Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:36:38 +0000Supporters of exiled Gambian president hope for his return years after his ouster from power, supporters of Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh still hold him in high esteem and continue to dream of his eventual return. Jammeh left the country in January 2017 accepting an offer to live in Equatorial Guinea after losing the 2016 elections. He conceded defeat in the December 2016 polls before attempting to overturn the results citing irregularities. Talk of his return has routinely popped up in the West African country where he is wanted to respond to accusations of corruption and human rights abuses. The party he led to govern for over two decades, APRC, has routinely accused the government of president Admama Barrow of unjustly demonizing Jammeh despite his absence. One of his supporters said: “He is the only president who can develop the country, he is the only president whom you know that, when we speak with him he will know what we are talking about, he will understand what we are talking about.” Fabakary Tombong Jatta, APRC party head stressed Jammeh’s right to return but does not give specifics: “He has the right to come back and he will come back inshallah, he will soon come back, it’s just a matter of time. But he is almost on the way coming.” Gambia has set up a truth, reconciliation and reparations commission to investigate crimes committed under the Jammeh regime. It has heard shocking testimonies, including from hit-men who say they carried out dozens of murders for the regime. But Jammeh’s supporters reject these accusations. With evidence against his regime continuing to stack up, if Jammeh ever does decide to return to Gambia, he would almost certainly be risking prosecution.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:36:38 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) attack on Somalia military base claims 5 lives a day after a terrorist attack on the presidential palace and a popular hotel in Somalia was foiled, a new attack was launched on an army base in north of the capital Mogadishu, according to reports. Five people were killed, and two injured in the Al-Shabaab attack on Hilweyne military base, on Wednesday evening. Local sources said a military officer and four civilians died in the attack. The militants burned two vehicles but didn’t take any equipment as they vacated the base. Back in Mogadishu, people were rebuilding from the carnage of Tuesday. Despite being in a sorry state, the SYL hotel is coming back to life according to reports. At least five people were killed. Three civilians and two members of the security forces. One of the survivors shared his sentiments. “So, after sunset and Maghreb prayers, armed men attacked the hotel, then jumped off the walls. Now we thank Allah for saving us. Eighty people were rescued by security forces after several hours of fighting with the terrorists inside the hotel. It was the fourth time since 2015 that the hotel had been attacked.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:06:54 +0000editorial@africanews.com of sadio fans at the 2019 Ballon d'Or Twitter, several Internet users also expressed their disappointment that Sadio Mané did not appear on the podium. This is the case, for example, of the Ivorian football legend Didier Drogba himself, who arrived in 4th position in 2017 for the Golden Ball, who twitched, and I quote, “seeing you on the podium would have seemed so logical to me, but it must be said that as long as we do not show solidarity among Africans, we will never again have Golden Ball players like our big brother George Weah. Courage to you and keep making us dream, one day you will be crowned. “End of quote. Thu, 12 Dec 2019 14:47:14 +0000editorial@africanews.com Friday travel offers: Was it a promotion? [Travel] large promotional campaign is carried out to encourage people to buy during Black Friday. And there’s no need to say if it works! Particularly considering the discounts offered by airline, one is tempted to take a trip to the other side of the world. Faced with numerous promotions with some offers too good to be true doubts creep into ones mind, the numerous complaints from some travellers, we noted two observations: The unreliable nature of airline ticket prices during Black Friday and the quotas offered by these companies, which were unable to sell even 10 seats. Intrigued, we interviewed Sami Chege, a travel professional. We asked him if Air Black Friday was really a promotion in view of the quotas made available by the companies?Thu, 12 Dec 2019 14:24:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com Lake Chad Basin, Sahel: AU chief calls for African solidarity Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, AUC, has renewed calls for continental solidarity in helping combat twin scourge of terrorism and environmental degradation. Speaking at the Aswan Summit taking place in Egypt, the former Chadian Foreign Minister specifically mentioned the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin as two cases worthy of solidarity. He described the situation in both regions as “not normal.” “It is not normal that while the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin are burning, the rest of the continent is not showing greater solidarity towards these countries confronted with terrorism.” Terrorists ravaging the Sahel The Sahel regions expands across five countries dogged by terrorist activities by extremists who continue to carry out attacks across the vast desert region bordering the Sahara desert. Military interventions under the G5 Sahel group has failed to stem the course of violence over the years. The 5 nations involved are Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Mali. The G5 force along with a French military mission have failed to stem the violence. The African Union and United Nations have repeatedly warned that the terrorists are gaining a foothold in the Sahel and called for global action to combat the scourge. The ever shrinking Lake Chad Basin In February 2018, a $6.5-million research and conservation programme to save the Lake Chad Basin was launched in the Nigerian capital Abuja. The participating countries were Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, whose borders meet on the lake, as well as the Central African Republic. Lake Chad is the principal source of freshwater for 40 million people. But climate change and water mismanagement have contributed to a staggering 90 per cent decline of the lake’s surface over the past 40 years. As it dries up and hunger rises, the region has become fragile and Boko Haram insurgents have targeted subsistence farmers and fishermen to fill their ranks. Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are fighting a battle against Boko Haram jihadists in the remote region. The ongoing Islamist insurgency has forced tens of thousands of people to cross borders in search of food and safety. The UN estimates that more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes and 10.7 million are in need of food handouts to survive.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:46:49 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) on arrival for all Africans entering Nigeria, starting January 2020 will issue visas on arrival for all African passport holders effective January 2020, president Muhammadu Buhari has announced. His tweet of the move this morning confirmed an earlier tweet on Wednesday by Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Ambassador Ahmed Awad wrote: “I wish to profoundly commend President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria who just announced at the Aswan Forum complete visa exemption for all Africans. “Starting January 2020 Africans will be able to arrive in Nigeria without visas. It’s such an exemplary decision. Thanks your Excellency.” But it was not till Thursday morning that Buhari tweeted the decision. stressing that it was part of Nigeria’s commitment “to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa.” Nigeria is committed to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa. Yesterday at the Aswan Forum in Egypt I announced that, in January 2020, we will commence issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria, to all persons holding passports of African countries.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 12, 2019 The regional bloc Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, of which Nigeria is part already guarantees free movement (visa-free entry) of citizens across the 16-member bloc. Analysts say the current move means that visitors will not need to fill out paperwork before they arrive. They can make the journey and get visas upon arrival at any of Nigeria’s entry points. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous and has the continent’s biggest economy. It was one of the last countries to sign up to the African Union’s continental free trade area deal. At the time, the president said it needed to consult with industry players before agreeing to the deal. From August this year, Nigeria unilaterally shut all its land borders creating a trade squeeze on its immediate neighbours. Niger, Chad and Benin were the worse affected countries to the blockade which Buhari says will be in place till the reasons for imposing them are eliminated – primarily the incidence of smuggling in and out of the country. Nigeria also boasts of Lagos, its commercial capital that is one of Africa’s biggest mega cities. Its bubbling tech and business landscape not forgetting its arts space has made it a key destination for investors and businesses. It, however, continues to grapple with the issue of bad roads and other infrastructure plus a notorious traffic situation in many parts of the city.