Wednesday 17 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
People in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo paralysed the town and faced off against police on Monday, angered by poor security, local sources said. "Residents, mostly angry young people, last night destroyed Kamanyola administrative centre and burned all the files," the administrator of Walungu territory in South Kivu province, Dominique Bofondo, told AFP. The violence erupted after a money-changer was murdered at his home in the town, which lies on the main road linking provincial capital Bukavu and Uvira. Kamanyola came under attack by an armed group last year. By midday Monday, police fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators who were trying to set fire to a police station...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The World Health Organization Monday said there was a high risk of a cholera epidemic after flooding in Kinshasa, the teeming and ramshackle capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "In a big city like Kinshasa, which has between 10 and 12 million inhabitants, the rains and the floods make the risk of a spread of this epidemic very high," the WHO's Africa director Matshidiso R. Moeti said at a press briefing. Since a cholera outbreak was first reported in...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday complained of a lack of humanitarian support after their refusal to register on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion. "We've had no more assistance from humanitarian organisations since January 1, 2018, still less from the (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)," spokeswoman for the group Francoise Ndayisenga told AFP. The refugees belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called Zebiya, who claims to have had several visions of the Virgin Mary in north Burundi...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Floods and mudslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo's chaotic capital Kinshasa have caused cholera cases to rise over five-fold to more than 100 a week, medical charity MSF said Tuesday. "In past weeks we registered about 20 cases a week on average. At present, we have more than 100 each week," said Jean Liyolongo from Medecins sans Frontieres. He said the spurt began in the first week of January in Africa's third largest city which is home to about...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
DR Congo started two days of national mourning Monday for 48 people killed by floods and mudslides in the capital Kinshasa amid concerns of a cholera outbreak in the vast city of 10 million. The mid-week fatalities following torrential rain wreaked havoc on flimsy homes which were flattened by mudslides. "I am here to survey the damage first-hand," said Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, visiting the working-class districts of Bandal and Kitambo of the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo. He...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Hundreds of Sudanese students from the University of Khartoum threw stones at anti-riot police Monday on a third day of protests against soaring bread prices, an AFP correspondent reported. Bread prices more than doubled last week as flour manufacturers raised prices on dwindling wheat supplies after the government decided to stop importing grain and allowed private companies to do so. Sporadic anti-government protests have been held since Saturday in some parts of the country following the price rise. They were...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The United Nations on Friday set up a special investigation of the attack that killed 15 UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month and wounded 43 others. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Dmitry Titov, a Russian national who has worked in UN peacekeeping to lead the special...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Floods and mudslides killed 44 people in shantytowns in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, the third largest metropolis in Africa, an official said Friday. "We have a final toll of 44 deaths," said provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli. An earlier toll put the number of dead at 37. Three-quarters of homes in Kinshasa are slums which have no access to sanitation or electricity, according to Corneille Kanene, former head of UN-Habitat. Torrential rains and...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The morning light showed a scene of desolation as people in Ngaliema surveyed the wreckage of shanty homes swept away by killer floods and landslips. Among the 44 people who perished overnight Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, were a teenager, Brunelle, her sister Gladys, and Gladys' baby. Their home of makeshift yellowish clay bricks, located at the foot of a steep slope literally dissolved after the waters struck, neighbours said. "The emergency services came, but...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Thirty-seven people died overnight when torrential rain and mudslides swept though shanty homes in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authorities said Thursday. The provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli, said many of the dead, which included "two or three drowned children," had lived in Ngaliema, a poor hillside community that was particularly hit. "There has been not only flooding but also landslips, and several houses have collapsed," Weloli said. Flooding is a major peril for residents of Kinshasa, a chaotic city with a population of around 10 million people
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
A soldier and six Mai-Mai militiamen died in clashes Thursday in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ugandan border, the Congolese army said. Since the beginning of 2017, Mai-Mai militias have regularly attacked Congolese army positions in the region. The lastest clashes between government forces and the militia began at around 8am (0600 GMT), local residents in Kasindi, in North Kivu province, said. Kasindi houses one of the main customs posts in the eastern DRC and which processes a large flow of merchandise from Uganda.
(AFP 12/21/17)
State employees of the Democratic Republic of Congo helped organise the mission trip of two UN experts to the central Kasai region where they were killed, according to a Reuters and Radio France Internationale (RFI) report. The revelation that "four state agents and associates" may have been involved in the murders appears to contradict the official account by Congolese government officials, who have maintained that no state employees were involved. Officials have also said they did not know the pair were in the area. Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean national and American Michael Sharp were killed in March while investigating reports...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Security forces and an army-backed militia planned massacres in an opposition stronghold in the Democratic Republic of Congo, human rights activists charged Wednesday, calling the killings "crimes against humanity". The southern Kasai region suffered "one of the worst human rights crises in the world" between March and July, the Paris-based International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) said in a report compiled with partner rights groups in the country. It includes heart-rending testimony such as that of a 27-year-old woman who described...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Four people were killed and five injured late Monday when a freight train derailed in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officials said. The accident happened at the village of Bena-Kadiebue, 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of Kananga, the capital of Central Kasai province. "The toll is still provisional, because the freight cars are lying on their side," Francois Mutambue, a senior official with the national railway company at Kananga, told AFP on Tuesday. "Sand deposits" on the track were to blame for the accident, he said. Railways accidents in DRC are frequent and often deadly. Decrepit track and ageing locomotives are the most-cited causes.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
International war crimes judges on Friday awarded $10 million in landmark reparations to "hundreds or thousands" of former child soldiers left brutalised and stigmatised after being conscripted into a ruthless Congolese militia. Warlord Thomas Lubanga, 56, was jailed for 14 years after being convicted in 2012 at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of abducting boys and girls and press-ganging them into his Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) in the eastern Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The judges...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
The UN's chief peacekeeper was in eastern DR Congo on Friday to visit those wounded in last week's deadly ambush that killed 14, the worst attack on a peacekeeping mission in 24 years. A week after the bloodshed, Jean-Pierre Lacroix was in Goma where he visited around 30 of those injured in the December 7 attack in North Kivu province which targeted a base of the UN's MONUSCO force. The UN said the ambush, which sparked a prolonged gun battle...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Four people drowned while fleeing an attack by a militia group on a mining area in the violence-ridden northeast of DR Congo, local sources said Wednesday. The victims died in the Ituri river attempting to escape the Mai-Mai Simba militia group in the mineral-rich Ituri province on Saturday, according to human rights group Convention for the Development of Forest Peoples and local official Idris Koma Kokodila. Forty-six people were also believed to have been abducted by the militia and used to carry loads from the site, a remote area 180 kilometres (110 miles) north of Bunia, a city near the troubled border with Uganda.

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