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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Africa Africa News From the Associated Press


Kenya Supreme Court nixed poll because it couldn't see data

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:28:44 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's Supreme Court said Wednesday it nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election largely because the electoral commission refused to allow an investigation of its computerized system that transmitted results. The court judges said because the electoral commission refused to allow scrutiny of its computer servers it had no option but to agree with the claim by Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga that the computerized data of the August presidential elections had been interfered with. Outside the court, demonstrators protested for and against the Supreme Court's ruling. The court annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election earlier this month saying there were irregularities and illegalities.

Boy killed at huge protests over Togo president's tenure

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:58:42 UT

LOME, Togo (AP) — A 10-year-old boy was killed and 10 others injured in Togo's capital as hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated Wednesday against a vote by the West African nation's parliament on a bill they fear will allow the president to run for more terms, the security minister said. Togo's security minister Col. Damehame Yark blamed opposition members for the violence, saying they brought weapons to the demonstrations. Thousands of people across the small West African nation have been demonstrating since last month for term limits on President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since his father died in 2005. The Gnassingbe family has ruled the small West African nation for 50 years.

Torrential rains, flooding kill at least 12 in eastern Congo

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:19:20 UT

GOMA, Congo (AP) — A Congo official says that flooding caused by torrential rains overnight have killed at least 12 people and left 92 others missing in the country's east. Robert Seninga, deputy provincial parliament member, also said 18 people have been injured in the flooding of Bihambwe village, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Goma in Congo's North Kivu province. He said more than 100 homes have been destroyed. Joseph Makundi, head of civil protection in North Kivu, said the rains also caused landslides near mines in the area. He said emergency preparedness teams have been sent to the area to find and rescue those missing. More than 200 people were recorded as dead after a landslide last month in Ituri province.

The Latest: Kenya Supreme Court says why it nixed poll

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:17:44 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on the judgment by Kenya's Supreme Court describing why it annulled the results of the August presidential election. (all times local): 1:10 p.m. Kenya's police tear gassed opposition and ruling party supporters outside the Supreme Court as it delivered its full judgment Wednesday on why it annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in August. The court annulled Kenyatta's victory in the August 8 election saying there were irregularities and illegalities. It made the decision in response to opposition leader Raila Odinga's petition challenging the official results that Kenyatta won with 54 percent of the vote. The electoral commission has set Oct. 17 as the date for a fresh election.

Congo leader opens peace conference in bloody Kasai region

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:50:51 UT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo President Joseph Kabila declared Tuesday that "justice must be done" as he opened a peace conference in the bloody Kasai region where thousands of people have died in a year of fighting among government troops and militias. Kabila blamed the unrest on "terrorist militia" and told officials, religious and civil society leaders and former militia members at the conference that all who have contributed to the violence in the once-peaceful region will have to answer for their crimes. The fighting in the Kasai provinces in Congo's south began in August 2016 after Congolese troops killed the leader of the Kamwina Nsapu militia.

Kenya's judges who nullified election face 'savage' threats

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:27:34 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Attempts to intimidate Kenya's Supreme Court judges after they nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election have been "unlawful and savage in nature," the nation's judiciary said Tuesday, as ruling party supporters protested outside the court demanding the judges' removal. The protests came after petitions were filed asking the Judicial Service Commission to remove Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola. The petitions claim misconduct and bias. Maraga and three other justices ruled 4-2 to annul Kenyatta's re-election and call for a new election, which is set for Oct. 17. The court ruled the electoral commission had committed "irregularities.

UN calls on Congo to protect refugees after deadly shooting

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:12:18 UT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency is calling on Congo's government to ensure protection for refugees and asylum-seekers after Congolese soldiers shot and killed at least 39 Burundian protesters, including a child. The agency said Tuesday that many of the dead and the 94 wounded were refugees and asylum-seekers. Congo authorities have said they would launch an investigation into Friday's shooting, which the refugee agency says began with a peaceful protest over the detention of some Burundians who feared deportation. U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi says the "devastating tragedy" should never have happened and he calls on Congo's government to launch a detailed inquiry. The U.N.

