• We'd work with new Gambian Gov't to ensure Jammeh returns home soon, departure from country temporary – ECOWAS, AU, UN

    23/Jan/2017 // 2832 Viewers


    The ECOWAS, African Union and UN have said they would work with the new Gambian government to ensure that former President Jammeh was at liberty to return to the country when he wanted.

    The former president left Banjul on Saturday to go into exile after he was pressurised by the ECOWAS to rescind his earlier decision not to accept the outcome of Dec. 1 presidential election, which saw him losing to the opposition candidate, Adama Bbarrow.

    Jammeh’s return would be in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen and a former head of state, they stated in a joint declaration in Banjul.

    They commended the “goodwill and statesmanship” of the former president for facilitating “an immediate peaceful and orderly transition process and transfer of power to President Adama Barrow in accordance with the Gambian constitution”.

    They also commended him for his interest in the Gambian people and preserving the peace, stability and security in the country.

    The declaration stated that Jammeh’s departure from The Gambia on Saturday was temporary adding that it was in order to assist a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power and the establishment of a new government.

    The blocs noted that his leaving was without any prejudice to his rights as a citizen, a former president and a political party leader.

    They further assured that host countries that would offer “African hospitality” to the former president and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.

    They also committed to work with the current government to prevent the seizure of assets and property lawfully belonging to Jammeh or his family and those of his cabinet members, government officials and party supporters.

    “Further, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it fully guarantees, assures and ensures the dignity, security, safety and rights of former President Jammeh’s immediate family, cabinet members, government officials, Security Officials and party supporters and loyalists.

    “ECOWAS, the AU and the UN urge the Government of The Gambia to take all necessary measures to assure and ensure that there is no intimidation, harassment and/or witch-hunting of former regime members and supporters, in conformity with the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia,” they stated.

    The regional organisations said they would work with the government on national reconciliation to “avoid any recriminations”.

    They also assured that they would take all measures to support the maintenance of the integrity of the security forces and guard against all measures that would create division and a breakdown of order.
    “Pursuant to this declaration, ECOWAS will halt any military operations in The Gambia and will continue to pursue peaceful and political resolution of the crisis.”

    Meanwhile, President Adama Barrow has said he would return to The Gambia on Monday.

    Barrow confirmed this on his twitter handle, @adama_barrow, on Sunday.
    He said: “I will be returning to my homeland, the Republic of The Gambia tomorrow. #Gambia.”

    Barrow, who took the oath of office in the Gambian Embassy in Senegal on Thursday, has assured citizens who fled that “they now have the liberty to return home”.

    He succeeded Yahya Jammeh, who lost in the Dec. 1 presidential election and refused to vacate office when his 22-year rule expired midnight on Thursday. (NAN)

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  • Security fears mount as rival jihadists claim Mali hotel attack

    23/Nov/2015 // 244 Viewers

    © Issouf Sanogo, AFP | Malian police guard the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 22, 2015

    Two jihadist groups, working in conjunction with other Islamist militant groups, have claimed the deadly November 20 attack on a Bamako luxury hotel, underscoring the worsening security in Mali.

    Exactly a week after the Paris attacks, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel -- considered one of the safest places for internationals -- in the Malian capital of Bamako in a brazen attack that underscores the threat undermining the West African nation’s road to political and economic recovery.

    Days after the attack on the Radisson Blu, a number of details surrounding the assault remain unclear. The death toll is disputed, with Malian authorities saying 20 people were killed in the hotel while initial reports put the figure as high as 27.

    The number of attackers is also disputed. One of the two jihadist groups that have taken responsibility for the attack has maintained that there were only two gunmen. Another militant group claims there were five, three of whom escaped. Meanwhile, witnesses and some government officials have indicated that there were around 10 gunmen in the hotel, but since the attack the bodies of only two gunman have been recovered from the scene.

    Capping the uncertainty are two rival -- or probably even collaborative -- claims of responsibility for the most high-profile attack in Mali since a 2013 French military operation succeeded in wresting northern Mali from militant control, if not necessarily eliminating the threat posed by jihadist groups.

