Wednesday 18 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
African powers launched a new multinational military force to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel on Sunday, which French President Emmanuel Macron told a regional summit should be fully operational by the autumn despite its current budget shortfall. Some observers see the initiative of the G5 Sahel bloc - Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad - as forming the basis of an eventual exit strategy for around 4,000 French troops now deployed to the volatile region. But Macron said Paris had no plans to withdraw them. Islamist militant groups, some with links to al Qaeda, seized control of Mali's desert north in 2012. Though they were driven back a year later by a French-led military intervention, they continue to...
(The Associated Press 07/03/17)
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- France's president on Sunday promised strong support for a new multinational military force against extremists in Africa's vast Sahel region, saying the "terrorists, thugs and assassins" need to be eradicated. President Emmanuel Macron, meeting in Mali with leaders from the five regional countries involved, said France will provide military support for operations as well as 70 tactical vehicles and communications, operations and protective equipment. The 5,000-strong force will be deployed by September, and its funding will be finalized by then, Macron said at a press conference. The leaders of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad - known as the G5 - must clarify their roles and contributions for the force to attract more support from...
(AFP (eng) 07/02/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron, making a lightning visit to Mali, on Sunday threw his weight behind a planned Sahel force to fight jihadists but told countries their efforts had to bear fruit. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to set up a joint force to combat the wave of Islamist bombings, shootings and kidnappings south of the Sahara. Macron, joining the heads of state in the Malian capital Bamako for a special summit, hailed the initiative as "a dynamic, a groundswell which France is proud to back". But, he said, "it will be up to you and your armed forces to demonstrate that the G5 can be effective, while respecting...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron is due in Mali on Sunday to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force, as France beefs up its counter-terror operations in the area. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries just south of the Sahara -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to fight jihadists on their own soil, as instability and Islamist attacks rise. With its base in Sevare, central Mali, the 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force aims to bolster the 12,000 UN peacekeepers and France's own 4,000-strong military operation known as Barkhane operating in the region. Macron will attend a summit on July 2 with leaders of the African nations involved, "marking a new step" as the force is formally launched, a...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron heads to Mali on Sunday to throw France's weight behind a new West African military force he hopes will lay the basis for an exit strategy for its own troops; but its prospects for success look slim. Mali is hosting a heads of state summit with Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania - known as the G5 Sahel - who could ultimately deploy thousands of troops into the vast, arid Sahel region that remains a breeding ground for militants and traffickers that Paris considers a threat to Europe. Four years after intervening in its former colony to ward off a jihadist offensive, there is no sign of France withdrawing its 4,000-strong regional Barkhane contingent as they, alongside...
(RFI 06/30/17)
French troops will work with the new force from five Sahel countries fighting armed Islamists in west and central Africa, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Thursday. "This force is first going to secure the borders, particularly in the areas where terrorist groups have developed," the newly appointed minister said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper. "Accompanying them is the priority for the Barkhane operation." France has deployed soldiers in the region since January 2013, when it spearheaded an international military initiative against Al-Qaeda jihadist groups allied to Tuareg separatists occupying northern Mali. Whole areas are still beyond the control of the Malian, French and UN forces working in the sub-Saharan region. Deadly attacks and tense relations have...
