7th Anniversary of THE TIMES OF AFRICA

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Friday, 17 August 2018

Spain, EU to ‘urgently release 55 mn euros for funding border mgmt. program in Morocco and Tunisia’

Spain and the European Commission today stressed the importance of a reinforced partnership with Morocco in relation to the migration issue, said a statement from the Spanish government presidency in Madrid.
This came in a joint statement by Spain and the European Commission, adopted at the end of the meeting held in the Spanish capital between European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, Vice President of the Spanish Government Carmen Calvo, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska, and Minister of Labour and Migration Magdalena Valerio.
The statement noted that “this collaboration includes the urgent release of 55 million euros to fund border management programs in Morocco and Tunisia, adopted by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa”.
The European Commission is ready to expand its financial support, wrote the joint statement.
Spain and the European Commission consider it necessary, within the same framework, to strengthen cooperation with all African countries with the aim of fostering their capacity to manage their borders and address the root causes of the migratory phenomenon, it said.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Sudan: In power since 1989, President Omar al-Bashir to seek a third term in the 2020 elections

President Omar al-Bashir has been holding the reigns of Sudan for more than a decade and is gearing up to rule the nation for the third time. Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has backed the 74-year-old as its candidate for the 2020 election, state media reports.
The veteran leader has been in power since a 1989 military coup but has only faced contested elections since the new constitution went into effect in 2010.
His second term ends in 2020.
Notably, the International Criminal Court has charged the President of the Republic of Sudan with five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape. The first warrant for arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir was issued on 4 March 2009, the second on 12 July 2010. The case is still in the pre-trial stage

Monday, 13 August 2018

DRC: Shadary, a Kabila loyalist, replaces him as the new face of ruling party coalition for 2018 elections

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country that has never known a peaceful transition of power. And the Presidential elections of 2018 that are due in December show no signs of a reversal of this unfortunate disposition. While Joseph Kabila’s candidature may have been ruled out, it is evident that his replacement, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, will merely be a proxy candidate, with real power still vesting in the hands of Kabila.
Emmanuel Shadary is a Kabila loyalist and has previously served as the interior minister of the country. He is under the European Union (EU) sanctions for his involvement in alleged human rights abuses.
His main opponent Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former warlord and vice-president, too, has a tainted history. He returned to the DRC last week after being acquitted of war crimes by the international criminal court. However, Shadary has no major following of his own while Bemba enjoys a strong supporter base.
Another heavyweight candidate is FĂ©lix Tshisekedi, son of one of the DRC’s most well-known opposition politicians.
According to a recent poll by the Congo Research Group at New York University, Bemba, Katumbi and Tshisekedi would enjoy a roughly equal support – between 17% and 19%, while Kabila will see the least support at about 9%

Friday, 10 August 2018

‘They wanted to abduct me’, Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Biti on fleeing to Zambia

“They wanted to abduct me (on Wednesday), I was terrified.” Zimbabwe’s former finance minister and leading opposition figure Tendai Biti said this in court to lawyers and the media, alleging that the Zimbabwean officials manhandled him when he was applying for political asylum in Zambia.
 Biti’s lawyer, Nqobizitha Mlilo confirmed the row at the border.
“We don’t know yet the basis of the detention, but he was applying for political asylum in Zambia,” Mlilo said earlier when Biti was briefly detained before being allowed to go.
The MDC Alliance said Zimbabwean officials had no basis to arrest Biti.
The court had charged the opposition politician with inciting public violence and declaring unofficial election results.
Biti appeared in court on Thursday followed his attempt to flee to Zambia. He was denied asylum and was handed over to the Zimbabwean security forces in defiance of a Zambian court order.
Police in Zimbabwe were looking for Biti and eight other opposition figures for allegedly fuelling violence following the July 30 vote in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ZANU-PF Party) was declared the winner amid opposition cries of foul play.
If found guilty, Biti faces up to 10 years in jail, a cash fine or both.
Soon after his release, he told reporters: “It’s been an ordeal, but we survive. We live to fight another day, I am glad to be home.”
Mnangagwa later said he had intervened for Biti’s release because “nothing is more important than unity and peace”

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Ghana President warns media organizations over deliberate churning of inaccurate information

The deliberate churning out of inaccurate information by the media has the tendency to undermine the sustainability of Ghana’s democracy, President Nana Add Dankwa Akufo-Addo has warned.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the penchant and desire of some media organizations to be the first to break the news without recourse to the verification of facts was a bane on the country’s fledgling democracy.
Speaking at the 12th Congregation of the Ghana Institute of Journalism in Accra on Friday, August 3, 2018, the President noted that with the advent of social media, the risk of deliberate misinformation championed by “some elements in the democratic space” was a major threat to the country’s fledgling democracy.
“This deliberate misinformation campaign, which is not new in politics and war, have now gained added currency with the proliferation of media channels, which has become a vociferous tool for political actors who aim to win public relations battles by twisting facts and churning them out through traditional media as news.”
President Akufo-Addo, who expressed the concerns, particularly with the trend where even after the public had been misinformed and the true facts were later made known, mainstream media, in most cases, blatantly refused or failed to make an open and honest acknowledgment that they were wrong, saying, “the choice is often to sweep it under the carpet and move unto the next big story.”
This unfortunate situation, he said, was not something for regulators alone to deal with, but something that the whole world of media practitioners should resolutely confront and assist the society to identify and eliminate