Sunday 21 January 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
LAGOS (Reuters) - The militant Islamist group Boko Haram released a video on Monday which purported to show some of the girls kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok nearly four years ago, saying they do not wish to return home. Of the some 270 girls originally abducted from their school in April 2014, about 60 escaped soon afterwards and others have since been released after mediation. Around 100 are still believed to be in captivity. A group of about 12 teenage girls and young women, some of whom holding babies, are seen in the 21-minute video. “We are the Chibok girls. We are the ones you are crying about for us to come back. By the grace of Allah,...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Five Sahel countries - Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso -- on Monday launched their second anti-Jihadist operation in the troubled region, after talks in Paris with their partner France. After the discussions between the defence ministers of the so-called G5 Sahel and their French counterpart no details were released about the new operation due to "security reasons". "We are moving forward... the joint force is gaining momentum... the first operation has taken place, the second one is starting today," Malian Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly told a press conference, alongside his G5 counterparts and French Defence...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - An Airbus A319 passenger jet belonging to Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways was damaged by artillery fire during clashes between rival armed groups at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport on Monday. A Reuters reporter saw the plane, which was empty at the time it was hit, sitting in a hangar with a hole in its roof. Two other passenger jets operated by Libyan Wings airline suffered minor damage from gunfire during the clashes, which caused the airport to shut earlier on Monday. Several planes were being flown across the city to Tripoli international airport - which has been closed since 2014 - to protect them from damage.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Nigeria were thwarted by the woodwork three times as they could only draw 0-0 with Rwanda on Monday in the opening 2018 African Nations Championship match for both teams. The Group C result in cold and windy northern Moroccan city Tangiers left the sides two points behind Libya, who outplayed Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in the first half of a double-header. This is the third time Nigeria are trying to win the two-yearly championship for home-based footballers with their best showing so far being third place in South Africa four years ago. Sunday Faleye, 37-year-old Rabiu Ali and Stephen Eze were foiled by the woodwork during a match which Nigeria dominated from start to finish. Rwanda were content to defend and...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Virat Kohli led by example with a batting masterclass as India stayed in contention on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Monday. Captain Kohli hit a masterly 153 in India's first innings of 307 to stay in touch in Centurion, even though South Africa stretched a 28-run first-innings lead to 118 by scoring 90 for two in their second batting effort on a storm-shortened afternoon. India are slightly behind going into day four despite Kohli's innings and two early wickets from opening bowler Jasprit Bumrah, but they could justifiably feel that they were still in with a chance of levelling the three-match series following South Africa's 72-run win in the first Test...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Thousands of people took to the streets in Togo on Saturday in the first anti-government protests of the year, as supporters of President Faure Gnassingbe staged counter-demonstrations. A coalition of 14 political parties has staged almost weekly demonstrations since August last year, calling for Gnassingbe to step down and the introduction of a two-term limit for presidents. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 when he took over from his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who himself ruled Togo for 38 years. There was a strong police presence in Lome on Saturday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene. But unlike previous demonstrations, where opposition supporters clashed with the security services, it passed off without incident. The veteran opposition leader...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Two people were killed Saturday in an attack on a convoy of buses travelling in eastern Kenya under police protection, said interior ministry and police officials, who blamed Shabaab Islamists. The buses and police vehicles were travelling from Lamu on the northern Kenyan coast near Somalia to Mombasa in the south. Attackers struck at 11:00 am (0800 GMT), leaving one police officer and one civilian dead. The area where the attack took place has been struck frequently in recent years by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants. "There was an exchange of fire between the security team that was escorting the buses and the attackers during which one civilian was shot dead and some police officers suffered injuries," interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Police in Zambia's capital Lusaka on Monday fired tear gas at angry traders marching to the president's office in protest over a ban on street commerce aimed at curbing a deadly cholera outbreak. The 500-strong crowd was trying to deliver a petition to President Edgar Lungu who has become the public face of the campaign against the outbreak that has claimed at least 70 lives since September. "Kill us if you want... it's hunger that is going to kill us. We voted Lungu and we want to see him over this issue," shouted one trader as police blocked them from reaching State House. Police spokeswoman Esther Katongo confirmed that officers "discharged tear smoke to disperse them" but said no-one had...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
An aide to former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has revealed how generals warned him to step aside as protests against him grew, or face being "lynched" like Libya's Moamer Kadhafi. Massive street protests against 93-year-old Mugabe erupted after the military briefly took power in November following the veteran leader's sacking of then-vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe subsequently resigned after apparently striking a deal with the army and supporters of Mnangagwa who then succeeded Mugabe. "The commanders sent us with a very chilling message, they said 'please go and get the president to appreciate the gravity of the situation out there'," Mugabe's former spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
