Africa Media Review for August 2, 2016

Machar’s Spokesperson Says Fighting Continues Around Juba, Claims Defeating Kiir Forces
Spokesperson of the leadership of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), said forces loyal to President Salva Kiir have been defeated in all fronts around Juba and that the SPLA-IO troops are waiting for an order from their commander-in-chief to move on Juba. Reached by Sudan Tribune on Tuesday morning, James Gatdet Dak has said that “Several hundreds of soldiers” belonging to President Kiir have been killed in the forests in the south, west and northwest of the national capital, Juba, as they tried to hunt for Machar, former first vice president who fled the town three weeks ago. Sudan Tribune

Lam Akol Resigns from South Sudan Govt, Says Peace Deal is Over
Dr Lam Akol Ajawin, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in the South Sudanese cabinet, has resigned his position saying that “there is no more peace agreement to implement in Juba.” Lam was one of two members of the non-armed opposition parties to be appointed to ministerial positions in the Transitional Government of National Unity under the terms of the peace deal signed last August. … The National Alliance chairman in his resignation statement blamed President Salva Kiir for dealing a “final blow” to the peace deal by his actions since the first week of July “culminating in the military attack on the First Vice President, dislodging him from Juba and invoking his absence to fill his position with a person of his choice in the name of SPLM-IO.” “One cannot with a clear conscience serve under such a regime,” the minister wrote. Lam cited other violations of the peace deal including the creation of 28 states, delays in forming the transitional assembly, obstructions of ceasefire monitors, and “ethnic-oriented killings in Rjaa, Wau and other ares in Equatoria, [and] refusing to lift the state of emergency.” Radio Tamazuj

Nigeria: 244,000 Hungry Children
The Boko Haram insurgency has led to a food crisis the extent of which is only now being uncovered. he situation in the region, where the insurgency has claimed more than 20,000 lives since 2009, was grave enough for Médecins Sans Frontières to warn last week that malnourished children were dying in large numbers. The following day, an insurgent attack led to the suspension of the delivery of vital supplies, compounding the crisis. Thierry Laurent-Badin, programme director for Action Contre la Faim in Nigeria, estimates that about 244,000 children are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition in areas that used to be a complete no-go due to security restrictions, a figure also announced recently by UNICEF. “We just got access to areas previously under Boko Haram control and completely inaccessible for the last few years; areas like Monguno, Baga, Kukawa, Gambara-Ngala, Dikwa, Bama, Gwoza and more,” Laurent-Badin told IRIN. IRIN

Nigerian Army Killed 348 Shiites in December Raid, Inquiry Says
A Nigerian commission has found that the army killed 348 people from a minority Shiite Muslim sect last December and has called for the prosecution of those involved. “The Nigerian army used excessive force,” said the judicial inquiry in its report, published Monday. It said troops that took part in the three-day military raid on the northern city of Zaria should be identified “with a view to prosecuting them.” The Nigerian army raided the headquarters of Shiite Muslim leader Ibraheem Zakzaky in December, sparking three days of clashes in the area. One soldier was also killed in the violence. Zakzaky was injured in the raid and has been in detention since then. The army accused Zakzaky’s movement of attempting to kill Nigeria’s army chief. VOA

Bodies Wash Up in Libya as Migrant Toll Climbs: IOM
The bodies of 120 migrants have washed up on the shores of Libya in the past 10 days, not from previously known shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday. A total of 4,027 migrants or refugees have died worldwide so far this year, three-quarters of them in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe, IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a briefing. That represents a 35 percent increase on the global toll during the first seven months of 2015, he said. Yahoo

U.S. Warplanes Launch Bombing Campaign on Islamic State in Libya
U.S. planes bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, responding to the U.N.-backed government’s request to help push the militants from their former stronghold in the city of Sirte. “The first air strikes were carried out at specific locations in Sirte today causing severe losses to enemy ranks,” Prime Minster Fayez Seraj said on state TV. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the strikes did not have “an end point at this particular moment in time”. Forces allied with Seraj have been battling Islamic State in Sirte—the home town of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi—since May. Reuters

Rights Groups to Mauritania: Release Anti-Slavery Activists
More than a dozen human rights groups are calling on Mauritania to unconditionally release 13 anti-slavery activists and drop all charges against them. Amnesty International said Monday the activists have been falsely accused. The organizations called for their release ahead of a court appearance Wednesday. The activists, members of a non-governmental organization that campaigns against slavery in the West African country, are accused of armed assembly, use of violence, attack against public authority and rebellion. They were arrested between the end of June and early July after a protest against the relocation of a slum community. AP

Burundian Journalist Living in Exile in Uganda Is Stabbed
A Burundian journalist who is exiled in Uganda says he was stabbed in the capital, Kampala, and recognized two attackers as Burundians. Boaz Ntaconayigize, who worked for Burundi’s independent Bonesha FM radio station before fleeing, said he has been hospitalized following the attack Sunday evening. Bonesha is one of the media outlets closed in May 2015 after Burundian authorities accused them of conspiring with the generals who attempted to overthrow President Pierre Nkurunziza during his bid for a third term. Speaking from a hospital, Ntaconayigize said he recognized two of at least four attackers as Burundians. He said he was stabbed in the hand and near the chest. There was no immediate comment from Ugandan police. Nearly 100 Burundian journalists are in exile, according to Reporters Without Borders. NY Times

