Saturday 19 August 2017

All Africa

AFP (eng) 8/19/17
Kenya's opposition filed a petition late Friday at the Supreme Court challenging the conduct and results of last week's election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta, demanding new polls.
Court registrar Esther Nyaiyaki received piles of bound papers from lawyers representing the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, 90 minutes before the midnight deadline for challenges to be lodged.
"The entire process of tallying recording, transmitting, verifying and confirmation of results was so...
AFP (eng) 8/18/17
Rwandan President Paul Kagame was sworn in Friday for a third term in office after a crushing election win that rights groups criticised over irregularities and voter intimidation.
Nineteen African heads of state were present at the ceremony which took place in front of a packed crowd in the national stadium in Kigali, entertained by a military parade and drummers.
The 59-year-old Kagame, who was re-elected with nearly 99 percent of the vote, took a swipe at critics who regularly highlight...
(AFP (eng) 08/18/17)
The forces of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar said Friday they had detained a senior commander two weeks before the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest over unlawful killings in the flashpoint city of Benghazi. "We hereby inform you that the defendant... has been...
(AFP (eng) 08/18/17)
Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe is a "massive flight risk" and must be arrested over allegations that she attacked a model in Johannesburg, South Africa's main opposition party said Friday. Grace Mugabe, who has not been seen since the alleged assault on Sunday, is due to attend a Southern...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/18/17)
Security forces in eastern Libya said on Thursday they had arrested the commander of an elite forces unit who is sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners. The general command of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the force that controls most of...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Angolan ruler Jose Eduardo dos Santos will keep his grip on power if his party wins elections this month, even as he steps down as president after 38 years in office, according to the country’s main opposition leader. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has picked 63-year-old...
(AFP (eng) 08/18/17)
The death toll from devastating floods in Sierra Leone has passed 400 while an estimated 600 others remain missing, a senior Red Cross official said Friday. "Today we are counting more than 400 people dead," the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies,...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Sierra Leone braced for more floods as the country buries the casualties of a mudslide that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Freetown. The government buried almost 300 people this week and the Health Ministry sent out teams to fumigate areas where decomposing bodies are trapped in the mud...
(The Guardian 08/18/17)
Transparency campaigners highlight alleged human rights abuses in Egypt as controversial conflict, stability and security fund comes under scrutiny again. The government is facing questions over transparency after almost £2 million in aid and defence funding was given to security projects in Egypt...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Kenya’s top court will decide over the next two weeks whether to nullify the outcome of this month’s presidential elections that the main opposition says were rigged. Most legal experts and political analysts expect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory to be upheld. Opposition leader Raila Odinga...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - Congo Republic's Prime Minister Clement Mouamba and his cabinet have resigned amid a growing economic crisis, the president's office said in a statement on Thursday. The announcement comes days after President Denis Sassou Nguesso said he wanted to form a new government to...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
The 20-year-old South African model that Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe is alleged to have assaulted was offered cash to make potential charges "go away", a lawyer said Thursday. The wife of President Robert Mugabe is alleged to have hit Gabriella Engels on Sunday at a Johannesburg hotel...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
The US ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called for a "full investigation" into the death of two UN experts killed in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Michael Sharp, a US citizen, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were likely murdered by Congolese militia...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Muslim clerics in Tunisia on Thursday voiced opposition to President Beji Caid Essebsi's plan to introduce legislation granting equal inheritance rights to women, contrary to Islamic precepts. Essebsi has announced the formation of a commission to examine "individual liberties" and "equality in all...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Two UN investigators killed in March likely died at the hands of Congolese militia members, a UN inquiry found, adding that further investigation will be required to "fully ascertain the identity" of those involved. Michael Sharp, an American, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national,...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
South Sudan's brutal civil war has forced more than one million people to flee to neighbouring Uganda alone, with another million seeking refuge elsewhere in the region, the UN's refugee agency said Thursday. The UNHCR said additional funds were desperately needed to help the refugees flooding into...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Libya is not "preventing" NGOs from carrying out migrant rescue operations off its coast, but has set up a coastal search and rescue zone to "organise" their work, its navy said Wednesday. The navy last week ordered unauthorised foreign vessels to stay out of Libya's coastal zone, a measure it said...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Gunmen attacked Nigeria's main anti-corruption taskforce on Wednesday and left behind a death threat for a top investigator, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement. The attack on the Abuja base of the organisation which seeks to combat the oil-rich country's rampant graft...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Thursday that a former Islamist rebel who was jailed for wrecking holy sites in Timbuktu was liable for damages of 2.7 million euros ($3.2 million). Amad al-Faqi al-Mahdi was sent to prison for nine years in 2016 after pleading guilty to war...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth sent her deepest sympathies to hundreds of victims of a mudslide in Sierra Leone that swept away homes on the edge of country's capital city in one of Africa's worst flood disasters in living memory. The African nation gained independence from Britain in 1961 after more...
