Thursday 29 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Angola has threatened to jail 51 people for up to six weeks over a protest by campaigners seeking independence for an eastern region of the oil-rich country, activists said Wednesday. Police fired on the thousand-strong march staged by the Lunda Chokwe Protectorate (LCP) movement on Saturday in the town of Cuango, 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of the capital Luanda, killing one and injuring 13 others. Cuango is in the north of the vast region that separatists want to see independent which, according to some claims, comprises Angola's entire eastern half. The jail time can be avoided if those detained pay a fine. "Fifty-one people... arrested last Saturday who were not with violent elements or...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Four Nigerian women are taking legal action in the Dutch courts against Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell accusing it of complicity in the 1990s executions of their husbands by the Nigerian military, Amnesty International said Thursday. The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel, the widow of Barinem Kiobel, who was hanged in 1995 along with writer and campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others. Three other widows are also joining the action in The Hague. A writ was set to be placed before a civil court in The Hague on Thursday alleging that Shell was complicit "in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men who were hanged by Nigeria's military government in the 1990s," Amnesty said in a...
(Bloomberg 06/28/17)
A standoff between rival militias in the Central African Republic is preventing aid workers in the southeastern town of Bria from collecting bodies that have lain in the streets since Tuesday. “The two warring parties have received nothing but reinforcements in the last 72 hours and residents are very worried,” Gildas Gbeni, who heads the Catholic Church in Bria, said by phone Saturday. “The local Red Cross has collected bodies of fighters and civilians but there are still areas where access is difficult.” Fighting erupted Tuesday between so-called anti-balaka militias and a faction of the FPRC, an organization that belonged to the mainly Muslim rebel alliance that ousted ex-President Francois...
(La Croix 06/28/17)
Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui has denied authorizing the signing in his name of a “political agreement for peace in the Central African Republic” sponsored by the Sant’Egidio community. Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga said he did not sign or authorize a representative to sign a “political agreement for peace in the Central African Republic” sponsored by the Sant'Egidio community. The aim of the ten-page document was to put an end to violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). But a few...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
A top anti-corruption investigator probing the judiciary has been shot in southern Nigeria, the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Wednesday. Austin Okwor, an operative in the property fraud section of the EFCC, was leaving his Port Harcourt office late on Saturday when gunmen shot him, said spokesman Wilson Uwujaren. Okwor "escaped death by the whiskers" and sustained bullet wounds, said Uwujaren, adding he had received "threat messages" in recent months. "This incident underlines the hazards which operatives of...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
A South African who has been held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011 is alive and well, his father said Wednesday, having received information from a recently released Swedish captive. Stephen McGown's father Malcolm said he had spoken twice to Johan Gustafsson, who was detained alongside Stephen, since his release earlier this week. "He said they were both well, he says Stephen is well. So there has not been any sort of abuse or anything like that," McGown told AFP. "We just sort of hope that Stephen will come out soon. At this stage he is now on his own,"
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Suspected acute diarrhoea has killed 38 Sudanese in the past month and 317 since August 2016, the UN said Wednesday, warning the outbreak could worsen ahead of the rainy season. The UN children's agency -- or UNICEF -- said cases of suspected acute diarrhoea were reported across 12 of the North African country's 18 states during this period. "Over 16,600 cases of acute watery diarrhoea in the past 10 months alone were reported with 317 deaths, which is a rate...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Tanzania's President John Magufuli plans to speed up the building of a hydroelectric dam in one of Africa's largest game reserves, despite criticism from environmentalists and UNESCO. The long-planned dam in the Selous Game Reserve, already listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in danger, could provide 2,100 megawatts of power to a country where only two percent of rural people and 39 percent of urbanites have access to electricity, according to UN figures. In a presidency statement issued Tuesday,...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third largest gold miner, said Wednesday it was considering 8,500 job cuts in South Africa as part of a turnaround strategy to curb losses. "This restructuring contemplates some 8,500 roles across AngloGold Ashanti's South African business," the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. The firm employs around 28,000 people. It said challenges faced in South Africa included the "near-depletion of ore reserves" while some older mines had become uneconomic. "This is a difficult decision which follows a period of significant and ultimately unsustainable losses...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/17)
Over 50 African migrants are feared dead in the Sahara desert of northern Niger on Tuesday after being abandoned by their drivers, aid workers and local officials said on Tuesday. A convoy of three pick-up trucks were transporting over 70 migrants north through the Sahara Desert towards Libya -- a typical route for West Africans seeking to reach Europe -- when the drivers abandoned them. Twenty-three of the migrants survived after walking to a nearby town for help, the International...
