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


Uganda expels North Korea military experts over UN sanctions

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:31:22 UT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda has expelled North Korean military experts and representatives of North Korean companies, including its top arms dealer, as African nations face growing pressure to comply with U.N. sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. Any North Koreans still in the East African nation are diplomats or private individuals, Okello Oryem, a deputy minister of foreign affairs, told The Associated Press. "We are in full compliance," Oryem said, adding that Uganda maintains normal diplomatic ties with North Korea. Uganda specifically demanded the exit of individuals representing the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. It is North Korea's primary arms dealer and is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions.

Uganda police hold opposition leader over attempted murder

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:09:21 UT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan police have detained the country's most prominent opposition leader over allegations of attempted murder following a deadly confrontation between police and opposition supporters in a remote town. Four-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye was being held in the capital, Kampala, following Wednesday's clashes, police spokesman Asan Kasingye said Friday. "I have been informed that he is going to be charged with attempted murder," Kasingye said, giving no more details. It was not possible to get a comment from Besigye. Political tensions are rising in the East African nation over efforts by some lawmakers to extend the longtime president's rule.

US drone strike targets al-Shabab after Somalia attack

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:50:15 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The U.S. military said Friday it carried out a drone strike this week against al-Shabab in Somalia, shortly after the extremist group was blamed for the country's deadliest attack, while thousands of anguished Somalis gathered at the site of the truck bombing to pray. "This pain will last for years," said a sheikh leading the prayers, with long lines of mourners standing in front of flattened or tangled buildings. More than 300 people were killed and nearly 400 wounded in Saturday's attack, with scores missing. The U.S. drone strike occurred Monday about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, the U.S. Africa Command told The Associated Press. It said it was still assessing the results.

The Latest: Thousands gather at Somalia attack site to pray

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:30:50 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on Somalia's deadliest attack (all times local): 2:30 p.m. Thousands of anguished Somalis have gathered to pray at the site of the country's deadliest attack and to mourn the hundreds of victims. A sheikh leading the prayers says that "this pain will last for years." More than 300 people were killed and nearly 400 wounded in Saturday's truck bombing, with scores missing. Long lines of mourners stand in front of bombed-out buildings. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group for the attack. ___ 12 p.m. The U.S. military says it carried out a drone strike this week against al-Shabab in Somalia, shortly after the extremist group was blamed for the country's deadliest attack.

Kenya's police say 4 killed in opposition demonstrations

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:05:42 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's national police say four people have been killed in recent opposition demonstrations as the fresh presidential election approaches next week. Friday's statement says the deaths occurred between Oct. 2 and Monday in what it calls "confrontations between rioters and police officers." The statement comes after Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International this week said police killed 67 people in opposition protests in the days after August's election results were announced. The Supreme Court later nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory, citing irregularities, and ordered a fresh election. Opposition protests demanding electoral reforms have continued since then.

Video released of Mali troops held by al-Qaida-linked group

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:56:17 UT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A video has been released that reportedly shows 11 Mali soldiers being held hostage by an al-Qaida-linked extremist group. MENASTREAM, a risk consultancy that monitors jihadist activity, showed screen grabs and analysis of the Oct. 1 video shared by the al-Qaida-linked Islam and Muslim Support Group. In it, the soldiers ask Mali's government to find a solution for their release. The soldiers were captured during jihadi attacks between July 2016 and March 2017. The video could not be independently corroborated. A Mali intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to press, said Mali's government is discussing what can be done to free the soldiers.

Jihadist ambush on US forces shows new danger in Sahel

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:23:32 UT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The Islamic militants came on motorcycles toting rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, killing four American service members after shattering the windows of the unarmored U.S. trucks. In this remote corner of Niger where the Americans and their local counterparts had been meeting with community leaders, residents say the men who came to kill that day had never been seen there before. "The attackers spoke Arabic and Tamashek, and were light-skinned," Baringay Aghali, told The Associated Press by phone from the remote village of Tongo-Tongo. Who were these men and how did they know the Americans would be there that day? No extremist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly ambush on Oct.

