Africa Media Review for August 22, 2017

South Sudan Orders UN Troops out of Juba Airport
The South Sudan government has ordered the UN’s Regional Protection (RPF) troops out of the Juba International Airport. Information minister Michael Makuei confirmed to the local media in Juba that RPF attempted to illegally occupy the Juba airport without any formal agreement with the administration. He said the troops were armed with artilleries and tankers, pointing out that the government immediately acted and informed the UN peace keeping mission in Juba to order the RPF back to their base on Yei Road. “We have asked their bosses to take them back to the designated camp on Yei Road and they have complied with the government orders,” Mr Makuei is quoted saying by the local Daawn Daily. The East African

Campaigning Ends as Angola Votes to Replace Dos Santos after 38 Years
Electioneering campaigns in Angola ended on Monday (August 21) two clear days to the opening of polls. Parties have been touring the length and breadth of the country since campaigning was opened on July 23, 2017. The ruling MPLA party held its final rally on Saturday with its presidential candidate Joao Lourenco – a former Defense Minister – selling the message of continuity. According to him, the MPLA is the only entity that could guarantee stability in the country. Another opposition partly CASA-CE – seen as the third force also held its rally on the same day. The main opposition UNITA rounded up their campaign on Monday with a rally held outside of the capital, Luanda. Africa News

Lourenco: Ex-General Poised to Be Angola’s next Leader
The likely next president of Angola, Joao Lourenco, is a ruling-party loyalist and a former general who endured several years out of favour after he angled for the top job in the 1990s. Since then, Lourenco, 63, has convinced key regime players he is the right man to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the oil-rich southwest African nation for 38 years. Currently defence minister and deputy president of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Lourenco is firmly “part of the inner circle of power”, according to Didier Peclard, an Angola specialist at the University of Geneva. In February, Dos Santos named Lourenco the party’s presidential candidate for the general election to be held on Wednesday. Lourenco previously failed to hide his desire to succeed Dos Santos when the president hinted in the 1990s that he might step down. News 24

Portugal Dominated Angola for Centuries. Now the Roles Are Reversed.
How the roles have reversed: The colonizer, some Portuguese contend, has been colonized. On the Portuguese coast of Cascais, where the nation’s royal court used to summer, a new 14-story condominium building looms confidently by the sea. So many of its apartments have been bought by Angola’s ruling class — sometimes a handful at a time — that the development has a nickname: the “Angolans’ building.” Along the grandest shopping boulevard in the capital, Lisbon, Angola’s elite buy designer suits and handbags by the armful. And on one corner, above Louis Vuitton, sits the local office of Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, a billionaire from Angola who has become one of Portugal’s most powerful figures by buying large chunks of the country’s banking, media and energy industries. The money flowing into Portugal comes from the colony it dominated, often brutally, for hundreds of years, Angola. Now, the African nation is a major oil producer that has been led for the last 38 years by Ms. dos Santos’s father, President José Eduardo dos Santos. The New York Times

South Sudan Declines Participation in Abyei Meetings
South Sudanese government said on Monday it declined to dispatch a team to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for an African Union-brokered meeting on the disputed area of Abyei, citing the lack of clear agenda. The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) called on the Sudanese and South Sudanese members of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) for a meeting on 16 August. Also, another meeting for the traditional leaders from the Ngok-Dinka and Misseriya communities had to take place on 17 August. A delegation from the from the African Union, United Nations and the UN Security Council was in Khartoum on 10 August to discuss the need for an agreement on Abyei joint administration and the implementation of the joint border patrols which should be supported by United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Sudan Tribune

ICRC Chief Urges Renewed Dialogue to End War in South Sudan
The warring factions in South Sudan and the country’s neighbors must leave no stone unturned in finding a political solution to the three-and-a-half-year civil war. That was the message of the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as he wrapped up his visit to South Sudan and neighboring Uganda. Peter Maurer has visited conflict zones around the world, including Syria and Yemen. The International Committee of the Red Cross president paints a grim picture of what he has just seen in South Sudan, one in two people is severely hungry and dependent on food aid, while one in three people is displaced. ICRC’s Maurer said returning to dialogue is the only solution. VOA

Tensions in Togo as Anti-Gnassingbe Rally Turns Deadly
Tensions have erupted in Togo after protests against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty over the weekend turned deadly. Two protesters were killed, and 12 gendarmes were wounded in Sokode, 338km north of the capital, Lome, when security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations, the security ministry said on Saturday. Tikpi Atchadam, Togo’s opposition leader and president of the PNP party, put the death toll at seven on Saturday night. President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power in the West African country since the 2005 death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had been at the helm for 38 years. Chanting “50 years is too long!”, thousands took to the streets of Lome on Saturday calling for the reinstatement of the constitution limiting terms. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them. Al Jazeera

Sierra Leone Mudslide Survivors Angry as Hundreds Remain Missing
It has been a week since mudslides buried large areas of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, and hundreds of people are still missing. The number of confirmed deaths is soon expected to exceed 500 as recovery efforts continue in the West African nation. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Freetown, where survivors’ grief has turned into anger. Al Jazeera

