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A chairlift at a ski resort in the country of Georgia malfunctioned on Friday,
Syrian civilians in the last rebel-held pockets of besieged Eastern Ghouta have been urged to flee as Russia-backed regime forces storm into the beleaguered area near Damascus, with intense airstrikes killing dozens and causing thousands more to evacuate. Syria's war enters its eighth year with another deadly assault also unfolding in the north, where Turkish-led forces pressed an operation to seize the Kurdish-majority region of Afrin. The operation has sent thousands onto the roads, with bombing of the city of Afrin on Friday killing 43 civilians, a third of them killed in a deadly strike on a hospital.
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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia (Reuters) - Russians began voting in a presidential election on Sunday set to give Vladimir Putin a commanding victory that could only be blemished if large numbers do not bother taking part because the result is so predictable.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia expelled 23 British diplomats on Saturday in a carefully calibrated retaliatory move against London, which has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating a nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England.
CARACAS (Reuters) - At each other's throats for two decades, militants of Venezuela's socialist state and opposition seldom agree on anything. Yet mention the name of presidential candidate Henri Falcon, and both are liable to spit.
BEIJING (Reuters) - With pictures of ecstatic citizens standing in applause, happily tearful legislators and even a social media game, China's propaganda drive has kicked into high gear following Xi Jinping's unanimous reappointment as president.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Thousands of civilians streamed out of their towns on Saturday to escape battles in the north and south of Syria, where two different offensives have prompted an exodus in recent days.
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has accused the European Union of adopting a patronizing stance in talks with eastern European members about the distribution of migrants.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Mostafa al-Asar's lawyer said he had barely started work on a documentary critical of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when police arrested him and charged him with publishing "fake news".
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican "Lettergate" scandal came to a head on Saturday when the Holy See, under pressure from the media and conservatives, released a full text by former Pope Benedict that before was cited only selectively.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australia said on Sunday they held "grave concerns" about escalating tensions caused by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
MANILA (Reuters) - A fire broke out at a hotel in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing four people and trapping several on the fifth floor, a rescue official said.
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 12, 2018 The below is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert: Secretary Tillerson met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on March 12 in Abuja to strengthen the U.S. partnership with Nigeria. He recognized Nigeria's leadership in the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force which seeks to defeat Boko Haram and the ISIS affiliate in West Africa. The Secretary expressed concern about the recent attacks and abductions and agreed to expand counterterrorism cooperation to diminish the threats to U.S. and Nigerian interests. They reviewed plans for presidential elections in 2019, and considered opportunities to promote Nigeria's economic recovery, enhance trade, and increase investment. The Secretary encouraged political and economic reforms. He also urged full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions related to the DPRK. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Press Availability Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Presidential Villa Abuja, Nigeria March 12, 2018 MODERATOR: Gentlemen of the press, we are delighted to have hosted the American Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson, who just left our president a short while ago. Now he is here with our minister of foreign affairs, and they are going to address the press. Here, Mr. Secretary of State and our minister, we have both Nigerian journalists and American journalists. So after your initial remarks, they will then ask questions – two from the American side and then two from the Nigerian side. So, Mr. Secretary of State, we can proceed with your remarks. Thank you. SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, good afternoon, and I am so pleased to be back in Nigeria, a place that I have visited many, many times. And I particularly appreciate the time that President Buhari and Foreign Minister Onyeama have given me to discuss our countries’ relationship, and importantly the commitments we have and make to one another. We collaborate to create a number of opportunities to increase trade and investment and to expand access to electricity, an essential component of both human and economic development. We also take on a number of challenges across this continent together, from corruption to disease to terrorism. As Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is America’s second-largest trading partner on the continent with over $9 billion in Nigerian-U.S. total goods traded last year. Later this year, we will inaugurate the U.S.-Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue and a Trade and Investment Framework Council, both very positive steps to develop stronger business networks and address barriers to increasing trade and investment from the United States. We also look forward to the finalization of the Continental Free Trade Agreement through the African Union as an important mechanism to accelerate intra-African trade, a step which we believe is going to bring even greater foreign direct investment and I know a greater U.S. business investment and involvement in Africa, and most particularly Nigeria with Nigeria’s large population and growing economy. We thank Nigeria for the leadership role it is playing in the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force with Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin. Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa have caused the displacement of millions and stolen the future from so many. The recent kidnapping of more than 100 school girls is heartbreaking. Nigeria has the United States’ full support, and we are actively working with our partners here on other ways we can assist you in this fight. Finally, I shared with the president the United States optimism about the future of democratic governance here and throughout the continent. Nigeria’s elections and peaceful transfer of power in 2015 demonstrated for the rest of Africa and the world that diverse societies can conduct peaceful, democratic transitions of leadership. The United States looks forward to joining with government and civil society groups in support of transparent, credible, fair, and peaceful elections once again here in Nigeria. The United States also commends Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts. President Buhari’s work has resonated across the continent with his recent recognition as the African Union’s anti-corruption champion. We continue to encourage the Nigerian Government to work with civic and community leaders to create a durable social, economic, and political infrastructure that supports lasting peace and development for the decades to come. This is essential to deepening the people’s trust in their government, strengthening security efforts in the northeast, and improving the United States’ ability to partner with Nigeria in the future. We see nothing but a very bright future ahead for Nigeria and for U.S.-Nigerian relations. Thank you. MODERATOR: Thank you. Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs. FOREIGN MINISTER ONYEAMA: Well, first of all, we’d like to thank Secretary Tillerson for coming to Nigeria, and especially, as you know, he was slightly under the weather during his last – his trip to the last country he visited. So it was really quite a great effort for him to be here, and we’re very appreciative of that. His visit here clearly shows the level of the relationship between the two countries. The two presidents have an excellent personal relationship, and that has transmitted down through the U.S. Government and the Nigerian Government. And during their meeting they talked about a number of things. With regards to the economy, the Secretary recognized the size and the importance of Nigeria economically in Africa, and they appreciated, together with Mr. President, the importance of U.S. investment in Nigeria. And Mr. President pointed out that there are a large number of U.S. companies investing in Nigeria. The Secretary pointed out that Nigeria was the second-largest trading partner of the United States in Africa, and they both recognized the need and the possibilities of increasing that level of trade. And as you know, Mr. President is – has set up a commission, a committee chaired by the vice president, on the enabling business environment council. So as a government, the need and the objective is there to make Nigeria an attractive place to do business, and we look forward very much to the United States as such an important trading partner being involved economically and trade-wise with the country. And of course, as the Secretary has just reiterated, he also mentioned that the Continental Free Trade Area treaty is about to be signed in Kigali, Rwanda in the framework of the African Union to promote greater intra-African trade, and the U.S. supports that very much. And this is a treaty that will probably signed early next week. With regards to governance, again, Mr. Secretary recognized that our president is so highly regarded in the area of good governance, especially anti-corruption. And as you all know, he is a champion of the African Union theme for this year on anti-corruption, and this was acknowledged and recognized by the Secretary. And in this context, it talked about the elections, our elections next year, and the importance of maintaining the peaceful trajectory that we have. He pointed out that Nigeria, such a large country, was an excellent model for the rest of Africa, having held three years ago already peaceful and transparent elections, and the U.S. will do everything in their power to support that process and keeping the peace and the good governance throughout. And on the security question, Mr. President thanked the Secretary for the support that Nigeria is receiving from the United States in our various challenges and battles with terrorism. And in particular, as you know, the United States has agreed to sell to Nigeria the A29 Super Tucano aircraft, which our aircraft and military believe will be a game changer. It will take some time before we get delivery, but hopefully they might somehow fast-track the production of these aircrafts for us. And of course, Mr. Secretary talked about the importance of cooperating with all the various countries in fighting this asymmetric war against terrorism; but he also pointed out – and Mr. President, of course, has been saying that for a very long time – that the real battle will be in providing the economic environment for those who might otherwise be influenced by violent extremist ideology, and the importance of education. But there again, the – Mr. Secretary pointed out that the U.S. was really there, ready to support Nigeria going forward in – economically, socially, culturally. So it was an excellent meeting that they both had. Thank you. MODERATOR: Thank you, Honorable Minister. Question time. The first question is Josh Lederman of AP. Thank you. QUESTION: Thank you so much. Mr. Foreign Minister, your government has long suggested that the Boko Haram insurgents have been defeated, but the response to the abduction of a hundred girls from Dapchi appears to have been badly mismanaged, taking a week to even acknowledge that the girls were missing. What went wrong, and do you still assess that insurgency to have been defeated? And Secretary Tillerson, while we’ve been here in Africa, Jared Kushner met with the Mexican president without inviting your U.S. ambassador to Mexico. He’s trying to broker Mideast peace despite losing his top security clearance, and he’s under mountain – mounting scrutiny over widespread reporting that his business ties to the UAE led him to push the administration to side against Qatar in the Gulf crisis. Can you tell us, how is this helping your diplomacy? Thank you. MODERATOR: Please, go ahead. FOREIGN MINISTER ONYEAMA: Okay. Well, with regard to the kidnapping of the girls in Dapchi, it would be – it’s incorrect, actually, to say that it took a week to acknowledge. It was acknowledged immediately and there was some auditing that was being done, and strategizing. Now, other people might have made comments to the press, but those comments did not represent the government, and no government official came out to indicate that – any lack of acknowledgement of what took place. Now, fighting terrorism is a new challenge globally. When we talk of having degraded Boko Haram, this government was referring more specifically to the situation that was confronted when the government took over. That was a situation where you had a classical military confrontation and Boko Haram was capturing territory, holding onto territory, and hoisting flags. And so as a conventional military threat, Boko Haram has been completely degraded. Now, there is a challenge with regards to sporadic suicide bombings and, of course, latterly this kidnapping of the girls. We don’t by any stretch of the imagination minimize those, but it’s really a different kind of warfare as it is. And the government is sparing no effort in addressing that, but it’s a different challenge that requires intelligence and also understanding the environment that breeds this kind of limited support for Boko Haram – the indoctrinization – indoctrination of young children. So in a nutshell, the answer is it didn’t take a week to acknowledge the abduction of these girls, and secondly, of course, it’s a global challenge. It’s not only in Nigeria, so – the terrorist challenge – and it’s something that we are addressing. But as far as military – classical military threat, we’ve certainly degraded the capacity of Boko Haram to mount a classic military offensive. Thank you. MODERATOR: Next question. SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, yeah, I think as to – this trip to Africa’s been really important for the administration, and that’s what I’ve been focused on for the past week, as you know. I think, with respect to Mr. Kushner’s portfolio of assignments that the President has given him, I think it’s best to leave any comment on that to himself or the White House. MODERATOR: Thank you. Next question will come from Ibrahim Adra of Channels Television. QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary of State. Ibrahim Adra, Channels Television, and I would like to welcome you on behalf of the state house press corps and hope that this is not your last visit. Mr. Secretary, like you did mention, one of the side consequences of the Boko Haram insurgency that Nigeria has been fighting to contain is the abduction of secondary school girls in Chibok and of late Dapchi. And we also had just now been told how Mr. President is appreciative of the effort the United States Government, but I’d like to push a little further. In specific terms, in what ways will the United States assist Nigeria in securing these girls from their captors, and how soon? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, first, we respect the responsibilities of the Government of Nigeria. This is sovereign territory of Nigeria. But the way we support is in providing them capability, capacity, whether it’s equipment, but also training personnel for special operations, and sharing certain intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available to plan and carry out a recovery effort. But I think it’s also important to put this in the broader regional context as well. Boko Haram is a threat to others regionally, and this has been a subject in my meetings elsewhere while in Africa as well. And in my discussions, in fact, with President Deby in Chad earlier today we spoke about the threat of Boko Haram. And I think what’s important and has really been powerful is the collaboration of the joint task force that – of which Nigeria is a part and Chad is a part, to respond to this threat of terrorism, of which Boko Haram is one organization. There are other threats that the leadership in this part of the country has to deal with and this part of the continent has to deal with. So the United States is very engaged in that coordinated effort as well, both in supporting, equipping, training, and where we can advise and provide information. I think that’s the best way we can help the Government of Nigeria secure the release of these girls, which we hope will be done in a peaceful manner. We hope that something that can be worked out and they will be persuaded to release these girls quickly. That’s what we’re pray, anyway. MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Secretary of State. Next