Saturday 19 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances expired last month, Federation des Entreprises du Congo Managing Director Kimona Bononge said in a letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang. The minister has subsequently “resolved the problem,” Bononge said by phone from Kinshasa, the capital. “The finance minister has given an instruction to the DGDA to not collect VAT on imports by mining companies,” Bononge said by phone
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Angolan ruler Jose Eduardo dos Santos will keep his grip on power if his party wins elections this month, even as he steps down as president after 38 years in office, according to the country’s main opposition leader. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has picked 63-year-old Defense Minister Joao Lourenco as its presidential candidate for the Aug. 23 vote. Dos Santos will remain the party’s chairman and has appointees in the security services that will probably stay in their posts under a new law passed by parliament last month. After decades as president, Dos Santos is now set to direct the government from behind the scenes, according to Isaias Samakuva, head of the opposition National Union...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Sierra Leone braced for more floods as the country buries the casualties of a mudslide that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Freetown. The government buried almost 300 people this week and the Health Ministry sent out teams to fumigate areas where decomposing bodies are trapped in the mud, Idalia Amaya, emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services, said by phone from Freetown late Thursday. Rescue teams have received reports that some missing people are sending text messages saying...
(The Guardian 08/18/17)
Transparency campaigners highlight alleged human rights abuses in Egypt as controversial conflict, stability and security fund comes under scrutiny again. The government is facing questions over transparency after almost £2 million in aid and defence funding was given to security projects in Egypt, including support for policing, the criminal justice system and the treatment of juvenile detainees. The news comes with Egypt’s security forces under fire from human rights groups for routine disappearances, the torture of detainees, and the jailing...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
A year ago, South Africa’s biggest gold producer was churning cash, sizing up acquisitions and plotting expansion projects. Today, Sibanye Gold Ltd. is making losses and shutting mines. The main difference between then and now? A big rebound in the rand. High costs and labor-intensive operations mean that Sibanye and other South African producers are highly leveraged to one of the world’s most volatile major currencies. Sibanye expects to report a first-half loss of at least $360 million, compared with...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Judges order Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi to pay damages for destroying 10 mausoleums and religious sites in 2012. A former Islamist militant who was jailed for destroying holy sites in Timbuktu is liable for damages of €2.7m (£2.5m), judges at the international criminal court (ICC) have ruled. Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi was imprisoned for nine years last year after pleading guilty to war crimes for his involvement in the destruction of 10 mausoleums and religious sites in Timbuktu in 2012. Jihadis used...
(AL Jazeera 08/18/17)
Attack comes after 9 people were decapitated by assailants in the same region in July. Suspected members of Somalia's al-Shabab armed group beheaded at least three men in an attack on a Kenyan village. "They were slaughtered. Their heads were cut off from the rest of their bodies," a police source told Reuters news agency, asking not to be named. Police said four bodies had been found at Maleli village in Kenya's coastal county of Lamu. Area county commissioner Gilbert...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Germany will train soldiers from Burkina Faso to help the West African nation combat a surge in terrorism, according to government officials. The announcement comes days after gunmen killed 18 people and injured 22 in an attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, the second assault in the city center in less than two years. A West African force is gearing up to fight militancy in the region, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania pledging soldiers...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Kenya’s top court will decide over the next two weeks whether to nullify the outcome of this month’s presidential elections that the main opposition says were rigged. Most legal experts and political analysts expect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory to be upheld. Opposition leader Raila Odinga alleges that members of the ruling party hacked the electoral authority’s computers to deliver Kenyatta, 55, a second term. Odinga’s five-party National Super Alliance initially ruled out legal action because it didn’t trust the Supreme...
(AL Jazeera 08/18/17)
Unclear if Mahmoud al-Werfalli will be handed over to ICC, which issued his arrest warrant for 'murder as a war crime'. A senior Libyan military commander allied with Khalifa Haftar and suspected of involvement in the deaths of 33 people in eastern Benghazi has been arrested. The general command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) - the force that controls most of eastern Libya, including key oil ports - said on Thursday that Mahmoud al-Werfalli was being investigated by a...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The U.S. military said it conducted airstrikes that killed at least seven al-Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia as it increases its involvement in the war-torn Horn of Africa country. Three “precision airstrikes” on Wednesday and Thursday targeted a location in Jilib, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, U.S. African Command said on its website. The operation against the al-Shabaab militants was coordinated with Somali forces, it said, without giving further details. The U.S., which already supported Somalia’s...
