News Briefs – 28 October 2016

Democratic Republic of Congo

DRC Tensions Continue Despite Regional Backing of Election Delay

Central African heads of state meeting Wednesday in Luanda, Angola, endorsed the deal signed last week in the Democratic Republic of Congo that delays that country’s elections by nearly two years. But the regional stamp of approval has not diminished tensions in the country itself.

The African Union-mediated agreement pushes elections in the DRC from next month to April 2018. President Joseph Kabila will stay on until then at the head of a new power-sharing government, though his elected mandate expires in December.

Angola’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, himself in power since 1979, said Wednesday the accord will help “put an end to the climate of contestation and destabilization.”

Voice of America

Seventeen arrested in DR Congo for protesting election delay

Police in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo arrested at least 17 democracy activists this week for campaigning against the postponement of the presidential election, fellow activists said, though 11 had been freed by Wednesday evening.

President Joseph Kabila has ruled Congo since 2001 and is required by the constitution to step down in December. But the ruling coalition and part of the opposition agreed this month to delay the vote to pick his successor from this November to April 2018, citing problems enrolling millions of voters.

Eight members of youth activist group Struggle for Change (Lucha) were arrested in the eastern city of Goma on Wednesday as they prepared to hold a sit-in near the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission, Lucha said in a statement.



Somalia’s al-Shabaab in comeback, as Ethiopia pulls troops

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabaab, are making a comeback, having recently seized four towns and attacked a guesthouse in neighboring Kenya, killing 12.

The resurgence of al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaeda, could affect Somalia’s plans to hold elections next month and further destabilize what is already one of the world’s most failed states.

The rebels had steadily lost ground over the past five years, first losing control of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 and then being pushed out of virtually all of Somalia’s other major cities and towns. This was largely the work of the African Union force of 22 000 soldiers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti, which is supported by the UN. The relatively weak Somalia army, with 35,000 troops, also participated in the operations.




Somalia: Concern for deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaalkacyo

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation for people in Gaalkacyo in central Somalia, due to violence over the past three weeks.

“At least 85,000 people have been displaced by the fighting so far, 60 per cent of whom have been forced to flee their homes multiple times already because of conflict and drought,” said NRC’s Country Director in Somalia, Abdelgadir Ahmed. “The most recent fighting threatens to aggravate an already fragile situation for communities living in Gaalkacyo.”

Insecurity in 2015 displaced 90,000 people in Gaalkacyo, many of whom have since been living in displacement sites across the city. All 13 displacement settlements in south Gaalkacyo, with an estimated population of 20,000, have been abandoned in the past three weeks. Another eight in the north of the city have been vacated. Over 80 per cent of those displaced are women, children and the elderly.


Central African Republic

Four dead in UN Bangui shooting

Four people have been killed during protests against the UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic. Peacekeepers opened fire when demonstrators tried to force their way into the UN headquarters, says a BBC reporter, who saw bodies being taken away in a police vehicle.

The UN denies using live bullets and says its soldiers only used tear gas. A group of Central Africans wants the UN mission to withdraw, saying it is failing to protect people. The peacekeepers were deployed after civil war broke out in 2013 when then-President Francois Bozize was ousted by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.


Tensions Rise Over Perception of UN Favouring Militia Groups

Frustration and lack of communication are fomenting violence in Bangui, Central African Republic, and additionally throughout the country, according to a reconciliation expert. Peaceful protests on the streets of the capital turned violent on Monday when clashes broke out, killing four people and wounding 14 in the skirmishes between protesters and the UN peacekeeping force (MINUSCA) on the streets of Bangui, said the UN.

The death toll was disputed by Gervais Lakosso, president, Work and Civil Society Group, a non-governmental organisation that held the demonstration aimed at getting MINUSCA out of the country. He said that six people were killed.

MINUSCA maintains that Lakosso and his group do not represent the will of Central Africans.

“This is not a general position. It’s not backed by the entire Central African [population],” said Vladimir Monteiro, MINUSCA spokesman, adding that they had spoken to Lakosso twice recently.


Chances of success high in Central African Republic if investments made in peace – UN Deputy Secretary-General

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today said that the Central African Republic (CAR) can focus on stabilization, reconciliation and reconstruction now that the country has emerged from one of the worst crises of its history and was trying to establish legitimate institutions.

