Africa at a glance

Wednesday July 10 2019

Kenyan security agents protect civilians at the scene of a terrorist attack in Nairobi’s Westlands suburb on January 15, 2019. UN Secretary general is in Kenya to attend a two-day Africa counter terrorism conference during which countries will share best practice in combating extremism. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Counterterrorism conference opens in Nairobi

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Kenya to lead the Africa Counter High Level Counter Terrorism conference which opens on Tuesday.

During the two-day event countries and agencies will share best practice in tackling extremism which after relatively being contained in the Horn of Africa, has run amok in the Sahel and Chad basin countries.

Shoots of extremism are also sprouting in the Indian Ocean countries of Madagascar and Mozambique.

Former African presidents plan meeting over Cameroon crisis

Former African leaders have said they will meet later this year over the "troubling" situation in Cameroon where an armed conflict has left 500,000 people displaced in the English speaking western region.


In its statement, the Forum for Former African Heads of State and government did not announce a date for the symposium but pencilled in Ethiopia as a likely venue.

On Tuesday, the European Union gave $22 million to rebuild conflict ravaged towns in Cameroon.

US sanctions Cameroon defence chief over wildlife trafficking

US secretary of State Mike Pompeo has designated a senior Cameroon defence forces member Jean Claude Ango Ango "for his involvement in corruption related to wildlife trafficking.

Also designated was his wife Engono Akomo meaning the two cannot enter the United States which says the action is meant to combat transnational crime in wildlife and preserve the world's iconic species.

A local conservation group Last Great Ape Association had in 2017 reported the seizure of more than 200 ivory tusks from Col. Ango's official car.

More than 40 Nigeria Shi'ite members arrested over deadly protest

No fewer than 40 members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, have been arrested over the violent protest that left three persons, including a police officer, dead in Abuja on Tuesday.

The members protested at the National Assembly (NASS) over the detention since 2015 of their spiritual leader Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzakky who, together with his wife Zeenat, was appearing in a Kaduna State High Court over murder charges.

The protesters shot four policemen, killing one of them, in what police said was an attempt to invade Parliament.

Five Mali nationals added to UN sanctions blacklist

The UN Security Council has added five Mali nationals with a global travel ban for obstructing peace efforts in Mali where an insurgency is threatening the entire Sahel region.

The sanctions blacklist includes a businessman accused of drug trafficking and a local official who allegedly profited from aid projects, diplomats said.

Two leading jihadists Houka Houka Ag AlHousseni, an influential Islamist in Timbuktu; and Mahri Sidi Amar Ben Daha, described as a high-ranking officer in the Islamic police that ran Gao in 2012-2013 are also listed.

The sanctions are aimed at shoring up a 2015 peace deal to restore stability to Mali following a brief Islamist takeover in the north, three years earlier.

Ivory Coast's Ouattara nudges neighbours on common currency
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has asked western African countries who meet conditions to declare together whether they will join the region's common currency, the ECO, by 2020.

Last month the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, agreed to launch the currency next year.

Some countries, including economic powerhouse Nigeria, are sceptical of the Eco's benefits in promoting trade and development making the launch date unlikely.

Internet on mobile services restored in Sudan

Mobile internet services were restored across Sudan Tuesday following a court order, weeks after the ruling generals imposed a blockade in the wake of the brutal June 3 crackdown on protesters.

Khartoum-based lawyer Abdelazim al-Hassan filed a case against the blockade, urging a court in the capital to order telecom company Zain to restore the internet services on his own mobile phone.

Days later internet on fixed land connections was restored, but the mobile 3G and 4G services remained cut.

"Today, the court issued an order to Zain and to MTN and Sudani to restore their mobile internet services," al-Hassan said.

France to impose $200m green tax on plane tickets

France announced Tuesday it would impose new taxes on plane tickets of up to 18 euros per flight, joining other EU states seeking to limit the environmental impact of air travel.

The government said that the $200 million raised annually from tickets for flights originating in France would be used to create less-polluting transport options as concerns grow about carbon emissions from planes.
The move, which will take effect from 2020, will see a tax of $1.7 imposed on economy-class tickets, $10 on business class on internal flights and $20 for business travel outside the European Union.