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:51:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) high as Algeria holds controversial presidential vote have opened in Algeria today (December 12) in highly controversial elections meant to usher in a new president since the forced resignation of long serving Abdul Aziz Bouteflika early this year. The polls were delayed by the resignation of Bouteflika amid a mass movement that kicked against the candidature of the ailing leader. But the protesters have continued their push for a postponement of the vote with weekly protests even after Bouteflika’s ouster. Their main demand being that the entire ruling elite steps down and the military quits politics before any elections are held. The army, seen as the strongest political player, stresses the importance of the vote saying it was the only way to restore order in Africa’s largest country – by land size. Reuters reported that early in the morning, it was quiet at one central Algiers polling station, though police were patrolling the city’s streets on foot and in vehicles. عينة من الشعب الجزائري تؤدي واجبها الإنتخابي— APS | وأج ?? (@APS_DZ) December 12, 2019 “The country has entered a critical phase,” said Aziz Djibali, 56, who went to vote at a polling station near the prime minister’s office. “It’s time for Algerians to voice their opinions peacefully.” Skirmishes has been reported in east of Algiers where protesters reportedly ransacked a polling station. There are five aspirants on the ballot, but that all of them being former government appointees has not helped matters. Protesters have called for a boycott of the process. Of the five, there are two former prime ministers and two former government ministers, seen largely as people who cannot stand up to the army’s central role in the polls. Army chief Ahmed Gaed Salah has over the months issued stern warnings to people who he said wanted to threaten the security of the nation. He has described the vote as the most viable path to legitimacy of any government. Algeria, a former French colony, is a major natural gas supplier to Europe and has a population of 40 million. The winner of the poll will be the first in 20 years, that is how long Bouteflika stayed in charge.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:40:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Women challenged to take up more leadership roles, traders, business leaders coming from Rwanda, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gabon, all shared their different experiences with leadership. Adriana Talensi, Sivi Malukisa, Daphnee Mayet told of their journeys full of challenges at the 3rd edition of the Biashara networking in Pointe-noire, Congo. “By being myself, by being a woman who works, a woman who knows what she wants to do. I am in a company I created in which I am the only investor. But in other businesses, I am associated with men. It is true that sometimes there are challenges, trying to impose on you, to impose to your qualities. I am the youngest and only woman. Indeed, sometimes it can be painful. There are so many myths: that the woman is weak, we must protect her… The woman needs us to think for her and tell her what to do. All we have to do is…As the panel’s theme said, impose yourself but gently. “To impose oneself through ideas,” said Sivi Malukisa, CEO, Manitech Congo. Africa holds the world record for female entrepreneurship, with 27% of women entrepreneurs,according to the latest figures published by the International Solidarity Organization Women in Africa. They represent half of the African population and produce 62% of the economic goods, with only 8.5% of women employees. According to some women, Africa attracts and fascinates. For fashion designer Adriana Talansi, the continent is a true source of wealth that inspires on a global scale especially in the field of fashion. “I think that African fashion was really inspired by us, I assure you especially when I did the Dior exhibition, I saw John Galliano was inspired by us. I saw Masai-mara necklaces, and today Dolce Gabbana for her 2020 collection is in Raphia. I think that today the African has understood the importance of consuming African goods,’‘ said Adriana Talansi fashion designer/ founder, Talansi brand. These enterprising women want to go further and they do not hide their ambitions,extending and varying their activities higher amidst enormous challenges. Nevertheless, there has been a significant improvement in women’s access to decision-making positions. But the problem of accessing finance remains a challenge.Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:32:14 +0000editorial@africanews.com ambush Niger army camp killing 71 soldiers - Official 100 Islamic militants ambushed an army camp in western Niger, a military spokesman said late Wednesday, killing at least 71 soldiers in the deadliest attack on the West African country’s forces in years. The large-scale attack comes amid a surge of assaults on army camps in the Sahel region, which have allowed jihadists to amass weapons and vehicles for their arsenal. Neighboring Mali has seen such an increase in ambushes on its army that it has even closed some of its most remote and vulnerable army outposts. Niger’s army spokesman, Col. Boukar Hassan, read the death toll announcement on state television Wednesday night and said a dozen others had been wounded after the ambush overnight. Earlier in the evening, a tweet sent from President Mahamadou Issoufou’s account had announced that he was returning early from an overseas trip in Egypt following developments near Niger’s border with Mali. Niger’s president is among those invited to a summit next week in France to discuss the future of the French mission in the region. The large attack took place in a remote area of Niger where jihadists linked to the Islamic State have long been active. The violence was 30 miles (45 kilometers) from Ouallam, where four U.S. service members died along with four Nigerien soldiers two years ago when their joint patrol came under fire in a massive ambush. Islamic extremists have long carried out attacks across the vast desert region, abducting foreigners and targeting spots popular with expatriates. A regional military force and a French military mission have failed to stem the violence. Some analysts have suggested that the deadly ambushes on army outposts are also aimed not only at stealing weapons but also at expanding the area of land under jihadists’ control. Given the growing insecurity, Mali’s military has even closed some of its most isolated and vulnerable outposts as part of a reorganization. Unrest over deadly ambushes has mounted, particularly in Mali, where soldiers’ widows have held a number of demonstrations calling on the government to do more. Some have even aimed their anger at France, the former colonial ruler in the region whose military intervened in 2013 to force jihadists from power in major towns across northern Mali. France’s operation in West and Central Africa is now its largest overseas military mission and involves 4,500 personnel. France intervened in Mali in 2013 after extremists seized control of major towns in the north and implemented a harsh version of Islamic law. Macron has said he expects West African leaders to make it clear at next week’s summit in France that they want and need France’s military help despite the anti-French sentiment expressed by some protesters. APThu, 12 Dec 2019 10:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com give PM hero's welcome after receiving Nobel award gave a hero’s welcome to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed upon his return from Oslo, Norway where he received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Award earlier this week. Major roads from the Bole International Airport to the National Palace were blocked this morning as hundreds of thousands line up along the streets to cheer the Prime Minister. Many people were seen waving photos of the PM, others had flags running along the entourage and giving security forces a hard time as they attempted to catch a glimpse of Abiy. The laureate was in the front seat of a car waving to the teeming crowds that were cheering him. Ethiopians have been celebrating the Prime Minister on social media since he received the award. His efforts in brokering peace with neighbouring Eritrea and widespread reforms at home made him the 100th winner of the Nobel Prize. His efforts at consolidating regional peace was the third plank that the Nobel Committee cited in choosing him as winner. He is the first Ethiopian to win the award. ፍቅርና ክብር የገባዉን ሕዝብ ማገልገል ኩራትም ዕድልም ነዉ። አመሰግናለሁ Galatoomaa Thank You— Abiy Ahmed Ali (@AbiyAhmedAli) December 12, 2019Thu, 12 Dec 2019 09:59:43 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) relations: Building and Sustaining Peace Together | VIEW is building as African leaders drive efforts to build and sustain peace across the continent, and international partners are eager and ready to support these efforts. This compels us to ask how international partners can best support African-led efforts to build and sustain peace. How can we work together to release the enormous potential of all Africans for this generation and those to come? This week in Aswan, Egypt, leaders from the continent and around the world, including Canada, will join together to tackle these questions at an important Forum organized by the Government of Egypt as part of its Presidency of the African Union (AU). Canada will be at the table to speak to peace and security issues, as it is one of its top priorities. Heads of governments, international organizations, financial institutions, the private sector, and civil society will assess challenges to peace, security and development in Africa and identify opportunities to support inclusive, peaceful prosperity. Canada values its long-standing partnership with Africa, and is keen to be an ever-more effective partner in your efforts to expand trade and investment, to address climate change, and to support peace and security. We stand ready to support the inspirational vision set out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” In ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) earlier this year, African leaders have proven their commitment to take bold steps towards this goal. African countries have put in place the seeds of what can grow to be the largest free trade area in the world. Canada is, itself, a trading nation. We understand the immense social and economic benefits free trade can bring. That is why Canada was the founding donor of the African Trade Policy Center, which helped develop homegrown African expertise to support the trade negotiations. Canada intends to expand on this support as our African partners move towards implementing this historic agreement. Canadian businesses are increasingly attuned to the investment opportunities present on this continent. African countries are leading in bringing new approaches to peace and security. As part of the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, Canada is working closely with Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia to pursue practical and catalytic change to increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in United Nations (UN) peace operations. Through advocacy, research and innovation, we are supporting the UN to reach