Africa Media Review for April 11, 2022

Tunisian Protesters Take to the Streets To Denounce President Kais Saied’s ‘One-Man Rule’
Over a thousand Tunisians rallied in the capital Tunis on Sunday calling for an end to what they describe as an ongoing power grab from their president Kais Saied.The protest was organised by a movement named “Citizens Against the Coup” along with the Islamic inspired Ennahdha Party, which has dominated Tunisia’s post-revolution politics and the recent dissolved parliament…President Kais Saied was elected in 2019. In July last year, he seized full powers by dismissing his prime minister and suspending the parliament. A parliament he decided to dissolve last month after some MPs held an online session to revoke his decrees. AfricaNews

Sudan Faces Collapse Three Years After the Fall of Its Dictator
Breaking fast at sundown during Ramadan, which started on April 2nd, will not be the usual joyful family occasion for many Sudanese this year. The communal iftar will be blighted by the shortage, and spiralling cost, of wheat and other basics. Some expect this year’s Ramadan to explode into a confrontation between a frustrated, immiserated people and the country’s brutal military regime. Few Sudanese can remember a time when their country was in such a bleak state. Economist

African Union Stands by Envoy in Somalia, Francisco Madeira
The African Union on Saturday stood by Mozambican diplomat Francisco Madeira, the head of the continental body’s mission to Somalia, after he was initially ‘expelled’ from the country. The expulsion, which has since been cancelled by President Mohamed Farmaajo, was controversially issued on Thursday by Prime Minister Hussein Roble who accused the diplomat of engaging in acts contrary to his position as the special representative of the AU Chairperson in Somalia. Madeira was declared persona non-grata, and given 48 hours to leave the country. But AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat reaffirmed his “trust and confidence” in his Special Representative. East African

All-Female Newsroom Launched in Somalia To Widen Media’s Scope
The first all-women media house in Somalia has been launched, creating a rare opportunity for female journalists in the country to research and publish stories they want to tell. Led by one of the few female senior news producers in the country, the team of six will produce content for TV, radio and online media on issues such as gender-based violence, women in politics and female entrepreneurs. Crucially, they will have the autonomy to make editorial decisions. “We want to cover these issues and challenge societal beliefs that women should stay at home,” said the editor-in-chief, Nasrin Mohamed Ahmed, who has worked as a journalist for 12 years and is a founding member of the Somali Women Journalist Organisation. Guardian

Rival Forces in South Sudan Clash Again
Fresh fighting erupted Friday between government and opposition forces in South Sudan just days after both sides pledged to uphold a ceasefire and try to save a teetering peace deal. The clashes in oil-rich Unity State were the latest in recent weeks between forces allied to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his deputy, veteran opposition leader Riek Machar. The pair rule in a power-sharing government which was brokered in the aftermath of a civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead before a peace agreement paused the bloodshed in 2018. But the ceasefire has been repeatedly violated and their forces remain largely on opposing sides of the battlefield, raising fears of a return to all-out war between the historic foes. AFP

Gambian President’s Party Narrowly Wins Legislative Polls
Gambian President Adama Barrow’s party has won a narrow victory in legislative elections, but fell short of securing the majority needed to govern the country alone. Barrow’s National People’s Party won 19 of the 53 contested parliamentary seats, overturning the main opposition United Democratic Party’s  (UDP) majority, according to results published by The Gambia’s independent electoral commission on Sunday…Barrow won a second term in office after securing 53 percent of the vote in a presidential election late last year. His first unexpected victory in the 2016 presidential election ended more than 20 years of rule under Yahya Jammeh marred by state atrocities. Al Jazeera

Nigeria: VP Osinbajo Finally Declares To Run for President
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has finally declared to run for president, ending months of speculations and tepid denials. “I formally declare my intention to run for the office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress,” Osinabjo said in a video posted to his social media handles Monday morning, shunning the fanfare that characterised the declarations by some aspirants. The VP will be squaring up against APC bigwigs including his political benefactor and former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu, transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha and governors of Kogi and Ebonyi states Yahaya Bello and Dave Umahi. Guardian

Nigeria: Train Attack: Bandits Release Another Video of Abducted Passengers
Gunmen who carried out the attack on a Kaduna-bound train two weeks ago have released yet another video of some of the abducted passengers. PREMIUM TIMES reported how the bandits attacked the train on March 28 around the Katari area of Kaduna. In the two minutes, fourteen seconds video clip, passengers took turns to introduce themselves and urge the government to help them by reaching out to the bandits. PREMIUM TIMES reviewed the clip and understands that it was shot before the release of the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, by the gunmen. This newspaper reported how Mr Hassan was released by the gunmen after the release of an earlier video and alleged payment of ransom. Premium Times

Nigeria: Gunmen Attack Communities in Plateau
Gunmen, suspected to be bandits, have attacked and killed some locals and razed down many houses in four villages of the Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the attackers stormed the villages on Sunday afternoon, shooting sporadically and setting properties belonging to the locals on fire. A resident of the area, Danladi Dukup, told NAN that some people lost their lives while others sustained various degrees of injuries. Guardian

