Africa Media Review for August 3, 2016

UN Says 60 000 Have Fled South Sudan Since Latest Fighting
About 60 000 people have fled South Sudan since fighting broke out between rival army factions almost four weeks ago, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday. About 52 000 people have gone to Uganda, 7 000 to Sudan and 1 000 to Kenya, the agency said. In all, almost 900 000 South Sudanese have left their country since civil war broke out in December 2013, the UN said. The country had about 11 million residents at the time. A peace deal reached a year ago has been repeatedly threatened by fighting. News24

Scores of UN Officials Denied Entry into South Sudan
Over one hundred United Nations workers were recently denied entry or deported at the Juba International Airport due to new regulations issued by the Directorate of Immigration, sources tell Radio Tamazuj. South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said last Thursday that it has decided to apply new immigration procedures to all personnel of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) entering the country. A source told Radio Tamazuj that the UN workers arrived at Juba Airport but were were prevented from getting visa. Other U.N. workers say that immigration officials at the Juba International Airport have kept their passports. Radio Tamazuj

Makuei Threatens to Expel Peace Monitoring Body
South Sudan’s government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth on Tuesday threatened to deny entry to the Joint Monitoring Evolution Commission (JMEC) or to expel the group altogether unless they reopen their office in Juba and cease carrying on business in other places outside the country. This comes after a meeting of diplomats of the JMEC Partners Forum—the guarantors of the August 2015 peace deal—held recently in Khartoum, as well as meetings by the JMEC Chairman Festus Mogae at the African Union summit and elsewhere. … Makuei, who was behind the expulsion of the JMEC chief of staff several month ago, was opposed to the signing of the peace deal last year. Radio Tamazuj

Former Leader of South Sudan’s Ruling Party Seeks International Intervention
The former secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has formed an advocacy group to spearhead efforts to bring peace to South Sudan under U.N. administration. Pagan Amum sees “South Sudan Reborn” as a collective effort to help the country out of its political, humanitarian and economic crisis. The former SPLM leader told South Sudan in Focus in an exclusive interview that he wanted the international community to directly intervene in South Sudan in order to save it from collapsing. … President Salva Kiir; his longtime adversary, former First Vice President Riek Machar; and all other political leaders have failed to run the country, Amum said. VOA

Suicide Bomb Attack Kills at Least 15 in Libya’s Benghazi
A car bomb targeting security forces on Tuesday in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 30 others, a spokesman for the security services and medical officials said. “There were 15 martyrs and more than 30 wounded in the suicide bombing at Al-Guwarsha” in western Benghazi, the military official said. The blast occurred in a residential area of the Guwarsha district, the scene of recent fighting between security forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government and an alliance of Islamists and others. The alliance, the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, claimed responsibility for the blast, according to a statement posted on media sites linked to the group. Benghazi has been plagued by violence since eastern commander Khalifa Haftar launched a campaign against the Islamists’ Shura Council two years ago. France24

Nigeria: Prosecutions ‘Unlikely’ for Troops Behind Mass Shia Killings
A public inquiry has found the Nigerian army killed hundreds of Shiite Muslims in the northern state of Kaduna late last year. But prosecutions are ‘very unlikely,’ says security analyst Kabir Adamu. The inquiry commission, set up by the Kaduna state government, said those responsible for the killings should be prosecuted, confirming the conclusions of an earlier Amnesty International report. The killings took place in December 2015 following clashes between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). DW

Protests in Ethiopia’s Gonder City Signal Uncertain Future
An Ethiopian professor of political science based in the United States says Ethiopia finds itself at a crossroads with an uncertain future unless the government holds free and fair elections. This, as tens of thousands of people in Gonder, a city in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia, protested Sunday calling for a change of government because of what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in the country. Getachew Metaferia, professor of political science at Morgan State University, said the root causes of the Gonder protest and the Oromia protests of last year can be found partly in the Ethiopian government’s ethnic-based federalism policy. Metaferia also said another cause of the uprisings in Ethiopia is what he called the worsening democracy situation in Ethiopia. “There is no human rights protection, no freedom of speech, freedom of the press,” he said. VOA

