Tuesday 27 June 2017

All Africa

AFP (eng) 6/27/17
A special advisor to United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged Congolese authorities to pare back their military presence in the restive Kasai region following an explosion of deadly violence in recent months.
More than 3,300 people have been killed in eight months of spiralling unrest in DR Congo's central Kasai, and the UN on Friday said it was sending a team of experts to investigate gross rights violations there.
"It's vital to reduce the militarisation of the government's...
AFP (eng) 6/27/17
The UN on Monday criticised a decision by a Congolese military tribunal not to prosecute seven Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers for crimes against humanity.
"We regret" the tribunal's decision, Jose Maria Aranaz, director of the United Nations joint human rights office (UNJHRO) and representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the DRC, told AFP.
"Prosecuting these crimes is a way of preventing other legal violations and further excessive use of force by the armed forces,"...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
A Swede held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011 has been freed to head home, and is doing well although he is "overwhelmed" by his release, Sweden's foreign ministry said Monday. "It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Johan Gustafsson has been released and can return to Sweden,"...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has marked the end of Ramadan with an audio broadcast to the nation, the presidency said, his first public statement since going on medical leave in early May. The recording attributed to the president features a tired-sounding and hesitant voice, speaking in...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Investigators have widened a corruption probe into the French assets of three African ruling families, charging the daughter and son-in-law of Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, judicial sources told AFP on Sunday. Julienne Sassou Nguesso, 50, and her 53-year-old husband Guy Johnson were...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Morocco's king has rebuked ministers over delays to a development programme meant to pump investment into a region rocked by months of protests over unemployment and perceived state neglect. Mohammed VI told ministers Sunday of his "disappointment, dissatisfaction and concern" that the $670 million...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Tanzania has threatened to arrest and deport those campaigning for gay rights and de-register organisations protecting homosexual interests, local media reported Monday. "I would like to remind and warn all organisations and institutions that campaign and pretend to protect homosexual interests...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Eight Chadian soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with Boko Haram insurgents at the weekend on islands on Lake Chad, which borders four countries on the edge of the Sahara, Chad's army said Monday. "Our forces attacked Boko Haram elements on five islands near Nigeria on June 24 and 25," said...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
Mali's government and armed groups which signed a 2015 peace deal have relaunched talks aimed at speeding up its implementation after several delays, they told AFP Saturday. The accord signed in 2015 aimed at curbing separatist uprisings in Mali's north after a 2012 rebellion was hijacked by...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
The brutal death of anti-apartheid campaigner Ahmed Timol was allowed to go quietly unsolved in the interests of South Africa's democratic reconciliation. But now more than 45 years after he fell from a 10th-floor window at a notorious regime security building and died, Timol's case is being re-...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
The international community pledged $358 million at a fundraising summit Friday to help Uganda tackle the world's fastest growing refugee crisis, falling well short of expectations. Organisers had hoped the meeting in the central city of Entebbe would raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros)...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
Nigeria's intelligence service on Friday said it had thwarted a plan to target Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan after fears that Boko Haram was planning a major attack. The Department of State Services (DSS) said two men were arrested in a dawn raid on Friday on suspicion of plotting an...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
Nigeria's acting president Yemi Osinbajo has ordered troops in to keep the peace in the restive state of Taraba after deadly clashes between herders and farmers. The vice-president, standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on indefinite medical leave, said Thursday the extra military...
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
An Egyptian real estate tycoon jailed for the murder of a Lebanese pop diva was freed Friday as part of a presidential pardon for hundreds of detainees, security officials said. State television said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pardoned a total of 502 prisoners to mark Eid al-Fitr holiday at the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Zimbabwe's Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday pledged that next year's elections will be peaceful, "free and fair" despite opposition concerns about electoral interference. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference aimed at courting South African investors, Mnangagwa noted that the last...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for international solidarity with Uganda at a fundraising summit to help the country deal with nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing war. Held in Entebbe, Uganda, the summit hopes to raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) to help...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday decided to send a group of experts to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help investigate an explosion of deadly violence in the Kasai region. A council resolution called on the UN rights office to dispatch a team of international experts to help Kinshasa...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended a state of emergency declared after twin church bombings in April by jihadists, in a decree issued in the official gazette on Thursday. The renewed three-month state of emergency will start on July 10, according to the decree. Parliament approved the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Clashes between militants and government troops on Thursday left 16 dead in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in the troubled North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Botswana's former president Sir Ketumile Masire, the southern African country's second post-independence leader and who led efforts to bring peace to Mozambique, has died aged 91, an aide said on Friday. Masire had been heavily involved in efforts to end violence between Mozambique's government and...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The leader of a protest movement in northern Morocco was "severely" beaten and verbally abused by police during his arrest, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Thursday. Nasser Zefzafi -- leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or the "Popular Movement" -- was detained on May 29 in a village 50...