its global targets to make peacekeeping missions more inclusive, effective, and representative of the communities they serve. The Elsie Initiative is just one example of how the spirit of collaboration between Canada and African countries is having an impact. Africa’s international partners must be equally bold in supporting countries rebuild from conflict. To secure the resources needed to jumpstart economies and create jobs, while setting countries on a path to sustainable development and peace, the international community needs to rethink the ways and means by which it extends support to countries recovering from conflict. We must develop innovative tools that unleash the potential of all partners, including the private sector, in sustaining development and peace. We must take measures to ensure financial stability and resilience to external shocks, and address unsustainable debt burdens so that domestic resources can be used for necessary economic and social investments to catalyze economic recovery, generate employment opportunities, and foster social cohesion. Doing this well is predicated on listening to our African partners to understand what is most needed. Canada will bring these important considerations to the forefront as chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, a new role for Canada that starts in January 2020. We will work together with our African partners to strengthen the links between the Peacebuilding Commission, the UN Security Council and other organs of the UN, and the African Union, to ensure that the economic needs of populations affected by conflict are integrated into decisions related to UN peacekeeping operations. We will work to deepen the Peacebuilding Commission’s links with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank to ensure that financing aimed at fragile and conflict-affected states is a more proactive part of UN decisions on peacekeeping operations. Canada can be counted on to help develop forward-looking approaches to international peace and security, from peacekeeping and policing to peacebuilding and transitions. We will work together with you to sustain peace, address climate change, promote economic security, advance gender equality, and strengthen multilateralism. We will encourage and promote enhanced collaboration between the UN Security Council and the African Union. We will also continue to break down the silos between security and development, and between governments, the private sector and civil society, as well as between traditional and non-traditional partners. Nearly 20 years ago, our collaboration with African partners was instrumental in passing the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325. It recognized women as not only victims of conflict, but powerful agents of change whose voices are essential to prevent, end, and rebuild after war. At the Aswan Forum, on the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and hopefully on the UN Security Council for 2021-22, Canada will continue working to ensure that people most affected by policies have a say in creating them. We recognize the crucial and diverse contributions of African youth, and the global leadership and potential economic power that exists, including that of African women. We are eager to continue learning from your experiences and sharing our own successes and ongoing challenges in drawing on the talents of entire communities, and creating prosperity that leaves no one behind. Canada is honoured to support Egypt’s AU Presidency as a strategic partner of the Aswan Forum which we view as an important platform to address the interlinkages between peace and development on the continent.  We commend the Government of Egypt for this initiative and look forward to working together with our African partners to advance your vision of a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable future. Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security and Canada’s representative on the International Advisory Board of the Aswan Forum. Antoine Chevrier, Canada’s representative to the African Union and Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia and Djibouti Jess Dutton, Ambassador of Canada to Egypt Opinions expressed in View articles are solely those of the authors.Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:06:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com deploys federal police to curb varsity violence’s federal police were deployed to universities across the country on Tuesday, the government said, as authorities sought to calm ethnic tensions which have claimed the lives of seven students in the past three months. Since taking power in 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has implemented sweeping political reforms that have won him praise but also lifted the lid on long-repressed tensions between Ethiopia’s many ethnic groups. In October, 86 people were killed and 409 detained during protests against the treatment of a prominent activist. “We have decided to deploy federal police to all 45 public universities across the country because the security situation could not be managed by campus security, some of whom were implicated in violent clashes,” Ministry of Science and Higher Education spokesman Dechassa Gurmu said. He said five campus security guards had been arrested as of Tuesday for taking part in violent clashes with students. REUTERSWed, 11 Dec 2019 15:30:29 +0000editorial@africanews.com army chief warns persons threatening December 12 poll’s powerful army chief promises that a presidential election on Thursday will define the contours of a new era for a nation where the highest office has stood vacant for eight months. The tenacious pro-democracy movement which forced leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign after 20 years in power doesn’t believe the claim and is boycotting the vote. At stake in the election is whether Africa’s largest country, rich with oil and gas and a strategic partner of the West in countering terrorism, will get a fresh start with its next head of state, remain paralyzed by protests or suffer worse under a president lacking popular legitimacy. The situation is remarkable in a country where the previous presidents were generals or, like Bouteflika, have had the blessing of the army brass since Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 after a brutal seven-year war. Weekly anti-government protest marches that started in February eventually forced Bouteflika from power, and activists have continued pressing their demands with peaceful demonstrations marked by scores of arrests. In a nod to the public dissent, the interim government that took over launched an anti-corruption drive that secured convictions of some of the country’s most powerful figures, including Bouteflika’s brother. Said Bouteflika ran the former president’s inner circle, dispensing political and financial largesse to the favored. He was sentenced in September to 15 years in prison for “plotting against the state.” The five presidential candidates, among them two other former prime ministers, are all linked to the system the pro-democracy protesters want to bury. The candidates have been at pains to draw crowds of supporters during the 22-day campaign period. Instead, they have been pummeled with insults during their public appearances, cancelled rallies and avoided regions known for their hostility to the political elite. Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah has emerged as the leading authority figure inside the power vacuum created by Bouteflika’s ouster. He orchestrated the election, including its date. Taking its cue from Gaid Salah, the interim government has also promised a new era for the North African nation. To show the military was in step with the democratic times, soldiers were told to vote like other civilians, at polling stations and in civilian clothes. “The presidential elections will trace the contours of the new Algerian state,” Gaid Salah said in a speech this week, while warning that anyone trying to trouble the voting would face “the force of the law.” Police intervened with tear gas and water cannon to hold back protesters as former Prime Minister Ali Benflis held a campaign rally in Bouira, east of the capital.In the rancorous pre-election atmosphere, some officials have lobbed their own insults and threats, mimicking the army chief with claims that election opponents were manipulated by an unnamed foreign power. The interior minister, Salah Eddine Dahmoune, branded them as “traitors” and “homosexuals” in remarks this month before the high chamber of parliament. Days later, the army review, El Djeich, tendered the ultimate insult, referring to those opposing the voting as either “lost” or “new Harkis,” a reference to Algerians who fought for France during the independence war. Candidates have largely substituted platforms with concrete proposals for a litany of promises about promoting democratic freedoms or fighting unemployment among youth. Last week, after candidates participated in a presidential debate that was a first for Algeria, commentators deemed the event “catastrophic.” Benflis, 75, said during the debate that he chose to seek the presidency “knowing that all conditions are not met. But if I am elected, my top priority would be to engage in a dialogue with the opponents of the presidential election.” With public polling not permitted in Algeria, there was no firm indication on the eve of the election which of the five contenders may have the upper hand with voters. Another former prime minister, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 74, was until recently considered the favorite due to his reportedly close ties with Gaid Salah. Now, the media are touting Azzedine Mihoubi, 60, a writer and poet with deep ties to the toppled Bouteflika regime. Mihoubi, a former culture minister, took over leadership of the National Democratic Rally party, which has governed in alliance with the FLN, the sole party for nearly three decades and now in tatters. The other two candidates are Abdelaziz Belaid, 56, a former figure in the FLN who started his own party, and Abdelkader Bengrini, 57, a one-time tourism minister and member of the moderate Islamist party, the Movement for a Society of Peace (MSP), who started his own small Islamist party, el Bina, which like the MSP, backed Bouteflika. A group of 19 nationally known figures who oppose Thursday’s election have called on protesters to remain peaceful and asked authorities to avoid threats and provocation. The president of the Algerian League of Human Rights, Noureddine Benissad, said that Algerians, including jailed protesters, were not against the principle of elections. “They simply want free, democratic and transparent elections,” Benissad told Algeria’s TSA online news agency this week. “And right now, the elections taking place Dec. 12 do not fulfill those conditions.” APWed, 11 Dec 2019 15:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of war trenches motivated peace with Eritrea - Abiy winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize says his horrifying experiences as a young Ethiopian soldier fueled his determination to seek an end to the long conflict with a neighboring country. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke at Oslo City Hall during the ceremony in Norway’s capital where he received his Nobel on Tuesday. “War is the epitome of hell for all involved. I know because I was there and back,” he said in accepting the prize. Abiy won the prize, in part, for making peace with Eritrea after one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. Abiy served in the army during the war. “Twenty years ago, I was a radio operator attached to an Ethiopian army unit in the border town of Badame,” he recalled. “I briefly left the foxhole in the hopes of getting a good antenna reception. ... It only took but a few minutes. Yet upon my return I was horrified to discover that my entire unit had been wiped out in an artillery attack.” Abiy, 43, took office in early 2018 and within weeks astonished the long-turbulent Horn of Africa region by fully accepting a peace deal ending the 20-year border conflict with Eritrea that saw around 80,000 people killed. In his speech, he said stability in the region was strategically important. “The global military superpowers are expanding their military presence in the area. Terrorist and extremist groups also seek to establish a foothold. We do not want the Horn to be a battleground for superpowers nor a hideout for the merchants of terror and brokers of despair and misery,” he said. The peace prize also recognizes Abiy’s significant domestic reforms including the release of tens of thousands of prisoners and the return of once-banned opposition groups. But since the prize was announced in October, he has faced growing challenges at home, including bloody protests. Just days after the November launch of his book promoting his national unity philosophy, protesters burned copies of it in the streets. The protests had erupted after an outspoken activist who had returned from exile asserted that his government-provided security detail was being removed. The claim came a day after Abiy had warned unnamed people that “if you threaten our peace and security, we will take measures.” The government said 78 people were killed in the unrest. In Oslo, he called on “my fellow Ethiopians to join hands and help build a country that offers equal justice, equal rights and equal opportunities for all its citizens.” “The evangelists of hate and division are wreaking havoc in our society using social media. They are preaching the gospel of revenge and retribution on the airwaves,” he said. Tensions with another regional power, Egypt, over Africa’s largest dam project have led Abiy to talk in terms of war. Ethiopia wants a peaceful settlement of the Nile water dispute, but could muster millions to fight if needed, he said recently. Residents of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, packed into hotel lobbies and cafeterias to watch the speech broadcast. “It is an extraordinary speech. I have to study it again and again,” said Dejene Sakoume, a writer who supports Abiy. But an Eritrean human rights advocate expressed reservations, although she supports reforms in Ethiopia. “I find the fact that the prize is mainly for the peace with Eritrea perplexing, as a year-and-a-half on there is hardly any evidence of a peace dividend, especially for the long-suffering people of Eritrea. The border is shut and remains not demarcated,” Selam Kidane told The Associated Press. APWed, 11 Dec 2019 12:55:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com staff evacuated from DRC Ebola treatment centre [Morning Call]édecins Sans Frontières (doctors without borders) announced the temporary evacuation of its staff from the Biakato region following a 3rd attack on a health center. The presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias has led to continued insecurity in the region, presenting a major obstacle in the fight against Ebola. @NyashaKMutizwaWed, 11 Dec 2019 10:47:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) tackles HIV drug resistance in Africa [Morning Call] resistance to HIV drugs in Africa is threatening the significant progress made in the global fight against the virus. In an effort to reinforce the gains and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have unveiled a five-year plan to monitor, prevent and respond to drug resistance within the continent. @NyashaKMutizwaWed, 11 Dec 2019 10:39:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) to the 1980s General: Nigerian newspaper strips Buhari of 'president' title major newspaper outlet in Nigeria says Muhammadu Buhari did not deserve the title of president, they have thus reverted to referring to the him as General Muhammadu Buhari. The Punch group of newspapers said its decision was allied to recent disregard for human rights and attendant repression by the government. The most recent case in point is of the chaotic rearrest of Omoyele Sowore, a journalist, activist and politician who was arrested in August for calling for the Revolution Now protests. In an editorial of Wednesday December 11, 2019; titled Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand, the paper said it was going to refer to the government as a regime since Buhari was deploying military tactics in governance. “As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.” Aside the case of Sowore, the newspaper also chronicled other instances of the government flouting court orders to continually detain citizens. From the military ruler to democratic president Buhari served as military ruler between 1983 – 1985 after overthrowing the government of Shehu Shagari. He was overthrown in a counter coup by General Ibrahim Babangida and was detained in Benin City till his release in 1988. He retired from the army in 1985 at the rank of Major General. In the runup to 2015 he was referred to as GMB – General Muhammadu Buhari, that changed to PMB – President Muhammadu Buhari. He became the first opposition candidate under the current constitution to win the presidency after he beat Goodluck Jonathan to win the 2015 polls. He contested three times unsuccessfully in three votes prior to 2015. Lost in 2003 to Obasanjo, 2007 to Umaru Yar Adua and 2011 to Goodluck Jonathan. In 2015, Buhari was elected flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, a mega party that was formed to challenge the then Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The PDP had governed Nigeria since 1999.Wed, 11 Dec 2019 10:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) who survived Mauritanian coast boat mishap repatriated hundred Gambian migrants return home after being rescued off the Mauritanian coast. The boat they were travelling on capsized and drowned nearly 60 of them, according to the Gambian presidency. President Adama Barrow described the deaths as a “national tragedy” in a televised address last weekend. He also stressed that a police investigation was underway to identify the perpetrators whiles a multi-pronged team was working to support families of the victims. One of the migrants lucky to return home is Hassan Ndour who told the story of how the incident occured. “We ran out of food and fuel, and we didn’t know where to go. So we wanted to moor our boat but the waves hit the boat while we were trying to anchor it. Then the boat tilted.” His mother, Seynabou Diouf, regrets his departure but is happy for the safe return of her son. “Our village has experienced a real tragedy, I will no longer allow him anyone to take part in this kind of adventure. “His father was crying until he came back today, I was really afraid something would happen to him.” Hassan Ndour’s family encouraged this move to Europe to improve their living conditions. Last Wednesday’s accident is the deadliest on the coastline this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. Despite the incident, just last Friday, the Mauritanian coast guard intercepted another 192 Gambians en route to Spain.Wed, 11 Dec 2019 10:25:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) questions ousted Bashir over 1989 coup’s ousted long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was summoned for questioning on Tuesday over his role in the 1989 coup that brought him to power. Bashir, who ruled Sudan until the military removed him in April following months of street protests, was charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. He is also already on trial on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption. A verdict is expected on Saturday in that trial. “We believe that this is a political trial par excellence because 30 years have passed and many variables have occurred,” Mohamed al-Hassan al-Amin, a member of Bashir’s defence, told reporters of his summons on Tuesday. “We do not know what happened in the investigation room. We have an agreement with President al-Bashir not to speak with this committee and to boycott it,” Amin added, referring to the investigative committee. The ousted president’s prosecution is a test of how far power-sharing military and civilian authorities will tackle the legacy of his 30-year authoritarian rule. The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. REUTERSWed, 11 Dec 2019 10:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Far North recorded 275 deaths by Boko Haram: Amnesty Haram militants have killed at least 275 people this year in Cameroon’s Far North region despite government claims back in January that the Islamic extremist group had waned in the area, Amnesty International said Wednesday. More than 80 percent of those victims between January and November were civilians, the international human rights group said following a two-week mission to the volatile area. People in Cameroon’s Far North “are living in terror,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Acting Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Many of them have already witnessed Boko Haram attacks and lost family members or friends,” she said. “They no longer ask whether there will be further attacks but when they will take place – they feel completely abandoned by the authorities.” Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency began in northeastern Nigeria and has spilled across borders into Cameroon, as well as Niger and Chad. The group has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions and created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. In recent years some fighters have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, creating a new threat. Amnesty said the resurgence in northern Cameroon comes after longtime President Paul Biya had called the group “a residual threat” back in January. There was no immediate comment from the government though in the past it has sharply criticized reports from international human rights groups. In 2014, Boko Haram drew the world’s attention with the mass kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok. While many of the schoolgirls have since been freed, countless other people abducted over the decade remain lost to their loved ones. Amnesty International said it interviewed women in northern Cameroon who also had been abducted by Boko Haram and had later escaped. They recounted having been forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. “They were told that their villages could live in peace if all the inhabitants did the same and that they would be able to go home to collect their children,” Amnesty said, citing two women who had managed to get away in July. Biya, who has been in power since 1982, has had to deal not only with Islamic extremist violence in Cameroon’s north but also with attacks by separatists in the country’s English-speaking regions. Nearly 3,000 people have died since 2017 in fighting in those regions where English-speaking separatists say they have been been marginalized by the federal government. The violence has forced more than 500,000 people from their homes. APWed, 11 Dec 2019 10:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Union assessment of the continent's growth [Business] countries with a clearly defined National Development Plan (NDP) have realized real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in recent years compared to those without one. According to The African Governance Report 2019, there is a correlation between a long-term a national vision and a country’s economic growth. The purpose of the report which was released in Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi on Tuesday, December 10, is to measure growth on the continent in five aspects that is; economic performance, human development, peace and security. Of these, socio-economic development has been deemed the weakest. The assessment is measured in relation to the African Union’s Vision for the continent, also known as, Agenda 2063. This envisions sustainable and inclusive economic growth, driven by Africans, especially, women and the youth. The report notes that 46 out of the 54 African countries have clearly defined long-term national visions while the remaining 8 are either in conflict or recovering from one. Using per head count method, the report indicates that real GDP growth in South and Central Africa is not as inclusive as in the North and East. However, the per-head-count method is contentious because macroeconomic measures tend to distort general figures due to economic inequalities. This is because the rich minority have a lot more than the poorer majority. AU on Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and governance The report also noted that overlapping membership in the continent’s eight regional economic blocs is blocking the hand of the African Union. The AU wants regional economic blocs to ratify the continental free trade agreement and to align their development frameworks with the Agenda 2063. These economic communities are seen as building blocks towards a self-reliant African Economic Community, and the realization of the 1991 Abuja Treaty. One of the goals of the AU’s Agenda 2063 for peace and prosperity is to “silence the gun by 2020.” It is only two weeks to 2020 and guns are still cracking on the continent. In fact, participants at the Russia-Africa Summit in October were spellbound by the assortment of guns on display. Some politicians like Central African Republic’s President Faustin-Archange Touadéra blatantly asked Vladmir Putin for more ammunition. This is a clear demonstration of the distance between the willingness and efforts in place to achieve “The Africa We Want,” the slogan for Agenda 2063. @ameliamartha1Wed, 11 Dec 2019 06:39:37 (Amelia Nakitimbo) Prize: Ethiopia PM hails Eritrean leader as 'partner, comrade in peace' Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki describing him as a “partner and comrade in peace” relative to the 2018 peace treaty signed in Asmara. Abiy praised the Eritrean leader early in his address after receiving the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday at Oslo’s City Hall. The Ethio-Eritrea peace deal was a key plank of the decision to award him the award. “I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace. Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner and comrade in peace, (Eritrean) president Isaias Afwerki,” Abiy said. The Premier was announced winner of the prestigious prize in October for his peacemaking efforts, which ended two decades of hostility with Ethiopia’s longtime enemy Eritrea. Speaking on issues in the Horn of Africa region, Abiy said that militant groups and global military powers both pose a threat to peace and stability in the region. “The Horn of Africa today is a region of strategic significance. The global military superpowers are expanding their military presence in the area. Terrorist and extremist groups also seek to establish a foothold. We do not want the Horn to be a battleground for superpowers.” Despite the peace efforts, Abiy has faced criticism over his attempts to impose unity – including forming a single national political party. Eighty six people were killed during protests in October against the treatment of a prominent activist, while 409 people were detained over the unrest.Wed, 11 Dec 2019 03:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, December 9, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s news.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 17:12:49 +0000editorial@africanews.com forces kill 5 in Al-Shabaab attack on presidential palace of Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab attacked a hotel in the capital Mogadishu killing a number of occupants, a federal lawmaker confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday. MP Abdirizak Mohamed wrote on Twitter: “Report of Alshabab inside SYL. This was confirmed for me by a federal MP who escaped from the scene by jumped over the wall to Berta nabadda. There are casualties but numbers not known yet.” He was responding to an earlier tweet by a Voice of America journalist who covers the Horn of Africa, Harun Maruf. Maruf, author of the book “Inside Al-Shabaab” had reported of gunfire in the vicinity of SYL hotel. The militants have usually carried out deadly attacks on hotels in the capital as part of their fight to take over the federal government. The security mix in Somalia consists of the national army, the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, and troops from neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya keeping the miitants at bay in different areas. Report of Alshabab inside SYL. This was confirmed for me by a federal MP who escaped from the scene by jumping over the wall to Berta nabadda. There are casualties but numbers not known yet— Abdirizak Mohamed MP (@AbdirizakOm) December 10, 2019 Somalia forces kill 5 rebels who attacked president’s house Five heavily armed Islamic extremist rebels attacked the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Tuesday before all were killed by security forces in a shootout that spread from the heavily fortified government complex to a nearby hotel, police said. At least three people were killed in the firefight at the SYL hotel, which lasted about two hours and was marked by sustained gunfire punctuated by grenade blasts, said Ahmed Ali, a Somali police officer. He said 20 others, including government officials, have been rescued from the hotel. Security forces and guards fought off the attackers, denying them access to the hotel, frequented by government officials and Mogadishu’s elite, he said. Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said that soldiers shot dead three attackers near the entrance to the presidential residence and then killed the last two near the parking lot of the nearby hotel after they took positions by the kitchen area, close to the first gate of the hotel compound. Somalia’s extremist rebels, al-Shabab, have claimed responsibility for the attack, according to an announcement on their Andalus radio station. The attack appears to be a new tactical shift by the rebels. Previously they have used car bombs at heavily fortified targets to blow openings for gunmen to enter on foot. This assault was carried out completely by gunmen on foot. Security officials said new security measures, including multiple checkpoints across Mogadishu, have made it difficult for the rebels to sneak car bombs into the capital city and have forced the rebels to stage attacks on foot.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 17:10:04 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of deadly food, landslide defied God, logic - Uganda president president Yoweri Museveni says death and losses from recent flooding and landslides in parts of the country was down to people defying logic in where they choose to stay. “These losses, on account of floods and landslides, are, mainly, due to the mistake of insisting on settling (living) in areas that logic and God did not intend for human habitation. These are the wetlands (and steep mountains of 31-32% gradient or more than that,” said in a tweet thread on Tuesday. He expressed condolences to families of twenty-six people who were killed in two areas – Elgon and Rwenzori, stressing that people had to accept government efforts at resettlement in order to avert any further disasters. Seventeen flooding deaths were confirmed in the western district of Bundibugyo. Whiles the other nine were reported in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in the east, said Irene Nakasiita, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross. Ugandan government officials have acknowledged the continuing threat from flooding and say relief is forthcoming to affected areas. Residents are being urged to move away from areas where rivers and streams have burst their banks. More than 6,000 people have been displaced in Bududa, a rugged area in the foothills of Mount Elgon where mudslides have killed hundreds of people over the years. Some there have resisted the government’s attempts to have them relocated to lowlands elsewhere, saying they find it hard to vacate their ancestral lands. “The risk of more flooding and landslides is real,” Musa Ecweru, the government minister in charge of disasters, said in a statement Thursday. Hundreds of acres of plantations have been destroyed and an unknown number of livestock lost in the flooding and mudslides in Bududa and Sironko, Eweru said. In March 2010 at least 100 people died in mudslides in Bududa, and injuries or deaths have been reported every year since then during the wet season.