TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
A truck carrying illegal immigrants of different
African nationalities crashed in northern Libya on Wednesday,
killing 21 and wounding 75 others, a local medical source told
accident occurred in the city of Bani Walid, some 180 km southeast
of the capital Tripoli, said Mohammed Al-Mabrouk, director of Beni
Walid General Hospital.
immigrants were on a large transport truck that overturned on the
outskirts of the city at 4 a.m., Al-Mabroul cited security reports
to the international humanitarian and relief organizations for
urgent assistance to the hospital “due to insufficient ability to
provide medical services for so many patients at the moment.”
transferred a number of critical cases to neighboring hospitals,”
is a major point of movement for illegal immigrants from southern
Libya to the coast in the north, where they are transported by boats
through the Mediterranean to European shores.
Libyan Higher Council of State
calls on eastern
parliament to amend political agreement
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
The Tripoli-based Libyan Higher Council of State on
Tuesday called on the eastern-based House of Representatives
(parliament) to amend the political agreement sponsored by the
United Nations (UN) in preparation for a constitutional referendum
upon our partners of the homeland, the members and Speaker of the
House of Representatives, to unite efforts, coordinate positions and
work together to overcome the challenges and difficulties impeding
the achievement of the goals of the political agreement, first and
foremost the amendment of the agreement through restructuring of
executive authority,” the council said in a joint statement.
the council said they are keen to “create conditions necessary to
enhance confidence, cooperation and integration in order to push
forward the political agreement and end the Libyan crisis. However,
we face increased division.”
The House of
Representatives had approved a 12-item compromise formula of
amendments to the political agreement, which was proposed by UN
Special Envoy Ghassan Salame in January. But the council rejected
amendments are part of an action plan proposed by Salame in
September to end the political division in Libya, ahead of
parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of 2018.
suffering a political division between the eastern government based
in Tobruk and the western government based in Tripoli backed by the
Libyan army says to sign deal to
unify military establishment
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
Libya’s eastern-based army spokesman Ahmad Mismari said Wednesday
that an agreement will be signed soon to unify the military
establishment in Libya under Egyptian auspices.
meetings to unify the military establishment will continue tomorrow
in Cairo, to complete the final consultations in particular,”
Mismari said in a press conference in Benghazi, eastern Libya.
agreed on most of the items related to the structure and unification
of the military establishment in all Libya. We agreed on the
structure and formation of defense and national security councils
and the general command,” Mismari said, adding that the
Egyptian-brokered agreement would be signed soon.
noted that the only obstacle to be discussed is related to the
ongoing political division, expecting all remaining points to be
October 2017, the Egyptian capital Cairo has hosted four extended
meetings for a number of Libyan military officers to unite the
committee on Libya, headed by the Egyptian deputy defense minister
General Mohammed al-Kashki, called on all parties later last year to
support the unification, restructuring, and organization of the
Libyan military establishment.
UN-backed prime minister, Fayez Serraj, agreed with the
eastern-based army Commander Khalifa Haftar, during two meetings in
May and July 2017 in United Arab Emirates and France, to develop a
strategy for a unified Libyan army under civilian authority.
fall of the late leader Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been
plagued by insecurity and political division between eastern and
Libya, EU sign MoU for development
of judicial cooperation
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
The Libyan Ministry of Justice on Wednesday signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Union mission in
Libya for the development of prisons and criminal justice.
of Justice, Mohamed Abdel-Wahed, signed the MoU at the ministry’s
headquarters here with the Head of EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM)
in Libya, Vincenzo Tagliaferri, and EU Ambassador to Libya, Bettina
MoU, the EU mission will “provide technical and logistical programs
that work with the penal institutions of the judicial system,”
“Institutional support will be provided in the field of judicial
expertise and prison management and health care, in addition to
developing the curricula of legal institutes to establish a state of
institutions and the rule of law,” Abdel-Wahed added.
The MoU aims
to develop the criminal justice system by harmonizing national
legislation with international conventions and by helping to build
the capacity of judicial and police personnel through specialized
training courses and visits of European experts.
In May 2013,
EU mission launched its special mission EUBAM Libya for integrated
border management, in addition to liaison with the Libyan
authorities concerned in security and judicial reform.
mission faced difficulties working from within Libya. The mission is
currently based in the Tunisian capital Tunis temporarily.
Two Kenyan soldiers killed in
shootout with police
MANDERA, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
At least two Kenyan soldiers were killed on Wednesday
in a shootout with police officers in Mandera county near Somali
Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamud Saleh and head of the Rural
Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) Nguyo Wambua confirmed the incident,
saying the soldiers were killed during a “friendly fire” with RBPU
confusion because the soldiers thought the RBPU officers were armed
bandits but by the time they realized, there were injuries. We can
not understand how the KDF officers mistook our team for armed
bandits,” Wambua said.
earlier said the soldiers who were heading to Mandera mistakenly
attacked officers attached to the RBPU, a combined team of security
officers who patrol the porous border near Lafey.
Kenyan forces kill 3 Al-Shabaab
LAMU, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan soldiers on Wednesday killed three Al-Shabaab
terrorists during a security operation in the vast Boni forest in
the coastal Lamu region.
Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman David Obonyo said the troops who were
on a routine patrol along Sarira-Kolbio route encountered the
militants following a blast that had been heard early Wednesday.
in a statement that they found the body of a Al-Shabaab member
following a suspected premature explosion of improvised explosive
device the fighter was trying to place on the road used by the
He said the
soldiers were later ambushed by another group of Al-Shabaab
militants as they continued with the patrol to clear the area.
engagement, three Al-Shabaab terrorist were killed as others fled
into the forest with injuries. The troops recovered three AK rifles,
Qty 236 rounds of ammunition, bomb-making materials and personal
items,” Obonyo said.
there were no casualties on the KDF side and appealed for any
information on any individuals seeking medical assistance in the
and intelligence officials said the terrorists who are fleeing
increased airstrikes in southern Somalia are trooping to Lakta belt
near Boni Forest in Kenya’s Lamu with an aim of attacking locals.
officials said Al-Shabaab have changed tactics and resorted to using
IEDs to carry out attacks in coastal and northeast regions. The have
been using Boni forest as their hideout and also launch attacks in
said the explosive devices strategically planted along the roads
near Kenya-Somalia border are slowing down security operations to
flush out militants hiding in the vast Boni forest, which is near
the Somali border.
Morocco arrests British national
over links with drug trafficking
RABAT, (Xinhua) --
A British national was arrested in Morocco’s
Marrakech over links to an international drug trafficking network,
the police said in a statement on Wednesday.
the statement, the 39-year-old British citizen is subject to two
international arrest warrants issued by France and European Union in
2014 and 2016 respectively, for drug trafficking.
said the man was arrested on Tuesday immediately after arriving in
Morocco on a flight from Doha airport in Qatar.
was remanded in custody and under an investigation awaiting his
Egyptian army kills 15 terrorists
in anti-terror raids in North Sinai
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
The Egyptian forces killed 15 terrorists during
anti-terror raids in North Sinai Province northeast of the capital
Cairo, a military spokesman said Wednesday.
also destroyed 11 targets used as shelters and hideouts of terrorist
elements,” Military Spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in a statement.
destroyed 181 mountain huts, hideouts and warehouses containing
explosives and chemicals used for making improvised explosive
devices, according to the statement.
forces launched a massive anti-terror operation on Friday and have
killed 53 terrorists until Wednesday, while the police forces have
operation mainly targets the Islamic State (IS) militants in the
restive North Sinai bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
covers the Nile Delta provinces and the western borders with eastern
part of the Sinai Peninsula has been the center of terrorist attacks
that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers following the
military removal of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July
2013 in response to mass protests.
attacks later extended to several other provinces including Cairo
and started to target the Coptic minority via church bombings and
Most of the
attacks were claimed by Wilayat Sinai, a Sinai-based IS-affiliated
in Egypt did not stop at targeting security personnel and Copts, as
they attacked a mosque in North Sinai’s Arish city last November,
killing at least 310 Muslim worshippers and injuring more than 120
No group has
yet claimed responsibility for the mosque attack, the deadliest
terror attack and the first against a mosque in Egypt’s modern
the attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the army
to restore security and stability in North Sinai within three
security forces have so far killed hundreds of terrorists and
arrested thousands of suspects during the anti-terror war declared
by Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s ouster in 2013.
anti-terror “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” comes weeks before
Egypt’s 2018 presidential elections scheduled for late March, where
incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a
second term because of the lack of strong rivals in the race.
Roundup: Mixed reactions over S.
African president’s recall
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
South African experts expressed mixed reactions to
the recall of President Jacob Zuma by his party, the African
National Congress (ANC).
secretary general Ace Magashule told the media on Tuesday afternoon
that the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved
to recall Zuma and that Zuma has been given until Wednesday to
decided to recall its deployee, comrade Jacob Zuma... The decision
to recall Jacob Zuma is final. That decision can’t change,”
Ballim, Standard Bank’s chief economist, said Zuma’s recall would be
good for the ANC and the country.
has cheered at this prospect in reality, whether it is justified or
not is somewhat academic,” he said.
is that the markets are celebrating the potential for a new regime
and a new epoch of an assault on corruption, better predictability,”
Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as the ANC president brought in some
optimism and hope.
He said that
Ramaphosa’s elevation to the president of the country would ignite
more hope for South Africa.
analyst, Sipho Seepe, told Xinhua that the ANC needs to sort its
internal pressure and renew itself. Seepe said Zuma has been
sacrificed for the problems facing the party.
“The ANC has
gone through a difficult period. It has to find a way of renewing
itself. President Zuma has since been treated as a scapegoat,” Seepe
new leadership that calls for his removal is the same lot that
defended him in the last nine years,” he added.
Mpofu, a research fellow at University of Johannesburg, said the
recall is an advantage to the party and improves the chances of
been unloved by the markets and we are likely going to see the rand
firm,” Mpofu said, referring to the country’s local currency.
recall definitely improves the ANC’s image towards the 2019
election,” he added.
is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in
2019. The ruling ANC performed poorly in local government elections
organizations, including the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist
Party (SACP), welcomed Zuma’s recall.