(AFP 06/22/17)
At least seven militants were killed Thursday in clashes with troops involving heavy weapons in a city in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, police said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Five people were killed and 10 were wounded Thursday when a car packed with explosives rammed into the wall of a police station in southern Mogadishu, the security ministry said. "The blast was caused by a car loaded with explosives, five people were killed and 10 others wounded," Ahmed Mohamud...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Over a thousand people took to the streets of Benin's economic capital of Cotonou on Thursday to protest against President Patrice Talon amid growing unease with his government's economic reforms. A coalition of opposition parties and civil activists led the rally, which coincided with trade unions...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
South Africa's highest court on Thursday ruled that lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting criticism within the ruling ANC. Although no date has been set for such a vote, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Ghana's government is facing growing calls to keep its promises after it won elections on a pledge to stamp out corruption. President Nana Akufo-Addo and his administration have in recent weeks seen protesters take to the streets to raise awareness about the issue. In May, hundreds marched on the...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised". It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Mali on Wednesday delayed a constitutional referendum due to be held on July 9 in the face of heavy political opposition and street protests. The vote was aimed at enshrining elements of a 2015 peace deal into the charter and establishing a senate in parliament, but came under intense scrutiny in...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Two police officers were shot dead in eastern Tanzania on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks against local officials and security officers, state television reported. The killing by unknown assailants happened in the Kibiti region where 11 police officers have been slain since March. The...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The death toll from clashes in Central African Republic has surged to around 100, local officials said Wednesday of violence that erupted hours after the government signed a truce with rebel groups. The bloodshed, which left dozens more injured, dashed hopes of an end to the simmering sectarian...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Impoverished fishing communities in Nigeria's financial capital, Lagos, celebrated a court ruling on Wednesday that said government demolitions of their homes were illegal. Residents went to court in October to protest the Lagos state government's plan to demolish their waterfront communities on...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Five people have been killed in a landmine explosion and a roadside ambush in northeast Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram , the civilian militia and police said Wednesday. In the first incident, at least three loggers were killed when their truck ran over a landmine outside Abbari village in the Konduga...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A Sudanese military helicopter has crashed in Northern State, killing all four crew members on board, the army said on Wednesday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet. The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to "bad weather" in state capital Dongola, army spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Sudanese authorities on Tuesday brought home from Libya eight children, including a one-year-old, whose parents are allegedly members of the Islamic State group. The children were flown into Khartoum from the Libyan capital Tripoli, an AFP correspondent said. "Thanks be to Allah, today eight...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said he was in talks with authorities in Congo Republic on the fate of its troops who are facing accusations of misconduct while serving as peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. UN officials told AFP that the 629 troops serving in the MINUSCA...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A famine that was declared in parts of South Sudan four months ago is over, UN aid agencies said Wednesday, but extreme hunger has increased to its highest levels ever across the war-torn country. "The accepted technical definition of famine no longer applies in former Unity State's Leer and...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Moves to sell off state assets by Benin's businessman-turned-president Patrice Talon are causing widespread anger, with critics accusing him of "uncontrolled privatisation". The 59-year-old known as "the cotton king" was elected in March last year on a promise to kick-start the economy, which is...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Police have arrested three more members of a protest movement in northern Morocco's neglected Rif region, prompting hundreds of demonstrators to rally demanding their release, activists said Tuesday. Three activists from Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement", were arrested Monday in the...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
What was once Bentiu, the gateway to South Sudan's oil fields, is now a cluster of bullet-riddled buildings and piles of scrap metal, its ghostly avenues abandoned. Residents of the town have long since decamped to a well-ordered grid of mud dwellings ringed by sewage, where they live in wretched...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Hurbain Souomi was only five years old, but he still remembers the day he trekked 50 kilometres (30 miles) across the border into Liberia to escape gunfire strafing his Ivory Coast village. "There was shooting everywhere. My big sister rounded us up and we ran away to go to Liberia," he recalled,...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
More than 3,000 people have been killed in eight months of spiralling violence in DR Congo's troubled central region of Kasai, a report by the Roman Catholic church said. According to figures compiled by the church and listed in a report by the papal envoy, a copy of which was seen by AFP on...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The UN rights chief on Tuesday accused authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo of backing a new militia behind "horrific attacks" in the Kasai provinces, including killing and mutilating hundreds of civilians. "I am appalled by the creation and arming of a militia, the Bana Mura, allegedly...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Thirty-one people were killed over the weekend in central Mali as ethnic groups clashed over land in a zone where the state is near-absent and jihadists roam freely. Nomadic Fulani people and farmers from the Dogon ethnic group have engaged in tit-for-tat violence sparked by Fulanis grazing their...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
At least 10 people were killed when Shabaab Islamists drove an explosives-laden minibus into local government offices in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, according to the security ministry. The minibus was rammed through a security barrier outside offices in the southern district of Wadajir...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
GENEVA — Congo's justice minister says investigations into killings in the central Kasai regions have "progressed well'' and four people have been arrested over the grisly slayings of two U.N. experts. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba expressed opposition to European Union resolution at the Human Rights...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The Central African Republic's government on Monday signed an "immediate ceasefire" deal with rebel groups at a meeting in Rome aimed at ending violence in the strife-torn country. The accord, negotiated over five days, was hailed as a precious chance to stabilise one of the world's most volatile...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
A second set of tests on the suspected remains of Burkina Faso's iconic ex-president Thomas Sankara have returned inconclusive, with "no DNA profile" to confirm it was his body, the family's lawyer has said. Sometimes referred to as Africa's "Che Guevara", Sankara died during a coup d'etat in...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
A UN tribunal has agreed to review its appeals judgement against a former Rwandan minister found guilty of genocide crimes, a case blocked for months by the detention of one of the court's top judges. In a statement released Monday the UN's Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals said in a...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Benin President Patrice Talon underwenttwo surgeries during a prolonged stay in Paris, one procedure due to doctors finding a lesion in his prostate, his office said Monday. The admission comes weeks after Talon's absence, which lasted nearly a month, had been a hot topic in the tiny West African...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Two Tanzanian energy magnates on Monday became the first big industrialists to be charged over a multi-million-dollar graft scandal that led to the sacking of several top officials three years ago. A 2014 audit created an uproar after showing fraudulent payment of some $120 million (107 million...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The top US envoy in Sudan pushed Monday for more access to deliver humanitarian aid to Golo as he visited the former rebel stronghold in war-torn Darfur under tight security. US charge d'affaires Steven Koutsis was in Golo as part of a tour to assess the security situation in Darfur as the United...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Three foreigners and a Malian civilian and soldier were killed in an jihadist assault on a popular tourist resort near Mali's capital, the country's security minister said Monday. Salif Traore said a Chinese man, a Portuguese man, a Gabonese national and a Malian were killed when gunmen fired on...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
The high-living son of Equatorial Guinea's leader, with a taste for supercars, luxury homes and bespoke suits, goes back on trial in Paris Monday on corruption charges after a six-month delay. A French court agreed in January to adjourn the trial of Teodorin Obiang, his country's vice-president, at...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
A Somali military court sentenced a naval officer to death Monday for shooting dead the minister of public works in what the defense argued was an accident. A young minister seen as an inspiration to many in the conflict-torn nation, Abbas Abdullahi Siraji, 31, was killed last month when armed...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Mali's government said Monday five suspected jhadists were in custody after an assault on a popular tourist resort near the capital, Bamako, which left two civilians dead. Four attackers were killed at the scene, Security Minister Salif Traore told AFP, while 36 hostages were freed following the...
