Daily Archives: July 1, 2017


PRETORIA , Nationals of Seychelles and South Africa have been listed among the 37 countries granted visa-free travel to Qatar as the Gulf nation is blocked by its neighbours amid recent diplomatic row.

Qatari authorities announced in a statement on June 22, 2017 that they have introduced a visa-on-arrival policy, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

Among the countries are Argentina, Chile, French Guiana, Latvia, Macedonia, Paraguay, Slovakia, Lebanon, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Guyana, Seychelles, Malta, Peru, Slovenia, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, Estonia, Indonesia, Lithuania, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Croatia Falk Islands, Kazakhstan, Macau, Moldova, Russia, Suriname and Venezuela.

The conditions for obtaining the visa-on-arrival includes a 100 QAR ($27) fee, valid passport of not less than 6 months, return ticket, hotel reservation and money equivalent to $1,500 or a credit card, the statement added.

This move comes days after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates fell out with the Gulf country after it accused it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar vehemently denies the claims.

Some African countries took sides in the diplomatic row with Chad recalling its ambassador from Qatar for consultations after Senegal recalled its envoy citing its active solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

Mauritania, a member of the Arab League, severed ties with Qatar following the lead of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt � while Gabon condemned Doha.

However, Guinean President Alpha Conde offered to mediate in the diplomatic crisis in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union to find a swift and peaceful solution.

Somalia also expressed concern and advised that it should be settled with dialogue after it expressed neutrality. This resulted in a recall of the United Arab Emirates ambassador in the capital Mogadishu.

The government of Seychelles also called on all the parties involved to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to resolve and deescalate the current situation.


DRC Declares Ebola Outbreak Over

KINSHASA � Democratic Republic of Congo declared its two-month Ebola outbreak officially over Saturday after 42 days without recording a new case of the disease.

The outbreak in Congo’s remote northeastern forests, a record eighth for the country where the disease was first discovered in 1976, killed four out of the eight people infected, Health Minister Oly Ilunga said in a statement.

I declare on this day, at midnight, the end of the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever of the Ebola virus in DRC, Ilunga said.

Congolese health authorities approved the use of a new experimental vaccine but ultimately declined to deploy it because of the small scale of the outbreak and logistical challenges.

The latest outbreak came a year after the end of the virus’ deadliest episode in West Africa, which killed more than 11,300 people and infected some 28,600 as it swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and caused alarm around the world.

Health officials say northeastern Congo’s remote geography combined with the country’s experience fighting the disease allowed them to gain the upper hand quickly.

The government of DRC has been very transparent in declaring that there is the outbreak and that really facilitated … communication and information sharing and rapid action, Ibrahima Soce Fall, a senior World Health Organization official in Africa, told Reuters last week.

Source: Voice of America