Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Some $750 million (644 million euros) in revenue from Democratic Republic of Congo's mines between 2011 and 2014 "cannot be reliably tracked" in the records of the state-owned Gecamines, the Carter Center said Friday. The US foundation, in a report, suggested Gecamines used "its privileged position to generate US$1.1 billion from copper and cobalt deals between 2011 and 2014" yet had failed to reliably account for almost two-thirds of the revenue. Gecamines wields control of the vast nation's "best mining permits", enabling it "to generate substantial revenues from its partnerships, averaging US$262 million per year in royalties...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
The key hub of Bukavu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was widely affected by a strike Wednesday, part of a rolling campaign of protests against President Joseph Kabila, an AFP reporter saw. Banks, schools, petrol stations and other businesses were closed around the city, which is the capital of South Kivu province, and riot police were deployed at key points. The so-called "dead city" protest "calls on the immediate holding of elections in line with the New Year's Eve agreement", the organisers said, referring to the December 31, 2016 deal under which Kabila would leave office. Tensions are running high in the DRC after Kabila failed to step down on the expiry of his second and final term last...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Police in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni said they had arrested nine demonstrators during a march Tuesday against President Joseph Kabila, a day after clashes in the region that left five dead. The nine were "from Lucha," said Lisangi Nkumu, Beni's deputy police chief, referring to a pro-democracy group, Struggle for Change, which is campaigning for Kabila to leave office. "They were demonstrating on the public highway without authorisation," he said. "They are being interviewed and will be handed over to the appropriate authorities." Lucha campaigner Regina Masinda told AFP that the police intervened shortly after the start of the march and "brutally"...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
JUBA, South Sudan/KITCHANGA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - In a mountainous camp for displaced Congolese, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wrapped her arm around an inconsolable woman who recounted being raped twice. “It only makes me more passionate, it makes me more determined,” Haley told a small group of reporters traveling with her during her first trip to Africa. “I’ll carry the voices of the women that I met and things that they said.” Dispatched by President Donald Trump to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, Haley’s trip was one of the first tangible signs of interest in Africa by the nine-month old administration.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
GENEVA (Reuters) - President Joseph Kabila has agreed to help aid reach a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo where ethnic conflict has spawned a humanitarian emergency, the head of the U.N.’s World Food Programme said on Monday. WFP Executive Director David Beasley said he had also asked Congo’s Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala to waive $9 million in administrative fees the organization had paid to the government, saying the sum could feed tens of thousands of people. “This country is destabilizing and it needs attention because if we don’t give the attention now it could impact the entire region,” Beasley told reporters by phone from Kinshasa.
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday urged the international community to put the refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) high on the agenda as it was degenerating into a humanitarian crisis. UNHCR Country Representative in Zambia Pierrine Aylara called for more assistance to Zambia and other countries hosting DRC asylum seekers. Countries like Zambia require urgent assistance due to the increasing numbers of people being received on a daily basis, Aylara told reporters in Nchelenge, a district in Luapula province, during a visit to Kenani Transit Center for asylum seekers. She thanked the Zambian government for accommodating the asylum seekers and some cooperating partners for providing assistance. "We would like to thank the...
