Friday 20 October 2017

All Africa

Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s main opposition leader was arrested and charged with murder, police said on Friday, after they broke up a rally organized to protest moves to extend President Yoweri Museveni’s rule. Kizza Besigye, who has contested and lost four elections against long-time leader Museveni, was detained on Thursday.
Police blamed Besigye for the deaths of two protesters during Wednesday’s rally, in which officers fired bullets and teargas during clashes with government opponents.
“...
Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian authorities have released high-profile Irish detainee Ibrahim Halawa following his acquittal last month of charges including murder, in a four-year mass trial criticized by human rights groups.
Halawa, a student, and three of his sisters were charged along with nearly 500 others with a host of crimes including breaking into a mosque, killing 44 people, and illegal possession of firearms in violence that followed the military’s overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist president,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis prayed in Mogadishu on Friday at a symbolic funeral for more than 300 people killed by the country’s deadliest truck bombing. The truck detonated next to a fuel tanker on Saturday, creating a huge fireball that incinerated multi-story buildings. Around...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
NIAMEY (Reuters) - A part of southwestern Niger where four U.S. Green Berets were killed during a mission the U.S. military had considered low-risk has seen at least 46 attacks by armed groups since early last year, a U.N. agency said on Friday. The deaths of the four U.S. soldiers and ensuing...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
NAIROBI/MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The size and methods of the latest truck bombing in Mogadishu show how international and Somali government efforts to stop the killings are failing, partly because intelligence gathering to counter such attacks is so disjointed, security sources say. More than 300...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga made calls Friday for election peace, while making veiled digs at each other on a day when the country celebrates its independence heroes. In the capital Nairobi, Kenyatta oversaw a celebration full of pomp and ceremony for the annual Heroes Day,...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Thousands of people took to the streets of Benin's commercial capital Cotonou on Friday to protest against President Patrice Talon's economic reforms and the high cost of living. One of the organisers said "more than 10,000" people turned out for the march to the trades union congress building. No...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Malawian police said Friday that 124 people had arrested after a vigilante mob killed two men accused of being "vampires" trying to obtain human blood for voodoo rituals. The killings bring the death toll to nine as vampire rumours have swept the country's southern region since last month, forcing...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron was on Friday urged to step in to help find a solution to an increasingly violent power struggle between Togo's opposition and the government. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets since late August calling for the resignation of President Faure...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
The death toll from a plague outbreak in Madagascar has risen to 94, with the number of suspected cases jumping to more than 1,100, the World Health Organization said Friday. Officials on the poor Indian Ocean island nation had earlier this week reported 74 fatalities and 805 cases. WHO's director...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday vowed to ramp up security and and economic cooperation between Ankara and Africa's most populous nation. Speaking after talks at Erdogan's palace, Buhari and the Turkish leader vowed to increase investment...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
The EU on Thursday pledged more money for Italy's work with Libya to stem migrant flows to Europe, with Brussels seeing a "real chance" to close the central Mediterranean route. Italian Prime Minister Paulo Gentiloni has been working with his UN-backed Libyan counterpart Fayez al-Sarraj to sharply...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Togo's opposition on Thursday said three people were killed and dozens more injured as gangs of youths clashed with security forces trying to prevent the latest anti-government protest in the capital. Opposition spokesman Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson told reporters "the provisional toll at 3:30 pm (...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
On a weekday morning in Cecelia Dunbar school, a bumpy hour's drive from Liberia's capital, a group of seven-year-olds concentrate on their maths lesson, seated at individual wooden desks. Children at schools like Cecelia Dunbar read and count at a level improved by 60 percent from a year ago --...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
The US embassy has warned its citizens in Senegal of a "credible threat" of a terror attack in the capital Dakar, advising them to take special care when visiting places and areas popular with Westerners. The embassy also told its own staff members to stay away from seaside hotels in Dakar. A...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Five people were shot and injured on Thursday as gangs of youths and the security forces clashed sporadically in Togo's capital Lome, ahead of a planned opposition protest that the government has ruled illegal. Eric Dupuy, spokesman for the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC) party,...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed vowed Wednesday to step up the war against Al-Shabaab, as he addressed thousands at a rally in Mogadishu for the victims of the city's worst-ever bombing. Protesters wearing red bands around their heads marched through the scene of the truck bombing, a...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said Thursday he could "reconsider" his decision to quit the country's troubled election race, provided there was "proper" headway on electoral reform. "If proper consultations are done and if proper reforms are carried out, and those fears that we raised are...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Four people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of four British nationals in southern Nigeria, police said on Thursday. The Britons, including a husband and wife from a Christian medical charity, were seized last Friday in Delta state, where they had been providing free health...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Two people have died from the Marburg virus in eastern Uganda, in the country's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years, the health ministry said Thursday. "Blood samples were taken from two people who have since died and were found positive for Marburg", Uganda's health...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Ten major Egyptian rights groups on Wednesday urged an appeals court to free Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading dissident in the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak. The court of cassation, which handles appeals, is set to rule Thursday on the activist's case after he was sentenced to five...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