“A significant investment has been made by the international community to come to this point: for the United Nations, our support in providing humanitarian assistance, our efforts on reconciliation, recovery, development and of course the presence of MINUSCA [the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic] illustrate our determination to help the country,” said Mr. Eliasson.

Mr. Eliasson was speaking to UN Member States and key partners at UN Headquarters in New York ahead of the Donors Conference on the Central African Republic taking place on 17 November in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

UN News


President Kenyatta to visit Sudan on Saturday

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will arrive to Khartoum on Saturday in a state a two-day visit at the invitation of his Sudanese counterpart Omer al-Bashir.

Presidents al-Bashir and Kenyatta will discuss regional and international issues of common interest, and ways to develop bilateral relations, said a statement issued by spokesperson of the Sudanese foreign ministry on Thursday.

During the visit, the two countries will sign a number of memorandums of understanding and bilateral cooperation agreements in the field of media, culture and higher education, technology, housing and reconstruction, and agriculture and livestock, further said Ambassador Gharib Allah Khidir.

Sudan Tribune

Sudan backs Gambia, blames Security Council for its position over ICC

Sudan has backed Gambia’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court (ICC) after South Africa and Burundi, blamed the UN Security Council for ignoring the African concerns over the war crimes court.

The Hague based court has been accused of unjustly targeting Africa officials while similar crimes are not investigated in Europe and elsewhere. Recently, South Africa and Burundi decided to leave the court. Gambia is the latest African state to withdraw from the international body.

Last July, the African Union once again requested the Security Council to suspend the referral of the case of Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir and to terminate or suspend the case of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya at the ICC until Africa’s concerns and proposals for amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC are considered.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Abdel-Ghani al-Naeem Thursday told Sudan Tribune that the African Union following Kigali Summit last July sought to meet the Security Council over the ICC but the 15-member body didn’t respond to their demand.

Sudan Tribune

South Sudan

U.N. chief seeks Security Council help with South Sudan rebels in Congo

United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon has asked the Security Council for help to resolve a stalemate between peacekeepers and the Democratic Republic of Congo government over what to do with hundreds of South Sudanese rebel fighters.

In a letter to the 15-member council, seen by Reuters on Thursday, Ban said 755 South Sudanese rebels had crossed into Congo’s Garamba National Park with opposition leader Riek Machar in August. They fled the South Sudanese capital Juba in July, after fighting erupted between Machar’s forces and troops loyal to his rival, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.

U.N. peacekeepers in Congo extracted Machar, his wife, son and 10 others from Garamba at the request of the Congolese government in mid-August, Ban said.

Since then the United Nations has been trying to broker an agreement between Congo and South Sudan on the repatriation of the fighters or their relocation to a third country until a political deal is in place in South Sudan, Ban said.


Pope Francis accepts church leaders’ invitation to visit South Sudan

Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit South Sudan to preach peace in the country embroiled in inter-ethnic and political strife, religious leaders said after talks with the pontiff on Thursday.

“He accepted the invitation and said that in principle he really wants to come,” said Rev. Peter Gai Lual Marrow of the South Sudan’s Presbyterian Church.

Marrow and Paulino Lukudu Loro, Catholic Archbishop of the capital, Juba, and Episcopalian Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak held talks with the pope, who had asked them to come to the Vatican to discuss the situation in their country.

Oil-producing South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, descended into civil war in December 2013 when a dispute between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar ended with fighting, often occurring along ethnic lines. Both sides have targeted civilians, human rights groups say.


Western Sahara

There Can Be Only Negotiated Political Solution to Western Sahara: Ambassador

Morocco stressed in the United Nations in Geneva that the only way forward to put an end to the dispute over the Western Sahara is through a mutually acceptable political solution.

During a meeting at the UN office in Geneva, Morocco’s permanent representative to Geneva, ambassador Mohamed Aujjar, said that “the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara can be resolved only through a negotiated political solution pursuant to UNSC resolutions.”

Since 2004, the UNSC committed itself to finding a mutually-acceptable political solution to this conflict, as an alternative to the failure in the implementation of the 1991 settlement plan, said the diplomat during the examining of the 6th Moroccan report by the UNHRC.

