Urban News Roundup – 26 June 2015

Addis Ababa: The ugly side of a face lift

The economic and wealth growth in Ethiopia over the last five or six years has been very strong. At the center of this growth narrative is the capital city, Addis Ababa. For over a decade now, Addis has been undergoing a major redevelopment. However, this change is affecting the lives of low-income urbanites. Residents of the Yordanos Hotel area of the city are counting the days for their final notice of eviction, scheduled for 7 July. – The Reporter

Kigali: Rwanda protest over spy chief arrest

Some 200 people gathered outside the British High Commission in Rwanda to protest at the arrest of intelligence chief Karenzi Karake in London. General Karake was detained at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, accused of ordering massacres in the wake of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Protestors have threatened not to end the demonstration in the capital, Kigali, until the general is released. The Rwandan government has branded the arrest an “outrage.” – BBC

N’Djamena: Chad to round up beggars

Chad has planned to round up beggars and some foreigners as part of a security clamp-down, days after two suicide attacks on its capital blamed on Boko Haram Islamist militants from neighbouring Nigeria. The apparently coordinated blasts in two police offices on Monday killed 34 people and injured dozens in the largest attack of its kind in the Central African nation. – Reuters

Cape Town: Army closes down Cape Town station

On World Refugee Day last weekend, South African police, traffic officials, metro police, brand specialists, immigration officials and defence force members shut down Cape Town Station’s taxi terminus as part of Operation Fiela. The four-hour operation brought commuters to a standstill as taxis were not allowed in or out on a busy Saturday morning. Dozens of foreign nationals were arrested. – GroundUp

Alexandria: First woman municipality head appointed by Governor

For the first time, a woman will head a municipal district in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city. Soad Helmy was appointed to her new position in Alexandria’s central district on Saturday. Only one other woman has filled a comparable seat in Egypt – Azza Sherif was named the head of Cairo’s Dokki district in September 2013. – International Business Times

Johannesburg: ANC leader says ICC is dangerous, South Africa should withdraw

The International Criminal Court is “dangerous” and South Africa should withdraw from it, a leader of the ruling African National Congress said on Monday, defending the government’s decision not to arrest indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. President Jacob Zuma’s government and the ANC have come under fire for allowing Bashir, who faces charges of genocide at the court, to slip out of South Africa through a military air base after attending an African Union summit last week. – Reuters

Freetown: Ebola Setback for Sierra Leone As New Cases Recorded

Sierra Leone’s capital has suffered a fresh outbreak of Ebola, dashing hopes that health authorities in the densely-populated city of 1.2 million had beaten the deadly epidemic. The government’s National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) confirmed that three cases had emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf, three weeks after the last known infections in the capital. – allAfrica

Accra: Hundreds of homes destroyed in bid to prevent floods

Bulldozers razed hundreds of homes and businesses in the poor Sodom and Gomorrah neighbourhood of Ghana’s capital on Saturday so the authorities can start widening a lagoon to prevent a repeat of this month’s deadly floods. Some residents said security forces sprayed them with tear gas after they threw stones to protect their livelihoods from the bulldozers. By evening, thousands were stranded in the rain amid rubble and household goods were strewn for more than a mile. – Reuters

Burundi: Burundi Vice President flees the country

Gervais Rufyikiri, the Vice President of Burundi, has fled the country just ahead of this week’s national legislative elections, according to reports. VP Rufyikiri fled because of  some recent comments he made stating that he believed President Nkurunziza’s third term was unconstitutional. Rufyikiri felt threatened after he made the comments. Rufyikiri is believed to be responsible for a failed coup attempt in May, which led to him being pushed out of the ruling party’s influential circles. – Sahara Reporters

Harare: Vendors march to parliament

Scores of vendors marched to Parliament on Wednesday protesting against the move to evict them from the streets ahead of the Friday deadline. The march proceeded after vendors won a High Court order allowing them to present a petition to Parliament seeking the postponement of their removal. The vendors handed over a petition outlining their grievances to the clerk of Parliament where they highlighted issues such as alternative vending sites, affordable charges for the alternative vending sites as well as access to markets at the alternative vending sites. –  The Herald

Lagos: Police tackle insecurity, step up Okado ban enforcement

In recent times there has been a rising wave of crime rates, especially in Lagos, which has continued to put residents and visitors to the megacity in palpable fear of being victims of attacks. The Police Command has advised the provision of combat-ready helicopters for its officers to mount surveillance across the state. In a related development, there is a fresh battle by Lagos State Government to tackle the resurgence of motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders. Police have lamented that the perennial traffic gridlocks in the metropolis are affecting their prompt arrival at crime scenes, adding that the situation calls for the need of aerial patrol to stem the tide. – Vanguard


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