Friday 26 May 2017
(AL Jazeera 08/26/13)
Fighting between government forces and M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo has entered its fifth day, with both sides suffering heavy casualties, a doctor near the front line says. Dr Isaac Warwanamiza said he had seen 82 bodies since early on Sunday, 23 of whom were government soldiers, the Associated Press news agency said. The fighting in Goma, North Kivu province's largest city, has drawn UN troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania who are now fighting alongside the DRC army. The 3,000-strong intervention brigade, set up by the UN Security Council in March, is entrusted with neutralising armed groups and militias in DRC's volatile east who are threatening civilians. Warwanamiza said medical services were struggling to cope...
(The Associated Press 08/26/13)
The United Nations world tourism body said Sunday it has chosen Zimbabwe to lead its Commission for Africa, the continent-wide group for tourism development for the next two years. The U.N. World Tourism Organization said that conflict-troubled Mali also joins the African tourism commission. Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting the 155-nation tourism organization's summit, held every two years, at the resort of Victoria Falls on their common border. The six-day general assembly was formally opened by the two countries' presidents, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Michael Sata of Zambia. The United Nations said in a statement that July 31 elections in Zimbabwe, bitterly disputed over alleged rigging, "will be respected by the assembly." Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States...
(Voici 08/26/13)
The South African government says former President Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition but his condition becomes "unstable" at times. The government said the ailing anti-apartheid icon who has been hospitalized since June has shown "great resilience" and that his condition "tends to stabilize as a result of medical interventions." In the Saturday statement, President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to continue praying for the 95-year-old former leader. Mandela is hospitalized in Pretoria. He was admitted to a hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. The former president's health has worsened in recent years. He had been in and out of the hospital for much of the past year. Mandela was elected to serve as South...
(Reuters 08/24/13)
Testimony in the trial of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai has produced salacious details about the opulent and supposedly corrupt lifestyle of the family of the once high-flying Communist Party aristocrat. But perhaps no tidbit has attracted as much attention as the piece of exotic meat Bo's son, Guagua, brought back from a visit to Africa in 2011. The trip was paid for by entrepreneur Xu Ming, once close to the Bo family and now detained, accused of paying bribes to Bo. The mystery meat was a given by Guagua to his father, according to written testimony at the trial from his wife, Gu Kailai, a transcript of which was published by the court. Gu said she did not remember...
(BBC News Africa 08/24/13)
UN troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an offensive, shelling positions held by rebels near the eastern city of Goma. The UN was responding to shelling from M23 rebels on Goma on Thursday, a UN spokesman said. Congolese officials say five civilians in the city died. A M23 spokesman told the BBC it had not attacked the city, blaming the army for provoking the fighting. A new UN intervention brigade is deploying to the area to tackle rebels. It has a mandate to neutralise and disarm rebel fighters. Its 3,000 soldiers are joining the regular UN peacekeeping force, Monusco, which has more than 18,000 troops on the ground with a mandate to protect civilians. UN spokesman Lt-Col...
(AFP (eng) 08/24/13)
GOMA, August 24, 2013 (AFP) - Shelling killed two people in Goma Saturday, a day after a newly-formed UN force for the first time took on M23 rebels threatening the eastern Congolese city, witnesses said. It was unclear who fired the shell that smashed into Goma's western neighbourhood of Ndosho, sparking an angry reaction from residents who blocked access to vehicles. "A shell has just landed on my neighbourhood," Ndosho resident Charles Paluku told AFP on the phone, adding that two people had been reported dead as a result of the explosion. Another witness speaking on condition of anonymity provided the same death toll and said the shell had struck near Ndosho's Saint-Francois Xavier. Residents said two other shells were...
(AFP (eng) 08/24/13)
KIGALI, August 24, 2013 (AFP) - Rwanda's army has warned neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, who it accuses of deliberate bombing over the border, that it will not stand by "indefinitely", it said in a statement late Friday. On Thursday, Rwanda accused Congolese troops of firing a rocket over the border into Bugu village, while on Friday afternoon it said five mortar bombs landed in the Rwandan villages of Bukumu, Kagezi, Kageyo and Rusura. "The RDF (Rwanda Defence Force) remains prepared to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the population," Rwanda's army spokesman Joseph Nzabamwita said in a statement. "Acts of provocation that endanger the lives of Rwandan citizens will not remain unanswered indefinitely," he added, but...
