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


New South Sudan fighting displaces 25,000 people

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:20:04 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — At least 25,000 people were displaced after fighting in the town of Kodok, according to a spokesman for the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, one day after the top United Nations official in South Sudan warned of a government offensive on the town. The government offensive in Kodok appears to be one of the most significant so far this year, causing disarray among rebel leader Johnson Olony and his Shilluk forces. The attack on Kodok comes after a flurry of recent government offensives across South Sudan and questions the legitimacy of an August 2015 peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir. Since the August peace deal was signed the opposition has fragmented and the U.N. has noted the presence of ethnic cleansing and declared famine in two counties.

Somali pirate gets life in prison for attack on US Navy ship

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:42:20 UT

(AP) — A Somali pirate has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in attacking a U.S. Navy ship. After the pirates opened fire, U.S. sailors destroyed their skiff and killed one pirate.

20 more deaths in volatile central Congo, UN mission says

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:13:42 UT

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo says at least 20 people have been killed as violence mounts in the country's center. According to the U.N., at least 400 people have died since government troops killed the militia's leader in August.

1 person dies in Kenya's primary elections

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:23:22 UT

Both opposition and ruling party primaries started on April 13 and have experienced chaotic scenes and accusations of rigging. Two candidates in the upcoming election were killed earlier this year and the governor of Kenya's second-largest city, Mombasa, says his life is in danger after his bodyguard was shot in his car earlier this month during a campaign rally for a party colleague.

Strike forces South African Airways to cancel 32 flights

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:51:45 UT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African Airways on Wednesday cancelled nearly three dozen flights, most of them domestic, because of a strike by some cabin crew. About 200 striking flight attendants protested outside the head office of South African Airways in Johannesburg, the African News Agency reported.

WFP says food shipment blocked by Burundi has turned back

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:36:29 UT

WFP says food shipment blocked by Burundi has turned back Rwanda and Burundi have seen a rise in tensions, with Burundi's government claiming that rebel forces have been trained and armed in Rwanda.

South African court rules against nuclear deal

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:08:43 UT

Critics have been concerned that the nuclear deals could be vulnerable to graft at a time when President Jacob Zuma faces calls to resign because of scandals and the recent dismissal of a finance minister who was seen as a bulwark against corruption.

US urges new sanctions against South Sudan, Russia says 'no'

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:57:31 UT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to impose an arms embargo and additional sanctions on South Sudan to pressure the parties to end the civil war in the world's newest nation — but Russia and China remain opposed. Two counties in South Sudan are already in the throes of famine and Haley warned the council that 5.5 million people — half the country's population — face "life-threatening hunger if nothing changes soon." [...] Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador Petr Iliichev reiterated Moscow's opposition to ramping up sanctions, saying peace "will not be brought about by a Security Council arms embargo but rather by targeted measures to disarm civilians as well as to demobilize and reintegrate combatants." "Despite what appears to be attempts by the parties to achieve victory through military means, a political solution is the only way forward for South Sudan," he said.

Tanzania expels country head of UN Development Program

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 17:19:44 UT

Some observers in Tanzania have criticized the decision to expel Dabo, saying she was targeted following her criticism of a disputed election in the semi-autonomous island archipelago of Zanzibar in 2015. Speaking in the National Assembly, lawmaker Pascal Haonga said there was "no doubt that resurfacing claims that the U.N. official was intruding in local politics, especially the ended election in Zanzibar" was the main reason for her expulsion.

27 people killed in bus-trailer truck collision in Kenya

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:53:02 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police say 27 people have been killed in a collision between a passenger bus and a trailer truck.

South African suspect in ax murders is taken to crime scene

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:29:44 UT

South African suspect in ax murders is taken to crime scene JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African man on trial for allegedly murdering his father, mother and brother with an ax has returned under escort to the scene of the killings.

17 women dead as fishing boat capsizes in central Senegal

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:47:07 UT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A Senegalese radio station says 17 women have drowned and at least 40 others are injured after their boat capsized near a village in central Senegal. Residents often travel by small fishing boats, rarely wearing life vests.

South Africa rioters kill truckload of newly hatched chicks

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:18:06 UT

Police on Tuesday were monitoring the tense situation in the Lichtenburg area in North West province, where a police vehicle also was set on fire during protests against what residents say is a lack of basic municipal services.

Smugglers become a lifeline for the starving in South Sudan

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:40:07 UT

Red and yellow tassels dangle from the ceiling, while tapestry drapes much of the windshield. With both civil war and famine raging in South Sudan, "I have more business now than before." With drought, soaring inflation and severe access challenges, hundreds of communities in this corner of the country now depend on their northern neighbor to feed their families. In order to evade the Sudanese army, he drives overnight, navigating roads through thick forest and relying on a vast network of villagers to guide him. South Sudan's weakened currency has led to higher prices of imported food. Since 2014, prices in the markets have shot up. The 33-year-old teashop owner says three years ago she used to buy seven-and-a-half pounds (3.4 kilograms) of sorghum for 15 South Sudanese pounds (about 10 cents). Pantheer says she's worried that prices will soon increase with the onset of the rainy season. In an attempt to ease access challenges and provide food to South Sudan's most vulnerable people, Sudan recently opened a second corridor for humanitarian aid into Bentiu city in South Sudan's Northern Liech state.

