Africa Media Review for August 5, 2016

UN Says SPLA Committed Widespread Violations during July Fighting
United Nations (UN) has said preliminary investigations into recent fighting in South Sudan, and its aftermath, have revealed that forces loyal to President Salva Kiir carried out killings and rapes, and looted and destroyed properties. The UN human rights chief on Thursday called on the Security Council to take stronger action against the perpetrators of the crimes. “Tensions remain very high, and violations continue to take place in Juba and other parts of the country,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, after providing a written update to the Security Council on the preliminary findings of ongoing UN investigations into the five days of fighting that began in the capital Juba on 7 July, and its aftermath. The UN human rights top official said that information received by UN human rights officers suggested that hundreds of fighters and civilians were killed during the initial fighting. Sudan Tribune

East Africa Leaders to Press for Regional Force
East African leaders will gather in Ethiopia on Friday to discuss a regional intervention force to back up UN troops in South Sudan, an initiative vehemently opposed by President Salva Kiir. Regional bloc IGAD has raised the possibility of deploying an “intervention brigade” with a more aggressive mandate within the UN mission. The 12 000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, has faced criticism for failing to stem the latest bloodshed or fully protect civilians during the fighting. Juba was rocked by several days of heavy fighting in early July between the government forces of Kiir and those loyal to ex-rebel chief Riek Machar, the latest upsurge in two and half years of war. News24

Somalia: Kenyan Army Base Raided by Al Shabaab
Heavily armed militants from Al Shabaab have launched deadly attack on Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) base near Fino town in Mandera County, northeast of Kenya. The raid triggered heavy clashes between KDF forces and Al Shabaab militants that started late on Wednesday afternoon and has continued till Thursday morning, according to local residents. Kenyan warplanes were involved in the battle, sources said. The clashes caused the death of armed militants and KDF troops but it could not be independently verified how many soldiers and fighters were killed. Both sides have exchanged heavy and slight weapons during the fighting. Shabelle News

Egyptian Army Says Chief of ISIS-Affiliate Sinai Province Killed in Air Strikes
The Egyptian army has said that Abu Duaa al-Ansari, the chief of Islamic State (Isis)-affiliate in Sinai was killed along with dozens of militants in a series of air strikes in the peninsula. The military said: “The raids left more than 45 terrorists killed, dozens of others injured and several arms caches destroyed.” Spokesperson of the armed forces Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said in a Facebook post that Al-Ansari (chief of the militant group called Sinai Province) was killed in an operation guided by “accurate intelligence” in south of the Egyptian coastal city of Al-Arish. Reports suggest that Ansari was the group’s leader in Sinai, but the exact date of his death was not mentioned. IBTimes

Boko Haram Split in Leadership Crisis
A interview published Wednesday in an Arabic-language magazine said to be linked to IS introduced Nigerian militant Abu Musab al-Barnawi as Boko Haram’s new leader. This prompted the group’s elusive long time chief, Abubakar Shekau, to break his silence for the first time in months. He released an audio message on Thursday insisting he was still in charge. “We are still in the cause of Allah and will never depart in the struggle to establish an Islamic caliphate,” Shekau said in the 10 minute recording. Experts have confirmed the voice is Shekau’s. Sahara Reporters published a full translation of the message. A split within the group has been developing for the past few months, says DW’s northern Nigeria correspondent Muhammad Al Amin. But the interview with al-Banarwi and Shekau’s audio message have brought the division out in the open. Unconfirmed local reports suggest that fighting has already broken out between militants loyal to al-Banarwi and those allied to Shekau, says Al Amin. DW

Nigeria: Juicier Carrots, Heavier Sticks
The deepening crisis in the Niger Delta is now the most serious threat to the government’s plans for economic revival This month’s announcement that the government is to resume payments to former militants in the Niger Delta is by any measure a victory for the myriad gangs and activists who have been attacking oil production facilities this year. The arithmetic is straightforward. The government had been planning to cut in half the US$200 million a year amnesty programme for ex-militants, launched by the previous government under President Goodluck Jonathan. It was then to end the payments entirely in 2017. Yet a full-scale revival of militant attacks in the Delta could cost the government several billion dollars in lost revenue and other costs. Africa Confidential

Ghana December Polls: 5K Flashpoints Identified
The 2016 National Elections and Security Taskforce has identified 5,000 flashpoints as part of measures to clamp down on criminals and warmongers during the December polls. Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur disclosed this during a simulation exercise on how to fight crime during the 2016 elections. The maiden mock exercise was to send a signal that the task force was prepared to ensure peace before, during and after the 2016 elections. “We have identified not less than 5,000 flashpoints and we are ensuring that measures are put in place to nullify or neutralise the flash points such that it will not pose any danger to us. GhanaWeb