(Voice of America 08/24/13)
GOMA, DRC — The United Nations Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new-style U.N. peacekeeping force with a uniquely robust mandate, has finally started fighting, the DRC government said Friday. The force of more than 3,000 troops, mainly from Tanzania and South Africa, has been in eastern Congo for nearly three months and on Thursday opened fire on the M23 rebels. This was the moment many people in eastern Congo had been waiting for, DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said at a press conference. "I think we can simply welcome the fact that the brigade has gone into action, since yesterday. It’s a good thing, better late than never.” There were about 16,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Congo...
(Xinhuanet 08/24/13)
The Japanese Defense Ministry is mulling to dispatch resident officials tasked with military information gathering to Africa countries in a move to strengthen its intelligence collecting capability in the countries, according to local media. The officials will be sent to seven African countries, namely Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, and Brazil in South America from fiscal 2014 to obtain information over terrorism and other security issues, Japan's Kyodo News quoted government officials as saying. The defense ministry will include the costs in its budget request for fiscal 2014, said the report, adding that the ministry also plans to increase the number of such staff in European countries that have influence on Africa countries, such as Britain,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/13)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo | Fri Aug 23, 2013 (Reuters) - A new U.N. combat brigade formed to try to neutralize armed groups in Congo by force if needed fired artillery at M23 rebels menacing the eastern border city of Goma anew, U.N. and Congolese military officers said on Friday. It was the brigade's first clash with M23 in support of government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. force, composed of Tanzanian, South African and Malawian soldiers, was created by the U.N. Security Council in March. Fighting entered a third successive day near Goma, a city of about a million people on the Rwandan border, after a relative lull in the 18-month-old M23 rebellion. Goma...
(AL Jazeera 08/23/13)
The Rwandan army has accused the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo of "deliberately" firing a rocket over the border. Rwanda's military spokesman Joseph Nzabamwita said firing the rocket, which landed near the border on Thursday afternoon, was a "provocative act". "DRC forces today deliberately fired a rocket across the border onto Rwandan territory," an army statement said. The incident came as fighting resumed outside the eastern DRC flashpoint city of Goma between the DRC armed forces and M23, a Congolese rebel group Rwanda is accused of backing. Neighbours said at least five civilians were hit by mortar fire in Goma during a second day of heavy fighting. The violence marked the first reports of civilians being wounded inside the city...
(Voice of America 08/23/13)
A group of 12 Civil Society organizations based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province has launched a petition asking President Joseph Kabila to pardon a jailed parliamentarian of the ruling party. “The petition is twofold,” said Fidel Bafilemba, a leading member of the civil societies’ umbrella group. “We want forgiveness from the president, but also amnesty, because without amnesty he could get out of jail without being able to go back to his job as a member of parliament.” Bafilemba says the arrest and detention of lawmaker Muhindo Nzangi has angered residents in the region. “Members of the team are working to dispatch this petition to the president and to other government officials,” said Bafilemba. “His prosecution...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/13)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo | (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. mission in Congo on Thursday ordered peacekeeping troops to act to protect civilians after shelling hit the city of Goma in renewed fighting between the army and M23 rebels. The fighting close to Goma, a city of a million people on the Rwandan border, comes after a relative lull in the 18-month rebellion. Late last month, the United Nations pledged to keep the M23 rebels out of range of the town, which they briefly seized last year. Rwanda, which has long had strained relations with its neighbor, accused the Congolese army of deliberately firing artillery into its territory. Kinshasa denied the reports and repeated its accusation that...
(Voice of America 08/23/13)
GOMA — After a three-week lull, heavy fighting has resumed outside Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. M23 rebels and the DRC army blame each other for renewing hostilities. The battle began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday. These are the first major hostilities between the government army and M23 since the army bombed the rebels’ headquarters last month. Between July 15 and 19, the army succeeded in driving the rebels back four or five kilometers from Goma - a key city on the border with Rwanda. Many civilians in Goma reacted angrily when this apparently successful offensive was called off and a fragile truce was reinstated. An army spokesman, Colonel Olivier Hamuli, said the rebels...
