Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
Togo's government on Friday announced a series of Christian, Islamic and voodoo "purification ceremonies" aimed at purging the country of its violent past and promoting reconciliation. The West African nation was rocked by political unrest during presidential elections in 2005, which were won by Faure Gnassingbe, who remains in power. An official death toll from the clashes has never been given. A group close to the government has said 105 while the opposition said 811 died. The United Nations has said there were between 400 and 500 deaths. The government on Friday said the "purification ceremonies" would take place July 3-9 to "promote the spirit of appeasement" and "tolerance". The ceremonies are aimed at the...
(APA 06/24/17)
The feast marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan or Aid el-Fitr will be celebrated in Togo next Sunday, the country’s Muslim Union (UMT) told APA on Friday. The official prayer will take place at 9am at the Kégué Stadium in Lomé, according to a statement by El Hadj Innoussa Bouraima, president of the UMT. The same ceremony will take place in other parts of the country.
(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...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Seven out of eight university students who were detained after campus protests over teaching conditions turned violent have been released from custody. The students were accused of "rebelliousness and destruction of public property" and appeared before a court in the capital Lome on Monday. "The judge ruled that they were not guilty because there was no material evidence and released them," one of the students' lawyers, Dodji Apevon, told AFP. The eighth student, who led the protests, did not attend...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Eight students are being held in custody in Togo after campus protests over teaching conditions turned violent, a student association told AFP on Monday. "In total, eight students are still being detained after some were released over the weekend," said Honore Agoudzo, head of the student group Meet. A number of the students' parents also confirmed their children were being held. Police said they had taken them in for questioning, without specifying numbers. Students clashed with police last Wednesday, Thursday...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the...
(The East African 06/06/17)
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe has been elected the new chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). President Gnassingbe took over from Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the 51st Ecowas Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Monrovia on Sunday. Founded in 1975, Ecowas comprises 15 West African countries, whose main goal is regional integration. Twelve heads of state and government attended the meeting, which discussed progress made by the community within the last 12 months...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia, where they hailed peacekeeping efforts in the region but warned about threats to stability. Netanyahu, who had visited east Africa in July 2016, vowed that they had "no better partner" than his country after he was received by Liberian President and outgoing head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two...
(Agence Ecofin 05/31/17)
The Togolese government announced in a statement that close to 4,000 Mobas from Burkina Faso have fled to Togo since last Tuesday in Togo, as a result of a clash between Yangas and Mobas in the village of Kabou in the Koulpélogo province, Burkina Faso, reports Togo Top Infos. According to the statement, the conflict between the two communities is land-related. For now, most of the refugees were temporarily sheltered in schools in the savanna region. "These displaced people, most...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home...

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