• Droughts

    As a multiyear drought grinds on in the Southwestern United States, many wonder about the impact of global climate change on more frequent and longer dry spells. As humans emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, how will water supply for people, farms, and forests be affected? Reduced precipitation will increase droughts across southern North America, southern Europe and northeastern South America. But the results show that in Central Africa and temperate Asia—including China, the Middle East, East Asia and most of Russia—water conservation by plants will largely counteract the parching due to climate change.

  • Water security

    Researchers say that by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. In African drylands, it is not a water shortage problem, but an inability to capture water for food and other uses. Israeli scientists help villagers in Ethiopia, Zambia, and Uganda to identify water sources and test water quality – and also better capture and use water which is available.

  • Water security

    The amount of groundwater in Africa is estimated to be over 100 time’s greater than annual renewable freshwater sources in the region. Around one million hand pumps supply groundwater to people in rural Africa. Groundwater is used by around 200 million rural Africans every day because it is a widely available, reliable, and safe source of drinking water. Yet according to a new research paper, although groundwater is critical to Africa’s growth and development, there is currently too little data to effectively manage this critical resource.

  • Land degradation

    Researchers map regional droughts from space which can affect the livelihood of millions of people in West Africa. Soil moisture observations can map land degradation with more accuracy than typical rainfall data as soil moisture directly leads to plant growth. Study shows that the land conditions across much of West Africa have improved between 1982 and2012 based on soil moisture observations.

  • Tunisia

    The Tunisian branch of the radical Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, which advocates Islamic law and wants to unify Muslims into a caliphate, said Saturday it was time to “bury” democracy. “Democracy no longer attracts anyone,” the movement’s politburo chief Abderraouf Amri told its annual conference. “It is time to announce its death and work to bury it.” Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in several countries and Tunisian authorities regularly accuse it of “disturbing public order.” Hundreds of party members took part in the congress near Tunis, praising “the caliphate, savior of humanity” and denouncing “persecution” by the democratic system.

  • Tunisia

    Un metteur en scène agressé, un DJ britannique condamné par contumace à un an de prison, des appels à la fermeture de débits d’alcool. L’image de la Tunisie tolérante, ouverte et progressiste relèvera bientôt du mythe, dénonce cette chroniqueuse tunisienne. C’est bel et bien le verdict surréaliste rendu [le 6 avril] par un tribunal tunisien à l’encontre du DJ britannique ayant mixé, dans une discothèque [à Hammamet, dans le cadre du festival de musique Orbit Festival, du 31 mars au 1er avril], l’appel à la prière. L’artiste est accusé d’outrage public à la pudeur, d’atteinte aux bonnes mœurs et à la morale publique. Comme la cabale menée sur les réseaux sociaux, le harcèlement et les menaces de mort à l’encontre du DJ ne suffisaient pas, le gouverneur, un nidaiste [du parti au pouvoir Nidaa Tounès] notoire, s’est vu investi de la noble mission de défendre la foi bafouée.

  • Uganda

    Uganda has unveiled an eight-year timetable that will see nearly all generals from the bush war era retire. Among those to exit the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) is Gen David Sejusa, who will be retired next year. Two years after the former Coordinator of Intelligence Services walks away from an army with which he has had a love-and-hate relationship for more than three decades, Gen Sejusa (formerly known as Tinyefuza) will be joined in civilian life by police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura, whose year of retirement on the schedule is 2020.

  • South Sudan

    Rebels with the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), allied with rebel leader Riek Machar, on Friday attacked Raja town, the capital of Lol state. SPLM-IO Secretary-General Tingo Peter confirmed his forces now controlled Raja after clashing with government troops. “Since 12 o’clock, we captured Raja, and it is now totally under our control. Even now, our forces are looking for the governor. They are trying to see where he is,” Peter said. Lol Governor Rizik Zachariah Gassan and his entire cabinet fled the area, according to Peter. Peter said the SPLM-IO was asking civilians in Raja to remain calm as their forces combed the town for government soldiers who might be hiding in residential areas.

  • South Sudan

    The South Sudanese government is signing deals with shady wheeler dealers, some of whom may be out to take advantage of Juba’s financial crisis. In less than four months, President Salva Kiir, who is presiding over a cash-strapped economy ravaged by a conflict that is teetering towards genocide, has received offers from agents of established companies, organizations and non-descript financing groups, all dangling deals worth billions of dollars that critics warn will mortgage the country and its resources for generations. Critics in Juba worry that Kiir’s urgent need for cash may push him into the hands of con-men, and that even legitimate companies could take advantage to secure sweet deals for themselves while leaving the country with peanuts.

  • Niger

    Après avoir longtemps épargné le Niger, Boko Haram a commis sa première attaque sur le territoire en février 2015 à Diffa, chef-lieu de la région du même nom, dans le sud-est du pays. Le groupe terroriste a ensuite multiplié ses actions au Niger: attaques et incendies de villages, raids contre des casernes de l’armée, tentatives d’attentats-suicides. Les habitants de 211 villages, soit près de 200 000 personnes, ont dû fuir les exactions de Boko Haram sur les berges de la rivière Komadougou et dans le lit du lac Tchad pour se réfugier sur des sites spontanés le long de la route nationale numéro 1. Selon un décompte établi par les organisations humanitaires, près de 300 personnes ont été tuées par Boko Haram en deux ans au Niger.

