Africanews RSShttp://www.africanews.com/feed/Receive free and in real-time all news published by africanews.com, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 20:01:02 +0000Trade, migration bring life to Ethiopia-Eritrea borderhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/trade-migration-bring-life-to-ethiopia-eritrea-border/For twenty years, only soldiers, refugees or rebels had ventured to the border between the enemy brothers of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia and Eritrea. But with the normalization of their relations, the former desert no man’s land is now quivering with activity. Trucks loaded with bricks and wood, fruit and vegetable carts and local buses visiting their families are now crossing the border under the benevolent eye of soldiers who until a few months ago looked at each other as dogs from their trenches dug in the rock. “We have everything we didn’t have before, from the smallest to the largest,” says Abraham Abadi, a merchant in the Eritrean city of Senafé, whose shop is full of cookies, drinks and other goods from Ethiopia. But the dramatic reopening of the border this summer has also brought its share of problems, with an influx of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and a chaotic exchange market between the currencies of two countries with very unbalanced economic development. Once a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea gained its independence in 1993 after several decades of bloody war. The border demarcation then caused a two-year conflict in 1998 that left tens of thousands dead, before ending with more than 15 years of Cold War, with Ethiopia refusing to comply with UN recommendations on the demarcation of the border. Until the arrival in Addis Ababa of the reformer Abiy Ahmed, who decided last June to normalize relations between the two neighbours. Flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara resumed in July, embassies reopened and in September, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki reopened the border crossing at Zalambessa, a historic crossing point between the two countries. This reopening upset the small town, which had been drowsy for twenty years of conflict. Fruit and vegetable stalls, bazaars and small restaurants follow one another along the main street. “Shidas are sold”, the very classic sandal from the Horn of Africa, a giant pair of which stands in a square in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, says Ruta Zerai, in her father’s shop in Zalambessa. In Sénafé, a shopping centre about 20 kilometres north of the border, the market is alive again. Twice a week, organized groups of Ethiopian traders cross the border – just cleared of minefields – to deliver everything they can, from phone cards – the Ethiopian network reaches Senafe – to the precious teff, the gluten-free cereal at the base of the injera, the typical cake from the Horn of Africa. Some even decide to stay. “I live where I get a job. As long as I have a job, I will stay here,” explains Sanle Gebremariam, an Ethiopian money changer who works at the Sénénafé bus terminal. And the exchange between the currencies of two countries, the Eritrean Nafka and the Ethiopian Birr, is a major problem for traders. “We trade, but the exchange rate is too unstable, too variable, it’s illegal,” complains Taeme Lemlem, who runs a café in Zalambessa, echoing many other traders. According to Getachew Teklemariam, a former adviser to the Ethiopian government, border trade, where customs and immigration controls are virtually non-existent, risks creating a “shadow currency war” between the two countries. “The exchange rate is governed by speculative perceptions on both sides of the border, when it should be guided by a real business strategy,” says the Ethiopian consultant. The opening up between the two countries raises hopes of development that clash with the reality of Eritrean underdevelopment, while the Ethiopian economy is recording some of the highest growth rates in Africa. “I’m very surprised. I didn’t expect such a level of development,” says Simon Kifle, an Eritrean air force soldier who came to Zalambessa for the first time to do some shopping before returning to his country. AFPSat, 20 Oct 2018 20:01:02 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/trade-migration-bring-life-to-ethiopia-eritrea-border/Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga named AU envoyhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/kenya-s-opposition-leader-raila-odinga-named-au-envoy/Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga was on Saturday appointed High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa. In a communique by the Commission’s chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Odinga’s appointment is part of the African Union’s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development. Mahamat also praised ‘Raila’s strong commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and African integration’. The NASA leader’s appointment brings to an end speculation that he was to land a juicy job with the African Union as part of his truce with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. Odinga lost a bitterly contested election to Kenyatta last year. He mounted a succesful court challenge which ordered a fresh poll. He however boycotted the second contest citing a biased electoral commission. Raila is expected to pay particular attention to the missing links along the transnational highway corridors identified as part of the Trans-African Highways Network, with a view to facilitating their development and modernisation. The envoy will also focus on the continental high-speed train, which is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, in the context of the relevant African Union decisions, reported Kenya’s The Star news paper. Odinga has served as prime minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He has held important ministerial portfolios, including Energy, Roads, Public Works, and Housing between 2001 and 2005. As a special envoy of the AU chairperson, he will have an office in Addis but with frequent travel across the continent to mediate in peace negotiations and conflict resolution.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 18:41:52 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/kenya-s-opposition-leader-raila-odinga-named-au-envoy/U.S. official optimistic Congo Ebola outbreak can be controlledhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/us-official-optimistic-congo-ebola-outbreak-can-be-controlled/The leading Ebola expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday he believed an outbreak in Congo can be brought under control quickly and that the high rate of new cases is due largely to improved detection. The haemorrhagic fever’s outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have killed 144 people since July and infected another 79, and the rate of new cases has accelerated sharply in recent weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week it expected the outbreak to last at least three to four more months and possibly to spread to Uganda and Rwanda due to poor security and locals’ mistrust of health workers. But Pierre Rollins, who has studied Ebola for three decades, said he thought it could potentially be brought under control within a month or two, as authorities expand their tracing of new patients’ contacts. “We compared the evolution of this epidemic to other epidemics to see if the increase had been more rapid, and there was no difference,” Rollins said in an interview. “What happened in the last week is that the health ministry has decided … to research the cases more actively because they would see cases arrive that had no link to patients already treated or registered as known contacts.” He added that the introduction 10 days ago of a new World Bank-supported program to pay people by mobile phone to report cases has encouraged quicker reporting. Nevertheless, attacks on health workers have hindered the response and prompted the U.S. government in August to withdraw CDC and USAID workers from the front lines. Some who stayed in the field have been less upbeat. An emergency committee of WHO experts said on Wednesday that the outbreak was likely to worsen significantly unless the response was stepped up. Security in eastern Congo is poor due to the presence of dozens of militias that prey on local populations and exploit natural resources. ReutersSat, 20 Oct 2018 18:20:11 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/us-official-optimistic-congo-ebola-outbreak-can-be-controlled/Guinea: funeral for protest victimshttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/guinea-funeral-for-protest-victims/Several opposition activists in Guinea Conakry on Friday, October 19, marched to mourn victims of Tuesday’s protest. They condemned the impunity enjoyed by security forces, during the funeral ceremony of Ibrahima Bah, a 22 year old student shot dead during a protest march in the Guinean capital, Conakry. According to the leader of Guinean opposition, Cellou Dalein Diallo, “all political agreements include this provision which commits the government to investigate and identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the crimes so that they can be brought to justice. Why isn’t it done? Lately, the exercise of Mr. Alpha Condé and his collaborators has been to say no, it is the opposition, it is the demonstrators who are killing the demonstrators.” The bullet which stripped life off the Dalaba denizen, buried in Conakry on Friday, was allegedly fired by an agent of the anti-crime brigade. Commissioner Boubacar Kassé, Police spokesman, said “the young man was shot in the chest while leaving a restaurant.” One of the mourners said they have handed over the case to God for Him to judge. “We forgive God but we cannot say that we have granted our forgiveness to those who have done so. Because if we give them our forgiveness, they’ll keep doing it. But we rely on God. He made his judgment.” The opposition has protested government’s supposed violation of an agreement reached in August to install local elected officials after the disputed February 4 election.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:09:23 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/guinea-funeral-for-protest-victims/At least 59 killed as train hits crowd in northern Indiahttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/at-least-59-killed-as-train-hits-crowd-in-northern-india/Indian Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani on Saturday said they should not be held responsible after a commuter train traveling at high speed ran through a crowd of people on the rail tracks in northern India killing at least 59 people on Friday, state officials said. “It was a manned level crossing from both sides, and it was inter-locked and the track was made for trains to pass so as the train passed, the saddening incident happened, but the railway is not at all responsible for this incident,” Lohani said. The incident makes it India’s worst rail disaster this year. A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught. An officer in the police control room said it was hard to confirm the toll as there were dismembered body parts all over. “Now a total 40 dead bodies has been brought to the hospital and apart from that, the 51 injured patients who were brought here, eight have been referred to the Medical College and some patients have also been taken directly to the medical college, and there too at least 20 dead bodies were taken,” said Chief Medical Officer, Hardeep Singh. Hundreds had gathered to watch the burning of an effigy as part of the Dussehra festival celebrations, when a commuter train ran through the crowd. The state police chief said emergency officials were still trying to ascertain the extent of the disaster on the outskirts of Amritsar in Punjab state. India’s state railways, largely built during colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of underinvestment in rail safety infrastructure, as the priority has remained more on keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network daily.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:59:43 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/at-least-59-killed-as-train-hits-crowd-in-northern-india/Benin: Ajavon seeks for political asylum in Francehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/benin-ajavon-seeks-for-political-asylum-in-france/Benin businessman and opposition leader Sebastien Ajavon who is under arrest is seeking for a political asylum in France,Ajavon has been living in France for several weeks. A court in Benin on Thursday sentenced the Businessman to a 20 year in prison in connection with a 40 pounds of cocaine found in a shipping container in 2016. His lawyer, Marc Bensimhon, has applied for political asylum in France in response to the arrest warrant issued by the Court of Punishment of Economic Crimes and Terrorism (CRIET). His lawyers have also decided to appeal to the Supreme Court of Benin to demonstrate that the conviction of the opposition leader to 20 years in prison and a 5 million CFA francs (7,000 euros) fine for cocaine trafficking is not in accordance with the law. According to one of his lawyers, Renaud Agbodjo it will take several months before Benin supreme court to make a decision.