Africanews RSS Receive free and in real-time all news published by africanews.com, by subscribing to our RSS feeds. http://www.africanews.com/feed/rss Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:06:26 +0000 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:06:26 +0000 Mother of model assaulted by Grace Mugabe unhappy over immunity bid http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/mother-of-model-assaulted-by-grace-mugabe-unhappy-over-immunity/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/mother-of-model-assaulted-by-grace-mugabe-unhappy-over-immunity/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:06:26 +0000 Mother of 20-year-old Gabriella Engels, who was allegedly beat up on Sunday by Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe in a hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, is unhappy over the play of diplomatic immunity card. Debbie Engels told local media that she will pursue the case until a warrant is issued for the arrest of Mrs Mugabe. “We won’t drop the charges against Grace Mugabe. We are frustrated and furious about the police’s handling of the matter,” local media portal News24 reported. South African police confirmed on Wednesday that Grace Mugabe was still in the country after a Zimbabwean government official said on Tuesday that she had returned to home. According to an earlier statement on Tuesday by South Africa’s police minister Fikile Mbalula, Grace Mugabe handed herself over to the police and will be charged with assault. This was later dismissed. Grace Mugabe failed to report herself to the police after the victim reported the alleged assault, the police said, adding that “Grace Mugabe wishes to invoke the diplomatic immunity cover”. The 20-year-old victim of the alleged assault, Gabriella Engels, posted a picture of her injuries on Twitter on Monday evening saying she was beat up with her two friends in the hotel room after one of Mugabe’s sons ran away and the other was taken out of the room. “Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it,” she tweeted with references to Mrs Mugabe’s bodyguards. Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it https://t.co/FXdYafh3pm— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 “She split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” she explained with a picture showing a deep cut on her forehead. I have to more injuries at the back of my head pic.twitter.com/fz3olUz9tN— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 While Gabriella was tweeting the version of her story, Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF posted her picture saying she attacked the first lady. “We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades,” they tweeted. We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades. pic.twitter.com/3VCyfsY8vB— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) August 14, 2017 Mugabe’s sons, Robert Peter Mugabe Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe are well-known for throwing parties and living in luxury apartments. They were thrown out of their apartment in Dubai and also evicted from a Johannesburg apartment for several disturbances including an alleged brawl. They study at the University of Johannesburg. Ismail Akwei Zambia acts against 'underweight' loaves of bread, bakeries summoned http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/zambia-acts-against-underweight-loaves-of-bread-bakeries-summoned/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/zambia-acts-against-underweight-loaves-of-bread-bakeries-summoned/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:30:14 +0000 After a surge in complaints against underweight loaves of bread sold in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, the state agency in charge of weights took action. On Wednesday, the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA) stormed some bakeries and confiscated hundreds of loaves of bread that were found to be under the weight printed on the packaging. Some bakeries who were using unapproved scales were also summoned, the agency said in a statement published by local media. According to Zambia’s Weights and Measures Act 1998, the standard bread weights are 600g, 700g and 800g. It also stipulates that the weight should not vary more than two percent less or four per cent more of the declared weight, local media portal Lusaka Times reported. The public relations officer of ZWMA Mutale Chileshe said the use of unapproved scales is illegal and “corrective action will be taken to ensure compliance with weights and measure regulations”. He called on the public to report any suspicion to the outfit to ensure that bakeries are in compliance with the law. Ismail Akwei Somalia under pressure to side with Saudi Arabia, UAE against Qatar http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/somalia-under-pressure-to-side-with-saudi-arabia-uae-against-qatar/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/somalia-under-pressure-to-side-with-saudi-arabia-uae-against-qatar/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:30:09 +0000 Somalia’s neutralitiy in the ongoing Gulf region crisis has generated a lot of pressure for the Horn of Africa country to join the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates faction against Qatar. The latest call is from the autonomous Somali state of Puntland which on Wednesday called on the federal government to change its neutral position due to the good relations it has with Saudi Arabia and UAE. “We urge the Federal Government of Somalia to reconsider its position regarding the impending crisis which, if not addressed properly, will have lasting and negative consequences for the people of Somalia,” Puntland said in a statement. “We believe our position is to clearly stand with our partners, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” it added while calling for an end to the crisis. BREAKING: #Puntland sides with #Saudi Arabia & #UAE against #Qatar, calls on #Somali Govt to reconsider its neutral position on Gulf crisis pic.twitter.com/5EBhPw5pDq— Garowe Online (@radiogarowe) August 16, 2017 Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic relations with Qatar in June after accusing the small country of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar vehemently denies the claims. Some African countries took sides in the diplomatic row with Chad recalling its ambassador from Qatar “for consultations” after Senegal recalled its envoy citing its “active solidarity” with Saudi Arabia. Mauritania, a member of the Arab League, severed ties with Qatar following the lead of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – while Gabon condemned Doha. However, Guinean President Alpha Conde offered to mediate in the diplomatic crisis in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union to find a swift and peaceful solution. Somalia also expressed concern and advised that it should be settled with dialogue after it expressed neutrality. This resulted in a recall of the United Arab Emirates ambassador in the capital Mogadishu. The government of Seychelles also called on all the parties involved to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to resolve and deescalate the current situation. Turkey and Iran have backed Qatar by providing support after a subsequent blockade by Saudi Arabia and UAE. Ismail Akwei Kenyan man detained over post-election hate messages on WhatsApp http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/kenyan-man-detained-over-post-election-hate-messages-on-whatsapp/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/kenyan-man-detained-over-post-election-hate-messages-on-whatsapp/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:30:04 +0000 A court in the southeastern Kenyan town of Malindi has detained an administrator of a WhatsApp group over hate messages shared days after the elections in the East African country. Japheth Mulewa, who is the admin for the unnamed WhatsApp group, is accused of sharing hate messages that threatened violence against a community in the town, the police said. Police Constable James Muyes said in court on Wednesday that the respondent was arrested on Tuesday after a tip-off, local media portal Daily Nation said. The judge, Yvone Khatambi, ordered Mulewa’s detention for further investigation. He is also reported to be sought after by law enforcement agents in the coastal city of Mombasa for the same offence. Two other WhatsApp group admins in Mombasa are wanted by police for sharing similar hate messages in their groups threatening to “butcher” a community. Another WhatsApp group admin, Longton Jamil, was also arrested in Kajiado County for sending inappropriate messages through his group. These arrests follow warnings by the Acting Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiangi last weekend when protests were held in Kisumu and Mathare against the election results. Matiangi announced last Saturday the arrest of people who spread “inflammatory” messages on social media to create insecurities in the country. “We have experienced increased share of inflammatory messages on social media. Security agencies have been instructed to track and arrest the culprits. I can confirm that we have made some arrests,” he said without indicating the number of people arrested. Pockets of violence were witnessed in some few areas in Kenya after the elections on August 8 leaving at least 20 people dead. Ismail Akwei Kenya's plastic bag ban takes effect a day before Uhuru's swearing-in http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/kenya-s-plastic-bag-ban-takes-effect-a-day-before-uhuru-s-swearing-in/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/17/kenya-s-plastic-bag-ban-takes-effect-a-day-before-uhuru-s-swearing-in/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:35:08 +0000 Kenya’s quest to succeed in the banning of plastic bags will be tested a day before the swearing-in of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta as the fifth president of the country. The ban on the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags, imposed in March, takes effect on August 28, 2017. This is the third time in ten years since Kenya took this path. In 2007 and 2011, the ban focused on reducing the thickness of the bags which was not successfully achieved as the plastic waste menace continued to affect the environment. This year’s implementation plan comes with measures including penalties for those found with plastic bags. The Environment Manufacturers and Co-ordination Act stipulates that a culprit faces not less than a year in prison or a fine of not less than Shillings 2 million ($19,305). Environment Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu vowed to enforce the law to ensure that the ban is fully implemented. