| Africatime
Tuesday 21 April 2015
(Voice of America 04/20/15)
A fabled park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is under pressure from oil developers. And activists allege the dealings are tainted by corruption. Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to volcanoes and some of the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas, may have its boundaries changed so oil rigs can dot the landscape. At the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, Virunga borders Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and two national parks in Uganda.
(Voice of America 04/18/15)
GOMA, DRC— The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government has signed up for a new plan to stabilize North Kivu, the DRC province with the worst levels of violence and insecurity. The plan's authors say it involves more local consultation than previous plans. The plan is really a continuation of a stabilization and reconstruction program known as STAREC that was launched in 2009 and ran out of funding three years later. By then donors had lost confidence in the program, owing to renewed conflict but also flaws in its design and implementation. The program covered five provinces of eastern Congo and more than $200 million was spent, mainly on building or repairing more than 100 police stations and government buildings, reopening...
(Voice of America 04/18/15)
International health officials say just two capsules a day of Vitamin A reduces the chance of a child dying by 22%. Children without iodine lose 13 IQ points and stay one year less in school. Efforts to promote child health support vitamin and mineral supplements to rectify the problem. They also support breast-feeding and foods fortified with health-enhancing nutrients. But many high-impact programs are under-funded. The new Power of Nutrition fund aims to change all that. The new effort will...
(African arguments 04/18/15)
The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, in which thousands of migrants have drowned attempting to cross into Europe, highlights the urgency there is to find a solution to tackling certain forms of migration from North Africa and the Middle East. Across the EU, mounting internal political pressures have intensified debates about migration and asylum, encouraging policies devised to restrict and control asylum and migration. A recent initiative between the EU and nine states in and around the Horn of Africa,...
(AFP 04/17/15)
Smuggling of ivory, gold and timber worth over a billion dollars a year is fuelling war by funding dozens of rebel groups in Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN report warned Friday. "Militarised criminal groups with transnational links are involved in large-scale smuggling" of "gold, minerals, timber, charcoal and wildlife products such as ivory" of up to $1.3 billion each year from eastern DR Congo, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said. The revenues finance at least 25 armed groups --...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/17/15)
GENEVA/PALERMO, (Reuters) - Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified. Forty-one more deaths were reported in a separate incident. Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal, after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians. The 15...
(AFP 04/16/15)
Nineteen people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in a machete attack in a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has been repeatedly attacked by Ugandan rebels, according to an updated death toll Thursday. "We deplore the deaths of 18 people plus a pregnant woman, who was beheaded," Amisi Kalonda, administrator of the Beni area where the attack took place, told AFP. In all, nine of the victims were beheaded, he added. On Wednesday, Kalonda had reported five...
(AFP 04/16/15)
Human Rights Watch has urged officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo to free seven political activists held by intelligence services and police. "Authorities should immediately release seven peaceful activists who have been wrongfully detained, some since March 15, 2015," the New York-based international watchdog said in a statement released Wednesday. "Security forces in the eastern city of Goma beat and otherwise mistreated demonstrators protesting government repression, including with water torture," the organisation added. The DRC's National Intelligence Agency (ANR) made a wave of arrests in the
(Voice of America 04/16/15)
KINSHASA, DRC— The U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo urged the government Wednesday to exhume more than 400 bodies buried last month in a mass grave, the head of the organization's human rights office said. Local authorities in Kinshasa have said they buried 421 corpses overnight on March 19 in the rural commune of Maluku. The government said the bodies are unclaimed fetuses, stillborn babies and homeless people from the city morgue. However, rights groups suspect that some...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/16/15)
(Reuters) - Security forces in Democratic Republic of Congo have illegally detained and tortured pro-democracy advocates as part of a crackdown before a presidential election next year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday. As many as 40 activists, musicians and journalists were arrested in the capital Kinshasa on March 15 during a news conference organized by Congolese and West African campaigners to promote youth participation in politics. The government says the organizers were teaching armed insurrection. A security source...
