Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
France unveiled plans on Tuesday to start using armed drones, joining a growing number of countries worldwide to operate the deadly unmanned aircraft. "I decided to begin the process of arming our intelligence and surveillance drones," Defence Minister Florence Parly told a gathering of recruits and lawmakers in the southern port city of Toulon. France currently operates a handful of unarmed Reaper drones as part of its presence monitoring jihadist groups in Africa's Sahel region. Parly said the military planned to equip six unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from the United States with "precision guided"
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
A spurt in attacks by Boko Haram Islamists has claimed nearly 400 lives since April in Nigeria and Cameroon, double the figure of the previous five months, Amnesty said Tuesday. The increasing use of suicide bombers -- often young women and girls forced to carry and detonate explosives in crowded areas -- has killed at least 381 civilians in the two countries, the rights group said in a statement. "Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can," said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International's director...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition across the Lake Chad Basin - about 800,000 - has soared since last year, and could spiral further as Boko Haram ramps up attacks in the region, an aid agency said on Tuesday. The jihadists’ brutal eight-year insurgency has forced millions of people to flee their homes, driven farmers from their land and disrupted aid delivery, leading to a “devastating food crisis”, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). More than 7.2 million people across Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad need food aid, while the number of children aged under five suffering from severe malnutrition in the region has risen by two-thirds since last September, United Nations...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(APA 08/30/17)
APA - Douala (Cameroon) - Public spending within Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) countries declined by 4000 billion CFA over the past triennium (2014-2017), the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) said Wednesday. Clearly, these expenditures have gone from 7,000 billion CFA in 2014 to stabilize at 3,000 billion CFA in 2017, a staggering decreased of 4,000 billion CFA in three years. This drastic reduction in public spending is the consequence of the fiscal adjustment measures implemented within the states or enacted by the BEAC since the decline in global commodity prices. These include the drop in oil price on the international market, which is detrimental to the economies of the subregion, especially as five of the six...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
African and European leaders on Monday backed proposals to screen asylum seekers in Africa as a way to prevent thousands from taking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean. Hosting the talks in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested setting up "fully safe areas" in Niger and Chad -- key transit points for migrants -- where asylum-seekers would be processed by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The leaders signed a roadmap on the proposal, though there were as yet few details on how it might work. A joint mission will be sent to Niger and Chad soon, they said in a statement after the mini-summit.
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
Gaou Moussa stands in front of his family home nestled in the dense vegetation of Chad's Tchoukouli island, where burnt straw and charred wood still litter the ground from a Boko Haram attack three years ago. "They killed my brother and we fled," he said. Tchoukouli -- one of hundreds of tiny interconnected islands about an hour's canoe ride from Lake Chad's northern banks -- is coming back to life. Despite the ongoing threat posed by the Islamist insurgents, fishermen sit mending nets and repaired ones curl in the sun nearby, while farmers guide their cattle into the water and others tend to cornfields in the distance. All of these are activities that have been absent for more than two...
(Al-Monitor 08/29/17)
With the objective of advancing his country's interests in the African continent, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid visits to Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad and Gabon on Aug. 14-17. The agenda included issues related to Egyptian national security, most prominently the Nile water dossier, and the military and technical support in countering terrorism in West Africa. Sisi's visits carried messages from the Egyptian political administration, most notably among them that Egypt intends to provide Chad and Gabon with immeasurable military and security support, in terms of capacity building and export of military equipment. This is in addition to Egypt’s desire to address the water issue indirectly by prompting the upstream countries to resort to other energy sources, such as wind energy...
(The Telegraph 08/29/17)
France, Germany, Italy and Spain have offered to support Libyan coastguards and help Chad and Niger with border control to stem migration to Europe at a summit in Paris. They also agreed on a new policy to grant asylum to vulnerable migrants who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their destination countries. President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met with Italian and Spanish leaders as well as those of Chad, Niger and Libya - all three of them transit countries for migrants. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also attended. In a joint statement, they said that it was "important to equip and train in an adequate manner Libyan coastguards" while emphasising the importance...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(The Associated Press 08/28/17)
European Union funding is being looked at as a potential tool for ending the dependence of some local economies in Africa on migrant trafficking. Italy's foreign ministry hosted a meeting of interior ministers from Italy, Libya, Chad, Niger and Mali on Monday to discuss strategies for foiling the human traffickers who have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants toward Europe. The migrants are often put on unseaworthy vessels and are brought to Italy when they are rescued at sea. But unlike refugees, economic migrants aren't eligible for asylum.
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
Leaders from seven African and European countries meet in Paris on Monday for a mini-summit to discuss how to ease the EU's migrant crisis. French President Emmanuel Macron has invited his counterparts from Niger and Chad as well as the head of the Libyan unity government Fayez al-Sarraj, whose countries lie on the main transit route for migrants heading to Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish and Italian prime ministers Mariano Rajoy and Paulo Gentiloni, and Europe's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, will join the talks. European nations are keen to offer development aid and funding to their African partners in return for help in stemming the flow of economic migrants and asylum seekers. A total of 125,000 migrants have crossed...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/25/17)
Qatar's foreign ministry on Thursday said it was closing Chad's embassy in Doha and ordered all staff to leave the emirate within three days. The retaliatory move came just 24 hours after the central African state announced it was closing Qatar's embassy in N'Djamena, accusing Doha of seeking to destabilise the country. Qatar foreign ministry official Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi said in a statement the emirate had decided "to close the Embassy of the Republic of Chad in Doha and to give diplomats and embassy staff 72 hours to leave the country". Rumaihi added that Qatar rejected as "baseless" claims made by Chad on Wednesday. Chad said it was expelling Qatar's mission to "safeguard peace and stability in the region",...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/25/17)
Qatar ordered the embassy of Chad be closed and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Thursday, accusing the African country of joining a “campaign of blackmail” with its decision to shutter the Qatari embassy. Qatar is involved in a row with four Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, over allegations that Doha supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges. Chad said on Wednesday it was giving Qatari diplomats 10 days to leave the country, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilize the central African nation through its northern neighbor Libya. The director of the Qatari foreign ministry’s media department said the timing of the Chadian decision shows that it “comes within...
(APA 08/24/17)
The Chadian minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, Wednesday announced the closure of the Qatari embassy in N'Djamena “due to the continued involvement of the state of Qatar in attempts to destabilize Chad from Libya.” The Qatari ambassador and the diplomatic staff are given ten days to leave the country, according to a communiqué issued by the office of Chad’s head of diplomacy. "So as to safeguard peace and stability in the region, Chad is calling on Qatar to stop any action that could affect its security, as well as that of the countries of the Lake Chad and Sahel basin," the statement said. The decision comes a week after an attack on a...
(Xinhuanet 08/24/17)
Chad decided to shut Qatar embassy in Ndjamena and expel its staff after 10 days, accusing Doha of seeking to destabilize the country via Libya, Al Jazeera website said on Wednesday. "Given the continued involvement of the state of Qatar in the attempts at the destabilization of Chad from Libya, the government has decided on the closure of the embassy and the departure of the ambassador and diplomatic personnel from national territory," the report cited a Chad statement as saying. The statement added that the decision was driven by the will to "safeguard peace and stability in the region" and Chad's government

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