    Hours after gunmen shouting, “Allahu Akbar,” (“God is great,” in Arabic) stormed the hotel, the jihadist group al-Mourabitoun claimed it carried out the attack in a joint operation with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

    But days later, a little-known group called the Macina Liberation Front took responsibility for the Radisson Blu attack.

    The dueling claims are an indication of the mercurial nature of jihadist movements in Mali, where groups merge, splinter, re-group, break away and cooperate like the shifting sands that blow through this beltway straddling the Sahara and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Hallmarks of a Belmokhtar attack

    Al-Mourabitoun is a group led by veteran Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, whose fighting career dates back to the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, followed by the 1990s Algerian civil war. The Algerian jihadist -- whose monikers include “Laâouar” ("one-eyed" in Arabic)– was an AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) commander before he split from al Qaeda’s North African branch in 2012 over a power feud.

    As the leader of the breakaway al-Mouwakoune bi-Dimaa (“Those Who Sign in Blood”) Belmokhtar took credit for the daring January 2013 attack on the In Amenas gas plant in southern Algeria, which killed 40 people, mostly foreign nationals.

    Months later, the Algerian jihadist announced the merger of his al-Mouwakoune bi-Dimaa group with another group, MUJAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa). The new group was called al-Mourabitoun (the Sentinels) and the statement announcing its presence in the already crowded jihadist scene proclaimed its mission was to “rout” France and its allies.

    Last week’s Bamako hotel attack bore the hallmarks of a Belmokhtar operation: a high-profile target, where foreign nationals can be held hostage ensuring international media coverage. Acknowledging the veteran jihadist’s signature just hours after al-Mourabitoun claimed the attack, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters on Friday that Belmokhtar “was likely” behind the attack.

    Indeed two days later, al-Mourabitoun released another statement, this time an audio message affirming the hotel attack was conducted by two Mourabitoun militants, identified as Abdel Hakim al-Ansari and Moadh al-Ansari, according to a Mauritanian news site that receives messages from West African jihadist groups.

    A Fulani group enters the fray

    The al-Mourabitoun audio statement followed the rival claim by the Macina Liberation Front over the weekend.

    Adding to the confusion, the Macina Liberation Front statement maintained there were five attackers in the Radisson Blu attack, including “three who came out safe and sound”.

    The Macina group first caught the attention of the international community earlier this year, when locals in the central Malian region around Mopti reported human rights abuses such as execution-style killings by a new group calling themselves the Macina Liberation Front.

    The rise of a new group in the central Malian region underscored the increasing insecurity in the impoverished West African nation despite the presence of a 10,000-member UN force, MINUSMA.

    Led by Amadou Kufa, a radical preacher of Fulani ethnicity, the Massina Liberation Front gets its name from the Macina Empire [sometimes spelled Massina] – a 19th century Fulani state spread across what is now the Mopti and Segou regions of Mali.

    Enter Ansar Dine and another old warrior

    In a communiqué sent to AFP and FRANCE 24 sister radio station RFI (Radio France International), the Macina Liberation Front claimed to have conducted the Radisson Blu attack in conjunction with Ansar Dine, a predominantly Tuareg group from northern Mali.

    Led by Iyad Ag Ghali, a former Malian diplomat turned jihadist leader, Ansar Dine’s stronghold has been the northern Kidal region, where Ag Ghali was born and raised. Its fighters are predominantly drawn from Ag Ghali’s Kel Iforas clan and had a reputation for brutality in 2012, when the group controlled the region before the January 2013 French military operation.

    According to J. Peter Pham, head of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Centre, there appears to be evidence that the Macina Liberation Front arose among ethnic Fulani Islamists influenced by preachers with links to Ag Ghali.

    In an interview with the International Business Times earlier this year, Pham noted that, “The use of the name and appeal to the history of Macina may be a vehicle to make Iyad Ag Ghali’s Islamism more palatable to [the] Fulani.”

    Global jihadist war for supremacy in Africa

    Into this complex web of local allegiances and alliances, a global jihadist agenda appears to be at play, according to Philippe Hugon of the Paris-based IRIS (French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs).

