Press TV - Africa Today
By Press TV
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Analytical weekly review of political, economic and social events in Africa, the world's second largest continent.
|1||VideoAI warns Kenya over Somali refugees||Amnesty International says extensive intimidation and human rights abuse is forcing Somali refugees out of Kenya.In a report published on Wednesday, the human rights group warned over the hostile environment in Kenya, saying that the refugees are actively targeted by the police with indiscriminate arrests.According to the report, named No Place Like Home, the refugees are even denied access to registration, meaning they are illegally staying in the African country."The environment in Kenya is now so hostile that some refugees feel they have no option but to return to Somalia where the ongoing conflict in parts of the country continues to destroy lives. This is tantamount to forced return," said the rights group's deputy regional director Sarah Jackson.Last week, the Kenyan government called on Somalia to speed up the repatriation procedure of some half a million Somali refugees living in the United Nations-designated camps in Kenya.The Kenyan government argued that stability has returned to Somalia following successful joint operations by the African Union and Somali government forces.The Somali government also said it wants its refugees resettled, but the process must be gradual.According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 42,000 people in Somalia sought asylum last year.Nearly 60,000 Somalis were also displaced in the country's southern and central regions last year.KQ/PR||12 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|2||VideoEU eases sanctions on Zimbabwe||The European Union continues to ease sanctions against Zimbabwe after lifting its sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation back in September 2013.After brutal wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, which were fueled by "blood diamonds" in 2002, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was set up. The KPCS certifies the origins of the traded diamonds, assuring consumers that they were not financing war or human rights abuses. The Marange fields in Zimbabwe, which cover about 66,000 hectares is one of the world's largest diamond fields. The export of Zimbabwe's diamond has been a hot political issue with Western countries opposed to the country selling stock piles of its diamonds, and African countries, United Arab Emirates and India supporting the sale.The United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union and their allies in the 76-member Kimberly Process grouping have relentlessly frustrated Zimbabwe's efforts to sell the Marange diamonds on the international market, citing so-called human rights abuses and alleged non-compliance with Kimberly Process certification requirements. Companies listed under the sanctions are believed to be partnered with the government-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Company, which already exists on the sanction list. Controversially, a Chinese company which is also operating in Marange has been given approval to export rough diamonds from the field. The Zimbabwe government says the sanctions are unjustified and needlessly worsening the plight of ordinary people by undermining the country's economic recovery.KQ/PR||7 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|3||VideoHumanitarian catastrophe in Katanga||The United Nations has warned of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the Democratic Republic of Congo's southeastern province of Katanga.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that rebel violence in the country's mineral-rich region has destroyed 600 homes over the past three months and displaced 400,000.The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, Martin Kobler, raised concerns over the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Katanga, saying the huge province has been neglected in recent months."It's a humanitarian catastrophe," Kobler said, referring to the situation in Katanga, where more than 600 homes in 11 villages have been destroyed since October last year.The UN Special Representative for the African country also urged armed groups to allow humanitarian aid to the victims in the region."All armed groups must stop their activities and allow humanitarian access to the main victims of this tragedy, the civilian populations," Kobler said.A secessionist group, called Mai Mai Kata Katanga, reportedly perpetrated most of the attacks in the region.According to the OCHA, fighting between the government and rebels, including the M23 has displaced 2.9 million people in the whole country.On November 5, 2013, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) claimed "total victory" over the M23 after capturing the group's remaining hilltop positions north of the eastern city of Goma with the assistance of an UN-mandated African force.Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades such as grinding poverty and crumbling infrastructure.KQ/AB||26 2 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|4||VideoStrikes and strife in South Africa||South African government mediators say wage talks between a mining union and three major platinum producers have been adjourned until next week. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration said in a statement on Saturday that the negotiations would continue on February 4. The mediators also said that they had presented proposals, which both sides were to consider until the talks resume, but they were not allowed to reveal any details of the content of talks.Jimmy Gama, treasurer with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), said that the employers "need time to reflect on the proposals, and they will do an offer on Tuesday."In response, the heads of the world's top three platinum producers -- Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin -- said they would continue efforts to find a solution to the wage dispute. However, producers raised the possibility of restructurings and layoffs if the strike would persist. "Prolonged strike action will result in more losses, and further fundamental restructuring and, inevitably, this will have an impact on jobs and indeed the economy," the CEOs said in a joint statement."Between our three companies we lose on average around 200 million rands (USD 18 million) per day in revenue," the statement added.The strike began on January 23, when some 88,000 mineworkers walked off from jobs at the three platinum companies, bringing the mining town of Rustenburg to a halt.The strikers are seeking a minimum monthly wage of 12,500 rand (about USD 1,200) for entry-level workers, which is more than double the current wage.||19 2 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|5||VideoMuslims under attack in CAR||Amnesty International issued a report, saying that it has documented at least 200 killings of Muslims by Christian militia in western part of the Central African Republic."'Ethnic cleansing' of Muslims has been carried out in the western part of the Central African Republic, the most populous part of the country, since early January 2014," Amnesty said."Entire Muslim communities have been forced to flee, and hundreds of Muslim civilians who have not managed to escape, have been killed by the loosely organized militias known as anti-Balaka," it added.The rights group also said that the attacks against Muslims were committed with the government intending to forcibly displace the Muslims from the country. The Christian militia considers Muslims as "'foreigners' who should leave the country or be killed," Amnesty said, adding ""They appear to be achieving their aims, with Muslims being forced out of the country in increasingly large numbers."Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the war-torn country could split into two and urged the international community to do more to prevent atrocities in the CAR. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the Central African Republic since last December, when Christian militias launched coordinated attacks against the mostly Muslim Seleka group, which toppled the government in March 2013.African peacekeeping force MISCA has already deployed some 5,400 of 6,000 planned troops to CAR. Another 1,600 French soldiers are also on the ground in the country.||12 2 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|6||VideoRwanda: Beacon of hope or dictatorship?||Rwanda began commemorations marking 20 years since its genocide, with a flame of remembrance due to make a nationwide tour ahead of the anniversary of the horrific events of 1994.Government officials and survivors assembled at the main genocide memorial in Kigali where the flame was lit before embarking on a tour of towns and villages in the central African nation, ahead of a period of official mourning that begins on April 7.An estimated 800,000 people, essentially from the Tutsi minority, perished in the genocide, carried out by Hutu extremist militias and troops in the three months from April to June 1994. Most of the masterminds of the genocide have been tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda set up in Arusha, Tanzania, with the backing of the United Nations.A further two million ordinary Rwandans were tried in grassroots courts known as "gacaca" for their alleged role in the killings, with some two-thirds of the accused found guilty.||5 2 14||Free||View In iTunes|
|7||VideoIvory Coast: Alassane Ouattara's justice||When Alassane Ouattara became President of the Ivory Coast he promised an investigation into the massacres that took place. He set up a special investigative cell inside the Ministry of Justice to identify individuals responsible for crimes and to build cases against them for trial. After much debate and international pressure that unit has just had its mandate renewed.But many Ivorians are not reassured. Because, since the end of the crisis, justice has been largely one-sided with charges against more than 150 civilian and military leaders from Gbagbo's armed forces. But crimes committed by President Ouattara's supporters have been overlooked even though the national commission of inquiry reported that his forces summarily executed at least 545 people during the crisis.Meanwhile, President's Ouattara's Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up in July 2011 with a mandate to lead Ivoireans through a process of reconciliation has been criticized as ineffective.||29 1 14||Free||View In iTunes|