Friday 20 April 2018
(The Observer 12/20/13)
An estimated 500 people are now said to have been killed in the sporadic fighting that started on Sunday and has been described as a coup attempt. What is most worrying is that the ethnic dimension of the conflict is beginning to rear its ugly head with reports of ethnic-inspired massacres. A civil war might well be imminent if nothing is done quickly to restore sanity. With thousands of Ugandans working or doing business in South Sudan, Uganda is directly affected by these negative developments. Not only are Ugandans among those killed, many Ugandan traders are counting their losses. Besides, the resulting humanitarian situation could see refugees pouring across the border. It is, therefore, in Uganda's interest to have a...
(Voice of America 12/20/13)
Scientists say climate change will not affect all regions of the world equally – especially when it comes to fresh water. The latest computer models indicate some places will get a lot less, while others get a lot more. Dr. Jacob Schewe and his colleagues say that “water scarcity is a major threat for human development” if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. They’ve published their findings in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The reason we’re concerned is that it’s a very important issue for a lot of people. We all depend on water for so many different purposes. And water scarcity, where it exists, really impairs many things that people do and that...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/13)
GROMBALIA, December 19, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 has been acquitted on appeal of singing songs deemed insulting to the police and is to be freed, his lawyer Ghazi Mrabet told AFP Thursday. "The court in Grombalia has decided to acquit Weld El 15. He will be freed today" Thursday, said the lawyer after his client appealed a four-month jail term handed down at the start of December. "This ruling proves that a part of the justice system is independent, and I welcome this kind of verdict," Mrabet said. Weld El 15 -- real name Ala Yacoubi -- has been held in La Mornaguia prison in a Tunis suburb since being convicted on December 5. For his...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/13)
ADDIS ABABA Wed(Reuters) - A group of East African foreign ministers will travel to South Sudan on Thursday to seek an end to days of fighting, the first foreign mission to enter the country since the eruption of the conflict that has killed up to 500 people. Clashes between rival groups of soldiers started in the capital Juba late on Sunday and spread on Wednesday to the flashpoint town of Bor, scene of an ethnic massacre in 1991, raising fears of a slide into civil war. South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of starting the fighting and trying to launch a coup, charges denied by Machar. Kiir said on Wednesday he was ready for...
(The Guardian 12/18/13)
The new caretaker prime minister, Mehdi Jomaa, has the pragmatic skills to continue the journey towards democracy. If countries such as Egypt, Libya and Syria have come to symbolise the barbarism and instability of the post-Arab spring landscape, Tunisia remains a beacon of relative hope. Yes, there has been bloodshed in the former fiefdom of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, but on nothing like the scale of its neighbours. Instead, activists in the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to overthrow its dictator, in 2011, continue to cling on to terms such as "democratic transition" and "national dialogue" with rightful optimism. Such words were very much in evidence this week when a drawn-out selection process led to Mehdi...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/13)
GENEVA, December 18, 2013 (AFP) - The Swiss government on Wednesday extended by three years a freeze on the assets of ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. The freeze, first ordered in 2011, applies to all assets held in Switzerland by the toppled leaders and by "politically exposed persons in their entourage," the foreign ministry said in a statement announcing the decision. "The aim is to give investigations in Tunisia and Egypt more time and to take account of the political transition in the two countries," it said. On the Tunisian side, the freeze covers some 60 million Swiss francs (49 millions euros). In the case of Egypt the frozen assets amount to some...
(BBC News Africa 12/18/13)
Tunisia is doing "quite well", President Moncef Marzouki has told the BBC as protesters marked the third anniversary of the start of the Arab Spring. Several hundred opposition activists gathered in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, seen as the birthplace of the Arab pro-democracy uprisings. They protested against a lack of progress, including high unemployment. But Mr Marzouki said Tunisia was relatively successful. "Of course it's a success," the president said. "When you compare Tunisia with other countries like us, having this revolution... we don't have any civil war; we still stick to democracy; we have basic freedoms." Mr Marzouki conceded there were problems, such as corruption. The Arab Spring, which saw popular protests challenge authoritarian leaders in several...
