Friday 24 November 2017
(Washington Post 08/12/13)
Since 1997, when U.S.-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko was toppled by a rebellion, Congo has been gripped by conflict and political tensions. The mineral-rich country, once known as Zaire, has plunged into the deadliest conflict in African history; more than 5 million people have lost their lives. The war officially ended in 2003, but violence and insecurity have continued to plague eastern Congo, despite the presence of the world’s largestUnited Nations peacekeeping operation. Various rebel groups have sought to gain power and control over the nation’s vast mineral wealth, which includes gold, diamonds and copper. Today, violence is again escalating in Congo. Clashes continue between government forces and myriad rebel groups, including the M23 movement, which briefly seized the eastern...
(CNN 08/12/13)
UN chief Ban Ki-moon says the Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered a "total breakdown of law and order" since rebels seized power in March. He urged the UN Security Council to consider sanctions or to set up a panel of experts to monitor the situation. Seleka rebel group leader Michel Djotodia ousted President Francois Bozize in March. Last month Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the country's health care system had collapsed. In a report that the Security Council is due to discuss on Wednesday, Mr Ban said infighting among rebel groups had led to widespread abuses. "They included arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks, committed...
(AFP 08/11/13)
JOHANNESBURG, August 11, 2013 (AFP) - Nelson Mandela is making "slow but steady" progress back to health, although he remains critically ill, the office of the South African president said Sunday. The 95-year-old former president and anti-apartheid icon has been in hospital for more than two months with a recurring lung infection. "Former President Nelson Mandela continues to receive treatment in hospital in Pretoria and doctors have indicated to President Jacob Zuma that the former president is making a slow but steady improvement," a statement from the presidency said. "The medical team also reiterated that although his health was improving steadily, Madiba still remained in a critical condition," it added, referring to Mandela by his clan name. Zuma asked South...
(Reuters 08/11/13)
(Reuters) - Six migrants drowned off the Italian island of Sicily on Saturday after attempting a dangerous passage from Africa in a fishing boat, according to the Italian coastguard. The 18-metre-long boat carrying some 120 migrants ran aground at dawn some 40 meters (132 feet) from a beach near the city of Catania, its coastguard captain Roberto D'Arrigo said. While most of the passengers reached the shore, the six who drowned were apparently unable to swim. The 120 migrants were mainly from Syria and Egypt, D'Arrigo told Sky Italia television, with an adolescent boy among the victims, who were all under age 30. Egypt has suffered prolonged political and economic turmoil. Syria is shattered by civil war. D'Arrigo said he...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/13)
Nelson Mandela, who has been lying critically ill in hospital for just over two months, is becoming more alert and more responsive by the day, his youngest daughter said Friday, adding that the anti-apartheid hero is "not going anywhere anytime soon". "Tata (father) now manages to sit up, like now he is able to sit up in a chair for a few minutes in a day. Everyday you know, he becomes more alert, more responsive, and so on," Zindzi Mandela told South Africa public television SABC. "Tata is determined not to go anywhere anytime soon, I cannot stress this enough. "People must stop saying to the family let go, let go, we are just looking at this man who is...
(Reuters 08/09/13)
BRAZZAVILLE/KINSHASA | Fri Aug 9, 2013 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo will start talks next week aimed at easing a political standoff in the capital and ending remote rebellions, with the leader of neighbouring Congo Republic taking some form of mediating role. DRC's last major war ended a decade ago, but localised rebellions, as well as rampant corruption, have hamstrung efforts to rebuild the vast former Belgian colony, a target for billions of dollars of foreign investment. As well as the "M23" rebellion near the border with Rwanda in the east, and one in the in the Katangan copper belt in the south, political tensions have simmered in the capital Kinshasa, in the west, since President Joseph Kabila's 2011...
(AL Jazeera 08/09/13)
The Democratic Republic of Conga is sending an elite unit of commandos to the country’s east to reinforce its regular troops in the fight against the M23 rebel group. Both M23 and the Congolese government insist they want a negotiated settlement to the conflict that left hundreds of people dead and well over two million displaced since May 2012. But with the warring forces digging in against one another, the prospects for talks seem dim. Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reports from front lines around the eastern city of Goma.
(Reuters 08/09/13)
LONDON | Fri Aug 9, 2013 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs (GS.N) has appointed Alasdair Warren as head of its financial sponsors group for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), according to a memo seen by Reuters. Financial sponsors, the term investment banks use to describe private equity firms, are regular users of equity capital markets for selling shares in their portfolio companies. London-based Warren, who joined Goldman in 2005 and was named a partner in 2008, was previously head of equity capital markets (ECM), convertibles and equity derivatives for EMEA. Richard Cormack and Christoph Stanger will jointly take on that role, becoming co-heads of ECM and convertibles in EMEA, the memo said. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the contents...
(AFP 08/08/13)
CAPE TOWN, August 8, 2013 (AFP) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu had his Twitter account briefly suspended Thursday for "aggressively following" other users, just hours after it was launched. The ex-archbishop's @TutuLegacy account racked up hundreds of followers in its first hours of use, before being black listed. "Twitter says it's 'sorry for the inconvenience' over our suspension. We got caught up in a spam clean up. Glad it wasn't something we said," Tutu tweeted soon after he was unblocked. His foundation had earlier expressed dismay at the decision. "Twitter has not explained how following 30 people could be construed as 'aggressive following'," his foundation said in a statement. The foundation suggested "the number of people who followed...