    The rival claims, according to Hugon, could be due to the fact "that each group wants to win the media war.”

    The propaganda wars could be linked to the supremacy contest being waged thousands of miles and an ocean away from Africa’s dusty Sahel region.

    While al Qaeda and the Islamic State group battle it out for relevance on the global jihadist stage, African jihadist groups are playing a game of checkers, aligning themselves with the new jihadist superpower or reaffirming their commitment to an old one.

    Shortly after al-Mourabitoun announced its presence in August 2014, Mauritania's al-Akhbar news website posted a recording of a speaker calling himself Adnan Abu Waleed al-Sahrawi claiming to speak on behalf of the new group and urging all jihadist groups to follow the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    But al-Mourabitoun's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group was quickly refuted by Belmokhtar, who issued a statement saying the pledge was invalid as it had not been approved by al-Mourabitoun's shura council.

    Days later, Belmokhtar maintained the new group had pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leaders in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region – and not the group’s North Africa branch.
    Whatever the claims and counter-claims, the global jihadist power struggle is causing ripples in West Africa and this does not bode well for peace and stability in Mali.



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  • Al-Shabaab follows Boko Haram, pledges allegiance to ISIS

    23/Oct/2015 // 190 Viewers

    A high-ranking member and spiritual leader of Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to ISIS, a move that further fractures the Somali-based jihadi group and spreads the reach of ISIS farther into Africa.

    The report that formerly UK-based Abdul Qadir Mumin had sworn loyalty to ISIS came from a source familiar with Al-Shabaab and was supported by a U.S. intelligence source, who said Mumin’s pledge came in a video that is expected to be released online.

    In the video, Mumin, along with several other jihadis based in Somalia’s Central Region, swear their allegiance to ISIS. Some known Al-Shabaab members have already done so online.

    Al-Shabaab’s leadership pledged loyalty to al Qaeda in 2012.

    The Al-Shabaab-linked source told CNN that members of the group now fear for their lives as other political leaders systematically try to root out possible ISIS supporters within their ranks.

    Sources within Al-Shabaab say the announcement is not totally unexpected. For weeks, Al-Shabaab’s secret police, known as the Amniyat, have been arresting and jailing members within the insurgent group who they believed would switch their allegiance from al Qaeda to ISIS. The source close to the jihadi group told CNN from inside Somalia that the situation within the group is “tense,” and likened it to a “state of emergency.”

    Mumin is thought to be currently based in the mountainous Puntland region of northern Somalia, and thus unlikely to be persecuted or reached by the Amniyat, which operates mostly in southern Somalia.

    The split is more significant in symbolism than in numbers.

    Sources within Somalia’s security apparatus estimate that about 100 fighters would likely defect to ISIS, among the estimated 1,400-strong insurgent group.

    Yet the defections are mostly coming from the younger members, while the older members maintain allegiance to al Qaeda. A Western diplomat inside Somalia told CNN the defection demonstrates a discontent with the current status quo, and shows that ISIS may be more appealing to younger, more impressionable jihadis.

    “What does ISIS hold for these disaffected members of Al-Shabaab?” asked the western diplomat. “What is the ‘wedding gift,’ so to speak? This is about technical expertise and funding. Al-Shabaab’s money streams are being depleted by the current war. ISIS could be seen as really attractive on one hand, and dangerous on another. This is a sort of terrorists’ conundrum.”

    One analyst explained ISIS’ effectiveness in using modern technology to recruit new members.

    “Many experts and scholars view (ISIS) as a juggernaut that the international community simply cannot oppose because they use violence so brutally and then disseminate it so effectively over social media in an effort to recruit new members and intimidate opposing forces,” said terrorism expert Max Abrahms, based in the United States.

    Al-Shabaab’s leadership, however, is still very much pro-al Qaeda. Its most recent propaganda video, showing a deadly attack on Burundian soldiers fighting for the African Union in Southern Somalia, used quotes from the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. “This is a subtle way of intimating the leadership’s loyalty to al Qaeda,” says a source close to Somalia’s intelligence service, NISA.