Prosecutors to argue Pistorius should get more jail time

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:10:35 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Oscar Pistorius faces another legal challenge when South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal convenes Nov. 3 to hear arguments by state prosecutors that the former track star and convicted murderer should get more jail time. The National Prosecuting Authority said Tuesday that the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear its case for overturning Pistorius' six-year prison sentence for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the basis that it is too lenient. Prosecutors want the sentence of the double-amputee Olympic runner to be increased to 15 years. Pistorius was convicted of murder after a successful 2015 appeal by prosecutors against an initial manslaughter verdict.

Forgotten people stranded for years by South Sudan's war

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:29:03 UT

RENK, South Sudan (AP) — "They told us we'd only be here for six days, and that was six years ago," Ramadan Wani says. Anxiously rubbing his hands together, the 46-year-old sits hunched on a makeshift stool in his tattered house in Payuer, a displaced persons' camp in South Sudan's border town of Renk. He hasn't seen his family in all that time. He is one of several hundred who have become stranded because of their attachment to their belongings. They are waiting to be transported, with their baggage, a resettlement option that dried up long ago. When South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, Wani was one of 68,000 people who returned from Sudan in hopes of starting a new life in the world's youngest nation.

UN says 1 Tanzanian peacekeeper killed in Congo, 1 injured

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:04:33 UT

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The United Nations mission in Congo says a peacekeeper has been killed amid fighting in Beni territory in the country's North Kivu province. The mission said Monday that the Tanzanian peacekeeper was shot during an attack Sunday by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels on an armed forces position. It said the army position was about 500 meters (547 yards) from a U.N. base. The U.N. mission said another Tanzanian peacekeeper was injured in the fighting and has been evacuated to a U.N. hospital in Goma. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the killing, and urged Congo's government to investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice.

Uganda police detain 11 protesting 'life presidency'

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:14:34 UT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan police have detained a lawmaker and 10 others who were arrested while protesting against a plan that they charge would enable the country's long-term president to rule for life. Emilian Kayima, a police spokesman in the capital Kampala, said they are holding a prominent opposition member of parliament and others accused of staging an unlawful assembly Monday. Dozens of lawmakers with Uganda's ruling party said last week they will support a bill to remove a clause in Uganda's constitution that prevents anyone aged 75 and above from seeking the presidency. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who turned 73 last week, is ineligible to run again if the clause remains.

Somalia regional state sides with Saudi Arabia over Qatar

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:07:51 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A Somali regional state has declared its support for Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties with Qatar, in a new challenge to Somalia's efforts to stay neutral in the dispute. In a statement issued Monday, Somalia's Southwestern state criticized the Somali government's recent stand to stay neutral in the Gulf crisis which it said was made "without much consideration and consultation" with the regional states. The statement also said that the United Arab Emirates and Somalia have centuries of historical, cultural and commercial relationships. The development is a new challenge for Somalia's central government which has rejected multiple attempts by Gulf states to support one side or the other.

Boko Haram suicide attack kills at least 15 in north Nigeria

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:56:32 UT

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian rescue official says at least 15 people have been killed and 43 others injured in a suicide attack on Mashimari village in Borno state. Bello Dambatta, head of rescue operations for the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, said women were the majority of those killed in the Monday morning attack and the toll is likely to rise. Dambatta also said most of the victims were evacuated to medical facilities in Maiduguri and Konduga. Bunu Bukar, Secretary of the Hunters Association in Borno State, said three suicide bombers staged the attack after gunshots got villagers to run. The village is not far from the Mandarari Internal Displacement Camp that was attacked in August, he said.

Motor accident in Uganda kills 13 people, police say

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:55:47 UT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Thirteen people, including 12 Tanzanian nationals, have been killed in a motor accident on a highway in central Uganda, police said Monday. Most of the victims were traveling in a minibus that crashed head-on with a truck on Sunday night, Ugandan police spokesman Asan Kasingye told a news conference in the capital, Kampala. The Tanzanians were returning home from a wedding in Kampala. Seven other passengers in the minibus were seriously injured and "in critical condition." A passenger in the truck was killed while the driver was seriously injured, Kasingye said. The highway leading to western Uganda has been notorious over the years for the high number of lethal accidents usually blamed on irresponsible drivers.

