Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
French President Emmanuel Macron got a rousing welcome Saturday from tens of thousands as he visited the historic city of Saint-Louis, Senegal's former capital, and announced an aid package of 40 million euros for the UNESCO World Heritage site which is threatened by coastal erosion from the Atlantic Ocean. Senegal's second city was founded in 1659 and was the capital of the west African nation until 1957. It also served as the capital of French West Africa, as it was then known, between 1895 and 1902. Macron pledged 15 million euros ($18.6 million) to fight coastal erosion in the sleepy city, known for its beautifully coloured buildings and colonial facades. This will top up a 24-million-euro ($29.9-million) package from the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(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 to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
French President Emmanuel Macron joined megastar Rihanna in Senegal on Friday at a conference aimed at pressuring donors to finance the education of a quarter of a billion children worldwide who are currently out of school. Macron is co-hosting the event organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna is attending as a global ambassador for the organisation. It is not the first time the young French leader and the singer of "Umbrella" fame have met: she visited the Elysee Palace in July after urging Macron to raise French spending on global education in a tweet to her 86 million followers. She renewed her appeal on Thursday, tweeting: "Merci @EmmanuelMacron for stepping up to...
(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, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
An international push to get a quarter of a billion children back to school got under way on Thursday at a conference aiming to fund education in defiance of poverty and unrest. Around the world, 264 million children are not in school, a gap that will keep many of them poor for the rest of their lives, according to organisers of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Co-hosts Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to be joined by the musician Rihanna in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on Friday. The two-day conference brings together donor governments and developing nations which have signed up for an exceptional partnership. The organisers of the event are hoping to...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
Senegalese striker Khouma Babacar said on Thursday that he had taken the painful decision to leave Fiorentina after 11 years to pursue his dream of playing for Senegal in the World Cup. Babacar completed a loan move from Fiorentina, a team he joined as a 13-year-old in 2008, to Serie A rivals Sassuolo with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. "My goal is to revive my career, of course I would be happy to go to Russia," said the 24-year-old who earned his only cap for Senegal last March. "After eleven years, leaving home was not easy, but at a certain point in life you have to make some choices as a professional. I'm here now,...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Senegalese police fired tear gas as angry protesters went on the rampage in the north of the country on Monday after a fisherman was killed by coastguards in Mauritanian waters. Hundreds joined the protest in the northwest coastal city of Saint-Louis, following the death of the young Senegalese fisherman late Saturday. The protesters pillaged shops owned by Mauritanians and overturned cars, setting them ablaze, before police moved in with tear gas to disperse them. At least three police officers were injured as the demonstrators hurled projectiles while chanting slogans calling for local fishermen to be given licences to fish in Mauritanian waters. On Saturday night the Mauritanian coastguard opened fire on a boat with nine Senegalese fishermen aboard which was...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(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 Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Investigators probing a massacre in Senegal's troubled Casamance region said they had captured the organiser of the attack and said some separatist rebels were implicated in the killings. Fourteen young men were slaughtered in execution-style killings in a protected forest on January 6. The bloodbath -- which comes at a delicate time for peace talks for Casamance -- caused some to blame a group that has led a 35-year armed campaign for the region's independence. The separatist group itself blames a fight within the illegal logging trade, which it says is run by corrupt officials. In a press conference, Alioune Abdoulaye Sylla, public prosecutor of Ziguinchor, the main Casamance town, said that out of 24 people in custody, 16 "took...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
A rebel leader in Senegal's Casamance warns his fighters may end a three-year truce if the army pursues a crackdown in the troubled region. Salif Sadio, a leader of the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) which is staging a 35-year-old campaign for independence, issued the warning after a wave of arrests following a massacre in a protected forest. Fourteen young men were killed in execution-style killings on January 6 in the forest of Bayotte. Early suspicions for the bloodbath fell on the MFDC. But the group has denied any role and points the finger at rivalry between illegal loggers, fighting over prized teak and rosewood. Much of it is reputedly smuggled to China via neighbouring Gambia. "The killings were...
(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 sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
Sixteen people are to be prosecuted in connection with the massacre of 14 young men in Senegal's troubled region of Casamance, a source close to the case said on Friday. The accused face charges of murder and criminal association over the January 6 killings in the forest of Bayotte. The 16 suspects, who were arrested on Sunday, also face charges of participation in a rebel movement and possession of weapons without authorisation, according to the source. Six other people detained by police have been released without charge "for the moment", added the source without naming the suspects.
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
President Macky Sall on Thursday suspended all authorisations for logging and ordered an overhaul of Senegal's forestry laws after a massacre connected to the illegal trade in timber. In a statement, Sall said he had instructed the government "to suspend until further orders all authorisations for logging and to immediately proceed with a revision of the forestry code." He also urged the armed forces to "use all necessary means to permanently neutralise all armed groups" operating on national soil. On January 6, 14 young men were murdered, most of them in execution-style killings in the forest of Borofaye in the southern Casamance region. Twenty-two people have been arrested.
(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 the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
A gunman was killed in Senegal's southern Casamance region during a shootout at the weekend with soldiers searching for the killers of 14 men in an area known for its illegal logging networks. A military source told AFP on Monday that troops fell upon an armed group in the search area. "There were clashes. We killed one of them," the source said. Senegalese police said Sunday they had arrested 22 people suspected of involvement in the January 6 massacre, which many have blamed on rival criminal outfits who target prized teak and rosewood timber. The arrests were the first in connection with the killings in a region largely separated from the rest of Senegal by The Gambia, and which has...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Senegalese police said Sunday they have arrested 22 people suspected of involvement in a January 6 massacre of 14 young men in the troubled region of Casamance. The arrests were the first in connection with the killings in a region separated from the rest of Senegal by The Gambia, and which has been the target of an independence campaign for more than 35 years. "Ongoing investigations have opened up useful lines of enquiry leading to the arrest thus far of 22 people, all of Senegalese nationality," a police statement said. A rebel movement in the area has blamed the massacre on a feud in the illegal teak logging industry, ending a period of relative calm in Casamance. Around 20 men...

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