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:56:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Michael Ike Dibie)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/benin-ajavon-seeks-for-political-asylum-in-france/Ouagadougou: opening of youth centrehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/ouagadougou-opening-of-youth-centre/France has reiterated its readiness to counter rising terrorism in Burkina Faso. French Foreign Minister, and his Burkinabe counterpart Alpha Barry on Friday inaugurated La Ruche, a youth centre announced by Emmanuel Macron. He gave a reassurance over the weekend in the capital Ouagadougou during a meeting with Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré to strengthen a joint anti-terrorism force in the Sahel. French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the Centre is proof of France’s confidence in Burkinabe youth. “This is the continuation of President Macron’s speech at the University of Ki-zerbo. France believes in the capacities of Burkinabe youth and demonstrates this by inaugurating this space, which is a place of creation, innovation and creation in the Burkina Faso of tomorrow.” The youth centre is expected to fuse young talents, digital start-ups and the French higher education offer, as the first step towards containing terrorism in the West African country which has suffered recurrent jihadist attacks since March 2015. Le Drian and his Burkinabe counterpart Alpha Barry said the youth centre is a delivered promise French President Emmanuel Macron made during his visit to Ouagadougou. Three attacks have hit the capital, Ouagadougou, in two years. The most recent in March targeted staff of the armies and the French Embassy in Ouagadougou.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:54:30 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/ouagadougou-opening-of-youth-centre/Kidnapped Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji foundhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/kidnapped-tanzanian-billionaire-mohammed-dewji-found/Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available.Sat, 20 Oct 2018 05:53:08 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/20/kidnapped-tanzanian-billionaire-mohammed-dewji-found/Tanzania police identify driver, vehicle of kidnappers of billionaire Mo Dewjihttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/tanzania-police-identify-driver-and-vehicle-of-kidnappers-of-billionaire/Tanzanian police said on Friday they’ve managed to identify the driver and vehicle of kidnappers of Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, kidnapped on October 11 in Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian police chief Simon Sirro said at a press conference, that they had managed to identify the kidnappers car, thanks to surveillance cameras, showing a photo of a dark blue vehicle off-road. Mohammed Dewji is at the head of the METL Group, present in a dozen countries in the fields of agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics or agribusiness. 43 year old Dewji, also known as MO, was kidnapped around 5:35 a.m. on Thursday last week when he was about to enter a hotel gym for his routine workout in the leafy Oysterbay area in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The family announced that it was offering nearly half a million dollars in reward for any information that would help find the businessman. AFP @NyashaKMutizwaFri, 19 Oct 2018 18:13:14 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/tanzania-police-identify-driver-and-vehicle-of-kidnappers-of-billionaire/South Africa's army chief says budget cuts hampering peacekeeping missionshttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/south-africa-s-army-chief-says-budget-cuts-hampering-peacekeeping-missions/The South African army on Tuesday said budget cuts are hampering national defense operations and its ability to participate in peacekeeping missions abroad. Chief General of the South African Army, General Lindile Yam strongly criticized the government for lack of funds, saying the army was even struggling to buy uniforms. “There is a danger approaching, and no one seems to realize it. Even the intelligentsia of this country does not seem to be up to the task”, Lieutenant General Lindile Yam said. A few days earlier, Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said funding problems were due to the fact that the post-apartheid government was giving priority to spending on poor and hitherto neglected Black communities. As an African military power, South Africa has deployed troops in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Darfur region of Sudan. It is currently deploying about 1,300 soldiers as part of a UN intervention brigade in conflict-ridden eastern DRC. The South African military also assisted with election materials in countries like Madagascar. “We have been to the Comoros, we have been in many places, we have helped for elections in other countries, Madagascar, the DRC and all that. But we don’t have the ability to do that right now. We can’t do that. So we will also lose our credibility as the nation of the African renaissance”, he added. South Africa is still awaiting the presentation of its mid-term budget by the new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday. AFPFri, 19 Oct 2018 14:43:45 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/south-africa-s-army-chief-says-budget-cuts-hampering-peacekeeping-missions/GITEX showcases latest trends in Artificial Intelligence technologyhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/gitex-showcases-latest-trends-in-artificial-intelligence-technology/The 38th edition of GITEX Technology Week has wrapped up in Dubai. The five-day event hosted around 4,500 exhibitors from more than 100 different countries. An estimated 100,000 visitors attended the annual event which focused on Artificial Intelligence as a key theme. Industry titans such as Google, Amazon, Alibaba and LinkedIn came together to discuss the latest trends. [GITEX MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE 1] Google’s Chief Decision Scientist Cassie Kozyrkov (left), LinkedIn’s Chief Data Officer Igor Perisic (center) and Alibaba’s Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist Wanli Min (right) debate on how AI is transforming decision making in major sectors On the hot topic of AI investment, the CDO of the networking and jobs portal Linkedin, Igor Perisic, spoke of the “blind spots” that companies integrating the technology into their businesses must be aware of. Read our full interview with LinkedIn’s Igor Perisic here. [link to interview] Alibaba’s Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist, Wanli Min also explored how emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and building smarter cities could meet the demands of swelling populations. One of his AI-driven visions for future urbanism is Alibaba’s ‘City Brain’ project – a cloud geared towards streamlining traffic, detecting accidents and improving transport efficiency. Read our full interview with Alibaba’s Wanli Min and find out more about the ‘City Brain’ here. [link to interview] Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web also made an appearance at GITEX and presented the concept behind his ‘Solid’ platform. The platform, developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a set of conventions and tools which aim to address data ownership issues and give more freedom to users. [GITEX MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE 2] Inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee presents ‘Solid’ to the GITEX audience Another highlight from this year’s event was the Supernova Challenge, comprising of four sponsored competitions looking for original ideas to advance the tech sector in the Middle East. With total prize money of $180,000, the focus was on finding digital solutions to everyday issues, from booking healthcare appointments to securing new employment. Also on the ground were a variety of established specialised companies, displaying tech-savvy solutions of their own. Robotikworld is a Dubai-based consultancy providing UAE firms with AI robotic services, such as making on-time deliveries to hotels and scanning passports and credit cards securely without human interaction. [GITEX MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE 3] Robotikworld’s Robot-Concierge can take and print photos, scan passports, dance, and answer questions “[This system] will give you all the information you need, exactly, without mistakes,” says the company’s CEO, Amro Kamel. In the Middle East and North Africa, companies are forecast to spend $155 billion on information technology by the end of 2018, which is a 3.4 percent year-on-year- increase, according to Gartner. The research firm also predicts that the global business value from artificial intelligence will increase by 70% to $1.2 trillion in 2018 compared to last year. GITEX FANS POSE WITH THEIR FAVOURITE ROBOTS Eva from Slovenia – a repeat visitor of five-years to GITEX – says she keeps returning as “it’s not just about IT, it’s more a vision of tomorrow.”Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:50:04 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/gitex-showcases-latest-trends-in-artificial-intelligence-technology/Turkey widens Jamal Khashoggi probehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/turkey-widens-jamal-khashoggi-probe/Controversy continues to surround the case behind the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Police are investigating the disappearance of the journalist who they believe was killed by Saudi agents inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul. Meanwhile, the looming divorce could take much longer. The UK’s transition out of the EU could be extended by “a matter of months”. Prime Minister Theresa May brought up the possibility of an extension during meetings with EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday. Also, more than 300,000 homes were left without power after one of Portugal’s most powerful storms hit over the weekend. These are some of the stories retracing the major current events covered by the Euronews editorial team presented by Elayne WangalwaFri, 19 Oct 2018 13:20:12 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/turkey-widens-jamal-khashoggi-probe/Cameroon presidential results expected on October 22 – Info Ministerhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-presidential-results-expected-on-october-22-info-minister/Results of Cameroon’s October 7 presidential elections are expected on Monday, according to the Information Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary. The minister was speaking in an interview with French channel, RFI. His comments come less than 24-hours after the Constitutional Council dismissed 18 petitions brought by individuals and parties seeking partial to total cancellation of the process. #Cameroon: Election results expected on Monday, ITBakary</a> tells <a href="https://twitter.com/RFIAfrique?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">RFIAfrique. #Etoudi2018 #Cameroun— Daniel Finnan (@Daniel_Finnan) October 19, 2018 The Council – the ultimate judicial body for poll challenges – had earlier struck off 16 of the 18 petitions before listening to submissions from main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, and Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, the two that were passed for hearing. On Thursday evening, after two days of hearing submissions by legal representatives of the two parties, the Council unanimously ruled that the cases lacked merit and subsequently threw the out. The election body, ELECAM, and ruling CPDM mounted strong challenges during the hearing arguing that the October 7 vote had passed the democratic test. ELECAM passed nine candidates including incumbent Paul Biya. The 85-year-old is widely expected to be announced winner of the polls. He will secure a seven-year mandate that will extend his time in power to over four decades.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 12:50:04 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-presidential-results-expected-on-october-22-info-minister/Tunisians wade through mud after floodshttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/tunisians-wade-through-mud-after-floods/Residents of the city of Mohamedia in Tunisia have begun cleaning up the damage caused by floods that killed at least five people in the north of the country. In some areas, water is sometimes up to two meters at night destroying houses and stalls. “This is the third time this disaster has occurred, it is not the first time, each time they say that ‘they (the authorities) will do something, we will do something but nothing is done’‘, said Abdelazziz El-Kahbi, a resident of Mohamedia. “What we want is a permanent solution, once and for all, it’s not enough to just come here, clean up and give us some equipment”, said Raouda Jalassi, another stricken resident of Mohamedia . In M’Hamdia, a rural village some 15 km south of Tunis, families spent the night on their roofs on the night of Wednesday to Thursday to escape the floods. Many roads and some railway lines were cut off on Thursday. Schools in greater Tunis and several other regions also remain closed while public transport has been affected according to AFP. Two people died in the North-West Kef region, a 48-year-old man in Grombalia (north-east), a 40-year-old man in Kasserine (west) and a six-year-old boy in the neighboring region of Sidi Bouzid (center), according to spokesman of the Civil Protection, Moez Triaa. These floods occur less than a month after torrential rains that had killed at least five people in North-East Cape Bon.  