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Nairobi (AFP) Kenyan security forces raped, beat and assaulted civilians during violence in recent elections, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, claims rejected by police. “There was widespread sexual violence against women and girls, and sexual attacks on men,” HRW said, in a report titled, “They were men in uniform.” The violence, documented during Kenya’s election in August by HRW and other rights groups, recorded “police use of excessive force against protesters, killings, beatings and maiming of individuals, looting and destruction of property”. The report was based on interviews with 65Read More
Dakar (AFP) A Senegalese court on Thursday delayed the trial of popular Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall on charges of embezzling public funds until January 3, as his lawyers denounced a “hasty” start to proceedings. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($3.3 million, 2.8 million euros) — a charge he denies and which backers say is politically motivated. The court’s president Maguette Diop called a special hearing for January 3, after ordering Sall’s supporters to calm down after they packed the courtroom to catch a glimpse of aRead More
Mogadishu (AFP) A suicide bomber from Somalia’s Shabaab insurgents killed 18 police officers and wounded 15 others on Thursday when he blew himself up inside the country’s main police academy, the force’s chief said. Witnesses said the police were gathered in a square ahead of their early morning parade when the bomber attacked in the capital Mogadishu. The assault is the latest in a decade-old battle by the jihadists to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government. “Eighteen members from the police were killed, and 15 others were wounded, after a suicide bomberRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a front-runner in the race for South Africa’s ruling party leadership, faces difficulty distancing herself from her tarnished ex-husband President Jacob Zuma. Dlamini-Zuma is an African National Congress (ANC) veteran and an experienced technocrat who has served as a minister under every leader since the end of white minority rule in 1994. She became one of the most experienced ministers of the democratic post-apartheid era, holding the home affairs, health and foreign affairs portfolios. She was also chair of the African Union Commission until earlier thisRead More
Mogadishu (AFP) A suicide bomber from Somalia’s Shabaab insurgents killed 18 police officers and wounded 15 others on Thursday when he blew himself up inside the country’s main police academy, the force’s chief said. Witnesses said the police were gathered in a square ahead of their early morning parade when the bomber attacked in the capital Mogadishu. “Eighteen members from the police were killed, and 15 others were wounded, after a suicide bomber blew himself inside the academy,” acting police chief General Muktar Hussein Afrah told reporters. The attacker disguisedRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) South Africa’s jovial leader Jacob Zuma is a former herdboy who fought in the anti-apartheid struggle and has held onto the presidency despite a plethora of scandals. Now aged 75, he has survived by building a network of loyal African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers and officials, and by trading on the party’s legacy as the organisation that ended white-minority rule. Among the stains on his presidency have been allegedly fostering a culture of government corruption and leading the country into a quagmire of low growth and record unemployment.Read More
Ebebiyin (Equatorial Guinea) (AFP) At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-westernRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Nelson Mandela’s family has expressed “indignation and dismay” at allegations that officials stole and misspent $22 million intended for the anti-apartheid icon’s memorial events after his death in 2013. The country’s anti-corruption watchdog last week said it had uncovered evidence that millions of dollars disappeared during preparations for Mandela’s memorial and funeral. Officials are alleged to have inflated costs, awarded tenders fraudulently and generally mismanaged the huge state occasion which drew leaders from around the world. Mandela’s eldest grandson Mandla said on Wednesday that the whole family hadRead More
Mpophomeni (South Africa) (AFP) When Thobani Gasa took his puppy for obedience training a few years ago it was just for fun. But soon his own behaviour started to change thanks to his canine companion. Many townships in South Africa are notorious for gang-related violence but in Mpophomeni, near the southeastern town of Howick, pet dogs are helping lead the way to a more peaceful future. On a hot Friday afternoon with their dogs in tow, dozens of children filed neatly into the grounds of the Zamuthule primary school forRead More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe, 93, who was ousted from power last month, has flown to Singapore for a medical check-up, his ex-spokesman said Thursday. Mugabe and his wife Grace have not been seen in public since he was forced to resign after a military takeover brought a sudden end to his authoritarian 37-year reign. “He is in Singapore. It’s part of his package as a retired president to travel overseas. He routinely goes to Singapore to meet with his doctors,” George Charamba told AFP. Charamba, who isRead More