Africa updates: military ruler calls protesters 'enemies of Algeria'

Wednesday June 19 2019

Rwandan President Paul Kagame 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame during a past function. An exiled Rwandan opposition leader claims Kagame's government used torture to coerce a terrorism confession from a rebel chief last month. PHOTO | ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER | AFP 

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Opposition leader accuses Rwanda of torturing rebel

An exiled Rwandan opposition leader claims President Paul Kagame's government used torture to coerce a terrorism confession from a rebel chief Callixte Nsabimana last month.

Mr Paul Rusesabagina, chairman of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) who lives in Belgium, said on Tuesday that Mr Nsabimana did "anything they demanded" after being "tortured for a month or more."

Mr Rusesabagina is the hotelier whose heroic actions during the 1994 genocide were depicted in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

FLN is the armed wing of MRCD which also announced a partnership with Rwandan Dream Initiative wing of former prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu.

Guinea Bissau holds presidential elections on November 24

Guinea Bissau president José Mário Vaz hopes to put a year of political uncertainty behind the country after he announced November 24 as the date for presidential election.

President Vaz’s term ends on June 23 and a new government will be established to oversee the polls following consultations with political parties, parliament and the national electoral commission.

An African Union mission is in Guinea Bissau trying to resolve a political impasse that has left the country without a prime minister since March.

Despite the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) winning legislative elections on March 10, Mr Vaz did not invite it to form a government until Monday.

Somaliland police close down two private TV channels

Authorities in the breakaway territory of Somaliland on Tuesday closed two private television channels — Horyaal 24TV and Eryal TV — in the capital Hargeisa after accusing them of inciting violence.

A station manager and a press rights group said police enforced the closure of the two stations on orders signed by the Information Minister Mohamed Muse Diriye.

Horyaaal director Mohamed Osman Mire said the letter accused the TV stations of inciting conflict and defaming the national armed forces.

Military ruler calls protesters 'enemies of Algeria'

Algeria's military chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah confirmed his growing intolerance for criticism calling those opposed to military rule "enemies of Algeria."

A protest movement has been campaigning for overhaul of the regime allied to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned in April.

In echoes of the arguments in neighbouring Sudan which is also undergoing transition throes, Salah said a constitutional void would destroy "the foundations of the Algerian national state".

South Africa MP 'racially abused' at top tourist site

A South African opposition MP Phumzile van Damme want police to take action after she was allegedly racially abused at one of the country's top tourist destinations.

In a video on her Twitter account, Ms van Damme says she got into a row with a white woman at Cape Town's V&A waterfront which has apologised over the incident.

The woman's family then assaulted and insulted Ms van Damme, saying they could do anything "because you're black."

Facebook enters virtual money with Libra

Facebook unveiled plans Tuesday for a new global cryptocurrency called Libra, pledging to deliver a stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion "unbanked" people into the financial system.

The Libra coin plan, backed by financial and the nonprofit Libra Association represents an ambitious new initiative for the world's biggest social network with the potential to bring crypto-money out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

Facebook and its 24 partners released a prototype of Libra as an open source code for developers interested in weaving it into apps, services or businesses ahead of a rollout as global digital money next year.

75 migrants stuck off Tunisia agree to go home

After surviving the perils of illegal migration to Europe 75 migrants have opted to return home after they were rescued off Tunisia in May.

The International Organization for Migration said it would finance the return of the 64 Bangladeshis, nine Egyptians, a Moroccan and a Sudanese citizen, who left Zuwara in Libya in late May.

Red Crescent officials said the migrants, 32 of them children, would start returning home from Thursday.

US teen kills friend after being promised $9m online

An American teenager has been charged with conspiring to murder her "best friend" after a man she met online offered her $9 million to commit the crime.

According to investigators, Denali Brehmer, an 18-year-old from Alaska, was recruited to kill her friend by a man a few years her elder, 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller of Indiana.

Court documents say that they discussed a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska before Schilmiller promised Brehmer $9 million for videos or photographs of the attack.

Record 70.8 million people displaced at end of 2018

More than 70 million people were displaced from their homes last year, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) shows in its annual global trends report released Wednesday.

The agency said the tally was conservative because the number of refugees from Venezuela had not been fully captured but still marked doubling of refugees in two decades.

In 2017, 68.5 million had been displaced by violence or persecution with surging ethnic-fuelled displacement in Ethiopia also accounting for the dislocation.

Anadarko to invest $25 billion in Mozambique gas project

US energy firm Anadarko plans to invest $25 billion in developing offshore gas reserves in the north of Mozambique, the government said on Tuesday.

President Felipe Nyusi said after a meeting with Anadarko executives the Dolphin Tuna liquified gas project would start production in 2024 with an estimated output of 12 million tonnes.

Anadarko's investment would be the largest in the history of Mozambique which discovered 5,000 billion cubic meters of LNG off the northern Cabo Delgado province in 2011.

British Airways owner orders 200 Boeing 737 MAXs

International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, said on Tuesday it had ordered 200 of Boeing's 737 Max planes which were grounded after two clashes killed 346 people between October and March.

The two companies have signed a letter of intent for the purchase worth $24 billion at list prices although AIG said it had secured "a substantial discount".
IAG, whose airlines also include Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, has traditionally gone flown Airbus single-aisle jets.

EU to miss Paris accord 2030 coal target

The EU said Tuesday that eight of its 28 member countries aim to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030, triggering charges it is missing the mark under the 2015 Paris climate deal.

EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said France intends to phase out coal by 2022, Italy and Ireland by 2025 and Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Finland by 2030.

The eight countries account for a fifth of total installed coal capacity in the EU which was to have full phase out by 2030 under the Paris accord.