At Least 16 Killed in Burkina Faso Army Base Attack
At least 12 soldiers and four paramilitary fighters were killed and 21 wounded in an attack on an army base in Burkina Faso’s insurgent-hit centre-north on Friday, the army said in a statement. The attack took place early in the morning at Burkina Faso’s Namissiguima military base in the province of Sanmatenga. The death toll was provisional and reinforcements were sent to secure the area, the statement added without providing detail on the assailants. Reuters

Russia Blocks UN Call for Inquiry Into Alleged Mali Massacre: Diplomats
Russia has blocked a request at the UN Security Council for “independent investigations” into the alleged massacre of several hundred civilians in Mali by the Malian army and Russian paramilitaries, diplomatic sources told AFP Saturday. Mali’s army announced on April 1 that it had killed 203 “militants” in Moura, in central Mali, during an operation in late March. However, that announcement followed widely shared social media reports of a civilian massacre in the area. Human Rights Watch has alleged that Malian soldiers and foreign fighters executed 300 civilians there between March 27 and 31..But Russia, supported by China, “didn’t see the need” for the text and considered it “premature,” given that an investigation has been opened by the Malian authorities, one diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. Barrons

M23 Rebels Announce Withdrawal From Eastern DR Congo Villages
Rebels from the M23 group have announced their retreat from villages captured in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo last week following clashes with government troops in the Rutshuru region. Fighting between the rebels and soldiers flared up Wednesday after several days of calm, and rebels from the March 23 Movement (M23) took control of around a dozen villages in Rutshuru territory in North Kivu province, local sources said…The M23 was formed by former members of a Congolese Tutsi armed group that was once supported by Rwanda and Uganda. The rebels had been incorporated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed on March 23, 2009. Al Jazeera

South Africa: Ramaphosa Likens Anti-Immigrant Attacks to Apartheid Tactics
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa compared recent acts of violence and intimidation by anti-immigrant vigilante groups to tactics used by the country’s apartheid government to oppress Black people. There have been a growing number of attacks on foreigners in South Africa. Last week, a mob stoned and burned a Zimbabwean man to death in the Diepsloot township north of Johannesburg. “This was how the apartheid oppressors operated,” Ramaphosa wrote Monday in his weekly letter. “They said some people could only live in certain areas, operate certain businesses or take certain jobs. Under apartheid, Black people were deemed suspects by default.” Bloomberg

Polisario Front Breaks Off Contact With Spain Over U-Turn on Western Sahara
“The Polisario Front has decided to break contacts with the current Spanish government” over its “instrumentalisation of the Western Sahara question in shameful bargaining with the (Moroccan) occupier”, the movement wrote in a statement. It said the break will last until Madrid “conforms with decisions of international legality, which recognises the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination, and with respect for the borders of their country, as internationally recognised”. Spain on March 18 said it had agreed to publicly recognise Rabat’s autonomy plan for the territory, ending a decades-long stance of neutrality. France24

Africa Urged To Use Good Governance, Inclusion To Fight Violent Extremism
A top U.S. military commander says African countries dealing with violent extremism need to enact good governance, a stronger rule of law and inclusion of marginalized communities if they want to promote stability. Africa has seen an increase in terror groups operating across the continent in recent years. Al-Shabab in East Africa, al-Qaida and Islamic State affiliates expanding in the Sahel, and Boko Haram around the Lake Chad Basin are among the most prominent. The head of the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command Africa, Rear Admiral Jamie Sands, said on April 3 that African countries need better governance and greater cooperation if they are to stop the threat of terrorism. Voice of America

Sub-Saharan Africa Under Threat From Multiple Humanitarian Crises
Issuing the alert, WFP said that the figure rose to 43 million when the Central African Republic was included in the food insecurity estimate. And the problem is not limited to rural areas as 16 million people living in urban spaces are also at risk of acute food insecurity with WFP warning that some six million children are undernourished in the Sahel. From conflict and displacement to climate shocks and inflation – all made worse by the Ukraine crisis – there are many reasons for the unprecedented food emergency in the Sahel and West Africa region. According to WFP, since Russia invaded Ukraine, prices have surged between 30 and 50 per cent in many places – and even doubled in some markets. After drought caused poor returns last year, farmers have already become deeply concerned about the next harvest. WFP warned that they lack enough food to cover their needs and amidst escalating conflicts, more than six million people have had to leave their homes in the Sahel. UN News

Africa E-Trade Platform To Connect 22 Countries
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) has launched the Africa e-trade platform to handle the exchange of commercial documents. The platform has been in a pilot phase for about 18 months in Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal, and will now be integrated in 22 countries, which are members of the African Alliance for Electronic Commerce (AAEC). The platform will ease the cost of doing business and also help traders to exchange information on trade as the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) takes shape. East African



Photo: Adam Jones