“It has been
obvious for many years that the interests of our country would be
best served if indeed Mr. Zuma ceased to be president of the
Republic,” the Mbeki Foundation said in a statement. “As a
disciplined and loyal cadre of the ANC and out of respect for the
constitution of the country, Mr. Zuma must communicate with the
speaker of the House of Assembly to tender his resignation as the
president of the republic.”
would give the ruling party chance to attend to many challenges and
negative developments which have arisen during the years of Zuma’s
presidency, the statement said.
of South African Trade Unions said if Zuma does not agree to being
recalled, the ruling party should follow the parliamentary process
of a motion of no confidence.
African Communist Party said recalling Zuma would enable the ANC to
address challenges facing the country.
decision should pave the way to a deep-going, decisive
self-correction and greater ANC and Alliance unity to revitalize
democratic support from lost ground towards greater heights,” the
SACP said in a statement, referring to a tripartite alliance
grouping the ANC, the SACP, and COSATU.
Zuma’s political future not to
affect BRICS Summit, say experts
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
The potential dimission of the South African president is unlikely
to impact the 10th BRICS Summit scheduled for July, said
BRICS Summit is the 10th annual diplomatic meeting of the
BRICS, a grouping of major emerging economies that includes Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday
ordered President Jacob Zuma to step down as the state head after
marathon talks over the fate of the leader.
potential dimission of the president, according to experts, will not
impede the 10th BRICS Summit to be held in July in South
Africa, which takes over the rotating chairmanship of BRICS this
exit (Zexit) will not affect the BRICS summit. A new South Africa
president will convene the summit and the programs will continue,”
Gwinyai Dzinesa, a researcher at Centre for Conflict Resolution
based in Capetown, South Africa, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
scheduled for July 25-27 at the Sandton Convention Centre in
Johannesburg will see South Africa push forward the programs of
development and prosperity for partner countries.
earlier requested a three-month “notice period” before he submits
his unconditional resignation, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule
told the local media on Tuesday.
proposal was put to the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on
Monday, as it discussed Zuma’s recall from office, but was shot down
by the committee.
reportedly told Cyril Ramaphosa, the leader of the ANC, that he will
use the three months to “introduce him” to international bodies such
as the African Union, the United Nations and BRICS.
will not allow the summit to abort, said Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena,
a political commentator at the Zimbabwe Communist Party.
mechanism has strengthened cooperation for institutional
development, which saw the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB)
and the recently launched Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg,”
He also said
South Africa is willing to see BRICS countries help each other with
inclusive economic growth, value-added multilateral trade and
investment in productive sectors.
Africa joined the BRICS in 2011, the country has scored major
achievements, such as the mentioned NDB.
Thomas, the chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme, a famous South
African food producer, said in an interview that the summit is
important and “its organization will be an important milestone
towards building stronger solidarity and cooperation among the
also said on Tuesday that Zuma has not been given a deadline to
resign but is expected to respond to the recall on Wednesday.
uncertainty over Zuma’s future continues, the South African
government has postponed a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
S. Africa President Zuma, in TV
interview, says disagrees to resign
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
“No, I will not resign”, said South
African President Jacob Zuma in an exclusive interview with South
African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Wednesday.
Zuma Speaks to SABC from Union Building in Pretoria. He demands
reasons why he must resign and maintains he did nothing wrong.
“It was very
unfair to me that this issue is raised...Nobody has ever provided
the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done,” he said in the
Zuma’s resignation good for
political stability, says expert
JOHANNESBURG (Xinhua) --
The resignation of Jacob Zuma as President of South
Africa on late Wednesday is good for political stability and
consequently economic development in the country, an local expert
interview with Xinhua late Wednesday night, Ricky Mukanyaradzi
Mukonza, Senior Lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
Public Management, said the African National Congress (ANC) is the
governing party and stability in the party gives a picture certainty
in both the political and economic environment.
continued stay as President of the South Africa hurts the country
because his tenure has been perceived to be littered with
allegations of corruption and other forms of mal-governance and this
does not create an environment to attract investors, he added.
an uncertain future considering that he is likely to be taken to
court on various cases that are hanging over his head, the expert
president is expected to rebuild the image of the South African
government, especially on issues relating to corruption, said
resigned Wednesday evening as president under the pressure of the
ruling party ANC.
should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the
decision to resign,” Zuma said on Wednesday evening at Union
Building in a 30-minute farewell address to the nation.
S. African President Zuma resigns
“to avoid dividing the party”
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
South African President Jacob Zuma announced on
Wednesday evening that he just resigned as president because he did
not want to divide the ruling party.
(African National Congress) should never be divided in my name. I
have therefore come to the decision to resign,” Zuma said in a
30-minute address to the nation at Union building here in
Seventy-five-year-old Zuma told the media that even though he did
not agree with the ANC, he had decided to resign. He said he
believed he should have been removed through constitutional means.
accept that if my party and my compatriots wish that I be removed
from office, they must exercise that right and do so in the matter
prescribed in the manner of the constitution,” he said.
therefore come to the decision to resign as president with immediate
effect. Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership
of my organization. I have always been a disciplined member of the
ANC,” he added.
He said that
his decision followed his recalling by the ANC’s national executive
committee on Tuesday and weeks of speculation about his future as
while working as president, it had been a great learning experience
and a mammoth task.
which replaced Zuma as party leader in December with Deputy
President Cyril Ramaphosa, ordered him to step down as president on
Tuesday over curruption allegations against Zuma.
now acting president, and will be sworn in as president either
Thursday or Friday.
