Saturday 27 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
President Faustin-Archange Touadera on Thursday urged donors to help the Central African Republic, one of the world's poorest countries, recover from years of bloody civil strife. "Yes the situation of my country is difficult but it is not a lost cause," Touadera told donors meeting in Brussels to discuss his call for aid of some $3.0 billion over the next five years. "We call on you to give us the support needed to make the difference ... we need your solidarity and help," he said. The Central African Republic sits strategically on the crossroads of Africa and is home to five million people split deeply along ethnic and religious lines. Former colonial power France intervened in 2013 to stop violent...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed to "speak in a single voice, demand climate justice". France's President Francois Hollande and UN chief Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit which took place alongside the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh. Ban said Africa was at the forefront...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
Though elected early this year, Central Africa's new president has no army to command or civil service to call on. He still fills in as a university maths lecturer due to lack of teaching staff. But this week could offer Faustin-Archange Touadera a lifeline, as donors come together in Brussels to plot a future for a country strategically positioned at the heart of Africa, but ravaged by three years of intense inter-religious strife. He hopes Thursday's donor conference generates a massive financial shot-in-the-arm for the around five million residents of one of the world's poorest nations. "We have come a long way and the country needs to be rebuilt," 59-year-old Touadera told AFP in an interview. "We're working in favour...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"We're not jihadists, we're not bandits, we're defending our community," insisted the leader of a militia group in a powder keg Muslim district of the Central African Republic's capital Bangui. Outside the group's improvised base, a short distance from the mosques and shops of Bangui's flashpoint PK5 district, a youth from the so-called "50/50" self-defence group guarded the headquarters with an M16 assault rifle. Another man concealed a weapon under a red blanket. Three years of conflict and massacres that pitted Muslims against Christians and displaced hundreds of thousands have spawned several of the so-called "50/50" armed groups. They take their name from demands by Muslims, who make up as much as 20 percent of the country's population of 4.5...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"Don't go!" That was the heartfelt appeal to African nations as the International Criminal Court opened its annual meeting Wednesday under the cloud of a wave of unprecedented defections. Gambia on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the court, following in the wake of South Africa and Burundi. "Don't go," pleaded Senegalese politician Sidiki Kaba, the president of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties meeting in The Hague. "In a world criss-crossed by violent extremism... it is urgent and necessary to defend the ideal of justice for all," he said. The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes. But in his passionate plea,...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/16)
A month after rebels killed dozens of civilians in Kaga Bandoro, residents of the Central African Republic town still live in fear despite the presence of UN peacekeepers in the country and the prospect of nationwide disarmament. Returning to the scene of the massacre for the first time, Sylvie pointed to the ruins of the small home she built in what was a settlement for 8,000 civilians displaced during years of unrest. "That's where I lived for three years," she said, recovering a comb from the scorched ground between the low walls of now roofless huts. On October 12 the predominantly Christian settlement was attacked by remnants of the mostly Muslim rebel "Seleka" coalition, which overthrew the national government in...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(AFP (eng) 11/12/16)
Across Africa, the approaching presidency of Donald Trump has provoked deep uncertainty over how the United States will pursue policies ranging from counter-terrorism and trade, to aid and climate change. Many African countries had high hopes that Barack Obama would bring transformative benefits to the continent and were left disappointed as he winds down his time in office. But Trump's rise to power poses fresh questions that reveal the lack of concrete detail on his foreign policy plans -- while the president-elect himself has seldom addressed African issues directly. One possible pointer is Trump's often repeated vow to kill "terrorists", which may lead to more aggressive US intervention against Islamist forces such as Nigeria's Boko Haram, linked to the Islamic...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million more than South African club Mamelodi Sundowns received last month. There is an even bigger percentage increase for winners of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with first prize increasing from $660,000 to $1.25 million. Both the Champions League and Confederation...
(Dw-World 11/09/16)
Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli was one of the first African leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory. "Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation," he wrote on his Twitter account. Burundi's controversial leader Pierre Nkurunziza - the subject of intense US and international criticism for his decision to stay in power beyond a constitutional two-term limit- followed suit. "Your victory is the victory of all Americans," he wrote on Twitter. Buzz on social media Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions just moments after the poll results...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/16)
Alone, hungry and traumatized having watched her parents die in war-torn Central African Republic, 14-year-old Koulsoumi believed the worst was behind her when she was taken in by a family in Cameroon after fleeing across the border last year. The young refugee was warmly welcomed by the family in the village of Tongo Gandima. But their hospitality came at a price. "They had a man for me to marry," Koulsoumi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, cradling her four-month-old baby, Hamadou. "I was not happy but the family took me in ... what choice did I have?" she said, adding that her 18-year-old husband was abusive and violent, and disappeared after having sex with her. Koulsoumi is one of 260,000 refugees...
(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.

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