Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Sudanese security forces have freed a Swiss aid worker who was kidnapped in Darfur last month in an overnight operation in the war-torn region, Sudanese and Swiss officials said Wednesday. The abduction of Margaret Schankel was the first such reported incident in Darfur since the United Nations began scaling back its peacekeeping force in the region earlier this year. Her release comes as the UN Security Council meets on Wednesday to assess the downsizing of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur. "Agents of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services carried out an overnight operation and freed the Swiss aid worker from near Kutum" in North Darfur state, its deputy governor Mohamed Barima told AFP. The Swiss authorities confirmed the release of...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Visiting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Monday held business and security talks in Uganda. The two leaders in a communique issued after the talks in Entebbe, 40 km south of the Ugandan capital Kampala, agreed to convene a Joint Investment Conference in Khartoum to showcase trade and investment opportunities in both countries. They agreed that Sudan's Tarco Airlines should start direct flights between Khartoum and Entebbe, which would greatly improve connectivity between the two countries and promote trade, tourism and investment. On regional security, the two leaders said there is need for a regional-led initiative to find a lasting solution to the South Sudan crisis. "They undertook to intensify efforts, bilaterally and within the...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Sudan's government on Monday expected a deficit in the supplies of crude oil and oil derivatives in 2018, with the import costs estimated at more than 2 billion Sudanese pounds (300 million U.S. dollars), according to a Finance Ministry official on Monday. Sudan's State Minister at Oil Ministry Saad-Eddin Al-Bushra, while presenting a statement to the parliament, announced a declining of oil companies due to accumulation of their debts. He said the country's oil production dropped to 88,000 barrels a day, with an average reduction of 12 percent, attributing that to the decrease in the oil prices in the international market and accumulation of the companies' debts. He stressed the need for the government to commit to paying the debts...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
Rights groups on Monday urged Ugandan authorities to arrest the visiting president of Sudan, who has long been wanted by the International Criminal Court for serious crimes. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir was welcomed to Uganda Monday by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Sudan’s president is here for a two-day visit. As a signatory to the ICC treaty, Uganda has an obligation to arrest Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the ICC for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region. “Inviting an international criminal suspect to Uganda not only undermines the fight against impunity which Uganda has for long championed but also betrays the concerns and interests of the victims of the most heinous crimes,” six Ugandan...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(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 to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(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 all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(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 that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday it was time to shut camps hosting millions of displaced people from the conflict in Darfur as the war in the region had ended. Bashir, wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes related to the Darfur conflict, said internally displaced people should return to their villages and not stay in camps any more. "Darfur has now recovered, and the next step is to empty the IDP camps as we don't want any more IDPs," Bashir said in a speech at a youth convention in Khartoum. "IDPs and refugees have to return to their villages. We will provide security and services to their villages." Bashir alleged that the IDP camps...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
A controversial Sudanese counter-insurgency unit said Sunday it had seized 19 tonnes of hashish in war-torn Darfur, in one of the largest hauls ever reported in Sudan. Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF), usually used to crush rebels in the country's conflict areas, seized two vehicles loaded with hashish after a gunfight with smugglers in the state of South Darfur last week. On Sunday, the security forces showed tonnes of seized cannabis to reporters at an RSF camp in Khartoum. Dozens of blue plastic sacks full of hashish were on display, while some was spread out on a carpet in the compound of the camp. "On Tuesday, October 31, our troops clashed with a gang of smugglers when we ambushed them,"...
(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 continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday accused Sudan of being a "source of weapons" fuelling the brutal civil war in his country as he met leader Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan's civil war that erupted in December 2013, less than three years after it gained independence from the north. Since then ties between Khartoum and Juba have remained tense amid border disputes and mutual allegations of supporting rebels in each other's countries. On Thursday, Kiir fired a fresh salvo at Sudan on day two of his two-day visit to Khartoum.
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir told his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on Wednesday that Khartoum is keen to resolve all pending issues with South Sudan in a bid to improve relations, the official news agency SUNA reported. Bashir's remarks came during a meeting with Kiir, starting a two-day visit to Khartoum to try to resolve border disputes and address mutual accusations of supporting rebels in each other's countries. It is Kiir's third visit to Khartoum since the Christian-majority south split from the Muslim north in 2011 after a 22-year civil war that killed hundreds of thousands. "Sudan is keen to resolve all pending issues ... and activate political and security mechanisms in order to take bilateral relations forward," Bashir told...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Sudan and South Sudan on Monday agreed on joint move for debts exemption. The agreement was reached between Sudan's Finance Minister Mohamed Osman Al-Rikabi and his South Sudanese counterpart Stephen Dheiu Dau in Khartoum, Sudan's Finance Ministry said in a statement. The two ministers further agreed to open the joint border crossings, encourage trade between the two countries and facilitate customs and banking procedures as well as movement of the citizens and flow of commodities and services. They stressed keenness to intensify consultations to enhance the economic and trade ties. On Sept. 27, 2012, the two countries signed an agreement to settle their external debts. The agreement stipulated to form a joint mechanism to make contacts with the international community...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
Thousands of South Sudanese refugees have been left homeless in Khartoum after Sudanese police demolished their shelters over the past few months, the UN refugee agency said Thursday. More than 450,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered Sudan after a brutal civil war erupted in their country in December 2013, the UN says. Khartoum estimates there are some 1.3 million of them in the country. Over the past few months, Sudan's police have been demolishing the shelters of refugees living in Khartum or relocating them without "adequate planning", the UNHCR said. "Latest reports indicate that some 220 shelters in Dar es-Salam's open area were removed by police on 23 October, reportedly leaving some 2,000 South Sudanese refugees without shelter" in Khartoum,...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
Sudan on Tuesday freed a newspaper editor, jailed over an article accusing President Omar al-Bashir's family of corruption, after a local journalist union paid off his fine. A court in Khartoum on Monday ordered Osman Mirgani, editor-in-chief of the independent Al-Tayar newspaper, to either serve a six-month jail sentence or pay a fine of 10,000 Sudanese pounds ($1,400) for publishing the article in 2012 that accused Bashir's family of corruption. Mirgani refused to pay the fine and was taken to a jail in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum on the western banks of the Nile.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrived in Ethiopia on Monday, one of the first senior members of President Donald Trump’s administration to visit Africa, on a trip diplomats hope will shed light on his plans to engage with the continent. Africa is traditionally overshadowed by more urgent issues, and the Trump administration has so far been hands-off. After meetings on Monday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and a senior African Union official, Haley told reporters she hoped this was the beginning of “a stronger relationship with the AU and our African partners.” “The United States very much sees Africa as a very important part of the world. We see great opportunities in...
(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, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...

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