(Xinhuanet 04/16/15)
NAIROBI, April (Xinhua) -- Lawmakers from the Great Lakes region on Wednesday vowed to back tough measures to contain terrorism and eruption of conflicts that threaten long-term stability and development in the region. The legislators at a forum in Nairobi stressed that punitive legislation, public engagement and youth empowerment were crucial to fight security threats effectively. "The scourges of terrorism and conflicts have undermined peace, stability and economic growth in the Great Lakes region. We need a collective approach to tackle insecurity in this region," said Ekwe Ethuro, Speaker of Kenyan Senate.
(Voice of America 04/14/15)
West African civil society and human rights groups said the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has kept at least eight pro-democracy activists in secret detention for almost a month. The groups told reporters in Dakar Monday that the Congolese activists must either be formally charged before a judge or immediately released. Several dozen people were arrested in mid-March in Kinshasa and Goma in connection with a pro-democracy youth workshop in the capital. Some were released, but human rights group Amnesty International said others are still detained with no access to lawyers or family.
(Voice of America 04/14/15)
CHICAGO— The United States and the African Union signed an agreement on Monday to create the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, signed a memo of cooperation formalizing the collaboration between the African Union Commission and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(Voice of America 04/14/15)
YAOUNDE, CAMEROON— While indigenous people from central African countries attended a meeting in Cameroon to promote their respective traditions, languages and cultures, Yaounde is taking measures to bring formal education to the nomadic Mbororos and Pygmies. The Ngoimo Baka pygmy community lives deep in the tropical forest of eastern Cameroon. The natural environment is their only source of livelihood. Every evening, villagers assemble at their chief's courtyard to listen to stories and roast meat caught nearby. This day, chief Bengoula...
(Voice of America 04/13/15)
Italian navy and merchant ships rescued a group of almost 1,000 migrants from three overcrowded boats about 48 kilometers from the coast of Libya. One person died before the rescue workers reached the boats. The migrants sent a distress call by phone Friday and were being taken to the island of Lampedusa, following rescue operations conducted into Saturday. In a dawn operation on Saturday, two Albanians, ages 28 and 42, were arrested after police identified them as the smugglers in charge of a boat carrying 37 would-be Syrian and Kurdish migrants, including five women.
(Daily Independent Nig 04/13/15)
A report on the state of marketing expertise and opportunities has been launched. The report which is fallout of a global marketing conference reveals the gap in consumer understanding that local and regional marketers say exists at a global level. According to a statement issued in Lagos by Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), the report contains the key challenges that all brands face in Africa, notably the lack of reliable data, including media consumption and retail performance, as well as...
(Voice of America 04/11/15)
GOMA, DRC— The Red Cross in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is denying that it handed over some of the bodies buried in a mass grave near Kinshasa last month. The organization told VOA it did not hand over any of those bodies and was not involved in the burial. The Red Cross Society in the DRC was reacting to a statement by the interim governor of Kinshasa, Robert Luzolamu Mavema, implicating the organization in the burial. Mavema told...
(Voice of America 04/09/15)
GOMA— An opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo is protesting an electoral calendar that it says will deny many young people the right to vote in local elections this year. Opposition parties in the DRC have been contesting the electoral process for months, with deadly consequences in January, when according to Human Rights Watch, at least 40 people were killed in street protests. The government denies that figure and has said about a dozen people died. Those protests led to the announcement of an electoral calendar, but now opposition activists are contesting the date set for local and provincial elections this year, which they say is too soon.
(AFP (eng) 04/08/15)
Nine Congolese soldiers were killed in an ambush by Rwandan Hutu rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a military source said Tuesday, over a month after the army launched a sweeping offensive against the militias. The attack by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) happened Monday afternoon in eastern Masisi district of North Kivu, said Major General Leo Mushale, who commands forces in the northeast of the country. Three officers were among the dead, including commander of Masisi district Colonel Raphael Bawili, Mushale said at a press conference in Goma, the capital of North Kivu.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/08/15)
(Reuters) - Police arrested five members of a pro-democracy group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday as they protested against the illegal detention of activists in the capital Kinshasa, group members said. Police in the city of Goma arrested the members of the youth movement Lucha as they encouraged residents to participate in five minutes of protest by whistling, honking horns and banging on pots and pans at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT), they said. "The police arrived from...

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