• Angola displaces Nigeria as Africa's largest oil producer

    15/Apr/2016 // 196 Viewers

     

    PARIS, APRIL 15, 2016: (DGW) - ANGOLA has again come from behind to displace Nigeria in crude oil production thus making her Africa's largest oil producer, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC) has reported.

    Pipeline vandalism is reportedly responsible for this sharp drop which has become a major challenge.

    In its monthly report, Nigeria's production of crude oil fell from 1.744 million barrels in February to 1.677 million barrels per day. Angola's production output , the reports say , rose from 1.767 million barrels per day to 1.782.

    Angola had in November last year overtaken Nigeria when Nigeria's production output fell by 250,000 when production fell from 1.812 million barrels to 1.607 while Angola reportedly produced 1.722 million barrels per day compared to the previous month.


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  • Ghana government memo warns of possible militant attack

    15/Apr/2016 // 202 Viewers

     

    ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana and Togo are the next targets for Islamist militants following high-profile attacks this year in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, according to a memo from Ghana's Immigration Service.

    The memo calls for better border protection in the latest sign of a heightened government response to the threat to West Africa by militants based in northern Mali who have stepped up a campaign of violence in the last year.

    It says the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has evidence from neighbouring Ivory Coast from the interrogation of a man suspected of orchestrating an attack on March 13 in which 18 people were killed. [nL5N16M30G]

    "Intelligence gathered by the ... NSCS indicates a possible terrorist attack on the country is real. ... The choice of Ghana according to the report is to take away the perception that only Francophone countries are the target," said the memo, dated April 9 and published by Ghanaian media.

    It ordered immigration agents on the northern border with Burkina Faso to be extra vigilant and said patrols should be stepped up along informal routes between the two countries.

    Ghana is one of Africa's most stable and peaceful democracies and has not suffered an attack by Islamist militants. Togo is the country's eastern neighbour.

    President John Mahama spoke about the memo in an interview on state radio's Sunrise FM on Thursday. He asked for public vigilance and said Ghana was also at risk from home grown militants, while noting that countries in the region share intelligence on militant threats.

    "We must deal with this without creating panic amongst our people," he said, adding that the memo should not have detailed the intelligence on which its calls for greater vigilance were based.

    Government spokesmen in the presidency and at the immigration ministry did not return calls requesting comment.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for attacks on a hotel in the capital of Mali last November, a restaurant and hotel in Burkina Faso's capital in January and the Ivory Coast attack. In all, more than 65 people have died, many of them foreigners. 


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  • EgyptAir crash: Explosives found on victims, say investigators - BBC reports

    15/Dec/2016 // 430 Viewers

     

    Traces of explosives have been found on victims of the EgyptAir plane crash over the Mediterranean in May, investigators say.
    A criminal investigation would now begin into the crash of the Airbus A320, Egypt's civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
    Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo plunged into the sea on 19 May killing all 66 people on board.
    The cause of the crash has remained unclear.
    No distress call was made beforehand but the cockpit voice recorder revealed the pilots had fought to put out a fire.
    Automated electronic messages sent out by the plane showed smoke detectors going off in a toilet and in the avionics area below the cockpit, minutes before the plane vanished.
    Recovered wreckage showed signs of damage caused by high temperature and there was soot on the jet's front section.
    Although there were fears that an act of terrorism might have brought the plane down, no group has said it targeted the plane.
    The Egyptian ministry said on Thursday that, under Egyptian law, state prosecutors would take the investigation over "if it becomes clear to the investigative committee that there is criminal suspicion behind the accident".
    Those on board were 40 Egyptians, including the 10-member crew, and 15 French nationals.
    The crash came seven months after a Russian passenger plane was brought down by a bomb over Egypt's Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.
    An Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group said it was behind that attack. However, there was no such claim following the crash in May.
     
    Map of EgyptAir flight route


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  • JUST IN: Tears, confusion as daughter of former President shot dead by husband

    15/Dec/2016 // 13347 Viewers

     

    Tears and sorrow trail the highly reprehensible and heartbreaking behaviour as a business woman was shot dead by her husband on Thuresday thus sparking off an outrage in the southern African nation of Mozambique.