  • Cameroon

    Elles ne connaissent pas la cause des explosions qui ont tué leurs enfants. Début mars, ces mères et leur famille, victimes collatérales des violents combats qui opposent les forces gouvernementales à la secte islamiste Boko Haram, dans le nord du Cameroun, à la frontière avec le Nigeria, ont été admises à l’hôpital régional de Maroua. Dans cet établissement, l’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF) et le ministère camerounais de la santé fournissent depuis août 2016 une prise en charge gratuite de la chirurgie d’urgence et des soins postopératoires.


    To many in South African military circles he is the epitome of the professional officer and further testimony to this comes with the renewal of Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi’s contract as MONUSCO Force Commander in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for another year. This was confirmed to this week by Charles Bambara, director of the MONUSCO public information division in Kinshasa, and follows the extension of the mission’s mandate by the UN Security council – albeit with reduced troop numbers – for another year. Mgwebi took up the post at the start of last year after being appointed by then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a year. Bambara told defenseWeb: “General Mgwebi is still in charge as MONUSCO Force Commander. I am not aware of any plan for him to leave the mission soon and, like all staff in a peacekeeping mission, contracts are renewed once a year.”

  • Foreign aid

    As President Donald Trump seeks to cut foreign aid, two U.S. senators are proposing making American food assistance more efficient after meeting with victims of South Sudan’s famine and civil war. Following a visit to the world’s largest refugee settlement in northern Uganda with Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Senator Chris Coons (Delaware) said that the U.S.“can deliver more food aid at less cost” through foreign food aid reform. The United States spent roughly $2.8 billion in foreign food aid last year, and is the world’s largest provider of humanitarian assistance. But current regulations require most food aid to be grown in the U.S. and shipped under an American flag.

  • Kenya

    Kenya may soon export 100,000 workers to Saudi Arabia if negotiations between the two countries bear fruit, while Qatar is willing to open its market for Kenyan meat. These are some of the wins the government achieved when it received high-profile visitors from the two countries this week. The Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was on a one-day state visit to Kenya on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia’s Commerce minister Majed bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi led a delegation of seventy people from the private sector and government officials for talks with Nairobi on Wednesday. Resolutions seen by the Sunday Nation show that Saudi Arabia and Kenya agreed to work together on a number of issues.

  • CAR

    At a ceremony this month, the U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic turned over the keys to four cargo trucks to the national army. It was the first installment of $8 million worth of nonlethal assistance that is expected to include sixteen more trucks and communications equipment. “Essentially, we want to help the various processes that will allow this country that has known some really difficult times to pull out of that crisis and move into something sustainable, something safer for the region and ultimately safer for the American people as well,” U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Hawkins said. “Because if there is glaring instability, even in a place that is remote like C.A.R., that does not serve American interests.”

  • Ghana

    Ghanaians were uneasy watching members of a vigilante group loosely affiliated with the ruling party storm a court to free thirteen members standing trial for assault late last week. The Delta Force is just one of a handful of groups responsible for commandeering public facilities since New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader Nana Akufo-Addo won December’s presidential polls. In March, more than 200 Delta Force vigilantes attacked a regional government building in an attempt to force a senior official out. Described as “macho men” in Ghana, vigilante groups like the Delta Force campaign on behalf of political parties. In return, they expect jobs. With names like “Aluta Boys” (wrestling boys), “Pentagon”, “Al Qaeda,” or “Al Jazeera,” members of the more than twenty vigilante groups in Ghana tend to come mostly from poor backgrounds.

  • Mali

    Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a new government last week, with most positions stocked with loyalists to help him prepare for a re-election bid next year. The government, announced in a presidential decree, includes ten new ministers and twenty-five holdovers from the previous cabinet. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, a former defense minister and close Keita ally, was handed the key post of minister of territorial administration, charged with organizing presidential and parliamentary elections late next year.

  • Burkina Faso

    There have been about twenty terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso since April 2015, when a Romanian citizen was abducted in Tambao on Burkina Faso’s north-east border with Mali and Niger. More than seventy people were killed in these attacks. Most of the attacks occurred in the Sahel region. They have been claimed or attributed to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)’s al-Mourabitoun brigade, and two groups linked to Ansar Dine – the Katiba Macina (active in central Mali) and Katiba Khalild Ibn Walid (which initially operated in the Sikasso region, southern Mali). In late 2016, a local actor began to launch terrorist attacks in the country. Known as Ansarul Islam, this group is structured around Malam Ibrahim Dicko, a radical Islamist preacher.

  • Morocco

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks to resolve the decades-old Western Sahara conflict, saying negotiations should address proposals from both Morocco and the separatist movement — the Polisario Front. Repeated UN efforts have so far failed to bring the two sides to agree to a settlement over the disputed territory. Spain left the territory in 1975. The Polisario says the land belongs to the Sahrawi people, while Morocco regards it as an integral part of the kingdom. The UN negotiated a cease-fire in 1991, but a permanent political agreement has been elusive. “I intend to propose that the negotiating process be relaunched with a new dynamic and a new spirit,” Guterres said in a report to the Security Council.

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