At least three soldiers were killed when Boko Haram fighters ambushed a military convoy in northeast Nigeria, security and civilian sources told AFP on Thursday. The attack, which happened on Wednesday near the town of Damboa, on the edge of Boko Haram's Sambisa Forest enclave in Borno state, is...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
At least four people were shot dead on Wednesday in clashes between protesters and security forces in Togo's two largest cities after soldiers and police launched teargas to prevent the latest anti-government protest. Opposition parties had refused to cancel plans for demonstrations on Wednesday...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is traveling to the Central African Republic next week to draw attention to the world's "forgotten crisis" and its heavy toll on aid workers and UN peacekeepers. "The Central African Republic is very far from the attention of the international community,"...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The South African government on Thursday removed the head of troubled state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA), which is deeply in debt and struggling to stay in the air. Chairwoman Dudu Myeni, a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, will be replaced by Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza, the finance...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The International Criminal Court said Wednesday it was investigating several potential war crimes including murder in Mali, months after finding an ex-jihadist guilty liable for millions worth of damage in the landlocked country. "Our investigations are continuing (into) other crimes... sexual...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Violence in southeastern Central African Republic is believed to have killed a number of civilians, in a region marred by growing unrest, the UN said Wednesday. Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for MINUSCA, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country, said troops were sent to the region between...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Cameroon must urgently rethink a policy of "murderous repression" in its restive English-speaking regions or risk the crisis spiralling into an armed uprising, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned Thursday. In a report on the political crisis in the west African nation, the NGO said the...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Kenyans head to the polls next Thursday for a second time this year after the Supreme Court overturned the August election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta. But with just a week left, fears are soaring of yet another flawed vote and its potential implications for the country. Opposition leader...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Tanzanian police said Wednesday they had arrested 12 men, including two South Africans and a Ugandan, for presumed homosexuality as part of an ongoing crackdown against gays. "We arrested the criminals at (the hotel) Peacock -- they were promoting homosexuality. Two are South Africans, one Ugandan...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/17)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis demonstrated on Wednesday against those behind bombings that killed more than 300 people, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site where their loved-ones were killed. The twin blasts in the heart of Mogadishu on Saturday also injured...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Protesters erected makeshift barricades and blocked roads in Togo's two main cities on Wednesday, as soldiers and police launched teargas to prevent the latest anti-government protest. Opposition parties had refused to cancel plans for demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday, despite a government...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga called Wednesday for mass protests on the day of the October 26 presidential election, in which he has refused to take participate. "​Protests will go on, on the 26th (there) will be the biggest demonstrations in the whole country," he told a rally of thousands...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sued a Lebanese businessman for failing to deliver a $1.35-million diamond ring she ordered for her wedding anniversary, state media reported Wednesday. "First lady Dr Grace Mugabe is suing fugitive businessman Mr Jamal Joseph Ahmed for $1.23...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Ugandan police on Wednesday banned what it termed illegal demonstrations over plans to remove presidential age limits, seen as paving the way for President Yoweri Museveni to serve a sixth term in office. A bill removing the age limit for the president was introduced in parliament last month, and...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Sierra Leone said Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the "blood diamonds" of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
The ANC has held power in South Africa since Nelson Mandela won the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, but the battle to be its new leader threatens to split the party apart. Rivalries are intensifying within the African National Congress ahead of a conference in December when delegates will...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Warning of a risk of ethnic cleansing, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the Security Council to beef up the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic with 900 extra troops. In a report to the council, Guterres said the 12,000-strong MINUSCA mission had reached its...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
