| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
The World Health Organization said Friday 116 million children are to receive polio vaccines in 13 countries in west and central Africa as part of efforts to eradicate the disease on the continent. "The synchronised vaccination campaign, one of the largest of its kind ever implemented in Africa, is part of urgent measures to permanently stop polio on the continent," the WHO said. The programme will see all children under the age of five in 13 countries immunised from Saturday "in a coordinated effort to raise childhood immunity to polio," it added. The countries are Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
South Sudan's famine is a disaster created by its leaders, say analysts who argue that while food may save some lives now it is only peace that can bring lasting relief. But peace is as distant as ever with an international community that appears paralysed, while the men ruling over the country's misery are unmoved by pleas for them to lay down their weapons. There is no catastrophic drought in South Sudan, no natural driver for the famine afflicting 100,000 and threatening a million others. Rather there is a nasty, stop-start three-year civil war in which starvation has become a battlefield tactic. "Only a political plan to end South Sudan's national crisis, not food aid, can bring actual famine relief...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A Tripoli court has suspended a deal between Libya and Italy to limit irregular migration to Europe, the unity government's justice ministry said. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his Libyan counterpart Fayez al-Sarraj signed the deal in February to tackle people smuggling through the North African country. Italy pledged money, coastguard training and equipment to assist the UN-backed government in efforts to address Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War II. But an appeals court in Tripoli this week suspended implementation of the deal, the justice ministry said Thursday. "The justice ministry of the Government of National Accord confirms that the court is still
(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...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
The Algerian deputy minister of Finance, in charge of digital economy and modernization of financial systems, Mouatassem Boudiaf, declared on Wednesday March 15th that a digital database for documents related to land conservation would be developed this week. The news was reported by l’Algérie Presse Service. “Starting next week, the State’s domain administration, in relation to land conservation, will be digitalized. The purpose of the operation is to de-materialize transactions by capitalizing on the development of Algeria’s digital economy,” the deputy minister said at the time. The digitalization processes should accelerate land-related processes which are slowed
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
In a debriefing to the UN special rapporteur on environment and human rights last week, the research and publication centre on relations between the third world and Europe (CETIM) denounced abusive expropriations of Malagasy rural land owners. These expropriations mainly profit international mining companies and precious wood smugglers. “Many farmers are displaced, moved or sacked from their own lands regardless of land legislation which recognizes customary rights. From the North to the South of Madagascar, mining and agro-industrial firms get operating permits to the detriment of biodiversity,” said CETIM. Expressing himself on the matter
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
Yesterday, the 5th edition of the forum of currency and digital payment opened at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Casblanca, Morocco. Organized by the communication and events agency Interworld, and VISA, the forum will end today, March 23rd. At the heart of the two-day event are panels, workshops, sharing and training meetings, expositions, etc. The main topic which will be debated at the occasion is “digital banking”, “one of the most significant levers of e-payment”. In details, actors present will...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak left a military hospital on Friday where he had spent much of his six-year detention, his lawyer said. Mubarak had been cleared for release earlier this month after a top court finally acquitted him of involvement in protester deaths during the 2011 revolt that ousted him. "Yes," his lawyer Farid al-Deeb told AFP when asked if Mubarak had left the hospital on Friday. Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters during the 18-day...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
At least 20 people were killed this week as fighting erupted between armed militias in a uranium-rich region of the Central African Republic, a military source said Thursday. Most of the victims were civilians caught up in battles between Christian anti-balaka (anti-machete) militiamen and fighters from the mainly Muslim Seleka in and around the southeastern town of Bakouma, the source said. The final death toll from the violence, which erupted at the start of the week, could be even higher...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
