Africa

United Arab Emirates gives Ethiopia $1 billion lifeline to ease foreign exchange crisis

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease the latter’s foreign exchange shortage. Justina Crabtree CNBC The sum is part of a total of a $3 billion aid and investment pledge from the UAE to Ethiopia announced Friday. The news came as Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s foreign exchange shortage is due in part to its spending ... Read More »

Is South Africa Ceasing to be a Rainbow Nation?

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The Malaysian And Singaporean Examples Are nn Instructive Case Study A rainbow nation or a sectarian nation? South Africa’s former Apartheid regime was not a sectarian nation but rather a systematic socio-political system which effectively led to the presence of several nations built up on top of one another in a hierarchical fashion, all within the… Adam Garrie Eurasia Future Today, the suppression of the Palestinian nation by “Israel” and the suppression of Kashmiri Muslims by India are in fact ... Read More »

Italy, France call for refugee processing centres in Africa

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Giuseppe Conte hosted by Emmanuel Macron amid bid to bury hatchet following diplomatic row over rejected refugee ship. Al-Jazeera The leaders of Italy and France have urged the European Union to set up asylum processing centres in Africa to prevent refugees and migrants from undertaking the journey across the Mediterranean. French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s new populist Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met in Paris on Friday in a bid to bury the hatchet after a bitter diplomatic squabble erupted this week over Rome’s ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

EU Should Push to Protect Rights in Diamond Trade

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Next week (June 18-22) the European Union hosts governments, the diamond industry, and nongovernmental groups in the diamond-trading city of Antwerp to take stock of the Kimberley Process, the certification process set up nearly two decades ago to end the trade in “blood.. Juliane Kippenberg HRW But the Kimberley Process is not up to the task. The European Union-currently the chair of the Kimberley Process-should push for change to improve the protection of human rights starting with mining and throughout ... Read More »

The Niger-Mali Border: Subordinating Military Action to a Political Strategy

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The Nigerien government and its allies’ use of military force and non-state armed proxies to curtail jihadist groups along the Niger-Mali border is stoking intercommunal conflict. ICG Niger should instead adopt a political approach which includes reconciliation, dialogue and… Executive Summary What’s new? A new insurgency is developing along the Niger-Mali border. Jihadist groups, including a local Islamic State branch, have established a foothold in the region, exploiting recent instability in neighbouring Mali and… Why does it matter? Efforts to… ... Read More »

Italy’s Matteo Salvini shuts ports to migrant rescue ship

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A rescue ship carrying 629 migrants is stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy’s new interior minister refused permission for it to dock. BBC Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League party, promised during Italy’s recent general election to take a tough stance against migration. He says Malta should accept the Aquarius, but it refused, arguing that it falls under Italy’s jurisdiction. Italy is the main entry for migrants crossing from North Africa to Europe. German charity SOS Méditerranée says the ... Read More »

Mediterranean could become a sea of plastic, WWF warns

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The Mediterranean could become a “sea of plastic,” the WWF warned on June 8 in a report calling for measures to clean up one of the world’s worst affected bodies of water. MARSEILLE Hurriyet The WWF said the Mediterranean had record levels of “micro-plastics,” the tiny pieces of plastic less than five millimeters in size which can be found increasingly in the food chain posing a threat to human health. “The concentration of micro-plastics is nearly four times higher” in the Mediterranean compared with ... Read More »

Increasing the Stakes in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

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A moment of waning international attention has led some in President Kabila’s camp to revisit the idea of an internationally-opposed third presidential term. Nairobi/Brussels ICG African and Western leaders must maintain unity, redouble efforts to dissuade Kabila from pursuing this course and ensure preparations for elections in 2018 continue apace. What’s new? Allies of President Joseph Kabila suggest increasingly overtly that he could seek a third term in office; international actors, led by Angola, firmly reject that idea. Meanwhile, preparations ... Read More »

Israel’s Navy Trains to Defend Mediterranean Gas Rigs from Hezbollah Attack

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The Israeli Navy has successfully completed a military drill that simulated two possible ways Hezbollah might attack gas exploration and extraction systems in Israel’s Exclusive Economic… Sputnik The Israeli Navy’s first scenario included a drone simulating a cruise missile fired by the enemy at a gas rig. According to the Jerusalem Post, the airborne target was successfully discovered and destroyed by the… The ship has reportedly been upgraded with new detection, observation and electronic warfare systems, including a new radar which is said to greatly improve ... Read More »

Zimbabwe: Lack of Reform Risks Credible Elections

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President Mnangagwa Should Act on Pledge for Free, Fair Vote (Harare) – The Zimbabwe government’s failure to carry out legal and electoral reforms threatens the credibility of national elections scheduled for July 30, 2018. HRW Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s repeated promises that elections will be free and fair, the ability of voters to freely choose their leaders is in serious doubt. Human Rights Watch research in May, including interviews across the country, found that security force involvement in the electoral ... Read More »

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

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The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ICG The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further. What’s new? The rivalries underpinning the June 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis – particularly between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the one hand and Qatar and, by extension, Turkey on the other ... Read More »

Africa’s whistleblowers

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‘All I did was tell the truth’ Those who denounce corruption face hardship and physical danger even when there’s a legal framework that should protect and guarantee them a fair hearing. by Olivier Piot Le Monde diplomatique South African president Jacob Zuma resigned in February over the biggest corruption scandal since the end of apartheid, which involved both the president and his son. Zuma’s exit became inevitable last June, after the publication of thousands of confidential documents revealing that the ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. ICG But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting’s format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles. What’s new? On 29 May France will host a summit on Libya bringing together the country’s four principal competing leaders to sign an agreement on a ... Read More »

Do you even know what apartheid means?

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Op-ed: A state with complete academic freedom, with Arab ministers and MKs, a state that fosters Arab professors, doctors, pharmacists and teachers, can’t be called an ‘apartheid state,’ unless it’s by ignorant or evil people. Noah Klieger y net news And the last person who can throw this accusation at Israel is a dictator like Erdoğan who has been cracking down on freedom of speech and the free press in his own country. In the late 1950s, on a flight ... Read More »