(AFP 08/07/13)
PRETORIA, August 7, 2013 (AFP) - South African church leaders on Wednesday led prayers in front of the hospital where critically ill former South African president Nelson Mandela is soon to mark two months in care. Archbishop Joe Seoka used the eve of the sorrow-tinged anniversary to urge South Africans to rally together. "God is using Madiba, and his extended illness, to present to us a great challenge to unite behind the values that he represents," the Pretoria archbishop said, using Mandela's clan name. Mandela was rushed to the Pretoria Mediclinic Heart Hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. On Wednesday the South African presidency reported his condition was still "critical but stable". The last two months have...
( FOROYAA Newspaper 08/07/13)
With its abundance of natural resources and large and growing population , Africa is the next frontier for many global companies. However, while investors are keen to get, there's often a wariness on the part of Africans. The BBC's Vineet Khare travelled to Ethiopia to find out about what can be a tricky relationship and how things are not always so rosy. Watch the video...
(Independent Online 08/06/13)
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX- and JSE-listed exploration company Delrand Resources, which is operating exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is excited by kimberlite indicator minerals that exploration activities have unearthed at the company’s southern and northern projects. Delrand believes that it has the largest exploration database for diamonds over one of the most prospective and least explored areas in the world – the Kasai Craton, producer of most of the DRC’s historical diamond production of more than 1.2-billion carats. “I think we are quite proximal to a new kimberlite province. We feel these could be interesting times,” Delrand president and director Dr Mike de Wit told Mining Weekly Online. Delrand, the former BRC DiamondCore, which has just published...
(Business Daily 08/06/13)
The top-ranking US trade official Michael Froman said on Monday that issues of "reciprocity" will be raised at a US-Africa conference next week in Ethiopia that will consider renewal of the Agoa trade initiative. The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is due to expire in 2015, gives duty-free treatment to Kenyan textiles and many other African exports to the United States. Agoa is said to be responsible for creating thousands of jobs in the Kenyan textile industry. But as a condition to Agoa's extension beyond 2015, American negotiators may press African countries to give the same preferential treatment to US exports to Africa. Ambassador Froman made clear in a talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington that the US...
(Reuters 08/06/13)
LAGOS/SYDNEY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Nigeria is gradually opening up to Islamic finance, a move that could bring non-interest banking to over 80 million Muslims and develop one of Africa's fastest-growing consumer and corporate banking sectors. Home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is trying to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling. In recent months, a string of regulatory initiatives have set the groundwork for products such as Islamic bonds (sukuk), insurance (takaful) and interbank lending products, although there is still only a small number of local market participants. "The potential is there but the market is negligible in Nigeria because we have...
(Tanzania Daily News 08/05/13)
A few weeks ago, when Tanzania was hosting the Ministerial Committee Organ (MCO) responsible for Defence and Security Cooperation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Bernard Member, confirmed that Tanzania is one of the top five countries of the SADC whose harbours and airports are used as conduits for drug trafficking. Speaking at this 15th MCO, which is faced with an uphill task of tackling this illicit trade, Minister Membe singled out other countries being South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola. The announcement just came a fortnight after two female artists from Tanzania were nabbed at the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg with 150 kg of drugs, crystal methamphetamine locally known...
(Reuters 08/05/13)
WASHINGTON | Mon Aug 5, 2013 (Reuters) - The United States extended embassy closures by a week in the Middle East and Africa as a precaution on Sunday after an al Qaeda threat that U.S. lawmakers said was the most serious in years. The State Department said 19 U.S. embassies and consulates would be closed through Saturday "out of an abundance of caution" and that a number of them would have been closed anyway for most of the week due to the Eid celebration at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The United States initially closed 21 U.S. diplomatic posts for the day on Sunday. Some of those will reopen on Monday, including Kabul, Baghdad and Algiers...
(CNN 08/05/13)
African Voices is a weekly show that highlights Africa's most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Follow the team on Twitter. Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- Inside a brightly painted Mogadishu clinic, Salim (not her real name) sits alongside her seven-year-old son, waiting for a check up. Opposite them, a health professional listens to their nightmarish ordeal. Salim recounts how she was raped and then watched, helpless, as her young son was molested. Too afraid to seek assistance, she did what she thought would help. She washed her son's wounds with hot water and salt for four excruciating days, until they were brought here, the Sister Somalia center. "There are...
(CNN 08/03/13)
(CNN) -- Rebels in an unstable part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have until Thursday afternoon to hand in their weapons to U.N. peacekeepers or risk being disarmed by force. The ultimatum comes amid the latest flare up of unrest in central Africa's volatile Great Lakes region. The 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country, MONUSCO, issued the deadline on Tuesday. It's the first time it has said it will use its troops there to implement a security area around the city of Goma, by the border with Rwanda. Sitting on the shore of Lake Kivu, the city has been at the center of clashes in the region over the past year between the M23 rebel group and Congolese...
(CNN 08/03/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union on Friday applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, and made no mention of rigging accusations by the main opposition candidate. However, its observers added that they noted several shortcomings. Problems included voters getting turned away, late publication of polling stations and media taking sides, the African Union observers said in a statement released Friday. Even so, the continent-wide body said, "The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections." Wednesday's vote pitted President Robert Mugabe against his prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe's party declared victory a day later even though the electoral commission has not released...
(Voice of America 08/02/13)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s information minister says the government in Kinshasa is not opposed to holding talks with armed groups to resolve conflicts in the restive parts of the Central African nation. “The DRC has no problem with trying to resolve conflict with dialogue [and] that is why we have set meetings with M23, though they are negative forces,” said information minister Lambert Mende. “But, we know that we need to talk to them so that we can cut the linkage between them and their masters outside the country.” Mende’s comments came after regional leaders called for dialogue and cooperation as part of an effort to deal with the security crisis in the Great Lakes Region. The leaders who...

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