| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
Fresh clashes broke out around South Sudan's second-largest city of Malakal on Tuesday, a rebel spokesman and a government official said, the latest turn in the struggle for the capital of the oil-producing Upper Nile region. The United Nations said Malakal, on the banks of the White Nile near the country's northern border with Sudan, was largely deserted after civilians fled the fighting. "The rebels had been trying to provoke the SPLA all this time because the SPLA has been given instruction not to wage offensives against the rebel forces," said military spokesman Colonel Santo Domic Chol, using the acronym for the military, known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army. "This is in line with the call by the president...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
With very little rain in the last weeks and none expected for two months, more than 17 million people face hunger in the Horn of Africa, the UN food agency warned Sunday. Severe drought since the failure of October-December rains is ravaging Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said in a statement. "The time to act is now,", said Maria Helena Semedo, a FAO deputy director-general. "The drought situation in the region is extremely worrying, primarily in almost all of Somalia but also across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. "As a consequence, with the next rains at least eight weeks away and the next main harvest not until...
(Radio Tamazuj 01/30/17)
Kenya and the United Nations have agreed to restore their fractured relations caused by a dispute over military deployment in South Sudan, according to Kenyan media. Kenya withdrew its peacekeeping troops from a UN mission in South Sudan last year after its mission commander was withdrawn without consultation with the Kenyan leadership. The agreement was reached at a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Addis Ababa yesterday. “I want the United Nations to be reconciled with Kenya. Let us make a fresh start. Kenya is a very important player in the region and I feel that we have to work together to secure peace and security. Let us put the past behind us,” Guterres...
(Xinhuanet 01/30/17)
About 355 Namibian farmers and government staff have benefited from training with Chinese experts on skills from rice farming to compost making, said Namibia's agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika. Through a project under the Tripartite Agreement on South-South Cooperation (SSC) signed with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and China, which started in 2015 and will end this year, Chinese experts were assigned to work with locals to maximize skills and knowledge transfer. Misika told Xinhua that the two-year cooperation has been excellent. The training range from rice cultivation, horticulture, compost making and virology to meat residue analysis. "The introduction of special crops with well-developed roots such as Chinese long beans and pumpkins with stronger roots which have better water...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/17)
A Kenyan court on Friday issued an order blocking the deportation of two South Sudanese opposition figures after an outcry by rights groups over treatment they would face at home. The families of prominent lawyer and activist Dong Samuel Luak and opposition member Aggrey Idri filed an application to stop their deportation after they were detained by police earlier this week. Judge Luka Kimaru at the Nairobi High Court ruled in their favour, and ordered investigators to file a report in court Tuesday. Luak fled to Kenya in August 2013 after receiving death threats for defending a high-ranking politician accused of treason, and has publicly criticised human rights abuses and corruption by South Sudanese government officials. Human Rights Watch said...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/27/17)
Kenya's High Court on Friday ordered authorities not to deport two South Sudanese dissidents who activists said had been detained by police this week and were at risk if they were sent back to a nation still embroiled in conflict. Kenyan police have yet to say if they have detained Dong Samuel, a human rights advocate who has been a vocal critic of South Sudan's government, and another South Sudanese opposition figure Aggrey Idri. Samuel is registered as a refugee. Their lawyer, Eddy Orinda, said his sources had confirmed their detention and he said they were at risk of deportation, mirroring the fate of another opposition figure who was deported last year and has been held without charge in Juba...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Two South Sudanese opposition figures are being held in Kenya and are facing deportation to their home country where they are likely to be arrested, their lawyer said Wednesday. Rights groups raised the alarm after prominent lawyer and activist Dong Samuel Luak and member of the opposition SPLM-IO Aggrey Idri were detained by Kenyan police on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Their lawyer Edi Orinda told journalists he had not been told where they were being held or why. "They are facing a possible deportation basing on reliable sources that we have been in contact with, and so we would just like to call on the government to stay true to its commitment under international law," he said. Luak, who fled...
(Sudan Tribune 01/25/17)
The South Sudanese presidency has issued a statement denying existence of a diplomatic row with Addis Ababa, following rumours that Juba had accepted an Egyptian request to support and harbour Ethiopian rebels during a recent visit of President Salva Kiir to Cairo. “The allegations that the Ethiopian Government has expelled our diplomats against the background of the recent President Kiir’s visit to Egypt are a pure lie and a very cheap propaganda aimed at driving the wedge between the two sisterly countries. President Kiir’s visit to Egypt was purely based on bilateral relations between Egypt and South Sudan. It has nothing to do with anything concerning Ethiopia’s relationship with Egypt”, the release notes in part. The statement penned by the...
(Radio Tamazuj 01/25/17)
South Sudan has formally joined the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO) to become its 58th member, the interior ministry said. The mandate of ICDO is to promote and coordinate civil protection at the international level. Speaking during a press conference in Juba on Tuesday evening, Michael Chiangjiek Mut, National Minister of Interior, announced that South Sudan became a member of the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO), saying it is very important to join such international organizations. The official pointed out that South Sudan’s membership will allow it to benefit from civil protection and training programs on leadership. “For us to join the ICDO is very important because as a country, we are going to benefit a lot from that organization...
(Sudan Tribune 01/25/17)
Sudan and South Sudan’s relationship is of vital importance to resolving conflicts in both countries. Khartoum, and other countries in the region, clearly benefit from a stable South Sudan. Once-fraught relations between the two countries have improved in recent years, helped by substantive discussions over shared interests, including oil exports, support for armed groups, and border security. Khartoum should now use its influence in Juba to seek better regional cooperation and a peaceful resolution of internal and cross-border conflicts. A more sophisticated Sudanese approach that ensures southern armed groups are part of a more inclusive, and thereby stable, government in Juba, is in Khartoum’s own best interests. A constructive Khartoum-Juba relationship is likely to be significant, for instance, in the...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
The UN Security Council stepped up calls Monday for regional troops in South Sudan, to help a UN contingent already there stem ongoing violence and stave off a brewing humanitarian crisis. Olof Skoog, UN ambassador from Sweden, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, said after a closed door meeting that the 15-member body was ramping up its earlier call for a speedy deployment of additional troops in the war-torn African nation. "The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern that fighting continues throughout South Sudan, and that there are continued denials of humanitarian access
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/17)
The United Nations doubts the willingness of the South Sudan government to cooperate with the deployment of thousands more peacekeepers and urged the Security Council to apply "credible pressure," according to a report seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Following fierce fighting in the capital, Juba, in July, the 15-member Security Council authorized a 4,000-strong regional protection force in August as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission and threatened an arms embargo if the government did not cooperate or stop hindering the movement of peacekeepers. None of the troops for the protection force have yet been deployed and South Sudan's defense minister, information minister and a presidential security adviser all questioned last week whether there was a need for the additional...

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