| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
The Roman Catholic church on Wednesday issued a strong plea to DR Congo's political leaders to strike a deal by Christmas to stem an explosive crisis over the fate of President Joseph Kabila. The call by bishops sponsoring key talks between the opposition and the ruling party came a day after deadly protests erupted over Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his mandate Tuesday. His second and final term ran out with no election on the near horizon and no sign that he plans to leave power any time soon. According to a UN provisional toll, 19 people were killed and 45 hurt in violence across Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday. The government put the toll...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
At least 11 people died as gunfire erupted during protests on Tuesday in Democratic Republic of Congo against longtime President Joseph Kabila, who is refusing to leave office as his mandate ends. Shots rang out in the capital Kinshasa, where at least nine people were killed, and there was sustained gunfire in the country's second-largest city, Lubumbashi, where two died -- including a policeman who was lynched by an angry crowd. The UN's large DR Congo mission, MONUSCO, said it was probing reliable reports of dozens of deaths and voiced alarm over the arrests of 113 opposition leaders and civil society activists
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
France called on the European Union to re-examine its relations with Democratic Republic of Congo, fearing that President Joseph Kabila's decision not to step down after his mandate expired could stoke conflict. Security forces shot dead several protesters who had gathered in the streets of the capital Kinshasa on Tuesday to demand that Kabila step down after his mandate expired overnight. "Everything has been done and done again these last days and hours to encourage dialogue," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters alongside new Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. "We need to be clear. There comes a time when if nothing happens, then Europe must reconsider the level of relations with this country. We can't continue to pretend as if...
(News24 12/21/16)
The South African government has expressed concern over the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following protests that resulted in several protesters being arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday. Police fired several rounds of rubber bullets and stun grenades after protesters started pelting the DRC embassy with large stones and plastic yellow black parking barriers and shouting "Kabila must go!". Their protest was part of two days of action in the DRC and in front of the country's embassies worldwide against President Joseph Kabila, whose mandated ended on Monday. In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) condemned the outbreak of violence, saying that such incidences threatened "the hard-won democratic gains made by the DRC through...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
Sporadic gunfire echoed across Democratic Republic of Congo's capital on Wednesday, the day after security forces killed at least 26 protesters demanding President Joseph Kabila step down after his mandate as elected leader expired. A government spokesman could not be reached to comment on the nationwide death toll, compiled by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), which said it was yet to give a final tally. The United Nations human rights director for the vast central African state said it had "solid" reports of at least 20 dead civilians in the capital, Kinshasa. Some Kinshasa residents ventured from their homes on Wednesday morning but most streets were clear of traffic and public transport was extremely limited. Africa and the West...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
Germany has indefinitely postponed talks on development assistance to Congo after President Joseph Kabila stayed in power despite his mandate expiring this week, the German foreign office said on Wednesday. "From now on, the Congolese Government's scope for action will be restricted," the statement said. "The negotiations on development cooperation scheduled to take place next year will be postponed indefinitely. The German Government reserves the right to take further steps." (Reporting by Tim Cocks; Editing by Aaron Ross)
(UN.org 12/21/16)
The United Nations envoy for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) expressed grave concern today over the wave of arrests and arbitrary detention "of those who seek to express their political views" in the country over the past three days, and reiterated the necessity for all Congolese authorities to respect the rules of the country and ensure protection of free speech. "I urge the national authorities to strictly adhere to their international human rights obligations, to create a climate of political tolerance and respect at this important juncture in the DRC's history, and to grant full access to United Nations personnel to all detention centres," said Maman S. Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
South African police fired rubber bullets on Tuesday at scores of protesters outside the Democratic Republic of Congo embassy (DRC) in Pretoria demanding President Joseph Kabila step down, a spokesman said. Several protesters were wounded and seven were arrested for public order offences, provincial police spokesman Kay Makhubela said. Kabila's mandate as DRC president expired at midnight, with no elected successor in place. (Reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by Ed Stoddard)
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
Black smoke rose over Kinshasa and angry young men waving red cards blocked roads as Democratic Republic of Congo's leader, Joseph Kabila, clung to power Tuesday despite fears that more violence will follow. The announcement just before midnight of the appointment of a new government -- but with President Kabila still in ultimate control -- triggered cries of "treason", "provocation" and "confrontation". "What happened yesterday (Monday) was a rebellion," said Daniel, 63, referring to Kabila's decision not to step aside. "Even those without education know that after his second term, a president must leave office. They even know that in primary school!" The 45-year-old leader, who has ruled since 2001
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