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) petitioned the president in July against the ban to prevent job and revenue losses. They opted to contribute to a fund that will cater for plastic waste management in the country. This appeal has been condemned by environmentalists who believe Kenya can chart the path of countries in the world who have succeeded in banning plastic bags. In the East African region, Rwanda is the only success story at banning plastic bags in 2008, earning the developing country high praise from the international community especially for being the first in the world to do so. According to research, 4,000 tonnes of plastic bags are produced each month in Kenya and half of that ends up in the waste stream without proper management. If successful, Kenya will be the second country in East Africa to protect its environment from the plastic waste menace. Ismail Akwei Seeking an African presidency through the courts – how feasible? http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/seeking-an-african-presidency-through-the-courts-how-feasible/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/seeking-an-african-presidency-through-the-courts-how-feasible/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:31:14 +0000 Despite losing a 2013 elections petition, Kenya’s veteran opposition chief and ex Prime Minister, Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) have opted for the same route to “right” the “wrongs” in the just ended polls. Odinga and NASA announced on Wednesday that they will file a case at the Supreme Court in what he said was a “second chance” for the top court. The current decision was a u-turn from an earlier position. They are seeking the invalidation of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of August 8, 2017 presidential polls. We look back at presidential election petitions on the continent and how a presidential dream has yet to materialize through court action. What could be the reason that Odinga has opted to use the courts for the second successive time? Original article – published September 15, 2016 The latest post-election Constitutional Court battle is in Gabon, where the main opposition led by former African Union (AU) chief, Jean Ping is seeking to overturn results of a the last presidential election. Incidents arising from the announcement of incumbent Ali Bongo Ondimba as winner of the August 27 polls have created a tense political atmosphere. Subsequently there has been continental and global efforts to steer the country from further chaos. But long before Ping’s decision to turn to the Constitutional Court, many opposition leaders across the continent have tried to overturn electoral results. Till date, there has not been any success in using the court to achieve a presidential poll victory. Different legal regimes have been tested with their peculiar issues and dimensions but one commonality that runs through these petitions is the allegations of electoral fraud. Interestingly most court rulings admit to the incidence of fraud but say they are not enough to invalidate entire electoral processes. Hence incumbents stay on and opposition more often than not, reject these court rulings. Zambia – Hichilema disputes Lungu’s 2016 victory The most recent case preceding Gabon is Zambia where the opposition contested the reelection of incumbent Edgar Lungu citing rigging on the part of government in collusion with the electoral body. They successfully filed their petition within the stipulated period of two weeks after the polls. The case is constitutionally supposed to be resolved in two weeks. The court however started dealing with issues relating to the case and set a date to commence hearing on the substantive issue. In a move that the opposition claims created a legal crisis, the Court (three – two judges) dismissed the petition with the technicality that the mandate two weeks had elapsed. Uganda’s ex PM’s case against Museveni in 2016 Uganda’s Supreme Court in March dismissed former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s challenge on the reelection of president Yoweri Museveni in the February 2016 elections. Mbabazi and other opposition members alleged widespread rigging and intimidation led to Museveni’s victory by over 60%. The court admitted that while there were issues, they did not affect the final result. Ghana – Akufo-Addo disputes 2012 polls After the 2012 general elections, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) headed to the Supreme Court with a landmark election petition case. They wanted the election of incumbent John Dramani Mahama overturned because of electoral irregularities. The case which was broadcast on live TV lasted for months as lawyers for petitioners and respondents argued out their cases. In the end, the 9-member panel ruled that there were irregularities in the process but that there were not significant enough to warrant the less evil of a run-off much more a historic overturning of the results. They however gave explicit orders to the electoral body to undertake reforms together with the parties and other stakeholders ahead of the next polls. Ghana votes in closely contested polls in December this year. Zimbabwe – Tsvangirai takes Mugabe’s 2013 victory to court In Zimbabwe, serial opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai initially went to court in 2013 to challenge the re-election of President Robert Mugabe. He however dropped the case, saying that the president and ZANU PF government had stopped him from getting a fair hearing. A claim that is echoed by most opposition parties who try using courts to ascend the presidency. Nigeria – Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 Nigeria’s 2007 election was largely discredited as being rigged, it was won by the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who beat Muhammadu Buhari, then the main opposition candidate. Muhammadu Buhari – who won 2015 polls against Yar Adua’s successor, Goodluck Jonathan – has complained about fraud in previous elections before winning last year. The 2007 election petition in Africa’s most populous nation run for over one-and-half years (20 months) before the courts had a final answer. The judges said despite irregularities, there was no proof that they altered the outcome. Kenya – Odinga opts for court action against Uhuru’s first term Raila Odinga after losing the 2013 elections filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the election of Kenyatta. Odinga and the other petitioners alleged massive irregularities in the election that brought Uhuru to power. Other related cases were consolidated for the hearing. At the end of the trial – which lasted one month – the six judges sitting on the case unanimously dismissed the case upholding the election of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto as president and deputy-president. So what motivates opposition parties to go to court? According to Robert Gerenge, head of special programmes at the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa the two main reasons are: Losing candidates go to court under diplomatic pressure even though they have no faith in the outcome Losing candidates have faith that the judges will be impartial. In the absence of the two above, there is no faith in the impartiality of the legal process so opposition supporters take to the streets rather than the court. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Obama's far-right tweet becomes most-liked ever http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/obamas-charlottesville-tweet-becomes-most-liked-ever/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/obamas-charlottesville-tweet-becomes-most-liked-ever/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:03:03 +0000 If you’re of the view that Donald Trump’s presidency is lacking leadership in tough times, then look no further than his predecessor’s latest tweets. Barack Obama’s words of unity – in the aftermath of far-right violence in Virginia – has become the most-liked message ever-posted on the social network. As if filling a vacuum left by Trump, the tweet has been given the thumbs up more than 2.9 million times. Writing after one person was killed when a car ploughed into anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, Obama chose to quote Nelson Mandela’s words from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. “No one is born hating another person because of the color [sic] of his skin or his background or his religion,” wrote Obama, alongside a picture of him speaking to a group of children looking out of a window. “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. “For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” It comes after President Donald Trump once again blamed both sides for the violent unrest in Charlottesville, refusing to single out either the white supremacist demonstrators or the anti-fascist protesters who opposed them. The leader has stirred controversy for refusing to immediately condemn neo-Nazism in the wake of the clashes. How Donald Trump reacted What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.#Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/DB22fgnu6L— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017 We must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST. pic.twitter.com/FesMiQSKKn— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017 We will continue to follow developments in Charlottesville, and will provide whatever assistance is needed. We are ready, willing and able. pic.twitter.com/mCTYBgUePi— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017 Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017 How Barack Obama reacted “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017 “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love…”— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017 “...For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017 Chris Harris Kenya opposition to challenge re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta in court http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/kenya-opposition-to-file-court-case-against-re-election-of-uhuru-kenyatta/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/kenya-opposition-to-file-court-case-against-re-election-of-uhuru-kenyatta/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:20:03 +0000 Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available. Nigerian alerts bank to reverse over $20,000 mistaken transfer http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/nigerian-alerts-bank-to-reverse-over-20000-mistaken-transfer/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/nigerian-alerts-bank-to-reverse-over-20000-mistaken-transfer/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:41:50 +0000 A Nigerian engineer on Tuesday drew the attention of his bank following a mistaken transfer of over 7.3 million naira (equivalent to about $20,100) into his account. Interestingly, the man used social media platform – Twitter, to draw the attention of Diamond Bank Nigeria to rectify the anomaly. “Dear @DiamondBankNG exactly at this time yesterday 7,310,000.00, seven million three hundred and ten thousand was transferred to my account,” the first in his series of tweets read. According to him, he was making the report after 24 hour wait for a bank official to contact him. He asked the bank to follow him on Twitter before he sent details of the transfer. Let me also reiterate that the bank or the customer did not contact me. I had waited for 24 hours hoping either would but none did.— Uncle Ray (@Raynergy) August 15, 2017 “I had to escalate here on twitter and also visit the closest branch to request for the reversal of the erroneous credit transfer,” another tweet read. He confirmed later that a bank official had contacted him in respect of the transaction. I have just been contacted by a staff and the BM of the branch which my account is domiciled. I have been debbited accordingly. CASE CLOSED.— Uncle Ray (@Raynergy) August 15, 2017 He proceeded to talk about his lack of motivation to keep the money and to drum home the need for honesty in one’s dealings. “The moment I got the credit alert, the next thing I thought of was returning it, I never thought otherwise, it wasn’t even a hard decision. “I have no desire to argue with anyone. I choose to return it because it does not belong to me, We are not all the same, I want peace of mind. “I did not do it for fear, I did it because it was the right thing to do. I was taught to always do the right thing even though it was hard. “In life, we get what we deserve, we will sooner or later get back what we give to the world, it is a boomerang effect. “What really belong to us eventually comes by naturally, we do not need to compel anything because that will not help. “My money (Your money) will come, when it will come, and with peace of mind I, “We” will enjoy. “Honesty still remains the best policy”!” Twitter users have since hailed his action and flooded his tweet with congrats and thumbs up. The bank on their part described him as ‘one rare diamond.’ This has been resolved. You are one rare Diamond #Keepshinning— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) August 15, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Twitter users slam calls for prosecution of defected Al-Shabaab chief http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/twitter-users-slam-calls-for-prosecution-of-defected-al-shabaab-chief/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/twitter-users-slam-calls-for-prosecution-of-defected-al-shabaab-chief/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:43:57 +0000 The recent defection of a one-time deputy leader of insurgent group Al-Shabaab, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, has split opinion over whether he should be prosecuted by the Somali government. Robow in a media engagement in the capital, Mogadishu, on Tuesday called for other militants to quit the group. “I left al Shabaab because of misunderstanding, and I disagreed with their creed which does not serve Islamic religion, people and the country,” he said. But the call for him to be prosecuted started from a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch group. It has split views on Twitter with most responders slamming HRW for the call. “International law prohibits amnesties for those responsible for grave abuses. Mukhtar Robow had a leadership role in Al-Shabaab at a time when we documented indiscriminate attacks on civilians, forced recruitment of children, and other abuses against residents under the group’s control,” Laeticia Bader said. “Somalia’s government needs to investigate Robow’s role and ensure that those responsible for the worst abuses aren’t able to escape just punishment,” the HRW researcher added. Her post has come under critique from a section of people responding to her position. Whiles some asked that HRW should equally call for justice on wesetrn leaders who also superinted over similar abuses elsewhere, others also slammed the idea of international law. Clean up your house first. Investigate Bush, Blair, Netanyahu etc who killed millions. Western double standards at its best.— Jaale Roozy (@Jeneraali) August 15, 2017 Human Rights my foot. If under amnesty call many can surrender why not. If peace is restored Human rights crusaders will be jobless— #MohammedHersi (@mohammedhersi) August 15, 2017 “International Law” issa joke! Better we deal with the enemies we know.— Munasar Jamal (@MunasarJamal) August 15, 2017 Amnesty for those who turn themselves in is better in the long run than retributive justice .— Mohamed Yussuf (@myuss27) August 15, 2017 Have u Ever seen, What is going on Gazza Daily killing abusing even Prayers!! Did you said anything about it?!— MOHAMED DEEROW (@MohamedDeerow) August 15, 2017 Human Rights Watch should investigate AMISON for their abuses including SEX CRIMES.— Bashir N. Ali (@daba_gooye) August 15, 2017 This is a Somali affair.human rights watch stay out. Let’s look at the bigger picture.— Mohamed Abdow Ali (@MohamedAbdowa14) August 15, 2017 The HRW position, however, got a few persons backing the need for prosecution to soothe the pain of families that lost loved ones during attacks commandeered by Robow. I agree with themThere r so many famil that have lost their children and realtives,the govt have to be a voice for those that have lost fam— Samira Taako (@M1Samira) August 15, 2017 Bush&Blair do Not concern us, the question is: did Robow commit crimes? If yes, Let him face justice.— Ali Hassan (@dakarre) August 16, 2017 Thank you madam. This guys has thousands innocent bloods in his hands. More concerning is our government providing him a room at state house— Codka Shacabka (@Codka_Bulshada) August 15, 2017 Robow fell out with al Shabaab in 2013, keeping a low profile in the jungles with his forces until defecting last week. The Islamists have launched multiple attacks to try kill or capture him. Robow’s defection comes two months after the United States removed a $5 million reward for his capture and took him off its list of sponsors of terrorism. It was not immediately clear if the timing of the defection was linked. The defection, however, it could give pro-government forces more freedom to operate in the regions of Bay and Bakool, cutting al Shabaab’s operational territory in two. Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab were forced out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011. They have also since lost nearly all other territory they previously held after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers. The group still remains a formidable threat and frequently carries out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against both military, African union forces and civilian targets. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Pics of the day: August 15th, 2017 http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/pics-of-the-day-august-15th-2017/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/pics-of-the-day-august-15th-2017/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:19:53 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Sierra Leone mudslide deaths hitting 400: chief coroner confirms http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/sierra-leone-mudslide-deaths-hitting-400-chief-coroner-confirms/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/sierra-leone-mudslide-deaths-hitting-400-chief-coroner-confirms/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:16:20 +0000 Rescue workers have uncovered nearly 400 bodies so far from a mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, its chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya told Reuters on Tuesday. He said that he expected at least 500 bodies to be uncovered as the search continues. A national emergency has since been declared by the government. The heavy flooding of Sunday evening into Monday that caused the deaths and extensive infrastructure damage is thought to be Africa’s worst in 20 years, and the country’s president has appealed for international help. “And in the worst case there was a landslide which took away a whole section of the hill, just taking homes and families with it as well. So there have just been hundreds of bodies coming out of the dirt. “Contamination is an issue we worry about here. Cholera is something the country has faced in the past, so we are trying to provide safe water and look after particularly the children who could be particularly vulnerable,” head of communications at UNICEF, John James said. Some 600 people are unaccounted for and are feared dead The country is not even half way through the rainy season. Cairo's dogs receive home cooked food [The Morning Call] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/cairo-s-dogs-receive-home-cooked-food-the-morning-call/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/cairo-s-dogs-receive-home-cooked-food-the-morning-call/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:57:31 +0000 Hungry hounds in Egypt’s capital are enjoying a new doggy delivery service inspired by falling imports of their usual canned food. Omar Tharwat, a political writer, started the new service from his kitchen after realising that the meals he prepared for his own pooches might appeal to a wider audience. His home-cooked meals for dogs, delivered right to the door, help meet a new demand created by a shortage of foreign currency and an increase on tariffs of hundreds of products, that has not only raised prices but has decreased the quantity of products imported. Zimbabwe’s powerful and controversial First Lady: Grace Mugabe http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zimbabwes-powerfully-controversial-first-lady-grace-mugabe/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zimbabwes-powerfully-controversial-first-lady-grace-mugabe/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:57:50 +0000 After picking a male president, countries are ‘gifted’ with First Ladies – presidential spouses who must have traversed the country with their husbands in search of the mandate. Even though their role is largely not constitutional, most of them have offices tied to the presidency. Different countries have to deal with the unofficial civil servants for the right and wrong reasons. The personality under the purview of this piece is Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe. She is often in the media for strictly controversial reasons – from the political, legal, medical and human right angles – Grace always makes the news. Her latest media blitz is connected with a bloody assault on a 20-year-old South African model who was said to be hanging out with the First Lady’s two sons. Here are 10 top facts about the powerfully controversial Grace Mugabe 1. Born July 23, 1965 in South Africa – the 52-year-old has been married to Mugabe since 1996. The lavish marriage ceremony was attended by Mandela. 2. She is leader of the women’s wing of the ruling Zanu-pf party. She is thought to wield a lot of political power in the party. 3. Grace is almost a constant presence in Mugabe’s public outings – be it at political rallies, travels, national celebrations etc. 4. She has three children with the 93-year-old husband – they are: Bona Mugabe, Robert Peter Mugabe Jr., Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe. Russell Goreraza is a son she had in her previous marriage. 5. Mugabe married her four years after his first wife died, at the time she was one of his secretaries. Reports indicate that she had two kids for Mugabe before their marriage. Who is Robert Mugabe: Profile ‘I have developed a thick skin, I don’t even care. My husband says ignorance is bliss,’ she told the South African Broadcasting Corporation in an interview about public perception over her words and actions. 6. She has a number of cases in court but has hardly appeared in person for hearings. The most recent is tied to her seizure of properties of a businessman over a diamond ring case. 7. Grace is reputed to be one who loves fashion and is accused of splashing tax payers’ money in funding her extravagant lifestyle. The African First Lady: Powers behind presidential performances? 8. She can at best be described as a firebrand politician who chides people she perceives to be eyeing her husband’s seat. She has said she was already president in her current capacity as First Lady. 9. Dr Grace Mugabe as she is known, ‘earned’ her doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe – but under controversial circumstances. The media reported that she earned the title after just three months of enrollment. 10. Some negative local nicknames given to her include: ‘Gucci Grace,’ ‘the First Shopper,’ ‘DisGrace,’ the nicer ones include: ‘Dr Amai,’ – meaning Doctor Mother, ‘unifier,’ and ‘queen of queens.’ Her physical attack on the South African model is not the first such. In 2009, she punched a British photographer in Hong Kong for taking pictures of her at a hotel. Some first ladies are politically vibrant, others are barely seen. Their umbrella body – the Organization of African First Ladies Against AIDS (OAFLA) is what usually brings them together more often than not on sidelines of African Union summits. [Photos] African first ladies meet at A.U. summit Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ethiopia human rights group puts spotlight on abuses in prisons [Video] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/ethiopia-human-rights-group-puts-spotlight-on-abuses-in-prisons-video/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/ethiopia-human-rights-group-puts-spotlight-on-abuses-in-prisons-video/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:40:32 +0000 The Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) has shone light on instances of rights abuses in the country’s prisons. EHRP used the story of a young woman, Nigist Yirga, who has been held by authorities since 2015 for participating in anti-government protests that hit the East African country. Nigist – born and raised in the northern Gonder region said her only crime was for participating in peaceful demonstrations of July 2015. ‘I was arrested due to my participation in the protest. ‘I expressed my objections to the mass arrest and killings that was happening all over the country, which was why I took part in the protest. That led to my imprisonment,’ she added. She discloses further that after arrest, she was sent to a detention center in the capital Addis Ababa – over 730km from Gondar. She was held in the Meakelawi facility which is notorious for widespread torture. She chronicled how she was held incommunicado in Addis Ababa – an extremely cold cell with late night interrogations were some of the horrors she faced. She told how her hair and toe nails were pulled whiles she stood naked in front of male officers. The 3 minutes 44 seconds cartooned video clip posted on Youtube said she was currently being held at the Kality prison where a certain degree of abuses continue among others: highly restricted visits which last 30 minutes. ‘I should not have suffered all these because I exercised my right,’ she concluded. It is not known when and how the story of Yirga was documented. The EHRP is a non-governmental organization whose vision is ‘the amplification of Ethiopian Human Rights Voices,’ its website says. ‘Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) understands the challenges that local civil societies in Ethiopia face and their limitations to engage on rights advocacy because of the restrictive environment in which they operate in,’ they added. Video: Rights Violation in Custody – A story of Activist Nigist Yirga .