Monday 20 November 2017
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
The US mission to Somalia on Saturday urged all of its non-essential staff to leave Mogadishu immediately following a specific threat against them at the capital's international airport. The warning came just hours after US forces confirmed carrying out their first-ever drone strikes targeting Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the Horn of Africa nation. "Due to specific threat information against US personnel on the Mogadishu International Airport, the US Mission to Somalia has directed its non-essential US citizen employees to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
The US conducted a pair of drone strikes against Islamic State fighters in Somalia on Friday, the first time America has hit the jihadists in the Horn of Africa nation, officials said. The strikes occurred in northeastern Somalia and killed "several terrorists," the US military's Africa Command said in a statement. According to Voice of America, which cited the chairman of the town of Qandala in the semiautonomous region of Puntland, six missiles hit an IS base in Buqa village, 60 kilometers (35 miles) away. "Local residents and pastoralists were shocked and fled from the area," Jama Mohamed Qurshe told VOA. AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Anthony Falvo...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/17)
BOSSASO, SOMALIA S (Reuters) - A wheelbarrow exploded outside a police station in Bossaso, a port city in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, on Tuesday, killing the lone man pushing it, a police officer told Reuters. Mohammed Abdi, a police officer, told Reuters security personnel had stopped a man outside a police station’s checkpoint and then “suddenly his wheelbarrow exploded. Only the wheelbarrow man died.” A Reuters witness saw the debris of the wooden wheelbarrow and the dead porter. Abdi...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
At least eight people were killed and six others wounded on Sunday when a bus they were travelling in struck a land mine on a road in southern Somalia. The incident occurred about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu. "A civilian minibus ran over a land mine between Lower and Middle Shabelle regions. Eight civilians were killed in the blast and six others wounded," said Ibrahim Abdulle, a district security official. Local residents said the road, which passes through territory controlled by Somalia's al Qaeda aligned Shabaab group, was rarely used because of security fears.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
Somalia's deadliest ever attack, a truck bomb in the capital Mogadishu, has now killed 358 people with 228 more injured, the government said late Friday, a major jump in the fatality toll. A truck packed with explosives blew up in Hodan on October 14, destroying some 20 buildings in the bustling commercial district, leaving scores of victims burned beyond recognition. Several experts told AFP the truck was probably carrying at least 500 kilos (1,100 pounds) of explosives. "The latest number...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis prayed in Mogadishu on Friday at a symbolic funeral for more than 300 people killed by the country’s deadliest truck bombing. The truck detonated next to a fuel tanker on Saturday, creating a huge fireball that incinerated multi-story buildings. Around half the dead were burned beyond recognition, said authorities. The government conducted mass burials soon after the blast, in keeping with the Muslim practice of interring the dead as quickly as possible. Religious leader...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
NAIROBI/MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The size and methods of the latest truck bombing in Mogadishu show how international and Somali government efforts to stop the killings are failing, partly because intelligence gathering to counter such attacks is so disjointed, security sources say. More than 300 people were killed in the bombing in the heart of the capital on Saturday, the deadliest attack in the history of the Horn of Africa nation. The Islamist insurgency al Shabaab was blamed for the blasts, which happened when a car bomb and a truck bomb headed for the airport detonated prematurely. Somali security services and the donor nations working with them are both to blame for disorganization in the divisions...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
The Somali capital of Mogadishu is still coming to terms with the Saturday bomb attack which has so far claimed over 300 lives as rescue and recovery teams continue moving the rubble to find trapped victims. As the families bury the dead and at least three countries airlift the injured for further treatment, questions still abound, with little answers coming through. Residents have taken to the streets condemning the attack which the government has blamed on the Al- while the...

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