(Voice of America 12/18/13)
PARIS — The North African country of Tunisia marks today, Tuesday, the third anniversary of the start of a revolution that triggered the wider Arab Spring uprisings. Still, the democratic transition remains incomplete, and many Tunisians are dissatisfied with the results: insecurity, a struggling economy and political gridlock. There also are positive signs, though, as wrangling parties agree on a new prime minister. Not so long ago, Sidi Bouzid was just another nondescript Tunisian town surrounded by olive and orange groves. That changed on December 17, 2010, when vegetable vender Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire there as an act of protest. Today, Sidi Bouzid symbolizes the largely frustrated hopes of many Tunisians - and political activists across much of...
(Voice of America 12/18/13)
Dakar — Researchers working with the African Development Bank say that African countries have lost as much as $1.4 trillion in cash leakages over the last 30 years. Much of the lost money is a result of illicit cash flows and corruption, and continues to hinder development in the region. The amount of illicit cash flowing out of Africa has nearly doubled over the past three decades. Illicit cash flows refer to funds leaving a country through irregular means, often to skirt local taxes. This can range from a foreign business underreporting its earnings in an African country and then funneling revenue into offshore accounts, corrupt officials embezzling state funds and tucking them away overseas, or organized crime groups just...
(Daily Observer 12/18/13)
Lawmakers on Monday unanimously adopted the Report on the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) during the latter's October session in South Africa. The Report looked at issues relating to enhanced African integration with a view to expediting development vis-à-vis Agenda 2063 adopted by the authority of heads of state during the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity/Africa Union. The Report challenged African parliamentarians to play a key role in the continent's integration through sensitisations and dialogue, putting in place legislations for sustainable development in all aspects. Tabling the report before lawmakers, Hon. Bintanding Jarjue of Foni Berefet, informed that the session explored women's rights and violence against women. She said it also...
(Voice of America 12/18/13)
WASHINGTON — About two-thirds of the 8,400 French troops involved in foreign operations are based in Africa, primarily in Mali and the Central African Republic. Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said recently that he wants his country to double its trade to Africa over the next five years. Together, the developments could indicate the former colonial power in Africa is again trying to bolster its influence on the continent. France has carried out more than 10 major military interventions on the African continent since the early 1990s, in countries including Chad, Ivory Coast and Libya. This year, France gained international attention for its leading role in intervening in the crisis in Mali and now the Central African Republic. Peter Pham,...
(UKzambians 12/18/13)
TUNIS, Tunisia, December / — The African Development Bank (AfDB) ( http://www.afdb.org ) and the Government of Japan signed on Monday, 16 December, a bilateral Exchange of Notes for a loan of 9.48 billion Japanese yen (about US$ 100 million). This is the fourth loan to the Bank under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth in Africa. The Exchange of Notes was signed by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President, and His Excellency Mr. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia. mmediately following the signature of the Exchange of Notes, the relevant Loan Agreement between the AfDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed by Mr. Charles Boamah,...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/17/13)
JERUSALEM---(Reuters) - More than 100 African migrants have abandoned an "open" Israeli detention center to try to march on Jerusalem in protest at a law allowing authorities to keep them in custody indefinitely, activists said on Monday. Israel views most of the more than 50,000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants who have crossed its border on foot from Egypt since 2006 as illegal job-seekers overburdening its low-income areas. It has sought to encourage most of them to leave. Many migrants say they are fleeing persecution, forced military conscription or dictatorship in African countries. The center in southern Israel was opened last week after parliamentary approval of a law allowing the open-ended detention of migrants in the facility pending resolution of their...
