Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Tunisia's navy has found the bodies of 26 migrants at sea a week after their boat collided with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll to 34, the defence ministry said. On October 8, a migrant boat sank following a collision with a navy vessel off the coast of the Kerkennah islands in the Mediterranean. At the time, the defence ministry said eight migrants drowned and 38 others were rescued, while NGOs spoke of dozens still missing. On Sunday night, a navy search and rescue vessel spotted the remains of the migrant boat and pulled out 10 bodies, the ministry said in a statement. The bodies of 16 other migrants were found on Monday, defence...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
LOUGA, Senegal (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Watching as dozens of children don robes and belts for a karate class at a youth center in western Senegal, Aissatou and her peers are gearing up for a different kind of fight. Armed only with leaflets, posters and advice, these young volunteers are taking on a deeply entrenched taboo in the mainly Muslim nation: the use of contraception among girls and women. “Girls are scared of seeing relatives at a health center, or being judged by staff,” said Aissatou, one of 50 volunteers in the Louga region who advise young people about family planning and encourage them to seek health services at the youth center. “We offer a safe space to discuss sex,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana and Ivory Coast set up a body on Tuesday to implement an international tribunal ruling on their dispute over a border running through multibillion dollar offshore oilfields, they said in a statement. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea last month drew an ocean boundary that seemed to favour Ghana in a dispute with its neighbour Ivory Coast, ruling that Accra had not violated Ivorian rights in drilling for oil. “Following last month’s ruling,...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Somalia's allies sent planes carrying medical supplies and doctors Tuesday, while the diaspora rallied to donate blood to help the country cope with the crushing aftermath of its worst ever bombing. At least 276 people were killed and 300 injured on Saturday when a truck packed with explosives blew up in a busy commercial district, according to the government, however medical sources suggest the death toll could be over 300. The disaster quickly overwhelmed the fragile health system of a country which has experienced nearly three decades of civil war and anarchy and is heavily dependent on foreign aid.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - South Sudanese opposition groups tried to forge a united front on Monday ahead of an expected resumption of peace talks, in the first such meeting since the start of their country’s civil war nearly four years ago, attendees told Reuters. South Sudan’s civil war, triggered by a feud between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, has plunged parts of the world’s youngest nation into famine and forced a third of the population - some four million...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - When Somalia’s deadliest truck bomb exploded on Saturday, Abdi Ali Ibrahim raced to the smoking crater just meters from where his beloved sister Asha had a small business selling fuel. The truck had detonated next to a fuel tanker causing a huge fireball and the road was strewn with body parts. Hopeful that Asha, a pregnant mother-of-two, may have been injured and taken away by ambulance, Ibrahim embarked on a frantic round of Mogadishu’s hospitals, starting with...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
A critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame asked him to free her and her detained mother and sister as she stood in court on Monday charged with forgery and "inciting insurrection". Diane Shima Rwigara, who was barred from running against Kagame in August elections, moved to comfort her mother Adeline and sister Anne as they cried during the hearing. ”I request the president release me and my family,” she said. She told the court she was “being victimised ... because...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
A Rwandan court on Monday began hearing a case against a woman who showed interest in August's presidential election for inciting insurrection and forgery. Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old businesswoman, appeared with her mother and sister on Monday at Intermediate Court of Nyarugenge in the capital city of Kigali and denied the charges. Prosecutors provided whatsapp audio messages retrieved from suspects' mobile phones which were played in court to prove their allegations. Some 12 audio messages were played. The hearing is scheduled to continue on Wednesday. The hearing started days after court postponed four previous sessions on being asked by the defence. Rwigara were arrested on Sept.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Talks between representatives of rival authorities in strife-torn Libya have hit a new snag after a parliamentary delegation suspended its participation in the UN-backed discussions hosted by Tunisia. Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi have left Libya divided between rival governments and beset by violence as militia forces battle for power. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli since March 2016, has struggled to impose its authority across the country, particularly in the far east, dominated by military strongman Khalifa Haftar who supports a rival parliament.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Tanzanian opposition figure Tundu Lissu, who was shot and critically injured at his home last month, is now out of intensive care, his party CHADEMA said Tuesday. Lissu, who was attacked on September 7, left the unit at a hospital in Nairobi last week, after having undergone 17 operations, CHADEMA chief Freeman Mbowe told media in Dar es Salaam. He can now eat and sit without help and no longer requires respiratory support, Mbowe said. When Lissu eventually leaves hospital,...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma sacked a vocal critic from his cabinet on Tuesday, a move set to deepen tensions before the ANC chooses a new party leader in December. In his second reshuffle this year, Zuma dropped higher education minister Blade Nzimande, a veteran member of the South African Communist Party, which is a key political ally within the ruling ANC alliance. The SACP hit back at the "authoritarianism" of Zuma, who the SACP has repeatedly called to resign over corruption scandals. "This is an act of provocation," the party's deputy secretary general Solly Mapaila told reporters.
