Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Liberia's ruling Unity Party has asked the Supreme Court to further delay the presidential runoff, which its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai will contest on December 26. The party filed a request late Thursday in which it called for the country's legislature to be given responsibility for determining the election date. The move came just hours after Boakai was dealt a setback, when a major opposition party announced it would back his rival, former football star George Weah. "We request that the recent ruling of the Supreme Court be reviewed and should include that the NEC chairman and the Executive Director be disqualified from participating in or having anything to do with the run-off elections," the legal filing said. On...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
A Liberian opposition party formally backed George Weah for president on Thursday despite mounting a prolonged legal fight with his opponent, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, against the country's electoral commission. Weah and Boakai are due to face each other in a December 26 run-off triggered when the two men took first and second spots respectively in an October 10 presidential election but failed to win more than 50 percent of ballots cast. The Liberty Party, whose standard bearer Charles Brumskine complained of fraud and irregularities after he scraped third with 9.6 percent of ballots, had joined forces with Boakai's ruling Unity Party in arguing the National Elections Commission (NEC) had rigged the vote. "You are the choice of the people," Liberty...
(APA 12/15/17)
The European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) has re-deployed 20 long-term observers to monitor the run-off election scheduled for December 26. According to an EU statement released in Monrovia, the observer-teams, who are expected to observe the run-off Presidential elections will be deployed to all regions in Liberia. The EU had deployed first ahead of the December 7 presidential run-off announced by the National Elections Commission, before the Supreme Court of Liberia halted the polls, mandating NEC to probe complaints by some parties. Following the probe, the court lifted the prohibition and ordered the NEC to set a new date for the run-off, which the electoral body has scheduled for December 26. The EU was invited to deploy an...
(Agence Ecofin 12/15/17)
It’s officially recorded. As scheduled by the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC), the finals between George Weah and the Vice President Joseph Boakai will take place on December 26, 2017. Jerome Korkoya, chairman of NEC, gave the starting signal for the presidential campaign which will end on December 24 at midnight. This finals, initially supposed to be held on November 7 have been suspended to allow NEC to consider the appeals filed by the candidates Charles Brumskine and Joseph Boakai, who came behind George Weah at the end of the first round of the elections. Both of them, rejected by the NEC, filed a new appeal before the Supreme Court. That did not prevent Jerome Korkoya from setting the...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
The runoff in Liberia's presidential elections will be held on December 26, the country's electoral overseer announced on Tuesday, clearing a last hurdle in a protracted saga. It means the final round of voting between the two leading candidates -- ex-footballer George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai -- can go ahead. "I am pleased to announce that the 2017 presidential runoff elections will be conducted on Tuesday, December 26, 2017," the president of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Jerome Korkoya, said. "We realise that this day is immediately after Christmas Day,"...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Liberia's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the electoral commission to proceed with a presidential runoff delayed for a month by fraud complaints, but said the national voter register must be corrected of anomalies first. "The stay order issued on November 6, 2017... against the NEC (National Elections Commission) is hereby lifted and the NEC is ordered to proceed with the scheduling of the runoff elections in accordance with the constitution," Associate Justice Philip Banks said on behalf of the court in Monrovia. The ruling Unity Party and opposition Liberty Party had alleged irregularities and fraud tainted the results of the first round of voting on October 10 and called for a total re-run of elections. That request was denied by...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Angry AIDS activists are urging western and central Africa to step up the fight against HIV, saying millions of people, especially children, are at risk from complacency and underfunding. A six-day conference in Africa has thrown a stark light on the problems in a region whose two dozen nations extend from Mauritania in the north to Gabon in the south, and include some of the poorest countries in the world. Coalition Plus, an alliance of AIDS groups, said AIDS-related deaths in western and central Africa are running at 5.1 percent, more than twice the 2.1 percent in the rest of the continent. The region accounts for just six percent of the global population, but has at least 16 percent of...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/17)
Businesses in Liberia's dual-currency economy are feeling the pinch as customers stay home and the exchange rate keeps climbing in the absence of a resolution to the country's disputed presidential election. "Nobody wants to buy, people are keeping their money," said Ruth Wollie, one of many female market traders who make up an important voting bloc for Liberian politicians. "For us to sell 1000 LD ($8) per day is very difficult," she added at her stall in Monrovia. Liberia has enjoyed 12 years of peace under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but hopes for an economic revival after back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003 were dashed by slumping commodity prices hitting key exports of iron ore and rubber, and the...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Liberia's Supreme Court on Friday began hearings of an appeal filed by two political parties claiming fraud in the first round of the presidential election and calling for a re-run of the vote. “We remain optimistic till the final ruling is given. This is the rule of law and the Supreme Court is the final decision-making body.” Darius Dillon, a leader of the Liberty party, told journalists. Liberty's veteran opposition leader Charles Brumskine along with incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity party brought the demand to Liberia's top court on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
The parties of the Liberian presidential candidates who finished second and third in October 10 elections have lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court calling for a re-run of the vote. Incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai and veteran opposition leader Charles Brumskine brought the demand to Liberia's highest legal body on Monday after the country's electoral commission ruled that irregularities recorded during voting did not affect the overall result. Legal documents filed by Boakai's Unity Party and Brumskine's Liberty Party said alleged errors linked to the voter register and ballot paper serial numbers amounted to "the violation of the constitution and laws of Liberia". The filing added that "the pervasiveness of the fraud and gross irregularities throughout the electoral process warrant...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan authorities are attempting to negotiate with a group that has cut water supplies to the Libyan capital for the second time in two months to press for the release of a jailed ally, an official said on Tuesday. The group shut down pipes pumping water to Tripoli and other coastal towns at the al-Hasawna well system south of the capital, said Tawfiq Shwehaidi, a manager at the Great Man Made River in the eastern city of Benghazi. “Today is the fifth day in a row that the water has stopped and we are trying to negotiate with them,” he said. The group, loyal to late former leader Muammar Gaddafi, is demanding the release of Mabrouk Ehnaish,...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...

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