Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Tanzanian authorities have stepped up an escalating war on cannabis by destroying 14 hectares (35 acres) of the crop in the northern province of Arusha in recent days. Saturday alone saw eight hectares laid waste at the Meru forest reserve following another six acres earlier in the week in operation overseen by Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba. Tanzania is one of the world's largest cannabis producers. "We have decided to put a stop to the cannabis culture," Arumeru administrative secretary Timotheo Mzava said during Saturday's operation. "Some local officials are themselves complicit (in the trade) and we cannot accept that," Mzava said, noting that three such officials were on the run. "The government will carry out this operation in all corners...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has announced his country will pull out of the UN's "comprehensive refugee response framework", which provides lasting solutions for refugees, including integration into host communities. "Tanzania has decided to withdraw for reasons of security and lack of funds," a statement said. President Magufuli announced the decision on Friday at a meeting of top diplomats in Dar es Salaam, the country's biggest city. Tanzania informed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in January that it was suspending the granting of citizenship to some Burundian refugees and that it would discourage new asylum applications.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
The defence minister of Democratic Republic of Congo, Crispin Atama Thabe, confirmed Friday that former army colonel John Tshibangu will be extradited from Tanzania to face charges of rebellion. "He will be extradited," Atama Thaba told AFP in a text message. "This is the result of judicial cooperation between our countries." "Unless the Tanzanian government undertakes to try him and have him serve the requisite sentence," the minister added in an SMS exchange. The former colonel is accused of taking up arms against his country, the minister said.
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
A former DR Congo army colonel who threatened an uprising against President Joseph Kabila has been arrested in neighbouring Tanzania, which may be preparing to extradite him, a rights group said Thursday. John Tshibangu, who deserted to rebel against Kabila in 2012, said in a video posted on social media on January 18 that he would "remove" the president within 45 days unless he apologised for a "massacre" of demonstrators on December 31, 2017. Catholic and opposition groups had defied a ban on demonstrations to demand that Kabila leave office, prompting a crackdown that left at least five dead and scores injured, according to UN figures. Tshibangu was arrested at Dar es Salaam airport on Monday night, according to the...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(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...
(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...
(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)
A group of Tanzanian Muslims who have been held in prison since 2013 on terror charges stripped naked in an unusual protest to demand the start of their trial, a witness said Wednesday. Some 60 Muslims were detained nearly five years ago following a series of deadly attacks in Arusha, a mainly Christian city in the north, but they have yet to go on trial. A witness, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident occurred on Tuesday morning when the group was on its way to court for a procedural hearing. "Of the 60 accused in the bus, 19 got out completely naked, taking everyone by surprise," the witness said. "Security forces immediately led them to an isolation cell...
(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) 01/15/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli will not seek to extend presidential terms in the country, his party said Saturday, moving to quash calls from his own party to prolong his rule. Magufuli "informed party members and other Tanzanians that the ongoing debate about increasing the presidential term from five to seven years displeases him," his ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) said in a statement. Such an ammendment was against the party's rules and the constitution of Tanzania, the statement said, adding that Magufuli does not plan to make the change "at any time during his presidency". The announcement came after some members of his party called for Magufuli, who was elected in 2015, to make the change so he could...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The United Nations on Friday set up a special investigation of the attack that killed 15 UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month and wounded 43 others. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Dmitry Titov, a Russian national who has worked in UN peacekeeping to lead the special investigation that will also look into other attacks against peacekeepers in that area, a UN statement said. "This special investigation will include a focus on the 7 December attack in Semuliki, in which 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed, 43 wounded...
(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...

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