Tuesday 24 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have entered Europe illegally, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference in Brussels. "We will introduce stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently on the readmission of irregular...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
At least 16 people were killed and dozens more injured after lightning struck a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rwanda, a local official said Sunday. Fourteen victims were killed on the spot as lightning hit the church in the Nyaruguru district in the Southern Province on Saturday, local mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP over the phone. Two others died later from their injuries, he said. He added that 140 people involved in the incident had been rushed to hospital and district health centres, but that many had already been discharged. "Doctors say that only three of them are in critical condition but they are getting better," he said. According to the mayor, a similar accident took place on Friday when lightning...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Rwanda police said Tuesday it had arrested six "masterminds" planning to defy a government order shutting down over 700 sub-standard religious buildings. The clergymen are accused of holding meetings at which they discussed resisting the order, issued last week, to close 714 churches and one mosque for allegedly failing to meet safety and hygiene standards. "After the suspension of churches that did not meet required standards, some church leaders began illegal meetings intended to defy and obstruct the directive," said Rwanda police spokesman Theos Badege. "Police began investigations to find the masterminds behind this illegal act."
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
Rwandan authorities said Wednesday that 714 churches and one mosque would be shut in Kigali for allegedly failing to meet safety and hygiene standards. "Some churches conduct their worship services in shoddy and unclean structures, to the detriment of people's health and safety," said Anastase Shyaka, head of the Rwanda Governance Board, which monitors public and private organisations. "Cases of noise pollution have also been reported while some operate without the required operation permits," he added. He said the shutdown -- which mainly affects Pentecostal churches -- would go into effect Thursday.
(AFP (eng) 02/27/18)
The death toll when Rwandan police broke up a crowd demonstrating against a cut in food rations reached 11, the United Nations refugee agency said Monday. Police had reported five Congolese refugees were killed and more than 20 injured in the incident last Thursday. It followed days of sit-in protests against the reduction in food aid at Kiziba refugee camp in western Rwanda. The UNHCR released a statement saying 11 died at two locations. “This tragedy should have been avoided...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan police fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse at least 3,000 Congolese refugees who had been protesting for two days at a United Nations refugee office in western Rwanda against a reduction in food rations at their camp, witnesses said. “The situation here is bad. They are firing the tear gas,” Pastor Kamanzi, 50, told Reuters from the town of Karongi. The refugees had left their camp in Kiziba, some 15 km from Karongi, to protest...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Rwanda's media watchdog has ordered a US-owned Christian radio station shut for three months after a "vile" sermon against women, it said Monday. The radio station, Amazing Grace FM, broadcast a sermon by local pastor Nicolas Niyibikora on January 29, in which he called women dangerous, evil and against the plans of God. The broadcast sparked outrage and prompted separate complaints from the National Women's Association and the Women's Journalist Association to the Rwanda Media Commission, which oversees journalist ethics...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
Rwanda said Friday it wanted no part in Israel's "internal politics" after turning away two opposition Israeli lawmakers who wanted to discuss their country's controversial plan to deport African migrants and asylum seekers. The MPs said they had come to Rwanda on a "fact-finding mission" to discuss Israel government policy to expel about 38,000 migrants who have entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. As the migrants could face danger or imprisonment if returned to their homelands, Israel is...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/12/18)
MUSANZE, Rwanda (Reuters) - A census of mountain gorillas due in March will likely show numbers have risen this decade, experts said during a ceremony to mark Rwanda’s expansion of its Volcano National Park. The last global survey in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda in 2010 found just 480 individuals of the critically endangered sub-species. Eugene Mutangana, the head of conservation at the Rwandan Development Board (RDB), said an average of 18 baby mountain gorillas had been...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
Uganda has charged 45 Rwandans with terrorism following their arrest at the border with Tanzania earlier this month, a police spokesman said Friday. "We arrested 43 Rwandan suspects at the border with Tanzania on December 11. On further investigations two other suspects were arrested," police spokesman Emilian Kayima told AFP. All have been charged "with carrying forged documents, false identities and the serious charge of terrorism as their intentions were pointing to that," he said without providing more details. The...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...

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