is Nike Ching of the Voice of America. QUESTION: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, after President Trump accepted North Korea’s invitation for direct talks, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un has not said anything publicly. Have the North Koreans said anything to you privately? How likely do you think it is that the meeting will actually take place, and do you think the two leaders will come to some sort of a deal? And also, where would you suggest the meeting to take place? Mr. Foreign Minister, if I may, with the recent attacks in Mali, the killing of the U.S. soldiers in Niger and continued (inaudible) in Nigeria by Islamic militants, why is the war against the – against the militants failing to register any gains? Things seem to be getting worse in spite of the big buildup by the regional states and the West, U.S., France (inaudible). Thank you very much. SECRETARY TILLERSON: With respect to the ongoing discussions about a potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, as you know, it’s a very recent development. There will be – several steps will be necessary to agree on a location, agree on a scope of those discussions. It’s very early stages. We’ve not heard anything directly back from North Korea, although we expect to hear something directly from them. So I would – I know those are all questions that people are anxious to have answers to. I would say just remain patient and we’ll see what happens. QUESTION: How about a location? SECRETARY TILLERSON: That as well. Nothing – nothing’s been agreed, and I don’t want to start floating ideas out through the media. I think it’s going to be very important that those kind of conversations are held quietly between the two parties. FOREIGN MINISTER ONYEAMA: Regarding whether things are going – are getting worse in the fight against terrorism, I wouldn’t necessarily agree that that accurately represents the situation, but there is no doubt that the threat is there. There is no doubt that the damage that they are capable of and are actually inflicting is great. And this explains, of course, why there are so many countries involved and now establishing a presence militarily in this part of the continent. But it’s work in progress, if I can use the word “work” to describe that kind of activity, and it requires a lot of intelligence. And as I said, it’s an asymmetric warfare that a lot of the countries in this part of the continent are just not prepared for, and there’s a lot of – there’s a lot of effort and there’s been a lot of success, I mean really very concrete successes that have been achieved. But clearly, there’s a lot that still needs to be done, which is why there are these investments. Why does it appear sometimes that these terrorists are able to – or seem to be getting more emboldened and stronger? We’ve seen the attack in Burkina Faso and the ones that you’ve mentioned. Well, sometimes – very often, these are soft targets. It’s so difficult sometimes to prevent completely, but with a greater sharing of intelligence – and I think there’s greater cooperation now with the G5 Sahel, the Multinational Joint Task Force, the Americans have a presence here – we hope to be turning the corner very soon. MODERATOR: Thank you. Final question will come from Tony Ailemen of BusinessDay newspaper. QUESTION: Mr. Secretary of State, my name is – my name is Tony Aileman, reporter for BusinessDay newspaper. Sir, we – when you were speaking recently because of your trip you did – African countries to be careful with the kind of loans they take from China. Sir, you also are aware that African countries are facing massive infrastructure deficiency. So I would like to know what alternatives are available to African countries to be able to get resources to develop their massive infrastructure deficiencies. Thank you. SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I’ve commented on this question a couple of other times, and I think it’s important that our view be clearly understood. We do not seek to keep Chinese investment dollars from flowing to countries that need those investment dollars. What we are cautioning countries is to look carefully at the implications of the level of debt, the terms of the debt; whether the arrangements around that financing are in fact creating local jobs, local capacity, or are the projects being carried out by foreign labor being brought to your country? Is the structure of the financing such that you will always be in control of your infrastructure? Are there mechanisms to deal with default in a way that you do not lose the ownership of your own assets? These are national assets, whether they’re ports or railroads or major highways. And we have seen this occur in other countries where countries were not so careful, and as a result they got themselves in a situation where they ultimately lost control of their infrastructure, they lost the ownership of it, they lost the operatorship of it. And that’s the caution we have. There are very well-known international rules and norms, well-known financing structures to deal with unforeseen circumstances, and I think we’re just – we’re cautioning countries to look carefully. And there are other alternatives. There are other alternative financing mechanisms available, and I think in particular, if governments create the right conditions around those infrastructure investments, there are also great potential for public-private sector co-investing in infrastructure. And we are developing mechanisms and the President has charged some of his executive staff back home to begin to develop alternative financing mechanisms that will also create alternative opportunities to what China is offering. And again, it may be that China is fine, but we have seen many, many examples around the world where it didn’t work out so well for the host country. And as friends of all countries, we’re just asking: Be careful. MODERATOR: On behalf of the presidency and the state house press corps, I’d like to say thank you to Mr. Secretary and the Honorable Minister Onyeama. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Press Availability Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Presidential Palace N'Djamena, Chad March 12, 2018 FOREIGN MINISTER CHERIF: (In French.) SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, thank you very much, Foreign Minister Cherif, and I am pleased to return to Chad and to be making my first trip as the Secretary, the first such visit to Chad by any American Secretary of State. I have known President Deby for many years and I appreciate him receiving me and his hospitality that he extended today. My visit follows the dedication of a new U.S. embassy building here in N’Djamena last October. This dedication and my visit both demonstrate the United States commitment to deepening our relationship with Chad. As I told President Deby, the United States values Chad as a strategic partner in this region. We know that Chad faces many security threats on each of its borders. We appreciate Chad’s important role in providing security for its own citizens and its contribution to the security of its neighbors as well. Chad plays a vital role in countering terrorism and violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin and the greater Sahel. Chad contributes more than 4,000 troops to regional forces who are protecting Chadians and other partner nations. And we honor the many sacrifices of many Chadian soldiers who have served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the Multinational Joint Task Force as well as their commitments to the G5 Sahel Joint Force. These are all significant efforts to counter terrorism in Africa and promote greater stability. Conflicts in the region have brought domestic demands on Chad as well as Chad hosts many refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the regional instability. During our conversations, President Deby and I discussed the importance of Chad’s continued engagement in counterterrorism efforts across the region and the United States commitment to strengthening our partnership with Chad. We also discussed the United States commitment to democratic reforms. The Chadian constitution provides for freedom of speech and assembly. Peaceful gatherings and nonviolent protest allow citizens to share their concerns with their government. This type of citizen engagement should be allowed. We also encouraged Chad to take proactive steps to join the international fight against the trafficking of persons. We look forward to greater cooperation with Chad on every front including counterterrorism, encouraging democratic reforms, and strengthening economic ties between our countries. Thank you again, Minister Cherif, for welcoming me to your country, and I want to thank President Deby again for his