Monday 11 December 2017
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/17)
A Malian human rights association on Friday called for the immediate resumption of the trial of former coup leader Amadou Sanogo, who is accused of murdering 21 soldiers in 2012. Sanogo, a former army captain who staged a military coup in Mali the same year, went on trial in November 2016 charged with murdering the men, whose bodies were found in a mass grave, but the case has stalled after the defence rejected a forensic analysis of their remains. "We want a rapid resumption of the trial of General Amadou Sanogo and the opening of enquiries into the kidnapping and murder of officials in central Mali," said Moctar Mariko, head of Mali's AMDH rights group. "The former justice minister, Mamadou...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A video of two hostages, a Malian judge and a soldier kidnapped by armed men, was released Tuesday in which they asked the government to free jihadists and impose sharia to secure their release. District judge Soungalo Kone and soldier Mamadou Diawara -- who both had short white beards and wore turbans -- spoke for six minutes without men, neither mentioning the name of their captors. "I am judge Soungalo Kone, kidnapped in Niono," said the president of the Niono district court, who then recited some verses from the Koran.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/17)
A Malian army general and former government minister has resigned his post to stand in the country's presidential elections in July 2018, sources close to the officer said Sunday. Moussa Sinko Coulibaly is the second person to declare his candidacy, after Kalifa Sanogo, the mayor of Mali's second-largest city, Sikasso, who announced his bid in July. They are hoping to unseat President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has not yet said if he will seek a second five-year term, though he...
(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...
(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)
French President Emmanuel Macron will host talks in Paris on December 13 on "speeding up deployment" of a five-nation anti-terrorism force in the Sahel, aides said Thursday. Macron "will invite fellow leaders and key partners in the joint force, from the EU, UN, AU (African Union)" a source said, adding that the deployment of the so-called G5 Sahel force "is not moving ahead fast enough." The French leader believes that "the terrorists have scored a number of significant military victories,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
ACCRA (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron fears Islamist militants have scored military and symbolic victories in West Africa while a regional military force has struggled to get off the ground, a French presidential source said on Thursday. To help get the new G5 Sahel force operating effectively, he said, France has invited the United States to a summit with the five participating countries as well as the African Union and European Union in Paris next month. Thousands of U.N...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Six people were killed and several others injured in clashes between goldminers on the Mali-Guinea border, a Guinean security source told AFP on Wednesday. Both countries have areas rich in gold but are among the world's poorest, driving so-called artisanal miners to search for minerals alone or in small groups with little safety equipment. "These were Malian goldminers, assisted by Malian gendarmes, who attacked the Guinean goldminers at a mine in the village of Faranokho," leaving two Guineans wounded, a...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Mali's justice minister resigned late Monday following the acquittal of a popular radio presenter and activist who alleged that the president and top military leaders were failing to keep the country secure. No official reason was given for Mamadou Ismael Konate's abrupt departure from the government, but a source close to the minister told AFP his decision was "related to the Ras Bath case". Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, alias Ras Bath, himself a minister's son, regularly broadcast tirades against the administration...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - A two-day skirmish between Guinean and Malian villagers over control of a gold mine that straddles the countries’ joint border killed at least 17 people, a government official in Guinea said on Tuesday. Villagers in both countries lay claim to the zone’s rich underground deposits, which have lured thousands of people to work in unregulated small-scale mines along the border. Artisanal gold mining, conducted with rudimentary tools, is a key source of income in both Mali and...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Mali has delayed regional elections due next month until April 2018 in order to address dissatisfaction with the timing from powerful armed groups, the government said Monday. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, minister for territorial administration, met former rebel groups and pro-government factions who registered "concerns" over the vote's timing, a government statement said. "In order to allow all those concerned to have time for the necessary discussion and to resolve the issues raised, it would appear necessary to delay the date...

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