Category Archives: Africa

Genital mutilation plagues EU’ African women

Half a million women in the EU and as many as 200 million worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the most brutal violations of women´s human rights. It consists of the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia. Most often it is carried out  on girls aged between five and eight, usually in poor hygienic conditions. There are no medical benefits and it can provoke severe physical and psychological consequences for a lifetime. MEPs are reiterating their call to stop this barbaric practice worldwide on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February.

 FGM is still performed in some African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, but young girls from some immigrant families are not safe even in the EU, where FGM is considered a crime. In fact some 500,000 women across Europe have been subjected to FGM while a further 180,000 women and girls are at risk of being subjected to this practice every year.

“Culture, custom, religion, tradition or so-called honour cannot be a justification for any acts of violence against women,” said Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, chair of Parliament’s women’s rights committee.


Zuma faces ANC pressure to step down

Leaders of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) met to outline the party’s program for the coming year amid reports that its executive planned to force President Jacob Zuma to step do.

Аn ANC spokeswoman declined to comment on a report by broadcaster eNCA saying that its newly-elected National Executive Committee (NEC) had resolved to ask Zuma – whose presidency has been hit by corruption allegations – to resign.

If Zuma refused, the party’s six-strong leadership group would insisted he  steps down the eNCA said.

An anonymous member of the NEC – which met for the first time under new ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa – was quoted by online news site News24 as saying the decision to force Zuma to resign had been unanimous.

Ramaphosa declares “era of unity”

President  of African National Congress (ANC)  Cyril Ramaphosa has described ruling party as the parliament of the people of South Africa, saying ANC leaders will ensure they safeguard and nurture the heritage given to them by their forebears.

“As we take the ANC into an era of unity, an era of renewal, an era of service to the people of our country. We take this opportunity to reaffirm the ANC’s commitment to the values and the principles to which so many of our legends dedicated their love.”

“South Africa is open for investment,” he told tens of thousands of cheering ANC members in a stadium in the Eastern Cape province on Saturday. Through foreign investment “we can grow our economy, create jobs, end poverty,” Ramaphosa ensured.

Ramaphosa (65) a former trade union leader and one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen with personal fortune of USD450 (Forbes) pledged during his campaign for ANC leader to address record unemployment and a sluggish economy. South Africa’s unemployment rate came in at 27.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017, the same as in the previous two quarters and remaining the highest rate in 13 years. The number of unemployed rose to 6.21 million. (Image below: social networks #Soweto slums).

Soweto slums



Kenyatta visits South Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta will on January, 11 make an official visit to South Africa in his first foreign trip since he was sworn-in for a second term.

According to State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, President Kenyatta will hold talks with his counterpart Jacob Zuma, in the Indian Ocean city of Durban centered on bilateral and pan-African issues.

Manoah Esipisu added, the  leaders will be discussing possibilities of enhancing the existing cooperation in trade, security, and in developing of infrastructures.



Growing rift in ANC over Zuma’ future

The new leader of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity on amid increasingly polarised opinion over  President Jacob Zuma future.

There is widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are encouraging ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state without further delay.  However, publicly Ramaphosa as deputy president,  positions  himself as Zuma ally.

Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest the end of 2017 as investors believe he will tackle rampant political corruption and implement economic reforms.

Zuma’s term doesn’t officially end until 2019 when national elections will be held but he could be removed early through a motion of no confidence in parliament or at meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC). The NEC will meet this week.



EU expects Equatorial Guinea to comply with democracy

“The campaign and vote of the local and legislative elections held in Equatorial Guinea this month took place in a largely orderly and calm atmosphere. At the same time, the two opposition electoral lists denounced serious irregularities. Moreover, long-standing restrictions on internet and communication systems were enforced” – said the text of the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EU supports the African Union’s call to preserve equal conditions and fair competition between political parties in order to make progress towards democratic consolidation, as highlighted in the preliminary statement of its observation mission.”

“The results proclaimed on 20 November imply a further restriction of the already narrow political space granted to legal opposition parties, which is in contradiction to the intentions agreed at the National Dialogue Table held in 2014.”

“The European Union expects Equatorial Guinean authorities to make all necessary efforts to ensure compliance with democracy and human rights, international norms and standards. This is particularly relevant at a time when the country is preparing to take up a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.”




EU “concerned” with events in Zimbabwe

The European Union is following the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe with concern. Despite the uncertainties surrounding current events, it is important to maintain respect for the rule of law and the fundamental rights of all citizens, says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“A framework for a peaceful resolution which respects the constitutional order, and the founding principles of the African Union and Southern African Development Community, should be sought as a priority” continues the statement.

“The EU remains committed to support Zimbabwe in the preparation of credible elections and the delivery of political and economic reforms which can bring a more stable and prosperous future for all Zimbabweans” – concludes EEAS statement.

Robert Mugabe was still refusing to step down on Saturday, an official with direct knowledge of the ongoing negotiations between the President and the military told.
Mugabe was meeting Saturday with army chief General Constantino Chiwenga to discuss what happens next, the source told CNN. Chiwenga is pushing for Mugabe to step down and an interim president to take over, the source said.

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