Category Archives: World

elects son

Gambia President-elect Adama Barrow’s son killed by dog

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Adama Barrow

Adama Barrow won the election last year but the current president has rejected the result

The son of Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has died after being bitten by a dog.

Eight-year-old Habibu Barrow is reported to have died on the way to the hospital on Sunday in Manjai near the Gambian capital Banjul.

Mr Barrow missed his son’s funeral as he was advised to remain in Senegal for his safety.

Mr Barrow won the election last year but outgoing President Yahya Jammeh does not accept the result.

The regional body Ecowas has asked Mr Barrow to stay in Senegal until Thursday – the planned date of the inauguration.

Boat in Banjul

People have been fleeing The Gambia for Senegal

It also says its is considering military intervention to force Mr Jammeh to relinquish power.

Mr Jammeh applied to the Supreme Court to stop Mr Barrow’s inauguration.

But on Monday, the Chief Justice refused to rule on the issue as he was a subject of the injunction which sought to stop him swearing in Mr Barrow.

Thousands of people have been leaving the country, some telling the BBC it was not safe.

Mr Barrow is a devout Muslim who is reportedly married with two wives and had five children, according to the Gambian newspaper The Point.

Source: BBC


Gambians leaving

Gambians flee ahead of Barrow ‘inauguration’

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Boat in Banjul

The ferry takes people across the River Gambia towards Senegal’s capital, Dakar

A worker at The Gambia’s main ferry crossing has told the BBC that thousands of people are fleeing every day as they are “afraid of war”.

“People are in chaos, people are leaving” as they don’t know what is going to happen, he said.

The Gambia’s Chief Justice has declined to rule on an application by President Yahya Jammeh to ban the inauguration of Adama Barrow as his successor.

Mr Barrow won the election and an inauguration is planned for Thursday.

But Mr Jammeh rejected the result and is refusing to step down until the Supreme Court hears his challenge, in May.

His legal team had asked for an injunction to block Mr Barrow’s inauguration.

The BBC’s Umaru Fofana reports from Banjul that Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle said he could not rule on the issues as he is a subject of it.

The motion sought to stop him from swearing in Mr Barrow.

Parliament has also reconvened for an emergency session. While the reasons for the meeting are unclear, our correspondent says that parliament may be asked to extend Mr Jammeh’s term of office.

Mr Barrow will stay in Senegal until his inauguration, state media in Senegal say.

The Gambia, a tiny country of less than two million people, is surrounded on three sides by Senegal and regional bloc Ecowas has said it is considering military intervention to force Mr Jammeh to relinquish power.

One woman boarding the boat with her three children told our correspondent that the political uncertainty made it hard to ensure she could look after her children.

“We don’t know what to expect with electricity outage, water shortage, food supplies,” she said.

Another said she was going “because things are not safe”.

“I’m going because I am afraid. I’m going until we have peace and then we can come back.”

The UN refugee agency said last week that several thousand people, mainly children, have crossed into Senegal from The Gambia since 3 January.

“UNHCR teams report seeing buses filled with children, accompanied by women, cross the border,” said Liz Ahua, the regional representative for UNHCR.

Mr Jammeh’s attempt to overturn the election result has been delayed because of a shortage of judges.

The African Union has said it will no longer recognise Mr Jammeh’s authority after his term ends.

The 51-year-old leader seized power in the country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.

Source: BBC


nigeria bombings

Three killed in Maiduguri university bomb attack

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bombing aftermath

At least three people have been killed in an early morning bomb attack at Nigeria’s University of Maiduguri, in the northeastern state of Borno.

Witnesses said two explosions went off at the facility: one at the mosque where university lecturers had gathered for morning prayers and another near an entrance gate.

The area police chief Damian Chukwu said a university professor was among those killed. Fifteen people were wounded and have been evacuated to hospitals, AP reported.

An eyewitness told the BBC that it was a suicide bomb attack and three people apart from the suicide bomber lost their lives.

It is the first time the university has been attacked by suspected Boko Haram militants.

Northern Nigeria has been dealing with an insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The attack comes weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the military had defeated the militants.

Source: BBC

Kyrgyzstan plane crash

Kyrgyzstan plane crash kills at least 32

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Kyrgyzstan plane crash

A Turkish cargo plane flying from Hong Kong has crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 32 people, most of them on the ground, say officials.

The Boeing 747 crashed amid fog into homes near Manas airport, about 25km (15 miles) north of the capital, Bishkek, the Kyrgyz government said.

At least 15 buildings were destroyed and a number of children were reported to be among the dead.

Flight TK6491 was to have stopped at Manas en route to Istanbul in Turkey.

