Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have entered Europe illegally, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference in Brussels. "We will introduce stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently on the readmission of irregular...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
It sounds like something from Wakanda, the futuristic African kingdom of the hit movie "Black Panther". But "Transaqua" is a very real proposal for a very real problem -- how to replenish the shrinking waters of Lake Chad. It imagines a 2,600-km (1,600-mile) canal from the Democratic Republic of Congo across the Central African Republic to meet the Chari River that feeds into the freshwater lake. Lake Chad -- where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria meet -- has been synonymous in recent years with Boko Haram Islamists, whose insurgency has blighted the region. But climate change and water mismanagement have contributed to a staggering 90-percent decline of the lake's surface area in the past 40 years. The...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Experts gathered in Nigeria's capital on Monday to discuss ways to stop Africa's Lake Chad from drying up, after years of environmental decline that has hit livelihoods and security. The two-day conference, organised by the government in Abuja and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, aims to "save the lake from extinction", according to UNESCO, which is backing the talks. A $6.5-million (5.3-million-euro) research and conservation programme will involve Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, whose borders meet on the lake, as well as the Central African Republic. Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are fighting a battle against Boko Haram jihadists in the remote region.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Nigeria's Boko Haram, suspected of another mass kidnapping of school girls, started out as an Islamic anti-corruption group but mutated into an IS affiliate waging a lethal insurgency. - Fundamentalist - Boko Haram aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria -- a campaign that has cost at least 20,000 lives since 2009 and at its peak displaced 2.6 million from their homes. The name loosely translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden". Founder and spiritual leader Mohammed Yusuf pinned the blame for Nigeria's ills on Western values left by colonial master Britain, criticised the country's corrupt secular regime for neglecting development in Muslim regions and advocated...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
The European Union is to double its funding for a joint African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region with a 50-million-euro boost, EU sources said Wednesday. The bloc is expected to announce the new money for the G5 Sahel force, grouping Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, at talks in Brussels on Friday which will be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The move comes as a surge in rebel attacks has underscored the challenge facing the five countries, among the poorest in the world, which are on the frontline of a war against Islamist militants.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Almost 8 million euros ($10 million) of European funding has been pledged to restore and protect a UNESCO world heritage site in Chad, said NGO African Parks on Tuesday. The stunning mountainous landscape of the sandstone Ennedi nature reserve in northeastern Chad, near the border with Sudan, is a water-rich island of biodiversity on the southern fringes of the Sahara desert. It is home to hundreds of species of wildlife including crocodiles, hyenas and gazelles. The European Union and the...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Senegalese singer Baaba Maal is quitting his role as global ambassador for Oxfam over the British charity's handling of sexual misconduct allegations concerning its staff, the BBC reported. "What has happened on a human level is disgusting and heart-breaking," he told BBC Newsnight late Wednesday. "It is very sad. Vulnerable people especially children should always be protected. As such I am disassociating myself from Oxfam immediately," he said. Maal is the second ambassador to leave Oxfam after British actress Minnie...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
A former Oxfam country director at the centre of allegations of sexual misconduct embroiling the London-based charity does "not deny everything" but wants to give his version of events, a Belgian daily reported Thursday. Roland van Hauwermeiren, who led Oxfam's team in Haiti, was one of three staff members who resigned over allegations they hired prostitutes following the devastating 2010 earthquake there. "A lot of people, including international media, will be embarrassed when they hear my version of events," Van...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
LONDON (Reuters) - British aid organization Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about “a culture of sexual abuse” involving aid workers had not been taken seriously by the charity’s bosses. Helen Evans’ statement deepened the scandal around one of the best-known international NGOs, which has aid programs running across the globe. Separately, the chairman of Oxfam’s international umbrella group, Juan Alberto Fuentes, was arrested on Tuesday in his home country...
(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...
(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,...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
The UN refugee agency appealed on Wednesday for $157 million (126 million euros) to help over a quarter of a million people affected by the insurgency led by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The UNHCR, acting with more than 40 other agencies, said it needed to help 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 of their hosts in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, where infrastructure has been strained by the influx. Since 2013, the Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Chadian police arrested more than 60 students and schoolchildren Monday as they protested in N'Djamena against austerity measures slashing their teachers' pay, said an AFP journalist on the scene. Police dispersed gatherings of young people in the capital with tear-gas grenades and turned out in riot gear to patrol key street junctions and certain schools and colleges, the journalist said. "The police went ahead with the arrest of more than 60 pupils who are being held by the crime squad" police spokesman Colonel Paul Manga told AFP, adding that "several cars have been stoned".
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Britain is set to send helicopters to bolster a key French counter-terrorism operation in Mali in a package of measures to be agreed at a summit near London on Thursday. The commitment will come as Prime Minister Theresa May meets French President Emmanuel Macron at an army base near the British capital, with immigration and global aid also on their agenda. In a separate move, Italy's parliament on Wednesday also approved a ramped up military presence in Niger by agreeing...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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