Sunday 22 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
At least 26 people were killed during clashes in a southeast region of the Central African Republic where the government has struggled to assert its authority, the UN's peacekeeping force in the country said Friday. Another 11 people were wounded in the violence on Wednesday, which came ahead of a visit by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the country next week. The clashes occurred in the town of Pombolo, in a region where tensions have flared between Muslim and Christian militias since May in which dozens of civilians have been killed. Seraphin Embondza, commander of the UN's MINUSCA mission in the country, told the UN radio station Guira FM that the wounded had not...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
A 1,200-kilometre (750 mile) round bus trip taking about 22 hours: that is the weekly grind faced by families of activists arrested over a protest movement in northern Morocco if they want to see their loved ones jailed in Casablanca. "The families of those detained are exhausted, every week it's the same ordeal," complained Rachid Ahbbad, as he visited his 19-year-old son Bilal who was jailed in June. "Why do they make us go through this suffering?" The Rif region of northern Morocco, a predominantly Berber area, was gripped earlier this year by months of angry demonstrations calling for jobs, development and an end to corruption in the North African kingdom. Originally sparked by the death of a fisherman crushed...
(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. “Besigye and his colleagues led these...
(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, using the opportunity to push his campaign for re-election and warn his rival against disrupting next Thursday's vote. The president, whose August victory was overturned by the Supreme Court, accused the opposition of abusing hard-fought democratic freedoms "to create anarchy". Upon his arrival at the ceremony Kenyatta was obliged to shake hands with Chief Justice David Maraga...
(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 Gnassingbe, whose family has been in power for over 50 years. They want the constitution changed so that presidents can only serve two, five-year terms of office. Gnassingbe has been in power...
(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 and cooperate in the fight against extremist groups including Boko Haram jihadists. "There are a lot of potentialities in terms of investment. Already a lot is being done in the education and the health sectors," said Buhari...
(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 (1530 GMT) is three shot dead in Lome", with 44 shot and wounded, and a further 36 beaten up. Togo's security minister, Colonel Yark Damehame, denied the claims, however, saying no-one was killed. The streets of the coastal capital were largely deserted in anticipation of the rally, which the opposition refused to cancel despite a government ban on weekday marches on security grounds.
(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, said the five were shot in the Be area of the city and two of them were in a "critical" condition. Shots were fired around the home of ANC leader Jean-Pierre Fabre, he...
(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 once bustling district, before gathering at a stadium where they chanted: "We are ready to fight". Residents of the Somali capital, while wearily accustomed to regular bombs and attacks by the Islamist militants, have been outraged by the strike on Saturday which....
(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 addressed, that made us pull out of this race, then we will reconsider," Odinga said. "But as it stands right now, our position is (as) we announced it yesterday," he warned. Odinga made the...
(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 years in prison over an illegal protest. The rights groups urged the court to "uphold justice and the rule of law and to rectify gross violations of the law" which...
(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 and Thursday, despite a government ban on weekday protests on security grounds. The government said three people were shot dead in second city Sokode while one was killed and several wounded by gunfire in capital Lome. "Security forces aren't the only ones in possession of weapons so it's difficult to say who fired," security minister Colonel Yark Damehame told reporters.
(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," Guterres told AFP and Radio France Internationale in an interview on Wednesday. "The level of suffering of the people but also the trauma suffered by aid workers and peacekeepers are deserving of our solidarity and...
(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 Alindao and Bangassou after clashes erupted. The number of victims has yet to be confirmed. In August, in the nearby town of Gambo, clashes killed 60 civilians and 22 fighters, according to the UN...
(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 government's crackdown on the anglophone minority had failed and had only served to fuel a clamour for independence. French-speaking Cameroon has a large anglophone minority which comprises around a fifth of its population of 22 million. Gathered mainly in two regions, many English-speakers say the suffer inequality and discrimination.
(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 Raila Odinga has refused to participate and the country's election commission is divided and in turmoil. Here are the key questions: - Will there be an election on October 26? -...
(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 more than 400 in what were the country’s deadliest truck bombings. Police initially opened fire to prevent people from accessing the rubble-strewn scene of the attack, injuring at least two people, the...
(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 ban on weekday protests on security grounds. In the capital Lome, streets were blocked and most shops were shut in the commercial area of Deckon, according to AFP reporters in the city. "We've decided to stick it out," said one bare-chested protester who had wrapped his T-shirt around his head.
(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 of supporters in a suburb of Nairobi. Odinga said last week he was withdrawing from the election, accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of failing to reform since...
(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 million (1.05 million euros) over a diamond ring deal that went sour last year," The Herald newspaper said. "In breach of the agreement, Mr Ahmed failed to deliver the ring, triggering a legal wrangle." In...

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