Africa Media Review for August 14, 2017

Burkina Faso Terror Attack Kills 20, Government Says
Twenty people have been killed and a number wounded in a “terrorist attack” in the centre of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the government says. Gunmen opened fire on customers seated outside a restaurant, witnesses said. One Turkish citizen died but other nationalities are yet to be confirmed. The attack is now over, authorities say, with the two assailants also killed by security forces. A jihadist attack on a nearby cafe killed 30 people in January last year. There are fears that the latest attack is the work of one of the affiliates of al-Qaeda that are active in the Sahel region, the BBC’s Alex Duval Smith reports. The shooting began shortly after 21:00 (21:00 GMT) on Sunday on Ouagadougou’s busy Kwame Nkrumah Avenue. Security forces launched a counter assault at 22:15 and the shooting ended at about 05:00 on Monday. A Turkish restaurant, the Aziz Istanbul, popular with foreigners, appears to have been at the centre of the attack. BBC

24 Killed in Post-election Violence in Kenya, Rights Group Says
Violence erupted after the re-election of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week, leaving at least 24 people dead nationwide, a rights group said. The victims included a 9-year-old girl, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Relatives said the victims were shot dead in various parts of the nation, including 17 in the capital of Nairobi, the group said. Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of the country’s founding President, was declared the winner Friday, defeating veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga for a second five-year term. Protests and violence broke out after he was declared the winner. Most of the demonstrators were supporters of Odinga, who has rejected the results of the presidential election, calling the vote rigged. … The Kenyan Red Cross said it had treated at least 93 people injured in the violence. CNN

Kenyan Government Warns Social Media Users
A senior government official has warned social media users that security forces will arrest those sharing messages or information deemed inflammatory after a disputed election. Several people have already been detained. Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi on Saturday confirmed that several people who have been sharing “incendiary” messages aimed at sparking political unrest in the country have been arrested. Matiangi, who was speaking on behalf of the government before national and international media, also warned that “the government will stop at nothing to protect lives and property of Kenyans.” … News of the arrests has raised concerns among social media users in the country, who are now afraid of being arbitrarily detained by police and security agents. … Residents of Kisumu told a DW correspondent that they wished the situation could return to normal, because they were now living in fear of their lives. Deutsche Welle

Raila Calls for Work Boycott, Plans to Reveal Poll Results
Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday said he will not allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to get away with “another stolen victory”. Giving the clearest indication that he won’t concede defeat, the NASA leader insisted that Uhuru, who was on Friday night declared the winner of the 2017 Presidential election, “must go”. Addressing charged rallies in Kibera and Mathare, Raila, whose fourth presidential run flopped, warned that the Jubilee administration would pay for shedding innocent blood. … In a terse message to his distraught supporters, Raila said he will tomorrow address the nation and give the way forward on the next drastic action. The Star

NASA Faults Observers for Giving Polls Clean Bill of Health
Kenya opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has criticised observers for giving the just-concluded General Election a clean bill of health despite concerns raised by Nasa. The party’s deputy chief agent James Orengo said the observers have been a great disappointment over their remarks regarding the polls. Mr Orengo, who is also the Siaya senator, said in future, observers should be vetted to check whether they have any relationship with the government of the day before being sent to the country. At the same time, Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli said the observers should have done more research and background checks before making their final comments on the elections. “You don’t just visit one primary school where voting takes place and make a conclusion that everything is right. I have been an observer in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ghana, and my experience is that one needs to do a lot of background checks on the electoral system of that particular country before making the final conclusion.” The East African

Egypt Rail Accident: Railway Authority Chief Resigns as 41 Killed in Alexandria; Drivers Detained
The head of Egypt’s railway authority, Medhat Shousha, has resigned following a train collision in Alexandria that killed at least 41 people, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat told reporters on Sunday. A prosecutor had earlier ordered the detention of both train drivers and their assistants for 15 days, the state news agency MENA said. In addition to the deaths, at least 133 people were injured when the two trains collided in the coastal city on Friday, the latest in a string of crashes on an antiquated transport network that have outraged the public. Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce basic safeguards for the railways. First Post

Boko Haram Carries out ‘Two-hour’ Attack on Borno Community, Kills Four – Witness
No fewer than four persons were killed in an attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Wanori-Amarwa community of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the incident occurred on Saturday at about 11:00 p.m. at a village along Maiduguri-Konduga Road. A witness, Idrissa Musa, said that heavily armed insurgents stormed the village in the night, killed and maimed the inhabitants. Mr. Musa said that the insurgents also carted away food items and razed down houses in the village. He added that four persons died at the scene of the attack while two others sustained various degrees of injuries in the attack. “The attack lasted for about two hours. The insurgent moved from house-to-house committing various forms of atrocities. Premium Times

