Thursday 18 January 2018
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has made “irreversible” progress in preparing credible and peaceful elections, President Joseph Kabila told the United Nations, without giving a date for the vote whose delay has spurred violent protests. Speaking before the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23, Kabila said that 42 million of an estimated 45 million eligible voters have been registered. An ongoing “series of evaluations of the electoral process” should permit the “forthcoming publication” of the electoral calendar by the election commission, Kabila told the New York meeting in a rare public speech. Kabila, who’s ruled since 2001, was supposed to step down at the end of his constitutionally limited second term in December 2016, but the vote for his replacement...
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
David Mabuza, premier of South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, said the ruling African National Congress needs to coalesce around a unifying candidate at a December conference where leaders will be elected to end infighting that is damaging the party. Factions backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former head of the African Union and an ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, and Cyril Ramaphosa, the country’s deputy president, are “far apart,” Mabuza said on Monday on The Justice Factor, a program screened by broadcaster eNCA. Unless there is unity, Mabuza said he will not consent to serving in a leadership position. “We see an ANC that is gradually depleting itself, rather than growing,” he said. “We are tearing ourselves apart. If we are...
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
Ethiopia accused a semi-autonomous territory in neighboring Somalia of illegally displacing more than 3,000 long-term Oromo residents in the wake of clashes on the boundary between two of Ethiopia’s regional states. The northern territory of Somaliland displaced the Oromos, who belong to Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and are now sheltering in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regional states, Information Minister Negeri Lencho told reporters Monday in the capital, Addis Ababa. He said the eastern part of Oromia experienced “bloody conflict” in the border clashes earlier this month and described Oromos as having been “targeted” there, in Ethiopia’s Somali
(Voice of America 09/26/17)
Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the ruling party’s plans to remove the presidential age limit from the constitution. Parliament is expected to again take up the issue this week with the opposition pledging to continue its resistance. Uganda’s ruling party says it will push ahead with its plans to scrap the presidential age limit despite street protests and stiff resistance from opposition lawmakers last week. Peter Ogwang is vice-chairperson of the ruling party caucus in parliament. “It’s provided for in this law, in this constitution of the Republic of Uganda. What are we doing? We are using the law which were made by the delegates in the 1995, which [is] the law which we have been using to amend...
(Dw-World 09/26/17)
Police have detained seven people for allegedly raising a rainbow flag at a rock gig in Cairo. They have been charged with promoting homosexuality despite it not being an offense under Egyptian law. Egyptian authorities arrested seven people on Monday, who they accused of being gay and promoting homosexuality, according to officials who did not want to be named as they had not been authorized to speak to the media. The officials said the seven people arrested were responsible for raising the rainbow flag at a gig by popular Lebanese rock band Mashrou' Leila. They have apparently also been charged with "public indecency" and "inciting immorality among young people." The rainbow flag symbolizes the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
A Mauritian whistle-blower withdrew allegations of money laundering that forced Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo to step down this month. Husein Abdool Rahim, who made the allegations earlier in September, said he’d been pressured by Port Louis-based newspaper l’Express and former Financial Services Minister Roshi Badhain into making claims that Yerrigadoo helped set up a financial structure to enable the transfer of gambling winnings to bank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland. He said he’s subsequently filed a complaint against l’Express and Badhain. “Certain points of the sworn affidavit are false, specifically those relating to money laundering,” Rahim said in remarks broadcast Sept. 22 on Radio Plus, a Port Louis-based broadcaster. “L’Express and Roshi Bhadain manipulated me. They only wanted the head...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya is lurching toward a constitutional crisis as a standoff deepens between the two presidential candidates over how to manage a rerun of last month’s botched election. Both sides have entrenched their positions: Raila Odinga’s opposition coalition has called mass protests starting Tuesday to demand the electoral commission is overhauled before the vote takes place, while President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling party rejects any changes to the authority and says the ballot must take place by the end of October. The impasse raises the risk that the election won’t take place at all, a situation the constitution doesn’t envisage. “If the parties retain their hard-line stances, there will be a constitutional crisis,” Charles Kanjama, managing partner at Muma & Kanjama Advocates,...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Ayaak Deng’s first-ever flight let her skip over a hundred miles of bloodily contested South Sudan and visit family she hadn’t seen in a year. It’s the kind of trip that’s revitalizing small airlines that initially struggled because of the almost four-year civil war. The airport in the capital, Juba, has recorded about 1,000 domestic passengers a day this month, more than five times the average in the first half of 2016, before a peace deal collapsed and gunmen began targeting vehicles plying the main roads. Dangers on the highways are fueling the popularity of flights to places such as Deng’s central hometown of Bor, even as the oil-producing East African nation battles an economic crisis and mass hunger. “It’s...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Zimbabwe will access a $600 million credit line from African Export-Import Bank in an effort to stave off a foreign-currency shortage that’s afflicted importers of everything from food to fuel. The southern African nation needs the assistance “especially during the foreign-exchange drought, which runs from October to February next year,” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said at a ceremony Saturday in the capital, Harare, where the agreement was signed by the Cairo-based lender and Zimbabwe’s central bank. Zimbabwe’s foreign-currency earnings traditionally slump after sales of tobacco end in the second half of the year and the government gears to provide inputs to farmers for crops such as corn and soy.
