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Africa

Millions of children living in fear in Sahel region, UNICEF warns

Issued on: 28/01/2020 – 11:54Modified: 28/01/2020 – 11:54 PERSPECTIVE © FRANCE 24 As UNICEF publishes its latest report on the impact of violence in the Sahel region on children, we're joined by the organisation's regional director, Marie-Pierre Poirier. Last year, rising violence and insecurity forced almost two million children out of school in west and central Africa alone, putting their futures at risk. In addition, the risk of child recruitment by armed groups is growing. Advertising Poirier tells us the crisis has worsened dramatically in the last few years, as government budgets in the region are increasingly given over to the military to the detriment of health and education. Click on the player to watch Poirier describe the situation, and read more by clicking on the link below: >> UN says children are increasingly Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Africa

UN says children are increasingly victims of brutal Sahel violence

Issued on: 28/01/2020 – 07:41Modified: 28/01/2020 – 07:41 Hundreds of children in the Sahel were killed, maimed or forcibly separated from their parents last year, the United Nations said Tuesday, as a jihadist conflict rages across the region. Advertising Read more In Mali alone, 277 children were killed or maimed during the first nine months of 2019, the UN children's agency UNICEF said in a report, more than double the number in the year before. Despite support from French and UN troops, Mali has been struggling to quell an Islamist insurgency that erupted in the north in 2012 and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives. The conflict has since spread to the centre of the West African country, as well as neighbouring Sahel states Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions along the way. The whole Sahel region has seen a "significant increase of violence against children who are caught in the cross fire," according to the report, which added t..

Africa

France warns US against pulling troops out of unstable Sahel region

Issued on: 27/01/2020 – 20:26Modified: 27/01/2020 – 20:26 French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly warned Monday that expected cuts to the Pentagon's African operations would hamper efforts against jihadist groups, especially in the Sahel region. Advertising Read more But US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made clear that the United States was prepared to reduce its global military footprint and that African operations could be affected—while giving no details about how severely. “US support is critical to our operations, and its reduction would severely limit our effectiveness in our operations against terrorists,” Parly said in a joint news conference with Esper in Washington. “Our friends in the Sahel are in a situation where our assistance is critical. And I have expressed the hope of both the United States and France will keep on supporting them,” she added. Esper has launched a review of the US military footprint around the world and is expected to reduce the p..

Africa

Ivory Coast tests first person in Africa for coronavirus

The student, whom authorities have not named, is the first person to be tested for the virus on the continent. The virus has killed at least 80 people in the mainland Chinese city of Wuhan.The 34-year-old student traveled from Beijing to the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan on Saturday and was coughing, sneezing and experienced difficulty breathing, Ivory Coast's Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene said in statement.The student was moved to a safe location upon arrival at the airport and is currently under medical observation, the ministry said.Authorities believe it is highly likely a case of pneumonia and not coronavirus, but the final diagnosis will be made after the analysis of the results of the test, the ministry said.Michel Yao, WHO Africa emergency response program manager, said the agency had advised health ministers in the region to activate standard flu screening at airports for passengers coming from mainland China. Screening at airports Resid..

Africa

Erdogan to discuss Libya conflict on Algeria visit

Issued on: 26/01/2020 – 16:14Modified: 26/01/2020 – 16:15 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday visited Algeria for talks on the conflict in neighbouring Libya and plans to boost trade links. His visit comes as fighting resumed on the weekend at the frontline south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Advertising Read more Erdogan, accompanied by a high-level business delegation, was greeted at Algiers airport by his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the national news agency APS reported. “We are going to organise a business conference in Algeria,” Erdogan, whose country is the largest investor in the North African state, told reporters on his departure from Istanbul. “We are also going to discuss the latest developments in our region, especially Libya,” he said before setting out on the first leg of an African tour. The visit comes after Erdogan accused Eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar of violating the truce between his troops and forces loyal to the..

