Sunday 25 June 2017
(Voice of America 06/23/17)
GENEVA — The United Nations Human Rights Council launched an international investigation on Friday into killings and other atrocities in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 47-member Geneva forum adopted by consensus a resolution brought by African countries which also called on the Kinshasa government to cooperate with the team of international experts. U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has called repeatedly for the inquiry and said on Tuesday that a militia linked to government has committed a string of ethnically-motivated attacks in recent months, including cutting off toddlers' limbs and stabbing pregnant women. Congo's government has been fighting insurgents in Kasai since last August, triggering fears of a wider conflict...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
GENEVA — Congo's justice minister says investigations into killings in the central Kasai regions have "progressed well'' and four people have been arrested over the grisly slayings of two U.N. experts. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba expressed opposition to European Union resolution at the Human Rights Council that seeks an international, independent mission to investigate rights violations and allegations of mass graves in the wake of hundreds of killings in the Kasai provinces. Speaking to reporters Monday on the sidelines of the...
(Voice of America 06/15/17)
DAKAR, SENEGAL — Activists behind an app designed to assist doctors document evidence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo aim to go beyond obtaining justice for rape victims and collect data that could help secure prosecutions for war crimes. Developed by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), MediCapt allows clinicians to record medical examination results digitally and photograph victims' injuries, store them online and send them directly to law enforcement officials and lawyers. In a vast nation...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
A Democratic Republic of Congo military court held a second day of hearings Monday in the trial of a man and a teenager accused of killing two UN experts in March, their lawyer said. Evariste Ilunga, a 16-year-old student, and Mbayi Kabasele, 30, who sells palm oil, are accused of war crimes, including murder and mutilation, as well as terrorism and taking part in an insurrection. Their trial follows the March 12 kidnapping of American Michael Sharp and Swedish-Chilean Zaida...
(Voice of America 06/02/17)
The voters of the Democratic Republic of Congo should have gone to the polls last November to choose their new head of state. Instead, presidential and parliamentary elections were not organized, and shortly afterward, on December 19, President Joseph Kabila's second and, according to the constitution, final term expired. Deal struck Under a political deal struck on New Year's Eve between Kabila's ruling coalition and the opposition, the delayed polls are supposed to take place in late 2017. In the meantime, the president has remained in office. On Sunday
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said. The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa. “It is the same draft,” he said. A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the appointment of a new government under Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala that left many key ministerial posts unchanged. The ministers of finance, mines, oil, justice, interior and foreign affairs all retained their posts in the new administration, according to a statement read on national television Tuesday in the capital, Kinshasa. Congolese President Joseph Kabila last month named Tshibala, who was expelled in March from the largest opposition party, to head a new power-sharing government...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Rawbank Sarl, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest lender, plans to extend its branch network into all 26 provinces from 12 over the next three years before expanding regionally and eventually listing its shares. "Our first priority is to cover the Congo and then look to expand into the neighboring countries with a listing on a stock market," Chief Executive Officer Thiery Taeymans said in an interview in the capital, Kinshasa. It is considering bordering Republic of Congo as its...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo hired an Israeli security firm to lobby the U.S. government after criticism of President Joseph Kabila’s failure to hold elections and hand over power. Congo agreed to pay MER Security and Communication Systems Ltd. $5.58 million between Dec. 8, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017 for policy advice and support in lobbying senior government officials and members of Congress, according to documents published on the U.S. Department of Justice’s www.fara.gov website April 28. MER, based in...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore Plc threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4 percent of the metal within two months. Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5,000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned...

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