Two Ivorian Soldiers in Court over Beach Attack
Two Ivorian soldiers have appeared in a military court accused of having associated with the perpetrators of a March attack on a beach resort that left 19 people dead. Sergeants Zanga Zoumana Coulibaly and Brice Toure are being prosecuted for disobeying orders and associating with criminals. The charges relate to the pair’s alleged meeting with Assane Barry, also known as Sam, one of the main suspects in the Islamist attack on the resort town of Grande Bassam. Barry, a driver by profession, is awaiting trial in a civilian court on charges of terrorism and association with criminals. News24

Sudan, Italy Sign MoU to Stem Crime and Irregular Migration
Sudan and Italy on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) on combating crime, illegal migration and borders issues. In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the Italian Embassy in Khartoum said the MoU was signed in Rome on Wednesday in the presence of Interior Ministry officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Head of the Italian Police, Dr. Franco Gabrielli, and his Sudanese counterpart, General Hashim Osman Al Hussein. “The agreement falls within the broader framework of cooperation between Sudan and the European Union on migration issues.” Sudan Tribune

Museveni: We Are Ready to Return to Congo
President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that Uganda is ready to return its armed forces to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo if called upon. Museveni made known of the commitment yesterday while addressing a joint press conference with the Congolese President Joseph Kabila at Mweya Safari Lodge in Kasese District. The President was responding to concerns raised by journalists from the neighboring country, about the ongoing attacks on travelers especially traders, by the remnants of the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels. One of the journalists told president Museveni that the rebels were waylaying people mostly traders moving their goods, in Beni and other parts of Eastern Congo; killing them with machetes. The president in response said that he was in talks with his Congolese counterpart on matters concerning the ADF. Chimp Reports

Congo, Uganda Leaders Agree on Sharing Intel to Fight Rebels
The leaders of Uganda and Congo agreed Thursday on a plan to share security intelligence to combat rebel groups active along the countries’ border. Congo President Joseph Kabila and Uganda President Yoweri Museveni made the announcement after meeting in Uganda to discuss security. The Uganda-based rebel group Allied Democratic Forces has killed at least 500 civilians in the Beni region in Congo’s North Kivu province since October 2014. “We have decided to fight against all forms of recruitment from Uganda,” Museveni said. “We are currently taking steps with security services so that they can exchange the needed information, but we also recognize that there may be recruitment from Congo.” AP

Zimbabwe Army Warns Destabilisers: Ready to Defend, Uphold Constitution, Troops Trained to Counter Cyber Warfare
Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda yesterday said the army was ready to deal with malcontents and the country’s detractors using electronic gadgets to mobilise people to do unlawful activities. In an interview with The Herald ahead of the 36th Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations on Tuesday, Lt-Gen Sibanda said insurgent groups were now resorting to cyber warfare, hence the need for the security sector to increase alertness.His remarks come in the wake of recent attempts by Western-funded shadowy groups to destabilise the country by posting inflammatory messages on social media. The Herald

ANC Stung by Cities in Worst South Africa Election Display
South Africa’s ruling party risks losing outright control of the capital, Pretoria, and Johannesburg in its worst electoral display since apartheid ended as urban voters showed their anger over a flat-lining economy and scandals surrounding President Jacob Zuma. While the African National Congress took a narrow lead in Johannesburg as results from its traditional strongholds in townships started to come in, its share of the national vote is set to drop below 60 percent for the first time since it swept to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994. “It has lost ground in the urban middle-class areas, and in a country that is rapidly urbanizing, that is a threat to the ANC,” Nic Borain, a Cape Town-based political analyst and adviser to BNP Paribas Securities South Africa, said by phone. “To get below 60 percent and to lose two metros would be a serious failing for the ANC, even one metro.” Bloomberg

Election Hit-list? Politicians’ Unsolved Killings Mar South African Campaign
In the run-up to this election, more than a dozen politicians have been killed in this province: shot while watching TV; killed taking their children to school; ambushed on the way home from political meetings. Not a single case has been solved. “We are making progress. It just takes time,” says Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi a spokesman for the Hawks, the country’s specialized investigation division. Several former investigators from South Africa’s police told CNN that ANC members could be killing rivals to access elected government positions. The positions can mean access to corrupt wealth, they said. Even the ANC’s leadership admits the party is wracked by factional infighting. “These killings are just the tip of the iceberg, people are killed when people can’t be coerced by other means,” says David Bruce, an independent researcher who studies violent crime. CNN



Photo: Adam Jones