Wednesday 26 July 2017
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
ROME — The government of the Central African Republic and 13 of the 14 armed groups in the country on Monday signed an accord aimed at ending an ethic and religious conflict that has killed thousands of people. The deal, which was mediated by the Roman Catholic Sant' Egidio peace group and signed at their headquarters in Rome, calls for an immediate end to hostilities and recognition of the results of last year's presidential elections. The country has been plagued by inter-religious and inter-communal conflict since 2013, when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, prompting reprisals from the anti-Balaka militia, many of whose fighters are nominally Christian. The Sant' Egidio group, which is backed by the Vatican and Italy,...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The government of the Central African Republic on Monday signed an "immediate ceasefire" deal with rebel groups aimed at ending violence in the strife-torn country. One of the world's poorest nations, the landlocked Central African Republic has been struggling to recover from a three-year civil war between the Muslim and Christian militias that started after the 2013 overthrow of leader Francois Bozize. In March, the country came in last of 155 nations surveyed in the annual World Happiness Report. - History of instability - In June UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced concern over the "widespread instability" and attacks on UN troops in the CAR, after a month of renewed violence which forced tens of thousands to flee conflict-ravaged areas...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
At least 35 people were wounded on Tuesday in fighting in a Central African Republic town, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said, just a day after armed groups signed a peace deal with the government aimed at ending years of violence. Clashes broke out in the town of Bria, around 580 km (360 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, in the early morning, despite the signature in Rome on Monday of the agreement, which included an immediate ceasefire. (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Emma Farge)
(AfricaNews 06/19/17)
The government of the Central African Republic and 13 of the 14 armed groups in the country on Monday signed an accord aimed at ending an ethnic and religious conflict that has killed thousands of people. The deal, which was mediated by the Roman Catholic Sant’ Egidio peace group, calls for an immediate end to hostilities and the recognition of legitimate authorities following the last elections. This is the latest of several peace accords signed by rebel groups and the government since the conflict started. In 2015, an agreement was signed between 10 armed groups and the Defense Ministry during a peace forum in the capital...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
The outlawed Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo close to the South Sudanese border as a U.S.-supported regional task force pulls out, the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report on Friday. Forty rebels from the group, which is led by Joseph Kony, kidnapped 61 civilians in a June 7 raid in the Tanganyika mining area near the Garamba National Park in Haut-Uele province, the report said, citing local civil society and aid workers. The civilians were released after being forced to move goods and food looted by the LRA, and an unknown number of villagers subsequently fled to the nearby town of Gangala Nabodio. There had been no LRA-related displacement for more...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The United Nations said Tuesday it feared a "security vacuum" in central Africa after the withdrawal of Ugandan, South Sudanese and US troops formerly tracking Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony. One of Africa's longest-surviving rebel groups, the Lord's Resistance Army has terrorized parts of central Africa for 30 years. Since being set up by Kony in 1987, it is accused of slaughtering more than 100,000 people and abducting 60,000 children who were forced to become sex slaves and soldiers. But on April 19, Uganda began withdrawing troops from the eastern Central African Republic (CAR). And 100 special forces soldiers from US Africa Command (AFRICOM) wrapped up their operation...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(AFP (eng) 06/10/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced concern Friday over the "widespread instability" and attacks on UN troops in the Central African Republic, which has been wracked by renewed sectarian violence since last month. One of the world's poorest nations, the Central African Republic has been struggling to recover from a three-year civil war between the Muslim and Christian militias that started after the 2013 overthrow of leader Francois Bozize. A new flare-up of sectarian violence since the beginning of May has forced tens of thousands to flee conflict-ravaged areas. "I am concerned by the widespread instability and repeated violations of human rights in the Central African Republic, as well as by the attacks targeting United Nations peacekeeping forces in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
The UN force commander in the Central African Republic is calling for hundreds of peacekeepers from Congo Republic to be sent home for sexual abuse, fuel trafficking and poor discipline, according to a confidential memo released Tuesday. Lieutenant-General Balla Keita said Congo should "commit itself to improving without delay the standard of its unit" or else a "decision should be made to repatriate and replace the Congolese battalion," according to the memo dated May 12. The document was released by the Code Blue Campaign
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(Voice of America 06/02/17)
The United Nations warns a new spiral of escalating violence in the Central African Republic is threatening to wipe out progress made since 2013 toward peace and reconciliation. Renewed fighting between Christian anti-Balaka militia and the ex-Seleka Muslim rebels in mid-May continues to take a heavy toll. The United Nations reports more than 100,000 people have fled their homes, more than 100 have been killed and hundreds of others wounded. The U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for C.A.R., Najat Rochdi, says the peace dividend people were beginning to enjoy has all but disappeared. She warns worse lies ahead if the humanitarian and protection needs of the people
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
A damning United Nations report on Tuesday alleged horrific crimes in the Central African Republic including rape, murder, torture, kidnapping and the use of child soldiers, which could amount to war crimes and even genocide. The UN said "appalling" crimes over 12 years between 2003 and 2015 were committed by the army, armed groups and international forces. Its report -- which documents cases of gang rape, sexual slavery, the torching of entire villages and possibly genocide -- was prepared for a new court that is being set up in the capital Bangui to judge the crimes. In a separate report the UN said surging violence has killed hundreds and forced around 88,000 people to flee their homes since the beginning...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/31/17)
A litany of killing, rape, mutilation, pillage and torture committed by successive governments and armed groups in Central African Republic from 2003-15 may constitute crimes against humanity, the United Nations said in a report on Tuesday. The 368-page mapping report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, based on more than 1,200 confidential and open sources, is meant to help authorities identify cases as they establish a Special Criminal Court to try the worst crimes committed in the landlocked, isolated nation. "The point is to send a signal, particularly to the 'big fish' ... that we have documented their crimes and will continue to document their crimes," Andrew Gilmour, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, told Reuters...

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