The rainfall on Wednesday night was twice as low as that recorded on September 22 at Cape Bon, but the situation was aggravated by the same factors.  The population complains of the poor maintenance of the water evacuation systems, uncontrolled constructions or the obstruction of wadis a channel that is dry except in the raining season, however crucial to channel the strong floods. AFPFri, 19 Oct 2018 12:33:27 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/tunisians-wade-through-mud-after-floods/Comoros: life returns to normalcy as residents decry lack of water, electricityhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/comoros-life-returns-to-normalcy-as-residents-decry-lack-of-water-electricity/Life is returning to normalcy in the Comoros following scenes of explosion and gunfire on Monday according to witnesses. On Thursday, October 18, residents of the island nation had running water after a cut which lasted for several days due to the clash between rebels elements. Since Monday, shops were closed with water and electricity cut after fighting opposes rebel elements to the Comorian regular forces. According to local authorities, the incident left at least three people dead. The clashes in Comoros occurred due to strong tensions which was provoked by the head of state’s will to extend his mandate to eleven years. The disturbances was concentrated in Medina, a stronghold of opponents. According to AFP, elsewhere in the city where a night curfew has been imposed, the situation appear to have returned to normalcy again although residents continue to suffer from shortages of basic amenities like water and electricity. Meanwhile, the country’s Interior Minister Mohamed Daoudou has said the police is determined to end the situation as soon as possible. The political atmosphere has deteriorated in the Comoros since the constitutional referendum of July 30. This poll which has over 90 percent of yes votes strengthened the powers of President Assoumani, including allowing him to serve two successive terms instead of one. Since 2001, the presidency was assigned every five years to a representative of one of the three islands of the country (Grande-Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli). It was thus expected that Anjouan would take the next presidency. But Azali Assoumani, the ex-coup leader who was elected in 2016, has announced his intention to hold an early presidential election next year, which would allow him to reset the electoral counters and reign over the archipelago in case of victory until 2029. AFPFri, 19 Oct 2018 11:31:55 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/comoros-life-returns-to-normalcy-as-residents-decry-lack-of-water-electricity/Italian clothing giant opens factory in Ethiopia's Tigray regionhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/italian-clothing-giant-opens-factory-in-ethiopia-s-tigray-region/An Italian clothing manufacturer has opened its first factory in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state. The factory located in the regional capital Mekelle is Calzedonia’s first factory on the continent. Photos shared by government showed workers working at a production line. State-affiliated FBC said senior government officials, including State Minister of Trade and Industry Mebrahtu Meles, attended the inauguration ceremony on Thursday. The report added that the factory which employs over 1000 people has already started exporting 22 million birr ($786,000) worth clothes per month to European destinations. The company according to its website are specialized in the area of hosiery, leggings, socks and swim wear for women, men and kids. “Products and inspirations about tights, hosiery and beachwear,” it said in its Twitter bio. Calzedonia (Italy), a big global apparel manufacturer & retailer (4,000 stores), today inaugurated its first #Africa factory in #Ethiopia (Mekele). It already employs 1,300 & exports. Congratution Dr. Veronesi (Calzedonia’s visionary founder), CEO & team. fitsumaregaa (1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/ULbatz4XjN— Zemedeneh Negatu (Zemedeneh) October 19, 2018 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who recently inaugurated an industrial park in Oromia and a sugar factory in the Southern Ethiopian Peoples Region congratulated the investors via his chief of staff. In seeking to export their merchandise, the logistical proximity of Mekelle to the Eritrean port of Massawa, is largely ween as a key plank to further strengthening the regional economy and the July 8 peace deal.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:32:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/italian-clothing-giant-opens-factory-in-ethiopia-s-tigray-region/No evidence of human rights reforms in Eritrea - UKhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/no-evidence-of-human-rights-reforms-in-eritrea-uk/The United Kingdom says it has no evidence of human rights reforms in Eritrea since the last session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It added that it had raised the situation with the Eritrean government. In a written question and answer session in parliament, David Patrick Paul Alton of Liverpool asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, FCO, about Eritrea. His question posed on 10th October was responded to eight days later by Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, Minister of State, FCO, who said UK’s Minister for Africa had raised human rights concerns with Eritrean foreign minister Osman Saleh as recently as September 2018. Alton’s question was as follows: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have seen any evidence of substantive Human Rights reforms in Eritrea since the most recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea to the thirty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.” ​The October 18 response read: “The UK has seen no evidence of any human rights reforms in Eritrea since the last session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. “The Minister for Africa raised our concerns on the human rights situation with the Eritrean Foreign Minister when they met on 25 September, and expressed our hope for an improvement in light of political developments in the region.” Minister of Africa, Harriet Baldwin met with Osman Saleh on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York. Eritrea dedicated its address to demand for the lifting of sanctions imposed by the security council. Eritrea was late last week elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council, a move that attracted condemnation from rights groups that have long condemned Asmara for systemic right abuses. The UN special rapporteur for the region has in the past called for the government to be held for crimes against humanity. Many political dissidents are believed to be in jails along with journalists and pro-democracy activists. Government justified their election to the council by saying it would afford the country the opportunity to deal with human rights issues.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:57:58 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/no-evidence-of-human-rights-reforms-in-eritrea-uk/Nigerian startup fights counterfeit drugs with technologyhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/nigerian-startup-fights-counterfeit-drugs-with-technology/To fight the spread of fake drugs in West Africa, a Nigerian health start-up is offering an innovative solution, that connects hospitals, and pharmacies with a multinational and local drug manufactures. In Africa, anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of prescribed drugs are fake, undermining the treatment of killer diseases like Malaria. In Nigeria, drugs such as anti-malarial and antibiotics are sometimes sold in open-air markets. As well as putting patients at risk, counterfeit drugs are a constant bane for companies like Glaxosmithkline, Sanofi and other international drug makers. Some pharmacists in Africa, for example, say that they are compelled to buy from the cheapest but not necessarily the safest suppliers to compete with illegal street traders. Vivian Nwakah, an entrepreneur behind Medsaf, launched her start-up in January 2017. “Fake medication first of all is a massive industry. There are reports that it is bigger than all illicit drugs combined, and that is an outright fake, you are just faking the package and then you are putting water pills or fake chalk pills inside,” Nwakah said. She said she also want you to think about the sub-standard medication issue, so that is a medication that might come from a well meaning place. “We have some manufacturers within the country that have excellent standards and in fact I have seen amazing warehouses in Nigeria for various manufacturing companies but they still have to import their raw materials and they don’t produce enough to cover the entire needs of the country,” she added. Some pharmacists in Africa, for example, say that they are compelled to buy from the cheapest but not necessarily the safest suppliers to compete with illegal street traders. “Medsaf has very robust supply chain unit, now we are not bothered to check the source of the supplier, or who is the manufacturer, is it genuine or not, is if original or fake, what is the quality assurance system, where the drugs are stored. So all these issues we are not concerned now,” said Medical Director, Grover Medical Lifestyle Clinic, Anil Grover. With over 650 categories of drugs comprising 400 brand names, Medsaf says its able to meet more than 80 percent needs of most health facilities in Lagos.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:41:37 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/nigerian-startup-fights-counterfeit-drugs-with-technology/Kenyan artist paints for the blind [No Comment]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/kenyan-artist-paints-for-the-blind-no-comment/In a studio in Nairobi, Kenyan artist Tina Benawra creates paintings for the visually impaired. For the past three and a half months she has been working on a project that incorporates Braille into her works, part of a project to help children who suffer from early preventative blindness enjoy art.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:11:07 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/kenyan-artist-paints-for-the-blind-no-comment/Somalia destroys container full of contraband alcoholhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/somalia-destroys-container-full-of-contraband-alcohol/Customs and police authorities in Somalia seized and destroyed on Thursday a container full of contraband alcohol. The consignment was being smuggled via the Mogadishu port, Radio Dalsan, a local outfit said. A similar seizure was made at the airport. The container is said to have 905 boxes of alcohol that had the label, King Lion, described as a premium quality whisky with 40% alcohol content. Photos showed the consignment being bulldozed under the keen watch of the relevant authorities. BREAKING Customs authority and police seize and destroy alcohol being smuggled via the #Mogadishu port #Somalia pic.twitter.com/0IyNxVunw6— Radio Dalsan (@DalsanFM) October 18, 2018 A local journalist added that authorities had confirmed to the media that another contraband alcohol consignment had been seized at the airport on the same day. The reports did not disclose where the impounded products were coming from and or the persons or institutions behind the shipment. Somalia is a predominantly Muslim country with strict regulations on alcohol use. The country has a long coastal line making it a crucial player in sea transport. The country is suffering from insurgent activities by the al-Shabaab militants who are fighting government in a bid to impose a strict interpretation of Shariah – Islamic law.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:46:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/somalia-destroys-container-full-of-contraband-alcohol/Sexual abuse in Senegalese schools -HRW [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/sexual-abuse-in-senegalese-schools-hrw-the-morning-call/A shocking report from Human Rights Watch released on Thursday has revealed sexual abuse in Senegalese learning institutions. According to them, abusive teachers and other staff sexually exploit, harass, and abuse adolescent girls in Senegal’s secondary schools. The report titled “‘It’s Not Normal’: Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse in Secondary Schools,” documents cases of teachers who abuse their authority by engaging in sexual relations with students in exchange for money, good grades, food, or items such as mobile phones and new clothes.