| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Eleven people have died and five are in hospital, Liberian officials said on Friday, after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader. "We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola," said Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh, adding samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing. On Wednesday, the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. "It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader,"...
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Thousands of Egyptian Catholics waving the colours of the Vatican flag gathered amid tight security Saturday in a Cairo stadium where Pope Francis was to lead mass. Crowds of pilgrims poured out of buses into the stadium in the early hours of the morning, eager to see the Argentine pontiff in the flesh for the first time. "I'm so happy to be seeing the pope in real life," said Siham Ghali shortly after daybreak. "It's a great honour for me and all Egyptians." Nearby, Jihan John said she was delighted to be attending a mass led by a Catholic pope for the second time after seeing former pope John Paul II when he visited Egypt in 2000. Francis "came to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The fall armyworm - which decimates fields as it marches ever forward - has spread to Angola as the caterpillar eats its way through southern Africa, a U.N. agency said. With Angola the latest country affected, only Lesotho and island nations in the region have escaped the pest, which devours crops in its path, U.N. officials said. Its spread has undermined hopes for a better harvest this year, they added, with swathes of southern, eastern and western Africa infested. "Now...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Libyan naval forces captured two vessels suspected of smuggling oil from the North African country after gun battles lasting several hours west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the service said on Friday. Libyan forces frequently capture vessels smuggling oil and arms off the coast and the North African state has become a haven for migrant smugglers who take advantage of the country's turmoil to ship people across to Europe. Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Libyan naval forces, said Ukraine-flagged tanker Routa and a vessel with an unspecified African nation's flag named Stark were
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The leader of a group calling for the secession of an area in southeast Nigeria, formerly known as Biafra, was released on bail on Friday after being detained for nearly two years, his lawyer said. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) campaign group, has been held at Kuje prison in the capital, Abuja, since his arrest in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. A wave of IPOB demonstrations took...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Kenyan police have yet to take witness statements or gather ballistic evidence from the site of an ambush where gunmen wounded a world-famous conservationist, sources say, and are unable to give details about suspects they said they arrested. Kuki Gallmann, the 73-year-old Kenyan-Italian author of "I Dreamed of Africa," was shot twice in the stomach on Sunday after gunmen ambushed her vehicle when she went to inspect arson damage on her conservation park in northern Kenya. Leading politicians rapidly issued statements on the shooting, which could damage Kenya's tourism industry, and the interior ministry announced on Monday that suspects
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Pope Francis is set to lead a mass for Egypt's small Catholic community on Saturday as he visits the country in support of its Christians following a series of deadly church bombings. The spiritual leader of the world's almost 1.3 billion Catholics will lead mass for some 30,000 believers in a stadium on the outskirts of Cairo. The event will bring together members of all Catholic rites in the country -- Coptic, Armenian, Maronite and Melkite. Egypt's Catholic community is...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis denounced "demagogic populism" on Friday and insisted that violence profanes God's name, in a wide-ranging speech as he visited Egypt to push for tolerance. "Peace alone... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the Catholic pontiff told a Muslim-Christian conference in Cairo. Francis is in Egypt on a 27-hour visit to push for dialogue with Muslims and support the country's embattled Christian minority that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Liberia said Friday that samples from people struck down by a mystery illness are being tested abroad after 11 unexplained deaths, though Ebola has been ruled out. The unidentified illness has affected 19 people in Greenville, southeastern Liberia, who began showing symptoms on April 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed. Eleven people died in the community and five more have been hospitalised since then, the WHO said in Geneva, with the rest discharged. Liberia's health ministry and the WHO...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Twenty-nine people have been killed in three days of clashes between rival factions of a militia group in a village in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, an official said Friday. The two factions are fighting for control of the village of Bweru in North Kivu province, a region plagued by regular flare-ups of ethnic bloodshed. "Since Wednesday two factions of the Mai-Mai Nyatura have been fighting for control of the village. The death toll on Friday is 29 people...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
An unemployed South African man appeared in court Friday charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a mysterious alleged plot to assassinate 19 politicians and other prominent figures. Local media said President Jacob Zuma was on the list of targets, along with several ministers and the Gupta business family who are alleged to have influenced government appointments and contracts. Elvis Ramosebudi, 33, wearing a dark jacket, appeared in Johannesburg Magistrates Court after being arrested on Wednesday. He was remanded in custody and the case was postponed until May 2.
