Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
The Egyptian government's State Information Service said on Sunday it had expelled a British journalist for The Times for breaking the law by conducting interviews without a press permit. The London newspaper said on Saturday that its correspondent Bel Trew had been expelled last month in a move that signalled an "oppressive environment" for the media. Trew was driven to the airport and forced to board a flight in February, but the London-based paper held off commenting publicly as it sought to negotiate her return to cover elections starting on Monday. This had proved fruitless, and a spokeswoman said: "The Times deplores this attempt to intimidate and suppress our coverage." The State Information Service (SIS), which regulates foreign media, said...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
A war of words has broken out between the United Nations and the DR Congo government which is shunning a donor conference in Geneva to raise $1.7 billion to tackle a humanitarian crisis that Kinshasa says has been vastly exaggerated by aid workers. Prime Minister Jose Makila on Friday said the UN had overreacted and that aid bodies and NGOs in the country were propagating a "bad image of the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout the world". "The Democratic Republic of Congo declines to participate in the Geneva conference" on April 13, he said. The United Nations has declared the humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo to be a Level 3, the UN's highest-level emergency. "While recognising that the country...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Cameroon scored a 3-1 friendly international victory in Kuwait on Sunday as they began life after the dumping of Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Hugo Broos. A brace from Christian Bassogog after Vincent Aboubakar had opened the scoring in Kuwait City put the 'Indomitable Lions' in control before Yaqoub al Tararwa got a consolation goal. Belgian Broos had a dramatic impact on Cameroon, guiding them to an unlikely 2017 Cup of Nations title in Gabon not long after taking over. He achieved success without a number of Europe-based stars, including Liverpool defender Joel Matip, who preferred to concentrate on their club careers. But Cameroon flopped at the Confederations Cup in Russia -- a dress rehearsal for the World Cup --...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
A policeman died on Saturday in a bomb attack in Egypt's Alexandria which hit a convoy of the city's security chief, officials said. The car bomb attack in the northern port city also wounded four others, the government press office added, just days ahead of Egypt's presidential election which starts on Monday. General Mostafa el-Nemr, Alexandria's security chief, was not among the casualties of the "terrorist bombing that targeted the convoy", his office said, quoted by state newspaper Al-Ahram. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the casualties were taken to a military hospital in the Mediterranean city.
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe says South Africa should have sent troops instead of a team of negotiators to prevent his ouster by the military last year. Mugabe said his regional neighbours betrayed him "in a sense", in an interview with the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper and other regional and international media. "When you look at their conditions, except for South Africa, they haven’t got the capacity to intervene," the 94-year-old is quoted as saying. "But South Africa could have done much more. It did not send an army, but just to engage." Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980 was forced to quit when the military stepped in and ruling ZANU-PF lawmakers launched impeachment...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
South Africa, whose debt is rated as "junk" or non-investment grade by credit rating agencies Fitch and S&P, has escaped a third junk rating from Moody's which suggested the country's economic outlook was set to improve under its new President Cyril Ramaphosa. Moody's said in a statement that it was holding the rating on South Africa's long-term debt at Baa3, the lowest investment grade above junk status. But the statement, released overnight on Friday, said that the ratings agency had decided to upgrade the outlook for the country's debt from "negative" to "stable", meaning that a further downgrade...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday said it was shunning a donor conference in Geneva next month aimed at raising $1.7 billion to tackle what the United Nations has called a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Prime Minister Jose Makila said the UN had overreacted and that aid bodies and NGOs in the country were propagating a "bad image of DR Congo throughout the world". "The Democratic Republic of Congo declines to participate in the Geneva conference" on April 13, he said. The United Nations has declared the humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo to be a Level 3, the UN's highest-level emergency. "While recognising that the country is facing an emergency situation ... the activation of the top-level humanitarian emergency...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Friday fired its deputy president and two other senior officials on misconduct charges, stoking fears of a split in the party ahead of key elections in July, a month after the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) expelled Thokozani Khupe, a former deputy prime minister, ending a protracted succession feud which flared into an open fight following Tsvangirai's death. "The national council resolved, by more than the mandatory two thirds of the vote that vice president Khupe be removed from the party," the party's deputy national chair Morgan Komichi said in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Egyptians will choose their next president in elections starting Monday, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expected to easily secure a second four-year term. Some 60 million people in Egypt, the most populated Arab country, are registered to vote in three days of polling on March 26, 27, and 28. They will have the choice between the incumbent and one other candidate: Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a little-known politician who registered right before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race. "Moussa Mostafa Moussa has little chance of winning a significant number of votes. His campaign is weak, many people do not even know he is running, and he is generally little known,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
With his trademark black sunglasses and blanket media presence, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 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 ousting the North African country's first freely-elected leader, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi. Morsi now languishes in jail, convicted on many and varied counts and sentenced to multiple terms including the death penalty. Sisi successfully silenced all forms of political opposition...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
