Sunday, 29 July 2012

Africa News Courtesy of Xinhua

1. D.R. Congo rebels demand President to step down
BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday warned that negotiation can only take place if President Joseph Kabila steps down.
The M23 rebels have been waging a rebellion on Kabila's government since April. Government soldiers continue to battle with rebels around a strategic army garrison near a mountain gorilla reserve in East Congo.
Fighting around two villages in eastern Congo on Friday forced the army to retreat and displaced thousands of civilians. UN agencies said more than 260,000 civilians have been forced from their homes since the rebellion began three months ago.(Xinhua)

2. Mali's president returns home amid political differences
BAMAKO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Mali's Transitional President Dioncounda Traore returned to his country on Friday afternoon after undergoing medical treatment in France for the last two months.
Traore went to France to receive medical treatment after having been attacked on May 21 at his presidential palace office by demonstrators who were demanding his departure.
"I am very happy to return to my country which I love very much just like all of you do love it. For me, May 21 does not exist," the Malian president said and promised to address the nation on Sunday.
While still in Paris, Traore declared that he had forgiven all those who attacked him.(Xinhua)

3. Former president's wife forced to stay out of Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Arriving at Madagascar's international airport, on Friday, Lalao Ravalomanana, the wife of the former Madagascar's president Marc Ravalomanana, was forced to go out of Madagascar's territory, the lawyer of Ravalomanana's family Hanitra Razafimanantsoa said.
"Madam Lalao Ravalomanana was forced by the presidency to go out the territory of Madagascar. She took a flight of Air Madagascar to Bangkok late this afternoon," Hanitra Razafimanantsoa told Xinhua by telephone.
Ravalomanana and her daughter-in-law arrived Friday afternoon with an Airlink flight from South Africa, after living in exile in South Africa since March 2009 with his husband.
Two days before, the former president Marc Ravalomanana talked with his political rival, Madagascar's president of the transition Andry Rajoelina, in Seychelles.
Ravalomanana and Rajoelina became political rivals since December 2008, when Ravalomanana closed the Viva television station owned to Rajoelina for broadcasting a speech of Ravalomanana's predecessor Didier Ratsiraka.
Rajoelina, mayor of Antananarivo from December 2007 to March 2009 led massive demonstration against Ravalomanana, president of Madagascar's Republic from 2002 to March 2009. Abandoned by the Army, Ravalomanana gave up his power on March 17, 2009. Rajoelina officially took the power on March 21, 2009, while Ravalomanana fled out to exile in South Africa.

4. Sino-Africa poverty reduction forum opens in Tanzania with focus on agriculture modernization
DAR ES SALAAM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The third Sino-Africa forum on poverty reduction and development started here on Saturday with a focus on promoting agricultural modernization as a way of lifting millions of people out of poverty.
The one-day forum held in White Sand hotel in the outskirt of Dar es Salaam was aimed at reviewing anti-poverty policies in China for over three decades and providing inspirations for some 120 participants, including policy makers, researchers, activists and investors on the continent.
"Holding this meeting soon after the conclusion of the fifth Sino-Africa ministerial forum is very opportune indeed, it presents a unique opportunity to follow up of some of the decisions made in that conference. It also underlines excellent relations between china and Africa," said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete while opening the forum.
About 70 percent of the people of sub-Sahara Africa live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood and because of African agriculture being traditional in character, there is very little use of modern science and technology both productivity and production are very low, he said.
"As a result, there is prevalence of income poverty and food insecurity in many countries of sub-Sahara Africa," said the president.
In these countries, more than half of the population lives on less than two dollars a day, and 238 million people are food insecure, representing 25 percent of world's total people facing hunger. Therefore, malnutrition is also serious problem in Africa among children and pregnant women, he said.
To avert the unfavorable situations, the low productivity and production in agriculture must be addressed and solved, he said.
"African agriculture must be modernized in order to make people of our dear continent wealthier and healthier," said the president, noting that "the time is now and we have the readiness and willingness to do it". (Xinhua)

5. Tunisia requests OIC summit to condemn violence in Myanmar
TUNIS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Tunisia has requested the upcoming Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit to condemn the violence in Myanmar that killed some Muslims, the official TAP press agency reported on Saturday.
The request was made on Friday in Geneva during a coordination meeting of the OIC's permanent representatives to the UN, and was approved by several Muslim countries including Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Iran and Sudan, a communique from the Tunisian foreign affairs ministry said.
"Tunisia voices its deep concern about the tension prevailing in Myanmar and condemns the exactions against the Muslim minority there," the communique said.
The forthcoming OIC summit is due to place in Jeddah of Saudi Arabia on August 14-15.
The violence in Myanmar was sparked by the raping and murdering of a ethnic Rakhine woman by three Bengali-Muslims in late May. Shortly after, 10 Muslims were killed aboard a bus by a mob allegedly in retaliation.
The death toll of the Burmese unrest reached 78 in late June while more than 3,000 residential houses were destroyed in arson. (Xinhua)

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