Sunday 25 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A Tunisian shepherdess was killed Friday when she stepped on a landmine in a military zone in the country's west, where the army is fighting jihadists, a security official said. The woman, in her 50s, stepped on a mine "planted by jihadists" and died of internal bleeding after straying about one kilometre (mile) into the Mount Salloum military zone, the official told AFP. Mount Salloum, in the Kasserine region near the border with Algeria, is a stronghold of jihadists. There...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Tunisia's national railway company said on Friday that it had opened an investigation after a video emerged online showing a driver apparently stopping a train to buy peaches. The short video, reported filmed from inside a train in the Sahel region, shows crates of fruit placed at the edge of the railway and a vendor climbing onto the train to give a plastic bag to someone. "Look, he stops an entire train to pick up peaches," said one passenger, while...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Protesters agreed Friday to end a blockade of a Tunisian oil and gas plant that saw bloody clashes with police last month after the government met many of their demands. The mainly young unemployed protesters had held a three-month sit-in at the El-Kamour pumping station demanding jobs and investment in the impoverished southern Tataouine region. Amid growing fears the social unrest could spread, Employment Minister Imed Hammami signed a deal with representatives of the protesters brokered by Tunisia's powerful trade union confederation.
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Tunisia on Tuesday launched a special "green police" unit aimed at dealing with the proliferation of waste, a scourge that has worsened dramatically since the 2011 revolution. "May God help you -- it's a very difficult mission," Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said at the launch of the unit, with their new uniforms and GPS-equipped pick-ups. The North African country's rubbish woes have worsened because municipalities are not dealing with the problem in advance of local elections slated for December. There...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
A Tunisian court Monday sentenced to one month in prison a man who smoked a cigarette in public during the Muslim dawn-to-dusk holy fasting month of Ramadan, a spokesman said. The man was seen smoking outside the Bizerte courthouse by a judiciary official who informed the police before they arrested him and referred him to the prosecution, the spokesman Chokri Lahmar told AFP. He said the man had 10 days to appeal before the sentence takes effect. On June 1...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
A Tunisian soldier died on Monday of his wounds from a landmine explosion on Mount Ouergha in the west of the country near the Algerian border, the defence ministry said. It said "martyr of the nation" Mohamed Ali Toujani, a term usually used for victims of jihadist attacks, died of injuries after Friday's blast in the Kef region. Another soldier was killed in a mine blast last summer in a mountainous region of northwest Tunisia where the army has been...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
Dozens of Tunisians demonstrated Sunday to demand the right to eat and drink in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and to protest against non-fasters being arrested. There is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, but every year the issue comes to the fore in the North African country. Tunisia's constitution guarantees "freedom of belief and conscience", but the state is also the "guardian of religion". Following a call by the "Mouch Bessif" (Arabic...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the...
(AFP (eng) 06/03/17)
The brother of a shepherd whose beheading by jihadists outraged Tunisia has himself been found dead after being abducted, media reports and the defence minister's spokesman said on Saturday. Khalifa Soltani was kidnapped on Friday in the Mount Mghilla area, and a security sweep recovered his body after a "terrorist group" announced his abduction, Belhassen Oueslati told AFP. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors extremist organisations. It quoted the IS Amaq agency as saying the man killed on Friday was a "spy... who worked for the benefit of the Tunisian intelligence on Mount Mghilla".
(AFP (eng) 06/02/17)
Tunisian security forces on Saturday rescued 126 sub-Saharan migrants including seven pregnant women who had been trying to reach Europe from Libya, a Red Crescent official said. Fishermen had alerted the authorities to the presence of a vessel in distress off Ben Guerdane in southern Tunisia near the border with Libya, Dr Mongi Slim told AFP. Among the migrants were 48 women, seven of them pregnant, and three children. Those rescued were mainly from Nigeria, Mali and Gambia, and had set off from Libya, he added. They were taken to the Tunisian port of Zarzis to be given first aid before
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
A court in northern Tunisia handed one-month jail terms Thursday to four men for eating in public during the Muslim dawn-to-dusk fasting month of Ramadan, a spokesman said. The four had been "eating and smoking in a public garden, a provocative act during Ramadan", which started last week, Chokri Lahmar, prosecution spokesman at the court in Bizerte, told AFP. He said the four men had 10 days to appeal against their one-month sentences before the terms take effect. Their sentencing,...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Tunisia has detained six people in the central region of Kasserine suspected of belonging to a group linked to the Islamic State group, authorities said Tuesday. The announcement comes after a jihadist leader was killed in a National Guard operation on Sunday night in Kasserine's Mount Salloum area near the border with Algeria. Judiciary spokesman Sofiene Sliti said the six suspects were detained on Monday as the same security operation continued. The interior ministry said they belonged to "sleeper cells"...

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