NEW YORK, (Xinhua) --
File photo taken on Sept. 20, 2017 shows that South African
President Jacob Zuma addresses the 72nd session of
United Nations General Assembly on the second day of the
general debate at the UN headquarters in New York. South
African President Jacob Zuma declared his resignation when
addressing the nation on Feb. 14, 2018.
XINHUA PHOTO: LI RUI
U.S. keen to benefit from Algeria’s
counterterrorism experience: official
ALGIERS, (Xinhua) --
Visiting U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
for African Affairs Alan Patterson said Tuesday the U.S. is keen to
benefit from Algeria’s experience in combating terrorism.
his meeting with Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel in
Algiers, Patterson told reporters that the talks were held as part
of the eighth Algerian-U.S. military dialogue.
said they discussed the issue of strengthening security consultation
through the exchange of information and experience, especially as
Algeria plays a pivotal role in the fight against terrorism.
official added that the U.S. would like to benefit from Algeria’s
experience in order to contribute to the achievement of security and
stability in the region and the world.
part, Masahel said he discussed with the U.S. official ways of
strengthening bilateral relations, and exchanged views over issues
of common interest, including the situation in the region,
especially in Libya, Mali and the Sahel countries in general.
He said the
meeting was “fruitful” as it enabled the two parties to enhance
bilateral cooperation and coordination in terms of the fight against
terrorism, whether bilaterally, within the United Nations, or on the
level of the Global Forum against Terrorism.
the U.S. are due to hold their fifth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue on
Security and Counterterrorism in June in Algiers.
is to assess bilateral counterterrorism partnership amid emerging
threats in the North African region, Algerian Foreign Ministry said
days ago, following the visit of Principal Deputy Coordinator for
Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State Alina Romanowski.
is due to to host in April a conference on the international fight
against terrorism and cutting off financial sources for terrorists,
as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum held in collaboration
with the African Union.
AU team in Somalia to assess
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
An African Union (AU) team is in Somalia to assess
peacekeeping activities as the transfer of responsibilities from AU
mission to Somali national security forces gains momentum, officials
said on Wednesday.
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the ten-men delegation from the AU
Peace Support Operations Division arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday
for a four-day mission and is scheduled to hold talks with senior
government, UN and AU mission officials.
discussions will focus on a wide range of issues among them
peacekeeping activities, achievements made and challenges being
experienced in securing Somalia and transfer of responsibilities to
Somali national security forces among others,” said the AU mission.
Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African
Union Commission for Somalia who held talks with the delegation
explained that the delegation is in the country on a routine
very specific objectives to see how we are working, what our
challenges are; what are our relations with our hosts and how we
plan for the transition,” Madeira said.
that the delegation had frank discussions with the government of
Somalia officials on issues focusing on peace and stability, noting
that discussions also dwelt on the transition plan and the
“We had the
opportunity to speak frankly about the challenges we are facing;
coordination activities; how to enhance interaction and unity, and
particularly the political atmosphere and movement between us,” he
begun implementing a conditions based transition plan that will see
it handing over the country’s security responsibilities to Somali
national security forces.
Support Operations Division is mandated to plan, launch, sustain,
monitor and liquidate all Peace Support Operations authorized by the
Nigerian troops kill 186 Boko Haram
fighters in one month: official
ABUJA, (Xinhua) --
The Nigerian army on Wednesday said 186 Boko Haram
fighters have been killed in the past one month by troops in the
ongoing clearance operation in the country’s northeast and Lake Chad
Nicholas, commander of the Nigerian troops in Maiduguri, the capital
of the northern state of Borno, said the clearance operation had
yielded positive results, decimated and degraded the Boko Haram
said the troops destroyed and took total control of the “Camp Zairo,”
a tactical ground of the terror group in Borno.
1,000 Boko Haram fighters had reportedly surrendered or were
captured by troops, following the operation.
Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari said that with the narrowing of the
recruitment base of the Boko Haram terror group, the era of
terrorism is gradually drawing to an end in the west African
that the terrorist group has lost its appeal in its initial
strongholds, necessitating a steady retreat that will eventually
culminate in ending attacks.
has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamic state in
northeastern Nigeria. More than 15,000 people have been killed and
At least 7 killed in road accident
in Western Kenya
KISII, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
At least seven people died and two others were
injured in a grisly road accident in Kisii County of Western Kenya
on Tuesday evening, according to police.
Wambugu, divisional police commander of town Keroka, confirmed on
Wednesday that the accident occurred along Kisii-Keroka highway,
when the driver lost control of the vehicle before it veered off the
was carrying six passengers. We will confirm the nature of other
survivors who are hospitalized,” said Wambugu, he added that two
injured predestrians also has been rushed to the hospital.
commander said the car was speeding when the accident happened. The
police suspected that the brakes was failed when the car was
descending a steep slope.
the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the death toll
has ascended to more than 300 since Dec 1, 2017.
NTSA’s preliminary investigations, the causes of these crashes
include overs-peeding, lane indiscipline, reckless driving and
driving under the influence of alcohol.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangirai dies aged 65
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been
battling colon cancer, died at a South African hospital Wednesday.
posted by one of his deputies in the MDC-T party Elias Mudzuri
confirmed his death.
announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and
had been in and out of hospital for some time.
