Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Sudan's counter-insurgency forces have arrested a powerful militia chief from Darfur accused by the United Nations of human rights abuses in the war-torn region, the official news agency said Monday. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) arrested Musa Hilal, a former aide to President Omar al-Bashir, near his hometown of Mustariaha in the state of North Darfur, said State Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Ali Mohamed Salem in a statement to parliament carried by SUNA. Mohamed Salem said Hilal's son Habeeb was also detained, but did not specify when exactly the arrests took place. "They were arrested after clashes in the area but the security situation there is now stable," Mohamed Salem said.
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Ten members of Sudan's controversial counter-insurgency unit have been killed in clashes with fighters loyal to a powerful militia leader in war-torn Darfur, the official SUNA news agency reported Sunday. Clashes between troops from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and fighters loyal to Musa Hilal erupted when a unit of RSF was ambushed near the hometown of Hilal in the state of North Darfur. "An RSF commander and nine other members were martyred when they were ambushed near Mustariaha," SUNA reported. Mustariaha is the hometown and bastion of Hilal, whose fighters have reportedly clashed with RSF troops in Darfur several times in recent months.
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Turkish spies working in Sudan have repatriated a businessman accused of links to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen after he was caught in a joint operation, state media reported Monday. Memduh Cikmaz is accused of giving millions to the movement run by US-based Gulen, who Ankara claims ordered the July 15, 2016 attempt to end President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule. Cikmaz was captured in a joint operation involving Sudanese intelligence after the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) located him two months earlier, security sources told Anadolu news agency. Cikmaz, with business interests in petrol stations and brick factories, was returned to Turkey early on Monday, the agency said. He had gone to Sudan in January 2016 but sources told Anadolu he...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Pope Francis led a special prayer for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, saying the mass murder of women and children is where "war shows its most horrid face". "This evening, in prayer, we want to sow seeds of peace in the lands of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in all lands devastated by war," the pope said in a homily at St. Peter's Basilica. Referring to "walls of hostility" in the two countries, he lamented conflicts in which children have no part, but "which rob them of their childhood and at times of life itself". "How hypocritical it is to deny the mass murder of women and children," he...
(The Associated Press 11/23/17)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on a visit to Russia Thursday that his country needs protection from the U.S. and could serve as a gateway to Africa for Moscow. Al-Bashir, speaking at the start of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, accused the U.S. of fomenting the conflict in Sudan. Al-Bashir added that “we need protection from the U.S. aggressive actions.” The Darfur region has been the site of violent conflict since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government in the capital, Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. The United Nations estimates 300,000 people have died in the conflict and some 2.7 million have fled their homes. Al-Bashir, who...
(The Associated Press 11/23/17)
Tensions between Egypt and upstream Nile basin countries Sudan and Ethiopia flared up again Thursday over the construction and the effects of a massive dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, the waterway’s main tributary. A mostly desert nation of some 100 million people, Egypt fears the dam would reduce its vital share of the Nile waters and accuses Addis Ababa of not sufficiently cooperating on containing the dam’s effects. Egypt and Sudan have historically been allies, but a dispute over ownership of a border strip has poisoned relations, with the Egyptian media now routinely accusing Khartoum of taking Ethiopia’s side in the dispute over the dam. Differences over the Ethiopian dam, which is 62 percent complete, is...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
The United Nations said Tuesday that Sudan had to disarm militias in Darfur before those displaced by the conflict could return home, rebutting a push by President Omar al-Bashir to close the camps. Bashir, indicted for genocide and war crimes related to the Darfur conflict, said earlier this month that the crisis in the region had ended and that it was time to shut camps hosting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs). But in a new report, the UN human rights office and African Union mission in Darfur indicated that Bashir's call was premature. In a statement, the rights office urged Khartoum "to carry out a prompt and comprehensive disarmament of armed militias to create an enabling and...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
A plan by Israeli authorities to forcibly deport to third countries or jail African migrants will affect predominantly Eritrea and Sudanese migrants in the country. Israel is looking to close its Holot detention center for African migrants within four months. The center is home to thousands of refugees. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in a statement last week said it was seriously concerned about the move under which proposals: “Eritreans and Sudanese asylum-seekers and refugees would be compelled to accept relocation to countries in Africa or face imprisonment in Israel.” “In light of the intention to see the departure of infiltrators on a large scale to third countries, we may reconsider the need for the continued existence of the...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
A top US official Friday called on Sudan to stop demolitions of "mosques and churches" as alleged by campaign groups, insisting that Washington will push for human rights and religious freedom in the country. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan also said that how Khartoum promotes freedom of expression and other human rights will be "critical" in deciding the future of relations between the two countries. "The government of Sudan, including the federal states, should also immediately suspend demolition of places of worships, including mosques and churches," Sullivan said in a speech at Al-Koran Al-Karim University in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum on the western banks of the Nile. Activists accuse Khartoum of restricting freedom of religion, freedom...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
The United States is prepared to hold talks on removing Sudan from its blacklist of "state sponsors of terrorism," a senior US official said in Khartoum on Thursday. Sudan meanwhile said it was ready to cut ties with North Korea, in a sign of goodwill towards Washington. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that given the "positive" steps taken by Sudan since last year, Washington was prepared to discuss removing Sudan from the blacklist, which also includes Iran and Syria. "We are prepared to continue discussions with the government of Sudan on this issue ... and to engage with them on all that would be required to have them removed from the list of state...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
The East African Community (EAC) member states are set to ratify the avoidance of double taxation treaty in order to boost regional integration, a Kenyan official said on Thursday. Barrack Ndegwa, Regional Integration Secretary in the Ministry of EAC, Labor and Social Protection, told Xinhua that heads of states of the EAC have already signed the protocol on double taxation. "What is now remaining is each of the six member states to individually ratify the treaty so that it is operational," Ndegwa said on the sides of the International Film Convention. EAC partner states include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Ndegwa said that once the tax treaty is operational, citizens working in other EAC member states will...
(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 to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Somalia and Sudan have withdrawn from the regional 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, with hosts Kenya being drawn to face stiff competition from invited team, Libya, and neighbouring rival Tanzania. The organizers also announced in Nairobi on Thursday that the other invited side, Zimbabwe, will travel for the regional tournament whose start has been pushed back to Dec. 3 despite the political turmoil in that country. Cecafa Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye said the remaining 10 teams had been placed in two groups with the top two qualifying directly to the semi-finals. "I'm in communication with Zimbabwe despite what's happening the team will come. These are some of the reasons we had to push forward the competition also bearing in mind...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
The United States is keen to expand relations with Sudan that have gained a "positive momentum" after Washington lifted its trade embargo against Khartoum, a top US diplomat said Thursday. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan's remarks came as he began a two-day visit to Khartoum aimed at discussing a range of issues, including human rights and religious freedom in the African country. Sullivan is the highest ranking official from US President Donald Trump's administration to visit Khartoum since Washington lifted its embargo on October 12. "Now we begin the process of looking forward to expanding our relationship," Sullivan said at the start of a meeting with Sudanese...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Dozens of Sudanese journalists on Wednesday demonstrated in Khartoum against a proposed new press law that aims to tighten restrictions on media freedom in the African country. "United Against the New Law" and "Free Press or No Press," read banners held up by demonstrators who say the bill empowers Sudan's press council to ban any journalist for an indefinite period if his writings oppose government policies. The cabinet led by Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh is examining the draft, which if passed would go to parliament for a final approval. "The new law threatens the freedom of the press, and so we outright reject it," said Sadeq al-Rizeigat, head of the Sudan Journalists' Syndicate. The new legislation would also allow...

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