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New Era Newspaper Thursday July 27, 2017

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16 AFRICA

16 AFRICA Thursday, July 27 2017 | NEW ERA SA concludes successful trade mission to Zambia PRETORIA The trade and investment mission by a 20-member South African business delegation to Zambia had revealed the countless mutually beneficial business opportunities that exist between the two countries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday. Director of Export Promotion at the DTI, Seema Sardha, said: “We are intimately linked with our partners on the continent, hence we ensure that our developmental agendas are interwoven as this relates to market integration as well as industrialisation.” LAGOS Sardha was speaking during the conclusion of the two-day mission that ended in Lusaka, Zambia. The participation of the 20 companies was funded by the DTI. “We need to strengthen our comparative advantages and focus on the implementation commitments made through the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation signed between our countries,” said Sardha. In addition, Sardha said that companies needed to take a long-term view, especially when it came to undertaking business exercises in Africa. “It is imperative that the private sector advances the Zambian president Edgar Lungu commitments made by President Edgar Lungu during the state visit to South Africa last year, towards realising the establishment of regional value chains and manufacturing capabilities on the continent as outlined in Agenda 2063 and the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap,” she said. The mission enabled South African companies to interact with leading private sector entities from agro-processing, agribusiness, infrastructure, President Muhammadu Buhari Case dropped against Nigerian who named his dog ‘Buhari A Nigerian court has struck out a criminal case against a man who named his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Joachim Iroko Chinakwe has been standing trial since August last year in Ota, southwest Nigeria, and admitted naming his pet in honour of the head of state. But his lawyer Ebun-Ola Adegboruwa told AFP: “When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the chief magistrate was angry because of the absence of the prosecuting police officer without notice. “The court also noted the unseriousness of the prosecution and therefore granted the prayer (plea) of the defence counsel to strike out the case for lack of diligent prosecution.” Police had accused textile trader Chinakwe, a southern Christian, of conducting himself in a manner likely to advanced manufacturing, energy, services, tourism infrastructure development and mining and capital equipment. It also presented a platform for SA companies that would like to export value-added products, and form jointventure partnerships in Zambia to engage with their counterparts. The mission went further by identifying the need to create much needed partnerships towards addressing the structural challenges relating to poverty, unemployment and inequality. - Nampa/ANA cause a breach of peace as the president was a northern Muslim. Religion is a constant source of tension in Nigeria and frequently boils over into violence. Chinakwe has denied disrespect, saying in September last year he had “great love and admiration” for the 74-year-old former military ruler. He also revealed he had named his daughter Aisha, after Buhari’s second wife “to further demonstrate my love for the Buhari family.” - Nampa/AFP Egypt squatters lose homes as state seizes land WARRAQ ISLAND Hala Gamal looks at a pile of rubble on Cairo’s Warraq Island – all that’s left of her house after a police operation to evict residents accused of squatting on state land. Gamal, 31, said she had left the Nile island in the capital’s north on July 16 to buy breakfast. She returned to find her home destroyed and her children on the street. As part of a government campaign to reclaim hundreds of thousands of hectares of state-owned land, police stormed the island and demolished several homes, sparking clashes that left one resident dead. The government says about 90,000 people live on the 420-hectare (1,000 acre) island. In a cabinet report, it promised that “those who have contracts and official papers proving land ownership” would not be affected by demolitions. But Gamal said that was not true in the case of her house, where she lived with her husband, his mother and their four children. “I have all the government papers and stamps that confirm that my husband owns the house,” Gamal said. “So why this aggression by the government against simple people like us?” Ferry owner Nasser Ahmed, 47, said the orders were signed just a day before the demolitions were carried out. “They rushed to implement them the following day without sending a single notice (to residents). They demolished two inhabited houses,” he said. Squatters began settling on the island more than 15 years ago, turning what had been agricultural land “into a slum”, according to a cabinet report. In May, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered a campaign to recover stateowned land which had been encroached upon. The authorities said in June that over 800,000 hectares of agricultural and building land had been illegally appropriated, but that the government had retaken control of more than 386,150 hectares. Authorities have carried out similar measures before. In 2012, the military ordered people on Al-Qursaya Island, south of Warraq, to leave their homes as they were in a military zone. According to the cabinet, the authorities made several failed attempts to implement demolition orders on Warraq since 2007. But residents say little has been done to protect their rights. “The government promised not to approach inhabited buildings, but they did,” Yehia al-Maghrabi, who was head of the island’s municipality for 16 years to 2011, told AFP. “Did the state forget its land for 10 whole years?” The state owns up to 25 hectares on the island, mostly agricultural land belonging to the religious endowments ministry and the Agricultural Development Authority, Maghrabi said. Farmers living on the agricultural land are there legally and pay rent to the authorities, he added. The remaining stateowned land is home to some 2,500 people, who pay rent to the ADA, he said. Some of their homes have been there for more than 60 years. In 1998, the Egyptian government issued a decree to classify the island as a nature reserve, a decision Maghrabi derided. “Is it conceivable that there would be a nature reserve with schools, a hospital, a youth centre, a police station, and a municipality?” he asked. Rumours have circulated on social media that the demolitions are meant to make space for a building project. Users published pictures showing designs from 2013 to develop Warraq for commercial purposes. The designs, which had appeared on the website of Emirati-Singaporean company RSB, were removed from the site after the July 16 demolitions. No details were available about who paid for the designs. The government denied the evictions were intended to clear the way for new development. – Nampa/AFP

