Saturday 23 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Prisoners escaped in Kinshasa on Friday following an attack by unknown assailants on police holding cells and a government office, spreading panic in the city's nearby central market, witnesses and a police source said. "There's panic because the administrator's office was attacked as well as the police cells. The prisoners have been freed," Marie-Pauline Liyolo, a vendor in the market, told AFP. "There was an exchange of gunfire. The administrator of the market suffered bullet wounds. Everyone fled (the marketplace).... I don't know if there are any deaths," said another vendor Philippe Mbuinga. "There is a bit of confusion, the cells were broken into," a police official at the market who requested anonymity told AFP, without giving further details. An...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
DR Congo must identify both senior army personnel and politicians behind the massacres in the volatile Kasai region, a top UN human rights official told AFP Thursday. Jose-Maria Aranaz, the UN human rights director in the country, was speaking just a day the UN said another 38 suspected mass graves had been discovered in this central part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "With more than 80 mass graves identified ... it is essential that the inquiry goes beyond those who physically did it and identifies command responsibilities at the military and political level," said Aranaz. Aranaz dismissed as "unconvincing" the suggestion that rogue elements of the security forces were responsible for the violence. "We have to stop the killing,"...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Another 38 probable mass graves have been discovered in DR Congo in the country's troubled central region of Kasai, the United Nations said Wednesday. At least 80 mass graves have now been identified in the region that has seen a major spike in violence between security forces and a tribal militia since September. The international community has voiced alarm over the violence, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people, according to statistics compiled by the Roman Catholic church. The UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping mission had previously spoken of "more than 400 dead" while about 1.3 million people are estimated...
(Voice of America 07/13/17)
The U.N. said Wednesday it had identified another 38 probable mass graves in central Congo, where violence has killed thousands since August. This would bring the total of mass graves found in the Kasai region to 80, the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo said Wednesday. The U.N. reports an estimated 1.3 million people from Kasai have been internally displaced and 30,000 have fled to neighboring Angola since a flare-up of violence in August. The killing of a tribal chief by police and members of the army-triggered revenge attacks and counterattacks between the chief's Kamuina Nsapu militia and government security forces. Read more at: https://www.voanews.com/a/un-says-38-more-probable-mass-graves-found-in-...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
A Congolese journalist working for state broadcaster RTNC was killed by an unknown assailant at his home in the northeast of the country Wednesday, officials said, adding it was too early to speculate on the motive. "A journalist from (state broadcaster) RTNC was killed around 4 am by an as yet unidentified assailant who hit him with a blunt object, causing his death," vice-governor of Ituri province Pacifique Keta told AFP. Serge Karba, president of the regional branch of the national press union UNPC demanded a full investigation as he confirmed the death of Banga Karaba, who he said had been attacked at his property. Keta said it was too early to speculate if the killing had had an ethnic...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - The United Nations has identified an additional 38 probable mass graves in Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai region, it said on Wednesday, bringing the total to at least 80 since the outbreak of an insurrection last August. More than 3,300 people have been killed and 1.4 million forced to flee their homes in Kasai since the start of the insurrection by the Kamuina Nsapu militia, which wants the withdrawal of military forces from the area. A spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo told reporters in the capital Kinshasa that the graves were identified across six different sites during a joint mission to western Kasai last week with Congolese military investigators. The government has blamed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
The IMF has told Democratic Republic of Congo that “a credible path toward political stability” will probably be a condition of any assistance package, a letter seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday. In the letter dated June 29 and addressed to Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde also said that balance of payments support would require buy-in from traditional donors whose relations with President Joseph Kabila’s government have soured recently. Lagarde said that Tshibala wrote to her on June 12 to request discussions with the International Monetary Fund over a so-called rapid credit facility to address the fallout of low commodity prices and high government deficits on Africa’s top copper producer. Congo has only enough foreign currency...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
The United States on Tuesday threatened to impose further targeted unilateral sanctions on anyone who hinders Democratic Republic of Congo's already delayed preparations for an election to replace President Joseph Kabila. The country's election commission president said on Sunday that the vote, originally due in November 2016, was unlikely to take place in 2017, because of delays in registering millions of voters. Further delays could trigger additional unrest following anti-government street protests last year in which security forces killed dozens of demonstrators.