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban DRC: new opposition movement from Sindika Dokolo [The Morning Call] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/drc-new-opposition-political-movement-from-sindika-dokolo-the-morning-call/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/drc-new-opposition-political-movement-from-sindika-dokolo-the-morning-call/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:57:27 +0000 Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo, who is the son-in-law of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is launching a citizen movement against DRC’s embattled leader Joseph Kabila. What consequences can this political entry have on relations between Angola’s outgoing leader Dos Santos and Congo’s troubled leader Joseph Kabila? We find out in the programme. Zambian opposition leader freed, treason charges dropped http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zambian-opposition-leader-freed-treason-charges-dropped/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zambian-opposition-leader-freed-treason-charges-dropped/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:05:42 +0000 Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was freed by a judge on Wednesday after the state prosecutor dropped charges against him of plotting to overthrow the government. Hichilema and five others were arrested in April and charged with treason after his convoy failed to make way for President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade. His release could help defuse tensions in the southern African country, where Lungu imposed a state of emergency in July. “The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) has decided to terminate these proceedings by virtue of her constitutional powers. Therefore, you’re hereby discharged,” said high court judge Charles Chanda. The case has heightened political friction in Zambia, seen as one of Africa’s more stable democracies, after a bruising election last year in which Lungu’s Patriotic Front defeated Hichilema’s United Party for National Development. Hichilema, an economist and businessman widely known by his initials HH, mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge claiming the poll was rigged. Government and legal sources had told Reuters on Sunday that Zambia’s government would drop the treason charges against Hichilema and free him from prison under a deal brokered by the Commonwealth secretary-general. Reuters Egypt's Al-sisi to visit Chad [The Morning Call] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/egypt-s-al-sisi-to-visit-chad-the-morning-call/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/egypt-s-al-sisi-to-visit-chad-the-morning-call/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:57:29 +0000 Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-sisi to visit Chad in four African countries tour. Fight against terrorism, regional stability, among others to be discussed in Chad. We find out more about that visit. Zambia govt drops treason charges against main opposition chief, Hichilema http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zambia-govt-drops-treason-charges-against-main-opposition-chief-hakainde/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/zambia-govt-drops-treason-charges-against-main-opposition-chief-hakainde/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:51:26 +0000 Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available. 27 killed, over 80 wounded in suicide bomb attack in Nigeria's northeast http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/27-killed-over-80-wounded-in-suicide-bomb-attack-in-nigeria-s-northeast/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/16/27-killed-over-80-wounded-in-suicide-bomb-attack-in-nigeria-s-northeast/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:16:03 +0000 Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed at least 27 people and wounded 83 in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, local sources said. A woman bomber blew herself up and killed 27 others at a market in the village of Konduga near Maiduguri, the epicentre of the conflict between government forces and the Islamist Boko Haram insurgents, according to a village head and an official from a regional militia. Two suicide bombers also blew themselves up at the gates to a nearby refugee camp, with no others killed but many injured, said an emergency service official. Who is Abubakar Shekau? Boko Haram’s elusive factional leader REUTERS Mugabe's wife returns to Zimbabwe after assault accusation http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/mugabe-s-wife-returns-to-zimbabwe-after-assault-accusation/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/mugabe-s-wife-returns-to-zimbabwe-after-assault-accusation/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:47:25 +0000 Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, returned to her homeland on Tuesday from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to South African police to face charges of assaulting a woman in Johannesburg. “Yes, she is back in the country. We don’t know where this issue of assault charges is coming from,” said a senior Zimbabwean government official, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media. Hours ahead of her return, the South African police said they were negotiating for her to hand herself over. According to an earlier statement by South Africa’s police minister Fikile Mbalula, Grace Mugabe handed herself over to the police on Tuesday and will be charged with assault. “She is not under arrest because she cooperated and handed herself over to the police. But a case has been opened,” the minister said without further details. There is no official statement from the Zimbabwean authorities since the news of the alleged assault broke on Monday. The 20-year-old victim of the alleged assault, Gabriella Engels, posted a picture of her injuries on Twitter on Monday evening saying she was beat up with her two friends in the hotel room after one of Mugabe’s sons ran away and the other was taken out of the room. “Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it,” she tweeted with references to Mrs Mugabe’s bodyguards. Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it https://t.co/FXdYafh3pm— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 “She split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” she explained with a picture showing a deep cut on her forehead. I have to more injuries at the back of my head pic.twitter.com/fz3olUz9tN— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 While Gabriella was tweeting the version of her story, Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF posted her picture saying she attacked the first lady. “We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades,” they tweeted. We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades. pic.twitter.com/3VCyfsY8vB— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) August 14, 2017 Mugabe’s sons, Robert Peter Mugabe Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe are well-known for throwing parties and living in luxury apartments. They were thrown out of their apartment in Dubai and also evicted from a Johannesburg apartment for several disturbances including an alleged brawl. They study at the University of Johannesburg. Ismail Akwei Kenyan baby girl dies days after "teargassed and beaten by police" http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/kenyan-baby-girl-dies-days-after-teargassed-and-beaten-by-police/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/kenyan-baby-girl-dies-days-after-teargassed-and-beaten-by-police/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:54:03 +0000 A six-month-old girl has died in Kenya, her doctor told Reuters on Tuesday, after her parents said she was teargassed and clubbed by police in a security crackdown following last week’s disputed elections. Samantha Pendo had been asleep in her mother’s arms when police forced their way into their home and beat her and her parents as they searched for protesters, her parents said. Police have said they are investigating the incident in the western city of Kisumu. According to the mother police lobbed tear gas cannisters into their home at 2am on Saturday during house-to-house raids following the post-election protests. “One of the guy beat me and the other one came with that stick on them, hit the baby. Then I left the baby off of my hand because she did not cry, I did not feel any movement with the baby. I said screaming, she was dead,” said Lenzer Achieng mother to the infant. The infant’s story emerged on Saturday morning as police denied claims of using excessive force to quell protests. “At the time of admission the child was critically ill and had already lapsed into coma. So we did what we are supposed to do and we admitted the baby into ICU where she remains quite sick, quite, still critical. The medical team is doing its best in terms of turning this baby around, but she remains quite critical,” said Aga Khan Hospital’s medical director, Dr Sam Oula. Meanwhile, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission had claimed that 24 people had been killed in the chaos in Nairobi and Kisumu. Reuters Zambian president legalises HIV testing without informed consent http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zambia-s-president-legalises-hiv-testing-without-informed-consent/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zambia-s-president-legalises-hiv-testing-without-informed-consent/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:27:26 +0000 Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday announced the legalisation of HIV testing and treatment in all hospitals without informed consent of patients. He made the announcement during the inaugural launch of a HIV campaign in the capital Lusaka. #HIV Testing, Counseling and Treatment is now COMPULSORY in #Zambia! #EndAIDS— Edgar Chagwa Lungu (@EdgarCLungu) August 15, 2017 “Just the same way we don’t consult you for consent when we are testing for Malaria, we will go ahead and test you for HIV and we will counsel you and if you are positive, we will commence treatment,” he said. “I must admit that there were some colleagues who felt that this policy would infringe on human rights but then, no one has the right take away somebody’s life,” he was quoted by local media portal Lusaka Times. President Lungu also launched the HIV Testing, Counselling and Treatment Day which will be observed nationwide to help end the AIDS disease in the country. The government is pushing to fulfil its agenda of ending AIDS by 2030. Laws in many country offer rights to adults to refuse medical testing or treatment for any reason. Doctors are also ethically bound to obtain informed consent before testing patients, discuss treatment options in understandable terms and respect their patient’s choices. