Friday 23 February 2018

All Africa

AFP (eng) 2/22/18
The Islamic State group on Thursday claimed a suicide car bomb attack in central Libya against the forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar, a day after it killed three militiamen.
The attack Wednesday in the Waddan region is the first claimed by the group in the violence-ridden North African country since October.
The group's Amaq propaganda arm said in an online statement that the blast at a checkpoint of the "apostate militia of Haftar" was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Libya has been gripped...
Reuters (Eng) 2/22/18
MAPUTO (Reuters) - The southern hemisphere summer rainy season has killed 50 people in Mozambique since October, the country’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said in its latest update on Thursday.
This figure includes 17 people killed in the capital Maputo on Monday when a 15-metre pile of garbage collapsed due to heavy rain and buried seven houses.
Elsewhere, torrential rains and winds have caused flooding, including in the gas-rich north of the country, with 7,200 dwellings...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Hundreds of workers at a South African coal mine owned by the Guptas, a family closely associated with ex-president Jacob Zuma, have gone on strike over uncertainty about the company's future. Some 2,500 workers downed tools at the mine in eastern Mpumalanga province, demanding clarity on whether...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Seven Egyptian soldiers and 71 jihadists have been killed since the launch of a wide-ranging operation to quell an Islamic State group affiliate in Sinai earlier this month, the military said. "As a result of the heroic combat operations by our armed forces...seven heroes of the armed forces were...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Thursday 21 people to death for planning attacks and weapons possession. Only five of the defendants sentenced to death were present at the trial, and they may appeal the ruling. The remaining 16 were tried in absentia and could get a retrial if arrested. The court...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
In at least 60 incidents over the last year and a half journalists in South Sudan were killed, beaten, detained, denied entry or fired for doing their jobs, a UN report said Thursday. State security officers were responsible for the majority of the incidents verified by the UN Mission in South...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
An elderly British couple have been kidnapped in South Africa, police said Thursday, amid reports they were abducted by extremists suspected to have links to the Islamic State group. The British foreign office confirmed that a pair of Britons had been kidnapped and warned of a heightened risk of...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Listeriosis in South Africa has killed 172 people since the start of last year, officials said Thursday, as the country struggles to contain the world's largest reported outbreak of the disease. Listeriosis is caused by a natural bacteria found in soil, water, vegetation and animal faeces, and can...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Nigeria's Boko Haram jihadists have killed five civilians and two soldiers in fresh attacks in Cameroon and Chad, local sources said Thursday. "A group of Boko Haram fighters made an incursion during (Tuesday) night in Assigashia," a source close to administrative authorities in the northern...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
A number of girls missing for several days after a Boko Haram attack on their school in northeast Nigeria have been found, a state government official and a senior military source said. Police said on Wednesday that 111 girls from the state-run boarding school in Dapchi, Yobe state, were...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Nigeria's Boko Haram, suspected of another mass kidnapping of school girls, started out as an Islamic anti-corruption group but mutated into an IS affiliate waging a lethal insurgency. - Fundamentalist - Boko Haram aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria -- a campaign that has...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Authorities in DR Congo on Wednesday unveiled an electronic voting machine that will be used in key elections this year, despite accusations that the technology could skew the outcome. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) showed off the machine to reporters, saying it was essential...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
More than a hundred Tanzanian civil society groups raised their voices on Wednesday against "unprecedented" violations of human and democratic rights under the government of President John Magufuli. In a rare act of public solidarity, 105 organisations signed a statement warning of "multiple cases...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
The new freezers at Somalia's only forensic laboratory can store thousands of DNA samples, although for now there are just five. The big hope is that they could be the start of a revolution in how the troubled Horn of Africa country tackles its widespread sexual violence -- provided some daunting...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali children suspected of links to the Islamist insurgency are being held in adult jails where they are vulnerable to abuse, and tried in military courts, Somali families said, backing up allegations in a human rights report. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday al...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Two French soldiers were killed and another was hurt Wednesday when their armoured vehicle struck a mine in Mali, the French presidency said. Around 4,000 French troops are deployed in Mali and neighbouring countries to fight jihadist groups that have staged a string of attacks and kidnappings,...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Three militiamen from forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar were killed Wednesday in a car bomb attack in the central Waddan region, a militia spokesman said. The blast -- which was not immediately claimed by any group -- wounded two others at a checkpoint on the road leading to Tripoli,...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