(AfricaNews 06/28/17)
Internet connection in Congo-Brazzaville was restored on Saturday after 15 days of nationwide disruptions and slowdowns that started since June 9, 2017, after a damage to the country’s main submarine cables. It was restored ahead of the five-week projected period given by the technical team working on the cut cable. Network providers confirmed days after the outage that the problem was caused by a submarine cable cut off in the Atlantic Ocean near the economic capital Pointe-Noire. Cedric Nzimbou, a network engineer with SkyTic Telecom – one of the country’s major network providers – told Africanews that the “12-kilometer fibre optic West African Cable System (WACS) that connects the country through Pointe-Noire...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Gaza's rulers Hamas said they had begun building a new buffer zone along the southern border with Egypt on Wednesday, as the Islamist movement seeks to improve ties with Cairo. The 100-metre wide "safe area", stretching 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) along the border between the Palestinian enclave and Egypt, will be equipped with surveillance cameras and military posts, officials said. "It will be a closed military area and therefore it will be easier to oversee the border and prevent smuggling of drugs and infiltrators," Deputy Interior Minister Tawfiq Abu Naim told AFP.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Kenyan literary icon Ngugi wa Thiong'o, often tipped for the Nobel literature prize, has pulled out of an annual Swedish book fair in protest at the presence of a right-wing extremist newspaper, his publisher said Wednesday. The 75-year-old author of "A Grain of Wheat" (1967) and "Petals of Blood (1975), wrote an e-mail to his Swedish publisher Modernista informing them he would cancel his attendance at the Gothenburg Book Fair "in solidarity with the writers withdrawing and of course with the concerns behind their withdrawal," referring...
(AfricaNews 06/28/17)
Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has rejected the candidacy of 35-year-old Diane Shima Rwigara for not meeting filing requirements. She and four other candidates fell short of required number of signatures, NEC Chairman, Kalisa Mbanda told journalists on Tuesday. The independent presidential aspirants, who are required to present 600 signatures each from all the 30 districts, have until Sunday to provide the remainder. “We verified the signatures and the independent candidates fell short of the required number in all districts. They have five days to bring the missing elements in their files.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The governor of Congo's restive eastern province of Nord-Kivu urged the army Wednesday to beef up operations against a spate of militia attacks there, saying all-out war may be imminent. "I am alerting in particular the army chief of staff to refocus its strategy after these new incursions. There is a looming threat of a fresh war," Julien Paluku told a press conference. An unprecedented string of attacks in the last few days against border posts and army positions in DR Congo's troubled east have been attributed to the Mai-Mai, a "self-defence" militia comprising members of several ethnic groups in the region.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Zimbabwean pastor and political activist Evan Mawarire was freed on $200 bail Wednesday after his arrest for speaking to striking medical students. Mawarire had been addressing students protesting a doubling of tuition fees Monday when he and a student at the University of Zimbabwe were taken into custody. Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa released the pair on bail, ordering them to report to the police every Friday and surrender their passports. Scores of placard-carrying students had gathered Monday at the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus, chanting and singing in protest against a hike in tuition fees from $450 (396 euros) to $900 (791 euros) a year.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
A Gabonese opposition figure who earlier this month threatened violence if President Ali Bongo failed to resign has been placed in preventive custody, the state prosecutor said Wednesday. Roland Desire Aba'a Minko "was placed in preventive detention ... Tuesday night after being charged with threatening state security, inciting rebellion and circulating fake news to undermine public order," prosecutor Steeve Ndong Essame Ndong told AFP. Aba'a Minko had earlier this month issued an ultimatum to Bongo to step down before the...
(AfricaNews 06/28/17)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has stated that his country will proceed with the ban on used clothes despite threats by the United States to review trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. He told local media last week that Rwanda will choose to grow its local textile industry at the expense of being a member of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). “This is the choice we find that we have to make. As far as I am concerned,...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Eight people, including four children returning to school after Eid celebrations, were killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia, police said. "We have eight victims -- four children and four police," a police spokesman told AFP following the explosion between Mararani and Kiunga, just a handful of kilometres (miles) from the border. The blast bore the hallmarks of similar bombings blamed on Shabaab Islamists who have targeted security forces in the past in the region. Seven police officers and ...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Sudan expressed hopes on Tuesday that a US court's decision to partially reinstate a travel ban that includes its citizens will not harm its bid to have American sanctions lifted. The US Supreme Court on Monday partially reinstated President Donald Trump's travel ban imposing restrictions on citizens from Sudan, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Syria. The ruling comes just weeks ahead of an expected decision by Trump on whether to permanently lift the United States' 20-year-old trade embargo on the...

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