Africanews RSS Receive free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:31:15 +0000 Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:31:15 +0000 Tanzanian rapper arrested over song critical of president freed Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:31:15 +0000 Tanzanian rapper Nay wa Mitego has been freed after his arrest on Sunday over a song he released which is critical of the government. The popular rapper was freed from police detention in the capital dar es Salaam after Information Minister Harrison Mwakyembe ordered his release. The minister later addressed the press saying President John Magufuli appreciates the song for how it deals with relevant issues facing the country, local media reported. He added that the president also wants the rapper to add more lyrics to condemn corruption and that the song can be played on radio stations without any restriction. The song – “Wapo” – has been widely shared on social media since its release last week as it refers to a doctor who lances boils but cannot tolerate criticism. His questioning of freedom of expression got Nay wa Mitego, real name Emmanuel Elibariki into trouble. Immediately after his release, the rapper thanked all those who stood with him while in detention. 'Asante kwa wote walioamka na kuwa upande wangu, upande wa haki, walioamini kile ambacho nimekifanya nawashukuru sana'-Nay wa Mitego— millard ayo (@millardayo) March 27, 2017 His arrest comes days after Magufuli warned the media in the country to be careful how they use their press freedom. Watch the song’s video below. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Ismail Akwei Pics of the day: March 25th, 2017 Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:37:43 +0000 Africanews pics the best images of the day’s news. Sudan to open new cross-border corridor for aid delivery to South Sudan Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:09:16 +0000 The Sudanese government has pledged to open a new corridor to South Sudan for swift delivery of humanitarian aid to the famine-hit neighbouring country. Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m said on Sunday in a press release cited by local media Sudan Tribune that the government agreed to open the new corridor to grant access to the 7.5 million people affected by the crisis. The United Nations welcomed the decision in a statement saying it will not only allow for the timely delivery of food aid but help reduce the cost of aid delivery by air. “By opening this cross-border corridor, the Government of Sudan is showing its commitment to the people of South Sudan and further strengthening cooperation with the international community to pull South Sudan back from a widening famine that could affect another 1 million people,” the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas said. The U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien clearly stated after a visit that the famine in South Sudan is man-made due to the three-year civil war in the world’s newest country which is facing a worse situation. Despite support offered by international aid agencies, some government officials are accused of blocking agencies from delivering food aid to some parts of the country. President Salva Kiir promised last month to grant access to major NGOs that will provide food assistance to the hunger-stricken civilians. But, they in-turn hiked work permit fees 100-fold for foreign aid workers to $10,000 dollars from $100. Ismail Akwei S. Sudan rebel group accuses government forces of killing aid workers Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:02:46 +0000 South Sudanese rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by former Vice President Riek Machar has accused government forces of killing six aid workers on Saturday. Spokesperson for the military wing Paul Gabriel Lam told local media Sudan Tribune that the attack was unfortunate and an independent investigation should be launched into the incident. “We are aware that the area where this barbaric incident took place is under the control of Juba regime and its militias. The SPLA -IO calls for an independent investigation into this act of terrorism and cowardice towards the innocent hard working aid workers in the country,” he said. The United Nations said on Sunday that the six aid workers were killed in an ambush while traveling from the capital Juba to the town of Pibor without giving other details. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Eugene Owusu said in a statement that he is “appalled and outraged by the heinous murder yesterday of the six courageous humanitarians.” “I implore all those in positions of power to step up to their responsibilities and stop this, as they are ultimately accountable for what happens under their watch. There is no safety when attacks are met with silence and inaction,” he added. At least 79 aid workers have been killed since the country’s civil war began in December 2013. This year, at least 12 have died and at least eight humanitarian convoys have been attacked. Ismail Akwei Finland allocates $20 million to famine-hit African countries Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:53:11 +0000 The Finnish government has allocated over £18 million (over $20 million) to five famine-hit African countries at risk of death and starvation caused by drought and conflict. The countries are South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia and Nigeria, according to a statement from Finland’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday. “The Horn of Africa is facing the worst food crisis in recent history. Approximately 20 million people suffer from shortage of food and water … Finland must be among those that are providing assistance,” said the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen who decided on the amount. South Sudan will receive £7.6 million and Uganda will receive £2.2 million for receiving approximately 2,000 refugees from South Sudan daily despite being affected by drought. Somalia will also receive £5.5 million to support humanitarian work while Ethiopia will receive £755,000; and Nigeria will receive £2 million to aid those at risk of famine in the northeastern parts of the country. The Finnish government acknowledged the severity of the crisis which is also affecting Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula. The Arab country will also receive EUR 1.5 million totalling Finaland’s humanitarian aid for famine-hit countries to £20 million. The Horn of Africa is facing its third consecutive year of drought causing thirst and hunger, decimating livestock, destroying livelihoods, spreading disease and triggering large scale population movements. United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien described the crisis to the Security Council as the largest since the second world war in 1945, and an amount of $4.4 billion is needed “to avert a catastrophe” in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula. The African Union donated $100,000 each to Somalia and South Sudan last week. The new Chairperson of the Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called on member states, private sector and the international community to emulate the gesture. Ismail Akwei UN, WHO plan to eradicate Polio in Africa Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:32:02 +0000 The World Health Organization and the United Nations children ‘s fund are planning a massive immunization campaign across Africa to wipe out Polio from the continent. According to the UN, tens of thousands of health workers will visit 13 central and Western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under the age of five against the disease. The UN said more than 190,000 volunteers will be travelling on foot or on bicycle and will go from house to house across all the cities, towns and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate children against polio. The campaign, one of the largest ever conduct in Africa, will run from march 25-28. The director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran said children must be immunized in a short span of time to raise childhood immunity to polio across the continent. “The synchronization of this immunization campaign is needed to rapidly strengthen protection, If all children are vaccinated at the same time or around the same time in a very short period of time, the virus cannot find anywhere to hide,” he said. In August last year, 4 children were paralyzed by polio in Borno state, northeast of Nigeria, which has been under attack by Boko Haram militants for several years. Government in the lake Chad basin has declared a public health emergency and a vaccination campaign was conducted. African countries are expected to be declared polio free if no case of polio is detected in the next three years. Cameroon opposition party calls for federalism to solve political crisis Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:30:26 +0000 Cameroon’s main opposition party led by Ni John Fru Ndi is vouching for federalism. The Social Democratic Front (SDF), confirmed it’s position on Sunday after an executive committee meeting held in the