The plane belonged to Turkish cargo carrier ACT, which flies under the name MyCargo. The Kyrgyz government said the flight itself was on behalf of Turkish Airlines but this has not been confirmed.

Turkish Airlines said in a Twitter statement: “Our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the tragic incident involving an ACT Airlines aircraft in Kyrgyzstan.”

‘Many were sleeping’

The plane came down shortly after 07:30 local time (01:30 GMT) in the village of Dacha-Suu, a popular holiday home area.

Visibility was poor at the time because of freezing fog, but the cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed. The plane is believed to have been around 14 years old.

Images of the crash site show fire and smoke rising from the rubble of destroyed buildings.

One witness told AFP news agency: “The plane crashed into the houses. It killed entire families. There’s nothing left of the houses. Many people were sleeping.”

There were initial reports that one crew member had survived but later reports merely spoke of one missing pilot.

There were at least four people on board, officials said. A number of people have been taken to hospital with injuries.

A spokesman for the country’s emergency services, Muhammed Svarov, told AFP the death toll “could be bigger” and that “major work is under way” to search for survivors.

Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov and local emergency services are at the scene.

President Almazbek Atambayev has cancelled a visit to China, Kyrgyz media reported.

Manas airport, the country’s main international airport, has been closed.

In 2008, a passenger plane bound for Iran crashed shortly after take-off from Manas, killing 68 people.

Source: BBC

Akufo-Addo mali3

Prez Akufo-Addo, African leaders commit to inclusive, job-creating economies

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Akufo-addo mali2

The President, Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, together with Heads of State and Governments from some 30 African countries, have committed themselves towards ensuring that economic growth in their respective countries would lead to a more “inclusive economy”, which will create jobs for the youth in the coming years.

In a communiqué issued on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at the end of the 27th Africa-France Summit held in Bamako, Mali, the Heads of State agreed to the realisation of this commitment within the framework of the International Sustainable Development Agenda –the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the African Union’s Agenda, 2063.

With French President, François Hollande, in attendance, development assistance amounting to 20 billion euros to participating countries,by 2018,was also pledged by the French government.

To this end, the Heads of State and Governmentsindicated that education and vocational training would behigh priorities, as these will improve “human development and the integration of young Africans in the labour market.”

They, therefore, agreed to strengthen the management of education systems on the continent by focusing on quality, particularly by putting in place efficient training and assessment policies, as wellpromoting top-quality vocational training.

Akufo-Addo mali3

An appeal was made to ‘international partners’ to increase their support for the sectors of education and vocational training in Africa, and also for consideration to be given to modern, accessible and vocational content, which meet the needs of the labour market.

The communiqué also stressed the importance of mobility and the movement of skills on the continent, in order to encourage economic dynamism and innovation. In addition, the importance of innovation and digitization to encourage the diversification of economies was highlighted.

Participating countries at the Summit also pledged to support incentive-based policies to facilitate innovation, including incubator and acceleration programmes for startups and clusters, as well as access to finance and investment capitals.

“They (Heads of State) will try to increase links between the private and public sectors in order to speed up the digital transition of economies.”

Recognizing the special contribution of the health sector to the creation of jobs, economic growth and achieving sustainable and inclusive development, participating countries agreed on the need to invest in health, which, in their opinion, is a “profitable and high-growth economic sector which is a factor for stability and a driver of employment.”

As investments in Africa are essential to the emergence of the continent, the Heads of State decided to step up their efforts to allow access to finance for companies wishing to invest in Africa. In line with its commitments, France has already granted 11 billion euros of guaranteesfor African business. They welcomed the efforts made to improve the business climate and urged that more reforms take place in that area.

The Heads of State present called for the renewal of an ambitious and modernized partnership between the European Union and the African, Carribean and Pacific countries (ACP) so as to promote shared values, meet the challenges of sustainable development, increasing mutually beneficial trade and tackling challenges in the spirit of solidarity.

Akufo-Addo in Mali

Improving Regional Security

On the matter of security in West Africa, the Heads of State resolved to develop joint border patrols in the fight against Boko Haram, with France pledging to continue supporting the operationalisation of the Africa Standby Force.

In order to provide African peacekeeping operations with sustainable and predictable sources of funding, the Heads of State gathered welcomed the AU’s decision to find a sustainable financing mechanism for the Peace Fund. They also welcomed the EU’s contribution to the financing of these operations and recalled the need to diversify international support.

The communiqué also called for an urgent reform in the United Nationsand in its Security Council, through the enlargement of its membership in both categories, with a greater African presence, especially amongst its permanent members, so as to make the Council more representative of today’s world.

