VIF News Digest: International Developments (Africa), 28 Jan-3 Feb, 2019
Malawi looks to cannabis to supplement lost tobacco earnings: VOA
28 January 2019

Malawi is the latest African country to look at legalizing cannabis, the plant that produces hemp and marijuana, after similar moves in Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. As Malawi's tobacco industry, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner, has dwindled due to anti-tobacco campaigns, farmers are now looking to grow cannabis.

Malawi has long relied on tobacco, which accounts for 13 percent of its gross domestic product and 60 percent of its foreign exchange earnings. But as tobacco prices per kilogram have fallen, farmers have struggled. Click here to read....

Kagame takes over AU leadership, commits to visa-free regime: africanews
28 January 2019

The new African Union chairperson, Paul Kagame, has said that ‘Free Movement’ for Africans ‘is achievable in 2018’.
Free Movement which is part of the African Prosperity Agenda would entail the implementation of continent-wide visa free regimes including issuance of visas at ports of entry for Africans. Click here to read....

Sudan protests: Authorities order release of all detainees - BBC
29 January 2019

More than 1,000 people are reported to have been detained in the protests, which began in December. They was released under orders of Sudan's intelligence and security chief, Salah Ghosh, the Information Ministry said in a statement. No reason was given. President Omar al-Bashir has blamed the unrest on "foreign agents" and rebel groups in the Darfur region. Meanwhile, riot police in the capital Khartoum used tear gas to disperse dozens of demonstrators in the Burri district on Tuesday, witnesses said. Click here to read....

Thousands flee Nigerian city into Cameroon fearing militant attack –UNHCR: Reuters
29 January, 2019

Around 30,000 people fled into Cameroon at the weekend from the Nigerian city of Rann, fearing an attack by Boko Haram militants, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday. UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva that the exodus followed the departure of Cameroonian forces who had moved to secure the city, following an attack by Boko Haram on Rann on Jan. 14. “Because Cameroon is part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, their military went in to secure Rann. So it was ... peaceful (for a while) but as far as we understand now, that Multi-National Task Force has left,” Baloch said. Click here to read....

Djibouti: Scores feared dead after two migrant boats overturn – The Guardian
30 January 2019

Scores of people are feared to have drowned off the coast of Djibouti after two migrant boats capsized, amid new warnings from the UN that six people a day die on maritime smuggling routes to Europe and elsewhere.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the alarm was raised over the latest incident after two survivors were recovered. As the search for more survivors continued, the IOM said on Wednesday that 38 people had been confirmed dead. Click here to read....

World's worst air is in South African coal community: allAfrica
30 January 2019

Mpumalanga province - South Africa’s coal mining heartland – has the worst air quality in the world, according to a recent study by environmental group Greenpeace. The 12 large coal mines in this area make it the world’s hotspot for toxic nitrogen dioxide emissions. Click here to read....

UNICEF asks for $180 Million to feed South Sudanese: VOA
30 January 2019

The United Nations children's agency is appealing for $180 million to meet the humanitarian needs of more than 800,000 women and children in South Sudan.

A top UNICEF official in South Sudan said the signing of a revitalized peace deal in September 2018 laid the groundwork for improved conditions in the country, but that more than 4.4 million children alone still need assistance. Andrea Suley, acting UNICEF representative in South Sudan, said most of the money will be used to provide food aid. Click here to read....

Kenya bomber's journey offers cautionary tale of intelligence failures: Reuters
31 January 2019

The bomber who blew himself up outside a Nairobi hotel this month, launching an attack that killed 21 people, was already so well-known to Kenyan police that they had emblazoned his face across billboards under the slogan “Wanted: Dead or Alive”.

Mahir Khalid Riziki was barely 20 when he joined a radical Islamist cell that assassinated police in his home town of Mombasa, officers said. His mosque in the coastal Kenyan city funnelled recruits to the Somalia-based Islamist group al Shabaab, which claimed the Jan. 15 attack in Nairobi. Click here to read....

Sudan's Bashir says border with Eritrea reopens after being shut for a year: VOA
31 January 2019

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Thursday that his country was reopening its border with Eritrea, which has been shut for about a year.
Sudan closed the border in early January, 2018, after Bashir announced a six-month state of emergency in the regions of Kassala and North Kurdufan to help combat the trafficking of weapons and foodstuffs. Click here to read....

WHO Reports Progress in Controlling Ebola in Congo: VOA
1 February 2019

Six months after the outbreak of Ebola was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, the World Health Organization is expressing cautious optimism that it is making headway in controlling the spread of the deadly virus. Latest figures reported by the WHO show 752 cases of Ebola, including 465 deaths. Click here to read....

Central African Republic agrees peace deal with rebel groups: BBC
2 February 2019

A peace deal between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and 14 rebel groups has been struck after talks in Sudan, officials say. The deal was announced by the UN mission in CAR, known as Minusca, and the African Union (AU), which both sponsored the talks in Khartoum. "This is a great day for Central African Republic and all its people," said AU commissioner Smail Chergui. Click here to read....

Belgium agrees to take in former Ivory Coast president: The Guardian
2 February 2019

Belgium has agreed to take in the former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a foreign ministry spokesman has said. Karl Lagatie confirmed the agreement on Saturday, and added that he did not know if the ex-president was already in Belgium.

“That is also part of the framework of our support for international criminal jurisdictions,” he added. The ICC freed Gbagbo on Friday after his shock acquittal last month on charges of crimes against humanity. Click here to read....

South Africa disappointed after Western powers' criticise policy in memo to Ramaphosa: Reuters
3 February 2019

South Africa expressed disappointment on Sunday (Feb 3) after the United States and other Western powers wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to tackle corruption, and said those countries had breached diplomatic protocol.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the United States, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, had sent a joint memorandum to Ramaphosa through their diplomatic missions in Pretoria to warn that foreign investment was at risk unless South Africa takes tangible action against perpetrators of corruption and other serious crimes. Click here to read....

Contact Us