| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Tears flowed Sunday as thousands of members of the Congolese diaspora paid their emotional last respects to opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, known affectionately as "papa", who died in Brussels last week. After a three-day funeral wake, Tshisekedi's coffin was put on display for several hours in a large hall made available by city authorities, near the famous Atomium tourist attraction, AFP journalists said. Many waited in line for hours to get in and bow their heads in front of the casket, surrounded by wreaths of flowers and pictures of Tshisekedi, sporting his ever-present beret. They came from across Belgium but also travelled from France, Britain and Germany, to pay a final tribute to "Tshishi", as his supporters called him. "He...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
A recent rise in rebel activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to undermine a political agreement for a democratic transfer of power this year, the country’s foreign minister said. The Congolese government wrote to the United Nations Security Council last week requesting its support after the return of members of the former M23 rebellion to eastern Congo, Leonard She Okitundu said Friday by phone from the capital, Kinshasa. A new conflict with M23 would “drain our financial resources” and jeopardize the government’s ability to organize elections this year, as required by the December political agreement, Okitundu said. “This is why we have asked the United Nations Security Council to help us enforce the Addis Ababa agreement” that helped...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/04/17)
Police in southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday killed at least eight members of a separatist religious sect, local activists said, escalating tensions in a normally peaceful part of a conflict-ravaged country. The police opened fire on members of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) as they approached the morgue in the town of Kimpese to recover the bodies of fellow members killed in protests last month, Jonas Lukoki, the provincial coordinator of the New Civil Society, told Reuters. "There were 12 deaths, including three children," Lukoki said. Another local activist in Kimpese said that the police had killed at least eight BDK members. Both activists said the demonstrators were unarmed.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
The leader of a Congolese rebel group who had been living under security in Uganda has gone missing, after scores of his fighters escaped their military base, the army said Friday. The leader of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group which fled Democratic Republic of Congo after being defeated by its army in 2013, went missing shortly after about 60 rebels disappeared from a military base where they had been given shelter. "No, we don't know where he is," army spokesman Richard Karemire said of the M23 leader Sultan Makenga. "We communicated that to the DRC government as far back as January 16th this year." He said Makenga had been living in Kampala under security "to protect him against...
(Agence Ecofin 02/03/17)
DR Congo’s minister of land affairs, Félix Kabange Numbi, while meeting with his staff reiterated his commitment to curb land conflicts in the country, reports l’Agence d’information d’Afrique centrale. “Each of us must contribute to reducing land conflicts which tarnish the reputation of our ministry. We must make sure to quench all these conflicts across the nation. It is possible if we all work towards that goal,” the official said. However, though he emphasized on a rapid and efficient achievement of that target, the minister insisted on the fact that solutions designed should be strong and sustainable. “We should not rush and design solutions that will serve only the highest bidder. We must proceed to a brainstorming session during which...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/03/17)
The death on Wednesday of Congo's opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi leaves opponents of President Joseph Kabila seriously weakened in their bid to force Kabila to quit power after he defied constitutional term limits to stay on last year. Democratic Republic of Congo has never experienced a peaceful transition of power and Kabila's refusal to stand down when his final term expired in December has raised fears the chronically unstable country could slide back into civil war. Despite his 84 years and failing health, Tshisekedi known as "the Sphinx" for his sparse but profound statements, remained the undisputed leader of the opposition to Kabila. He was expected to head a transitional council to oversee Kabila's exit by the end of this...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died Wednesday at the age of 84 in Brussels, as talks aiming to end the nation's political crisis were under way in Kinshasa. "President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels," Bruno Tshibala, an official from his Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, said of the burly figure who had remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health. Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on January 24, for medical treatment, died at 5:42 pm (1642 GMT), Tshibala said. After two years of medical treatment in Belgium, Tshisekedi had made a triumphant return in July with hundreds of thousands of people...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died Wednesday at the age of 84 in Brussels, where he had flown for medical treatment, his political party said. "President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels," Bruno Tshibala, an official from the UDPS party, said of the burly figure who remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health. Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on Tuesday, died at 5:42 pm local time (1642 GMT), Tshibala said. A source close to him said Tshisekedi died in Brussels' Sainte-Elizabeth hospital, giving no further details. After two years of medical treatment in Belgium, Tshisekedi had made a triumphant return in July with hundreds...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has died in Brussels aged 84, his party said on Wednesday. Tshisekedi stood up to Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country then known as Zaire, for more than three decades before Mobutu was overthrown by Rwanda, Uganda and other forces. He was also the main civilian opponent of Laurent Kabila, who took power in 1997, and his son, President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001. Tshisekedi was set to take the top post in a transitional council agreed in December under a deal to pave the way for Kabila to leave power in 2017 and refrain from running for a third term as president. His death deprives the opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has died in Brussels aged 84, his party said on Wednesday. Tshisekedi stood up to Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country then known as Zaire, for more than three decades before Mobutu was overthrown by Rwanda, Uganda and other forces. He was also the main civilian opponent of Laurent Kabila, who took power in 1997, and his son, President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001. Tshisekedi was set to take the top post in a transitional council agreed in December under a deal to pave the way for Kabila to leave power in 2017 and refrain from running for a third term as president. His death deprives the opposition...
(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...

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