• Burkina Faso coup leader in police custody

    02/Oct/2015 // 168 Viewers

    The former leader of a short-lived coup in Burkina Faso, General Gilbert Diendéré, was handed over to transitional authorities on Thursday after seeking refuge in the Vatican embassy, judicial, military and government sources said on Thursday.

    "He has been handed over to Burkinabe authorities," said the judicial source.

    A military source said Jean Baptiste Ouedraogo, the former president of Burkina Faso, escorted Diendéré to Ouagadougou's main gendarmerie camp in a heavily armed convoy.

    Earlier, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida had said the government had provided guarantees to the embassy that Diendérés life would be respected if he was handed over.

    The recent unrest in Burkina Faso began when soldiers from the elite presidential guard stormed into a cabinet meeting in mid September and abducted interim president Michel Kafando and Zida, disrupting a transition period due to end with polls next month.

    Diendéré, a former spy chief, was named junta head the next day.

    He had sought sanctuary in the embassy in the recent days after the transitional government was returned to power amid international pressure and popular protests.

    The interim government had been in place since ex-president Blaise Compaoré fled into exile following violent protests in 2014, and was charged with running the nation until presidential and legislative elections could be held on October 11.

    Diendéré said he had led the coup because of proposals to dismantle the elite presidential guard and to exclude allies of Compaoré from running in the presidential poll.


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  • 12 wounded in Joburg mall shooting

    02/Oct/2015 // 181 Viewers

    Johannesburg - Twelve people, including a 4-year-old child, were wounded in a shooting at a shopping mall in Alexandra, Johannesburg on Friday, paramedics said.

    Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said the shooting happened at the Pan African Mall.

    "[Paramedics]... arrived at the scene and found that twelve people, consisting of adults and children, had sustained moderate injuries," spokesperson Chris Botha said.

     

    They were treated on the scene and then taken to various hospitals.

    Further details were not immediately available.


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  • Another country emulates the UK, scraps visa regime for all African countries

    02/Sep/2016 // 2211 Viewers

     

    PARIS, SEPTEMBER 2, 2016: (DGW) As the UK scraps the visa regime for  commonwealth member  countries excluding five African countries namely Ghana , Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania, conversely, citizens of other  African countries could now travel to the Republic of Benin without having to obtain a visa as President Talon scraps visa regime.

    The disclosure was made by President Patrice Talon in Kigali that his country, the Republic of Benin, will no longer request visas from other African countries. The news visa-free  policy, he disclosed , became absolutely necessary to promote African tourism.

    Under this latest arrangement, however,  citizens of other African countries could travel  to the country without a visa.

    In a  statement released by the Presidency, 'Rwanda and Benin enjoy excellent relationship and open collaboration on African and international issues.'

    President Patrice Talon was reportedly hosted by President Kagame at  the Radisson Blue Hotel and Convention Centre in Kigali for dinner.


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  • Over 1,500 boat migrants rescued off Libya

    03/Dec/2015 // 210 Viewers

    © Marina Militare/AFP/File | The Italian coastguard and navy are frequently involved in rescue missions off the coast of Libya

    ROME (AFP) - 

    Over 1,500 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast in seven separate operations, the Italian navy said Thursday, after a break in bad weather sparked fresh attempts at the perilous Mediterranean crossing.

    The migrants were plucked from their boats by the Italian coastguard, the navy, a Doctors Without Borders boat and two vessels operating under the EU's Operation Sophia, which patrols the sea for people smugglers.

     

    Source: France24, AFP


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  • Breaking News: The GOVERNMENT in TRIPOLI has failed, Deputy Libyan leader resigns!

    03/Jan/2017 // 457 Viewers

     

    The deputy leader of Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has resigned on Monday. Musa al-Koni announced his resignation which he says is as a result of failure by the administration in Tripoli to solve the problems in the country since their arrival in March last year.

    “I announce my resignation due the failure of the Presidential Council, because it holds responsibility for the killing, kidnapping, and rape that happened over the past year,” Koni told the media in Tripoli.

    “I don’t think we are unaware of what the citizens are suffering, but we are incapable, and I admit that we are failures because we didn’t solve the problems, which are many,” he added.

    Libya’s GNA is struggling to establish authority in the country with a strong rivalry from the parallel authority led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who is based in the east of the country.

