Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Ministers from 13 African and European countries held talks along with the EU on Friday on cracking down on migrant traffickers, with France calling for firmer action on smuggling networks in African countries. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called on counterparts in the Nigerien capital Niamey to take action "as close as possible to the countries of origin and transit of migrants." Niger, one of the large nations lying south of the Sahara in West Africa, has become one of the main routes for African migrants heading north to the Mediterranean coast in the hope of crossing to Europe. The "conference on coordination of the struggle against traffickers of migrants" was attended by ministers from...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Protests over illegal immigration gripping the French island of Mayotte off Africa's coast have an unexpected epicentre: a maternity ward packed to bursting point. The main hospital in Mayotte, wedged between Madagascar and the southeast African mainland, is now home to the busiest maternity ward in France -- mostly serving migrant mothers. So great is the influx of mothers from the neighbouring Comoros islands -- which are much poorer and not part of France -- that the government is now considering the drastic step of declaring the hospital as non-French territory. Hadidja, one of the few Comoran mothers willing to speak to journalists, admitted with some embarrassment that she is here because she wants her children "to be French". Like...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Israel's supreme court on Thursday suspended a controversial government plan to deport thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants in response to a challenge from those opposed to the move. The court said in its decision the state was given until March 26 to provide further information and the suspension on deporting them to a third country would remain in place until then. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January announced implementation of the programme to remove migrants who entered illegally, giving...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
Africa and other developing regions are becoming increasingly significant battlegrounds in the effort to combat the spread of smoking, an anti-smoking campaign group warned on Thursday. But most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have inadequate monitoring of tobacco use, according to the authors of the newly reissued "Tobacco Atlas" of global tobacco control efforts and challenges. Globally, the battle to end the scourge of tobacco is still long. Smoking claims nearly seven million lives yearly around the world from cancer and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Philanthropist Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday that he will spend $20 million (16.13 million euros) to launch a watchdog to detect and expose deceptive practices by the tobacco industry. The monitor, to be called Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), will seek to counter the industry's influence by publishing reports detailing pro-smoking activities and tactics. It will also support non-profit organisations and government to resist interference from the tobacco industry. "Over the last decade tobacco control measures have saved nearly...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Hundreds of African migrants launched a hunger strike to protest Israel's implementation of its controversial policy to expel or indefinitely imprison them, a spokesman for the group said Wednesday. Israel has resolved to expel thousands of Eritreans and Sudanese who entered illegally over the years, giving them an ultimatum to leave or risk being imprisoned indefinitely. As the migrants could face danger or imprisonment if returned to their homelands, Israel is offering to relocate them to an unnamed third country,...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
A three-month old baby has died after being picked up by rescuers at sea off Libya, because bad weather and a lack of boats made a medical evacuation impossible, aid organisations said Thursday. Over 1,650 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean since Tuesday, including many women and children. While some were brought to land Thursday, hundreds of others could be trapped for days yet by stormy seas. The Proactiva Open Arms and Sea Watch 3, which have plucked over...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
A jihadist group linked to Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks on US and French troops in west Africa, in a statement published Friday by Mauritania's ANI news agency. The group, led by Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui, said it was behind "an attack against an American commando unit in Niger in October." On October 4, four US and four Niger troops were killed in an ambush at Tongo Tongo, a village close to the Mali border. That attack had been blamed on the jihadists but it is only now that the group claimed responsibility.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
The United Nations on Tuesday called on Israel to scrap a new programme forcing thousands of African migrants out of the country, condemning it as incoherent and unsafe. The programme is targeting an estimated 38,000 people, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan. Israel has offered them $3,500 (2,900 euros) and a plane ticket if they leave by March, warning they may face arrest after the deadline. The plan was widely criticised when first unveiled last year, but the UN refugee agency...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Nigeria's former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu led a team of African all-stars in a charity football match on Thursday, to raise money for people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency and highlight their plight. Kanu, Senegal's El-Hadji Diouf, Fabian McCarthy of South Africa and Cyrille Mubiala from the Democratic Republic of Congo were in a side that took on Nigeria Premier League side Kano Pillars at Kano's Sani Abacha stadium. The home side won 2-1 in front of a 16,000-strong...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
From forced labour in Libya to a job as a founding member of an Italian fashion start-up, Bassirou has come a long way in two years, thanks to his skills with scissors. The 26-year-old Burkina Faso native is the star student of a novel project aimed at training asylum seekers in one of Italy's most emblematic crafts: making leather handbags And after a 15-month apprenticeship, Bassirou has just become the first employee of a small company set up with the...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...

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