Africa Media Review for August 16, 2016

Rampaging South Sudan Troops Raped Foreigners, Killed Locals
On July 11, South Sudanese troops, fresh from winning a battle in the capital, Juba, over opposition forces, went on a nearly four-hour rampage through a residential compound popular with foreigners, in one of the worst targeted attacks on aid workers in South Sudan’s three-year civil war. They shot dead a local journalist while forcing the foreigners to watch, raped several foreign women, singled out Americans, beat and robbed people and carried out mock executions, several witnesses told The Associated Press. For hours throughout the assault, the U.N. peacekeeping force stationed less than a mile away refused to respond to desperate calls for help. Neither did embassies, including the U.S. Embassy. The Associated Press interviewed by phone eight survivors, both male and female, including three who said they were raped. The other five said they were beaten; one was shot. Most insisted on anonymity for their safety or to protect their organizations still operating in South Sudan. AP/ABC

Kiir Calls for Talks on New UN Force, Says Sovereignty Comes First
South Sudan President Salva Kiir said Monday he is not opposed to the deployment of a strengthened UN force while expressing “very serious concerns” over the internationally-backed plan. In a speech at the opening of parliament in the capital Juba on Monday, Kiir said more time and further negotiations were needed before the deployment of a new contingent with a stronger mandate. “We need to be engaged in a discourse and exchange ideas on what is the best way forward, rather than be presented with a fait accompli from outsiders,” Kiir said. On Friday the UN Security Council approved a US-drafted resolution backed by regional bloc IGAD to strengthen the 12,000-person peacekeeping mission, known as UNMISS, with 4,000 additional troops drawn from regional armies and equipped with a more aggressive mandate. An arms embargo was threatened if South Sudan throws up barriers to the deployment. The East African

Nigerian Troops Repel Boko Haram Attack
Nigerian troops have thwarted a Boko Haram attack in the country’s volatile northeast, killing 16 insurgents while 12 soldiers were wounded, an army spokesperson said on Monday. Troops “successfully repelled” the Boko Haram attack in the town of Kangarwa on Sunday, Colonel Sani Usman said in a statement. The military “rose to the occasion and dealt a decisive blow on the insurgents by killing 16,” he said, adding: “Unfortunately, an officer and 11 soldiers were wounded in action during the encounter.” A cache of arms and ammunitions were recovered from the insurgents, he said. News24

Cameroon: Boko Haram Trying to Turn Self-Defense Militia
Cameroon has been arresting or dismissing members of local self-defense militia in the country’s north amid fears that Boko Haram may be trying to turn some of them against their communities. Local authorities told VOA the crackdown follows an investigation by security agencies. Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region, expressed concern that Boko Haram militants may be trying to infiltrate Cameroon via the local self-defense groups. Authorities are screening the groups, Bakari said. He added that authorities are organizing self-defense groups so, going forward, they’ll coordinate with security forces and denounce suspects. VOA

Sudan Ceasefire Talks Collapse after Less Than a Week
Talks to secure a lasting ceasefire in Sudan’s three warring regions under a road map for peace have collapsed less than a week after they began, the government’s chief negotiator said on Monday. Rebels have been fighting the Sudanese army in the southern regions of Kordofan and Blue Nile since 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Conflict in Darfur, in the west, began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against the Arab-led government based in the capital Khartoum. Last week, rebel and opposition groups agreed to a road map for ceasefire talks and political reconciliation brokered by the African Union and already accepted by the government—the first such agreement since the fighting began in the south of Sudan. Ceasefire talks began immediately after. The East African

Regional Groups in Africa See Continuing Al-Shabab Threat
An East Africa regional organization says the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab is actively plotting attacks in countries throughout the region. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD, says the militant group has expanded and formed special military wings dedicated to carrying out attacks in Kenya and even in Ethiopia. In a 53-page report, titled “Al-Shabab as a Transnational Security Threat,” IGAD says that although al-Shabab’s main bases remain in Somalia, its “identity and aspirations” have shifted and transformed the group into a “transnational organization” with membership from across East Africa. IGAD says the death of the group’s leader had “little effect” on the group’s operations and its capability to attack. VOA

Prominent al-Shabaab Commander Linked to Multi-Million Businesses in Kenya
Security agents in Kenya are investigating reports linking a prominent al-Shabaab commander, Ahmed Iman Ali, to several multi-million dollar businesses in Nairobi. Ali, who is an engineering graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University, mainly deals in second-hand shoes and clothes at stalls, go-downs and boutiques located in Gikomba and Majengo markets. He also owns a nursery school, and makes more money renting out open stalls in Pumwani Estate, Daily Nation reports. Part of the proceeds of the businesses was allegedly sent back to Ali in his Somali hideout to finance terrorism. Ali is said to be the head of video production for al-Shabaab and is no stranger to Kenyan security agents. News24

