• S. Sudan Humanitarian Crisis Worsening as Famine Looms

    U.N. aid agencies warn the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, already one of the biggest in the world, is getting worse as famine looms and growing numbers of refugees flee to neighboring countries. 

    The World Food Program reports a 38-truck convoy, carrying food for about one month, arrived in the South Sudanese town of Yei on Friday.  The agency says the food and other relief supplies will be a life-saver for thousands of families who have been trapped in the area for four…

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  • Nigeria Tomato Plant Closes, Embarrasses President

    A Nigerian tomato paste plant said Thursday it is shutting down, firing 1,500 staff and moving abroad because it is unable to obtain the hard currency it needs to operate.

    The move is a public embarrassment for President Muhammadu Buhari and his plan to diversify the economy. Buhari, elected last year on a ticket to fix a country mismanaged for decades, frequently talks about ending the country’s dependency on oil exports by boosting local food production, repeating his mantra: “We must…

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  • Activist: Law Not Enough to End Child Marriage in Tanzania 

    An activist whose petition earlier this year triggered a Tanzanian high court ruling against child marriage said social transformation was needed to end the longstanding custom many families use as a “survival system.”

    “Changing the law is not the ultimate end to child marriage,” said Rebeca Gyumi, founder of the Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian charity promoting girls’ rights. “Changing mindsets and trying to trigger the shift of customs and traditions is the next thing we are planning…

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  • Gabon Opposition Newspaper Says Officials Detain 20 of Its Staff

    Gabonese officials detained 20 employees at the headquarters of the Echos du Nord opposition newspaper on Thursday and took them away for questioning, staff at the paper told Reuters.

    OPEC member Gabon has faced international scrutiny, including from …

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  • Kenya in Uproar After UN Blames General for S. Sudan Violence

    Kenya’s U.N. ambassador said Thursday that the Kenyan general who was in charge of peacekeepers in South Sudan during a violent episode in July has been made a ‘scapegoat’ for systemic U.N. peacekeeping failures.
    Ambassador Macharia Kamau told reporters that an internal U.N. investigation into events during July 8-11, was conducted with a “preordained outcome in mind.”
    “The investigation, we have come to conclude, is shameful, unfair and an exercise in scapegoating,” Kamau…

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  • South Africa Presents Bill to Quit International Criminal Court

    South Africa’s justice minister presented a bill in parliament on Thursday to repeal the country’s membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) — which the government has said clashes with diplomatic immunity laws.

    Pretoria last year announced its intention to leave after the ICC criticized it for disregarding an order to arrest Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir during a visit to South Africa. Bashir faces charges of orchestrating genocide and war crimes — charges…

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  • Nigeria Makes Progress on Long-Delayed Plan to Share Oil Wealth

    Nigeria’s Senate has moved forward a first piece of much-delayed legislation to tackle long-standing problems in managing the nation’s oil wealth, aiming to agree on details for full consideration in just four weeks, lawmakers said.

    The Petroleum Indu…

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  • DRC: Kabila Critics Want Probe Into Ties Between Family-run Bank, Electoral Commission

    New allegations about ties between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission and a bank linked to the president’s family have sparked calls for an investigation. The allegations come amid heightened tensions about delayed elections in the country.

    A Belgian newspaper published a report last week saying the Congolese electoral commission paid at least $2.4 million in fees to a bank with links to DRC President Joseph Kabila.

    The paper also said the commission withdrew $7.5…

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  • South Africa’s Ruling ANC Warns Members Against Corruption

    South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has warned its members to avoid corruption and abuse of state power. The party was reacting to a report from the nation’s anti-corruption chief that suggested President Jacob Zuma allowed a powerful family to choose cabinet ministers. The main opposition party is now pushing for a motion of no confidence against the president.
    In a statement Thursday, the ANC said it welcomes what is known as the State Capture Report….

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  • Kenyan Police Fire Tear Gas on Anti-corruption Protesters

    Police in Kenya’s capital fired tear gas Thursday on protesters demanding that the president act on rampant corruption or resign.

    Police dispersed the 200 or so protesters to avoid a potential clash with a separate group that supports President Uhuru Kenyatta, central Nairobi’s police chief Paul Wanjama said. Wanjama could not explain why the pro-Kenyatta group was not tear-gassed. He said there were no arrests.
    Police also fired tear gas at media covering the…

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