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


Angola expels 8,000 Congolese fleeing violence, UN says

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 14:31:18 UT

On Saturday, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said Italy is contributing 300,000 euros ($335,000) for U.N. refugee agency efforts to "respond to the dramatic humanitarian emergency" in the Kasai regions to help Congolese refugees in Angola, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Alfano said the aid will go toward health care, food security, education and "promoting the reliance of the vulnerable refugee populations." The U.N. says the overall emergency aid appeal of $64 million for the Kasai crisis "remains poorly funded."

New plea hearing set for Ohio man accused of links to IS

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:42:26 UT

Documents filed in federal court say Aaron Daniels, of Columbus, will plead guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Authorities allege Daniels wired $250 to an Islamic State operative in January 2016 and told an undercover informant he was interested in traveling to commit violence overseas.

South Sudanese refugees grapple with honoring their dead

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:45:25 UT

BIDI BIDI, Uganda (AP) — The cemetery for South Sudanese refugees lies between two streams that flood when the rains come, leaving debris scattered across the otherwise unmarked graves. [...] the two lie next to each other in the isolated patch of land designated by Ugandan officials for graves. [...] some reach safety only to fall victim to meningitis, malaria and other tropical diseases. Uganda's government has received global praise for the way it welcomes refugees, even giving them plots for cultivation. Musa Ecweru, a Ugandan government minister in charge of refugees, said the government has been able to resettle refugees so far with the backing of locals who believe they eventually will return home.

Namibia buries leader who campaigned against apartheid

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:39:24 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Namibians have gathered for a state funeral for Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, an independence leader who was jailed during South Africa's era of white minority rule. In a speech, President Hage Geingob described ya Toivo, who died June 9 at age 92, as a "symbol of defiance against tyranny and oppression."

Earthquake hits central Mozambique; no reports of casualties

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:02:27 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 has hit central Mozambique, but there are no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The U.S. Geological Survey says the epicenter of the quake on Saturday was 34 kilometers (21 miles) northwest of the town of Dondo in Sofala province.

Ghana assures public of security of ex-Guantanamo detainees

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:25:52 UT

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana's government on Friday sought to reassure the public that two former Guantanamo prisoners living in the West African nation remained under supervision, a day after a court ruled their arrival was unconstitutional without parliament's approval. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were held at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as enemy combatants, accused of training with al-Qaida and fighting with the Taliban.

Gunmen kill 3 in suspected extremist attack in Kenya's north

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:03:47 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Three people were killed and three others wounded in a suspected Islamic extremist attack in Kenya's Mandera County, which borders Somalia, officials said Friday. Similar homemade explosives in Kenya in the past month have killed at least 38 people, including 20 police officers.

US soon to have permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:46:37 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The United States ambassador to Somalia says the U.S. once again will have a permanent diplomatic presence in the country after it opens offices in Mogadishu later this year. The ambassador also says the United States has funding to build a new embassy, but he did not give details on timing.

Handling diamonds every day in Namibia a 'no-mistake job'

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:22:31 UT

Muhimba, who sorts gemstones at the Namibia Diamond Trading Company, sits at a long table with colleagues, studying the cut, color and clarity of diamonds mined mostly offshore in one of the southern African nation's biggest industries. Security is tight; workers avoid wearing shirts with pockets and must make sure small diamonds don't accidentally fall into the folds of clothing. The trading company, or NDTC, says it sorts an average of more than 1.3 million carats annually; diamonds go to local factories for cutting and polishing as part of an effort to benefit Namibians.

Food aid dwindling in world's fastest-growing refugee crisis

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:37:03 UT

Guterres on Friday called the refugee influx "the biggest exodus of refugees in Africa since the Rwanda genocide" of 1994. The U.N. chief also made a plea for protection of refugees around the world, saying some richer countries haven't been as tolerant as some in Africa. [...] Grandi, the refugee chief, said that "regrettably, the hospitality of host countries is not adequately matched by financial contributions" from the international community. The U.N. children's fund in Uganda this week said it requires nearly $50 million this year as well as $30 million each year from 2018 to 2020 to provide critical services to both refugees and host communities.

Ketumile Masire, former Botswana president, dies at age 91

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:37:22 UT

The diamond trade and wildlife tourism are major sources of revenue for the country of 2 million people, which nevertheless faces poverty, a high HIV/AIDS rate and other problems. In neighboring South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Friday cited comments by Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president, at a state banquet for Masire in 1996. After his presidency, Masire became involved in reconciliation efforts and election monitoring in other African countries.