Central African Republic: After Standoff, UN Force Detains 10 Armed Men, Recovers Weapons Cache
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has reported that after a standoff with a convoy of heavily-armed men near Sibut, the capital of Kémo Prefecture, UN forces detained 10 of the suspects and recovered a “significant quantity” of weapons and munitions. According to a press release from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the convoy of some 35 men, which was believed to include several people who are the subject of arrest warrants, had departed Bangui, the nation’s capital, late Friday. The heavily-armed men exchanged fire with national security forces at several checkpoints en route, and these incidents resulted in a number of deaths and injuries, according to MINUSCA. UN

DRC: Beni Residents Urged to Become Vigilantes after Over 40 killed in Massacre
Civil society has urged local residents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s mineral-rich North Kivu province to take charge of their own security after more than forty people were killed in an attack attributed to armed rebels. Since the massacres began two years ago in the territories of Beni, Butembo and Lubero in North Kivu, more than 1,150 people have been killed and kidnapped. Thousands have been displaced, and hundreds have simply been “kidnapped” – and have disappeared without trace. At least 45 people were believed to have been killed in the attack which started at around 18:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Saturday (13 August) in Beu – a commune in the district of Rwangoma located around 4km in the south-east of the town of Beni. The attack took place only four days after President Joseph Kabila toured the region. IBTimes

Outbreak of Yellow Fever in DR Congo Could Go Global, Children’s Charity Warns
An outbreak of yellow fever that has killed hundreds of people in central Africa could spread across the world, an international children’s charity warned on Tuesday, even as a massive vaccination campaign was expected to get underway. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared a yellow fever epidemic in June after the haemorrhagic virus spread from Angola, where at least 360 people have died since last December in the worst outbreak in decades. A wide effort to bring the outbreak under control by vaccinating more than 10 million people in DRC was due to start this week after delays due to shortages of vaccine and syringes. “There is no known cure for yellow fever and it could go global,” said Save the Children’s country director for DRC, Heather Kerr, in a statement. Reuters

Zambia’s Lungu Re-elected as Main Rival Disputes Result
Zambia’s incumbent President Edgar Lungu was yesterday declared the winner of a closely fought election in the southern African country, a victory that was immediately challenged by his main rival. Electoral commission chief Esau Chulu announced that Lungu was duly elected after releasing the final results from of Thursday’s election, which put Lungu ahead of main rival Hakainde Hichilema by about 200000 votes. “We are going to take up this matter legally,” United Party for National Development (UPND) legal specialist Jack Mwiimbu told reporters. “We have overwhelming evidence of manipulations in the figures.” But Patriotic Front (PF) secretary- general Davis Chama, who popped several champagne bottles at the Mulungushi Conference Centre where the results were announced, laughed off allegations that the vote was rigged. “Those are cry babies who always complain each time there is an election. We have taught them a lesson and this is the end of the UPND,” Chama said. Herald Live

Zambia Arrests 133 Protesters after Contested Election
Zambian police have arrested 133 people protesting against the re-election of President Edgar Lungu after his main opponent Hakainde Hichilema said the vote was rigged, a senior police officer said. Lungu, leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), won 50.35 percent of the vote, against 47.67 percent for Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development (UPND), according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia. The opposition party quickly rejected that result, saying that the electoral commission had colluded to rig the result in favour of Lungu. “They targeted perceived supporters of the ruling party, destroying their property,” Godwin Phiri, a Southern province police chief, told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday, referring to those arrested. “It is like this was well planned and they were just waiting for the winner to be declared. Calm has now returned following the arrests.” Al Jazeera

Mozambique Police Accused of Executing Civilians in Sofala—STV
The Mozambican police have been accused of executing seven civilians in the central province of Sofala on Friday, 12 August, by two men who told independent television station STV they managed to escape the attack. Daniel Macuacua, police spokesman for the province of Sofala, told STV that a burned out vehicle and six charred bodies had been discovered in the district of Cheringoma, in the north of the province. Macuacua said that according to his information, the attack was carried out by armed men belonging to opposition group Renamo. However, the two witnesses who survived the alleged attack told STV their attackers were members of the police. Zitamar



Photo: Adam Jones