    Police sources revealed that Valentina Guebuza, the influential businesswoman who was shot dead was the daughter of former Mozambican President Armando.

    She was shot in their apartment, in a wealthy neighbourhood of the capital, Maputo.

    A Police spokesperson, Orlando Mudumane, said Guebuza, a member of the ruling Frelimo party’s Central Committee and ranked as one of Africa’s most powerful women, was rushed to hospital after being shot four times but died en route.

    Mudumane said that her husband, Zofimo Muiuane, had confessed to the murder, saying they had of late been living a tumultuous relationship.

    A South Africa-trained civil engineer, Guebuza held prominent positions in the telecommunications and banking sectors and led several family businesses.

    Among these was Focus 21, a family investment firm with interests in fisheries, transportation, mining, real estate, media and the port in Beira, Mozambique’s second city.

    Her father, Armando, stepped down in 2015 after 10 years as president in which his commercial interests earned him the nickname Gue-Business.

    He remains one of Mozambique’s most powerful figures


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  • Boko Haram fighters trained in Somalia- President

    15/Feb/2016 // 125 Viewers

     

    MUNICH (Reuters) – Fighters for the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram have been trained in Somalia on Africa’s eastern coast before returning to West Africa, Somalia’s president told a security conference in Germany on Sunday. Somalia, plagued by political in-fighting, corruption and attacks by al Shabaab insurgents, has recently made limited progress towards creating a functioning political system, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

    “Without a stable Somalia, the whole region of the Horn of Africa will remain unstable and by and large, the African continent. There are proofs and evidence that (for) some time Boko Haram has been trained in Somalia and they went back to Nigeria,” he said.

    “The terrorists are so linked together, they are associated and so organised, (that) we the world we need to be so organised,” he said, speaking in English. It was not clear from his comments whether he believed al Shabaab was still training Boko Haram fighters, who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

    Somalia’s al Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda and wants to overthrow the Somali government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law, claimed responsibility for a blast this month that punched a hole in the fuselage of a plane.


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  • Despite the failed revolution, Egypt’s iron-fisted ruler won’t last

    15/Feb/2016 // 220 Viewers

    By Stephanie Thomas

    Egyptians have always been ill-served, at best, and brutalized, at worst, by their leaders, whether Ottoman, British, Nasserist or under President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. So instead of asking why Egypt’s revolution of five years ago failed, let’s point a finger at the sorry parade of post-revolutionary leaders who have presumed to lead but failed just as their predecessors did.

     
    Egyptian citizens were ill-served by their first democratically elected leader, President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Overweening and prone to clumsy power grabs that appeared to have less to do with Islam than stupidity, Morsi was more incompetent than he was evil. He was certainly no “terrorist,” as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has labeled him and all other Muslim Brotherhood members.
     
    Egyptians were also failed by the liberal and secular politicians whose self-interest took precedence over the hard work of developing strong alliances, parties and platforms. They espoused pluralistic democratic values but applied them selectively — in 2013, for example, they chose to back the violent overthrow of Morsi rather than let him be voted out of office.
     
    Consider Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who played the coy politician for two years, tweeting his fatuous aspirations instead of rolling up his sleeves and building the political process. He then joined Sisi’s interim government, only to resign a month later after the Rabaa massacre, in which some 800 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed by security forces.
     
    Egyptians have even been let down by a generation of their own sons and daughters. These young activists often seemed more adept at online organizing and protesting — no matter the cause — than protecting the gains of their protests. After fighting the military throughout 2011 and 2012, many joined the military-backed effort to remove Morsi in the spring of 2013, even protesting when Sisi called for a show of support. Familiar with this pattern, it was inevitable that they would eventually sour on Sisi, which they have.
     
    That said, none of them deserved to be put in prison, where many of them languish.
     
    While covering the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011, I was inspired to leave my television job, move back to Egypt and be a witness to what looked like a promising future. I had lived happily in Cairo as a student studying Arabic in the 1990s and looked forward to working at the American University in Cairo, a campus infused with post-revolutionary energy and potential.
     
