Thursday 27 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
The EU warned Monday of possible violence in Kenya's elections as it deployed observers ahead of the August 8 poll pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta against his longtime rival Raila Odinga. The European Union said the threat of poll clashes which pushed Kenya to the brink 10 years ago, could not be dismissed. "It is no secret that there are concerns about the possible outbreak of violence. This is not inevitable," said Marietje Schaake, head of the EU Election Observation Mission, as she promised "an honest and impartial assessment" of the coming vote. With violence "everybody loses," said the Dutch member of the European Parliament.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/01/17)
Kenya started selling another 1 billion shillings ($9.64 million) worth of bonds via mobile phone on Friday after an initial 150 million shillings issued sold out in days. The East African nation started selling a three-year infrastructure bond, called M-Akiba, on March 23, becoming the first country in the world to issue a mobile phone-based bond without any need for a bank account. "Today we again celebrate our leadership in mobile money innovation," Kenya's finance minister Henry Rotich said during an event to launch the bond at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Kenya has delayed plans to export its first oil in June by three months to better negotiate revenue sharing with the local community, the country's energy minister said Thursday. The announcement comes after reports in local media of security challenges in the arid northwestern Turkana region with a wave of attacks on workers upgrading the road on which oil is to be trucked to the coast. Government and the local community have been at loggerheads over the sharing of oil profits, and government wants to wait until after August polls to introduce legislation on revenue sharing. "We do not want to start the export without having a clear picture of revenue sharing, we have to wait for the Senate to...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Kenyan literary icon Ngugi wa Thiong'o, often tipped for the Nobel literature prize, has pulled out of an annual Swedish book fair in protest at the presence of a right-wing extremist newspaper, his publisher said Wednesday. The 75-year-old author of "A Grain of Wheat" (1967) and "Petals of Blood (1975), wrote an e-mail to his Swedish publisher Modernista informing them he would cancel his attendance at the Gothenburg Book Fair "in solidarity with the writers withdrawing and of course with the concerns behind their withdrawal," referring...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Eight people, including four children returning to school after Eid celebrations, were killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia, police said. "We have eight victims -- four children and four police," a police spokesman told AFP following the explosion between Mararani and Kiunga, just a handful of kilometres (miles) from the border. The blast bore the hallmarks of similar bombings blamed on Shabaab Islamists who have targeted security forces in the past in the region. Seven police officers and ...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Kenya's election commission announced Tuesday that there would be five million new voters taking part in August polls, raising the stakes for incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his longtime rival Raila Odinga. After the first-ever audit of the voter's register -- often seen as a key point at which an election can be rigged -- the election commission (IEBC) announced a final list of 19.6 million voters. "Comparatively, the register of voters has increased by 36 percent (5,222,642 voters) since 2013," IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement. During the audit, 88,602 deceased voters were removed from the list, however the KPMG audit firm said in a report earlier this month that there may still be around one million dead...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
As a teenager, Aden Hussein chose to become a refugee to get an education. With Somalia in collapse, he left his family for neighbouring Kenya where Dadaab, one of the largest and oldest refugee camps in the world, offered a de-facto city served by the UN and dozens of aid agencies. "There I had free education," he told AFP. Last August, six years after arriving, Hussein, now 21, took advantage of a repatriation package offered to Somali refugees when the Kenyan government said it would close the camp. Hussein said he was given $400 (355 euros) and promised healthcare, shelter and schooling -- the same benefits he enjoyed in Dadaab. Human rights organisations have protested that refugees are being coerced...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
Kenya has promised free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls to encourage them to go to school during their periods, rather than stay at home with rags or tissues stuffed in their underwear. Every schoolgirl is Kenya is entitled to "free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels" and a safe place to dispose of them, according to the law introduced this week. "We are treating the access to sanitary pads as a basic human right," government spokesman Eric Kiraithe told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "We are improving the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Former world cross country champion Agnes Tirop beat training partner Irene Cheptai to win the women's 10,000 metres on the first day of the Kenyan world championship trials on Friday. Tirop, winner of the women's senior cross country title in Guiyang, China in 2015, sprinted away from Cheptai on the home stretch to win in 31min 56.0sec and qualify for her first world track and field championships. Cheptai, who succeeded Tirop as champion at this year's world country event in Kampala, Uganda, clocked 31:56.4 to also book her ticket...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Kenya's sports minister Hassan Wario assured the CAF delegation that all five stadiums will be ready at least three months before the competition. The Confederation of African Football has said four out of five Kenyan stadiums fall short of standards for hosting next year's African Nations Championship (CHAN) and has given Kenya until June to upgrade them. An inspection team led by CAF vice-president Suketu Patel said a lot of work needs to be done, but insisted Kenya remained on track to host the international tournament, reserved for players featuring in their domestic league competitions.
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Eight people died and at least two were missing after an overloaded boat capsized off Kenya's Lamu Island on Tuesday, police said. The small boat, carrying 30 passengers and cargo, was travelling from the island to the mainland when it capsized in rough seas. "Eight bodies have so far been retrieved. The bodies include one male, four females and three children," the region's deputy police commander Akello Odhiambo He said 20 people were rescued by local divers and police. "Right now we are talking about two missing, but there are...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/17/17)
Sitting a couple of kilometers outside the village of Wajir-bor in northeast Kenya is something quite rare for these dry parts: a small, well-maintained reservoir full of water with a watchman standing guard at the gate. A dam was constructed here after the Wajir County Assembly passed a climate change act in 2016, one of the first in Kenya, freeing up government funds for projects chosen by local people. The people of Wajir-bor, 40 km (25 miles) west of the border with Somalia...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Four people were killed and 11 injured when a passenger bus struck a roadside bomb in northeast Kenya on Friday, officials said, the most recent in a string of such attacks. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but in recent weeks Somali-led jihadists have stepped up roadside bombings in border areas, killing dozens, mostly police officers. The bus was travelling between Lafey and Elwak in Mandera county close to the border with Somalia when an improvised explosive device detonated. "The vehicle was using a prohibited road which is classified as dangerous because of proximity to the border. We had discouraged vehicles from using this road," he added. "We have lost four people in the incident while...
(RFI(EN) 06/15/17)
Coastal states in East and West Africa are host to rich fisheries, and to the hundreds of foreign fishing vessels they attract. But environmental groups and local fishermen say they sometimes find habitats damaged, dead fish washed up on the shore and nets and equipment destroyed. Kenyan authorities have long lacked the means to do much about illegal fishing, but they hope a series of new measures will give them greater control over their territorial waters. Read more at: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170614-industrial-fishing-african-coast-part-1
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The mother of two children rescued from a collapsed seven-storey building in Nairobi has died in hospital, officials said Wednesday, amid fears more people are trapped under the rubble. The woman's daughter and son are in a stable condition after being pulled from the debris in a poor neighbourhood near Nairobi's international airport, southeast of the Kenyan capital. "Unfortunately one female adult, believed to be the mother of the rescued children, succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital," said Pius Masai, National Disaster Management Unit spokesman, who is coordinating the...

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