| Africatime
Saturday 01 October 2016
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/16)
Congolese former rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda was back in court Friday for the first time after ending a hunger strike that sparked a two-week stand-off with judges at his war crimes trial. Looking drawn and dressed in a dark suit, Ntaganda took his place in the dock behind his defence lawyers at his trial in the International Criminal Court, with a witness giving testimony. The once-feared rebel leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo is on trial at the Hague-based ICC, where he has denied 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. But saying he was "ready to die", Ntaganda had decided to refuse food "in the ultimate act of protest" lawyer Stephane Bourgon said earlier this month,...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/16)
The United States clamped sanctions on a Democratic Republic of Congo general and a former senior police official on Wednesday in an apparent ratcheting up of pressure on DRC President Joseph Kabila to hold an election for his successor in November. The U.S. Treasury Department action came a week after dozens of people died in clashes between DRC security forces and protesters angered by what opposition groups charge are Kabila's plan to postpone the vote and retain power beyond his...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
Former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, jailed for 18 years for war crimes, has formally appealed against his conviction by the International Criminal Court, arguing his trial was "flawed," his lawyers said Wednesday. Bemba last week "filed an appeal against his conviction", his defence team said in a statement sent to AFP, adding that his rights had been violated to the point that "the Bemba trial, in fact, was a mistrial". The former militia leader was sentenced in June to 18 years in jail after being found guilty at the ICC on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
A top UN rights official called Tuesday for an independent investigation into a surge of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, insisting the country could still avert a large-scale crisis. "There can be no appeasement," said Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. "An independent, transparent and credible investigation is needed to bring the perpetrators and instigators of violence to justice," she insisted in a speech before the UN Human Rights Council. Her comments came after deadly clashes between police and demonstrators in Kinshasa last week, as opposition groups demanded the resignation of President Joseph Kabila.
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war...
(AL Jazeera 09/26/16)
Mobile courts have brought many to justice, but some question their effectiveness in the impoverished countryside. Court started on Tuesday afternoon, a day-and-a-half late. The three-day mobile court hearings focused on sexual violence cases began with the first defendant entering barefoot and wearing dirty trousers and a woman's ruffled top. Accused of raping his eight-year-old neighbour, the man was handed a recommended sentence of 20 years in prison and a 100,000-franc fine (about $102) after about 10 minutes of questioning...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke filled the air at Nairobi National Park in April, a sobering image as 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn were destroyed. Kenya conducted the event to demonstrate that ivory has no value to anyone except elephants. President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his country's support for a complete ban of the ivory trade at the conference for the global conservation body known as CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, South...
(AFP (eng) 09/24/16)
Heavy fighting in the city of Kananga in central Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed many lives, sources said. The violence erupted on Thursday and continued into Friday, with attacks on the city's airport by supporters of a tribal chief, Kamwena Nsapu, who was killed in August by the military, they said. "There was a bust-up in Kananga but calm returned in the late afternoon," DR Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP. "We are having a meeting to assess...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
The UN rights chief on Thursday said DR Congo had used "excessive force" during deadly clashes with demonstrators in the capital and called on Kinshasa to reach out to the opposition to avert a "large-scale crisis" "The authorities need to pull back from their extremely confrontational position and build bridges with the opposition," Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement issued in Geneva, in the wake of confrontations between security forces and opposition protestors in Kinshasa on Monday and...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
The UN rights chief on Thursday directed blame at DR Congo's government for surging political tensions that sparked deadly clashes in the capital Kinshasa this week. "The authorities need to pull back from their extremely confrontational position and build bridges with the opposition," Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement. The comments came after the worst unrest in Kinshasa in more than a year, with police confronting opponents of President Joseph Kabila. The government said 32 had people had...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Next to a mountain of still smouldering papers, Gaston wipes away tears. "That's my desk. It's completely burnt," he says, his voice trembling. The archives of the Kinshasa court where he worked went up in smoke in an attack on the building during two days of deadly clashes in the city earlier this week. Gaston says he watched helplessly as the fire set by a "very angry" crowd swept through the courthouse on Tuesday, leaving him able only to save...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Police in DR Congo said Wednesday that 32 people had been killed during two days of clashes in the capital Kinshasa this week, while the opposition said more than three times that number had died. The wildly divergent figures were released as security forces brought the wave of violence and looting to an end. Clashes between police and opponents of President Joseph Kabila on Monday and Tuesday saw people burned alive, and attacks on police positions, but the worst unrest...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Global conservationists and policymakers meet in South Africa from Saturday to chart a way forward in the fight against escalating wildlife trafficking that could drive some species to extinction. The plight of Africa's rhino and elephants, targeted for their horns and tusks, is expected to dominate 12 days of talks in Johannesburg on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Illegal wildlife trade is valued at around $20 billion a year, according to CITES, and is ranked the...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/16)
The International Criminal Court will hand down its verdict next month against former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba and four close associates accused of bribing witnesses, the tribunal said Wednesday. Prosecutors have charged ex-militia leader Bemba, 53, of masterminding a network from his prison cell at the ICC's detention unit to bribe at least 14 defence witnesses to give false evidence during his war crimes trial. The verdict "will be delivered... on Wednesday, 19 October at 14:30 (1230 GMT) during...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/16)
Shops and petrol stations reopened for business in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo Wednesday but residents kept children from school after two days of deadly clashes between police and protesters. Life was gradually returning to normal in Kinshasa with stalls and public transport running although traffic was lighter than normal in the megacity of 10 million people. Several people have been killed over the past two days, including some burned alive, as clashes erupted between police and protesters calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down. Opposition groups said more than 50 people died on Monday as security forces clamped down on an anti-Kabila demonstration before it had even started.
(AFP (eng) 09/21/16)
Congolese former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda has started eating again after an unprecedented nearly two-week hunger strike in his detention cell in The Netherlands, refusing to attend his war crimes trial. The once-feared rebel leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo has not appeared in the courtroom at the International Criminal Court in The Hague since September 7. "Mr Ntaganda started eating tonight," his lawyer, Stephane Bourgon, said in an email sent late Tuesday. Ntaganda launched his hunger strike to...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/16)
Two days of clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, that pitted the security forces against protesters who demanded President Joseph Kabila's resignation, left at least 32 people dead, police said Wednesday. "The provisional death toll for September 19 and 20, 2016 is 32," national police spokesman Pierre-Rombaut Mwana-Mputu told reporters. During the clashes, a police station and 12 other police positions were looted and set on fire on Tuesday, the spokesman said, branding the rioters "insurgents". "The...
(AFP (eng) 09/20/16)
Several people died in a second day of violence in DR Congo Tuesday, with three opposition HQ buildings torched in a fresh bout of clashes between police and opponents of President Joseph Kabila. The renewed violence came after a bloody day on Monday during which opposition groups said more than 50 people had died in protests calling for Kabila's resignation. The national secretary of the main opposition group blamed a "commando" unit from the regime for torching the opposition headquarters...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/16)
At least 17 people, mostly civilians, were killed on Monday when clashes erupted ahead of a planned opposition rally in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, a minister said, warning the toll was "provisional". It was the worst violence in Kinshasa since January 2015 when a police crackdown on another opposition protest left several dozen people dead. The clashes began during the morning several hours before the rally, which authorities later cancelled, was to have taken place. Demonstrators were to demand the...

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