Africa – 26 May 2015

Africa brings huge benefits for SA: Patel
Xenophobia must be countered by spreading the message to ordinary South Africans about the huge benefits which the rest of Africa brought to this country, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel said on Monday.
He was speaking at an Africa Day symposium held at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Monday, one of many Africa Day events held across South Africa, largely inspired by the recent explosion of xenophobic violence, as UJ’s Farid Essack said.

Ebola crisis: Guineans jailed for putting corpse in taxi
Six people have been put in isolation in prison in Guinea after being accused of travelling with a corpse of a relative who had died of Ebola. The authorities said the body was seated upright in a taxi, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans with sunglasses and sandwiched between three others.
If after 21 days they show no signs of having the virus they will be tried for violating the health emergency. Guinea is battling to control a flare up in Ebola cases. Nearly 2,500 people have died in Guinea since the West Africa Ebola outbreak began more than a year ago.

On Africa Day, UN chief spotlights continents’ achievements, reflects on challenges of 2015
Each year, Africa Day is an opportunity to celebrate the continent’s achievements and to reflect on its challenges, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, highlighting the courage and determination it took to make remarkable progress to end the Ebola outbreak and urging leaders to commit to ending violence against women and empower them.
“The dominant story of the year has been the Ebola crisis that swept West Africa, claiming at least 11,000 lives and threatening hard-won social, economic and political achievements,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks on the Day, which is celebrated worldwide on 25 May.
Now, we have to intensify efforts to get to zero and stay at zero cases, repair the damage and strengthen social and institutional resilience throughout the continent, Mr. Ban urged.

As the continent observes Africa Day today, some South Africans say they support President Jacob Zuma’s pleas for unity.
On Sunday, Zuma called on South Africans to learn the African Union (AU) anthem. He was speaking at the first of government’s Africa Day celebrations in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. Those who were attending the event say Africa Day is an opportunity for South Africa to fight against xenophobia.
“It’s a very important reminder that as we enjoy the fruits of freedom, we must reminder ourselves that we’ve to share the benefits of it with those who fought with us to see us free.
Eye Witness News

Kenyan police clash with al-Shabab in Garissa County
Kenyan police have been involved in a fierce gun battle with militant Islamists in north-eastern Garissa County, leaving one officer wounded, a government spokesman has told the BBC.
The al-Shabab militants had ambushed the police near Yumbis village in Garissa County, Mwenda Njoka added. He dismissed as propaganda al-Shabab’s claim that at least 20 policemen were killed in the attack. Al-Shabab is a Somalia-based group which has stepped up attacks in Kenya.