Scores flee possible Gambia mayhemFrom MOMODOU DIBBA in Banjul, GambiaBANJUL, (CAJ News) – ANXIETY has gripped Gambia ahead of Thursday when President Yahya Jammeh must hand over power to rival Adama Barrow after the December 1 election. Several thousand people, mainly children, have crossed into neighbouring countries to escape possible mayhem. While some people have decided to stay in Gambia, many are sending their children to Senegal as a precautionary measure. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees officials confirmed the surge mainly to Kaolack, Kolda Sédhiou and Ziguinchor areas. UNHCR and Senegalese authorities have deployed joint field missions to southern Senegal’s Casamance, bordering Gambia.
Armed fighters led by the military commander of former Congolese rebel group M23 have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo from Uganda, Congolese officials said on Sunday. The rebels had been in camps for demobilised fighters in Uganda following their defeat in 2013. Formerly, they were the largest of dozens of armed groups in the country and controlled huge swaths of the country's mining heartland in the east. Since then, the fighters have been scattered in camps in neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda awaiting amnesties. Many other armed groups remain active.
Dollar skids vs yen to lowest level since early DecTOKYO, Jan 16 The dollar skidded against the yen to its lowest levels since early December as the safe-haven Japanese currency gained against the backdrop of a selloff in sterling, as well as uncertainty about the impact of President-elect Donald Trump's future policies.
Announcement: Moody's: Stable outlook for the Levant and North Africa sovereigns reflects reform momentumMonday, January 16, 2017 3:26 AM UTCThe stable outlook for sovereign creditworthiness in the Levant and North Africa -- namely Moody's rated Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Egypt -- in 2017 reflects the lower for longer energy price environment as well as the reform momentum in the region, despite continuing political and security headwinds, says Moody's Investors Service in its annual Levant and North Africa Sovereign Outlook, published today. Moody's report, "Sovereigns -- Levant and North Africa: 2017 Outlook -- Reform Momentum Supports Stable Outlook Despite Continuing Challenges ", is available on www.moodys.com. In Tunisia, the negative outlook also reflects tighter external funding conditions arising from its substantial foreign-currency debt and funding structure. Moody's projects current account deficits of 7.5% and 6.0% in Egypt for 2017 and 2018, and 7.9% and 7.3% for Tunisia. Moody's notes that domestic and/or geopolitical risk remain among the main drivers of event risk in regional sovereign credit profiles, especially in the case of Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia.
Soldiers seized roads leading into the city of Korhogo in northern Ivory Coast late on Friday, a mutineer and a resident said, as disgruntled troops appeared to relaunch an army mutiny that paralysed much of the country last week. That’s why we are here.”This came after disgruntled soldiers reached an agreement with the government late on Friday resolving a dispute over bonus payments that had threatened to reignite a nationwide army mutiny, negotiators for the mutineers said. “We haven’t finished up, but that’s the most important thing.”The soldiers had appeared poised to relaunch their mutiny on Friday. Sporadic gunfire continued through the evening, and telephone networks appeared to have been shut down, hindering communications with the city. The minister and his delegation will go home without any problems,” said the soldier, who asked not to be named.
Determined Zimbabwe hold Algeria in AFCON thrillerFrom DIDIER NDONG in Libreville, GabonLIBREVILLE, (CAJ News) – AFRICAN Footballer of the Year, Riyad Mahrez,scored a brace but his Algerian side were held to a draw by Zimbabwe in an entertaining Africa Cup of Nations encounter at the Stade de Franceville in Gabon on Sunday evening. Zimbabwe suffered a setback in the 11th minute when prolific striker Knowledge Musona limped off injured in the Group B encounter. Algeria took the lead in the 17th minute courtesy of an expert finish by Mahrez, who curled a shot beyond a diving Tatenda Mkuruva. This spurred the Zimbabweans to action and five minutes later, they were level five minutes later after Kudakwashe Mahachi darted into the box to fire a low shot past Rais M’Bolhi. Nyasha Mushekwi put the underdogs in front in the 29th minuted from the penalty spot after a foul inside the Algerian box.
But now the government has come up with a new strategy to force millers to exhaust local wheat before opting for imports. The new rule compels millers to exhaust their allocated local quotas to qualify for an import licence for duty free wheat. “We have a new system in place that requires millers to buy all locally produced wheat before we issue them with an import licence,” said Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett. Mr Bett said that when millers seek the wheat import licence from the Treasury, their request is referred to the Ministry of Agriculture to confirm whether they have met the condition of buying their portion of local wheat. The low international cost of the produce has seen millers import huge volumes of the cereal in recent months.