Burkina Faso to invest $700 million to fight extremism

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:20:49 UT

The government said Thursday that the money would be used to build basic services, improve the resilience of the mostly nomadic population in the rural and arid lands, and to increase security.

Congo rights group: Army kills 13 rebels after Beni attacks

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:32:31 UT

Kavota blamed a new rebel coalition for the bombing of a school and attempted attacks on a women's prison, a police station and the town hall. Kavota, however, warned that a new rebel coalition has formed outside Beni after armed men on June 11 attacked the city's central Kangbayi prison, killing at least 11 and freeing 900 prisoners.

South Sudan must end war, UN chief says on refugee visit

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:09:19 UT

ARUA, Uganda (AP) — South Sudan's leaders must end a civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, the United Nations secretary-general said Thursday while visiting what has become the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis. Guterres heard the accounts of refugee children who spoke of everything from medicine shortages to the long line at the communal toilet. The U.N. children's fund in Uganda this week said it requires nearly $50 million this year as well as $30 million each year from 2018 to 2020 to provide critical services, including education and child protection, to both refugees and host communities.

Scandal-hit South Africa leader says doing job 'very well'

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:01:55 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday sparred with opposition lawmakers in a parliamentary debate over presidential scandals and an economy in recession, laughing dismissively at criticism and declaring of his job performance: "I'm fit and I'm doing it very well." Zuma also disparaged opposition calls for a secret ballot to be used in a parliamentary motion of no confidence against him, hours after South Africa's highest court said it was up to the speaker of parliament, a ruling party member and Zuma ally, to decide how the vote should be implemented. Key factions of the ruling party have maintained support for Zuma despite unease over his firing of a widely respected finance minister in March, ties to a business family accused of trying to manipulate government leaders and state companies for financial gain and the ensuing economic fallout, including credit rating downgrades.

7 dead in suicide blast at police station in Somalia capital

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:45:15 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least seven people are dead and a dozen wounded after a suicide car bomb blast at a police station in Somalia's capital, police and an ambulance service said Thursday. The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 15 people had been killed including a minister, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors such groups.

Ghana: Decision on Guantanamo detainees 'unconstitutional'

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:08:54 UT

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana's Supreme Court has declared "unconstitutional" the decision by former President John Mahama to allow two former Guantanamo Bay detainees entry into the West African country. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby had been held as enemy combatants but were cleared for release in 2009.

The Latest: Al-Shabab claims suicide blast in Somali capital

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:41:10 UT

The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility for the suicide car bomb blast in the Horn of Africa nation's capital. An ambulance service in Somalia's capital says it has transported seven bodies after a suicide car bomb attack targeted a police station. A police officer says at least three people have been killed and several others wounded in a suicide car bomb blast at a police station in Somalia's capital. A Somali police officer says a suicide car bomber has detonated near the gate of a police station in the capital, Mogadishu.

People with disabilities at risk in Central African Republic

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:36:41 UT

With half of Central Africa Republic's population in need of humanitarian assistance, Mudge said people with disabilities do not get the "protection and assistance they desperately need." Human Rights Watch called on the U.N. peacekeeping mission and other U.N. agencies to monitor and report abuses against people with disabilities and commit resources to improving humanitarian aid. In 2015, the U.N. Security Council's mandate for the peacekeeping mission expressed "serious concern about the dire situation of persons with disabilities in the CAR including abandonment, violence and lack of access to basic services." [...] when the mandate was renewed by the U.N. Security Council in 2016, no language on people with disabilities was included. The human rights chief for the U.N. peacekeeping mission had "no statement" on why the language wasn't included.

Mali says 1 woman still missing after attack on resort

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:04:38 UT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Authorities in Mali say one woman is still missing three days after Islamic extremists attacked a resort area near the capital. Anti-terror prosecutor Boubacar Samake says three other people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the attack.