Somali Insurgent Leader Robow Defects to Government – Military
A former Somali insurgent leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, has defected to the government, a military official said on Sunday, severing ties with Islamist group al Shabaab. Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader Robow in 2013 and he has been laying low in the jungles with his forces since then. The Islamists have launched multiple attacks to try kill or capture him. An army official said in June there were negotiations between the government and Robow but there were no guarantees that he would defect. He said it had sent soldiers to try to defend him. “Robow and his seven bodyguards are now in Hudur with local officials. He will be flown to Mogadishu soon,” Colonel Nur Mohamed, a Somali military officer, told Reuters by phone from the southwestern town of Hudur. Reuters

South Sudan: 56 People Die from Hunger in Amadi State: Official
At least 56 people had died of starvation in South Sudan’s Amadi State, a top state official said. Amid Governor Joseph Ngere Pachiko told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the 56 elderly people died of hunger two weeks ago while blaming rebel forces loyal to Riek Machar of blocking the roads in the state. The United Nations has warned on Wednesday that more than 20 million people are in danger of hunger in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and Northeast Nigeria. Radio Tamazuj

Dinka Council of Elders Supports Peace Deal Revitalization, Rejects Renegotiation
The Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders, a group of influential Dinka politicians who advise President Kiir on political matters, says it supports efforts to revitalize the 2015 peace accord instead of renegotiation. Ambrose Riiny Thiik, the former chief justice and now chairman of the Dinka Council of Elders, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the 2015 peace deal needs evaluation. “What we are saying as the council is that the peace agreement should be evaluated by the parties and if there are areas where there are concerns, they need to identify them and see how they can move forward with the implementation of the peace agreement, instead of new talks,” he said. Ambrose revealed that key stakeholders and guarantors of the 2015 peace agreement will meet in Addis Ababa to participate in the evaluation of the peace agreement as proposed by the East African regional bloc IGAD. Radio Tamazuj

Tanzania Police Kill 13 ‘Criminals’ after Attacks on Officers
Tanzania’s police said on Friday they had killed in a firefight 13 “criminals” involved in a series of deadly attacks in the country’s east. The killings took place in the Kibiti district about 100km south of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, where 13 police officers have been slain since March. “Thirteen criminals were killed during a firefight with police,” Tanzania’s police force tweeted, adding that they had recovered guns, ammunition and motorcycles from the group. Tanzanian police chief Simon Sorro later told journalists officers were led to the group by an accomplice they had arrested. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the police killings in Kibiti, which have spread fear across the region. The assailants typically steal weapons from police officers’ bodies, and escape the scene on motorcycles. News24

DRC Opposition Leader Tshisekedi’s Body to be Repatriated: Family
An agreement has been struck with Kinshasa for the repatriation of the body of veteran Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who died aged 84 in Belgium in February, his family and political party told AFP on Friday. The long delay in the return of Tshisekedi’s remains was due to concerns it could touch off massive demonstrations as the Democratic Republic of Congo is mired in a political crisis over President Joseph Kabila holding onto power beyond his mandate. Tshisekedi was a key political rival who lost to Kabila in disputed presidential polls in 2011. … He will be buried at N’sele, about 80km from Kinshasa. The repatriation could take place in “early September”, a family spokesperson said. “The Congolese state will cover all the expenses related to the organisation of the funeral,” the statement said. News23

Malawi’s Ruling DPP Accused of ‘Buying’ Opposition Members: Mwalwanda Refuses Cash
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is being accused of using taxpayers money to buy opposition members to join the party, Nyasa Times has established, but the political migration is not new. With the polls due in 2019 the election mood is already sweeping through the country as a strategic political realignment takes place. DPP officials in the northern region say the party injected a lot of money to buy opposition members recently in the n region, when President Peter Mutharika visited. … However, most of approached politicians in the region vehemently rejected the cash and they include former deputy minister of finance Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Karonga district chairperson Emmanuel Nkhoma. … Karonga district chairperson Ernest Mwaghali who dumped Peoples Party to AFORD also confirmed that he was approached by some senior DPP members a few days before the coming of the President. But DPP Secretary General Wa Jeffrey dismissed the claims as “false and baseless”.

Libya’s Maritime Rescuers Caught between Duty and Temptation
Libya is a poor, politically unstable country. That poses problems for its maritime search and rescue service, whose employees are badly paid – and see how profitable people smuggling can be. Do they belong to the official coast guard, or do they just look like they do? Are they bringing refugees back to Libya in order to save them, or are they just planning to squeeze every last penny out of them? It can be difficult in Libya to distinguish between official and self-proclaimed maritime rescuers, to understand the links between the different groups and their respective motives. … The problem is exacerbated by the Western-backed unity government’s lack of real power – it is reliant on the support of different militias. “That is why the people on the ships belonging to the Libyan coast guard are also associated with the most important militias,” Meyer explained. Deutsche Welle



Photo: Adam Jones