    Al-Shabaab’s current leader — Ahmad Umar — has been described by his followers as ruling with an iron fist, perhaps using the possible ISIS defection as pretext to take out those who have spoken up against the leadership or their policies and suppress opposition.

    “This … iron fist policy … has caused discontent in the ranks of the Mujahideen,” the source close to Al-Shabaab told CNN, referring to foreign fighters. “Many Muhajirs (foreign fighters and members of the diaspora) were trying to leave and the harakah (leadership) is trying to make them stay.”

    The leadership wants to keep the non-Somali fighters inside Somalia and keep them pro-al Qaeda to continue to make their operation appear legitimate, the source added.

    “Al-Shabaab won’t have a jihadi legitimacy if they don’t have muhajideen (foreign fighters) within their ranks,” the source said. “They were built on welcoming foreign fighters, and having them in the movement’s hierarchy from the very first day.”

    The defection of some Al-Shabaab members to a pro-ISIS allegiance is a serious win for the Islamist terror group and potentially spreads its reach from Iraq and Syria through to North Africa, then to West Africa through Nigeria’s Boko Haram group and now to East Africa, potentially as far as the borders of Kenya.

    “The Islamic State has been trying to recruit Somalis and members of Al-Shabaab for a while, it helps ISIS color in their map just that bit more,” says a Somali intelligence source speaking from the capital, Mogadishu.

    The defection also shows a certain division within its ranks.

    The source close to Al-Shabaab told CNN he thought it was “the worst idea ever.”

    “Morally — I see (ISIS) as a deviant, bloodthisty tyrannical group,” he said. “I don’t know why I would join them. (ISIS) cannot get us heavy weaponry or fill our ranks with men and expertise due to geographical issues. The only thing we would gain from joining them is momentum.”

    Somalia said its battle against terrorists will not be affected by any name changes.

    “The government … does not alter any bit on its commitment and drive to annihilate the forces of evil extremism from its land whether they change their name, affiliation or not,” said Abdisalam Aato, the government spokesman.

    “We as a government will continue to eradicate them from the small pocket they are remained with.”


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  • Congo's longtime president calls referendum in bid to extend rule

    23/Sep/2015 // 118 Viewers

     AFP / Thierry Charlier (file photo) | Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso attends a press conference in Brussels on March 3, 2015

    Congo Brazzaville's President Denis Sassou Nguesso said Tuesday he was going ahead with a referendum on changes to the constitution that could allow him to extend his hold on power.

    "I decided to give the people a direct voice" on the bill, Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled for 30 of the past 35 years, said in a statement on public radio and television, though he gave no dates for the vote.

    A commission, the composition of which is not yet known, must propose a new draft constitution before a date is chosen for the referendum.

    The 72-year-old president had previously convened a "national dialogue", which came out "by a large majority" in favour of amending the constitution to remove an upper limit on the age of presidential candidates as well as the number of terms the head of state can serve.

    ‘Constitutional coup’

    The changes effectively pave the way for him to stand for a third term in 2016. Opponents have branded the forum's conclusions a "constitutional coup".

    Sassou Nguesso first led Congo Brazzaville, also known as the Republic of Congo, under a single-party system from 1979 until the introduction of multi-party politics, which culminated in elections that he lost in 1992.

    He returned to power in 1997 at the end of a bitter civil war, and was elected president in 2002, then again in 2009, prompting cries of fraud from his foes.

    Sassou Nguesso is one of a number of veteran African leaders who have sparked controversy with plans to extend their time in office through constitutional changes.

    The president replaced two of his cabinet ministers last month after they took part in an opposition-organised meeting that called for resistance against any attempts to revise the constitution.

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  • Islamic Republic of Gambia: Christian Community gets D1M from President

    24/Dec/2015 // 1210 Viewers


    BANJUL, DECEMBER 24, 2015: (DGW) Ahead of tomorrow Christmas day celebrations, President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia who recently declared country  Islamic Republic has extended a gesture of goodwill to the Christian community in the country by parting with an offer of one million Dalasi (D1M)  about $25,261, DailyGlobeWatch has been reliably informed.

