Saturday 25 November 2017
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
The Central African Republic's president urged the United Nations on Friday to send more peacekeepers to his strife-torn country and ease an arms embargo in the way of equipping his weak army. Addressing the UN General Assembly, President Faustin-Archange Touadera said a recent upsurge in violence was linked to a battle for control of the country's natural resources, implicitly rejecting the view that the clashes were sectarian. "The humanitarian situation has seriously deteriorated in many areas of my country following an increase in violence," Touadera said during his second address to the annual gathering of world leaders following his election last year.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
The president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, on Tuesday pleaded with the world to not forget his country and urged the U.N. to bolster its peace-keeping force amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias. Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked this year and the United Nations warned this month that ethnic fighting could descend again into a much larger conflict if combatants are not disarmed. “Central Africa is at a critical moment in its history. We...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, on Tuesday pleaded with the world to not forget his country and urged the U.N. to bolster its peace-keeping force amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias. Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked this year and the United Nations warned this month that ethnic fighting could descend again into a much larger conflict if combatants are not disarmed. “Central Africa is at a critical moment...
(APA 09/20/17)
APA-Bangui (CAR) - More than 400 youths trained as soldiers during the transitional period in 2013 Wednesday stormed the Ministry of Defence in Bangui to demand their recruitment into the national army. It followed the announcement of the recruitment of 60 ex-fighters as part of the DDRR (demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement) pilot project on Tuesday. A leader of the soldiers has asked the minister of National Defence and Army Reconstruction, Marie-Noëlle Koyara, to employ them as were CAR ex-combatants who were recruited on Tuesday. "What will a man trained in the use of weapons and abandoned in the neighborhood do?” he asked, while reminding the current authorities that they were trained in the military centers in Bangui, Sibut, and...
(APA 09/20/17)
Sixty ex-combatants who laid down their arms under the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) pilot scheme have been integrated into the Central African Republic Armed Forces (FACA). The scheme was launched by the government and its financial partners. On Tuesday the ex rebels received their service number as they joined the ranks of the national army ahead of a four-month training of the recruits in a military center. Training on international humanitarian law will also be provided. After Bangui, the scheme will be tested in the other provinces of the country, so that a total of 260 ex combatants will be integrated into the Central African Army. The DDRR pilot project was launched by the authorities in August, with...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Simmering unrest and clashes in the chronically unstable Central African Republic has led a "record number" of 1.1 million people -- about a fourth of the population -- to flee their homes, the UN said Friday. UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Andrej Mahecic said the actual numbers could be far higher. "The number of refugees may be much more because thousands of people find themselves in remote and often inaccessible areas," it said in a statement, saying that about 167,000 people had fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. There were 513,676 refugees in neighbouring countries and about 600,000 internally displaced people in a country with a population of 4.5 million, it said. Between January and September about 200,000...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
The UN's peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said Friday it would probe allegations that investigations into sexual abuse by UN soldiers had been disastrously mishandled. MINUSCA spokesman Vladimir Monteiro, reached by phone in the Central African capital of Bangui, said the force would "examine the allegations." A US-based NGO, Code Blue Campaign, on Wednesday said a confidential source had given it 14 internal case files regarding allegations of sexual offences against CAR civilians by UN troops. Complaints were made against UN soldiers from nine countries -- Pakistan, Zambia, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Morocco, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon and Niger.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A record number of people - more than 1.1 million - have been uprooted in Central African Republic by spiraling violence between armed groups which threatens to plunge the country back into full-blown conflict, the United Nations said on Friday. A surge in militia fighting in several hotspots since May has driven the number of people seeking refuge in neighboring nations to more than 500,000, while about 600,000 are displaced within the country, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said. This represents the highest number of people forced from their homes since the conflict erupted in 2013, when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the president, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias, according to UNHCR...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
The United Nations said on Thursday it was looking into allegations that complaints of sexual abuse and exploitation made against its peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Central African Republic were mishandled or unreported. The U.N.’s 10,000-strong mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has been dogged by accusations of sex abuse since it deployed in 2014 to curb fighting between mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, who had ousted the president, and Christian militias. Internal U.N. case files handed to Code Blue - a campaign by a non-governmental organization seeking greater accountability for U.N. troops - detail 14 initial fact-finding inquiries into complaints made against MINUSCA
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/17)
Central African Republic president Faustin-Archange Touadera sacked his defense minister on Tuesday evening, according to a state radio broadcast, amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control. The dismissal of Levy Yakete, who was blacklisted by a United Nations Security Council committee in 2014 for his role in a bloody 2013 civil war, was part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle. The statement did not say if his dismissal was related directly to growing violence. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias. Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
At least 25 people in the Central African Republic have been killed in recent sectarian clashes between armed groups, while a new wave of thousands have been made homeless by the violence, the UN said Tuesday. In the central city of Bria, preliminary estimates indicate "at least 10 bodies and about 50 wounded" after fighting between two rival factions of an armed group on September 7 and 8, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its weekly report, received by AFP. In the east of the poor landlocked country, around 15 people were killed and some 80 houses torched in a violent confrontation between two communities in the village of Yakapi, OCHA added. OCHA's death...
(APA 09/13/17)
APA - Bangui (Central African Republic) - Central African Republic’s (CAR) Prime Minister, Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, has on Tuesday formed a new cabinet comprising of 34 members, adding 11 new ministers. The new government includes some members of the armed groups and five women. The Minister of Defense, Joseph Yakité; Minister of Waters and Forests, Arlette Sombo Dibellet; Minister of Health, Fernande Djengbot; Minister of Communication, Charles Lemasset Mandja and Minister of Public Service and Labor, Moussa Haroun were left out of the new cabinet. Sovereignty ministries but also several departments maintain their posts.
(APA 09/13/17)
APA-Douala (Cameroon) - A new contingent of 1030 Cameroonian soldiers have recently joined the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), APA learned on Tuesday from the ministry of Defence (MINDEF). The new contingent is the fourth battalion of its kind deployed in CAR in a bid to beef up the ranks of their peacekeeping colleagues already in the country. Handing the national flag to the contingent, Cameroon’s minister of Defence (MINDEF) Joseph Beti Assomo urged the peacekeepers to be show professionalism and defend the honour of their country. "In your behaviour you must honour the flag and standards of Cameroon. This flag, sacred in essence for every citizen with a civic sense, must always...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...

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