Monday 11 December 2017

All Africa

AFP (eng) 12/11/17
At least six soldiers died in two separate Boko Haram ambushes in northeast Nigeria, military and civilian militia sources said on Monday.
Four troops were killed and 12 injured on Sunday when their convoy was attacked near Damboa, 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
Two soldiers were killed in the same area on Saturday, the sources told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to talk to the media.
A military officer in Maiduguri said...
AFP (eng) 12/11/17
Egypt and Russia signed a final contract on Monday for the building of Egypt's first nuclear power plant, during a visit to Cairo by President Vladimir Putin.
The contract to build the plant in Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast was signed during a live ceremony shown on state television and attended by the Russian leader and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The contract was signed by the head of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, and Egypt's electricity and...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The UN urgently appealed Monday for countries to take in 1,300 "extremely vulnerable" refugees stranded in Libya, following revelations of horrific abuse of migrants in the country. The UN refugee agency said there was a dire need for 1,300 resettlement places by the end of March 2018. "This is a...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Plans by Central African Republic's beleaguered government to reassert control in the north of the country were in difficulties on Monday after clashes marred the return of the state's top representative to a key city. Colonel Augustin Tombou was formally installed on Saturday as prefect in the...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Cairo on Monday for a meeting with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an airport official said, after a surprise visit to Syria. Russian news agencies reported that Putin had on Monday visited Moscow's Hmeimim airbase in Syria, where he gave the...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Humanitarian groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have suspended operations, the UN said Friday, after an aid worker was killed in the north of the restive, landlocked nation. "The humanitarian community in CAR continues to pay a heavy price from the rise in criminal activity in northern,...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
A lawmaker was hurt by flying debris thrown by another MP as legislators clashed during a chaotic budget debate in Cameroon, sources told AFP Saturday. The session saw Hermine Patricia Ndam Njoya of the opposition Democratic Union of Cameroon (UDC) "hurl into the air" parts of her desk to protest...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Kenya's opposition has postponed a ceremony to swear in its leader Raila Odinga as a parallel president after a controversial poll it boycotted, the party said Sunday. The National Super Alliance (NASA) had planned to inaugurate Odinga on Tuesday -- Kenya's independence day. The veteran politician...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
With rifles raised, South African police speed through the streets of Manenberg, responding to yet another call to quell violence in one of the country's most murderous ganglands. Arriving in this drab suburb of the tourist city of Cape Town, a dead body is found lying in the road -- the aftermath...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/17)
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a front-runner for the leadership of South Africa's ruling ANC party, called during a campaign speech in Durban Saturday for a peaceful contest instead of a "fight amongst enemies". Dlamini-Zuma made the call in what was likely to be her final major appearance ahead of the...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/17)
A Malian human rights association on Friday called for the immediate resumption of the trial of former coup leader Amadou Sanogo, who is accused of murdering 21 soldiers in 2012. Sanogo, a former army captain who staged a military coup in Mali the same year, went on trial in November 2016 charged...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/17)
The United Nations suffered its worst attack on a peacekeeping mission in nearly a quarter of a century when suspected Ugandan rebels attacked a base in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 15 peacekeepers. The UN Security Council said Friday the peacekeepers, who...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb cancelled a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence after President Donald Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Al-Azhar said Friday. In a statement, Al-Azhar, Egypt's highest Sunni institution, said Tayeb had reversed his previous...
(AFP (eng) 12/08/17)
A coalition of rights groups have called for the release of a Mauritanian blogger due to be freed a month ago, after his death sentence for blasphemy was downgraded. Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir was given a two-year term on November 9 after he repented for charges of insulting the Prophet...
(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 (eng) 12/08/17)
Seven people died overnight during a botched raid by presumed separatists on a police station in a restive a restive English-speaking region of Cameroon, security sources said on Friday. The attack, in which a policeman died and six attackers were killed, targeted a police station in Mamfe, a city...
(AFP (eng) 12/08/17)
At least 60 people have been killed and dozens wounded in battles over livestock in South Sudan, local officials said Friday, the latest in a series of attacks between rival communities. Battles over cattle between rival factions of the Dinka people, the Rup and Pakam clans, broke out on December 6...