    The head of the GNA Fayez al-Sarraj announced in December that the city of Sirte is no more the Libyan stronghold of the Islamic State organization (IS) yet the war against terrorism in Libya has “not finished” - Reuters


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  • Police discover AFRICAN migrants in suitcase, car dashboard being smuggled to Europe

    03/Jan/2017 // 1254 Viewers

     

    Police have detained two Moroccans who tried to smuggle migrants into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta – two hidden in a car and one in a suitcase.
     
    When police checked a car on Monday one person was found hidden in the dashboard and another in the hollowed-out back seat.
     
    The man and woman, thought to be Guineans, received first aid as they had had little air to breathe.
     
    Separately, a young African man was found hidden in a woman’s suitcase, BBC reports.
     
    That incident happened on 30 December and again the man – believed to be from Gabon – required urgent medical attention.
     
    A 22-year-old Moroccan woman had tried to smuggle him into Ceuta, but customs officers ordered her to open the case, which was tied to a trolley.
     
     
     
    A photograph supplied by the Spanish Civil Guard shows another migrant found in a car dashboard
    The incidents coincided with a mass attempt by sub-Saharan Africans to storm the 6m (20ft) border fence separating Ceuta from Morocco.
     
    Fifty Moroccan and five Spanish border guards were injured when 1,100 migrants tried to get over the fence on Sunday.
     
    None managed to get through, but two people were injured scaling the fence and were taken to hospital in Ceuta. One guard lost an eye, officials said.
     
    A similar assault on 9 December involved more than 400 African migrants.
     
    There have been many such attempts by sub-Saharan Africans living illegally in Morocco, who desperately want to reach Europe. Melilla – Spain’s other North African enclave – is similarly targeted by migrants.
     
    The enclaves are Europe’s only land borders in Africa.
     
    Most migrants are intercepted and returned to Morocco, while those who make it over the fences are eventually repatriated or released. - BBC


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  • S.Sudan increases states, threatening power-sharing deal

    03/Oct/2015 // 145 Viewers

    AFP/File | S.Sudan's President Salva Kiir, pictured in September, signed an August 26 peace agreement to end a war in which tens of thousands have been killed

     

    JUBA (AFP) - 

    South Sudan President Salva Kiir has ordered the number of regional states be nearly tripled, his spokesman said Saturday, undermining a fundamental pillar of a power-sharing deal to end civil war.

    Kiir, who has been fighting to crush a rebellion since December 2013 in which tens of thousands have been killed, the economy destroyed and war zone regions pushed to the brink of famine, signed an August 26 peace agreement to end the war.

    Months of negotiations led to the internationally-brokered deal, including a transitional government and a complex power-sharing formula in which rebels get a share of seats at national and state levels.

    The rebels, led by former vice president Riek Machar, also choose the powerful governor posts in the northern battleground states of Unity and Upper Nile, the country's main oil production zones.

    The creation of new states threatens to undermine those key power-sharing arrangements and slow implementation of the peace deal.

    The order, broadcast on state radio late Friday, increases the current 10 states to 28, rendering the agreed power sharing formula redundant.

    "The government has ordered there to be 28 states," presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told AFP.

    "This is about giving more power to the people through better service delivery," he added, saying the government remained committed to the peace deal.

    In a statement, Machar said the decree, "issued unilaterally... is a clear violation of the peace agreement," which "is based on 10 states."

    Both sides are accused of having perpetrated ethnic massacres, recruited and killed children and carried out widespread rape, torture and forced displacement of populations to "cleanse" areas of their opponents.

    The army and rebels have repeatedly traded blame, accusing each other of breaking the ceasefire, the eighth such agreement to have been signed.

    South Sudan media reported fresh fighting on Friday in the Koch district of Unity state.

    The presidential order must now be passed by parliament -- almost entirely in support of Kiir -- before becoming law.

    Ateny added he expected that to happen "within one month."

    ? 2015 AFP


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  • World leaders, UN divided over refugees, read what UN says

    04/Aug/2016 // 712 Viewers

     

    UN member states have rejected a UN proposal to resettle 10 per cent of the world’s refugees annually as part of a new global effort to tackle the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

    A document adopted late Tuesday failed to include the resettlement proposal from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that would have been the centerpiece of a UN summit on refugees in New York on September 19.

    Human rights groups voiced disappointment, dismissing the document as a meaningless political declaration and warning that the September gathering of world leaders was shaping up as a missed opportunity.

    Ban’s adviser on the summit, Karen AbuZayd, said, however, that she was “very pleased by the agreement” and was looking forward to negotiations on a new global compact for migrants to begin next year.