An outbreak of highly contagious plague has claimed 74 lives in Madagascar over the past two months with the capital particularly affected, according to a new official toll published Tuesday. A total of 805 cases have been reported on the poor Indian Ocean island nation since August, the health...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
One of Kenya's top election officials quit Wednesday in a searing statement accusing her colleagues of political bias and saying an upcoming presidential election could not be credible. The resignation of one of seven poll commissioners is the latest dramatic twist to an election process that has...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Tunisia's navy has found the bodies of 26 migrants at sea a week after their boat collided with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll to 34, the defence ministry said. On October 8, a migrant boat sank following a collision with a navy vessel off the coast of the Kerkennah islands in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
A critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame asked him to free her and her detained mother and sister as she stood in court on Monday charged with forgery and "inciting insurrection". Diane Shima Rwigara, who was barred from running against Kagame in August elections, moved to comfort her mother...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Talks between representatives of rival authorities in strife-torn Libya have hit a new snag after a parliamentary delegation suspended its participation in the UN-backed discussions hosted by Tunisia. Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi have left...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Tanzanian opposition figure Tundu Lissu, who was shot and critically injured at his home last month, is now out of intensive care, his party CHADEMA said Tuesday. Lissu, who was attacked on September 7, left the unit at a hospital in Nairobi last week, after having undergone 17 operations, CHADEMA...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma sacked a vocal critic from his cabinet on Tuesday, a move set to deepen tensions before the ANC chooses a new party leader in December. In his second reshuffle this year, Zuma dropped higher education minister Blade Nzimande, a veteran member of the South African...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
More than 20,000 migrants, including pregnant women and babies, are being held either in detention centres or by traffickers in Libya's people-smuggling hub Sabratha, the UN said Tuesday, warning of abuse "on a shocking scale". The UN refugee agency said Libyan authorities were holding more than 14...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Two teenagers were among four people killed in violence in Togo's second city after an imam close to the main opposition was arrested, the government and a rights group said Tuesday. "Two soldiers on guard duty at the home of a VIP were lynched and executed and their weapons and ammunition were...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Zimbabwe has banned the importation of fruit and vegetables to save scarce foreign currency in the face of a worsening economic crisis, state media reported Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told The Herald that President Robert Mugabe had directed that the importation of horticultural...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Opposition leader Raila Odinga said Tuesday he was suspending a protest campaign after three people were shot dead in demonstrations against Kenya's election body. "In honour of the innocent victims of the state, our protests will stay suspended. On Friday, we will mark the memory of these victims...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Cameroon's Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Monday began a visit to a troubled English-speaking region as part of what he termed a "dialogue" with the country's anglophone minority, state radio said. Yang travelled to Bamenda, the main town in Cameroon's Northwest Region, where he met the heads of...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
The leader of a pro-Biafran group that wants to break away from Nigeria failed to show up in court on Tuesday as his treason trial resumed, an AFP reporter said. Nnamdi Kanu has not been seen for several weeks and his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the Federal High Court in Abuja his client was "in...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Kenya's high court on Tuesday temporarily lifted a government curb on protests in three main cities, until a full hearing can be held on an opposition petition to scrap the ban entirely. Security Minister Fred Matiangi announced the ban last Thursday but opposition supporters have defied the order...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
At least 29 people were killed in a new flare-up of violence in central Nigeria targeting people sheltered in a primary school, prompting President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an appeal to "stop the madness". The attack happened on Monday in Plateau state, which has been dogged for years by ethnic,...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Boko Haram jihadists have raided a military base in northeast Nigeria, killing one soldier and injuring nine others before seizing weapons and ammunition, security sources told AFP on Monday. The attack happened on Friday morning and targeted Nigerian troops in the town of Marte, near Lake Chad, a...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Nigeria said Monday it had confirmed three cases of monkeypox after receiving dozens of reports of the disease since last month in seven states across the country's south. Health Minister Isaac Adewole said 17 suspected cases of the viral disease have been identified in Bayelsa state since the...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Angola's new president unveiled a programme of corporate tax sweeteners on Monday intended to boost foreign investment and ease the oil-rich country's dependence on the lacklustre price of crude. "We expect to adopt tax incentives for businesses that invest in the country," President Joao Lourenco...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone) - Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has named his Foreign Minister Dr Samura Mathew Kamara as presidential candidate in next year’s general elections. Kamara was announced at the All People’s Congress (APC) convention in the northern town of Makeni on Sunday...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone) - The former junta leader, Brigadier Julius Maada Bio (rtd), has been named as the candidate for the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in next year’s presidential elections. Bio defeated four other candidates in a hotly contested poll during the party’s...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