(Bloomberg 08/17/17)
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $20 billion to $50 billion in the U.S. and Europe by 2025, in industries including renewable energy and petrochemicals. The 60-year-old Nigerian cement tycoon aims to move into these territories for the first time in 2020 after completing almost...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Namibia’s central bank reduced its key rate for the first time since 2012 as consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in almost two years last month and the economy contracts. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent, Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
At least 10 people, but possibly as many as 40, have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo by suspected members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), local sources said Wednesday. "We condemn the kidnapping of 10 people from the village of Kunu (in the northeast) by gunmen identified as...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has approved a newly drafted law abolishing the senate, the most controversial measure in a package of reforms passed by referendum this month. Government spokesman Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh confirmed that the president had given final approval to the...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema walked free from prison Wednesday after treason charges against him were dropped, averting a trial that threatened turmoil in the southern African nation. Hichilema, whose trial was due to begin in the morning, had been in custody since April over...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s credit rating may be cut to junk if its policies become “even less predictable” or shift in a way that could undermine the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil have increased in the last two months as the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
In a Nairobi slum named Lucky Summer, residents tell of being terrorized by men with dreadlocks wearing official Kenyan paramilitary uniforms who stalk the streets at night carrying machetes, clubs and guns. The troublemakers belong to the Mungiki, a criminal gang that played a key role in ethnic...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso admitted Monday that his oil-rich country was facing a serious economic crisis, though he said it was not an "irreparable disaster". He notably called on former rebel chief Frederic Bitsamou, leader of the so-called Ninja rebel group and accused of violence...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Aid groups have called on the United Nations to take "immediate action" in the Central African Republic, saying the conflict-wracked nation is "teetering on the brink of catastrophe". In a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and published Tuesday, six humanitarian...
(Xinhuanet 08/16/17)
The United States on Wednesday called on the Somali government to facilitate ways in which fighters of Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab can reject terrorism and join efforts in reconstruction of the country. The U.S. embassy in Somalia also lauded the efforts of the government to facilitate the...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
International judges issued a war crimes arrest warrant Tuesday against a senior Libyan military commander, suspected of involvement in the deaths of 33 people in the war-torn city of Benghazi. "The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli,...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe was under investigation by South African police Tuesday after she allegedly used an extension cord to assault a model in a Johannesburg hotel. The alleged attack threatened to spark a major diplomatic incident between the two countries, which have strong political...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
The UN's refugee chief said Tuesday a long period of exile lies ahead for South Sudanese refugees fleeing the war that erupted in their country after it split from the north. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed and millions displaced since the world's youngest country fell into a...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Egypt’s tourism receipts almost tripled and worker remittances rose in the last three months of its fiscal year, marking another step in the country’s economic recovery from a crippling dollar shortage. Tourism revenue rose to $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter that ended June 30, from $510 million...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Three women suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to a camp for displaced people in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, killing 28 people and wounding 82, local sources said. The attack -- the latest in a string of assaults in the troubled region -- took place in the town of Mandarari, 25...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Production at Libya's Sharara oilfield dropped to between 130,000 and 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), from about 280,000 bpd, because of recent security breaches, an engineer who works at the field said on Tuesday. Field employees had difficulty accessing some of the field's facilities after cars...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Rescue workers have recovered nearly 400 bodies from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, the chief coroner said on Tuesday, as morgues struggled to find space for all the dead. Dozens of houses were buried when a mountainside collapsed in the town of Regent on Monday...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Nigeria has started a $41 billion railway expansion to reduce dependence on oil and diversify its struggling economy by improving transport links to allow the movement of goods around the country and to ports. “The plan we have now will go to every nook and corner,” Transport Minister Rotimi...