Hard to spot: criminals find new ways to smuggle rhino horns

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:34:54 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — International traffickers have tried many ways to smuggle African rhino horns to Asia, concealing them inside wooden Buddha statues, stashing horn pieces in lobster heads kept in a refrigerated container and disguising horn portions as the bases of painted statues. Now, conservationists say, some criminal groups are processing rhino horns into powder and trinkets in South Africa before export, a trend that could reflect changing consumer tastes and make it harder for law enforcement to intercept the illegal cargo.

Children flee, fight amid Congo's growing Kasai violence

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 17:37:45 UT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's Kasai region is the latest deadly hotspot in the vast Central African country that has had violent rebellions for decades. Once again, children are among the most vulnerable victims. Well over 1 million people have fled the fighting that began a year ago when Congo's military killed the regional tribal leader of the Kamwina Nsapu militia. More than 3,300 people in the region have died, according to estimates by the Catholic church. The United Nations has counted more than 80 mass graves. Across the once-peaceful region, children are forced to take up weapons, either recruited by militias or to defend their homes. Children make up more than half of the displaced people, said Yvon Edoumou, spokesman for the U.

Ethiopia: 55,000 people displaced amid ethnic clashes.

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 17:15:29 UT

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — More than 55,000 ethnic Oromos have been displaced from Ethiopia's Somali region after a week of clashes with Somalis in which dozens were killed, the regional government of Ethiopia's restive Oromia region said on Sunday. The statement from the Oromia government follows claims by Somali regional officials earlier this week that more than 50 people were killed in an attack against ethnic Somalis in Aweday town. "More than 55,000 Oromos were displaced from the Somali region after the recent incident and are now sheltered in makeshift camps," Addisu Arega, Oromia region's spokesman, said in the statement.

Kenya's opposition urges reform of electoral commission

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:51:07 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga Sunday said the coalition he leads will hold nationwide campaigns to urge reforms of the electoral commission before the fresh presidential elections next month. Odinga has maintained that the electoral commission must be reformed or he will not participate in the new election ordered by the Supreme Court when it nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in August. One of the reforms he wants is the removal of a dozen top officials he accuses of electoral fraud. The electoral commission has set Oct 17 for the repeat election.

Kenya dump dwellers make a living recycling hair extensions

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 10:12:02 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In one of Africa's largest dumps, some residents are making a living by collecting and recycling hair from mountains of rubbish. Nairobi's Dandora Municipal Dumpsite stretches as far as the eye can see. It was declared full in 2001 but has remained active, with 850 to 1,500 tons of waste arriving every day. Kenya last month implemented a ban on plastic bags, a major contributor to the towering piles of trash. Many environmentalists have campaigned for years to have the dump shut down, calling it an eyesore and a hazard. But for thousands of Kenyans, the dump is their means of existence.

36 Burundi refugees killed in clashes with Congo forces: UN

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:22:19 UT

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — At least 36 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces who allegedly fired indiscriminately at protesters, the U.N. envoy to Congo said Saturday. Maman Sidikou said he was "deeply shocked" at the violence. Another 117 people were wounded and one Congolese officer was killed, he said in a statement. Thirty-nine gravely wounded Burundian refugees were evacuated by helicopter to the city of Bukavu, the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo said.

The Latest: UN: 36 Burundi refugees killed in Congo clashes

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:40:20 UT

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — The Latest on the killing of Burundian refugees in Congo (all times local): 6:40 p.m. The United Nations envoy to Congo says at least 36 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces near the Burundi border. Maman Sidikou says he is "deeply shocked" at the violence, adding that Congolese security forces allegedly fired indiscriminately on protesters. He says another 117 people were injured and one Congolese officer was also killed. Sidikou says in a statement that the clashes erupted in Kamanyola in Congo's South Kivu province when Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers protested the expulsion of four of their countrymen from Congo.

UN 'deeply shocked' as 36 Burundi refugees killed in clashes with Congolese security forces

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:38:45 UT

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — UN 'deeply shocked' as 36 Burundi refugees killed in clashes with Congolese security forces.

Zimbabwe's top opposition leader in South Africa hospital

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 12:04:23 UT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A spokesman confirms that Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and former prime minister is hospitalized in South Africa. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC-T party, is in "very stable condition," Luke Tamborinyoka said in a statement Saturday. Tsvangirai is widely viewed as President Robert Mugabe's main challenger in elections scheduled for next year. Local media have reported that Tsvangirai was taken to South Africa on Friday in critical condition. Tamborinyoka says Tsvangirai is there "for a routine medical procedure." The former trade unionist has been receiving treatment for cancer of the colon in South Africa. Tamborinyoka did not say whether this visit is linked to that treatment.

