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Trump deeply disturbed by Congo, South Sudan violence
21 September 2017, 6:06 AM

United States President Donald Trump says he is deeply disturbed by the on-going violence in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He was speaking at a luncheon hosted for African leaders on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

President Trump called on petroleum company Sasol to continue investing in the United States, in addition to some eyebrow-raising off the cuff remarks about Africa’s business potential.

It was an opportunity to interact with African leadership, with 16 heads of state including President Jacob Zuma in attendance, and predictably the conversation turned to the hotspots that undermine the continent’s collective progress.

Trump said: “We are closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the on-going violence in South Sudan and in the Congo. Millions of lives are at risk and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance but real results in halting this catastrophe will require an African led peace process and a sincere really sincere commitment of all parties involved. And I know you’re working on that and you’re working on that very hard to assist in these efforts. I’m sending Ambassador Nikki Haley to Africa to discuss avenues of conflict and resolution and most importantly prevention.”

This was by far the most significant engagement that President Trump has had with Africa’s leaders since taking office in January; an opportunity to talk about the fight against terrorism and the continent’s business opportunities.

“Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money. But it does, it has a tremendous business potential and representing huge amounts of different markets. And for American firms it’s really become a place that they have to go that they want to go.”

With his America First policy front and centre, President Trump called on a particular Secunda-based petroleum company to invest more in the United States.

“We also hope that African firms like the company Sasol consider making investments in the United States. Sasol, as an example, is building a $9 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana, which will bring new jobs to the state and, really, hardworking Americans will be manning those jobs.”

Trump added that he hoped to extend economic partnerships with countries committed to self–reliance and fostering job creation both in Africa and the United States.

Thursday 21 September 2017 06:06

Click below to watch videos:

Sherwin Bryce-Pease

Lesotho govt criticised for shutting down a private station
20 September 2017, 8:30 PM

The government of Lesotho has been under heavy criticism for shutting down a private station that is seen to be anti-government.
However, the government has defended its decision citing the current security volatility as the sole purpose of its drastic action on Moafrika FM Radio.

Pictures of the Chief Editor of Moafrika FM, Candy Ramainoane being wrestled to the ground began circulating on social media recently.

Ramainoane had attended a case on which his station had been temporarily shut down by government for broadcasting “inciting statements”.

“Before the closing of Parliament, Thabane had made an announcement in Parliament, two times, on the 24th and 26th, that he was giving latitude to the police that they should beat suspects whenever they were out of sight. Once they come back to the public, they should stop beating those people and smile with them as if nothing has happened,” says Ramainoane.

The government says it has no interest in censoring media, but will take action if the Kingdom’s security is at stake.

“We pointed out to him what exactly (are) the issues and actions he undertook and what we considered as a threat to the security of the country. Then, we asked him to kindly avoid those issues, especially when what you are talking about is not the truth about what happened. It is one thing for us to defend a truthful interpretation of events, but when somebody presents something completely false, but is so sensational, that is going to cause distress in the general population with the situation in the country. We have to take an action and put things right,” says Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Joang Molapo.

Amnesty International and other organizations issued strong statements that allegations on Moafrika were “spurious and nothing more than a witch-hunt” while others say Moafrika FM needs to be more responsible in its reporting.

The station was suspended for 72 hours, but is yet to appear before court to account for its remarks that government deems threatening to stability of the country.

Wednesday 20 September 2017 20:30

Rapelang Radebe

Kenya’s Supreme Court explains why it nullified elections
20 September 2017, 2:41 PM

The Supreme Court in Kenya is giving a detailed ruling on why it nullified the 8 August presidential elections, which it declared neither transparent nor verifiable.

The court has so far said Kenya’s Electoral and Boundaries Commission failed to verify the results of the election before announcing them.

The commission was also unable to explain what had happened to the results from over 11 000 polling stations which were required by law to be sent to tallying stations.

The court says it was forced to accept claims by the opposition that the computer system had been hacked and data interfered with, after the commission refused to allow full access to its computer system. Click below for more on the story:

Wednesday 20 September 2017 14:41

Sarah Kimani

Lesotho govt accused of media censorship
20 September 2017, 12:55 PM

The Government of Lesotho has been under heavy criticism for shutting down a private radio station that is seen to be anti-government.

