Africa Media Review for August 18, 2016

South Sudan President Sets Date for Army Integration
South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has announced his government would integrate all armed dissidents by May 2017 to allow creation of unified national army. His first target is the armed opposition group led by his former first deputy, Riek Machar, which his new deputy, Taban Deng, agreed to start integrating immediately into the national army and finish the process within the next 12 months. “There will be one national army by first May 2017,” said President Kiir in a prepared speech, copy of which Sudan Tribune has obtained on Monday. President Kiir also argued that the idea of two armies under separate commands in one country has proven to be disastrous. … However, Machar is still commanding the SPLA-IO, making it difficult for President Kiir and his new first deputy, Gai, to realize the integration process of the opposition forces across the country. Sudan Tribune

South Sudan Opposition Leader Riek Machar Has Left Country: Spokesman
South Sudan’s former vice president and opposition leader Riek Machar has left the country for a neighbouring state, opposition officials said on Thursday, several weeks after he withdrew from the capital Juba during fierce fighting with government troops. Spokesman James Gatdet Dak declined to say which country Machar was in. A statement issued by the leadership of the SPLA In Opposition (SPLA-IO) said he had left on Wednesday to a “safe country within the region”. … Spokesman Gatdek Dak, writing on his Facebook page, said opposition fighters had “successfully relocated our leader to a neighbouring country where he will now have unhindered access to the rest of the world and the media.” Bar-kulan

SPLM-IO: Kiir’s Transitional Parliament ‘Illegal’
President Salva Kiir’s faction has applied illegal procedures to reopen its old parliament in the name of South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly, a spokesperson for the armed opposition faction allied to Riek Machar said. This statement comes after the new transitional legislature held its first session which was inaugurated by President Salva Kiir and his new deputy Taban Deng Gai in Juba earlier this week. “All the procedures were contrary to what was agreed upon in the peace agreement. So on our side, the inauguration of the parliament is just a continuation of the same parliament that existed since 2013, and to us, the procedures are illegal and unconstitutional” he said. Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, deputy head of the SPLM-IO information committee, told Radio Tamazuj that the newly reconstituted parliament in Juba is a move to undermine the peace deal. Radio Tamazuj

New VP Deng Gai Blames Riek Machar for Stalling Peace Pact
South Sudan’s first vice president Taban Deng Gai has accused rebel leader Riek Machar of stalling a peace agreement aimed at ending violence in the country. Gai claimed Machar ran “a parallel government in Juba” before he fled following violence that rocked the capital in July. He said the government and rebel armies will be merged by May next year. “It is easier for us now to implement the peace agreement because we have cohesion. When Riek Machar was in Juba, the issue of parallel armies was overused. We are moving very fast to have one national army by May next year,” he said. The East African

ISIS Launches Wave of Suicide Attacks on Libya Forces
Islamic State group jihadists in Libya have carried out nine suicide bombings in one day in a failed bid to hold a central district of Sirte, pro-government forces said on Wednesday. The attacks on Tuesday in the coastal city left nine pro-government fighters dead and 82 wounded, said Reda Issa, a spokesperson for forces allied with the unity government. They took place as forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA), backed by US air strikes, advanced on Sirte’s central District Two as part of a three-month offensive to oust the jihadists from the city. An ISIS fighter blew up his vehicle close to a group of soldiers and journalists, wounding several. Five of the bombers attacked using cars, one on a motorbike and three on foot, said the pro-GNA forces, which published several photos of the bombers’ corpses. News24

Spain Rescues 50 Migrants Drifting Between South Coast and Morocco
Spanish authorities said on Wednesday they had rescued 50 migrants from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa who were found the day before drifting in two boats off Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Spain’s maritime rescue service said it first spotted an inflatable boat with six Moroccan men stuck in high winds as it tried to cross the from Morocco’s northern coast to the southern Spanish region of Almeria. A second boat with 34 men and 10 women from sub-Saharan African countries later was found in the same area. One woman was treated for burns but the rest of the migrants were in good health, the service said in a statement. All of the migrants were taken aboard a medical ship and transferred to Spain. Reuters

Violent Protests in Mali’s Capital Kill 3, Injure Several
Protests in Mali’s capital against the arrest of a popular activist radio host have turned violent, leaving at least three people dead and several injured. These are the first major protests in Bamako since a military coup in 2012. Dozens took to the streets in Hamdallaye neighborhood Wednesday in support of radio personality Ras Bath. Activist Yelimady Konate says protesters knocked down the door of the courtroom where Bath was having his hearing. He says Bath was arrested Monday before hosting a radio talk show discussing Mali’s army. Protester Mama Camara says he saw three dead and several hurt at a clinic where he was looking for friends. Fox News

Boko Haram Kills Five in Attack on Reopened Highway
Boko Haram killed five traders in an ambush on a highway in northeast Nigeria that was recently reopened after coming under repeated attack from the Islamist group, a military source said on Wednesday. A convoy of vehicles carrying Nigerian immigration officials and a group of traders were travelling from Gamboru, on the border with Cameroon, to the city of Maiduguri when they came under fire on Monday. … The Gamboru to Maiduguri highway is a strategic 140-kilometre trade route in the region and provides an important link with neighbouring Cameroon. News24

