Thursday 19 April 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 01/15/18)
LONDON (Reuters) - The cobalt market will record a supply surplus both this year and next, according to heavyweight commodities research house CRU. This might seem a little surprising, given all the bullish hype surrounding a metal that more than doubled in price last year. CRU itself has drastically revised its original assessment of a sustained supply shortfall due to strong demand growth from the battery sector. What has changed its mind? In short, it’s the return of the Katanga mine after two years of suspended activities. Once fully operational, Katanga will be the “largest cobalt-producing mining project in the world”. (CRU Insight, Jan. 4 2018) Bulls needn’t panic just yet, however. CRU doesn’t expect much of a price reaction...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Supported by throngs of worshippers and with western ambassadors in attendance, Catholic leaders in DR Congo hammered home a message of anger toward President Joseph Kabila on Friday at a mass to mourn victims of a crackdown. Police fired a couple of warning shots to disperse worshippers outside Kinshasa cathedral after the highly-charged mass, which was led by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist reported. Police said they fired only teargas, and two people were slightly injured. Armed officers arrived at the cathedral gates as the congregation was leaving a service to commemorate the six fatalities of a crackdown on New Year's Eve marches that demanded Kabila leave office.
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Police fired warning shots on Friday to disperse a crowd gathered in front of Kinshasa cathedral after a mass by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist said. Armed officers arrived at the gates of the cathedral as worshippers were leaving a service to commemorate the victims of a crackdown on marches on New Year's Eve that demanded the removal of DR Congo's president, Joseph Kabila. A young man who was slightly wounded in the face told AFP he had been hit by the shots. He was treated in a garden behind the building. The mass, conducted in a packed cathedral, saw the congregation applaud and cheer Catholic leaders as they urged Kabila to uphold a 2016 church-brokered...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/12/18)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese police fired teargas on Friday to disperse dozens of churchgoers who had gathered in the capital Kinshasa to mourn seven people killed in protests against President Joseph Kabila two weeks ago. A Reuters cameraman who was filming the church service said police fired a volley of teargas outside, apparently to prevent the gathering turning into another political demonstration. Scores have been killed in protests over Kabila’s future in the past two years and militia violence has destabilized swathes of Congo, stoking fears the vast central African country will slide back into civil wars. Security forces in Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least seven people in the capital on New Year’s Eve during demonstrations that Catholic...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
A 78-year-old prelate is likely to play a key role this year in shaping the future of one of Africa's most important and volatile states. The man in the spotlight is Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, archbishop of Kinshasa and de-facto leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo's powerful Catholic church. For decades, the cardinal has spoken out against the violence that has swept through parts of the sprawling country, including successive civil wars that killed millions. His outspokenness has now turned him into a rallying figure for protest against President Joseph Kabila, whose regime is tarred with a reputation for corruption, repression and incompetence. Last week, Monsengwo placed himself on a potential collision course with Kabila over a New Year's Eve...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
The United Nations peacekeeping chief on Tuesday condemned the Democratic Republic of Congo's security forces for violently cracking down on protesters and said authorities must prosecute those responsible. At least five people were killed during clashes on December 31 when police burst into churches, firing tear gas and shooting bullets in the air to break up protests in the capital Kinshasa and in the central city of Kananga, according to UN figures. The demonstrations took place on the first anniversary of a political deal brokered by the Catholic church that was to pave the way for elections in 2017 and the end of President Joseph Kabila's rule. The elections were pushed back to December 2018 after the government cited delays...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
DR Congo's electoral body trumpeted on Tuesday the arrival of the first voting machines from South Korea for long-delayed elections that the government has pledged to hold in December. The vote is supposed to bring about the belated departure of President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, who was supposed to step down last year but postponed the polls. But it remains unclear if the 45 million Congolese voters who registered in 2017 will finally get to choose a new president, deputies and elected representatives in the vote set for December 23, 2018. "The first lot of eight voting machines were received today for the purpose of civic and electoral education of the Congolese," said the National Electoral Commission (CENI),...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Floods and mudslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo's chaotic capital Kinshasa have caused cholera cases to rise over five-fold to more than 100 a week, medical charity MSF said Tuesday. "In past weeks we registered about 20 cases a week on average. At present, we have more than 100 each week," said Jean Liyolongo from Medecins sans Frontieres. He said the spurt began in the first week of January in Africa's third largest city which is home to about 10 million people. Floods and landslips last week claimed 48 lives in Kinshasa as flimsy homes were flattened. Liyolongo said a cholera outbreak threatened 23 of the sprawling country's 26 provinces, with 50,000 cases and around 1,000 deaths reported since...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Lawyers for former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba Tuesday slammed his conviction for war crimes, accusing judges of "prejudice" and calling for the judgement to be scrapped. Bemba, 55, is appealing an 18-year jail term handed down by the International Criminal Court in June 2016 after judges found him guilty on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in atrocities committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR). Once the powerful leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and a wealthy businessman, the court said Bemba had failed to stop...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