(The Guardian 08/18/17)
Wayne Lotter had received numerous death threats while battling international ivory-trafficking networks. The head of an animal conservation NGO who had received numerous death threats has been shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Tanzania. Wayne Lotter, 51, was shot on Wednesday evening in the Masaki district of the city of Dar es Salaam. The wildlife conservationist was being driven from the airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle. Two men, one armed with...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
“Nothing is impossible.” These three words are on a plaque that Aliko Dangote keeps on his office desk in Lagos, Nigeria, constantly reminding Africa’s richest man how to approach the world. Dangote, who was worth $12.3 billion as of mid-August, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is modest in his personal life but bold in business. Presiding over an empire that includes cement, freight, infrastructure, agriculture, and—soon—oil refining, Dangote, 60, possesses a towering ambition that matches the scale of his...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The health of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is receiving treatment in London since May for an undisclosed ailment, has improved significantly, said Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives. “I am glad that he is doing well; his health has improved tremendously,” Dogara said on Twitter, reporting that he visited Buhari in London with President of the Senate Bukola Saraki. Buhari, who was elected in 2015, is on his second medical trip to the U.K. trip this year,...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Islamist militant attacks in West Africa are increasing in intensity. High-profile strikes on resorts and restaurants that have shattered the area’s tourist industry get most of the attention. Yet barely a week goes by without a deadly incident in a remote rural zone where some of the world’s poorest people live. Instability in the region affects Europe because it benefits organized crime networks which are engaged in the smuggling and trafficking of migrants to the shores of Italy. 1. What’s...
(RFI(EN) 08/17/17)
The first hearing of the appeal of RFI Cameroon correspondent Ahmed Abba has been postponed without explanation, his lawyers have revealed. An appeal against Abba's 10-year prison sentence was supposed to start on Thursday 17 August but his lawyers were shocked to find his name had been taken off the military tribunal's list of hearings on Wednesday evening. "I think Ahmed Abba's name has been taken off the roll, I don't know why," his lawyer Clément Nakong told RFI, pointing...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Gunmen attacked Nigeria's main anti-corruption taskforce on Wednesday and left behind a death threat for a top investigator, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement. The attack on the Abuja base of the organisation which seeks to combat the oil-rich country's rampant graft comes just weeks after unidentified assailants shot and injured another investigator in Port Harcourt, in southeast Nigeria. "The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 5 am and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles," the commission's head of media, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement. "However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty." "A white envelope dropped by the fleeing
(RFI(EN) 08/17/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the swift launch of a five-nation African anti-terror force following Sunday's murderous attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou. Macron spoke by phone to Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on Monday after 18 people were killed and about 10 injured in the attack on a Turkish restaurant frequented by foreigners. He expressed France's solidarity "in this new ordeal faced by Burkina Faso" and repeated his intention to deepen contacts...
(Bloomberg 08/17/17)
Companies controlled by the Gupta family, whose accounts are being closed down by Bank of Baroda, said they’re taking legal action against the lender to try and stop the termination, which comes after South Africa’s four biggest lenders cut banking services for the family that’s in business with a son of President Jacob Zuma. A number of companies forming part of the Gupta-controlled Oakbay Group “are presently involved in litigation against the Bank of Baroda concerning its unlawful attempts to close the companies’ accounts, and particularly in light of the unreasonable notice period given,” Gary Naidoo
(RFI(EN) 08/17/17)
Jihadi attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso overshadowed Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting, which discussed efforts to establish peace in Africa. Delegates were mulling plans to roll out an all-African force in the Sahel to tackle the armed Islamist threat, but the plan has been beset by challenges. The Security Council condemned Monday's attacks on two UN camps in Mali, which resulted in the deaths of one UN peacekeeper, a Malian soldier and a member of the Malian gendarmerie, along...

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