(APA 06/28/17)
Chairperson of African Union Commission on Tuesday urged member states of the commission to implement the 0.2 percent levy on imports of eligible products in order to ensure in predictable, sustainable and equitable financing of the AU. Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat made the remark on the on going 29th AU Summit at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. He said “the integral and speeding of the implementation of this decision constitute factor and element of credibility, effectiveness of our action including the implementation of Agenda 2063." According to him, some member states have already taken concrete measures for the implementation of the decision. Furthermore, Mahamat stated that the summit is being held at a time when political crisis and conflict...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Chad President Idriss Deby said Sunday his country had been "irresponsible" in striking oil for cash deals with Swiss commodities giant Glencore, given the subsequent slump in crude prices "We thought it was opportunity -- but it was a fool's bargain," Deby said in an interview with Radio France International, Le Monde and broadcaster TV5 Monde. "It was an irresponsible step. I realise that today. "There was insider trading and an investigation is under way," Deby, who has ruled the poverty-stricken nation since 1990, said of a 2013 deal which saw Glencore acquire 100 percent of the Chad state's stake in its oil business -- equivalent to 16 percent of GDP for one of the world's poorest countries. He said...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Chadian president Idriss Deby Itno threatened Sunday to pull his country's troops out of African peacekeeping operations because of a lack of financial support to the cash-strapped country. "We have not at all been supported on the financial, economic side," he said in an interview to several French media. "If nothing is done, if that goes on, Chad will be obliged to withdraw," from operations abroad, he added. Chad is currently the third-largest contributor to MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, with 1,390 soldiers. It has contributed 2,000 troops to the force fighting Boko Haram, the Islamist group based in Nigeria but also active across the borders in northeast Nigeria. The other countries involved in the regional force are...
(APA 06/27/17)
President Idriss Deby of Chad believes that the agreement between France and African countries over the CFA currency shared by predominantly Francophone nations in West and Central Africa should be renegotiated. “It is now up to the African leaders to renegotiate this convention which binds us to a currency that is not ours with a fixed parity” President Déby told the French television show Internationales which was broadcast by RFI, TV5 and published by Le Monde newspaper on Sunday. According to the Chadian leader, the 14 countries making up the CFA zone must remain united and renegotiate the terms of a new arrangement so that the French Treasury no longer manages the currency. Deby however, acknowledged that the currency has...
(APA 06/27/17)
Eight Chadian soldiers have been killed and 18 others wounded in fighting with insurgents of the Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram. The Chadian Army Chief of Staff said in a statement that the fighting pitted Chadian troops under the multinational force in Area 2 and a detachment of Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria, near Malkonory, Toumbo Regou, Argue Metile and Toumbo localities. “The provisional death toll stands at 8 and 18 wounded for the Chadian army. Boko Haram terrorists lost 162 elements and several materials destroyed. The Chadian forces recovered six vehicles including a kamikaze vehicle and several dozen motorcycles while other materials were also recovered, including heavy and light weapons” the army said. Operations to comb the area are...
(APA 06/27/17)
The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Moussa Faki Mahamat, has underscored the need for more efforts to have political solutions for the security problems in the continent. Img : AU chief wants political solution to Africa’s security problems Mahamat was speaking Tuesday in Addia Ababa ahead of the 29th ordinary session of the AU Assembly of the heads of state and government, scheduled to take place from 3rd-4th July. In his opening remarks at the 34th ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union, Mahamat said the summit will focus on the renewed conflict in South Sudan and on Somalia, which is currently witnessing a series of attacks by al-Shabaab. The summit will...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Eight Chadian soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with Boko Haram insurgents at the weekend on islands on Lake Chad, which borders four countries on the edge of the Sahara, Chad's army said Monday. "Our forces attacked Boko Haram elements on five islands near Nigeria on June 24 and 25," said spokesman Colonel Azem, indicating eight soldiers had died and another 18 were wounded. He also claimed troops had killed 162 jihadists from the Nigeria-based group. Chad is part of a five-nation regional force -- comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Benin --
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Millions of children across the Lake Chad basin are prey to deadly water-borne diseases such as cholera and hepatitis E as the rainy season hits a region already reeling from Boko Haram's insurgency, the United Nations said on Friday. More than 5.6 million children in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, many of whom have been uprooted by violence and live in host communities or refugee camps, are facing the disease threat as the rains arrive, said the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF). Flooding and muddy roads are expected to limit aid access to remote areas, where hunger is growing and food is lacking, while the insecurity has made it hard to deliver supplies and ensure clean...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...

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