Monday 19 February 2018
(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...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/13)
PARIS, October 17, 2013 (AFP) - France will maintain around 2,000 troops in Mali to help secure the December legislative polls before further scaling down its military presence, the defence minister said Thursday. "We're going keep a little more than 2,000 men until the end of the year," Jean-Yves Le Drian said. The former colonial power deployed its airforce and sent combat units in January this year to help Mali's government wrest back the north of the country from Islamist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. It currently has 3,000 troops left on the ground and aims to scale back its presence to only 1,000 by the end of January 2014. Mali's first parliamentary polls since a coup in March last year...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/13)
BAMAKO, October 17, 2013 (AFP) - The head of the EU electoral observer team in Mali said Thursday he hoped a parliamentary poll next month would match the "success" of August's presidential election. Mali will on November 24 hold its first parliamentary elections since a military coup last year which led to a sweeping Islamist occupation and a French-led military intervention. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a former prime minister, was sworn in as president on September 4 after winning a second-round August 11 in a country emerging from conflict. The European Union's Louis Michel said he hoped the legislative elections would "confirm the irrefutable success of the presidential election," citing strong voter turnout and the "quality of voting operations". The EU...
(BBC News Africa 10/17/13)
The United Nations has appealed for more troops and equipment for its peacekeeping force in Mali. The UN force, which took over security duties in July, has less than half of its mandated strength of more than 12,000 military personnel. Bert Koenders, the UN's special representative to Mali, said recent attacks had been a "wake-up call". He said the force, known as Minusma, needed more resources in order to stabilise the north of the country. French forces led an operation to oust Islamist militants from the region in January. A presidential election was held in Mali in July but militant attacks have resumed in the north where separatist Tuareg rebels and Islamist fighters are based. Protect civilians. A suicide bomb...
(Voice of America 10/17/13)
UNITED NATIONS — The head of the U.N. mission in Mali said recent security incidents are an “important wake-up call” and urged the Security Council to enable the rapid deployment of additional troops and helicopters to the mission. Bert Koenders welcomed progress in Mali, including recent presidential elections and moves toward national reconciliation talks, but said serious threats to peace and security remain, including recent attacks by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the militant group MUJAO. “In addition to the security threat from the armed groups and terrorists which mainly affected the northern regions, the authorities had to contend with tensions within the armed forces,” said Koenders. He said an incident earlier this month involving about 30 disgruntled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/13)
UNITED NATIONS | (Reuters) - The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for more troops and helicopters needed so its peacekeeping mission in Mali can effectively stabilize the north of the country and protect civilians from attacks by Islamist extremist and armed groups. The U.N. force, known as MINUSMA, assumed authority on July 1 from a U.N.-backed African force in Mali. But while the U.N. Security Council mandated a 12,600-strong force, there are only some 5,200 troops on the ground. "We are faced with severe challenges," U.N. Mali envoy Bert Koenders told the U.N. Security Council. "The mission lacks critical enablers - such as helicopters - to facilitate rapid deployment and access to remote areas to ensure the protection of civilians...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/13)
BUCHAREST, October 17, 2013 (AFP) - The president of the International Criminal Court said Thursday it has never targeted any African country, calling such criticism "regrettable". "We never chased any African country, we didn't do anything in this respect, they brought their own situation to us," Korean judge Sang-Hyun Song told AFP, speaking in English. His comments were the ICC's strongest response yet to accusations by made by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at last week's African Union summit of "bias and race-hunting at the ICC". The African Union has called on the ICC to adjourn the crimes against humanity trials of Kenyatta and Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto. But Song strongly defended the court, speaking during a conference in Bucharest organised...
(AFP 10/16/13)
UNITED NATIONS, October 16, 2013 (AFP) - The United Nations on Wednesday appealed for extra troops for its Mali peacekeeping force which faces a new surge in Islamist attacks. UN special representative to Mali, Bert Koenders, said recent attacks in the north of the country had been "an important wake-up call" over security. Koenders told the UN Security Council that the international force needs helicopters and troops as it builds up to replace a French force that intervened this year to halt an Islamist takeover. "Troop generation will have to accelerate," Koenders said in a report on the work of the UN's Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). UN members must "do their utmost to enable the rapid deployment...
(Dw-World 10/16/13)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has no winner in 2013 - for the fourth time in five years. The award, set up by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim in 2007, goes to a democratically elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office in the last three years. It carries a $5 million (3.7 million euro) prize paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on, with a further $200,000 per year available for 10 years for good causes backed by the winner. The London-based Mo Ibrahim foundation also publishes the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Deutsche Welle spoke to a former award winner and president of Botswana about...
(Times of swaziland 10/16/13)
MBABANE –The power of nutrition to transform individuals, societies and economies will be the highlight in today’s celebration to mark World Food Day. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) will further highlight the need to make nutrition central to all development efforts. WFP Country Director Heather Hill said the cost of hunger in the Swaziland study, published in July this year, showed that economic losses associated with under nutrition total E783 million annually. These results, Hill said, highlighted the need for all sectors including education, health, agriculture, finance and social affairs to consider the benefits, both social and economic of prioritising child nutrition today and in the future. WFP has many years of collaboration in food security and nutrition with...
(African arguments 10/16/13)
African economies are generally growing - we know that and it can be well-documented through trusted economic data. But is African governance also rising? That's the question that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation seeks to answer every year through its Index of African Governance. And the answer is yes. The big number this year's report showcases is that 94 percent of the continent's people live in countries that have experienced overall governance improvement since 2000. So, it's pretty clear that the general trend is up. However, this is a complex index based on large quantities of data, so from it we can determine several different indicators (not all of which are increasing). Broadly, these are classified (by the Index) within 4...