(Fox News 07/12/17)
The United States said Tuesday it is ready to impose sanctions on anyone in Congo who stands in the way of presidential elections to be held by the end of the year, which would lead to the country's first democratic transition of power. Congo law bars President Joseph Kabila seeking another term but allows him to remain in power until another election can be held. The vote was once scheduled for November 2016, but it was delayed until no later than Dec. 31 this year under an agreement reached last New Year's Eve. The head of Congo's electoral commission announced Friday that it would not be possible to organize a presidential ballot by Dec. 31, drawing sharp criticism Tuesday from...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
About 80,000 people have fled fighting between the Democratic Republic of Congo army and a new rebel coalition, the United Nations said on Tuesday, joining the millions already uprooted in Africa's worst displacement crisis. Militia violence has intensified across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, raising fears the country will slide back into the wars at the turn of the century that killed millions. The latest fighting broke out in South Kivu province's Fizi territory, in the eastern part of the country. Government troops clashed with the National Coalition of the People for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC), a new alliance of local self-defense militias, the U.N. Organization...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
An Indian businessman who was seized in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo 19 days ago by a kidnapping ring has been freed, Kinshasa police said Monday.. Hermnani Ritesh, who operates a travel agency, was freed on Saturday by security forces and three people were arrested, said police spokesman Colonel Pierre-Rombaut Mwanamputu. The kidnapping ring was comprised of four men from Nambia, Mozambique, Cameroon and DR Congo who had demanded a ransom of $2 million for Ritesh's release. "It's the first time that this type of kidnapping" for ransom had occurred in Kinshasa, Mwanamputu said, adding that police were still searching for accomplices on the run.
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
The main opposition party in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo on Monday blasted as a "provocation" and a power grab an announcement that elections to end a deep political crisis in the mineral-rich country will likely not be held this year. The president of DR Congo's electoral commission, Corneille Nangaa, had told reporters in Paris on Friday that "it will not be possible" to hold presidential and legislative elections "before the end of the year". But the opposition views it as a move to keep President Joseph Kabila in power. "Corneille Nangaa is helping Joseph Kabila to achieve his plan to hold on to power," Augustin Kabuya, spokesman for the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS), said. "It is a...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
The president of Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission said on Sunday that a vote to replace President Joseph Kabila will probably not be possible this year, violating a deal that let Kabila stay on past the end of his mandate. Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his second elected term in December sparked protests that killed dozens of people. The opposition quickly denounced commission president Corneille Nangaa's announcement on Sunday as a declaration of "war." "The parameters at our disposal give us, more or less, reason to think that, in December, it will probably not be possible to stick to that
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government has formally requested financial support from international donors as it confronts a worsening economic crisis, a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday showed. Africa's top copper producer has been hard hit by low commodity prices in recent years. It has only enough foreign currency reserves to cover about three weeks of imports and its franc currency CDF= has lost half its value in the past year. The letter was dated July 4 and addressed to the U.N. Secretary General as well as in-country representatives of the African Union, the European Union, three regional African organisations and other foreign ambassadors. In it, Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala's chief of staff, Michel Nsomue, wrote that the government "needs...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Long-overdue presidential and legislative polls can only be held at the end of the year in troubled Democratic Republic of Congo, the head of the national election commission said Friday. "It will not be possible before December," Corneille Nangaa told reporters in Paris. Elections are due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political violence in the sprawling country of 71 million people after President Joseph Kabila failed to step down when his mandate ended in December 2016. Under the deal, Kabila was allowed to remain in office pending the elections, ruling in tandem with a transitional watchdog and a new premier, chosen within opposition ranks. Nangaa cited ongoing security issues in the country's troubled central Kasai...
(La Croix 07/07/17)
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) president, Joseph Kabila, meets head of the country's Catholic episcopal conference, Archbishop Marcel Utembi. “We talked about the elections. They will be held. It is no secret,” declared Archbishop Marcel Utembi of Kisangani, who is also president of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), shortly after meeting DRC president, Joseph Kabila, who was on a visit to the region. “I think that the president has kept repeating that the elections would be held, even to his colleagues,” Archbishop Utembi told Radio Okapi. However, he did not reveal full details of his discussions with the president.
(The Associated Press 07/07/17)
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- A Congo military court has sentenced eight soldiers to prison terms of 15 years to life on charges of murder and improper use of weapons. Defense lawyer Jimmy Bashile said Thursday another soldier was acquitted for guarding a vehicle and ammunition, and another got a one-year suspended sentence for not reporting crimes. Bashile says the two soldiers sentenced to life had escaped. Nine soldiers had faced trial in the Mbuji-Mayi court in Kasai Oriental province. They were charged after a video surfaced earlier this year showing Congolese soldiers firing on unarmed civilians...

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