Boko Haram: 8,000 Surrendered Terrorists ‘Waiting to Be Deradicalised in Gombe’
No fewer than 8,000 members of Boko Haram terror group have voluntarily surrendered to the Nigerian army, the country’s defence ministry has said. Colonel Rabe Abubakar, a spokesperson for the ministry, also claimed that the surrendered insurgents were in a camp in Gombe state, northeastern Nigeria, waiting to be “deradicalised” by the army. Abubakar also said more than 10,000 Boko Haram captives had been rescued by the military and reunited with their families or taken to Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camps. He then claimed the terror group had been decimated, echoing an earlier statement by the army, which said the terrorists had been defeated. However, this was in contrast with other reports that emerged around the same time as the army’s remarks. IBTimes

AMISOM is to Secure Somali Elections
The new commander of African Union Mission in Somalia Gen Subagle confirm that the AU forces are ready to take all responsibilities on securing the Somali general elections. AMISOM further confirm they co ordinate with Somali forces in carrying out the duties on the forthcoming elections that scheduled October. “AMISOM forces had a duty to help Somalia hold a successful electoral process that will culminate in the election of a new president on Oct 30, 2016,” he said. AMISOM is made up of 20,000 AU soldiers from Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi and Ethiopia who are fighting the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants since 2007. Mareeg

Uganda: Moslem Clerics Charged With Fresh Treason Charges
Security at the Nakawa Magistrates Court was tight this afternoon as 19 people including Moslem clerics were being charged with treason as well as aiding and abetting treason for some. After reading them the charges Nakawa Grade one magistrate Christine Nantege advised all the accused persons not to say anything because these are capital offences that are only heard by the High court. … Prosecution says these together with others still at large between January 2014 and June 2015 at various places in Uganda including Kampala, Wakiso, Gulu, Kitgum Mbale, Masaka, Mpigi, Rakai and other places outside Uganda including UAE Kenya and Tanzania contrived a plot to overturn the government of Uganda as by law established by use of arms and expressed such plot by utterances and overt acts. Chimp Reports

Rwandan Police Kill Man Sescribed as Terrorism Suspect after Shootout
A Rwandan man described as a “terror suspect” was shot dead in the capital Kigali late on Wednesday after a three-hour shootout with police, a police statement said. The suspect, identified as Channy Mbonigaba, barricaded himself in a house and injured one police officer during the battle in the Nyarutaramahe district, police said. They said that, since last year, the Rwandan National Police had been investigating “individuals suspected of being radicalized and linked to foreign terrorist organisations”, and that several had appeared in court, but gave no details of the organisations involved. Reuters

Burundian Women Flee To Tanzania To Escape Rape As Weapon Of War
he men who stormed into Sophie’s home in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura shot her husband dead and then gang-raped her on the floor beside his body. They told Sophie that they had killed her husband, a senior army figure, for not supporting Burundi’s embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza and that she would “pay for his mistake.” “They told me, ‘Now you will also see,’” and then three men raped her until she blacked out, she says, speaking in hushed tones as she sits in a tent in Tanzania’s packed Nduta refugee camp. … Human Rights Watch researcher Skye Wheeler, who recently interviewed around 70 women in Nduta camp for a report on Burundi sexual violence, says she found a clear pattern of women being targeted for rape as punishment for their political affiliation. Huffington Post

Burundi: Tutsi Army Officers on Missions Abroad Choose to Defect Instead of Returning Home
Young Burundian soldiers are increasingly choosing to defect at the end of their missions abroad amid fears of the Burundian authorities’ crackdown on military officers suspected of being close to the opposition that has particularly targeted young Tutsi officers. Last week, a report submitted to the United Nations (UN) Committee Against Torture (CAT) corroborated earlier UN findings of enforced disappearances among ex-officers of the defunct armed forces (dubbed ex-FAB), who have allegedly been killed because of their Tutsi ethnicity. Burundi’s army is composed equally of the country’s two main ethnic groups − soldiers of the former regime, the predominantly Tutsi ex-Armed forces of Burundi (ex-FAB), and fighters of the majority Hutu rebel groups comprising members of former rebel factions like the current ruling party that were fighting against the Tutsi-led regimes before the war ended (dubbed Parties and Armed Political Movements, ex-PMPA). IBTimes

Man Shot Dead at Protest over DR Congo Massacre
A young man was shot dead on Wednesday when security forces opened fire at a crowd protesting the government’s alleged failure to protect civilians after a gruesome massacre in eastern DR Congo. Police and troops fired tear gas and warning shots to break up an angry protest in the town of Beni where 51 civilians were hacked to death last weekend in the latest string of attacks blamed on rebels. “This person was killed by a bullet to the back,” hospital doctor Jeremie Muhindo said, adding that five people had been injured in the clashes, including three by gunfire. … Security forces stepped in after hundreds gathered in the town’s main street on the last day of a three-day mourning period called by civil society groups over the gruesome murder of dozens of people on Saturday night. News24

Zimbabwe Police Break Up Anti-Mugabe Protest
Zimbabwe police have fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse several hundred protesters calling on President Robert Mugabe to step down, a week after the longtime ruler warned that protests “don’t pay”. Some 200 people had gathered in central Harare on Wednesday, carrying flowers for peace and holding posters reading “Mugabe Must Go”, when baton-carrying police moved in. An AFP journalist reported seeing police officers beating protesters with batons before firing on the crowd with tear gas. Images taken by wire agencies and posted on social media also showed several people beaten by police. … Protest leader Promise Mkwananzi said Wednesday’s demonstration was just a build-up to a “national shutdown” on August 31. Al Jazeera



Photo: Adam Jones