Egyptians recall day of Beir Al Abed mosque attack

One week after the worst bloodshed of its kind in Egypt’s modern history, residents in a village in North Sinai on Friday (December 1) recalled the attack at Al Rawdah mosque, in which more than 300 people were gunned down by assailants carrying the black flag of Islamic State.

The mosque in Bir al-Abed was packed with hundreds of worshippers for Friday (November 24) prayers when gunmen in military-style uniforms and masks appeared in a doorway and at windows. At least 305 people including 27 children were killed in the attack, in which a bomb was detonated and militants gunned down fleeing worshippers, state media and witnesses report.

It was a huge toll for a tiny village. Tribal leader Ibrahim el-Menaie, told Reuters via social media that it has a population of only 800. Egyptians were stunned because the attack was directed at a mosque – a rarity in the country’s history of Islamist insurgencies.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, but since 2013 Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State affiliate in the mainly desert region, and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

Africans in diaspora urged to invest more in home countries

They might appear to be far away from home but they still haven’t forgotten their roots. In 2016, Africa received more than $60 billion (according to ADB in share transfers from diaspora .This has enormously contributed to the economic development.

“The image of Africa has partly adjusted mainly through Africans in Diaspora. Added to this is the contribution from diaspora on the economic plan. Today the transfers of migrants exceed in value the public aid to development. There is a clear plan on value from these contributions by diaspora,” said Alioune Sall, an African in the diaspora.

Through innovation, broad based networks, and tried and true outreach, diaspora are taking their love for Africa and applying it with ingenuity for good.

“It is essential to change the future Africa to focus on what works. If it does not show what works, We shoulld not envy the other countries since it will be a pity. It is important that we, from the diasporas (because there is not that a African diaspora, there are several), it is also necessary that we can support Africa,since we are 54 countries. We must support,” said Sonia Rolland, Senegalese living in France.

Diaspora entrepreneurs and organizations are widening spaces in the continent for African-led development and growth. Initiatives such as Villages in Action, Shea Yeleen, Sierra Visions, Face Africa, and Akili Dada are just a few of the successful diaspora efforts launched in Africa with local communities.

UN calls for elections in Libya by end of 2018

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UN Support Mission in Libya Ghassan Salame said Wednesday that the mission is working on holding elections in Libya before the end of 2018.

Salame made his remarks in a meeting with representatives of tribes, civil society, academics and activists in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

The mission proposed an action plan for Libya in September that includes amendment of the current UN-sponsored political agreement, holding a UN-sponsored national conference for all of Libya’s political factions, adopting a constitution, and finally election of a president and a parliament.

Representatives of Libya’s eastern-based House of Representatives and the Tripoli-based Higher Council of State have recently held UN-sponsored negotiation meetings in Tunisia to amend the agreement.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition ever since the uprising of 2011 that toppled former leader Gaddafi’s regime. The country is plagued with political division and unrest.

First Cameroonian animation film draws movie lovers [no comment]

Minga and the broken spoon is Cameroon’s first animated movie, and made its first big screen debut over the weekend to critical acclaim. The movie is based a on popular children’s book that tells the story of a young orphan named Minga, who is chased from her family home by her step-mother because she broke a spoon.

ECOWAS pledges improvement of women’s access to land

Women account for up to 80 percent of small holder farmers but gender inequalities make it difficult for them to access land in Africa.

The second ordinary session of the ECOWAS parliament sought solutions to this challenge, under the theme; promoting gender equality in agricultural investments on the continent.

In the face of famine and starvation, empowering women in this sector can increase yields on farms by up to 30 percent – FAO, UN.

The Economic Community of West African States, OXFAM, and the Food Agriculture Organization say they want to enhance policies, with special attention to the need to close the gender gap in access to land.

“Normally the rule should be that women inherit one part and men inherit two parts, so if that was a plate women in those countries should have at least 33 percent of land ownership but it’s not the case”, says Tacko Ndiaye, senior officer for gender equality at FAO.

“In many of our countries the percentage of land ownership for women might be 10 percent, 14 percent, so for me it’s not about the religion and culture, it’s more about mindsets and the commitments to achieving these goals which will require women’s more equal access to land”.

It is a problem that mostly affects rural women but if poverty is dealt away with and equity among farmers is achieved, more can be got from agriculture alone.

According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, agriculture accounts for one third of gross domestic product GDP growth in Africa.

