Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/31/18)
Voting began Saturday in Sierra Leone in the final round of a delayed run-off presidential election after a campaign marked by verbal sparring, sporadic violence and a last-minute legal battle. A wafer-thin margin separated the two frontrunners after the first round on March 7, adding to tensions in the West African country where political loyalties are often divided along ethnic lines and traumatic memories of civil war run deep. Opposition challenger Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) had a narrow edge over Samura Kamara of the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC), in a ballot with a turnout of more than 80 percent. "So far this morning, everything is normal, it is...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has won a second term with 96.9 percent of valid votes, state media reported on Friday, raising a previous tally from the preliminary count. The flagship state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram also raised its estimate of turnout in the March 26-28 election to 42.08 percent, saying 25 million of Egypt's 60 million registered voters had cast ballots. On Tuesday, the paper had reported that Sisi was reelected with 92 percent of the vote on a turnout of just over 40 percent. It gave no explanation for the upward revisions. Sisi, who as army chief ousted Egypt's first freely elected president -- Islamist Mohamed Morsi -- after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
The death toll from an attack by suspected cattle rustlers on a herding village in northern Nigeria's Zamfara state has risen to 36, the local traditional ruler said on Friday. Motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed the village of Bawon-Danji on Wednesday, opening fire on herders and forcing many to flee into the bush. Police and local officials on Thursday said 12 herders were killed on the spot and three were shot dead later in a second attack, which targeted mourners at a...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Long seen as a pioneer for women's rights in the Arab world, Tunisia is pushing ahead with reforms promised after its 2011 revolution -- but campaigners say much remains to be done. The country's 2014 constitution was praised as a key achievement in the revolt that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings. But much of it has yet to be passed into law, including provisions on gender equality. Now, moves are afoot on women's political representation, interfaith marriage and the contentious question of inheritance.
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
A Senegalese court on Friday will deliver a verdict in a high-profile corruption trial that could make or break the presidential ambitions of the capital's popular mayor, Khalifa Sall. After being held in pre-trial detention for nearly a year, Sall went before the court in January and February on charges of embezzling public funds. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison term for Sall and his financial director Mbaye Toure, and a fine worth nearly $10 million (more than eight million...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
At least eight people, including civilians, were killed late Thursday in a suicide car bombing of a security barricade in the east of Libya, the second such attack in less than a month, local security and hospital sources said. A suicide attacker exploded his vehicle at a barricade manned by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar near the city of Ajdabiya some 840 kilometres (520 miles) from Tripoli, general Fawzi al-Mansouri, a top officer in the local security forces,...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
The mayor of Libya's capital Tripoli was released Thursday after being held in detention in confused circumstances, the city council said. Earlier, prosecutors said he had been arrested and interrogated. The council, however, reported he had been kidnapped. Armed men stormed Abdulraouf Hassan Beitelmal's house on Wednesday night and took him "by force of arms", the city council had said in a statement. But Seddik al-Sour, a senior prosecution official, said Beitelmal was "subject to legal procedures" and was being...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
A Mozambican journalist was kidnapped from the streets of the capital Maputo and brutally beaten hours after criticising President Filipe Nyusi's son on TV, his wife told AFP on Thursday. Ericino de Salema was snatched in broad daylight on Tuesday, savagely beaten and dumped two hours later with serious injuries, she said. "He had been tortured and abandoned," his wife Neusa Ribeiro said, adding that doctors considered his condition serious. The incident happened against a backdrop of tense negotiations between...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Lagos, Nigeria's thriving economic capital, was on lockdown Thursday for President Muhammadu Buhari's first official visit to the city as campaigning for next year's presidential polls heats up. In front of the cameras, it was all smiles between Buhari and Bola Tinubu, a political grandee who played a pivotal role in securing the key region surrounding Lagos for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party in 2015 but has since been sidelined. Buhari, from Nigeria's mostly Muslim north, has not...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Tensions between Angola's president and his long-serving predecessor have erupted into the open as an anti-corruption drive targets the former ruler's family. President Joao Lourenco has pledged to crusade against entrenched state corruption and nepotism since taking over in September from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years. Battling graft is a cornerstone of Lourenco's promised "economic miracle" that he hopes will halt the oil-dependent country's economic slump caused by stubbornly low crude prices. A once-loyal minister under Dos Santos, Lourenco has purged state-run corporations of leaders appointed by his former boss.