On January 26, 2001, leading politicians in Democratic Republic of Congo picked 29-year-old soldier Joseph Kabila to succeed his father president Laurent-Desire Kabila who had been assassinated by a bodyguard. Nearly sixteen years on, the ruler is defying the constitution and refusing to stand down as his presidential term ends. - From war to the polls - When Kabila became president, his central African country had been plagued by warfare since August 1998. Government troops backed by Angola, Chad, Namibia and Zimbabwe were fighting rebel groups
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
Sustained gunfire erupted Tuesday in Lubumbashi, DR Congo's second-largest city, where large numbers of police have been deployed on the last day of President Joseph Kabila's mandate, an AFP correspondent said. The firing started at 9:15am (0715 GMT) in the Matuba neighbourhood in the south of the city where demonstrators and police have clashed, with streets strewn with rocks and burned tyres, the correspondent said. The gunfire was intense for about 20 minutes, and then became more intermittent, he said. Earlier in Matuba, a policeman told AFP that his men were facing hostile groups of demonstrators. Three of the demonstrators were armed, added Jean-Claude Kazembe, governor of the Upper Katanga district which includes Lubumbashi. "This is what justifies police shooting...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
Gunfire was heard in DR Congo's two largest cities as the opposition leader called on citizens to reject President Joseph Kabila whose mandate expired Tuesday with no sign he was ready to leave. With fears of fresh violence high in the vast and unstable nation, shots rang out in the capital Kinshasa and the country's second city of Lubumbashi. An AFP correspondent said streets of the Lubumbashi neighbourhood of Matuba were strewn with rocks and burnt tyres early Tuesday amid a heavy police presence. A policeman in Matuba told AFP that his men were facing hostile groups of demonstrators. Demonstrators in Kinshasa late Monday blew whistles and beat on improvised drums, calling on the 45-year-old who has led the Democratic...
(Bloomberg 12/20/16)
Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi called for peaceful resistance to what he described as President Joseph Kabila’s “illegal and illegitimate” rule, a day after the leader’s two-term limit expired. Tshisekedi’s remarks came as Kabila named a new cabinet to run Africa’s biggest copper producer and his security forces blocked off parts of the capital, Kinshasa, to stifle protests against his bid to extend his 15 years in power. At least 41 protesters in the eastern city of Goma were arrested on Monday, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch, which has a network of observers around the country. The Congolese people should “peacefully resist the coup d’etat that has been completed” and other nations shouldn’t deal with...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/20/16)
Gunfire could be heard in several districts of Kinshasa early on Tuesday as demonstrators demanded that President Joseph Kabila step down after his mandate expired at midnight, and measures to curb dissent fanned fears of more violence. Reuters witnesses in various parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital city heard repeated gunshots, and one saw youths burning tires in the street. Protesters also set off fireworks and cheered, a Reuters witness said. Demonstrators in the districts of Kalamu, Matete and Lingwala as well as at Kinshasa University blew whistles to signal to Kabila that it was time to leave. Students at the university also burned tires, multiple witnesses said. Kabila faces potentially one of his biggest challenges since he...
(Voice of America 12/20/16)
Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi said Tuesday people should not recognize the "illegal and illegitimate authority" of President Joseph Kabila, whose term in office expired without him stepping down and with no elections in sight. In a video posted on YouTube, Tshisekedi further urged people to "peacefully resist" what he said was a coup d'etat backed by the country's constitutional court. The court has ruled that Kabila can remain in power until new elections are held. The ruling party has proposed a vote take place in April 2018. Residents in some parts of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, blew whistles at midnight to signal that it was time for Kabila to leave. Gunfire could also be heard in several districts. Presidential adviser...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/20/16)
France's foreign ministry called for the European Union to re-examine its relations with Democratic Republic of Congo after President Joseph Kabila failed to step down when his mandate expired on Monday. "After the constitutional mandate of President Kabila ended, France is concerned by reports of arrests as well as violence in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi," spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily briefing. "The seriousness of the situation justifies that the European Union re-examines its relations with Congo," he added. (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
(Bloomberg 12/20/16)
A peacekeeper from South Africa deployed under the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was killed and two others injured during a gun battle with suspected fighters of the Mayi Mayi armed group in the North Kivu region on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s office said in an e-mailed statement. Dozens of armed groups remain active in eastern Congo more than a decade after the end of a civil war that left at least 5 million people dead. Several nations, including the U.S., have expressed fears of increased violence in the nation after the government and main opposition disagreed on whether President Joseph Kabila can remain in power until elections in 2018 following the end...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/20/16)
Former colonial power Belgium said on Tuesday that it will "re-examine" its relations with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila after he failed to step down when his mandate expired on Monday. Kabila, who has ruled since 2001, was required by constitutional term limits to leave office but his government says the presidential election to replace him cannot take place until 2018. "As there is no inclusive agreement, relations between Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be re-examined, with the greatest circumspection for any new engagement with the current authorities," the statement said. (Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Tim Cocks/Jeremy Gaunt)
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...

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