But the government has defended its decision citing the current security volatility as the sole purpose of its drastic action on Moafrika FM.

Pictures of the chief editor of Moafrika FM, Candy Ramainoane, being wrestled to the ground began circulating on social media recently.

Ramainoane had attended a case in which his station had been temporarily shut down by government for broadcasting “inciting statements”.

Lesotho gov. Comms min. #Joang_Molapo says they “have no interest in censoring media, but concerned wit security” @Sophie_Mokoena @SABCTVNews

— Rapelang Radebe (@ntateRaps) September 19, 2017

Ramainoane says, “Before the closing of Parliament, Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane, had made an announcement in parliament … on the 24th and 26th that he was giving latitude to the police that they should beat suspects whenever they were out of sight. Once they come back to the public, they should stop beating those people and smile with them as if nothing has happened.”

The government says it has no interest in censoring media, but will take action if the Kingdom’s security is at stake.

Communications, Science and Technology Minister Joang Molapo says, “We pointed out to him what exactly the issues and actions he undertook and what we considered as of threat to the security of the country. Then we asked him to kindly avoid those issues, especially when what you are talking about is not the truth about what happened.”

“It’s one thing for us to defend a truthful interpretations of events, but when somebody presents something completely false [and] is so sensational, that is going to cause distress in the general population, with the situation in the country; we have to take an action and put things right.”

National Director of MISA Lesotho, Tsebo Mat’sasa says, “We are sure that Moafrika has some issues it has to look into … more especially given [the] fact that Lesotho currently, most of the issues and information that people do talk about emanates from the media, and the media handling of such information has to be professional. It has to add value in attempts to build peace in Lesotho and to ensure stability and security in the kingdom of Lesotho.”

Amnesty International and other organizations issued strong statements that allegations on Moafrika were “spurious and nothing more than a witch-hunt” while others say Moafrika FM needs to be more responsible in its reporting.

The station was suspended for 72 hours, but is yet to appear before court to account for its remarks that government deems threatening to and stability of the country.

Wednesday 20 September 2017 12:55

Rapelang Radebe

African leaders address UN on several issues
20 September 2017, 9:21 AM

Several African leaders addressed the United Nations Secretary General Assembly on wide range of issues, including the empowerment of women, the human rights situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, United Nations reform and the tensions on the Korean Peninsular.

Africa’s first women President gave her final address to the General Assembly before she leaves office later this year.

This is what President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia had to say: “Eleven years ago, in September of 2006, I stood before this August body as the newly elected president of the Republic of Liberia, and the first woman to be democratically elected as head of State on the African continent. When I speak to women in Africa and across the world, I’m humbled by the inspiration drawn from my experience. The next generation must belong to women,” adds Sirleaf.

A visibly slender and somewhat frail Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari drew attention to the plight of Myanmar’s Muslim minority, hundreds of thousands who have fled across the border into Bangladesh.

“We are now confronted by the desperate human rights and humanitarian situations in Yemen and most tragically in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The Myanmar crisis is very reminiscent of what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994. The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what; from all indications is a state-backed programme of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion,” said Buhari.

Wednesday 20 September 2017 09:21

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu was among those who raised the question of UN reform

“The world looks up to this body to encourage dialogue on global challenges in an inclusive manner. This is the only practical way of ensuring meaningful and effective international cooperation. It is therefore, a need to reform the United Nations and Zambia believes that the UN reforms which have been launched will be incomplete without meaningful reform on the Security Council. It is our hope that the reforms will make the Security Council more representative, democratic and accountable to all member states, irrespective of status,” says Lungu.

Uganda’s long-serving President Yoweri Museveni had some advice on how to solve the crisis on Korean Peninsular.

“I will not answer all of them but I will just pose them to you so that you answer them yourselves. I have one question: who would lose if North Korea and South Korea those kith and kin were left alone to discuss their reunification. The Korean nation came into existence ever since 1234AD according to the information I saw on the Internet. Why can’t these people, they are one people, why can’t they discuss their reunification instead of maintaining a divided peninsular and it is our job to manage endlessly that division?,” asks Museveni.

President’s Jacob Zuma, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Hage Geingob of Namibia and Paul Kagame of Rwanda address the Assembly on Wednesday.

Sherwin Bryce-Pease

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