An opposition activist died in prison after being tortured in Equatorial Guinea, the country's main opposition party said Monday, accusing the government of "cruel and inhumane" treatment of its detainees. Santiago Ebee Ela, 41, died at the central police station in capital Malabo on Saturday night as a result of "cruel torture", Citizens for Innovation (CI) said in a statement. "The death of Santiago Ebee Ela is a consequence of the cruel and inhumane treatment shown to CI detainees by security forces of the PDGE regime," it said, referring to the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea headed by President Teodoro Obiang. The death was not confirmed by Equatorial Guinean authorities nor reported by state media. Ebee Ela was arrested...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Catholics in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday called for a fresh rally against "the dictatorship" as they step up pressure on President Joseph Kabila. The call for a demonstration on January 21 came less than two weeks after New Year's Eve protests against Kabila's rule saw six deaths in a crackdown by authorities, according to church and UN sources. Rally coordinators urged believers to march "hand in hand as ever, peacefully with our peace branches, our bibles, our rosary beads and our crucifixes to save the Congo, our common heritage, in sacred respect of persons and property" and to offer "no respite for the dictatorship". "Far from intimidating us, the authorities have reinforced our determination ... to avail...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a dissident and nephew of Egypt's late president of the same name, said Monday he will not run in this year's presidential poll because the climate was not right for free elections. "I don't feel, and I am not assured, that the elections will be held in the form that we were hoping for... Therefore, we will not enter a losing battle," the former legislator told reporters in Cairo. Despite not yet having announced his own candidacy in the presidential race, incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to stand and win in the first round, which is to be held March 26-28. Campaigning begins on February 24 and will last until March 23. Sisi, Egypt's former...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
A policeman was killed on Sunday by presumed separatists in a restive English-speaking region of Cameroon, where the situation remained extremely tense on Monday, sources told AFP. No further details were released about the incident in Dian, in Cameroon's Southwest Region, but other officers may have also been killed, an official added. "According to some information, other police were killed but we are still looking into this," the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reports of multiple killings also circulated on social media. Witnesses said panic had gripped several schools, including in Buea, the main city in the English-speaking southwest, and in Muyuka and Tiko. "We are leaving the campus because people in the city are saying that...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday said Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" was unacceptable, while his predecessor branded the US head of state a racist. President Akufo-Addo tweeted that Trump's reported language was "extremely unfortunate", adding: "We are certainly not 'a shithole country'." "We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful." Ghana is widely seen as a stable, peaceful country in an often turbulent region, and has close ties to the United States. In 2009 Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, chose Ghana's capital Accra to set out his foreign policy goals for Africa in a speech in which he said he saw Africa "as a fundamental...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed Monday to protect Egypt's water supply while striving for peace with the Nile upstream countries of Sudan and Ethiopia, which is building a controversial dam. "Egypt will not go to war with its brothers," Sisi said on state television, although Cairo fears its water supply will be affected by Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited the Ethiopian capital last month for talks on the dam project on the Blue Nile. Egypt relies almost totally on the Nile for irrigation and drinking water, and says it has "historic rights" to the river, guaranteed by treaties from 1929 and 1959. Sisi also stressed that Egypt was investing in its military to protect national security...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Morocco on Saturday said it has started the third and final operation to repatriate its nationals stranded in Libya, a stepping stone to illegal migration to Europe. The ministry of expatriates and migration said the operation was launched on Friday and aimed at bringing home 338 Moroccan migrants stuck in Libya. The migrants were to be flown to Casablanca on the Libyan airline Afriqiyah and then transported by bus to their home towns, the ministry said in a statement. It did not say when the operation was expected to be concluded. Since the 2011 fall and killing of its longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Ethiopia's government announced Monday it would release hundreds of people awaiting trial including imprisoned opposition leader Merera Gudina and would pardon others convicts in the coming months. The announcement came less than two weeks after the government promised to free jailed "politicians," without giving details on who and how many people would be freed. The release of Merera, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), has been a key demand of protesters from the country's largest ethnic group, the Oromos. In 2015, the group took to the streets over a proposed expansion of the capital city which they feared would deprive them of their land.
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Defence ministers from five countries in the Sahel were meeting Monday with French counterpart Florence Parly in the latest push for a pooled force fighting jihadism in the fragile region. The brief meeting, in which senior military officers were to take part, aims at setting down a concrete timetable for deploying the so-called "G5 Sahel" force, which carried out its maiden mission in November with French support. The unprecedented initative brings together Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which aim to create a fully fledged force of 5,000 troops by mid-2018.
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Two women carrying goods between Morocco and Spain's Ceuta enclave were killed on Monday in a stampede at the border between the two countries, a rights group and officials said. The stampede took place at the Tarajal II crossing for pedestrians between the Moroccan border town of Fnideq and Ceuta, rights activist Mohamed Benaissa said. Two women in their 40s named Ilham and Souad, both from Fnideq, were killed, the head of Morocco's Northern Observatory for Human Rights said. Known as "mule women" on the Spanish side of the border and "hamalat" or porters in Morocco...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Three Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers died on Monday while repelling an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting," he said, but denied comment on casualties.

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