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:50:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of ex-Angolan president in court over corruption trial of former Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos appeared before a court in the capital Luanda in a case of corruption and embezzlement brought by the state. José Filomeno dos Santos, has been appearing before a Luanda Supreme Court since Monday. The former head of the Angolan sovereign investment fund is accused of embezzlement and money laundering. He is charged along with three alleged accomplices, including the former governor of the country’s central bank. Sergio Raimundo, one of the defense lawyers said: “We will present our defense, because we are attentive to our arguments in favor of the opposite verdict.” This is the first trial against a family member of the former president. The accused’s half-sister and Africa’s richest woman, Isabel Dos Santos, is also the subject of an investigation for embezzlement. Since taking office, President Joao Lourenzo has ousted most of his predecessor’s relatives at the head of the country’s financial institutions and major corporations in a move to fight corruption.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:45:57 +0000editorial@africanews.com, destruction, displacement as Cyclone Belna hits Madagascar Belna has hit northwestern Madagascar, with 2 dead and three missing from the first tropical storm of the season, according to local officials. Belna blew into the coastal town of Soalala, where more than 1,400 residents were made homeless because their houses were destroyed, damaged or flooded, Col. Elack Olivier Andriakaja of the national catastrophe management office, said Tuesday. He said that his earlier report that nine had been killed was incorrect. Those displaced have found temporary shelter in primary schools, mosques and district offices but they need food, said Andriakaja. Many government administrative buildings and roads have also been damaged, he said. Emergency food rations will be delivered to Soalala by sea, said officials. Madagascar’s Prime Minister Christian Ntsay will be flying to Soalala to assess the damage. The storm’s winds blew off or dislodged the roofs of 80% of the town’s residences and government offices, said Soalala’s member of parliament Naina Randriamisa, who said water is rising across the city. Belna has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it travels south on the island. Heavy rains and winds are expected through Wednesday. The cyclone should be finished by then, according to the meteorology department. APTue, 10 Dec 2019 14:39:50 +0000editorial@africanews.com humanoid robot with artificial skin [Sci-tech] robot skin has been of great interest to scientists since the early days of robotics. The goal was to enable robots with a sense of touch similar to that of humans, allowing robots to be fully physically interactive and adequately safe to be near humans.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:43:29 +0000editorial@africanews.com Algerians call out dinosaur elite ahead of divisive polls’s contentious presidential election campaign is highlighting the deep gulf between young people at the heart of a street protest movement and an ageing elite they see as clinging to power. Several youths continued their protests calling for an end to the old political elite and reforms ahead of polls expected to hold this week. “I think it’s a continuity of the system, since the heads, are the heads of the old system that was rejected by the population. “Moreover it’s empty political programmes, so here we talk about things that are unachievable with our economy, it’s like selling dreams to little kids,” one young protesters said. For nine months Algerians have marched every Friday to demand change. The protests forced long serving Abdul Aziz Bouteflika to rescind a plan to contest for a fifth term before he was eventually forced to resign after twenty years in charge. The young protesters summarised their aspirations as wanting to live freely, receive a good education, find a stable job with a decent salary, have their voices heard, and enjoy entertainment opportunities beyond loitering in the street.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 11:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com ex-Algerian Prime Ministers jailed for corruption, activists celebrate former prime ministers of Algeria have been convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption-related charges in a landmark trial. Cheers rose from a crowd of pro-democracy activists who gathered outside the courthouse in Algiers Tuesday to hear the verdict against Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal. Ouyahia was sentenced to 15 years in prison and $16,000 in fines. Sellal was sentenced to 12 years in prison and $8,000 in fines. They were accused of abusing authority in a car manufacturing embezzlement scandal. Both served under longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Protesters pushed out Bouteflika earlier this year in part because of anger at corruption. Some protesters shouted “Gang of gangsters!” and many waved or wore Algerian flags. Police surrounded the courthouse because so many protesters were trying to get into the building see the trial in person. Unusually, the trial was televised, as authorities sought to show the public that they are taking protesters’ concerns about corruption seriously. It was the most high-profile corruption conviction since the peaceful protest movement began in February. APTue, 10 Dec 2019 11:05:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com'Power of Unity' crown: The $5m headgear Miss Universe 2019 wore South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi was over the weekend crowned Miss Universe 2019. It turns out that the crown her predecessor fitted on her head is a new one. Jewelry designer Mouawad created a new “Power of Unity” crown reportedly worth $5 million for the 2019 edition of the competition. The crown features 18-karat gold vines and ivy leaves inlaid with more than 1,770 diamonds. The ivy and vine are meant to represent the seven continents. It’s flanked by two smaller diamonds cut from the same stone mined from Botswana. The 26-year-old beauty queen won the contest in Atlanta in an event hosted by Steve Harvey. She is the third South African to be crowned Miss Universe. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won in 2017 whiles the inaugural South African winner was Margaret Gardiner in 1978. Tunzi is from Tsolo, South Africa and is passionate about encouraging natural beauty and crusades against gender bias. Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was runner-up with Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon as the second runner-up. .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%; }Tue, 10 Dec 2019 11:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Emir, others join Rwanda unveil iconic anti-corruption monument of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was in Rwanda to mark the 4th world anti-corruption day event. In Kigali, the Emir was joined by President Kagame and Hage Geingob of Namibia at the international anti-corruption excellence award ceremony, according to the Rwandan presidency and official Qatar news agency. An anti-corruption monument was unveiled of a giant open palm close to the Kigali International Conference Center, KICC. The African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat and FIFA president Gianni Infantino were also present. President Kagame reiterated that it was a sign of the continued fight against corruption. “This iconic work of art, will also go a long way to keep reminding us and encouraging us to always be present in this fight against corruption,” he stressed. Relations between Kigali and Doha has been flourishing the the last few years. Recently, a gigantic project, estimated at US$35 million, entirely financed by the Qatari logistics giant Dubai Port world, was opened at a port near Kigali, with a 20-year concession. The two countries also agreed on a deal that sees Qatar build, operate and transfer the expanded Kigali international airport. The Emir’s presence in Kigali comes at a time when the Gulf Cooperation Council prepare to meet in Saudi Arabia today, December 10. It was not known whether the Qatari Emir would return to the Middle East to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council summit or be represented. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar in 2017. Doha is accused of having close links with Iran and of financing jihadist groups. PHOTOS: “Collectively, you represent the very best of the fearless spirit and determination required to sustain zero tolerance against corruption.” President Kagame congratulates winners & nominees at the 4th International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) December 9, 2019Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:55:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) chopper evacuates guests in flooded South African hotel military helicopter was deployed to rescue some 70 guests stranded in a hotel located in an upscale part of South Africa’s Guateng Province. Video footage uploaded to social media on Monday (December 9) shows vehicles being swept away by flooding in the South African municipality of Centurion. The hotel in question, Centurion Hotel is a four-star facility that is centrally located between the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. According to local media, emergency services had rescued at least five other people. Reports also said that severe wet weather across the Gauteng province has caused the floods, and rainy conditions are likely to persist until Wednesday (December 11). Part of the Southern African nation is experiencing heavy rains which has led to emergency services having to move in an rescue persons stranded by the rains. A tornado recently tore through the Kwa Zulu Natal province claiming lives and wreaking havoc. In next door Madagascar, a tropical Cyclone Belna made a landfall in north-western Soalala district, a local newspaper Gazetiko has reported. The report said over 85% of the district is already flooded, and several homes and government buildings have been destroyed. Cyclone Belna comes days after at least two people were killed when Cyclone Pawan made landfall in northern Somalia.