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:17:00 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/sexual-abuse-in-senegalese-schools-hrw-the-morning-call/Madagascar: Candidates protest media discrimination ahead of polls [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/madagascar-candidates-protest-media-discrimination-ahead-of-polls-the-morning/Presidential candidates in Madagascar are on the campaign trail in the run up to the November 7 presidential elections. Among the aspiring candidates are three former presidents plus thirty three other lesser-known candidates, who are struggling to promote their vision for the country. We speak to Serge Jovial Imbeh, who is one of these candidates.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:10:53 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/madagascar-candidates-protest-media-discrimination-ahead-of-polls-the-morning/Athletics season begins in Congo [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/athletics-season-begins-in-congo-the-morning-call/A new season for athletes in the Republic of Congo kicked off a few days ago and sports officials in the country are optimistic for a great season in terms of performance.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 06:22:54 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/athletics-season-begins-in-congo-the-morning-call/UK denies funding Ethiopia's notorious Liyu policehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/uk-denies-funding-ethiopia-s-notorious-liyu-police/The United Kingdom has officially addressed reports that it had at a point supported Ethiopia’s notorious paramilitary unit, the Liyu Police. The head of the British Department for International Development, DFID, Christian Rogg met with Somali Regional State, SRS, leader Mustafa Omer earlier this week. The meeting according to the British Embassy in Addis Ababa centered around security reforms whiles Rogg took the opportunity to dispel resurfaced reports that the DFID had back in 2013 funded Liyu police. Omer in August took over as head of the SRS after former head was arrested over rights issues. He has promised to uphold rights and freedoms in the region that has suffered highhanded leadership since 2010. The UK Guardian in January 2013 reported that an internal DFID document had entered a tender to train security forces in the Somali region of Ethiopia, as part of a five-year £13m–15m “peace-building” programme. The statement read as follows: “The British Embassy is aware of some reports circulating on social media referencing reporting from five years ago which speculated on sources of funding for the Somali Regional Special police, commonly known as the Liyu police. “Press reporting in 2013 focused on DFID’s Peace and Development programme. The programme intended to support development and reduce conflict in Somali Regional State. “It helped thousands of children attend primary school and increased access to health services and clean water. It provided legal aid and specialist legal support, particularly for women and children. “Planned support to improve security in the region was not implemented. The UK government has not funded the Liyu police. The Peace and Development Programme ended in 2017.” Who are the Liyu police? Ethiopian authorities created the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police for the Somali region in 2007, when an armed conflict between the insurgent Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the government escalated. By 2008, the Liyu police had become a prominent counterinsurgency force recruited and led by then-regional security chief Abdi Mohammed Omar, known as “Abdi Illey.” Abdi Illey became the president of Somali Regional State in 2010, and the Liyu police continued to report to him till his arrest in August. He is currently facing a legal process instituted by federal government. The Liyu police have frequently been implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and violence against people in the Somali region, as well as in retaliatory attacks against local communities. There has also been growing evidence of attacks by the group against communities outside of the Somali region, including in the Oromia region since late December 2016, and in Somalia.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:25:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/uk-denies-funding-ethiopia-s-notorious-liyu-police/Press Review of October 19, 2018 [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/press-review-of-october-19-2018-the-morning-call/We review the headlines of Africa’s top newspapers on The Morning CallFri, 19 Oct 2018 06:19:35 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/press-review-of-october-19-2018-the-morning-call/Alvarez signs richest deal in sports history [Sport]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/alvarez-signs-richest-deal-in-sports-history-sport/Saul Canelo Alvarez has signed the most lucrative contract in sports history! The unified middleweight world champion takes home at least $365 million, agreeing to a five-year and 11-fight deal with streaming service DAZN. The Mexican boxer first challenges Rocky Fielding, the World Boxing Association Regular world title holder in New York, on December 15. Raziah Athman presents a round up of major sporting events of the week. Follow @RazAthmanFri, 12 Oct 2018 06:57:42 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/alvarez-signs-richest-deal-in-sports-history-sport/Pics of the day, October 18, 2018http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/pics-of-the-day-october-18-2018/Africanews samples the pictures of the day’s news.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:06:26 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/pics-of-the-day-october-18-2018/Thousands race to witness new Nile Bridge in Ugandahttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/thousands-race-to-witness-new-nile-bridge-in-uganda/Thousands of people on Wednesday rushed to the opening of a new 525-metre long bridge spanning the Nile River in southern Uganda. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni officially opened the new 525-metre long bridge spanning the Nile River in southern part of the country. Museveni cut a ribbon to open the bridge in the town of Jinja, which has been dubbed ‘The Source of the Nile’ bridge. The structure was funded by a $112 million loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. Local media reported that many people travelled from neighbouring towns to be amongst the first to cross. Masahisa Sato, the State Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan, was also present at the ceremony. Jinja thoroughfare that the bridge connects is a busy import-export route for Uganda through Kenya and, as such, provides the economic lifeline for the landlocked country. Museveni commissions first suspended cable bridge in Uganda https://t.co/vX974tll2q— mic (@MicahMula) October 19, 2018 It is hoped the bridge will become a new tourist attraction for the area being the fifth longest cable bridge in Africa.Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:39:17 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/thousands-race-to-witness-new-nile-bridge-in-uganda/Cameroon top court rejects Kamto, Osih petitions; Biya victory expectedhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/live-polls-open-in-cameroon-amid-high-security-separatists-killed/Kamto, Osih petitions dismissed, ELECAM to announce results? Cameroon’s Constitutional Council on Thursday threw out the remaining two poll petitions that it had admitted from a pool of 18 seeking partial or total cancellation of the October 7 presidential elections. The two were filed by main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF and the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, led by ex-Biya appointee, Maurice Kamto. Osih had decried what he described as a state of apartheid in English-speaking regions, where most people could not cast votes due to insecurity. The decision said to be a unanimous one by the judicial body paves the way for the declaration of results in a poll largely expected to hand incumbent Paul Biya a new seven-year term. The opposition parties had alleged widespread irregularities insecurity and low turnout especially in restive Anglophone regions but the court held that it was not enough basis to warrant their demands. The ruling CPDM and elections body, ELECAM, strongly defended the conduct of the polls stressing that the process had been free, fair and democratic. The decision paves the way for the court to now declare 85-year incumbent president Paul Biya, who has rule #Cameroon for the past 36 years as winner of the poll, handing him another 7-year term.— Bate Felix Tabi Tabe (@BateFelix) October 19, 2018 Cameroon poll petition, Team Kamto ruffle Council, SDF case to he heard today Hearings will continue today, October 18, in Yaounde where two main opposition parties are challenging the presidential polls of October 7 before the Constitutional Council. Sixteen of eighteen petitions were dismissed by the Council on the first day of its sitting earlier this week. The only two admitted were that of main opposition parties, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, and the Cameroon Renaissance movement, CRM. The CRM, led by former minister Maurice Kamto, went into the polls in a coalition with Akere Muna’s Now Movement. Kamto has since close of polls claimed that he won the vote. Maurice Kamto: The ‘star player’ in Cameroon polls? He stressed before the Council that he stood by the declaration: “My declaration on 8th October was based on information from my representatives in some polling stations in most regions,” state-owned CRTV quoted him as saying. Himself, Muna and a team of lawyers have taken center stage at proceedings before the Council. First, asking some members of the council to recuse themselves over partiality and demanding a neutral body sits on the petition, both instances were rejected as being without locus. #237Vote #Crtv2018 Kamto’s lawyers call on Constitutional council members to examine their consciences and render judgement that will protect their legacy.— CRTVweb (@CRTV_web) October 17, 2018 On the substantive case, Team Kamto, have taken turns to present evidence before the Council to prove their case of gross electoral infractions and the subsequent need to scrap the entire process. The ruling CPDM and elections body, ELECAM, have responded by saying the claims where wholly untrue. The SDF’s legal team will take their turn today to present the facts underlying their call for a total cancellation of the vote. Meanwhile, reports indicate that a ruling is expected today on the Kamto team’s submissions. Cameroon throws out 16 poll petitions, Kamto’s fight against ‘biased’ council flops Cameroon’s Constitutional Council yesterday, October 16, dismissed as many as sixteen of eighteen post-poll petitions presented before it by aggrieved opposition members and parties. Among those whose applications were dismissed were Cabral Libii. Self acclaimed poll winner, Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, was himself present in court to make submissions. Kamto had advanced an argument of partiality on the part of the Council as he sought the disqualification of six members. He accused them of being persons who had the interest of the ruling CPDM at heart and thus unfit for the exercise. He was ruled as not having a strong enough basis to demand for another judicial body to sit on the issue. The sitting which took place in Yaounde was suspended at a time Kamto’s party was to adduce evidence on irregularities in areas it wanted results cancelled. Leader of the Council, Clement Atangana, has long been accused of been a loyalist of incumbent Paul Biya. Biya is seeking a seventh term in office, his fourth under the multi-party era. READ MORE: Biya’s multi-party era winning record No-show on ‘ghost observers’ presser, poll petition starts Today is the day elections petitions – 18 in all – are expected to be heard by the Constitutional Council sitting in the capital Yaounde. Individuals and parties are seeking partial and in some cases total cancellation of the October 7 presidential polls. Yesterday, there was a no-show despite widely publicized news that the government through information minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, was to explain the “ghost observers,” who claimed to be from Transparency international, TI. READ MORE: Biya’s multi-party era winning record The said observers had given top marks to the election process last week but also attracted a disavowal by TI who said they had no observers dispatched to Cameroon for such reasons. The camp of self-acclaimed poll winner Maurice Kamto has also been buzzing. Kamto’s camp were barred from holding a press conference in Yaounde yesterday even though he issued a statement on Facebook dismissing reports of a Biya victory of 71%. Kamto’s also received his party’s treasurer who was released from jail after over a week. The CRM Treasurer, Okala Ebode, had been behind bars for 8 days because he denounced electoral fraud, local portals said. Maurice Kamto receives CRM Treasurer, Okala Ebode shortly after the latter’s release. He has been behind bars for 8 days. His lone crime is that, he denounced electoral fraud.