Officials say 110 people were on board the boat(CNN) -- Nearly 100 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants wrecked in the waters between Libya and Italy, the International Organization for Migration said Saturday. Many migrants have died trying to make the perilous trip from North Africa to Europe, with Libya being a popular jumping-off point. "Bodies washing up in Libya is something we often see preceded by a large shipwreck in the Central Mediterranean," Julia Black, who works with the organization's Missing Migrants Project in Berlin, said earlier this year. 2016 closed out as the deadliest year for migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, the group said. More than 380,000 migrants made the trip to Europe successfully last year, according to the group.
Recent developments: Growth in the Middle East and North Africa region is estimated to have slowed to 2.7% in 2016, reflecting fiscal consolidation in some countries and oil production constraints in others. Growth slowed sharply in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to 1.6% as oil sector weakness spread to non-oil sectors. Outlook: Growth in the region is forecast to recover to a 3.1% pace this year, with oil importers registering the strongest gains. Among oil exporters, Saudi Arabia is forecast to accelerate to a 1.6% growth rate in 2017, still modest by historical standards. Algeria should slow to a 2.9% pace on a decline in spending on public works and delays in tax and subsidy reforms.
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERTwo weeks after New Year’s Eve Cologne police have changed their report on who they identified on the night, saying most of the men were not North Africans but rather were from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Immediately after the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne two weeks ago police were slammed by politicians and left-wing activists for the use of the term “Nafri” which they used to describe North African men. Iraqi nationals were the most numerous of those checked by authorities with 99 men stopped. Syrians were a close second with 94 men, and Afghan nationals were third with 48. North Africans were also present as police recorded 17 Morrocans and 13 Algerians.
Kenyan international Jesse Were could be on his way to Tunisia after Club Africain expressed interest in his signature. According to Zamfoot, the Zesco forward wants to walk away from the Zambian league and Africain is speculated to be his landing home. If the transfer goes through, Were will get USD 10,000 as Zesco take home the transfer fee of USD 250,000. “The player (Jesse) is just waiting for Zesco and Club Africain to agree on the transfer fee,” said a source as reported by Futaa.
Birame ould Dah ould Abeïd, leader of the anti-slavery movement IRA (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement) has announced his comeback to Mauritania for Sunday January 15 after he conducted an eight-month international campaign to denounce the ongoing phenomenon in the North African country, the last country in the world still practicing the outdated human dominance. Analysts believe the decision to pass through the historical town is significant and will throw thousands of sympathizers in the streets therefore predicting confrontation between security forces and supporters. The activist, decried by the Mauritanian regime, left the country eight months ago on an international tour in Africa and elsewhere to marshal support and to denounce the phenomenon still ongoing in the North African country. Several members of his movement were arrested in June last year for mounting riot against security forces. A court in capital Nouakchott handed them heavy prison sentences ranging between 3 and 15 years.
Zine El Abedine Ben Ali ruled with an iron fist but he delivered growth, education and a sophisticated, modern country that functioned. Suddenly, Ben Ali was gone and his elite bodyguard, after a few violent skirmishes with the army that remained loyal to the nation, had been neutralised. If power is given, then the real power resides with the giver, not the recipient. This time, their earlier chants of “Ben Ali Out!” changed to “RCD Out!”. But perhaps his greatest contribution may well be that he unwittingly ushered Tunisia into an era of real democracy.
Kismayo, Somalia – U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed on Monday that elements of its command participated in a joint counter-terrorism operation against an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group known as Harakat al-Shabaab. The operation, which was executed on January 7th, included an unknown number of U.S. military advisors which accompanied Somali National Army troops along with Ugandan commandos assigned to the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM. The raid occurred in and around the villages of Bula-Gaduud near the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo. The area in and around Kismayo is historically been known as a ‘hotbed’ of al-Shabaab activity with the terror group recently retaking majority control over the towns and villages within the region. The joint raid was described as a ‘counter-terrorism operation’ with the intent of ‘disturbing’ al-Shabaab’s influence within the region and staunching the group’s recent uptick in terror attacks Somalia has seen in recent months.
King Mohammed VI will travel to Addis Ababa to attend the African Union summit on January 30 to make the case for Morocco’s strong determination to regain its natural place within Africa’s institutional family. The announcement was made by Morocco’s designated Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, in a statement to the Press. Morocco withdrew from the predecessor of the AU, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984, on grounds of the biased decision of the organization. Morocco’s return to the African institutional family hinges on a simple majority vote by the member countries. So far, 39 countries, making more than the majority of the 54 African Union member states, have expressed support for Morocco’s return.