President Alpha Conde's ruling party won a significant majority in Guinea's first local elections since 2005, near-complete results showed on Wednesday, although the main opposition party took the capital, Conakry. The election held on February 4 was the first of its kind since the end of military...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Fears grew in northeast Nigeria on Wednesday about the fate of potentially scores of girls who have not been seen since a Boko Haram attack on their school two days ago. Militants stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday evening. Locals initially said...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Thousands of Zimbabweans gathered Tuesday to bid a final farewell to opposition veteran Morgan Tsvangirai who was one of Africa's most admired politicians and lived to see the fall of his political nemesis Robert Mugabe. "We are celebrating a hero," said the opposition Movement for Democratic...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Zimbabweans marked Robert Mugabe's 94th birthday on Wednesday with an official day off, but without the extravagant cakes and fawning tributes that defined February 21 for much of his 37-year rule. As president, Mugabe typically celebrated with a rambling speech while wearing a suit decorated with...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Qatar and Chad are to restore diplomatic relations, severed in August soon after the start of a Saudi-led boycott of the emirate, Doha's foreign ministry said Tuesday, Lolwah Al-Khater, Qatar's foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on social media that both countries would return their ambassadors...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Liberia's new President George Weah on Tuesday pledged to fight corruption as he spoke about conditions in his "broke country" on the first day of an official visit to Paris. The former international football star who, took office on January 22, is faced with a dire economic situation in Liberia...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Nigeria's aviation authorities said Wednesday they had launched an investigation into how a passenger plane overshot the runway while landing in the southern city of Port Harcourt. The incident involving a Dana Air Boeing MD-83 jet happened at about 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) on Tuesday. None of the 44...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
A Boko Haram attack on a girls school in northeast Nigeria has revived fears of another Chibok-style mass kidnapping, even as the government claims the jihadists are on the verge of defeat. Dozens of heavily armed fighters stormed Dapchi village in the Bursari area of Yobe state on Monday evening,...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
One in three Burundians will need humanitarian assistance this year, a 20 percent increase on 2017 as conditions worsen in one of the world's poorest countries, the UN development body said Tuesday. The vulnerability of the Burundi people "is perpetuated by the socio-economic situation but also by...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has named his party secretary general Henri Mova Sakanyi as the new interior minister and deputy prime minister, state television reported Tuesday. He replaces Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari, who has been in the post since December 2016. "This is no...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
An armed gang stormed into a rural police station in South Africa on Wednesday and stole firearms in an attack that left five officers and a soldier dead, police said. The robbers entered the police station in the southern village of Engcobo shortly after midnight, opening fire on the officers and...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
A Congolese humanitarian worker, kidnapped at the weekend in the troubled east of DR Congo by an armed group that killed two of his colleagues, has been freed, his NGO said Tuesday. "He was freed yesterday (Monday)... We found him with several cuts on his face," said Richard Kahindo, head of the...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
South Africans were hit by the first sales tax increase since apartheid when the finance minister delivered a tough budget on Wednesday, dampening optimism spurred by the country's new reformist president. President Cyril Ramaphosa took over last week from the scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma, raising...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A Spanish court on Tuesday allowed an Ivory Coast man to walk free, with only a small fine to pay, after his son was found crammed into a suitcase at a border crossing. Prosecutors had initially sought a three-year prison term for Ali Ouattara, 45, for facilitating his son's illegal entry into...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/20/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa, acting on a pledge to fight corruption, said on Tuesday he planned to screen the lifestyles of future government officials as he mulled the make-up of a new cabinet. Ramaphosa, who was sworn in on Thursday after his scandal-plagued...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
An Egyptian court on Tuesday put a leading government critic and 15 others on terror lists at the request of the public prosecutor, a judicial official said. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, who is accused of joining an illegally formed group and spreading false news in Egypt that could harm its interests...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/20/18)
SOWETO, South Africa (Reuters) - Ndumiso Madlala, head of the Soweto Gold Brewery, says he is banking on new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to kick-start the economy and help his business grow. The micro brewery was founded five years ago in the Johannesburg township but has struggled to...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
The treason trial of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu resumed on Tuesday but the defendant again failed to turn up in court. The former London estate agent's populist rhetoric has tapped into lingering separatist sentiment for a breakaway state among the Igbo people who dominate the region...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday he wanted "healing and atonement" following the 2012 massacre of 34 striking workers at a mine run by Lonmin where he was a director. Ramaphosa has been dogged by allegations that he was partly responsible for the slayings, the worst police...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi has met the leader of opposition Renamo as part of efforts to broker peace between the group and his ruling Frelimo party. Renamo rebels fought a 16-year war against Frelimo until 1992, and unrest again boiled over between 2013 and 2016. Nyusi travelled to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Libya's coastguard rescued 441 migrants in two separate operations as their boats drifted off the western coast, the navy and a doctor said on Tuesday. Thirty-five women and 16 children were among 324 illegal migrants rescued in one of the operations on Monday with help from a fishing boat, a navy...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Nearly half of the opposition supporters arrested during a wave of anti-government demonstrations in Togo will be pardoned, Ghanaian mediators have said as talks to end a six-month political crisis got under way in Lome. Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe "has decided to give a presidential pardon...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
