Wednesday 23 August 2017
(The East African 05/26/17)
South Sudanese authorities have dismissed claims of supporting rebels in Sudan, fighting to oust President Omar al-Bashir. Information minister Michael Makuei said the accusations by President Bashir against Juba and Egypt were completely false. President Bashir on Tuesday claimed that Juba and Cairo were offering military and logistical support to the Sudanese anti-government factions based in Darfur. He told the media in Khartoum that groups battling government forces, entered the Darfur region through South Sudan and Libya and were well armed with Egyptian armoured vehicles for the attacks on two states last Sunday. However, Mr Makuei said South Sudan and Egypt had not offered any support to any Sudanese rebels. "With due respect to their opinion, that is not correct...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
Entrepreneurs from East Africa on Tuesday called for increased investments in the power generation so as to develop a strong value-added manufacturing base in the region. Delegates participating in the second high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition (EAMBS) held in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, said that heavy investments by both private and the public in the energy sector will enhance the production capacity of manufacturing industries in the region. Rwanda hosts the forum from May 23 to 25 dubbed; "Harnessing the Manufacturing Potential for Sustainable Economic Growth". It has brought together top executives in the manufacturing and agri-business sectors, policy and decision makers, as well as key financial institutions from Africa and beyond to dialogue and explore opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(APA 05/23/17)
Members of the steering committee of the South Sudan’s National Dialogue have on Tuesday been sworn in at Freedom Hall in Juba. Abel Alier will lead the National Dialogue Steering Committee as one of the Co-chairs, including Angelo Beda The one hundred and eleven members took the oath before President Salva Kiir. The event which marks the beginning of the process that will set the agenda of the National Dialogue was attended by President Yoweri Museveni and members of the diplomatic corp. Last week, the swearing in ceremony was postponed due to the absence of some members of the committee. Two former government officials, Kosti Manibe and Rebecca Nyandeng who were appointed to the committee turned down the appointment citing...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(The Guardian 05/22/17)
Crimes against humanity. Mass atrocities. Mass displacement. While these terms accurately describe the conflict in Syria, they are equally applicable to South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. Left to its present trajectory of displacement and famine, roughly half of South Sudan’s population will have died of starvation or fled the country by the war’s fourth anniversary in December – an occurrence nearly unprecedented in modern history. In a study conducted by the South Sudan Law Society using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, 41% of South Sudanese exhibited symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rates comparable to those of post-genocide Rwanda and post-genocide Cambodia. That was two years ago. More fundamental to US security interests, however, is that the conflict risks escalating...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
South Sudanese pro-government forces killed at least 114 civilians in and around Yei town from July 2016 to January 2017, the U.N. human rights office said in a report on Friday that the army dismissed as "baseless". The most recent round of fighting in oil-rich South Sudan's civil war flared up last July when the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir chased his rival and former deputy Riek Machar and a small band of followers from the capital Juba southwest through Yei and into neighboring Congo. The SPLA also committed an unknown number of rapes and incidents of torture and looting, the U.N. said in the report. Another 45 people were killed by the SPLA in...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir said Thursday that ceasefire remains difficult to enforce due to constant violations by rebels following renewed clashes on Tuesday in the border town of Yei that left four soldiers dead. "Even if we were to declare a unilateral ceasefire which people are talking about that you declare ceasefire. You cannot declare a ceasefire for yourself. You declare ceasefire, so that two sides respect it all, and that the unilateral cease fire is not binding on the other side people must understand this," he said Juba. President Kiir directed the South Sudan army (SPLA) to be ready to defend their positions when faced with aggression from the rebels. "I make sure that I don't violate my...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
South Sudanese pro-government forces killed at least 114 civilians in and around Yei town between July 2016 and January 2017, as well as committing uncounted rapes, looting and torture, the U.N. human rights office said on Friday. "Attacks were committed with an alarming degree of brutality and, like elsewhere in the country, appeared to have an ethnic dimension," a report on the U.N. investigation said. "These cases included attacks on funerals and indiscriminate shelling of civilians; cases of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls, including those fleeing fighting; often committed in front of the victims’ families." Fighting flared when the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to President Salva Kiir
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Some eight months after the U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of an extra 4,000 peacekeepers to war-torn South Sudan, the first of those troops have just trickled in amid bureaucratic hurdles by the country's reluctant government. "Meanwhile the situation in the country has deteriorated at a rapid pace," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a monthly report on the status of the deployment and obstacles facing some 13,000 peacekeepers already on the ground. The 15-member Security Council approved the additional troops - known as a regional protection force (RPF) - in August, following several days of heavy fighting in the capital Juba between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar. The force...
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
South Sudan revealed on Friday that 40 rebels were killed in the latest clash on Thursday in Bieh state's Waat area. Brigadier Dickson Gatluak, spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) faction under first vice president Taban Deng Gai, told Xinhua that together with government troops they killed 40 rebels who attacked their positions at Waat. "The 40 rebels killed were from the rebel side, and two people from our side were injured in the fighting. The aggression was from the side of the rebels," Gatluak said. This came after another clash Tuesday in the border town of Yei between the warring factions killed 4 soldiers. However, Lam Paul Gabriel, deputy military spokesman of the SPLA-in opposition rebels...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in Sudan's White Nile State said on Thursday that the number of South Sudanese refugees in the state has amounted to 140,000, according to the latest statistics by Sudan's Commission of Refugees. "The White Nile State has established eight camps to accommodate the continuing influxes of refugees from South Sudan," Mohamed Idriss Al-Sheikh, HAC commissioner in White Nile State, told journalists visiting the state. He reiterated that local authorities are providing all services, including food, education, health and water, to the refugees. The official also said there were no security problems inside the refugee camps in White Nile, denying previous reports about spread of diseases such as watery diarrhoea because of the intensive presence of...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Rebels attacked the South Sudanese town of Yei on Tuesday, killing at least four government soldiers, the state governor said. Rebel forces in the country's three-year-old civil war said the death count was higher and told civilians to leave the southwest town close to the border with Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. "What the rebels are doing here is destruction and creating a situation where civilians suffer," David Lokonga Moses, the governor of surrounding Yei River State, told Reuters. South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 then plunged into civil war two years later after President Salva Kiir, from the Dinka ethnic group, sacked his deputy and long-time rival Riek Machar, a Nuer. Fighting spread across the oil-producing...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until Nov. 15. The 15-nation UN body underscores that "continued cooperation between the government of Sudan and the government of South Sudan is also critical for peace, security and stability and the future relations between them," the resolution said. The council further reiterated "its demand that Sudan and South Sudan urgently commence the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council, including by resolving the deadlock over the composition of the Council," the resolution said. Sudan and South Sudan are disputing the oil-rich Abyei, an area inhabited mainly by Sudan's Arab Mesiria tribe and South Sudan's...

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