Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
BANGUI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Tucked away on the University of Bangui campus in the capital of Central African Republic, a portacabin surrounded by palm trees shelters neat rows of test-tubes filled with green shoots. Here scientists are running a laboratory using advanced nuclear-derived techniques to find a solution to one of the war-torn country’s most urgent and deadliest problems: hunger. But the conflict has hit their work too. In 2013, as the government was toppled and fighting erupted on the streets, Simplice Yandia was poring over his notes in the tiny lab when he heard loud gunshots outside. “I had to run away,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The next day, he came back to find the lab...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
About 7,400 people have been forced to flee their homes as fighting raged between rival militias in northwest Central African Republic, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. The internally displaced people in the area of Markounda since late December have faced living conditions that "are extremely difficult,", according to the ICRC, which is working alongside the Central African Red Cross and the NGO Doctors Without Borders. "Families are confined to makeshift huts. The only health...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
A stash of drugs and ammunition was found hidden in a truck chartered by a private company under contract with the UN in Central African Republic, the UN's mission in the country MINUSCA said on Thursday. "MINUSCA has opened an investigation," after Blue Helmets discovered several hundred shotgun cartridges hidden in containers, and an unspecified drug, in Ippy in central CAR, mission spokesman Vladimir Monteiro told AFP. All UN materials transported by private companies in CAR are in sealed containers marked "UN", but Monteiro said "these goods were not in the sealed containers", but "under" the cargo.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
A controversial former minister who coordinates armed groups in conflict-hit Central African Republic was on Friday elected to the governing board of Africa's top footballing body. Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, who is Central Africa's football chief, was elected following a vote in Casablanca among delegates at the Confederation of African Football's general assembly. He was elected to the board seat representing eight central African nations, winning by 30 votes compared to his Gabonese rival, who got 23. Ngaissona is responsible for...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
The pot-holed streets of Bangui's Muslim quarter are lined with stalls plying their trade to a cacophony of honking horns and cars backfiring -- a comforting image of bustling life in Central African Republic's capital. But beneath this veneer of normalcy, many traders in the flashpoint district of PK5 are on edge. Last month, they agreed as one to stop paying protection money demanded by the numerous "self-defence" militias set up to protect the city's Muslim minority. Their defiance prompted...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
The UN Security Council on Tuesday maintained an arms embargo on the Central African Republic and added incitement to hatred as well as attacks on aid workers as criteria for sanctions. The council unanimously adopted a French-drafted resolution that would pave the way to targeted sanctions against those fomenting anti-Muslim or anti-Christian violence in the strife-torn country. Resurgent armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have resorted to hate speech to stoke tensions, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to warn of a risk of ethnic cleansing. The council condemned incitement to violence on an ethnic or religious basis and decided that any individual or entity that commits such acts or supports...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/18)
The United Nations is in talks with countries that contribute peacekeepers to its mission in the Central African Republic after an investigation found their response to attacks last year fell short, a UN spokesman said Friday. A special investigation led by a retired general from Benin found "deficiencies" in peacekeeping operations in the southeast of the country from May to August 2017 and presented recommendations, the UN said. UN peacekeeping officials are in to talks with the troop- and police-contributing countries "to ensure that these measures are implemented," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
An internal inquiry for the United Nations recommends tactical changes to the UN mission in the Central African Republic to protect civilians, according to findings made available Friday to AFP. "(The mission) MINUSCA should overhaul its strategy to protect civilians to ensure that its operational response is better adapted," said a statement by the independent panel set up by the UN department for peacekeeping operations. MINUSCA troops and civilian staff, totalling some 14,000 in December, were first deployed in 2014...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
"We first heard gunshots. Then we saw the horses arrive, each carrying two or three men, armed with Kalashnikovs, rifles, bows and arrows," Charles Tombe says. "They shot at everyone -- we fled into the bush. There are corpses over there, rotting." Tombe, 52, ran a small medical centre, which he said was burned down along with all the other houses after the village of Bekoro Misso was looted. He is one of numerous eyewitnesses AFP interviewed about militia violence...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...

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