(AFP (eng) 12/08/17)
South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has said he believes the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape, triggered an immediate riposte from the presidential office. Ramaphosa is a leading contender to take over from Zuma as head of the ANC ruling party later this month, and could...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Large parts of Malawi have been plunged into darkness as water levels at the country's main hydro power plant fell to critical levels due to a severe drought, the electricity company said Thursday. The impoverished southern African country which relies on hydroelectricity has been hit by...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Zimbabwean court on Thursday freed a Mugabe-era finance minister on bail ahead of his trial on corruption charges, laid following his arrest at the height of last month's military takeover. Ignatius Chombo, a close ally of former president Robert Mugabe who resigned on November 21, was the first...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Liberia's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the electoral commission to proceed with a presidential runoff delayed for a month by fraud complaints, but said the national voter register must be corrected of anomalies first. "The stay order issued on November 6, 2017... against the NEC (National...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Violence in English-speaking areas of Cameroon over the last year is having a knock-on effect in neighbouring Nigeria, where thousands of refugees are seeking sanctuary. Some are fleeing the unrest while others are suspected to be secessionists in favour of armed struggle, who could use the...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Egypt on December 11 to meet his counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian president's office said on Thursday. Putin has close ties with Sisi and had previously visited Egypt in 2015. Russia has sold arms to Egypt and is helping the North African...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Nigeria has replaced the officer leading troops fighting Boko Haram, the army said on Thursday, after a recent surge in deadly attacks in the country's remote northeast. "A new commander has been appointed for Operation Lafiya Dole," army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said in a statement,...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Niger has flown home more than 500 of its citizens from Libya as part of an urgent repatriation plan which will see up to 4,000 people evacuated, the foreign ministry has said. The move follows global shock over the atrocities suffered in Libya by African migrants, many of whom are trying to reach...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
The UN Committee against Torture has asked Cameroon to stop its troops from committing "atrocities" in its fight against Boko Haram jihadists, according to report seen by AFP on Thursday. The body also expressed concern over sweeping arrests in the Francophone west African country's English-...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Five family members seeking justice for black Mauritanian soldiers executed in 1990 have been released after almost a week in detention for protesting at an independence day celebration, a security official and a rights group told AFP on Thursday. The group appeared at an event attended by...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
More than 2,000 Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in Democratic Republic of Congo are resisting plans to register them on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion. They belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called Zebiya and claim to have...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Libya on Wednesday launched a UN-brokered effort to hold elections in the strife-torn country with a campaign to register new voters. Imed al-Sayeh, head of the country's High National Election Commission (HNEC), announced the launch in Tripoli alongside the UN envoy Ghassan Salame. The campaign...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Thirty-eight members of Tanzania's main opposition party, including two lawmakers, have been in custody for a week following local elections, their lawyer said Wednesday. MPs Susan Kiwanga and Peter Lijualikali, as well as 36 other members of the CHADEMA party, were arrested on November 29 in...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Violence near the northern border of Central African Republican has forced thousands of people to flock to the tiny town of Paoua, the Red Cross said Wednesday. About 11,000 people have found refuge in the northwestern townlet since fighting between various armed groups intensified last month near...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Senegal opens a flagship new airport on Thursday seven years later than originally planned but with ambitions to become a west African regional hub with a capacity for three million passengers. President Macky Sall will cut the ribbon at Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) at midday (1200...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday made his first trip as Nigerian president to a key state, in the latest sign of his return to the national stage after months of illness and treatment abroad. The 74-year-old's two-day visit to Kano, northern Nigeria's largest city and capital of one its most populous...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Niger on Wednesday said it had begun work on a new national security and defence policy as part of its campaign to fight terrorism, in a country where attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State are frequent. During a forum of experts and military brass in the capital Niamey, the president's chief...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Namibia on Wednesday criticised its listing on a new European Union blacklist of tax havens as unjust and biased, blaming the status on missing a deadline to comply. The southern African desert nation is the only sub-Saharan African country named in a 17-nation list of non-EU tax havens. "Namibia...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron landed in Algeria on Wednesday for his first official visit, announcing that he came as a "friend" despite France's historically prickly relationship with its former colony. Ties between Paris and Algiers have defrosted in recent years, a half-century after French...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Two Ugandan musicians were released on bail on Wednesday after being charged with disturbing the peace of veteran President Yoweri Museveni for a song suggesting he should retire, their lawyer said. Singer David Mugema and music producer John Muwanguzi were accused of having composed and...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