More than five million people have signed up to vote in Burundi's controversial constitutional referendum in May and elections in 2020, which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034. By the end of the inscription process on Saturday, "a total of 5,000,742 people"...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A cholera outbreak in Malawi described as "very difficult to contain" has claimed nine lives and affected a total of 541 people nationwide, health officials said on Tuesday. The outbreak began in November near the landlocked southern African nation's northern border with Tanzania and has since...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Two Kenyan pilots held for over a month after crash-landing their plane in rebel-held South Sudan have been released, a rebel spokesman said Tuesday. The two men were flying South Sudanese aid workers close to Akobo in the east of the country early last month when they were forced to make an...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
The African Export-Import Bank said it will invest up to $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros) in fishing, mining and financial projects in Mauritania, as the mineral-rich north African desert nation seeks to diversify its economy. Afreximbank, based in Cairo, was set up by African countries in 1993 to...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A linchpin of South Africa's Gupta business family, which has been closely associated with ex- president Jacob Zuma, fought back Monday against a corruption probe by contesting an assets freeze. Atul Gupta applied to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to force investigators probing a suspect...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
European embassies in Sudan on Monday jointly urged Khartoum to release all remaining political detainees held since protests against rising food prices erupted last month. Their heads of mission also appealed to Khartoum to lift the state of emergency declared in two states in December. On Sunday...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Residents of drought-stricken Cape Town received good news Tuesday when city officials said they now face losing piped water to their homes by July 9 -- a month later than last forecast. But Capetonians are not yet out of the woods. If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called "...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Separatists in Cameroon's restive English-speaking regions have faced a violent crackdown since declaring the creation of "Ambazonia", a self-proclaimed republic independent from the majority French-speaking country. The violence has helped fuel support for a growing separatist movement, including...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Boko Haram jihadists launched an attack on a girls boarding school in northeast Nigeria but the students and teachers fled to safety, witnesses said Monday. A convoy of fighters in pickup trucks descended on Dapchi village in the Bursari area of Yobe state around 6 pm (1700 GMT) targeting the...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Nigeria has freed another 51 Boko Haram suspects in the latest round of dropped cases for lack of evidence, the justice ministry said Monday. Over the course of last week, hundreds of suspected Boko Haram extremists appeared before a court at the Kainji military base in central Niger state. A total...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Two Congolese aid workers were killed and a third abducted by an unidentified armed group in the troubled North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said Monday. "We lost two fellow aid workers killed in the line of duty by unidentified armed people," the UN's Office...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A policeman died from a head wound on Monday sustained as people protested over delayed local election results in Guinea and teachers went on strike over pay, a police spokesman said. Thousands of young people have been demonstrating in the Guinean capital, Conakry, over the failure to announce...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Benin's government is looking to bring court proceedings against the country's former finance minister as well as two opposition lawmakers who were close to former president Thomas Boni Yayi, a parliamentary source told AFP on Monday. "The request came direct to the office of the parliamentary...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Botswana at the weekend hanged a 28-year-old man following the murder of his girlfriend and her son in 2010, its first execution after a two-year hiatus, a prison official said Monday. The execution of Joseph Tselayarona execution follows President Ian Khama’s remarks few weeks ago that he supports...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