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Equatorial Guinea carried out a wave of arrests and torture after an attempted coup last December, activists say. Several members of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party among 38 who were held at the main police station in the capital Malabo -- which they dubbed "Guantanamo" -- told AFP of alleged abuse during their detention from December 28 to January 3. "We were tortured for a week," said party activist Ernesto Obama Ondo, 42. "I received 150 lashes every...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Nigeria's 2-0 loss to fellow World Cup qualifiers Serbia in London this week served as a 'reality check' to inflated World Cup hopes, according to team spokesman Toyin Ibitoye. Wins in recent friendlies over top-10 teams Argentina and Poland had boosted hopes of Nigeria's 180 million people that this young side are capable of going beyond the country's best performance of a last-16 finish in 1994, 1998 and 2014. "We hope to learn from this and correct our mistakes because...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Victims of the world's worst listeriosis outbreak on Thursday took the first step in a class action suit against the company blamed for contaminated meat that killed 180 people in South Africa. Group lawyer Richard Spoor, who represents 70 affected families, said an application had been filed in a Johannesburg court seeking permission to sue the company in a class action. Officials reported that Tiger Brands and its subsidiary Enterprise Food were the origin of the listeria epidemic. "The application...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
A Kenyan court fined the interior minister and police chief Thursday after they defied orders to produce an opposition politician in court, who was instead deported for the second time in two months. A prominent but unelected politician with the National Super Alliance (NASA), Miguna Miguna was thrust into the spotlight after his deportation last month, and his attempted return to Kenya this week has seen the nation gripped by political theatrics. As Miguna was held at the airport for two days over the immigration spat, the high court twice ordered Interior Minister Fred Matiangi, Police Chief Joseph Boinnet and a top immigration official to produce...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Suspected jihadists carried out a late-night attack on a hotel in central Mali several days after the town was visited by the country's prime minister, officials said Thursday, adding that at least one assailant was killed. The security ministry and the army said attackers late Wednesday struck the Falaise hotel in the town of Bandiagara, a former tourist magnet in the heart of Mali's picturesque Dogon Country. Two assailants were killed and two other people were injured, the ministry said...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Armed men have kidnapped the mayor of Libya's capital Tripoli from his home, authorities said Thursday. Gunmen stormed Abdulraouf Hassan Beitelmal's house on Wednesday night and took him "by force of arms", the city council said in a statement. As of Thursday afternoon, the gunmen's demands were unclear. The council urged Libya's internationally-recognised unity government to "immediately take all necessary measures" to ensure Beitelmal's release. It also announced his office was suspending all its activities in protest at his kidnapping. The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Leaders of the two most heavily armed towns in western Libya met Wednesday for the first time since they fought for control of Tripoli four years ago, hailing the reconciliation talks "historic". The towns of Misrata and Zintan were among the first to rise up against the regime of dictator Moamer Kadhafi who was killed in 2011. The rebels had taken control of the capital in the summer of 2011 two months before Kadhafi was caught in his hometown of...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with about 92 percent of the vote, preliminary results showed on Thursday, with just over 40 percent of voters casting ballots. Twenty-five million of the 60 million registered voters, or some 41.5 percent, turned out during the three days of polling that ended Wednesday, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported. Twenty-three million voted for Sisi. The Akhbar el-Youm newspaper did not report the full turnout but said Sisi won 21.4 million votes, and his rival Moussa Mostafa Moussa 721,000 votes...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
With the re-election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday, all of Egypt's six presidents bar one have been from the ranks of the military, which overthrew the monarchy in 1952. Here are snap profiles: - Mohamed Naguib, 1953 - The general led the "Free Officers" who overthrew King Farouk and pushed through a radical restructuring of the government and economy. He was named president in 1953 but sidelined the following year by his fellow officers who installed Gamal Abdel Nasser...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
With his trademark black sunglasses and blanket media presence, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, elected this week to a second term in office, projects an air of benign paternalism. Whether the people love or loathe Sisi, see him as a bulwark of stability or as a domineering autocrat -- there is little doubt that he will remain Egypt's president for years to come. He stormed to victory in the 2014 presidential election, having led the military a year before in...

Pages