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Gabon investigates alleged sexual assault of women footballers1 minute read

Sports Minister Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze said he had asked the Gabonese Football Federation to investigate.

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Photo: via fegafoot

The Gabonese authorities on Friday announced the opening of an inquiry into ill-treatment and sexual assaults against members of the under-20 national women’s team by their managers.

Accounts and images on social networks have drawn attention to the experience of the young Panthers at the Sud Ladies Cup in Marseille last week.

The players experienced hell on the pitch, losing all five of their games, conceding 44 goals and scoring none. Off it they also had a tough time. The players had to share mattresses in their hotel room, their phones and passports were confiscated and they were sexually assaulted.

Sports Minister Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze said he had asked the Gabonese Football Federation (FEGAFOOT) to investigate.

“Young women selected to the national women’s under-20 football team, report abuse, sexual harassment, touching and rape allegedly committed by members of the team’s technical and administrative staff,” Bilie-By-Nze said.

“The seriousness of the alleged facts has just led me to refer the matter to FEGAFOOT for an internal investigation,” he added.

“I have also just referred the matter to the Public Prosecutor for the opening of an investigation which could lead, if the facts are established, to legal proceedings against the alleged offenders.”

“Deviant behaviour such as sexual harassment, psychological violence and pressure of all kinds cannot flourish” in sport, Mr. Bilie-By-Nze said.

FEGAFOOT released a statement saying it had started an inquiry, condemning harmful behaviour but also casting doubt on some of the media reports.

The statement said that despite FEGAFOOT’s difficult trouble financial position, that it had offered the players “a lump sum bonus.”

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East Africa looks to end illicit gold trade

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Countries in the East Africa region are discussing the adoption of stringent traceability mechanisms for the gold industry to stamp out rampant smuggling across East and Central Africa to overseas buyers particularly in Asia.


Mining officials from the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) countries are in negotiations and are meeting next month to discuss the body’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Strategy which calls for harmonisation of gold export procedures including taxation and traceability and certification.


The ICGLR wants its member countries to adopt the strategy by mid-this year.


According to the director of Democracy and good Governance at ICGLR, Ambeyi Ligabo, It is disheartening to see so much gold being smuggled from the DR Congo through its neighbouring countries while much attention over the past 10 years has focused on implementing traceability for tin, tungsten and tantalum (Three Ts) in which little has been done in terms of monitoring the flow of gold in the region.


Mr Ligabo also revealed they have agreed that it is crucial to implement the ICGLR guidelines on gold trade because the region’s image has been smeared by smuggling. We hope they speed up the process so these guidelines are affected by March this year.


Rwanda’s efforts to boost gold exports has been hampered by constant reports that the country serves as a route through which gold is smuggled out of the DR Congo to overseas buyers. The government is firm that all its gold is traded legitimately.

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Business News

Teodorin Obiang faces $30 million corruption fine

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A French court has ruled against Teodorin Obiang Nguema, Vice president of Equatorial Guinea, in a year – long embezzlement process launched by a group of anti-corruption NGOs
Obiang was ordered to pay a $32.9 million fine. He also faces a suspended jail term of three years after a lower court found him guilty on a range of charges relating to graft and money
laundering.
Additionally, the Paris appeals court confirmed the seizure of his property, including a six-level mansion in Paris which had been valued at €107 million in 2012.

According to Marc-Andre Feffer of Transparency International France, the ruling is an important moment.
Obiang has appealed to the International Court of Justice, arguing that his residence should be protected as a diplomatic building. A hearing on the issue has been scheduled in The Hague next week.
His legal team has one final option for appeal left — they could challenge the Monday verdict before the Cour de Cassation, France’s highest appeals court for criminal cases.

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DRC’s artisanal monopoly to seek private partner

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A new state company set up by the Democratic Republic of Congo to manage the country’s artisanally mined cobalt could seek a private partner if the state does not have the funds to purchase all production, according to the country’s minister of mines, Willy Kitobo Samsoni.

DRC currently produces about 60% of the world’s cobalt. Most of which is extracted by industrial operators like Glencore and China Molybdenum, with artisanal miners accounting for about a quarter of output.

The country recently granted the new company a monopoly to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices.

According to Samsoni, the easiest way out is to be financed by the Congolese state, but if the state cannot raise the funds to buy all the artisanally mined cobalt, it will then have to enter into partnership with a company.

He also adds that plans for talks with financiers are on ground.

Samsoni further adds that the new company, Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC) will be managed independently by state mining company,Gecamines.

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