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS also oppose mandatory HIV testing and promotes voluntary counselling and testing. Ismail Akwei First African baby born using rare, low-cost IVF technique [Hi-Tech] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/first-african-baby-born-using-rare-low-cost-ivf-technique-hi-tech/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/first-african-baby-born-using-rare-low-cost-ivf-technique-hi-tech/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:25:32 +0000 A rare type of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) called The Walking Egg (TWE) technology has been used to produce a baby in Ghana. The healthy 3.3-kilogramme baby boy was delivered last week after using the low cost alternative of the expensive IVF methods available. The parents of the baby were childless for eight years and had been unsuccessful with the technology twice. This third successful attempt at a hospital in the capital Accra, made Ghana the first country in Africa to produce a baby through this technology. The Walking Egg technology is another artificial fertility method that enables the fertilisation of the sperm and egg outside the human body for about two to five days. The fertilised egg is then placed back into the womb for the natural gestation period. This technology was developed in 2014 by Belgian fertility specialist Professor Dr. Willem Ombelet and his team of fertility experts at the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology in Belgium. The professor’s aim for developing this revolutionary technology was to help couples with fertility issues in developing countries where resources are unavailable. So far, 89 healthy babies have been born using the method in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The Walking Egg technology was introduced in Ghana in 2015 after a fertility conference. Currently, the second African baby from this technology will soon be born by another Ghanaian woman who is 7 months pregnant. The professor said in a statement that he has encountered administrative setbacks in launching the technology in Africa. He noted some of the challenges including, accreditation from authorities, high import duties on equipment, and opposition from conventional IVF institutions. The Walking Egg technology costs less than one-third, the cost of a conventional IVF. Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more. Kenyan government threatens to close down two rights organisations http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/kenya-government-threatens-to-close-down-two-rights-organisations/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/kenya-government-threatens-to-close-down-two-rights-organisations/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:23:35 +0000 The Kenyan government is trying to shut down a rights group and a pro-democracy organisation who have raised queries over last week’s disputed presidential election, officials from the organisations said on Tuesday. Official letters from the NGO Board – the government-run body that registers and regulates NGOs – to the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) said the two organisations risked punishment for administrative and tax reasons. International and domestic observers have said the election process was largely free and fair, but opposition leader Raila Odinga has disputed the official results, which show incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won by a margin of 1.4 million votes. The NGO Board did not return calls or emails seeking comment and Reuters reporters were not permitted to enter its offices. Mwenda Njoka, a spokesman for the interior minister, said the letters, circulating on social media, were genuine. Africog and KNRC said they had not received any official communication. “This is an attack on any kind of independent voice,” said Gladwell Otieno, the executive director of Africog. Otieno repeatedly raised concerns about what she described as insufficient preparations by the election board in the run-up to last Tuesday’s elections, when Kenyans chose a new president, lawmakers and local representatives. Both organisations also expressed public concern over the unsolved torture and murder of a key election official a week before the vote. Odinga has not yet provided any evidence of rigging but is due to address the nation on Tuesday. His rejection of results triggered demonstrations and a deadly crackdown by police in his strongholds, including Nairobi slums and the western city of Kisumu. George Kegoro, the head of KHRC, said his organisation was compliant with all laws and was being targeted for political reasons. He denied they had failed to pay taxes, operated “illegal” bank accounts or employed foreigners without work permits. “If you operate in the kind of environment we do, we have to be compliant. The rules are a drag but we observe them,” he said. His organisation had already successfully defended itself in High Court against the same accusations, he said, making the new letter threatening de-registraton “a travesty of justice”. “We think its got to do with the politics of the season. We’ve played a leadership role in organising civil society participation in this election. They (the government) don’t like that.” Otieno said her organisation did not fall under rules governing non-governmental organisations and was properly registered. Njoka denied the organisations were being politically targeted and said “there were some issues with their auditing and accounting … If they give good accounts they may not be de-registered.” Reuters Bird flu spreads in South Africa's Western Cape province http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/bird-flu-spreads-in-south-africa-s-western-cape-province/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/bird-flu-spreads-in-south-africa-s-western-cape-province/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:22:45 +0000 South Africa’s Western Cape has detected type H5N8 bird flu on two ostrich farms, the province’s agriculture department said on Tuesday. The virus is highly pathogenic in birds but considered unlikely to infect humans. “Both farms were placed under quarantine immediately, and no birds are allowed to enter or leave the affected properties. There are around 1000 ostriches on both farms,” the department said in a statement. No bird deaths have been reported in the area and it is suspected that wild birds are the source of the infection, the department added. The World Health Organization says the likelihood of human infection with H5N8 appears to be low, but that it cannot be excluded. Reuters Zimbabwe's Vice President Mnangagwa hospitalised in South Africa http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zimbabwe-s-vice-president-mnangagwa-hospitalised-in-south-africa/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zimbabwe-s-vice-president-mnangagwa-hospitalised-in-south-africa/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:08:13 +0000 Zimbabwe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a possible successor to 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, is recovering in a South African hospital after he fell ill and was airlifted from Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa, 74, was absent from celebrations on Monday to mark Heroes Day in the capital Harare. “He is not back yet from hospital in Johannesburg,” Mugabe said during his speech at the national Heroes Acre, announcing that Mnangagwa was unwell. He did not give details. Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told reporters after the speech that Mnangagwa was feeling “much better”. Asked whether Mnangagwa would be discharged soon, he said “yes, he is well, I spoke to him this morning.” Mnangagwa and Pelekezela Mphoko are Mugabe’s vice presidents in the ruling ZANU-PF party and government but the former is seen as the likely successor following elevation to the post in 2014. The issue of who will succeed Mugabe has deeply divided the ruling party into two factions — one supporting Mnangagwa, the other Mugabe’s wife Grace. Parirenyatwa said Mnangagwa had severe vomiting and diarrhoea and several tests had been conducted in Zimbabwe before he was airlifted to South Africa, which has better medical facilities. “He preferred to go there for his doctors. Some of his doctors are in South Africa, so we sent him there,” he said. Local private media reported that Mnangagwa had suffered suspected food poisoning. Nicknamed “Crocodile” in the Shona language, Mnangagwa was appointed after the sacking of Joice Mujuru, who had held the position for 10 years. Mujuru has since formed a party that is part of a coalition to challenge Mugabe. Reuters Rescue workers recover 270 bodies from Sierra Leone mudslide http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/rescue-workers-recover-270-bodies-from-sierra-leone-mudslide/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/rescue-workers-recover-270-bodies-from-sierra-leone-mudslide/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:04:53 +0000 Rescue workers have recovered 270 bodies so far from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown and the search continues for more, the mayor said on Tuesday. Dozens of houses were covered in mud when a mountainside collapsed in the town of Regent on Monday morning, one of the deadliest natural disasters in Africa in recent years. “We have a total of 270 corpses which we are now preparing for burial,” Freetown mayor Sam Gibson told reporters outside city hall. A mass burial today will free up space for more bodies in the central morgue, which is overloaded, a Reuters witness said. President Ernest Bai Koroma urged residents of Regent and other flooded areas around Freetown to evacuate immediately so that military personnel and other rescue workers could continue to search for survivors that might be buried underneath debris. Rescue centres have been set up around the capital to register and assist victims, he said in a television address on Monday evening. Reuters Seven killed after machine gun attack on UN base in Mali http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/seven-killed-after-machine-gun-attack-on-un-base-in-mali/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/seven-killed-after-machine-gun-attack-on-un-base-in-mali/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:18:49 +0000 Gunmen attacked a United Nations peacekeeping base in the northern Mali city of Timbuktu on Monday, officials said, killing seven people, including five Malian security guards, a gendarme and civilian. “An attack has been launched against one of our camps in Timbuktu (by) unknown men with machine guns,” Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission, said earlier by telephone, adding that it had deployed a rapid response force with helicopters to the scene. Mali’s army spokesman Selon Diaran Kone said the incident was now over, as the assailants had been repelled and four of them killed. In another incident on Monday, armed men opened fire on U.N. peacekeepers and Malian troops in Douentza, in central Mali. A U.N. spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, said a peacekeeper was killed during the clash, without giving further details. Islamist militants frequently target the U.N. peacekeeping mission, and more than 100 peacekeepers have been killed, making it the most deadly U.N. mission to date. Militants killed three United Nations peacekeepers in a attack outside their base in Kidal in northern Mali in June. Reuters Defected al Shabaab leader calls on militants to leave group http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/defected-al-shabaab-leader-calls-on-militants-to-leave-group/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/defected-al-shabaab-leader-calls-on-militants-to-leave-group/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:00:51 +0000 The one-time deputy leader of Somali Islamist militants al Shabaab called on Tuesday for others to quit the group following his defection to the government side in Mogadishu. Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, who was also al Shabaab’s spokesman, said the group did not represent the interests of those it claimed to. “I left al Shabaab because of misunderstanding, and I disagreed with their creed which does not serve Islamic religion, people and the country,” he said. Robow fell out with al Shabaab in 2013, keeping a low profile in the jungles with his forces until defecting last week. The Islamists have launched multiple attacks to try kill or capture him. “I urge the militants to leave al Shabaab,” Robow told reporters at a heavily guarded hotel in Mogadishu. He took no questions. Robow’s defection comes two months after the United States removed a $5 million reward for his capture and took him off its list of sponsors of terrorism. It was not immediately clear if the timing of the defection was linked. The defection, however, it could give pro-government forces more freedom to operate in the regions of Bay and Bakool, cutting al Shabaab’s operational territory in two. Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab were forced out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011. They have also since lost nearly all other territory they previously held after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers. The group still remains a formidable threat and frequently carries out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against both military, African union forces and civilian targets. Reuters Grace Mugabe to hand herself over to police, faces assault charge http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/grace-mugabe-hands-herself-over-to-police-faces-assault-charge/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/grace-mugabe-hands-herself-over-to-police-faces-assault-charge/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:11:31 +0000 Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe is expected to be charged with assault after allegedly beating up a model who was in the company of her sons in a hotel room in Johannesburg. The South African police say they are negotiating for her to hand herself over, reports say. According to an earlier statement by South Africa’s police minister Fikile Mbalula, Grace Mugabe handed herself over to the police on Tuesday and will be charged with assault. “She is not under arrest because she cooperated and handed herself over to the police. But a case has been opened,” the minister said without further details. There is no official statement from the Zimbabwean authorities since the news of the alleged assault broke on Monday. The 20-year-old victim of the alleged assault, Gabriella Engels, posted a picture of her injuries on Twitter on Monday evening saying she was beat up with her two friends in the hotel room after one of Mugabe’s sons ran away and the other was taken out of the room. “Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it,” she tweeted with references to Mrs Mugabe’s bodyguards. Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it https://t.co/FXdYafh3pm— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 “She split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” she explained with a picture showing a deep cut on her forehead. I have to more injuries at the back of my head pic.twitter.com/fz3olUz9tN— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 While Gabriella was tweeting the version of her story, Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF posted her picture saying she attacked the first lady. “We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades,” they tweeted. We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades. pic.twitter.com/3VCyfsY8vB— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) August 14, 2017 Mugabe’s sons, Robert Peter Mugabe Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe are well-known for throwing parties and living in luxury apartments. They were thrown out of their apartment in Dubai and also evicted from a Johannesburg apartment for several disturbances including an alleged brawl. They study at the University of Johannesburg. Ismail Akwei Infant among scores injured after Kenya post-election riots http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/infant-among-scores-injured-after-kenya-post-election-riots/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/infant-among-scores-injured-after-kenya-post-election-riots/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:00:52 +0000 A six-month-old baby whom doctors say is in critical condition after being allegedly hit by a police officer in Kenya’s Kisumu County is among scores injured following protests against the presidential election results announced on Friday. According to the mother police lobbed tear gas cannisters into their home at 2am on Saturday during house-to-house raids following post-election protests. “One of the guy beat me and the other one came with that stick on them, hit the baby. Then I left the baby off of my hand because she did not cry, I did not feel any movement with the baby. I said screaming, she was dead,” said Lenzer Achieng mother to the infant. The infants story emerged on Saturday morning as police denied claims of using excessive force to quell protests. “At the time of admission the child was critically ill and had already lapsed into coma. So we did what we are supposed to do and we admitted the baby into ICU where she remains quite sick, quite, still critical. The medical team is doing its best in terms of turning this baby around, but she remains quite critical,” said Aga Khan Hospital’s medical director, Dr Sam Oula. Meanwhile, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission had claimed that 24 people had been killed in the chaos in Nairobi and Kisumu. Reuters Mauritius leading Africa in mobile connectivity - GSMA ranking http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/mauritius-leading-africa-in-mobile-connectivity-gsma-ranking/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/mauritius-leading-africa-in-mobile-connectivity-gsma-ranking/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:01:45 +0000 Mauritius came first in Africa in the mobile connectivity index compiled by GSMA, the global mobile operators Association. The Island nation that is number 76 world over, is followed by South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, all in the top five positions in telecommunication operations ratings. The ranking features 41 African countries. Internet accessibility, prices of mobile devices, relevant services and political enviroment are among the factors the Association considered to determine the rankings. This criteria allowed scores to be awarded from 0 to 100 points. Mauritius took the first place with 62.7 points. Malawi, Guinea Conakry, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger are among the last. This is the third consecutive year that Mauritius is leading in terms of mobile connectivity in Africa. Raziah Athman Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema pleads not guilty to treason charges http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zambia-s-opposition-leader-hakainde-hichilema-pleads-not-guilty-to-treason/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zambia-s-opposition-leader-hakainde-hichilema-pleads-not-guilty-to-treason/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:53:11 +0000 Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has denied plotting to overthrow the government when he appeared in a Lusaka court on Monday. The case has stoked political tensions in the country after Hichilema and five others were arrested in April. Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti told a media briefing that the image of Zambia was being soiled on the international community by political events happening at the moment. “The recent events we find them very retrogressive. We find them as a reversal of the progressive gains that Zambia has made over the years. We find it regrettable that, suddenly, Zambia is now known for the wrong reasons,” said Tendai. The opposition has been saying that the government has been becoming increasingly dictatorial. “The main and important reason why we’re here is to pledge our solidarity to our sister party, the UPND, that we are with you, that we understand and acknowledge that no party is an island,” said Steven Mokgalapa, South Africa’s Democratic Alliance Representative. In July, President Edgar Lungu imposed a state of emergency to deal with what he called acts of sabotage by the opposition including a string of arson attacks. “The banning of political newspapers, the incarceration of opposition, political violence, the imposition of a state of emergency, the judgement of African leaders and visitors in your country — we think that it is unacceptable,” Tendai said. Reuters Senegalese singer released after 10 days in prison http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/senegalese-singer-released-after-10-days-in-prison/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/senegalese-singer-released-after-10-days-in-prison/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:59:42 +0000 Senegalese singer Amy Colle Dieng , has been released after spending ten days in prison, for offending president Macky Sall. Her freedom is temporary as the case in which she is charged with ‘offense against the head of state’ may still see her jailed for up to three years. The singer was arrested after broadcasting a sound recording in which she criticizes the Senegalese president, describing him as a ‘sneaky lizard’. A #Senegalese musician Amy Colle Dieng has been charged to court for “offending the president and spreading fake news”, thru wattsaap. pic.twitter.com/7Xn2W7vamk— Alpha Kamara (@AlphaKamara4) August 10, 2017 Senegal continues a crack down on free speech, political criticism: https://t.co/SjxD98rPkZ— Andrew Lebovich (@tweetsintheME) August 9, 2017 Dieng’s case has stained the country’s image, often presented as a model of democracy on the African continent. A few months ago, four people were charged for defaming president Macky Sall. These arrests revive the debate on the existence of a law on offense to the head of state in Senegal. Raziah Athman Scientists research on Cancer lead to discovery on Scorpion [The Morning Call] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/scientists-research-on-cancer-lead-to-discovery-on-scorpion-the-morning-call/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/scientists-research-on-cancer-lead-to-discovery-on-scorpion-the-morning-call/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:39:14 +0000 Though its research was on cancer, scientists at a Moroccan university have found a safer way to milk one of the world’s deadliest creatures. They have devised a “scorpion tracing device” that safely and quickly extracts scorpion venom. The remote-controlled robot, called VES-4, straps the scorpion’s tail and uses electricity to stimulate the venom glands to release poison, which is then safely stored. Over 200 deaths recorded in Sierra Leone mudslide [The Morning Call] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/over-200-deaths-recorded-in-sierra-leone-mudslide-the-morning-call/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/over-200-deaths-recorded-in-sierra-leone-mudslide-the-morning-call/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:58:59 +0000 Recovery and rescue operations continue in Sierra Leone as hundreds die in mudslide, following days of heavy rains in the capital, Freetown. We speak with Africanews journalist in Freetown to hear more on this story. CHINA- US Trade: Beijing to retaliate Trump's inquiry http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/august-15-353825597/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/august-15-353825597/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:13:14 +0000 Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available. US rejects allegations of supporting a candidate in Kenya's polls http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/us-rejects-allegations-of-supporting-a-candidate-in-kenya-s-polls/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/us-rejects-allegations-of-supporting-a-candidate-in-kenya-s-polls/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:30:03 +0000 The United States has rejected allegations on social media saying it supported the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta to avert violence in the country. The U.S. embassy in Kenya’s capital Nairobi described