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

    23/Sep/2015 // 201 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 // 1412 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: Around 250 feared dead on ‘Black Day’ in Mediterranean on Thursday

    24/Mar/2017 // 1900 Viewers

     

    Over 250 African migrants were feared drowned in the Mediterranean Thursday after a charity’s rescue boat found five corpses close to two sinking rubber dinghies off Libya.

    The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was “deeply alarmed” after the Golfo Azzuro, a boat operated by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, reported the recovery of the bodies close to the drifting, partially-submerged dinghies, 15 miles off the Libyan coast.
    “We don’t think there can be any other explanation than that these dinghies would have been full of people,” Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza told AFP. “It seems clear that they sunk.”

    She added that the inflatables, of a kind usually used by people traffickers, would typically have been carrying 120-140 migrants each.
    “In over a year we have never seen any of these dinghies that were anything other than packed.”

    Lanuza said the bodies recovered were African men with estimated ages of between 16 and 25. They had drowned in the 24 hours prior to them being discovered shortly after dawn on Thursday in waters directly north of the Libyan port of Sabrata, according to the rescue boat’s medical staff.

    Vincent Cochetel, director of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)’s Europe bureau, said NGO boats patrolling the area had been called to the aid of a third stricken boat on Thursday afternoon, raising fears others may have perished on what Proactiva called “a black day in the Mediterranean.”

    Despite rough winter seas, migrant departures from Libya on boats chartered by people traffickers have accelerated in recent months from already-record levels.
    Nearly 6,000 people have been picked up by Italian-coordinated rescue boats since the end of last week, bringing the number brought to Italy since the start of 2017 to nearly 22,000, a significant rise on the same period in previous years.

    Aid groups say the accelerating exodus is being driven by worsening living conditions for migrants in Libya and by fears the sea route to Europe could soon be closed to traffickers.

    Prior to the latest fatal incident, the UN had estimated that at least 440 migrants had died trying to make the crossing from Libya to Italy since the start of 2017. Its refugee agency estimates total deaths crossing the Mediterranean at nearly 600.

    Those figures, which are also sharply up on previous years, are based on a combination of bodies recovered and testimonies from survivors of shipwrecks: what noone knows is how many people die without any trace, as in the case of the latest apparent tragedy.

    GROWING RISK

    Despite the growing risks, migrants trying to reach Europe still stand a good chance of making it by getting on a trafficker’s boat. More than half a million got to Italy in that fashion between late 2013 and the end of last year.

    And if the trend of the opening weeks of 2017 continues, another 250,000 will have to be accommodated this year by Italy’s over-stretched facilities for asylum seekers, according to Italian interior ministry projections.

    Against that backdrop, Italy has stepped up cooperation with Libya with the aim of deterring boat departures by ensuring the north African country’s own coastguard turns boats back to port before they reach international waters.

    The plans involve equipping and training the Libyan coastguard and helping the former Italian colony to upgrade holding camps for migrants in Libya pending their deportation to their countries of origin.

    But the moves have caused concern among human rights bodies because of the squalid, dangerous conditions in the detention camps, and the inherently unstable state of the conflict-scarred country.

    ASYLUM-SEEKERS

    Italy has also stepped up its efforts to persuade other European countries to accept some of the asylum-seekers and other migrants landed at its southern ports, with limited success so far.

    The overwhelming majority of the migrants reaching Italy are from Africa. The Italian government insists most of them are economic migrants.
    But rights bodies point out that some 40 percent of those who apply to stay in Italy are eventually allowed to, either because they qualify as refugees under international law or because they have a case for leave to remain under Italy’s own humanitarian provisions.

    “Defeating the business model of traffickers requires the existence of credible legal pathways for those in need of international protection,” UNHCR’s Cochetel said.


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  • BREAKING: Information Minister sacked in major cabinet shake-up

    24/Mar/2017 // 5187 Viewers

     

    The Minister of Information has been relieved of his responsibilities by  the President and this was the first cabinet change since taking office in late 2015.

    Magufuli, the President of Tanzania,Nape Nnauye nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for his strict leadership style, launched a reform drive soon after he was elected by dismissing dozens of senior public officials over allegations of corruption and inefficiency.

    The president removed Nape Nnauye as the country’s Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports just days after the minister ordered a probe into an alleged raid on a private television station by a senior government official on March 17.

    Harrison Mwakyembe was appointed information minister while Palamagamba Kabudi was named justice and constitutional affairs minister, the portfolio previously held by Mwakyembe.

    No reason was given for the cabinet changes, but some analysts said there were reports of friction among some government officials over Magufuli’s strict leadership style.

    On Thursday, police officers prevented Nnauye from holding a planned press conference at a Dar es Salaam hotel after his sacking.

    “I don’t expect to see any major rift that could affect the performance of the government as a result of conflicts between some government officials,” Benson Bans, a Dar es Salaam-based political analyst told Reuters.

    “Recent opinion polls give Magufuli an approval rating of over 80 per cent so he is still very popular among Tanzanians and has a mandate to push through his reforms.”


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

    24/Nov/2015 // 343 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 // 295 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 // 364 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 // 237 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 // 402 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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  • 650 German troops due in Mali for peace-keeping mission

    25/Nov/2015 // 338 Viewers

    Germany is to send no fewer than 650 troops to Mali   for peace-keeping to back up France operations  in the West African State. This was made known to DailyGlobeWatch in Berlin today by the country's Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen.

    The Defence Minister said in a statement that all has been set to approach the Bundestag, the German parliament for approval of a batch of 650 soldiers for deployment to Mali for the mission.

    Same measure is being planned for Iraq to increase the number of its troops training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq from 100 to 150, the statement added.


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