Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The European Union on Tuesday joined an international chorus urging Liberian political parties and its electoral commission to end "unnecessary delays" and elect a new president. A second round of voting to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was suspended indefinitely by the Supreme Court on October 31 pending the resolution of a fraud complaint lodged with the electoral commission. Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party candidate who came third in the first round of voting on October 10, filed the complaint, but was soon backed by the ruling Unity Party's candidate, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, who placed second. The European Union delegation to Liberia, in a statement, said it would "encourage all concerned to work constructively and in good...
(APA 11/14/17)
The hearing on alleged irregularities on the October 10 poll and a cleric opposing an interim government dominate the headlines of Liberian newspapers on Tuesday. Img : Liberian newspapers zoom on hearing on alleged irregularities in October polls, others The testimonies at the ongoing hearing on irregularities on the October 10 polls continued on Monday with two members of the ruling Unity Party pointing out more irregularities in the elections. In his testimony, one of the Unity Party witnesses, Cole Bangalu, cited a case in Lofa County where the voters' roll of registered voters in one town (Makidu Town) was transferred to Sakadu Town and vice versa, something which, he said, created serious challenge for the people to exercise their...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Liberian presidential candidate George Weah's party said Wednesday that it will respect the decision to delay the country's planned run-off vote, but called for the electoral process to be put back on course in a "timely" manner. The former international football star was supposed to face Vice President Joseph Boakai in the second round of presidential elections in the English-speaking West African country on Tuesday. But the runoff vote, which was meant to represent Liberia's only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, was halted on Monday by the Supreme Court over an opposition party complaint of electoral fraud. Commentators now expect the vote to be delayed for days or even weeks as the country's electoral commission deals with the...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Tuesday that democracy was "under assault" in her nation as several political parties accuse the electoral commission of fraud, delaying the selection of her successor. A runoff vote also due on Tuesday was supposed to represent Liberia's only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, securing Sirleaf's legacy as she steps down after 12 years, but the process has now been indefinitely delayed. "At this moment our democracy is under assault. Our country's reputation is under assault," Sirleaf said in an address read out on public radio, which follows a Supreme Court ruling halting the scheduled runoff vote...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday said democracy in the West African country was being threatened, a day after the Supreme Court put a presidential runoff on hold over fraud allegations. Former footballer George Weah was initially set to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai on Tuesday to determine who will replace the term-limited Nobel Peace Prize laureate. A successful vote would be Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades. But on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the elections commission to fully examine allegations levelled by Charles Brumskine, who finished third in last month’s first round poll. The ruling could push back the run-off date by weeks or even result in the first round...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Four parties on Tuesday discussed a "merger" to bolster Vice President Joseph Boakai in his fight against former international football star George Weah for Liberia's presidency, a senior party official said. The talks took place on the day that a runoff vote between the two men, a crossroads in Liberia's history, was supposed to take place. The second round of Liberia's presidential election was halted by the Supreme Court on Monday, and commentators expect the vote to be delayed for days or even weeks. The court ruled that it could not go ahead until a fraud complaint lodged...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Liberia's Vice-President has quietly occupied the executive backseat for 12 years, but in light of electoral fraud he believes snatched away his chance at the presidency, Joseph Boakai is unleashing himself. Known as Sleepy Joe for his propensity to fall asleep at public events, the second-in-command to Africa's first elected female leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is suddenly wide awake and unafraid to speak out. "There are a lot of irregularities, we believe, most of them really calculated to make this election go the way it went," charges Boakai, sporting a trilby hat in an interview at his home in a suburb of the capital, Monrovia, on Monday. The election, he says, was "designed to be rigged". Boakai took 28.8 percent...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Liberia's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the country's electoral commission to resolve a fraud complaint lodged by an opposition party before a scheduled runoff vote for the presidency can be held. Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the National Elections Commission (NEC) was prohibited "from conducting the runoff election until the complaint filed by the petitioners is investigated," referring to the opposition Liberty Party. It did not order a new date for the vote, which was originally to be contested on Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Liberians nervously awaited a Supreme Court ruling Monday on the timing of a runoff presidential vote after the process was thrown into uncertainty by fraud allegations. The court is expected to rule at 10 am (1000 GMT) whether to set a new date or to prolong the vote indefinitely while a legal complaint by the opposition Liberty Party is resolved. The runoff between former international footballer George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the governing Unity Party was originally set for November 7. But Liberty Party candidate Charles Brumskine, who came third in the first round on October 10, claims fraud and irregularities tainted the results, leading the Supreme Court to put...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP 11/05/17)
The extraordinary delay in electing Liberia's new leader amid claims of electoral fraud is entrenching existing divides between the candidates and outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as voters wait nervously for a resolution. The Supreme Court will decide on Monday the fate of a presidential runoff vote originally scheduled for November 7, either by setting a new date or prolonging it indefinitely until a legal complaint by the opposition Liberty Party is resolved. The runoff, to be contested by former international footballer George Weah for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) against the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai for the governing Unity Party...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Liberia's Supreme Court on Friday said it would decide next week whether a runoff vote for the presidency will go ahead, after hearing arguments from an opposition party and the electoral commission. Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the court would issue a decision on Monday at 10am (1000 GMT) over whether the runoff between former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai would proceed. However, most observers agree the scheduled date of November 7 now looks near-impossible. Charles Brumskine, who came third in an October 10 election behind Weah and Boakai, is alleging "massive fraud and irregularities" marred the poll and is seeking a re-run of the whole vote. The Weah-Boakai runoff was triggered after no single candidate...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
The Liberian opposition politician who has lodged a legal complaint against the country's election commission on Thursday called for its commissioners to be replaced, citing their actions during a disputed presidential election. Charles Brumskine came third in an October 10 presidential election and immediately alleged fraud and irregularities tainted the vote. He filed a Supreme Court legal case this week that threatens to derail a November 7 runoff vote between former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai, called after neither man gained more than 50 percent of votes. In an interview with AFP, Brumskine said the current commissioners serving the National Elections Commission (NEC)...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Liberia's supreme court has delayed until Friday a hearing on the country's disputed presidential election, increasing the likelihood that an impending runoff vote will be delayed. A court spokesman told AFP late Wednesday that the hearing, which will give the country's electoral commission a chance to defend its handling of the first round of the elections on October 10, would not take place on Thursday as planned for procedural reasons. Former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai face each other in the November 7 runoff. Neither gained more than 50 percent of votes in the first round. Boakai has backed a legal complaint lodged by the opposition Liberty Party alleging "massive fraud and irregularities", but has said...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Five children were killed Tuesday night and two others wounded by a suicide bomber described as a "young girl" in a northern region of Cameroon plagued by Boko Haram attacks, sources said Wednesday. "A suicide bomber blew herself up (on Tuesday) at around 7.45 pm (1845 GMT)" in the village of Zamga, two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Nigerian border, said a security officer responsible for the zone, reached from the capital Yaounde. "Five children were killed and two others wounded," he said on condition of anonymity, adding that the suicide bomber was also killed in the blast. The attack and the death toll were confirmed to AFP by another security source. A group of children was playing when "a...

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