Friday 26 May 2017
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/04/17)
Police in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Friday they had arrested the leader of a separatist Christian cult in the capital Kinshasa following a two-week standoff in which least six of his supporters were killed. Ne Muanda Nsemi, a member of parliament and leader of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK), was arrested at his residence along with his wife, police spokesman Pierre Mwanamputu said in a statement. Nsemi, a self-styled prophet, has a strong following in the southwestern province of Kongo Central, which his supporters want to constitute part of a revived Kongo kingdom, which flourished for centuries around the mouth of the Congo river. The violence has compounded wider tensions across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
International watchdog Global Witness on Friday accused Swiss-based mining corporation Glencore of paying more than $75 million to a scandal-hit Israeli businessman with close links to the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila. "Between 2013 and 2016 mining giant Glencore paid over $75 million to Dan Gertler, a controversial businessman accused of bribing senior officials in Democratic Republic of Congo to advance his mining interests," Global Witness said in a statement. "These payments were due to be (made) to Congo's state mining company Gecamines under the terms of the original contract it had with Glencore," said the environmental and corruption watchdog. Instead, however, they were made to Gertler, whom
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Glencore Plc paid more than $100 million previously owed to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining business to a company controlled by billionaire investor Dan Gertler, according to advocacy group Global Witness. It’s the first time the value of the payments made to Gertler have been made public, after London-based Global Witness reported in November that government-owned Gecamines signed over its royalties from the Kamoto copper project in southeastern Congo to Gertler in January 2015. Gertler’s privately held Fleurette Group said the payments were made on instruction from Gecamines to help repay a loan. Glencore’s Katanga Mining Ltd. made the royalty and contractual bonus
(Reuters (Eng) 03/03/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition coalition said it had named the son of its late leader Etienne Tshisekedi to succeed him on Thursday, but some within the opposition rejected the choice. Felix Tshisekedi was chosen to lead the alliance of some of the country's largest opposition parties, which was thrown into crisis by the death of his father in Brussels last month, aged 84. Tshisekedi led the bloc during negotiations in December that resulted in a deal obliging President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections that must happen this year. His death sparked clashes between supporters and security forces in the capital
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
The Congolese army said Wednesday it had killed 20 fighters from the M23 militia group and lost two soldiers in clashes with the rebels since the end of January. General Leon Mushale told reporters in the eastern city of Goma that a further 25 rebels either were captured or surrendered and that six soldiers had been injured. The clashes occurred in the eastern part of DR Congo, on and near the border with Uganda, on January 31 and also on February 20 to 22, according to the army. Mushale, who heads military operations in North Kivu province, said the rebels fled "some to Uganda, others to Rwanda".
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
The body of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is to be repatriated next week, several weeks after his death, his party said Wednesday, raising hopes of a restart of talks on a deal to end the political crisis. Tshisekedi's death and the delay over repatriating his body from Brussels have blocked the implementation of a December 31 accord between the government and the opposition to end a crisis triggered by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to stand down. The 84-year-old Tshisekedi, head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), died in Brussels on February 1, eight days after leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo for medical care abroad. His death plunged the vast African country further into uncertainty, as...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Hull's DR Congo striker Dieumerci Mbokani will be sidelined for six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, dealing a blow to their hopes of staying in the Premier League. Mbokani will miss a significant chunk of Hull's battle for survival after being forced off in the second half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Burnley. "Dieumerci Mbokani is set to be out for six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury," Hull's website said. Mbokani has yet to score in 12 appearances for second-bottom Hull since joining on loan from Dynamo Kiev until the end of the season. The 31-year-old is in his second spell in England after playing for Norwich on loan when they were relegated from the top flight last season.
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
The Pygmy and Bantu people of the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace deal Friday to put an end to decades of deadly violence that has killed hundreds. Pygmies from the ethnic Twa group have been seeking recognition of equal rights with other citizens in the vast, unstable DR Congo, but they regularly come into conflict with Bantus from the ethnic Luba group who regard them as second-class. In the peace deal signed in Kalemie, capital of Tanganyika province, the Bantu and Pygmies said they were "determined to definitively erase the root causes" of the conflict and "promote genuine reconciliation and cohabitation".
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
The jagged, ice-capped Rwenzori Mountains stab at the sky above Mpondwe, a bustling border town in western Uganda. Trucks move slowly and one at a time across a rickety metal bridge above the swirling, muddy Lhubiriha River and into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo where, traders say, profits can be found but fear lurks. "We have no worries here, but our concern is the security over there," says Henry Bwambale, a 34-year-old business leader in Mpondwe, gesturing to the west. Traders tell of violent highway robbery and worse on the roads to the Congolese towns of Butembo and Beni, he says.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/24/17)
Uganda is holding dozens of fighters from the M23 rebel group who fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after clashing with troops there this week, the Ugandan military said on Thursday. Richard Karemire, Uganda's military spokesman, told Reuters that 44 M23 fighters were being held at a camp in the southwestern town of Kisoro. He rejected accusations made by DRC that Uganda was enabling the fighters to revive their insurgency. "They fled and they are at a camp... pending determination of their next destination," he said. M23, the largest of a number of rebel movements that have sown chaos and bloodshed in mineral-rich eastern Congo for years, once controlled swathes of territory there. Hundreds of the group's fighters, however, fled...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday flatly rejected international calls to investigate a video purporting to show a massacre of unarmed men and women by DR Congo soldiers. The government's refusal came as two other videos showing alleged abuses by DR Congo soldiers began circulating on social media networks. The seven-minute video that emerged over the weekend shows a group of uniformed men opening fire, then walking among at least 20 bodies, apparently in the violence-wracked central Kasai region. Washington and Paris both called on the government to open an inquiry, with a US State Department spokesman condemning the "heinous abuses" seen in the video. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also called on Congo...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo's government, under pressure to act after months of violence in the south, on Sunday vowed to move away from a solely military solution. Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari told reporters: "The state is envisaging political, traditional and humanitarian solutions on the ground." But he added Kinshasa's response could be "military if arms are not laid down in a peaceful fashion to enable a lasting peace" in restless areas. Shadari did not give further details as he sought to tackle a crisis stemming from last year's killing of a tribal chief in the southern Kasai-Central region. Tension was fanned by Saturday's emergence of a seven-minute video purporting to show soldiers shooting unarmed civilians to death. The...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/21/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo must investigate credible reports of atrocities including summary executions by the armed forces, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said on Monday. The U.N. human rights office has documented the killings of more than 280 people since July 2016 in a flare-up in violence in Kasai Central province, where Congolese forces have been battling an uprising by the Kamuina Nsapu militia. "There are multiple, credible allegations of massive human rights violations in Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental and Lomami provinces, amid a sharp deterioration in security situation there, including people being targeted by soldiers for their alleged affiliation with a local militia,” Zeid said in a statement. "It is time to stop a blunt...

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