Sunday 24 September 2017
(Bloomberg 07/28/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s insurance regulator is preparing to open up an industry for the first time that could be worth as much as $500 million a year to investors. The newly created Insurance Regulatory Authority, known by the French acronym ARCA, received interest from at least 16 companies after requesting letters of intent in June, Managing Director Eric Mboma said, declining to identify individual firms. It will seek formal applications from those firms in August and award licenses in the fourth quarter, Mboma, a former chief executive officer of Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s Congolese unit, said in a phone interview from the capital, Kinshasa. After a series of false starts, issuing the permits will mark the opening up...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
The UN Security Council on Wednesday warned that the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region could face further turmoil unless a political deal reached six months ago to pave the way to elections is implemented. Under the agreement reached on New Year's Eve, elections are to be held this year in the large mineral-rich African country that would be the DR Congo's first democratic transition. Concerns are growing however that the deal is unraveling after the head of the electoral commission said this month that the vote will likely not be held this year. In a unanimous statement drafted by France, the council warned that "unless political actors demonstrate renewed good faith and political will to deliver on the...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Congolese rebel warlord Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, wanted for crimes against humanity including mass rape, surrendered to UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday. Sheka was arrested in Mutongo, in the country's North Kivu region by UN peacekeepers and was "transferred to Goma," the regional capital, his spokeswoman told AFP. The UN's peacekeeping mission in DR Congo MONUSCO said in a statement that Sheka handed himself in "in full awareness of the fact that he is wanted by the government... to stand trial for alleged crimes". Authorities issued the warrant for Sheka's arrest in 2011 after an attack in which the militia under his command and two other groups allegedly raped nearly 400 people in 13 villages between...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
GENEVA/KINSHASA (Reuters) - The United Nations named three human rights experts on Wednesday to lead an international investigation into killings and other crimes in the Kasai region of Democratic Republic of Congo, a move that risks a showdown with the government. Congo has insisted that its own justice system is in charge of the inquiry with the United Nations providing "technical or logistical support". Some Western states and campaign groups said they had hoped for a stronger U.N. mandate. The announcement came a day after the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo (UNJHRO) accused "elements" of the Congolese army of digging most of dozens of mass graves discovered in recent months in Kasai. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, a U.N. investigator...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
One of Democratic Republic of Congo's most notorious warlords, Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, wanted for alleged crimes against humanity, surrendered to U.N. peacekeepers on Wednesday, the U.N. mission in Congo (MONUSCO) said. Sheka's militia, Mai-Mai Sheka, is one of a patchwork of armed groups in eastern Congo regularly accused by the United Nations and rights groups of using rape as a weapon of war. After six years on the run, Sheka surrendered to U.N. forces in the town of Mutongo in Walikale territory and was transferred to the eastern city of Goma, said MONUSCO spokeswoman Fabienne Pompey. It was not immediately clear why he had turned himself in. “He will be handed over to DRC authorities after the regular procedure and...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
The United Nations named three international experts on Wednesday to investigate atrocities in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, some of which have involved government troops. Experts from Senegal, Canada and Mauritania will be tasked with investigating the massacres in Kasai, according to a statement from the UN's human rights body, the OHCHR. President Joseph Kabila's administration rejected a proposal to send an independent mission there to investigate the violence. Under the compromise deal, Kinshasha will cooperate with the investigators who will in turn share their information with the authorities.
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Two Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalists were briefly detained and maltreated in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa on Tuesday by three men who presented themselves as military intelligence officers. After arriving to conduct an interview with the head of Kinshasa's main hospital -- as part of coverage of a doctors' strike -- the two journalists were seized by three people who identified themselves as agents of the Military Detection of Anti-National Activities service (DEMIAP). "Three people in civilian clothes presented themselves as military intelligence officers and took away
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
The United Nations accused "elements" of the Congolese army on Tuesday of digging most of the mass graves it has identified in the insurrection-ravaged Kasai region of central Democratic Republic of Congo. The report by the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo (UNJHRO) is the first time the United Nations has directly suggested that government forces dug the graves. Congo's human rights minister was not immediately available for comment but the government has repeatedly denied its troops were responsible for dozens of mass graves discovered since the Kamuina Nsapu militia launched an insurrection last August and called for the departure of government forces from the area. "As of June 30, 2017, UNJHRO had identified a total of 42 mass...
