Tuesday 22 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/28/13)
PARIS, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Disappointment over the lack of democratic progress in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya is understandable, but the so-called Arab Spring of 2011 will take time to mature, analysts say, warning that the process will be chaotic. "We have to stop using seasonal metaphors. We are in a revolutionary process that will take at least a decade," says Karim Emile Bitar, an expert on Arab affairs at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations. "And 'revolutionary process' means revolution, counter-revolution, efforts to fix the revolution, and that's exactly what is happening," he added. In Egypt, the army ousted democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood; Tunisia has seen sometimes violent demonstrations against the...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/13)
Kinshasa has issued international arrest warrants for four leaders of the Congolese rebel group M23 who have found shelter in Rwanda, the government spokesman said Friday. The Democratic Republic of Congo issued the warrants on Thursday against the four, who have also been slapped with sanctions by the United Nations, Lambert Mende said in a statement. One warrant targets Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero, a bishop and former chairman of the M23, as well as Baudouin Ngaruye, described in the statement as a "self-proclaimed M23 brigade general." The two other warrants were for commanders Eric Badege and Innocent Zimurinda. All four are accused of "war crimes, crimes against humanity including murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual slavery, ethnic persecution" and several other charges...
(Huffingtonpost 07/27/13)
South Africa's failure to successfully engage some of Africa's most troublesome conflict zones has undermined the country's credibility and cast doubt about whether South Africa should be perceived as the continent's regional military and political leader. Ineffectual leadership is at the heart of the matter. President Zuma has made some dubious decisions regarding South Africa's regional foreign policy, and his inability to meaningfully address the plethora of domestic problems facing the country raises question about its suitability as Africa's de facto leader. Attempts to promote human rights -- a trademark of South Africa's foreign policy for the past 20 years -- have resulted in the adoption of some erratic policy decisions. For example, the South African government has numerous times...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/13)
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday led calls at the United Nations for an end to foreign backing for rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Without naming any country -- but in a message aimed at Rwanda -- Kerry told the UN Security Council the United States is "deeply concerned" about reports of new external support for M23 rebels battling government forces. "I want to be emphatic here today, all parties must immediately end their support for armed rebel groups. All governments must hold human rights violators and abusers accountable," Kerry told a special meeting on the region where millions have died in conflict in the past two decades. The 15-nation Security Council, which currently includes Rwanda,...
(New Vision 07/26/13)
KAMPALA - The Ugandan, Kenyan and Rwandan tax bodies are working out a deal that will link their tax systems with cargo being verified in Mombasa to boost tax collections, after international taxes missed targets. Annual tax collections for the financial year 2012/13 recorded a 1.86% deficit with sh7.15trillion collected, some sh135.19b off targets. Allen Kagina, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner general, revealed that the tax body will create a central processing area for all customs clearances to improve service delivery. “Verification of taxes will be done in Mombasa while payments will be done in Uganda. Discussions are still on going,” she said. “The business community will also be able to use one insurance bond for East Africa to...
(Irish Times 07/26/13)
Former president tells UN security council violence has become ‘accepted normal’. Mary Robinson, the United Nations special envoy for Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, said there are “credible reports” that countries that signed a regional peace deal are supporting rebel groups. The former Irish president told the UN security council that the latest fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has had “devastating consequences” on civilians in the region. “Not a day goes by without a report of killings, rape, sexual assault and displacement of people in eastern DRC,” said Mrs Robinson who assumed the envoy role four months ago. “What strikes me is the lack of outrage and horror at this daily toll. It has become the accepted...
( 07/26/13)
Successful elections in Zimbabwe are crucial both for that country's own socio-economic development and for improved security in the southern African region, says South African Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, Ebrahim said the South African government welcomed the fact that the overall atmosphere in Zimbabwe remained calm ahead of next week's elections, with no major instances of violence or intimidation having been reported so far. Ebrahim added that South Africa hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of Zimbabwe's previous election in 2008, when the announcement of the results had been delayed, stoking concerns about poll rigging. Over six-million Zimbabweans who have registered to vote will go to the polls next Wednesday to...
