Monday 11 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The UN force in Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday paid tribute to troops who were killed last week, in the peacekeepers' biggest single loss in nearly a quarter of a century. Tanzanian and Nepalese troops formed a guard for 14 coffins, draped with the Tanzanian flag, in a ceremony near Beni, in North Kivu province. The UN on Sunday revised down the death toll from 15 to 14. While the Tanzanian press has said two other soldiers are missing. "The death of our Tanzanian friends shall be written in the history of the Congolese nation, in tribute to their sacrifice," said Congolese General Leon Mushale. "They will remain in the hearts of the Congolese...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The bodies of 15 UN peacekeepers from Tanzania killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be repatriated in the coming days, the Tanzanian army said Sunday. The soldiers were all members of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces participating in a UN peacekeeping operation in the conflict-torn eastern region of the country. Their base in North Kivu province came under attack by suspected Ugandan rebels on Thursday. "We are working with the United Nations on this. The bodies will be repatriated between Tuesday December 12 and Wednesday December 13," Lieutenant General James Mwakibolwa, deputy head of the Tanzanian army, told reporters. The UN has put the death toll from the attack at 15, with 53 wounded. But Tanzania's government continues...
(Reuters 12/11/17)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Suspected Ugandan rebels killed at least 15 Tanzanian U.N. peacekeepers and wounded 53 others in a raid on a base in Congo that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called the worst attack on the organisation in recent history. Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said he was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths, which come amid rising violence against civilians, the army and U.N. troops in Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern borderlands. The U.N...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/17)
The United Nations suffered its worst attack on a peacekeeping mission in nearly a quarter of a century when suspected Ugandan rebels attacked a base in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 15 peacekeepers. The UN Security Council said Friday the peacekeepers, who were all from neighbouring Tanzania, were killed in the North Kivu province late Thursday, alongside five Congolese soldiers, with 53 personnel wounded. UN chief Antonio Guterres led an outpouring of outrage over the deadly ambush, calling it a "heinous" act. "I condemn this attack unequivocally. These deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
More than 2,000 Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in Democratic Republic of Congo are resisting plans to register them on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion. They belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called Zebiya and claim to have fled their homeland due to religious persecution. "2,167 refugees are resisting the identification scheme despite several efforts" by refugee agencies, including the UN, local NGO worker Augustin Bulimuntu told AFP in the South Kivu region which borders Burundi.
(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)
Seismologists in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday voiced concern after four light earthquakes were felt in the east of the country. Four tremors, each higher than four on the Richter scale, have been recorded in less than week, with the latest overnight Monday registering 4.5, said Professor Kacho Karume, in charge of the Volcanology Observatory of Goma (OVG), told AFP. Quakes are not infrequent in eastern DR Congo, a region that lies next to Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. However,...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
At least five people were injured in a grenade blast at a bus stop in Burundi's capital, police said Tuesday after the latest attack in a country gripped by political turmoil. The incident occurred around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) Monday when "an unknown person threw a grenade into the crowd waiting at the bus stop" in the centre of Bujumbura, police commissioner Bonfort Ndoreraho told AFP. "Five were wounded, one critically." Ndoreraho said a suspect had been taken into custody...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Former rebels were recruited by Democratic Republic of Congo authorities for a crackdown on protests against the president that left dozens of people dead last year, a rights group stated Monday in a claim denied by the government. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said President Joseph Kabila's regime had drafted in fighters previously active in the M23 rebel group from neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda to help suppress the December 2016 demonstrations, which erupted when he refused to step down at the...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
More than 12,000 people fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo have poured into Zambia this year, the United Nations said Friday, warning that aid operations there were "hugely underfunded". DR Congo's huge eastern region has long been wracked by violence, but fighting between government soldiers and militia groups, as well as inter-ethnic clashes, has increased significantly in 2017. The UN refugee agency warned that the unrest was causing a growing influx of people seeking safety in neighbouring Zambia...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Three people died when a passenger train derailed in the centre of the Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials said Sunday. The accident occurred early Sunday in the Kasai Central province, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the city of Kananga. "The train derailed around 3 am. Two women and a child who tried to jump were unfortunately crushed," said Joachim Likaka, administrator of the territory of Demba. Rail accidents are frequent in DR Congo because of the poor state...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Swiss food giant Nestle announced Sunday that it would close its factory in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a potential market of 80 million people but one beset by poverty and political instability. "We will close our factory and offices by the end of January and continue developing our economic distribution model through third parties," a spokeswoman for the group told AFP. The decision affects 120 people and Nestle will offer laid-off employees "a series of compensatory...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Four journalists and technicians of a Catholic radio station have been arrested and held by DR Congo state security forces, who have submitted them to "serious torture", press watchdog Journalists in Danger (JED) claimed on Friday. The JED, the African partner of Reporters without Borders (RSF), said the employees of Radio Veritas -- based in the central city of Kabinda -- were arrested on Wednesday by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR). The four -- Johnny Kasongo, Jean Doudou Ndumba, Musiko Kisiesia and Ephraim Mbayo -- have been "violently beaten up," JED claimed. The press watchdog called for the "immediate release without conditions of these media professionals".
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Nineteen prisoners, most of them facing rape charges, escaped from a jail in eastern DR Congo overnight, prompting fears of reprisals against their victims, local sources said Friday. The 19 broke out of a cell holding 20 inmates at a prison in Kalehe, Gerard Nkwana, administrator for Kalehe, a mining region located in South Kivu province, told AFP. "Most of them are being prosecuted for rape and theft... While prison guards were distracted, they dug a hole in the rear...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators in several Congolese cities on Thursday as they gathered for a major opposition protest to demand that President Joseph Kabila step down. Opposition figures had vowed to push ahead with the demonstrations, despite a ban, as tensions soar over Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his term in December 2016. In power since 2001, Kabila's prolonged rule has already led to street protests and a bloody crackdown. Elections had been...

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