Sunday 20 August 2017
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
As many as 100 people were killed last week in militia violence in southern Central African Republic and fighting fueled by ethnic and religious rivalries is spreading, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The violence represents a new escalation in a conflict that began in 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters seized power and ousted then-President Francois Bozize, prompting reprisal killings from Christian anti-balaka militias. Clashes intensified on Monday in the town of Bria, about 300 km (180 miles) from the southern-eastern border town of Bangassou during the day, forcing about 1,000 civilians to seek shelter near the U.N. base, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
The United Nations said it plans to deploy more peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic diamond-mining town of Bangassou to stem a recent wave of violence. Almost three quarters of the 35,000 inhabitants of the southeastern town need humanitarian assistance following the unrest, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The additional forces are being deployed to “neutralize attackers, protect civilians and facilitate critical humanitarian support to the population,” Dujarric said. The Central African Republic has been riven by violence since a coalition of mainly Muslim rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize in 2013. The country was the world’s 10th-biggest diamond producer by value in 2012, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. On...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Thousands of people fleeing troubled Central African Republic have streamed into DR Congo following an outbreak of sectarian violence in the border city of Bangassou, the UN's refugee agency said Tuesday. A UNHCR statement which described the flow as "massive" said at least 2,750 people arrived during the weekend in northern Democratic Republic of Congo. "The flow continued in some areas early this week," the statement added. A UN peacekeeper was killed at the weekend, the sixth in a week, in an attack in Bangassou by the mainly Christian anti-Balaka group from CAR. The UN mission in that country, MINUSCA
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
The United Nations Security Council on Monday "condemned in the strongest terms" a deadly attack over the weekend on UN peacekeepers, civilians and humanitarian workers in the Central African Republic (CAR), which killed one Moroccan peacekeeper. "The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the violence by anti-Balaka elements in Bangassou (Mbomou) which intensified on May 13 and May 14, 2017, and targeted a Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) field office, civilian populations from particular communities, as well as humanitarian personnel," said a press
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
The United Nations’ rights chief expressed alarm over a wave of militia attacks on civilians and peacekeepers in the Central African Republic that may have left hundreds of people dead since March. In the latest incident, gunmen attacked a UN base and Muslim neighborhood in the southeastern town of Bangassou over the weekend, killing “numerous” civilians and a peacekeeper, the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement on Tuesday. It also cited unverified reports of clashes in the region between so-called anti-balaka fighters and UPC militiamen in early May in which at least 93 civilians may have been killed. The Central African Republic has been riven by violence since a coalition of mainly Muslim rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
The UN said Thursday another peacekeeper has been found dead in the Central African Republic, bringing to five the toll from an attack this week, the deadliest so far against the mission in the unstable, violence-plagued nation. Suspected anti-Balaka Christian militias attacked the UN convoy of the MINUSCA force on Monday in the southeast of the country near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The Moroccan peacekeeper who had been reported missing has now been found dead," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. A Cambodian soldier serving in the MINUSCA
(Dw-World 05/11/17)
The international community wants local forces in Central African Republic to shoulder more responsibility for security. But reform of the nation's defense sector is fraught with problems. Even the name "Training Mission" was a source of bewilderment to local residents in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Who was training whom and for what? In theory, the European Training Mission for the Central African Republic (Republique centrafricaine), also known as EUTM RCA, has a clear mission. It is to advise the Central African Armed Forces in strategic questions and matters of training and organization.
(AFP (eng) 05/10/17)
Three more UN peacekeepers have been found dead after an attack on a convoy in the Central African Republic, UN officials said Tuesday, bringing the death toll to four. The UN's MINUSCA mission, which had earlier announced the death of one peacekeeper, said it was "deeply saddened to confirm that three of the four peacekeepers that were missing in action since yesterday’s attack have been found dead." The fourth peacekeeper remains missing after the attack Monday evening. Eight attackers were killed in the crossfire, MINUSCA added, referring to anti-Balaka Christian militias whose confrontation
(Xinhuanet 05/10/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday strongly condemned an attack which killed four blue helmets in the southeastern part of the Central African Republic, calling for efforts to "swiftly bring those responsible to justice." Eight other peacekeepers were wounded in the attack perpetrated on Monday by suspected anti-Balaka against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on the Rafai-Bangassou axis. And one is still missing. "The secretary-general would like to underline that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime," said a statement issued here by Guterres' spokesman. "He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attack in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice."...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
A UN peacekeeper was killed and four others were missing following an attack on their convoy in the southeast of Central African Republic, the UN said Tuesday. The convoy was attacked on Monday evening near Yogofongo village, more than 470 kilometres (290 miles) east of the capital Bangui, close to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, the MINUSCA peacekeeping mission said. "One Cambodian peacekeeper was killed and eight peacekeepers were injured, including one Cambodian and seven Moroccans," said a MINUSCA statement.
(APA 05/08/17)
President Faustin Archange Touadéra has appointed five Central African judges to sit at the Special Criminal Court, created in June 2015 to try crimes committed in the country since 2003. The judges are Alain Ouaby Bekaï appointed deputy Special Prosecutor, Alain Tolmo named substitute Special Prosecutor, Jacob Sanny Damili appointed judge in the indictment chamber, Patience Grengbo and Michel Gokpou both named as investigating judges. What remains is the appointment of the president of the court, which since February has Colonel Toussaint Mukimapa
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
Armed groups in Central African Republic have killed at least 45 civilians in apparent reprisal strikes over the past three months, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday. The violence pitted armed groups against one another in the central province of Ouaka, which is at the border of the mainly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south of the country. "As factions vie for power in the Central African Republic, civilians on all sides are exposed to their deadly attacks," said Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at the U.S-based human rights watchdog. Central African Republic has seen violence since 2013, when a mainly Muslim rebel coalition called the Seleka ousted President Francois Bozize and went on looting and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...

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