Russia 2018 World Cup draw: Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia in ‘tough’ groups

Five African teams were part of 32 others that were entered into a draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The five African teams are Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia.

It turns out that from the final draw, Morocco and Nigeria will not have it easy in their respective groups as they face top footballing sides.

Nigeria will be facing former World Champions, Argentina. The Super Eagles recently beat them by 4 – 2 in a friendly. Aside Argentina, they will face Croatia and Iceland in Group D.

Over in Group B, Morocco for their part will face current European champions Portugal and former World Champions Spain as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Tunisia will have work to do as they come up against Belgium, England and Panama in Group G.

Egypt in Group A will put aside all diplomatic engagements when they come up against Saudi Arabia in the group stages. They will also have to deal with the home fans when they face hosts Russia. The other team in the group being Uruguay.

In Group H, Senegal seems to have a quiet group as well. They will face Poland, Colombia and Japan as Sadio Mane and his charges look to do better than the Teranga Lions’ last outing.

Russia – Saudi Arabia – Egypt – Uruguay

Portugal – Spain – Morocco – Iran

France – Australia Peru – Denmark

Argentina – Iceland – Croatia – Argentina

Brazil – Switzerland – Costa Rica – Serbia

Germany (reigning champions) – Mexico – Sweden – Korea Republic

Belgium – Panama – Tunisia – England

Poland – Senegal – Colombia – Japan


1. EGYPT – The Pharaohs are making their first world finals appearance since Italy 1990
2. MOROCCO – The Atlas Lions topped African zone Group C in qualification
3. NIGERIA – The Super Eagles have only missed one tournament since their debut at USA 1994
4. SENEGAL – In their debut at Korea/Japan 2002, the Lions of Teranga reached the quarter-finals
5. TUNISIA – At Argentina 1978, the Carthage Eagles became the first African team to win a World Cup match


In 2014 Africa sent five teams – Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Algeria. One north Africa and four from sub Saharan Africa.

Four years on, only Nigeria is returning to the showpiece. There are joined by another West Africa side, Senegal.

The three other teams are all from North Africa – Egypt (record African Cup of Nations holders), Morocco and Tunisia. Football watchers are already talking of a power shift.



BELGIUM – The Belgians went undefeated in topping UEFA Group H in qualifying
CROATIA – The Croatians finished third in their World Cup debut at France 1998
DENMARK – The Danes secured qualification with a comfortable play-off win over Republic of Ireland
ENGLAND – The Three Lions have made the finals 14 times from 16 qualifying campaigns
FRANCE – Les Bleus are making a sixth-straight world finals appearance
GERMANY – The defending world champions registered a 100 per cent record in qualifying
ICELAND – The smallest country by population ever to qualify for a World Cup
POLAND – The Poles finished third at Germany 1974 and Spain 1982
PORTUGAL – A Seleção das Quinas are making a fifth-straight finals appearance
RUSSIA – As the Soviet Union, the World Cup hosts finished fourth at England 1966
SERBIA – The Serbs topped UEFA Group D in qualification with only one defeat
SPAIN – Champions in 2010, Spain’s World Cup debut was at Italy 1934
SWEDEN – The Swedes were runners-up as World Cup hosts in 1958
SWITZERLAND – The Swiss have reached the quarter-finals on three occasions


ARGENTINA – The two-time champions appeared at the inaugural edition at Uruguay 1930
BRAZIL – A Seleção were the first team to qualify after hosts Russia
COLOMBIA – Los Cafeteros coach Jose Pekerman was in charge of his native Argentina at Germany 2006
PERU – The Peruvians return to the world finals for the first time in 36 years
URUGUAY – La Celeste were world champions as hosts in 1930 and at Brazil 1950


COSTA RICA – Los Ticos impressed at Brazil 2014, making the quarter-finals
MEXICO – The Mexicans lost just once in qualifying for Russia 2018
PANAMA – The central Americans are making their World Cup debut in Russia


AUSTRALIA – The Socceroos are making their fifth appearance at a World Cup
IRAN – Team Melli were the first Asian team to qualify for Russia 2018
JAPAN – The Japanese have made the Round of 16 on two occasions
KOREA REPUBLIC – The Taeguk Warriors have been a World Cup ever-present since 1986
SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudis made their World Cup debut at USA 1994


Great to have Pele at the #WorldCupDraw! ?????— #WorldCupDraw ? (FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2017


While the methods may have changed over time, the #WorldCupDraw has always teed up a fascinating #WorldCup!— #WorldCupDraw ? (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2017



The October 2017 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has been used to allocate the qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia, who take the top seeding spot.

