Wednesday 26 July 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
The United States on Tuesday threatened to impose further targeted unilateral sanctions on anyone who hinders Democratic Republic of Congo's already delayed preparations for an election to replace President Joseph Kabila. The country's election commission president said on Sunday that the vote, originally due in November 2016, was unlikely to take place in 2017, because of delays in registering millions of voters. Further delays could trigger additional unrest following anti-government street protests last year in which security forces killed dozens of demonstrators.
(Fox News 07/12/17)
The United States said Tuesday it is ready to impose sanctions on anyone in Congo who stands in the way of presidential elections to be held by the end of the year, which would lead to the country's first democratic transition of power. Congo law bars President Joseph Kabila seeking another term but allows him to remain in power until another election can be held. The vote was once scheduled for November 2016, but it was delayed until no later than Dec. 31 this year under an agreement reached last New Year's Eve. The head of Congo's electoral commission announced Friday that it would not be possible to organize a presidential ballot by Dec. 31, drawing sharp criticism Tuesday from...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
About 80,000 people have fled fighting between the Democratic Republic of Congo army and a new rebel coalition, the United Nations said on Tuesday, joining the millions already uprooted in Africa's worst displacement crisis. Militia violence has intensified across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, raising fears the country will slide back into the wars at the turn of the century that killed millions. The latest fighting broke out in South Kivu province's Fizi territory, in the eastern part of the country. Government troops clashed with the National Coalition of the People for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC), a new alliance of local self-defense militias, the U.N. Organization...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
An Indian businessman who was seized in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo 19 days ago by a kidnapping ring has been freed, Kinshasa police said Monday.. Hermnani Ritesh, who operates a travel agency, was freed on Saturday by security forces and three people were arrested, said police spokesman Colonel Pierre-Rombaut Mwanamputu. The kidnapping ring was comprised of four men from Nambia, Mozambique, Cameroon and DR Congo who had demanded a ransom of $2 million for Ritesh's release. "It's the first time that this type of kidnapping" for ransom had occurred in Kinshasa, Mwanamputu said, adding that police were still searching for accomplices on the run.
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
The main opposition party in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo on Monday blasted as a "provocation" and a power grab an announcement that elections to end a deep political crisis in the mineral-rich country will likely not be held this year. The president of DR Congo's electoral commission, Corneille Nangaa, had told reporters in Paris on Friday that "it will not be possible" to hold presidential and legislative elections "before the end of the year". But the opposition views it as a move to keep President Joseph Kabila in power. "Corneille Nangaa is helping Joseph Kabila to achieve his plan to hold on to power," Augustin Kabuya, spokesman for the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS), said. "It is a...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
The president of Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission said on Sunday that a vote to replace President Joseph Kabila will probably not be possible this year, violating a deal that let Kabila stay on past the end of his mandate. Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his second elected term in December sparked protests that killed dozens of people. The opposition quickly denounced commission president Corneille Nangaa's announcement on Sunday as a declaration of "war." "The parameters at our disposal give us, more or less, reason to think that, in December, it will probably not be possible to stick to that
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government has formally requested financial support from international donors as it confronts a worsening economic crisis, a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday showed. Africa's top copper producer has been hard hit by low commodity prices in recent years. It has only enough foreign currency reserves to cover about three weeks of imports and its franc currency CDF= has lost half its value in the past year. The letter was dated July 4 and addressed to the U.N. Secretary General as well as in-country representatives of the African Union, the European Union, three regional African organisations and other foreign ambassadors. In it, Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala's chief of staff, Michel Nsomue, wrote that the government "needs...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Long-overdue presidential and legislative polls can only be held at the end of the year in troubled Democratic Republic of Congo, the head of the national election commission said Friday. "It will not be possible before December," Corneille Nangaa told reporters in Paris. Elections are due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political violence in the sprawling country of 71 million people after President Joseph Kabila failed to step down when his mandate ended in December 2016. Under the deal, Kabila was allowed to remain in office pending the elections, ruling in tandem with a transitional watchdog and a new premier, chosen within opposition ranks. Nangaa cited ongoing security issues in the country's troubled central Kasai...
