Africa

Burkina Faso’s Alarming Escalation of Jihadist Violence

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Attacks on the Burkina Faso army headquarters and the French Embassy on 2 March 2018 were better organised, involved heavier weapons and were more sustained than anything seen so far in Burkina Faso. ICG In this Q&A, our West Africa Program Director Rinaldo Depagne says the jihadist assault further exposes worrying weakness in the Burkinabé security forces. What do we know about the 2 March attacks in Ouagadougou? The attacks represent an alarming escalation for Burkina Faso in terms of organisation, ... Read More »

The Congo Is Set to Butt Heads With Mining Firms Over Cobalt

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For parents in much of the world, the beginning of December is a harbinger for the scramble to secure the year’s hottest game or electronic gadget ahead of the holidays. Stratfor And as battery technology continues to improve and costs decline, it has touched off another scramble of its own, as the manufacturers of batteries for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles chase after raw materials like cobalt, an invaluable component in such objects. Right at the center of this ... Read More »

Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers

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Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. Tanja R. Müller The Conversation A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country. In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants ... Read More »

Land expropriation motion amendment passed

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A National Assembly resolution allowing land expropriation without compensation will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30. Abongile Dumako SABC The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the African National Congress’ (ANC) amendment to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) motion for land expropriation without compensation. The ANC’s amendment, which was accepted by the House, inserts a clause about improving food security. The motion passed by 241 votes to 63, with the ... Read More »

‘I see death’: Christian asylum seekers fear return to Egypt

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Two young asylum seekers fear for their lives if they are deported to their native Egypt when their visas expire within weeks. Carolyn Webb The Sydney Morning Herald  The cousins, along with eight other Coptic Christian asylum seekers in Melbourne, are appealing directly to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to show mercy and let them stay. Michael Ramzy, 31, was bashed and his mobile phone shop gutted in an attack by Muslim extremists in the village of Al Gharizat, 500km south ... Read More »

Why the world’s view of migrants is wrong-headed

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We are bombarded daily with images of poor, desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in makeshift boats, bodies washed up on shores, concentration camps, and even slave markets in Libya for desperate Africans fleeing poverty and war. Hafed Al-Ghwell Arab News Countless studies, speeches by politicians, and press releases by human rights organizations have filled the pages of traditional and new media. All of this happens, however, without even a hint of an end to this human tragedy, or any ... Read More »

Can Sudan Manage Economic Discontent amid Volatile Geopolitics?

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Facing an economic crisis at home, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has avoided picking sides in the spat between Gulf powers. But friction with Egypt and divisions in the Gulf have made such flexibility in regional relations more difficult to achieve. ICG There was guarded hope in Khartoum when the U.S. government removed many of its economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in October 2017. Officials thought Washington would move forward with normalising relations, the next step being to strike Sudan ... Read More »

EU to double funding for military force in West Africa’s Sahel region

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The European Union is set to double its funding for a multi-national military operation in West Africa’s Sahel region to counter Islamist insurgencies, EU diplomats said, part of a broader effort to fight militants and people traffickers. BRUSSELS – Reuters Hurriyet At a donor conference of some 50 countries including the United States, Japan and Norway, military power France hopes to win enough backing to allow a regional force first proposed four years ago to be fully operational later this ... Read More »

Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees

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Poor countries have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis. Tanzania’s refusal to bear the cost of a new U.N. program is a warning to the West. By Alexander Betts FP The European refugee crisis has deluded many voters into believing that most refugees are coming to rich countries. They are not — 84 percent are in low- or middle-income nations. Tanzania is one such country; it hosts over 350,000 refugees mostly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the ... Read More »

South Africa’s Healthy Democracy

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Why Zuma’s Resignation Is a Good Sign Democracy in South Africa is in tatters. By Daniel de Kadt, Evan Lieberman, and Philip Martin Foreign Affairs Or at least that’s the widespread view following President Jacob Zuma’s forced resignation on February 14, which ended his almost-nine-year tenure in office. Although South Africans are largely united in celebrating Zuma’s departure, a litany of scandals, allegations of corruption, and a perceived hollowing-out of institutions have led many to conclude that the post-apartheid project under the African National Congress (ANC) has ... Read More »

‘Tortured and held for ransom,’ a child migrant’s story

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(CNN) – Souleiman tells a harrowing tale. He says he left Guinea when he was just 17 years old, embarking on a treacherous journey that took him through three countries. By Lorenzo D’Agostino and Mark Tutton, CNN Along the way, he says he was imprisoned, tortured and held for ransom. Souleiman says he left home in the summer of 2016, traveling thousands of miles through Mali, Algeria and Libya before reaching the Mediterranean Sea in December 2017. Smugglers put him in ... Read More »

Delek, Noble sign accords for $15b in sales of Israeli natural gas to Egypt

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Partners in the offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields ink deals with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd. for the sale of some 64 billion cubic meters over coming decade By Shoshanna Solomon The Times of Israel The partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields, including a unit of US Noble Energy Inc and Delek Drilling LP, have signed $15 billion in deals to export natural gas to Egypt over 10 years. In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ... Read More »

Myanmar says it’s ready to take back Rohingya Muslims

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A Myanmar minister told Bangladesh’s president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence, though Bangladesh said it wanted the hundreds of thousands of refugees to have a safe and dignified return. DHAKA – The Associated Press Hurriyet Myanmar’s Home Minister Kyaw Swe, on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, told President Abdul Hamid that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal the countries signed late last year, presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said on ... Read More »

What’s Actually Behind Cape Town’s Water Crisis

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Blame austerity-obsessed technocrats, irresponsible development, and willful ignorance. RICHARD POPLAK The Atlantic The city of Cape Town was plonked by its founders onto a peninsula not far from where the Indian and Atlantic oceans merge, often violently, beneath the imposing banks of Table Mountain. To its north lie the fertile fruit and wine farms that weigh down the city’s restaurant tables with unimaginable bounty. Every day when the clock strikes noon, a cannon blast echoes from Signal Hill, a reminder ... Read More »

Cape Town drought declared a ‘national disaster’

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South Africa has declared the drought which has seen Cape Town hurtling towards “Day Zero” a national disaster. BBC The government made the announcement after reassessing the “magnitude and severity” of the three-year drought. It has badly affected three of the country’s nine provinces. The decision came as Cape Town announced its water saving measures, which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day, had successfully pushed back “Day Zero” to 4 June. Just a matter of ... Read More »

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

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“The women scholars here are even more important than men.” DINA TEMPLE-RASTON The Atlantic Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels ... Read More »