Morocco World News

UN peacekeeping chief to visit disputed Western Sahara

The UN peacekeeping chief said on Tuesday he is heading to the disputed Western Sahara later this week to visit UN troops for the first time since Morocco expelled more than 70 UN civilian staffers in March to protest comments by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Herve Ladsous told a group of reporters after briefing the Security Council that he will visit Layoune, the largest city in Western Sahara, as well as camps for Sahrawi refugees in neighboring Tindouf, Algeria, and the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

He will be the highest-ranking UN official to visit the region since early March when Ban used the word “occupation” in talking about Morocco’s involvement in Western Sahara during a visit to a refugee camp in Tindouf. That led to demonstrations against Ban in Morocco and the government’s decision to expel UN civilian workers.



1.4 Million People Are Facing Serious Hunger in Drought-Hit Southern Madagascar

Of that number, 850,000 are said to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance

This year’s El Niño weather pattern has amplified the effects of consecutive droughts in southern Madagascar, ravaging crops and leaving 1.4 million people desperately short of food.

A report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Wednesday said that insufficient rainfall in the southern region of Androy alone caused an 80 percent drop in maize production this year.

Production of the staple in the south was already down after the droughts in 2015. Yields of cassava, another staple, were also severely reduced.

Crop failures are forcing people to sell their animals and agricultural tools, and is driving them to forage in the wild. The FAO said that it and the World Food Program were trying to replace tools and distribute quick-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds.



King reshuffles TEN diplomats

His Majesty King Mswati III has reshuffled the country’s diplomats serving in foreign missions.

Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini announced the reshuffle of 10 foreign envoys currently representing the country in foreign states yesterday.

Njabuliso Busisiwe Gwebu will be Ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland in the United States of America (USA), while Reverend Abednigo Ntshangase who was Ambassador in the US has been moved to be High Commissioner of Swaziland to the Republic of Mozambique.

Transferred “Dumsile Sukati who was High Commissioner to the United Kingdom has been transferred to be High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa.

Swazi Observer

Swaziland: Nurses Threaten to Strike Next Week

Nurses in Swaziland are threatening to embark on an indefinite strike next week after the government in Mbabane failed to meet their demands for better working conditions.

Last week, leaders of the Swaziland Nurses Association presented a petition to Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini’s office demanding better working conditions. They also issued an ultimatum that the group would strike if the administration failed to address their concerns within seven business days.

The ultimatum expired Wednesday, but the government has yet to signal its intentions, according to Sibusiso Lushaba, national secretary of the Swaziland Nurses Association.

He says the decision to demand better working conditions was taken at a national meeting of nurses in October 2015. Lushaba says there was a consensus at the meeting that the administration in Mbabane be lobbied to improve working conditions and create more opportunities for nurses across the country.


Military chief says corruption threatens Zimbabwe’s security

A top Zimbabwe army general says corruption in President Robert Mugabe’s government has become a security threat.

In a sharp rebuke of senior ruling party officials, Zimbabwe National Army Chief of Staff (administration), Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, told Parliament that corruption by some senior government officials was bleeding the economy.

Maj-Gen Nyikayaramba’s comments followed serious infighting in President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party over a failed attempt by the anti-graft agency to arrest a minister accused of abusing public funds.

President Mugabe three weeks ago blocked the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) from arresting Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo over alleged abuse of over $450,000 from a State manpower development fund.

Daily Nation

Record levels of assault, abduction and torture reported in Zimbabwe

NGO records hundreds of cases of political violence, which it says are mostly perpetrated by state security forces

Political violence in Zimbabwe has increased dramatically in 2016, with record levels of assault, abduction and torture recorded as opposition to Robert Mugabe’s 36-year rule escalates.

Around 654 cases of political violence were recorded by a local NGO, the Counselling Services Unit (CSU), as of 21 October, compared to 476 cases in the whole of 2015.

The CSU found that assaults were overwhelmingly perpetrated by the state’s security forces – including police, military and the secretive Central Intelligence Organisation – while opposition supporters and civil society activists had been on the receiving end of the increasingly violent treatment.

The Guardian


Africa in General

African revolt threatens international criminal court’s legitimacy

The claim that the international criminal court unfairly targets Africans is gaining significant traction after the Gambia became the third country on the continent to announce its withdrawal from The Hague-based tribunal.

The move follows similar announcements from Burundi and South Africa, who informed the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, of their decision to quit the court last week, making them the first countries to begin the year-long exit process in the court’s 18-year history.