    It would be recalled the President while declaring the country an Islamic Republic said non-Muslims in the country will be allowed to freely practise their religion while also ruling out  special dressing pattern for Muslims in the country.

     The Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy while making the presentation on behalf of President Yahya Jammeh said it is in line with the tradition of the president's annual gift to the Gambian Christian Community to the various Christian denominations in the country. Muslims in the country also receive annual gifts from the President, DailyGlobeWatch understands.

    The chairperson of the Gambia Christian Council, Most Rev Hanna Caroline expressed appreciation and thanked the president for his generosity, assuring the president that the money would be judiciously used.


    *Got  news stories, photo news, viewpoints  or article for publication on Gambia?  Send to editor@dailyglobewatch.com

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  • BREAKING: Tunisia Presidential Guard bus bombed, 11 feared dead

    24/Nov/2015 // 246 Viewers

    A bomb attack has been reported in central Tunis targeting a bus convey presidential guard killing 11 people, a source told our reporter this evening.

    The bomb attack on the bus took place on Mohamed V Avenue.

    Details shortly....

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  • Breaking! Pilots detained for violation of airspace international law - BBC reports

    24/Nov/2016 // 166 Viewers


    The pilots of at least 20 aircraft taking part in a vintage plane rally have been detained for illegal crossing and violation of airspace international law, officials have told the BBC.

    The Vintage Air Rally planes crossed "illegally" into Ethiopian from Sudan, officials say, and are currently impounded at an airport in Gambela, Ethiopia.

    The rally has been suspended while talks take place to try to resolve the situation.

    Earlier, a UK pilot who went missing during the rally was found safe.
    On its Facebook page, Vintage Air Rally said that Maurice Kirk, 72, was with other pilots in Gambela who were all "safe and accounted for".

    The planes, dating from the 1920s and 1930s, took off from the Greek island of Crete on 12 November on a 13,000km (8,000 mile) journey to Cape Town.

    However, the head of Ethiopia's civil aviation authority, Wosenyele Hungnall, told the BBC that the aircraft had crossed illegally into Ethiopian airspace from Sudan.
    He said the pilots had been detained and investigators were travelling to the area.

    It is understood that those detained have had to surrender their mobile phones and other equipment, so details are unclear.

    A rally spokesman told AFP news agency the problem may relate to landing permits, although he believed that all flight paths had been approved beforehand.

    The aviators are being accommodated at Gambela airport, the rally said, instead of at a hotel where they had made bookings.

    The UK's foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) is among several foreign diplomatic services now involved in the situation.

    An FCO spokeswoman said: "We are in contact with the local authorities regarding a group who have been prevented from leaving Gambela airport, Ethiopia."

    A search and rescue operation was launched for Mr Kirk, from Somerset, after his aircraft went missing on Monday somewhere between Sudan and Ethiopia.

    Rally organisers later confirmed that he was safe. They said that he had been asked to withdraw from the event because of a lack of satellite tracking or a working compass on his 1943 Piper Cub plane.

    Mr Kirk, a former friend of the late actor Oliver Reed, previously reported suffering two engine failures, but had apparently decided to continue.

    Credit: Syndicated from the  BBC

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  • Nigeria missing from list of  top10 Africa's most prosperous countries

    24/Sep/2015 // 251 Viewers

    As well as beautiful natural heritage, Botswana is the most prosperous African country according to research conducted by the Legatum Institute. The landlocked country ranks first in the report's governance index.1. Botswana - As well as beautiful natural heritage, Botwana is the most prosperous African country according to the research conducted by the Legatum Institute. The landlocked country ranks first in report's governance index.

    A general view of the Johannesburg skyline. South Africa ranked as the second most prosperous country in Africa, with nearly 40% of people surveyed saying it's a good time to find a job.

    2. South Africa - A general view of the Johannesburg skyline. South Africa ranks as the most prosperous country in Africa with nearly 40% of people surveyed saying it is good time to find a job.