A huge fire ripped through a paint factory in the Ivorian capital on Wednesday, causing multiple explosions, and witnesses said several people were badly burnt. There was no immediate word on the tally of people caught in the blaze, which sent a thick column of smoke high above Abidjan's industrial...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Two multi-million-dollar penthouses belonging to Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke have been seized as part of corruption investigations. A judge at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the apartments to be forfeited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/06/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday there was no need to “complicate” matters in the Middle East after Trump phoned him to talk about his decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a Cairo presidential statement said...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
The World Bank on Tuesday approved the latest loan for Egypt of just over $1 billion to support the country's economic reform program and reduce poverty. The loan is the last in a three-part package worth a total of $3.15 billion that started in 2015, the World Bank said in a statement. The loan...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Tuesday warned US President Donald Trump against moving the American embassy to the contested holy city of Jerusalem. Trump informed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas by phone of his intention to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, Abbas's office said Tuesday. In an open...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Nigerian migrants expressed relief as they arrived home on Tuesday from Libya, describing the "hell" of harsh conditions in detention camps where they had been held. African heads of state have condemned the treatment of undocumented migrants in Libya, including widespread violence and apparent...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/06/17)
JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan still owes neighboring Sudan $1.3 billion from a 2012 deal that ended a dispute over oil payments between the two nations, the deputy finance minister told Reuters before he was sacked last week. The previously undisclosed amount is equivalent to eight years worth of...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/06/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The United Nations migration agency is stepping up the rate at which it flies migrants home from Libya, aiming to evacuate up to 15,000 in the final month of the year. The acceleration of returns is an attempt to ease severe overcrowding in detention centers, where numbers swelled...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Idris Anjorin believes his life changed in 2009 when he turned up for work -- late as usual -- distracted and stressed after more than three hours stuck in Lagos traffic. "I wasn't happy I came late again. A coworker who noticed my mood advised me to try a boat ride," the retired banker told AFP. "...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested former interior minister Habib al-Adly who had been on the run to avoid serving a prison sentence for embezzlement, his lawyer told AFP. Adly, whose iron-fisted command of the country's police helped fuel a 2011 uprising that unseated longtime dictator Hosni...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Unidentified attackers killed two villagers, burned dozens of homes and destroyed a church in the far north of Mozambique, police said on Tuesday. The violence, which struck last week, came two months after a wave of attacks in the same region that investigators blamed on "Islamist extremists". On...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A German citizen was killed during an attack at a volcano near Ethiopia's volatile border with Eritrea, Germany's foreign ministry said Tuesday. The lava lake at Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia's arid Danakil depression is a popular tourist destination, despite a history of kidnappings and killings of...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The hunger-striking leader of a Moroccan protest movement that rocked the country's north was rushed to hospital Tuesday during a hearing at a Casablanca court, one of his lawyers said. Detained Nasser Zefzafi was attending a hearing at a court of appeal Tuesday morning with 53 co-defendants when...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Security experts from West Africa, France and the United States gathered in Abidjan Tuesday for talks on beefing up anti-terrorism measures at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. The three-day seminar seeks to identify terrorism risks in the Gulf of Guinea -- the vast expanse of water stretching from...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
An outbreak of food-borne listeria bacteria has claimed 36 lives and infected almost 600 people in South Africa, the health minister said Tuesday, warning that newborns and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Listeriosis is a preventable disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A video of two hostages, a Malian judge and a soldier kidnapped by armed men, was released Tuesday in which they asked the government to free jihadists and impose sharia to secure their release. District judge Soungalo Kone and soldier Mamadou Diawara -- who both had short white beards and wore...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan was a "vital witness" in the corruption case of his party's spokesman, a court was told on Tuesday. But officials have made three unsuccessful attempts to serve the former head of state with a summons to appear at the trial of Olisa Metuh, the Federal...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa enjoyed a sharp lead on Tuesday in the contest to become the leader of the ruling African National Congress party. A majority of party regional delegates backed Ramaphosa ahead of an elective conference to be held in Johannesburg which will select a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
President Alpha Conde of Guinea has given the green light for local elections to be held on February 4, 2018, the first such vote for the country's 342 voting districts since 2005. Conde signed a decree released late on Monday that notified the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI in its...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
