Saturday 24 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Over 22,000 refugees have fled fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo to neighbouring Uganda, violence that has left several dead and villages torched, the UN said Tuesday. At least four refugees drowned while crossing the waters of Lake Albert between the two nations, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said. "Last week, over 22,000 Congolese crossed Lake Albert to Uganda in three days, bringing the total number of people from the DRC arriving in the country to about 34,000 since the beginning of the year," UNHCR said Tuesday. "The refugees use small canoes or overcrowded and rickety fishing boats, often carrying more than 250 people and taking up to 10 hours to cross." Violence erupted earlier...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday hailed Donald Trump for speaking "frankly" to Africans, after the US president unleashed a storm by reportedly describing African nations as "shithole countries." "I love Trump because he speaks to Africans frankly. I don't know if he was misquoted or whatever. He talks about Africans' weaknesses frankly," Museveni said in the capital Kampala to members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Trump reportedly used the language at a private White House meeting on...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Monday he regretted stopping executions in his "pre-industrial" country, just days after his vow to resume death sentences alarmed rights groups. Museveni last signed a death warrant in 1999 to execute 28 convicts, while execution under military law was last carried out in 2002. "I saw some NGOs opposing the death sentence. In a pre-industrial society like ours removing death sentence is a recipe for chaos. We believe in the law of Moses; eye for...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni may resume signing off on death sentences after a long hiatus to help stem a wave of crime, he said on Twitter in comments that were quickly denounced by rights activists opposed to capital punishment. Death remains the maximum sentence in Uganda for a range of crimes including murder, treason and defilement, but no executions have taken place since 1999. A prisons service spokesman said there are currently 278 inmates on death row...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s leading lawyers sought on Monday to overturn a law that critics say would allow incumbent leader Yoweri Museveni to effectively become president for life. The law, passed last month, scrapped a constitutional provision that limited the age of a presidential candidate to below 75 years. It clears the way for Museveni, 73, and president since 1986 to seek re-election in 2021 when the next polls are due. Francis Gimara, president of Uganda Law Society (ULS), told...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Three Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers died on Monday while repelling an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting," he said, but denied comment on casualties.
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers on Monday repelled an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting." "The firing started very early while we were still sleeping but stopped around 6:30 am," said Aimee Makinda...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The Congolese army on Saturday announced a new operation against armed groups, notably the ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. Army vehicles transported some 300 troops to the operation's headquarters near Beni in the restive eastern province of North Kivu. Tanks and armoured vehicles were also deployed, according to an AFP correspondent, who added that heavy and light weapons fire could be heard. The Democratic Republic of Congo army "has decided to launch an...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(Reuters 01/03/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has signed a law that scraps a 75-year age cap for presidential candidates, a spokesman for parliament said on Tuesday, a move critics say will allow him to remain in power indefinitely. Museveni, 73, has ruled Uganda for 31 years and could now stand again in the next election, due in 2021, despite increased public anger over corruption, human rights violations and poor social services. Parliament, controlled by Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), approved the constitutional amendment on Dec. 22 amid heavy security deployments across the capital Kampala and outside parliament.
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Uganda's Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill removing presidential age limits, a spokesman said Tuesday, clearing the way for the 73-year-old's expected sixth run at the presidency in 2021. The controversial constitutional amendment removes the age limit of 75 years imposed on presidential candidates and was pushed through by ruling party MPs last month. It was signed by Museveni on December 27 but not publicly acknowledged until now. "The president assented to the bill and it is now...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
Uganda's army on Wednesday claimed that its operations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed over 100 members of a Ugandan Muslim rebel group accused of murdering UN peacekeepers. "Over 100 terrorists were killed with several others wounded and their logistic stores destroyed," said general Richard Karemire, the defence ministry spokesman, in a statement. The ministry said Ugandan forces (UPDF) had launched air and artillery strikes in a joint operation with DR Congo's army (FARDC) on December 22 against the...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Uganda's army said Friday it had launched attacks on a shadowy rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where the militants killed 14 UN peacekeepers earlier this month. Army spokesman Richard Karemire said the air force and long-range artillery were used in the cross-border strike, however no ground troops were deployed in what was described as a "pre-emptive move". He said in a statement that intelligence sharing with the DRC revealed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group was planning "hostile activities" against Uganda.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Ugandan lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to remove presidential age limits, paving the way for President Yoweri Museveni to serve a sixth term in office. The highly controversial bill passed with 315 votes for, 62 against and two abstentions, after three days of chaotic debates in which some opposition MPs were suspended, while others walked out. The bill will pass into law once it is signed by Museveni. Under current laws Museveni, 73, would not be eligible to run for office...

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