Wednesday 24 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Dozens of Somali refugees including women and children have been shot dead aboard a boat on the Red Sea, Yemeni officials and the International Organization for Migration said Friday. The bodies of 33 refugees were taken to hospitals in Yemen's rebel-held port of Hodeida, a health official in the city said, adding that 35 wounded had also been admitted. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but a port official in Hodeida, held by Shiite Huthi rebels, said the craft had docked and the dead and injured had been hit with light weapons fire, likely ruling out an attack from the air.
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Somali pirates on Thursday handed over an oil tanker and eight Sri Lankan hostages captured just days ago, the Oceans Beyond Piracy NGO told AFP, bringing to a close the first such attack since 2012. "The Puntland maritime police force freed the ship. They made (the pirates) an offer they couldn't refuse and the pirates have left," said John Steed, a former British army officer with the NGO who has spent years negotiating the release of piracy hostages in Somalia. Earlier on Thursday the Puntland coastguard had threatened to use force if the talks to convince the pirates to release the vessel failed. Armed attackers seized the Aris 13 on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu,...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
Oceans Beyond Piracy, a privately funded and independent non-profit organization, announced late Thursday on its Twitter account that pirated Aris 13 oil tanker is now free and the crew are safe. John Steed, a former British army officer with the NGO, also confirmed the release and said the ship is proceeding to Bossaso, a port city in the Bari region of Puntland state in northeastern Somalia. Pirates on Monday hijacked an oil tanker with eight crew from Sri Lanka off the coast of Somalia, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. Local media said the release occurred after negotiations by local elders and officials with the pirates. The details of the negotiations could not...
(Shabelle News 03/17/17)
Forty three people have died over the past 10 days in an outbreak of diarrhoeal infection that is spreading through Bardere in southern Somalia's Gedo region, according to local medical staff. Doctors in Bardere, told media that 34 of the dead were children. Six deaths occurred in the hospital, while 23 people died in various IDP camps in Bardere district. The rest of the deaths were reported from surrounding villages. The hospital, which had been closed for 10 years because of insecurity in the region, reopened last week. Much of the countryside around the towns in Gedo region is controlled or contested by Al-Shabab. A Local doctors said there were 120 patients, mostly children from the IDP camps, currently being...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Coastguards in northern Somalia exchanged gunfire Thursday with armed men aboard a boat heading towards a hijacked oil tanker where pirates are holding eight hostages, an official said. Armed attackers seized the Aris 13 tanker on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. The tanker was forced to change course and head toward the coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, on the northeastern tip of Somalia.
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Authorities in Somalia tracking the pirates who have seized an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew members on board said Thursday that they are ready to use force if talks to free the ship fail. Armed attackers seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. The tanker was forced to change course and head toward the coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, on the northeastern tip of Somalia, whose coast guard has contacted the pirates.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
Maritime police in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland said on Thursday they would attack hijackers holding an oil tanker to free the vessel if efforts by local elders to get them to surrender did not work. Gunmen hijacked the small oil tanker Aris 13 on Monday and are demanding a ransom to release the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, said the EU Naval Force that patrols the waters off Somalia. It is the first ship to be seized since 2012. Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland's maritime police, said they had surrounded the ship, which is docked near the port town of Alula, but had been asked by local elders to give them a chance to convince...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson met the new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in a surprise visit Wednesday to Mogadishu, the scene of frequent attacks by Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab Islamists, an airport official said. "The UK foreign secretary has arrived and he's now meeting with the president," said the official, Mohammed Abdirahman. A source close to the Somali presidency confirmed the meeting was taking place in the Villa Somalia presidential palace in central Mogadishu. Johnson and the Somali leader are set to discuss a severe drought that aid agencies say
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Suspected pirates boarded an oil tanker and forced its Sri Lankan crew to change course towards the northeastern Somali coast, in what could be the first such attack since 2012. The armed men then demanded a ransom for the ship's release, according to the EU Naval Force who established contact with the oil tanker. After sending a distress signal on Monday afternoon, the assailants boarded the Aris 13, taking its eight crew members hostage and forcing the vessel to change course. "What we know for sure is that a small tanker has been attacked and has diverted," John Steed, a former British army officer who heads the Horn of Africa section of the Oceans Beyond Piracy NGO, said Tuesday. "Whether...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/15/17)
Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "The EU Naval Force ... has received positive confirmation from the master of ... Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula," the force said in a statement late on...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
Pirates have hijacked a Sri Lankan-flagged oil tanker, a Somali official said on Tuesday, the first time they have successfully taken a commercial ship since 2012. The Aris 13 sent a distress call on Monday, turned off its tracking system and altered course for the Somali port town of Alula, said John Steed of the aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy. "The pirates hijacked the oil tanker and they brought it near Alula," Mohamud Ahmed Eynab, the district commissioner for Alula, told Reuters on Tuesday by phone. Pirates in the town confirmed they were expecting the ship. The tanker was believed to have eight crew on board, said Steed, an expert on piracy who is in contact with naval forces tracking...
(Voice of America 03/14/17)
The hijackers who seized an oil tanker and its eight-man crew off Somalia are demanding “compensation” for a rise in illegal fishing in Somali waters. VOA’s Somali service spoke by phone to one of the hijackers Tuesday, a day after men boarded and seized the ship about 30 kilometers off the Somali coast, then anchored off Alula, a town in Somalia’s Puntland region. The hijacker said seven men took part in the raid. He asserted that he and his colleagues are fishermen, not pirates. “We have decided, as local fishermen, to resist illegal fishing. We have taken arms to defend ourselves, and we will continue,” said the man, who declined to give his name and did not suggest any dollar...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
At least five people were killed and 12 others injured in two separate car bombings in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials and witnesses said. "More than five people were confirmed dead so far and many others are wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel," said Ise Gure Mohamed, a district police commissioner. Witnesses said the toll from the blast which occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road could in fact be higher. "I saw the dead bodies of seven people but the death toll could be higher, there were seriously wounded people at a teashop close to the road where the vehicle exploded," said Muhidin Ali, a witness. Abdirahman Mohamed, another witness, said he saw as...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
At least five people were killed and 12 others injured in two separate car bombings in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials and witnesses said. "More than five people were confirmed dead so far and many others are wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel," said Ise Gure Mohamed, a district police commissioner. Witnesses said the toll from the blast which occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road could in fact be higher. "I saw the dead bodies of seven people but the death toll could be higher, there were seriously wounded people at a teashop close to the road where the vehicle exploded," said Muhidin Ali, a witness. Abdirahman Mohamed, another witness, said he saw as...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
A car bomb exploded near a hotel on a busy street in the Somali capital on Monday, killing at least two people, police said, hours after another blast killed the driver of a minibus who tried to breach a checkpoint. Police said the blast took place outside the Wehliye Hotel on Maka al Mukaram street. "So far two civilians have died and two others were injured," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. A Reuters witness at the scene counted five bodies on the ground. The hotel was left intact, but the explosion damaged a nearby house. Hours before, a minibus exploded after police shot at it after it refused to stop as it approached a checkpoint in the capital,...

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