Friday 19 January 2018
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
JUBA, South Sudan/KITCHANGA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - In a mountainous camp for displaced Congolese, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wrapped her arm around an inconsolable woman who recounted being raped twice. “It only makes me more passionate, it makes me more determined,” Haley told a small group of reporters traveling with her during her first trip to Africa. “I’ll carry the voices of the women that I met and things that they said.” Dispatched by President Donald Trump to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, Haley’s trip was one of the first tangible signs of interest in Africa by the nine-month old administration.
(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) 10/28/17)
A rebel "general" from South Sudan, Dhiling Keah, briefly sums up the strategic position of his army, eking out an existence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. "We are confined," he says. In July 2016, his soldiers were fighting with former vice president Riek Machar in Juba, capital of the world's newest state, against the forces of President Sala Kiir. Beaten, the rebels retreated over the border into the northeast of the DRC. They trudged hundreds of kilometres (miles), ending up in a camp some distance from Goma, capital of the strife-prone North Kivu province. Today, Keah, 37, exercises authority over a lost army of several hundred rebels who have been disarmed and lost their purpose. The general is held...
(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) 10/26/17)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday was quickly escorted out of a UN camp she was visiting in South Sudan when protesters angry with President Salva Kiir turned up, officials said. Haley, the most senior US administration official to visit Africa, was in Juba to meet with South Sudanese civilians affected by the nearly four-year war and has traveled on to Kinshasa as part of a three-nation Africa tour. "A group of several hundred protesters approached the site", the US mission said. "The group was not protesting Ambassador Haley's visit, but rather South Sudanese President Salva Kiir." "Diplomatic security agents determined that the site was no longer secure and escorted Ambassador Haley and her traveling party...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
The United States' ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, visited Juba on Wednesday, seeking a solution to a nearly four-year conflict that has created a devastating humanitarian crisis. Haley, the most senior official sent to Africa by the Trump administration, is on a tour that has also taken her to Ethiopia and will include Democratic Republic of Congo. After meeting with President Salva Kiir, Haley said the US was disappointed with the state of South Sudan, after investing $11 billion (nine billion euros) in the country under Kiir's leadership. "We are disappointed by what we are seeing, this is not what we thought we were investing in. What we thought we were investing in is a free and fair society...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is due to travel to war-torn South Sudan on Wednesday to meet with the country’s President Salva Kiir – and she is angry. After visiting South Sudanese refugees in Gambella, western Ethiopia on Tuesday and hearing of the brutal violence they fled, Haley asked a small group of reporters: “How can the international community allow this to go on?” The United Nations has warned that South Sudan’s civil war is providing “fertile ground” for a genocide. Kiir’s government has denied U.N. allegations of ethnic cleansing. “At some point President Kiir needs to be held accountable for all of the tragedy that he’s caused these people,” said Haley, who...
(The Associated Press 10/25/17)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AP) -- The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says her government will continue sending aid to South Sudan despite the stalling of a peace process to end the civil war that has killed tens of thousands. Nikki Haley spoke Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after meeting with Ethiopian and African Union leaders to discuss Africa's peace and security challenges. Haley said South Sudan's president "doesn't care if we pull USAID. He doesn't care if his people suffer. That's the concern we have." Haley warned South Sudan could become a breeding ground for extremist groups amid the suffering. South Sudan plunged into conflict in December 2013 after a dispute in the capital Juba between forces loyal...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley will be the highest-ranking administration official to visit Africa next week when she travels to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. Haley will meet with officials from the African Union in Addis Ababa on Monday before traveling on to Juba and Kinshasa for talks with leaders and to meet with UN peacekeepers, said a US statement. Haley "will witness firsthand the UN operations working to address conflict and devastation in these countries, including visits with UN peacekeeping missions and sites of other UN agencies providing life-saving humanitarian aid," said the statement on Friday. President Donald Trump announced Haley's visit to Africa last month during a meeting with African leaders on the sidelines of...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
JUBA (Reuters) - A South Sudanese army commander on trial for his role in an attack on aid workers has been found dead in military custody, an army spokesman said on Friday. The attack by soldiers at the Terrain Hotel in the capital Juba was one of the worst on aid workers since South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013. The rape of five foreigners and murder of their local colleague occurred on July 11, 2016 as President Salva Kiir’s troops won a three-day battle in Juba over opposition forces loyal to ex-Vice President Riek Machar. Lt. Col. Luka Akechak was found dead last weekend, army spokesman Santo Domic Chol told Reuters on Friday. Chol said Akechak had fallen...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
South Sudan on Wednesday renewed commitment to restoring permanent ceasefire, following latest revelations by the UN peacekeeping chief that rising insecurity and tension are caused by lack of political will to halt military operations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol said the government remains committed to the restoration of permanent ceasefire amid ongoing High-Level Revitalization consultation by members from the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). "The government is fully committed to restoration of the permanent ceasefire; we are also committed to implementation of the 2015 peace agreement. And so any accusation on our commitment is not fair, we are doing what we can on this revitalization process," Makol said in Juba. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under-Secretary...

Pages