RNW reports that President Barack Obama will release a comprehensive new US Africa strategy on Thursday, seeking to boost trade, strengthen peace and security and bolster democratic institutions.
The blueprint will notably seek to encourage the “stunning” potential of economic growth to lift millions out of poverty in a continent more often associated with famine, poverty and strife, a senior US official told AFP.
The plan will be unveiled nearly three years after Obama, the son of a Kenyan father, laid out his priorities for the often crisis-scarred continent in Ghana, on the sole trip of his presidency so far to sub-Saharan Africa.
Obama directed staff to sketch a new strategy in a four-month process to focus on the multiple challenges of the continent, which include famine, drought and instability, but also to exploit emerging growth potential.
“This strategy commits the United States to be proactive in the face of the numerous challenges and opportunities that we have identified,” the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Tanzania arrests a man suspected of involvement in an attack on a shopping centre in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, last month the BBC reports.
More than 30 people were injured in the blast which the Kenyan authorities say was caused by a bomb.
There had been confusion over its cause – officers first blamed an electrical fault.
Kenyan police say Emrah Erdogan, 24, is a German national of Turkish origin.
They allege he crossed into Kenya early in May from Somalia, and that he had been fighting with the Islamist al-Shabab militia there.
The militant group al-Shabab has repeatedly threatened to stage revenge attacks after Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year.
The Kenyan government accuses the Islamist fighters of being behind various kidnappings on Kenyan soil and of destabilising the border region.
Tunisia’s ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has been given a life sentence in absentia by a military court over the killing of protesters in the country’s revolution last year.
A separate court also jailed him for 20 years for inciting violence and murder.
The exiled ex-leader faces a number of other trials; he has also already been sentenced to dozens of years in jail.
The sentences come as Tunisia’s new government seeks to quell rioting across the country.
The government imposed an overnight curfew in eight areas following the riots, which were sparked by an art exhibition deemed offensive to Islam and saw several police stations set on fire.
It blamed ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists for the unrest, which correspondents say is the worst since Tunisians overthrew Ben Ali early last year.
However the Salafists deny involvement.
Ben Ali’s former Interior Minister, Rafik Belhaj Kacem, was given 12 years.
Ben Ali is now in exile in Saudi Arabia, where fled with his wife in January 2011 after weeks of protests against his rule of more than 20 years
Despite a request from Tunisia’s government for the ex-president to be extradited to stand trial, the Saudis have refused to send him back.
Islamist militants are taking advantage of the chaos in Mali after a recent coup and are said to have control of at least two thirds of the country, CNN reports.
The town of Niafunke, on the banks of the River Niger was one of the initial towns the Tuareg attacked in January, sparking a coup by disgruntled Malian soldiers. The soldiers, running low on ammunition and food in the face of rapid rebel advances, abandoned their northern bases en masse. They felt that political elites in the far-off capital of Bamako had virtually abandoned them.
Into the chaos has stepped Ansar Dine, a Tuareg-led Islamist militant group whose primary objective is to impose sharia law in Mali, and an exodus of well-armed Tuareg from Libya, where many fought for Moammar Gadhafi. No longer welcome in post-Gadhafi Libya, these battle-hardened Tuareg fighters traversed Saharan pistes to return to their homeland in northern Mali, which is known as Azawad in their indigenous language.
Malik, an English teacher from the town, knows just how hard-line the new arrivals are. He said a friend was brutally beaten on a Niafunke street after Salafists caught him with a flask of alcohol in his pocket. Malik also enjoys beer, a cigarette and music — all “vices” abhorred by the Salafists of a movement known as Ansar Dine — so he fled.