Kenyan police say 27 people have been killed in collision between bus and trailer truck

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 05:00:15 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police say 27 people have been killed in collision between bus and trailer truck.

Cameroon sentences RFI journalist to 10 years in prison

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:19:56 UT

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — A Cameroon military court has sentenced a correspondent of Radio France International's Hausa service to 10 years in jail after convicting him of non-denunciation of acts of terrorism and laundering proceeds of terrorist acts. Ahmed Abba's lead defense attorney, Charles Tchoungang, promised to appeal Monday's sentence, which also fined Abba more than $90,000.

Nigeria shows off new air assets for Boko Haram fight

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:21:36 UT

The military also expects that the Trump administration will move forward with the sale of high-tech aircraft to Nigeria for its campaign against Boko Haram despite concerns over abuses committed by the African nation's security forces.

Congo government: UN experts' murders filmed on cell phone

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:24:11 UT

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's government has obtained a five-minute cell phone video that shows the gruesome murders of two United Nations experts who were killed last month while investigating human rights abuses. Congo's government has vowed justice for the victims and arrested two suspects, though one escaped custody.

Angola plans Aug. 23 vote, signaling end to dos Santos rule

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:32:05 UT

The Portuguese news agency Lusa says an advisory body to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has approved the date for general elections. Dos Santos has said Defense Minister Joao Lourenco will be the ruling MPLA party's candidate for president.

South African man pleads not guilty in family ax murders

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:55:32 UT

Police Sgt. Adrian Kleynhans, the first officer at the crime scene, testified in the Western Cape High Court that he smelled alcohol on the breath of Henri van Breda. Kleynhans said the suspect "appeared emotional, like he was blowing off steam, and was nervous but wasn't crying," the African News Agency reported. The police officer said he saw a laptop and a handbag with cash on the bottom floor, and that the area didn't resemble a normal burglary scene in which things are usually scattered around. Van Breda, who also has been charged with tampering with the crime scene, was found by police sitting outside the house, his clothing stained with the blood of the victims, according to media reports.

2 suspects dead after author, conservationist shot in Kenya

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:19:01 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Two suspects were killed by security agencies after the shooting of Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann, Kenya's Internal Security Minister Joseph Nkaissery said Monday. A gun was recovered after Sunday's attack and was being examined to see if it was used to shoot Gallmann in the stomach, Nkaissery told The Associated Press. The association has accused politicians campaigning for the August elections of inciting herders to invade the ranches, saying the owners' leases have come to an end and that herders can take over the land and distribute it among themselves.

US officials say pirates have returned to waters off Somalia

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 18:39:57 UT

The attacks follow about a five-year respite for the region, where piracy had grown to crisis proportions during the 2010-2012 period, drawing the navies of the United States and other nations into a lengthy campaign against the pirates. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at a military base in the African nation of Djibouti, near the Gulf of Aden, that even if the piracy problem persists, he would not expect it to require significant involvement by the U.S. military. During Mattis' visit, elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, including V-22 Osprey aircraft and Harrier attack jets were visible on Lemonnier's airfield. The U.S. military presence has grown substantially in recent years, as reflected by construction of a new headquarters building, gym, enlisted barracks and other expanded infrastructure. Mattis is using the early months as defense secretary to renew or strengthen relations with key defense allies and partners such as Djibouti, whose location makes it a strategic link in the network of overseas U.S. military bases.

Author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann shot in Kenya

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:44:45 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot at her Kenyan ranch and airlifted for treatment after herders invaded in search of pasture to save their animals from drought, officials said Sunday. Gallmann, known for her bestselling book "I Dreamed of Africa," which became a movie by the same name starring Kim Basinger, was patrolling the ranch in Laikipia when she was shot in the stomach, local police chief Ezekiel Chepkowny said. The 73-year-old Gallmann had been with rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, assessing damage done to her property Saturday by arsonists who burned down buildings at one of Laikipia Nature Conservancy's tourism lodges, said Laikipia Farmers Association chairman Martin Evans. Herders, whose livelihoods depend on their cattle, and large-scale farmers in parts of Kenya's Rift Valley have been desperately waiting for seasonal rains that were to start last month to ease the drought and conflicts over grazing land in which more than 30 people have died. The association has accused politicians campaigning for the August elections of inciting the herders to invade the ranches, saying the owners' leases have come to an end and that herders can take over the land and distribute it among themselves.

