2018 African Headlines that raised the brows

Johannesburg Dec 19; As 2018 reaches to the end with each day that goes by, the African continent has experienced a lot of moments from the most turmoil to the happiest of these. It was a challenging for both the continent and the rest of the globe. Lets looks at some highlights that had societies eyes brows raised as we will look at the year as a sight of memories in our minds and documented.

          Deadly Air Pollution Shortens Lives By Nearly 2 Years – Researchers

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Air pollution, caused largely by burning fossil fuels, is cutting global life expectancy by an average of 1.8 years per person, making it the world’s top killer, researchers said on Monday.

The tiny particles ingested from polluted air shorten life more than first-hand cigarette smoke, which can reduce it by 1.6 years, and are more dangerous than other public health threats such as war and HIV/AIDS, they said.

The University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) shows people in parts of India, the world’s second-largest country by population, could live 11 years less due to high levels of air pollution.

Brain Disease Affects 99% Of NFL Players Research Reports

The degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been diagnosed in 110 of 111 former NFL players whose brains were donated for research, according to an updated study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday.

In total, CTE was diagnosed in 87% of 202 former football players — including high school, college, NFL, Canadian Football League and semipro. The study, the largest conducted into the potential link of brain trauma in football and CTE, was led by researchers at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Will 2019 Bring Peace Or Famine? South Sudan Marks Five Years Of War

LONDON, Dec 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As South Sudan’s civil war enters its sixth year, conflict has lessened following a peace deal but violence prevents 1.5 million people receiving aid and famine is possible in 2019.

Despite a fragile accord signed by the government and rebel groups in September, the world’s youngest country is awash with weapons and riven with ethnic grievances, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence and cycle of revenge.

A Minute Of Silence For Victims Of Nigeria’s Epidemic Of Violence

Men march along a truck carrying the coffins of people killed in Makurdi, Nigeria January 11, 2018. © 2018 Reuters

Nigerian civil society groups declared today a national day of mourning and remembrance to honor the victims of violence across the country.

The group, the Civil Society Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee, estimates that 1,917 people were killed in violent attacks by suspected cattle herdsmen, by armed bandits, and in incidents of communal clashes between January to May.

The observation of a minute of silence at noon today is to call attention to the inadequate response of Nigerian security agencies to the epidemic of violence, a response that’s been criticised as slow and inefficient.

UK Invests £100 Million For Renewable Energy Projects In Africa

Hundreds of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa will get access to electricity for the first time thanks to an extra £100 million of funding from the UK government announced at COP24 in Poland.

The new investment triples funds for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), to support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years. The new funding could unlock an extra £156 million of private finance into renewable energy markets in Africa by 2023U.N. Moves

LGBT+ Refugees To Safe Houses After Kenya Camp Attacks

LGBT+ refugees in Kenya’s remote Kakuma camp are being moved to safe houses in Nairobi after they were attacked when protesting for greater protection, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The refugees said they were assaulted by locals and fellow refugees outside the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) office while protesting about rising homophobic attacks in recent months where LGBT+ members were beaten and their shelters set alight.

The latest attack happened on Tuesday in sprawling Kakuma camp in Kenya’s northwestern Turkana county, home to at least 180,000 refugees from more than 10 countries.

The refugees said they were beaten with wooden sticks and iron bars and about 20 people were injured. Pictures and videos shared with the Thomson Reuters Foundation showed them in torn, bloodied clothing with swollen faces and bandaged limbs.

Christmas! That Means Nothing To Zimbabweans

The holiday mood is clearly not catching up with many Zim citizens as they risk facing jail time by navigating from one currency to another, often tapping the black market, while the government issues salaries in forms of payment it later refuses to accept to buy necessities.

While the rest of the world is getting ready for Christmas holidays and the excitement couldn’t get better than this, a dark cloud looms over Zimbabwe and if you mentioned Christmas they couldn’t care any less or resonate with the sentiments as their economy has forced many to focus on nothing else but basics and necessities to get by each day.

Anti-government sentiment seem to be on the rise in a country that once saw July’s presidential election, the first without longtime leader Robert Mugabe, as a chance to start over. New President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country “open for business.” This remains a big question to most Zim citizens on how this will be achieved.

Women Parliamentarians Want Global Network To Tackle Discriminatio

Female parliamentarians have called for a global network to combat issues including online abuse from the public, threats to their safety and discrimination by male colleagues.

A gathering of female members of parliament (MPs) from dozens of countries across the world highlighted shared challenges over gender equality in politics and urged a joint response, said a report on the conference published on Monday by British politician Harriet Harman.

“Women in parliament are pioneers,” said Harman, a member of the opposition Labour party who is the longest-serving female MP in the British lower house of parliament, in a statement.

“We have been elected to sit alongside men in our legislatures. But we are, as yet, not on equal terms.”

Congo Confirms Near Record Number Of New Ebola Cases On Wednesday

Thirteen new cases of Ebola were confirmed on Wednesday in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo – one of the highest daily counts since the start of the outbreak in July, the health ministry said.

“It’s pretty exceptional,” health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga said, commenting on the data published in its daily bulletin on the epidemic.

Attacks by armed groups have hampered international efforts to control the outbreak, the worst in Congo’s history, which has infected over 380 people and killed two-thirds of them.

The number of new cases has accelerated in the past month and an emergency committee of World Health Organization experts said in October that the outbreak was likely to worsen significantly unless the response was stepped up.

Libyan Coast Guards Force Stranded Migrants Off Rescue Ship

Libyan authorities on Tuesday forcibly disembarked more than 90 migrants who had refused to leave a cargo ship that rescued them before docking in a port west of Tripoli, a coast guard commander said.

The Panama-flagged ship rescued them and other migrants off the Libyan coast ten days ago as their boat began sinking and brought them to Misrata.

Once there, 14 disembarked willingly but, in the first documented case of its kind, the other 92 refused to leave.

“A joint force raided the cargo ship and used rubber boats and tear gas to force (them off the ship),” the commander of the central region coastguards, Tawfiq Esskair, told Reuters by phone.

Some had been injured during disembarkation but were now “in good condition” after treatment in hospital, and all had been taken to a detention centre in the city, he said.

By Ziyanda Yono

Source: TransAfrica Editors Pick by various writers