The pregnant Rwandan-British wife of an exiled opposition official appeared in a Kigali court Thursday accused of seeking to form an armed group and revealing state secrets. Violette Uwamahoro, who moved to the United Kingdom in 2004, went to Rwanda for her father's funeral and then disappeared on February 14. Her husband, exiled in the UK, said she had been kidnapped due to his political activities while Amnesty International warned against efforts to "quell opposition voices" ahead of August presidential...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A private South African dormitory housing white-only Afrikaans-speaking students attending the University of Pretoria on Thursday defended its controversial race-based policy and rejected allegations of racism. Named "De Goede Hoop Koshuis" -- or "The Good Hope Residence" -- the privately-owned digs opened in February to Christian students who speak Afrikaans. Speaking to Radio 702, facility coordinator Janli Sonntag said the aim was to preserve Christian values and Afrikaans culture, rejecting claims its policy was discriminative. She said Afrikaans-speaking students had recently been targeted by other students on campus over their language and accused of being racist.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
The International Organization for Migration has offered Libya support in efforts to improve the conditions of migrants in the country. During a visit by Director General William Lacy Swing to Tripoli, Swing discussed the complex migration and displacement situation within the country. He met with Libyan authorities and said that IOM is enhancing its support to the most vulnerable people in the war torn country. “So I visited one of the detention centres, with my colleagues, I was concerned and I’ve told the minister that we want to try continue supporting the government to upgrade and strengthen and improve
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
The UN Security Council voiced alarm Thursday about the deepening humanitarian crisis and famine in South Sudan, with the United States, Britain and France raising anew the idea of sanctions and a weapons embargo. Attacks on humanitarian and UN missions, serial rapes, recruitment of child soldiers and famine: Six years after independence, "all the optimism that accompanied the birth of South Sudan has been shattered by internal divisions, rivalries and the irresponsible behavior of some of its leaders," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Despite the alarm sounded by the United Nations and the international community over this crisis
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
An explosion killed an Egyptian man on Friday in Cairo, the interior ministry said. The blast in the Maadi district, caused by a "strange metal device", killed a 35-year-old doorman as he cleaned a garden, the ministry said in a statement. His wife and two sons were injured in the explosion. Islamist militants have set off bombs in Cairo, usually targeting policemen, since the 2013 overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood politician. His overthrow led to a deadly...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
A Frenchman was kidnapped in Chad in a remote region near the border with Sudan’s Darfur region early on Thursday, France’s foreign ministry said. The man was kidnapped south of Abeche, a mining area about 800 km (500 miles) east of the capital N’Djamena, a French military source told Reuters. There were no immediate reports of any group claiming responsibility or making demands in the area crossed by nomadic groups and rebels fighting the Sudanese government over the border in Darfur. A source close to the matter said officials were leaning toward a criminal act rather than linking it to militancy.
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
The Kenyan government says it will open the border with Somalia to boost trade and allow the flow of people between the two countries. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pledged to help Somalia in the fight against al-Shabab militants and support and train government workers. His remarks followed a meeting he had in Nairobi with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. After a closed door meeting that lasted more than three hours, the two heads of state addressed the media...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The Justice minister of the Gambia Abubacarr Tambadou announced on Thursday in Banjul that the government is to set up a Truth and Reconcialition Commission in six months to look into crimes allegedly committed by the former public officials under ex-president Yahya Jammeh's government. "A Truth and Reconciliation Commission with appropriate reparations for victims will be set up within the six months and public hearings will be expected to commence by the end of the year," Tambadou explained during a...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
Pirates have seized control of a Somali fishing boat to use as a base from which to attack larger ships, police said on Friday, a week after Somali pirates hijacked their first commercial vessel since 2012. Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were dumped on shore, officials told Reuters. "We understand that pirates hijacked the fishing vessel to hijack a big ship off the ocean," said Abdirahman Mohamud, head of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
Pagan Amum, a well-known South Sudanese politician who lives in the United States, is suing a member of his country's diaspora for slander. Amum says a South Sudanese woman who goes by the name of Amiria Ali posted videos on Facebook where she accused him of committing rape and murder — charges that Amum emphatically denies. Amum recently got a restraining order against Ali, who lives in the same city he does: Denver, Colorado. At the heart of his lawsuit,...

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