Tuesday 27 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
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 response and to prioritise dialogue between all parties in the conflict," Adama Dieng, UN special adviser on prevention of genocide told reporters in Kinshasa. "There is no genocide in the Kasai. There is violence that...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
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," Aranaz said. The seven soldiers were on trial for war crimes and other offences -- including murder, mutilation and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment -- apparently committed in the Kasai region. They are being prosecuted after a video emerged in February showing...
(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," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement, giving no details about how his release was secured. Gustafsson, 42, was abducted in Timbuktu, northern Mali, in November 2011...
(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 ... we are going to arrest whoever is involved and charge them in courts of law," the state-owned Daily News quoted Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba as saying. In the country's latest attack on its homosexual community, Nchemba also said foreigners involved in such campaigns would be "deported within no time ... they will not have even the time to unplug their mobile phones from the socket."
(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 spokesman Colonel Azem, indicating eight soldiers had died and another 18 were wounded. He also claimed troops had killed 162 jihadists from the Nigeria-based group. Chad is part of a five-nation regional force -- comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Benin --
(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) to help nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing civil war. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pledges were a good beginning, but that more was needed. "I think it is a very good...
(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 attack on the northern city of Kano. A third man, described as an "explosive expert", was arrested in Kano state on Tuesday, DSS spokesman Tony Oyuipo said in 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 battalions and police reinforcements had been sent. Police say 18 people were killed in unrest between the Mambilla and Fulani groups in the central state earlier this week but others put the death toll at...
(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 tackle the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis triggered by continuing civil war in South Sudan. Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stood out in a world where many countries are turning their backs...
(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 Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest...
(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 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Al-Hoceima along with two fellow activists. A dozen police officers broke down the door of his house in the early hours of the morning,...
(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 fire. A spokesman for the country's armed forces (FARDC) told AFP the confrontation started when a new rebel group staged an early-morning attack on two of its positions east of the city, saying...
(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 Mohamed, Somalia's internal security ministry spokesman told reporters. Police officer Abdukadir Moalim said a suicide bomber had driven the car into the outer wall of the Waberi police station, killing...
(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 Economic and Organised Crime Office in the capital Accra with a petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of offenders, and for stolen money to be recovered. The action is similar...
(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 their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive. But by next month, that food will have...
(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 murders, and uncertainty over the motive, have spread fear throughout local government in the region. "Two road security police officers were shot dead during the day", the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting corporation (TBC) reported. A local official told AFP on Wednesday, "According to the information we have, it was in broad daylight".
(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 the pretext of cutting crime in the megacity. The government went ahead with the demolitions in a series of raids across the city that saw security agents bulldoze homes to the ground and in April shoot people with live ammunition. Judge Adeniyi Onigbanjo, sitting at the Lagos State High Court, on Wednesday ruled that the demolitions were unconstitutional and violated the residents' rights.
(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 district of Borno state on Tuesday. "The truck hit the landmine at about 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) and went up in flames, killed all three loggers on board," said...
(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 Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement. "All four crew members on board were martyred." Sudan's fleet of Russian-manufactured aircraft has suffered several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently...
(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 children," were brought back from Libya, Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NSS) told reporters. Six of the children will be handed over to relatives while the state will take care of the other two because authorities could not find any next of kin, he said.

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