Thursday 17 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
The US ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called for a "full investigation" into the death of two UN experts killed in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Michael Sharp, a US citizen, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were likely murdered by Congolese militia members while on a mission investigating violence and mass graves in the country's restive Kasai province, a UN inquiry out Wednesday found. "The murder of UN experts -– especially like Michael and Zaida, who risked their own lives in order to help others -– cannot end in a bureaucratic procedure," said US Ambassador Nikki Haley. "We still need a full investigation under the Secretary-General's authority into the...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - As Congo's government was soliciting urgent help from Western donors and the IMF last month to contain an economic crisis, the chairman of the state mining company brought an unusual guest to the prime minister's office. It was Raymond O'Leary, a vice president from Russia's second largest bank, state-owned VTB, to discuss a Eurobond aiming to raise funds for the cash-strapped government, Congolese and VTB officials confirmed. The choice of lead manager was striking, given that VTB is under U.S. sanctions so any deal would have shut the door on IMF and pretty much all Western donor funds. It fell through, partly because of this concern and also because Congolese officials realized any investor willing to buy...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
A landslide has swept over a fishing village on the banks of a lake in the northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 40 people, a regional official said Thursday. Part of a mountain engulfed "a fisherman's camp after heavy rains caused a landslide" the deputy governor of Ituri province, Pacifique Keta, told AFP. He said 40 people were killed in the disaster in the village of Tora on the banks of Lake Albert on Wednesday. It follows devastating floods in...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Two UN investigators killed in March likely died at the hands of Congolese militia members, a UN inquiry found, adding that further investigation will be required to "fully ascertain the identity" of those involved. Michael Sharp, an American, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were found murdered in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo while on a UN mission investigating violence and mass graves in the country's restive Kasai province. "A group of Congolese, likely militia members from...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Congo's finance ministry has provisionally reinstated mining companies' exemption from a value added tax on imports, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday, days after miners complained customs authorities were planning to impose VAT on them. Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's top copper producer, agreed to suspend the tax in July 2016 to help companies during a commodity price downturn and to pay down hundreds of millions of dollars in VAT reimbursements owed to the companies. "The suspension of TVA...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
A United Nations inquiry found that two U.N. investigators were murdered by a group of Congolese, likely militia members from central Democratic Republic of Congo, but an absence of evidence "does not preclude the possibility that others are involved." Michael Sharp, an American who was coordinator of an independent sanctions monitoring group, and Zaida Catalan, a Swede, were killed in central Congo on March 12 while carrying out investigations for a report to the U.N. Security Council. The bodies of...
(APA 08/17/17)
Uganda is to supply power to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the next three years following an agreement signed on Thursday between the two countries. According to a memorandum of Understanding signed in Kampala, a power transmission line connecting both countries from Kasese District in Western Uganda to Beni city in northeastern DR Congo, Butembo in North Kivu and finally to Bunia town in Ituri Province. According to Uganda’s energy minister Irene Muloni the Ugandan stretch of the line...
(MmegiOnline 08/17/17)
With the local commercial property market coming under pressure, RDC Properties says it is aggressively pursuing regional diversification with Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique soon to be added to their portfolio. Announcing results for the half-year ended June 30, 2017 in Gaborone yesterday, RDC executive chairman Guido Giachetti said the local property market is going through challenging times but the downturn was plugged by good performance in the properties in the tourism industry. This resulted in an increase in profit...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
At least 10 people, but possibly as many as 40, have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo by suspected members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), local sources said Wednesday. "We condemn the kidnapping of 10 people from the village of Kunu (in the northeast) by gunmen identified as LRA rebels," a local official, Dungu Christophe Ikando, told AFP. But the UN radio station in DR Congo reported that "at least 40 people had been kidnapped", including two...
(APA 08/16/17)
APA-Kinshasa (D.R Congo) - The killing of UN experts Zaida Catalan and Michael Sharp was premeditated, according to the latest report by a panel of experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo which will be presented to the Security Council on Tuesday. The two UN experts were killed in Central Kasai in March this year while investigating human rights violations in the province after the eruption of violence in August 2016. In its report, the UN experts concluded that no...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda has signed a preliminary agreement with neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to build a power transmission line connecting both countries so that Kampala can sell electricity to the eastern Congo, a senior official said on Wednesday. Uganda generates about 800 megawatts of electricity but that should double in about one and a half years when two hydropower dams are completed, giving the east African nation surplus energy. By contrast, less than 15 percent of Congo has...
(The Guardian 08/16/17)
Three rangers have been killed and another is missing after an attack by violent militia in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the number of fatalities in the park this year to eight. The park rangers, Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini were murdered on the morning of Monday 14 August during a routine patrol around the park, which is home to critically endangered mountain gorilla. Park authorities said the attack...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Nearly eight million people face acute hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of conflict, especially in the central Kasai region, UN food agencies said Monday. “Food security and nutrition... are deteriorating in many parts of DRC, but nowhere is the situation more alarming than in Kasai," said Claude Jibidar, director of the World Food Programme's operations in the country. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said about 7.7 million people were on the verge of starvation...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo has soared in the last year, leaving 7.7 million people in urgent need of food aid and pushing the country closer to famine than it has been in a decade, food security experts said on Monday. Much of the rise in hunger - 1.8 million new people were added to the list - stems from escalating violence in the Kasai and Tanganyika regions, which in Kasai alone has forced 1.4 million people to...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(AFP (eng) 08/12/17)
An agreement has been struck with Kinshasa for the repatriation of the body of veteran Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who died aged 84 in Belgium in February, his family and political party told AFP Friday. The long delay in the return of Tshisekedi's remains was due to concerns it could touch off massive demonstrations as the Democratic Republic of Congo is mired in a political crisis over President Joseph Kabila holding onto power beyond his mandate. Tshisekedi was a key political rival who lost to Kabila in disputed presidential polls in 2011. Before his death, Tshisekedi had headed the opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - At least 27 people, including three police officers, were killed in clashes between protesters and police in Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this week, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The majority of the deaths were in the capital, Kinshasa, where members of the separatist sect Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) marched against President Joseph Kabila and attacked a prison on Monday. BDK is just one of many sources of opposition of Kabila that have threatened to plunge the vast, mineral-rich central African country into chaos since the president refused to step down when his mandate..
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Radio France Internationale (RFI) has resumed services in Democratic Republic of Congo after a 10-month shutdown over what the government said was the station's sympathy for opposition rallies, RFI and the Congolese government said on Friday. RFI, funded by the French government, was jammed on Nov. 5, hours before a banned opposition rally protesting against President Joseph Kabila's plan to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate in December. RFI denounced the move as an infringement of press freedom. "I can confirm that the RFI signal was restored in Kinshasa on Thursday night. We have reached an agreement with the French authorities," said Congolese government...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...

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