Saturday 25 November 2017
(Voice of America 09/11/17)
GENEVA — The head of United Nations peacekeeping says rising ethnic tensions in Central African Republic are likely to spur greater conflict between the Muslim and Christian communities unless action is taken to defuse the situation. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix says ethnic hate speech is running in parallel with an increase in violence in the Central African Republic. And, he says, he finds this very worrisome. “We are seeing a surge in very negative messages, very negative antagonistic rhetoric to the effect that ‘foreigners should be eliminated.’ Sort of putting one ethnic component or religious component...
(The Associated Press 09/11/17)
DAKAR, SENEGAL — Rebels in a volatile region of Central African Republic are raping women and killing their male relatives in a “horrific surge” of violence that is now clearly along sectarian lines, Amnesty International warned Friday. The human rights organization interviewed dozens of survivors in Basse-Kotto prefecture in the country's east, where a rebel group known as the UPC has carried out waves of attacks. The rebels are considered an offshoot of the mostly Muslim rebel coalition known as Seleka that overthrew the longtime president in 2013. While a period of relative stability allowed for Pope Francis to visit and for elections to be held, international observers now warn that Central African Republic is approaching the levels of violence...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
Deadly ethnic fighting in Central African Republic could descend into a much larger-scale conflict if nothing is done to disarm combatants and defuse tensions, a U.N. report said on Friday. With a fifth of the population displaced since the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the president in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias, U.N. peacekeepers are struggling to contain simmering violence. The U.N. human rights working group on mercenaries and foreign fighters said it “strongly senses that the possibility of another armed conflict is likely, if foreign armed actors, along with local armed groups
(AFP (eng) 09/08/17)
Civilians in a central province of the strife-torn Central African Republic are enduring "a horrifying surge in torture, pillage and forced displacement", Amnesty International reported Friday. "Women have been raped, men murdered, villages destroyed, and the region's UN peacekeeping force has proved ineffective in stemming these abuses," Joanne Mariner, the rights group's senior crisis response adviser, said in a statement. Amnesty blamed "a wave of brutal attacks" in Basse-Kotto province on the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), an armed offshoot of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance that seized power in 2013 and installed a regime that lasted 10 months. The UPC is led by local warlord Ali Darassa, who is close to Fula nomads based...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
At least eight people, including civilians, were killed and 29 injured in the latest bout of growing sectarian unrest in the Central African Republic which has prompted warnings of genocide, the UN said Wednesday. "Over the past week, there were several reports of clashes" around the central town of Bria, some 450 kilometres (280 miles) north east of the capital Bangui, the UN's humanitarian affairs coordination office (OCHA) said. "There are reports of at least eight deaths, including civilians, and 29 injured on recent fighting" on the Bria to Yalinga highway, it added.. It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest violence but Bria was the scene earlier this month of clashes between a majority Muslim rebel group...
(APA 08/30/17)
APA - Douala (Cameroon) - Public spending within Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) countries declined by 4000 billion CFA over the past triennium (2014-2017), the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) said Wednesday. Clearly, these expenditures have gone from 7,000 billion CFA in 2014 to stabilize at 3,000 billion CFA in 2017, a staggering decreased of 4,000 billion CFA in three years. This drastic reduction in public spending is the consequence of the fiscal adjustment measures implemented within the states or enacted by the BEAC since the decline in global commodity prices. These include the drop in oil price on the international market, which is detrimental to the economies of the subregion, especially as five of the six...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(RFI(EN) 08/28/17)
The sun is high in the sky at 3pm and Marceline Huila noisily stirs a metal pot with her wooden spoon-- there is not much in there, no bouillon cube or oil, and it is supposed to feed the 10 members of her family who are waiting nearby. The wild sorrel, a green leaf used for soup in fancy restaurants in Paris, will be their only meal of the day. Its nutritional value is far below the required daily calorie allowance for adults and children, but Huila is just one of 146,500 Central African refugees trying to cope with lack of food in southern Chad. “I used to eat four meals a day,” says Huila, who would feed her family...
(APA 08/28/17)
APA – Douala (Cameroon) - Cameroon has announced that it will on Monday hand over military equipment recovered in the hands of the Central African "armed groups" during a ceremony to be presided over by the minister of Defense (MINDEF) Joseph Beti Assomo. The Central African delegation will be led by the minister of Defense and Joseph Yakete in the presence of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General in the region. This move by the Cameroonian authorities is in the spirit of "the ongoing pacification of the Central African Republic", for since the outbreak of this socio-political crisis four years ago, Cameroon has always expanded efforts for its neighbor to find the peace and stability, Assomo said. “This...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(The Associated Press 08/24/17)
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- A U.S. congressional delegation is calling for urgent aid to Central African Republic during its visit to the impoverished country where deadly sectarian violence is surging again. Hundreds of people have been killed this year and more than 600,000 have been displaced. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tells The Associated Press that the international community "has to think about the long-term implications of abandoning our efforts to stabilize this country." Cicilline is criticizing the withdrawal of U.S. special operations troops and says it creates a "void" in the country's southeast. The U.S. military this year ended its operations against the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
United Nations aid chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council Tuesday there are early signs of genocide in the violence-plagued Central African Republic, according to diplomats. O'Brien made his remarks in a closed-door meeting -- which was not on the official council agenda and was called for by France -- following his recent visit to the country, one of the diplomats told AFP. The aid chief's warning echoed what he said earlier this month, when he told a UN meeting "the early warning signs of genocide are there" and urged more troops and police to bolster the UN peacekeeping mission in the strife-torn country. The United Nations maintains some 12,500 troops and police on the ground to help protect civilians...

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