Tanzania arrests 12 suspected of promoting homosexuality

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:56:22 UT

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — Tanzanian police say they are holding 12 men, including two South Africans, for questioning over allegations of promoting homosexuality in this East African country. Dar es Salaam Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa said Thursday that authorities are gathering evidence and will arraign all the suspects in court to face criminal charges. He said the suspects include two South Africans, a Ugandan and nine Tanzanians The men were arrested at a hotel in the port city of Dar es Salaam. Homosexuality is criminalized in Tanzania under a colonial-era law banning sex acts "against order of nature.

Kenya police disperse demonstrators despite court order

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:18:17 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police fired rifles and tear gas Thursday to disperse demonstrators preparing to protest police killings of opposition supporters ahead of a fresh presidential election, a witness said. An AP photographer saw police scatter the protesters gathering in Nairobi's Freedom Park. The police action was despite a court ruling Tuesday that removed the government's ban on demonstrations. Demonstration organizer Boniface Mwangi said a policeman pushed him back and shot him with a tear gas canister which wounded his chest. "Kenya is slowly sliding to dictatorship. The right to protest is a fundamental right that cannot be withdrawn. And it shows we do not have a police service.

Grace Mugabe goes to court over diamond ring

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:45:38 UT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has gone to court in an attempt to seize assets of a Lebanese businessman who allegedly failed to deliver to her a diamond ring worth more than $1.35 million dollars. Grace Mugabe said in court papers this week that in 2015 she paid in advance for the delivery of an "at least 100 carat" diamond ring for her wedding anniversary celebrations, but instead was offered a diamond ring worth $30,000. She wants to take over land, houses and companies in Zimbabwe that belong to businessman Jamal Joseph Hamed, who is not based in this southern African country. Hamed's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said Thursday that she has not yet been served with court papers in the case.

Hangman's job in Zimbabwe gets 'flood' of applications

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:12:45 UT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The job of hangman used to be unpopular in Zimbabwe. Now the government says more than 50 people have applied to be the state's executioner in a country where employment is hard to find. Virginia Mabhiza, permanent secretary in the justice ministry, said Thursday that there had been a "flood" of applications in recent months for a job that was vacant for more than a decade because of lack of interest. Mabhiza said Zimbabwe is moving toward abolishing the death penalty, although there are over 90 prisoners currently on death row. The last execution was in 2005. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was also justice minister until a Cabinet reshuffle on Oct.

5 dead, 60 arrested during Togo protests for term limits

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:53:48 UT

LOME, Togo (AP) — Togo's security minister says at least five people have been killed in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters demonstrating for presidential term limits. Damehame Yark also said on state television that about 60 protesters were arrested throughout Togo. Wednesday was the first of two days of protests by the opposition demanding the reinstatement of Togo's original constitution, which they say would bar President Faure Gnassingbe from a fourth term in 2020. Police shot tear gas to disperse protesters in a number of neighborhoods in the capital of Lome, where demonstrators erected roadblocks and set tires on fire. Protests began two months ago over the president's tenure.

Thousands march over 'Somalia's 9/11;' attack details emerge

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:06:17 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somali intelligence officials shared a detailed account of the country's deadliest attack, while thousands marched Wednesday in Mogadishu in a show of defiance against the extremist group blamed for Saturday's truck bombing that left more than 300 dead. Two people have been arrested in the attack that was meant to target Mogadishu's heavily fortified international airport, where several countries have their embassies, the officials said. Somalia's president urged the long-fractured Horn of Africa nation to unite, and Mayor Thabit Abdi said the city was "awash in graves." Some desperate relatives still dug through the rubble with their bare hands in search of scores said to be missing.

Police kill 2 at Uganda rally against president's long rule

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:45:02 UT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Police shot dead two people Wednesday while seeking to foil a political rally in a remote part of Uganda, an opposition official said, amid rising tensions over attempts to extend the longtime president's rule. A campaign event in the southwestern town of Rukungiri turned violent when police blocked hundreds of opposition supporters from entering a stadium, said Ingrid Turinawe, the mobilization secretary of the Forum for Democratic Change party. "As soon as we arrived they started shooting," she said. Police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowd, but people lingered and eventually forced the police to flee, she said. A Ugandan police spokesman did not answer calls for comment.

Kenya vote chief says 'difficult' to have credible election

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:25:58 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness," the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy. Wafula Chebukati spoke hours after a top Kenyan electoral official resigned and fled to the United States, saying the election on Oct. 26 cannot be free and fair. "Not when the staff are getting last-minute instructions on changes in technology and electronic transmission of results.

