coincidence is currently under indictment by the ICC)...
(The Independent 10/27/13)
East London - The people of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which would lead to regime change in an African state, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday. “Through the AU (African Union), the peoples of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which seeks to foster an agenda of regime change,” Zuma said at the University of Fort Hare's East London campus. In a speech prepared for delivery at the university's Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 50th anniversary lecture, the president said the replacement of democratically elected governments on the continent must be rejected. “We must do everything we can to prevent Africa from being cheaply auctioned as a result of the ineptitude and...
(CNN 10/26/13)
(CNN) -- Is Sepp Blatter angling for another term as head of world football? The 77-year-old vowed at the 2011 FIFA presidential elections, where he stood unopposed after a bribery controversy ruled out his only rival, that this would be his fourth and final four-year stint in office. However, this week he hinted that he has "a mission" to fulfill and said he feels "young enough to be in this office." And he fueled speculation that he may stand again with comments in Friday's release of the FIFA Weekly magazine, in which he said the African and Asian regions deserved more representation at World Cup finals. Blatter, who has stayed in power since 1998 by vowing to take FIFA's showpiece...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
BRUSSELS | Fri Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) - European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters. EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed "deep sadness" at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December. A more thorough overhaul of the bloc's immigration policies will wait until after next year's European elections when rising anti-immigration sentiment is set to boost far-right parties. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, among southern European leaders who had called for urgent action from the EU summit, put a brave face...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
SAN FRANCISCO | (Reuters) - Seeking to avoid a repeat of Facebook Inc's much-maligned public debut, Twitter Inc revealed more modest ambitions, saying its initial offering would raise up to $1.6 billion and value the company at up to about $11 billion. The valuation was more conservative than the $15 billion some analysts had expected for the social media phenomenon, potentially attracting investors who might consider the money-losing company's listing price a better deal, with room to rise. Twitter had signaled for weeks it would price its IPO modestly to avoid the sort of stock plummet that spoiled Facebook's coming-out party. It said on Thursday it intends to sell 70 million shares between $17 and $20 apiece, raking in up...
(The Point 10/24/13)
West African bloc ECOWAS has said it will hold a special summit in Dakar on October 25 focused on the region's economy and recent political crises. The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States said the economy would top the agenda, but also singled out as priorities the situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau and the threat of post-electoral crisis in Guinea. The regional bloc will also consider contributing more troops to the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) following a surge in Islamist attacks there. MINUSMA is meant to eventually reach 12,640 troops and police. At the end of July it had just over 6,000 but Nigerian and some Chadian troops have since withdrawn. French troops entered Mali in January to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/13)
UNITED NATIONS | (Reuters) - The African Union and Kenya asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to defer the trials of Kenya's leaders at the International Criminal Court for one year so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack. In a letter to the council obtained by Reuters, African leaders said the legal proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto "will distract and prevent them from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities, including oversight for national and regional security affairs." Kenyatta and Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity related to the violence that followed Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the prosecutions...
(Voice of America 10/23/13)
Aid group Save the Children is highlighting progress in combating child mortality in many developing nations in Africa, while also warning of the need to address inequalities to help children have a better chance of surviving. The group issued a new report Wednesday saying the world has made "remarkable" improvements in child health, but that kids in poor and rural areas, as well as girls and infants, remain more at risk of dying. Its profile of Ethiopia spotlights the divide. The country has cut child mortality by 67 percent since the United Nations set a target to cut child moratlity by that rate worldwide by 2015. However, Save the Children says kids in the poorest 40 percent of Ethiopia's population...
(BBC News Africa 10/23/13)
South Korea's largest tobacco company has promised to change an advertising campaign after accusations of racism. Posters promoting a new line of cigarettes featured pictures of monkeys dressed as news reporters, declaring "Africa is coming!" The cigarettes are part of a new This Africa line. The company, KT&G, says they contain African tobacco roasted and dried in a traditional fashion. The cigarette packets contain images of monkeys roasting tobacco.'Mocking Africa'. "We are deeply offended by KT&G's shameless and insulting use of this mocking imagery," said the African Tobacco Control Alliance in a statement calling for the withdrawal of the ad campaign, saying it was "at a minimum culturally insensitive". Cigarette ad featuring a monkey in South Korea Ads for This...
(Voice of America 10/22/13)
The international human rights N-G-O, Light for the World, dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through community rehabilitation, announced an alliance that will focus on giving a voice to people with disabilities in developing nations. The group says it has received a declaration of support from its newly formed international board of ambassadors, who have pledged to work towards creating an inclusive society for people who are treated as outcasts because of a disability. Light for the World says on average persons with disabilities and households with a disabled member experience higher rates of deprivations including food insecurity, poor housing, and lack of access to water and sanitation. Gabriel Muller is director of public relations and international alliances for Light...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/21/13)
ROME | Mon Oct 21, 2013 (Reuters) - More than 100 survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African immigrants died burst through the gates of a holding center on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday in a protest against the refusal of authorities to allow them to attend a funeral ceremony for the victims. The survivors of the October 3 disaster tried to catch a ferry to the Sicilian city of Agrigento, where an official ceremony was held 200 km (125 miles) from the island, Italy's southernmost point. When an interior ministry official denied them permission to board the ferry, the protesters sat down in front of the tiny island's town hall, blocking a main roads. "One...
(The Guardian 10/21/13)
For too long the status quo has been to simply make knowledge available. But that's not enough, data must also be actionable. Nathaniel Manning reiterates the importance of open data. It is paramount to share data throughout the development sector, most importantly getting it into the hands of the technologists in the developing world. The sector would benefit tremendously by embracing a collaborative, open development model in which not only financial and human capital is shared with the developing world but also the rich value of information capital. Open data has a multiplier effect for development. The original work creates the benefit that it was specifically intended to do, and opening up the data produced from that work ignites entrepreneurship,...
(Sunday Independent 10/20/13)
Johannesburg - This week, for a second consecutive year, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s committee of eminent persons resolved there was no African leader deemed worthy of the $5 million (R49m) Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. It is the fourth time there has been no winner in its seven-year history. As in previous no-awards years, the decision has been met with curiosity and derision. There’s no denying the prestige, if not the quantum, of the award for recipients. Comprising $5m over 10 years and $200 000 annually for life thereafter, as well as a possible $200 000 extra each year towards the winner’s philanthropic activities, it is a substantial award. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire,...
(The New York Times 10/19/13)
FORT RILEY, Kan. — Here on the Kansas plains, thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa as part of a new Pentagon strategy to train and advise indigenous forces to tackle emerging terrorist threats and other security risks so that American forces do not have to. The first-of-its-kind program is drawing on troops from a 3,500-member brigade in the Army’s storied First Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, to conduct more than 100 missions in Africa over the next year. The missions range from a two-man sniper team in Burundi to 350 soldiers conducting airborne and humanitarian exercises in South Africa. The brigade has also sent a 150-member...
(Zimbabwe Independent 10/18/13)
The frosty relations between the International Criminal Court (ICC), which came into force on July 1 2002, and African leaders show signs of further deterioration with African leaders accusing The Hague of employing double standards against Africans. The conflict was sparked in July 2008 when the then prosecutor Moreno Ocampo applied for a warrant of arrest for Omar Al-Bashir, the sitting President of the Republic of Sudan. Al-Bashir was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region of South Sudan. Since establishment, the office of the prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC has investigated eight cases involving alleged violations of international criminal law. Each of these investigations is related to situations in African countries, namely the...

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