    When I arrived in September 2011, the romantic slogans (“The army and the people are one hand”) and alliances forged in Tahrir Square were already fraying badly. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the interim military body that replaced Mubarak, was cracking down on protesters with impunity, most egregiously during what came to be known as the Maspero massacre, in which armored personnel vehicles were caught on camera mowing down fleeing Coptic protesters. When the Muslim Brotherhood swept the parliamentary elections of 2011 and 2012, political demonization become the preferred platform of the feckless secular opposition groups.
     
    Closer to home, I found a giddy array of empowered and politically vocal citizens, a liberated media and a class of public intellectuals sporting shiny new revolutionary personas, and the clothes to match (“revolution chic”). One professor-turned-politician sported long hair, corduroy sport coats and appeared to do a little teaching (sometimes from his car by calling in to a student’s phone that would be set on speakerphone). One former ambassador-turned-dean embodied the values of civil liberty and democracy in elegant suits, then promptly joined the post-Morsi interim military government. A cadre of denim-clad, gel-haired Tahrir activists secretly cooperated with the military to foment a “grass-roots” movement against Morsi.
     
    Even the revolution-anointed leaders were failing Egypt’s citizens. By the time I left Cairo in June 2013, most people I knew at the university supported a return to military rule and seemed to accept as a given the violent and illiberal measures it would take to do so. One self-aware pundit coined the phrase “Egypt’s illiberal liberals.”
     
    Egypt’s current regime, led by Sisi, makes the Mubarak regime look benign. Harsh repression is justified in the name of security and stability, protests are against the law, political groups are banned or emasculated and polarization is promoted by a subservient media.
     
    Sisi’s hold on power has been aided by widening regional chaos. Libya, Syria and Yemen loom conveniently large in case Egyptians forget what premature democracy movements can yield. A spate of recent house arrests and “enforced disappearances” has targeted journalists and civil-rights activists, which has forced the government to acknowledge that hundreds are being illegally detained.
     
    The discovery last week of the body of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian PhD student, who was left by the side of a road and appeared to have been tortured, was considered particularly unsettling because the Egyptian security forces typically reserve their brutality exclusively for Egyptians. In spite of continuing efforts by Italian authorities, Regeni’s family will almost certainly never find out what happened to their son, just as tens of thousands of Egyptians never learn the truth about the extrajudicial deaths of family members.
     
    Not much is likely to change in the short term. Sisi will probably continue to perform better outside of Egypt than domestically, and he’ll maximize his role as a line of defense against Islamic State in the Sinai. He will likely maneuver for a place in whatever regional coalition is formed to manage the crises in Libya, Syria and Yemen. He will continue to receive international support and military aid in spite of his authoritarian measures. Ninety million Egyptians will continue to struggle with rising food prices, high unemployment, impossible daily commutes, poor healthcare, worse education and an entirely unaccountable government.
     
    Where is the bright side? It is the simple fact of Egypt’s revolution — not its much-debated outcomes. Egyptians have shown that they can depose leaders who serve them badly, whether they’ve done this righteously, cynically or fickly. Egyptians have also shown their capacity for political accommodation and transient loyalties — bad for democracy but useful for getting rid of governments.
     
    With time, as Sisi’s excesses continue, new alliances of convenience and cooperation will form among unexpected allies. Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers may once again align with secular groups; military factions may find the Brotherhood a useful ally against a rogue president. Voices in the media will begin to speak up. Criticism on social media will begin to build up a revolutionary head of steam. One day, Sisi will be replaced — probably not democratically.
     
    I hope whoever replaces him will finally serve Egyptians better.
     


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  • Surprise as MOROCCO joins other W'AFRICAN & WESTERN NATIONS, bans MUSLIM WOMEN from wearing THE BURQA

    15/Jan/2017 // 2171 Viewers

     

    Several European countries have already banned devout conservative Muslim women from wearing the burqa, a head to toe covering, as have several West African nations. Now one more African country appears close to joining the list. 

