Ivory Coast

Abidjan (AFP) A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast’s ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor. Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis. Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for “plotting against the authority of the state,” an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw. According to the charge sheet, Abehi took part in meetings in GhanaRead More
Abidjan (AFP) A former Ivorian minister was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for complicity in a 2012 attack in western Ivory Coast that killed 18 people, including seven UN peacekeepers. Hubert Oulaye, 64, ex-public works minister under former president Laurent Gbagbo, “provided the financial means to establish a rebellion in the west” of the country, the attorney general said. “The accomplice is sometimes more dangerous than the perpetrator,” she added. Oulaye dismissed the verdict as a “political conviction” and returned home while his lawyers vowed to appealRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Thirty-five years after the start of the AIDS epidemic, one person in two in sub-Saharan Africa “does not know their HIV status,” according to a French expert. “Testing remains insufficient in west Africa and central Africa,” public health demographer Joseph Larmarange told AFP in an interview at an AIDS prevention conference in Abidjan. – Why are screenings a challenge? – “Testing is the cornerstone of our response to AIDS, because once people get tested and are found to be positive, we can refer them to medical care andRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Angry AIDS activists are urging western and central Africa to step up the fight against HIV, saying millions of people, especially children, are at risk from complacency and underfunding. A six-day conference in Africa has thrown a stark light on the problems in a region whose two dozen nations extend from Mauritania in the north to Gabon in the south, and include some of the poorest countries in the world. Coalition Plus, an alliance of AIDS groups, said AIDS-related deaths in western and central Africa are running atRead More
Abidjan (AFP) A huge fire ripped through a paint factory in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan on Wednesday, causing multiple explosions, destroying nearby businesses and leaving two people in hospital. A factory employee suffered severe burns and a firefighter was poisoned by gas fumes in the blaze, which sent a thick column of smoke high above the city’s industrial zone. Several other people were slightly injured in the fire at the Drocolor paint factory, according to police sources. Dozens of firefighters were deployed to tackle the blaze, which also spreadRead More
Abidjan (AFP) The head of the UN’s AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent’s AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, “but now is not the time to drop our guard,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. “The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of ourRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso on Monday began work to overhaul and expand a single-track rail line connecting Abidjan to the Burkinabe capital that is a vital link between the Sahel and Atlantic coast. Renovating the 1,260-kilometre (782-mile) track — which had first been announced in 2015 with no work being started — is expected to take eight years. All parties involved hope the project will improve traffic and trade between the two West African neighbours. “Investment for the work, totalling 396 million euros ($470 million)… is theRead More
Grand-Bassam (Ivory Coast) (AFP) European and African leaders have set themselves a tall order to stamp out horrific abuse of African migrants in Libya, where thousands are suffering in a vast, lawless territory. On Thursday, a summit of the African Union and European Union (EU) set a goal of immediately repatriating 3,800 migrants languishing in a camp near Tripoli. Hundreds of thousands more — “400,000 to 700,000,” according to AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat — remain stranded. But experts point to a daunting array of hurdles, from extracting migrantsRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast’s economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were “livingRead More
Abidjan (AFP) More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa’s exploding population, with some calling for a new “Marshall Plan.” The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa’s following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggestRead More