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Africa Brief - Compiled by situation room

Monday 02 March 2015
Four years after Muammar Gaddafi's demise, Libya is mired in a conflict pitting the recognised government against a rival administration set up by an armed faction known as Libya Dawn that seized the capital Tripoli last summer. Responding to Haftar's appointment, the Tripoli government denounced the former Gaddafi ally as a "war criminal" and said his promotion would further exacerbate a power struggle that threatens to tear the country apart. "The House of Representatives has appointed General Khalifa Belqasem Haftar as top military commander," said Tarek Saqer Juroushi, deputy head of the defence committee at Libya's elected parliament.

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Monday 02 March 2015
In a meeting that marks a thaw in diplomatic ties, King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday discussed regional issues such as the ongoing war in Syria, Iran nuclear talks and turmoil in Yemen. Relations between the two countries had become tense under the late Saudi King Abdullah , largely due to Erdogan's stinging criticism of Egypt's military-led ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. , Egypt and the United Arab Emirates branded Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group a terrorist organization, while Turkey and its ally Qatar welcomed Brotherhood figures seeking refuge.

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Monday 02 March 2015
Cairo--Eleven people were wounded, one critically, in a bomb explosion outside the Egyptian supreme court in Cairo on Monday, hospital officials said. A police official and state media had said one man died but later retracted the information. Hospital officials said the blast blew away part of his skull and brain, and he was in a critical condition. The explosion appeared aimed at a police checkpoint near the court, a hospital official said. The latest attack came a day after two civilians died in a bombing outside a police station in southern Egypt.

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Monday 02 March 2015
While the first two criteria have been fulfilled, the last has been seemingly harder to achieve in a continent where leaders often cling to power. Today, however, it was announced that Namibia’s outgoing President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, had won the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s African leadership prize, won only three times since 2007. The prize committee praised Mr Pohamba’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for the constitution, as well as his promotion of gender equality. “His ability to command the confidence and the trust of his people is exemplary,” said committee chair Salim Ahmed Salim.

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Monday 02 March 2015
Rather than formally expanding the Quartet's membership, the idea is to have more frequent top-level meetings with at least Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to ensure the region is better engaged at a time of tumultuous change, according to senior diplomats based in the Middle East and Europe. Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, is expected to appoint a special envoy to the Middle East in the coming days. Officials said a first meeting of the Quartet - comprising the United States, United Nations, the EU and Russia - along with Arab countries and perhaps the Arab League could take place in the coming weeks.

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Monday 02 March 2015
EPA Rescue personnel evacuate the elderly from Noordhoek Manor old-age-home in Cape Town. Photo: NIC BOTHMA/EPA Cape Town – Firefighters were expected to work through the night on Monday to contain a raging fire along Cape Town’s South Peninsula, the City of Cape Town said. “As things stand, one city firefighter has been admitted to hospital after sustaining burn wounds, and 52 frail-care residents of a Noordhoek retirement village were treated for smoke inhalation,” the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security J.P. Smith said. “To date, five homes have been destroyed along Silvermine in Noordhoek.

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Monday 02 March 2015
A bomb exploded at Cairo's High Court building, killing two men and injuring nine on Monday, according to health ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Gaffar. The deceased, two civilians, were pronounced dead when they succumbed to their injuries hours after the blast, the last of a cluster of bombings that Egypt has been witnessing for a year and a half. The area surrounding the building - which houses the General Prosecutor's office and is the headquarters of some of the country's most senior courts - was searched by explosives experts who found no more explosive devices.

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Monday 02 March 2015
Boko Haram gunmen attacked an island on the Niger side of Lake Chad, with locals reporting heavy casualties among those who fled but no official confirmation of the death toll. A private radio station in Niger said that two people died in a fire in the remote village on Sunday evening but one survivor spoken to by AFP said the death toll was higher. "A lot of people jumped into the lake to escape the attack. I think that a lot of people drowned, in particular women and children," said one man, who escaped with his family in a boat. Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the fishermen's union in Borno....

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Monday 02 March 2015
A bomb exploded near a top court building in central Cairo on Monday, wounding nine people, the Interior Ministry said, extending a series of such attacks in the Egyptian capital. The repeated security incidents in Cairo have raised concern over the effectiveness of security forces who have pledged to end Islamist militant violence bedeviling government efforts to revive investment and foreign tourism crucial to the economy and stability of the Arab world's most populous country. An Interior Ministry statement said the bomb exploded under a car near the courthouse, wounding five policemen and four civilians.

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Monday 02 March 2015
(Updates with background) * New cabinet lineup solidifies PM Ensour's economic mandate. * Jordan faces challenge of militant threats. By Suleiman Al-Khalidi. AMMAN, March 2 (Reuters) - Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour announced a cabinet reshuffle on Monday that will solidify his mandate to accelerate economic reforms seen as crucial to meet the U.S.-allied country's challenges. The move affected the planning, tourism, labour, energy, industry, telecommunications and higher education portfolios. It left the key interior, finance and foreign ministers in place and maintained a lineup....

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Monday 02 March 2015
The elections in Lesotho were transparent and fair, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission said on Monday. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Lesotho organised, conducted and delivered credible elections at a short notice, SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) head Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement. “Based on its observations, the SADC Electoral Observation Mission concludes that the 2015 National Assembly Elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho were peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair, thus reflecting the will of the....

