“54 countries, 1.2 billion people Africa marks the creation of the world’s largest economic and free trade area,” International Trade Centre Director, Arancha Gonzalez reacts as the African Continental Free Trade Area is born
On Tuesday, Gambia became the 22nd country to ratify the accord, reaching the threshold for it to be implemented. It’s hoped the deal will reduce tariffs and trade rules, and create jobs for a market of 1.2 billion people. But Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, isn’t on board with the agreement. So will the deal succeed?
Heavily armed militiamen attacked a hospital treating Ebola patients in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, killing a senior World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist and injuring two others, officials said.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Reuters) – Heavily armed militiamen attacked a hospital treating Ebola patients in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, killing a senior World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist and injuring two others, officials said.
Three assailants from a local self-defense militia attacked the hospital in the city of Butembo, one of the epicenters of the second-largest Ebola epidemic in history, said Patrick Kambale, the city’s deputy mayor.
The outbreak is now spreading at its fastest rate since being declared last August, due largely to a spate of attacks by militiamen and others distrustful of the international response.
“The assailants are identified as Mai-Mai rebels demanding the departure of the international community engaged in the Ebola response,” Kambale told Reuters.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus identified the doctor killed as Richard Mouzoko, a senior epidemiologist from Cameroon.
“The @WHO family lost a dear colleague in the hospital attack in Butembo, #DRC, today,” Tedros wrote on Twitter. “We are outraged by the attack. Health workers are #NotATarget.”
The series of attacks since February against Ebola treatment centres has hastened the spread of the virus and led some first responders to pull out of the area.
The assailants have mostly been unidentified but are believed to comprise both local militiamen and community members who oppose the response efforts. Many believe that Ebola is a conspiracy cooked up by the government or foreign countries.
The Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces is believed to have killed 843 people and infected over 450 more so far.
Reporting By Fiston Mahamba; Additional reporting by Stanis Bujakera in Kinshasa and Giulia Paravicini in Brussels; Additional reporting and writing by Aaron Ross, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Marguerita Choy
US tourist and safari guide freed after kidnap in Uganda/AIWAI! NO!
BY STEFAN BECKET/ CBS NEWS
An American who was kidnapped along with her driver in Uganda last week has been recovered unharmed, a spokesman for the Ugandan government said Sunday. The pair were recovered along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kimberly Endicott, 56, and tour driver Jean-Paul Mirgene Remezo were taken hostage at gunpoint while on safari in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park last Tuesday. Their four kidnappers had demanded a $500,000 ransom and had not backed down from the demand as of Friday, authorities told CBS News last week. The abductors had been using Endicott’s phone to negotiate her release and were in contact with authorities nearly everyday, officials said.
The Uganda Police Force said the pair were rescued during a joint operation and are in “good health.” A spokesman for the Ugandan government said Ugandan security forces were involved in the operation. The two were brought back to the lodge where she had been staying, while the kidnappers managed to escape.
Wild Frontiers Uganda, which operates the lodge in the park where Endicott was staying, released photos of Endicott and Remezo meeting with Paul Goldring, the company’s managing director.
The kidnapping spurred a massive search effort along the edge of the park, which borders the DRC. The park is one of 10 national parks in Uganda, where tourism remains a major driver of the economy. Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to the parks each year.
Endicott, an esthetician, runs a skin care clinic in Costa Mesa, California.
A power-sharing agreement might be Felix Tshisekedi’s only option as he tries to form a government following the recent disputed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo says Dr Julie Norman and Dr Drew Mikhael; AIWA! NO!
When Felix Tshisekedi was announced the winner of the disputed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) it was widely assumed that he had agreed to a power sharing deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila and his Common Front for Congo coalition.
This was denied by both parties. But the fact that the Front dominated the March elections, a agreement might be Tshisekedi’s only option as he tries to form a government.
This suggests that an arrangement between the president and his predecessor may be difficult to implement. Nor are there any useful precedents to draw on in the country. The DRC has a long history of failed power sharing deals. Previous agreements have been held back by a range of challenges. These have included widespread corruption, insecurity and ongoing conflict in the country.
Chances are high that a deal between Tshisekedi and Kabila could be beset by the same problems.
Dr Julie Norman is a Research Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of The Second Palestinian Intifada: Civil Resistance (Routledge 2010), and the co-editor (with Maia Carter Hallward) of Nonviolent Resistance in the Second Intifada: Activism and Advocacy (Palgrave 2011) and Understanding Nonviolence (Polity 2015).
Congo presidential loser rejects surprise result as ‘coup’ Supporters of Congo’s president-elect celebrated an unlikely win on Thursday, but the runner-up denounced a fix and France, Belgium and the Catholic Church all cast doubt on the results.
A chaotic vote in the vast and volatile nation of 80 million people has raised fears of renewed violence, and at least two people were killed in clashes at one town in the west.
But most parts of the country were calm.
The electoral commission (CENI) announced around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, 55, had won the Dec. 30 vote, edging out another opposition candidate, businessman Martin Fayulu.
Fayulu called the results an “electoral coup” engineered by outgoing President Joseph Kabila to deny him the presidency.
France said the outcome was at odds with tallies provided by observers from the Catholic Church. These showed Fayulu winning, according to three diplomats briefed on the findings.
Publicly, the church said its tally did not match official results.
Anger over the results, and particularly the Fayulu camp’s suspicions that Tshisekedi won by cutting a power-sharing deal with Kabila, could cast a cloud over what is meant to be Congo’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence.
Tshisekedi’s camp has acknowledged contact with Kabila’s representatives since the election but said they were aimed at ensuring a peaceful transition and denied a deal.
In contrast to previous polls, election officials did not provide a regional breakdown of the results.