(La Croix 07/07/17)
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) president, Joseph Kabila, meets head of the country's Catholic episcopal conference, Archbishop Marcel Utembi. “We talked about the elections. They will be held. It is no secret,” declared Archbishop Marcel Utembi of Kisangani, who is also president of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), shortly after meeting DRC president, Joseph Kabila, who was on a visit to the region. “I think that the president has kept repeating that the elections would be held, even to his colleagues,” Archbishop Utembi told Radio Okapi. However, he did not reveal full details of his discussions with the president.
(The Associated Press 07/07/17)
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- A Congo military court has sentenced eight soldiers to prison terms of 15 years to life on charges of murder and improper use of weapons. Defense lawyer Jimmy Bashile said Thursday another soldier was acquitted for guarding a vehicle and ammunition, and another got a one-year suspended sentence for not reporting crimes. Bashile says the two soldiers sentenced to life had escaped. Nine soldiers had faced trial in the Mbuji-Mayi court in Kasai Oriental province. They were charged after a video surfaced earlier this year showing Congolese soldiers firing on unarmed civilians...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
A military court in DR Congo on Thursday handed stiff jail terms, including life imprisonment, to eight soldiers for killing civilians in the violence-wracked central Kasai region following mounting pressure from the UN. In less than a year, brutal violence in four central Kasai provinces has claimed more than 3,300 lives, according to a tally by the influential Roman Catholic Church, and displaced 1.3 million people. The UN children's agency said more than 600,000 of the displaced are children. A military court in Mbuji-Mayi acquitted one soldier but sentenced two others to 20 years in jail. Three soldiers got 15-year terms and one got a year in prison. Two absconding soldiers were served life terms. The violence erupted last September...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/06/17)
A Democratic Republic of Congo court convicted seven soldiers on Thursday for the murder of suspected militia members in the country's insurrection-ravaged Kasai region. The court in the central Congolese city of Mbuji Mayi sentenced two army majors to 20 years in prison and three other soldiers to 15 years for murder and improperly disposing of weapons, defense lawyer Jimmy Bashile told Reuters. A video of the massacre showed soldiers shooting people, some of them young women, at point blank range and provoked international condemnation when it appeared in February. Two soldiers were sentenced in absentia to capital punishment, Bashile added, although Congo has observed a moratorium on the death penalty for more than a decade. One other soldier received...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
anzania's foreign ministry said Wednesday that 24 truckers driving in a convoy from the country had been kidnapped by the Mai-Mai militia in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Mindi Kasiga told state television the 21 Tanzanians and three Kenyans were driving trucks belonging to two Tanzania-registered companies when they were taken by the Mai-Mai, a "self-defence" militia made up of various ethnic groups that has clashed repeatedly with Congolese troops. "They were kidnapped by Mai-Mai fighters on June 29 in Lulimba, in South Kivu province, while they were on their way to the Namoya gold mine in Maniema province," Kasiga said.
(Others 07/06/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) marked 57 years of independence last Friday, but far from being the joyous occasion it should have been, DRC president Joseph Kabila cancelled the traditional independence day parade over “security concerns.” His decision occurred at a time when the DRC has reached boiling point, with Kabila increasingly clinging desperately to power in a country ravaged by deepening rifts and aggravating chaos. Just three years shy of the DRC’s diamond jubilee, all signs point to a state that is once again collapsing into civil war – but few in the west seem aware of Congo’s dismal state. In power since 2001, Kabila has repeatedly rejected calls to step down following the end of his term...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/06/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo plans to impose harsher punishments on mining companies that fail to repatriate at least 40 percent of their revenue from mineral exports, central bank governor Deogratias Mutombo said on Wednesday. Mutombo told reporters at a news conference that the bank would start inspecting companies' bank accounts abroad as part of the new push and would also seek to verify their ore output to eliminate fraud. Congo, Africa's top copper producer, has been hit hard by low commodity prices over the last two years and cut its growth forecast for 2017 in May. With the oil and mining sectors accounting for 95 percent of the country's export revenue, the fall in prices has hurt the government's finances...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.

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