#MimiMefoInfo pic.twitter.com/PhzPsaad2V— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 15, 2018 Date set for petition hearing, Biya victory leaked? State-owned Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV, late last week reported that a date had been fixed to hear election petitions filed in relation to the October 7 presidential elections. The date is October 16, 2018 at the Yaounde Convention Center. The election body, ELECAM, has confirmed receiving 18 petitions filed at the Constitutional Council. The petitioners including major opposition parties are seeking partial and in some cases total cancellation of the results. Already, one candidate, Maurice Kamto has claimed victory in a move widely condemned by government and the ruling party. Meanwhile, local media portals are reporting that a leaked result shows that president Paul Biya was in the lead with over 71% of votes cast. The government or ELECAM has yet to confirm or deny the information. The fight against fake news was one of the core campaign issues ahead of the election. Yaounde had gone as far as seek the help of social media giants, Facebook, to help combat the menace. UNCONFIRMED Supposedly ‘leaked’ election results. #Biya claiming 71% in total, 77% in SW Cameroon and 81% in NW #Cameroon, the two Anglophone regions. I think that tells you all you need to know about this ‘election’. Not even a pretence of democracy.#AnglophoneCrisis pic.twitter.com/YPjcMcp8QQ— Billy Burton (@billyb2009) October 14, 2018 18 poll petitions deposited at Constitutional Council, ELECAM confirms. Elections body, ELECAM, on Thursday confirmed that it had been served legal challenges to the October 7 presidential polls. A total of 18 individuals and parties had approached the Constitutional Council. “They are thus allowed 48 hours to submit their replies, against a receipt. Section 133 (3) od the Electoral Code,” it added in a tweet. Meanwhile a local journalist is reporting that the main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, candidate, Joshua Osih in his application to the Council is seeking a total cancellation of the process. ELECAM has fifteen day period to release results but opposition parties hold that it is largely a period during which results are manipulated. An Aspirant, Maurice Kamto claimed victory on Monday with a government response branding him as “irresponsible and lawless.” October 11: Opposition seeking total, partial cancellation of results State broadcaster, CRTV, have confirmed reports that a number of opposition parties had approached the court over the October 7 presidential elections. CRTV said in a tweet on Thursday, four days after the vote, that a total of 17 applications had been made to the Constitutional Council demanding partial and in some cases total cancellation of the vote. They confirmed that among the applicants before the top court were main opposition leader Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, and Maurice Kamto who led an opposition coalition that involved Akere Muna, a famed lawyer. October 10: Kamto camp wants probe into CRTV report Local media in Cameroon are reporting that the camp of opposition contender Maurice Kamto on Wednesday afternoon held a press conference in the capital Yaounde amid deployment of heavy security. Kamto’s spokesperson among other demands called for a probe into the false report carried by state broadcaster, CRTV. Kamto’s camp said the TV and ministry responsible for accreditation needed to be probed. CRTV had carried a news item on Tuesday alleging that Transparency International, TI, had given high marks to the October 7 process. TI in a statement denied the report. Other issues he raised were that: There was a ploy to blame violence on Kamto, that there was growing tension in the country. He also flatly denied that Kamto was being financed by politicians held in prison over an anti-corruption crackdown, Operation Epervier. Et la police anti émeutes, le GMI 1, plus un discret dispositif de gendarmerie viennent de se positionner face au QG Kamto…#Etoudi2018 #Cameroun pic.twitter.com/vWAhF80Xg3— Hemisphere Africa (@HmpAfrica) October 10, 2018 Kamto, leader of a two-party alliance declared on Monday, barely twenty-four hours after the vote that he won an emphatic victory. Government slammed his announcement describing it as “irresponsible, illegal.” The spokesman clarified in later reports that Kamto had only claimed victory based on figures and projections. “Maurice Kamto did not proclaim himself president, he claimed victory, it’s not the same thing,” Olivier Nissack reportedly said. Photo credit: @HmpAfrica October 9: State TV accused of fake observer report Cameroon radio and television, CRTV, the state broadcaster has been exposed by international rights group Transparency International, TI, over a report that the group’s observer team had ‘blessed’ the conduct of the October 7 presidential polls. CRTV shared a video that purported to have observers with TI but the group in a press statement said it had not sent a team to observe the polls. “Transparency International confirms that it has no international election observation mission in Cameroon. A recent television report featuring individuals described as working for Transparency International is false and untrue,” a statement read. It is the most significant development surrounding the polls since opposition candidate Maurice Kamto declared that he had won a clear mandate from the people. The former Biya minister had been dismissed by the government describing his move as irresponsible and illegal. Kamto’s coalition ally, Akere Muna, is a former TI top official. He resigned to contest the presidential polls but entered an alliance with Kamto less than 24-hours to the vote. October 8: Kamto makes unofficial victory declaration Voting closed in Cameroon in Sunday evening and counting of ballots started in earnest. Main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, vowed to police the counting and results declaration process. But it is the declaration of victory by Maurice Kamto, a former Biya minister that has thrown the process into a state of shock. Kamto who led a two-party alliance involving famed lawyer Akere Muna said the goal of his party had been reached. A summary of the issues he raised in his victory speech (in French) is as follows: Cameroonians have chosen to go down a historic path by voting out the incumbent. He has won a clear mandate he is ready to defend firmly. Called on Paul Biya to make transition arrangement to avert needless post-poll crisis. His supporters can remain joyful and proud of the achievement. The moment KamtoOfficiel declared himself winner of the presidential elections (loosely translated):“I received the mandate to take a historic penalty kick. I took the spot kick. The goal was scored.” #elections #Cameroun #Cameroon #Etoudi2018 #237Vote pic.twitter.com/fyDLgV3vIM— Israel Ayongwa (iayongwa) October 8, 2018 The government has yet to officially react to the development but electoral laws suggest that it is an offense to declare oneself winner of the elections. A point that had been stressed by government in the run up to the vote. Sections of the Electoral System stipulates that the President of the Republic is elected for a seven-year term by universal suffrage and by direct, equal and secret ballot. According to the Cameroon electoral code, the president is elected by a single-round majority ballot and the candidate having obtained the majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected. It also states that election will not be complete until Cameroon’s Supreme Court rules on requests for annulment and announces the results. October 7, 2018: Cameroon polls take place amid high security in English-speaking zones Cameroonians voted on Sunday (October 7) in a key presidential election which could end or extend the 36-year rule of President Paul Biya, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders. Polls opened at 0800 local (0700GMT) across much of the country including areas in the restive English-speaking regions. Security has been heightened with armed personnel deployed outside most poling stations. Reuters reports that three separatists have been shot dead in Bamenda, capital of the northwest region of the country. The northwest and southwest regions have been the epicenter of what has become known as the Anglophone crisis. A security source told Reuters that the trio had been gunned down for attempting to disrupt the voting process. Separatist groups have vowed to stop the polls from taking place in both regions. Red carpet for Biya, aspirants cast ballots BREAKING NEWS. Cameroonian President Paul Biya has arrived to cast his ballot. pic.twitter.com/yQSPqdbvIi— Saddique Shaban (@SaddiqueShaban) October 7, 2018 #Cameroon Opposition candidate Cabral Libii casts his vote; says that the opposition coalition were treating him like a child and questioning his intentions. {Photos Courtesy: oliverwjarvis} pic.twitter.com/pu2GxIMEjD— CGTN Africa (cgtnafrica) October 7, 2018 #Cameroon: Akere Muna’s ballot papers – electoral commission said couldn’t be pulled from polling stations despite him withdrawing from race and throwing his support behind Maurice Kamto. #Etoudi2018 #237Vote #Cameroun pic.twitter.com/Xd6bnTuO48— Daniel Finnan (@Daniel_Finnan) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates Mr and Madame Kamto in the polling station in Yaounde #MimiMefoInfo pic.twitter.com/paQmuEoU9G— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates JoshuaOsih at Lycee Joss this morning #MImi_Mefo_Info pic.twitter.com/sSdeiTzcpE— Mimi237 (Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates The Prime minister Head of Government Philemon Yang and the North West Governor Adolf lele L’Afrique just voted at Up Station Bamenda #MimiMefoInfo pic.twitter.com/4C8NJoQkzg— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 Multiple reports of gunshots in NW capital, Bamenda At 1:30pm Cameroon time,ear-splitting gunshots still being heard across Bamenda.voters Can’t go out.streets are deserted.cameroon’s premier voted in Bamenda instead of his native Oku village were he registered due to worsening security concerns there.#Etoudi2018— Alphonse Tebeck (@AlphonseTebeck) October 7, 2018 Gunshots in #Bamenda this morning, according to RFI_English correspondent AlphonseTebeck, two suspected separatist fighters killed, town deserted, heavy presence of security forces. #Cameroon #Cameroun #Etoudi2018 #237Vote— Daniel Finnan (@Daniel_Finnan) October 7, 2018 Two separatists have been reportedly killed around hospital roundabout in Bamenda few mintes b4 polls opened in the region. Thr are reports of on going shooting between the military and the separatists. It is nt clear whether voting will continue in this region #cameroondecides— Adesewa Josh (@AdesewaJosh) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Elections day, #Bamenda wakes up to gun shots in several neighborhoods around 6:30 am Jesus, take the wheel— Comfort Mussa (@ComfortMussa) October 7, 2018 Did you know that diaporans are voting? Indeed, Cameroonians in the diaspora are joining in the process of choosing the next president of the country. Elections body, ELECAM, shared photos of people casting their ballot outside of the country. Among other places, people in Malabo, Cairo, Brussels and Tel Aviv are all voting. #237vote : bureau de vote de Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/NONlf9Za7Q— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote : électeur Camerounais à Bruxelles pic.twitter.com/Rrx3FhXvTs— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote : une électrice camerounaise entrain de remplir son devoir civique à Malabo en Guinée Équatoriale. pic.twitter.com/XlSStoET3c— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote: affichage de liste des électeurs à l’entrée du bureau de vote au Caire. pic.twitter.com/b4FMLRKTPg— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 Will opposition coalition count for much? In a surprise and belated move with about 24-hours to opening of polls, two opposition members announced a long-expected alliance. Former Biya-era minister Maurice Kamto agreed a coalition with famed lawyer Akere Muna. Muna’s correspondence to the elections body, ELECAM, to step down as a candidate was however turned down. He has asked his supporters to vote for Kamto. A reported third coalition member, Serge Espoir Matomba, denied agreeing to join late Saturday. Political watchers said despite the coalition being a welcome move, it had come too late in the day but that its impact