Wednesday 21 February 2018
(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 of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(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 world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(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 ravaged by poverty and war. "There are no race teams left in Central Africa. There used to be more than 10 of them and they supported athletes and bought equipment," says Christ-Noel Yarafa, who has run the cycling federation for...
(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 all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(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 want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(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. This would first require government and congressional approval, he added. The United Nations voted this month to boost its struggling MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic by 900 troops. The Security Council set a new ceiling for troops at...
(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, a town some 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Central African Republic's capital Bangui. But more than three years later, how the slaughter unfolded remains unclear, and justice remains an empty word. A sober black monument carved with the victims'...
(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 a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(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 and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(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 by a three-year conflict between the rival militias that began after then-president Francois Bozize was overthrown. During the attack on Sunday near the southern town of Gambo, three other peacekeepers were wounded and five attackers were "neutralised", MINUSCA said. The...
(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 acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(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 and psychological consequences of the crimes, horrors and traumas they have experienced," said a rights NGO. Although Bemba has appealed his sentence, the ICC is already preparing the ground for what reparations should be awarded to the 5,229 victims. It...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
he UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to beef up the UN mission in the Central African Republic with 900 extra troops and step up measures to prevent sex abuse by peacekeepers. The council voted 15-0 to extend the mandate of the MINUSCA force for a year following negotiations between France, which drafted the resolution, and the United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping. Despite its repeated calls for cuts to peacekeeping, the United States agreed to a request for the 900 extra troops from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has warned of a risk of ethnic cleansing. Guterres argued that the MINUSCA force had reached its limit, struggling to cope with growing violence in the impoverished...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The United Nations on Monday opened an independent investigation to determine whether UN peacekeepers responded appropriately to an outbreak of recent violence in the Central African Republic. A team led by retired Brigadier-General Fernand Marcel Amoussou of Benin will arrive in the country on Tuesday and carry out the investigation until November 28. "The investigation will look into attacks against civilians by armed groups that occurred in close proximity to a presence of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Haute-Kotto, Basse-Kotto, Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou prefectures, as well as the mission's response to these incidents," said a UN statement.

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