Saturday 16 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Seated in his Khartoum office overlooking the Blue Nile, Sudanese journalist Adil al-Baz no longer fears a crackdown by security agents over his articles since he launched an online newspaper. "We are free to publish what we want on our online newspaper," Baz, a former print newspaper editor, told AFP at the office of Al-Ahdath, the website he launched this year. In a country of increasing media censorship, Baz is among several independent journalists who have left newspaper jobs and launched online papers or websites. About a dozen internet papers have been launched in the past year alone as agents of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continue to confiscate entire print-runs of...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A Turkish Airlines jet carrying 107 passengers from Nairobi to Cairo made an emergency landing in Khartoum on Thursday after a passenger reported a bomb threat, a Sudanese aviation official said. "Turkish Airlines flight 606 made an emergency landing after a passenger on board said he received an email saying there was a bomb on board," civil aviation authority spokesman Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim told AFP. "All 107 passengers have been safely evacuated." He said that when the plane was in Sudanese...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish Airlines flight from Nairobi to Istanbul was diverted after the detection of a wi-fi network called “bomb on board” that alarmed the passengers, the airline said on Thursday. In a statement, Turkish Airlines said the flight made an emergency landing at the Khartoum airport in Sudan, but the flight was safely resumed after security inspections on all passengers and the aircraft. “Experts said the wi-fi network in question was created on board. No irregularities were...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
A Sudanese civilian employee of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in war-torn Darfur has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a minor, the mission said Tuesday. It said the Sudanese police had informed it that the suspect was arrested on Sunday. Both the accused and the alleged victim of the incident in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, are Sudanese nationals, it said. "The mission condemns, in the strongest possible terms, any instance of sexual exploitation and...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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) 11/08/17)
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)
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...
(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) 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,...

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