| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
Suspected Islamist militants freed 93 prisoners during an attack on a jail in the central Mali town of Niono early on Tuesday, officials said. The prison break was the second of its kind in recent weeks in Mali, where militant groups based in the desert north have extended their campaign into central and southern regions, complicating international efforts at peace. Five armed men attacked the jail at around 0115 GMT, injuring two guards, the Ministry of Security said. Ninety prisoners remained at large on Tuesday afternoon; three were re-captured. The army was deployed in pursuit. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but a number of Islamist groups, some linked to al Qaeda, have stepped up their...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/16)
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday urged Mali's warring factions to stick to a peace deal to end a long and bloody conflict. Northern Mali fell to jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda from March 2012. These forces were driven out of key towns when France led international military intervention the following year. But barely a week goes by without attacks despite a peace pact signed in May and June last year after lengthy negotiations in Algiers between the government, groups backing it and Tuareg rebels. "It's hugely important for these accords to be implemented with great determination," Le Drian told journalists on the sidelines of a forum on peace and security in Africa hosted by Senegal. "This is...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/06/16)
Suspected Islamist militants attacked a prison in the town of Niono in central Mali late on Monday and freed all the prisoners, army spokesman Diarran Kone said. Militants in northern Mali have staged a series of high-profile attacks since 2015, extending their campaign beyond their desert bases into the central and southern regions of the country and the capital. (Reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Kevin Liffey)
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(Agence Ecofin 12/05/16)
Speaking at a debate organized by the Institute of Political Sciences, International Relations and Communication (ISPRIC), Mali’s minister of domains, Mohamed Ali Bathily bluntly accused mayors, judges and the territorial administration of being the main sources of land speculation in the country. “The jurisdictions take decisions that are best left unknown unless those who attended the law faculty and which should not be read by any person who truly did study law,” he affirmed. “The mayor of Bamako and other municipalities do not have the authority to award lands without the government’s approval because they don’t own those lands
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming home fans. Desire slotted in from close range after a beautiful lob from team mate Ngozi Okobi hit a Cameroonian defender and fell on her path with six minutes to the end of the game. The remaining duration and three...
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(Xinhuanet 12/01/16)
Algerian counterterrorism troops on Tuesday arrested two terrorists in the southernmost town of Timiaouine, near the border with Mali, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The two gunmen were killed during an ambush by army troops, as a Kalashnikov submachine gun and a quantity of ammunition were retrieved. Last week, four armed militants surrendered to security authorities in the southern town of In Amenas, near the Libyan border. Dozens of terrorists have surrendered to army troops due to the underway intense counterterrorism operations in the past nine months, which have killed over 100 armed militants, in addition to destroying bunkers of war weapons and bombs, mostly on southern and eastern borders. Despite the improving security situation in...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/16)
Amadou Sanogo, a former army captain who staged a military coup in Mali in 2012, went on trial Wednesday charged with the murder of several soldiers whose bodies were found in a mass grave. "I'm in fine spirits. I was waiting for this day," Sanogo told AFP at the opening of the trial, held in a packed concert hall in Sikasso, 370 kilometres (230 miles) southeast of the capital, Bamako. Sanogo, who faces the death penalty, led the 2012 coup that toppled president Amadou Toumani Toure as the country grappled with a rebellion by Tuareg people that led the way to a jihadist takeover in its vast arid north. He proclaimed himself leader, blasting the former head of state for...
(Xinhuanet 11/30/16)
Over 250 women security officers from 37 countries across Africa attending Africa Regional Convention of Women in Security Organs here vowed to step up efforts to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV) in the continent. The convention, organized according to the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), was designed to redraw strategies for women officers to play their role in the fight against crimes, especially child abuse and violence against women and girls. At the two-day event that opened Monday, the women officers from police, military and prison services called for more workshops and regular conferences and establishing anti-GBV centers in all member countries of KICD. They also called for prioritizing countries that need more attention in fighting violence against women and...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/16)
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who a US official said Monday is likely to have been killed in a French air strike, is the notorious commander of group allied to Al-Qaeda in North Africa. One of the world's most-wanted men, the Algerian jihadist was dubbed "Mr Marlboro" for his past involvement in trans-Saharan cigarette smuggling and is easily recognisable by his scarred face. His Al-Murabitoun group claimed responsibility for several major attacks in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and is also known for kidnapping Europeans for ransom. France and its allies have been a prime targets for west African jihadists since French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to root out Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other extremist...
(Xinhuanet 11/29/16)
Experts in capital markets are advocating the acceleration of the bourses markets across Africa in order to drive economic growth on the continent. Speaking at the opening of Africa securities exchanges conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, experts emphasized that capital markets are becoming more important to African economies because they help raise funds for long term investment which will drive Africa into middle income status. Rwanda hosts the 20th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) annual conference from November 27 to 29 dubbed: "The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the Real Economy." The three-day meeting has brought together more than 300 global and regional experts and stakeholders in capital markets, regulators, law firms...
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(AFP (eng) 11/26/16)
Back in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War, the small Caribbean nation of Cuba went to war thousands of miles away in the battlefields of Angola and Ethiopia, leaving thousands dead. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died late Friday, was convinced that the global stage for the "world revolution" was happening in Africa -- and thus Cuba became the first Latin American nation to go to war outside its own continent. Angola and Ethiopia soon became symbols of the "regional conflicts" of the Cold War, in which Washington and Moscow battled for ideological supremacy and power through proxy wars. But Havana's involvement in the fighting fields far from home was to cost it dear. Some 4,300 Cubans...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/16)
The number two of a faction of the Malian jihadist group Ansar Dine operating in northern Mali was arrested Thursday, according to military and security sources. The man was being questioned over an ambush on November 20 in which five soldiers and one civilian were killed as they transported ballot boxes following voting in municipal elections near Timbuktu. The suspect, arrested in Gao, the biggest town in northern Mali, was identified by the sources as Attaher Ag Ihadou. "His group, which is organising attacks south of Gao is behind the one that killed five soldiers last week," the military source said.
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/24/16)
A mother and her four-year-old daughter who were separated after fleeing the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ivory Coast may be reunited in Italy before Christmas after a stroke of luck allowed police to trace the woman, authorities said. The girl, identified only as Oumoh, is one of at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors who have reached Italy this year from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Nov. 5 after being rescued from a rickety boat by the coastguard, police said. "She was quite traumatized, and initially wouldn't speak or communicate," Marilena Cefala, the head of Lampedusa's reception center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation...
(The Guardian 11/23/16)
Rulers of the DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe and others say tide has turned after Obama’s efforts to promote democracy abroad. As the sun rose over Kinshasa on 9 November, Martin Fayulu was awoken by a phone call from a relative in the US telling him to switch on his television – Donald Trump appeared set to become the next US president. Fayulu, an opposition politician at the forefront of recent protests calling for elections to be held on time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, immediately switched on a French channel. “Many Congolese were watching, and a lot had mixed feelings,” he said. Across Africa the interest was equally intense, with the surprise result prompting fierce speculation about the unexpected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
African states failed on Monday to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In an unusual move, African states put forward a draft resolution in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended. However, Latin American countries, supported by Western...

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