Africa Media Review for August 26, 2016

At Least 7 Dead as Shabab Militants Attack Restaurant in Somali Capital
Islamist militants claimed responsibility for an attack on a seaside restaurant here on Thursday evening that killed at least seven people and wounded two others, according to state media. The Shabab, a group that has vowed to turn Somalia into a puritanical Islamic state, claimed responsibility for the attack. Gunmen raided the building after setting off a car bomb, police officials and the insurgent group said, according to Reuters. Khadar Keeyow, a well-known Somali singer who was near the scene, said, “I heard a large explosion, I went outside, and I saw the dead bodies of three people; two were women.”  The New York Times

South Sudan’s Future Uncertain as Machar Plans Pull Back from Peace Deal
Former first vice president of South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar has thrown prospects of stability in the country into further uncertainty after his allies said they were rethinking their role under the August 2015 peace agreement. The allies said Dr Machar planned a review of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) involvement in the transition government once he recovered from injuries sustained last month. Sources close to Dr Machar—who arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday afternoon from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for treatment—told The EastAfrican that the rebel leader was consulting Igad before making his decision known. SPLM-IO representative in Kenya, Lam Jok, said that recent attacks by President Salva Kiir’s forces demanded a fresh approach to the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement. News 24

South Sudan Summons Congolese Ambassador in Juba over Machar Exit
The South Sudanese government has summoned a Congolese ambassador in Juba to explain the circumstances under which the armed opposition leader and the former first vice president, Riek Machar, entered the neigbouring country after fleeing Juba last month. The DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) Ambassador in Juba was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to show up on 25th August 2016 and explain how the rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar crossed into Congo was later airlifted by the UN for medical treatment within Congo. Also the ministry accused Congo of allowing the UN of sending military aircraft into South Sudan to allegedly aid rebels inside South Sudan. Radio Tamazuj

South Sudan Says Struck a Deal with US over Protection Force
South Sudan has claimed it reached a consensus with the US and the region to be given a time, during which it would expedite the implementation of the peace agreement while discussions about the deployment of a regional protection force in the country continues. Information and broadcasting Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, who led the government delegation to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where the US secretary of state had visited recently, announced that the outcome of the recent meeting between a delegation from Juba and the US Secretary of State approved the deployment of the force approved by the UN Security Council after conclusion of discussions. Sudan Tribune

Sudan’s Economic Crisis Gives Washington Leverage to Support Inclusive Peace Deal: Report
A new report by the United States-based Enough Project said the severe economic crisis has become the greatest vulnerability for the Sudanese regime and allowed the US government to spearhead efforts to support an inclusive peace deal in the country. The report “Khartoum’s Economic Achilles ’ heel : The intersection of war, profit, and greed”, explains how the economic crisis in Sudan was exacerbated by the sanctions imposed on the country since 1997. “This economic vulnerability has caused sanctions relief to replace debt relief as the regime’s primary preoccupation, giving the U.S. government powerful leverage to support an inclusive peace deal in Sudan that leads to a transition to democracy” said the report. Sudan Tribune

Burundi President’s Commission Says People Want Term Limits Removed
Burundi could scrap presidential term limits from its constitution after a commission set up to hear public views on governance said most citizens wanted no curbs on the number of times the head of state may seek re-election. The central African nation has been gripped by violence for more than a year, triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. Opponents said the decision, taken in April 2015, violated the constitution, which currently limits presidential tenure to two five-year terms. Justin Nzoyisaba, chairman of CNDI, a commission set up by Nkurunziza last year to canvas public opinion on Burundi’s political system, said late on Wednesday that most Burundians wanted term limits abolished. Reuters