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:50:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) protest hits Ethiopia PM in Stockholm: 'Nobel Prize ... not rhetoric!' protest took place yesterday in Stockholm against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali who is receiving the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award today in Oslo. A handful of protesters camped outside the Norwegian parliament with placards calling for durable peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea – one of the main reasons for which Abiy was chosen as 100th Nobel winner. “Nobel Prize is for concrete peace, not rhetoric!, Eritreans were promised peace but they never found it,” some of the placards read. Most protesters were also bearing the Eritrean flag. Abiy who is currently in Oslo went through Stockholm where he met with his colleague Prime Minister for bilateral talks between the two countries. Abiy was at the center of a peace overture to neighbouring Eritrea months after he came into office in April 2018. He flew to Asmara where he signed a peace deal with Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki ending two decades of war between the two neighbours. His sweeping political reforms that earned him the “reformist” tag also accounted for his choice as winner of the prestigious award. Despite wide praise for his efforts at home and in securing the deal with Eritrea, there have been criticism about the lack of institutionalization of the deal. Borders were reopened between the two nations but have since been unilaterally shut by Eritrea. Eritreans especially have routinely jabbed that despite the peace deal, very little has changed in the country by way of political reforms.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:38:35 +0000editorial@africanews.com Documentary revealing corruption [Morning Call] group of young Senegalese journalists known as ‘La Maison des Reporters’ (house of reporters) have tasked themselves to reveal corruption within the West African nation. In their first documentary published over the weekend on social media, the group points out the deep acts of corruption that have crept into the Senegalese daily life. Founder of the group Moussa Ngom tells us how this group and the documentary came about in a moment. @NyashaKMutizwaTue, 10 Dec 2019 08:40:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) in science lack financial support [Grand Angle] sub-Saharan Africa, female scientists are struggling to receive funding to pursue their careers in research.Tue, 10 Dec 2019 08:35:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) Ex-presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore re-arrested [Morning Call] rights groups called on Monday for the release of a former presidential candidate facing treason charges who was re-arrested a day after being freed from detention on bail. Omoyele Sowore, who ran against President Muhammadu Buhari in an election in February, was first arrested in August and has pleaded not guilty to charges of treason, money laundering and harassing the president. Constitutional lawyer Liborous Oshoma explains the situation. @NyashaKMutizwaTue, 10 Dec 2019 08:20:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) slashes troop numbers in Yemen - PM has reduced its military strength in Yemen, according to an announcement made by its Prime Minister. Abdalla Hamdok said that 10.000 Sudanese troops have returned home from the initial 15.000, fighting in Yemen as part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition. This is part of a systematic move to eventually withdrawing all Sudanese soldiers from the conflict zone. “But the truth is that there is no military solution to the Yemeni problem. Ultimately, it will be a political solution,” Hamdok is quoted to have said. Isolated diplomatically by the West and hunted down by the ICC, former President Omar al-Bashir by engaging with the Riyad-led coalition probably hoped to loosen the grip around his regime. In the end there is like a stalemate in the Yemeni crisis and Sudan is also struggling with the challenges of rebuilding the country after Bashir was toppled earlier this year by protests.Mon, 09 Dec 2019 17:39:25 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sudan rivals to hold talks in Juba Sudan’s exiled rebel leader Riek Machar is due to meet with president Salva Kiir in Juba on Tuesday. Machar’s visit was confirmed to Radio Tamazuj by the deputy spokesman of the opposition forces. The two protagonists are expected to discuss issues seen as critical to the realisation of the peace accord signed in September of last year. Some of those issues include the number of states and their boundaries which were increased to 32 by a presidential decree and arrangements to integrate rebel soldiers into the national army. Last month, at a summit in Uganda, the leaders agreed to extend the deadline for the formation of a unity government, a key part of the peace agreement, to February of 2020. But little progress has been made since then. Machar’s camp accuses president Kiir’s government of deliberately frustrating peace efforts by reneging on key parts of the accord. Juba has recently come under pressure from Washington for not acting fast enough to implement the agreement.Mon, 09 Dec 2019 17:36:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com's internet shutdowns, hate speech bill worries U.N. expert United Nations expert on the freedom of expression said he has urged Ethiopian officials to stop shutting down the internet. David Kaye, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, told reporters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, that he is concerned with the frequent internet shutdowns carried out by the government. “I’ve also experienced an internet shut down here in Ethiopia in the past week,” he said, referring to a brief shutdown on Dec. 5 that Ethiopian officials said was to stop a cyber-attack targeting the country’s financial institutions. Ethiopia has shut down the internet nine times in 2019, mostly during national exams and public protests, he said. “Internet shutdowns are almost always in violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,” said Kaye. “I want to strongly urge the government to not use internet shutdown as a tool. I’ve asked several times ‘Where do you have the authority in law to shut down the internet?’ Nobody could give me an answer.” Ethiopia is one of several African countries that have blocked the internet or specific social media sites during elections or periods of crisis. Kaye stressed that social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have a relatively small presence in Ethiopia right now but they have an “extraordinary responsibility” to moderate contents to make sure postings are accurate. Kaye praised the reforms implemented by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for achieving peace with neighboring Eritrea. “This is a remarkable moment in Ethiopia with all sorts of reforms happening in the country,” he said, adding that it is the first time since 2006 that a U.N. special rapporteur of his kind was invited into the country. He said, however, that more reforms are needed. “I’ve expressed my concern regarding the draft hate speech and disinformation law as it may inadvertently criminalize public debate,” he said. APMon, 09 Dec 2019 14:56:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com's president backs ex-PM Sissoco Embalo in run-off vote Bissau’s outgoing President José Mario Vaz has announced his support for Umaro Sissoco Embalo in the second round of the presidential elections on 29 December. Embalo, himself a former Prime Minister, comes up against another former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira. Elected in 2014, Jose Mario Vaz failed in his bid to get re-elected coming fourth in the first round with 12.4 % of votes cast. Sissoco Embalo came in second in the first round on 24 November, with 27.6% of votes against 40.1% for Pereira, candidate of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde. Umaro Sissoco Embalo has already obtained the support of two other presidential candidates namely Nuno Gomes Nabiam and former Prime Minister, Carlos Domingos Gomes. Meanwhile, 56 year old Domingos Simoes Pereira, will rely on the support of two unsuccessful candidates in the first round Yaya Djalo and Idrissa Djalo. The campaign for the second round is scheduled to start on December 13 and end on December 27.Mon, 09 Dec 2019 14:31:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com governor of Kenya capital denies corruption charges in the Kenyan capital sealed off a court building where the governor of Nairobi County was due to be charged with corruption and other economic crimes on Monday, guarding against threatened protests by his supporters. Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was arrested on Friday and is accused of conspiracy to commit corruption, failure to comply with laws related to procurement, unlawful acquisition of public property and laundering the proceeds of crime. Police set up barriers on streets around the court and diverted traffic in anticipation of possible trouble after Sonko’s supporters called for protests. Sonko, a member of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee Party, said in a statement posted on his social media accounts on Sunday that his arrest was “politically schemed” and that he was a law abiding citizen, and urged his supporters to remain calm and avoid any actions that “may threaten the peace.” Kenyans and the private sector have long complained of corruption in Kenya, East Africa’s business hub and the region’s richest economy. Sonko was elected governor in 2017. The former senator is a flamboyant figure, known for his glitzy lifestyle, flashy clothes, chunky gold jewellery and eye-catching hairstyles. Police used teargas to disperse hundreds of Sonko’s supporters when he was called into the anti-corruption office for questioning in November. REUTERSMon, 09 Dec 2019 12:28:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com international film festival 2019 from Africa and the Middle East were in the spotlight in Morocco, from 29 November to 7 December, for the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival. An edition that saw the participation of film stars such as Harvey Keitel, Marion Cotillard, Tilda Swinton and Robert Redford, who received a lifetime achievement award. Toby Wallace won the Best Actor Award for his role in the Australian comedy “Babyteeth”, directed by Shannon Murphy. And Tunisian Ala Eddine Slim was named best director for “Tlamess”, a drama about a soldier who deserted the army after his mother’s death.Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:25:10 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN) story building collapse: 10 dead, 20 inured, 30 missing - Police rescuers digging through the rubble of a six-story building found two survivors alive Sunday, two days after it collapsed in Nairobi, as the death toll rose to 10. When the survivors of Friday’s building collapse were found Sunday morning, a crowd of onlookers burst into cheers and claps. A military member at the scene told The Associated Press they had been communicating with people believed to have been trapped in pockets of debris. He said some were screaming for help but the sounds of their voices had died down as time wore on. He insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media. Nairobi Police Chief Philip Ndolo said four bodies were recovered from the scene Sunday including that of a child, while a fifth person died in a hospital. According to authorities, that brings the overall toll to 10 dead, 30 injured and 20 missing. Ndolo said the rescue of a man and a woman had invigorated emergency workers with hopes of finding other survivors. He said the two were in stable condition in a hospital. “Given we have rescued two people two days after the incident, we hope to find more survivors. Remember there is more than 20 people missing,” he said. He said the heavy rains that Kenya was experiencing, more than 300% above normal, were slowing the rescue operation. It was not immediately clear what caused the building, which the Red Cross said housed 22 families, to collapse. But building collapses are common in Nairobi, where housing is in high demand and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations. On Saturday, one person died and others were injured when the balcony of single-story building in Chuka in central Kenya collapsed. In September, a school collapsed in Nairobi, killing at least seven primary students. After eight buildings collapsed and killed 15 people in Kenya in 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they were up to code. The National Construction Authority found that 58% of the buildings in Nairobi were unfit for habitation. APMon, 09 Dec 2019 11:05:36 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ethiopia PM grants 'crisp interview' ahead of Nobel ceremony Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will not speak to the press when he arrives in Oslo Norway this week to receive the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Award. But Abiy on Saturday granted an unscheduled interview to a German journalist, Markus Preiss, who was in town with the new head of the European Union Commission. The interview was on the streets of Addis Ababa with the Prime Minister seated behind the wheel of a car with a fellow passenger and the journalist posing questions from outside. “We were only filming in the streets of Addis – when a car stopped: How I met Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed,” the journalist wrote. The interaction went as follows: Markus: You are driving yourself? Abiy: There is no interview, I’m just saying how are you guys doing? Journalist: Good, how did you find the first visit (of the EU delegation) today? Abiy: Great, amazing, she is a real change maker, we are so happy that she decided to come here first and I hope we will work a very good job with (the) European Union. With the new vibe, with the new leadership we are so happy and grateful. Journalist: It’s great to see you. Abiy: Great to see you too.Enjoy, enjoy your filming. Journalist: Good luck in Oslo. Abiy: After tomorrow, yes, I will be there. Journalist: Congratulations. Abiy: Thank you very much. We were only filming in the streets of Addis – when a car stopped: How I met Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmet. #NobelpeacePrice #Abiy #AbiyAhmet AbiyAhmedAli vonderleyen— Markus Preiß (@markuspreiss) December 8, 2019 It is not the first time Abiy is filmed driving himself. He has in the past driven guests who came to Ethiopia. A typical case in point was the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince in 2018. When the EU Commission chief was also in Addis Ababa, Abiy took the initiative of driving her around town. Earlier this year whiles on a trip to Eritrea, he actually drove his host President Isaias Afwerki around in Asmara. On other driving duties, Abiy was behind the wheel of a water tanker late Sunday afternoon watering trees that Ethiopians had planted in a yet-to-be certified world record move earlier this year. የጀመርነዉን እንጨርሳለን:: Finishing what we start.#Greenlegacy#አረንጏዴአሻራ— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) December 8, 2019Mon, 09 Dec 2019 10:56:24 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban), landslide in Uganda claims 26 lives - Red Cross least 26 people have been killed in floods unleashed by heavy rains in different parts of Uganda, the Red Cross said on Monday as authorities urged people in affected areas to relocate. Seventeen flooding deaths have been confirmed in the western district of Bundibugyo. Another nine people have died in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in the east, where residents also face mudslides that can destroy entire enclaves, said Irene Nakasiita, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross. Ugandan government officials have acknowledged the continuing threat from flooding and say relief is forthcoming to affected areas. Residents are being urged to move away from areas where rivers and streams have burst their banks. More than 6,000 people have been displaced in Bududa, a rugged area in the foothills of Mount Elgon where mudslides have killed hundreds of people over the years. Some there have resisted the government’s attempts to have them relocated to lowlands elsewhere, saying they find it hard to vacate their ancestral lands. “The risk of more flooding and landslides is real,” Musa Ecweru, the government minister in charge of disasters, said in a statement Thursday. Hundreds of acres of plantations have been destroyed and an unknown number of livestock lost in the flooding and mudslides in Bududa and Sironko, Eweru said. In March 2010 at least 100 people died in mudslides in Bududa, and injuries or deaths have been reported every year since then during the wet season. APMon, 09 Dec 2019 10:25:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, December 8, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s news.Mon, 09 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ex-Boko Haram combatants complete re-integration programme [Morning Call] 110 former members of the jihadist group Boko Haram completed a de-radicalization programme and vocational training on Saturday in south-eastern Niger, near Nigeria, paving the way for their social reintegration. @NyashaKMutizwaMon, 09 Dec 2019 08:55:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) Appointment of president Bongo's son not well received [Morning Call] eldest son of Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, has been appointed “coordinator of presidential affairs” with the main mandate “to assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State.” Noureddin Bongo will therefore be a right hand man to his father Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 winning his first seven-year term after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years. Political opponents have accused the Bongo family of wanting to turn the presidency into an ‘inheritance.’ @NyashaKMutizwaMon, 09 Dec 2019 08:20:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) new master plan on Addis Ababa: Mayor dispels fake news Uma Banti, Mayor of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday called out fake news with regards to a purported master plan. He posted two documents on Twitter (each with Amharic inscriptions) and wrote: “Just for clarity. No new master plan ……no new proclamation draft regarding Addis Ababa. It is fake document produced to mislead our people.” The status of Addis Ababa continues to evoke sensitive sentiments especially among Oromos in whose regional state it is situated. The city known as Africa’s diplomatic capital because it hosts the African union, also serves as the national capital of Ethiopia, it is one of two chartered cities in the country. The other one is Dire Dawa. Oromos have long claimed the capital which is referred to in local parlance as Finfeene. A master plan move years back was what birthed the Oromo protests that metamorphosed into a political struggle leading to the rise to the premiership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, himself an Oromo. In March this year, hundreds in some cases thousands of people in across Oromia protested the manner in which the Addis Ababa city administration alloted condominium buildings. It followed the city administration’s decision to make allocations of residential space built in an area called Koye Feche located in the Oromia Regional State’s special zone. The mayor at the time said farmers who were displaced from the sites were included in the transfer without lottery. The issue of uprooting local farmers to make way for the housing project has long been a divisive issue. The project which dates back to 2016 forms part of plans to deal with rapid population growth and an acute shortage of affordable housing. The federal government moved to resolve the rift by forming a committee. Leading the 8-member committee was Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil. the mayor and three other members of the city administration were listed. The Oromia region also had three representatives on the committee including the deputy regional president, Tayiba Hassen, and two other top officials.Sun, 08 Dec 2019 15:32:42 +0000editorial@africanews.com