Thursday 17 August 2017
(UN.org 07/18/17)
Renewed fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) is increasingly targeting children, while there are concerns that the humanitarian needs in the country could escalate to levels not seen since the crisis four years ago, United Nations humanitarian officials today said. Months of renewed fighting have led to an “increasing number of violent acts” targeting the youngest population, including murders, abductions, rape and recruitment into armed groups, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said. Christine Muhigana, UNICEF Representative in CAR warned that “armed groups and parties to the conflict must cease these flagrant violations of children’s rights and make every effort to keep children safe.” The exact numbers of attacks on children is unknown because fighting prevents humanitarian access to many...
(Unhcr 07/18/17)
Recent violence in southern border areas of Central African Republic is driving more people to flee, including into remote areas of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, putting immense pressure on difficult-to-reach local communities close to the border. In Zemio, around 1,000 kilometres east of the capital Bangui, our partner MSF reported last week that a baby had been shot dead by militants in a hospital housing more than 7,000 displaced people. MSF has since withdrawn from the town amid violence that has also forced the temporary closure of a UNHCR field office. The main areas from which people have been fleeing are the towns of Bangassou, Bema and Mobaye – all several hundred kilometres east of the capital Bangui...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) suspended operations on Wednesday in the town of Zemio in southeastern Central African Republic after militants shot and killed a baby in a hospital hosting thousands of people displaced by violence. Two armed men entered the hospital in Zemio - about 1,000 km (620 miles) east of the capital Bangui - on Tuesday and threatened a family before opening fire on them, shooting the baby in the head and killing her instantly, according to MSF. "The callousness of this attack highlights both the indiscriminate nature and disturbing escalation in violence in CAR against civilians ... and signals the diminishing space for aid organizations," said Mia Hejdenberg, MSF's head of mission. "It has also forced...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AL Jazeera 07/11/17)
The Norwegian Refugee Council says the number of refugees in the country's east has now reached 100,000. A fresh wave of violence has forced 40,000 more people to flee from their homes in the Central African Republic (CAR), bringing the number of refugees in the country's east to 100,000, an NGO says. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reported on Monday that the ongoing fighting in the CAR has also left over 100 people dead since April. In the eastern province of Haute-Kotto, clashes between armed groups since June have forced almost the entire population of its regional capital Bria to flee for their lives.
(APA 07/11/17)
Moroccan peacekeepers deployed in Bria in the north central region of the Central African Republic (CAR) have been withdrawn, MINUSCA announced on Monday. MINUSCA the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic said on a private radio station in Bangui, the nation’s capital, that the decision came at the end of the demonstration staged by inhabitants of Bria last Thursday, demanding the withdrawal of the Moroccan contingent from Bria, for “bias” in their security activities. “Depending on operational requirements, we very often have contingents or parts of the contingents across the country that move from...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(The Associated Press 07/07/17)
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- Bodies lie in the streets of Zemio, the stench filling the air as homes burn and thousands flee the Central African Republic town recently hit by violence between warring militias. More than 15,000 people have been displaced from the southeastern town that had been spared until last week, as sectarian fighting that has devastated the country since 2013 has worsened in parts of the central and southeastern regions. More than 300 people have been killed and 100,000 displaced since mid-May. Many in Zemio are unable to get medical care because of the fighting, according to Doctors Without Borders, which runs an HIV program there. More than 9,000 people have sought refuge at a health...
(APA 07/07/17)
APA-Bangui (Central African Republic) - A new wave of violence erupted in Zemio, more than 1400 km south-east from Bangui, in the Central African Republic (CAR) which plunged its population into disarray, security sources informed APA Thursday. Armed groups that have been fighting since last Saturday, on Monday resumed clashes in Zemio on Thursday morning, forcing a large part of its estimated around 20,000 residents to take refuge in various parts of the city, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to the level of violence, humanitarian workers are forced to temporarily limit their activities in Zemio. The parishioners of the Catholic Church of Zemio were able to bury a dozen bodies in a mass grave following the...
(The Associated Press 07/06/17)
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- Local officials say that more than 78 people have been killed after a truck overturned in an accident in Central African Republic's city of Bambari. Oumar Tidjani, a member of the young Muslims association of Ouaka, said Thursday that 75 others were injured at the Ngouro bridge about 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Bambari. He said the victims are mostly traders who piled into the truck to go to the weekly market in Maloum. Hospital workers confirmed that 59 bodies are in the morgue and at least 18 others are with families for burial. The president's office appealed to drivers to not transport so many people at once given the terrible conditions of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/06/17)
Some 78 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a truck heavily loaded with goods and passengers crashed in Central African Republic, a doctor said on Wednesday. The accident occurred on Tuesday around 10 km (6 miles) outside the town of Bambari, around 300 km northeast of the capital Bangui, as the truck was travelling to a weekly market day in the village of Maloum. "At the moment, we have counted 78 dead and 72 wounded. Some wounded were taken directly to their homes from the accident scene and died there some time after, but most died here," said Chamberlain Bama, chief doctor at the university hospital in Bambari. A member of parliament from Bambari said the truck...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
At least 77 people have died after a heavy goods lorry that was carrying passengers tipped over in the Central African Republic, officials said Wednesday. The accident took place Tuesday between Bambari and Ippy in the centre of the country. "Fifty-nine bodies were taken to the morgue at the regional hospital in Bambari and 18 (were taken) by their relatives for burial," Bambari hospital official Michel Zahandji told AFP. Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said around 60 injured people were being treated at the same hospital. "It was a 10-wheel truck that was transporting tonnes of goods and people setting off for the weekly market in Maloum. It tipped over with all its cargo," said Bambari Mayor Abel Matchipata...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Armed groups in the Central African Republic have killed hundreds of civilians in an unfettered spree of bloodletting, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday. The group issued a 92-page report ahead of the impending opening of a Special Criminal Court, a new judicial body that will probe rights violations in the country since 2003. Investigators found evidence of more than 560 civilian deaths and the destruction of more than 4,200 homes by militias since late 2014, HRW said. But this was likely to be just a small fraction of the total crimes that had been committed, it cautioned. The killings had occurred "with wholesale impunity," the watchdog said. "Over the past two years, hundreds of witnesses told us of brazen...
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
"Heavy gunfire in Zemio. Impossible to go out. They have cut the phones and we can't go out -- it's just too dangerous. So I am posting on Facebook." The sense of fear and urgency is palpable as Jean-Alain Zembi, a priest in Zemio, a southeastern parish in the Central African Republic (CAR), sends a stream of messages to his Facebook feed recounting the horror of ongoing violence. "The information simply must get out as we are holed up here and the shooting is continuing", Father Zembi, 33, told AFP in Libreville via Whatsapp on Tuesday. His account of the violence in his parish came just hours before Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report indicating armed groups had killed...
(Human Rights Watch 07/05/17)
(Nairobi) – Armed groups in the Central African Republic have killed civilians with wholesale impunity, spurring more violence in the war-torn country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 92-page report, “Killing Without Consequence: War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic,” presents a comprehensive account of war crimes committed in three central provinces since late 2014, including more than 560 civilian deaths and the destruction of more than 4,200 homes. The crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Criminal Court (SCC), a new judicial body that, when operational, will investigate and prosecute grave human rights violations and war crimes in the country...

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