“It is sad
for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for
democracy,” Mudzuri said.
trade unionist, Tsvangirai had been the face of Zimbabwean
opposition politics since 2009.
prime minister in an inclusive government led by former President
Robert Mugabe in 2009 following disputed elections the previous
He had been
chosen by the broader MDC Alliance to be the coalition’s
presidential candidate in elections slated for 2018.
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
File photo taken on Jan. 5, 2018 shows that Zimbabwean
President Emmerson Mnangagwa ® meets with the Movement for
Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) leader and former Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai © at Tsvangirai’s home in Harare,
Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
who has been battling colon cancer, died at a South African
hospital on Feb. 14, 2018.
XINHUA PHOTO: WANDA
Extreme weather kills 34 in 13 days
MAPUTO, (Xinhua) --
The Mozambique Institute for Disaster Management (INGC)
announced Wednesday that 34 people died as a result of extreme
weather condition in the northern and central region of the country
in the past 13 days.
number 17 were victims of lightning strikes, 2 drawn, and 12 were
victims of strong winds, 2 were swept away by water and one was
electrocuted,” said Paulo Tomas, the INGC spokesperson, in a press
period the total number of affected people is 3,925 from about 796
families,” added the spokesperson.
institute did not rule out possibilities of more damages as more
rain is expected in the coming four days in the central and northern
season in Mozambique will last until the end of March and the INGC
said it is assisting victims in the affected region with temporary
shelters and food.
Study reveals pets help people with
mental health conditions
LONDON, (Xinhua) --
People who own pets are better able to manage mental
health conditions, a study published Wednesday by three British
In what was
the first systematic review of existing evidence, researchers at
Manchester, Liverpool and Southampton showed how owning a dog or
cat, or keeping goldfish, hamsters and finches helps people with
long-term mental health problems.
the journal BMC Psychiatry, academics from the three universities
reviewed a collection of academic papers on the impact of animal
searched databases and looked for unpublished literature which
identified 8,145 articles that were studied by the team of
found that pets helped pet owners to better manage their feelings
and provided a powerful distraction from the stress of having mental
health problems. The animals were seen as being non-judgmental about
their owners and owning them helped alleviate loneliness.
were also seen as helpful in terms of encouraging physical activity,
such as walking the dog, but also allowing them to engage socially
with other pet owners.
owner said merely cleaning its cage and feeding the animal gave her
from the University of Liverpool said: “Pets provided acceptance
without judgement, giving unconditional support, which they were
often not receiving from other family or social relationships.”
Rushton, from the University of Manchester said: “Pet ownership has
a valuable contribution to mental health, so should be incorporated
into individual care plans of patients.”
of intervention also offers an opportunity to involve patients in
their own mental health service provision through open discussion of
what works best for them,” Rushton said.
Feature: Displaced Tawerghans in
Libya yearn for early return to home
By Mahmoud Darwesh, Nawas Darraji TRIPOLI,
(Xinhua) -- About 200 displaced families
of Tawergha in western Libya are currently stranded in the desert
area near their city, as their return to home scheduled for early
February has been obstructed by armed groups from the neighboring
city of Misurata.
situation is difficult and tragic in terms of health and
environment. There is cold, rain and dust that hurt the families.
Some of them here were stung by scorpions,” said Abdurrahman
Shakshak, the head of the municipal council of Tawergha.
“The camp is
unprotected and the sandy wind makes it difficult to see and move.
It has caused many health problems, especially for children and the
elderly,” he added.
these families refused to leave without returning home according to
the reconciliation agreement between Tawergha and Misurata.
“The lack of
tents has made dozens of families wait in their cars. They do not
want to go back to the former displacement camps, but are determined
to stay in this camp near the city,” Shakshak noted, without
specifying a date for return.
waiting to be allowed to enter directly. There is no chance to go
back or retreat from our demand to enter the city we abandoned seven
years ago,” he explained.
2011 uprising, some residents of Tawergha allied with the forces of
former leader Muammar Gaddafi against the rebels of the nearby city
Gaddafi’s regime was toppled, those residents, accused by Misurata
of actively participating in the fighting against them, fled their
homes to others cities in Libya. Since then, they have been
2016, representatives of Tawergha and Misurata signed a UN-sponsored
draft reconciliation agreement to allow the nearly 40,000 Tawerghan
refugees to return home.
December, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj announced that
Taweghans will return home on Feb. 1.
city of Misurata has demanded for postponement of the return,
slamming the government’s unilateral announcement of the return date
as a move without fully implementing the agreement, particularly in
terms of “reconciliation, extradition, taking security measures and
compensation for all parties.”
Radwan, the president of the Association of Missing and Detained
Persons of Tawergha, said such allegations are incorrect “because
all the differences were settled through the reconciliation
“The date of
return was set by the government. When more than 15,000 displaced
people gathered from the west and east of the country to return
home, we were surprised when seeing armed groups firing guns and
dispersing people to force them to retreat,” Radwan said.
the head of the field hospital in the desert camp, said more than
700 were treated in the hospital, and some in critical conditions
have been transferred to hospitals in Beni Walid and the capital
“How can we
live without water and electricity? It is a human tragedy,”
complained 60-year-old Mohamed Meloud.