France on Monday urged the UN's top court to throw out a case brought against it in a bitter diplomatic row with oil-rich Equatorial Guinea over French accusations of top-level corruption. "France has not accepted the jurisdiction of this court under any title whatsoever to entertain those facts on...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Long-awaited talks between Togo's government and the opposition began on Monday to try to end a six-month political stand-off that has seen thousands take to the streets in almost weekly protests against the ruling party. President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005, has faced calls...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Thousands of Zimbabweans and foreign mourners took to the streets of Harare Monday to pay tribute to Zimbabwe's iconic opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died after a battle with cancer. Supporters wore the trademark red of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which Tsvangirai led...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Mozambique's emergency service warned there could be more victims, trapped under the vast waste pile which is located in the Hulene district of the capital. "The information we received from local authorities is that the number of people living in those houses exceeds the number of deaths recorded...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo airport, Africa's largest, was evacuated on Monday and passengers forced to wait for two hours to return after South African officials identified a suspect bag. Images of the deserted terminal were posted to social media while other photographs showed crowds of passengers...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Five Nigerian police officers who were accused of killing Boko Haram's founder Mohammed Yusuf while in their custody have been reinstated, a police oversight body said on Monday. The officers were charged with committing a terrorist act and unlawfully killing the Islamist group's spiritual leader...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Nigeria's authorities need to disclose the whereabouts of pro-Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu or risk a mass boycott of next year's election, his wife said in an interview broadcast Monday. Uchechi Kanu said her husband, who has not been seen for six months, should be "the number one issue" in the run-...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
A Catholic bishop in southern Nigeria has resigned after the Vatican failed to quell fierce objections over his nomination because he did not belong to a local clan of the Igbo ethnic group. The Vatican announced the resignation of Monsignor Peter Ebere Okpaleke on Monday, six years after Pope...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tunisia's coastguard has rescued 48 Tunisian migrants whose boat began sinking as they tried to reach Italy by sea, the interior ministry said Saturday. A patrol spotted the vessel on Friday night off Jebeniana, 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Tunis. The nine-metre (30-foot) craft "was sinking...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Five people were killed Saturday in an ambush by suspected Ugandan Islamist rebels in the Beni region of Democratic Republic of Congo's chronically troubled east, officials said. Local official Leon Bahungako said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group were behind the attack in which three women...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Thousands of Libyans on Saturday marked the seventh anniversary of the start of protests that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rallies and concerts despite the country's political and economic morass. In the capital Tripoli, and across many cities in the North African country, thousands packed...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Egypt said Monday three of its soldiers had been killed in the Sinai Peninsula during a wide-ranging operation against the local branch of the Islamic State group. Four "extremists" were also killed, the military said in a statement. It was the first military death toll announced since the army...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Nigeria has freed another 475 Boko Haram suspects following a series of mass trials in which most cases were dropped for lack of evidence, the justice ministry said Sunday. Over the course of the week, hundreds of suspected Boko Haram extremists have appeared before a court at the Kainji military...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday ordered an inquiry after police admitted responsibility for the death of a 22-year-old student who was hit by a stray bullet as they sought to break up an opposition rally. The young woman's death on Friday night triggered an outpouring of national anger...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Zimbabwe’s president on Sunday praised opposition icon Morgan Tsvangirai who died last week as an outstanding political figure who had endured political hardship and deserved his place in the country's history. Tsvangirai, the strongest and fiercest opponent ever to Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Burkinabe filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo, a towering figure in African cinema, died Sunday at the age of 64, the national film makers guild announced in a statement. Ouedraogo produced or directed some 40 films from the 1980s to the 2000s, set in Africa and often exploring the strains between modern...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
South Africa has widened a corruption probe into allies of ex-president Jacob Zuma to other countries including India, China and Dubai, the police minister said Sunday. Fikile Mbalula made the announcement days after South Africa issued an arrest warrant for one of the brothers of the Gupta...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Gambian President Adama Barrow announced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dictator Yahya Jammeh. Barrow, a onetime security guard in London who was elected president in December 2016, signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Sudan on Sunday released dozens of opposition activists arrested last month in a crackdown on protests against rising food prices, an AFP correspondent reported. The release of detainees, including some top opposition figures, came three days after the US embassy voiced concern over the arrests and...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
After six months of political crisis, a dialogue between Togo's government and the opposition opening on Monday is seen by many as the last chance to resolve a bitter dispute over the rule of embattled President Faure Gnassingbe. But the talks have raised a welter of emotions in this tiny west...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia said Saturday that a state of emergency will remain in place for six months, as the authorities move to quell "chaos and unruliness". The council of ministers declared the country's second emergency decree in two years on Friday evening. It capped a tumultuous week that saw Prime Minister...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia on Friday declared a state of emergency one day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation, state media reported. "A state of emergency has been declared as of now," the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said, citing a decision by the council of ministers. A...