    In a notice to local retailers and producers on Monday, Morocco appears to have banned the production, sale, and import of burqas for security concerns, Al Jazeera reports. The order is said to be in effect this week, but there has been no official announcement. 

    Copies of the letter sent by Morocco’s Ministry of Interior circulated on social networks, and a high-ranking ministry official confirmed the ban to the local Moroccan news website Le360, saying "bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crime." 

    In an interview with Le360 Tuesday, Morocco’s former Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family, and Social Development Nouzha Skalli said, "The burka is a symbol of enslavement." 

    Yet, it is still unclear if the North African country intends to ban the wearing of the burqa, a long garment that covers the entire face and body and worn by many conservative Muslim women in public. The garment is not widely worn in the country, with most Muslim Moroccan women preferring the hijab, and Morocco's King Mohammed VI embraces a moderate version of Islam.

    The burqa is already unwelcome in many European countries, as well as some Muslim-majority countries in Western Africa, citing security concerns. 

    In 2011, France, with its large Muslim population, was the first nation to ban women from wearing face-covering veils in public, followed by Belgium three months later. More recently, Bulgaria and the Netherlands have also banned the garment, in addition to some towns and cities across Italy and Spain. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has embraced a proposal to ban the burqa, The Christian Science Monitor reported last month:

    “In interpersonal communication, which plays a fundamental role here, we show our face,” [Merkel] said in reference to the Islamic full-body covering that, while rarely worn in Germany, retains symbolic resonance for much of the public, and has emerged as a touchstone for the far right. “And that’s why a full veil is inappropriate in our country. It should be banned wherever legally possible. It does not belong in our country.”
    Other articles of clothing associated with conservative Islam have also come under recent scrutiny in Europe. Calling it "the symbol of Islamic extremism," some French cities temporarily banned the wearing of burkinis – full coverage swimsuits that cover the head – last summer, until the nation’s highest administration court ruled the ban unconstitutional.

    These bans have ignited heated debates on freedom of religious expression, multiculturalism, and fears of extremism in nations facing what they perceive as Islamic terrorist threats.

    "[The ban is an] arbitrary decision that is an indirect violation of women's freedom of expression and wearing what reflects their identities or their religious, political or social beliefs," the Northern Moroccan National Observatory for Human Development said in a statement, according to the BBC.

    Hammad Kabbadj, a preacher whose candidacy for parliamentary election was rejected because of his alleged extremist views, also denounced the ban. 

    "It is unacceptable to forbid citizens from wearing the oriental niqab or to interfere in its marketing," he said, according to Al Bawaba, a Jordanian news site.


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  • Yellow fever death toll rises to at least 250 in Angola

    15/Mar/2016 // 124 Viewers

     

    Luanda (AFP) - A yellow fever epidemic in Angola has killed at least 250 people since the end of December and continues to spread, stretching limited resources, doctors and officials said Tuesday.

     

    The head of the Luanda pediatrics hospital, Mateus Campos, said 27 children died there on Monday alone, with 900 suspected cases turning up each day.

    "We don't have the human resources to cope," Campos added.

    Health ministry spokeswoman Adelaide de Carvalho told AFP that the ministry registered 76 suspect cases and 10 deaths in three days alone this month, but gave no overall toll.

    A week ago the World Health Organisation put the death toll at 250 but some doctors believe the situation may be far worse.

    There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America's Amazon region.

    Authorities launched a mass vaccination campaign in February and the government urged residents to sterilise stagnant water before drinking it.

    Luanda remains the worst-hit area, with nine of every 10 deaths registered in the city over the last days.

    Critics such as surgeon Maurilio Luyela have blasted authorities for failing to upgrade public health facilities or pay doctors good wages.

    "Doctors who graduate from university don't join the public health sector because there isn't enough money to pay them," he told journalists.

    Yellow fever vaccinations are routinely recommended for travellers to Angola, though the country had not previously seen a significant outbreak since 1986.