outskirts of Yaounde. The party said it believes having a federal multi-state government is the best solution to the country’s current political discord, an idea it first put forward in 1997 and according to them federalism would have prevented the crisis in the two English-speaking regions, which are the party’s strongholds. SDF also demanded the reinstatement of Internet connections in the mainly Anglophone regions in the north and southwest, which were cut off the web in January,and also for release of people arrested during anti-government protests, including professors and lawyers. Bamenda has been the center of recent civil unrest in the country as demonstrations started in late 2016, when local lawyers and teachers in the area went on strike. The region represents Cameroon’s English speaking minority and residents say they are being politically and economically sidelined by the Francophone government. Cameroon’s constitution says the country is bilingual. While the government has made some reforms and promised others, it has refused to release dozens of people detained in relation to the unrest. Follow @Muisyo_ Mali: Six killed in multiple attacks Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:54:26 +0000 At least six people were killed last weekend in attacks in northern and southern Mali. According to military and security sources, three soldiers, two customs officers and a civilian were killed by unidentified assailants who later made away with a car, weapons and several rounds of ammunition. The first attack targeted a Malian army security post in Almoustarat, located about 120Km north of Gao, the capital city of the vast Gao region. The second attack targeted a customs post on Saturday evening in the southern town of Ouélessbougou, about 80 km from the capital Bamako. The third attack which took place on Sunday morning in the Gao region targeted Sonef and Nour transport buses. Further reports indicate that several other people were robbed of their possessions in the course of these attacks, which have not yet been claimed. Despite continued French troop deployments, a U.N. peacekeeping mission and years of peace talks, Mali remains beset by banditry, unrest and Islamist attacks, along with the slow implementation of the Algiers Peace Agreement. Follow @Muisyo_ Victor Muisyo South Africa's Zuma summons finance minister from London Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:13:37 +0000 South African President Jacob Zuma ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to return from an investor roadshow to Britain and the United States immediately without giving any reason. The presidency issued a statement in that regard confirming earlier media reports. “President Jacob Zuma has instructed the Minister of Finance Mr Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the UK and the US and return to South Africa immediately,” the statement said. Presidency confirms #PravinGordhan and Mcebisi Jonas have been ordered to return. MV— Maryke Vermaak (@MarykeVermaak) March 27, 2017 A government source is quoted by Reuters on Monday saying the summon is because the president “did not give permission for the trip.” “They were told last night or this morning to come back,” the source, who had no more details, said. Ismail Akwei Guinea-Bissau: Political crisis intensifies [no comment] Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:53:25 +0000 Many demonstrations were planned to demand President José Mario Vaz’ departure.The last sign of a growing anti-government sentiment, after a 18 months political crisis 31 Al Shabaab militants killed in Somalia, two bases destroyed: Kenya military Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:20:26 +0000 Kenyan military said they have killed 31 al Shabaab fighters in the Baadhade District in Somalia’s Jubbaland after raids on two command and logistics bases on Sunday. According to Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson, Colonel Jospeh Owuoth in a statement on Monday, the soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) executed the operation by air and ground. “Ground troops were supported by attack helicopters and artillery fire, to access the al Shabaab terrorists’ base and the two command and logistics bases locared 17 kilometres from Sarira near Hola Wajeer,” Colonel Owuoth said. Two vehicles were destroyed while some items including 11 AK-47 rifles, 2 PKMs, 4 Improvised Explosive Devices, foodstuff, communication equipment, uniforms, detonating cables and 643 rounds of ammunition were retrieved during raid, he added. Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 in a bid to crack down on al Shabaab, which had been coordinating cross-border kidnappings. Hundreds of Kenyan soldiers have died during attacks by al Shabaab. Kenya has contributed more than 3,600 troops to the 22,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. #OpsUpdate :Our soldiers under amisomsomalia</a> yesterday successfully raided Al Shabaab terrorists bases in Sarira & Hola Wajeer killing 31 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Kenya Defence Forces (kdfinfo) March 27, 2017 Ismail Akwei Six aid workers killed in an ambush in South Sudan Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:31:54 +0000 Six aid workers were killed in an ambush in South Sudan on Saturday while traveling from the capital Juba to the town of Pibor, the United Nations said on Sunday, without specifying if they worked for the U.N. or giving other details. It was the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since the country’s civil war began in December 2013, a U.N. statement said. At least 79 aid workers have been killed since then. This year, at least 12 have died and at least eight humanitarian convoys have been attacked. “I am appalled and outraged by the heinous murder yesterday of six courageous humanitarians in South Sudan,” U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Eugene Owusu said in the statement. “I implore all those in positions of power to step up to their responsibilities and stop this, as they are ultimately accountable for what happens under their watch. There is no safety when attacks are met with silence and inaction.” U.N. monitors have found President Salva Kiir’s government is mainly to blame for the catastrophe in his country which – in less than six years of independence – has collapsed into a chaotic ethnic war, with an epidemic of rape and a famine in parts of the country. It was not clear if Saturday’s ambush was linked to recent violence in Pibor, where youth groups belonging to the Lango and Kurene clans clashed on March 21-22, prompting armed civilians to take up defensive positions near a U.N. base. The U.N. said on Saturday that 800 to 1,000 civilians ran from Pibor town to the U.N. site for protection on Thursday. Indian peacekeepers shielded them and two U.N. helicopters and a civilian aircraft that were offloading at the airstrip. The local governor later held a peace meeting and tensions subsided, the U.N. said. Sudan 'cooperating' with Chad and France over kidnapped Frenchman Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:04:32 +0000 Sudan is working with Chadian and French authorities on the case of a French citizen who was kidnapped in Chad and taken into Sudan, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told state news agency SUNA on Sunday. An unidentified Frenchman was kidnapped on Thursday south of Abeche, a mining area about 800 km (500 miles) east of Chad’s capital N’Djamena and 150 km from the border with Sudan. There were no immediate reports of any group claiming responsibility or making demands. A senior Chadian security source said on Friday the man had been taken into Sudan. “The Foreign Ministry and relevant agencies received a message from the Sudanese embassy in N’Djamena on the French hostage and the case is being followed closely until he returns to his family safely,” SUNA quoted Ghandour as saying. Ghandour added that Sudan was coordinating with Chadian authorities through the mixed Chadian-Sudanese force conducting the search as well as with French authorities, including the intelligence agency, over retrieving the hostage. Kidnappings are rare in Chad, a former French colony in West Africa, but the remote eastern border area has seen decades of back-and-forth movement from armed groups, including rebels fighting the Sudanese government. The last French national kidnapped in Chad was an aid worker taken in the eastern border area in 2009 and released nearly three months later inside Darfur. Popular Tanzanian rapper arrested for 'insulting' President Magufuli Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:19:46 +0000 Popular Tanzanian rapper Emmanuel Elibariki also known as “ Nay wa Mitego” has been arrested for releasing a song deemed insulting to the government. The song “ Wapo” although yet to make waves on radio emerged last week and was shared on social media, especially on WhatsApp. A part of the song makes reference to a doctor who lances boils but cannot tolerate criticism which is believed to be in reference to President John Magufuli. The rapper is popular for his scathing lyrics which attack the government and his fellow artists. Nay Wa Mitego will be questioned for releasing a song with words that attack the government. Tanzanian rapper held for ‘insulting president’ in song#Tanzaniarapper— CONCEPT (@ConceptGrp) March 27, 2017 The rapper’s arrest comes a few days after Magufuli warned media owners in the country to be careful how they use their press freedom. Russian police detain hundreds during anti-corruption protests Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:26:33 +0000 Moscow police detained hundreds of people at an anti-corruption protest on Sunday including Russia’s main opposition leader. Thousands joined rallies nationwide, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations. Kremlin-critic Alexei Navalny who organised the demonstrations was taken away by police. The authorities said the Moscow rally was unsanctioned. In a tweet after his detention, Navalny said he was fine and urged fellow protesters to continue with the demonstration. Navalny & hundreds arrested as #Russia is hit by largest public demonstrations the country has seen in years.