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Rwanda’s police said they arrested an activist barred from running for the presidency and two family members for alleged offenses against state security and forgery. Diane Rwigara, her mother and sister were arrested Saturday after the East African nation’s police “uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offenses against state security,” the force said in a statement on its website. Investigators have five days to complete the probe and decide whether to forward the case to prosecution, the police said. Rwigara’s lawyer didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment. A women’s rights activist, Rwigara attempted to run in August’s presidential vote against long-time ruler Paul Kagame only to be disqualified
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance will begin mass protests this week to force out electoral officials it suspects of rigging last month’s annulled presidential vote. The National Super Alliance will begin its campaign on Tuesday and will continue until the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officeholders resign, said Norman Magaya, chief executive officer of the opposition coalition. It may escalate the protests if lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Party continue with plans to amend the country’s electoral laws, he said. “Demonstration is the only language these people understand and for us it’s not going to be a one-day event,” Magaya said by phone from Nairobi, the capital. “Tuesday is just the launch of the mass movement and we will spread these...
(The Guardian 09/25/17)
Ex-CIA asset Khalifa Haftar, due to meet Italian officials in Rome, ordered soldiers to commit war crimes, according to legal experts. European leaders are embracing a Libyan general who has ordered his soldiers to commit war crimes, according to new evidence that has been analysed by senior legal experts. The allegation of human rights abuses by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east, comes as the general is due to arrive in Rome on Tuesday, where he will be received by Italian officials. The visit is a radical departure for Italy, who had previously shunned Haftar and seen him as a major obstacle to stability in the region...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Now that Nigeria’s economy is recovering from its worst slump in 25 years, the central bank can turn its focus to fighting inflation again -- and shoring up its currency. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept its interest rate at a record-high 14 percent since July 2016, trying to support the economy, and will probably hold it there at its decision this week to contain above-target consumer-price growth. Officials can take heart from a pickup in West Africa’s biggest economy in the second quarter after more than a year of contraction, as higher oil output boosted the supply of foreign currency to buy raw materials and food. That upswing probably gives the MPC, led by Governor Godwin Emefiele, room to...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
When Tashitaa Tufaa first arrived in Minneapolis from Ethiopia in 1992, he remembers craning his head skyward in disbelief. Looking up at the tallest skyscraper he had ever seen, he began counting the stories until he couldn’t count anymore. Eventually, he found out the building had 55 floors. It was a long way from Negele Arsi district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia where he grew up. As a child, he worked alongside his 13 siblings on the family farm. Now he’d have to do other types of work. He thought he had a fluent command of English that would open doors in the job market. “But I found out that I didn't after I came to Minneapolis,” he said...
(The Guardian 09/25/17)
Recruitment of almost 2,000 health workers to Libya has led to urgent calls for government to stop exodus amid dire staffing shortages. The failure to stop a brain drain of almost 2,000 of its best doctors and nurses is exacerbating Uganda’s healthcare crisis, reflecting a growing problem across east Africa, say healthcare workers. At least 1,963 medics are being recruited to work at one hospital alone in Libya, as Middle Eastern countries turn to the region for highly qualified workers to fill their own vacancies, which have increased amid political instability and migration. Nurses, laboratory technicians and doctors in different fields are being recruited from public health facilities, private hospitals and the not-for-profit sector, with no clear government plan to...
(The Guardian 09/25/17)
Crackdown by education minister, which includes fine threat, prompts ridicule on social media. Egypt’s education minister has ordered students to respect the Egyptian flag or risk jail time. Students who mock or desecrate the flag could be fined 30,000 LE (£1,260) and sentenced to up to a year in prison, said the education minister, Tarek Shawki. The former president Adly Mansour criminalised desecrating the Egyptian flag with the same punishments in 2014, but Shawki’s order singles out younger Egyptians for the first time. This month students at Egypt’s public universities began their academic year by saluting the flag, after a decree by the Higher Council of Universities aimed at “boosting patriotic sentiment”. The ruling prompted a backlash on social media,...
(Euronews 09/25/17)
Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency… Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency Moody’s. One of the top reforms on the agenda concerns small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A new law is expected to come into effect before the end of this year. Under it SMEs will be taxed under a simplified system. It’s aimed at encouraging those firms to operate in the formal economy. Tareq Qabil, the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, said:...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
OPEC’s commitment to cutting production to clear a global glut is working, but the group needs to address rising output from Libya and Nigeria, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Compliance with the output cuts is “acceptable,” Zanganeh told reporters Sunday in Tehran. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should focus on “the situation with Libya and Nigeria,” he said, referring to the two countries exempted from capping production due to their internal strife. Nigeria will be able to participate in cuts when its output stabilizes at 1.8 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Friday. “OPEC’s actions are working and compliance is acceptable overall, although there needs to be some change,” Zanganeh said, referring to OPEC...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
Cameroon's National Communication Council, the government media regulator, has suspended 30 journalists or radio and TV programs for what it calls biased reporting. Among the more than 30 media organizations and journalists the NCC has suspended or warned are newspapers La Nouvelle Expression, La Meteo, L'Anecdote and the capital city radio station Amplitude FM. NCC president Peter Essoka said the media organizations and journalists were suspended from one to six months because of unprofessional conduct and refusal to respect norms and ethics of journalism. "When a journalist comes up with a newspaper article and says a certain minister is known to be running with the prime minister’s wife, how do you take that? It is indecent. It is indecent. And...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
By Dulue Mbachu 25 septembre 2017 à 00:01 UTC+1 From Almost half a century after a secessionist war in southeastern Nigeria ended, a renewed push for an independent state known as Biafra is stoking fresh conflict. Thousands of troops have been deployed in the region, which is mainly populated by ethnic Igbos. The forces have rounded up scores of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or Ipob, the main group behind the breakaway campaign, several people have died in clashes, and Ipob’s popular leader has gone missing after a military raid at his home. 1. What’s brought the Biafra cause alive again? In short, a new leader. Nnamdi Kanu, 45, has injected new life into the secessionist movement. Previously...

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