Al Shabaab Recruiting Youths by Force, Says KDF Chief
Al Shabaab is now forcibly recruiting youths at the Coast, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has said. Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe said the Somali-based Islamist group has lost its appeal to the youths and is now using force to recruit them. He, however, said that the country is still facing threats and urged parents and communities to remain vigilant. “Terror groups like Al Shaabab have changed their tactics of recruiting and training people. Apart from the normal process of radicalising the youth, the groups have now shifted to actually forcing the youths to join them,” said Mwathethe when he visited his rural home in Jila Ganze, Kwale County. Shabelle News

Uganda: Museveni Says to Consult on Removal of Presidential Age Limit
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni Tuesday confirmed that he had received a petition that seeks the removal of the presidential age limit. A statement from State House Entebbe said the president received the proposal seeking the amendment of Article 102(b) to remove the age limitation from a group from the ruling NRM led by Kyankwanzi woman MP Ann-Maria Nankabirwa. “President Yoweri Museveni has received a resolution from the Kyankwanzi National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders calling for the amendment of the Constitution by Parliament to lift presidential age limit from the current 75 years to none,” the statement reads in part. … Mr Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, is serving what was seen as likely to be his last five-year term after winning the elections in February. His current term will expire in 2021. … If the amendment succeeds, it will be the last major hurdle for the veteran president having successfully overseen the removal of term limits in 2005. The East African

Uganda Police Memo: Don’t Use Masked Men Too Openly
A leaked police memo has confirmed what the police leadership has persistently denied before—that the masked men recently caught on camera flogging opposition supporters work for the force. The leaked document was yesterday being treated as another piece of evidence that a culture of brutality and disregard of the law is taking root in the police. In the July 13 memo, inspector general of police Kale Kayihura directed his commanders in Kampala to stop using baton and stick welding masked men in overt (open street) police operations. The memo, signed by Kayihura’s personal assistant Jonathan Baroza, was addressed to all regional police commanders, division police commanders and all units under Kampala Metropolitan Police area (KMP). Baroza is Kayihura’s right-hand man who even issues orders to people above his rank of assistant commissioner of police. The Observer

EAC Under Security Threats
A senior official at the East African Community (EAC) has admitted that the region was faced with a myriad of security threats. Charles Njoroge deputy secretary general in charge of Political Federation says it was time the partner states addressed the issue. “It is imperative that special attention be accorded to the competition for resources between security needs and traditional development needs within the human security continuum”, he said here on Monday while opening a dialogue organised by the US-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies. The Citizen

Burundi Rejects U.N. Police Deployment after Security Council Vote
Burundi said it would refuse to allow United Nations police onto its territory to monitor the security and human rights situation after the U.N. Security Council voted to send 228 officers. More than 450 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term last year, a move his opponents say violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005. Government and opposition officials were among those killed in tit-for-tat violence by rival sides. Burundi’s U.N. Ambassador Albert Shingiro said in July his country would only accept up to 50 unarmed U.N. police. The United Nations needs approval from Burundi’s government to send the police. Reuters

São Tomé President Bows Out of Run-Off Vote
The president of the west African state of Sao Tome and Principe, attacking the country’s elections for head of state as fraudulent, says he will not take part in next Saturday’s run-off vote. In a letter published on Tuesday by the Constitutional Tribunal, the country’s top court, 78-year-old President Manuel Pinto da Costa said he refused to participate in the second round of voting. “To continue to take part in a process of this kind would be tantamount to approving it. I will not do so as a candidate, and even less so as president of the republic,” Pinto da Costa said in the letter, dated August 1. News24

Frustrated Voters Set to Shake up South African Politics
With local elections taking place accross the country on Wednesday, campaigning has been intense—both on the streets and online. For the ruling African National Congress party (ANC), it could be crunch time. Nearly 26 million registered voters in all of South Africa’s 278 municipalities will be electing representatives, including mayors, to local councils, which are responsible for crucial services including water, electricity and sanitation. Currently, the majority of the country’s municipalities are run by the ruling ANC party, which came to power in 1994 after a successful campaign against white dominance and Apartheid. Now polls suggest the party is losing significant support for the first time in over 20 years—meaning these elections are being viewed as a referendum on President Jacob Zuma ahead of presidential elections in 2019. DW



Photo: Adam Jones