| Africatime
Wednesday 26 April 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/16)
Germany on Monday pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year. The extra funding lifts Germany's total contribution to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to 298 million euros for 2016, Foreign Ministry officials said. Its total humanitarian budget for 2016 was 1.28 billion euros, up from just 105 million euros in 2012. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the increase during a meeting with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin. Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty. Many of their citizens...
(The Telegraph 11/07/16)
Just a few months after being elected Conservative Party leader, David Cameron flew to Rwanda. It was a high-profile trip so he could see first-hand the development of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and launch his party’s review on globalisation and global poverty. On his first day, he visited a textile factory in Kigali, the country’s capital. Above the hum of the silk reels, he chatted to some of the workers and admired the quality of the patterned fabrics. Before he left, the factory owner, Raj Rejendran, asked for a word. Growing the business, he explained, required expanding into overseas markets. He knew there was demand in the UK for his silk fabrics, but he faced heavy import duties. Might...
(AFP (eng) 11/05/16)
"The dream becomes reality", "Our son, our hope": the headlines in the Kenyan press in 2008 captured pride and excitement after the election of Barack Obama. Eight years later, enthusiasm for the outgoing president has faded on a continent that he is accused of forsaking. The election of the first black president of the United States on November 4, 2008 sparked scenes of jubilation in Kenya, the homeland of Obama's father. A public holiday was declared in honour of his victory. There were widespread hopes that Obama would do much for Africa, but as he prepares to hand over to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, he is accused of neglecting the continent. "Africa had unrealistic expectations towards Obama given...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/16)
The United Nations will do "everything in its power" to prevent further atrocities in the Central African Republic, a top UN official said on Thursday at the end of a three-day visit. UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson was addressing lawmakers in the capital Bangui a day after Human Rights Watch called on the UN to do more to protect civilians caught up in fighting between armed groups or being targeted by them. "October was particularly violent," Eliasson said in parliament on Wednesday, referring to attacks in which over 70 people died. "We have learnt lessons from these dreadful events and will do everything in our power to prevent such atrocities," he said. On Monday, France withdrew its own military mission...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/16)
As Canada considers where to send troops as part of a commitment to boost UN peacekeeping efforts, its defense minister will visit Mali and Senegal starting Saturday, the government said Thursday. Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan will spend four days in the two countries to assess local security challenges and concerns. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters a decision on where to deploy Canadian peacekeepers would be announced "in the coming weeks, probably." In August, Trudeau pledged Can$450 million (US$350 million) and 600 troops for UN peacekeeping operations around the world. At the time, only 31 Canadians were deployed in a handful of locations -- Haiti, the Jerusalem region, South Sudan, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Korea. That...
(APA 11/03/16)
A delegation of 10 officials from the Central African Republic (CAR) is in Rwanda for a seven-day study tour since Monday, holding meetings with officials at the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the Ministry of Justice. The delegation is also scheduled to visit other reconciliation agencies to learn from Rwanda which is considered a model for recovery from conflict. The CAR Minister for Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, Virginie Baikoua, said they are looking to learn and borrow a leaf from various Rwandan government reconciliation initiatives. The Central African Republic has been experiencing a civil strife since 2012.
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant they had little time to celebrate only the second South African success in the premier African club competition. They defeated Polokwane in a League Cup tie last Thursday only to lose at home against Cape Town City in their second...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/16)
Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on the United Nations to boost security forces in the Central African Republic, a day after France ended its peacekeeping mission in the strife-torn country. The UN force MINUSCA has been left alone to combat militias terrorising civilians now that France has wrapped up its Sangaris operation in its troubled former colony. "The UN should urgently deploy more of the mission's forces to the volatile central region, expand their patrols and, consistent with the mission's mandate, use appropriate force to protect civilians under imminent threat," HRW said.
(AFP (eng) 11/02/16)
Stopping the killing of elephants for their tusks could add some $25 million (23 million euros) to Africa's annual tourism income, more than offsetting the anti-poaching spend, a study said Tuesday. While the figure pales in comparison to the estimated value of the black market ivory trade in China, it represents about a fifth of tourist income for game parks in 14 countries, where half of Africa's elephants are located, the study said. "We find that the lost economic benefits that elephants could deliver to African countries via tourism are substantial, and that these benefits exceed the costs necessary to halt elephant declines in east, southern and west Africa," the authors wrote in the journal Nature Communications. The conservation of...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/16)
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian heads to the Central African Republic on Sunday to formally end Operation Sangaris, begun three years ago to halt mass killings there but which failed to disarm militias terrorising the population. The formal end to the French mission comes as a fresh wave of bloodshed shook the troubled nation, spearheaded by rival Muslim and Christian militia groups. "France is not giving up on Central Africa," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Thursday, highlighting the presence of more than 10,000 UN peacekeepers from the MINUSCA mission. But many Central Africans are worried about the departure of the French troops
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/16)
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday that France would be ready to intervene in Central African Republic if necessary, despite ending its peacekeeping mission in its former colony. France launched Operation Sangaris in December 2013 to try to end a cycle of tit-for-tat killing that began when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters toppled the then-president, prompting reprisals by Christian anti-Balaka militias. The French presence peaked at 2,000 but is due to fall below 300 by early next year with the remaining troops deployed as part of a European military training mission, to support U.N. drone operations or as a rapid reaction unit supporting the national army. France's withdrawal has left security largely in the hands of MINUSCA, the...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/16)
The Central African Republic's capital was rocked by deadly overnight clashes as France's defence minister was due Monday to formally end a military operation there, hailing it as a "success". Local sources said about 10 people had been killed in a settling of scores between armed groups Sunday night in Bangui's restive Muslim PK5 neighbourhood. The toll had yet to be confirmed by the UN force MINUSCA -- which will be alone in facing the militia terrorising civilians now that France is ending its Sangaris operation, begun three years ago to halt mass killings in the former French colony. Residents were continuing to flee the area around PK5 on Monday, fearing further violence. A helicopter from the international force circled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/16)
About 220 African migrants forced their way through a barbed wire fence into Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta on Monday, clashing with Spanish police who tried to prevent them from crossing the border with Morocco. Thirty-two migrants were treated in hospital for minor injuries after pushing their way through two gates just before 2 a.m. ET, while three Spanish policemen also needed medical attention, the government said. Several migrants collapsed from exhaustion after crossing into Spanish territory, Reuters photographs showed. Their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined, and police were searching for some who fled into hills inside the territory, it said. Spain's two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, have been favored entry points into...