generous provision of the time for our important discussions. Thank you. MODERATOR: Thank you, Secretary Tillerson. I don’t know if there are some questions from the press (inaudible). QUESTION: (Inaudible.) MODERATOR: (In French.) QUESTION: (In French.) SECRETARY TILLERSON: With respect -- MODERATOR: (Inaudible.) SECRETARY TILLERSON: Yeah, with respect to the travel ban, we had a very good exchange between President Deby and myself, and first I wanted to ensure that the people of Chad understand they are welcome in the United States. The steps that have been taken are necessary because of all of the conflict that exists on Chad’s borders, and we recognize the challenges this presents to Chad and the Government of Chad in ensuring that Chad has full control of people who are traveling in and out of its own borders. We had a very good trip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State Department late last year – visited Chad – and we had a very good exchange and many, many important positive steps have been taken by the Government of Chad to strengthen the control over its own passports, to strengthen the information sharing around people who are of concern, potential terrorists. And these steps, I think, are going to allow us to take actions to begin to normalize the travel relationship with Chad. There will be a report prepared in the United States later this month and that will be reviewed with the President in April and we hopeful – we’re hopeful that we can return things to a normalization of travel status, but we’ll have to wait for the final report. QUESTION: (In French.) SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think as I just indicated in response to the prior question, the impetus for the action taken on the travel ban – and Chad was not singled out as the only country – had to do with an assessment of the ability of Chad to ensure that passport issuance, passport cancellation, tracking passports that have been lost, that there was a very sound process within the Chadian Government to ensure that it was keeping control of passports. The second was in issuing new passports and ensuring that the latest technologies were being used in issuance of new passports. And then the third was the sharing of information around individuals of concern. And I think these steps actually are all in Chad’s interest as well, because this strengthens the internal security for Chad as well as meeting some of the security concerns that the United States has more broadly. And again, as I indicated, all of these areas have been addressed by Chad and significant progress made in our most recent engagement late last year. So that – there was no other impetus behind the action that was taken than to improve security in both of our countries. FOREIGN MINISTER CHERIF: (In French.) QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the President’s authorized the department to spend 120 million to counter Russian meddling in Western democracies. But more than a year later, we have not spent any of this money. Why? And isn’t this failure part of the broad set of (inaudible) on your watch, including a paralysis – specifically (inaudible) and (inaudible) inability to get even close to a full leadership in place by now? And Mr. Foreign Minister, were you at all insulted when you heard that President Trump described Africa as shithole countries (inaudible)? SECRETARY TILLERSON: The funds that you’re referring to, some of those funds were in the Department of Defense’s budget and the Congress authorized the transfer of funds, and a memorandum of understanding was developed in order to transfer those funds. That memorandum was actually requested in March of last year. We only received DOD’s concurrence in the last couple of months, so a large portion of those funds were tied up over at DOD. In terms of the use of the funds, now that we have our confirmed under secretary for diplomatic relations – for public diplomatic relations[i], there is a very active effort underway through the Global Engagement Center now using social media and other tools to begin to respond to Russia’s – in particular Russia’s meddling and interference in elections not just here but abroad. So we’re in the early stages of developing that effort and those programs, and some of those funds are being used – very small amounts at this point – as we staff up to be able to respond more proactively. Having said that, there have been other actions taken through interagency processes to respond already, so it has not gone without a response. FOREIGN MINISTER CHERIF: (In French.) QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, (inaudible) that the foreign minister, how concerned are you about the threat of ISIS in Libya, as well as in the Sahel (inaudible)? And what reassurances did you give (inaudible)? And Mr. Foreign Minister, were you reassured (inaudible)? And (inaudible) your desire (inaudible) the U.S. (inaudible)? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, as we anticipated, as we have had success in defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, we knew that fighters would flee that area, and we knew that Africa is a place they would come. Now they have established themselves in various regions and they are – they have actually recruiting efforts underway. So we are concerned about the presence of ISIS in Libya but also the presence of ISIS elements elsewhere in the Sahel. It’s the reason we strongly support the G5 Sahel forces, but also the forces in Mali as well, to control the spread of ISIS in this region. As we’ve said many, many times, this is a global fight to defeat ISIS, both on the battlefield but also ideologically, and that fight goes on here very actively in Africa, with our important partner Chad contributing significantly to that effort. FOREIGN MINISTER CHERIF: (In French.) # # # ________________________________________ [i] Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 10, 2018 The following is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert: Secretary Tillerson met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday in Nairobi and highlighted long-standing U.S.-Kenya cooperation on counterterrorism, regional security, and trade. He welcomed the joint announcement between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga as a positive step toward healing Kenya’s ethnic and political divisions. The Secretary emphasized strong U.S. support for democratic institutions, including the judiciary, civil society, and the media, and expressed concern about restrictions to political space. Secretary Tillerson and President Kenyatta also discussed the shared goal of defeating al-Shabaab in Somalia, strengthening AMISOM, and the need for a viable political process on South Sudan. They also agreed to identify opportunities to expand commercial and business ties. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 10, 2018 The following is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert: Secretary Tillerson met with Djiboutian President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh in Djibouti on March 9 to affirm the United States’ commitment to our broad partnership with the Government of Djibouti as it addresses regional political, development, and security challenges. The Secretary thanked President Guelleh for continued security cooperation, which promotes the common economic and security interests of the people of Djibouti and the United States. The Secretary also encouraged President Guelleh and Djibouti to further efforts to make Djibouti a more attractive destination for foreign investment. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 10, 2018 The following is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert: Secretary Tillerson met with Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf in Djibouti on March 9 to discuss the U.S.-Djiboutian partnership, and exchanged views on bilateral concerns, security threats, and economic reforms. The Secretary expressed appreciation for the Djiboutian government’s support for refugees fleeing regional conflicts, and its role in providing humanitarian relief. The Secretary thanked Foreign Minister Youssouf for Djibouti’s troop contributions to the AU Mission in Somalia, which advances regional peace and stability. The Secretary conveyed the United States’ appreciation to Djibouti for hosting U.S. military personnel. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Press Availability Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Nairobi, Kenya March 9, 2018 FOREIGN MINISTER JUMA: Thank you. Excellency Mr. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, United States of America, Excellency Ambassador Godec, colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the Fourth Estate: I am delighted to welcome and host His Excellency Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State of the United States, to Nairobi today. The Secretary is in Kenya for three days as part of his official visit that began at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa and that is heading to a number of African countries, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Chad, and Nigeria. On behalf of His Excellency the President, the government, and the people of Republic of Kenya, and indeed on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to Secretary Tillerson for his historic visit. Visiting Kenya as part of his first official tour of Africa is not only a great testament to, but a timely reaffirmation of, our deep historical and strategic relationship between Kenya and the United States of America. Late this afternoon, Secretary Tillerson had the opportunity to meet and hold bilateral talks with Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, during which a range of issues were discussed and modalities of follow-up of agenda agreed upon. During their meeting, President Kenyatta expressed his satisfaction at the existing strong bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues and areas. He reaffirmed his commitment to continue working closely with the administration of the United States on matters of mutual interest. The discussion focused on priority areas of cooperation, including their shared conviction in the fight against terrorism, radicalization, other transnational crimes, as well as regional peace and security, and more importantly, our economic partnership. On the bilateral front, President Kenyatta shared his focus on the Big Four agenda, which aims at improving livelihoods, creating jobs, and growing the economy of Kenya by focusing on critical areas of our economy in the next five years. He urged the Government of the United States of America to support the implementation of the Big Four and observed with delight the steps taken by a number of American companies, including Bechtel International, to set their African headquarters in Nairobi and their readiness to commence investment in construction of a number of our infrastructure projects. The president also expressed his appreciation that all processes are now complete in readiness for the inaugural direct flight between Nairobi and New York and expressed his optimism in the – that this flight – this flight – direct flight between our countries will boost people-to-people contacts and trade between our countries. In our exchange of views with Secretary Tillerson, I have reaffirmed and the president as well has reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to the values of democratic governance, constitutionalism, the rule of law, and human rights. We underscored the importance of respecting established democratic institutions as the basis for entrenching democratic governance across the globe. We noted the exponential growth of trade between our countries and we hope that we can begin to negotiate towards concluding a framework that will succeed AGOA when it comes to an end in 2025. At the regional front, Kenya sits in a fragile region with numerous security threats. We commend the Government of the United States of America for their existing robust partnership and support to us in the area of security, military, and intelligence cooperation. In this area, the president urged and Secretary Tillerson reaffirmed the commitment of the two countries to continue working together in the fight against terrorism, in countering violent extremism, and other security threats. We especially welcome the continued support of the USA to AMISOM. We in Kenya, like other troop-contributing countries, believe in the need for sustained engagement in order to sustain the gains made and to create an enabling environment to turn Somalia around. On South Sudan, we noted the slow progress in the IGAD high-level revitalization process, and we share very deep concerns about this crisis that has impact on large numbers of people. But President Kenyatta reaffirmed Kenya’s continued demonstrated commitment towards our efforts to restore South Sudan to normalcy. In reference to environmental and wildlife conservation, we appreciate the longtime support from the U.S., especially against illegal poaching and trade of wildlife trophies obtained from endangered species, and we continue to urge further U.S. support in this endeavor in order that we can sustain and preserve our common humanity. I wish at this point to thank Secretary Tillerson for this historic visit. We hope he’ll come back again to enjoy the fauna and beauty of our country that we hold in trust for humanity, and we hope that this time he will also take some time to enjoy a little bit of that menu. It is now my honor and pleasure to invite the Secretary of State of the United States to make his remark. Secretary Tillerson, please. SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, thank you so much, Secretary Juma, for the welcome, and congratulations on your recent confirmation to your new position. And I truly enjoyed coming to Kenya and to continuing the work of the United States in this enduring partnership between our two countries. I do want to congratulate President Kenyatta and opposition leader Odinga on their meeting this morning and their joint announcement. This is a very positive step, in our view, and while we know addressing Kenya’s ethnic and political divisions will take some time and effort, today both of these men showed great leadership in coming together in the agreement that they signed today. The United States looks forward to supporting the process that was announced this morning to bring the country together and to address the various national divisions. Kenya is a leader in Africa and a longtime partner of the United States, and we are steadfast in our support for Kenya. Tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, I will pay my respects to those who died 20 years ago in the U.S. embassy attacks here and in Dar es Salaam. Tragically, we still are confronted with the face of terrorism. During our meeting today, we discussed threats facing Kenya, Africa, and the global community. The United States appreciates our security partnership with Kenya and our shared fight against terrorism. We recognize the 4,000 Kenyan troops serving in Somalia as part of AMISOM to counter al-Shabaab and bring stability to that country. Kenya is a country of tremendous opportunity. With a fast-growing GDP at more than 5 percent, a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship, and a regional economic – and a regional economic leader, we are eager to find more ways to work with you to grow our economic cooperation. In 2016, total trade between our countries was just under $1 billion. I know we can do much more, and we look forward to growing our trading relations. We commend the government’s Big Four economic growth initiative, and look forward to deepening the ties between American and Kenyan business communities to support this effort. As the secretary already commented on, we shared our concerns during our discussions with the president about the importance of democratic institutions and Kenya as a leading democracy in Africa. We believe that there are actions that need to be taken in Kenya and that they need to correct certain actions, like shutting down TV stations and threatening the independence of the courts. I know Kenya takes these matters seriously. A free and independent media is essential to safeguarding democracy and giving all Kenyans confidence in their government. The United States looks forward to growing our comprehensive relationship with Kenya. Our commitment is not to one party, but to all of the Kenyan people. We stand ready to assist Kenyan – Kenya and the Kenyan people as they move forward on what we know will be a very bright future. Thank you very much. MODERATOR: Your Excellencies will take a few questions. I want to ask (inaudible). QUESTION: Karibu Kenya, Secretary Tillerson. Given the timing of the commitment to unity by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – (inaudible) preceded your arrival – did the U.S. have anything to do with that mediation? And as mentioned by Secretary Monica Juma, the U.S. has reaffirmed its commitment to Kenya’s security – sorry, to collaborating with Kenya in the area of security, as well as growing trade. But what about the other programs, such as PEPFAR, Power Africa, YALI, and AGOA? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think the U.S. obviously has been very supportive of Kenya’s journey moving forward after what’s been a difficult election period. And we were very, very encouraged and pleased to see the two leaders come together today. But I think we really want to give them the credit. This was a very important, I think, action on their part to show that they’re ready to work on behalf of all Kenyans regardless of party and begin to really take this long journey that’s necessary to restore the country, eliminate these divisions that are creating obstacles to Kenya’s future. And so I really – all the credit goes to the two leaders this morning that came together in a very important agreement. MODERATOR: We have another question from AP. (Inaudible.) QUESTION: Thank you. Madame Cabinet Secretary – (inaudible) microphone? Madame Cabinet Secretary, could you respond to the Secretary’s remarks, and can Kenya truly call itself a democracy in light of the severe restrictions imposed on free media in the country, starting with the silencing of television outlets, the firing of editors, and pressure on news outlets to stifle criticism of the government? And Mr. Secretary, can you talk a little bit about the fact that your administration has been running the government for more than a year now and we still see vacancies in key administration posts, including assistant and under secretaries, also including the North Korean envoy? What’s taking so long to fill these posts and what’s your response to allegations that some posts are being left unfilled intentionally? Thank you. FOREIGN MINISTER JUMA: Let me respond to the question around the media, because I think this has been played up significantly. First of all, I think the definition of democracy goes way beyond the media, but also the provision of free press in this country is secured within our constitution. And the incident that is being referenced here is a one-off incident. It’s an incident that affected three of more than tens of TV stations in this country. It is a matter that involved investigation of the police, and you will know, if you operate in this environment, that we have perhaps the largest media corps anywhere on this African continent. So the notion that there is a restriction of the media in Kenya is actually not backed by fact and reality. In this country, I think it is important for me to emphasize that we bestowed upon ourselves a progressive constitution because we believed that only that constitution, only those liberties, only those privileges guaranteed by the constitution would help us to realize our full potential as a country. And that involves a whole range of rights and protection of institutions beyond the media. And I have to say this, that since this process began, the start of that new constitution, which was three decades ago, up and until 2010, when we promulgated the 2010 constitution, and from 2010 to today, including in the event that Secretary of State was referencing this morning, are all indications of our fidelity to our aspiration to deepen our democratic credentials. And therefore, I want to put it to everyone here that the democratic project in this country is on the right trajectory, and it is not under any form of threat whatsoever. SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think this is a question you’re probably going to be asking the day the end of the first term of this administration ends. We have a number of nominees in the system, as you well know. We have – we’ve had a number that have been confirmed this year. There are several waiting on their hearings to be scheduled before the relevant committees. But as you well know, the process is a fairly rigorous one, from the time we select an individual, they agree to serve, to go through their clearance processes, to go through the clearance both from a standpoint of security but also the clearance with the White House process, and then make their way over to be nominated directly for consideration by the confirmation by the Senate. And along that way, not surprisingly, sometimes things come up and people decide they want to proceed any further, or things come up that disqualify individuals. That’s why we have a clearance process. It’s an important element of the whole process of naming and confirming people so that when they are confirmed and they’re ready to serve, there’s no question that they meet all the qualifications as well. And when that happens, we have to start the process over, and that’s happened to us on a number of occasions. I think with respect to the open positions – I’ve said this many, many times; I’m going to stick with what I’ve said and stand by it – I think if you look at the results that we’re getting in very important policy areas, and you mentioned North Korea, and the open positions we have there, I think as we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, the policy that was put in place and has been executed by the State Department over the past year has succeeded. And we’ve done that in spite of the fact that we have people serving in acting positions in some cases. So as I’ve said many times, I don’t lose a wink of sleep over the fact that we may not have our nominees in the position because we have very capable, skilled, career diplomats ready to step up and serve in those positions. And they are serving superbly, and we are moving the policies forward, and nothing is being held up because the positions are open. Would I like to have them filled? Of course I would like to have them filled, because it’s easier on everyone, including our career people, and some of the career people that are waiting for confirmation. It’s a very different matter to be Senate-confirmed versus in an acting role, and we know that. But having said that, I am very, very proud of the State Department and the work that we’re getting done. MODERATOR: One final question from Ferdinand Omondi. QUESTION: Thank you. It’s Ferdinand from the BBC. The United Nations accuses Kenya and Uganda of aiding the conflict in South Sudan by supplying arms at a time when the U.S. is pushing South Sudan’s neighbors to enforce an arms embargo. What is the U.S. position in this, and what actions, if any, are being taken? SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, the U.S. believes that the arms embargo should be enforced, and that’s – our position has been very clear on that. FOREIGN MINISTER JUMA: I also have to state here that Kenya is not involved in any supply of arms to any of the parties. For the longest period of time, Kenya has been involved in the search for peace in South Sudan, and it would be foolhardy that we would invest in the search for peace while at the same time arming parties to that conflict. We take the first unintended consequences, including large numbers of refugees that are already flowing into our territories. So I have to make it abundantly clear that Kenya has no intention of exacerbating that conflict, that Kenya is engaged in terms of efforts to normalize South Sudan, and it is not in our policy or our intention to get involved in supplying arms to either South Sudan or any other country for that matter. MODERATOR: Thank you, Your Excellencies. And that concludes – that’s the end of this press briefing. Thank you. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Washington, DC March 6, 2018 On behalf of President Trump and the people of the United States, I want to convey our warmest wishes to the people of Ghana on the 61st anniversary of the Republic’s independence. Ghana and the United States are strong partners, and we share important values such as the ideals of democracy, human rights, free enterprise, peace, and stability. Our longstanding partnership is based on our mutual interest in regional peace, security, and prosperity. As a leading democracy on the African continent, we count on Ghana to remain a model for the region. On this special occasion, I send my best wishes for a wonderful independence celebration. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
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A BIT like President Donald Trump, Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, likes to fire employees on television. In November Mr Magafuli used a live broadcast from a small town in the north of the country summarily to dismiss two officials after they failed to remember instantly details in their budgets. When one protested that she couldn’t reasonably be expected to be able to recall every figure, Mr Magufuli told her, “You can’t talk to me like that.” Sacking minor officials in front of an audience is only one part of Mr Magufuli’s authoritarian populism. Since coming to power in the country of 55m on the east coast of Africa in 2015, Mr Magufuli, nicknamed “the bulldozer” from his time as roads minister, has bashed foreign-owned businesses with impossible tax demands, ordered pregnant girls to be kicked out of school, shut down newspapers and locked up “immoral” musicians who criticise him. A journalist and opposition party members have disappeared, political rallies have been banned and...