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- Rwanda's ruling party on Saturday chose longtime President Paul Kagame as its candidate for the August election, where he is expected to face a handful of challengers who either represent small parties or are independent. Kagame, who has ruled this East African nation since...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
At least 16 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks near a camp for those made homeless by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria, emergency services said on Monday. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attacks took place at about 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday close to the...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
The two civilians killed in a jihadist attack on a Mali tourist resort were both working for the European Union, the bloc's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Monday. "Unfortunately, I can confirm that there were two victims among our European Union colleagues, a Malian woman and a...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
The top US envoy in Sudan began Sunday a four-day trip to Darfur to assess security in the war-torn region as the UN prepares to downsize its 17,000-strong peacekeeping force. The visit of Steven Koutsis, Washington's charge d'affaires in Khartoum, also comes just weeks before President Donald...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
The outlawed Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo close to the South Sudanese border as a U.S.-supported regional task force pulls out, the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report on Friday. Forty rebels from the group, which is led by Joseph Kony,...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Suspected jihadists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with foreigners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday, briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead. The assault on the Kangaba Le Campement resort comes after a similar strike less than two...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, whose sudden death in China at just 30 years old shocked his country, was laid to rest Sunday as he was hailed a "worthy son" of the African nation. Tiote, a 52-time capped player who featured at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, was honoured with a military...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Suspected jihadists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with foreigners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday, briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead. The assault on the Kangaba Le Campement resort comes after a similar strike less than two...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
A soldier and 12 militants were killed Saturday in clashes in DR Congo's restive eastern North-Kivu province, the army said. "Twelve Mai-Mai and an officer from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo died in fighting that last nearly all of Saturday for control of the Kabasha area...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Algeria's army said Sunday that it had killed three armed Islamists and captured several others in an ongoing operation in the country's east. The joint operation by the army and other security forces in Constantine and Skikda, underway since June 11, has led to "the elimination of three terrorists...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Corner shops, markets and street traders are still the traditional way most Senegalese do their shopping, but micro-businesses are turning to digital means of tracking clients in the west African nation's informal economy. Amadou Bawol Bah, like many owners of the corner "boutiques" in Senegal,...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
A roadside bomb Sunday killed an Egyptian policeman and wounded four others on a highway on the southern outskirts of Cairo, the interior ministry said. "A bomb buried by the side of the road exploded" as the vehicle drove by in the early hours of the morning, the ministry said in a statement...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Five soldiers were killed Saturday in northern Mali, where a surge in violence has prompted calls for the UN to create a new anti-jihadist force for the region. Eight soldiers were wounded and nine vehicles were destroyed in the attack on the camp at Bintagoungou at about 5:00 am, an army statement...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Guards check drivers' papers to keep out uninvited guests from gated compounds where Egypt's rich can escape the chaos of Cairo's streets in a country with a widening wealth gap. Built in the deserts around Cairo, some compounds offer amenities such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, health...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Two soldiers were killed and others abducted Saturday after jihadists attacked a military base in northern Mali, a local official and a resident told AFP. "Around five o'clock, the jihadists attacked the military camp at Bintagoungou," some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Timbuktu, the official said...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
The Libyan coastguard has rescued more than 900 African and Asian migrants attempting to reach Europe, a navy spokesman said on Saturday. "A coastguard patrol from Zawiya (west of Tripoli) intercepted five inflatable boats and a wooden vessel carrying 906 migrants at dawn on Friday," General Ayoub...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
South Africa buried the "spirit" of one of its first rebel leaders Friday, 200 years after his death in Australia, where his bones were never found. A traditional ritual was performed by indigenous elders to bring Khoi San chief Dawid Stuurman's spirit home, and a coffin symbolically carrying the...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
A team from the International Criminal Court (ICC) will visit Gabon next week to look into claims of post-election violence last year, the court prosecutor's office announced Friday, in a move welcomed by rights activists. The ICC has yet to open a formal inquiry into the claims of violence made by...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
In 2013, thousands of young men formed a rag-tag militia and rounded up Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, then handed them over to the military. The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), as it later became known, was instrumental in driving the Islamist militants out of the strategic...