(CNN 10/16/13)
New York (CNN) -- An alleged al Qaeda operative accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty Tuesday to terrorism charges brought against him in federal court in New York. As Abu Anas al Libi walked into court to face the charges, his hands were shackled, his hair was short, and he sported a red, bushy beard, graying around his face and chin. He moved slowly and appeared unsteady. He told the court he was 49, but he looked 10 to 15 years older. His family told CNN he suffers from hepatitis C. Judge Lewis Kaplan signed a medical order for care. Wearing gray sweatpants, a black, long-sleeved shirt and...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/13)
BAMAKO, October 14, 2013 (AFP) - Amadou Sanogo, who led a March 2012 coup in Mali, has left the army barracks where he lived to move into a new residence in the capital, defence officials said Monday. "It was necessary for the country's peace of mind that he leave Kati," a garrison town north of the capital Bamako where his headquarters were located, a defence ministry official said. "He is not going back up there any time soon, we will not let that happen," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Sanogo, who leapt from the rank of captain to general in August after a presidential election, left Kati late Sunday. He was in a six-vehicle convoy and wearing...
(The Associated Press 10/14/13)
BAMAKO, Mali — A boat carrying hundreds of passengers along the Niger River in central Mali capsized, and nearly 200 people remained unaccounted for hours later, the mayor of a nearby town said Saturday. Twenty bodies had been recovered by midday, said the mayor of the town, Konna. At least 400 passengers were believed to have been on board the vessel on Friday as it traveled north to Timbuktu, but only 210 survivors had been counted so far, said the mayor, Sory Diakite. One passenger, Ibrahim Yattara, 29, said he and his pregnant wife were sleeping on the boat late Friday when they awoke to a loud noise. “It was then that the ship collapsed because it was overloaded with...
(Voice of America 10/14/13)
Authorities in Mali say an overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of passengers and goods sank late Friday on the Niger River, leaving at least 20 people dead and about 170 others unaccounted for hours later. Officials say the boat was traveling northward from Mopti toward the city of Timbuktu when it sank near the town of Konna with an estimated 400 passengers and crew on board. Search efforts were continuing late Saturday. The Associated Press quotes a Bamako resident and father of a 7-year-old girl who drowned as saying many of the passengers were children returning to northern Mali for the start of the school year. Others were traveling to visit relatives ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha, which begins...
(News Day 10/14/13)
Sub-saharan African economies are expected to register growth in 2014 due to strong growth buoyed by domestic demand in most of the region, the International Monetary Fund has said. According to the recent World Economic Outlook, growth in the region remained robust in 2012-13. “Growth in sub-Saharan Africa remained robust in 2012–13 and is expected to accelerate somewhat in 2014 reflecting strong domestic demand in most of the region,” the IMF said. “Nevertheless, spillovers from sluggish external demand, reversal of capital flows, and declines in commodity prices are contributing to somewhat weaker growth prospects in many countries relative to the April 2013 WEO. Polices should aim to rebuild room for policy maneuvering where it has been eroded, and more broadly...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/13)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - African leaders agreed on Saturday that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta should not attend trial at the International Criminal Court if the U.N. Security Council did not agree to delay the proceedings, Ethiopia's foreign minister said. Tedros Adhanom said that the African Union would request the trial be deferred under article 16 of the court's Rome Statute that allows a delay of a year subject to renewal and would request a postponement if that demand was not agreed. "If that is not met what the summit decided is that President Kenyatta should not appear until the request we have made is actually answered," Tedros told journalists, explaining decisions of a meeting to discuss Africa's relations with the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/13)
BAMAKO | (Reuters) - At least 20 people were killed and as many as 170 were uncounted for after a boat overloaded with passengers and goods capsized on the Niger River in Mali, local residents and officials said on Saturday. The boat was travelling north from Mopti towards the city of Timbuktu when it sank around 4 km (2.5 miles) from the town of Konna late on Friday. "Right now we have recovered 20 bodies and 210 survivors. There are also 10 wounded ... This death toll could still go up," Demba Tiemouga, a local government official from Konna, told Reuters. A hospital official in Konna said it was believed as many as 400 passengers may have been aboard the...
(CNN 10/14/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union urged the International Criminal Court to postpone cases against sitting leaders as accusations of unfair treatment grow against the war crimes tribunal. Leaders from the 54-nation body gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday to review their relationship with the court based in The Hague, Netherlands. Kenyan and Sudanese presidents face charges at the court, and African leaders have long accused it of unfair treatment. 'Loud and clear'. "Sitting heads of state and government should not be prosecuted while in office and we have resolved to speak with one voice to make sure that our concerns are heard loud and clear," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Ethiopian foreign affairs minister. The trial...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/13)
ADDIS ABABA | (Reuters) - The African Union has backed a call to boost by about a third the number of troops in an African peacekeeping force in Somalia to reinforce a campaign against Islamist militants there who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall last month. The union's Peace and Security Council said 6,235 soldiers and police should be added to the AMISOM peacekeeping force to take its total strength to 23,966 uniformed personnel for a limited period of 18 to 24 months. The council endorsed the recommendations of a review of the force this week and announced its decision on Friday. The decision needs the approval of the U.N. Security Council. AMISOM is made up of troops mainly from Kenya,...

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