Burundi’s parliament has claimed the court is merely “a political tool used by [foreign] powers to remove whoever they want from power on the African continent”.

The Guardian

SA’s exit from ICC has ripple effect in Africa

South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court has spurred on other African countries to follow suit, with Kenya the latest to pull out of the institution.

Pretoria announced its decision to withdraw from the ICC on Friday and was followed by Burundi on Saturday.

Last year there was a dispute about Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visiting South Africa despite his being the subject of an ICC arrest warrant over alleged war crimes.

The Kenyan cabinet is finalising a decision to leave the ICC after the country was criticised for prosecuting President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and four other leaders for the 2007 post-election violence. The case crumbled before the ICC last year and the Kenyan leaders were acquitted.


China’s model of economic development is becoming more popular in Africa than America’s

More African countries are looking East for inspiration on how to grow and manage their economies. According to a survey by Afrobarometer, China is the second-most popular international presence on the continent, only slightly behind the United States. “China rivals the United States in influence and popularity as a development model,” the report, released today (pdf), concluded.

About 30% of 56,000 people surveyed in 36 African countries ranked the US as the most popular model for national development, compared to 24% who ranked China first.



News Briefs: 14 October 2016

Democratic Republic of Congo

DR Congo stability at extreme risk, UN warned

The Democratic Republic of Congo is at “extreme risk” of descending into widespread violence, the UN Security Council has been warned. UN envoy Maman Sidikou said threats to the 18,000-strong peacekeeping mission there outstripped its capabilities. Violent protests have broken out over the postponement of presidential polls.

The opposition accuses President Joseph Kabila of trying to cling to power beyond the end of his term, which is due to expire in December. Dozens of people died in anti-government violence in the capital Kinshasa last month after the electoral commission said it could not hold polls in November.

The headquarters of three opposition parties were also attacked and burned down.

“Actors on all sides appear more and more willing to resort to violence to achieve their ends,” Mr Sidikou, head of the UN peacekeeping mission known as Monusco, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.


EU: Impose Targeted Sanctions against Senior Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo

We are writing to share with you Human Rights Watch’s latest research on the Democratic Republic of Congo and to urge you to support strong measures, including the application of targeted sanctions, in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Congo, due to be adopted on October 17. Taking action now could help prevent the situation in Congo from spiraling out of control in the coming weeks – with potentially violent and widespread repercussions across the region.

Less than 10 weeks before the December 19 deadline for when President Joseph Kabila is due to step down at the end of his constitutionally mandated two-term limit, Congolese authorities have deliberately stalled plans for the organization of elections, President Kabila has repeatedly refused to declare whether he plans to step down, and those loyal to him have systematically sought to silence, repress, and intimidate the growing coalition of voices calling for the constitution to be respected.

Human Rights Watch


U.S. Government Probes Somalia’s Airstrikes Claims

The U.S. government said it has launched investigations into claims that its forces mistakenly killed 22 Somalia soldiers and injured 16 others in the outskirt of Galkayo town in central Somalia on Sept. 28.

U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz said the U.S. government is working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA), and Puntland Administration officials to address concerns related to the incident.

“The United States is aware of reports of casualties in Galkayo and takes such allegations very seriously. The Department of Defense has initiated an assessment of all credible evidence,” Schwartz said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

U.N.-approved weapons imports resold in Somalia, diplomats say

Many guns imported by the Somali government with U.N. approval are being resold by arms dealers on the black market in the nation’s capital Mogadishu, two Western diplomats said.

Such sales violate a three-year-old deal which exempted government weapons imports from a U.N. arms embargo. The U.N. Security Council partially lifted it in 2013 to equip government forces fighting al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants.

The United Nations imposed a blanket arms embargo on Somalia shortly after the nation plunged into civil war 25 years ago. The two diplomats, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said through photographic evidence it was calculated between 35 to 40 percent of automatic rifles and other small arms on sale on the Mogadishu black market were imported by the government under the exemption.


Central African Republic

Fighting in Central African Republic kills 30

UN peacekeepers repelled the attack in Kaga-Bandoro that targeted civilians, killing at least 12 assailants. Fighters with the former Seleka rebel group attacked a northern town in Central African Republic and clashes left at least 30 dead and 57 wounded as United Nations peacekeepers confronted them.

Peacekeepers repelled the attackers, killing at least 12 of them, the UN said. The attack in Kaga-Bandoro was likely retaliation for the death on Tuesday of a suspected former Seleka member, the UN mission said in a statement.


