Friday 26 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/17)
Thousands of refugees fleeing fighting between the army and armed groups in the central Democratic Republic of Congo have sought refuge in overcrowded villages across the border in Angola, the United Nations said on Friday. More than 11,000 refugees have fled Kasai-Central province amid clashes between local militias and Congolese forces that started last August, with some 9,000 arriving since the start of this month, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said. Refugees, about half of whom are children, are arriving in Angola in desperate conditions, many of them malnourished
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
Deadly violence between government forces and tribal militias in DR Congo's central Kasai region has forced more than a million people from their homes over the past eight months, the UN said Friday. The fighting erupted after government troops last August killed tribal chief Jean Pierre Mpandi, also known as Kamwina Nsapu, who had launched an uprising against President Joseph Kabila. Yvon Edoumou of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had registered 1.09 million internally displaced people in the region as of April 1. Violence in other areas of the country, including the North and South Kivu provinces, has forced an additional two million to flee their homes, he told AFP. "These people are...
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
Over ten armed bandits operating on the border between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) have been arrested, the Burundian police spokesman said Friday. Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said the armed bandits, who stole belongings in Burundi and crossed the border to the DR Congo, were arrested at various border points. According to him, those bandits are responsible for theft cases and abductions of people who help them carry stolen things. Nkurikiye added that some were arrested while others surrendered to the police. "With the collaboration of Congolese security forces, we will dismantle all those armed bandits operation on the border between the two countries. We seized their arms and those bandits are held in...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/20/17)
Brussels prosecutors are investigating a deal between Belgian company Semlex and the Democratic Republic of Congo to supply biometric passports, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office said on Thursday. He said the investigation had started in early 2017 but declined to give any further details. A Reuters special report last week showed that $60 of the price of every $185 DRC passport is channeled to a company registered in the United Arab Emirates, believed to be owned by a close relative of DRC President Joseph Kabila. Brussels-based Semlex, which has become a leader in providing identity and travel documents for African nations over the past 20 years, was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Louise Ireland)
(AfricaNews 04/20/17)
The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has airlifted 3,900 tonnes of election materials to 15 election centres around the country to be distributed to 107 satellite stations. The distribution, that started in October, 2016, was at the request of the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in December 2015, the UN said Wednesday at a press conference. “As I speak, a helicopter is making a final rotation between Kinshasa and Kasongo Lunda in Kwango province. This ends the MONUSCO air operation to support the ongoing revision of the electoral register,” UN Communications Coordinator in the DRC, Florence Marchal was quoted by local media Radio Okapi. Four cargo aircrafts and 16 helicopters transported equipment including office...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
The UN said Wednesday it had found a further 17 mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai region, an area plagued by violence between tribal militias and security forces. Fighting erupted in Kasai after government troops last August killed tribal chief Jean Pierre Mpandi, also known as Kamwina Nsapu, who had launched an uprising against President Joseph Kabila. Wednesday's announcement by UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein raises to 40 the number of mass graves discovered in Kasai. Fifteen of the newly uncovered graves were in a cemetery in the town of Tshimbulu, with two others in the village of Tshienke, the rights office said in a statement. The latest discoveries "highlight the horror" that has...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
Angola said Wednesday that it was reinforcing security patrols along its northern border through which thousands of refugees have fled violence in the Kasai region of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. "The Angolan police has intensified patrols on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prevent the infiltration of armed groups into our national territory," police chief Ambrosio de Lemos said on public RNA radio. The DRC's four central provinces of Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental and Lomami have been gripped by a violent uprising since last year. The fighting erupted after government forces last August killed tribal chief Jean Pierre Mpandi, also known as Kamwina Nsapu
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore Plc threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4 percent of the metal within two months. Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5,000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned miner has blocked GTL’s access to the site since March 23, according to Groupe Forrest Chief Executive Officer Malta Forrest. “Gecamines has blocked our access stating that it believes we have exceeded the limits set in our contract,” Forrest said...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
South Sudanese former rebels on Tuesday released 16 UN staff after holding them hostage for several hours in a camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN official said. About 530 former rebels from South Sudan are living in the Munigi camp, just outside of Goma, where they fled when fighting flared in the South Sudanese capital of Juba in July. "We are pleased to confirm that all 16 MONUSCO staff, who were earlier being held in a camp for former combatants in Munigi, have been released," said a UN official. The 16 staff worked for the UN mission, known as MONUSCO, but there were no details about their nationalities. "The camp is quiet and under full control of...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
Opposition leaders in Democratic Republic of Congo called on national authorities on Monday to investigate a report by Reuters last week that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas. Documents reviewed by Reuters of a 2015 deal between Congo's government and a Belgian company called Semlex to produce biometric passports show that most of the $185 price for a new passport goes to Semlex and a small company called LRPS in the United Arab Emirates. According to a person with direct knowledge of the country's passport deal, the UAE-registered company
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
Congo's government on Saturday said it had returned the body of a tribal leader whose death last year triggered a conflict in Kasai Central province that has killed more than 400 people. The return of the body of Kamuina Nsapu - the leader of a tribal militia by the same name - has been one of its key demands during a brutal conflict that started last July and worsened when Congolese forces killed Nsapu the following month. In a statement, interior ministry spokesman Louis d'Or Balekalayi also said the government would recognize his successor Jacques Kabeya Ntumba as a customary chief. Failure to do this for Ntumba's predecessor was one cause of the uprising. The fighting in Kasai has become...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/15/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended military cooperation with former colonial power Belgium after Brussels criticised President Joseph Kabila's choice of prime minister, sources said Friday. "The decision to suspend military cooperation with Belgium has taken effect. This measure was pending since (Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders) came out and attacked the Congolese authorities," a government official said on condition of anonymity. Reynders had criticised last week's appointment of Bruno Tshibala as premier as against "the letter and the spirit" of a power-sharing deal brokered to avert a political crisis after Kabila refused to step down after his mandate ran out in December. The deal, brokered by the influential Catholic Church, called for an opposition leader to be named...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/14/17)
In June 2015, the Belgian company Semlex signed a deal to supply biometric passports to the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. A few weeks later two companies based in the United Arab Emirates made payments totalling $700,000 to private bank accounts held in the name of Emmanuel Adrupiako, a Kabila adviser who helped handle the passport deal, according to bank documents and emails reviewed by Reuters. The two UAE-based companies have connections to Semlex, but it isn’t clear whether the payments were related to the passport deal.
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
A Congolese appeal court has more than doubled the jail term of a onetime government minister now in opposition, his lawyer said Thursday. Jean Claude Muyambo "was sentenced on appeal to five years in prison" for "the illegal sale of a building, illicit possession of documents and a payment of $10,000," his lawyer Beaupaul Mupemba told AFP. The appeal court in Kinshasa more than doubled the initial jail term of 26 months handed down last February on Muyambo, who is regarded as a political detainee by the opposition. He had been due for release in March, in light of time already served awaiting trial, the lawyer said, but the state
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - One day in November 2015, President Joseph Kabila visited his foreign ministry and smiled broadly as a computer took his photograph and fingerprints. He was there to mark the launch of the Democratic Republic of Congo's new biometric passport, fitted with a chip to store details of his identity. Kabila and his aides have extolled the benefits of the passports, saying they will allow freer movement across an increasingly security-conscious world. In private, the organisers of the deal have another reason to celebrate: It presents an opportunity to make hundreds of millions of dollars off some of the poorest people on the planet. The passport is among the most expensive in the world, costing each Congolese applicant...

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