Africa at a glance

Thursday June 27 2019

Mauritania's opposition leaders (L-R) Mohamed

Mauritania's opposition leaders (L-R) Mohamed Ould Mouloud, Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, Mohamed Ould Boubacar, and Kane Hamidou Baba during a press conference in Nouakchoot on June 23, 2019. They have accused the government of Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, who won disputed elections on Saturday, of creating a state of siege and shutting down the internet. PHOTO | SIA KAMBOU | AFP  

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  • Africa wants end to US veto on WTO court jobs

African countries have joined the list of nations seeking an end to a United States veto on judicial appointments at the World Trade Organization (WTO), leaving Washington isolated on the matter.

A statement from the African Group of 43 countries that was circulated on Wednesday in New York confirms a large majority of WTO member states - 114 out of 163 - now openly oppose the US position.

The US is blocking new appointments to the WTO's dispute appeals tribunal which has potential to override US law and comes after several rulings went against US tariffs.

  • UN extends DRC sanctions as warrant of arrest for warlord issued

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday extended its arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban on the Democratic Republic of Congo until July 2020.


The sanctions prohibit countries from selling weapon to rebel groups in the conflict prone country where a recent spike in ethnic violence has displaced thousands in Ituri province.

The resolution drafted by France was passed unanimously requiring governments to block travel and to freeze the assets of militia leaders and politicians.

The UN has backed an arrest warrant issued by the DRC prosecutor against Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, NDC-R armed groups leader, who is accused of mass rape and other abuses in the country's east.

  • Kenyan legislators spark outrage with xenophobic views

The leader of government business in Parliament Aden Duale has courted outrage in his defence of lawmaker who was arrested on Wednesday over xenophobic utterances.

Mr Duale warned that Kenya is not a "dumping ground", citing cases where Kenyans were blocked from working or doing business in Tanzania.

Charles Njagua Kanyi, a musician-turned politician who represents a cosmopolitan constituency in the capital Nairobi, was arrested for saying traders from neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda should be forced out of the country.

The populist comments come two weeks after an uproar over Chinese retail traders in Nairobi that forced the deportation of at least 17 Chinese nationals.

  • Eritrea defends seizure of catholic-run health centres

Eritrea says its controversial decision to seize and shut health centres run by the catholic church in deprived rural areas was meant to achieve equity among religions.

The ministry of information says on its website that no religion should be treated differently in a secular state, suggesting the centers were discriminating against protestants and other adherents.

It also suggested that religious institutions would be vetted in the conduct of their development and social causes, asking that they all cede operational authority of the clinics to the ministry of health.

  • Sudan's Mahdi rejects call for mass demos on June 30

Sudan's veteran opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi rejected on Wednesday a call for nationwide mass demonstrations against the country's ruling generals on June 30.

The rallies on Sunday called by the Alliance for Freedom and Change coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamist-backed coup in which now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir toppled the then elected government of Mahdi.

Mr Mahdi, the head of National Umma Party said parties should avoid further escalation until the ruling military council responds to a power transfer plan proposed by Ethiopia under the Africa Union's mediation.

  • Malawi opposition lobby court in election fraud case

Malawi's constitutional court on Wednesday heard opening arguments in a camera in case where opposition parties want the results of last month's vote nullified over irregularities.

President Peter Mutharika, leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), narrowly defeated Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party in the May 21 vote. CP.

Judges heard applications technical applications including a request by the opposition lawyers of bank accounts of electoral commission staff to track possible bribes.

  • Mauritanian opposition accuse authorities of 'siege' after disputed vote

Opposition leaders in Mauritania accused the authorities of imposing a "state of siege" on Wednesday as armed soldiers were deployed in the capital Nouakchott and the internet was cut off, just days after the ruling party won a disputed presidential election.

Ruling party candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani officially won with 52 percent of Saturday's vote but opposition leaders have rejected the result, describing it as an "electoral hold-up".

Responding to the opposition, Ghazouani's spokesman urged them to wait for a final ruling by the country's constitutional council on the election results.

The government has warned the ambassadors of Senegal, Mali and The Gambia against their nationals participating in planned demonstrations.

  • 16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

At least 16 people were crushed to death and dozens injured in Madagascar on Wednesday at a stadium hosting national independence day celebrations in the capital Antananarivo.

According to witnesses, the afternoon accident occurred outside the Mahamasina stadium as people gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark the national holiday.

The witnesses blamed the organisers for failure to manage the movement of the crowd at the end of the parade.

The accounts were similar to those in 2018 at the same stadium where one person died and 30 were injured during a football match between Madagascar and Senegal.

  • Kenya court blocks East Africa's first coal plant

Kenya's environment court suspended on Wednesday the construction of the coal-fired Amu Power station until a new study is done on its impact on the Lamu archipelago, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The $2 billion fossil-fuel project would be the first of its kind in East Africa but has outraged activists because coal, a dirty fuel, is being gradually dropped as an energy source in the US, Europe and China.

The court also withdrew the licence for the joint venture between Kenya equity punter Centum and Oman's Gulf Energy, giving them 30 days to appeal.

The government, the investors and the US have defended the China funded project on the grounds that it would run on the latest 'clean' technology from General Electric.

  • FIFA open disciplinary action against Cameroon

FIFA on Wednesday announced disciplinary proceedings against Cameroon for misconduct and offensive behaviour in their women's World Cup match against England.

England won Sunday's last 16 tie 3-0 but the game at Valenciennes was marked by Cameroon players' protests at two controversial Video Assistant Referee's decisions

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed disciplinary proceedings had been opened against the Cameroonian FA over the team's conduct, behaviour and fair-play.