    World Health Organization figures show there are an estimated 130,000 cases of yellow fever reported yearly, causing 44,000 deaths worldwide each year, with 90 percent occurring in Africa


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  • US to send 300 troops to aid fight against Boko Haram

    15/Oct/2015 // 502 Viewers

    The United States is sending 300 U.S. troops, along with surveillance drones, to Cameroon to bolster a West African effort to counter the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
     
    In a notification to Congress, President Barack Obama said an advance force of about 90 military personnel began deploying on Monday to Cameroon, with the consent of the Yaounde government.
     
    The troops will “conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region,” Obama said. “These forces are equipped with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security, and they will remain in Cameroon until their support is no longer needed.”
     
    U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the troops would provide intelligence to a multi-national task force being set up to fight Boko Haram and composed of troops from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin.
     
    Boko Haram, which wants to carve out an Islamist caliphate and has allied itself to Islamic State, earlier this year stepped up cross-border attacks on Nigeria’s neighbors.
    On Sunday, two female suicide bombers killed nine people in the town of Mora in Cameroon’s Far North region, employing a tactic increasingly favored by Boko Haram.
     
    The American officials said the U.S. soldiers would deploy initially to the city of Garoua in northern Cameroon, not far from the Nigerian border. The force will include Predator drones for surveillance, they said.
     
    The White House said the move was not in response to any changed assessment of threat in the region.
     
    The United States has no combat troops in Africa, but has been increasing support to allies in the region battling Boko Haram.
     
    (Reuters with DailyGlobeWatch)


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  • Guinea's main opposition leader Diallo exits presidential race alleging election fraud

    15/Oct/2015 // 332 Viewers

    Guinea's main opposition leader Celloun Dalein Diallo withdrew on Wednesday from a presidential election, alleging fraud, and will not recognize the outcome, his campaign director said.
     
    His decision came as the national election commission began to announce early results from a vote held on Sunday that is expected to return incumbent Alpha Conde to a second five-year term in the West African country.
     
    Figures from three of the capital Conakry’s five communes showed Conde won 55 percent, 60 percent and 49 percent of the vote. All results must be ratified by the constitutional court.
     
    Guinea has a history of political violence linked to ethnic tension, including protests during the 2010 campaign that brought Conde to power. On Wednesday police fired tear gas at protesters in the capital and the government called for calm.
     
    “However the results turn out, we will see that they have nothing to do with reality. In any case, we will not recognize them,” said Diallo campaign director Aboubacar Sylla.
     
    Early radio announcements had Conde with a sizeable lead. Most analysts, though, expected results to be close enough to require a second round, most likely against Diallo. It was not clear how his withdrawal would affect the process.
     
    Millions of voters, around 75 percent of the population, cast their votes in Guinea’s second free election in nearly 60 years since independence.
     
    Conde spent years in opposition to military leaders and was imprisoned and exiled. His election in 2010 ended two years of military rule. A year earlier, security forces killed over 150 people in a stadium in Conakry and raped dozens of women.
     
    Tensions high
     
    Sunday’s voting was calm and won praise from international observers, though one monitor urged caution in declaring the whole election fair before results had been announced.
     
    Tension has been mounting amid allegations by Conde’s challengers of fraud. Last Friday, at least two people were killed and 33 injured in fighting between supporters of Conde and his main rival Diallo.
     
    On Wednesday, anti-riot police in the suburb of Koloma Soloprimo fired tear gas and warning shots as protesters began building street barricades, residents said.
     
    “It is heating up over here. We are all hiding in our houses,” said resident Souleymane Bah.
     
    A Reuters reporter on Monday saw three people with gunshot wounds at a local clinic after security forces and the opposition clashed overnight.
     
    One of the injured, Bachir Barry, said he was hit in the hip as he was walking from the market.
     
    “We are calling on everyone to give up on the street (protests). If the institutions are not respected, then there is no rule of law,” Foreign Minister François Lonseny Fall said at a meeting attended by media and foreign diplomats on Wednesday.
     
    Justice Minister Cheick Sako said at the same meeting that those caught protesting would face criminal charges.
     
    Dozens of anti-riot police vehicles patrolled opposition neighbourhoods, where burnt-out tyres and rocks littered the streets following the clashes late on Tuesday.
     
    (REUTERS)


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