UN refugee agency condemns rising violence against civilians in Central African Republic

The United Nations refugee agency today condemned attacks on civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR), where clashes between rival groups have forced thousands of people to flee their homes and disrupted vital humanitarian aid operations.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “strongly condemns attacks against civilians which severely hamper the provision of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to populations in need,” said the agency’s representative for the country, Kouassi Lazare Etien in a news release.

Fighting in the past month between ex-Séléka militiamen and anti-Balaka fighters has affected western, eastern and central parts of the country and the capital, Bangui, according to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA).

UN News


Sudan calls for new oil sharing agreement with China

Sudanese government on Wednesday has called on China to reach a new Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) on an oil field located in the southern part, as the two sides will negotiate renewal of some agreements that will expire soon.

On Wednesday, the State Minister for Oil Mahmoud Abdel-Rahman and the vesting Chinese Envoy for Arab Affairs Ambassador Lee Ching, discussed Chinese oil investments in the eastern African nation and sharing agreement on Block B2 in Heglig.

According to the official news agency SUNA, Abdel-Rahman, called on China to reach a new agreement on Block 2B to help increasing production for the interest of the two parts. he said that the oil produced by the block does not exceed 20% of the reserves.

Sudan Tribune

Sudanese president urges more parties to sign national accord

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir is moving away from the Islamic extremists within his ruling party by declaring the rebirth of a new Sudan minus religious fanaticism.

A day after the signing of the National Dialogue Accord that seek to change the constitution to usher in a government of national unity, President al-Bashir said: “As of today the Sudanese people are in the New Sudan which is free from regionalism, tribalism and racism”.

The president was speaking at the Green Square in Khartoum to celebrate the signing of National Document on October 10 by the government and 90 political parties, also declared that October 11 will be marked as a national holiday.

Daily Nation

South Sudan

S Sudan’s Riek Machar now in SA for medical treatment

South Sudan’s opposition leader Riek Machar is reportedly in South Africa to receive medical treatment after he fled fighting that erupted in the east African country in July.

According to SABC, his spokesperson and officials in Pretoria confirmed that the rebel leader was now in South Africa.

“He is now in South Africa for medical treatment,” his Nairobi-based Spokesperson James Gatdet Dak was reported as saying, adding that he was likely to stay in the country for about a week.


South Sudan unrest rises amid Kiir’s death rumours

Conflict increasing throughout the country as government dismisses reports of President Silva Kiir’s death.

The UN has warned of increasing violence in South Sudan as the government was forced to publicly dismiss rumours of President Salva Kiir’s death to quell rising tensions.

The UN said it was being denied access to parts of the country where fighting has erupted and condemned “in no uncertain terms these acts of violence and attacks against non-combatant civilians”.


Western Sahara

Confidential Documents Reveal How Morocco Bribes Petitioners at UN

Confidential documents revealed how Morocco bribed foreign petitioners to so that they support the Moroccan position on Western Sahara at the UN.

Several documents of the Moroccan Foreign Affairs Ministry and Representation to the United National reveal the extent of this operation aiming at deceiving the international community’s opinion on Western Sahara.

Obtained by the hacker Chris Coleman, who had already revealed many secrets related to the conflict of Western Sahara, the documents provide details of this vast corruption operation: “choice of petitioners and themes of interventions and the amounts paid to stakeholders to take the floor and defend the colonial policy of Morocco before the UN decolonization Committee.”

Algeria Calls for Resumption of Western Sahara Talks

Algeria’s permanent representative to the UN Sabri Boukadoum called on Monday in New York for the resumption of talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco to end the stalemate in the UN peace process.

Following the debate of the UN Fourth Committee on Special Political and Decolonization, the Algerian representative said that the Sahrawi question is still “deadlocked” and “there are attempts to take over the peace process.”

“The main fact is that last year did not see any positive progress and the absence of positive progress is not a good sign,” he told the Committee short before the adoption of a resolution on Western Sahara, reaffirming Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination.


Mumbengegwi in Madagascar for Comesa Ministeral Meetings

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi left Harare yesterday for Antananarivo, Madagascar, to attend Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa ministerial meetings.The meetings are in preparation for the 19th comesa Heads of State and Government Summit to be held from October 18 to 19 under the theme: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation”.