In this regard, the Heads of State and Governments stressed the key role of the African peace and security architecture in preventing, managing and settling conflicts, and, thus, called for more support.

President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by the 1st Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Minister-Designate for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Shirley AyorkorBotchway; Minister-Designate for National Security, Hon. Albert KanDapaah; acting Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante; acting Deputy Chief of Staff, Francis AsensoBoakye; acting Director of State Protocol, Ambassador Hassan Ahmed and acting Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin.

 Source: |Ghana

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh welcomed Nigeria's leader, Muhammadu Buhari, but talks broke down photo: REUTERS

Gambia talks fail as president holds on

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh welcomed Nigeria's leader, Muhammadu Buhari, but talks broke down photo: REUTERS

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh welcomed Nigeria’s leader, Muhammadu Buhari, but talks broke down photo: REUTERS

The Gambia’s President-elect, Adama Barrow, has left the country after talks failed to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step down.

Nigeria’s president flew to Banjul to try to broker a deal but Mr Jammeh would not relinquish power.

Mr Barrow is now heading to Mali, where he will meet West African leaders attending a summit there.

The former estate agent wants to resolve the transitional deadlock so he can be sworn in next week.

President Jammeh’s term ends on Thursday.

The African Union has said it will no longer recognise Mr Jammeh’s rule beyond this point.

Adama Barrow and Yahya Jammeh

Adama Barrow (left) beat Yahya Jammeh (right) in December’s election REUTERS/AFP

Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari had flown to The Gambia’s capital, Banjul, to try to broker a deal, as the region fears the consequences of a non-peaceful transition.

Ecowas, a 15-nation bloc of West African states that organised the delegation, has it said it would consider removing Mr Jammeh using military force if he refuses to step aside.

Mr Barrow is travelling to Mali with the Ecowas delegation for further discussions this weekend.

Mr Jammeh had initially admitted defeat after the December election. But shortly afterwards he called for the result to be annulled.

The 51-year-old leader seized power in the country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.

A lawyer for Mr Jammeh filed a request with the Supreme Court on Thursday, asking for an injunction to block Mr Barrow’s swearing-in.

The Supreme Court is unable to hear the challenge until May because of a shortage of judges, and Mr Jammeh says he will not step down until then.

There are growing fears that the uncertainty could cause a refugee exodus.

Thousands of Gambians, mostly women and children, have already crossed the border into neighbouring Senegal and further afield to Guinea-Bissau, where they do not require a visa, officials say.

Mr Barrow won 43.3% of the vote in December’s election, compared with Mr Jammeh’s 39.6%. A third candidate, Mama Kandeh, got 17.1%.

Source: BBC

Some West African leaders attempted to convince President Jammeh to step down

Mahama in The Gambia again as Jammeh refuses to step down

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Gambia minister

Former President John Dramani Mahama is in Banjul, Gambia, together with the ECOWAS Mediator in the political situation in The Gambia, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, for talks with President Yahya Jammeh.

President Mahama who is the Co-Mediator left Accra Friday morning, and is expected to be joined by Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and officials of the UN, AU and ECOWAS.

The Gambia, following elections last year, is expected to inaugurate a new president on January 19, but President Jammeh who lost and earlier accepted the results of the elections has now rejected the results.

The mediators are hoping to strike a deal with President Jammeh to accept the results and pave way for the January 19 inauguration of the new President.

Meanwhile, the winner of December’s presidential election Adama Barrow says there is no need for President Yahya Jammeh to seek asylum and he is confident direct talks can solve the crisis.

Adama Barrow told the BBC he was confident he would be sworn in next week despite his rival’s refusal to give up power.

Source: | Ghana


‘Asylum not necessary’ for Gambia’s Jammeh – Adama Barrow

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Yahya Jammeh is accused of leading a repressive regime

The winner of December’s presidential election in The Gambia says there is no need for President Yahya Jammeh to seek asylum and he is confident direct talks can solve the crisis.

Adama Barrow told the BBC he was confident he would be sworn in next week despite his rival’s refusal to give up power.

Nigeria’s leader is due in Banjul to try and broker an end to the deadlock.

His MPs have voted to offer Mr Jammeh asylum to help negotiations.
Mr Jammeh’s term officially ends next Wednesday, but he wants the results annulled after the electoral commission changed some – though it insists this did not affect the final outcome.

The 51-year-old leader, who initially accepted defeated in the 1 December poll, seized power in the tiny country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.

The Supreme Court is unable to hear the challenge until May because of a shortage of judges, and Mr Jammeh says he will not step down until then.