— RFE/RL (@RFERL) March 26, 2017 A human rights organisation “OVD Info“ claimed at least 700 people were detained in the capital alone with hundreds more in other cities. Many of the protesters wore trainers round their necks alluding to the shoes worn by Medvedev whom they accuse of amassing a huge fortune that far outstrips his official salary. St Petersburg was one of a reported 99 cities planning protests according to Navalny, although most had not been given permission to go ahead. Moscow called them “an illegal provocation”. Medvedev’s spokeswoman called the allegations against him “propaganda attacks unworthy of detailed comment”. The protests, reckoned to be the biggest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election which Vladimir Putin is expected to contest, running for what would be a fourth term. Opinion polls suggest the liberal opposition, which the anti-corruption activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny represents, have little chance of fielding a candidate capable of unseating Putin, who enjoys high ratings. Sudan and Saudi military to hold joint air force drills Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:05 +0000 Sudan said on Sunday that it will begin military air operations with Saudi Arabia this week, the first exercises of its kind since the breakdown in 2015 of the links between Khartoum and Tehran. The maneuvers will take place from 29 March to 12 April in Meroe, north of Khartoum, and will involve hundreds of air force personnel from both countries. The Islamist regime in Khartoum had maintained close ties with Iran for years, but its growing rivalry with Saudi Arabia, notably on the Syrian conflict, has changed the situation. In 2015, Sudan announced its participation in an Arab coalition led by Riyadh, which is conducting strikes in Yemen against Iranian-backed Shiite rebels Houthis. According to a Sudanese air force official, the exercises will aim at improving the capabilities of both aviations and their techniques during operations. The idea of ​​these maneuvers “was proposed by our brothers in Saudi Arabia,” said Salaheddin Abdul Khalid, acting commander of Sudan’s air force. “We have planned this for almost a year,” he added. Sudan will participate with more than two dozen combat aircraft, including the MiG-29 and the Sukhoi, the official said. Saudi Arabia will deploy its F-15 and Eurofighter Typhoon. It is also expected that Saudi pilots will make a parade in the sky of Khartoum. Relations between Riyadh and Khartoum were strengthened after the Sudanese army joined the Arab coalition. According to analysts, this warming serves the interests of both countries: it helps Sudan to mitigate its international isolation and offers Saudi Arabia a new market for its investments as the kingdom tries to reduce its dependence on oil. Ken Karuri Egypt court convicts 56 over migrant boat sinking that killed 200 Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:15 +0000 An Egyptian court has sentenced 56 people to jail over the capsizing of a migrant boat that killed more than 200 migrants in September. The court handed sentences ranging from two to 14 years. The convicted were found guilt of manslaughter, negligence, using a boat for unlicensed purposes, endangering children, and organising illegal immigration. The boat was destined for Italy when it sank 12 km off the Egyptian port of Rosetta. Survivors said up to 450 people had been crowded aboard the fishing trawler when it keeled over, including an estimated 100 in its hold. The Egyptian military said at the time that 163 people were rescued. Most of those rescued were Egyptians but they also included people from Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Ethiopia. According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, more than 5,000 migrants are thought to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, a record figure the organisation described as “a devastating milestone.” In recent years, thousands of migrants and refugees from a variety of countries have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, with an increasing number departing via smugglers’ boats from Egypt’s northern coast. CAF's secretary general resigns after Hayatou's defeat Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:58:26 +0000 The Confederation of African Football (CAF) secretary general Hicham El Amrani resigned on Sunday, a week after elections that swept long-standing President Issa Hayatou from power. El Amrani, in a letter to CAF, said he would be departing on Monday, but gave no reason for his decision. The 37-year-old Moroccan had served as secretary general for the last six years. Hayatou was deposed as CAF President 10 days ago at elections in Ethiopia, where six of his allies on the body’s executive committee also lost their positions. CAF general secretary Hicham Amrani resigns #StarrNews— 💼 (@SirAmankwaah) March 26, 2017 The 70-year-old had served as president for 29 years. The New CAF President Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar is due to meet staff members in Cairo on Monday. U.S. military ends operation against LRA Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:43 +0000 The US military is wrapping up operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa, even though its leader Joseph Kony is still at large, a top US general said Friday. A top US military commander said the LRA has been reduced to “irrelevance” after years of joint military operations have killed most of its forces. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet, for crimes against humanity and war crimes. In 2008, the United States government declared him a “specially designated global terrorist.” In 2010, the US deployed around 100 special forces to work with regional armies to defeat the LRA and try to capture Kony. According to the US National Counterterrorism Center, Kony is believed to be in poor health. The LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and kidnapped 60,000 children in a three-decade-long rebellion spanning northern Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo since it was set up in 1987. Dominic Ongwen, a former child soldier turned LRA general, is currently on trial at The Hague after being captured by US forces in 2015. Nigeria: expatriate workers to be replaced with Nigerians Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:18:25 +0000 The government of Nigeria has commenced the process of replacing expatriates occupying positions in some sectors by training Nigerians in technical and vocational skills to be able to function effectively in the same capacity. The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Training Fund, Joseph Ari, disclosed this on Friday while delivering a speech in Osogbo, Osun State, at the opening of 2017 National Industrial Skills Development Programme. The Director general stated that the training was conceived to achieve the objective of the Federal Government in providing jobs for millions of Nigerians and also ensure others are self-employed. “It is worrisome that despite the number of Nigerians without work, several surveys, including those conducted by the ITF, have revealed that vacancies exist in some sectors of the economy that are currently being filled by persons other than Nigerians because of the lack of requisite technical skills of our people,” he said. Ari said that it is with a view of arresting this problem which represents not only a clear and present danger but also threatens the attainment of key government policies that the ITF conceived the idea of NISDP. “It is aimed at instilling skills in our teeming population, particularly our young men and women, so as to escalate economic recovery and growth,” he added. The has trained 84,100 Nigerians in over 30 trades and crafts. Most of the beneficiaries are gainfully employed today and some of them are entrepreneurs. The Director, Field Services Department, ITF, Adesola Taiwo, adding that training Nigerian youths to possess technical and vocational skills would stop foreigners from coming to