    Under Ban’s proposal, world leaders were to agree on a new “global compact on responsibility-sharing” to address the refugee crisis and launch talks on a second agreement on migration.

    The final document makes no mention of the responsibility-sharing deal and proposes talks on migration beginning early next year, with a view to adopting that accord in 2018.

    “The Refugee Summit was a historic opportunity to find a desperately-needed global solution to the refugee crisis,” said Charlotte Philipps from Amnesty International.

    “Instead, world leaders delayed any chance of a deal until 2018, procrastinating over crucial decisions even as refugees drown at sea and languish in camps with no hope for the future.”

    Ban put forward his proposals in May to address the crisis from some 65 million people fleeing wars and poverty, the largest displacement crisis since the Second World War.

    Following weeks of negotiations, the proposed resettlement goal of 10 per cent of world refugees was deleted from the document and replaced by a general pledge to take in more refugees.

    “We intend to expand the number and range of legal pathways available for refugees to be admitted to, or resettled in, third countries,” the document said.

    Obama’s refugee summit

    Opposition to the UN proposal came from a broad range of countries including the United States and the European Union, as well as Russia, China and India.

    “There are serious questions now about whether this summit will be able to generate a response commensurate to the greatest displacement crisis the world has seen since World War II,” said Akshaya Kumar, Human Rights Watch’s deputy UN director.

    With expectations for the UN summit now low, attention shifted to a separate gathering at the United Nations on September 20 that will be hosted by President Barack Obama.

    At that summit, the United States will ask countries to come forward and announce the number of refugees they are willing to take in along with any other support they can offer.

    “The issue of resettlement targets can be dealt with at the pledging summit, where some states might make big offers,” said AbuZayd.

    The United Nations had hoped that the new deal would have lifted some of the burden on developing countries in the refugee crisis, which has been fueled by the five-year war in Syria and other conflicts.

    A handful of countries are currently bearing the brunt of the global refugee crisis, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Eight countries host more than half of the world’s refugees: Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya and Uganda.

    UN member-states endorsed Ban’s proposal for a global campaign against xenophobia.

    “Demonising refugees or migrants offends profoundly against the values of dignity and equality for every human being to which we have committed ourselves,” said the document.


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  • IS group claims capture of Libyan town amid clashes at oil terminal

    04/Jan/2016 // 162 Viewers

     

    The Islamic State (IS) group has captured the Libyan town of Ben Jawad, close to the country’s vital oil ports, the militants said Monday.

    The ultra-hardline group, which has taken advantage of years of chaos to grab territory in Libya, made the claim in an online statement. There was no one from Libya’s authorities immediately available to comment on the town’s capture.

    IS group fighters also clashed with a force guarding the nearby Es Sider oil export terminal on Libya’s coast Monday, according to witnesses, while the IS group said they had set off a suicide car bomb during the fighting, causing casualties.

    Es Sider and nearby Ras Lanuf oil ports, between Sirte and Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast, have been closed for more than a year amid fighting between rival factions for control of the North African state and its lucrative energy reserves.

    The IS group has been attempting “to obtain the allegiance of the different factions controlling the [oil] sector since the end of 2013”, acccording to FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist groups, Wassim Nasr.

    The group controls the city of Sirte and has attacked several oilfields in the south of Libya – though it has so far not taken control of any oil installations as it has done in Syria.

    Libya has been split between rival governments, one based in Tripoli and the other in the east of the country, creating a security vacuum that militants have exploited.

    Es Sider is protected by Ibrahim al-Jathran’s Petrol Facilities Guard, an armed faction which has backed the internationally recognised government in the east, but is also in conflict with other forces supporting that government.

    The United Nations has been trying to win support for a deal brokered in Morocco last month to create a national unity government for Libya.

    Separately on Monday, a military plane that was targeting militant groups in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi was shot down, though the pilot ejected, senior army commander Fadel al-Hassi told Reuters.

    Military forces allied to the internationally recognised government based in the east have been battling militants based in the city for months.

     

     

     Source: Reuters


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  • Historic swearing in of Somali-American legislator - BBC

    04/Jan/2017 // 485 Viewers

    Ms Omar has promised to be a "voice for the marginalised"
    Ilhan Omar has made history by becoming the first Somali-American to be sworn in as a lawmaker in the US. 

    Ms Omar, a Somali-born former refugee, was elected to serve in Minnesota's state house of representatives in tightly contested elections last year.

    The election of Ms Omar, who is Muslim, came just days after US President-elect Donald Trump accused Somali immigrants in Minnesota of "spreading their extremist views".


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