(BBC News Africa 12/17/13)
The world should be paying more attention to the sub-Saharan threat from al-Qaeda, a former head of the British armed forces has warned. General Sir David Richards said Britain needed to learn from what it had done "and failed to do". He also questioned whether the Nato operation against Libya in 2011 was the right thing to do, suggesting it may have contributed to the spread of arms in the region. In the past year Islamist groups of stepped up their activities in several African countries. In Somalia, African Union troops have been battling with militants al-Shabab - which came to global prominence with its attack on a Kenyan shopping centre earlier this year. French troops spearheaded the response to...
( 12/17/13)
Cape Town — Are you taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and want to know how well you're doing? If you live in a wealthy country, chances are that your progress is regularly checked using the "gold standard" - a viral load test. If you're in a developing country, where more people are on ARV medication and the need is greater, the expensive and complex test is hard to find, making it even more difficult to monitor whether your treatment is failing and you need to change your medication. But as the number of people receiving HIV treatment rises, and more people become eligible for treatment, the prohibitive cost of viral load tests will have to come down, and donors should use...
(Voice of America 12/17/13)
Washington — The developing world needs huge sums of money to address its many problems with health, housing, education, and more. A new report says corrupt practices by multinational companies, their government enablers, and others, however, are depriving people of a better life. A financial watchdog group, Washington-based Global Financial Integrity [GFI], reports astounding sums of money are extracted every year from African, Asian, and Latin American nations. GFI's new report says that in 2011, some $947 billion was taken out of these countries through what it calls illicit capital outflows. GFI Director Raymond Baker said the 10-year total is even more staggering. "Over the decade from 2002 to 2011, we're talking about $5.9 trillion that have moved out of...
(Daily Maverick 12/17/13)
As usual, this year threw up its fair share of bad news, disasters and controversies. SIMON ALLISON explains the stories that have him most worried for the continent's future. There was nothing wrong with the Kenyan elections, aside from a few inconsequential quibbles. They were generally considered free and fair, and turnout was excellent (88.6%). The problem came with the result: with a range of candidates to choose from, the majority of Kenyans plumped for the duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto - two men united by little except their base pragmatism and their shared experience of being charged with crimes against humanity by the world's top court. The pair's shared infamy comes from their alleged involvement in the...
(L'Economiste Maghrébin 12/16/13)
Selon les données révélées par la Banque Centrale de Tunisie, les recettes réalisées par le tourisme du début de l’année en cours et jusqu’au 30 novembre 2013, ont enregistré une baisse de -5,3% en euro, à 1412 millions, et une légère hausse de 1,5% pour les recettes en monnaie nationale à 3033,4 millions de dinars.Par rapport à 2010, année de référence, ces recettes se sont inscrites en baisse de 7,4% en dinars et de 18,3% en euros.Quant au nombre des entrées des non-résidents en Tunisie, elles ont atteint durant la période du 1er janvier au 10 décembre 2013, 5 942 815 personnes, soit une hausse de 5% par rapport à la même période de 2012, sans pour autant atteindre le...
(BBC News Africa 12/16/13)
Tunisian politicians have agreed on a new prime minister after talks between the ruling Islamist Ennahda party and the opposition. Mehdi Jomaa, industry minister, will head a caretaker government until elections are held next year. Mr Mehdi's name was one of six put forward for the post by the parties involved in Saturday's negotiations. Tunisia has been in crisis since the assassination of two opposition politicians earlier this year. The appointment is part of a deal reached on Thursday that will see the moderate Islamists hand over power to end the political deadlock. The murders of prominent left-wing figure Chokri Belaid in February and opposition politician Mohammed Brahmi in July led to intensified anti-government protests. Ennahda condemned the killings -...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa’s first black president, anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, has been buried in his home village near Qunu, in Eastern Cape Province. Several thousand family members and close friends attended the funeral. Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday among the hills of his ancestral homeland, eulogized by friends, family and admirers. His longtime friend, Ahmed Kathrada, called Mandela his older brother and moved the 4,500 participants with memories from the decades of struggle against apartheid and prison."The last time I saw Madiba alive was when I visited him in hospital. I was filled with an overwhelming sadness and emotion and I cried. He held my hand and it was profoundly heart-breaking and it brought out...

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