Saturday 19 August 2017
(AL Jazeera 09/07/13)
As Kenya votes to withdraw from this 'court of last resort', we ask if other African nations will follow suit. Kenya's parliament has voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), sending another strong message from the continent against what is perceived to be interference from the West. The motion was passed after an emergency session of parliament was convened - and the timing could not have been more telling. William Ruto, Kenya's deputy president, is due to appear before the ICC on September 10, on charges of crimes against humanity, while Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, is scheduled to face similar charges in November. They stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections at the end of...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/13)
GENEVA | Fri Sep 6, 2013 (Reuters) - A U.N. mission to the Central African Republic found evidence of widespread human rights violations and huge numbers of people having been driven from their homes in the north of the country. The mineral-rich but poor nation has descended into chaos since Seleka rebels captured the capital Bangui in March, toppling President Francois Bozize and unleashing a wave of violence that new leader Michel Djotodia has failed to control. Senior U.N. officials have said the country is on the brink of collapse, and the conflict has prompted calls for the U.N. Security Council help fund and support an African Union peacekeeping force. The U.N. team found seven villages that had been burned...
(Voice of America 09/06/13)
KAMPALA — Leaders in Africa's Great Lakes region want the government and rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo to resume peace talks following a flare-up of fighting. After a day of closed-door discussions in Kampala, five heads of state from Africa's Great Lakes region declared that negotiations should resume within three days between the Congolese government and the rebel group M23. Participants included the presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kampala talks were held under the auspices of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, which Uganda chairs, and were meant to address the fresh fighting in the eastern DRC. Late last month, the Congolese army and a U.N. intervention...
(Business Day 09/06/13)
Multinational companies operating in Africa are hitting back at claims that government coffers are being eroded by deliberate intragroup mispricing and shifting of profits across borders to pay significantly less tax. Apart from a lack of clarity on what guidelines to use, reports of bribes to resolve tax disputes, poorly educated tax officials focusing only on their bonuses, and a lack of will to follow global guidelines are emerging. Governments are concerned that money they should be receiving is being diverted to other countries, which then receive the tax revenue. This is leading to major moves by tax authorities to ensure transactions between related companies or parties, such as employers and employees, are done at arm’s length. This means these...
(The Guardian 09/06/13)
Scheme could herald a 'green gold' revolution as mines commit to ban child labour, enforce safety rules and prevent toxic run off. In a bustling area of Nyarugusu, in the heart of Tanzania's gold lands, a stocky man is fanning a dustbin lid of smouldering charcoal, gold ore and mercury on the pavement. Each waft sends a cloud of toxic vapour into the faces of children and adults as they gather to watch. The burning of mercury is a common sight in the streets, homes and cottage-industry mines throughout east Africa. The liquid metal is used to extract the gold and then vaporised to leave behind flakes of the precious metal. But in this dangerous industry, seeds of a gold...
(New Vision 09/05/13)
Kampala — Foreign and defence ministers from the region are today meeting in Kampala ahead of the emergency meeting by regional heads of state to discuss the situation in Eastern DR Congo. The heads of state are set to meet at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo on Friday September 6, under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). This follows the launch of an offensive by the UN intervention brigade against positions of the M23 rebels. Elly Kamahungye, the spokesperson of the Ugandan foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Uganda, as chair of the ICGLR, felt it urgent to convene an extraordinary Summit for the member states. "This coming extraordinary summit should...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/13)
LIBREVILLE | (Reuters) - A corruption investigation in Gabon has revealed the existence of about 3,000 fake civil servants who receive monthly government salaries despite holding no official positions, officials said. The tiny, oil-rich Central African nation's bloated civil service employs about 70,000 workers and serves a population of 1.5 million. "The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries despite not belonging to any ministry," State Prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe said on Wednesday. "We have already seized some of them with counterfeit diplomas and fake assignments," she said, adding that those involved in the scam would be prosecuted. Some suspects have been arrested, Ouwe added. "This mafia-like network has branches in higher education establishments and in some administrations," said Maurice Ekogha, an...
(Voice of America 09/05/13)
Heads of state and government in the Great Lakes region of Africa plan to meet in Uganda on Thursday to discuss the security crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following renewed clashes between the national army and the M23 rebels. Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, the head of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, will open the meeting in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, according to Ambassador James Mugume, the permanent secretary at Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. The heads of state, Mugume says, will focus on addressing concerns of the recent DRC conflict, which threatens regional peace and security. “We would hope that the fighting would stop. We would go back to dialogue and we would have harmonization of...
(Voice of America 09/05/13)
Authorities in the Central African Republic have begun a new disarmament campaign aimed mainly at rebels who overthrew the president in March. Minister of Public Security Jose Binoua said Wednesday the campaign is a response to a surge in robberies, auto thefts, rapes and murders blamed largely on fighters with the Seleka rebel movement. Binoua said he hopes to disarm rebel fighters living in parts of the capital, Bangui, outside six designated military barracks. He said any Seleka fighter walking around with a weapon outside those areas should hand over their weapon at a designated location. He also said the Bangui city limits would be closed to cars for the length of the campaign, which is expected to last about...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/13)
NEW YORK | (Reuters Health) - Despite concerns that iron supplements may increase children's risk of malaria in regions where it is common, a new study found kids in Ghana who received nutrient powder with iron were no more likely to get the disease than their peers. According the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 660,000 deaths from malaria in 2010. About 90 percent of those occurred in Africa, most in children under five years old. Some studies have suggested giving children iron might increase their risk of malaria - including one trial that was halted early due to more hospitalizations for malaria and other infections among children receiving iron. The theory is that malaria-causing parasites can take up...