In statement last night, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Summit was expected to receive among other things, reports from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Justice. “The meeting will discuss peace and security issues during which the Ministers of Foreign Affairs will consider the status of the peace and security situation in the region in preparation for the Summit,” reads the statement.


Police Fire Gunshots at Students

Police fired gunshots at protesting students at the university in Swaziland that is set to house King Mswati III’s proposed ‘SADC University of Transformation’.

At least four students had ‘serious injuries’, according to the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.

It happened on Wednesday (12 October 2016) at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology at Sidwashini. Students had been protesting about the poor quality of teaching at the university and inferior facilities.

Limited Support from EU On Trade

More than four in ten Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) did not support Swaziland’s inclusion in a trade partnership deal.

European Union Ambassador to Swaziland Nicola Bellomo said many MEPs wanted Swaziland excluded because of human rights violations.

In a recent vote, 417 MEPs endorsed Swaziland’s inclusion in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement. However, 216 MEPs voted against and a further 118 abstained from voting.


Jonathan Moyo should be arrested, prosecuted: Zim High Court told

After he was saved, seconds from disaster by Mugabe last week, Jonathan Moyo is still facing arrest after his case was taken to a Harare court by a concerned citizen who feels that the Zimbabwe Education Minister should be in the dock to answer fraud charges levelled against him.

Hardlife Mudzingwa has approached a Zimbabwe High Court in Harare seeking an order to clarify that the arrest of government ministers by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) does not require the consent of the President of Zimbabwe.

In his application, Mudzingwa cited Professor Jonathan Moyo, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, ZRP Commissioner General and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission of Zimbabwe as respondents.

Zimbabwe News





Mystery of $200m bond notes facility

IMF denies knowledge of Afreximbank loan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has professed ignorance over the existence of a US$200 million facility from the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) which the Zimbabwean government claims will be used to back soon-to-be-introduced bond notes.

Government officials say the surrogate currency is meant to avert a biting cash crisis while promoting exports,as fears abound that the authorities are using bond notes as a ruse to re-introduce a fully-fledged local currency.

Asked whether or not the IMF knew anything about the fate of the US$200m facility which Zimbabwe has repeatedly announced it will get from Afreximbank to back the bond notes, IMF press officer Andrew Kanyegirire said he had no information on the subject.

The Independent



Africa in General

Kenya’s President Uhuru to grant stateless Makonde people citizenship

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday directed that all eligible Makonde people, living in Kwale’s coastal region to be issued with national identity cards by December.

The Makonde people are originally from northern Mozambique and have for decades remained stateless. They are estimated to be about 10,000 living in Kenya.

While hosting a delegation of 300 members of the community at State House, the President said; “I seek your apology on behalf of other Kenyans because Kenya has taken too long to consider you as our brothers and sisters.”

He further ordered responsible government departments to ensure eligible members of the community were issued with land title deeds.

CCTV Africa

At least 10 dead as army, Ugandan rebels clash in DR Congo: local activist

At least 10 people were killed in clashes between the army and suspected Ugandan rebels in east DR Congo, a local activist said Monday, in an area that has suffered a string of massacres since 2014.

The rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces, a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin, are accused of a litany of human rights abuses and of being involved with kidnappings and smuggling.

“Suspected ADF attacked Beni from the north overnight… Eight civilians were shot dead, a soldier was killed and a suspected ADF militant was also killed,” the local civil society leader, Gilbert Kambale, told AFP.



Nigeria’s Chibok schoolgirls freed in Boko Haram deal

Twenty-one of the schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, have been freed, the president’s spokesman has confirmed.

Garba Shehu said the release was “the outcome of negotiations between the administration and Islamist militants”.

A security official told the BBC several militants were freed in a swap – but the government later denied this.

Boko Haram seized more than 270 girls from a school in Chibok, north-east Nigeria, triggering global outcry.


Well-being of Africa is Germany’s interest: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wraps up on Friday a week of Africa diplomacy aimed at slowing the flow of migrants to Europe from a continent battered by conflict and poverty. As Germany, Europe’s top destination for people fleeing war and misery, looks to chair the G20 next year, it has pledged to step up efforts to help Africa and fight the causes of the mass migration.

She will host Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, having also met Chad’s head of state, Idriss Deby in Berlin. Earlier in the week she took a whirlwind tour to Mali, Niger and Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union.