| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Congolese national police accused rebels Monday of massacring 39 of their officers in the violence-wracked Kasai region. The victims were killed in an "ambush" early Friday and buried in a mass grave by supporters of late militia leader Kamwina Nsapu around 75 kilometres north of Tshikapa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai region, a police spokesman said. The 39 massacred police officers had been travelling in two army transport trucks "with a substantial cargo" of material and law enforcement equipment, which their attackers hijacked, spokesman Colonel Pierre-Rombaut Mwanamputu added
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
The International Criminal Court Friday ordered 297 victims of ex-Congolese warlord Germain Katanga to each be paid "a symbolic" $250 in damages for a brutal 2003 attack on their village, in the tribunal's first such award. Awarding both individual and collective damages, the court also found that Katanga was liable for one million dollars of the total damages estimated at $3.7 million (3.4 million euros). Katanga was sentenced by the ICC to 12 years in jail in 2014, after being...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court are expected on Friday to unveil the first compensation awards to victims of war crimes, with lawyers estimating a 2003 attack on a Congolese village caused $16.4 million in damage. Friday's order for reparations for 304 victims of former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga is set to be a landmark step for the tribunal, set up in 2002 to prosecute the world's worst crimes. Katanga was sentenced by the ICC to 12 years in jail...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to an additional year in prison and fined him $324,000 for bribing witnesses during his earlier trial on war crimes. Four other members of Bemba's legal team also were sentenced by The Hague-based court. They were found guilty back in October of bribing and otherwise influencing 14 defense witnesses to try to tilt the outcome of the first trial, which led to a March 2016 conviction...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba and four associates will be sentenced Wednesday for bribing witnesses during his war crimes trial, in the first such case before the International Criminal Court. Hoping it will serve as a deterrent, prosecutors have asked for an eight-year sentence against Bemba, already serving an 18 year-term behind bars for crimes committed by his marauding troops in the Central African Republic in 2002 to 2003. "The type of sentence, whether heavy or light, will send...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
France's ambassador to the United Nations warned Tuesday that drastic cuts to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be tantamount to "playing with fire" as the country faces election turmoil. France has circulated a draft resolution to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission, but is facing scrutiny from the United States which is seeking cuts to UN peace operations. "The DRC is at a crossroads," Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters ahead of a...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
The increasingly brutal nature of fighting in central Congo between the army and local militia is on vivid display in the village of Tshienke, where the bodies of rebel fighters were dumped into a mass grave last month following intense clashes. A visit to this site this month was the first time that journalists including Reuters have been able to see the toll that the Congolese military has exacted on fighters of the Kamuina Nsapu militia, whose insurgency poses the most serious threat to the rule of President Joseph Kabila. Reuters was unable to determine the exact number of bodies in eight mass graves dug in January
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo warned that proposals by the Trump administration to rollback laws on so-called conflict minerals from central Africa risks stoking violence by armed groups in the region. The suspension of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act “in the long run, will jeopardize the stability and security of the DRC” by encouraging an “escalation in the activities of non-state armed groups,” Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated March...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Two foreign experts from the United Nations have been kidnapped in the violence-wracked central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN and Congolese sources said Monday. "What we can say for now is that two members of our Group of Experts are missing and MONUSCO is looking for them," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said, referring to the UN peacekeeping mission in the troubled central African country. Haq said one of the victims was American and other Swedish-Chilean. "They were kidnapped at a bridge over the Moyo river and taken to the forest by unknown assailants," Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP.
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress...
(AFP (eng) 03/11/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday asked the Security Council to send an extra 320 UN police to the Democratic Republic of Congo after a deal to end a dispute over elections stalled, raising fresh fears of violence. In a report obtained by AFP, Guterres said he was "deeply disturbed by the sharp increase in human rights violations," and argued that the new police units for the MONUSCO force would help protect civilians. Two additional units could be deployed to...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
The UN's top rights official on Wednesday called for a high-level investigation into abuses committed against civilians in the violence-wracked Democratic Republic of Congo following the discovery of mass graves. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein praised the DR Congo government for quickly investigating the killings and other severe human rights violations in the isolated Kasai and Lomani provinces, but said a UN probe was also needed. "I commend the swift action taken by the government to begin processes of investigation and...

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