Weekly urban news roundup: February 21, 2014

Tunis suburb sees police and terrorist forces in fatal stand-off

Anti-terrorist units of Tunisia’s National Guard stormed a pair of houses containing militants in a seaside capital suburb Tuesday, ending nearly a day long stand-off that left eight dead. The incident highlights the threat of Islamist militancy as one of the biggest challenges to the new government. – The Guardian.

Cairo blasts injure six

Two explosive devices detonated on Friday near a police checkpoint in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, wounding six people. Although no immediate responsibility was claimed for the bombs, the attacks betray the attempts at political stability since the waves of protests and violence last year. – Aswat Masriya.

Bamako making slow recovery

Informal traders and service providers in Mali’s capital are feeling the effects of slow improvement of the country’s economy since the liberation from rebel groups in January last year. With food prices stabilising and a visible return of expats, business owners are optimistic. – IPS News.

Enugu residents ordered to vacate in five-slum demolition project

Over 20,000 residents of Ugbo Okonkwo layout, a high density settlement in the Upper New Haven area of Enugu, have been ordered to vacate their homes which the government has marked for demolition. Property owners have, however, obtained an interim injunction as of Wednesday to restrain the state government from carrying out the project. – The Vanguard.

Bangui in growing crisis as rebel violence continues

As the crisis continues, a group of soldiers in Central African Republic’s capital lynched a man on Wednesday whom they suspected of having been a rebel, minutes after hearing the new president promise to restore security at a ceremony to reinstate the divided country’s armed forces. Rebels who have fled the capital Bangui in recent weeks are regrouping in the country’s northwest where they have launched renewed attacks against civilians. – Reuters.

Nairobithe dangers in modernising Africa’s cities

Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. The implementation of these development plans within existing cities throughout the continent is having major exclusionary effects. – IRIN News.

Mombasa’s police act against militant Islam

Police in Kenya’s port city have adopted drastic measures in the fight against militant Islam and forcibly ended a Muslim gathering in the Musa Mosque. The clashes and arrest of more than 100 Muslims that took place provoked widespread criticism. – Deutsche Welle.

Dar es Salaam gets over $48m for infrastructure

Tanzania’s government has received Tsh 78.350 billion ($48 million) from Japan as grants for improving road and electricity infrastructure in Dar es Salaam city. The grants are said to cater for the widening of the new Bagamoyo road and the reinforcement of power distribution, said to cater to the growth of economic activities. – East African Business Weekly.

Brazzaville kicks off the BUILD Africa Forum

BUILD Africa, Africa’s premier international business and investment infrastructure forum, opened in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, on Thursday. Held over two days, the first edition of the forum will seek to provide a comprehensive response to the continent’s infrastructure deficit. – SpyGhana.

Kampala introduces new traffic app to combat corruption

Eight tech innovators have created an app that lets users submit and receive real-time traffic reports on road repairs, accidents and traffic jams on almost any Kampala road featured on Google maps via the internet. With corruption in road building largely to blame for inadequate infrastructure, RoadConexion “needs to get people chatting.” – IPS News.

Johannesburg: power outages in Soweto hospital

Elective operations were cancelled at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto due to a power failure last week Friday. Being the second electricity cut in two weeks, people are increasingly sceptical of the hospital’s bad management capacity. – IOL News.

Harare may lose millions in water deal

Contradictory claims by Harare’s municipal managers and city officials as to the purchase of equipment under inflated prices has created growing scepticism. The loan from Chinese contractors to pay for rehabilitation of the city’s water and sewerage works is said to be US $100 million more than what was originally confirmed. – The Herald.

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