Monday 20 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
From crouching over a small hole with a sheet for privacy to defecating in the open air, for millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo going to the toilet is a daily act of misery. The UN has estimated more than 2.4 billion people worldwide are in a similar situation, with Sunday's World Toilet Day planned to raise awareness. The vast majority of DR Congo's more than 70 million residents do not have access to "improved" toilets -- latrines, sewerage or cesspits that hygienically separate human waste from human contact, according to the United Nations children's agency Unicef. The problem has become even more pressing this year as the huge African country wrestles with a resurgence of cholera...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
A man believed to be a leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kamwina Nsapu militia has been detained over a beheading in the troubled Kasai region, a judicial source told AFP on Thursday. "He was arrested Tuesday. For now the presumed militia chief is undergoing questioning from military justice," said the source, adding that the man was believed to be a leading figure in the Kamwina Nsapu rebel group. He is suspected of ordering the decapitation of six people who were supervising exams at a school before they were ambushed on May 31.
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday stifled street protests against the extended rule of President Joseph Kabila, making several dozen arrests according to campaign groups, despite a UN appeal to allow peaceful demonstrations. The Lucha citizens' movement said at least 27 were detained by police in North Kivu province in the country's east, including 15 in the provincial capital Goma. In the neighbouring province of South Kivu, Lucha denounced "the arrest of 13 activists" who were detained while a communique was being read out. In a statement, the police said there had been 19 arrests, comprising six in Goma, seven in Lubumbashi and six in Matadi...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
At least 15 people were killed when a lorry tumbled into a river in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, official sources said Wednesday. Four people were also hurt after the vehicle came off the road at Isiro as it returned from a local market, Haut-Uele province governor Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga told AFP. Kisanga said the incident near the border with Central African Republic and South Sudan was being investigated. Another source said 16 people were injured while the 7sur7.cd news...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Leading technology and electric car companies have been accused of failing to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined using child labour, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday. The report found that firms including Microsoft, Renault and Huawei have taken "no action" into how the batteries used in their products could be linked to human rights abuses. But tech giants Apple and Samsung have made some progress, according to the report, which ranked the progress of...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The United Nations on Tuesday called on DR Congo's government to allow peaceful demonstrations on the eve of expected protests against President Joseph Kabila. In a statement, the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO urged the authorities "to respect the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Congolese Constitution, including freedom of assembly and of demonstration." The authorities, it said, should "instruct defence and security forces to respect the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, consistent with international standards." Mineral-rich but chronically poor, politically...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - About 30 people were killed and more than two dozen injured when a train derailed then caught fire in Democratic Republic of Congo, a provincial governor said on Monday. The freight train was traveling from the southern copper and cobalt mining hub of Lubumbashi to Luena, in Lualaba province, on Sunday when it left the tracks and tumbled into a ravine near the town of Buyofwe. “There’s major damage because the tanker cars caught fire,” Lualaba’s governor...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Up to 33 people were feared dead Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a freight train carrying fuel plunged into a ravine. The UN's radio Okapi said there had been 33 fatalities with an unknown number of others injured or burned in the accident in the province of Lualaba. Jean-Marie Tshizainga, the minister of mines of Lualaba province gave a toll of eight dead and several others injured. "The toll could be significantly higher," he told AFP. The...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Britain's minister of state for Africa Rory Stewart met DR Congo authorities on Friday and said plans to hold long-deferred elections late next year were "achievable." The DRC had weathered months of unrest and violence over the vote, which was delayed by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down on the expiry of his second and final term last December. Under a compromise deal, the vote was scheduled to take place this year, but has since been pushed back until...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Eighteen suspected militiamen, including a provincial lawmaker, went on trial Friday in DR Congo's chaotic east for kidnapping and raping some 40 girls. Frederic Batumike and 17 others face charges of "crimes against humanity through rape and murder ... and taking part in an insurrectional movement," Charles Cubaka Cicura, a lawyer representing the victims told AFP. They are appearing before a military court in Bukavu. The suspects are accused of being members of the Djeshi ya Yesu militia, or The...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
A UN watchdog on Thursday called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that elections set for late next year are "free, peaceful and honest". The UN Human Rights Committee also decried the "closure of public space" in the country, including the suspension of social media platforms, television and radio programmes. The DRC is in the grip of a crisis over plans to hold presidential elections, which were delayed by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Nine children died and another was missing after a canoe capsized on Lake Tanganyika in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. a local official said Thursday. The motorised boat left the town of Kalemie and was heading for the port of Wimbi when it sank on Wednesday. "Of the 21 passengers aboard, nine were killed, all of them children," provincial official Joseph Lumona told AFP, "Another child is reported missing," he said, adding that the accident happened in...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. Human Rights Committee on Thursday gave Democratic Republic of Congo a year to report on actions it has taken to hold free and fair elections and clean up its rights record. The United Nations watchdog, whose 18 independent experts monitor countries’ compliance with a global human rights treaty, said Congo should come back with an explanation by Nov. 10, 2018, rather than after the regular four years between reviews. Congo should “cooperate with all stakeholders...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Recounting horrific stories of rape and murder allegedly by government soldiers, thousands of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have sought safety on the Zambian side of Lake Mweru. About 6,000 Congolese residents have fled across the border since late August, triggering an emergency response from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) which has struggled to provide basic food rations and shelter. 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 this year. The UNHCR said that the unrest had caused the largest influx into Zambia for the past five years...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday said foreign "greed" for its cobalt lay behind the "malicious" pressures weighing on the country's electoral process. The DRC is in the grip of a crisis over plans to hold presidential elections, which were delayed by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down on the expiry of his second and final term last December. Under a compromise deal, the vote was scheduled to take place this year. But on October 12, the country's...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition parties have rejected a new date for elections announced at the weekend to replace President Joseph Kabila, saying it violates the law and a political deal agreed with the government. Originally scheduled for late 2016, the polls have been repeatedly delayed. Following several rounds of deadly protests, Kabila’s camp and his opponents signed an accord last December agreeing to hold the election before the end of this year. On Sunday, Congo’s CENI elections commission announced that the election, which term limits currently bar Kabila...

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