Thursday 23 November 2017
(Huffingtonpost 07/27/13)
South Africa's failure to successfully engage some of Africa's most troublesome conflict zones has undermined the country's credibility and cast doubt about whether South Africa should be perceived as the continent's regional military and political leader. Ineffectual leadership is at the heart of the matter. President Zuma has made some dubious decisions regarding South Africa's regional foreign policy, and his inability to meaningfully address the plethora of domestic problems facing the country raises question about its suitability as Africa's de facto leader. Attempts to promote human rights -- a trademark of South Africa's foreign policy for the past 20 years -- have resulted in the adoption of some erratic policy decisions. For example, the South African government has numerous times...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/13)
TUNIS, TUNISIA — Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was killed with the same gun that was used to assassinate his party leader six months ago, suggesting the involvement of the same hardline Islamist group, the interior minister said on Friday. The killing of Brahmi on Thursday followed the shooting of Chokri Belaid on February 6 and prompted violent protests against Tunisia's Islamist-led government and a strike call by the main trade union body. Thousands of protesters massed again in the capital on Friday, while shops and banks closed their doors and all flights in and out of the country were canceled. Interior minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou told a news conference in Tunis: “The same 9mm automatic weapon that killed Belaid...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/13)
Tunisian opposition figure Mohamed Brahmi was gunned down with the same weapon used to kill another opposition politician earlier this year, Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said on Friday. Brahmi was killed with the same weapon used to murder Chokri Belaid in February, he told a news briefing. "The gun used to kill Mohamed Brahmi is the same as that used to kill Chokri Belaid," six months earlier, he said. Ben Jeddou said the main suspect in the Brahmi killing was a member of the radical Sunni Muslim Salafist movement. "The first elements of the investigation show the implication of Boubaker Hakim, a Salafist extremist," he said, a day after Brahmi was gunned down outside his home near Tunis by...
(Voice of America 07/26/13)
Tunisia braced for more protests and a general strike Friday, in response to the assassination of a leading liberal opposition figure. Outspoken opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi was shot to death Thursday by unknown gunmen outside his home in the capital, Tunis. Brahmi belonged to the secular Popular Front party. He was a vocal critic of Tunisia's Islamist-led government and was helping draw up a new constitution. It was the second such assassination this year. The February killing of liberal politician Chokri Belaid plunged Tunisia into violence that nearly derailed its fragile political transition. On Thursday, thousands took to the streets in Tunis and Sidi Bouzid to protest Brahmi's killing. Many blamed the main Islamist Ennahda party of being behind the...
(Los Angeles Times 07/26/13)
Tunisian nationalist Mohammed Brahmi is killed in front of his wife and daughter. Protesters focus their anger on the ruling Islamist party, Nahda. A Tunisian opposition figure was shot to death at his home Thursday, igniting widespread protests after the second high-profile political assassination this year in a country strained by the conflict between Islamist and secular forces. Mohammed Brahmi, a member of parliament, was shot 11 times in front of his wife and daughter by men on a motorbike, according to news reports. Brahmi, an Arab nationalist, served on the contentious panel that wrote Tunisia's proposed constitution. His death followed the assassination in February of Chokri Belaid, a passionate leftist and frequent critic of the country's dominant Islamist party,...
(BBC News Africa 07/26/13)
Tunisia is experiencing a nationwide strike after protests over the killing of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. The biggest trade union, UGTT, called the shutdown to denounce general "terrorism, violence and murders". On Thursday police used tear gas to disperse protesters in several towns, after Mr Brahmi was shot dead outside his home in Tunis. The governing Islamist Ennahda party has rejected accusations from relatives that it was complicit in the killing. Unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot Mr Brahmi - who led the Movement of the People party - in his car on Thursday morning. The interior ministry has said a weapon from Libya was used to kill him and is expected to release further details about the assassination on...
(Irish Times 07/26/13)
US calls for investigation into killing amid violent protests against Islamist government. Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead on Thursday in the second such assassination this year, setting off violent protests against the Islamist-led government in the capital and elsewhere. “This criminal gang has killed the free voice of Brahmi,” his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, told Reuters, without specifying who she thought was behind the shooting outside their home in Tunis. Mr Brahmi’s sister later accused the main Islamist Ennahda party of being behind the killing. “Ennahda killed my brother,” Souhiba Brahmi said. Ennahda has condemned the killing. The politician’s wife said Mr Brahmi had left the house after receiving a telephone call. She heard shots and found his...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/13)
Death is second assassination of an opposition politician in country this year. Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead outside his home in Tunis today. It is the second such assassination this year, and sparked mass protests against the Islamist-led government in the capital and elsewhere. “He was shot in front of his house when he was with his disabled daughter,” Mohamed Nabki, a member of Mr Brahmi’s secular, nationalist Popular Party, said. “The killers fled on a motorbike.” The assassination of another secular politician, Chokri Belaid, on February 6th ignited the worst violence in Tunisia since the 2011 fall of autocratic president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. “This criminal gang has killed the free voice of Brahmi,” his widow...