The Latest: Somalia leader urges fractured nation to unite

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:18:41 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on deadliest attack in Somalia's history (all times local): 7:20 p.m. Somalia's president is urging the long-fractured nation to "unite as politicians and public" to fight the extremist group al-Shabab after the country's deadliest attack. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed spoke to thousands who marched through Mogadishu and rallied at a city stadium. Saturday's massive truck bombing killed more than 300 people and wounded close to 400. Scores are said to remain missing. Mohamed says they were "unfairly massacred." He announced a new task force "tasked with the protection of the people, and I shall be the first one to enlist and head to the front lines. We have to stand firm in defending our country.

4 British nationals kidnapped in Nigeria's delta region

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:58:43 UT

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian police say gunmen have kidnapped four British nationals in the Niger Delta region. Police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said Wednesday the four were abducted around 2 a.m. in Enukorowa community in the Burutu local government area. He says they include a doctor, his wife and two other men who were involved in preaching and providing free medical services to residents. Aniamaka says it is believed that militants carried out the kidnapping. No ransom demand has been made. Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria. An Italian priest was kidnapped Oct. 12, though Italy's foreign minister said Wednesday he has since been freed.

The Latest: Kenya protesters attack election training site

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:58:54 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya's new presidential election (all times local): 4:55 p.m. Protesters in western Kenya have thrown chairs and destroyed tents where a training camp was being set up for officials to prepare for this month's presidential election. The protest in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu city came shortly after a top Kenya election official resigned, saying the vote just eight days away "cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election." The head of Kenya's election commission later said that despite "full technical preparedness" for the Oct. 26 vote, it is "difficult to guarantee free, fair and credible elections.

Kenya's election chief says it's 'difficult' to guarantee credible fresh presidential vote

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:37:35 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's election chief says it's 'difficult' to guarantee credible fresh presidential vote.

UN, US failed to prevent 'ethnic cleansing' in South Sudan

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:34:41 UT

YEI, South Sudan (AP) — Until the summer of 2016, South Sudan's Yei region was a leafy oasis in the midst of the country's civil war. But when a national peace deal broke down and government soldiers ransacked the area, a handful of U.N. and U.S. officials begged their leaders for help. The United Nations must send peacekeepers to Yei to protect civilians from President Salva Kiir's forces, who are burning villages and slaughtering men, women and children, they argued. And the U.S. needs to change its approach in the face of a potential genocide, they warned. The pleas of officials and residents fell on deaf ears. The U.N. did not send peacekeeping troops to stay in Yei, and the U.S.

In Somalia, hope fades in desperate search for missing

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:30:48 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Anguished families scoured Somalia's capital Tuesday in search of scores still missing from Saturday's bomb blast that killed more than 300 people in one of the world's deadliest attacks in years. Sitting outside a hospital mortuary, Hodan Ali quietly looked for her missing brother by showing people his photo on the screen of her mobile phone. Fifty-year-old taxi driver Abdiqadir Ali was last seen Saturday on his way to a hotel to pick up a client just before the massive explosion on a busy street. Ali, a mother of four, said she had visited most of Mogadishu's hospitals but neither she nor other family members found any sign of him.

The Latest: UN leader gives condolences over Somalia bombing

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:28:04 UT

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The latest on the deadly explosion in Somalia's capital (all times local): 2:25 a.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has met with Somalia minister Abdullahi Hamud to personally extend his condolences following Saturday's bomb blast that killed more than 300 people in Mogadishu. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric saysthe U.N. chief asked to meet with Hamud on Tuesday following the "horrendous attack," which was one of the world's deadliest in years. Guterres visited Somalia in March to spotlight the threat of famine in the Horn of Africa nation, and Dujarric says the U.N. leader "really wanted to present his condolences and speak to" Hamud.

Kenya opposition suspends reform protests after killings

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:50:45 UT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday suspended protests intended to press for reforms to Kenya's electoral commission ahead of the second attempt at a presidential election being held Oct. 26. Odinga, whose legal challenge to the first presidential ballot in August led to the Supreme Court ordering a new vote, cited killings of his supporters by police for his decision to call off the daily protests he had urged for this week. Separately, a court lifted a government ban on opposition demonstrations in the business districts of the countries three largest cities, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Human rights groups have accused police of being used by Kenya's president to crush dissent.

