Sunday 21 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Nigerian stocks have jumped to a nine-year high as Africa's biggest economy emerges from its worst recession in 25 years, buoyed by the high price of oil at $69 a barrel. The country's main equity index grew 12 percent this year in dollar terms, pushing it to the highest level since 2008, according to Bloomberg News. Investors are buying the cheapest stocks in Africa, confident that the Nigerian economy is set to recover and oil prices will stay high. "2018 is a story of return of Africa," Funmi Akinluyi, head of frontier and Africa listed equity investments at London-based Silk Invest, told AFP. "The fact that we've seen oil trade to about $69 (per barrel) gives comfort that results will...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Three people were killed and two others were critically injured in a Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria, a community leader and a resident said on Tuesday. Gunmen riding motorcycles and bicycles arrived in large numbers in Pallam village, in the Madagali area of Adamawa state, at about 11:30 pm (2230 GMT) on Monday. The attack was the first in Adamawa this year after a surge in hit-and-run raids and suicide bombings in recent months. "Five people fell victim to the attack: three were killed and two were critically injured and taken to hospital," said Maina Ularamu, a former Madagali local government chairman. Resident David Maigrai supported Ularamu's account and added: "They burnt several shops and many homes.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
The Libyan capital's only working international airport remained closed to flights on Tuesday, the airport said, a day after fighting killed at least 20 people and damaged several planes. Mitiga airport said in a statement that all scheduled flights had been rerouted through the western city of Misrata. Mitiga airport, a former military air base on the eastern fringes of Tripoli, was evacuated on Monday after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there. The health ministry of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said 20 people were killed and 63 wounded in the clashes. It did not specify if the casualties were civilians or fighters. Five aircraft belonging to state-owned Afriqiyah Airways,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - The death toll from a cyclone that hit Madagascar about 10 days ago has risen to 51, with another 22 people reported missing, authorities said on Sunday. Tropical Cyclone Ava passed through Madagascar on Jan. 5-6, hitting mostly the eastern coast of the island with wind speeds of between 140-190 kph (87-119 mph). The death toll had been put at about 29 people a week ago. The National Office of Risk and Disaster Management said in a statement on Sunday more 54,000 people were displaced by the cyclone. In March 2017, Cyclone Enawo killed at least 78 people on Madagascar’s vanilla-producing northeastern coast.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - The nephew of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat said on Monday he would not, as widely expected, challenge incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the presidential election because an environment of fear surrounds the vote. Sisi has yet to announce his candidacy but is widely expected to run and easily win a ballot slated for March 26-28. Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, whose uncle led a sweeping economic liberalization program and opened ties with Israel before his assassination in 1981, had previously said he was mulling a run. Though unlikely to upset Sisi’s campaign, it would have carried the weight of a household name likely to garner some support.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons Tuesday as hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated against soaring bread prices near a presidential palace in Khartoum, an AFP correspondent said. Bread prices have more than doubled after a jump in the cost of flour due to dwindling wheat supplies, after the government decided to stop importing grain and allow private companies to do so. The protest was the biggest in Khartoum since demonstrations erupted in some parts of the country earlier this month following the price increase. On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters poured into the streets near a presidential palace in central Khartoum after the opposition Communist Party of Sudan called for an anti-government rally. "No, no to hunger! No,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A ban on the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners could curb child abuse and trafficking, but more support is needed for vulnerable families within the impoverished country, experts said on Monday. Ethiopia is one the biggest source countries for international adoptions by U.S. nationals, with about 20 percent of all adopted children coming from the east African nation, according to the U.S. State Department. Hollywood celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia. Child rights groups cite cases of “child harvesting” where adoption agencies unethically recruit minors for adoption by fraudulently altering paperwork to cast children with families as orphans whose parents had died or abandoned them...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Tunisia said Monday more than 930 people have been arrested since social unrest erupted a week ago, fuelled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget. "A total of 937 people are in custody" after acts of violence, theft or vandalism, interior ministry spokesman Khlifa Chibani told AFP. On Sunday, the North African country marked the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that gave birth to the Arab Spring. Chibani said 41 people aged between 13 and 19 were detained on Sunday amid fresh protests. The authorities say that in a week of clashes, 105 members of the security forces were injured, but no record of the number of protesters injured was available. One protester died last Monday in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police arrested 41 more protesters after fresh violent protests against austerity measures in the North African country, the interior ministry said on Monday, bringing the number of arrested to around 850. Protests which started about a week ago erupted again on Sunday, fueled by anger at tax and price increases imposed by the government to cut a budget deficit. A Reuters witness saw youths throwing stones at police cars and setting fire to tires before security forces drove them back with tear gas in the Ettadamen district in Tunis last night. There were also protests in Kram district. On Monday, the situation was calm. ‬The movements (protests) were limited to Ettadamen, Daoura, Hicher and Kram in...