(Haaretz 09/03/13)
Last week’s announcement that an agreement had been reached with an African country, later identified as Uganda, to accept African migrants from Israel was not only premature but far too optimistic in terms of the number of people likely to be involved, a senior government official said Monday. Haaretz has learned that the contacts with Uganda relate to the absorption of only a few hundred migrants, so even if an agreement is successfully concluded, its influence will be limited. According to the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, some 54,000 African migrants are now living in Israel, more than 90 percent of them Eritrean and Sudanese nationals. The initial announcement about an agreement with Uganda was made last week by Interior...
(Voice of America 09/03/13)
JOHANNESBURG — Journalists and South Africans have flocked to former South African president Nelson Mandela’s home in Johannesburg following his release Sunday from a Pretoria hospital. Mandela spent 85 days there after being admitted on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. While many South Africans are breathing a sigh of relief, some have questioned why the world icon was released despite the fact that his condition remains critical and at times unstable. Since Sundays’ announcement that the 95-year-old former president was allowed to return home from the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, social media have been flooded with congratulatory messages, and the story has made international headlines. The media that was entrenched for months outside the hospital now has...
(BBC News Africa 09/03/13)
The origins of human tuberculosis have been traced back to hunter-gatherer groups in Africa 70,000 years ago, an international team of scientists say. The research goes against common belief that TB originated in animals only 10,000 years ago and spread to humans. The work, published in Nature Genetics, outlines the strong relationship between the evolutionary history of both humans and TB. The disease causes more than one million deaths every year. Previous research has indicated that human TB originated about 10,000 years ago in Africa during the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT), when the human population was expanding and agriculture was becoming prominent. Researchers combined geographic and genetic data from 259 strains of TB to reconstruct its evolutionary history and compare...
(Bloomberg 09/03/13)
China’s smallest oil imports from West Africa in at least two years are curbing demand for tankers on the third-longest trade route, prolonging the worst rates in more than a decade for Frontline Ltd. and other owners. Chinese refiners will buy 28 percent less West African crude this month than a year earlier, the least in data starting in August 2011, according to loading plans and a Bloomberg News survey of eight traders. Shares of Frontline, which operates 32 very large crude carriers, will drop 38 percent in 12 months, the average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg shows. Those of Euronav SA, with 13 supertankers in its fleet, will retreat 24 percent, the forecasts show. Tanker owners are...
(Voice of America 09/02/13)
JOHANNESBURG — Former South African president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from Medi-clinic Heart Hospital in the country’s capital, Pretoria, where he spent close to three months being treated for a recurring lung infection. However, his health is said to remain critical and at times unstable, and his doctors will keep providing him with intensive care at his Johannesburg home. Thuso Khumalo has more from Johannesburg. A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that Mandela left the hospital Sunday morning. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says the anti-apartheid icon is now recovering at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. Mandela had been hospitalized since June 8. Maharaj referred to Mandela using his clan name, Madiba. We...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/02/13)
LONDON, Sept 2 | Mon Sep 2, 2013 (Reuters) - Africa-focused mining and infrastructure firm IMIC said on Monday it signed an offtake agreement with Chinese group Hebei Iron and Steel for iron ore produced from the Nkout project in Cameroon, which IMIC is in the process of acquiring. Junior miner Afferro IMIC, which is allied with African Iron Ore Group, run by Afren Plc founder Bert Cooper, says it can build the infrastructure necessary to begin production at its project in Cameroon. IMIC said the offtake agreements will be used as a vital part of financing the project through Chinese partners such as Hebei - the largest steel producer in China. A similar offtake agreement was crucial to African...
(AFP 09/01/13)
JOHANNESBURG, September 1, 2013 (AFP) - South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was Sunday discharged from hospital where he has been treated since June 8 for a recurring respiratory illness, the presidency said. "Former President Nelson Mandela has this morning, 1 September 2013, been discharged from the Pretoria hospital where he has been receiving treatment," said a statement. It is said his condition "remains critical and is at times unstable." An ambulance with police escort was seen arriving at his suburban home, north of Johannesburg, shortly after 0900 GMT. Officials said the 95-year-old will receive the same intensive care from his Johannesburg home. "If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done."...
(AFP 08/31/13)
JOHANNESBURG, August 31, 2013 (AFP) - South Africa's presidency on Saturday denied reports that Nelson Mandela had been discharged from hospital and had returned to his Johannesburg home. "Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition," President Jacob Zuma's spokesman said in a statement, denying reports from several news organisations that he had left the facility. "At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions." During Mandela's 80-plus days in hospital, the presidency through Maharaj has been the official source of information about the condition of the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon. But updates have been infrequent and have offered few details, prompting frequent speculation. At the end of July, Zuma's office...
(Voice of America 08/30/13)
GENEVA — UN aid agencies report an alarming deterioration in the security situation in the Central African Republic. The agencies reports thousands of people are newly displaced as a result of the recent increase in violence in the capital, Bangui, and elsewhere in the country. The U.N. Refugee Agency calls the Central African Republic a very frightening place. It said CAR is a world humanitarian crisis that is being vastly overshadowed by what is happening in Syria and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the last 10 days, the UNHCR reports a great many people have been fleeing fighting in at least two main areas of the capital, Bangui. On Thursday, it said between 5,000 and 6,000 people, including...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/13)
PERTH | Fri Aug 30, 2013 (Reuters) - Australia's Sundance Resources (SDL.AX) expects to bring its $4.7 billion iron ore project in West Africa online by early 2018, despite the collapse of a takeover by China's Hanlong Group in April that many expected to doom the project. Giulio Casello, chief executive of Sundance, told Reuters in an interview that the company is also aiming to finalize an equity partner for the project and have off take secured by the end of the year. By early next year, Sundance expects to have selected a contractor for the development. Investors saw little hope for the future of the project when the Hanlong deal fell through, but Sundance has said it was talking...

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