Somali Extremist Group Confirms Killing of Senior Commander
The Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab is confirming that one of its top commanders was killed by a U.S. airstrike in July. The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist groups, says al-Shabab issued a statement Monday confirming the killing of Ali Muhammad Hussein, also known as Ali Jabal. A statement from the U.S. Africa Command in early August said the strike on July 30 killed Jabal. It said Jabal was “responsible for leading al-Shabab forces operating in the Mogadishu and Banadiir regions in planning and executing attacks against the capital of Mogadishu.” The strike reportedly hit an al-Shabab stronghold in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia.  VOA

Kenya Says Police Killed Most Wanted ‘Al-Shabaab Commander’
Anti-terror police have shot dead wanted terrorist Hussein Said Omar in Bamburi, Mombasa. He was one of the Al Shabaab militants behind the Mpeketoni attack that claimed lives of more than 60 people in June 2014. Hussein Said Omar also known as Babli was a most wanted terror suspects who had been on the run since 2015. He engaged security personnel in a shootout from his hideout in Bamburi before he was overpowered by the anti-terror police who ambushed him following a tip off from the public. He was the logistician for Al Shabaab militia operating in Boni Forest. He was also behind the killing of innocent Kenyans in Mwalei, Pandanguo and Milihoi. Shabelle Media Network

Guptas Sell Media Company to Zuma Ally as Bank Accounts Close
Oakbay Investments, the company controlled by the Gupta family that’s having its last bank accounts closed, agreed to sell its South African media interests to management and an ally of the friends of President Jacob Zuma. Oakbay will get 300 million rand ($23 million) for Infinity Media, which operates news channel ANN7, and 150 million rand for its two-thirds stake in the publisher of The New Age newspaper, the company said in a statement on Monday. The assets will be sold to management and Lodidox through “vendor financing at acceptable terms,” it said. The sale may allow the media interests to keep operating after the decision by banks to stop dealing with companies linked to the Guptas, a family who are friends with Zuma and in business with one of his sons. Mzwanele Manyi is the sole director of Lodidox, and was registered as director on June 23, according to company filings. The former government spokesman is a regular political commentator on ANN7 and has been one of the most prominent supporters of the campaign against so-called “white monopoly capital” advocated by Zuma. Bloomberg

S Africa Launches Probe into More Than 90 ‘Political Murders’
The South African government has set up an inquiry to investigate what activists call political murders in KwaZulu Natal province. More than 90 people have been killed in and around the Glebelands Hostel since 2014, and yet no arrests have been made in connection with the deaths. There are also concerns the violence could escalate when the race to succeed President Jacob Zuma as party leader intensifies.  Al Jazeera

Diplomatic Immunity for Grace Mugabe Was Warranted, Says Nkoana-Mashabane
The Department of International Relations (Dirco) says Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane “agonised” over her decision to grant Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity following assault claims. This after the department issued a statement, announcing that Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity was warranted. “The minister has made the determination that the conferring of diplomatic immunity is warranted in this particular instance. The department wishes to convey the message that the minister has agonised over this matter and the decision was not an easy one to make,” her office said. It said Nkoana-Mashabane said she considered several factors before landing on her final decision. Mail and Guardian

Soglo and Benin: Democracy, More Than a Moment
Benin’s population at independence in 1960 was just 2.4-million. Today it’s touching 11-million, and is projected to increase to 24-million within the next generation. As a result, GDP per capita remains under $800. The country ranks 155 of 190 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business indicators. The country exports little save the commodities of cotton, cocoa, cashews, coconuts, gold, rough wood, and oil. These challenges echo the current African governance and democracy malaise. Over the last 10 years, democratic progress has flat lined. Daily Maverick

Morocco’s Controversial Plan to Strengthen Ties with West Africa
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI is making his country’s membership application to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) a top priority. Earlier this year, he visited Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Mali to promote his cause. At its June summit in Monrovia, ECOWAS confirmed that Morocco’s membership was possible, at least in principle. Back in January, Morocco had rejoined the African Union after 33 years. Since then, the king has been busy signing dozens of bilateral trade agreements with other African countries. In recent years, at least 85 percent of Morocco’s direct foreign investment went to African countries. In 2016, it was the largest African investor on the continent, to the tune of $8 billion (6.8 billion euros). Of this, $2.7 billion went to Ivory Coast alone. Deutsche Welle

32 African Parties Vow to Fight Corruption
The Council of the African Political Parties (CAPP), concluding its two-day conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Sunday, has vowed to unite the continent against corruption. The conference also elected Nigeria’s of Ramatu Tijjani as its new, and first ever, chairwoman during the third CAPP general assembly. “Let me reiterate that the new CAPP leadership will be careful to work towards political stability, economic prosperity and cultural integration of our people,” the new chairwoman stressed. “[…]We shall unite to say to those imperialists that have made us not to believe in ourselves that we feel proud and great about Africa,” she added. Anadolu Agency



Photo: Adam Jones