(AFP (eng) 10/29/16)
Twenty-five people were killed, six of them gendarmes, in two days of violence around the town of Bambari in the troubled Central African Republic, the UN force MINUSCA said Saturday. Six police and four civilians were killed in an ambush by armed men Friday morning, while on Thursday, 15 people died in fighting on the town's outskirts between the former Muslim Seleka militia and Christian vigilante groups known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete), it said in a statement. In a further incident, anti-balaka fighters on Friday attacked eight members of MINUSCA as they were heading to Bambari airport, the force said. A seven-year-old child was injured. The UN force said there had been a "rise in tension in certain regions," citing "confrontation...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/29/16)
By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed regret on Friday that South Africa, Burundi and Gambia want to leave the International Criminal Court and said it could "send a wrong message on these countries' commitment to justice." The International Criminal Court, which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states, is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. South Africa and Burundi have officially notified the United Nations of their intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty establishing The Hague-based court, which will take effect in October 2017. Gambia said this week that it also plans to withdraw from the court,...
(Cnbc Africa 10/28/16)
The World Bank recently released the Doing Business 2016/17 report. The survey tracks a set of regulatory indicators related to business start-up, operation, trade, payment of taxes and closure, by measuring the time and cost associated with various government requirements. However, the index does not track variables such as macroeconomic policy, currency volatility (an extremely important factor in many emerging market countries) or crime rates, which are also important in investment decisions. According to the most recent rankings, New Zealand has the most accommodative business environment globally, having overtaken Singapore since the previous report. From an African perspective, Mauritius has maintained its title as the most accommodative business environment on the continent followed by Rwanda, Morocco, Botswana and South Africa...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/16)
Complex diverse political agendas are driving African nations to quit the International Criminal Court, with leaders seeking to cloak the move by reigniting age-old anger at the West, analysts say. Gambia's announcement that it would be the third country to withdraw from the court is all the more frustrating as it comes at a time when the tribunal is beginning to probe some of the world's most intractable conflicts, in places such as the Palestinian territories and Afghanistan, experts say. Set up in 2002, the ICC's mission is to try the world's most heinous crimes which national governments are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. And most of the ICC prosecutions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/16)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned violence in the Central African Republic, one day after four people were killed and 14 others wounded in the capital of Bangui. The violence took place during demonstrations called by a coalition of civil society groups protesting against United Nations peacekeepers. The demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of the UN's more than 10,000-strong MINUSCA mission over alleged failures to stop a rise of armed militias. Among those injured as gunfire and looting broke out were five UN peacekeepers. In a statement, Ban welcomed "the determination of the government to ensure that the perpetrators and instigators of these attacks are brought to justice." "The actions of those seeking to destabilize the government and harm...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/26/16)
African states unhappy with the International Criminal Court(ICC) should work to reform it from within rather than pulling out, Botswanan foreign minister Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi, a candidate to become the next African Union (AU) chief, said. With the AU increasingly divided over the ICC, South Africa announced last week that it planned to quit, but Venson-Moitoi said she believed an African war crimes court could be beefed up to work alongside its Hague-based counterpart. Although South Africa argued that the ICC's Rome Statutes were at odds with its laws granting leaders diplomatic immunity, other African countries see the tribunal purely as an instrument of colonial justice that unfairly targets the continent. "I don't see why we should be pulling out. The...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
Four civilians were killed Monday when protests against United Nations peacekeepers turned violent in the Central African Republic, with gunfire and looting reported across the capital Bangui, the UN said. Five UN peacekeepers were among 14 people injured during the demonstrations called by a coalition of civil society groups to demand the withdrawal of the more than 10,000-strong MINUSCA force over alleged failures to stop the rise of armed militias. The groups also organised a one-day strike in the capital to press demands for a pullout. MINUSCA "intervened from the early hours of Monday in Bangui to dismantle the barricades erected by hostile demonstrators", the UN force said in a statement. The force said it "strongly condemns the incidents that...

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