Daily Archives: January 25, 2018


ADDIS ABABA, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel arrived Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from Davos, Switzerland, where he had attended the 2018 World Economic Forum being held in the Swiss resort this week.

Messahel is leading the Algerian delegation to the 32nd session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council, to be held Thursday and Friday in Addis Ababa.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for African foreign ministers to start the preparation and finalization of documents to be submitted to the heads of State and Government during their 2018 summit here on Sunday and Monday.

The main issues to be discussed by the Executive Council, made up of foreign ministers, are AU reform, the state of peace and security in Africa and the implementation of Agenda 2063, the AU’s 50-year continental development .”

Messahel will also take part in several ministerial meetings, including that of the Committee of Ten on the reform of the UN Security Council and the monitoring committee on the implementation of the Agenda 2063, the 50-year continental development blueprint.

The Algerian foreign minister is scheduled to chair a session of the Ministerial Council to discuss the scale of contributions by AU member countries towards the organization’s annual budget.



CAPE TOWN, The taps of the City of Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest metropolis, are expected to run dry sooner than anticipated following a drop in dam levels this week which has brought Day Zero closer.

Unfortunately, due to a drop in the dam levels of 1.4 per cent, Day Zero has, as of today (Tuesday), moved forward to 12 April, 2018, said the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Neilson.

Earlier, before the recent drop in dam levels, Day Zero was set to arrive by April 22, 2018.

Neilson appealed to Capetonians who are not saving water to start doing so. To those of you who are not yet part of the massive water-saving efforts that are under way in Cape Town, we urge you to join friends, neighbours, colleagues and Team Cape Town as a whole in beating back Day Zero, he said.

The Deputy Mayor, however, remained hopeful that if residents pulled their weight, it was still possible to push back Day Zero. Now is the time to do so. We will not be getting second chances, said Neilson, who thanked Capetonians who have been redoubling their efforts to save water.

In preparation for Day Zero, the City is rolling out aggressive pressure management operations across the city.

The City is installing thousands of water management devices on the properties of high users and ensuring that we better our record low overall water loss percentage of 16 per cent as compared with the national average of 36 per cent, he said.

The City said their average first response time to reported leaks and bursts is less than two hours. Our desalination, aquifer and water recycling projects aimed at providing additional water are ongoing but will not provide sufficient supply to help us avoid Day Zero this year. They will, however, help us to become more resilient in weathering our next dry season, said Nielson.


Kids Rescued From Al-Shabab Sent to Radical Rehab

Somalia’s government says it will send 35 children rescued from an Al-Shabab camp last week to rehabilitation centers for ex-militants before reuniting them with their families.

Abdirashid Ibrahim Mohamed directs the government program to re-integrate former Al-Shabab foot soldiers and low-risk defectors from the group back into Somali society.

He told VOA’s Somali service the children must have religious lessons aimed at guiding them away from radical views of Islam.

We are still investigating how long the kids, who are under 18 years old, have been in the Al-Shabab indoctrination center and how far they were radicalized. We should tell them the right way of life before they reunite with their families,” he said.

He said U.S. and Somali special operations forces recovered the 35 children during a raid on an al-Shabab camp at Jamea Jidyale, a village approximately 70 kilometers west of Mogadishu.

The next day, the operation was reported by VOA, quoting then Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman, who has since replaced Thabit Abdi Mohammed as mayor of Mogadishu.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military confirmed the January 18th operation and reported the forces that took part in the mission.

In a statement AFRICOM said, During the mission, the Somali National Security Forces received hostile fire and in the ensuing firefight, five ‘enemy combatants’ were killed and six were wounded. Some of those killed appear to have been under the age of 18.

Somali government officials involved in the operation said U.S. soldiers provided advice and the helicopters that transported the Somali forces to the raided camp, but did not fire their weapons during the operation.

The U.S. military has grown increasingly active in Somalia, targeting Al-Shabab leaders through airstrikes and helping to train federal government soldiers.

The African Union mission in Somalia, AMISOM, has said it will withdraw its troops by 2020 and leave security in the hands of Somali authorities.

Source: Voice of America

From Refugee to Chef: Berlin Film Festival to Showcase Syrian Cook

BERLIN A Syrian refugee will be cooking dishes from Damascus and Aleppo for VIP guests at the opening of the Berlinale International Film Festival next month.

The choice of Malakeh Jazmati reflects the mission of the festival, which was set up in 1951 to showcase films that address urgent social and political issues in the world.

The festival devoted its program to refugees and migration in 2016 after Europe’s politics were convulsed by the arrival of more than a million refugees from the Middle East and Africa, including Jazmati herself.

At the Berlin film festival opening reception in February, the 30-year-old chef, who runs a catering business in the German capital with her husband, will be cooking for more than 400 guests attending the opening reception.

“When I went and saw it’s not just any film festival but the Berlinale, I was more than happy,” she said of her reaction on learning she had been chosen. “It’s like getting to fulfill your dreams.”

She will be working under the management of Berlinale’s chef Martin Scharff and cooperating with the Lebanese-American cook Barbara Massaad, known for her Syrian cookbook. Her menu will range from Aleppo stuffed aubergine to a Damascene “Syrian pasta”, seasoned with tamarind sauce and pomegranate molasses.

“People think about our food that we only have falafel and hummus, but after that they see it’s a very big kitchen,” Jazmati told Reuters TV.

The festival will open on February 15 with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated film “Isle of Dogs,” staring Hollywood actors such as Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton.

Source: Voice of America

COGTA confirms transfer of Director-General Mashwahle Diphofa to Department of Traditional Affairs

The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), confirms the transfer of the Director General of Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Mr Mashwahle Diphofa to the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA).

Having led the DPSA for a number of years and being knowledgeable about how government works, Mr Diphofa will bring a wealth of experience and thus ensuring that there is no gap when the current Director-General of DTA departs. We believe that as a seasoned administrator, he will continue the work we have started of building a strong and sustainable institution of traditional leadership in South Africa as envisaged in our constitution, said Minister van Rooyen.

Mr Diphofa will fill the position of Director-General of the DTA, which is currently held by Dr Charles Nwaila. Dr Nwaila is retiring on 31 January 2018 after 40 years of dedicated service to the people of South Africa. Since his appointment at the DTA in 2010, Dr Nwaila has been a catalyst and led the transformation of the institution of traditional leadership.

Minister Des van Rooyen will release a comprehensive media statement on the role played by Dr Nwaila in the public service and wishing him well in all his future endeavors.

Source: Government of South Africa