Tuesday 22 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Six teenage suspects were arrested in Morocco on Monday after video footage of young men reportedly sexually molesting a woman on a bus caused widespread outrage on social networks. A Moroccan police statement reported the arrests of the six aged between 15 and 17 after the incident in the kingdom's economic capital Casablanca. In the footage posted on Sunday, six bare-chested teenagers are seen assaulting a weeping young woman and laughing as they touch her private parts. The half-stripped victim is seen crying out in distress as no passenger intervenes to help her and the bus fails to come to a halt. Public transport company M'Dina Bus said the incident happened on Friday. The police...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Two livestock traders were killed and three seriously injured after triggering a mine as they fled an ambush by jihadists in northeast Nigeria, a militia fighting the group said Monday. The men were travelling between Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and the town of Biu in neighbouring Borno state when they were attacked by Boko Haram fighters at around 5pm (1600 GMT) on Sunday. They abandoned their vehicles and ran into the bush "but one of them stepped on a mine planted by the terrorists", said Nuwaisu Aisami, a member of a local militia fighting the jihadist group. "Two people died in the explosion and three others were seriously injured," he added. A representative of the cattle traders' association...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
A UN official on Monday called on donors to provide more assistance to Sudan after the world body received only a fraction of the $804 million it needs for humanitarian aid. Marta Ruedas, the UN resident humanitarian coordinator, told a news conference in Khartoum that only 23 percent of the humanitarian aid for Sudan in 2017 had been raised. The United Nations and its aid agencies had so far managed to raise only about $182 million, she said. "We look...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
The death toll from a landslide that swept over a fishing village on the banks of a lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached 140, the government said Monday. "We estimate that there at least a hundred bodies buried underneath the rumble of large rocks that fell on the 48 destroyed homes," the deputy governor of Ituri Province, Pacifique Keta, told AFP. The landslide occurred last Wednesday in the northeast village of Tora on the banks of Lake...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
The Zambian government on Monday backed down on its earlier decision to introduce mandatory HIV testing, saying testing will not be forced on citizens. Last week, President Edgar Lungu declared that his government had introduced mandatory HIV testing and that anyone who visits a health facility for any ailment will be tested for HIV as well. But the announcement caused an uproar, with some stakeholders saying it was against human rights as testing should be consented to by the individual...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
Bodies recovered from the mudslide and flooding on Aug. 14 in Sierra Leone have totalled 499, local media reported on Sunday. Victims included 162 male, 163 female, 70 boys and 86 girls and an additional 18, Awoko Newspaper reported. The side of a hill collapsed in heavy rains in the early hours of Aug. 14, killing residents and destroying homes near or on the outskirts of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, and leaving more than 2,000 others homeless. Sierra Leone's...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/17)
Finnish police said Saturday that after new information a stabbing spree that left two people dead was now considered a terrorist attack, identifying the suspect as an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen. Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect on Friday, arresting him minutes after an afternoon stabbing rampage at a busy market square in Turku in southwestern Finland. "The incidents were initially investigated as murders, but in light of further information received during the night, the offences include now murders with...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/19/17)
Royal Dutch Shell has lifted a cargo of 600,000 barrels of crude oil from Libya's Zueitina port, its first from the war-torn north African country in 5 years, two industry sources told Reuters on Saturday. "Libya is a significant resource holder and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (STASCO) has a history marketing Libyan crudes," a Shell spokesperson said. "We welcome new business opportunities with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, we don't comment on specific trading deals," the...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/18/17)
Security forces in eastern Libya said on Thursday they had arrested the commander of an elite forces unit who is sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners. The general command of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the force that controls most of eastern Libya, said the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, was being investigated by a military prosecutor. "We inform you that the defendant in your judicial case, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, is under investigation for the cases...
