| Africatime
Wednesday 26 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
At least three people belonging to the same family were killed and three others wounded when mortar shells landed on their home in Mogadishu Friday, a security official and witnesses said. The shells struck the southern Mogadishu suburb of Danwadagta near a security checkpoint for the airport in the Somali capital. "Three civilians died and three others were wounded after mortar shells hit their house," said security official Abdi Muhidin. "Two of the dead were a mother and her daughter and all of the victims belong to the same family," said witness Awale Yasin. The attack is the second this week in Mogadishu after a car bomb at a restaurant left seven dead on Wednesday. In southern Somalia, a minibus...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Thursday declared war against Shabaab extremists, offering amnesty to militants who surrendered within 60 days and warning the rest would "face the consequences". "I am announcing a state of war in the country and call on the public to stand with the national army to help fight terrorists," the president, widely known by his nickname Farmajo, told a press conference. His remarks come a day after a car bomb in the Somali capital left seven dead in a restaurant. According to an AFP tally around 80 people have died in bomb attacks
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
A minibus hit a landmine in Somalia on Thursday, killing 19 people just hours after the new president of the troubled nation declared fresh war against Al-Shabaab militants. The minibus was travelling in the southern Lower Shebelle region when it hit the landmine near the village of Golweyn, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the capital Mogadishu in an area hotly contested between the Shabaab and government and African Union troops. "The number of people who died in the blast reached, 19 including women and children, and several others were wounded," Ibrahim Adam Najah, the governor of Lower Shebelle, told local media. Local police official Ibrahim Isack told AFP that "the minibus was transporting 21 people when it ran over...
(Xinhuanet 04/07/17)
Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Thursday declared all-out war against Al-Shabaab militants, shaking up security and intelligence chiefs a day after twin bombings killed six people and injured over 10 others. The president named former ambassador to Britain, Mohamed Ali Sanbaloolshe, the new intelligence chief while Jimale Irfid will be the new chief of defense forces in a reshuffle that saw Sanbaloolshe return to his position three years after he was sacked by former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. President Mohamed also brought back former police Chief Abdihakim Dahir Said to head the police in a day while deputy ambassador to the United States Thabit Mohamed Abdi was named as new Mogadishu Mayor and Governor of Banadir, replacing Yusuf Hussein...
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
Somalia’s president named a new head of national intelligence and army commander, saying the appointments would help the country deal with an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency that stages frequent attacks in the capital. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s changes, which were announced Thursday on state radio, included the reappointment of Abdullahi Mohamed Samboloshe as intelligence chief and the naming of Tabit Abdi as Mogadishu’s mayor. Ahmed Mohamed Jimale, who’d previously commanded Somalia’s army, was reappointed to the post. Militant group al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in a bid to impose its version of Islamic law. It claimed responsibility for an explosion at a tea shop in Mogadishu on Wednesday that killed at least seven people...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
Somali dentist Abdikadir Adem spent all his savings on a battered van to rescue wounded people after he watched neighbors hit by bomb blasts bleed to death in wheelbarrows on a desperate five kilometer dash to hospital. Ten years later, his single van has grown into a fleet of second-hand ambulances whose red, hand-stencilled Aamin Ambulance logo and nasal sirens are instantly recognized on the battle-scarred streets of Mogadishu. Adem's initiative, funded by dollars cajoled out of his medical students and donations wheedled from businessmen, highlights how private citizens in Somalia, Syria and Pakistan can provide lifesaving social services in countries abandoned by their governments and devastated by violence. "It was so hard to watch people dying, we had to...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
Armed men have abducted five aid workers from the central Somali town of Beledweyne, locals have confirmed to the BBC Somali service. The staff, who included two volunteers, a nurse, a driver and a veterinary, were working with the region's Veterinary Medical Association, the privately-owned Jowhar news website reports. "The kidnapped workers were on an immunisation programme in a place 10km (6.2 miles)from Beledweyne town," the site added. No group has said it was behind the abduction yet, but Islamist militant group al-Shabab has carried out attacks in the region before. The abduction comes a day after al-Shabab released four aid worker who were doing work paid for by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the south-western town of Luuq...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
At least seven people were killed and 10 wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded at a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu, officials said. "There was a huge blast at a tea-shop near the security ministry, the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car bomb explosion," said Somali police official Mohammed Ibrahim. Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu adminstration, said "seven civilians were killed in the blast and more than 10 others wounded." Witnesses said the area was swarmed by ambulances. "The blast was huge and I saw ambulances rushing but the area was cordoned off by the police", said witness Abdisalam Sharif.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/05/17)
A car bomb rammed into a cafe in the Somali capital Mogadishu near compounds housing government ministries on Wednesday, killing seven people, officials and ambulance services said. Reuters witnesses said the blast destroyed the cafe and damaged another one. Three cars destroyed and blood stained the floor. Smoke billowed from the scene. "So far we have carried seven dead people from the blast. Casualties may rise," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, told Reuters. Police said the blast took place near the compounds housing the security and sports ministries.