Massoud, 70, whose son was tortured to death four years ago in a
prison in Misurata, also expressed disappointment.
here and did not think they would treat us like this. We lived
together without problems like brothers and good neighbors,” she
said, demanding a humane and peaceful return.
been displaced and tired of moving from one place to another. We are
willing to return without any aids from anyone. We will live off
bread and water only, as long as we are allowed to return to our
beloved land,” the old woman said, with tears rolling in her eyes.
11-year-old Jaida, Tawergha is also the hometown she is always eager
to go back to.
“We want to
go back to Tawergha. We want to go back to our schools, and to play
with our neighbors,” said Jaida, smiling innocently.
the Libyan government has warned against the attempts to undermine
the reconciliation agreement between Tawergha and Misurata.
will witness those who obstructed the return. Let the return of the
people of Tawergha to their city become a new era of comprehensive
national reconciliation,” the government said early in February.
Minister of the Affairs of Displaced People Yusuf Jalal, the
government is making intensive efforts to convince relevant forces
to stop obstructing the return of Tawerghans.
almost two weeks after the scheduled date of return, there is yet no
ease of tension in prospect that could allow displaced Tawerghans to
return to home.
Five soldiers killed in mine
explosion in eastern Algeria
ALGIERS, (Xinhua) --
As many as five Algerian soldiers were killed
Wednesday when a home-made mine exploded near the Tunisian border,
local media reported.
security source, El Khabar newspaper said in its electronic website
that a high ranking officer was among the 5 victims, while two other
soldiers were injured.
specified that the mine exploded at the passage of a patrol of
soldiers which was on its way to back up army troops who are
conducting a wide scale dragging operation along the border with
corps were transferred to the morgue of the military hospital in the
eastern province of Constantine, while the injured soldiers were
rushed to hospital to get medical treatments.
elements of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), led by
Abdelmalek Droukdel, alias Abu Musab Abdelwadoud, 47, are scattered
in the eastern mountains and forests of northern Algeria.
terrorists tend to plough home-made mines and conduct occasional
attacks against army or police forces by targeting their patrols.
Located in a
region plagued by unprecedented security and political instability,
Algeria faces ongoing terrorist threats, as tens of thousands of
troops are deployed on eastern and southern border to thwart
potential intrusion of militants.
Kenyan manufacturers to seek
advanced technology in China
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan manufacturers will visit China in April to
learn ways of enhancing technology, officials said on Wednesday.
Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy at the Kenya Association of
Manufacturers (KAM) told Xinhua in Nairobi that a delegation of
manufacturers are set to participate in the Beijing conference on
investment and technology transfer.
“We hope to
get knowledge on new technologies from Chinese manufacturers that we
can deploy in Kenya in order to improve the competitiveness of our
sector,” Wanjohi said on the sidelines of the Pre-Budget Hearing for
the 2018/2019 financial year that was conducted by the Institute of
prioritized 13 sectors in manufacturing ranging from food, beverage
and automotive sectors that will uplift the industrial sector.
China has over the past three decades invested in manufacturing
innovations that have made the Asian nation the most competitive
source of industrial merchandise globally.
Kenya’s manufacturing sector has stagnated at around ten percent of
Gross Domestic Product for the past decade.
challenge facing manufacturers is high cost of production that has
made imported goods to be competitive locally,” he added.
manufacturers lobby hopes to benefit from technology transfer from
their Chinese peers. “We will use Chinese technology to convert
locally available raw materials into goods for export,” he added.
Experts seek heavy investments in
Africa’s technology revolution
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Technology experts from Africa and beyond on
Wednesday pushed for increased investments in the information and
communications technology (ICT) industry in Africa to accelerate the
continent’s digital revolution.
speaking at the Africa Tech Summit opening on Wednesday in the
Rwandan capital Kigali, which aims to explore the latest trends in
hosting the forum from Feb. 14 to 15, which has attracted about 250
African and international technology leaders, experts and
remains one of the preferred frontiers for investment opportunities
and doing business, but little investments are channeled towards
ICTs which hampers the growth of the technology sector,” said Proud
Dzambukira, a strategic product partnerships manager of Facebook.
“In order to
promote Africa as the next global technology hub, heavy investments
are needed in this sector in the next 10 years.”
Africa’s infrastructure has improved over the past few years with
new roads, airports, energy plants and communication networks and
this should provide a solid ground for investors to massively invest
Marieme Diop, investment associate at Orange Digital Ventures in
Senegal, investment in technology has played a crucial role in the
growth of the most developed economies in Europe, Asia, Middle East
and the Americas.
increased investments in ICTs to develop African economies to move
from agriculture based to knowledge based. In Africa, government’s
budgets are often stretched, with funding being directed towards
more pressing needs such as healthcare, agriculture and education,”
the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), only 22 percent of
Africa’s population used the Internet in 2016, compared to a global
average of 44 percent.