UN welcomes deployment of force to fight extremists in Sahel

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:23:25 UT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday welcoming the deployment of a 5,000-strong African force to fight the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region after it was watered down to meet U.S. demands. Mali's U.N. Ambassador Sem Konofourou, speaking on behalf of the G5, said the council is sending "a clear message of the firm stand of the international community against terrorist groups, which came together recently to further destabilize our region," and a message of solidarity with the people of the Sahel. The resolution urges the G5 force to coordinate and exchange information with France's Operation Barkhane, which has about 4,000 soldiers fighting extremists in the five countries, and the more than 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali. Council members expressed continuing concern at "the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region" as well as serious challenges from transnational organized crime including trafficking in arms and drugs and smuggling of people including migrants.

2 Angolan journalists charged with insulting the state

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:30:09 UT

Rafael Marques de Morais, a human rights advocate whose Maka Angola website posts articles about alleged state corruption, said he was informed of the May 12 indictment on Tuesday and that he has five days to contest it before a judge sets a trial date. Marques, who was jailed in 1999 after criticizing dos Santos in an article, said he believes authorities are concerned that Maka Angola is "influencing opinion" and that the case against him and Lourenco is an attempt to "sow some confusion to prevent people from reposting and forwarding critical information."

Rwanda says gunmen kill 1, injure 8 in attack near Burundi

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:19:58 UT

Rwandan military spokesman Col. Rene Ngendahimana says the attack occurred late Tuesday in the same area where gunmen killed two civilians in March and fled into Burundian territory. Relations between Rwanda and Burundi have been strained following allegations by Burundi's government that rebels opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza are being trained and armed in Rwanda.

South Sudan no longer in famine, but situation is critical

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:05:58 UT

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan no longer has areas in famine, but almost 2 million people are on the brink of starvation and an estimated 6 million people — half the population — will face extreme food insecurity between June and July, according to reports by the government and the United Nations released Wednesday. At least 20 percent of the population faces extreme food shortages, at least 30 percent of children under 5 years old suffer from acute malnutrition and people are dying at double the normal rate. In former Jonglei state, an area that previously had one of the lowest levels of acute malnutrition, roughly 20,000 people are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity. "How can we be at this stage where people are starving and we're dropping bags of food from the air?" Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's minister of international development, told The Associated Press during a trip last week to the area.

100 dead in Central African Republic town, mayor says

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:01:05 UT

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic town of Bria have left at least 100 people dead in the wake of a peace agreement signed this week in Rome that called for an immediate cease-fire, officials said Wednesday. Mayor Maurice Balekouzou and others put the preliminary death toll at around 100, while several dozen wounded were seeking treatment at the local hospital run by aid group Doctors Without Borders. The peace deal signed Monday in Rome among nearly all of the country's armed groups had called for an immediate cease-fire.

100 dead in Central African Republic town after peace deal signed Monday in Rome, mayor says

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:50:15 UT

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — 100 dead in Central African Republic town after peace deal signed Monday in Rome, mayor says.

South Sudan no longer has areas in famine, but hunger situation remains critical, says government and UN

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:17:47 UT

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan no longer has areas in famine, but hunger situation remains critical, says government and UN.

New report blames South Sudan military for civilian deaths

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 01:32:27 UT

A new report by Amnesty International says South Sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between January and May, killing civilians and forcing thousands like Koolekheh from the Shilluk ethnic minority to flee. "Even considering South Sudan's history of ethnic hostility," the mass displacement was shocking, the report says. Both government and opposition forces have been accused of war crimes including mass rape and targeted killings, while the United Nations warns of ethnic violence. [...] Koolekheh crouches on the dirt floor in the back room of a small shop, scrubbing metal bowls with a rag, his eyes fixed on the floor. Satellite imagery collected by Amnesty International shows the destruction of homes and other civilian buildings, including a temple, in the central areas of Wau Shilluk. The group's report says government troops often deliberately killed civilians, shooting them in the back when they tried to flee.

Kenya's president says 10 dead after boat capsizes off coast

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:23:23 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's president says 10 people have died after the boat they were traveling in capsized off the East African nation's coast. President Uhuru Kenyatta says in a message of condolence that the boat had been ferrying 22 people and building materials Tuesday from the Ndau Islands to Lamu. Kenyatta says the boat capsized in the Mkanda Channel due to high tides. Fatal boat accidents off Kenya's coast in the Indian Ocean are rare.

Car bomb in Somalia capital kills at least 15, police say

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:05:42 UT

The death toll may rise, as some were badly hurt in the explosion at Wadajir district headquarters in Mogadishu, Capt. Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its Shahada News Agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist groups. At the blast scene, debris was burning and bricks and body parts were scattered among destroyed cars.