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Monday 02 March 2015
UN Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry criticised the international community Monday over the failure to deliver aid promised for reconstructing Gaza, on his final trip to the Palestinian territory. Israel launched a devastating 50-day war in the besieged coastal enclave last summer which killed more than 2,200 people and left 100,000 Gazans homeless and large swathes of the territory in ruins. The UN and other agencies have warned failure to rehabilitate Gaza will lead to further conflict in the near future, and urged Israel to lift its eight-year blockade of the Strip.

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Monday 02 March 2015
outside Egypt's High Court in Cairo earlier on Monday died in a hospital due to his wounds, said the Health Ministry spokesman. Spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar added that another individual injured in the explosion is in critical condition. An improvised explosive device exploded in front of the main gate of the High Court in central Cairo injuring 11, state television earlier reported. The Cairo Security Director Khaled Youssef told Aswat Masriya that seven of the injured are security personnel. Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat mandated a team of public prosecutors to "swiftly" investigate the explosion.

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Monday 02 March 2015
They include schools of Leadership and Management; hospitality, leisure and tourism; architecture and human settlements; government, civil society and public policy; economic growth and development; law; and education. “Our new graduate School of Media and Communication here in Nairobi will offer professional development courses as well as a Masters Degree programme in the fields of journalism and media management,” said the Aga Khan – the hereditary spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims. “Specialised reporting skills will be in fields such as the environment, business and finance the....

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Monday 02 March 2015
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Mozambique The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Mozambique that broke out after widespread flooding has risen by almost 50 percent in two weeks to 41, health officials said Monday. Monday 3/2/2015 - 10:19 GMT The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Mozambique that broke out after widespread flooding has risen by almost 50 percent in two weeks to 41, health officials said Monday. And the number of new cholera infections has more than doubled over the past fortnight. Ministry of Health spokesman Quinhas Fernandes said "4,518 cases of cholera and 41 deaths have been recorded since December 25, 2014".

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Monday 02 March 2015
DAR ES SALAAM, March 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - T anzanian police banned a demonstration on Monday to protest against attacks and murders of albinos, fuelling concerns that authorities are not committed to ending violence against albinos whose body parts are highly valued in witchcraft. The protest, organised by the Tanzania Albinism Society, initially received police approval amid growing anger over the lack of protection for albinos in the wake of the recent abduction and suspected killing of two albino children. A one-year-old boy, Yohana Bahati, was snatched from his home in Tanzania's northwestern Geita region last month.

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Monday 02 March 2015
APA- Cairo (Egypt) Egypt's top prosecutor ordered on Monday the release of 120 preventively-detained students and elderly people. Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat said in a statement that the release order comes in accordance to a decision he issued in November 2013 mandating a technical committee to study and revise the cases of all those preventively detained. "The public prosecution confirms that there is evidence against all those preventively detained proving they have committed criminal acts," the statement added. According to the statement, the law allows those preventively detained to appeal their detention.

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Monday 02 March 2015
Tunis The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is willing to back Tunisia's economic transition after the success of political transition, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Masood Ahmed said on Monday. He indicated at a meeting in the Palace of Carthage with President Beji Caid Essebsi that Tunisia, which is on the right track, is able to achieve higher growth in the years to come. The meeting focused on the economic situation in Tunisia and the region and its development prospects. President Beji Caid Essebsi met, on Monday at the....

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Monday 02 March 2015
Burundian police patrol the streets of Bujumbura. Former leader of Burundi’s ruling party CNDD-FDD Hussein Radjabu has gone “missing” from the central prison where he was serving a 13-year jail term for plotting against the country’s security. PHOTO | FILE | AFP Radjabu was accused of jeopardising Burundi’s internal security by revolting ex-army combatants and was sentenced in April 2008. Prosper Niyoyankana, the lawyer representing Radjabu asked the government to reveal the whereabouts of his client. AFP reported that a source close to the president said Radjabu's 'escape' was a "major....

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Monday 02 March 2015
As reported by the BBC , the internet search giant suspended its cameras on the zip wire from the treetops to the ground, sending the hardware flying at speeds of up to 100 km/h to capture new images for its web-mapping application. This project is a collaborative effort with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), which first linked up with Google three years ago. “Their hope is that sharing the imagery of their local communities, rain forests and rivers with the world will raise awareness and support for their efforts to conserve these areas,” Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager, Google....

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Monday 02 March 2015
Egypt expects the amount of foreign investment it attracts to double to $8 billion this fiscal year and is preparing a string of reforms to raise that further in coming years, its investment minister said on Monday. Ashraf Salman was speaking in Dubai ahead of an international conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on March 13-15 that will seek to tempt investment back to the country after years of political and economic turmoil. Gulf money is likely to feature heavily among those flows. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have provided Egypt with $23 billion....

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Upcoming Meetings

Mar
02
Joint Security Sector Reform (SSR) Needs Assessment Mission to the Republic of Guinea Bissau, involving the AU, ECOWAS, the United Nations, the European Union and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) : Guinea Bissau[Read More ...]
Mar
16
7th Meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR), Brazzaville[Read More ...]
Mar
16
Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) Joint session on Structural Vulnerability Assessments (SVA’s) with early warning systems of COMESA and ECOWAS: Addis Ababa[Read More ...]

All meetings ...

 

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