| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
The Congolese army on Tuesday said armed fighters belonging to the former M23 rebel group had captured four crew members of a military helicopter which crashed in eastern Democratic. Republic of Congo last week, and that three died after being tortured. The crew members had been seized alive and handed over to the M23 movement's military chief, Sultani Makenga, the army's General Leon Mushale told reporters in the eastern city of Goma. Mushale said the fourth crew member was still missing. The incident could point to a resurgence in activity by M23 fighters more than three years after the group was crushed by the army, and herald renewed instability in eastern Congo where dozens of armed groups are fighting for...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
They may be out of the tournament, but the Democratic Republic of Congo's footballers will be forever remembered by Africa Cup of Nations fans for their dance moves on the pitch. DR Congo players danced the "Fimbu" seven times at the CAN 2017 tournament in Gabon -- once for each goal scored -- as their supporters in the stands cheered with delight. After each goal, the players would gather side by side, hold their left arm up and wave their right as they moved down the pitch in unison. The move is based on a much more elaborate dance accompanying the Congolese pop hit "Fimbu" by Felix Wazeka, which in a light-hearted music video with over half a million views...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
Thirty individuals claiming to be members of a Congolese militia group have sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda, saying they were fleeing a Congo army offensive, the Rwandan government said Monday. The fighters were unarmed when they were apprehended after crossing the border near the Rubavu district on Sunday, Rwanda's defence ministry said. M23 is a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group that mutinied against the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012, saying a peace accord signed in 2009 had not been respected by the government. The militia was defeated the following year, and hundreds of fighters fled the country. The Congolese armed forces (FARDC) refused to comment on any offensive in the country's east, but a military source told AFP that...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/17)
Two military helicopters crashed in a strife-torn part of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with at least four crew members on board, authorities said on Monday. Government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters it was not clear what brought down the helicopters on Friday in North Kivu province near the borders with Rwanda and Uganda. Over the weekend, U.N.-sponsored Radio Okapi cited military sources as saying that the helicopters crashed while pursuing fighters from the former Congolese rebel group M23. An army spokesman declined to comment. The M23 was the largest of dozens of armed groups in the country and controlled huge swaths of eastern Congo in 2012 and 2013 before it was defeated by Congolese and U.N. forces. Reports of...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
Mahmoud Kahraba's late goal allowed Egypt to beat Herve Renard's Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Sunday as they joined Ghana in completing the line-up for the last four. Kahraba came off the bench in the second half in Port-Gentil and stabbed home from inside the six-yard box in the 88th minute, just as extra time looked inevitable. The dramatic finish came after the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, both scored to give Ghana a 2-1 win against DR Congo in Oyem that allowed them to advance earlier in the day. Frenchman Renard had been hoping to become the first coach to win the trophy three times with three different countries after triumphs with Zambia in 2012...
(Xinhuanet 01/30/17)
Scores of alleged M23 rebels fled to Rwanda on Sunday evening through Rwanda's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda's ministry of defense said Monday. The ministry said in a statement that a group of 30 unarmed people claiming to be M23 combatants crossed into its territory in the border's Bugeshi sector, Rubavu district. "The individuals are said to have fled from combat action by DRC Armed Forces (FARDC). They have been registered in Rwanda and those in need of medical attention have been received by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in accordance with international humanitarian law," said Rene Ngendahimana, Rwanda's defense spokesperson. M23 used to be the most prominent rebel group operating in eastern...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned Gecamines received at least $33 million to proceed with the $3.8 billion sale of one of the country’s biggest copper mines to Chinese buyers after blocking a deal for eight months. Freeport McMoran Inc. paid the settlement as its share in an agreement to resolve all claims against the sale in May of its 56 percent stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine to China Molybdenum Co. The agreement was also signed by Gecamines, China Moly, Lundin Mining Corp. and BHR Newwood Investment Management, Freeport said in a statement published Wednesday. The statement didn’t report the total value of the settlement or the financial share paid by the other parties. Gecamines didn’t...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Junior Kabananga set DR Congo on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win against Togo in Port-Gentil on Tuesday to clinch an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals spot. Kabananga's opener came just before the half-hour mark and Neeskens Kebano ran through to increase the lead in the 54th minute. Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba pulled one back for Togo but a Paul-Jose Mpoku free-kick with 10 minutes left completed the scoring as an impressive Congolese side secured first place in Group C. They will now return to Oyem in northern Gabon for a quarter-final on Sunday, while Togo are eliminated after failing to win a game. Morocco also go through after a 1-0 win over the Ivory Coast which knocked out the...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi headed Tuesday to Belgium for medical treatment -- just as his party is trying to negotiate a power-sharing deal following President Laurent Kabila's refusal to step down. The 84-year-old head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), a historic heavyweight in DR Congo's opposition movement, took off from Kinshasa's airport aboard a private plane at 6:00 am (0500 GMT), an AFP journalist reported. The departure of the frail leader could complicate negotiations over the timetable for a New Year's Eve deal under which Kabila will stay in office before new elections are held in late 2017. The country's influential Catholic bishops brokered the deal in a bid to prevent more bloodshed in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/24/17)
A deal struck last month requiring Congo President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections this year risks unraveling if politicians do not quickly reach compromises on implementing the accord, Catholic bishops mediating the talks said on Monday. The Dec. 31 deal was greeted as a critical step toward averting a slide into anarchy and possibly civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo over Kabila's decision to remain in power when his mandate expired last month. The accord, signed by representatives of Kabila's ruling coalition and the main opposition bloc, bars Kabila from trying to change the constitution to stand for a third term in an election to be held by the end of this year. But talks this month...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
A researcher with US-based Human Rights Watch has been expelled again from DR Congo just days after being allowed to return, the rights watchdog said Monday. "Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, was obliged to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo on January 20, 2017," HRW said on its website. "Immigration authorities in the eastern city of Goma annulled her visa and escorted her to the border." After being expelled in mid-2016, the US national had returned on January 13 on a three-month multiple entry visa obtained on January 5 at the embassy in Brussels, HRW added. She had been living in Brussels since August when her work permit was cancelled and she was asked to leave...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/23/17)
Uganda said on Monday it had returned dozens of former combatants of a Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group to a military camp after they tried to sneak back to their own country in disguise last week. The former fighters, who have been staying in Ugandan camps after years of fighting in chaotic eastern Congo, were picked up in western Uganda. Congo has welcomed Uganda's recapture of the former combatants. The M23 rebels, who once controlled swathes of territory in eastern Congo, fled to Uganda after a combined United Nations and Congolese force crushed their rebellion in 2013. Arthur Timbaganya, a Ugandan regional military spokesman, said about 30 of the 100 or so people detained had turned out to be...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Defending champions the Ivory Coast had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday in a lively Africa Cup of Nations clash. The result in northern Gabonese town Oyem kept the Congolese top of Group C with four points from two matches followed by the Ivorians with two. Togo have one point and Morocco, their opponents later Friday in the second match of a double-header, are pointless. Neeskens Kebano and Junior Kabananga scored for the Congolese and Wilfried Bony and captain Geoffrey Serey Die were the Ivorian scorers.

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