    The oldest section of Fes is the walled settlement of Fes El Bali. The city was once the capital of Morocco, which is the third most prosperous African nation. 3. Morocco- The oldest selection of Fes is the walled settlement of Fes El Bali. The city was once the capital of Morocco which is the third most prosperous African nation.

    This Windhoek-based hotel is in the fourth most prosperous African country: Namibia, ranked second in the governance sub-index.

    4.- Namibia This Windhoek-based hotel is in the fourth most prosperous African nation: Namibia ranked second in the governance sub-index.

    Tunisia is the fifth most prosperous African nation in 2014 according to the Legatum Institute. The country ranks first in the health sub-index and citizens have a life expectancy of 75 years -- 17 years higher than the African average.5. - Tunisia - Tunisia is the fifth most prosperous African nation in 2014 according to Legatum Institute. The country ranks first in the health sub-index and citizens have a life expectancy of 75 years - 17 years highrer than the African average.

    The sixth most prosperous nation in Africa is Algeria. The country, where 93% of respondents have a cell phone, topped the economy index. 6. Algeria - The sixth most prosperous African nation is Algeria. The country where 93% respondents have a cell phone topped the economy index.

    As this scene from Makola Market in Accra shows, Ghana has a vibrant economic spirit. The West African nation was ranked seventh in the prosperity rankings and was considered the second safest nation on the continent. 7. Ghana - As this scene from Makola market in Accra shows, Ghana has a vibrant economic spirit. The West African nation was ranked seventh in the prosperity rankings and was considered the second fastest nation on the continent.

    Rwanda was ranked the eighth most prosperous African nation. The report praised the country for "actively encouraging women" to shape the future of their country.8. Rwanda - Rwanda was ranked the eight most prosperous African nation. The report praised the country for actively encouraging women to shape the future of their country.

    Burkina Faso ranks ninth in the 2014 report, having risen by five places since 2012.9. Burkina Faso - Burkina Faso ranked 9 in the 2014 report having risen by five places since 2012.

    Senegal ranks as the continent's 10th most prosperous nation, according to Legatum Institute's 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, up nine places since 2012.10. Senegal - Senegal ranks tenth as the continent's most prosperous nation, according to Legatum Institute's 2014 African Prosperity Report, up nine places since 2012.

    According to new research from the Legatum Institute, which last week ranked prosperity in 38 African countries around criteria ranging from economics to education to health, the title belongs to Botswana, the diamond-rich country in southern Africa.

    As well as posting a relatively high per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $15,176, Botswana also fared well in terms of governance, education and personal freedom. As the country spends 8% of its GDP on education, it is among the biggest proportional spenders in the world according to the World Bank. This is the third year in a row that Botswana has topped the index.

    In contrast, the Central African Republic was the lowest ranked country on the continent. The country, which has a per capita GDP of $584, has seen increasing violence since the end of 2012, and only 21.5% of the population have access to sanitation according to the prosperity index.

    Biggest gainers

    Rwanda was the best improver, gaining five ranking places to end up as the eighth most prosperous country in Africa. The country was found to have the sixth highest ranking in regulation and government effectiveness, the eighth highest score in rule of law and the lowest perceptions of corruption in Africa.

    "Rwanda deserves credit for actively encouraging women to play a central role in shaping the future of their country. And it seems to be paying dividends," says the report.

    These findings bucked trends across the continent, where 41% of women are out of work, as opposed to 23% of men.

    "We cannot talk about the prosperity of women in Africa if we don't change the inappropriate policies that hinder their progress," argues Marieme Jamme, a Davos Young Global leader and CEO of SpotOne Global Solutions. "We cannot sugar coat the issues of funding, mentoring, gender equality, recognition and representation and expect women to come winners within the current framework and plans we have in Africa."

    Other notable gainers since 2012 included countries from East Africa -- while neither Kenya nor Mozambique featured in the top 10 most prosperous countries in Africa, they both rose by four places in the rankings since 2012.

