Wednesday 23 August 2017
(APA 07/14/17)
The Government of the Republic of Liberia has joined other peace loving peoples in the global community in condemning the launching of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range on July 4, 2017 by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). The launch was DPRK’s 11th missile this year, in total disregard to international outrage and international law. According to a Foreign Ministry statement issued in Monrovia on Friday, the Government of Liberia reiterates its disapproval of this reckless brinksmanship displayed by the DPRK, and views this as a flagrant violation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, which constitutes a perilous escalation of the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, this action threatens world peace in clear...
(APA 07/14/17)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a congratulatory message to her colleague, the President of the Republic of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, on that country’s 228th National Day on July 14. Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on July 14 each year. The French National Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of July 14, on the Champs-Élysées...
(Allafrica 07/14/17)
The head of the Muslim Congress in Liberia Imam Ali Krayee has clarified that he has in no way called on Muslims not to vote for Christians that are aspiring for elected offices in the pending October elections. He told UNMIL Radio on Wednesday, 12 July that Muslims must however prioritize Islam in whatever they do, including the upcoming elections. The Liberian Chief Imam clarifies that he is not telling his people to stay back in the elections process on grounds of having no Muslim candidate in the race. Instead, he says "it would be ridiculous and unpatriotic to make statement of such. "We are not ignorant to make our people to stay back from the elections, we just want...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(APA 07/06/17)
Acting Foreign Minister B. Elias Shoniyin has expressed gratitude to Nigeria for its contribution to the peace and stability that Liberia now enjoys. “Knowing that you all are from Nigeria, a country that is so close to the hearts of so many Liberians, not just at the governmental level, but also the people to people interaction and exchanges. “More importantly, Liberians remain grateful for Nigeria’s contribution during Liberia’s civil war in the 1990s. We remember the blood of Nigerians that was spilled on this soil to enjoy the peace we now enjoy and we recognize that,” Acting Minister Shoniyin said amidst rapturous applauds. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Mr. Shoniyin made the commendation on Wednesday at the Gabriel L...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(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) 07/02/17)
Standing in sweltering heat for hours at a time, painted head-to-toe in the colours of the tax authority, Emmanuel Howard has become a fixture at traffic junctions in Liberia's capital Monrovia. He and dozens of other young men are deployed by advertising firms as colourful human billboards for client ranging from government agencies to brides-to-be. Standing stock still on the bustling roadsides, they have become street sensations. "I feel good being painted because this is what gives me my daily bread. Some of my friends are in the streets stealing from others," says Howard, a 25-year-old "statue". "I take care of my child with it. I feed and clothe myself, and I pay my rent," adds fellow body painter Joseph...
(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...
(APA 06/27/17)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a congratulatory message to her colleague, the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omar Guellah, on that country’s 40th Independence Anniversary on June 27. June 27 is celebrated each year as Djibouti's Independence Anniversary, which it obtained from France in 1977 and became the fifth newest country in Africa after South Sudan in July, 2011. Earlier known as French Somaliland, Djibouti was France’s last hold on the continent. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia and in her own name, stressed that as they commemorate this occasion, she looked forward to further strengthen the excellent bilateral ties between both countries, for the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in west Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday. The outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people and sickened nearly 29,000 -- mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- could have been much worse, according to the study published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases medical journal. Using statistical modelling, the study indicated that the efforts of Red Cross volunteers to properly bury the highly contagious bodies potentially averted as many as 10,452 Ebola cases, decreasing the scale of the outbreak by more than a third. Due to the very high death toll at the beginning of the outbreak, there...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Safe burial practices introduced by the Red Cross likely saved thousands of lives during the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus between 2013 and 2016, researchers said on Thursday. In the first scientific study of Ebola victim burials, researchers found each unsafe burial had the potential to generate more than 2.5 secondary cases of Ebola infection. The virus kills about 50 percent of those it infects on average, according to the World Health Organization. People who treat and bury the bodies of the dead are especially at risk, as corpses are even more contagious than living Ebola patients. The Red Cross safe burial program potentially averted between 1,411 and 10,452 secondary cases of...
(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...
(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...

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