Sunday 22 April 2018
(Voice of America 10/24/13)
A senior official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said, while Friday’s heads of state summit in Dakar will focus on the region’s economy, it will also take up political and security crises. This comes as ECOWAS President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, Wednesday called on the international community to send more troops to Mali in the wake of a recent upsurge of attacks by Islamist insurgents. Abdel Fatau Musah, ECOWAS director for external relations, said the security situation remains a top concern to the regional body, especially as the country prepares for next month’s legislative elections. “As you might have gleaned from developments in Mali, the terrorists and extremist groups are regrouping and carrying out sporadic attacks here...
(The Point 10/24/13)
West African bloc ECOWAS has said it will hold a special summit in Dakar on October 25 focused on the region's economy and recent political crises. The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States said the economy would top the agenda, but also singled out as priorities the situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau and the threat of post-electoral crisis in Guinea. The regional bloc will also consider contributing more troops to the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) following a surge in Islamist attacks there. MINUSMA is meant to eventually reach 12,640 troops and police. At the end of July it had just over 6,000 but Nigerian and some Chadian troops have since withdrawn. French troops entered Mali in January to...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/13)
PARIS, October 23, 2013 (AFP) - The Malian army is carrying out a purge of soldiers involved in protests at a barracks outside the capital Bamako last month, Amnesty International said Wednesday. The rights group's French branch said in a statement that four soldiers' bodies had been discovered near Bamako in early October and several other troops, including a colonel, were missing, feared dead. "These extrajudicial killings have created fears that soldiers loyal to General Amadou Haya Sanogo, who organised a coup in March 2012, are in the course of purging all dissidents from their ranks. "This is the latest striking example of the way in which a small group of soldiers who seem to consider themselves above the law...
(Amnesty International 10/23/13)
Elements of Mali’s military appear to be carrying out a purge and extrajudicial killings of soldiers who took part in a mutiny last month in a barracks outside the capital Bamako, Amnesty International said today based on its research. The bodies of four soldiers were discovered earlier this month near the capital and several others, including a Colonel, remain unaccounted for. These apparent extrajudicial executions and disappearances raise fears that soldiers loyal to General Amadou Haya Sanogo, who staged a coup in March 2012, are purging their ranks to quell dissent. “This is the latest shocking example of how a small group of soldiers who appear to consider themselves above the law continue to cling onto power in Mali,” said...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/13)
BAMAKO, October 23, 2013 (AFP) - Militants killed two Chadian soldiers and a civilian in northern Mali on Wednesday, military sources told AFP, with Islamist violence escalating in the troubled west African nation. The ambush follows an urgent request by the United Nations for more troops as its peacekeeping force faces an upsurge in rocket attacks and bombings by militants ahead of nationwide elections. "Jihadists attacked the positions of the Chadian army in Tessalit with heavy arms and car bombs. Two Chadian troops have been killed. The four suicide bombers were also killed on the spot and a civilian also died," a Malian army source told AFP. He added that the militants retreated in an exchange of gunfire with soldiers...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/13)
BAMAKO | Wed Oct 23, 2013 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed two Chadian troops from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali and injured six others in an attack on a checkpoint at the entry to the northern town of Tessalit on Wednesday, a U.N. spokesman said. No group has claimed the attack. Al Qaeda-linked Islamists, who occupied northern Mali last year, have carried out a number of suicide attacks on northern towns in recent months since they were scattered by a French offensive launched in January. Olivier Salgado, spokesman for the U.N. mission that is deploying in Mali to take over security responsibilities from French troops, said a bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle up to the checkpoint before blowing...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/13)
UNITED NATIONS | (Reuters) - The African Union and Kenya asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to defer the trials of Kenya's leaders at the International Criminal Court for one year so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack. In a letter to the council obtained by Reuters, African leaders said the legal proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto "will distract and prevent them from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities, including oversight for national and regional security affairs." Kenyatta and Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity related to the violence that followed Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the prosecutions...
(Voice of America 10/23/13)
Aid group Save the Children is highlighting progress in combating child mortality in many developing nations in Africa, while also warning of the need to address inequalities to help children have a better chance of surviving. The group issued a new report Wednesday saying the world has made "remarkable" improvements in child health, but that kids in poor and rural areas, as well as girls and infants, remain more at risk of dying. Its profile of Ethiopia spotlights the divide. The country has cut child mortality by 67 percent since the United Nations set a target to cut child moratlity by that rate worldwide by 2015. However, Save the Children says kids in the poorest 40 percent of Ethiopia's population...
(BBC News Africa 10/23/13)
South Korea's largest tobacco company has promised to change an advertising campaign after accusations of racism. Posters promoting a new line of cigarettes featured pictures of monkeys dressed as news reporters, declaring "Africa is coming!" The cigarettes are part of a new This Africa line. The company, KT&G, says they contain African tobacco roasted and dried in a traditional fashion. The cigarette packets contain images of monkeys roasting tobacco.'Mocking Africa'. "We are deeply offended by KT&G's shameless and insulting use of this mocking imagery," said the African Tobacco Control Alliance in a statement calling for the withdrawal of the ad campaign, saying it was "at a minimum culturally insensitive". Cigarette ad featuring a monkey in South Korea Ads for This...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/22/13)
BAMAKO | (Reuters) - Mali's president asked a national congress on Monday to draw up plans for increased regional autonomy, a year after northern separatists and their Islamist allies seized two-thirds of the country, prompting France to send in troops. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said northern Tuaregs had legitimate concerns that should be addressed but insisted that demands for independence were unacceptable. "We must provide a definitive response to the frustrations that fuel the nationalist ambitions of our Tuareg brothers," Keita said, inaugurating a three-day conference on decentralization. "But Mali is indivisible." The congress, a preliminary step before planned talks between the government and Tuareg separatist groups, will evaluate decentralization efforts undertaken since an earlier rebellion in 1990. Under those reforms,...
