Monday 11 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Plans by Central African Republic's beleaguered government to reassert control in the north of the country were in difficulties on Monday after clashes marred the return of the state's top representative to a key city. Colonel Augustin Tombou was formally installed on Saturday as prefect in the town of Kaga-Bandoro -- a politically important step in the strategy to restore state authority in strife-torn provinces. But sources reported a surge of violence, including mortar rounds fired against UN peacekeepers, gunfire targeting a camp for displaced people and a grenade that was thrown during Tombou's induction ceremony. Tombou's residence was "partially destroyed" and the prefecture itself was burned down, Jean-Serge Bokassa...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Humanitarian groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have suspended operations, the UN said Friday, after an aid worker was killed in the north of the restive, landlocked nation. "The humanitarian community in CAR continues to pay a heavy price from the rise in criminal activity in northern, southern and southeastern regions," the UN's OCHA aid organisation said. At least 10 people had already been killed this week in clashes between rival armed groups, local officials and a UN source said on Thursday. The bloodshed, which began on Sunday in the central town of Ippy, resulted from clashes between the mainly Muslim...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Central African Republic aid worker was killed after gunman stormed his home, his family said Thursday, the latest death in a week of clashes in the country. The 35-year-old man who worked for Italian humanitarian organisation Intersos, died at hospital following the shooting overnight Wednesday to Thursday in Kaga Bandoro, in the north of CAR. The region is controlled by two armed groups which last week prevented the celebration of a national holiday. At least 10 people had already...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Violence near the northern border of Central African Republican has forced thousands of people to flock to the tiny town of Paoua, the Red Cross said Wednesday. About 11,000 people have found refuge in the northwestern townlet since fighting between various armed groups intensified last month near CAR's northern border with Chad, said spokeswoman Sylvie Pellet. "Many surrounding villages have been emptied" and the displaced have found shelter with families or at the health centre, Pellet said. Before these recent...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Roadblocks in war-torn areas of Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo provide armed groups with millions of euros (dollars) in annual income, a report said Wednesday. A year-long study by the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), a Belgian research group, found 1,082 roadblocks in CAR and in the North and South Kivu provinces of eastern DRC alone. Money extorted from road users nets armed groups around seven million euros ($8.2 million) annually, it estimated. Roadblocks are a "key mechanism of conflict funding," IPIS said in a statement. "Strangling development and livelihoods, attracting violent confrontations and generating millions in revenues...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
The country is chronically unstable and gripped by militia violence, its unpaved streets are a rush of crazy traffic -- and for the vast majority of its impoverished citizens, a new bike is a laughable dream. But nothing deters the plucky racing cyclists of Central African Republic (CAR). At dawn, in dusty Bangui, a peloton weaves around white troop carriers of the UN force in a training session as part of efforts to revive the competitive sport in a nation...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Brazil is ready to send at least 750 peacekeepers to join a United Nations force patrolling the Central African Republic, a Brazilian general said Tuesday. General Ajax Porto Pinheiro, who headed Brazil's former UN mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, said the army was ready to respond to a UN request for reinforcements in the impoverished African country. "The timing is not precise, but we think our troops will go to Central Africa by March or April," he told AFP...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A stunned crowd looks on as crates bearing macabre labels such as "mixed bones" and "Body 1" are unloaded from a UN truck in Boali, victims of a massacre by peacekeepers from Congo. "This is like a knife in our hearts," breathes Robert Konomo, 60, who lost his two younger brothers in one of the greatest blunders by peacekeeping soldiers in Africa. Last week, the United Nations returned the remains of 13 women and men to their families in Boali,...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
A peacekeeper with the UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) was killed and three others wounded Sunday in an ambush, authorities said. The soldier, who was Eqytian, died in an attack carried out by "armed elements affiliated with the anti-Balaka movement," the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said. Anti-Balaka were nominally Christian militias organised in response to the bloody sectarian violence unleashed by Muslim-majority Seleka rebels in 2013. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, CAR has been battered...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
More than 5,000 victims of atrocities committed by troops commanded by former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba are calling for individual reparations, rights activists said Monday. International judges sentenced Bemba in June 2016 to 18 years in jail on five charges of war crimes committed when his troops went on a murderous and violent rampage in neighbouring Central African Republic between October 2002 to March 2003. Most of the victims "have lost everything, and continue to live with the physical...

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