AMISOM Commanders Review War on Al Shabaab
The Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh, has asked senior military officers to review existing strategies to improve the efficiency of security operations and strengthen collaboration with the Somali National Army (SNA). The Force Commander said this would help SNA take full charge of the country’s security. “It is a chance for us to review what we have been tasked to do over the next year and align our thinking, as well as to outline to you some of the changes and developments that we are currently working on, towards implementing the strategic direction from the African Union,” Lt Gen. Soubagleh told the sector commanders. … The Force Commander reiterated that AMISOM’s mandate cannot be effectively accomplished without capacitating the SNA, to ensure long term security and stability of Somalia. Radio Shabelle

Uganda Police Chief Summoned to Court over Alleged Torture
Uganda’s police chief has been summoned to court over torture charges related to alleged police brutality against members of the political opposition. The charges against Gen. Kale Kayihura were brought by rights lawyers acting independently of the public prosecutor. Solomon Muyita, a spokesperson for the judiciary, said on Monday that criminal summonses were issued last week against Kayihura and seven other officers. Ugandan police have drawn wide condemnation recently over their tactics against supporters of opposition leader Kizza Besigye. In one incident last month, police wielding sticks were seen roughing up civilians who had gathered at the roadside to see Besigye, who faces treason charges, after he had won bail. Kayihura praised the perpetrators of the beatings. News24

Central Africa’s President to Hold Talks with Rebels
The Central African Republic’s president said on Monday he would soon hold talks with rebel groups as he seeks to restore security after years of sectarian violence. “Either this week or next week, we will initiate an exchange with representatives of the armed groups, in order to clarify some points,” President Faustin-Archange Touadera told local radio station Ndeke Luka. “There are many weapons in the country, a lot of banditry,” said Touadera, adding that in parts of the impoverished nation “people cannot go to the fields”. Referring to a campaign dubbed the “DDR” (disarmament, demobilisation and social reintegration), Touadera said “the process must begin very soon”. A total of 3 152 former fighters have registered in the DDR programme in the past year, a spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in Central Africa said in late July. News24

Republic of Congo Opposition Wants Political Prisoners Freed
A Republic of Congo opposition party has called for the unconditional release of political prisoners and easing of arbitrary arrests. The Pan-African Union for Social Democracy’s statement issued overnight Sunday follows a similar request last week by Amnesty International. Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, an independent candidate in the March presidential elections, is under provisional house detention. Paulin Makaya, president of the opposition United Party for Congo, was sentenced last week to two years in prison for inciting public disorder and insurrection. Makaya was detained after participating in an October protest of a referendum allowing the country’s longtime president to seek another term. The referendum ultimately passed. VOA

Angolan Rebels Claim More Casualties in Oil-Rich Cabinda
Two rebels and 17 Angolan soldiers were killed in two incidents in the oil-producing province of Cabinda at the weekend, the separatist Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) said on Monday. Authorities in the southern African, currently Africa’s biggest oil producer, declined to comment. On Friday the government also did not respond to a FLEC claim that nine Angolan soldiers had been killed in the region. Luanda rarely responds to such claims in a region where separatists have been waging a low-intensity guerrilla campaign for several decades. The latest clashes broke out on Saturday and Sunday near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, FLEC said in a statement. FLEC, which wants independence for a territory that accounts for half of Angola’s oil output, has been more vocal since the death this year of its 88-year-old founder, Nzita Tiago, in exile in France. Men claiming to be rebels boarded an offshore Chevron gas platform in late May and threatened foreign petroleum workers in a rare sign of the simmering instability in heavily guarded Cabinda. Reuters

Negotiations Between Frelimo and Renamo Suspended as Mozambique War Escalates
War has escalated in Mozambique, as negotiations between long-standing civil war foes—the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) guerillas and the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) government have been suspended until 8 August. Violence has continued in the country despite the international community’s efforts at keeping the peace in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies – which is looking to escape years of poverty and conflict by tapping into its huge energy resources. In an escalation of a simmering conflict between longstanding civil war foes which had so far resulted in at least 11,000 Mozambican refugees fleeing to neighbouring Malawi, an increasing number of civilians have been targeted, according to Joseph Hanlon, a journalist and development researcher who has been chronicling Mozambique since 1978. IBTimes

Zimbabwe Court Frees War Veteran, Police Arrest Another
Zimbabwean court on Monday freed a senior official of a war veterans association on bail but police arrested another official, in what lawyers say is a crackdown by President Robert Mugabe against former allies who have asked him to step down. Senior officials in the ruling ZANU-PF party are positioning for a post-Mugabe era, which has divided the party along two factions, one backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and another rallying behind First Lady Grace Mugabe. The secretive Mnangagwa, nicknamed “Crocodile” in the Shona language, held a news press conference with state media reporters on Saturday, where he denied having any presidential ambition and re-affirmed his loyalty to 92-year-old Mugabe. Reuters

South Africa Deploys 2,000 Soldiers for Mayoral Elections
South African President Jacob Zuma has deployed more than 2,000 soldiers to assist the police maintain law and order during Wednesday’s local government elections. South Africa has, in recent months, been rocked by violent protests. The increase in protests and the growing frustration with the ruling ANC party have led many to question whether South Africa would maintain its tradition of peaceful elections. However, President Zuma has assured that tight security measures were in place to ensure that no criminal or violent incidents mar Wednesday’s elections. About 28 million prospective voters are expected to cast their ballots. “We are looking forward to a peaceful election day with no intimidation. There have been intimidation activities that took lives of people. We want people to be assured that they will vote without any interference,” said President Zuma. The East African



Photo: Adam Jones