Monday 24 July 2017
(AfricaNews 07/24/17)
Rwanda’s electoral commission has announced plans to hold the country’s first presidential debate which will br broadcast live ahead of the August 4 elections. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the state-run broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) announced on Thursday without giving a date for the debate, The EastAfrican reported. “RBA gave room for the debate, where candidates or their representatives will appear at the same time. They will speak about their policies with a moderator conducting the debate,” said spokesperson for the NEC, Moise Bukasa, who added that it is likely to be held a week before the elections.
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
A new book detailing Nelson Mandela's last days has been withdrawn after it was condemned by his outraged widow, publisher Penguin Random House said Monday. The book by Mandela's physician Vejay Ramlakan was released last week to coincide with the late anti-apartheid leader's birthday, July 18, which is marked each year as Mandela Day. It revealed several undignified episodes at the end of Mandela's life as well as bitter family squabbles over...
(The New Times 07/24/17)
Independent presidential candidate Philippe Mpayimana has promised to reduce taxes on used clothes, popularly known as 'cagua', if he wins the August 4 vote. Mpayimana was yesterday campaigning in Kigali districts of Nyarugenge and Kicukiro where he told residents that he will support small businesses in the city. He said that even though government increased taxes on imported used clothes in favour of locally-made products, once elected, taxes should be reduced again until the local textile industry is capable of...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
The Congolese opposition on Saturday unveiled a rolling programme of strikes and civil disobedience aimed at forcing President Joseph Kabila from power. The announcement was made after two days of opposition talks in Kinshasa amid concerns that Kabila, in power since 2001, is seeking to remain in place in defiance of constitutional limits. Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political violence in the sprawling country of 71...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
An ambush killed a Moroccan peacekeeper and wounded three others on Sunday in the Central African Republic, the United Nations said, blaming pro-Christian militias for the violence. "A MINUSCA (peacekeeping mission) military convoy was targeted by anti-Balaka," it said of the clash in the southern city of Bangassou. The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition. The coup led to the formation of "anti-Balaka" (anti-machete) vigilante units...
(Reuters 07/24/17)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria released a photograph of President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, the first in almost three months after he left the country on May 7 for medical leave in Britain. In stark contrast to his first absence, when numerous photos of a notably skeletal leader were published, the presidency had released no images of Buhari during his current medical leave until now. That sparked speculation ranging from his ability to contest the 2019 election for a second term...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/24/17)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Christian militias in Central African Republic have launched several attacks in the town of Bangassou in recent days, attempting to seize a cathedral housing displaced Muslims and killing a Moroccan peacekeeper, the United Nations said on Sunday. The incidents, including one on Sunday, came after attacks on the same diamond-mining town in May that killed at least 115 people and point to the inability of U.N. peacekeepers to contain violence in a country where government control barely...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
An apparent photo of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was posted on Twitter Sunday, offering a rare glimpse of the ill leader since his departure for London for medical treatment in May. Posted from the official Twitter account of the Nigerian presidency, the picture shows the 74-year-old head of state sitting at a table with a group of people and smiling. According to the presidency, on Sunday afternoon Buhari received a delegation of "governors and leaders" from his All Progressives Congress...
(The Associated Press 07/24/17)
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The United Nations says a peacekeeper from Morocco has been killed in Central African Republic. A statement Monday morning says the peacekeeper was killed Sunday in the southeastern town of Bangassou by suspected anti-Balaka militias. The statement says three other peacekeepers were injured. Hundreds of people have been killed in Central African Republic and roughly 100,000 displaced in the past two months. Sectarian violence that began in 2013 has been moving into the impoverished country's central...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj will hold talks near Paris on Tuesday with Khalifa Haftar, the powerful military commander based in the country's east, the French presidency said. French President Emmanuel Macron will host the meeting, the presidency said in a statement on Monday. "France intends, through this initiative, to facilitate a political agreement" between the two rivals as the newly appointed UN envoy for Libya, Ghassam Salame, takes office, the statement said.