Researcher urges Kenya to increase
investments in agriculture
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
A Kenyan researcher on Wednesday called on the
government to increase investments in agriculture in order to boost
Tim Njagi, a
Research Fellow and Development Economist at the Tegemeo Institute,
an agricultural think tank, told an economic forum in Nairobi that
Kenya’s economy is underperforming due to low public investments in
investments in agriculture will result in an overall economic boost
for Kenya given that a significant proportion of the labor force
derives livelihood from the sector,” Njagi said during the
Pre-Budget Hearings for the 2018/2019 financial year that were
conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs.
that Kenya is yet to achieve the target of the Maputo Declaration of
Agriculture of 2003, where African nations committed to devote at
least ten percent of national budgets on agriculture.
that the country has allocated approximately 350 million U.S.
dollars or 2.4 percent of the national budget on agriculture for the
2017/2018 financial year.
that increasing funding in agriculture will help to unlock the
potential of the sector.
the majority of food production is realized by small scale farmers
who need access to modern technology, markets and affordable credit
in order to boost their incomes.
additional public resources should be devoted to hire skilled
agricultural extension workers who can train farmers on the latest
Tegemeo Institute, the declining agricultural yields among most
crops have made the sector unattractive especially to the the young
400 new Libyan special forces
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
A graduation ceremony was held here Tuesday for 400
new Libyan special forces members who will be deployed to guard
important figures and institutions throughout the country.
civilians involved in security service have been trained. After
that, 400 members of special operations missions have graduated,”
Captain Hatem Al-Gamati, the spokesman of the special forces, told
took five months of theoretical lessons and hard field exercises,
Al-Gamati said, stressing that the tasks of the special forces
include protecting state institutions. He also said work points and
tasks will be expanded in the future.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj and other security and military
leaders, the ceremony was held in the Tripoli Maritime Base.
fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the Libyan authorities have been
struggling to prepare and form security services capable of
countering armed militias, which outgun the regular forces.
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
Trainees perform during the graduation ceremony in Tripoli,
Libya, on Feb. 13, 2018. A graduation ceremony was held here
Tuesday for 400 new Libyan special forces members who will be
deployed to guard important figures and institutions
throughout the country.
XINHUA PHOTO: HAMZA TURKIA
Malawi suspends sim card
registration due to eavesdropping fears
LILONGWE, Malawi, (Xinhua) --
The Malawian government has suspended a weeks-long
mass registration of sim cards due to public concerns, Minister of
Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi said in a
National Assembly enacted a new Communication Act in July 2016,
which requires all sim cards to be registered. The registration was
scheduled from Jan. 1 to March 31. However, it triggered fears that
the authorities would listen to private phone calls.
the government has taken note of the concerns and has decided to
defer the registration until the issues are addressed.
statement added that the Ministry of Information and Communications
Technology would engage the Malawi Communications Regulatory
Authority, telephone operators and other stakeholders in a mass
awareness campaign to address the issues raised.
Ugandan president thanks China for
supporting Africa’s development
KAPEEKA, UGANDA, (Xinhua) --
While inspecting a Chinese-built industrial park here
Tuesday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni expressed his gratitude
to the Chinese people for continuously supporting African countries’
pursuit for economic independence.
by Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang, Museveni was
inspecting the Liaoshen Industrial Park in Kapeeka in Nakaseke
District, about 70 km north of Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. He
said China’s support for Africa dated back to the early years
following the People’s Republic of China.
have been working with us since the anti-colonial struggle. (Late
Chairman) Mao Zedong started supporting us even when (China was)
still underdeveloped,” Museveni said.
in particular the Tanzania-Zambia railway China helped build in the
1960s, saying the project broke “the blockade by the South African
is doing more to support Africa and Uganda in particular. They are
working with Africa for mutual prosperity. I congratulate them for
finishing the year of the chicken and entering the year of the dog,”
the president said. Friday marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar
area of covering 600 acres (2.4 square km), Liaoshen Industrial
Park, is expected to accommodate 80 industries and employ up to
16,000 people by 2025.
Zheng said in an interview that Chinese investors will invest about
600 million U.S. dollars in the industrial park before it is in full
there are three factories in operation, namely a fruit processing
factory, a maize storage and mill, as well as a ceramics factory,”
received a total of 219 million U.S. dollars of foreign direct
investment from China by the end of 2017, and a booming number of
Chinese-invested industrial parks is expected in the African
country, adding to the four of them already in place now.
Zheng, the Liaoshen Industrial Park, whose manufacturing operation
is expected to begin in March, has already employed more than 1,000
local workers, with about 90 percent of the raw material for tiles
and other ceramics acquired from Uganda as well.
Kenya’s Chebii faces stiff
challenge in quest to retain Lake Biwa marathon title
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Ezekiel Chebii said he is keen to defend his
title in the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon on March 4 in Japan after
missing out on the World Half Marathon team.
holds a personal best time of 2:06:07, will face a line-up
including Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham (2:06:40), Ethiopia’s Abera
Kuma (2:05:56) and Italy’s European marathon champion Daniele Meucci
Chebii led compatriot Vincent Kipruto to a 1-2 finish in the men’s
race edging out Ugandan Solomon Mutai to third place timed at
hoping to run under two hours and six minutes but the last half of
the race was quite difficult with wind. Hopefully this year it will
present better weather and fast pace setters because I intend to run
fast time,” Chebii said on Wednesday.
domestic runners in the field include Satoru Sasaki (2:08:56),
Takuya Noguchi (2:08:59) and Takuya Fukatsu (2:09:31) while New
Zealand’s Jake Robertson will make his marathon debut.
in Rotterdam, Ethiopians Getu Feleke (2:04:50) and Mule Wasihun
(2:05:39) are the fastest runners on paper for the Dutch Port city
Marathon on April 8.
also includes five more runners with sub-2:07 best times including
Kenyans Laban Korir (2:06:05), Marius Kipserem (2:06:11), Festus
Talam (2:06:13), Felix Kirwa (2:06:13) and Ethiopia’s Kelkile
Kenya’s Bett seeks Commonwealth
Games redemption after injury scare
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Former world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett of
Kenya is hopeful he will redeem his career starting with victory at
the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast from April 4-15.