UN says South Sudan 'lukewarm' about regional peace effort

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:42:58 UT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — South Sudan's government has given only "a lukewarm response" to a regional effort to revive the 2015 peace agreement and end worsening violence in the world's newest nation, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Tuesday. Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the U.N. Security Council that opposition figures including the country's former vice president, Riek Machar, "all declared cautious support to the process." "I would like to emphasize the criticality of this initiative and urge council members to use their leverage on all parties and encourage them to engage in this process meaningfully and without preconditions," the undersecretary-general for peacekeeping said. U.S.

3 killed in Togo unrest after arrest of religious leader

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:02:24 UT

LOME, Togo (AP) — Togo officials say three people, including two soldiers, have been killed in clashes after the arrest Monday evening of a religious leader close to an opposition politician. The government said Tuesday that paramilitary forces arrested Mohamed Alassani Djobo on charges of preaching violence and hatred against the military. Djobo is associated with opposition politician Tikpi Atchadam who has led protests calling for presidential term limits. The government said protesters in the central Togo cities of Sokode and Bafilo erected street barricades and set fire to the ruling party headquarters and the homes of government officials.

UN forced to halve rations in Central African Republic

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:48:23 UT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A U.N. humanitarian official warns that aid workers have had to cut rations in half across Central African Republic because of underfunding. Najat Rochdi, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator in Central African Republic, said Tuesday that operations have been suspended entirely in some remote areas of the southeast because aid could only be delivered there by air and had become too expensive. Central African Republic has suffered waves of communal violence since late 2013 and officials have said the violence now approaches the bloodshed seen during the peak of the earlier crisis. As a result, Rochdi said there are now 600,000 people internally displaced.

PHOTOS: One of the most remote islands on earth, where Napoleon died, gets first commercial flight

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:36:00 UT

PROSPEROUS BAY PLAIN, St. Helena (AP) — One of the world's most remote places became a little less isolated on Saturday when the first commercial flight arrived in St. Helena, a South Atlantic island that until recently was only accessible by boat and where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last years in exile. The SA Airlink plane left Johannesburg on a six-hour journey to the British-ruled territory, which hopes to draw more tourists to the deposed French emperor's final abode, Longwood House, as well as rugged landscapes, marine life and the novelty of visiting a spot far off the beaten track. "'Thank you for being part of this historical event," the pilot said before takeoff. Celebratory champagne and chocolates were handed out en route.

Sierra Leone awaits 27 citizens being deported from US

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:02:39 UT

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's government says it has issued the necessary documents and awaits the arrival of 27 citizens being deported from the United States for drug crimes and other offenses. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Turay said Tuesday that the Sierra Leoneans were still in custody in the U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 12 announced visa restrictions on four African and Asian nations that have refused to accept citizens deported from the U.S. The restrictions affect Sierra Leone's foreign ministry and immigration officials. The U.S. ambassador to Sierra Leone has said U.S.

Liberian runoff vote on Nov. 7 with Weah facing Boakai

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:08:18 UT

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Election authorities say Liberia's presidential runoff will take place Nov. 7. Henry Flomo, National Elections Commission communications director, said Tuesday that former international soccer superstar George Weah will face Vice President Joseph Boakai in the second round. Neither of the two men got more than 50 percent of the votes which is required by the constitution to win outright in the Oct. 10 polls. Weah got about 39 percent and Boakai won 29 percent of the votes. The second round winner will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female president who is stepping down after two terms. Views were mixed among Liberians calling into a Tuesday morning talk show.

Minnesota Somalis mourn, pray for those impacted by bombing

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 02:00:19 UT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Members of Minnesota's large Somali community said Monday they are heartbroken and grieving but searching for ways to help after the weekend bombing in Somalia that killed more than 300 people. The truck bombing in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu on Saturday also left scores missing and nearly 400 people injured. In Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S., many residents said they have relatives who were hurt or killed in the attack. At least one man who lived in Minnesota, Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, died. Another Minnesota man was desperately seeking news of his father, who is missing. "It's really devastating," said Mohamud Noor, a community advocate in Minneapolis.