Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Tunisia said Monday more than 930 people have been arrested since social unrest erupted a week ago, fuelled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget. "A total of 937 people are in custody" after acts of violence, theft or vandalism, interior ministry spokesman Khlifa Chibani told AFP. On Sunday, the North African country marked the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that gave birth to the Arab Spring. Chibani said 41 people aged between 13 and 19 were detained on Sunday amid fresh protests. The authorities say that in a week of clashes, 105 members of the security forces were injured, but no record of the number of protesters injured was available. One protester died last Monday in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police arrested 41 more protesters after fresh violent protests against austerity measures in the North African country, the interior ministry said on Monday, bringing the number of arrested to around 850. Protests which started about a week ago erupted again on Sunday, fueled by anger at tax and price increases imposed by the government to cut a budget deficit. A Reuters witness saw youths throwing stones at police cars and setting fire to tires before security forces drove them back with tear gas in the Ettadamen district in Tunis last night. There were also protests in Kram district. On Monday, the situation was calm. ‬The movements (protests) were limited to Ettadamen, Daoura, Hicher and Kram in...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Fighting at the Libyan capital's only working international airport killed at least 20 people Monday, officials said, after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there. Mitiga airport, a former military air base on the eastern outskirts of the capital, was evacuated when the clashes erupted and roads to the facility were closed. Six Libyan aircraft on the tarmac were hit by gunfire, an airport source said. In an updated casualty toll, the health ministry of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said 20 people were killed and 63 wounded in the clashes. It did not specify if the casualties were civilians or fighters.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
PARIS (Reuters) - French magistrates have dismissed a case brought against a group of French soldiers accused of sexually abusing children while on deployment in the Central African Republic in 2013-2014, a judicial source said on Monday. Paris prosecutors called last year for the case to be dismissed because some of the testimony was deemed inconsistent and some elements could not be confirmed, even if they could not exclude that abuses took place. The decision was met with frustration in Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, where repeated allegations of sexual misconduct have helped fuel anger towards French and U.N. troops deployed there. “Our government must do its job and judge these acts here, because they were committed on Central African...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Fierce clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least 20 people, shutting the airport, and damaging planes during what the government said was a failed attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison. The attack triggered the heaviest fighting in Tripoli for months, undercutting claims by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) to have largely stabilised the city. The violence also undermines GNA efforts to persuade diplomatic missions to return there. Automatic gunfire and artillery rounds could be heard from the city centre early in the day and authorities at Mitiga airport, which operates all civilian air traffic to and from the capital, said flights had been suspended until further...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ACCRA (Reuters) - Police in Ghana have seized suspected explosives of various kinds in Accra, the capital, and are holding three men connected to the substances, the regional police command said in a statement on Monday. It did not give details of the arrest, but police sources told Reuters that at least seven grenades were retrieved following a tip-off. “Police is investigating the matter in coordination with the relevant agencies and therefore assures the public to remain calm,” said the statement issued by Assistant Commissioner David Eklu. It asked that anybody with related information should contact police emergency lines.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed. Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year. Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law. “If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - A Cairo prosecutor referred two policemen to criminal court on Monday over the death of a detainee shortly after he was arrested on Jan. 5, judicial sources said. The prosecutor alleges the policemen beat Mohamed Abdul-Hakim to death and detained him without legal grounds. If they are charged, it will be a rare prosecution of members of the Egyptian security forces. Mohamed Abdul-Hakim, known to his friends and family as Afroto, died in hospital shortly after being arrested on suspicion of drug dealing. After his death, 43 people were arrested in clashes with security forces that broke out outside the Mokattam police station where he had been briefly held. A forensics report showed he died as a...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
LAGOS (Reuters) - The militant Islamist group Boko Haram released a video on Monday which purported to show some of the girls kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok nearly four years ago, saying they do not wish to return home. Of the some 270 girls originally abducted from their school in April 2014, about 60 escaped soon afterwards and others have since been released after mediation. Around 100 are still believed to be in captivity. A group of about 12 teenage girls and young women, some of whom holding babies, are seen in the 21-minute video. “We are the Chibok girls. We are the ones you are crying about for us to come back. By the grace of Allah,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - An Airbus A319 passenger jet belonging to Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways was damaged by artillery fire during clashes between rival armed groups at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport on Monday. A Reuters reporter saw the plane, which was empty at the time it was hit, sitting in a hangar with a hole in its roof. Two other passenger jets operated by Libyan Wings airline suffered minor damage from gunfire during the clashes, which caused the airport to shut earlier on Monday. Several planes were being flown across the city to Tripoli international airport - which has been closed since 2014 - to protect them from damage.