(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 Reuters the lawyers petitioned in court on Monday to nullify the law. “The overall climate in which that bill was discussed and passed ... was wrong,” Gimara said, citing a security raid on parliament and insufficient consultations with the people...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s government on Monday summoned a representative of the the U.S. ambassador to explain reported remarks by President Donald Trump that immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries”, the foreign ministry said. Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama “sought clarification on the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks, stressing that if they were true, they were deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable”, the ministry said in a statement. Trump reportedly made the remarks at a private meeting with lawmakers on immigration on Thursday. A U.S. senator who attended the gathering said the president...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
PARIS (Reuters) - French magistrates have dismissed a case brought against a group of French soldiers accused of sexually abusing children while on deployment in the Central African Republic in 2013-2014, a judicial source said on Monday. Paris prosecutors called last year for the case to be dismissed because some of the testimony was deemed inconsistent and some elements could not be confirmed, even if they could not exclude that abuses took place. The decision was met with frustration in Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, where repeated allegations of sexual misconduct have helped fuel anger towards French and U.N. troops deployed there. “Our government must do its job and judge these acts here, because they were committed on Central African...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Fighting at the Libyan capital's only working international airport killed at least 20 people Monday, officials said, after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there. Mitiga airport, a former military air base on the eastern outskirts of the capital, was evacuated when the clashes erupted and roads to the facility were closed. Six Libyan aircraft on the tarmac were hit by gunfire, an airport source said. In an updated casualty toll, the health ministry of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said 20 people were killed and 63 wounded in the clashes. It did not specify if the casualties were civilians or fighters.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday Egypt is not conspiring against its neighbors and has no intention to fight, a reference to growing tension with Sudan. Relations have deteriorated in recent weeks, including over a Sudan-Turkey naval agreement that angered Cairo and an ongoing dispute over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river that runs through all three countries. In the latest move, Sudan recalled its ambassador to Egypt without saying when he might be back. “Let’s always look for peace and development, our people need that. They don’t need us arguing and entering conflict,” Sisi said at an inauguration of new projects in the province of Monofeya. He said Egypt would not interfere...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will punish all those behind an outbreak of deadly clashes between cattle herders and farmers, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday pushing back at accusations that he failed to take action against members of his own ethnic group. At least 83 people have been killed since the start of the new year in violence between the mainly Christian farmers and the semi-nomadic herders, who are mostly Muslims from Buhari’s Fulani ethnic group. The outbreak of violence, mostly in the central state of Benue, has become increasingly political ahead of elections in February 2019, with Buhari’s opponents accusing him of failing to take action against the herdsmen. “President Buhari said all those involved in the conflict that...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Fierce clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least 20 people, shutting the airport, and damaging planes during what the government said was a failed attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison. The attack triggered the heaviest fighting in Tripoli for months, undercutting claims by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) to have largely stabilised the city. The violence also undermines GNA efforts to persuade diplomatic missions to return there. Automatic gunfire and artillery rounds could be heard from the city centre early in the day and authorities at Mitiga airport, which operates all civilian air traffic to and from the capital, said flights had been suspended until further...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ACCRA (Reuters) - Police in Ghana have seized suspected explosives of various kinds in Accra, the capital, and are holding three men connected to the substances, the regional police command said in a statement on Monday. It did not give details of the arrest, but police sources told Reuters that at least seven grenades were retrieved following a tip-off. “Police is investigating the matter in coordination with the relevant agencies and therefore assures the public to remain calm,” said the statement issued by Assistant Commissioner David Eklu. It asked that anybody with related information should contact police emergency lines.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court has authorized the freezing of 1.6 billion rand ($130 million) in assets earned by global consultancy McKinsey and a firm linked to friends of President Jacob Zuma, a source at the state prosecutors’ office told Reuters. The Pretoria High Court made the decision in December after a request by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to freeze the fees earned by McKinsey and local consultancy Trillian for advising South African power utility Eskom. Privately-held McKinsey, one of the world’s largest management consultancies, has already lost several clients over the contract. This month Zuma agreed to set up a commission of enquiry into allegations...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed. Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year. Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law. “If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - A Cairo prosecutor referred two policemen to criminal court on Monday over the death of a detainee shortly after he was arrested on Jan. 5, judicial sources said. The prosecutor alleges the policemen beat Mohamed Abdul-Hakim to death and detained him without legal grounds. If they are charged, it will be a rare prosecution of members of the Egyptian security forces. Mohamed Abdul-Hakim, known to his friends and family as Afroto, died in hospital shortly after being arrested on suspicion of drug dealing. After his death, 43 people were arrested in clashes with security forces that broke out outside the Mokattam police station where he had been briefly held. A forensics report showed he died as a...

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