COUNTRIES

Algiers (Algeria) (AFP) An Algerian transport plane with around 100 army personnel on board crashed on Wednesday shortly after taking off from an airbase outside the capital. There was no immediate word on casualties after the plane went down near the Boufarik airbase. According to an AFP photographer at the scene, thick black smoke rose from the wreckage of the plane which crashed in a field near the base. Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of fire trucks with their sirens wailing rushed to the scene. Around 100 military personnel wereRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Seventeen people were killed in a flashpoint Muslim enclave of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), where a UN soldier also reportedly died, an AFP reporter saw Wednesday. Residents of the PK5 district laid out the bodies of 17 men in front of the headquarters of the United Nations mission (MINUSCA) in Bangui, saying they had been killed in clashes on Tuesday between local armed groups and UN peacekeepers. “Yesterday they killed lots of people. Here are the dead, which we have broughtRead More
Boufarik (Algeria) (AFP) An Algerian military plane crashed and caught fire on Wednesday killing 257 people, mostly army personnel and members of their families, officials said. An AFP photographer at the scene saw the charred wreckage of the plane in a field near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off. Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of fire trucks with their sirens wailing rushed to the scene of the crash about 25 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Algiers. The defence ministry said in a statement that 247 passengersRead More
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) Thousands of mourners flocked Wednesday to the heart of South Africa’s sprawling Soweto township, a centre of anti-apartheid resistance, to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s former wife and struggle hero Winnie Mandela. Her grandson Bambatha Mandela described Winnie, who died on April 2 after a long illness, as “an extraordinary woman, a mother, a soldier, a fighter”. “Even at 81 (she) was one person I thought would live forever,” he said in an emotional tribute. “I had the privilege of being the first grandchild they couldRead More
Ambo (Ethiopia) (AFP) Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit to a hotbed of anti-government protests Wednesday, asking residents for patience as he works to bring change to the country. Abiy is the first prime minister in modern Ethiopian history to come from the country’s largest ethnicity the Oromo, which took to the streets in late 2015 protesting the country’s one-party government. Those protests continued for months, leading to hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests in an unprecedented challenge to the 27-year rule of theRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Seventeen people and a UN peacekeeper were killed Tuesday in clashes in a Muslim enclave of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), in the city’s bloodiest flareup in years. Hundreds of angry residents of the PK5 district gathered Wednesday outside the headquarters of the United Nations mission in CAR, called MINUSCA, where they laid out the corpses of 17 men who they said had been killed by peacekeepers. Several bodies bore bullet wounds, an AFP reporter saw. “Yesterday they killed lots of people.Read More
Dakar (Senegal) (AFP) Sierra Leone’s new President Julius Maada Bio has met with his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall in Dakar on his first foreign trip since taking office last week, officials said Wednesday. Bio said after their talks late Tuesday that the pair had discussed economic affairs and matters of governance, and “how Senegal can help Sierra Leone move forward,” Sall’s office said. Choosing Senegal for his first foreign trip “shows his interest in developing a special relationship, built on friendship and mutual interests,” Sall said. In a statement, Bio’sRead More
Nairobi (AFP) It was a handshake that drew a line under Kenya’s bruising election, left many people bewildered and swung open the starting gate for the 2022 presidential race. After months of insults during a deadly and divisive election, the two heirs of Kenya’s most powerful political dynasties, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga stood side by side, shook hands and pledged reconciliation. Even in a country used to the political game of thrones, where betrayals are commonplace and bitter rivals forge alliances almost overnight, the gesture onRead More
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) At least 14 people sustained burns in a fresh outbreak of fires at a camp housing tens of thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram jihadists in northeast Nigeria, according to an aid agency. The outbreak comes just two weeks after a blaze at the camp, located at Rann, about 175 kilometres (108 miles) east of the Borno state capital Maiduguri, killed five people. “There have been three separate fires reported,” stated a memo seen by AFP from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsRead More
Khartoum (AFP) Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir Tuesday ordered the release of political detainees, weeks after massive arrests in a crackdown on anti-government protests. Security agents arrested hundreds of opposition leaders, activists, protesters in January in an attempt to curb demonstrations over rising food prices, including bread. “President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday issued a decree to release all political detainees held across the country,” the official SUNA news agency reported, quoting the decree. The SUNA report did not specify how many prisoners would be set free or whether they would includeRead More