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Two people were killed Saturday in an attack on a convoy of buses travelling in eastern Kenya under police protection, said interior ministry and police officials, who blamed Shabaab Islamists. The buses and police vehicles were travelling from Lamu on the northern Kenyan coast near Somalia to Mombasa in the south. Attackers struck at 11:00 am (0800 GMT), leaving one police officer and one civilian dead. The area where the attack took place has been struck frequently in recent years by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants. "There was an exchange of fire between the security team that was escorting the buses and the attackers during which one civilian was shot dead and some police officers suffered injuries," interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Police in Zambia's capital Lusaka on Monday fired tear gas at angry traders marching to the president's office in protest over a ban on street commerce aimed at curbing a deadly cholera outbreak. The 500-strong crowd was trying to deliver a petition to President Edgar Lungu who has become the public face of the campaign against the outbreak that has claimed at least 70 lives since September. "Kill us if you want... it's hunger that is going to kill us. We voted Lungu and we want to see him over this issue," shouted one trader as police blocked them from reaching State House. Police spokeswoman Esther Katongo confirmed that officers "discharged tear smoke to disperse them" but said no-one had...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Morocco on Saturday said it has started the third and final operation to repatriate its nationals stranded in Libya, a stepping stone to illegal migration to Europe. The ministry of expatriates and migration said the operation was launched on Friday and aimed at bringing home 338 Moroccan migrants stuck in Libya. The migrants were to be flown to Casablanca on the Libyan airline Afriqiyah and then transported by bus to their home towns, the ministry said in a statement. It did not say when the operation was expected to be concluded. Since the 2011 fall and killing of its longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Two women carrying goods between Morocco and Spain's Ceuta enclave were killed on Monday in a stampede at the border between the two countries, a rights group and officials said. The stampede took place at the Tarajal II crossing for pedestrians between the Moroccan border town of Fnideq and Ceuta, rights activist Mohamed Benaissa said. Two women in their 40s named Ilham and Souad, both from Fnideq, were killed, the head of Morocco's Northern Observatory for Human Rights said. Known as "mule women" on the Spanish side of the border and "hamalat" or porters in Morocco...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
French investigating magistrates have closed a probe into allegations that French soldiers raped children in the Central African Republic while on a peacekeeping mission, judicial sources told AFP on Monday. The magistrates said there was no evidence that members of Operation Sangaris, deployed to keep warring militias apart, had abused children at a camp for people displaced by the fighting in 2013 and 2014, the sources said. The state prosecutor had last year called for the case to be closed. While admitting "it is not certain that no sexual abuse took place", the prosecutor said that "differences" in the testimonies of the children who came forward made it impossible to establish guilt among the troops. No one was ever charged...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
People in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo paralysed the town and faced off against police on Monday, angered by poor security, local sources said. "Residents, mostly angry young people, last night destroyed Kamanyola administrative centre and burned all the files," the administrator of Walungu territory in South Kivu province, Dominique Bofondo, told AFP. The violence erupted after a money-changer was murdered at his home in the town, which lies on the main road linking provincial capital Bukavu and Uvira. Kamanyola came under attack by an armed group last year. By midday Monday, police fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators who were trying to set fire to a police station...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/15/18)
TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Heavy clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, leaving at least 10 people dead and shutting the airport during what the government said was an attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison. The attack triggered the heaviest fighting in Tripoli for months, undercutting claims by the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) to have largely stabilized the city. It also undermines GNA efforts to persuade diplomatic missions to return. Automatic gunfire and artillery rounds could be heard from the city center early in the day and Mitiga airport, which operates all civilian air traffic to and from the capital, said flights had been suspended until further notice. The fighting pitted the Special...
(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)
Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have appealed to armed groups controlling swathes of the chronically unstable country to stop looting and lay down their arms. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, the former French colony has been battered by a conflict between rival militias that began in 2013 after then president Francois Bozize was overthrown. The bishops made the appeal during an episcopal conference in the capital Bangui on Sunday. "In the name of God, we ask the armed groups to unconditionally lay down their arms," and "stop all sorts of crimes (including) looting natural resources and causing the dysfunction of the state", they said during mass. The closing ceremony of the conference was attended by President...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Islamist militants Boko Haram on Monday released a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the Chibok schoolgirls whose mass kidnapping nearly four years ago became a symbol of NIgeria's brutal conflict. But despite a concerted global campaign for their release, and talks between the government and the militants, the girls shown in the recording vowed not to return to their parents. The 20-minute-long video is the first since May last year, when another woman who also claimed to be among the 219 seized from the town in Borno state said she wanted to stay. Both videos will compound the suffering of the girls' families and friends but also indicate the extent to which they may have become...

Pages