( 07/26/13)
Successful elections in Zimbabwe are crucial both for that country's own socio-economic development and for improved security in the southern African region, says South African Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, Ebrahim said the South African government welcomed the fact that the overall atmosphere in Zimbabwe remained calm ahead of next week's elections, with no major instances of violence or intimidation having been reported so far. Ebrahim added that South Africa hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of Zimbabwe's previous election in 2008, when the announcement of the results had been delayed, stoking concerns about poll rigging. Over six-million Zimbabweans who have registered to vote will go to the polls next Wednesday to...
(Business Daily 07/26/13)
Global food prices fell by 2 per cent in the latest four-month period, marking the third straight period of declines, as declining imports in the Middle East and North Africa, and lower demand pushed prices down 12 per cent from their August 2012 peak, the World Bank said on Thursday. The World Bank's Food Price Index showed international prices of wheat fell by 2 per cent, sugar by 6 per cent, soybean oil by 11 per cent, and maize, or corn, by 1 per cent during the four-month period between February and June. The index, which weighs export prices of food, fats and oils, grains, and other foods in nominal U.S. dollars, fell by 2 per cent. Improved weather conditions...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/13)
A leading opposition figure and critic of Tunisia's ruling Islamists, Mohamed Brahmi, was shot dead by unknown gunmen outside his home near the capital on Thursday, state media announced. "Mohamed Brahmi, general coordinator of the Popular Movement and member of the National Constituent Assembly, was shot dead outside his home in Ariana," Watanya state television and the official TAP news agency reported. "He was riddled with bullets in front of his wife and children," Mohsen Nabti, a fellow member of the small leftist movement, said in a tearful account aired on Tunisian radio. The interior ministry, cited by TAP, said that Brahmi, a 58-year-old MP and vocal critic of Tunisia's ruling Islamists, was assassinated as he left home. Watanya said...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/13)
Six people believed to have orchestrated the killing of an opposition figure whose assassination in February plunged Tunisia into a major political crisis have been identified, a minister said Wednesday. "We have identified the sponsors and the authors of the assassination of Chokri Belaid," said Noureddin B'Hiri, senior adviser to the prime minister, after a cabinet meeting. B'Hiri said the details would be revealed "soon" by Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou, without saying when. Belaid was gunned down outside his home on February 6, in a brazen attack that shocked Tunisians and sparked a political crisis that brought down the government of Islamist premier Hamadi Jebali. The interior ministry blamed the killing of Belaid, who was an outspoken critic of...
(This Day Live 07/25/13)
African countries and their communities have been told they can effectively end ‘land grabs,’ grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernise the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. This was revealed in a new World Bank report titled Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity released on Monday in Washington, US, which also noted that Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 per cent of the population living below $1.25 a day. The detailed report noted that sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
Tunisia's Tamarod movement, which has called for the dissolution of the National Constituent Assembly, is endangering the country's democratic process, Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said on Monday. "This copycat group which calls itself Tamarod is clear, and I think it represents a danger to the democratic process, an attempt to make it fail in Tunisia," Larayedh said in a radio interview. "I don't think this movement will succeed. It's a copy of something foreign in Tunisia," he added, referring to Egypt's grass-roots movement behind the mass protests that led to Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's overthrow on July 3. Shortly before Morsi was ousted, Tunisia's version of Tamarod (rebellion in Arabic) launched a petition demanding the dissolution of the national...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
(The Guardian Nigeria 07/21/13)
DESPITE the fall in productivity of Africa’s agriculture over the years occasioned by seasons of under-investment and an ill-advised structural adjustment, there is yet a lot to be done to feed the continent’s huge and fast-growing population. Global figures in agriculture and research agree, as they met in Accra, Ghana that ‘funding to agriculture, to universities and to research centres fell steadily and steeply,’ leading to a reversal of the many gains of the past. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President articulated as much when he addressed the Sixth Forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) summit in the Ghanaian capital during the week. He said, “Our universities lost good people. The quality of education declined,”...

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