The four pots will be emptied by drawing the eight teams they each contain one by one and placing them in the eight groups of four teams (Groups A to H).

Hosts Russia will occupy the top position in Group A, while the seven other seeds will occupy the top spots in Groups B to H. The positions of all the other teams (from pots 2, 3 and 4) will be decided when they are drawn.

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1⃣ HOUR TO GO! ??

? The #WorldCupDraw excitement is really kicking in now, with the State Kremlin Palace filling up!

? Tell us what you think the toughest group would be! ?— #WorldCupDraw ? (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2017


It takes place in a concert hall at the State Kremlin Palace, which has a capacity of 6,000. The hall has been graced by some of the world’s leading singers and performers, among them Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias and Elton John but today its is hosting the crème de la crème of world football.


France’s Laurent Blanc
England’s Gordon Banks
Brazil’s Cafu
Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro
Uruguay’s Diego Forlan
Argentina’s Diego Maradona
Spain’s Carles Puyol

Russia’s Nikita Simonyan

NOTE: All eight with the exception of Forlan and Simonyan are World Cup winners.

ECOWAS: Gender equality in agriculture [The Morning Call]

‘Promoting gender equality in Agricultural Investments in Land in Africa’. It’s the theme of the 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament that kicked off yesterday November 30 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The two-day conference aims to strengthen the policy dialogue on securing women land rights in Africa and improve land governance and food security in West Africa. Our Africanews journalist Jerry Bambi is also attending this conference and he was able to speak to us earlier on in the programme.

FIFA insists Russia WC 2018 draw will not be rigged [Sport]

Russia World Cup 2018 Draw

FIFA has insisted the 2018 World Cup draw will not be rigged.

The move to reassure football fans follows last year’s claims by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter that hot and cold balls were used to fix some European level fixtures.

Dealing with hooligans is one of the great challenges that Russia faces during the World Cup next year.

As the country prepares to host the event, at least one Russian hooligan, a supporter of Spartak Moscow, was arrested in Bulgaria on Sunday after clashes between supporters during a CSKA Sofia match.

The Russians have a reputation of kicking people instead of kicking a football. Remember the headline-grabbing brawls in the southern French city of Marseille in June 2016 during the Euro 2016, when Russian and English fans clashed in what became the worst violence to hit international football since the 1998 World Cup that was also held in France.

World Rugby Sevens Series

The first round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is almost upon us as 16 teams get set to compete at Dubai and the road to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 begins in earnest.

Action kicks off today in the Dubai desert up to the final day on Sunday.

South Africa, Uganda and Kenya will be representing the continent. The Ugandans have been pooled alongside France, Australia and Samoa. Kenya have Canada, Scotland and the USA. The Blitz Boks of South Africa are in a tricky group alongside New Zealand, England and Wales.

Follow @Muisyo_

AU, EU leaders call for immediate evacuation for migrants in Libyan detention centers

More than 700 thousand migrants held in Libya are to be evacuated urgently.

The question of migrants and their mistreatment dominated the just concluded AU-EU Summit, where this immediate move to save the mostly sub Saharan Africans held in Libyan detention camps was agreed on Thursday.

While Morocco has offered to facilitate air transport for the return trips, African and European leaders want networks of smugglers destroyed.

“We decided to set up Special Forces in some countries to fight against the traffickers and then to seize the accounts,” Alpha Condé, President of Guinea.

“President Deby seized 18 billion, president Issoufou even more, and President Macron informed us that there are also accounts in the Middle East, Dubai and the secretary general of the UN said there are also accounts in Europe”, Condé added.

Migration is a joint responsibility. Our common duty to step up fight against unscrupulous criminals and bring them to justice. Worst we can do is to start blame game. This also applies to situation in Libya, which needs both European and African help. eucopresident— EU Delegation to AU (EUtoAU) November 30, 2017

When Europe was asked to open its doors to young Africans during the summit, the European Council president, Donald Tusk, said they were already helping.

“I think to say today that there are not enough legal ways of immigration is not correct. Last year, the European Union countries issued almost 3.4 million residence permits to nationals of developing countries and Middle East and Africa citizens are the main beneficiaries”.