(AFP (eng) 08/18/17)
The death toll from devastating floods in Sierra Leone has passed 400 while an estimated 600 others remain missing, a senior Red Cross official said Friday. "Today we are counting more than 400 people dead," the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, Elhadj As Sy, told reporters in Geneva. An unofficial morgue toll had previously put the toll at around 400 dead, but the figure had not been officially confirmed. Sy said the government...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Sierra Leone braced for more floods as the country buries the casualties of a mudslide that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Freetown. The government buried almost 300 people this week and the Health Ministry sent out teams to fumigate areas where decomposing bodies are trapped in the mud, Idalia Amaya, emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services, said by phone from Freetown late Thursday. Rescue teams have received reports that some missing people are sending text messages saying...
(The Guardian 08/18/17)
Transparency campaigners highlight alleged human rights abuses in Egypt as controversial conflict, stability and security fund comes under scrutiny again. The government is facing questions over transparency after almost £2 million in aid and defence funding was given to security projects in Egypt, including support for policing, the criminal justice system and the treatment of juvenile detainees. The news comes with Egypt’s security forces under fire from human rights groups for routine disappearances, the torture of detainees, and the jailing...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Two UN investigators killed in March likely died at the hands of Congolese militia members, a UN inquiry found, adding that further investigation will be required to "fully ascertain the identity" of those involved. Michael Sharp, an American, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were found murdered in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo while on a UN mission investigating violence and mass graves in the country's restive Kasai province. "A group of Congolese, likely militia members from...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Libya is not "preventing" NGOs from carrying out migrant rescue operations off its coast, but has set up a coastal search and rescue zone to "organise" their work, its navy said Wednesday. The navy last week ordered unauthorised foreign vessels to stay out of Libya's coastal zone, a measure it said targeted NGOs carrying out search and rescue missions for migrants headed towards Europe. Several NGOs including Doctors without Borders (MSF), Germany's Sea-Eye and Britain's Save the Children have since suspended their operations. Tripoli has long accused the NGOs of collaboration with people traffickers. "We did not announce any prohibited zone, nor did we prevent any party or organisation from carrying out clear
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Gunmen attacked Nigeria's main anti-corruption taskforce on Wednesday and left behind a death threat for a top investigator, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement. The attack on the Abuja base of the organisation which seeks to combat the oil-rich country's rampant graft comes just weeks after unidentified assailants shot and injured another investigator in Port Harcourt, in southeast Nigeria. "The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 5 am and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles," the commission's head of media, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement. "However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty." "A white envelope dropped by the fleeing
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Thursday that a former Islamist rebel who was jailed for wrecking holy sites in Timbuktu was liable for damages of 2.7 million euros ($3.2 million). Amad al-Faqi al-Mahdi was sent to prison for nine years in 2016 after pleading guilty to war crimes for his involvement in the destruction of 10 mausoleums and religious sites in Timbuktu. The sites date from Mali's 14th-century golden age as a trading hub and center...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth sent her deepest sympathies to hundreds of victims of a mudslide in Sierra Leone that swept away homes on the edge of country's capital city in one of Africa's worst flood disasters in living memory. The African nation gained independence from Britain in 1961 after more than 150 years of colonial rule and still has many traces of its British past. On Wednesday, hundreds of Freetown residents queued to identify relatives crushed by the mudslide on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Aid groups have called on the United Nations to take "immediate action" in the Central African Republic, saying the conflict-wracked nation is "teetering on the brink of catastrophe". In a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and published Tuesday, six humanitarian organisations expressed their "grave concern about the rapid deterioration of the security situation" in the country. We "request your office take immediate action to prevent the country collapsing into another full-blown conflict", the letter said, adding that "at least 821 civilians have been killed since the start of the year."
(Xinhuanet 08/16/17)
The United States on Wednesday called on the Somali government to facilitate ways in which fighters of Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab can reject terrorism and join efforts in reconstruction of the country. The U.S. embassy in Somalia also lauded the efforts of the government to facilitate the defections of former and current Al-Shabaab members. "The U.S. encourages the Somali government to continue to create pathways for Al-Shabaab members to reject terrorism and join efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Three women suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to a camp for displaced people in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, killing 28 people and wounding 82, local sources said. The attack -- the latest in a string of assaults in the troubled region -- took place in the town of Mandarari, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, said Baba Kura, a member of a vigilante force set up to fight jihadists. "Three female bombers...

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