| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
A DR Congo opposition leader accused of "high treason" returned to Kinshasa on Sunday two weeks after a key deal to end a political crisis in the vast African country. Roger Lumbala, head of the small opposition Rally of Congolese Democrats and Nationalists (RCD-N), was one of a few accused figures whose freedom or return from exile was agreed as part of the New Year's Eve deal. Lumbala, who allegedly backed the M23 rebellion in the country's east, arrived back in the DR Congo capital on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight, according to AFP journalists at the airport.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Armed Congolese rebels crossed back overnight into the country from their longtime refuge in Uganda, prompting fears that a guerilla conflict put to rest in 2013 could be rekindled. At least 200 former members of M23, an ethnic Tutsi group defeated by the Congolese army three years ago, arrived from Uganda and took over a village in North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP. Mende said the Congolese army was fighting two battalions installed in Ishasha village "who were supposed to be in Uganda under the responsibility of that country's authorities". "How could our Ugandan neighbours, with whom we are bound by very serious commitments, allow people who had been living in refugee camps...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/17)
Armed fighters led by the military commander of former Congolese rebel group M23 have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo from Uganda, Congolese officials said on Sunday. The rebels had been in camps for demobilized fighters in Uganda following their defeat in 2013. Formerly, they were the largest of dozens of armed groups in the country and controlled huge swaths of the country's mining heartland in the east. Renewed violence would be a major challenge for President Joseph Kabila, who is trying to fend off mounting opposition over his decision to stay beyond his mandate which expired last month. Some observers fear tensions could spark a new civil war. "They made an incursion yesterday from Uganda at...
(AFP (eng) 01/14/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo players have refused to train ahead of their opening Africa Cup of Nations match against Morocco in a dispute over pay. Norwich City midfielder Yousuf Mulumbu, the DR Congo captain, said the squad boycotted Friday training in a dispute over match bonuses. "It has been the same for years and years. We prepare well for our matches and in the end there is always a problem over bonuses," he said on Twitter. "Having said that, on January 16 we will fiercely defend our flag," in the team's opening match against Morocco. Another team appearing in the the tournament which opens Saturday, Zimbabwe, initially refused to fly to host nation Gabon in a dispute over bonuses which...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/17)
Over two dozen people have been killed since the start of the year in clashes pitting the Democratic Republic of Congo's security forces against supporters of a slain tribal chief, a local governor said in a statement. "The death toll since the start of 2017 is 26 people killed including four civilians, nine members of the security forces and 12 militia fighters," Kasai-Central provincial governor Alex Kande said in a statement seen by AFP on Wednesday. The wife of one of the militia leaders was also killed, Kande added. The latest casualties add to a soaring toll of at least 140 dead in spiralling clashes in central DR Congo since tribal chief Kamwina Nsapu was killed in mid-August, according to...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/10/17)
Tens of thousands of people in the central Democratic Republic of Congo have been uprooted in recent months by spiralling violence between a militia group and government security forces, the United Nations said on Monday. More than 100,000 people across the provinces of Kasaï, Kasaï Central and Kasaï Oriental have fled their homes since August due to fighting between government forces and militia group Kamuina Nsapu, according to two U.N. agencies. The violence has also disrupted education, shut health centers and halted farming across the three provinces, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. More than 100 people have died in several clashes since August - fueled by frustrations from the militia group that local leaders...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
A UN group of experts is urging the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate army officers involved in gold trafficking and a mining firm allegedly owned by Chinese nationals. The experts said in a report released Monday that "gold remains by far the mineral most used to finance armed elements and criminal networks" in the vast resource-rich DR Congo. Most gold produced in the country is smuggled through neighboring countries to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, said the report presented to the Security Council on December 28. The experts' investigations found that several military officers were involved in gold production, which is in violation of army rules and the country's mining code. The military opened investigations in September of...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
At least 15 people from DR Congo's Bantu community were killed Thursday in an attack blamed on Pygmies in an area of the southeast that has seen repeated ethnic clashes, local sources said. "Clashes between Bantus and Pygmies in the village of Piana Mwanga have left 15 Bantus dead, 37 injured and 65 houses burned," Paul Kwanga, bishop of the southeastern town of Manono, told AFP. Kamona Lumuna, the interior minister of Tanganyika province where the assault took place, confirmed the attack but said the precise toll was not yet known. "A team will be sent from tomorrow to investigate what really happened in the village," Kamona told AFP by telephone. Local civil society leader Modeste Kubali said 17 people...
(Bloomberg 01/06/17)
Glencore Plc, the commodities trader and miner headed by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, is considering increasing its stake in the Mutanda copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Swiss firm, which already owns 69 percent of the mine, will make a further announcement if appropriate, it said in a statement Thursday, without elaborating. Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group owns the rest of Mutanda. A spokesman for Fleurette Group declined to comment. Glencore last year completed a debt reduction program, reducing borrowings by about $10 billion through a combination of asset sales, reduced spending and the suspension of its dividend. Last month, emerging from the self-imposed era of austerity, it agreed a surprise $11 billion deal with Rosneft PJSC,...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Supporters of a militia leader who was killed in August took over a city in central DR Congo for several hours, and one police officer died in clashes, witnesses said Thursday. "On Wednesday morning, nearly 200 supporters of the chief Kamwina Nsapu penetrated and took control of the city of Tshimbulu after killing a police officer," a witness and member of the Catholic clergy told AFP by telephone on Thursday morning. A journalist from a local radio station in the Kasai-Central province added: "The attackers left the town at around 7pm (1800 GMT) after having created great panic.
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
The UN Security Council called Wednesday for the rapid and complete implementation of a deal to end the political crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a unanimous vote approving the measure proposed by France, the 15 members of the council reaffirmed the importance of organizing credible elections before the end of the year. "The Security Council is encouraged by the spirit of flexibility and compromise demonstrated by Congolese political leaders in reaching this agreement, for the stability, peace, development and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the DRC
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
DR Congo's ruling coalition said contested President Joseph Kabila should have the right to approve Catholic mediation in the next stage of efforts to end the country's political crisis. The demand touches on a key phase for implementing a historic deal, forged on New Year's Eve, for hauling Democratic Republic of Congo out of a dangerous impasse. Mediated by the Roman Catholic Church, the accord sketches a timetable under which Kabila will stay in office before new elections are held. The coalition said the mediation mandate had to be renewed and approved by Kabila himself in exchange for the government to discuss transition arrangements. "The bishops must first present the report ... to the president, who must reconfirm, using his...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...

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