Tusk made a reminder that “Europe accounts for 45 percent of foreign students in the world, including those living in Africa.”

An alternative solution discussed is the need provide jobs and financial support for youth.

The situation of migrants in Libya has topped discussions at the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, but their safety and repatriation depends on how fast the African and European leaders will act.

Cameroonian migrants return from Libya, as EU, and AU agree on emergency plan

At least 250 Cameroonians returned home from Libya, days after media reports of migrants being traded as slaves in Libya sent shockwaves through sub-Saharan A Africa and angered the world.

The report showed footage of an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, a chilling echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade of centuries past.

Many of those who returned to Cameroon’s capital Yaounde included men, and children, who like many migrants end up in Libya, as they attempt the voyage across the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

Faced with poverty and unemployment, many left to seek a better life abroad, but have returned with dashed dreams, and harrowing tales of abuse, being captured by traffickers and traded like livestock by their captors.

“Libya is a country at war, despite the semblance of peace. A black person is seen as merchandise, he is sold like chicken. Migrants on their way to Libya are kidnapped. They are kidnapped when they are walking and sold for as little as 300 Libyan Dinars (216 USD),” said one returning migrant, Chancelier Deuda.

“Do not take the Libyan route, it’s not a good idea and you definitely won’t like what you will find. You will meet people who, I don’t even know how to qualify them, but those Arabs – and I am speaking from experience since I have in different parts of Maghreb region, but those Arabs are not people who should live on earth,” added another returning migrant Emile Monkam.

The migrant return was by the International Office of Migration (IOM), with each migrant given 117 USD to help them resettle to their villages.

Reports of abuses against African migrants also dominated a two-day Africa-Europe summit, as European Union leaders met their African Union counterparts in Ivory Coast this week.

On the last day of the summit, officials said that the EU, UN and AU agreed to an emergency plan to dismantle people-smuggling networks and repatriate stranded migrants in an effort to ease a human rights disaster in Libya.

Libya splintered along political, ideological and tribal lines during and after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that unseated former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Six years after Gaddafi’s fall, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.

Libya’s government, which has promised to investigate reports of slave auctions, agreed to grant U.N. agencies access to migrant camps in areas under its control, German officials said.

Some 600,000 migrants have reached Italy by sea from North Africa since 2014, most of them leaving from Libya’s western coast. More than 12,000 have died while trying.

Fears of a humanitarian crisis as Congolese refugees continue to flee into Zambia

Zambia fears a looming humanitarian crisis after more than 6,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) entered its territory.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than one million forced to flee their homes in the DRC’s eastern Kasai region since the start of an insurrection nearly a year ago by the Nsapu militia, which is demanding the withdrawal of military forces from the area.

More than 6,000 refugees were registered at the Kenani transit by November, 100 kilometers from the border with Congo and 1,400km from the capital city, Lusaka.

Some of the new arrivals linger close to the border to wait for other members of their families to cross over.

Local reports citing arrivals through other entry points say there are more than 8,000 Congolese refugees in Zambia, with the number expected to reach 10,000 in weeks.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, Zambia currently hosts over 60,000 refugees and other asylum seekers, mostly from Angola, the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.

Kenani transit has been divided into two locations Kenani 1 and Kenani 2, which was set up to decongest Kenani 1 and receive new arrivals.

“Water is being provided, health faculties have been erected at the transit center with the help of the Ministry of Health, and we have partners like UNICEF, we also have partners like World Vision that are on the ground trying to ensure that all necessary requirements to prevent a crisis are being carried out,” said UNHCR Official Abdon Mawere.

Aid agencies say 60 percent of refugees arriving in Zambia are children, many showing signs of malnutrition, malaria, respiratory problems, dysentery and skin infections.

Kaimba Kazili lives in Kenani Transit Center with her husband and children. She said she had been fleeing war in eastern Congo since she was a young girl, giving birth to her children in different camps within Congo as the family moved.
“Our children were supposed to be in school from September until December when they close but we are worried that they are being left behind, many will stray,” she said.

The insurgency in the east poses the most serious threat yet to the rule of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila, whose refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December was followed by a wave of killings and lawlessness across the vast central African nation.

Analysts fear growing violence in Congo could spark a repeat of the conflicts between 1996-2003, mostly in the east, in which millions died, mainly from hunger and disease.

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