| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are likely to lose the 2019 elections," Gordhan told CNN late Thursday. "If we, like any business organisation or political organisation, fail to muster the right leadership, stick by the right kind of values and do...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Nigerian officials on Thursday sought to allay fears about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari after his absence from the last two cabinet meetings. Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said there was "no need for apprehension" that he had missed the meetings but he was only following medical advice. "As eager as he is to be up and about, the president's doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago," Shehu said in an emailed statement. "Full recovery is sometimes a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation," he said, adding that Buhari was still in charge, despite his lack of public appearances. The...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Thursday he will be leaving office next year and "graciously hand over" to his succesor. In his last state-of-the-nation address, delivered on the country's 56th independence anniversary, Koroma said he was leaving a "legacy of peace and unity" that all Sierra Leoneans should be committed to defend. A presidential election has been scheduled for March 2018. Koroma commended the country for its resilience, noting that over the years, he has observed that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, will visit Khartoum on Sunday for talks on the conflict in the North African country, the Sudanese foreign ministry said. Kobler, on his first visit to Sudan, is expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and other senior officials in Khartoum. "He will discuss efforts made by Arab League and African Union to solve the Libyan crisis," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Ghandour will also attend a...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The UN Security Council on Thursday postponed voting on a draft resolution on the Western Sahara conflict amid signs the Polisario Front independence movement was preparing a pullback from a tense zone of the contested territory, a council diplomat said. The US-drafted text included a strong appeal to the Polisario Front to immediately withdraw from the Guerguerat strip, which has become a potential flashpoint between the independence fighters and Moroccan troops. "The council wants to see if there is any...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
An alliance of Kenyan opposition parties chose former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in elections scheduled for August. Odinga’s running mate on the National Super Alliance ticket will be former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said Thursday at a rally in the capital, Nairobi. The two were recommended by a technical committee that also considered former Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula as potential candidates. “The one who will fly the NASA flag is engineer, the right Honorable Raila Odinga,” Mudavadi said to the cheers of thousands of supporters at a rally in Uhuru Park in the city center.
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday he will not interfere in any decision the courts or parliament take on a controversial move to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. "I fulfilled my part, and it is now in the parliament and with the judiciary. We won't interfere," Sisi said live on television during a conference in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya. The deal to hand over the islands, signed during an April 2016 visit by Saudi King Salman during which Riyadh showered Egypt with aid, provoked accusations in Egypt that Cairo had "sold" the strategic islands.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday debated a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali - a bill already delayed two years by popular opposition. The bill would protect from prosecution those accused of corruption; in exchange, they would be required to return the money they extracted. Government officials see the "economic reconciliation" law as a way to inject funds into an economy still recovering after the 2011 revolt that ousted Ben Ali. But critics are calling for protests over what they call an amnesty for criminals.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
East African states and South Africa believe that allowing South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to return to the war-torn country would not "necessarily be positive at this stage," said United Nations envoy David Shearer on Wednesday. Machar, who fled to Democratic Republic of Congo in August after fierce fighting in South Sudan, is being held in South Africa to prevent him from stirring up trouble, diplomatic and political sources told Reuters in December. Shearer, who heads a U.N. peacekeeping...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
The United States on Tuesday urged the divided UN Security Council to back an arms embargo and sanctions against South Sudan after the UN envoy reported that the war there is worsening. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council that UN demands for a ceasefire, access for aid workers and a return to political talks had been "totally ignored" by President Salva Kiir's government. "I call on this council to move forward with the tools available to it, such as...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
The UN Security Council is expected to vote Thursday on a draft resolution backing a UN bid to re-start talks on settling the decades-old Western Sahara conflict, diplomats said. The draft resolution would also put pressure on the Polisario Front independence movement to immediately withdraw fighters from a tense buffer zone after Morocco pulled back its forces in February, according to the text seen by AFP. The United States circulated the proposed resolution to the Security Council on Monday after...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday it was ready to impose targeted sanctions against those it deems responsible for blocking the implementation of a deal to resolve a political crisis in Guinea-Bissau. The former Portuguese colony's parliament has not sat in over a year amid a dispute between rival factions, including supporters of President Jose Mario Vaz and backers of former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira. The parties agreed to a deal following talks in Conakry, capital of...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Tuesday asked Russia to help end its domestic conflict when meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Bogdanov said his visit to Tripoli is "a continuation of Serraj's visit to Russia and to develop mechanisms to implement what was agreed upon during that visit." "We have promised your excellency the return of cooperative relations between the two countries and we will honor this pledge," Bogdanov told Serraj during the meeting. Serraj welcomed Russian investments in Libya in the fields of energy, railroads, and infrastructure. Serraj expressed hope for Russia "to use its international status to help lift the arms embargo on libya.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
A crowd of elated young men danced outside the market in Kenya’s southern Kisumu city, waving the crisp new 200 shilling ($2) notes that a local politician was distributing from behind a dusty speaker that pounded out music. Shoppers paid scant attention. Cash handouts are common during African elections; in Kenya, the devolution of power to 47 counties has made them ubiquitous in the run up to polls for president, parliament and counties due on Aug 8. The counties, which...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
UN officials launched a bid Tuesday to raise $65.4 million (59.75 million euros) in emergency funds for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Kasai region. Fighting between government troops and tribal militias has forced more than a million people from their homes over the past eight months. The UN's humanitarian affairs coordinator Mamadou Diallo said the funds would help "respond to the urgent and multiple needs of 731,000 people during the next six...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Two years after Burundi's president plunged the central African country into turmoil, the regime shows no signs of easing up on a crackdown that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee. The UN estimates that at least 500 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in April 2015. Aid groups say as many as 2,000 people have died. Nkurunziza's re-election move violated the two-term limit set by the constitution and a 2006 peace deal that...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Chad's former president Hissene Habre will Thursday hear the final decision on an appeal against a life sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and rape, following his landmark conviction last year. The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union (AU), sentenced Habre last May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers. In July, the court further ruled that Habre should give up...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Angola's cabinet said on Monday that elections will be held on August 23 to choose a successor to President Eduardo dos Santos after 38 years of iron-fisted rule. Dos Santos, 74, has been in power since 1979 and has announced that he will not contest the election. His ruling party's presidential candidate will be the current defence minister. "At the suggestion of the president of the republic... the nation's cabinet on Monday approved August 23 as the date for Angola's...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the gloves off in the contest to become the nation’s next leader, delivering a scathing speech criticizing “the rot” and widespread patronage plaguing the ruling African National Congress. Ramaphosa stopped short of openly declaring his candidacy to succeed President Jacob Zuma, 75, in a speech on Sunday, but his address left no doubt that his campaign is now firmly under way. He made several thinly veiled attacks on Zuma, who’s indicated that he’s backing his ex-wife and mother of four of his children, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top post. Dlamini-Zuma, who’s spent the past few weeks traversing the country drumming up support while guarded

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