STANDING ankle-deep in water between neatly spaced rice plants, an instructor shows a group of about 100 farmers in Kebbi, a state in north-west Nigeria, how to apply herbicide. The training session, arranged by TGI Group, a Nigerian conglomerate that runs a large rice mill nearby, has an enthusiastic audience. Hussein Ahmed, a farmer, says the yield from his small field has increased by about 50% since he started using chemicals and carefully spacing the seedlings. Another farmer boasts of marrying a second wife thanks to the extra money he is earning from growing rice. Across the region the grain is cooked with tomatoes and mounds of chili to make jollof, a dish that is almost always eye-wateringly spicy, no matter how mild the cook insists it is. Jollof is not just the cause of many arguments in the region—Ghanians and Nigerians each insist theirs tastes better. Its main ingredients have also become symbols of how Nigeria is trying to diversify an economy that exports crude oil and imports...
“WE FEEL so hungry,” says Agatha Khasiala, a Kenyan housekeeper, grumbling about the price of meat and fish. She has recently moved in with her daughter because “the cost of everything is very high”. The data back her up. The World Bank publishes rough estimates of price levels in different countries, showing how far a dollar would stretch if converted into local currency. On this measure, Kenya is more expensive than Poland. This is surprising. The cost of living is generally higher in richer places, a phenomenon best explained by the economists Bela Balassa and Paul Samuelson. They distinguished between goods that can be traded internationally and many services, like hairdressing, that cannot. In rich countries, manufacturing is highly productive, allowing firms to pay high wages and still charge internationally competitive prices. Those high wages also drive up pay in services, which must compete for workers. Since productivity is low in services, high pay translates into high prices, pushing up the overall cost of living. ...
THE shifting sands of the Sahara have long been crossed by trade and smuggling routes. Traffickers send people and drugs north over the desert. But they have a problem: what to put in the empty trucks going back? The answer—pasta. Some informed sources reckon that, apart from people, by weight pasta is probably the most smuggled product to cross the desert. Drug trafficking and gunrunning may earn fatter margins. But many smugglers diversify their load by pushing penne. In part the trade is fuelled by subsidies in places such as Algeria, which spends about $28bn a year keeping down the price of food and energy. In Libya, which still subsidises food prices, even if somewhat erratically because of the civil war, 500g of pasta can be bought for 15-25 American cents. The same bag of pasta might cost 250 CFA francs ($0.50) in Timbuktu and about 800 CFA francs ($1.50) in Senegal or some of the posher parts of Bamako, the capital of Mali. Another incentive to smuggle is found in...
Bouteflika, hanging on TO ALGERIANS, Abdelaziz Bouteflika is like Schrodinger’s cat: simultaneously alive and dead until his actual state has been observed. Occasionally Mr Bouteflika, the 81-year-old president of Algeria, who has suffered at least one bad stroke, is rolled out in his wheelchair for an appearance. In October, for example, he met Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister. A short video of the encounter showed Mr Bouteflika staring blankly into the distance and mumbling a few words. Behind the scenes, a clique of military officers and economic officials actually runs the country. Mr Bouteflika is indicative of the decrepit state of the region’s politics. Of the 18 Arab countries and territories, nearly a third are ruled by old men in terminal decline. They are a stark contrast to the region’s young population. Whereas the median age in the Arab world is 25, among Arab heads of state it is 72. Even when lucid, the old fogeys appear out of touch with...
BOUHDID BELHEDI is not easily intimidated. The campaigner for LGBT rights has been assaulted by Islamic extremists outside his house in Tunis and beaten by a mob as a policeman watched. Since helping to launch Shams Rad, an online radio station catering to LGBT people, he has received thousands of online threats and insults. The station, which began broadcasting out of Tunisia in December, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It is on six days a week and reaches 10,000 people in 15 countries, according to Shams, the Tunisian group behind the effort. The Dutch embassy provides funding. The aim is to create a space to talk about LGBT issues that is not “dominated by imams”, says Mounir Baatour of Shams. The challenge is staying within the law. Anal sex is punishable by up to three years in jail in Tunisia. A court once suspended Shams’ operating licence on dubious grounds. Hosts are careful with their language, so as not to be seen as promoting homosexual activity. Nobody comes out on air. Common topics include the...
ABDEL-FATTAH AL-SISI, Egypt’s president, could not ask for a better mouthpiece than Khairy Ramadan, a talk-show host. When activists started a Twitter campaign to mock the president, Mr Ramadan proposed banning the social network. And like Mr Sisi he calls the revolution of 2011, when the previous strongman, Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown, a foreign plot. But during his show on February 18th, Mr Ramadan talked of a police colonel who earns 4,600 pounds ($261) per month. To supplement his income, the colonel’s wife sought work as a cleaner. Mr Ramadan, who confessed to having a “soft spot” for the notoriously brutal cops, wondered why they were paid so little. He can now ask them directly. Apparently seen as disrespectful, on March 3rd he was arrested. Later this month Egyptians will go to the polls to re-elect Mr Sisi. The outcome is all but certain. Serious challengers were arrested or coerced into dropping their bids. His sole opponent, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, was dragooned into...
