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The Africa Report: 25 July

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

Luanda has topped Mercer's list of the world's most expensive places for expatriates

TWO AFRICAN CITIES IN TOP FOUR MOST EXPENSIVE PLACES FOR EXPATRIATES

According to Mercer's latest cost of living rankings, two African cities rank in the world's top four most expensive places for expatriates.

"Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings Report includes expert analysis of factors affecting shifts in expatriate cost of living in the last year globally and by region," states Mercer's official website, www.mercer.com.

Luanda in Angola tops the list of the "Top 10 Most Expensive Assignment Locations", followed by Moscow, Tokyo and in fourth place is N'Djamena in Chad.

All cities analysed are compared to New York and currencies are measure against the US dollar.

Luanda tops the list because of its high costs for accommodation and the immensely expensive cost of imported goods and services.

Mercer credits "recent world events, economic and political upheavals" as factors contributing to the high cost of living.

"Despite being one of Africa's major oil producers, Angola is a relatively poor country yet expensive for expatriates since imported goods can be costly. In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly," said Barb Marder, Senior Partner and Mercer's Global Mobility Practice Leader.

DONOR COUNTRIES MUST FACE UP TO ABUSES FUNDED BY THEIR AID MONEY

Human rights watchdog organisation, Human Rights Watch (HRW), have released a report entitled "World Bank: Ducking Human Rights Issues" criticising donor nations for pouring billions into countries but failing to safeguard the outcomes of the aid.

HRW argued that whilst the aid is aimed at development, the World Bank fails to guard the very people the aid is meant to benefit.

The report presented to case studies, one from Vietnam and two from Ethiopia which receives billions in aid.

In Ethiopia, authorities have begun a "villagisation" programme where those indigenous to the western Gambella region and other marginalised groups are being forcibly relocated, reports HRW.

The relocation has been accompanied by rape and violence and the place to which people are being relocated lack adequate facilities, services and infrastructure.

Thus, HRW has called on the World Bank and donor countries to commit itself to the prevention of aid being used to contribute to human rights violations.

RWANDA ARRESTS 11 CATHOLICS HEADING TO PROTEST OUTSIDE PRESIDENTIAL RESIDENCE

11 members of a Catholic group who planned to protest outside the presidential residence of Paul Kagame in Rwanda's capital Kigali have been arrested.

The arrest adds yet another blow to former Tutsi rebel commander Kagame's human rights record which is tainted by claims of suppressing the opposition and stirring up ethnic hatred.

The protesting Catholics argued that the Virgin Mary had communicated through a vision that if Kagame did not introduce reforms, there would be bloodshed in Rwanda.