Tuesday 22 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Islamist militant attacks in West Africa are increasing in intensity. High-profile strikes on resorts and restaurants that have shattered the area’s tourist industry get most of the attention. Yet barely a week goes by without a deadly incident in a remote rural zone where some of the world’s poorest people live. Instability in the region affects Europe because it benefits organized crime networks which are engaged in the smuggling and trafficking of migrants to the shores of Italy. 1. What’s the source of the trouble? Mainly continuing instability in Mali and, further afield, in Libya, where turmoil has opened up smuggling routes and access to weapons. A French military intervention in 2013 dealt a heavy...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(APA 08/10/17)
The third edition of the International Youth Forum kicked off in Niamey on Wednesday under the theme "Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250-2015 and illegal migration in West Africa and Sahel.” 16 African countries are represented at this meeting of African youth organized jointly by the regional office of the Pan-African Union of Youth and Niger’s National Council of Youth (CNJN). For two days delegates will discuss the UNSC resolution which Niger’s minister of State, Albade Abouba said "urges us to examine ways and ...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Rescue teams have saved a thousand African migrants abandoned by people smugglers in the Niger part of the Sahara desert in recent months, the UN's International Office of Migration (IOM) said Wednesday. "A total of 1,000 migrants have been rescued since April of this year in northern Niger by the (IOM's) search and rescue operations," the agency said. "More dangerous routes are being used by smugglers," it said, after carrying out a six-day assessment of the Tenere desert and in Niger's border region with Libya, where migrants wait to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe. The IOM is running search and rescue operations under the so-called ...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Traffickers in Niger are taking African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe on more dangerous routes through the Sahara desert in order to avoid detection after a government crackdown on smuggling, the U.N. migration agency said on Tuesday. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it had rescued 1,000 migrants since April in Niger's desert north, a transit point to Libya, from where more than 600,000 people have set out on flimsy boats for Europe in...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
Niger's president has sounded the alarm over his country's world-leading birth rate, labelling the average of over seven children per household a "handicap" to development in the impoverished west African nation. Mahamadou Issoufou said that at the current rate, Niger's population would more than double by 2035 and hit 75 million by the middle of the century. "Common sense compels us to reflect now on this future," he said Wednesday during a televised address on the 57th anniversary of Niger's...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
French and German support for a regional Sahel force to battle jihadists will persuade other European nations of the benefits of backing the counter-terror measure, Germany's defence minister said Tuesday. Ursula von der Leyen spoke to journalists in Bamako after talks with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, arriving six days after a helicopter crash in the country's north killed two German crew who were monitoring clashes for the United Nations mission to Mali. Von der Leyen said the discussion had centred on the autumn deployment of the force from the so-called "G5 Sahel" countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger)
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
Fear of Boko Haram attacks has driven at least 7,000 people from Niger to seek refuge in Chad in the last week, and thousands more may cross the border if the violence escalates, the United Nations said on Monday. The recent arrivals in Chad's Lake region felt compelled to leave Niger after attacks by Islamist Boko Haram militants on their village and neighboring communities in the southeastern Diffa region, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). Diffa has seen intense...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
Twenty-three west African migrants, including a seven-year-old girl, were found alive after being abandoned in the depths of the Sahara, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday An IOM worker told AFP the migrants were found some 300 kilometres (180 miles) from the Niger city of Agadez, a key hub on the edge of the Sahara for African migrants trying to reach Europe. The group, which included Gambians and Senegalese, told the IOM they had been abandoned by their driver. They waited for him for six days before giving up and walking for two more days in the desert.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Denied an education by the Islamist insurgency of militant group Boko Haram, tens of thousands of children across the Lake Chad region are instead tuning into lessons broadcast over the radio, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. The radio syllabus is providing lessons on literacy and numeracy, and staying safe amid the violence, to about 200,000 displaced and out-of-school children in the Far North region of Cameroon and Niger's southern Diffa region,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
The conflict in Mali is spilling over to Burkina Faso and Niger, with a significant surge of attacks by extremist groups in border areas over past months, the UN envoy for West Africa warned Thursday. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said deadly attacks along border areas were having an impact on the local economy in the northern provinces of Burkina Faso and western regions of Niger. "In the Sahel, persistent instability in Mali is spilling over to Burkina Faso and Niger, with...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
At least 27 hippos have been slaughtered in a touristy zone in western Niger by villagers who blame them for destroying crops and harming livestock, local authorities said on Thursday. The "massacre ...started in March and then assumed dramatic proportions" mainly in island settlements on the Niger river, the prefect of the Ayorou region, Jando Rhichi Algaher, told AFP. Large numbers of hippos and several bird species have made Ayorou, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the capital Niamey, a popular place for tourists. Patrols by troops "have helped slow the slaughter", Algaher said. "The locals have killed a large number
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Niger authorities rescued 67 West African migrants in Niger's northern desert this week after traffickers left them there without food or water, a humanitarian source told AFP on Friday. One of the migrants later died. "Sixty-seven migrants near death were saved (Wednesday) by defence and security forces near the town of Seguedine in the middle of the desert," the source said. The migrants had left the town of Agadez "on three vehicles" before being "abandoned without provisions by the traffickers," the source added. Agadez is a remote town in Niger on the edge of the Sahara that has become the smuggling capital of Africa...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
An air strike by Niger's army has killed 14 displaced people who were mistaken for jihadists in the restive southeast where Boko Haram Islamists have staged regular attacks, regional officials said Thursday. The victims were farmers who had fled the area around the village of Abadam on the Nigerian border due to the raging insurgency. They were killed in an air strike Wednesday as they returned to check on their crops, officials said. Abadam lies within an evacuated no-go zone which is only accessible with prior authorisation and officials said military personnel assumed they must have been Boko Haram...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/06/17)
Soldiers in Niger killed 14 unarmed civilians after mistaking them for Boko Haram militants during a patrol in the remote southeast of the country, a senior regional official said on Thursday. Nigerien soldiers were patrolling a militarily restricted zone around the village of Abadam near Lake Chad on Wednesday afternoon when they opened fire on what turned out to be farmers, according to Yahaya Godi, the Secretary General of the Diffa region of southeast Niger. "Fourteen people are dead. Abadam...

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