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
Observers warn piracy is making a comeback along the coast of Somalia, after gunmen hijacked two ships in 48 hours and took them to an area known as a pirate haven. On Monday, pirates hijacked a Pakistani boat, Salama 1, soon after seizing an Indian-owned boat, MSV Al Kausar. The mayor of Hobyo, a town on the central Somali coast, tells VOA Somali the Al Kausar, with 11 crew members, is now anchored off the nearby village of El Hur. The Salama 1 was reportedly headed to the same area with an unknown number of crew. Hobyo was a central base for Somali pirates who hijacked dozens of ships for ransom earlier this decade. Mayor Abdillahi Ahmed Ali says his...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
Cholera is spreading in Somalia, further complicating drought relief efforts as the country teeters on famine. Health officials are complaining about a lack of access to some areas due to security challenges. Health workers say at least 300 new cases and dozens of deaths are reported each day. World Health Organization Cholera expert Abdinasir Abubakar said the situation may worsen in a few weeks. “I think it is good for people to understand also this time of the year is not cholera season for Somalia. The actual cholera season will start during the rainy season, which is probably in a few weeks' time. So, we describe this as off-season and we are expecting in a few weeks' time when the...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Xinhuanet 04/04/17)
Somalia and the African Union mission have kicked off discussions aimed at opening main supply routes to ease access to humanitarian aid in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa nation. Senior African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officials are holding talks with government officials on the modalities of opening and securing main supply routes to help facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid to drought stricken communities in the country. Rashid Abdullahi Mohamed, Minister of Defence, said Somalia National Army (SNA) will ensure humanitarian relief reaches residents affected by the drought. He said the initiative will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis and save thousands of lives. "I think that the plan presented was very amazing and we do really appreciate, if it is...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Pirates who seized an Indian cargo dhow with 11 crew members in waters off the Somali coast have taken the vessel to El Hur, near the port of Hobyo in Somalia's semi-autonomous Galmudug state, a pirate leader told Reuters on Tuesday. Aw Kombe also said the pirates were in touch with businessmen in Kismayu over releasing the vessel, Al Kausar. "The traders want the dhow be released without ransom but my friends say they may not release without at least some cash," he added. "They are still discussing." The identity and origin of the hijackers was disputed, however. A Galmudug state official said the pirates came from northern Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland while Kombe, a Puntland pirate leader, put...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group has taken control of El Bur, a town in the Horn of Africa's semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, after Ethiopian forces left, a government official has said. Al Shabaab is seeking to drive the African Union-mandated peace keeping force, AMISOM, out of Somalia and topple the country's Western-backed central government. The Islamist militants also want to rule the country according to a harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law. "Ethiopian troops left the town ... thus al Shabaab captured it today," Burhaan Warsame, Galmudug’s minister for ports and sea transport, told Reuters late on Monday. Ethiopian forces, who are part of AMISOM alongside troops from Uganda, Kenya and other countries, had captured the town from al...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/04/17)
Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group has taken control of El Bur, a town in the Horn of Africa's semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, after Ethiopian forces left, a government official has said. Al Shabaab is seeking to drive the African Union-mandated peace keeping force, AMISOM, out of Somalia and topple the country's Western-backed central government. The Islamist militants also want to rule the country according to a harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law. "Ethiopian troops left the town ... thus al Shabaab captured it today," Burhaan Warsame, Galmudug’s minister for ports and sea transport, told Reuters late on Monday. Ethiopian forces, who are part of AMISOM alongside troops from Uganda, Kenya and other countries, had captured the town from al...
(The Associated Press 04/04/17)
Pirates have seized a small boat and kidnapped its 11 Indian crew members off the coast of Somalia, an investigator said Monday, the latest vessel targeted by the region's resurgent hijackers. The attack on the small ship happened Saturday as the vessel passed through the narrow channel between Yemen's Socotra island and the Somali coast, said Graeme Gibbon Brooks, the CEO of the maritime firm Dryad Maritime. The pirates are taking the vessel to the Eyl area of northern Somalia, he said. The small dhow, a traditional wooden ship common in regional waters, initially was heading from Dubai to Bosaso, Somalia, he said. Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said sailors there are...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...

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