Thursday 19 April 2018
(Reuters 11/15/13)
(Reuters) - U.S. military forces in Africa may lose well over a tenth - or some $40 million - from their 2014 budget, the U.S. Africa Command said on Thursday, although it saw success against militants in Somalia and Mali. The bulk of such cuts will fall on headquarters and training programs, AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said, most likely forcing smaller exercises. The size of AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is to be reduced by some 20 percent. The planned cuts are part of broader across-the-board U.S. spending restrictions dubbed "sequestration" and imposed after Congress failed to agree deficit reduction measures. AFRICOM - set up in 2007 to coordinate U.S. military activity on the continent - retains some 5,000...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/13)
GENEVA, November 14, 2013 (AFP) - American actress and celebrity campaigner Mia Farrow urged the international community on Thursday to take urgent action to stem violence in the Central African Republic. "CAR is not a forgotten crisis. The population is simply completely abandoned," said Farrow, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN children's agency UNICEF. Farrow, 68, recently back from a visit to the conflict-ravaged nation, told reporters the "seeds of genocide" had been sown there and the world had a moral duty to take a stand. The Central African Republic has been plagued by instability since a coup by Seleka, a coalition of rebel groups which overthrew longtime president Francois Bozize in March. Seleka leader, Michel Djotodia, named...
(Amnesty International 11/14/13)
Expert analysis of new satellite imagery Amnesty International has obtained from the Central African Republic (CAR) reveals the shocking aftermath of recent human rights abuses amid spiralling violence by armed groups and security forces. The images – some taken since the beginning of November – include evidence of 485 homes being torched in Bouca as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) massing near the town of Bossangoa as people flee the ongoing violence. “These new images offer a glimpse of physical scarring to homes and civic life visible from space, but the true scale of the human impact of the crisis cannot be captured by satellite,” said Aster van Kregten, Deputy Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International. “The national authorities...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/13)
BANGUI (Reuters) - Three people were killed and several wounded in Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and former rebel fighters, police and government officials said. The country has descended into chaos since northern Seleka rebels seized Bangui in March, ousting President Francois Bozize and igniting sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians. United Nations officials say both sides may have committed war crimes and warned this month that the killings risked spiraling into genocide. Wednesday's violence erupted in the Fatima neighborhood after demonstrators threw stones at the motorcade of transitional President Michel Djotodia, whom Seleka brought to power. The demonstrators said the protest, in which they burned tires and blocked roads, followed the abduction...
(Voice of America 11/14/13)
A veteran U.S.-based African journalist said ending corruption in Africa is becoming more elusive because there is no incentive for government officials and others not to engage in corruption. Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York-based African Sun Times newspaper, said part of the solution would be prosecution and lengthy prison terms for those implicated in official corruption. Onyeani was reacting to a study by the independent research firm Afrobarometer, which found that Africans are unhappy with efforts to fight corruption, and found that many still pay bribes to get basic services. The report said Nigeria, Egypt and Zimbabwe got the worst ratings, while Malawi, Lesotho and Botswana got the best. Onyeani said that while not surprised by...
(Bloomberg 11/14/13)
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is gearing up to sell about $15 billion of assets as Europe’s largest oil company accelerates disposals to offset the cost of projects from Australia to Canada. Asset sales will allow Shell’s net capital investment, spending on projects adjusted for acquisitions and disposals, to fall from this year’s record $45 billion, Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in an interview. New projects coming on stream give room to sell oil and natural gas fields, he said. While chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc Peter Voser didn't put a figure on disposals, Shell needs to raise at least $15 billion over the next two years to meet its financial targets, according to data compiled...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/13)
BANGUI, November 13, 2013 (AFP) - Members of Central African Republic ex-rebel group Seleka opened fire Wednesday on a crowd protesting the kidnapping of a soldier, killing at least one person and wounding several, police said. The protest erupted after members of Seleka, which overthrew longtime president Francois Bozize in March, abducted a soldier in the Fatima neighbourhood of Bangui, the country's capital, a police source said. "This kidnapping caused residents to rise up and protest by putting up barricades," the source said. "At least one person was killed and several others wounded by bullets" when ex-rebels opened fire on the crowd, he added. The army and members of an African force tasked with stabilising the country responded to the...