the country to take up available jobs. Also, the Area Manager of ITF, Ibadan, Oyo State, Funke Olorunleke, noted that the rate of unemployment had gone up and white-collar jobs were difficult to get. She further to trainees to the opportunity and equip themselves with the training and become employable and employers of labour. Dangote buys the largest crane in Africa Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:28:32 +0000 Business mogul and richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote is currently the owner of the largest crawler crane in Africa. The astute businessman bought the crane from China’s number one construction company, XCMG Construction Machinery Co Ltd, a Company dealing in heavy machineries. The Assistant President and General Manager, Hanson Liu, said their biggest customer in Africa is Dangote. He noted in an interview with leadership that Dangote has bought the largest crawler crane from them, weighing about 1250 tons, adding that the massive crane was assembled in Nigeria. Liu equally said that XCMG sold about 5000 units of various kinds of products to customers in Africa last year 2016. “We dispatch our stationaries through Tanzania and working with some big customers like Dangote. We presently have about 24 employees in service working with Dangote full time in Nigeria,” he said. However, Liu pointed out that working in some African countries has not been without challenges for the company. He noted that the company plans to make investments in the continent in the future. “In some countries, we cannot easily transfer money due to financial restriction there. Also its not easy to exchange currency. And some countries have security issues which makes us a bit nervous,” he added. He noted that they were seeking for a suitable place and favourable policies. “You know we are always thinking about it because the next era will be Africa. So, we focus a lot on Africa. Africa has huge potential regarding development,” he said. Dangote Buys Largest Crane In Africa From China via Bar_Baric</a></p>&mdash; Music Nigeria (BarBaricMUSIC) March 25, 2017 Due to the high technology employed by the company, robots are a part of the manufacture process, raising questions as to whether or not this would increase unemployment in the world’s most populated country. Morocco: Prime minister agrees to form coalition government Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:44 +0000 Moroccan Prime Minster Saad Eddine El Othmani on Saturday said he had agreed to form a coalition government with five other parties, ending nearly six months of post-election deadlock. His agreement comes just eight days in office. Othmani, from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), was appointed as premier last week by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. He replaced PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane, whose efforts to form a government following October elections had been frustrated. El-Othmani, 61, announced in a press conference in Rabat on Saturday that an “agreement has been reached” with six political parties to form a coalition government. “The next steps will be deciding on government structure and ministerial appointments,” Othmani told reporters, surrounded by the leaders of the five other parties. “We need to move beyond previous obstacles,” he said. He told AP news agency they will proceed step by step. “Now that we have defined the members of the government coalition, three steps remain: Defining the flowchart and structure of government, then the ministerial portfolios and then the ministerial departments that each party in the coalition will manage,” Before his appointment, negotiations had stalled largely over the insistence by the national Rally of Independence (RNI) party on including the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) in a coalition. The two parties are among those expected to form a new government. The other parties are the Popular Movement (MP), the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and the Constitutional Union (UC). The coalition includes a pro-market, conservative and socialist parties. The Islamist PJD won parliamentary elections in October but did not win enough seats to govern alone. Under Morocco’s election law no party can win an outright majority in parliament, making coalition governments a necessity. New Morocco Premier Forms Six-Party Coalition to End Deadlock— J. David Morris (@JDavidMorris) March 26, 2017 Last year’s election campaign was marked by tensions between the PJD and a resurgent royal establishment, though the PJD retained its position as the largest party, increasing its number of seats to 125. El-Othmani was appointed prime minister on 17 March. Dibie Ike Michael Ethiopia’s $75m Abattoir set to be operational next month Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:52:50 +0000 An abattoir owned by a subsidiary of Allana Group – Frigorifico Boran Foods Plc, will be commissioned next month in Adami Tulu, 163kms from the Ethiopia capital, Addis Abeba. The General Manager of Frigorifico Boran Foods Plc, a subsidiary of Allana Group, Vijay Dongare said they are left with internal and external finishing works. “Trial production is also underway,” he added. Allana, an Indian-based meat processing company, secured 75 hectares of land two years ago, from the Oromia Regional government to erect the plant around Adami Tulu, near Ziway. While the project has been delayed for about a year, industry representatives say the project is 99pc completed at this point. The company invested 20 million dollars in the first phase of the construction, which is one-third of the total amount of capital invested by the company so far. The plant, known to be the biggest factory between Shashemene and Ziway, will have the capacity to produce 75 of meat every day. Ethiopia: $75m Abattoir Set to Be Operational Next Month –— (@MerejaMedia) March 25, 2017 Approximately 200 cattle and 5,000 sheep and goats are expected to be slaughtered on a daily basis once operation begins. This will enable the company to package 75 of meat products for daily export. Tuareg rebels to boycott Mali peace conference Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:43 +0000 Mali’s main Tuareg separatists factions on Saturday said they would boycott talks with the government next week on the implementation the 2015 peace that has been riven by crisis. The pact signed nearly two-years ago was meant to draw a line under the conflict that pitted nomadic Tuaregs in the desert north against a government seated in the south and which has destabilized Mali, turning it into a launch pad for global jihadist groups. But implementing the agreement has been held up by bickering, while jihadists have exploited the security vacuum to step up attacks. A statement by the Tuareg rebels said the CMA and Platform declare solemnly that they cannot take part in the conference, explaining that it was not sufficiently inclusive and that they were not consulted about the date when it was fixed. “We cannot take part in a conference which, far from uniting, risks being divisive,” the groups said. The 2015 peace accord was meant to draw a line under a conflict that has pitted nomadic Tuaregs in the north against the government in the south. But the implementation of the agreement has been held up by bickering, while armed groups affiliated to al-Qaeda have exploited the security vacuum to step up attacks. After months of delays and arguments, there had been some signs of progress in recent weeks with the return of state authority to some cities from which it had been absent since the Tuareg revolt began in 2012. The armed groups were opposed to the return of state authority to the city, and no agreement has yet been reached to allow it to go ahead. Tuareg rebels say to boycott Mali peace conference— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) March 26, 2017 However, despite French troop deployments, a U.N peacekeeping mission and years of peace talks, Mali remains beset by banditry, unrest and ethnic strife. Morocco: Prime minister agrees to form coalition government Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:41:47 +0000 Moroccan Prime Minster Saad Eddine El Othmani on Saturday said he had agreed to form a coalition government with five other parties, ending nearly six months of post-election deadlock. His agreement comes just eight days in office. Othmani, from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), was appointed as premier last week by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. He replaced PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane, whose efforts to form a government following October elections had been frustrated. El-Othmani, 61, announced in a press conference in Rabat on Saturday that an “agreement has been reached” with six political parties to form a coalition government. “The next steps will be deciding on government structure and ministerial appointments,” Othmani told reporters, surrounded by the leaders of the five other parties. “We need to move beyond previous obstacles,” he said. He told AP news agency they will proceed