an alleged confidential document widely spread on social media to support the claim as fake. “The US never supported one party or candidate in #ElectionsKE. Alleged Embassy document is fake. We call for all violence to end now,” the embassy said on Monday. The US never supported one party or candidate in #ElectionsKE. Alleged Embassy document is fake. We call for all violence to end now. pic.twitter.com/vwTQDgRL6o— U.S. Embassy Nairobi (@USEmbassyKenya) August 14, 2017 The U.S. government later congratulated President Kenyatta on his reelection but expressed concerns over reports of violence in the country. “U.S. congratulates Kenyan President Kenyatta on his reelection victory, but is troubled by reports of violent demonstration,” a statement from the White House said. President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of the 2017 presidential election after garnering 8,203,290 votes representing 54.27%, and his rival Raila Odinga garnered over 6.7 million votes representing 44.74%. The opposition rejected the results and called for a nationwide shutdown, which was unsuccessful. The election was declared free, fair and transparent by the all the nine election observers in the country including the Carter Centre led by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Click here for all the election news on our Africa Elections page Ismail Akwei Zimbabwe's first lady accused of beating up model who was partying with sons http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zimbabwe-s-first-lady-accused-of-beating-model-partying-with-sons/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/zimbabwe-s-first-lady-accused-of-beating-model-partying-with-sons/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:40:14 +0000 Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe has been accused of beating up a South African model in a Johannesburg hotel leaving her with injuries. The 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels, posted a picture of the alleged assault on Twitter on Monday evening saying she was beat up with her two friends in the hotel room after one of Mugabe’s sons ran away and the other was taken out of the room. “Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it,” she tweeted with references to Mrs Mugabe’s bodyguards. Rob jnr was put out of the hotel room and Bellermine ran away. My two friends and I were beat up in a room with 10+ men leaving her to do it https://t.co/FXdYafh3pm— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 “She split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” she explained with a picture showing a deep cut on her forehead. I have to more injuries at the back of my head pic.twitter.com/fz3olUz9tN— Gah-bee (@DaNamesGaby) August 14, 2017 While Gabriella was tweeting the version of her story, Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF posted her picture saying she attacked the first lady. “We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades,” they tweeted. We can confirm if this is one of the perpetrators who attacked comrade Grace Mugabe. Be careful comrades. pic.twitter.com/3VCyfsY8vB— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) August 14, 2017 No official statement has been made after the incident, but the hotel management confirmed to local media that there was an incident without naming anyone. Gabriella Engels denied sleeping in the room with Mugabe’s sons and threatened to seek justice for the alleged assault. Mugabe’s sons, Robert Peter Mugabe Jr and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe are well-known for throwing parties and living in luxury apartments. They were thrown out of their apartment in Dubai and also evicted from a Johannesburg apartment for several disturbances including an alleged brawl. They study at the University of Johannesburg. Ismail Akwei African Union calls for support for Sierra Leone after deadly mudslide http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/african-union-calls-for-support-for-sierra-leone-after-deadly-mudslide/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/african-union-calls-for-support-for-sierra-leone-after-deadly-mudslide/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:04:49 +0000 The African Union Commission has called on Africans in the continent, diaspora and international partners to support Sierra Leone after at least 312 people died in a mudslide in the capital Freetown on Monday. African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat made the appeal as more than 2,000 people have been left homeless after the heavy flood washed away their homes. He also called for support of the country’s public health system to respond to the disaster. Sierra Leone’s security services and the Red Cross were deployed to locate and rescue citizens trapped in their homes or under rubble. Several bodies were found floating in the flood that is termed as one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the country. It started after torrential rains early Monday morning that washed away mud houses and submerged many at hilltop communities. Ismail Akwei AU, UN condemn Burkina Faso terrorist attack, 3-day mourning declared http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/au-un-condemn-burkina-faso-terrorist-attack-3-day-mourning-declared/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/au-un-condemn-burkina-faso-terrorist-attack-3-day-mourning-declared/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:07:57 +0000 The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have condemned the terrorist attack in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou late Sunday night resulting in the death of 18 people and dozens injured. AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Monday that the AU reaffirms its full solidarity to the people and the Government of Burkina Faso in the face of the terrorist threat. He called on the international community to support the G5-Sahel Joint Force to strengthen security cooperation on the regional level. L’UA condamne fermement l’attaque terroriste á #Ougadougou + témoigne son entière solidarité avec le #BurkinaFaso https://t.co/bOB52ss251— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@MoussaFaki_M) August 14, 2017 The United Nations Secretary-General also condemned the act saying “there can be no justification for such acts of indiscriminate violence”. He also reaffirmed the UN’s “commitment to the countries of the G5 Sahel as they scale up efforts to tackle multiple security challenges in order to promote peace and development in the sub-region.” The overnight attack that occured at a Turkish restaurant in the capital ended Monday morning. Burkinabe President Roch Marc Kabore declared three days of national mourning in the country in honour of the victims. Je décrète un deuil national de 72h suite à l’attentat qui s’est produit à Ouagadougou dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi. pic.twitter.com/PF8L3HHIMx— Roch M. C. KABORE (@rochkaborepf) August 14, 2017 The president said in an earlier statement that the country will continue to fight and to do all it takes to defeat terrorism. Ismail Akwei HIV/AIDS is no more the leading cause of death in Africa http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/hivaids-is-no-more-the-leading-cause-of-death-in-africa/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/hivaids-is-no-more-the-leading-cause-of-death-in-africa/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:07:32 +0000 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its data on global deaths with Africa experiencing a decrease in the recurrent leading causes of death including HIV/AIDS and malaria. The new death statistics researched by African fact-checking organisation, Africa Check, indicated that lifestyle diseases have taken over as the leading causes of death on the continent. Top on the list are lower respiratory tract infections. These are caused by viruses and bacteria that target airways and lungs. The most common diseases under this category is bronchitis or pneumonia which is responsible for 16% of global deaths of children younger than five. HIV/AIDS took the number two position despite the increase in education on prevention and treatment. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus disables the immune system restricting defence against infections. An estimated 760,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS and related complications were recorded in Africa in 2015, against the 1 million deaths in 2010. The third leading cause of death in Africa are diarrhoeal diseases caused by viral, bacterial or parasitic infections. This is the passage of three or more liquid stools per day or more than normal for a person. 88% of deaths in this category worldwide are due to unsafe water, poor sanitation and insufficient hygiene, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the second leading cause of death of children younger than five in Africa. The next leading cause of death is stroke which has increased over the past five years from 406,595 (4.4% of deaths) to 451,000 deaths (4.9%) in 2015. This disease occurs when blood flow to a region of the brain is interrupted by either a clot or bleeding, depriving the body of oxygen and nutrients. The next leading cause of death in Africa is the ischaemic heart disease or commonly known as heart attack. This is the narrowing of the arteries of the heart due to the buildup of plaques causing less oxygen to reach portions of the heart. When fully blocked, damage is caused to the heart and death occurs. In 2010, 389,785 deaths were as a result of heart attack (or 4.2% of total deaths). This increased in 2015 to an estimated 441,000 deaths (or 4.8% of the total). The sixth leading cause of death in Africa is tuberculosis (456,000 or 4.7% of total), followed by malaria (403,000, or 4.4%), preterm birth complications (344,000 or 3.7%), birth asphyxia or trauma (321,000 or 3.5%) and road injury (269,000 or 2.9%). This information includes 2015 WHO data. The estimates are based on the latest available national information on deaths collected from national civil registration systems of deaths, with the underlying cause of death captured by the national authority or partner organisations. Ismail Akwei Sex education in schools sparks debate in conservative Nigeria http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/sex-education-in-schools-sparks-debate-in-conservative-nigeria/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/sex-education-in-schools-sparks-debate-in-conservative-nigeria/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:07:26 +0000 Nigerians are divided on the introduction of the comprehensive sex education (CSE) curriculum in schools to give students an understanding of their sexuality. The West African country is among the most religious countries in the world with 186 million people made up of predominantly Christians and Muslims. With its over 300 tribes, Nigeria is seen as a conservative country. These characteristics influence the divisions on the teaching of sex education in schools. Nigeria has been praised by UNESCO for scaling up and sustaining the comprehensive sex education (CSE) programme in basic schools among a few developing countries in the world. Nigeria’s CSE curriculum is known as family life HIV education and is designed to prevent students from contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIV, reduce teenage pregnancy and lower rates of sexual violence. The CSE brought forth text books for the government and private primary and secondary school students with lessons on abstinence and other sexuality topics. The children are between the ages of eight and 15. One of such books is the Junior Secondary School (JSS 1) Social Studies textbook written by S. O. Omotuyole. This book has been condemned for its content on Page 50 that spells out “ways to give and receive sexual pleasure and develop closeness without sexual intercourse”. Among the answers for the topic on abstinence in the book are: kissing, hugging and the undesirable “mutual masturbation”. One parent, Bello Abdullahi, expressed concern on Facebook about the text book and called