Africa Briefs

Pro-democracy activists at U.S. event jailed in Congo

Pro-democracy activists at U.S. event jailed in Congo

| March 18, 2015

(GIN)—Journalists, activists, hip hop artists and a U.S. diplomat were rounded up by police at a pro-democracy event Sunday in the Congo, sponsored in part by the U.S. government. Security forces charged them with threatening stability, according to a government spokesman. The diplomat, Kevin Sturr, “was among a group of people believed to be in […]

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Sparks fly as Sierra Leone’s VP is expelled from party

Sparks fly as Sierra Leone’s VP is expelled from party

| March 18, 2015

(GIN)—An internal war is roiling the administration of President Ernest Bai Koroma with the Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, at dead center. The VP, expelled last week from the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), is said to be forming a rival political movement from his home district in Kono, the country’s raw diamond capital, and an […]

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Desolate Sierra Leonean living rough in UK spurs fund drive

Desolate Sierra Leonean living rough in UK spurs fund drive

| March 10, 2015

(GIN)–The somber face of a young man from Sierra Leone has become the emblem of Ebola’s living survivors, suffering in silence without families, papers, or homes. A photo of Jimmy Thoronka appeared this week in local British papers. An undeclared refugee he went missing after competing in last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The 20 […]

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Burundi watchers see erosion of human rights, civic freedoms

Burundi watchers see erosion of human rights, civic freedoms

| March 4, 2015

(GIN)–The bad old days of the 1980s and 1990s when Burundi was widely considered a police state may be making a comeback. Some 300,000 people lost their lives in the country’s civil war from the 1990s to 2003, which broke out following the death of the country’s first democratically elected president. Human rights defenders and […]

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Prominent lawyer defending poor gunned down in Mozambique

Prominent lawyer defending poor gunned down in Mozambique

| March 4, 2015

(GIN)–As billions pour into Mozambique from foreign investors scooping up fields of coal and natural gas, the signs of new-found wealth are impossible to miss. Expensive European-style bars and restaurants line the streets of central Maputo. The latest Toyota Pradas, Range Rovers and Jaguars drive down streets named Julius Nyerere, Ho Chi Minh and Kim […]

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American missionary kidnapped in Nigeria as neighbor countries seethe

American missionary kidnapped in Nigeria as neighbor countries seethe

| March 4, 2015

(GIN)–With kidnappings and violent attacks almost a daily occurrence in Nigeria, the disappearance of an American missionary appears to have stirred a new wave of outrage among the international community at the worsening conditions in the West African country, once considered a rising star and the largest economy on the continent. Phyllis Sortor, a reverend […]

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Namibia’s ‘good governance’ president tapped for leadership prize

Namibia’s ‘good governance’ president tapped for leadership prize

| March 4, 2015

(GIN)–A five million dollar prize for exemplary leadership, good governance and defending human rights has been awarded to the president of Namibia, it was announced this week. President Hifikepunye Pohamba is the first leader to capture the prize since it was awarded to Cape Verde’s former president in 2011. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, named for […]

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Ugandan activist tipped for famed Peace Prize

Ugandan activist tipped for famed Peace Prize

| February 25, 2015

(GIN)—From a camp for displaced people amidst war, Victor Ochen was never far from the strife that afflicted Uganda more than a decade ago. The Lord’s Resistance Army abducted his elder brother and cousin. Their whereabouts are still unknown. Since then, Ochen has turned his personal pain into an initiative that aims to rehabilitate victims […]

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South African miners in near-death fire as investors eye profits

South African miners in near-death fire as investors eye profits

| February 25, 2015

(GIN)—An early morning fire swept through the Kusasalethu gold mine, southwest of Johannesberg, trapping close to 500 workers on a Sunday shift. The miners were more than 7,500 feet underground when the incident was reported. Three underground fires were reported in October last year and at least one two-week mine closure. Prayers were said and […]

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At margins of hot war, Somalis ‘hanging by a thread’

At margins of hot war, Somalis ‘hanging by a thread’

| February 25, 2015

(GIN)—After twin suicide bombings at a popular Mogadishu hotel last week that killed 25 and wounded 40, news reporters were seen swarming through the city, spotlighting the victims, the assassins, the motives and the official response. This left actor Barkhad Abdi, who played opposite Tom Hanks in the movie “Captain Phillips” and was making his […]

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