AP Explains: How Kenya's drought has turned into violence

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:33:05 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The shooting of a novelist and conservationist in Kenya has drawn attention to the violent tensions between landowners and herders who are trying to keep their animals alive in a widespread drought. According to Kenya's government, hundreds if not thousands of herders have sought pasture in Laikipia, the region where Gallmann was shot, for their dying cattle. Land has been one of the major causes of conflict in Kenya, where many ranches, some of which double as wildlife conservancies, were acquired during the period of British colonial rule. A government Truth Justice and Reconciliation report released in 2013 said politicians often exploit real or perceived land injustices especially around election time for personal gain.

Roadside bomb in Somalia kills 8 soldiers, police say

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 11:08:03 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A Somali police official says a roadside bomb in a remote town in Somalia's semiautonomous state of Puntland has killed eight soldiers and injured three others. Ahmed Mohamed tells The Associated Press that Sunday's blast targeted a military convoy in Galgala. Security forces have been battling Islamic State-linked fighters in the region. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the blast. IS-linked extremists also have carried out such attacks in the past. Fighters affiliated with the Islamic State are a relatively new and growing threat in Somalia, where al-Shabab has been entrenched for years.

No one detained over South Sudan civilian killings, UN says

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10:20:08 UT

Residents said soldiers singled out civilians of the Fertit and Luo ethnic groups in retaliation for a rebel attack on government forces.

Premature hippo a happy hit for Ohio zoo after gorilla death

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:35:34 UT

CINCINNATI (AP) — A prematurely born hippo in Ohio has been providing regular doses of happiness for animal lovers, in a show of public affection that's also given an emotional lift to Cincinnati Zoo workers. After months of backlash over the zoo's fatal shooting of Harambe, a gorilla who became a pop culture phenomenon in death, baby Fiona is the new center of attention there. Blog and video updates such as Fiona taking a bottle, splashing in a pool or learning to run have drawn tens of millions of online views. Zoo officials say zoos are increasingly using newer media to interest the public, such as the recent livestream of April the giraffe giving birth in New York's Animal Adventure Park. Zoos "are utilizing new ways to give the public a firsthand account of caring for the animals at their facilities," said Rob Vernon, spokesman for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Basically, it's a marketing tool, said Michael Budkie, who leads the Cincinnati-area group Stop Animal Exploitation Now! They focus so much attention on baby animals because people like to see them. Budkie, who said animals should be in natural habitats, not "gawked at by human beings," was among many who criticized the zoo after the May 28, 2016, shooting of Harambe by a zoo special response team to protect a 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure's moat.

Trump's America: Exploring the US anti-immigrant fervor

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:06:53 UT

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — What is behind some of the anti-immigration fervor that helped give rise to Donald Trump? Their children led the high school soccer team to win the state championship — a moment heralded as a triumph of cultural cooperation. [...] yet, for the first time in three decades, voters in Androscoggin County chose a Republican for president, endorsing Trump's nativist zeal against the very sort of immigrants who share their streets and their schools. Some talk openly about their indignation, built on the belief that the immigrants take more than they give. Others sigh and hesitate, afraid to seem racist or indifferent to the pain and poverty of others. The African Muslims, many of whom wear hijabs, stand out far more than her French-Canadian ancestors did when they arrived generations ago, she said. Once a Barack Obama supporter, Beauchesne turned to Trump — and she cheers his efforts to curb the flow of refugees into the United States. Richard Rodrigue appreciates the positive changes immigration has brought to his community, and yet he agrees with Trump that America must slow the flow of migration for now. Rodrigue believes immigrants resuscitated the town of Lewiston, plugging the population drain that had threatened to cripple it, opening new shops and restaurants. Two generations later, Rodrigue owns a successful security company, lives in a tidy house in a quiet neighborhood and makes plans to send his daughter to college. There's got to be a point in time when you have to say, 'Whoa, let's get the working people back up. Why are we so worried about immigrants coming into our country when we can't really take care of our own people? [...] he's looking to Trump to strike a better balance — to build an economy where his sons don't have to battle to barely get by, and only after that design an immigration system that keeps America's promise of open arms.

Nigerian police say 2 kidnapped Turkish nationals rescued

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:13:44 UT

WARRI, Nigeria (AP) — Police in Nigeria say they have rescued two Turkish nationals who were kidnapped this month and arrested five of their abductors. In the oil-rich Niger Delta in the south, some kidnappings are carried out by militants demanding a greater share of oil riches for residents.

20 children killed when minibus hits truck in South Africa

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:27:46 UT

In an interview with the eNCA news outlet, he said many accidents occur because of reckless driving and that increasing the police presence on the roads would have limited results. A total of 235 people died in accidents on South Africa's roads during the recent Easter period, a 51 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the country's Road Traffic Management Corporation.