Saturday 17 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
The United States on Wednesday called for an international arms embargo to be imposed on South Sudan following the failure of the latest ceasefire aimed at ending the four-year war. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that President Salva Kiir's government was "increasingly proving itself to be an unfit partner" in efforts to restore peace and urged African leaders to hold it accountable. "The time has come to acknowledge the hard reality - that the leaders of South Sudan are not just failing their people, they are betraying them," Haley told a council meeting on South Sudan.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
JUBA (Reuters) - An internationally backed ceasefire monitoring team in South Sudan said it has asked the U.N. Security Council to say whether leaders violating a peace treaty should face asset freezes, regional travel bans, or an arms embargo. The statement comes a day after Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, urged the body to impose an arms embargo and spoke of growing international frustration with the South Sudanese government. South Sudan has been riven by civil war since 2013 after clashes between troops loyal to former vice president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir. The fighting took on ethnic overtones, killing tens of thousands of people...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Two Kenyan pilots have been seized by rebels in South Sudan after their plane crash-landed, killing one person, the UN said on Wednesday. “There are negotiations on-going, mainly between the company that owns the aircraft and the SPLA-IO (a rebel group),” said David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), at a press conference in the capital Juba. “As negotiations are going on I don’t want to make any comment, it may jeopardise the arrangements,” he added. The SPLA-IO has been fighting a devastating four-year war against the government. The violence has caused tens of thousands of deaths and forced more than a million people to flee the country. Details about the crash landing are sketchy but...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
JUBA (Reuters) - Seventy percent of South Sudan’s children are out of school and the young country risks losing a generation that would make it harder to rebuild after conflict ended, a United Nations official said. South Sudan, which split off from its northern neighbor Sudan in 2011, has been gripped by a four-year civil war sparked by political rivalry between incumbent leader Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, made the warning after visiting some of the areas most devastated by the war. “70 percent of the children are out of school, that is highest in the world. There is too much violence.” he said...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/08/18)
JUBA (Reuters) - The South Sudanese government on Monday declared army chief of staff General Paul Malong a rebel and accused him of being behind a series of attacks last week. Malong, who had led President Salva Kiir’s campaign against rebels, has been under house arrest since May after Kiir sacked him following a string of military resignations by senior generals alleging abuses and ethnic bias. Malong initially fled the capital Juba for his home state of Aweil following his dismissal, raising the possibility he might join opposition forces, before returning to Juba. Malong loyalists started joining rebels and in November, Kiir released Malong to exile in Kenya. South Sudan, which became the world’s newest country after splitting from Sudan...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
JUBA (Reuters) - Clashes have broken out near South Sudan’s capital Juba between government troops and rebels, officials said on Friday, the latest violation of a ceasefire signed last month. The deal reached in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between the government of President Salva Kiir and a myriad of opposition groups had aimed to end a four-year-old war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed. But several violations have since taken place, for which all sides have been blamed. On Friday, the army’s spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said several people were killed after rebel troops attempted to seize...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/29/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - South Sudanese troops raided the home of the exiled former army commander, relatives said on Friday, after his rival was named to command troops in his home region to counter any threats he might pose to the government. Soldiers and National Security agents entered the compound belonging to Paul Malong and assaulted a neighbor while searching for weapons, said a relative who witnessed the alleged incident in the town of Malualkhon in the Aweil region. A second Malong family member confirmed the raid. Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said he had “no official information” that security forces raided Malong’s house. Oil-rich South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when forces loyal to ex-vice president Riek Machar,...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
The Congolese army has stepped up arrests of South Sudanese refugees and tightened the border in a bid to block rebels from seeking sanctuary in its country, officials say. As hundreds fled into the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, after President Salva Kiir's government army dislodged Riek Machar's rebel SPLA-IO from its headquarters in southwestern Lasu, some 18 suspected rebels were taken into detention. It is the first time Congolese authorities have detained a significant number of South Sudanese and may signal a change in Kinshasa's policy towards the neighbouring country, riven by a devastating four-year power struggle. "As of now 15 have been released.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
South Sudan's government and main rebel group on Sunday accused each other of breaking a ceasefire that went into effect shortly after midnight. The ceasefire is the latest bid to end a devastating four-year war which broke out after a falling out between former vice president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir in 2013. In a statement on Sunday, Machar's rebel group the SPLA-IO accused government forces of launching an "aggressive attack" on their positions in the town of Bieh Payam in the north of the country, as well as positions in southwestern Yei county. "These are all acts against the peace process as the government in Juba wants the SPLA-IO to respond so that war continues and they continue...
(AFP (eng) 12/24/17)
A ceasefire between South Sudan's warring parties went into effect just after midnight Sunday, in what is the latest bid to end a devastating four year war. Government and several armed groups signed a ceasefire deal Thursday during peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, to begin from 00:01 hours (South Sudan local time) on December 24. The agreement says all forces should "immediately freeze in their locations", halt actions that could lead to confrontation and release political detainees as well as abducted women and children.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
As South Sudan's warring parties haggled over a ceasefire deal this week, dozens of refugees streamed into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, fleeing what they said was a fresh government offensive. The apparent push to recapture the key rebel stronghold of Lasu came as mediators tabled a ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, which was signed by major parties to the four year conflict on Thursday and is to go into force on December 24. However with South Sudanese rebel forces vowing to take back their stronghold of Lasu in Central Equatoria State -- regardless of the ceasefire -- the fragility of the deal was thrown into stark relief.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
A team of UN rights experts said Friday they were "deeply disturbed" by atrocities committed by all warring parties in South Sudan and called for perpetrators to be brought to justice. During a 12-day visit to the country, which this month entered its fifth year of a devastating conflict, the team encountered harrowing tales of torture, revenge killings, abduction of women and children and sexual violence. "We are deeply disturbed by what we witnessed and heard throughout our visit. The deprivation and range of sexual violence are hard to describe, people are targeted and suffering just for being who they are," one of the rights commissioners, Andrew Clapham, said in a statement. The statement came a day after main warring...

Pages