(Voice of America 11/13/13)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two cases this week involving American piracy victims in Africa have highlighted the maritime dangers in the region. However, maritime experts say there are significant differences in the causes and response to piracy off the coast of Somalia and incidents in the troubled Gulf of Guinea, near Nigeria. A judge in Norfolk, Virginia has ordered Somali national Ahmed Muse Salad to serve 19 consecutive life sentences for his role in the 2011 murders of four Americans. Salad was among a group of Somali pirates who boarded a yacht carrying its American owners and two crew members off Africa's east coast. The four Americans were shot and killed after negotiations with the U.S. navy broke down. In another...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/13)
CAPE TOWN Wed Nov 13, 2013 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics expects to supply half of the smartphones sold in Africa this year and aims to double these sales on the continent in 2014, an executive said. Africa has a growing young population that is increasingly tech savvy and urbanized. This is attracting foreign sellers of consumer products like smartphones, especially as markets stagnate or shrink in more developed nations. Although smartphones are gaining popularity across the continent, they are still a novelty. At the end of 2012, sub-Saharan smartphone penetration was 4 percent, compared with a global average of 17 percent, according to industry body GSMA. "Samsung this year will ship 50 percent of all the smartphones in Africa," Thabiet...
(Bloomberg 11/12/13)
Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD), the wireless operator with the most subscribers in South Africa, plans to increase investment on the continent as it speeds up the pace of network upgrades. “In South Africa we’ve been investing 7 billion rand ($677 million) a year and we want to notch that up a couple of levels,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said on a conference call today. The company will increase capital spending as a percentage of revenue to as much 17 percent from 13 percent in 2013, he said. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the world’s second-biggest wireless provider, is putting aside about $10 billion from the sale of its Verizon Wireless stake in the U.S. to upgrade networks for units including...
(Voice of America 11/12/13)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — A comet is heading for a close encounter with the sun later this month, and providing it is not vaporized or torn apart it should be visible to the naked eye sometime in December. Comet ISON is expected to pass just about 621,000 miles from the sun's surface on Nov. 28. Scientists are not sure how ISON will hold up. As it blasts around the sun, traveling at 234 miles per second, the comet will be heated to about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to vaporize not just the ice in the comet's body, but rock and metal as well. If the heat does not kill ISON, the sun's gravity may rip it apart. However, recent...
(BBC News Africa 11/11/13)
New satellite images from the Central African Republic show the "shocking" aftermath of recent violence, according to Amnesty International. The country has been in crisis since a rebel takeover in March. The human rights group says the images show significant fire damage to 485 homes in the northern town of Bouca. Some of the thousands of people who have fled the violence can be seen massing in nearby Bossangoa, Amnesty says. It is not publishing those images out of concern for the safety of the displaced people, it says. "These new images offer a glimpse of physical scarring to homes and civic life visible from space, but the true scale of the human impact of the crisis cannot be captured...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/11/13)
DAKAR Mon Nov 11, 2013 (Reuters) - When Abasiama Idaresit started a digital marketing firm in Nigeria's bustling economic capital three years ago, he quickly learned how brutal life can be in a market where tech startups are in their infancy. No-one would lend him money to hire staff or pay for office space, so Idaresit spent eight months hustling the streets of Lagos, trying to convince clients his plan to help them develop online campaigns was a winner. "During those first eight months, I didn't make a dime ... I was demoralized. At some point I wondered if it was worth it," Idaresit told Reuters by telephone from his Lagos office. It took a money-back guarantee before a baby...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/11/13)
RIYADH (Reuters) - Thousands of mostly African workers gathered in Riyadh on Sunday seeking repatriation after two people were killed in overnight rioting that followed a visa crackdown by Saudi authorities. One of those killed was a Saudi, said a government statement, and the other was not identified. An Ethiopian man was killed in a visa raid last week. Ethiopia's foreign minister condemned the deaths, and told Reuters his government was working to bring its citizens home. "This is unacceptable. We call on the Saudi government to investigate this issue seriously. We are also happy to take our citizens, who should be treated with dignity while they are there," Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom said. He said Addis Ababa had...
