Sunday 25 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told...
(AFP 06/22/17)
At least seven militants were killed Thursday in clashes with troops involving heavy weapons in a city in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, police said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. A spokesman for the country's armed forces (FARDC) told AFP the confrontation started when a new rebel group staged an early-morning attack on two of its positions east of the city, saying the gunmen were thought to be from the Mai-Mai militia. The clashes then moved to the centre of the city, which is home to some 800,000 people, with gunmen taking up positions near police headquarters and the military prosecutor's office...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
Congolese security forces and a militia fighting them have killed at least 3,383 people in the central Kasai region since October, the Catholic church said on Tuesday, in the most detailed report to date on the violence. Church officials, citing their own sources in the remote territory bordering Angola, said the army had destroyed 10 villages as it sought to stamp out an insurrection. They also accused the Kamuina Nsapu militia of killing hundreds of people, destroying four villages and...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Stigma and rejection from their communities after returning home from armed groups are driving former girl soldiers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo back into the militias, where they are prey to violence and sexual abuse, a charity said on Monday. For many girls in the conflict-ravaged east of the country, the pain of being spurned by their families and friends as survivors of rape was worse than the violence itself, according to a report...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
Religious and indigenous leaders appealed on Monday for better protection of tropical forests from the Amazon to the Congo basin, with a Vatican bishop likening current losses to a collective suicide by humanity. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Daoist representatives met indigenous peoples in Oslo to explore moral and ethical arguments to shield forests that are under threat from logging and land clearance for farms. Organizers said the Oslo Interfaith Rainforest Initiative from June 19-21 was the first to...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
A soldier and 12 militants were killed Saturday in clashes in DR Congo's restive eastern North-Kivu province, the army said. "Twelve Mai-Mai and an officer from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo died in fighting that last nearly all of Saturday for control of the Kabasha area," army spokesman Lieutenant Jules Tshikudi told AFP. The Mai-Mai are vigilante groups that run along ethnic lines. During the brutal Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003, numerous groups were armed by the government to fight against Ugandan or Rwandan forces, and some of them never disarmed.
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
"Some people have even eaten sand to try and prevent starvation," says Paulin Kiyankayi, a grim-faced doctor at Kikwit general hospital in DR Congo. He is tired after struggling for months to deal with a huge rise in the numbers of sick and hungry filling his wards, displaced people fleeing an upsurge in violence between tribal militias and the security forces in the central Kasai region. "They suffer from anaemia, fever, diarrhoea and abrasions," Kiyankayi states, listing some of the...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
he International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday two staff kidnapped when armed men attacked their convoy in the troubled eastern DR Congo last week had been released. The workers were abducted on June 7 between Kirumba and Beni in North Kivu province while on a humanitarian mission, prompting a Red Cross appeal for their immediate release. A Red Cross statement said the pair were freed Thursday morning. Spokeswoman Christine Cipolla said the organisation was relieved their ordeal was...
(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) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
Eleven people were killed and more than 900 inmates escaped Sunday after unidentified assailants attacked a jail in DR Congo's restive east, an official said. "The Kangwayi prison in Beni was attacked at 3:30 pm (1330 GMT) by assailants whose identity is not yet known," Julien Paluku, governor of North Kivu province, told reporters. "In the exchange of fire between security forces and the attackers, authorities have (counted) 11 dead including eight members of the security forces," Paluku said, adding:...
(AFP (eng) 06/10/17)
A police officer was killed in an attack on a court compound in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a judicial source said Saturday, weeks after a mass jailbreak from Kinshasa's main prison. A magistrate in the Matete district in the east of the capital told AFP that unknown gunmen attacked the court office on Friday night, burning several vehicles parked on the premises. He said one police officer was killed and another wounded in the assault, adding that three prisoners held at the compound were later found to be missing. The magistrate said a nearby police station had also been targeted. A police spokesman confirmed
(AFP (eng) 06/09/17)
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday urged the release of two of its staff kidnapped after armed men attacked their convoy in the troubled eastern DR Congo. The ICRC said the workers were abducted on Wednesday morning while on a humanitarian mission between Kirumba and Beni in North Kivu province. "We are launching an appeal to the kidnappers to immediately free our colleagues, safe and sound, and facilitate their return," the aid group said in a statement...
(AFP (eng) 06/08/17)
DR Congo authorities on Thursday rebuffed a UN warning to launch an international probe into violence in the central Kasai province following the discovery of dozens of mass graves. The region has seen a major spike in violence since September when government forces killed tribal chief and militia leader Kamwina Nsapu who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila. The unrest has claimed more than 400 lives and forced some 1.3 million from their homes, according to UN figures. Unconfirmed local statistics put the number of dead as high as 3,000. "As far as the violence recorded in the Grand Kasai provinces
(The Associated Press 06/08/17)
Increased violence and corruption in central Africa could be the result of the recent decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission not to enforce a rule requiring American companies to report their use of conflict minerals, warn Congolese civic groups, rights groups and U.S. senators. "The conflict minerals rule has played a critical role in reducing violence in mining areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, who recently signed a letter with...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...

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