Tuesday 12 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
The US military has quietly upped the tempo of its operations in Somalia, conducting a growing number of drone strikes against Al-Qaeda affiliated Shabaab militants and other jihadists. Since the start of the year, America has carried out 28 drone strikes in the Horn of Africa nation, with 15 of these coming since September 1, the military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) said. That's a big increase from last year. According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which maintains a tally of US operations in Somalia and elsewhere, there were 15 anti-Shabaab air strikes in the whole of 2016. The surge in activity comes as the US watches for an influx of fighters from the Islamic State group, which has lost...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. China's investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Somalia and Sudan have withdrawn from the regional 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, with hosts Kenya being drawn to face stiff competition from invited team, Libya, and neighbouring rival Tanzania. The organizers also announced in Nairobi on Thursday that the other invited side, Zimbabwe, will travel for the regional tournament whose start has been pushed back to Dec. 3 despite the political turmoil in that country. Cecafa Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye said the remaining 10 teams had been placed in two groups with the top two qualifying directly to the semi-finals. "I'm in communication with Zimbabwe despite what's happening the team will come. These are some of the reasons we had to push forward the competition also bearing in mind...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The Pentagon said Monday that US forces had killed 40 Shabaab and Islamic State fighters in a series of strikes on Somalia that began late last week. The US military has launched five strikes since Thursday on jihadist positions in the Horn of Africa country, killing 36 members of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Shabaab group and four from the Islamic State group, said Colonel Rob Manning, a spokesman. "In coordination with the federal government of Somalia, US forces conducted five airstrikes in Somalia against Al-Shabaab and ISIS, from November 9 to the 12th, removing more than 40 terrorists from the battlefield," Manning said. The strikes were carried out by the US Africa Command, and followed two devastating attacks attributed to Islamic...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
Officials in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland counted votes from a presidential election Tuesday, with a social media blackout expected to last several days until results are announced. The northern territory, which declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, hopes its third presidential election will bolster its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from its troubled neighbour. The counting process "may take a couple of days before it finishes and the result is announced, it can be between 16th and 18th of this month," said election commission chairman Abdikadir Iman Warsame. No incidents of violence, unrest or disruption were reported during the day's voting on Monday. Three candidates are vying for the state's top office: seasoned...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Voting kicked off at 7 a.m. in the breakaway region of Somaliland on Monday as over 700,000 voters lined up in queues to vast their ballot to elect their fifth president. Queues started forming in a number of the stations as voters lined up to vote in 1,642 polling centers. "I am very happy to vote and I will give my vote to the most suitable candidate," Sagal Mohamed told Xinhua. Muse Bihi Abdi will be defending the ruling party seat while former House Speaker Abdirahman Irro is vying in Wadani ticket. Faisal Ali Warabe is running under Justice and Development Party (UCID). This is the first poll in Somaliland to use a new voter registration system, which itself marks...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
Polls have closed and the counting of votes has begun in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Somaliland which is electing their fifth president Monday as the ruling party faces a strong challenge from opposition candidates. Results are expected by Friday. The Somaliland government will block access to social media during the vote-counting period to try to prevent the spread of rumors about election results. More than 700,000 voters registered to cast their votes at more than 1,600 polling stations across Somaliland amid tight security in the peaceful enclave. This election was be the first in Africa one to use iris-scan biometric technology to prevent anyone from voting more than once, said Somaliland’s electoral officials. Three candidates are running for president following...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Somalia on Tuesday vowed to intensify military operations against Islamist State (IS) and Al-Shabaab militants to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation. Information Minister Abdurahman Omar Osman said the government will use all available resources, including foreign military support from international partners, to flush out terrorists from Somalia. "The government will continue the military operations, including the use of airstrikes, against Al-Shabaab in response to the cowardly attacks against civilians, as well as on Somali security forces and AMISOM," Osman said in a statement issued in Mogadishu. AMISOM stands for African Union Mission in Somalia, a peacekeeping mission operated by the AU with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Osman's statement came after a series of airstrikes by...
(BBC News Africa 11/14/17)
Polls have opened in the self-declared republic of Somaliland in the presidential election. The election will use an iris-based biometric voting system - a world first, according to the election spokesman. Just over 700,000 voters are eligible to take part in the election which is being contested by three candidates. One of the observers, Susan Mwape from Zambia, told the BBC that they will be monitoring all aspects of the election including the "technical competence of electoral commission staff." Rashid Abdi, from the International Crisis Group, told the BBC's Newsday programme if Somaliland "pulls off another credible election" it will improve its push for independence. Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-41967141?ns_mchannel=social&ns...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
U.S. forces say they have carried out three drone strikes within 24 hours in Somalia, stepping up their campaign against the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab and the Islamic State group. The strikes by unmanned drones killed several extremist fighters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military command in Africa told The Associated Press Sunday. With these three attacks, the U.S. has now carried out 26 attacks in Somalia against extremist targets in 2017, she said. The latest U.S. strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia’s government, she said. The first strike happened Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m. local Somalia time and it killed one fighter for the extremists group, al-Shabab, said a U.S. Africa command statement. The strike occurred...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
The Islamic State group’s growing presence in Somalia could become a “significant threat” if it attracts fighters fleeing collapsing strongholds in Syria and Iraq, experts say, and already it seems to be influencing local al-Shabab extremists to adopt tactics like beheadings. The U.S. military this month carried out its first drone strikes against IS fighters in Somalia, raising questions about the strength of the group that emerged just two years ago. A second strike targeted the fighters on Sunday, with the U.S. saying “some terrorists” were killed. The Islamic State group burst into public view in Somalia late last year as dozens of armed men seized the port town of Qandala in the northern Puntland region, calling it the seat...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Residents of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland voted Monday in its third presidential poll, hoping to prove its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from troubled Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since. Three candidates are running for the state's top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010. "The procedure started peacefully this morning and we are confident that this election is going to be a milestone...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
An Islamic State faction in Somalia has grown significantly over the past year, carrying out attacks in Puntland and receiving some funding from Syria and Iraq, a report by UN sanctions monitors said Friday. The faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin was targeted by US drone strikes last week in the first US operation targeting IS in the Horn of Africa, US Africa Command said. In the report, the UN monitoring group for Somalia said the IS faction, which was estimated in 2016 "to number not more than a few dozen, has grown significantly in strength" and may "consist of as many as 200 fighters." Phone records from Mumin showed he was in contact with an IS operative in Yemen...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
The self-proclaimed state of Somaliland will vote for a new president on Monday, hoping to continue a series of democratic transitions of power that sets it apart from its troubled neighbour Somalia. The northern territory, which is more tribally homogenous and stable than the rest of Somalia, broke away in 1991 and has been striving to attain international recognition ever since. Three candidates are running for the state's top office, seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition candidates Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in previous elections in 2010. Elections are meant to be held every five years, however the poll was delayed for two years due to drought and other technical issues...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
The US military announced Thursday it had killed "several militants" in an airstrike against Al-Shabaab jihadists in Somalia. The attack took place early Thursday in the Bay region in the center of the country, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Mogadishu. The strike was carried out "in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia," the US Africa Command said in a statement. "Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world," it said. Al-Shabaab was blamed for the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed 358 people, and an attack on a hotel on October 29 that left 27 dead. On Saturday the US mission to Somalia urged...

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