(AFP 11/09/13)
LAGOS, November 9, 2013 (AFP) - The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) opens in Nigeria on Sunday and although it is still in its infancy, organisers hope that with time it can become the continent's Cannes. Seventy films from across the continent will be screened in a series of venues over seven days in the southern coastal city of Calabar, which Nigeria has tried to promote as an emerging cultural hub. "For an African film to come out in Cannes or at (the) Toronto (International Film Festival) it has got to be pretty exceptional," said festival spokesman Julian Nwagboniwe. "But on our platform, we can increase exposure" for artists who may struggle for recognition in Europe or North America, he...
(AL Jazeera 11/08/13)
Al Jazeera has uncovered evidence that armed forces in the Central African Republic were responsible for a massacre that took place on October 26, a few kilometres from the centre of the town of Bouar. Eighteen people were killed in the incident, the youngest victim just two weeks old. Landlocked CAR - a nation of 4.6 million people - has slipped into chaos since a coalition of fighters named Seleka took control of the capital, Bangui, and deposed President Francois Bozize in March this year. Human rights organisations estimate that thousands of people have been killed amid the deterioraring security situation. Michel Djotodia, the Seleka leader, has declared himself president of CAR. He announced on September 14 that the Seleka...
(BBC News Africa 11/08/13)
The EU's top court has ruled that homosexuals from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal who fear imprisonment in their home country have grounds for asylum in EU member states. The Netherlands had asked the court for advice about three gay citizens of those countries seeking asylum. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says asylum can be granted in cases where people are actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country. ECJ rulings apply to all EU members. Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana. In June a report by Amnesty International said homophobic attacks had reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop. The ECJ judgment on...
(CNN 11/08/13)
(CNN) -- Next time you chum up to a stranger on social media before traveling to their homeland, consider the ordeal of Australian Steve Sparks. As reported by ABC, the Darwin resident says he was kidnapped and held for six weeks while vacationing in the African nation of Senegal. While being held against his will, Sparks' abductors emptied his bank account. Sparks, who was released about two weeks ago, but who has only recently returned home, "says his mistake was meeting up with a man he had met on social media." After meeting the social media contact, Sparks says he was kidnapped, forced to give up his bank account details and held in a bedroom for six weeks. He says...
(Dw-World 11/08/13)
Most German entrepreneurs shy away from investing in southern Africa and bilateral trade is relatively low. A business lobby group wants to reverse this trend. The Togolese ambassador to Germany, Comla Paka, has expressed his country's desire for international investors. The small West African country on the Atlantic Ocean has a lot to catch up with in terms of investment. "We need investment in infrastructure, our roads and ports," said Paka. Traditionally Togo enjoys good relations with Germany, but economic cooperation between the two is still rare, the ambassador said. “Many African countries find access to European markets very difficult and in the end prefer to do business with countries like China and India," he added. Africa's economy is growing...
(AL Jazeera 11/07/13)
Armed forces accused of committing atrocities against civilians since the capital Bangui was seized by Seleka fighters. Al Jazeera has uncovered evidence that armed forces in the Central African Republic were responsible for a massacre that took place on October 26, a few kilometres from the centre of the town of Bouar. Eighteen people were killed in the incident, the youngest victim just two weeks old. Landlocked CAR - a nation of 4.6 million people - has slipped into chaos since a coalition of fighters named Seleka took control of the capital, Bangui, and deposed President Francois Bozize in March this year. Human rights organisations estimate that thousands of people have been killed amid the deterioraring security situation. Michel Djotodia,...

Pages