Thursday 21 September 2017
(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...
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(The Associated Press 07/04/17)
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The United Nations refugee agency is condemning an attack on its staffers in Central African Republic. A spokesman in Geneva on Tuesday said armed men entered the agency's site in the northern town of Kaga Bandoro on Saturday and robbed six U.N. staffers. The U.N. says the staffers were threatened at gunpoint. It says staffers have been relocated temporarily to the local base of the U.N. peacekeeping mission and some will be moved to the capital, Bangui. More than half a million people are displaced in Central African Republic as deadly sectarian violence continues. The situation has worsened in recent months, with more than 300 people killed and 100,000 people displaced since mid-May after attacks in...
(MSF 07/04/17)
Fighting resumed early this morning in Zemio, a town in the east of the Central African Republic (CAR), where combats took place from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 June. The violence has displaced between 15,000 and 20,000 people. More than 4,000 sought refuge at the health centre, 5,000 at the Catholic mission, and between 6,000 and 11,000 others fled to different sites around the town. Only eight wounded made it to the health centre, but the team from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has heard of many others blocked in different neighbourhoods, unable to reach the medical facility because of the presence of armed men in the town. “The neighbourhood next to our base has been burned down, as have other...
(AfricaNews 07/04/17)
Hundreds of Central Africans Saturday took to the streets of Bangui to protest the deadly violence which has been raging for days. The residents of Bangassou and Bria where there has been recurring violence for weeks, called for peace, justice and reconciliation in the country. Despite a ceasefire deal signed between rival factions, hundreds of people were killed in clashes in June in Bria. The security situation in the Central African Republic has steadily deteriorated in recent months. In towns like Bangassou, Bria and Alindao , violence has displaced more than 100,000 people in the past weeks. An estimated 450,000 have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries and over 500,000 people have been reportedly displaced...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
At least 15 people died in clashes between UN peacekeepers and former rebels in the centre of the chronically restive Central African Republic, a humanitarian source said Sunday. The violence broke out on Saturday in the market town of Kaga-Bandoro when rebels from the former Seleka movement of mainly Muslim fighters attacked the town "to settle an old score," a source in MINUSCA, the UN mission which has some 12,000 troops in the country, told AFP. "They (the former Seleka rebels) were confronted by the Pakistani and Burundian contingents stationed in the town," the UN source said. "The MINUSCA forces did their job and protected the civil population" in the town, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of the capital...
(Voice of America 07/03/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. refugee agency warns renewed violence in the Central African Republic is threatening thousands of civilian lives, forcing many to flee and destroying villages and camps for displaced people. United Nations officials describe a chaotic scene of attacks by rival warring groups in different parts of CAR. UNHCR spokesman Andreij Mahecic tells VOA that violence has broken out near the capital of Bangui, in central parts of the country, and close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. "It is of concern to us because it in many places affects the population that has been displaced already — most likely more than once — and these are the most vulnerable," Mahecic said. "And, as you...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
At least 22 people have been killed in three days of fighting in a town in southeastern Central African Republic between rival armed militias, a member of parliament from the area and a local journalist said on Friday. The clashes between armed Fulani herders and militia members, began in Zemio, about 1,000 km (620 miles) east of the capital Bangui, late on Wednesday. Gunfire continued the following day and into Friday. "Already on June 28 there were 22 dead, but things have evolved through yesterday and there are several other people burned inside houses where it's not possible to have access," lawmaker Dalou Wamboli told Reuters. Wamboli was speaking in Bangui but had remained in contact with constituents in Zemio...
(Bloomberg 06/28/17)
A standoff between rival militias in the Central African Republic is preventing aid workers in the southeastern town of Bria from collecting bodies that have lain in the streets since Tuesday. “The two warring parties have received nothing but reinforcements in the last 72 hours and residents are very worried,” Gildas Gbeni, who heads the Catholic Church in Bria, said by phone Saturday. “The local Red Cross has collected bodies of fighters and civilians but there are still areas where access is difficult.” Fighting erupted Tuesday between so-called anti-balaka militias and a faction of the FPRC, an organization that belonged to the mainly Muslim rebel alliance that ousted ex-President Francois...
(La Croix 06/28/17)
Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui has denied authorizing the signing in his name of a “political agreement for peace in the Central African Republic” sponsored by the Sant’Egidio community. Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga said he did not sign or authorize a representative to sign a “political agreement for peace in the Central African Republic” sponsored by the Sant'Egidio community. The aim of the ten-page document was to put an end to violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). But a few days after its publication, the archbishop of Bangui formally denied initialing the document, which was in fact signed by Godefroy Mokamande purportedly as the “representative of Cardinal Nzapalainga". However, in a communiqué issued on June 22, Cardinal Nzapalainga said that...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Voice of America 06/27/17)
BANGUI — A new peace deal between the Bangui government and 13 major rebel groups in the Central African Republic is being met with criticism and skepticism domestically. The agreement signed Monday in Rome promised an immediate cease-fire in exchange for political representation for the rebels. The new accord followed a series of peace deals signed by armed groups in the CAR during 2014 and 2015. All fell apart. "As one of the armed group representatives said, 'We have signed a good paper,' " said Igor Acko, the U.S. Institute of Peace's national program specialist in Bangui.

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