| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Rising unrest in central Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to derail voter registration ahead of a high-stakes election, the Catholic Church and the electoral commission said Tuesday. Commission president Corneille Nangaa meanwhile hit out at recent attacks in the central region of Kasai, where four offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) have been set on fire. Kasai has seen a major spike in violence since September, leaving at least 400 dead in an uprising that erupted when government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader, Kamwina Nsapu, who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila. The violence took a grim turn Sunday, when two foreign experts from the United Nations and their Congolese staff went missing in the...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
The European Union on Monday warned the Democratic Republic of Congo it faces more EU sanctions if political and military leaders block a deal with the opposition on the country's future. European Union foreign ministers discussed DR Congo amid growing frustration with President Joseph Kabila's refusal to stand aside at the end of his term late last year. "The EU reminds political leaders and members of the security forces that it is ready to adopt new restrictive measures," said the...
(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
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
The international community on Thursday urged government and opposition parties in Democratic Republic of Congo to restart deadlocked talks to set up a transition regime ahead of elections due late this year. The United Nations, African Union, European Union and the International Organisation of the Francophonie "are increasingly concerned by the continuing impasse in the dialogue among the political stakeholders" in DRC, a joint statement said. The talks aim to implement a power-sharing deal signed on New Year's Eve by...
(Voice of America 02/17/17)
The budget minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo has cast doubt on whether the country will be able to finance elections this year. His statement has sparked concern as delaying the polls last year led to violent unrest. DRC Budget Minister Pierre Kangudia gave reporters the news Wednesday. He said it will not be possible to disburse $1.8 billion from this year’s budget to organize elections in 2017. That hardly comes as a surprise. Total government spending for 2017...
(Xinhuanet 02/14/17)
Serbia and Democratic Republic of Congo agreed on Monday to give a new impetus to their cooperation through mutual support on the international scene and economic cooperation despite last December's EU sanctions against Congo. Foreign Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo Leonard She Okitundu visited Serbia and met with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic at the government building where they held a press conference. Dacic said Serbia and Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to deepen their relations and mutually support...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Agence Ecofin 02/03/17)
DR Congo’s minister of land affairs, Félix Kabange Numbi, while meeting with his staff reiterated his commitment to curb land conflicts in the country, reports l’Agence d’information d’Afrique centrale. “Each of us must contribute to reducing land conflicts which tarnish the reputation of our ministry. We must make sure to quench all these conflicts across the nation. It is possible if we all work towards that goal,” the official said. However, though he emphasized on a rapid and efficient achievement...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/03/17)
The death on Wednesday of Congo's opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi leaves opponents of President Joseph Kabila seriously weakened in their bid to force Kabila to quit power after he defied constitutional term limits to stay on last year. Democratic Republic of Congo has never experienced a peaceful transition of power and Kabila's refusal to stand down when his final term expired in December has raised fears the chronically unstable country could slide back into civil war. Despite his 84 years...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died Wednesday at the age of 84 in Brussels, where he had flown for medical treatment, his political party said. "President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels," Bruno Tshibala, an official from the UDPS party, said of the burly figure who remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health. Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on Tuesday, died at 5:42 pm...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi headed Tuesday to Belgium for medical treatment -- just as his party is trying to negotiate a power-sharing deal following President Laurent Kabila's refusal to step down. The 84-year-old head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), a historic heavyweight in DR Congo's opposition movement, took off from Kinshasa's airport aboard a private plane at 6:00 am (0500 GMT), an AFP journalist reported. The departure of the frail leader could complicate negotiations over...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/24/17)
A deal struck last month requiring Congo President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections this year risks unraveling if politicians do not quickly reach compromises on implementing the accord, Catholic bishops mediating the talks said on Monday. The Dec. 31 deal was greeted as a critical step toward averting a slide into anarchy and possibly civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo over Kabila's decision to remain in power when his mandate expired last month. The accord, signed by...
(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.
(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,...
(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...

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