on other parents to protect their children and educate them according to the “scriptures”. “We must keep a close watch on what is being taught our children at school and re-educate them in line with scriptures. Please alert other parents and let’s protect our children,” he said. He received a diverse response from the public as some blamed the country’s educational board for the publication while others believe the time is right for sexual education. The NGO Association of Concerned Mothers (ASCOM) has petitioned the Ministry of Education to withdraw the textbook for its “unwholesome and dangerous ideology.” Also, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) launched a campaign in July 2017 against the comprehensive sex education in schools to rather “impact moral values in the children”. Meanwhile, reproductive health body IPAS has supported the introduction of CSE to reduce incidences of rape among children. The Country Director of IPAS Nigeria Hauwa Shekarau said last week that adolescents needs to be equipped with information to prevent them from the various consequences of unprotected sex. “Comprehensive sexuality education is not a taboo. Young people should be able to acquire sex education the appropriate way. If you don’t tell them the right things, they will get the information, whether right or wrong, elsewhere,” she said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday published a report carrying views of education stakeholders on the matter in the North West and North East states of the country. They also expressed diverse views on the teaching of comprehensive sex education (CSE) in schools. Some supported it while others disapproved of it citing religious reasons. “Parents should not hide the truth from their children, but teach them what they need to know based on their level of comprehension and take them gradually as they develop. The rationale is to catch them young and prevent them from getting the wrong information from outsiders who may eventually exploit them,” Okene Oloruwagba, a mother told NAN. “Sex education is an intuitive knowledge and in my opinion government should not introduce sexuality in school curriculum because it will corrupt the minds of teenagers,” Ustaz Abdulrahim Shuaibu, Muslim cleric said. He was supported by a pastor, Ahmadu Samuel, who said: “Teaching children about sexual relationships apart from promoting immorality is like teaching a child to drive a car without explaining the traffic laws.” The debate has heightened and the onus lies in the hands of the government to decide on scrapping sex education in schools, reviewing the policy or maintaining it as it is. Ismail Akwei Why Boko Haram uses more girls for suicide bombing than any other insurgency http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/why-boko-haram-uses-girls-for-suicide-bombing-than-any-other-insurgency/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/why-boko-haram-uses-girls-for-suicide-bombing-than-any-other-insurgency/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:55:50 +0000 Nigerian-based terror group Boko Haram is one of the most deadly terrorist organisations in the world. The group, led by Abubakar Shekau after gaining grounds in 2009, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (IS) in March 2015. It has wings across the Lake Chad Basin region around the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Until 2016, it was named the world’s most deadly terrorist group ahead of ISIS for killing over 6,000 people. Its modus operandi is suicide bombing by strapping bombs on girls and women to target government officials, state institutions and public places. They kidnap women and girls after raids of villages in the northeastern part of Nigeria. The men are either inducted into the group or beheaded. The height of the abductions was in April 2014 when the terrorist group raided raid the dormitories of a girls’ high school at night in the northern town of Chibok. 276 schoolgirls were abducted, 50 managed to escape at the time leaving 219. Another girl escaped in May 2016, 21 girls and a baby were released same year after negotiations. A girl was also found by Nigerian troops on January, 5, 2017, followed by the rescue of another girl in the Sambisa forest where the group is based. A few weeks after marking three years since the girls were abducted, 82 of the girls were released in May, 2017, leaving 113 girls in the hands of the group. A lot of international attention was created for the release of the girls by high-profiled personalities using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirl. Videos released by Boko Haram prove that the girls are safe, yet, hundreds of girls and women detonate bombs regularly in the northeast killing dozens every month. The group started using suicide bombers on April 8, 2011. According to a report released by a U.S. terrorism research institution, Combating Terrorism Center on August 9, Boko Haram has deployed 434 bombers to 247 different targets during 238 suicide-bombing attacks from April 11, 2011, to June 30, 2017. “At least 56% of these bombers were women, and at least 81 bombers were specifically identified as children or teenagers,” the report said, adding that Boko Haram has deployed more female bombers than any other insurgent group in history. It however explains that the group’s suicide bombing is less effective than other suicide bombing groups despite the killing of 1,934 people including 349 bombers during the period. It says women are mostly sent to civilian targets including markets and bus stations due to the lower levels of screening of women by security officials and vigilante groups. Also, more women are used because they are paired in large groups to increase their effectiveness as “the average fatalities per bomber is approximately 4.2 for female bombers and 6.7 per male bomber,” the report said. For the girls and teen suicide bombers, they are used because “they have little agency over their own actions … and are inherently easier to coerce into suicide bombings than adults”. The report also cites drugging of the children prior to suicide bombing and also vulnerability to psychological manipulation. “Another benefit of using children as suicide bombers is that they are difficult to detect and thus effective at penetrating otherwise secure areas … They also serve as a generally costless source of labor and it’s easy to add them to the fold,” it adds. The youngest child used as a suicide bomber was seven years old. The report said that Boko Haram only started using female bombers in 2014 after the Chibok kidnappings. “Through the global response to the Chibok abductions, the insurgency learned the potent symbolic value of young female bodies … that using them as bombers would attract attention and spread pervasive insecurity,” co-author Hilary Matfess told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “I think the media attention and international campaign around the girls motivated Boko Haram … to enact atrocities on women as a means of building its brand,” he added. Another reason it maintained the use of female bombers after 2014 is due to encouragement by the rise of the Islamic State in the Levant, which has featured children in its propaganda, the report added. More than 20,000 people have been killed in the insurgency, and 2.7 million forced to flee their homes across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Nigeria’s war against the insurgency has pushed the group deep into the Sambisa Forest which is regularly attacked by the Nigerian army. Boko Haram still claims dominance despite display of weakness. Ismail Akwei Former Libyan Prime Minister kidnapped in Tripoli http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/former-libyan-prime-minister-kidnapped-in-tripoli/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/15/former-libyan-prime-minister-kidnapped-in-tripoli/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:51:47 +0000 Former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is reported to have been kidnapped on Sunday by unknown gunmen. Local media portal Libya Herald reported that he was abducted at a hotel in central Tripoli. This is the second time he has been kidnapped since 2013 when he was abducted for a few hours as prime minister by the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room. Perpetrators of Sunday’s abduction are unknown. Ismail Akwei Nigeria: Egypt wins international table tennis tournament http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/nigeria-egypt-wins-international-table-tennis-tournament/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/nigeria-egypt-wins-international-table-tennis-tournament/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:53:37 +0000 Egypt has emerged as winner of the 6th edition of an International table tennis tournament which ended over the weekend in Lagos Nigeria. A household name in the game, Assar Omar, defeated Indian-born Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, by 4 sets to 0 to win a 5000 dollar prize. “It is very special for me to play in Lagos, it is a fantastic feeling because there are many spectators and fans of table tennis, then you feel that you must play well here if you want to improve your ranking so I really appreciate coming here every year,“Egyptian winner of the men’s single, Assar Omar said. In the women’s category, Egypt was at the forefront after Dina Meshref won the title. “I am very pleased to have been able to win the tournament this year. The last time I lost. I am very pleased to have been able to compensate for this loss and win this year,” another Egyptian winner of the female single, Dina Meshref said. This year’s edition also included workshops aimed at developing the game on the continent. The training sessions are seen as a necessity. Many spectators deplore the fact that the level of many Africans remains very low in the game as they find it difficult reaching the final. Nigerian table tennis player, Aruna Quadri-the first African to reach the quarter-final during the 2016 Olympic Games, was eliminated by another Nigerian in the quarter-final. The four day tournament brought together players from 22 countries. Elvis Boh Pics of the day: August 14th, 2017 http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/pics-of-the-day-august-14th-2017/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/pics-of-the-day-august-14th-2017/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:50:13 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Pics of the day: August 12th, 2017 http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/pics-of-the-day-august-12th-2017/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/pics-of-the-day-august-12th-2017/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:48:04 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Morocco bids to host the 2026 World Cup [Football Planet] http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/morocco-s-bid-to-host-the-2026-world-cup/ http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/14/morocco-s-bid-to-host-the-2026-world-cup/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:26:56 +0000 This week’s Football Planet focuses on Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup, Aubameyang’s Borussia Dortmund foreign top goal scorer crown and Africa’s training of football youngsters to pick up the relay baton. Morocco has joined the race to host the 2026 World Cup. This is the fifth time Morocco is submitting its candidacy to host the event. What makes the recent bid different from the previous ones and how has the news been received in Morocco? Moroccan journalist, Jamal Waalam will tell us more. Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been voted as highest foreign scorer in the history of German club, Borussia Dortmund helped by the three goals scored during the German cup. This places him ahead of runners-up Swiss player Stéphane Chapuisat. How is Africa grooming youngsters to shine in football when the opportunity comes? We will take a look at how things are done in Burkina Faso and the Mauritius Island. Watch this week’s edition of Football Planet for more.