Friday 26 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
Drought and famine seem to be fuelling a resurgence of piracy off the coast of Somalia, the United States' top military chief in Africa said Sunday. Half a dozen pirate attacks have been reported in the region over the last month, after falling to zero in recent years, said US general Thomas Waldhauser. "Some of the reasons we see for that have to do with the drought and famine," because some of the vessels seized have been carrying food and oil, he said. The targeted boats have been small and "very lucrative targets for pirates," he told a press conference with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Djibouti. The US military is advising shipping companies and ensuring they stick to...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
Somalia is keen to strengthen bilateral ties with China in order to hasten the country's reconstruction after decades of civil strife, a Somali minister has said. State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdulkadir Ahmedkheyr Abdi said Beijing has for decades lent a helping hand to the Horn of Africa nation with projects including Benadir Hospital, the National Theatre and the Mogadishu Stadium. "Somalia is the first East African country to establish diplomatic ties with China," the minister told Xinhua in a recent interview. He lauded China for standing with Somalia through a tumultuous journey marked by civil war, terrorism and natural calamities since the two countries established diplomatic relationship in 1960.
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Thursday it had launched investigations into the killing of one of its soldiers in Bula-burte town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia on Wednesday. The Djiboutian soldier was reportedly killed by his colleague from the Somalia National Army (SNA) following an argument. AMISOM Force Spokesperson Wilson Rono confirmed the incident, saying investigation is underway to establish the reasons behind it. "A soldier from Djiboutian contingent under AMISOM was killed by another soldier from SNA on Wednesday after argument between them in Bula-burte town. We are investigating the cause of the incident," Rono told Xinhua by telephone. Mahad Hassan, Minister of Information for Hirshabelle State in Somalia, said the Djibouti soldier had slapped...
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
International charity on Thursday expressed concern about the alarming increase in severe malnutrition among children in drought-hit Somalia. Save the Children said its new study found "very critical" levels of severe malnutrition in two of six districts assessed in some of the worst-affected parts of Somalia, which could spell disaster for a country where livelihoods have already been devastated and the economy crippled by the drought. Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children's Country Director in Somalia, said 7 percent of all children under five in the districts of Badhan and Adado in Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia, are severely malnourished. "We are on the brink of a massive catastrophe in Somalia with the death of three quarters of the...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) on Monday denied conducting air strikes against Al-Shabaab in southwest Somalia on Saturday in which more than 100 militants including 20 commanders were killed. Africom, which has in the past conducted counter-terrorism airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia, said its most recent strike in the Horn of Africa nation was conducted in January. "The U.S. military did not conduct any kind of kinetic action in that area during the timeframe referenced. The most recent U.S. strike in Somalia was conducted in January," Africom said in a statement. According to Africom, Washington routinely works with allies and partners in coordinated efforts to address regional security and stability matters. "We appreciate the Federal Government of Somalia...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
The United Nations and international community have backed Somalia's government and the federal member states for agreeing to jointly fight insecurity, drought and corruption. In a joint statement released on Monday night in Mogadishu, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, the AMISOM, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other partners lauded the political process the leaders achieved during their consultations in Mogadishu. Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating welcomed in particular the agreement reached on the key points of Somali national security architecture. "This agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia. It is a cornerstone of the federal state building process and is a basis upon which strengthened security can be...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Security forces protecting the semi-autonomous Somali territory of Puntland from Islamist militants on the approach to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes haven’t been paid for months. The payment delays, spurred by a 2016 budget crisis, have developed into mutinies, with soldiers briefly seizing government buildings and officers from the Puntland Intelligence Agency resigning, according to local media and the agency’s former foreign liaison chief. Meanwhile, troops in the region are battling factions of the world’s two biggest Islamist-militant groups. Puntland’s president has denied any “real mutiny” has occurred. About 400 miles northwest of Puntland’s main port lies the Bab el-Mandeb, a strait bordered by Yemen, Djibouti and Eritrea that gives oil tankers access to the Red Sea as...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Cholera and acute diarrhoea have killed more than 500 people and left tens of thousands of others sick in drought-hit parts of Somalia since January, the United Nations said Thursday. The UN's health agency said the epidemic had left more than 25,000 people sick, warning that number was likely to double by the end of June. WHO put the number of deaths since the beginning of the year from the epidemic at 524, while the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said 533 people had died. The case fatality rate, which measures the severity of an epidemic by defining the proportion of fatal cases within a specific timeframe, is currently 2.1 percent -- more than double the emergency threshold of one percent...
(AfricaNews 04/13/17)
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary since Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to draw a borderline, the European Union (EU) says it remains concerned over tensions between the two countries, stating that it was bad for security in the Horn of Africa region. ‘‘The EU remains deeply concerned that the present stalemate continues to put regional stability at risk, with potentially negative implications on international peace and security as well as international trade, and hampers regional cooperation and development,’‘ a statement issued by EU chief Federica Mogherini read. The EU maintained that it was in the interest of both nations to resolve their differences and ‘‘to move to a phase of building constructive and peaceful relations.’‘ As part of its...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/12/17)
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) warned Wednesday of a health crisis in Somaliland after 28 people died of acute diarrhoea in the past 10 days. More than 411 cases, believed to be caused by cholera, have been reported since the start of the month with 167 people hospitalised in the drought-ravaged region of northern Somalia. "This outbreak is frightening, as the people of Somaliland are already weakened by the drought and by lack of food," said Abdirasaq Ali Duran, a Somali Red Crescent Society official based in the town of Buhdole near the border with Ethiopia. Many of those affected were herdsmen who live in remote areas, the statement said. "Drought doesn’t just cause thirst,...
(AFP (eng) 04/12/17)
Somalia security forces on Wednesday freed eight sailors who had been taken ashore by pirates after they were chased off a hijacked Indian ship earlier this week, a coast guard official said. "The eight hostages were freed without fighting. The security forces overwhelmingly besieged them and the pirates tried to flee, but three of them were captured," Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, deputy commander of the maritime force in Somalia's Galmudug state said.
(Xinhuanet 04/11/17)
Kenyan soldiers on Monday killed 15 Al-Shabaab terrorists and injured several others in an attack in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Joseph Owuoth said KDF soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) had identified an Al-Shabaab terrorist camp west of Catamaa, about 104 km from the border town of El-Wak, Gedo region. "The KDF/AMISOM detachment from a nearby location engaged the terrorists using artillery and mortar fire and successfully destroyed the terrorist
(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...

Pages