Burundian Panel Set to Submit Findings to Parliament
A Burundian panel tasked with finding ways to resolve the nation’s political and security crisis says it will soon present its findings to parliament, which will include a proposal to remove term limits for the head of state from the constitution. Analysts say debate on the removal of term limits is likely to begin after the Inter-Burundi Dialogue Commission makes its presentation to lawmakers. President Pierre Nkurunziza is expected to make the final decision on the commission’s report after parliament approves it. Local media quoted Justin Nzoyisaba, chairman of the commission, as saying views his group collected demonstrated that citizens want the term limits provision pulled from the constitution. Such a move would mean “that the president can go for as many terms as he wants if elected by the people,” he said. VOA

Mozambique Peace Talks are Suspended with No Cease-fire Agreed
Peace talks between Mozambique’s government and the opposition were suspended as the two sides failed to agree a cease-fire to end fighting that’s killed hundreds of people. International mediators want to hold talks with President Filipe Nyusi before negotiations resume Sept. 12, Mario Raffaelli, the coordinator of an international mediation team, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Maputo. He appealed to both sides to “refrain from all violent actions to relieve the suffering of the Mozambican people.” Renamo had sought a withdrawal of government forces from around Gorongosa National Park, where the opposition group’s leader, Afonso Dhlakama, is believed to be hiding, before agreeing to a truce, Raffaelli said. Government forces have declined to withdraw from the area because they are protecting people and property, he said. Bloomberg

Zimbabwe’s Priests Tell Mugabe To Go
Zimbabwe’s prominent Christian leaders have joined a growing chorus of influential voices calling for the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe, warning that the country could slide into “total collapse” if he continues to rule. Five church-based groups issued a joint statement urging the government to acknowledge that the country needs an “extraordinary collective response to rescue [it] from total collapse”. Among the signatories to the statement are Bishop Ancelimo Magaya’s Zimbabwe Divine Destiny, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Christian Voice, Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship and Prayer Network Zimbabwe. Leaders are expected to take to the streets of Harare on Thursday to demonstrate, according to Zimbabwean outlet News Day. The Africa Report

Zimbabwe’s Rock and Hard Place: No Escape from the Country’s Hardships
Hunger in Zimbabwe is seen overwhelmingly as a rural problem. Consecutive droughts have scorched harvests, and as a result 4.1 million people—half the rural population—are expected to be in need of food aid next year. But the blinding focus on the countryside obscures the struggles of the urban poor; of people like Ruramai Chakanyuka, who sells fruit and vegetables in the centre of the capital, Harare. What she earns is barely enough to support her two children, even though she supplements her income as best she can by growing maize illegally on municipal land.  IRIN

Uganda Opposition Leader to Meet Diaspora in Britain, US
Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye is urging the country’s diaspora to continue to push for democracy in Uganda. “I think that they have two or three roles. One is to continue their engagement with the governments of the countries where they stay and indeed to solicit their support in their engagement with the regime at home, and also their engagement with those of us who are challenging the status quo,” Besigye told VOA Daybreak Africa by phone while on a visit to Britain, where he will meet members of the diaspora. He travels later this month to the United States. VOA

UN: 475,000 Children at Risk in Lake Chad Area
Nearly half a million children around Lake Chad face “severe acute malnutrition” due to drought and a seven-year violent campaign by the armed group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, UNICEF has warned. Of the 475,000 deemed at risk, 49,000 in Nigeria’s Borno state, Boko Haram’s heartland, will die this year if they do not receive treatment, the UN children’s agency said on Thursday. At the start of 2015, Boko Haram occupied an area the size of Belgium but has since been pushed back after Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon formed a coalition along with Benin to fight the group. Most of its remaining forces are now hiding inside the vast Sambisa forest, southeast of the Borno provincial capital, Maiduguri. Al Jazeera

Libya Seeks Boosted US Military Backing
Libya’s unity government has asked Washington, which is backing an air campaign against the Islamic State group in Sirte, to step up its military assistance, the US Africa Command said on Thursday. Fayez al-Sarraj, leader of the Government of National Accord (GNA), made the request during talks on Wednesday in Stuttgart with Africom’s commander Thomas Waldhauser and US special envoy for Libya, Jonathan Winer. “Discussions were held on … the GNA’s desire for US assistance with future enhanced military capabilities and defence capacity building,” Africom said in a statement. News 24