(AFP (eng) 08/22/13)
GOMA, August 22, 2013 (AFP) - Mortar shells that left three injured on the outskirts of Goma Thursday were targeted at UN positions, the new head of the UN mission to Democratic Republic of Congo said. Martin Kobler, the new head of the UN's DR Congo taskforce (MONUSCO), said he would not allow "any attack on civilians," and added that "populated areas and areas where UN troops were stationed were targeted and fired at indiscriminately." A local official who chose not to be named confirmed that three people were left "seriously injured by a bomb," as clashes between M23 rebels and government forces continued around the city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The official did not say whether the...
(Voice of America 08/22/13)
Fresh clashes have erupted between and army and M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a three-week lull in hostilities. The unrest began late Wednesday outside of the flashpoint city of Goma and continued into Thursday. Each side has blamed the other for starting the unrest. Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli said the rebels launched the attack, but the army has the upper hand. M23 spokesman Kabasha Amani said the unrest began after troops began massing near rebel positions and making small incursions. The fighting marks the first major hostilities between the two sides since the army bombed the M23's headquarters in July and drove the rebels back several kilometers from Goma. The M23 briefly took control...
(L'Avenir Quotidien 08/22/13)
L’Abbé président de la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (Ceni), Apollinaire Malumalu a promis que 2014 sera une année électorale et que la priorité pour le moment demeure la tenue des élections locales. Il l’avait dit pendant que se tenaient les travaux du séminaire d’imprégnation et de planification stratégique des membres de la Ceni. Après la formation sur le leadership et la prévention des conflits électoraux, les participants à ce séminaire sont désormais entrés dans la deuxième phase de ces assises consacrée à l’élaboration du plan stratégique de la Ceni. C’est ce que renseigne une note d’information de la Ceni publiée hier. Cette deuxième phase précise la Ceni, sera essentiellement dédiée à la restitution des travaux des six groupes thématiques effectués...
(AFP (eng) 08/22/13)
From Cameroon to Ivory Coast, Kenya to the DR Congo, traders in counterfeit drugs do a thriving business with the utmost cynicism and sometimes at the cost of human lives. "Street medication kills. The street is killing (safe) medication," declares a banner outside a pharmacy in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, where the dangerous trade is rampant. The market is saturated with counterfeit anti-malaria drugs, painkillers, antibiotics and even rehydration serum. No domain of the pharmaceutical industry is spared by illicit manufacturers and traffickers, according to reports gathered by AFP offices across Africa. "That's powerful Diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory), which is the bestseller," says Blaise Djomo, a street vendor at Yaounde's central market. "And this is Viagra, which Cameroonians are really wild...
(Voice of America 08/21/13)
HARARE — Southern African leaders are calling for the West to lift all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe after endorsing President Robert Mugabe's victory in disputed elections last month.At the July gathering of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Malawi President Joyce Banda, who chairs SADC, said Zimbabweans had "suffered enough."The call comes before Mugabe has been sworn in, extending his 33-year-long rule for another five years.Mugabe's spokesman on Monday said the 89-year-old leader would take the oath of office on Thursday if the country’s Constitutional Court clears him. The country's electoral commission declared Mugabe the winner, defeating Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai 61 to 34 percent in the hotly-disputed election July 31. Just last week, Tsvangirai withdrew his election challenge, arguing...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/13)
(Reuters) - Tanzania-focused miner African Barrick Gold pinned its turnaround hopes on a new chief executive on Wednesday, appointing industry veteran Bradley A Gordon to replace Greg Hawkins at the helm of the struggling group. The FTSE 250 company, whose poor performance meant it was under pressure even before a gold price rout began in April, said Gordon's appointment would be effective immediately. Gordon, who has worked in the gold mining industry for 30 years, was previously CEO of Intrepid Mines, the Canadian and Australian listed precious metals exploration and development company with primary operations in Indonesia. Analysts welcomed the change, and said Gordon's his lack of African experience was balanced by his ability to manage difficult operations. "The announcement...

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