step by step. “Now that we have defined the members of the government coalition, three steps remain: Defining the flowchart and structure of government, then the ministerial portfolios and then the ministerial departments that each party in the coalition will manage,” Before his appointment, negotiations had stalled largely over the insistence by the national Rally of Independence (RNI) party on including the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) in a coalition. The two parties are among those expected to form a new government. The other parties are the Popular Movement (MP), the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and the Constitutional Union (UC). The coalition includes a pro-market, conservative and socialist parties. The Islamist PJD won parliamentary elections in October but did not win enough seats to govern alone. Under Morocco’s election law no party can win an outright majority in parliament, making coalition governments a necessity. New Morocco Premier Forms Six-Party Coalition to End Deadlock— J. David Morris (@JDavidMorris) March 26, 2017 Last year’s election campaign was marked by tensions between the PJD and a resurgent royal establishment, though the PJD retained its position as the largest party, increasing its number of seats to 125. El-Othmani was appointed prime minister on 17 March. Four Tanzanian children with albinism in US for medical treatment Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:25:06 +0000 Four Tanzanian children with albinism arrived in the United States on Saturday for medical treatment. The children lost their limbs in brutal attacks by human poachers for their albinism. Body parts of albinos are highly sought in some African countries, where some mistakenly believe they bring wealth and good luck. In the East African country, a child born with albinism starts life with a price tag on their head. “You can see that all of them are injured, they’re still traumatized. They are still thinking that their life isn’t secured. So they can’t walk alone in the town, they can’t. Maybe they go with a person like me or with their teachers or their matrons but not even another stranger. They don’t trust anyone,” said Ester Rwela a Social Worker with Under the Same Sun. The children were making a return trip, having outgrown prosthetics they got through the aid of Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF) that hosts children from around the world who have been injured in conflict or disaster. Elissa Montanti founder of GMRF said, “We’ve helped children over the last almost twenty years, children that have stepped on landmines, kicked a can and it exploded, a sniper, a tsunami, typhoons, illness, but this is so deliberate and you just can’t grasp it, about their injuries. It just is mind-boggling.” Albinos represent one in every approximately 1,400 births in Tanzania – the largest proportion in all of Africa. Furthermore, albino body parts can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market. According to United Nations officials at least 75 albinos were killed in the east African nation between 2000 and 2015. Reuters East African heads of state seek regional approach to Somali refugee crisis Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:43 +0000 Regional heads of state on Saturday met in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to seek a regional approach in delivering durable solutions to the Somali refugee crisis in the region. The heads of state from Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia meeting under a regional grouping, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, called for greater global responsibility sharing with the region, where communities have been hosting and sharing limited resources with Somali refugees for years. “We have worked together for more than twenty years to help stabilise Somalia. The Somali people have been at the forefront of this effort. We have shed blood together, as a region, alongside the Somali people, to liberate vast stretches of their country that were previously under the control of terrorists,” said Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. The United Nations said on Saturday that more than two million Somalis have been displaced, including an estimated 1 million internally displaced persons within Somalia and 900,000 Somali refugees in the region, including large numbers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Uganda and Djibouti. Ken Karuri Flooding kills 11 in Angola Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:56:45 +0000 Floods in Angola have killed at least eleven people and left thousands homeless after the country was hit by torrential rain, rescuers said Thursday. More than 700 homes were destroyed following the deluge in the coastal northwestern Luanda province which began on Tuesday afternoon and lasted into the early hours of Thursday, rescue service spokesman Faustino Mingues told AFP. “The victims died when houses collapsed, or after being swept away by the water,” he said. Others were killed after being electrocuted by high-voltage power lines that had been downed by the extreme weather. Among the dead were a two-year-old baby and a 70-year-old, according to Mingues, who added that at least 5,300 homes have been flooded. A school and a church were also demolished by the deluge which has paralysed the Angolan capital Luanda, affecting the supply of electricity and clean water and causing traffic chaos on the city’s roads. Mingues warned that several reservoirs on the outskirts of Luanda were almost full and threatening to overflow. There were reports of several people still missing following flash floods, according to the state-run Angop news agency. Officials warned last week that the ground in many areas had been left saturated following heavy rains that have already affected more than 500,000 people and followed five years of drought. “With the high level of rain, we are afraid that many homes… are submerged because the soil is saturated and can not absorb water,” regional official Goncalves Namweya told the Lusa news agency on Friday. Farmland has also been affected and many roads are impassable — especially in rural areas — forcing people to travel on canoes supplied by emergency services, Namweya added. Ban on electronics in the cabin comes into force in the Gulf Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:37:33 +0000 “I understand the reasons for security,” said Debbie Corfield, a Briton met at the Doha airport in Qatar, a platform targeted by the American ban. But, “the problem is that when I need to work onboard, my working time will be reduced,” says the consultant for an American company that specializes in medical software that visits the states at least three times a year -United States for professional reasons. According to her, her company and many of her colleagues will be “affected” by the US measure. At the Dubai airport, one of the busiest in the world, staff of the national company Emirates was deployed en masse Saturday to explain to passengers the ban and present “recreational activities” planned after registration. The ban comes into force over a peak weekend with 1.1 million passengers expected between Friday and Sunday. Dislocated Parents In this airport that hosts the largest number of international passengers on the planet, some parents were gray mine. “I have two children and they always have an Ipad in hand,” sighs Samuel Porter, who travels with his family. Washington has banned carrying laptops and tablets in cabins on planes carrying the flights of nine airlines from ten international airports in Arab countries and Turkey, citing a risk of attacks. The eight countries whose airlines and airports are concerned are all allies or partners of the United States: Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Morocco. The United States did not specify the duration of the ban, but Emirates airline, based in Dubai, told AFP that it had been ordered to apply it until October 14. And even those who thought to escape by buying computer or tablet in the duty-free shops will be disappointed, said DubaiEye radio president Paul Griffith airport, the latter also being subjected to the interdiction in the cabin. To try to calm the dissatisfaction of its customers very attached to their portable screens, Emirates, has set up a special free service allowing to use electronic objects until the embarkation. The stakes are high for this company which operates 18 daily flights to the United States from Dubai. Turkish Airlines did the same from the airports of Turkey. Long live the books In Dubai on Saturday morning, however, some passengers found replacements at the shelves. “I took two books. It’s been a long time ! Exclaims a lady. For its part, Abu Dhabi, airport of the Emirates also struck by the American prohibition, tries to seduce the passengers by other advantages. The national company Etihad stresses that if they can not benefit from their shelves in flight, travelers to the United States can pass all immigration and customs controls from Abu Dhabi, one of the only airports in the world To benefit from this service. “So they no