It will be
the second time Bett will be competing in the Club Games after
failing to make the finals at the 2014 edition in Glasgow.
from obscurity to stake claim to the gold at the Beijing Worlds in
2015, but his star dimmed thereafter compounded with poor form and
the Beijing Olympics after being disqualified in the preliminary
rounds and his comeback last year ended prematurely as he pulled out
of Shanghai Diamond League meeting with a right leg injury.
“It is over
now. I started treatment after returning from Shanghai in May and
now I feel am back to my best form,” he said on Wednesday in
28-year-old started his training in November last year with
endurance tests and moved to South Africa, where he camped for two
months. But he is back in Nairobi ahead of the Kenya trials for the
Commonwealth games on Saturday.
“I have put
behind the disappointment from Rio Olympics and the withdrawal from
the 2017 World Championships. I have regained my fitness and now the
target it to get the ticket for Commonwealth Games,” said Bett.
Africa 400m bronze medalist has a personal best time of 47.79 from
Beijing but will have to face a stiff challenge from compatriots his
brother Haron Koech, a semi-finalist at the London Worlds and Rio
Olympics 400m hurdles silver medalist Boniface Mucheru. Others are
Aron Koech, Emmanuel Lagat, David Saruni and Cosmas Meli.
FIA boss Todt to visit Kenya for
Safari Rally readmission
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Organizers of Kenya’s premier motor racing event, the
Safari Rally believe a visit by International Federation of
Automobile (FIA) President Jean Todt this month will clear all
hurdles before the event is readmitted to the World Rally
It has been
15 years since the Safari rally was axed from the then 14-tier World
Rally Championships mainly due to poor safety measures, lack of
sponsorship and government support.
third visit in four years set for Feb 27, Kenya expect to clear any
pending hurdles to reclaim their global status.
Kimathi, Kenya’s head of the Organizing Committee selected to work
on modalities to return the event to the WRC, said by 2020 Safari
Rally will be part of the global racing circuit.
“It is true
Todt is returning for another visit. He has since met president
Uhuru Kenyatta and other top sports officials. The government has
given its assurance and there is goodwill from corporate firms to
support the event,” he said.
Todt said it
will make the WRC complete by having one leg in Africa in order to
have a global appeal.
“Africa is a
very key region for the FIA but the necessary guarantees set by the
FIA must be met for Safari Rally to be readmitted,” he said.
Rally, which is arguably the most difficult rally to conquer,
started in 1953 as part of the coronation for the England Queen and
remained the top spot in the WRC until 2002.
the WRC is staged in Monaco, Sweden, Mexico, France, Argentina,
Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany, Spain, England and
Kenya Prisons put mark on quest for
Africa Club Cup glory
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya Prisons volleyball club is hopeful their hard
work in training will be rewarded with victory at the Africa Club
Championships, which will be staged in Caro, Egypt from March 6-15.
David Lung’aho has moved to camp with his team and hopes to blend
both young and experienced players to recapture the title they last
won four years ago.
made progress in strengthening the team. The players are responding
very well, the young players that we brought on board like Sharon
Chepchumba and Laureen Chebet will be critical in learning the new
each team enters this competition with hopes of winning. But we need
to focus on building our own winning mentality, strengthening it and
making the players feel they are the best and hopeful that will
inspire them to perform better this time,” said Lung’aho.
clubs have already have confirmation their participation, beating
the old record of 18 teams which happened twice in 2008 and 2017.
teams eyeing the continental glory are hosts Al-Ahly of Egypt, who
have been successful in the competition a record eight times.
local side Kenya Pipeline, will be eyeing their eighth title with
other teams being defending champions Carthage, Marsa (Tunisia),
El-Shams Club (Egypt), Alexandria Sporting (Egypt), DGSP (DRC), Asec
Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire), Vision VB, Nkumba University (Uganda), BDF
(Botswana), AS Douanes, Muzinga (Burundi), Canon de Ndjii, VB Club
(Congo), Injis, FAP, Bafia and Nyong et Kelle (Cameroon).
Prisons won bronze after edging out former champions Al-Ahly 3-2 in
an event that was hosted in Monstir City, Tunisia with home side
Carthage beating El-Shams in the finals to claim the gold medal.
keen to dig deep and stage a surprise to his North African rivals.
The winners of this competition will have another chance to compete
at the qualifying events for the World Club Championships.
Zambia’s premier soccer league to
kick off in March
LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s premier soccer league will kicked off on
March 17, the country’s soccer governing body said on Wednesday.
Katongo, communications manager of the Football Association of
Zambia (FAZ) said the league will be preceded by the holding of the
traditional league opener—the Charity Shield semi-finals clash on
March 3, with the final slated for March 10.
charity shield, Zesco United, the 2017 champions will face Napsa
Stars while 12-time league champions Nkana will face Zanaco, he said
in a statement.