But not this one BARINGO county, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, is a hard place. Water is short in the dusty bush, so businesses tend not to thrive. But one industry is booming. At the edge of Mogotio, a town of roadside shops, hundreds of donkeys graze along the road. They are waiting to be sold for slaughter at the local abattoir. Next to a lorry, a woman in a shimmering dress says she has brought 100 donkeys from Moyale, two days’ drive north. She expects to make several thousand dollars from the sale. Across Africa, donkeys are used as beasts of labour. Most Kenyans turn up their noses at the idea of eating them. But Chinese entrepreneurs have opened a new market. In China donkey skins are used to make a gelatine, called ejiao, that is used as traditional medicine. The meat is also a delicacy. The abattoir in Baringo has been running for almost two years, slaughtering hundreds of donkeys a day to satisfy Chinese demand. The...
IT ALMOST feels like old times. Before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Gulf Arabs partied on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab river in southern Iraq. Many owned villas in the fields around Basra and took Iraqi wives. Now, after a break of three decades, they are back. Saudi Arabia is putting the finishing touches on a consulate in Basra’s Sheraton hotel, where Iraqi crooners sing love songs and waiters dance. Last month a dozen Saudi poets travelled to Basra for a literary festival. Air links between Saudi Arabia and Iraq have also resumed, with 140 flights each month. Several state-owned businesses, including SABIC, the Saudi petrochemical giant, are registering offices in Baghdad. At a conference in Kuwait last month, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pledged $1bn in loans and $500m in export credit to support Iraq’s reconstruction after the war with Islamic State (IS). Saudi interest was initially pricked by America, which has been marshalling Gulf support to...
Khama, a cool and collected authoritarian WHEN Ian Khama steps down at the end of the month, after ten years as president, he will leave his country looking perky. Mr Khama has been lavished with praise as he makes a series of farewell sorties around the country. At a recent gathering of farmers, he was “gifted with 35 cattle, a bull, two sheep and goats, a horse, and shares worth 25,000 pula [$2,628] at Tlou Energy”, a coal-development company, according to the pro-government Daily News. The statistics paint a pretty picture, too. In its annual report card on African governments, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation regularly ranks Botswana near the top. At independence in 1966 it was one of the world’s poorest places, with “only 7km of tarred road and a capital, Gaborone, that amounted to little more than a railway station,” wrote a historian. Now it boasts a GDP per head among the highest in Africa. This is largely because Botswana is the world’s...
A Madagascar, l'affaire des villages incendiés dans la localité d'Antsakabary, dans le nord du pays, refait surface. Depuis jeudi 15 mars, une vidéo montrant des policiers en train de maltraiter des dizaines d'habitants dans un village en flamme circule sur les réseaux sociaux. Une vidéo que l'ONG Amnesty International a authentifiée. Le 22 février 2017, 42 policiers ont incendié près de 500 habitations (487). Une femme qui n'avait pu s'enfuir est morte brûlée. Une expédition punitive après que de deux leurs collègues ont été tués lors d'une vindicte populaire, explique Amnesty International.
L'Alliance des forces démocratiques du Congo (AFDC), deuxième force politique au sein de la majorité après le PPRD – parti du président Kabila – a présenté sa plateforme. Pas une référence à l'appartenance à la majorité présidentielle dans le procès-verbal de l'acte constitutif de la plateforme « AFDC et Alliés ». Une vingtaine d'associations politiques et des personnalités ont ainsi décidé de se regrouper autour du parti du ministre du Plan, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, en prévision de la présidentielle de décembre prochain.
Au Cameroun, un cadre de l'administration et une trentaine de personnes ont été enlevées ce samedi 17 mars par des séparatistes camerounais dans le sud-ouest anglophone. Quatre personnes ont également été blessées dans l'attaque du cortège d'un ministre délégué en visite.
Au Burkina Faso, des agents de douanes du poste de Di, situé à 280 kilomètres de Ouagadougou la capitale, ont été attaqués par un individu armé. Après avoir blessé un douanier et emporté des armes, l'assaillant a été abattu par la police des frontières alors qu'il tentait de rejoindre le Mali voisin.
La crise qui dure depuis un mois à Mayotte préoccupe les autorités comoriennes. Vendredi 16 mars, c’est le ministre des Affaires étrangères qui a interrompu un déplacement pour rentrer à Moroni rencontrer l’ambassadrice de France en Union des Comores. Le gouvernement craint des expulsions massives par la police aux frontières. Reportage.
En Afrique du Sud, la proposition du ministre australien de l'Intérieur d'accorder des « visas humanitaires » aux fermiers blancs sud-africains fait des vagues et provoque un vif débat, alors que le gouvernement semble avoir du mal à gérer sa communication autour de cette question. Le 27 février, le Parlement sud-africain a ouvert la voie à une modification de la Constitution, pour permettre les expropriations sans compensation. Un comité parlementaire doit faire une proposition d'amendement d'ici la fin du mois d'août.
Shell et Eni sont dans le viseur d'Amnesty International au Nigeria. L'organisation de défense des droits humains accuse les deux géants pétroliers d'aggraver la crise environnementale dans le delta du Niger et le sort des populations riveraines, en dissimulant l'ampleur de leurs déversements d'hydrocarbures.
Lors d’une conférence de presse à Casablanca ce samedi 17 mars 2018, les éléments du dossier de la candidature Maroc 2026 déposé jeudi dernier à Zurich ont été dévoilés. Moulay Hafid Elalamy, président du Comité de candidature, a largement souligné que l’organisation de la Coupe du monde au Maroc s’inscrirait dans la stratégie de développement économique et social du pays. Le Royaume chérifien doit désormais convaincre la planète football.
Le 16 mars 2017, Ahmad battait le Camerounais Issa Hayatou pour la présidence de la Confédération africaine de football (CAF). Un an plus tard, le Malgache a initié une vaste réforme de la CAF et de ses compétitions, dont la CAN à 24 équipes. Mais de nombreux défis l’attendent dans les prochains mois, dont la gestion du dossier Coupe d’Afrique des nations 2019.
Difficile quand on est un pays frappé par le terrorisme de convaincre les touristes de venir musarder dans les campagnes. Pourtant, des pays comme le Mali ou le Cameroun sont bel et bien présents au Salon mondial du tourisme qui ferme ses portes dimanche soir à Paris avec l'objectif de convaincre les touristes que des zones entières de leurs pays restent parfaitement accessibles aux voyageurs étrangers.