longer need to queue when they arrive in the United States,” Etihad told AFP. In Doha, Qatar, other passengers wanted to be fatalistic. “It’s the rule and I respect the rule, it’s not very serious,” says Rakan Mohammed, a Qatari who suffers more from the ban on smoking. In the wake of the United States, the United Kingdom announced on Tuesday a nearly similar ban affecting Turkey and five Arab countries – Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. These prohibitions, which are not applied by other countries affected by attacks such as France, have been highly criticized. Some point to the fact that they only target Muslim countries, other commentators felt that it was a form of protectionism for the United States while American companies are complaining about the competition of their counterparts Of the Gulf. On Friday, Tunisia targeted by the London measures convened the ambassador of the United Kingdom to complain about this “unwarranted” measure. “The airports of Tunisia follow the same security measures as those applied to the Heathrow airport in London,” insisted Tunis. Ken Karuri Congo militia decapitates 40 police officers in ambush Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:44:31 +0000 Militia fighters in central Democratic Republic of Congo decapitated about 40 police officers in an ambush, local officials said on Saturday, the deadliest attack on security forces since an insurrection in the region began last August. The Kamuina Nsapu militants attacked the police on Friday as they drove from Tshikapa to Kananga. The militia members stole arms and vehicles, Francois Kalamba, speaker of the Kasai provincial assembly, told Reuters. The insurgency, which has spread to five provinces, poses the most serious threat yet to the rule of President Joseph Kabila, whose failure to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate in December was followed by a wave of killings and lawlessness across the vast central African nation. “They were apprehended by the militia members and they decapitated about 40,” Kalamba said, adding that the militia spared the lives of six other police officers they captured because those officers spoke the local Tshiluba language. Corneil Mbombo, president of the Civil Society of Kasai, a province-wide activist group, also told Reuters that about 40 officers had been decapitated. More than 400 people have been killed in the violence in central Congo, according to the United Nations, and the government said on Tuesday that 67 police officers and many soldiers had died in the clashes. IAAF pledges support for upcoming African athletes Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:58:30 +0000 The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has pledged more support to African countries to nurture young athletes. Addressing journalist on Saturday during a media briefing in Kampala ahead Sunday’s IAAF World Cross Country Championship at Kololo Grounds, the IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that the world athletics governing body is determined to improve the sport in Africa. He further emphasized on Africa hosting major events and races to attract more talents among young and upcoming athletes within the continent. Africa has been known to produce several best athletes in major racing events in the world with Kenya, Ethiopian and South Africa taking the lead in raising the continent’s status. Meanwhile, Uganda is set to host the 42nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Sunday. 557 male and female athletes from 60 countries will participate in the event which is being hosted for the first time in the East African country and the fifth time in Africa since 1973. Three Africans listed among Fortune magazine's top 50 world leaders Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:54:04 +0000 Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ugandan LGBT advocate Frank Mugisha have been named among the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders published by Fortune magazine. Chairman, Econet Wireless Group Strive Masiyiwa led the trio from Africa by ranking 33 for his energetic and well-rounded philanthropy making an impact in Africa, the magazine noted. Masiyiwa has been lauded for supporting orphans, funding scholarships, and fighting hunger, poverty, and Ebola. Novelist and Essayist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was ranked 42 for her powerful voice in challenging her audiences to think differently and more expansively about Africa, identity, race, and gender. Adichie is considered a feminist icon and a fearless political and cultural critic. Executive Director, Sexual Minorities Uganda Frank Mugisha ranked 44 for speaking out against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which mandated life in prison for LGBT Ugandans, and led the campaign that eventually led to the bill’s invalidation by the courts. 37-year-old Mugisha came out at age 14 and he leads the LGBT community to face open hostilities. The three are in the list with other great world leaders including the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and American basketball star LeBron James. The Senior Editor of the magazine, Geoff Colvin explained that they were selected for excelling at leadership by acknowledging reality and offering hope, bringing followers physically together and building bridges. Ismail Akwei Ugandan policeman killed by helicopter during flight rehearsal Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:06:01 +0000 A Ugandan police officer died on Thursday after he was hit by a police helicopter during flight rehearsal at the Entebbe Airport. Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye confirmed to local media Daily Monitor that officer Richard Kaweesa, who works with the Counter-terrorism tactical unit, was hit by a helicopter that was landing at the airport after jumping from another that was in the air during rehearsals. He added that the officer was rushed to a hospital in Kampala where he was pronounced dead. This incident occurred two days after the burial of Ugandan police spokesperson Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was murdered together with his bodyguard and driver last week by unknown assailants in Kampala. The Uganda Police Force has decided to provide extra protection – bullet proof vests – to senior police officials and their entourage. Ismail Akwei UN regional force to arrive in S Sudan in a month Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:01:37 +0000 The first soldiers of a United Nations-mandated regional military force are set to be deployed to South Sudan within about a month, the outgoing UN official in charge of peacekeeping said on Friday. “The vanguard element of the force will be deployed between end of April, beginning of May,” Herve Ladsous, the UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told reporters. The first contingent of soldiers to the African country will come from Bangladesh and Nepal, Ladsous said, adding the deployment will include a helicopter unit. Other troops, notably Ethiopians, are expected to arrive in late May or early June. “We have been moving heaven and earth to accelerate the deployment of the RPF (military force), but the government of South Sudan put a lot of hindrance in the process,” Ladsous said. The deployment of the 4 000-strong force was decided after the government and rebel forces resumed fighting in July 2016. The new force would add to the 13,000 UN peacekeepers already in the young country, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but plunged into civil war in 2013. An estimated 100 000 people in South Sudan are suffering from famine amid the stop-start civil war in which starvation has become a battlefield tactic. A million others are near starvation and some 5.5 million could face starvation within the next few months. Ladsous, who has served in the high-profile UN peacekeeping operations job for six years, is stepping down in March. He will be succeeded by Jean-Pierre Lacroix of France, appointed for a year pending a review of the world body’s functions and structure. DRC government advised to step up efforts in search of missing UN team Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:35:07 +0000 Six members of a United Nations Group of Experts team including an American, a Swede and four Congolese who went missing on March 12, 2017 in the Democratic Republic of Congo have still not been found. The Human Rights Watch on Saturday called on the Congolese government to “fully cooperate with the UN and other international investigators” to locate the team who were last seen in the Kasai Central province. They are American Michael Sharp; Swede Zaida Catalán; Congolese interpreter Betu Tshintela; Isaac Kabuayi, a driver; and two unidentified motorbike drivers. “We are extremely worried about the missing UN team,” Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Ida Sawyer said. The Congolese government announced on March 13 that Sharp and Catalán had “fallen into the hands of unidentified negative forces,” without providing additional information. The team was investigating widespread human rights abuses