    As over 44% of Kenyans thought it was a good time to find employment, the country ranked ninth in terms of entrepreneurship and opportunity. But following the 2013 siege in Nairobi's Westgate Mall, the country ranked 32 of 38 in terms of safety and security.

    Initiatives that support women empowerment and a more active participation in business will be key for future prosperity.

    Falling down the ranks

    Regional partner Tanzania, by contrast, fell eight places since 2012 going from 11th to 19th in the latest rankings. A drop in five-year average growth and an increase in inflation were coupled with a decline in confidence in financial institutions and falling satisfaction with living standards.

    The country fared particularly badly in terms of personal freedom, where it fell from 24th to 28th.

    While Tanzania's education score rose by one place in the rankings, the report argues that Tanzania needs to improve the quality of education in schools rather than focusing on enrollment rates. "Tanzanian education is not producing graduates with the skills needed to work in the formal sector," the report says. "The lack of an adequately skilled workforce is a hindrance to investment in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture, finance, and communications...Tanzania needs education that improves students' chances of finding employment."

    The biggest faller was Malawi, which dropped 11 places since 2012 to 20th in the index. The report cites a drop in the five-year GDP growth rate as part of the reason the country fell by 18 places in the Economy sub-index.

    In all, average prosperity in Africa has been on the up since 2012. In the past two years all countries have seen increases in at least one area tracked by the report.

    But Nathan Gamester, program director of the Prosperity Index ,added a cautious note to the findings: "As African economies grow, a chief concern for many governments is how to ensure that the fruits of growth benefit a majority of the population and contribute to true long term prosperity."

    Source: CNN






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  • South Africa pulls out of UN-AU mission in Sudan's Darfur

    25/Feb/2016 // 163 Viewers

    United Nations (United States) (AFP) - South Africa has told the United Nations it is withdrawing its troops from the joint UN-African Union mission in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur, a UN official said.


    "The government of South Africa decided to withdraw its troops from the mission," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The 850 troops will end operations on April 15.

    "Of course, we will have to look at the contingency in terms of how we fill those gaps," she said.

    Relations between Sudan and the United Nations have been tense over Khartoum's demands that the 17,000-strong UNAMID peacekeeping mission shut down.

    South Africa's decision to pull out comes after five weeks of intense fighting that have sent some 85,000 people fleeing in the Jebel Marra area while UN officials are seeking to verify reports of an additional 50,000 on the move.

    "It's a very large number for a very short period of time," said the official.

    The 85,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have fled to north Darfur, but UN officials are seeking access to central Darfur where unconfirmed reports suggest 50,000 people have been driven from their homes there.

    The Khartoum government has denied access to UNAMID, said the official.

    A large influx of 63,000 civilians taking refuge at the UNAMID camp set up at Sortoni, in north Darfur, is prompting concerns.

    "We are very concerned by the swelling of the makeshift camp at Sortoni. 63,000 people is a large number of civilians," said the official.

    "We are very concerned on how in the mid-term we can deal with this."

    Sudan's army has been trying to crush rebels of Abdulwahid Nur's faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW) in Jebel Marra, saying it was responding to attacks by the rebels.

    The UN says that some 300,000 people have been killed in the fighting in Darfur since 2003 and 2.5 million displaced.


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  • Boko Haram: Multiple suicide bombings strike village in northern Cameroon

    25/Jan/2016 // 312 Viewers


    At least 25 people were killed in multiple suicide bombings on a marketplace in a village in Cameroon’s Far North region on Monday, a local official said.

    AFP initially reported that there were three suicide attacks at Bodo’s central marketplace, but one local official told Reuters there had been four bombings – two targeting the market, while another two struck the village’s main entrance and exit points.

    “There was a quadruple suicide bombing in the village of Bodo this morning. There are around 25 deaths and several wounded,” he said.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the region has been frequently targeted by Boko Haram in the past.

    The Islamist militant group, which is based in Nigeria, has stepped up attacks in neighbouring countries over the past year, including in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

    The three countries and Nigeria are a part of an 8,700-strong regional force devoted to defeating Boko Haram, which has waged a six-year campaign to carve out its own separate state.




    (FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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