(Caj News Africa 07/25/17)
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE international community has come under fire for ignoring the plight of millions affected by raging violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A year of conflict in the Central African country has led to serious human rights abuses and displaced some 1,4 million people throughout the entire Kasai region. This has pushed the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) to 3,8 million, which is the worst toll in Africa. The violence in the five provinces that make up the Kasai region has also pushed thousands of children out of school.
(Radio Vatican 07/25/17)
Residents of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo have staged a week-long silent protest intended to send a message to the kidnappers of two Catholic priests kidnapped Sunday 16 July from a parish of Bunyuka. Activity in the area came to a complete standstill as residents shunned farms and public spaces. Silence marked entire villages. It was the least they could do in the face of all manner of gunmen. Bishop Sikuli Paluku Melchisédech of Butembo-Beni, who confirmed the silent protest to Vatican Radio said that Fathers Charles Kipasa and Jean-Pierre Akilimali...
(AfricaNews 07/25/17)
Angola has deported 300 Congolese illegal immigrants living in the northern province of Cabinda over the past week. According to the Angolan news agency Angop, the deportees were repatriated through three borders shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville. Also, 54 nationals of the DR Congo and 8 from Congo Brazzaville are in detention for violation of the Angolan border, the report added. On Friday, the director of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME) in Cabinda, Firmino de Jesus Samavie ordered illegal immigrants to leave Cabinda immediately or face the penalty. He also warned Angolans against harbouring illegal immigrants and appealed to employers to either desist from offering jobs to illegal...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
The Congolese opposition on Saturday unveiled a rolling programme of strikes and civil disobedience aimed at forcing President Joseph Kabila from power. The announcement was made after two days of opposition talks in Kinshasa amid concerns that Kabila, in power since 2001, is seeking to remain in place in defiance of constitutional limits. Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political violence in the sprawling country of 71 million people after Kabila failed to step down when his second mandate ended in December 2016. Under the deal, Kabila is allowed to remain in office pending the elections, in late 2017, ruling in tandem with a transitional watchdog and...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Civil service leaders called a strike in Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, demanding pay rises to help workers cope with a mounting economic crisis. The franc has lost 40 percent of its value in the past year, with a particularly sharp decline over the past week, amid political turmoil and persistently low prices for Congo's key commodity exports. Inflation is expected to top 30 percent this year, but wages remain unchanged. The government had agreed to raise wages but not delivered, the Collective of Syndicates of the Public Administration said at a meeting in the capital Kinshasa. The body "asks all its comrades from all ministries to close their offices and to no longer go to...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
The United States on Wednesday berated African countries for backing a bid by the Democratic Republic of Congo to win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, saying the move would fuel the conflict in the African country. The Geneva-based rights council is investigating atrocities allegedly committed by the DRCongo's forces and militias in the Kasai region, where more than 80 mass graves have been uncovered. US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the decision to put forward the DRCongo as a candidate was "an inexcusable failure" to promote human rights by African countries. "When the nations of the Africa Group put forward a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo to be a member of the Human Rights Council, it...
(The Guardian 07/20/17)
The president currently clinging to power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his family have a vast network of businesses reaching into almost every sector of the country’s economy that are thought to have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues since 2003, according to a report. Joseph Kabila was supposed to step down last year after 16 years as president, but has refused to go, arguing that his country cannot afford to hold elections. All the President’s Wealth, a report published on Thursday by a research group at New York University, may help to explain why the president – who, polls have showed, would win just 7.8% of the vote if he did allow elections –...
(AfricaNews 07/20/17)
The United States envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley, has launched a scathing attack on Africa. She accused the continent of ‘an inexcusable failure’ to act on the security issues dogging Africa. Her comments were in response to the nomination of the Democratic Republic of Congo for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. She said such positions “weakened” the body and could fuel conflict, AFP news agency reports. Ambassador Haley who was addressing a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday said: “The commitment to promoting human rights must precede conflict – and take precedence over politics – in order to secure peace and security. ‘‘When the nations of the Africa Group put forward a...

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