Nov 25, 2017 Last Updated 7:59 AM, Nov 24, 2017


JFile: :read: Unable to open file:

Rwanda has offered to give refuge to around 30,000 African migrants stuck in Libya often in enslaved conditions.

It comes in the wake of a video, released by CNN last week, showing men being auctioned off as farm workers. 

"Given our own history... we cannot remain silent when human beings are being mistreated and auctioned off like cattle," the foreign ministry said.

Hundreds of thousands of Africans travel through Libya every year as they try to make their way to Europe.

They are often held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money.

During Rwanda's 1994 genocide, some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutu were massacred in 100 days while most countries did little to help.

"Rwanda, like the rest of the world, was horrified by the images of the tragedy currently unfolding in Libya, where African men, women and children who were on the road to exile, have been held and turned into slaves," the foreign ministry statement said.

Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said Rwanda was a small country but it would find space.

She told the pro-government New Times newspaper that Rwanda was in talks with African Union (AU) Commission to determine how to intervene and resettle them. 

"What I expect and know is that Rwandans will welcome these people. As Rwandans we are sensitive to people who are helpless and have no way of protecting themselves. It is something that is deep in ourselves, we take pride in human beings," the paper quotes her as saying.

The minister also said negotiations were also continuing with Israel about accommodating African migrants seeking asylum there. 

 Last week, the AU expressed outrage after the footage emerged appearing to show slave markets in Libya.

Youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries were seen being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.

In April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it had gathered evidence of slavery in Libya.

Smugglers hold migrants for ransom and if their families could not pay, they were sold off at different prices depending on their qualifications, an IOM official in Libya said.

Fifa has said that The Gambia's National Sports Council (NSC) must reverse its decision to suspend the executive of the football federation by 27 November.

A letter from football's world governing body says it will take further action, including a possible global suspension, if the deadline is not met.

The NSC is yet to respond to the ultimatum set by Fifa.

On 10 November  the NSC suspended the leadership of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) amid allegations of fraud.

"The suspension is to enable the investigation team to do the investigation without interference from the suspended GFF officials," the NSC said at the time.

In response the GFF denied any wrongdoing and refused to recognise the sanctions.

"Up to date, neither the GFF General Assembly nor Fifa has ever discovered or raised any act of financial fraud by the GFF leadership," a statement read.

The latest letter from Fifa's secretary general Fatma Samoura says attempts have been made to resolve the situation.

"Fifa, including myself, have repeatedly tried to meet during the week from 7 to 12 November 2017, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Henry Gomez, under whose authority the NSC appears to be, in order to discuss the aforementioned matter, but to no avail," she wrote.

"In this context, we remind you that in accordance with Fifa Statutes all member associations, including the GFF, are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from any third party."

Under a global ban Gambian clubs would be prevented from taking part in continental competition and none of the country's national teams would be allowed to play in any Fifa-recognised matches.

The Gambia's women's under-17 team is currently still involved in qualifying for the World Cup.

Any ban could also threaten three-time African Referee of the Year Papa Gassama's participation at the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Emmerson Mnangagwa is to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president, following the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe after 37 years of authoritarian rule.

The former vice-president - who returned from exile on Wednesday - will be inaugurated at Harare's stadium.

His dismissal this month led the ruling Zanu-PF party and the army to intervene and force Mr Mugabe to quit.

The opposition is urging Mr Mnangagwa, who has been part of the ruling elite, to end the "culture of corruption".

The news on Tuesday that 93-year-old Mr Mugabe was stepping down sparked wild celebrations across the country.

It came in the form of a letter read out in parliament, abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him.

In it, Mr Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary.

Neither Mr Mugabe nor his wife Grace have been seen in public since Sunday, and their whereabouts are unknown.

On Thursday, several reports suggested Mr Mugabe had been granted immunity from prosecution.

He is not expected to attend Mr Mnangagwa's inauguration, the BBC's Andrew Harding reports.

The official explanation for Mr Mugabe's absence is that the 93-year-old needs to rest.

But the fact he is not attending is a stark reminder that this is no ordinary transition, our correspondent adds, that despite his official resignation he was forced out by the military.

The ceremony will be at the 60,000-capacity National Sports Stadium in the capital, with organisers calling on Zimbabweans to come and witness a "historic day".

Ahead of the swearing-in, Mr Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to "remain patient and peaceful and desist from any form of vengeful retribution".

He fled to South Africa two weeks ago - only to return home on Wednesday to a hero's welcome.

An Egyptian singer has reportedly been detained for a week after she appeared in a music video in her underwear while suggestively eating a banana.

Shaimaa Ahmed, a 25-year-old known professionally as Shyma, was arrested by Egyptian police on Saturday on suspicion of "inciting debauchery".

It came after the racy video for her song, I Have Issues, sparked outrage in the socially conservative country.

She has apologised to people who took the video "in an inappropriate way".

"I didn't imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack from everyone," she wrote on her now-deleted Facebook page.

In the video, the singer appears in a classroom with several young men.

Standing in front of a blackboard bearing the phrase "Class #69", she proceeds to eat an apple, banana and some crisps in a sexually suggestive manner.

The scene is interspersed with pictures of her wearing lingerie.

"Shyma presents a lesson in depravity to youths," wrote the Youm al-Sabaa newspaper after the video was released.

On Monday, two days after her arrest, the public prosecutor's office ordered that Shyma's detention be extended for a week, Youm al-Sabaa reported. Arrest warrants were also issued for the directors of the video, it said.

Last year, Egyptian courts sentenced three female dancers to six months each in prison after convicting them of inciting debauchery in music videos.

Another singer is meanwhile facing trial for "spreading provocative publicity" because she suggested that drinking from the River Nile could make someone ill.

A lawsuit was filed after video emerged showing Sherine Abdel Wahab being asked at a concert last year to sing Mashrebtesh Men Nilha (Have You Drunk From The Nile?). She responded by saying "drinking from the Nile will get me schistosomiasis" - a disease commonly known as bilharzia.

A purge of high-level officials in Angola by new President Joao Lourenco has been hailed as a victory by those campaigning for change in the country.

His sacking this week of the police boss and intelligence chief follows the dismissal of his predecessor's daughter as head of the state oil firm.

Rapper Luaty Beirao, once jailed for his activism, is quoted as saying these actions were "revolutionary".

Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down as president in September after 37 years.

Mr Lourenco, nicknamed "JLo", was hand-picked by Mr Dos Santos to stand in elections in August - and at the time analysts expected him to maintain the status quo.

The year before he handed over power, Mr Dos Santos appointed his daughter, Isabel dos Santos - Africa's richest woman, to head Sonangol, the state oil company.

But she was fired last week, a move seen as an attempt to weaken the influence of the Dos Santos family.

Mr Beirao told journalists at a music festival in Portugal that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the new president, Portuguese new agency Lusa reports.

"What this man is doing is leaving us stunned," he said.

The rapper, also known by his stage name "Ikonoklasta", was an outspoken critic of Mr Dos Santos's government, calling for a fairer distribution of the country's oil wealth.

He was among 17 people convicted for planning a rebelling against Mr Dos Santos after discussing a book about non-violent resistance at a book club in 2015.

He was sentenced to more than five years in jail, but later released by the Supreme Court after spending about a year in detention.

Capital Tweets

Any data to display

Find Us on Facebook