Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Three people carrying a coffin marked with President Yoweri Museveni's name were arrested in western Uganda on Friday and will be charged with "illegal assembly", police said. The three men were arrested in Mbarara, 300 kilometres (186 miles) west of the capital Kampala, after holding the mock funeral procession despite police orders not to gather for a protest. "The three carried a coffin with the inscription 'Rest in Peace, Museveni' and a portrait of the president", said Samson Kasasira, a regional police spokesman.
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(BBC News Africa 07/05/17)
Public servants in Uganda are facing a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to "dress decently". Female staff have been told not to show any cleavage, wear brightly coloured nails, braids or hair extensions, sleeveless or transparent blouses. Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, while trousers should not be tight-fitting. Staff failing to comply will be disciplined. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants. But there is a feeling...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
Men wearing South Sudanese military uniforms have launched two raids on a hamlet over the border in Uganda in recent weeks, residents said, stealing cattle and raising fears that a near four-year-old conflict is spreading. The gunmen also tried to seize refugees from Gbari in the first reported attacks on Ugandan soil since the start of South Sudan's civil war, locals told Reuters. "I am afraid, they may come ... and burn all the houses," said Martin Koma, 44, from the village. South Sudan's army denied any involvement. But the reports will alarm regional and world powers, struggling to contain ethnically-charged killings and atrocities that the U.N. has warned could lead to genocide. South Sudanese gunmen have already killed and...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
For the last decade Ugandans have known two presidents: Yoweri Museveni, the country's long-time ruler, and musician Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine, a.k.a. His Excellency the Ghetto President. But in a surprising turn the 35-year-old reggae star -- who was just three when Museveni took power at the head of a rebel army -- on Thursday won a landslide victory in a city by-election to become the country's newest lawmaker. Wine is a spectacularly popular Ugandan entertainer. For many, he embodies the struggles, frustrations and hopes of the young, poor and marginalised in a youthful nation whose often elderly rulers can seem dismissive of their plight. The by-election in the teeming capital Kampala was called due to voting irregularities during...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(RFI(EN) 06/27/17)
Uganda is hosting the first UN-backed Refugee Solidarity Summit to find support for the over 1.3 million refugees in the country over the next four years. Opening Thursday in Kampala, the two-day summit aims to raise two billion dollars a year for the second largest refugee-hosting country globally after Turkey and to showcase Uganda’s celebrated refugee model. Uganda now has a refugee population of 1.3 million and, with more new arrivals each day than any other country, it has earned a reputation as a haven for people fleeing violence. The Ugandan government has not only opened its borders to refugees but also gives them land, education and a chance to work so as to integrate them into Ugandan society and...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
The international community pledged $358 million at a fundraising summit Friday to help Uganda tackle the world's fastest growing refugee crisis, falling well short of expectations. Organisers had hoped the meeting in the central city of Entebbe would raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) to help nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing civil war. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pledges were a good beginning, but that more was needed. "I think it is a very good start but we cannot stop," he said. However, Yuna Cho of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Uganda said, "The outcome is disappointing, worrying". "Although the number of people currently crossing the border is decreasing that didn't mean that the problem...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for international solidarity with Uganda at a fundraising summit to help the country deal with nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing war. Held in Entebbe, Uganda, the summit hopes to raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) to help tackle the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis triggered by continuing civil war in South Sudan. Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stood out in a world where many countries are turning their backs on foreigners in need. On Thursday, he visited refugee camps in northern Uganda, close to the South Sudan border, which have popped up over the last year, quickly becoming the largest in the world. Speaking to delegates, Guterres said the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. "In a world in which so many people are selfishly closing their doors, closing their borders not allowing refugees to come (Uganda) deserves praise and admiration from the whole of the international community," he said. He urged...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
The U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday it was reviewing trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after a complaint over a ban on imports of used clothing into the East African market. USTR said the "out-of-cycle" review was in response to a petition filed by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), which complained that the ban "imposed significant hardship" on the U.S. used-clothing industry. "Through the out-of-cycle review, USTR and trade-related agencies will assess the allegations contained within the SMART petition and review whether Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are adhering to AGOA's eligibility requirements," USTR said in a statement. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
The outlawed Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo close to the South Sudanese border as a U.S.-supported regional task force pulls out, the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report on Friday. Forty rebels from the group, which is led by Joseph Kony, kidnapped 61 civilians in a June 7 raid in the Tanganyika mining area near the Garamba National Park in Haut-Uele province, the report said, citing local civil society and aid workers. The civilians were released after being forced to move goods and food looted by the LRA, and an unknown number of villagers subsequently fled to the nearby town of Gangala Nabodio. There had been no LRA-related displacement for more...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The United Nations said Tuesday it feared a "security vacuum" in central Africa after the withdrawal of Ugandan, South Sudanese and US troops formerly tracking Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony. One of Africa's longest-surviving rebel groups, the Lord's Resistance Army has terrorized parts of central Africa for 30 years. Since being set up by Kony in 1987, it is accused of slaughtering more than 100,000 people and abducting 60,000 children who were forced to become sex slaves and soldiers. But on April 19, Uganda began withdrawing troops from the eastern Central African Republic (CAR). And 100 special forces soldiers from US Africa Command (AFRICOM) wrapped up their operation...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...

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