will be properly assessed after the close of polls and in the stage of results declaration. Ex-Togo PM leads AU observers, EU backed out The European Union, EU, said it will not deploy observers to Cameroon as it has done in almost all previous votes across Africa. But the African Union, AU, has a team in the country led by former Togolese Prime Minister, Artheme Ahoomey Zunu Kwesi Agbefia Seleakodji Lolonyo. The EU and UN have all called for peaceful and transparent process. #ArthemeAhoomeyZunuKwesiAgbefiaSeleakodjiLolonyo former Prime Minister of #Togo is leading the _AfricanUnion Election Observation Mission for #Cameroon presidential election AUC_DPA AUC31 AU_PSD Africanelection OIFfrancophonie AfrikParliament AGA_Platform Elecam2018 pic.twitter.com/2kqkakAqpS— Guy Cyrille Tapoko (GuyCyrille) October 7, 2018 Biya, the 85-year-old long-server gunning to soldier on A victory for Biya, who has ruled since 1982, would usher in a seventh term for the 85-year-old and see him stay until at least the age of 92, bucking a tentative trend in Africa where many countries have installed presidential term limits. It would maintain a long held status quo in the oil and cocoa producing Central African country where, despite relative economic stability and growth of over 4 percent a year since Biya was last elected in 2011, many of its 24 million citizens live in deep poverty. Most have only known one president. Of Biya’s biggest challenges has been the year-old secessionist uprising in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions that has cost hundreds of lives and forced thousands to flee either to the French-speaking regions or into neighbouring Nigeria. It further complicates Cameroon’s security mix, that is, for a country that is still battling Boko Haram insurgents in its Far North region. A new security region was set up in Bamenda in what was seen as a security solution to the separatists.Sun, 07 Oct 2018 08:47:15 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/live-polls-open-in-cameroon-amid-high-security-separatists-killed/Cameroon separatists attack veteran opposition chief Fru Ndihttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-sdf-s-fru-ndi-the-federalist-under-attack-from-separatists/Cameroon’s veteran opposition leader, Ni John Fru Ndi was targeted by separatists who burnt his home, kidnapped his sister and shot at his driver, his lawyers said on Thursday. Ndi heads the Social Democratic Front and comes from Cameroon’s troubled Anglophone west. While he has long opposed Biya’s rule, the separatists see him as a “traitor” because he is in favour of returning to a federalist solution in Cameroon. Cameroon’s government is firmly opposed to any return to federalism, much less the creation of an independent anglophone state that separatists are fighting for. Targeting Ndi Separatists “burnt (Fru Ndi’s) house” in the North-West, said lawyer Francis Sama, referring to one of Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions which have been hit by almost daily unrest that has left at least 400 dead this year. “They kidnapped his younger sister,” he said at a hearing before the Constitutional Court, without giving further detail on either incident. In a separate incident, the SDF said Fru Ndi’s driver had been shot at by the security forces after dropping the party leader home at the weekend. Without giving further details, they said he was “out of danger”. The political crisis in the English-speaking west of the largely Francophone country erupted in 2016 and deteriorated into an armed separatist uprising last year which prompted a retaliatory crackdown by the security forces. Disputed election Sama’s remarks were made during a hearing at which three opposition candidates asked for the contested October 7 presidential election be annulled on grounds of massive fraud. Fru Ndi has spent the past quarter of a century in opposition as head of SDF which he founded in 1990. But although he ran for the presidency three times, Fru Ndi stood aside this time, letting his deputy Joshua Osih join the race against President Paul Biya who has ruled Cameroon for 36 years. Separatist activists had called for a boycott of the election, but SDF decided to run. Following the election, SDF’s Osih asked the court to scrap the ballot because “there was no presidential election” in the English-speaking regions where voting was disrupted and turnout was below five percent, the ICG think tank said. Two other opposition candidates also joined the petition, Maurice Kamto of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon and Cabral Libii, a TV news analyst and at 38, the election’s youngest candidate. The Constitutional Council president, Clément Atangana, dismissed all petitions as inadmissible, declaring on Thursday night that ‘debates are over’. Kamto: Ex-Biya appointee ‘disturbing’ Cameroon presidential polls AFPThu, 18 Oct 2018 17:13:10 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-sdf-s-fru-ndi-the-federalist-under-attack-from-separatists/Cameroon opposition candidate says October 7 election was 'apartheid'http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-opposition-candidate-says-october-7-election-was-apartheid/Cameroon’s opposition candidate, Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) has described the October 7 election as ‘apartheid’, arguing that the Anglophone people in the North West and South West regions did not vote. Osih, who was presenting the SDF petition before the Constitutional Council, urged the court to restore order and save the country from ‘eminent collapse’. “No election took place in the North West and South West regions…the people could not vote because they are Anglophone and that is apartheid,” Osih argued. The election in the English-speaking North West and South West regions, was marred by low turnout and isolated incidents of unrest, as separatists sought to prevent participation in the vote. ALSO READ: Investigate atrocities in Anglophone Cameroon: U.N. genocide expert While majority of Cameroon’s 23 million people are French-speaking, about a fifth of the population is English-speaking. The Anglophone minority has long complained about marginalisation which led to protests by teachers and lawyers over a period of time. Election petitions dismissed The court on Thursday night, also dismissed a petition by opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, which called for the cancellation of the election, on the basis of massive and systematic fraud. The court’s president, Clément Atangana declared that ‘debates are over’, after the petitions were deemed “unjustified” by all members of the Constitutional Council “unanimously”. This official body is responsible for studying post-election disputes before proclaiming the results of the presidential elections of 7 October. Throughout the election and during the hearing of election petitions that started on Tuesday, Cameroon’s electoral body Elecam defended its organisation of the poll and said it had not seen any proof of fraud. Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary also dismissed allegations of fraud.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:06:30 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Daniel Mumbere)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/cameroon-opposition-candidate-says-october-7-election-was-apartheid/Rwanda replaces Mushikiwabo, announces new defence ministerhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/rwanda-replaces-mushikiwabo-announces-new-defence-minister/Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame on Thursday appointed a new foreign affairs minister, to replace Louise Mushikiwabo, in a mini cabinet reshuffle that also included a new defence minister. Following Mushikiwabo’s election as secretary-general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) last week, a replacement foreign affairs minister was expected. Kagame, whose country has commendable diplomatic credentials named Richard Sezibera, a former secretary general of the East African Community regional bloc, as the new foreign minister. 54-year-old Sezibera also previously served as health minister. New defence minister The president’s office also announced that Albert Murasira, an army general, would replace long-serving James Kabarebe as defense minister, without giving a reason for the decision. Kabarebe, an influential figure in the restive Great Lakes region, will now serve as a presidential advisor on security affairs. He was one of seven close associates of Kagame, charged in France with instigating the 1994 attack on the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane, considered to be the trigger for the genocide that killed 800,000 people according to the UN, mainly in the Tutsi minority. Last week, the state prosecutor in France, request that charges against Kabarebe and his colleagues are dropped because of lack of ‘sufficient evidence’. The president also named new ministers for local government, trade and industry, ICT and innovation, gender and family promotion, and sports and culture, as well as a new police chief and an external security head. Oil search: Rwanda may invite investors for exploration https://t.co/Q4U3Ksn7N6— africanews (@africanews) 18 octobre 2018Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:09:13 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Daniel Mumbere)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/19/rwanda-replaces-mushikiwabo-announces-new-defence-minister/Nigeria innovates financing in agriculturehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/nigeria-innovates-financing-in-agriculture/Nigeria is embarking on the revitalization of the agricultural sector With an estimated population of more than 195 million people in 2018, Nigeria, one of the world’s largest markets, wants to boost the agricultural sector. The country has set up the initiative peer-to-peer lending system to aid farmers increase their yields.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:09:32 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/nigeria-innovates-financing-in-agriculture/Congo calls for agro-industry financinghttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/congo-calls-for-agro-industry-financing/Quarterly investor conference, the Republic of Congo turns to agri-food processing projects. The Republic of Congo is looking for new investors to finance national agri-food processing projects. During the last quarterly conference held in Pointe-Noire, its economic capital, a call for investment was launched for financiers in this sector, which represents a significant driver in the economic recovery, unfortunately identified as a secondary issue. Ivory Cpas-t will have its first solar power plant Renewable energies, Ivory Coast announces one of the largest solar power plants in the country and the region. 4,000 MW in 2020 and 6,600 by 2030, Ivory Coast has has launched a vast project that will house the country’s first solar power plant. Located in the north, the Boundiali power plant, with a maximum electrical capacity of 37.5 megawatts peak, will make Ivory Coast a leader in the energy sector in West Africa. Armelle Nga spoke to Emmanuel Adjobi, a solar energy expert.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:07:39 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/congo-calls-for-agro-industry-financing/Oil search: Rwanda may invite investors for explorationhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/oil-search-rwanda-may-invite-investors-for-exploration/Rwanda is hoping to join the circle of oil-producing countries around the world. Kigali is considering partnering with oil and gas companies for the next phase of oil exploration in Lake Kivu. According to Director General of the Office of Mines, Oil and Gas, Francis Gatare, the country has carried out the first series of shallow boreholes for geo-chemical tests in Lake Kivu, says Bloomberg. It is at the end of the second series of shallow drilling tests currently underway, that the State will decide whether to invite private investors to finance 2D or 3D seismic studies. However, the Director General of the Rwanda Mining, Oil and Gas Board said that the country should take a decision on this issue by the end of the year at the latest. Rwanda already extracts methane from Lake Kivu, which borders Lake Albert, where neighboring Uganda has found 6.5 billion litres of oil. Rwanda, which derives most of its resources from agricultural products such as coffee and tourism, would like to expand its sources of income through the exploitation of hydrocarbons and mines. According to Rwanda’s statistical agency, the extractive industries represent about 2% of the country’s gross domestic product.