Africa

Somalia’s president pays rare visit to Eritrea

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Somalia’s president paid a rare visit to Eritrea on Saturday in a sign that Asmara is trying to use the opportunity created by a rapprochement with Ethiopia to improve its regional ties. By Aaron Maasho Yahoo Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki’s decision to invite President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo marks a new chapter for the countries after years of sour relations. Discussions will focus on “regional issues of interest to both countries,” Eritrea’s information ministry said. Previous Somali ... Read More »

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

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On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. Piers Pigou ICG His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election. What’s so important about the credibility of these polls? On 30 July 2018 Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect a president, parliamentarians and local councillors. The elections are an ... Read More »

Turkey is ready ‘to fight’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Ankara “counterattacks” on the occasion of the preparation of exploratory drillings by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and ENI, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, for the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, “Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction issues are back on the agenda as the fight for energy supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean continues.” The quantities in the meantime hosted in the Eastern Mediterranean zone, according to a survey cited by the ... Read More »

Tunisian economy continues to struggle

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TUNIS — More than any time in the country’s past, Tunisia must now engage in reforms to ease the financial and economic strains affecting its trade and balance of payments, according to the governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Marouane el-Abassi. Mohamed Ali Litfi Al-Monitor The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month approved the fourth tranche of its $2.8 billion loan to Tunisia, which was arranged in 2016. The $250 million payment brings IMF’s total loans to Tunisia so far to approximately $1.14 billion. Speaking at a ... Read More »

Dialogue is Essential to Unite Cameroon’s Disparate Voices

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In March 2018, Crisis Group’s Giustra Fellow, Tanda Theophilus, travelled for four weeks to the cities of Buea and Douala, which are at the heart of the Anglophone crisis that pits separatists against the government of Cameroon. Tanda Theophilus ICG He gauged the atmosphere in the Anglophone Southwest and Francophone Littoral regions ahead of the October presidential election. DOUALA, Cameroon – On the way from Douala to Buea, my vehicle slows at the toll gate on the bridge across the ... Read More »

A guide to the longest full eclipse of the moon this century, and more

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On July 27th, 2018 most of the world will be treated to an extraordinary evening of activity in the sky. Daniel Cunnama The Conversation First, there will be a total lunar eclipse and although uncommon, this one is special because it’s going to last a lot longer than usual – in fact the longest this century. But that’s not all. Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years. Caroline Southey asked Dr Daniel Cunnama to explain the… There’s ... Read More »

Why Nigeria had good reasons to delay signing Africa’s free trade deal

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Much has been made of the embarrassing withdrawal by Nigeria from signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement earlier this year having initially made the commitment to sign them. Olabisi D. Akinkugbe The Conversation Its decision was criticised by many, including myself. These reactions were justifiable given the historical poor performance of Nigeria and other African states when it comes to their commitment to regional economic integration. But, Nigeria’s decision needs to be evaluated in the light of the reason ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

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Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »

Revisiting Nelson Mandela’s roots: a photographic exploration

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South African photographer, Bonile Bam, decided that he wanted to tell a different Nelson Mandela story by documenting the landscape and physical setting in which Mandela lived as a boy. Raymond Suttner The Conversation Like Mandela, Bam also grew up in the Eastern Cape province. The entirely black and white photographs will form part of an upcoming exhibition in Johannesburg called Mandela’s Roots (revisited). Raymond Suttner interviewed Bam on his photography and how he came to develop the Mandela exhibition, ... Read More »

Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges

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If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time. It is having a boom, and the modern world is increasingly reliant on it — using it to stabilise batteries in phones, computers and electric cars; in fact, it is probably in the device you are using right now. The Signal – By Angela Lavoipierre, Stephen Smiley and Lin Evlin ABC But there is a catch. Cobalt is mined in a string of ... Read More »

Forced Evictees in Northern Uganda Entitled to a Remedy

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Residents in Apaa Seek United Nations Help Oryem Nyeko HRW Over the past week and a half, about 200 people from the northern Uganda village of Apaa have traveled 100 kilometers to the town of Gulu seeking safety – and help – after Ugandan soldiers allegedly torched their homes. They have turned to the United Nations for assistance with their plight, and are camped at the offices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In ... Read More »

Losing Egypt to Russia Isn’t the Real Problem—but Collapse Is

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Cairo is no long a prize to be won, but a weak state in need of reform. Andrew Miller and Michele Dunne The National Interest While most attention regarding U.S.-Russian competition in the Middle East is concentrated on Syria and Iran, Russian president Vladimir Putin has quietly been trying to make inroads into Egypt. For instance, a recent article by Anna Borshchevskaya presents an alarming picture in which the United States is on the verge of losing Egypt to Russia. We have ... Read More »

The mega-machines helping China link the world

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China is creating a network of ambitious land- and sea-based transport links to connect its booming economy with those of Europe and Africa. Tom Calver BBC And it’s wasting no time – designing incredible bespoke construction machines to get the job done fast. President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013, aims to connect two-thirds of the world’s population across 70 countries through a network of land links (the “belt”) and sea routes (the… Officials talk about lifetime ... Read More »

Burundi: African Union Shouldn’t Tolerate Banning Pregnant Girls from School

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In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Agnes Odhiambo and Elin Martinez allAfrica Burundi’s Education Ministry banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves from going to public or private school. Burundi’s ban is contrary to the country’s constitution and many domestic laws , and undermines the state’s education goals . Indeed, Burundi’s law against gender discrimination protects girls’ ... Read More »

‘Politics of fear’: Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address

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Johannesburg: Former US President Barack Obama took aim at “strongman politics” in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s birth. AP WAtoday While not mentioning his successor by name, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of President Donald Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, ... Read More »

DR Congo Rights Abusers Rewarded with Army Promotions

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Appointments Increase Risk of Further Repression, Abuses Ida Sawyer HRW The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and commander in chief, Joseph Kabila, has promoted two generals long linked to serious human rights abuses. The new appointments, announced on the weekend, heighten concerns of more repression and abuse in the weeks ahead, as Kabila ponders his plans ahead of elections scheduled for December 23. Gen. Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four,” was named the new deputy army chief of staff in ... Read More »