Thursday, July 27 2017 | NEW ERA WORLD 17 80 percent of Yemen children in need of immediate aid SANAA A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations said on Wednesday. “Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three UN agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a twoday visit. Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. More than two years of fighting between Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels allied with Iran have destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and left millions at risk of famine. The country also faces “the world’s worst cholera outbreak in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis”, with the number of cases expected to reach 600,000 by the end of the year, the agency directors said. The directors of the World Health Organisation, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Food Programme toured both government- and rebel-held areas during their visit. They said they saw “children who can barely gather the strength to breathe” and vital infrastructure damaged or destroyed. International donors pledged .1 billion in aid at a conference earlier this year but only a third of it has been disbursed, the UN said earlier this month. The shortfall has forced aid agencies to redirect their limited resources towards fighting cholera, leaving communities at greater risk of malnutrition. The war in Yemen has killed more than 8,000 people and wounded 44,500 since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the conflict in March 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a sea Photo: Nampa/AFP The forgotten people… A Yemeni girl drinks water collected from a well in an impoverished village on the outskirts of the port city of Hodeidah, on July 23. Amid the relentless Saudi bombing campaign, Yemen has been facing acute water shortages due to drought conditions. and air blockade of rebelheld territory, allowing in only limited UN-supervised deliveries of basic goods. The cholera outbreak has already claimed 1,900 lives since April with 400,000 suspected cases across the country, according to the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The agency chiefs said prognoses had improved as “more than 99 percent of people who are sick with suspected cholera and who can access health services are now surviving”. – Nampa/AFP 26 Afghan soldiers killed in Taliban attack KANDAHAR At least 26 Afghan soldiers have been killed and 13 wounded in a Taliban attack on a military base in southern Kandahar province, the defence ministry said Wednesday, the latest blow to the country’s struggling security forces. The militants “attacked an army camp in Karzali area of Khakrez district of Kandahar last night,” MoD spokesman General Dawlat Waziri said. Afghan soldiers “bravely resisted”, he added, killing more than 80 insurgents. Residents in the area described an hours-long attack launched by a 30-strong convoy carrying “hundreds” of Taliban who assaulted the base from multiple directions. Air support was called in, several residents told AFP. The insurgents claimed the attack via their Twitter account. The resurgent Taliban have been ramping up their campaign against beleaguered government forces, underscoring rising insecurity in the war-torn country during the summer fighting season when the warmer weather tends to spur an increase in militant attacks. Afghan security forces – beset by a high death toll, desertions and non-existent “ghost soldiers” on the payroll – have been struggling to beat back insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014. Casualties among Afghan security forces soared by 35 percent in 2016, with 6,800 soldiers and police killed, according to US watchdog SIGAR. The insurgents have carried out more complex attacks against security forces in 2017, with SIGAR describing troop casualties in the early part of the year as “shockingly high”. In April at least 135 soldiers are believed to have been killed on a base outside the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, one of the deadliest ever Taliban attacks on a military installation. Some sources put the toll as high as 200. While in early March gunmen disguised as doctors stormed the Sardar Daud Khan hospital – the country’s largest military hospital – in Kabul, killing dozens. The Taliban have a heavy presence in poppy-growing Kandahar province and have launched repeated attacks on security forces there, including multiple assaults on military bases in May that killed dozens of soldiers. A recent UN report showed Kandahar, which lies on the border with Pakistan, was also one of the most dangerous places in the country for civilians. More than 70 villagers were kidnapped by the Taliban over the weekend, officials said. Seven were found dead and some 30 returned, while Afghan police have launched a search and rescue operation for the remainder of the missing. Afghan forces now control 59.7 percent of the country, up from 57.2 percent the previous quarter, according to SIGAR. The Taliban and other insurgent groups meanwhile saw their areas of control or influence increase slightly from about 10 percent to 11.1 percent. – Nampa/AFP Tillerson staying on as top US diplomat – official WASHINGTON Top US diplomat Rex Tillerson does not plan to step down, the State Department said Tuesday, quashing reports citing differences with the White House. Since taking the helm of the State Department in February, the former ExxonMobil chair has come under fire for his ultra-low profile, and his plan to slash by 30 percent of the budget of an agency that employs more than 70,000 people in Washington and around the world. CNN reported that Tillerson planned to leave by year’s end, which spokeswoman Heather Nauert flatly denied. “That is false. We have spoken with the secretary. The secretary has been very clear he intends to stay here at the State Department,” she told reporters. “We have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us. He recognises that. He’s deeply engaged in that work.” Pressed about Tillerson’s light schedule in recent days, Nauert said the secretary was “just taking a little time off. “He’s had a lot of work. He just came back from Photo: Nampa/AFP On leave… US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (right) answers a question from the media standing with Yusuf bin Alawi-bin Abdullah, the foreign minister of Oman, inside the Treaty Room at US Department of State July 21 in Washington, DC. that mega trip overseas, as you all well know,” the spokeswoman added, referring to a trip that took Tillerson to the G20 summit in Germany, as well as to Turkey, Ukraine and Gulf countries. “So, he’s entitled to take a few days himself.” Many US ambassadorial and management posts have not been filled, with diplomats and experts fretting they could be next on the budget chopping block. CNN said that among Tillerson’s growing differences with the White House were fresh debates over Iran policy and personnel, as well as President Donald Trump’s chaotic and confusing foreign policy approach. – Nampa/AFP Need Billboard Advertising Space? For Billboard Advertising Call 081 124 3224 | 061 221 758

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