A young protester was shot dead in western Kenya on Monday as hundreds of opposition supporters again took to the streets demanding reforms ahead of a presidential election, witnesses told AFP. Police teargassed a large crowd of protesters in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, who set tyres...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, who withdrew from a presidential election re-run set for Oct. 26 saying it should only take place once wide-ranging reforms are undertaken, urged his supporters on Sunday to hold protests. Authorities have banned protests in central...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - At least 33 people died in the Kenyan capital Nairobi during a police crackdown on opposition supporters after elections in August, including a child and a pregnant woman, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said on Monday. Protests erupted after President Uhuru...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Nearly 60 men who said they were captured by the Boko Haram Islamist group and forced to fight for them in Nigeria have surrendered to authorities in northern Cameroon. After spending two years with Boko Haram, the men decided to flee with their families and hand themselves in, according to several...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
The leader of a pro-Biafran separatist group in Nigeria has apparently gone missing, prompting speculation as to his whereabouts on the eve of his trial on treason charges. Nnamdi Kanu, who heads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, has not been seen in public since troops were deployed...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Hundreds of demonstrators in Burkina Faso marked the 30th anniversary of Thomas Sankara's assassination by demanding truth and justice on Sunday for the assassinated revolutionary leader. The young army captain, nicknamed "Africa's Che Guevara,", was cut down in a hail of bullets on October 15,...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
A small central city in Niger on Sunday called for the "unconditional release" of a longtime US aid worker abducted in 2016, whose fate is unknown a year later. "We demand the unconditional and immediate release of Jeffery Woodke," a statement from the residents of Abalak read on national...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Former international footballer George Weah and Liberia's Vice President Joseph Boakai will face a runoff for the country's presidency on November 7, the electoral commission announced on Sunday. With tallies in from 95.6 percent of polling stations, Weah took 39.0 percent of the votes and Boakai...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
At least 276 people have been killed and 300 injured by a massive truck bomb that tore through a busy shopping district of Mogadishu, the government said Monday, making it the deadliest attack ever to hit conflict torn Somalia. Desperate residents of the capital searched for news of missing...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
President Ellen Sirleaf's vice president since 2005, Joseph Boakai has campaigned as a natural transition candidate after helping to ensure peace has prevailed in Liberia since back-to-back civil wars. Boakai will face former footballer George Weah in a runoff for the presidency on November 7, and...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
George Weah, 51, emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among young people in his second run for the presidency. Now Weah has a confirmed place in the runoff round against incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai on...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/17)
The death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in a shopping district in the Somali capital Mogadishu surged to at least 137 with 300 people injured, police said on Sunday. "We are getting different numbers in terms of the casualty from the medical centres, but we have confirmed so far 137 (dead),...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
Former football star George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai on Saturday edged closer to competing in a run-off vote for Liberia's presidency, with three quarters of polling stations counted. Weah now commands 39.2 percent of votes cast and counted while Boakai has taken 29.6 percent...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
A truck bomb exploded outside a hotel at a busy junction in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday causing widespread devastation that left at least 20 dead, with the toll likely to rise. "Initial reports from emergency departments indicate more than 20 bodies picked up off the street and many...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
A student suspected of joining in an armed raid that killed six at a school in Kenya's far north Saturday was stoned to death by angry locals and his body burned, officials said. The suspect -- a suspended student at the school in Lokichogio -- was arrested before irate locals forced their way into...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
An Antonov cargo plane that crashed off Ivory Coast Saturday, killing four, was chartered by the French army as part of the anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane, military sources said. The four dead are Moldovan and six other people, including French nationals, were injured in the crash of the aircraft...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Nigeria's government on Friday said 45 Boko Haram members had been sentenced to between three and 31 years in jail after being convicted at secret trials. The media has been banned on security grounds from attending proceedings at four civilian courts set up at a military base in Kainji, in the...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Somalia's defence minister and army chief have both resigned, without explaining why, in a potential blow to the government's fight against Shabaab Islamist militants. The resignations come as Somali security forces struggle to contain attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked group. Defence Minister...
(APA 10/13/17)
APA-Antananarivo (Madagascar) - Former Malagasy President Albert Zafy died Friday at the St Pierre-La Reunion Hospital at the age of 90, following a stroke last Wednesday. Born on May 1, 1927 in Ambilobe, Madagascar, “the man in the straw hat” had drawn attention to himself during the great march...