Daily Archives: March 16, 2019

Armed Men Kill 9, Including Children, in North Nigeria

LAGOS, NIGERIA Armed men killed nine villagers, including children, and torched homes in northern Nigeria on Saturday, official sources said, the latest attack in a surge of violence in the Kaduna region.

“Kaduna state government has confirmed the killing of nine citizens by criminal elements who attacked Nandu in Sanga [district] in early hours of this morning,” state Gov. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai said on Twitter.

“The security agencies have so far recovered nine corpses, including children. The attackers also burnt several houses in the village,” he added.

Kaduna sits between Nigeria’s majority Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south,

Southern Kaduna is one of many areas blighted by years-long violence between largely Muslim Fulani herders and indigenous Christian farmers over land and water rights.

The clashes have been aggravated by rapid population growth in Africa’s most populous country.

Ethnic, religious turn

The violence has recently taken on an ethnic and religious dimension, with politicians accused of inflaming the violence for political ends.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned the latest violence. He urged all involved “to come to terms with the fact that mutual violence has no winners.”

“No responsible leader would go to bed happy to see his citizens savagely killing one another on account of ethnic and religious bigotry,” he added.

Source: Voice of America

1 Dead in DRC Post-Election Violence

At least one person is reported dead after protests over local elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Members of the ruling Union for Democracy and Social Progress party began demonstrating in the streets Friday to voice displeasure at the results of the vote for regional assembly. The election resulted in a majority going to the opposition Common Front for Congo, the party of long-time president Joseph Kabila.

One police officer was reported killed in the province of Kasai-Oriental.

In Kinshasa, protesters are reported to have attacked the headquarters of Kabila’s party.

Kabila left office in January after an election win by the head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, Felix Tshisekedi.

Friday’s results erode the power held by the Tshisekedi government. The new president had promised to break away from the traditions of Kabila’s 18-year rule.

Source: Voice of America

Pope Says Hopes to Visit South Sudan to Promote Peace

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis has met with the president of South Sudan and told him that he still hopes to visit the country as a sign of closeness to the population and of encouragement for the peace process.

Francis met with President Salva Kiir in the Apostolic Palace on Saturday. Later, the president met with the Vatican secretary of state and foreign minister.

The Vatican said the talks focused on the country’s peace process, the return of refugees and future development.

Francis had wanted to visit South Sudan in 2017 with the archbishop of Canterbury, but security conditions interfered.

Meeting with Kiir, Francis expressed the wish to ascertain the conditions for a possible visit to South Sudan, as a sign of closeness to the population and of encouragement for the peace process.

Source: Voice of America

South Africa: Labour court blocks mine union’s plan for industry-wide strike

RUSTENBURG (South Africa), South Africa’s labour court has rejected a request by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to hold an industry-wide strike covering the platinum and gold sectors, Anglogold Ashanti, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin said.

AMCU has been on strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations since mid-November in a pay dispute. It wanted to extend the strike to at least 11 other mining firms including Anglo American’s gold and platinum operations, Harmony Gold and Lonmin.

We welcome the decision of the court to grant an interdict against the secondary strike action called by AMCU. We maintain that a secondary strike by AMCU would not be in the best interests of our employees or the industry, Anglo American Platinum’s chief executive, Chris Griffith, said.

In a statement, Lonmin confirmed the judgment.

The Johannesburg Labour Court was not immediately available for comment, and AMCU spokesman Manzini Zungu did not respond to requests to confirm the ruling.

In February, the labour court ordered AMCU to suspend its plans for an industry-wide sympathy strike following an application by producers.

Sibanye-Stillwater said last month it could cut nearly 6,000 jobs at its gold mining operations in a potential restructuring plan as above-inflation cost increases to labour and electricity gnawed at its margins.

Job cuts are politically sensitive in Africa’s most industrialised economy, where the unemployment rate is more than 27 percent.

Data on Thursday showed gold production contracted for the 15th month in a row, shrinking by 22.5 percent in January, while platinum production was up 8.8 percent in the same period.

Source: Nam News Network

GAD VALIDATES ITS LAND POLICY CONVERGENCE FRAMEWORK

15 March 2019, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with the African Land Policy Centre based at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, today held a workshop to validate a Framework on harmonised land policies in the IGAD region.

Given that three of IGAD Member States, namely Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda, are also members of the East African Community (EAC), it was decided that the convergence framework for IGAD will be used for learning exchange within the EAC Member States as a whole.

The IGAD harmonization framework seeks to equip Member States with a common reference frame to guide and facilitate the formulation of reliable land policies that guarantee the rights of local communities to securely access land, which is indispensable for attaining social peace and sustainable economic development within the regions. The goal of the Framework is to promote consensus and convergence of national land policies around fundamental values and principles of economic growth, equity, good governance and sustainable management of the environment.

Participants to the one-day validation workshop were Member States representing government agencies in charge of land and other related government departments, and regional experts. Participants were also from the African Union Commission,

the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa institutions, IGAD CSO platform, development partners such as the Swiss Development Agency, and the German Agency for Development GIZ.

In his opening remarks, the Director of Agriculture and Environment Division at IGAD

urged the participants to look critically at the key elements that frame the policy convergence, to ensure that the proposed approaches and methods are implementable and take us closer to developing and shaping land policies in the IGAD Region in a manner that fosters integration and development. This will be a critical element in the implementation of Phase II of the IGAD Land Governance Project, he added.

The specific objectives of this validation workshop were to review the draft report with a view to achieving the following objectives:

validating the information and the underlying analysis presented in the draft report;

building consensus and get inputs on the vision, goal, mission and principles of the framework; the principles of land governance; the criteria of harmonization; and the framework’s implementation plan; and

Agree on way forwards and follow up actions.

The draft report was validated as the workshop closed.

Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development