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday sent condolences to his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, over the deadly truck bombing in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. In a message of condolences, Xi said he was shocked to learn the bombing that had caused heavy casualties. On behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in his own name, Xi mourned the dead, extended heartfelt sympathy to the injured and the bereaved families and wished the injured a quick recovery. At...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
More than 20,000 migrants, including pregnant women and babies, are being held either in detention centres or by traffickers in Libya's people-smuggling hub Sabratha, the UN said Tuesday, warning of abuse "on a shocking scale". The UN refugee agency said Libyan authorities were holding more than 14,500 migrants who had previously been kept captive by smugglers in and around Sabratha, to the west of Tripoli. The migrants were discovered in farms, houses and warehouses in and around the coastal city after a force allied with Libya's UN-backed unity government drove out a rival militia earlier this month. They have been taken to a hangar in the city and are gradually being transferred to official detention centres where aid...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Two teenagers were among four people killed in violence in Togo's second city after an imam close to the main opposition was arrested, the government and a rights group said Tuesday. "Two soldiers on guard duty at the home of a VIP were lynched and executed and their weapons and ammunition were taken," the government said in a statement. "A young person also died and about 20 other civilians and members of the security forces were injured," it added. Amnesty...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s navy has recovered 26 more bodies of Tunisian migrants who drowned when their boat sank last week in a collision with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll from the incident to 34. The incident has caused anger in Tunisia where the families of some of the migrants who drowned protested in two towns. In the southern town of Kebili, protesters burned a local government building last week. Last Monday, the navy recovered eight bodies after...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday despite opposition from the United States and a leading rights group. DR Congo was among the 15 countries who won seats during a vote at the UN General Assembly. They will serve on the 47-member council from January 2018 through the end of 2020. Kinshasa now finds itself in the rare position of sitting on the Geneva-based council while the body investigates allegations of killings,...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Zimbabwe has banned the importation of fruit and vegetables to save scarce foreign currency in the face of a worsening economic crisis, state media reported Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told The Herald that President Robert Mugabe had directed that the importation of horticultural products be stopped "as they waste much-needed foreign currency". "This means that the importation of fruit and vegetables will be stopped immediately." "The foreign currency being wasted on the importation of carrots and grapes will now...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Opposition leader Raila Odinga said Tuesday he was suspending a protest campaign after three people were shot dead in demonstrations against Kenya's election body. "In honour of the innocent victims of the state, our protests will stay suspended. On Friday, we will mark the memory of these victims as heroes of the struggle for electoral justice," he said in a statement. The National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition had earlier said the protests would resume on Wednesday after a one-day break to honour the victims. Odinga said the party would communicate "our next course of action" on Friday. Odinga launched a protest campaign three weeks ago against the Independent Electoral...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Cameroon's Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Monday began a visit to a troubled English-speaking region as part of what he termed a "dialogue" with the country's anglophone minority, state radio said. Yang travelled to Bamenda, the main town in Cameroon's Northwest Region, where he met the heads of trade unions in the transport, education and shopping sectors, as well as with bankers and other business figures, Cameroon Radio Television (CrTV) said. He delivered "a message of peace and living in harmony" while those who met him put forward proposals "for a definitive way out of the crisis," it said, without giving further details.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists in Tunisia has risen by 24 percent so far this year, official data showed, indicating that a vital industry crippled two years ago by Islamist attacks on holidaymakers is recovering. Tourism accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product, provides thousands of jobs and is a key source of foreign currency, but has struggled since two deadly militant attacks in 2015. A total of 5.55 million foreign tourists visited the...

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