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:24:01 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/oil-search-rwanda-may-invite-investors-for-exploration/Ivory Coast local polls results out as ruling party leadshttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ivory-coast-local-polls-results-out-as-ruling-party-leads/With 92 mayors and 18 regional councilors, the ruling party of Ivory Coast is ahead of Henri Konan Bédié‘s PDCI, which has obtained 56 municipal and 6 regional councilors. It was an election that saw the rise in the strength of independent candidates. After the final results, it is time for electoral litigation. Candidates still have a few days to submit their applications. The PDCI, which alleges electoral fraud, has filed appeals before the country’s Supreme Court. The party of former President Henri Konan Bédié is challenging the results in several constituencies. On the HRDP side, it is considered that all accusations of fraud made by the former ally or the opposition are totally misleading. The violence linked to the October 13 polls has officially claimed the lives of five people. The elections will be held again in Port-Bouet, in the south of Abidjan, following the clashes. The Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara sees the victory for the RHDP as a win for 2020.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:29:37 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ivory-coast-local-polls-results-out-as-ruling-party-leads/Ethiopia frees 1,174 detainees held over Addis Ababa violencehttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-to-free-over-1000-youth-detained-over-sept-violence/Ethiopian authorities have freed over 1,100 youth arrested over violent protests in and around the capital Addis Ababa in September 2018. Police chief Jemal Zeinu confirmed that out of the 1,204 youth were detained – according to Amnesty International, arbitrarily – 83 of them are to be put before courts on suspicion of committing crimes. Zeinu in an interview with state-affiliated FBC disclosed that the soon-to-be released detainees had undergone a month-long training in the area of staying away from crimes and other related issues.. “If the necessary logistic are fulfilled, they will be released on Thursday (October 18); or else, they will be freed latest by Saturday,” he added. FBC and other local portals confirmed they had been released. #Ethiopia: Police today released 1,274 youth who were detained in connection with security problems in #Addisababa city. pic.twitter.com/6MaJnghXXc— FANA BROADCASTING C (@fanatelevision) October 18, 2018 Authorities added that those found to be without employment were to be engaged in various work sectors by organizing them in micro and small enterprise in collaboration with the city administration. Violence that raged from Sept. 12-17 and included attacks on minorities in Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromo heartland outside Addis Ababa, was a blow to new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts at reconciliation. Amnesty cautions govt against arbitrary arrests Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa said in a statement: “While the Ethiopian authorities have in recent months made a commendable attempt to empty the country’s prisons of arbitrary detainees, they must not fill them up again by arbitrarily arresting and detaining more people without charge. “The government must renew its commitment to a new era of respecting and upholding human rights. The majority of people were arrested for perceived offences which are not recognised criminal offences under international law, such as smoking shisha or consuming khat. “They must be either charged with a recognizable criminal offence or released. Those arrested for taking part in protests on the recent ethnic clashes must all be released immediately and unconditionally,” Joan Nyanyuki stressed. Back in September police admitted the arrests and spoke about a rehabilitation process: “1,204 are in custody, but they are now being rehabilitated for a short period of time,” the police commission’s Degfie Bedi said. The arrested included people suspected of holding “illegal rallies”, burglaries and other crimes, he added. @alfaafricanWed, 17 Oct 2018 11:54:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-to-free-over-1000-youth-detained-over-sept-violence/UN commemorates poverty eradication dayhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/un-commemorates-poverty-eradication-day/The United Nations has commemorated the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with its Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivering a speech on the significance of poverty alleviation efforts. Over 200 UN officials and representatives from international organizations attended the Wednesday event and called on actions to alleviate poverty. “Poverty is not inevitable. It is not a natural state of being or occurrence. It is most often the outcome of choices that societies have made. Today we must choose to build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all. We need policies that create a strong enabling economic environment and that promote access to education, health services, decent work and social protection to everybody. And we need policies that dismantle barriers that contribute to the perpetuation of poverty”, Guterres said. Guterres also said that 10 percent of the world’s population remains in extreme poverty adding that more than 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. The UN chief stressed the timeliness to recall the proclamation of “freedom from want” as being among the highest aspirations of the world’s people. Designated to promote awareness about the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993. ReutersThu, 18 Oct 2018 12:57:51 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/un-commemorates-poverty-eradication-day/Ethiopia protest soldiers were against ongoing reforms - PMhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-protest-soldiers-anti-reformist-with-deadly-motives-pm/When hundreds of soldiers from Ethiopian army’s elite unit marched with arms to the National Palace, they were said to be demanding pay rise and better service conditions. They were disarmed and invited to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who gave them assurances that their grievances were going to be looked into. A week on, PM Abiy has told lawmakers that the soldiers were part of elements that are against ongoing political reforms. The 42-year-old former soldier said he had managed to defuse the situation and to prevent it from becoming dangerous. Abiy was widely reported as ordering the soldiers to do press-ups which he joined in, despite it being a reprimand for the soldiers who are said to have used the wrong procedure to protest. They have since apologized whiles state-owned FBC reported over the weekend that a number of officers had been arrested for their respective roles to the spectacle. Abiy told lawmakers that even though photos showed all happy situation after he met the soldiers, “inside I was very unhappy.” “The situation was brought under control, some forces, were heard saying that ‘he escaped before we could kill him’. So, we should not see the situation lightly,” he added. This becomes the second known attempt on his life. In June this year, bombs went off during a pro-government rally at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. HE PM Abiy Ahmed listened to the grievances carefully, reprimanded them for the wrong procedure they followed to express those grievances, but concluded the meeting with a promise to meet properly in the near future to positively consider their demands. #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/7GG9lxcxCu— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 10, 2018Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:35:45 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-protest-soldiers-anti-reformist-with-deadly-motives-pm/Belgian musician Baloji returns to native home DRChttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/belgian-musician-baloji-returns-to-native-home-drc/With jackets, hats, boas and shirts soaked with sweat, Belgian rapper, MC and hip hop artist, Baloji performs after returning to native Congo, a country that haunts his musical universe. The MC has to prove himself to young people from Kinshasa, who came mainly for an urban music festival featuring local rappers. The crowds go wild as he performs with guitarist Dizzy Mandjeku, a living legend of Congolese rumba that connects the rapper to Papa Wemba’s legacy. The day after the concert, the artist runs behind the camera on the busy Boulevard “24”, for the shooting of the song “Spitting fire, fetishes and fanfare”. The recording is full of energy inventiveness, just like its natural setting and its director Baloji, meaning “sorcerer” in Swahili, was thrown on the roads of exile in Belgium. Born out of wedlock and separated from his mother by his father, he heals the wounds of the past with music. He speaks how it has enabled his success abroad. The artist addresses the troubles of his childhood on albums Impala Hotel and 137 Boulevard. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 18 Oct 2018 11:25:09 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/belgian-musician-baloji-returns-to-native-home-drc/Cape Coast: Ghana's Slave Castles [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/cape-coast-ghana-s-slave-castles/Welcome to this travel episode with Nyasha K Mutizwa. Today we kill two birds with one stone. We travel back into time by travelling to Ghana. We head to Cape Coast, a town in the centre of the seaboard of Ghana. It lies on a low promontory jutting into the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean about 120 km southwest of the Ghanaian capital of Accra. However this town is haunted by ghosts of the past. This former European colonial capital, originally named Cabo Corso by the Portuguese, was once the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa. It initially traded gold before it became a hub for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. About forty slave castles, trading posts and forts were built in Ghana, but the biggest of them is the Cape Coast Castle which today is one of the major tourist attractions. These castles provided the last experience that men and women had in their homeland before their final departure. Trans-Atlantic slavery was abolished in 1870. We jump to the 21st century! Cape Coast is an easygoing fishing town with an arty vibe. Crumbling colonial buildings line the streets, seabirds prowl the beaches and fishermen cast nets where slave ships once sailed. There are a lot of American guests who visit to follow the footsteps of their ancestors.One such guest is former American president Barck Obama who visited the site in 2009. You can attend one of the 32 festivals held there or go to see the Kakum National Park. If you are food lover you can try the very popular Baobab House known as a vegeterian’s dream. So take a visit to Cape Coast and allow yourself to take a step back in this now fast paced world and remember the sacrifices our ancestors made for us to be here. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 18 Oct 2018 06:09:29 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/cape-coast-ghana-s-slave-castles/DRC, Angola diplomacy on the brinkhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/drc-angola-diplomacy-on-the-brink/The Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday threatened to take international action over Angola’s recent, and allegedly violent, expulsion of some 200,000 illegal migrants from its west African neighbour. Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu said at a press conference in the capital Kinshasa that the Angolan government is “to carry out a thorough investigation in order to establish who was responsible for these reprehensible acts,” Unless this is done the DR Congo government “would be obliged to take the matter to the relevant authorities,” he warned, adding that his country will not stoop to “brutally expelling” Angolans in any tit-for-tat response. Since the start of the month Angola has expelled around 200,000 Congolese living clandestinely in its northern province of Lunda Norte, which borders DR Congo. Some 30,000 of these were “brutally” kicked out of the country, and some were killed, according to a report by the Congolese cabinet chaired by President Joseph Kabila.