Police in Zanzibar arrest 20 over homosexual activities

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 11:20:40 UT

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) — Authorities in Tanzania's semiautonomous region of Zanzibar have detained 20 people accused of engaging in same-sex activities, police said Saturday, the latest incident in a crackdown on homosexuality in the East African country. Twelve women and eight men were arrested following a police raid on a hotel where the suspects were attending a workshop, said regional police chief Hassan Ali. "Yes, we rounded them up because we suspect that they were engaged in homosexuality in Zanzibar, which is illegal in Zanzibar and is against the law of the country," he said, adding that police "will intensify (their) vigilance against those groups.

Millions of world's children lack any record of their births

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 10:03:04 UT

MASAKA, Uganda (AP) — Would a 15-year-old girl be married off by her parents in violation of the law? Would another girl, who looks even younger, get justice after an alleged statutory rape at the hands of an older man? In their impoverished communities in Uganda, the answers hinged on the fact that one girl had a birth certificate and the other didn't. Police foiled the planned marriage after locating paperwork that proved the first girl was not 18 as her parents claimed. The other girl could not prove she was under the age of consent; her aunt, who's also her guardian, has struggled to press charges against the builder who seduced and impregnated her.

Instability lingers in African kingdom after deadly shootout

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 09:49:27 UT

MASERU, Lesotho (AP) — For workers leaving a textile factory during a recent lunchtime in Lesotho, assassinations and political intrigue are a kind of background noise in the small southern African kingdom. The shooting death last week of the country's military commander, Lt. Gen. Khoantle Motsomotso, by two rival officers who were killed in the gunfight heightened regional concerns about Lesotho, whose mostly peaceful elections in June gave hope that stability was being restored. But many residents of the poor, mountainous country of 2 million people encircled by South African territory feel cut off from the years of unrest and maneuvering for power.

UN seeks more peacekeepers for Central African Republic

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 09:02:53 UT

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic is requesting about 750 more troops to help fill a "security vacuum" worsened by the withdrawal of U.S. special forces as violence surges again, according to a confidential cable obtained by The Associated Press. The additional troops are needed in the southeast after the withdrawal this year of U.S. and Ugandan troops hunting the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, according to the message from mission head Parfait Onanga-Anyanga to the U.N.'s head of peacekeeping operations in New York.

Nigeria declares Biafra separatist movement terrorist group

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:44:34 UT

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's military on Friday named the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organization, targeting a movement that 50 years ago tried to create a state for the Igbo people. The declaration comes amid rising calls for secession in the southeast and reports of recent clashes between supporters and security forces. The movement's leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was freed earlier this year following a 2015 arrest that led to protests. He had been accused of terrorism. The Nigeria's military statement claimed the Indigenous People of Biafra has formed a secret service and national guard, and it dismissed the movement's claims that its actions are nonviolent. The movement could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ethiopia sending troops to region of deadly ethnic clashes

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:34:26 UT

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia's government said Friday it is sending troops to a region where deadly clashes have broken out between Oromo and Somali ethnic groups. Somali regional officials say more than 50 people were killed in an attack against ethnic Somalis in the Oromia town of Aweday on Tuesday. Oromia regional officials say 18 were killed. "People were killed using sharp objects only because they were ethnic Somalis," the Somali region's president, Abdi Mohamed Omer, was quoted by his spokesman's office as saying during a burial ceremony Friday for some of the victims. Omer has accused Oromia regional officials of not preventing the killings.

Officer who stopped Minnesota mall stabbing speaks out

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:31:45 UT

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — One year after a Somali-American man went on a stabbing attack at a St. Cloud mall, injuring 10 people, city leaders say fears that the attack would divide this central Minnesota community have not materialized, but others say underlying racial tension continues to exist. Meanwhile, the off-duty police officer who shot and killed the suspect is speaking out for the first time, and says he hopes other officers would have done the same thing in his situation. Dahir Ahmed Adan, 20, stabbed 10 people at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud last Sept. 17 before he was shot and killed by Jason Falconer, an off-duty police officer from the nearby city of Avon.