(Business Daily 07/26/13)
Global food prices fell by 2 per cent in the latest four-month period, marking the third straight period of declines, as declining imports in the Middle East and North Africa, and lower demand pushed prices down 12 per cent from their August 2012 peak, the World Bank said on Thursday. The World Bank's Food Price Index showed international prices of wheat fell by 2 per cent, sugar by 6 per cent, soybean oil by 11 per cent, and maize, or corn, by 1 per cent during the four-month period between February and June. The index, which weighs export prices of food, fats and oils, grains, and other foods in nominal U.S. dollars, fell by 2 per cent. Improved weather conditions...
(New Vision 07/25/13)
Kenya said it would cut red tape holding up millions of dollars of imports into its landlocked neighbours Rwanda and Uganda, by letting the countries collect customs on goods as they arrive in its port at Mombasa. Goods can currently face long delays as agents process the paperwork to release cargoes from warehouses at east Africa's biggest port, and later make separate arrangements to pay import duties at Kenya's borders with Uganda and Rwanda. Tax officials said the new system, due to be introduced in August, would clear inefficiencies and blockages seen as a major barrier to trade in the region. But clearing agents in Kenya said it could also cost thousands of jobs in warehouses, freight firms and almost...
( 07/25/13)
Chantal Hebberecht posted to Addis Ababa and Michael Ryan to Kigali. The European Union has named new ambassadors to two of the most sensitive postings in Africa, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Chantal Hebberecht will move to Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous state, from Kyrgyzstan, where she was also an ambassador. Hebberecht, who is Belgian, steps into a vacancy created by the death in late May of Xavier Marchal, who was also Belgian. Before joining the EU's diplomatic service, Hebberecht served in the European Commission, working for a time as a head of unit for Commission's Peace Facility – a funding instrument – with a particular focus on food-security issues. Ethiopia's efforts to develop its economy and reduce its vulnerability to food...
(This Day Live 07/25/13)
African countries and their communities have been told they can effectively end ‘land grabs,’ grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernise the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. This was revealed in a new World Bank report titled Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity released on Monday in Washington, US, which also noted that Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 per cent of the population living below $1.25 a day. The detailed report noted that sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(Reuters 07/24/13)
NAIROBI, July 24 (Reuters) - Kenya said it would cut red tape holding up millions of dollars of imports into its landlocked neighbours Rwanda and Uganda, by letting the countries collect customs on goods as they arrive in its port at Mombasa. Goods can currently face long delays as agents process the paperwork to release cargoes from warehouses at east Africa's biggest port, and later make separate arrangements to pay import duties at Kenya's borders with Uganda and Rwanda. Tax officials said the new system, due to be introduced in August, would clear inefficiencies and blockages seen as a major barrier to trade in the region. But clearing agents in Kenya said it could also cost thousands of jobs in...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
The Obama administration wants Rwanda to stop backing Congolese rebels who are undermining efforts to end decades of violence in East Africa's Great Lakes region. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday said the country needs to cut off the Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebellion, whose fighting with government troops has driven a new wave of refugees into border towns. The announcement comes two days before Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to chair a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the Great Lakes regional conflict. "We call upon Rwanda to immediately end any support to the M23, withdraw military personnel from eastern DRC, and follow through on its commitments under the framework," she said, referring...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/24/13)
(Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday called on Rwanda to end support for M23 rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, saying there was evidence Rwandan military officials were involved. It is the first response by Washington to recent M23 clashes with Congolese government forces near Goma, the largest city in the DRC's mineral-rich eastern region, but stayed clear of directly implicating Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a U.S. ally whose poverty-fighting programs are often heralded by donors. "We call upon Rwanda to immediately end any support for the M23 (and) withdraw military personnel from eastern DRC," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The call comes two days before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chairs a special session of...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
(UN.org 07/22/13)
The United Nations refugee agency is ramping up efforts to aid some 15,500 Congolese at an increasingly crowded transit facility in western Uganda which has become a hub for those who fled renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and hid in schools across the border. “UNHCR and government partners are running 15 trucks non-stop all day transferring refugees and their possessions to the facility,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told journalists in Geneva. The Uganda Red Cross Society, which runs the Bundibugyo transit centre, estimates that more than 66,000 people have fled the fighting last week in DRC’s North Kivu province between government troops and the Allied Democratic Forces, a...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...

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