| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Burundi said Thursday it would not follow through on its planned withdrawal of troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after reaching an agreement over the payment of wages. The EU funds AMISOM salaries, which are disbursed by the AU, but Bujumbura has not received them for months as European diplomats seek to avoid sending money directly to a government against which the bloc imposed sanctions in response to a nearly two-year-long political crisis. "We have found a solution that safeguards our national sovereignty and therefore the issue of the withdrawal of our soldiers from AMISOM no longer arises," Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi's first
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Al-Qaeda linked Islamic extremists in Somalia have released a video showing the execution of a Ugandan soldier captured in September 2015. The soldier, who has appeared in previous propaganda videos, was captured when Shabaab militants overran an African Union military outpost in Janale, southern Somalia. The nine-minute video released late Tuesday shows the bearded soldier, identified as Masassa M.Y., speaking in Swahili to warn his comrades against deploying to Somalia. The video also shows alleged Shabaab attacks in which Kenyan uniformed personnel are killed and weapons, equipment and identity documents captured.
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(AL Jazeera 01/17/17)
REWIND revisits a Fault Lines probe into Somalia's disastrous 2011 famine and the role of US counterterrorism. In 2011, the worst drought in 60 years threw some 13 million people across the Horn of Africa into crisis. In Somalia, ravaged by two decades of conflict, the consequences were disastrous. Hundreds of thousands starved to death, many of them children. In the midst of this human catastrophe Fault Lines travelled to Mogadishu to meet refugees who had fled to the most war-ravaged city in the world to escape an even worse fate, and the aid and medical workers struggling to help them. Fault Lines sought to discover whether aid in this region had become politicised and whether Washington's preoccupation with "terrorism"...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/11/17)
Kenyan police have arrested two suspected members of the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab for planning attacks on churches and other sites in Nairobi, police said on Tuesday. Hundreds of Kenyans have been killed in attacks claimed by al Shabaab, including a 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping mall and a 2015 raid on a university in the northeast. The group says it is waging a war to drive Kenyan troops out of Somalia, where they are fighting the militants as part of an African force. "Two most wanted terrorists and several forged and fraudulently obtained identification documents were seized," according to the statement issued by the office of the police Inspector General, adding the men were detained on Saturday...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/11/17)
Somali Islamist group al Shabaab shot two men and a teenager in southern Somalia on Tuesday, saying one of the men and the 15-year-old had been seen having gay sex, while the other man was found guilty of spying, a senior al Shabaab official said. Hundreds of civilians gathered in a field in the town of Buale to watch them being shot, the second time al Shabaab has killed men accused of homosexuality, the official said, without giving details of the previous killing. Homosexuality and gay sex is outlawed in most of Africa's 54 states and can be punishable by imprisonment. "The judge read their charges publicly and the three men were found guilty. They were executed according to the...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/17)
A car bomb wounded at least four U.N. guards when it exploded near a United Nations compound in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, police said. Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack. "We can confirm that four guards working for the United Nations were injured," Major Nur Osman, a police officer at the scene, told Reuters. The bomb was planted in a car parked in a garage outside facilities belonging to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Osman said. "We are behind the blast that injured at least three U.N. guards this morning," al Shabaab's spokesperson on military
(New Vision 01/05/17)
The donated equipment includes two dozers, four motor graders, four Compact rollers and four front-end loaders. The US government, through the department of state, has handed over non-lethal equipment to support the Ugandan military contingent in Somalia. The equipment support is worth billions of Ugandan shillings, according to a statement by Maj. Robert Kamara, the Uganda contingent spokesperson. The lot includes two dozers, four motor graders, four Compact rollers and four front-end loaders. Others are two trailer tractors, two low bed vehicles, four recovery trucks, two tele-handlers and an assortment of spare parts. James Watters, the site coordinator at the US department of state, handed over the equipment on behalf of the US government. He reiterated his government’s continued support...
(Premium Times 01/05/17)
A total of 136 police officers from Nigeria were awarded medals to mark the end of their duty tour in Somalia, a statement by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said. The statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja indicated that the 136 police officers participated in a medal parade on Tuesday to mark the end of their one year duty term in Somalia. “The officers were awarded medals at a ceremony presided over by the Deputy Special Police Commissioner of the African Union Mission in Somalia. “Somali Police Commissioner Gen Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud was also present, with a delegation of Somali officials.” It said that the Chairperson of the African Union...
(The Guardian 01/04/17)
In this extract from his book, The World’s Emergency Room, Dr Michael Vanrooyen recalls the menace and mayhem of his first humanitarian mission. The moment the back hatch of the C-130 cargo opened at the militarised airport in Mogadishu [in 1992], a wave of intense heat hit me. The hot wind blew fine red dust that covered me before I even reached the tarmac. I knew this place would be unlike any other I had been to before. Unosom, the United Nations Operation in Somalia, controlled the airport, and the property was surrounded by military vehicles, sandbagged posts and razor wire. It was a hive of NGO and UN activity, with shipments of relief goods and aid workers arriving hourly...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/17)
Twin suicide car bombs claimed by the Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab insurgent group wounded nine people Monday at the entrance to Mogadishu's fortified airport and a nearby hotel, officials said. The first blast occurred at the Medina Gate entrance to Mogadishu airport, home to the UN, aid agencies and foreign missions and contractors as well as the headquarters of the African Union military mission, AMISOM. Soon afterwards another, larger vehicle exploded outside the Peace Hotel, popular with foreign visitors to Somalia. The blasts left a scene of destruction with rubble strewn across the road and some nearby villas all but collapsed, however there were no immediate reports of fatalities other than the bombers. "The number of casualties was very minimal compared...

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