(AFP (eng) 08/15/17)
The UN's refugee chief said Tuesday a long period of exile lies ahead for South Sudanese refugees fleeing a war that erupted in their country after it split from the north. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed and millions displaced since the world's youngest country fell into a...
(AFP (eng) 08/15/17)
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sacked Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Tuesday, less than three months after appointing him, according to a presidential statement carried by state media. "President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Tuesday relieved Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune of his...
(AFP (eng) 08/15/17)
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Tuesday that his country needed "urgent support now" for thousands of people affected by massive flooding and mudslides in the capital of one of the world's poorest nations. Addressing the media in the Regent hilltop community of Freetown, one of the...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday backed the efforts of Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar and his rival UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to reach a peace agreement in the conflict-ridden country. "We actively support the emerging trend to step up the process of...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Zimbabwe's vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is seen as favourite to succeed President Robert Mugabe, has been flown to South Africa for emergency medical care, officials said Monday. Mnangagwa, 74, fell ill at a rally where Mugabe spoke on Saturday in the southern town of Gwanda, and...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field has reduced crude production by more than 30 percent in recent days and the Zueitina export terminal ceased loadings over the weekend, throwing the OPEC country’s output back on a downward spiral. Output at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 barrels a day on Sunday,...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
At least 180 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when a mudslide and heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, on Monday, leaving hospitals struggling to cope. An AFP journalist at the scene saw bodies being carried away and houses submerged in two areas of the city,...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Nearly eight million people face acute hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of conflict, especially in the central Kasai region, UN food agencies said Monday. “Food security and nutrition... are deteriorating in many parts of DRC, but nowhere is the situation more alarming than in...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Zimbabwe's Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a possible successor to 94-year-old President Robert Mugabe, is unwell and had been taken to a hospital in South Africa. Mugabe made the announcement on Monday when Mnangagwa was absent from celebrations to mark Heroes Day in the capital Harare "He is...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Namibia's President Hage Geingob has said Moody's should not have based its latest rating on the forthcoming ruling Swapo Party elective congress and the national elections scheduled for 2019. Geingob said this when he addressed a closed door Swapo central committee meeting Saturday in Windhoek...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
South Africa's public prosecution service, which is investigating alleged corruption in the awarding of government contracts, has denied reports that it will not accept leaked emails as evidence against President Jacob Zuma's allies. The allegations of influence-peddling in the so-called "State...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Zambia's detained opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema is due to appear in court Monday on treason charges, four months after he was arrested and as political tensions rise in the country. Hichilema, who narrowly lost last year's presidential elections, has been in custody since April over an...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
The global outrage sparked by the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Nigeria inspired Boko Haram to start strapping suicide bombs to women in a bid to gain notoriety through "shock and awe" tactics, researchers said. The Islamist jihadists have used more women and girls in...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Kenya's opposition called on people to stay away from work on Monday in protest at last week's declared election result, but response to the call was limited with many businesses re-opening after being closed during the tense election period. Many shops opened up again in the capital, Nairobi, and...
(AFP (eng) 08/12/17)
Immediately after news broke that President Uhuru Kenyatta had been re-elected as Kenya's president, people took to the streets across the east African nation. But while some celebrated with flags and vuvuzelas, others burned tyres and attacked businesses in a show of rage over an election they...
(The New York Times 08/12/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday was officially declared the winner of a bitterly disputed election in Kenya, but his opponent, Raila Odinga, refused to concede defeat, criticizing the vote as a charade and edging the country closer to violence. Mr. Kenyatta, 55, was re-elected with just over 54...
(AFP (eng) 08/12/17)
At least two people were shot dead in Kenya during overnight protests against the election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta by opposition supporters who believe the vote was rigged, according to police and a health official. "We have one person killed and four others admitted in hospital with...
(AFP (eng) 08/12/17)
An agreement has been struck with Kinshasa for the repatriation of the body of veteran Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who died aged 84 in Belgium in February, his family and political party told AFP Friday. The long delay in the return of Tshisekedi's remains was due to concerns it...