As a supporter of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and yet his sole challenger, Moussa Mostafa Moussa is seen by critics as a token candidate to try to legitimise the Egyptian leader's re-election. The 65-year-old businessman had already started campaigning for Sisi when he himself was declared a candidate on January 29, the final day for applications to run in this month's presidential election. A Facebook page in Moussa's name at the time featured a photograph in support of the president, but the post has since been deleted. "No to taking part in this charade," Hamdeen Sabbahi, who was a candidate in 2012 and 2014 presidential elections, told a press conference held by opposition parties the next day. Before Moussa's inclusion...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Egypt's military is conducting a sweeping assault to crush a resilient Islamic State branch in Sinai, but the jihadist group is unlikely to be vanquished quickly, analysts say. The operation was launched on February 9 after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to sweep to a second term in polls next week, gave the armed forces and police a three-month deadline in November to wipe out the jihadists. The deadline has since been extended, and the armed forces launched their most comprehensive campaign yet to end the five-year-old jihadist insurgency. The military gives regular updates on the operation, saying it has killed more than 100 jihadists so far while losing at least 20 troops. "Egypt is doing a really...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
A British journalist for The Times has been expelled from Egypt, the newspaper said Saturday, in a move it said reflected the "oppressive environment" created there for the press. Bel Trew was driven to the airport and forced to board a flight in February, but the London-based paper held off commenting publicly as it sought to negotiate her return to cover elections starting on Monday. This had proved fruitless, and a spokeswoman said: "The Times deplores this attempt to intimidate and suppress our coverage. "This is sadly in line with the oppressive environment that President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi has created for the press." The paper said Trew, who had lived in Cairo for seven years and had been reporting for...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
As Egypt votes in presidential elections, here are key events in the turbulent country since the 2011 uprising that ended the 30-year rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak. - 2011: Mubarak falls - - January 25: Thousands of Egyptians, inspired by the Tunisian revolt that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, protest in Cairo and elsewhere demanding Mubarak's overthrow. Police disperse them. - January 28: Protesters across the country clash with police as the government cuts mobile and internet networks. Demonstrators attack police stations and force security personnel to withdraw from the streets. Mubarak sacks his cabinet and deploys the army. - February 11: After days of non-stop protests centred on Cairo's Tahrir Square, Mubarak's newly appointed vice president Omar...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Egypt, known worldwide for its ancient pyramids, is the Arab world's most populous country and has been under military control for decades. It is ruled by ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is assured of a second term in elections next week. Here is some background about the country. - Army's grip on power - After a period of British rule, Egypt gained independence in 1922 under King Fuad I. In 1952, charismatic army colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew Fuad's son, King Farouk. A republic was declared in 1953, headed by General Mohamed Naguib. Nasser became president in 1956, the same year the Suez Canal shipping lane was nationalised. After Nasser's death in 1970, his vice president Anwar Sadat --...
(AFP 03/24/18)
Dates-clés de l'Egypte depuis la révolte qui a chassé Hosni Moubarak du pouvoir en février 2011: - La révolution - Le 25 janvier 2011, début de manifestations massives contre Moubarak, au pouvoir depuis 1981. Dominée par des slogans demandant son départ, la contestation s'est inspirée de la révolte tunisienne qui, le 14 janvier 2011, a poussé à la fuite du président Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Le 1er février, plus d'un million de manifestants dans le pays. Marée humaine place Tahrir, au Caire, l'épicentre de la contestation. Le 11 février, Moubarak démissionne et remet ses pouvoirs au Conseil suprême des forces armées. La répression du soulèvement a fait au moins 850 morts. - Victoire islamiste - De novembre 2011 à...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Talks between Togo's ruling party and the opposition resumed on Friday after a month-long pause, with Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo acting as a mediator. After an hour of debate between the two sides, Akufo-Addo decided to move to bilateral talks, meeting first with the ruling party and then with representatives of the opposition, an AFP journalist said. The talks are aimed at resolving a political stand-off that began in August and has seen thousands take to the streets in almost weekly protests against the ruling party. President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005, is under pressure to stand down amid calls for constitutional reform. Talks opened on February 19 but following a second meeting four days later,...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Senegalese President Macky Sall on Friday promised to "track down" the perpetrators of a spate of child kidnappings and killings in Senegal that have sown fear among parents in the West African nation. Police said Tuesday that two children had been murdered in recent days and five more had faced kidnap attempts. Senegalese media has reported on several more such cases, so far unconfirmed officially. "I have given the firmest instructions... to track down these criminals and bring them to justice," Sall told the RFM radio station. "Senegal will do more than in the past to halt these terrible acts," he added. Criminality and the use of children in ritual ceremonies have both been blamed, but the police have not...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Ugandan police said Friday they had arrested 10 officials working at a camp housing refugees, mainly from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, for stealing food aid. Benon Byamukama, police chief for the region in western Uganda where the Kyaka II refugee camp is located, said they had been caught stealing maize meal and cooking oil meant for refugees at night. "Acting on a tip-off, we have arrested 10 officials from Kyaka II refugee camp including two staff of Danish Refugee Council, an implementing agency for the World Food Programme, for selling on the black market food meant for refugees," he said. "We have recovered the food and it will be used as exhibit in court," said Byamukama. Kyaka II began...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Qatar has blacklisted 20 people and eight organisations as "terrorist," nine months after finding itself isolated in the Gulf over alleged support for Islamist extremists and sympathisers. The list, published by the interior ministry late Wednesday, includes 12 Qatari nationals, two Saudi Arabians, four Egyptians and two Jordanians. The move comes nine months after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of bankrolling Islamist extremists and fostering ties with Saudi arch-rival Iran. Qatar has denied the allegations and says the Saudi-led bloc aims to incite regime change in the emirate, the world's richest country per capita. Saudi Arabia and its allies months ago unveiled a "terrorist" list of 90...

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