Foreign leaders from regional bloc Ecowas, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, are due to arrive later on Friday in The Gambia to again try to persuade Mr Jammeh to step down on schedule.
The grouping has warned that it would consider removing him using military force if he refuses.

But Mr Barrow, a property developer, told the BBC’s Newsday programme that he would prefer a “peaceful transition”.

He said he welcomed the move by Nigeria MPs to offer Mr Jammeh asylum, but said he did not feel the situation would “get to this level”.

“We want to keep Jammeh in The Gambia, I don’t think there’s any need for him to go to another country.”

He called on Mr Jammeh to “respect the constitution” and engage in direct talks.

“We solve our problems within ourselves without the intervention of anybody. I think that’s what we’d prefer,” he said.

A lawyer for Mr Jammeh on Thursday filed a request with the Supreme Court asking for an injunction to block Mr Barrow’s swearing-in.

Mr Barrow won 43.3% of the vote compared with Mr Jammeh’s 39.6%. A third candidate, Mama Kandeh, got 17.1%.

Source BBC

people of cameroon

Cameroon radio station shut over Anglophone tensions

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Protesters at a demonstration in Bamenda, Cameroon

Radio Hot Cocoa is blamed for inflaming tensions among Anglophone residents

A radio station in Cameroon’s English-speaking city of Bamenda has been closed down.

A police squad visited the offices of Radio Hot Cocoa and ordered that it stop operations.

Officials accuse the station of using interactive programmes to stir up tension among Anglophone listeners, who often complain that they face discrimination.

In the last few months there have been protests in Bamenda against the use of French in courts and schools in two of the country’s two English-speaking regions. The other eight semi-autonomous administrative regions are Francophone.

An editor at Radio Hot Cocoa, Pierre Anoufack, told the BBC:

We were taken aback by this raid as there was an assault by troops who came with officials to [the station]. We want to go and meet the officials so they understand the fact that we are a radio in the service of the people just like the publicly funded media.”

A car drives past the city gate to Abuja

Nigeria has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan

Taiwan is upset by Nigeria’s order that it move its trade office from the capital, Abuja, to the commercial hub, Lagos in what as seen as show of support for Beijing.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and does not recognise its sovereignty as an independent nation.

The Taiwan trade mission office swap was ordered after a visit by the Chinese foreign minister when his government pledged a $40bn (£32.5bn) investment in infrastructure.

Taiwan’s foreign office condemned Nigeria “for collaborating with China’s political goal to engage in unreasonable, barbaric, rough and violent political manipulation”.

But a spokesman of China’s foreign ministry said it regarded Nigeria’s action as support for its “one-China principle”.

Nigeria has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which is only recognised by 21 countries.

According to the Reuters news agency, in countries with which Taiwan has no formal diplomatic relations it often sets up trade and commerce offices.

For years China and Taiwan have been locked in a bitter diplomatic tug-of-war, luring away each other’s allies with generous financial packages in so-called “cheque-book diplomacy”, the AFP news agency reports.

Relations have become even more frosty since Tsai Ing-wen became Taiwan’s president in May – not helped when she made a congratulatory call to US President-elect Donald Trump last month, breaking with US policy set in 1979, when formal relations were cut.

A lawyer was arrested in Zambia as he held a public meeting with clients who have filed complaints about alleged pollution from a copper mine, British law firm Leigh Day tweets:

Oliver Holland was updating communities, who believe a nearby copper mine is damaging farmland and water sources, to update them on their case against London-based Vedanta Resources and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines.

According to Leigh Day, the lawyer was held without charge in the police cells for four hours without access to a lawyer, food or water.

Mr Holland says the police officers who carried out the arrest were driving a vehicle displaying the Konkola Copper Mines logo.

He was eventually charged with “conduct likely to cause a breach of peace” and had to pay a $5 (£4) fine, Leigh Day says.

According to the Reuters news agency, the authorities have confirmed that Mr Holland and two local government officials were arrested and released.

Source: BBC


doctors strike

Kenyan doctors ‘given suspended sentences over strike’

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Six doctors from the Kenyan doctors’ union have been given a one-month suspended sentence for refusing to call off the ongoing strike which has paralysed operations in public hospital, the country’s Daily Nation newspaper reports.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered the union to end the strike and finalise negotiations with the government within the next two weeks.

Several attempts to end the strike have failed as the doctors want the full implementation of a deal signed in 2013 to improve the doctors’ pay and working conditions.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa said that if the officials did not heed to the order they would be jailed for two weeks.

The BBC’s Abdinoor Aden has snapped these photos of the doctors meeting today discuss a way forward:

Doctors meeting
Doctors meeting
Source: BBC