(Agence Ecofin 10/31/17)
Ivanhoe Mines has concluded with Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC), a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to rehabilitate the railway that connects its Kipushi mine to Munama, South of Lubumbashi. Under the MoU, construction works will begin at the end of 2018. Ivanhoe will appoint consultants to conduct front-end engineering study to assess the impact and cost of rehabilitation of this infrastructure which is offline since 2011. According to Robert Friedland (picture), CEO Ivanhoe, reviving the railway is the most economical solution for the transport of the future zinc concentrate production of 530,000 tons/yr from the Kipushi mine. Indeed, he believes that a single train can substitute 50 road trucks, and is thus more beneficial, in terms...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ebola outbreaks tend to occur two years after trees have been cut down or forests cleared in West and Central Africa, researchers said on Monday, suggesting that deforestation data could be used to predict outbreaks of the deadly disease. A study published in online journal Scientific Reports was the first to find a time correlation between deforestation and the onset of Ebola, caused by a virus which humans catch from infected wild animals that can then be transmitted between humans through direct contact. Ebola ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014-2016, killing around 11,300 people in the world’s worst recorded outbreak, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). There have been dozens of smaller...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Four civilians and a policeman were killed Monday in clashes in eastern DR Congo as demonstrations took place to demand President Joseph Kabila stand down this year, an AFP correspondent said. The journalist said he saw the bodies of four civilians lying in blood in the Madjengon district of Goma, capital of the troubled North Kivu province, while the body of a policeman who had been hit with stones was on the ground in the neighbouring district Mabanga. The protest was organised by an associations of civil society groups, including the pro-democracy Struggle for Change (Lucha). "The resistance against the bloody and predatory regime of Kabila has well and truly begun," Lucha said on Twitter. Tensions are running high in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - One police officer and one civilian were killed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday in clashes between security forces and protesters demanding the departure of President Joseph Kabila this year, the police said. The national electoral commission announced this month that an election to replace Kabila, whose mandate expired last December, cannot take place until April 2019. The delay has raised fears of an escalation of violence in Congo, which is Africa’s biggest copper producer. Activist groups in the eastern city of Goma had called for a general strike on Monday to protest against the election delay. Unrest broke out by 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) between police and protesters, who barricaded roads and burned tires,...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/17)
A rebel "general" from South Sudan, Dhiling Keah, briefly sums up the strategic position of his army, eking out an existence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. "We are confined," he says. In July 2016, his soldiers were fighting with former vice president Riek Machar in Juba, capital of the world's newest state, against the forces of President Sala Kiir. Beaten, the rebels retreated over the border into the northeast of the DRC. They trudged hundreds of kilometres (miles), ending up in a camp some distance from Goma, capital of the strife-prone North Kivu province. Today, Keah, 37, exercises authority over a lost army of several hundred rebels who have been disarmed and lost their purpose. The general is held...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the Democratic Republic of Congo to hold elections next year, rather than delay them until 2019, if it wanted to count on American backing. "Elections must be held in 2018, (otherwise) the DRC should not count on the support of the United States and the international community," Haley said, after meeting Corneille Nangaa, head of DRC's National Electoral Commission. "We are not going to support a timetable which doesn't clearly show that the elections will be held in 2018," she said, according to a French translation of her remarks. "It is possible (to do), provided all parties get involved."
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, headed Thursday for a displaced people's camp on a visit to the strife-ravaged east of Democratic Republic of Congo. Haley arrived in regional capital Goma by plane from the DRC capital Kinshasa before boarding a UN helicopter for Kitchanga, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) forced from their homes by violence, UN sources said. Haley will stay until Friday in the DRC, the last leg of a maiden trip to Africa which has taken her to Ethiopia and South Sudan. The envoy is the most senior official in the administration of President Donald Trump...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrived Wednesday evening in Kinshasa on a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo which is in the grip of a political and humanitarian crisis. She arrived aboard a military plane accompanied by more than 30 people, an airport source said. "Indeed, she has arrived," Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu confirmed to AFP. Haley will stay in the DRC until Friday, the last leg of her African trip which has taken her to Ethiopia and South Sudan. Violence has intensified in recent months in South Sudan and the DRC, despite a strong peacekeeping presence.
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
Members of DR Congo's opposition arrested in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi for allegedly insulting President Joseph Kabila were released on Wednesday, their party and police said. "The militants who were arrested on Sunday and Monday have just been released," Dany Kabongo, an official for the main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), told AFP. "We released all the people arrested during the visit to Lubumbashi by (opposition leader Felix (Tshisekedi)," regional chief commander Paulin Kyungu told AFP. The releases followed diplomatic pressure in the form of a joint statement from EU officials and UN diplomats from the US, Swiss and Canadian missions to the country expressing concern at restrictions on opposition gatherings. The statement called on the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrived in Ethiopia on Monday, one of the first senior members of President Donald Trump’s administration to visit Africa, on a trip diplomats hope will shed light on his plans to engage with the continent. Africa is traditionally overshadowed by more urgent issues, and the Trump administration has so far been hands-off. After meetings on Monday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and a senior African Union official, Haley told reporters she hoped this was the beginning of “a stronger relationship with the AU and our African partners.” “The United States very much sees Africa as a very important part of the world. We see great opportunities in...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
A key opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Monday it was withdrawing its representative from the country's transitional government because a hard won peace accord was not being implemented. The Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) said in a statement it was pulling out Pierre Kangudia Mbayi, who is currently DR Congo's minister of state in charge of budget. The UNC -- the third opposition party in parliament -- signed onto a peace deal at the end of 2016 aimed at avoiding fresh political bloodshed after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his second and final mandate ended in December. Kabila was allowed to remain in office pending the elections, ruling in tandem with a...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...

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