(Financial Times 08/12/17)
Businesses hold off investment as bitter divisions rack ANC. Kutlo Marumo, the man who makes President Jacob Zuma’s trademark leather jackets, emblazoned with the black, green and gold insignia of the African National Congress, should be doing a roaring trade. South Africa’s ruling party is gearing...
(The New York Times 08/12/17)
The Nigerian military raided a United Nations base early Friday in a city often targeted by suicide bombers. The raid could add tension to the relationship between the two institutions as each struggles to respond to an eight-year-old war with Boko Haram. About 5 a.m. on Friday, soldiers entered a...
(The Guardian 08/12/17)
At least two shot dead during overnight protests by opposition supporters who claim presidential vote was rigged. At least two people have been shot dead in Kenya during protests by opposition supporters against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, officials said. “We have one person killed...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/12/17)
Kenya's main domestic poll monitoring organization, ELOG, said on Saturday it had found no evidence to suggest this week's election was manipulated or inaccurate, as the opposition have attested. ELOG's parallel vote tally projected a victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta with 54 percent of ballots...
(AFP (eng) 08/11/17)
Tanzania's police said on Friday they had killed in a firefight 13 "criminals" involved in a series of deadly attacks in the country's east. The killings took place in the Kibiti district about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, where 13 police officers have been...
(AFP (eng) 08/11/17)
Nigerian forces conducted an unauthorised search of the UN's main operating base in the town of Maiduguri in the country's northeast in the early hours Friday, the UN told AFP. "Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri, northeast...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Burkina Faso’s prime minister urged truck drivers to end a strike that’s halted all goods transports between the country’s two main cities and threatens to cause a fuel shortage. Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba met with truck drivers’ unions and apologized on behalf of his government for remarks...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
U.S. forces conducted two strikes on al-Qaeda-linked fighters in southern Somalia that the Horn of Africa nation’s government said killed a senior militant. The attacks took place Thursday near the Benadir region, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement, without giving further details. Somalia’s...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Kenya’s immediate fate rests on whether opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga presses his claim that initial tallies from this week’s election were rigged and calls on his supporters to protest the announcement of final results expected later on Friday. The Independent Electoral &...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
South Africa could escape a further slide to junk status on Friday in the same way the nation’s leader, Jacob Zuma, defeated a parliamentary rebellion and clung onto power -- comfortably but not without some sweating. Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release a ratings review two months...
(Bloomberg 08/10/17)
Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/10/17)
The leader of Senegal's main opposition group said on Wednesday it would not participate in any future elections because the parliamentary polls that delivered a large majority to the ruling coalition were a "masquerade". President Macky Sall's coalition took 125 seats in the 165-seat National...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
Kenya nervously awaited Thursday the final results of its presidential election, with the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta holding a strong lead after a vote tainted by opposition claims of rigging and the death of four people. International observer missions called for calm and restraint as the results...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
A Swede who was held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Mali for more than five years before being freed in June said Thursday he was opposed to ransoms being paid in kidnapping cases. Johan Gustafsson, 42, told reporters he did not know why his captors had chosen to release him but he hoped his government was...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/10/17)
Twenty people escaped custody after assaulting police officers at the courthouse in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, justice official said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks on police in the West African country. Ten prisoners and another ten people who had been summoned to court...
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday urged President Salva Kiir to involve the armed opposition in the ongoing national dialogue process launched last year to help end more than four years of violence. Sigmar told journalists in Juba after he held talks with South Sudanese leaders...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/17)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Six Red Cross volunteers were killed in an attack on a health center in southeast Central African Republic on August 3, the aid organization said in a statement on Wednesday. Civilians and medical staff may also have been killed in the attack, by unknown assailants, the Red Cross...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Rwanda's electoral commission on Wednesday confirmed President Paul Kagame's overwhelming victory in last week's presidential election, even improving his score slightly to 98.79 percent. There had been little doubt that the 59-year-old would return to the helm of the east African nation which he...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Cash-strapped Zimbabwe announced Wednesday that it plans to build a $1 billion university to honour Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president accused of brutal repression and bringing the country to economic ruin. The university joins other facilities named after Mugabe including the government's...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Two people in Lagos have died and a hundred medical workers have been placed under observation after a flare-up of Lassa fever, a cousin of the deadly Ebola virus, officials said Wednesday. Lagos University Teaching Hospital said the two died this week after being admitted for treatment. "Each of...