Tuesday 20 February 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
BANGUI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Tucked away on the University of Bangui campus in the capital of Central African Republic, a portacabin surrounded by palm trees shelters neat rows of test-tubes filled with green shoots. Here scientists are running a laboratory using advanced nuclear-derived techniques to find a solution to one of the war-torn country’s most urgent and deadliest problems: hunger. But the conflict has hit their work too. In 2013, as the government was toppled and fighting erupted on the streets, Simplice Yandia was poring over his notes in the tiny lab when he heard loud gunshots outside. “I had to run away,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The next day, he came...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
About 7,400 people have been forced to flee their homes as fighting raged between rival militias in northwest Central African Republic, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. The internally displaced people in the area of Markounda since late December have faced living conditions that "are extremely difficult,", according to the ICRC, which is working alongside the Central African Red Cross and the NGO Doctors Without Borders. "Families are confined to makeshift huts. The only health centre in Markounda has been looted since the outbreak of hostilities, there are not enough showers and latrines," said Jean-Francois Sangsue, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. For more than a month two rival armed groups, the National Movement...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
A stash of drugs and ammunition was found hidden in a truck chartered by a private company under contract with the UN in Central African Republic, the UN's mission in the country MINUSCA said on Thursday. "MINUSCA has opened an investigation," after Blue Helmets discovered several hundred shotgun cartridges hidden in containers, and an unspecified drug, in Ippy in central CAR, mission spokesman Vladimir Monteiro told AFP. All UN materials transported by private companies in CAR are in sealed containers marked "UN", but Monteiro said "these goods were not in the sealed containers", but "under" the cargo.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
The pot-holed streets of Bangui's Muslim quarter are lined with stalls plying their trade to a cacophony of honking horns and cars backfiring -- a comforting image of bustling life in Central African Republic's capital. But beneath this veneer of normalcy, many traders in the flashpoint district of PK5 are on edge. Last month, they agreed as one to stop paying protection money demanded by the numerous "self-defence" militias set up to protect the city's Muslim minority. Their defiance prompted...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/18)
The United Nations is in talks with countries that contribute peacekeepers to its mission in the Central African Republic after an investigation found their response to attacks last year fell short, a UN spokesman said Friday. A special investigation led by a retired general from Benin found "deficiencies" in peacekeeping operations in the southeast of the country from May to August 2017 and presented recommendations, the UN said. UN peacekeeping officials are in to talks with the troop- and police-contributing countries "to ensure that these measures are implemented," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
"We first heard gunshots. Then we saw the horses arrive, each carrying two or three men, armed with Kalashnikovs, rifles, bows and arrows," Charles Tombe says. "They shot at everyone -- we fled into the bush. There are corpses over there, rotting." Tombe, 52, ran a small medical centre, which he said was burned down along with all the other houses after the village of Bekoro Misso was looted. He is one of numerous eyewitnesses AFP interviewed about militia violence...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
PARIS (Reuters) - French magistrates have dismissed a case brought against a group of French soldiers accused of sexually abusing children while on deployment in the Central African Republic in 2013-2014, a judicial source said on Monday. Paris prosecutors called last year for the case to be dismissed because some of the testimony was deemed inconsistent and some elements could not be confirmed, even if they could not exclude that abuses took place. The decision was met with frustration in...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
French investigating magistrates have closed a probe into allegations that French soldiers raped children in the Central African Republic while on a peacekeeping mission, judicial sources told AFP on Monday. The magistrates said there was no evidence that members of Operation Sangaris, deployed to keep warring militias apart, had abused children at a camp for people displaced by the fighting in 2013 and 2014, the sources said. The state prosecutor had last year called for the case to be closed...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have appealed to armed groups controlling swathes of the chronically unstable country to stop looting and lay down their arms. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, the former French colony has been battered by a conflict between rival militias that began in 2013 after then president Francois Bozize was overthrown. The bishops made the appeal during an episcopal conference in the capital Bangui on Sunday. "In the name of God, we ask...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Hundreds of people in northwest Central African Republic have fled their villages following fresh violence between armed groups, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Sunday. Villagers fled gunfire and machete attacks to arrive in the small town of Paoua, where thousands of people have already sought refuge since fighting erupted in the region in November. "There are clashes at almost every point all around Paoua. We have seen hundreds of people flee their villages to take refuge in Paoua" since Wednesday,...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Central African Republic aid worker was killed after gunman stormed his home, his family said Thursday, the latest death in a week of clashes in the country. The 35-year-old man who worked for Italian humanitarian organisation Intersos, died at hospital following the shooting overnight Wednesday to Thursday in Kaga Bandoro, in the north of CAR. The region is controlled by two armed groups which last week prevented the celebration of a national holiday. At least 10 people had already...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Roadblocks in war-torn areas of Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo provide armed groups with millions of euros (dollars) in annual income, a report said Wednesday. A year-long study by the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), a Belgian research group, found 1,082 roadblocks in CAR and in the North and South Kivu provinces of eastern DRC alone. Money extorted from road users nets armed groups around seven million euros ($8.2 million) annually, it estimated. Roadblocks are a "key mechanism of conflict funding," IPIS said in a statement. "Strangling development and livelihoods, attracting violent confrontations and generating millions in revenues...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...

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