(Voice of America 10/22/13)
The international human rights N-G-O, Light for the World, dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through community rehabilitation, announced an alliance that will focus on giving a voice to people with disabilities in developing nations. The group says it has received a declaration of support from its newly formed international board of ambassadors, who have pledged to work towards creating an inclusive society for people who are treated as outcasts because of a disability. Light for the World says on average persons with disabilities and households with a disabled member experience higher rates of deprivations including food insecurity, poor housing, and lack of access to water and sanitation. Gabriel Muller is director of public relations and international alliances for Light...
(Dw-World 10/21/13)
The UN has said more soldiers are needed to help stabilize Mali and combat militant groups. Recent election results have given hope for peace but violence continues to highlight the country's instability. The UN envoy to Mali told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that forces in the country must be strengthened in the face of renewed violence by armed groups and terrorists. He called a string of recent attacks in the country a "wake up call" that the local government and international community still have work to do in stabilizing Mali's restive northern region. "We are faced with severe challenges," Albert Koenders said of the UN force in Mali, known as MINUSMA. The international force has been in control...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/21/13)
BAMAKO | (Reuters) - The death toll from a boat accident in Mali last week has more than tripled to 72 after more bodies were found, the government said on Saturday. The accident took place on the Niger River on October 11 when a boat overloaded with passengers and goods capsized near the town of Konna, as it was heading for the northern town of Timbuktu. "The latest toll is 72 dead, 11 slightly injured and 210 rescued," government spokesman Sounkalo Togola said after three ministers traveled to the scene of the accident. Authorities had given an initial figure of 20 dead. Togola said no more passengers were missing. Abdoulaye Koumare, Mali's transport minister who was among those who visited...
(Voice of America 10/21/13)
Authorities in Mali say the death toll from a boat accident near the town of Konna last week has more than tripled to 72. Security Minister Sada Samake says rescuers found were able to refloat the boat and when they did, they found more bodies inside. During a Friday news conference, government officials said more than 200 people survived the accident. Investigators say the boat was overloaded with passengers and cargo when it broke apart and sank on the Niger River. They believe hundreds of people were on board when the nighttime accident occurred on October 11. Officials say the boat was traveling from the northern town of Mopti to Timbuktu. The Niger River is a major transportation route for...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/21/13)
ROME | Mon Oct 21, 2013 (Reuters) - More than 100 survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds of African immigrants died burst through the gates of a holding center on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday in a protest against the refusal of authorities to allow them to attend a funeral ceremony for the victims. The survivors of the October 3 disaster tried to catch a ferry to the Sicilian city of Agrigento, where an official ceremony was held 200 km (125 miles) from the island, Italy's southernmost point. When an interior ministry official denied them permission to board the ferry, the protesters sat down in front of the tiny island's town hall, blocking a main roads. "One...
(The Guardian 10/21/13)
For too long the status quo has been to simply make knowledge available. But that's not enough, data must also be actionable. Nathaniel Manning reiterates the importance of open data. It is paramount to share data throughout the development sector, most importantly getting it into the hands of the technologists in the developing world. The sector would benefit tremendously by embracing a collaborative, open development model in which not only financial and human capital is shared with the developing world but also the rich value of information capital. Open data has a multiplier effect for development. The original work creates the benefit that it was specifically intended to do, and opening up the data produced from that work ignites entrepreneurship,...
(Sunday Independent 10/20/13)
Johannesburg - This week, for a second consecutive year, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s committee of eminent persons resolved there was no African leader deemed worthy of the $5 million (R49m) Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. It is the fourth time there has been no winner in its seven-year history. As in previous no-awards years, the decision has been met with curiosity and derision. There’s no denying the prestige, if not the quantum, of the award for recipients. Comprising $5m over 10 years and $200 000 annually for life thereafter, as well as a possible $200 000 extra each year towards the winner’s philanthropic activities, it is a substantial award. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire,...
(The New York Times 10/19/13)
FORT RILEY, Kan. — Here on the Kansas plains, thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa as part of a new Pentagon strategy to train and advise indigenous forces to tackle emerging terrorist threats and other security risks so that American forces do not have to. The first-of-its-kind program is drawing on troops from a 3,500-member brigade in the Army’s storied First Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, to conduct more than 100 missions in Africa over the next year. The missions range from a two-man sniper team in Burundi to 350 soldiers conducting airborne and humanitarian exercises in South Africa. The brigade has also sent a 150-member...
(Zimbabwe Independent 10/18/13)
The frosty relations between the International Criminal Court (ICC), which came into force on July 1 2002, and African leaders show signs of further deterioration with African leaders accusing The Hague of employing double standards against Africans. The conflict was sparked in July 2008 when the then prosecutor Moreno Ocampo applied for a warrant of arrest for Omar Al-Bashir, the sitting President of the Republic of Sudan. Al-Bashir was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region of South Sudan. Since establishment, the office of the prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC has investigated eight cases involving alleged violations of international criminal law. Each of these investigations is related to situations in African countries, namely the...
(Voice of America 10/18/13)
UNITED NATIONS — Five countries have won two-year terms on the U.N. Security Council, including two potentially controversial countries. U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe announced the winners of the secret ballot vote. “Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are elected members of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning on 1 January 2014,” he said. They will replace outgoing members Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo. The seats are allocated regionally, and all five candidates had been agreed upon in advance within their regional groups, so they faced no competition. But they all were required to win a two-thirds majority approval of voting U.N. member states, which they did. Chad, Saudi Arabia and Lithuania have never served...

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