DR Congo started two days of national mourning Monday for 48 people killed by floods and mudslides in the capital Kinshasa amid concerns of a cholera outbreak in the vast city of 10 million. The mid-week fatalities following torrential rain wreaked havoc on flimsy homes which were flattened by mudslides. "I am here to survey the damage first-hand," said Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, visiting the working-class districts of Bandal and Kitambo of the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo. He met a widow in her fifties who lost five children in the floods. She wasn't home at the time and her sixth child -- a 14-year-old girl -- was rescued by her neighbour John Bompengo, a photographer. "Around two in...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Hundreds of Sudanese students from the University of Khartoum threw stones at anti-riot police Monday on a third day of protests against soaring bread prices, an AFP correspondent reported. Bread prices more than doubled last week as flour manufacturers raised prices on dwindling wheat supplies after the government decided to stop importing grain and allowed private companies to do so. Sporadic anti-government protests have been held since Saturday in some parts of the country following the price rise. They were staged again on Monday in the area around Khartoum university, triggering clashes between students and anti-riot police. "No, no to high food prices," students shouted as they attempted to leave the university campus but were quickly pushed back by dozens...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
The UN said it was "deeply alarmed" by the actions of security forces in DR Congo during anti-Kabila protests in Kinshasa last Sunday, and believe the toll of victims during the crackdown "may be higher". "Our colleagues on the ground were denied access to morgues, hospitals and detention centres. They were sent away from some sites by defence and security forces," the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said from Geneva in a statement on Friday. "The security forces allegedly fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas grenades, in some cases at point blank range," the statement added. The organisation said at least five people were known to have been killed and 92 injured...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The United Nations on Friday set up a special investigation of the attack that killed 15 UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month and wounded 43 others. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Dmitry Titov, a Russian national who has worked in UN peacekeeping to lead the special investigation that will also look into other attacks against peacekeepers in that area, a UN statement said. "This special investigation will include a focus on the 7 December attack in Semuliki, in which 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed, 43 wounded...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Floods and mudslides killed 44 people in shantytowns in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, the third largest metropolis in Africa, an official said Friday. "We have a final toll of 44 deaths," said provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli. An earlier toll put the number of dead at 37. Three-quarters of homes in Kinshasa are slums which have no access to sanitation or electricity, according to Corneille Kanene, former head of UN-Habitat. Torrential rains and landslides overnight Wednesday destroyed flimsy homes, many perched on hillsides. Kinshasa, which is home to 10 million people, is the third largest city in Africa after Cairo and Lagos. The population has surged over the years and many residents live...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The morning light showed a scene of desolation as people in Ngaliema surveyed the wreckage of shanty homes swept away by killer floods and landslips. Among the 44 people who perished overnight Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, were a teenager, Brunelle, her sister Gladys, and Gladys' baby. Their home of makeshift yellowish clay bricks, located at the foot of a steep slope literally dissolved after the waters struck, neighbours said. "The emergency services came, but they arrived late, around 4:00 am," said a young man, Magloire, who said that he was the one who found the bodies. The disaster was one that could have been avoided -- the rainfall was indeed torrential but not exceptional,...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Thirty-seven people died overnight when torrential rain and mudslides swept though shanty homes in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authorities said Thursday. The provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli, said many of the dead, which included "two or three drowned children," had lived in Ngaliema, a poor hillside community that was particularly hit. "There has been not only flooding but also landslips, and several houses have collapsed," Weloli said. Flooding is a major peril for residents of Kinshasa, a chaotic city with a population of around 10 million people
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
The death toll from a crackdown on New Year's Eve demonstrations in Democratic Republic of Congo rose to 12, protestors said on Tuesday, as the country's powerful Catholic Church condemned what it called "barbarism" and the UN and France sounded their concern. "Eleven people died in Kinshasa and one in Kananga," Jonas Tshombela, a spokesman for the protest organisers, told AFP. Catholic and opposition groups on Sunday defied a ban on demonstrations demanding that President Joseph Kabila -- in power since the assassination of his father in 2001 -- leave office. They were met with a deadly crackdown by authorities...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...

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