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:49:21 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/drc-angola-diplomacy-on-the-brink/Hairy deal: Liberia finance ministry bans wigs, coloured hairhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/hairy-deal-liberia-finance-ministry-bans-wigs-coloured-hair/Female employees at Liberia’s finance ministry are to be subjected to a new regulation – nothing financial but strictly hairy. The ministry has disclosed a decision to enforce a 2014 policy that bars employees from wearing coloured hair extensions or dying their hair, the BBC Africa Live page reports. A number of women the BBC spoke to slammed the move as discriminatory and a move to police what women wore. “The policy at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is discriminatory, how does the hair colour of a woman affect the contribution she has to make to the overall goal of the ministry of finance?” A respondent quizzed. “The laws and policies that are being crafted in our country is really influenced by our patriarchal system that attempts to control a woman’s body, the way she looks, the decision she makes, so that is the key problem,” she stressed. “For me, I am from an international background, so the work (or) the goal, has nothing to do with the dress code. Because the way they dress, that is how they feel comfortable especially with the hair colour or the hair style. Once it does not contradict your work,” another resident said. Another person however supported the policy saying: “... looking at our environment and seeing people come in with other lousy colour of hair more especially for employees, for me I think is a good one. At least to know how they dress, pink hair; you find it in a club, not to a working environment.” The date of the promulgation of the law indicates that it was during the second and final term of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female leader who left office early this year. She was replaced by incumbent George Weah. According to 2017 law, hair products are part of materials that are subject to tax under Section 1140 of Liberia’s revised revenue code. It reads as follows: Section 1140. Cosmetic Aids, And Non Alcoholic Beverages (a) Tax Imposed. Excise tax, at the rate of not less than 5 or more than 10 percent, as determined by Regulation, shall be levied on any cosmetics or cosmetic aids imported or produced in Liberia, including perfumes, toilet preparations, hair products, and nail-care products; and non alcoholic beverages. (b) Exempt Goods. Notwithstanding the tax imposed by subsection (a), the following goods are exempt from excise: (1) soap; (2) toothpaste; (3) toilet tissue; and (4) disinfectants.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:33:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/hairy-deal-liberia-finance-ministry-bans-wigs-coloured-hair/Algeria: Cyber harassment against journalists [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/algeria-cyber-harassment-against-journalists-the-morning-call/Internet Without Borders released a report on Tuesday October 17, 2018 citing concerns on the increased cyber harassment campaigns against journalists, bloggers and activists in Algeria. Especially those addressing issues like bad governance and corruption.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:48:45 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/algeria-cyber-harassment-against-journalists-the-morning-call/Nigeria: Killing of aid workers raises fears [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/nigeria-killing-of-aid-workers-raises-fears-the-morning-call/Hauwa Liman and Saifura Ahmed Khorsa were aid workers in Nigeria who met their death after they were recently executed by the Boko Haram Islamist militants. They had been abducted in March this year along with another aid worker in Nigeria’s north eastern town of Rann. Hauwa Liman and Saifura Khorsa were Muslim midwives who worked at a government health care center supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Khorsa was shot dead in September and a month later her colleague, Liman, was also murdered. The militants had given the Nigerian government an ultimatum to meet their demands, though it’s not clear what their demands were. But according to the group, the government ignored them.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:12:58 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/nigeria-killing-of-aid-workers-raises-fears-the-morning-call/Hunger levels double in DR Congo [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/hunger-levels-double-in-dr-congo-the-morning-call/The food situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is raising concerns. Hunger levels in the country have doubled as compared to the 2017 statistics. 15 million women, men and children in the country do not have enough food to eat up from 7.7 million last year. All this was revealed in a new report by the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and DR Congo’s Ministry of Agriculture. The deteriorating hunger situation is concentrated in the ten provinces most adversely affected by violence. And some people are even joining armed groups and going into prostitution as ways to find money for food.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:10:40 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/hunger-levels-double-in-dr-congo-the-morning-call/Egypt: Initiative immortalizes cultural icons [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/egypt-initiative-immortalizes-cultural-icons-the-morning-call/An initiative in Egypt is raising awareness on the country’s iconic figures. These are individuals on the national monuments, entities, and influential individuals that are considered symbols of the Egyptian civilization. Authorities say 200 influential individuals have already been chosen, and the search for more continues. According to them, the project aims to an effort to pay homage to Egypt’s cultural icons and to introduce them to future generations.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:07:36 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/egypt-initiative-immortalizes-cultural-icons-the-morning-call/Press Review of October 18, 2018 [The Morning Call]http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/press-review-of-october-18-2018-the-morning-call/We review the headlines of Africa’s top newspapers on The Morning CallThu, 18 Oct 2018 12:05:12 +0000editorial@africanews.comhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/press-review-of-october-18-2018-the-morning-call/Kamto: Ex-Biya appointee 'disturbing' Cameroon presidential pollshttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/kamto-ex-biya-appointee-disturbing-cameroon-presidential-polls/Maurice Kamto was not the leading opposition figure going into Cameroon’s October 7 presidential polls. The Social Democratic Front, SDF’s Joshua Osih was. All that has changed in a matter of weeks. The main opposition tag at least per media reports and post-vote incidences is Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM. The lawyer and former ministerial appointee of incumbent Paul Biya has thrust himself to the forefront of Cameroonian politics with a bit of controversy, legal mastery and strong presence – on social media and conventional media. He entered a belated political alliance with a fellow lawyer, Akere Muna, to join forces to wrestle power from Biya, who has been in power for over three and half decades. The election body, ELECAM, had cleared nine aspirants in total. Political watchers said the immediate impact of the Kamto-Muna coalition could not be ascertained until after the elections. The election body, ELECAM, refused to remove Muna’s ballot papers saying it was too late in the day to do so. The controversy around unofficial victory claim Barely twenty-four hours after the vote and even before provisional results could be released, Kamto called a press conference and claimed he had won the vote with a clear majority. The ruling CPDM and the government slammed the move. Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary, tagged Kamto as irresponsible for what he said was an illegal declaration. Team Kamto through a spokesman fired back stressing that he had claimed victory and not declared himself winner as government was alleging. Demand for probe into fake Transparency International Observers The Kamto camp were again out in full force demanding a probe into circumstances surrounding the emergence of fake election observers passed as staff of anti-corruption group, Transparency International, TI. TI issued a release falsifying a report by state broadcaster, CRTV, that observers from the group had okayed the conduct of the polls. Sveral opposition parties joined calls for a probe. Government cancelled a planned press conference to respond to the ghost reporters. Local media reported that Minister Tchiroma Bakary had been barred by the presidency over the issue, Africanews could not confirm the veracity of that report. Kamto press conference blocked, turns to Facebook Then came the unconfirmed and supposedly leaked 71% victory of Biya, Kamto jumped in categorically rubbishing it. When a planned press conference was blocked by security forces in Yaounde, he turned to Facebook to address his supporters. Kamto had meanwhile, joined some 17 others – individuals and parties – in depositing papers of a poll petition with the Constitutional Council. His party was seeking cancellations in certain areas. Kamto springs surprise, demands six judges to quit over partiality When it was time for the poll petition hearing to begin, Kamto, who was part of his party’s legal team made a quit demand on the part of members of the Constitutional Council. Citing reasons that six of the members were allies of the ruling CPDM party, Kamto asked that they recuse themselves from the hearing or better still that the petition be heard by another judicial body. The application was rejected by head of the Council, Clement Atangana, who has serially been accused of being an ally of Paul Biya. Meanwhile, after sixteen of eighteen petitions were dismissed Kamto’s legal team are taking turns to prove to the council as at October 17, the need for the process to be totally scrapped. Kamto’s lawyer says funds were made available 3 days to campaign in cash and not bank transfer. Kamto’s lawyers call on Constitutional council members to examine their consciences and render judgement that will protect their legacy. CRM lawyers say Maurice Kamto wrote to ELECAM to have details on the format and location of posters to no avail, state-owned CRTV said in a series of tweets.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:11:51 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/kamto-ex-biya-appointee-disturbing-cameroon-presidential-polls/Ethiopia police arrests lawyer over 'Addis Ababa ruler' declarationhttp://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-activists-knock-police-over-arrest-of-top-rights-lawyer/Activists in Ethiopia have slammed the arrest on Wednesday of a known human rights defender. Reports said lawyer Henok Aklilu was arrested and held by the police. According to leading blogger, Befeqadu Hailu, police had searched Aklilu’s office, seized his computer before detaining him at the Sostegna police station in the capital, Addis Ababa. Hailu described the detainee as “a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists.” Award-winning journalist who was recently released from jail, Eskinder Nega, also described the arrest as a ‘bad sign,’ that a known advocate of prisonsers of conscience be imprisoned. In explaining the reason behind the arrest, blogger Atnaf Brhane, disclosed on Thursday that Aklilu was being held with another person, Mike Melake. The duo were presented before court over accusations that they had disseminated information that “Addis Ababa cannot be ruled by an outsider.” Confirmed! Police accused Henok Aklilu and Mike Melake for disseminating information that 'Addis Ababa can not be ruled by outsider'. Court Adjourned the case for 7 days for further investigation. #Ethiopia— Atnaf Brhane (@AtnafB) October 18, 2018 “Mike Melake who is forming ‘Palestine Solidarity Movement’ here in Addis was accused of having a contact with Palestine Consul here in Addis,” Brhane added. The Abiy-led government have since April been tagged an administration that had done a lot to break from the past of arbitrary arrests. Amnesty International, AI, in September this year cautioned government against sliding back into the ear of arbitrary use of state authority. Their warning came in the wake of mass arrests in and around the capital Addis Ababa after days of ethnic-based attacks that claimed lives. Police have said over 1000 of the detainees are to be released today or latest by Saturday whiles about 80 others are to be arraigned before the courts for complicity in violent acts. WHY is one of the best known advocates of prisoners of conscience,HENOK AKILILU,, imprisoned?...BAD SIGN!!!....... ሄኖክ አክሊሉ ለምን ታሠረ?.....አረ ወዴት እየሄድን ነው?.....ጥሩ ምልክት አይደለም!!! pic.twitter.com/ydgquir9dZ— Eskinder Nega (@eskinder_nega) October 18, 2018 Henok Aklilu, a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists, is arrested today. Police searched his office and cofisicated his computer. He is now held in Sostegna Police Station. No explanation of why he was detained. pic.twitter.com/sZZUvJQxyE— BefeQadu Z. Hailu (@befeqe) October 17, 2018 ታጥቦ ጭቃ! As the crackdown on innocent 'Addis Ababawiyans' continues – Henok Aklilu, a human rights lawyer and political science expert – arrested today. I am sure you will fight through this bogus politically motivated charges my friend. pic.twitter.com/ROWMXXgdJK— Solomon (@xsolotx) October 17, 2018 The regime of Abiy Ahmed has ended its honeymoon period. The system has started to display its real advent by detaining the #Addis Ababa youth and renowned human right lawyer Henok Aklilu. #Ethiopia— Getachew Gebrekiros (@GetachewSae) October 18, 2018 @alfaafricanThu, 18 Oct 2018 09:10:10 +0000editorial@africanews.com (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/18/ethiopia-activists-knock-police-over-arrest-of-top-rights-lawyer/