near the remote village of Bunkonde, south of the provincial capital, Kananga. More than 400 people have been killed and more than 200,000 displaced from their homes since large-scale violence erupted in the Kasai region in August 2016. Ismail Akwei We must never forget this dark chapter of human history: slavery Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:23:14 +0000 As the world marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on March 25, the United Nations emphasizes the importance of remembering the horrible period of history. “We must always remember the role played by many of our countries – including my own country of Portugal – in carrying out the largest forced migration in history and in robbing so many millions of people of their dignity and often also of their lives,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a General Assembly meeting. He also acknowledged the re-emergence of slavery in the form of human trafficking and forced labour as the world is yet to overcome racism. “Heeding the lessons of yesterday means fighting these ills today … The United Nations and I personally attach the greatest importance to the challenge of slavery, past and present,” he said while urging a united front for a world of freedom and dignity. Ten years ago, the United Nations established the Remember Slavery Programme which embarks on education on history’s greatest tragedies and works to combat racism and prejudice. The Programme’s theme for 2017 is “Remember Slavery: Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”. On #RememberSlavery Day, find out about the #AfricanDescent decade here:— United Nations (@UN) March 25, 2017 Ismail Akwei At least nine injured in Cairo building collapse after 3.3 earthquake struck Egypt Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:04:27 +0000 A building collapsed Friday night in Egypt’s capital Cairo leaving at least nine people injured. The collapse occurred after a 3.3 magnitude earthquake hit the country. Rescue operation underway after a building collapses in the Garden City area of Cairo, Egypt— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 25, 2017 According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Population, the accident happened at midnight in the Garden City area of Cairo, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The cause of the accident was not confirmed. The quake was mild and registered at least 4.0 on the Richter stage, head of Egypt’s National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics Hatem Ouda told Egyptian state news agency MENA. #Egypt: Volunteers of EG_Red_Crescent</a> Giza branch called to respond to a building collapse earlier tonight <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; IFRC MENA (IFRC_MENA) March 24, 2017 Ismail Akwei Kampala hosts 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:29:22 +0000 Uganda is hosting the world for the 42nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships which will take place March 26, 2017 at the Kololo Independence Grounds in the capital Kampala. 557 male and female athletes from 60 countries are in Uganda for the event which is being hosted for the first time in the East African country and the fifth time in Africa since 1973. The event was first held in Africa at Rabat, Morocco in 1975 and then at Cape Town, South Africa in 1996; Marrakech, Morocco in 1998 and then Mombasa, Kenya in 2007. Kenya and Ethiopia have the most medals won by a country in the competition with 304 and 255 medals respectively. Ethiopian long-distance runner and current world record and Olympic record holder in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events, Kenenisa Bekele has the most medals won by an individual in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships with 16 golds, nine silvers and two bronzes between 2001 to 2008. Another Ethiopian athlete, Worknesh Kidane has the most medals won by an individual athlete in the women’s category including 11 golds, six silvers and four bronzes between 1997 and 2010. IAAF President Sebastian Coe said on Saturday that it is important to send the event to Africa which has the sport’s greatest talent. “It is important to take the sport into the heartland of our sport’s great talent. And there is no greater heartland for that talent and the passion for cross country than Africa,” Coe said at a press conference in Kampala. “This championship will witnesses innovation. I challenged the organising committees to be brave and to think differently,” he added. Local organising committee chairman Charles Bakkabulindi welcomed the world and assured of a memorable event. “It all began with a dream a few years ago and now it is happening tomorrow … You can experience all seasons in one day,” he added. Kampala will also make history on Sunday as the first city to start the inaugural mixed relay race to be contested by teams composed of two men and two women who will each run a two-kilometre loop, in any order they wish. “When the IAAF introduced the mixed relay for #iaafkampala2017, I must say, thank you, this is what brought me back to XC!” – KipropAsbel</a></p>&mdash; IAAF (iaaforg) March 25, 2017 Athletes participating in the 42nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships include the world 1500m indoors and outdoors world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba from Ethiopia, three-time world and 2008 Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop from Kenya and 2015 European cross-country champion Ali Kaya. Kampala is ready to welcome the world for the IAAF World Cross Country Championshipsiaafkampala2017</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; IAAF (iaaforg) March 24, 2017 Ismail Akwei Pics of the day: March 24th, 2017 Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:47:22 +0000 Africanews pics the best images of the day’s news. Egypt: Cairo residents react to Mubarak's release Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:48:51 +0000 The release of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is an event that couldn’t have passed unnoticed. It was a court decision widely appreciated in the capital Cairo. Egyptians had taken to the streets in 2011 to drive him out of power after three decades of reign, and they now have mixed reactions. Mohamad Ahmed, a resident of Cairo says: “It is a disaster, a catastrophe for me personally and for Egypt from a general point of view.” “Of course, we must respect the word of Egyptian justice. Justice is seen as guided by transparency and integrity ,” says Sameh Morad, another resident of Cairo. Another Cairo resident Abdullah Ismail: “From the moment there was a judgment, nothing could be said, that’s all. This man has given a lot to the State. He has given much to the country and he must be respected. “ Thousands of Egyptians who took to the streets in 2011 are now in prison. Egyptians who still want change face protest fatigue and are demoralized. The revolution euphoria has since faded as Egypt lurched from one political extreme to another – from the oppressive government of the Muslim Brotherhood to the military regime that now rules. Benin: Lawmakers reject President Talon's calls for urgent constitution review Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:46:57 +0000 Benin MPS unanimously rejected calls an urgent draft constitution review being supported by president Patrice Talon, at the opening of an extraordinary session on Friday. The 63 lawmakers rejected an emergency procedure, saying they needed to take time to examine the document in favourable conditions and to also consult with the Beninese population as stipulated by the law. Jacques Cocou Zounoun, a demonstrator says: “We must absolutely continue to stand by the general interests of the people, so that the people themselves can actually draw up their own constitution which guarantees liberties, patriotism and probity.” The new amendments are providing for a single six-year presidential term, the establishment of a Court of Auditors, the public funding of parties and also prohibits pre-trial detention and police custody for incumbent ministers and president. Egyptian President Al-Sisi to meet Trump in April Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:59:45 +0000 Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, is due to meet Donald Trump in Washington next month, local and foreign news wires are suggesting. The report add that the two leaders will meet during the first week of April. If it happens, al-Sisi would become the first African leader to meet Trump, who took office a while ago. The planned visit is largely going to center on unsettled cases in the Middle East, sources close to the presidency hinted. The meeting is seemed strategic as Egypt hopes to establish a good relationship with the U.S after a strained one during Obama’s era over perceived human right violations. Trump called Al-Sisi in January after taking office and told him of his willingness to meet him. Egypt-US relations date back to over four decades. Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, with some $1.3bn in military aid annually. WHO issues ethics guidance to protect rights of TB patients Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:15:14 +0000 The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched new ethics guidance meant to meet specific standards on the way people affected by tuberculosis are treated. Countries already implementing the WHO ‘End TB Strategy’, a blueprint to end the epidemic by 2030, will be expected to meet set out ethical standards aimed at protecting rights of patients. Governments and health workers will need to provide patients with needed social support and ensure health workers operate in a safe environment, among other key points. TB kills more people each year than any other infectious disease, including HIV and AIDS. In 2015 alone, it is estimated to have killed 1.8 million people, according to WHO. “We are releasing today a new ethics guidance, to allow countries and help countries implement the End-TB Strategy following proper ethical standards and respecting the human rights of everyone,” aid Mario Raviglione, director of the global tuberculosis programme, at WHO. According to WHO statistics, six countries account for 60 percent of TB cases today, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. Dibie Ike Michael Tanzania: Magafuli sacks information minister appoints new one Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:54:34 +0000 Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has sacked information minister, Nape Nnauya over an investigation into a powerful government administrator accused of intimidating a popular private media station in the main city, Dar es Salaam. In a mini-reshuffle announced in the morning, President Magufuli did not explain why he was removed. “I know some people who are injured by the decisions of our President, but just as you have confidence in me, please understand me, I am OK with the decision of the President. Life must continue, this is not the right time to create tension in our country, we still have a better future in front of us, let us then continue to unite with the peace that we have for the good of our nation,” Nnauya said. On Tuesday an investigative team formed by the minister had recommended disciplinary action against embattled Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Paul Makonda, following allegations that he stormed the offices of Cloud Media Group on Friday. Makonda and religious leaders have had a public disagreement over an alleged drugs scandal. Magufuli has however appointed a lawyer, Harrison Mwakyembe as the new information minister. President Magufuli told the new minister to “do what his predecessors failed to do”. Mwakyembe a lawyer by profession, headed the international law department at the University of Dar es Salaam. Mauritania constitutional referendum [The Morning Call] Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:18 +0000 A constitutional referendum is due to be held in Mauritania which could lead to the abolishment of the senate and the change of the national flag. The proposal to modify the constitution, was approved by lawmakers in the lower house of the west African Islamic republic but rejected by 33 out of 56 senators earlier this month. Due to this rejection, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz announced the only way out of the impasse is through a referendum. Anglophone Cameroon crisis continues [The Morning Call] Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:34:21 +0000 Cameroon’s English-speaking regions are still offline. Internet services in the Southwest and Northwest provinces of the country were shut down on January17 in the wake of mass protests over perceived marginalization by the Francophone government. Meanwhile, about 30 suspects accused of terrorism appeared in court on Thursday for their alleged involvement in organising the protests in the Anglophone regions. Zambia launches public process to decide on ICC membership Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:43:50 +0000 Zambia’s government has launched a consultative process to involve the public in the country’s decision on whether to leave or stay as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The process starting March 27, 2017 will involving seeking submissions from the public in 30 districts across the country where a team will be put in place, Justice Minister Given Lubinda announced to the media on Thursday. He added that the process will cost 2 million Zambian Kwacha (USD 385) and a report will be submitted to cabinet to make a final decision. Zambian President Edgar Lungu has hailed the process which he says respects the constitution and the power vested in the people, Lubinda said. Zambia became a member of the ICC in 2002 and like other African countries, it is considering its membership. Late last year, South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia announced plans to leave the court, leading to concerns that other states would follow. African leaders argue the court – set up to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes and genocide – unfairly singles out crimes in the continent for prosecution. New Gambian President Adama Barrow has withdrawn the ICC withdrawal process started last year by former leader Yahya Jammeh. Ismail Akwei Egypt: Explosion in Cairo suburb kills one, injures three Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:07:20 +0000 One person was killed and three others injured on Friday in an explosion in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. According to the statement, the man who was killed, a building guard was cleaning the property’s garden and found “an unidentified metallic object.” Upon handling it, it exploded, resulting in his death and the injury of his wife and two children. The injured have been moved to the hospital for treatment and the area had been cordoned off and is being combed by security forces. Explosion leads to death of one civilian in #Maadi— Daily News Egypt (@DailyNewsEgypt) March 24, 2017 Police are currently investigating the incident, as there was no immediate claim of responsibility. The government is taking on militants in the Sinai Peninsula, where militants loyal to Islamic State are based, and Islamist groups elsewhere in the country who generally target security forces. Sierra Leone police brutality against protesting students condemned Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:19:21 +0000 Police in Sierra Leone are reported to have opened fire on protesting students killing one and leaving others injured on Thursday in Bo, the second largest city in the country. The students from Njala University near the city were protesting against lecturers’ strike since October last year due to unpaid salaries by the government. Amnesty International condemned the action of the police which they described as a tragedy and a heavy handed response. “We urge the police to refrain from committing human rights violations and instead allow the students to safely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Amnesty International West Africa researcher, Sabrina Mahtani said in a statement. The police on their part said the students had not obtained permission before staging the protest which resulted in burning of tires and blocking major roads. “The authorities must conduct an independent investigation to shed light on the circumstances of this killing and all injuries and, if there is sufficient evidence, ensure accountability through fair trials,” Amnesty advised. Students in the capital Freetown are reported to have also demonstrated for the same reason as their colleagues. They were dispersed by police with teargas while about 10 others were arrested in both towns. Ismail Akwei Gambia to set up truth and reconciliation commission Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:14:42 +0000 Gambia said on Thursday it would set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and offer reparations to victims of former President Yahya Jammeh’s government, which is accused of the torture and killing of perceived opponents. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said in a statement the government will also probe the finances of Jammeh, who fled into exile in January to Equatorial Guinea after a rule that began in 1994 when he seized power in a coup. Jammeh lost an election in December to the now President Adama Barrow but refused to accept the result. He only stepped down after pressure from regional leaders who sent troops to Gambia to force him to leave. Since his departure Barrow’s government has taken steps to restore the rule of law and strengthen the judiciary. “A Truth and Reconciliation Commision with appropriate reparations for victims will be set up within the next six months and public hearings will be expected to commence by the end of the year,” Tambadou said. The government would first study other such commissions. South Africa established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid ended in 1994 and other African countries have set up similar bodies. The aim is to encourage people to confess crimes committed under the previous government and for victims to air injustices they suffered. Reparations can also be set.