| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(Andalou Agency 03/24/17)
North African nation gears up for controversial referendum on proposed constitutional changes. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel-Aziz on Thursday said he would not hold any fresh political dialogue with the country’s opposition. Speaking at a press conference in capital Nouakchott, Abdel-Aziz said his priority was to prepare for a popular referendum on a raft of proposed constitutional amendments. He denied that he or his government had been subject to pressure -- by either the UN or the EU -- to enter into a fresh round of talks with Mauritanian opposition parties. "The notion of such pressure exists only in the minds of those who spend their time in this or that foreign embassy,” Abdel-Aziz asserted...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
A contentious amendment to Mauritania's constitution, which would abolish the Senate and change the national flag, will be put to a referendum "as quickly as possible," the president said Wednesday. The proposal to modify the constitution, which has been in force since 1991, was approved by lawmakers in the lower house of the west African Islamic republic but rejected by 33 out of 56 senators earlier this month. "Due to this rejection, we have arrived at an impasse. But there is one way out: we will hold a referendum," said President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at a press conference late Wednesday.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
Mauritania's lawmakers voted Thursday to get rid of the parliament's upper chamber, and alter the country's flag to better represent those who battled for independence from France. Lawmakers in the lower house of the west African Islamic republic passed a contentious constitutional amendment package by 121 votes to 19 including the measures. The changes will now be considered by the Senate, where the government also has a majority, meaning the body will have to vote on its own abolition and replacement by regional councils. The government has a majority in both chambers.
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Troops from five Sahel countries plan to set up a new counter-terror force in the region, where alarm over the jihadist threat is mounting, leaders said Monday in Mali's capital. The announcement came as leaders of the Sahel G5 states -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- that describe themselves as "in the frontline against terrorism", met to discuss the desert zone's perilous security situation. The gathering took place barely three weeks after the worst attack in the region for years, the January 18 suicide bombing in the northern Malian city of Gao that left almost 80 people dead.
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...
(Bloomberg 01/19/17)
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh is negotiating stepping down with Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as regional forces mass on the West African country’s borders to force him to cede power to Adama Barrow, who won an election last month, two people familiar with the situation said. Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia since 1994, is seeking a security detail and clearance to take his assets, the regional officials said, asking not to be identified because a public announcement has not...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/17)
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz flew straight to Senegal to meet President Macky Sall after last ditch talks in Gambia aiming to resolve a crisis over its election, a Senegalese presidential source told Reuters on Thursday. Aziz left Gambia shortly before midnight, when Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh's presidential mandate expired. Senegal, with backing from regional leaders, has threatened to invade Gambia to depose Jammeh if he does not immediately hand over power to challenger Adama Barrow, who beat him...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Saudi Arabia and Mauritania will exchange intelligence and increase cooperation on military training and logistics, Mauritanian media reported Thursday. Mauritania forms part of the Saudi-led military coalition currently battling Huthi rebels and Al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen, while contending with its own jihadist threat at home. The west African nation has yet to send troops to Yemen, however. An accord signed Wednesday declared that "military training and the exchange of intelligence" would be prioritised between the two conservative Islamic nations, the official AMI news agency reported.
(AFP (eng) 12/30/16)
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Thursday warned troops stationed in Africa's Sahel region that they should "prepare for a long war" against jihadists. He also promised Chad, where French troops have been stationed since 2014 under Operation Barkhane, his nation's financial support. "Our country must continue to make clear and ambitious budgetary decisions in support of our armies," Cazeneuve said on his first overseas visit as prime minister. The Barkhane forces' mission is to target jihadist groups that are active in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed...
(AFP (eng) 11/12/16)
Across Africa, the approaching presidency of Donald Trump has provoked deep uncertainty over how the United States will pursue policies ranging from counter-terrorism and trade, to aid and climate change. Many African countries had high hopes that Barack Obama would bring transformative benefits to the continent and were left disappointed as he winds down his time in office. But Trump's rise to power poses fresh questions that reveal the lack of concrete detail on his foreign policy plans -- while...

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