(Voice of America 07/22/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lashed out Friday against factions in his party angling to take over from him, saying they have no backing. The 93-year-old spoke at a rally in Lupane, about 600 kilometers southwest of Harare - as part of his effort to recruit young people to support him in next year's elections. It was the first time Mugabe spoke in public since returning from Singapore, where he went earlier this month to seek medical treatment for the third...
(AfricaNews 07/21/17)
Frank Habineza, Rwandan presidential aspirant and main opposition candidate in upcoming polls, has given a good account of the incumbent Paul Kagame but adds that Rwanda could do with change, a leading English daily The New Times has reported. Habineza, Kagame and a third candidate are criss-crossing the country canvassing for votes. On one of his campaign stops earlier this week in Rulindo and Nyabihu districts located in the northern and western provinces respectively, Habineza promised to build on successes...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The Gambia's justice minister has promised a new constitution to be voted on by referendum as the tiny west African country transitions from the long rule of former strongman Yahya Jammeh. Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said Thursday the new national charter would entirely replace the 1997 version written largely to consolidate Jammeh's power after he took control in a 1994 coup. A Constitutional Review Commission would consult a broad cross-section of society for a maximum two-year period,...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Angola's parliament passed a law on Friday that will drastically limit the powers of the country's future presidents in matters of security and defence. The law will only apply to successors of the current head of state, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has enjoyed unfettered control of Angola's sprawling military and security institutions since taking power in 1979. Supported by a large majority of lawmakers, the new bill sets out limited circumstances in which the powerful officials can be removed -- including instances...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz launched campaigning Friday for a constitutional referendum boycotted by opposition figures who call the vote a smokescreen to keep the ruling party in power. The boycott movement draws broad political support from Islamists and anti-slavery activists in the conservative west African nation, all of whom oppose measures including abolishing the senate and changing the national flag. "Your presence in such great numbers sends a message to those who don't want the country to move...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Kenyan police said on Friday they had arrested an opposition parliamentarian on suspicion of "ethnic contempt" over a public address he made ahead of next month's tight presidential election. Junet Mohammed, a high-ranking member of leading opposition candidate Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement, was taken into custody in the western town of Homa Bay because of comments he made in early July to a gathering of party youth. Police allege Mohammed incited "contempt, hatred and discrimination" when he said that if Odinga won the vote, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Kikuyu ethnic group "will remain in their
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
Nigeria’s former ruling party is in talks with other opposition groups to build a new coalition to try to prevent its main rival, the All Progressives Congress led by President Muhammadu Buhari, from winning a second term in the West African nation’s next vote in 2019. “We’re talking to more than 16 political parties to see how we can come and work together,” Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, said in an interview in the capital, Abuja, on...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
Tunisia's prime minister vowed on Thursday to push ahead with a war against corruption to restore trust in the state, adding this would exclude no-one whatever their political affiliation. Youssef Chahed's speech to lawmakers is part of a campaign that has gained him some plaudits among Tunisians even as he tries to push through unpopular austerity measures. Corruption was one of main catalysts of the 2011 revolt against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and many Tunisians complain graft is as widespread six years after their North African country emerged into democracy and free elections. During the two last months, Tunisia's government has confiscated the property and frozen bank accounts
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Tanzanian opposition number two Tundu Lissu was arrested on Thursday, three days after having called President John Magufuli a "dictator", party sources said. No reasons were given for the arrest of Lissu, a member of the main opposition party Chadema who serves as the chief whip of the opposition in parliament and also leads Tanzania's bar association. Government spokesman Hassan Abbas reacted to Lissu's comments earlier this week by saying in a statement "the government will not accept that someone,...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The Algerian-backed Polisario Front movement seeking independence for disputed Western Sahara on Thursday denounced as "unjust" a Moroccan court's decision to sentence a group of Sahrawis to prison. On Wednesday a court in Sale near Rabat sentenced 23 Sahrawis to prison terms ranging from two years to life over the killing of 11 members of the Moroccan security forces in Western Sahara. The case had been closely followed by human rights campaigners. Morocco and the Polisario Front have accused each other of provoking deadly clashes between police and Sahrawi protesters at a camp for displaced people in Gdeim Izik in November 2010.

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