Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
The cash-strapped central African nation of Chad has suspended a plan to reduce the salaries of its civil servants, Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke announced on Wednesday. The plan, announced earlier this month, aims to ease the strains on a budget badly hit by a nearly four-year slump in oil revenues and a rise in borrowing. Trade unions had angrily opposed the scheme. Civil service salaries in 2017 totalled 376 billion CFA francs (about 600 million euros/$720 million), roughly the equivalent of the combined revenue from income tax and customs duties, according to official figures given to AFP on Tuesday. Chad is under pressure to cut costs to meet performance targets under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid programme. The...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Four west African states have launched a major offensive against the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria, the military said on Tuesday. Soldiers from Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are targeting a Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau in the Sambisa Forest, and another led by Mamman Nur, on and around Lake Chad. Both locations are in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. According to the Nigerian military, scores of jihadists have been killed and hundreds of others have been forced to surrender in recent days. Top brass in Abuja have claimed that Nur had been injured and one of his wives killed in an aerial bombardment.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign. The decision was made by the defence and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said late Monday. Their countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that last year launched a joint military force to combat jihadism plaguing the region. Pledges last month brought total funding over the 250 million euros ($298 million) needed to get the force up and running following a maiden mission in the volatile border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in November. A summit of donor nations is...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Chad's Foreign Minister Mahamat Zen Cherif, in a visit to Equatorial Guinea after a bid to overthrow long-time President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, condemned the attempted coup as a "major threat" to central Africa. "The attempt at destabilisation is not just an affair that only concerns Equatorial Guinea, it is also a major threat of destabilisation that concerns the entire sub-region of central Africa," he said in remarks reported by state television TVGE. On Wednesday, Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said the authorities had thwarted an attempted coup, allegedly mounted on December 24 by foreign mercenaries recruited by political opponents. Hours after his statement, TGVE reported clashes with "mercenaries"
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
The President of Chad, Idriss Deby, on Sunday said general elections, scheduled for 2015 but much postponed, would be held in 2018. "I am happy to announce, on the cusp of the New Year, that legislative elections will be organised in 2018," Deby said in a televised address, urging all politicians to show responsibility and patriotism in the run-up to the poll. The country's parliament was due to be dissolved on June 21, 2015, but the constitutional court extended its term. Deby, who took office in 1990 and won a contested fifth term in April 2016, delayed polls still further last February. The opposition derided his comments that the country did not have the financial means to hold polls before...
(APA 01/02/18)
APA- N’Djaména (Tchad) - L’opposition démocratique tchadienne, dans un message à l’occasion du nouvel an, a exigé la tenue d’un dialogue national exclusif, seule voie à ses yeux capable de sortir le pays de la mauvaise gouvernance dans laquelle l’a plongé le président Idriss Déby Itno. Selon le chef de file de l’opposition, Saleh Kebzabo, signataire du message, le Tchad continue de vivre son lot de drames sociaux, économiques et politiques caractérisés globalement par la mauvaise gouvernance et un refus de la démocratie. La démocratie est en recul au Tchad avec notamment l’arrestation de plusieurs personnalités dont des hommes politiques, des activistes, des défenseurs des droits de l’homme et des journalistes, a indiqué M. Kebzabo, ajoutant que «Le bateau Tchad...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a number of trade deals with Chad on Tuesday, on his first visit to what is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. After landing at the airport in the capital N'Djamena, where he was met by his counterpart Idriss Deby, the two leaders made deals in a number of areas, including income tax, cooperation on youth and sports, technical development, investment and information-sharing, according to a statement by the Chadian presidency. Erdogan headed a delegation of a dozen ministers, including defence and foreign affairs, as well as 100 Turkish businessmen. On a trip which the Chadian presidency said would "open a new page in the deepening of relations between...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Fighting between rival gold miners left at least 15 people dead in northern Chad on Monday, a security source said. The violence erupted in Iri Bourgouri near the border with Libya, in the lawless Tibesti region which draws gold-hunters from all around. "A first fight between a local man and an outsider caused one death," the source, who asked not to be named, told AFP. "Then there was a broader clash which left about 15 other people dead and several injured." Local media reported that the clash broke out between members of rival tribes. The Chadian army came to patrol the area to prevent further violence, the reports said. It was the latest in a series of deadly clashes in...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
A US government delegation is visiting Chad, one of six mainly-Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump's travel ban, in order to assess passport security, a foreign ministry official said Thursday. The Department of Homeland Security team "has been in Chad for the past week" to evaluate "relative weaknesses" in Chadian passports, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Their concern is that the Chadian passport is not biometric, even though it is secure," the source said. "Their report will determine whether the measure (travel ban) affecting Chad will be lifted." Chad features alongside Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen on the list of mainly Muslim countries whose citizens are banned from travelling to the United States. Trump says...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Oil-rich Gulf countries pledged 130 million euros Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as French President Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders in a bid to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The G5 Sahel force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir promised 100 million euros ($118 million) at the talks while the United Arab Emirates offered 30 million euros, as both seek to show commitment to fighting extremism. That brings total pledges over the 250 million euros initially needed, a relief for Macron who had...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-western Africa to create an unprecedented border-free bloc. "To cross by car from Cameroon to Gabon, we pay 30,000, 45,000 CFA francs (45 euros/$50 to 69 euros/$80). There's no explanation why,"...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
A Senegalese court on Thursday delayed the trial of popular Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall on charges of embezzling public funds until January 3, as his lawyers denounced a "hasty" start to proceedings. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($3.3 million, 2.8 million euros) -- a charge he denies and which backers say is politically motivated. The court's president Maguette Diop called a special hearing for January 3, after ordering Sall's supporters to calm down after they packed the courtroom to catch a glimpse of a man now facing his 10th month in pre-trial detention. Security was tight at the court in central Dakar, and Sall waved and smiled as "Khalifa president!" was shouted from the gallery as...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates put forward $130 million Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as France's Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders to an effort to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. The $100 million (85 million euros) from oil-rich Riyadh and $30 million from the UAE bring the total pledged funding over the initial 250 million euros needed in the short terma, a relief for Macron who had lobbied the Gulf and US for cash.
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP (eng) 12/08/17)
Chad's interior minister has said that a ban on some protests in the country is justified because of security risks. It comes after a coalition of activist groups earlier this week said they were planning to defy the ban and hold a major anti-government march. Interior minister Ahmat Bachir told AFP: "My first concern is security. It's me who judges the degree of security. "When the protestors are marching, they don't know who is around them. Onlookers, terrorists and thugs can be at the march," he said late Thursday. Mahamat Nour Ibedou, an activist and president of the Chadian Convention for Human Rights on Wednesday said the coalition is organising a public demonstration "against the anti-social measures already taken by...
(AFP 12/07/17)
Civil society activists in Chad said Wednesday that they were planning to hold a major anti-government march to protest "anti-social measures", despite a ban by authorities against such demonstrations. "We held a press conference (on Monday) where we decided not to accept the systematic bans placed on our planned peaceful marches," said Mahamat Nour Ibedou, an activist and president of the Chadian Convention for Human Rights. A coalition of civic groups are planning to "organise a public demonstration against the anti-social measures already taken by the government," he said, adding that a date had not yet been fixed. Ibedou described the government as having "double standards" when it came to public marches. In late November, several hundred people were allowed...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...

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