Africa

Soldiers killed in attack on Mali army camp, militants suspected

Issued on: 26/01/2020 – 14:51Modified: 26/01/2020 – 14:51 Nineteen soldiers were killed and five wounded in an attack on an army camp in central Mali before dawn on Sunday, an army spokesman and a local official told Reuters. Advertising Read more The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear. They entered the camp near the village of Sokolo at about 0500 GMT, opened fire, destroyed some structures and left soon after, said Balco Ba, a deputy administrator in the nearby town of Niono. Army spokesman Dirran Kone said the camp was later under control, reinforcements were in place and a search was underway for the assailants. The Malian armys official Twitter account said a Malian plane had been deployed to monitor the scene. Le poste est sous contrôle #FAMa. Le ratissage en cours L'avion militaire malienne sur zone. Le bilan provisoire est de 19 morts 5 blessés du matériel endommagé et ou emporté. pic.twitter.com/sgQjcajf2C — Forces Armées Maliennes (@FAMa_DIRPA..

Africa

Nine years after Egyptian revolution started, Tahrir Square icon languishes in jail

Issued on: 25/01/2020 – 14:09Modified: 25/01/2020 – 14:12 On January 25, 2011, demonstrations against police brutality to mark Egypts National Police Day, spiralled into what came to be called the Arab Spring. But nine years later, following a brutal crackdown by the Egyptian military, many icons of Cairos Tahrir Square uprising are facing police brutality in detention. FRANCE 24 met the family of a prominent activist behind bars. Advertising Read more Alaa Abdel Fattahs last public appearance was in September 2019, when he was commemorating his father, Egypts prominent human rights activist and lawyer, Ahmed Seif El-Islam. In an interview with FRANCE 24 on the sidelines of the event, the 38-year-old Egyptian software developer, blogger and activist talked about a familiar subject: fear. “The fear is there. But also the defiance is there. It's always important to continue to defend our rights,” said Abdel Fattah. Three weeks later, he was arrested once again and taken t..

Africa

Billions of locusts swarm through East Africa after year of extreme weather

Issued on: 24/01/2020 – 19:08Modified: 24/01/2020 – 19:08 Billions of locusts swarming through East Africa are the result of extreme weather swings and could prove catastrophic for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods, experts said Friday. Advertising Read more Dense clouds of the ravenous insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region's worse infestation in decades. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated one swarm in Kenya at around 2,400 square kilometres (about 930 square miles) – an area almost the size of Moscow – meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts, each of which consumes its own weight in food every day. The locust invasion is the biggest in Ethiopia and Somalia in 25 years, and the biggest in Kenya in 70 years, according to the FAO. If unchecked, locust numbers could grow 500 times by June, spreading to Uganda and South Sudan, becoming a plague that will devastate crops and pasture..

Africa

East Africa is suffering its worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years

The invasion poses an unprecedented threat to food security in the entire sub region, where over 19 million people in East Africa are already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, the agency said.In Kenya, it is the worst invasion in 70 years, and the government is spending $5 million to manage the swarms of locust and prevent spreading. Invasions of desert locusts are irregular in the region, the last instance occurred in 2007 at a much smaller scale. "This current invasion of desert locust is significantly larger in magnitude and scale than previously experienced in Kenya and across East Africa," said Dr. Stephen Njoka, the Director General of Desert Locust Control Organization. Irregular weather and climate conditions in 2019, including heavy rains between October and December, are suspected to have contributed to the spread of locusts in the region. "Under a worst-case scenario," the invasion could become a plague if it is not contained quickly, the FAO said in a statement..

Africa

DR Congo: Crimes and no punishment

Issued on: 24/01/2020 – 15:10Modified: 24/01/2020 – 15:21 This Friday, January 24, the Democratic Republic of Congo marks the first anniversary of the inauguration of Félix Tshisekedi as president. One of his challenges is to heal the wounds left by the two wars that ravaged the country between 1996 and 2003, leaving several million people dead. Advertising To understand the Democratic Republic of Congo today, we need to examine the two Congo Wars (1996-1997 and 1998-2003). Although not well known, they caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly civilians – the largest death toll in a conflict since the end of World War II. Why did these wars take place? What role did the 1994 Rwandan genocide play in these conflicts and what was the involvement of neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda and Uganda? Finally, what impact have the Congo Wars had on the DR Congo of 2019? From Kinshasa to Kisangani, FRANCE 24s correspondents and senior reporters, Thomas Nicolon and Nicolas Germa..

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