Saturday 27 May 2017
(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)
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 Sudanese army said on Tuesday that five of its troops have been killed while fighting for the Saudi-led Arab coalition against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen. The army did not specify when the troops were killed, but Sudan has deployed hundreds of soldiers as part of the coalition that is fighting the rebels backed by Iran in a war which the United Nations says has already left around 7,700 people dead and 42,500 wounded. Khartoum joined the Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia in 2015 after breaking decades-old ties with Tehran. The Sudanese military has largely refrained from offering details of its operations within the coalition or of casualties it has suffered in the conflict so far. But in...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
Sudan said on Monday that its decision to make Egyptian men aged from 18 to 50 obtain entry visas was aimed at preventing "terrorists" from infiltrating the country. Since 2004 Egyptians have enjoyed visa-free access to Sudan, but on Friday Sudanese authorities made it mandatory for adult Egyptian men to obtain visas before entering the country. Egyptian women are still allowed to enter without visas. "The decision of imposing visas for Egyptians was taken after consultations between the two countries," Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters. "It aims to ensure organised entry of citizens in both countries and to prevent terrorist elements from entering."
(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)
South Africa will on Friday seek to defend its failure to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted on charges of genocide, at an unprecedented hearing before international war crimes judges. It will be a humbling moment for Pretoria, one of the leading voices in the creation of the International Criminal Court, whose lawyers will be fending off accusations that it failed in its obligations to the tribunal. To the frustration of the ICC's prosecutors, Bashir remains in office and at large despite two international warrants for his arrest issued in 2009 and in 2010. He faces 10 charges, including three of genocide as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western Darfur region. The...
(Xinhuanet 04/07/17)
Sudanese authorities on Thursday announced that 51 civilians have been killed and 28 others injured in tribal clashes in Kordofan region, declaring a one-month state of emergency in the area. Violent tribal clashes broke out last Sunday between Hamar and Kababish tribes in Sudan's Kordofan region. Governments of North and West Kordofan States issued a temporary decree declaring a one-month state of emergency prohibiting assembling and arms carrying in the two states. Tribal confrontations spread in Sudan due to several reasons including banditry activities and disputes over pastures, besides spread of vengeance among the tribes.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
The US embassy in Sudan has condemned a police raid on a church in the capital Khartoum, in which one person was killed following a land ownership dispute. Another person was injured and 13 were arrested in the 3 April incident. The church members were staging a two-week sit-in when the police stormed the property. An embassy statement called the attack "heinous" and said it was "deeply saddened" about the incident at the Omdurman Evangelical School and the Omdurman Presbyterian Church. It says that the police action is linked to a dispute over the land with a private investor claiming to have purchased the property. The church which runs a school on the property was founded by American Presbyterian missionaries in 1924.
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
The United States on Tuesday told Sudan that it would support a drawdown of the huge peacekeeping mission in Darfur if Khartoum shows that it can protect citizens in the war-scarred region. The United Nations and the African Union have ordered a review of the joint peace mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, which was deployed 10 years ago and costs $1 billion a year. "We might not need 17,000 uniformed troops to tackle these challenges," US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting on Darfur. "We need the UN to start using new tools. And we need the government of Sudan to step up." Sudan has long demanded an exit strategy to wind down UNAMID, which has been...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
War crimes judges will Friday hear why South Africa failed to arrest Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir during a 2015 visit, as they mull whether to report Pretoria to the United Nations for possible action. South Africa's lawyers will defend the decision not to detain Bashir -- wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- at a hearing scheduled to start at 0730 GMT at the International Criminal Court. At the heart of the matter is South Africa's refusal to arrest Bashir when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in mid-June 2015, insisting he had "head of state immunity" and allowing him instead to slip out of the country under shadowy circumstances. Judges at the tribunal based...
(Bloomberg 04/05/17)
Sudan will receive electricity from Ethiopia’s flagship dam via a transmission line once Africa’s biggest hydropower plant is complete, the two countries’ leaders said. The line will connect the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River with Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Tuesday. Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir, addressing reporters alongside the premier in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, praised an existing road and telecommunications networks connecting the neighboring nations. He also mentioned plans for the countries to develop a “free economic zone,” without giving further details. The GERD, scheduled for completion next year, is being built at an estimated cost of $6.4 billion, according to a June report by Bloomberg Energy Finance. It’s designed...
(The Associated Press 04/05/17)
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday the Trump administration wants to see “proof” from Sudan's government — not more words — that it is making progress toward peace and protecting civilians in its vast and troubled Darfur region. A review of the 17,000-strong joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, which costs over $1 billion annually, is underway. Haley told the Security Council that the Sudanese government has tried to obstruct its operations “from day one” and “is still failing to protect its people.” “But against all of these odds, the mission has helped to protect civilians,” she said. Mandate up for renewal The Sudanese government wants the joint mission, known as UNAMID, to leave. But Haley said after...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
Clashes between two Arab tribes have erupted in Sudan's West Kordofan state, causing several casualties, state media and tribal sources said Monday. The fierce fighting between the Hamar and Kababish tribes appeared to have been sparked by a theft of camels, a Hamar tribal source said. The clashes began Sunday when Kababish tribesman arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles and started firing machine guns at a market in a village in West Kordofan, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The fighting quickly spread and is continuing even today," he said, adding that both sides were using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). "The presence of police on the ground is very small, and if the fighting continues tomorrow then the...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(Radio Dabanga 04/03/17)
The nine resident European Union (EU) Ambassadors in Sudan have welcomed the announcement by the Sudanese government to open an additional overland humanitarian corridor to famine-stricken South Sudan. The first UN convoy using the new corridor, from the city of El Obeid in Sudan to Bentiu in South Sudan on 30 March, is delivering life-saving aid in a timely and cost-effective way. This adds significantly to the humanitarian corridor between Kosti and Renk, which the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan opened in 2014. It is crucial to maintain the two corridors and consider expanding access to South Sudan with additional corridors, especially in view of the upcoming rainy season, the EU Delegation to Sudan says in a press statement...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
Sudan on Friday rejected a new US travel advisory warning Americans against visiting the country, particularly three conflict zones, due to risks of "terrorism and violent crimes". The latest advisory was issued by the State Department on Thursday and posted on the website of the American embassy in Khartoum. It replaces a previous travel warning issued in January 2016. It said "terrorist groups are active in Sudan and have stated their intent to harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide operations, bombings, shootings and kidnappings". "Violent crimes targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies
(Andalou Agency 03/31/17)
Khartoum moved out of Iranian orbit after joining Saudi-led Yemen campaign in 2015. The Sudanese and Saudi Arabian air forces conducted joint maneuvers on Friday for the first time since Khartoum joined a Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen two years ago. According to a Sudanese army statement, the exercises -- dubbed “Blue Shield 1” -- are being conducted out of Sudan’s Merowe airbase located roughly 330 kilometers north of capital Khartoum. The maneuvers, which are expected to continue until April 12, are “aimed at improving the operational capacities of the air forces of the two participant countries”, the army statement read. Sudan is participating in the exercise with more than 24 aircraft including Russian-built MiG-29 jet fighters, while the Saudi...

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