Monday 23 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Seventy-eight homes were burned down in remote northeast Democratic Republic Congo in a feud between two villages over accusations of mass poisoning, a local leader said Monday. Men from the village of Umoyo last Tuesday ransacked the village of Jupanduru and torched 78 homes, said Jean-Pierre Ukethmwu, a local chief. "The situation here in Jupanduru is dramatic. The village's two schools are afraid of opening and the population has fled," he told AFP. The two villages lie in the district...
(AFP 10/09/17)
Rebels from a Ugandan-dominated group on Monday attacked a UN military base in DR Congo's unstable east, killing one peacekeeper and injuring 12 others, the UN mission said. The attack took place in Beni where UN soldiers have been battling the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims, a spokesman for the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said. Congolese troops had clashed with the rebels in the area on Sunday. The day before, the ADF attacked around 10 motorbike taxis in the locality.
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
A cargo plane chartered by Democratic Republic of Congo's army crashed near the capital Kinshasa on Saturday, killing all 12 on board, the authorities said. The Antonov transporter had just taken off from Kinshasa's Ndjili airport, heading for the eastern region of Kivu, where the army is fighting militia groups, an airport official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The plane went down at N'sele, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the city, the source said. Transport Minister Jose Makila, in a statement read on state television, said there had been a total of "12 crew members on board" but there were "no survivors
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Five family members were killed after their house collapsed during heavy rain in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said Friday. "The torrential rain on Thursday night caused significant damage. Under pressure from the water, a house collapsed on five members of the same family" in the village of Lushebere, Emmanuel Batunzi, administrator of Masisi territory in the troubled North Kivu province, told AFP. "The five bodies of the victims were removed from the rubble...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
Rebels in eastern Congo advanced to the outskirts of the city of Uvira near the Burundi border on Wednesday, residents said, sowing panic and confining thousands of civilians to their homes. The fighting between the Mai-Mai Yakutumba militia and the army was the latest example of mounting insecurity in Democratic Republic of Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his mandate expired last December. The violence in eastern and central Congo has displaced over 1.5 million in...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
In a scathing report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a senior U.N. official accuses the Democratic Republic of Congo of turning a blind eye to systematic and gross violations of human rights committed by its security forces. The report describes a justice system that shows no independence and allows impunity to flourish, leading to further violence against the people of Democratic Republic of Congo. In her presentation to the Council, U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore criticized the government of President Joseph Kabila for failing to live up to an agreement to pave the way for presidential elections this year and a peaceful transfer of power.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
International wildlife charities are funding anti-poaching squads that arrest, torture and kill indigenous ‘pygmy’ people for hunting in their ancestral forests in the Congo Basin, according to a charity for tribal people. Conservation organizations including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have backed ranger teams who have forced forest dwellers out of national parks in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Congo Republic, said the report by Survival International. Since 1989, the expansion of protected parks has led to the eviction of...
(The Associated Press 09/26/17)
BUNIA, Congo (AP) — She had been orphaned by a brutal conflict, but the 14-year-old Congolese girl found refuge in a camp protected by United Nations peacekeepers. The camp should have been safe the day she was raped. A delegation from the U.N. was paying a visit, and her grandmother had left her in charge of her siblings. That was the day, the girl says, that a Pakistani peacekeeper slipped inside their home and assaulted her in front of the...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Wildlife guards funded by the WWF and other conservation groups have carried out systematic abuses against tribes in central Africa, an activist group claimed on Monday. Survival International, a British rights group, published a report containing more than 200 reported incidents against the Baka and Bayaka Pygmies in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic since 1989. It claimed some of the world's largest conservation organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), have illegally evicted the tribes from their ancestral homelands "in the name of conservation".
(AFP (eng) 09/25/17)
A teenager was killed on Monday in protests against instability in Bukavu, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said. The 14-year-old student died after being hit by a bullet. A further seven people were treated in hospital, an AFP correspondent said. Protestor Robert Njangala accused police of firing bullets in the area where the teenager was killed, after attempts to disperse the crowd with tear gas failed. Education minister Ladislas Muganza said protesters who attempted to carry...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/23/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government forces have been killing civilians in an insurgency-hit region, prompting the latest influx of refugees into northern Zambia, a senior U.N. official said, citing accounts of asylum seekers. Zambia fears a looming humanitarian crisis after more than 6,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in the DRC entered its territory in one month. [L5N1M32S5] Pierrine Aylara, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) chief representative in Zambia, told Reuters that the latest asylum seekers had said they were fleeing Congolese government forces.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Zambia fears a looming humanitarian crisis after more than 6,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) entered its territory in one month, the presidency said on Friday. Thousands of people have been killed and more than one million forced to flee their homes in the DRC’s eastern Kasai region since the start of an insurrection nearly a year ago by the Kamuina Nsapu militia, which is demanding the withdrawal of military forces from the area. Zambia currently hosts some 59,195 refugees and other aslylum seekers, mostly from Angola, the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Captured by militia and accused of being married to a Congolese government official, Kimpanga Caro could smell the fire she was told would be used to burn her decapitated head to ash. Caro, whose husband is a pastor not an official, was freed when one of the militiamen recognized her. She raced back home to find her husband in their ransacked village. They fled south, on foot with their five children, towards a country they heard was safe: Angola. Thirty...
(The Associated Press 09/21/17)
The Congolese orphan girl haunts the U.N.’s top human rights official, even though more than a decade has passed since he heard her story. It was a big day in this town in northeastern Congo: A top U.N. delegation was paying a high-profile visit. But it was also the day, the girl said, that a Pakistani peacekeeper raped her in front of her younger siblings. “What on earth would it take for this soldier not to do it — to...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Thursday called for international support to contain the high number of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nationals seeking for asylum. Zambia has seen an influx of DRC nationals in recent weeks fleeing from unrest in some parts of that country. Lungu said he was concerned over the high number of the asylum seekers entering the country and needed assistance to take care of them. The Zambian leader expressed concern during a high-level side meeting on...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will...

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