Mediterranean Rescue Boat Hit in Armed Raid off Libyan Coast
An unidentified armed group shot at and raided a European rescue boat off the coast of Libya, it has emerged, raising questions over the viability of refugee rescue operations in the southern Mediterranean. On 17 August an unidentified speedboat fired at the Bourbon Argos, a rescue boat chartered by Médecins Sans Frontières, hitting the window of the bridge shortly after 9.30am. The MSF team managed to retreat to the ship’s safe room before the armed men boarded the Argos. Unable to reach the crew, the intruders then left after an estimated 50 minutes without taking anyone or anything, and without giving any concrete indication of why they had come. The Guardian

Tunisia Receiving First Kiowa Warriors and Black Hawks?
Tunisia may have received its first Kiowa Warrior and Black Hawk helicopters from the United States. A photo posted on the forum on 20 August shows a Kiowa Warrior in Tunisian markings, apparently at an airfield in Tunisia. A Black Hawk can be seen behind it. Tunisia is due to receive 24 Kiowa Warriors from the United States, and 12 Black Hawk transport helicopters. In May this year the United States government approved a possible sale of 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, weapons and equipment to Tunisia in a deal worth $100 million. DefenceWeb

Dreams and Despair in the Desert: Africa’s New Gold Rush
The world’s newest gold rush is under way in the West African country of Mauritania. It follows a government decision to allow people to search for gold in the sand. BBC

What’s Behind Ethiopia’s Unrest?
The marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa brought Ethiopia’s tension to the world’s attention when, upon passing the Olympic finish line, he crossed his wrists above his head. It was a gesture in solidarity with anti-government protesters among the Oromo people. Since November of 2015, hundreds have been killed during protests centering around the expansion of Addis Ababa and its impending effects on the Oromo. This documentary by the Thomson Reuters Foundation explores this recent hostility and profiles the young people who stand in opposition of the Ethiopian government’s crackdown. The Atlantic

Kenya Sacks Olympics Organising Committee with Athletes Still Stranded in Rio Days After End of Games
The Kenyan government has disbanded the country’s Olympics organising committee and ordered an urgent probe into its shambolic handling of Rio 2016. Kenya’s team captain, who is also an MP, took to Twitter on Thursday in exasperation at the treatment of his fellow athletes, the most successful African team at the Games. Wesley Korir, a marathon runner, said athletes were forced to move into shanty accommodation after the official Olympic Village closed, with athletes from other countries already long gone. The Independent

Kenya To Start Exporting Oil in June 2017
Kenya will start exporting oil from June 2017, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Wednesday after a meeting with Tullow Oil’s—British oil exploration company—Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade. The State House in Nairobi—the president official residence—released a statement saying that McDade had confirmed to President Kenyatta that the oil would be transported by road from Northern Kenya to the Mombasa port city on the Kenyan coast. “We have started and we are not moving back. We want to be at the top of the pile. So, we have set a path and by 2019, Kenya is going to be a major oil producer and exporter,” Kenyatta told the company COO according to the statement. Anadolu Agency

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Cancer Can Be an Infectious Disease
[…] in a melting pot of viruses and cancer, do viruses happen to ride along with cancers or do viruses actually cause the disease? In the case of Epstein-Barr virus and Burkitt’s lymphoma, the question is complicated by the fact that, “everyone has the virus,” says Rochford. “So why do some people get cancer while others do not?” Rochford centers her research in Kisumu, Kenya, a port city of just over 400,000 on the northeast corner of Lake Victoria. In addition to a near universal rate of infection with Epstein-Barr virus and an unusually high rate of Burkitt’s lymphoma, Kisumu is the land of malaria. A recent study found that 28 percent of Kisumu adults were infected by the malaria parasite and in rural areas – the same areas that produce the most cases of Burkitt’s lymphoma. Medical Express