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis landed in the Egyptian capital on Friday to promote "unity and fraternity" with Muslims and Christians, who have suffered a series of jihadist attacks. The visit is a "voyage of unity and fraternity," the pontiff told reporters before he disembarked in Cairo airport to be greeted by Catholic priests and Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail. It is "less than two days but very intense," he said. He was then taken by car to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah...
(Daily Monitor 04/28/17)
Kampala — Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye re-appears before Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court this morning for the routine mention of his treason case. The State is expected to update the court and other concerned parties including Dr Besigye on how far police investigations into the treason case have gone. Should the State inform the court that they are done with investigations; the four-time presidential candidate will be sent to the High Court to stand trial. On the contrary, prosecution...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
At least five soldiers were killed and another 40 injured when a Boko Haram jihadist rammed an explosives-laden pick-up truck into a military convoy in northeast Nigeria, security sources told AFP on Friday. The bomber, believed to be loyal to factional leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi, targeted the convoy, which was conducting "clearance operations" between Yobe and Borno states, two military officers said. "At about 1100 hours (1000 GMT) on Thursday, a suicide bomber believed to be a Boko Haram terrorist riding in a van loaded with explosives rammed into a military convoy at Manguzum village," one said. "We lost five soldiers in the incident and more than 40 sustained various degrees
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A Burkina Faso court has postponed the start of the trial of ex-president Blaise Compaoré and his former Cabinet. The accused are being tried for their alleged role in the violent crackdown on the 2014 uprising that ultimately ended Compaoré’s nearly three decades in power. The much-anticipated trial of former president Blaise Compaoré and almost his entire former Cabinet was supposed to start Thursday. But instead, it was adjourned before it even began. According to sources within the Ministry of Justice, there was a scheduling conflict. The Lawyers' Association of Burkina Faso is holding its annual reunion.
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
More than 95,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan so far this year, the UN said Thursday, as thousands continue to flee war and famine in the world's youngest nation. South Sudan, which split from the north in 2011, has declared famine in parts of the country, saying a million people are on the brink of starvation. The number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan has surpassed 95,000 since the start of 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Chadian lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina has fought for close to two decades to deliver justice for the victims of former president Hissene Habre, who terrorised his people for eight years, leaving tens of thousands dead. Moudeina represented the victims during Habre's trial by a special court created by Senegal and the African Union. AFP asked her if Thursday's verdict upholding Habre's life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity represented a turning point for African justice, and what its implications were for the increasingly unpopular International Criminal Court. - What will be the impact of the verdict? - There will be a significant impact.
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
Although Namibia has achieved one of the fastest cuts in poverty rates on the continent, the country still faces some of the highest levels of inequality in Africa and globally, according to a United Nations official. Kiki Gbeho, UN resident coordinator and UNDP representative in Namibia, made the remarks here on Thursday at the launch of Global Human Development Report 2016. According to Gbeho, Namibia is considered a medium human development country with a Human Development Index (HDI) value of...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
The Burundian senate on Thursday ratified a 50 million U.S. dollar financial agreement with the World Bank's International Development Association to support the country's health sector. Burundian Public Health and AIDS Control Minister Josiane Nijimbere told senators the funding will help an ongoing program to grant free medical services to children under five and to pregnant and delivering mothers. "The four-year program is starting in July this year and is ending in 2021," she said. The new program will also...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Somalia's ambassador to the U.S., Ahmed Isse Awad, says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has informed his embassy the agency will no longer arrest illegal Somali immigrants in their homes or at their workplaces. However, federal authorities have not confirmed that there has been any shift in policy. Awad said the agency reached the decision after his embassy expressed concern to immigration authorities regarding the recent arrests of 11 Somalis in Virginia, Minnesota and Georgia. “Once we found out that 11 Somalis were arrested from their homes for removal, we thought

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