At least five people were injured in a grenade blast at a bus stop in Burundi's capital, police said Tuesday after the latest attack in a country gripped by political turmoil. The incident occurred around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) Monday when "an unknown person threw a grenade into the crowd waiting at...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A Tanzanian journalist who reported on a string of murders of officials and police has been missing for the past two weeks, the two newspapers he works for have said. Azory Gwanda, a reporter for the Mwananchi and The Citizen newspapers, wrote several articles investigating attacks in Kibiti...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Sierra Leone's opposition on Monday said it welcomed the replacement of the country's police chief following his sacking amid accusations of institutional political bias and endemic corruption. Former Inspector General of Police Francis Munu was reassigned to an ambassadorial post in neighbouring...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Around $321 million in public funds stolen by former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha will be returned to the African country, Switzerland said Monday. The money, originally deposited in Luxembourg, was confiscated by a Swiss court in late 2014 and in March last year the two states signed an agreement...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
It has been ranked among the happiest places in the world despite widespread unrest, political crisis and recession. Now one Nigerian state has a minister in charge of contentment. The commissioner for happiness and couples' fulfilment is the brainchild of Rochas Okorocha, governor of the...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Cash-strapped South Sudan has spent millions of dollars on Israeli surveillance drones and security cameras aimed at fighting rampant crime in the capital Juba, officials said Monday. The first two drones and 11 cameras will be deployed by Israeli company Global Group, President Salva Kiir said at...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Former rebels were recruited by Democratic Republic of Congo authorities for a crackdown on protests against the president that left dozens of people dead last year, a rights group stated Monday in a claim denied by the government. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said President Joseph Kabila's regime had...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, called for public unity to revive the country's sickly economy as his new cabinet took office on Monday. "I have sworn in a new cabinet just to finish the term of the former president, which is a period of six to seven months," Mnangagwa said after the...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Six police officers were killed in northeast Nigeria, police said on Monday, in an attack blamed on cattle herders following deadly clashes with farmers over land. "We lost six policemen in an ambush by suspected Fulani herdsmen," Othman Abubakar, a spokesman for the Adamawa state police, told AFP...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Cameroon's President Paul Biya has denounced "repeated attacks by a band of terrorists" blamed for killing six members of the security forces in a secessionist campaign in anglophone regions. "I learned with emotion of the murder of four Cameroonian soldiers and two policemen in the southwest of...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
As many as 512 died in an October truck bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu, an emergency committee investigating the terrorist atrocity has found. An earlier death toll of 358 already made the October 14 bombing the deadliest terrorist attack in Somalia's history. No group claimed...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
A Moroccan court on Thursday sentenced to five years in jail a member of a northern protest movement convicted of "defending terrorism" and incitement, the official MAP news agency said. Police arrested El Mortada Iamrachen in June after he posted the offending comments on his Facebook page, the...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq said on Sunday he was reconsidering his intention to run in the 2018 presidential elections, after relatives said his whereabouts were unknown for around 24 hours. Shafiq had not been seen since an airport official said he landed in...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
By arresting Darfur's powerful militia chief Musa Hilal, Khartoum has tightened its control over Sudan's strife-torn region but analysts say it might open a new chapter of violence. Hilal, a former aide to President Omar al-Bashir, was arrested last week by Sudan's counter-insurgency forces near...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
More than 12,000 people fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo have poured into Zambia this year, the United Nations said Friday, warning that aid operations there were "hugely underfunded". DR Congo's huge eastern region has long been wracked by violence, but fighting between...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
A lawyer for former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq on Sunday demanded access to him after he was reportedly deported from the United Arab Emirates to his homeland. Shafiq has not been seen since an airport official said he landed back in Cairo on Saturday evening after aides...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
At least 21 people were killed at the weekend when a truck overturned in western Zimbabwe, state media reported on Sunday. The truck was carrying 69 passengers when it "failed to negotiate a curve and overturned" at a business centre in the district of Tsholotsho on Saturday evening, according to...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Egyptian military prosecutors ordered a colonel be detained for 15 days after he announced plans to run in the country's 2018 presidential election, his lawyer said Sunday. Colonel Ahmed Konsowa was detained on Saturday on suspicion of "behaviour that harms the requirements of the military" because...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Nigeria's former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, announced Sunday that he had rejoined the country's main opposition party, the latest sign he aims to run for the presidency in 2019. In a live video broadcast on his Facebook page, Abubakar said he was again joining the People's Democratic Party (...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/17)
A Malian army general and former government minister has resigned his post to stand in the country's presidential elections in July 2018, sources close to the officer said Sunday. Moussa Sinko Coulibaly is the second person to declare his candidacy, after Kalifa Sanogo, the mayor of Mali's second-...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/17)
UAE officials on Saturday deported former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq from the Gulf country he had been living in since 2012 to Egypt after he announced his candidacy in upcoming elections, two of his aides told AFP. Shafiq landed in Cairo airport on Saturday evening and...