Africa Media Review for August 9, 2016

Analysts Laud Plan for Regional Force Deployment in South Sudan
Analysts in South Sudan say partners in the peace process must quickly move beyond the peace resolutions passed Friday by regional bloc IGAD and pave the way for the regional protection force expected to be dispatched soon. Professor Jacob Chol, head of the college of political science at the University of Juba, welcomed resolutions passed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, especially the deployment of a regional protection force in an effort to restore stability in South Sudan. But actions speak louder than words, he said, and unless action is taken soon, the resolutions will be worth not much more than the paper they’re written on. “What is important here is to be able to serve this idea now,” he said, noting that IGAD and South Sudanese officials needed to discuss and agree upon the size of the protection force and how it should be funded and supported. VOA

Kiir Urges Homegrown Solution Against Foreign Intervention
South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, has called for a homegrown solution to the conflict which has ravaged the country, saying it was now time for everyone to show commitment to help in the restoration of peace and stability in the country. “Peace is not a responsibility of the leaders alone. It is a collective responsible and everybody must join hands for the sake of peace and national reconciliation,” said president Kiir on Sunday. “All communities must come together in peace, not hatred. It is time all the people show commitment to national reconciliation. Rather than looking for a solution from foreign countries we can find our own solution with which we can be proud of and present as an example to others,” he added. … The head of state was speaking to some members of Jieng [Dinka] Council of Elders [JCE]. Sudan Tribune

South Sudan Says UN Draft Proposal not Consistent with IGAD Communique
South Sudanese government on Monday said they were disappointed by a new development in New York in which a United Nations (UN) draft proposed deployment of protection force but with responsibility of intervention force to take charge for the security of Juba, including the Juba International Airport. The draft proposal circulated to members of the United Nations Security Council by the United States on Sunday said the UN would also determine the armament of the force. But South Sudanese officials said the draft is different from the understanding reached in the summit of the heads of state and government of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which released a communique on Friday in Addis Ababa on deployment of a Protection Force. Sudan Tribune

Machar’s Son Killed in Juba Gunfight
The son of South Sudan First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar was killed in the deadly gunfire at the presidential palace in capital Juba last month; Chimpreports has learnt. This website got wind of the development three weeks ago and we have been investigating to confirm who among the three sons of Machar was put out. Machar’s side lost 37 soldiers in the J1 battle and we have finally confirmed that Gatwang Machar who was also a soldier and member of his father’s inner security detail, was among those gunned down. A source close to Dr. Machar family told this reporter over the weekend that Gatwang who had close semblance to his father was quietly buried in Juba the following day. “We lost comrade Gatwang in the J1 fight. He was a great soldier and we shall forever miss him,” a family source said. Chimp Reports

Scores Killed in Ethiopia Protest Crackdown
Scores of people have been killed across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions at the weekend, as the authorities brutally suppressed a new wave of anti-government protests in two key regions. Opposition leader told AFP news agency that up to 50 people were killed, while Amnesty International claimed more than 90 people were killed, many of them extrajudicially, in the protests linked to an aborted government attempt to commandeer local land. Police fired tear gas and blocked roads to several towns in the vast Oromia region as demonstrations erupted after a call from a spontaneous social media movement. “We have reports of between 48 to 50 protesters killed in Oromia. This death toll might be higher because there were a lot of wounded,” said Merera Gudina, leader of the opposition Oromo People’s Congress. A diplomat confirmed that 49 people were killed. … “The brutal response of the government risks provoking more anger and making it worse.” Al Jazeera

Boko Haram: Disputed Leader Abubakar Shekau Vows to Continue Jihad in New Video
The disputed leader of Nigeria-based terror group Boko Haram has vowed he will continue his fight in a new video. Abubakar Shekau was rumoured to have been killed after failing to make a verified video appearance in the past year. However, the leader reassured followers he is well and alive in the 24-minute footage purportedly recorded in Boko Haram’s last remaining stronghold in Sambisa forest, Borno state. “I … Abubakar Ash-Shakawy [Shekau], the leader of Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad [Boko Haram], made it a duty for myself (to fight) Nigeria and the whole world,” Shekau said in the video, according to AFP. “I’m alive by the permission of Allah,” the leader continued. He made the speech in Arabic and Hausa, and added the group had no desire to fight “our Muslim brethren”. IBTimes

Niger Delta: Gunmen ‘Disguised as Priests’ Kill Three Soldiers from Operation Crocodile Tears
Gunmen disguised as priests have killed at least three soldiers in Bayelsa state, southern Nigeria. The soldiers were part of the Operation Crocodile Tears, aimed at safeguarding oil facilities in the oil-rich area, known as Niger Delta. The gunmen where wearing white robes and red caps according to witnesses and local leaders, the BBC reported. It is believed the attackers seized the soldiers’ equipment at a jetty where a similar attack took place in 2015. No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack. IBTimes

Sudanese Opposition Sign Peace Roadmap, Say Ready to Engage in Peace Talks
Four groups of the opposition umbrella Sudan Call on Monday in Addis Ababa have signed the Roadmap Agreement for peace and dialogue brokered by the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP). Last March, four Sudan Call groups including the National Umma Party (NUP), Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /North (SPLM-N), Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi rejected the peace plan, saying it excludes other opposition groups, and omits important confidence building measures such as political freedoms and release of political detainees and prisoners. However after five months, they agreed to ink it after receiving reassurance from the head of the AUHIP Thabo Mbeki. Sudan Tribune

Besigye: I Can Talk With M7 But Only About His Exit
Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential candidate Rtd. Col. Dr Kizza Besigye has said he and his party are open to negotiations with the ruling NRM about its peaceful exit from power since they never won the 2016 polls but him. “We are not against talking to NRM but it can only be about how they will go. If not, they will go anyway, but if they don’t want to talk about it then their exit will be a painful one,” Besigye said. The former candidate says the current government seized people’s power with security personnel by besieging FDC headquarters in Najjanakumbi, putting him under house arrest in Kasangati, and deploying the army and police officers on the streets in the aftermath of the of the poll which he won by 52% against Museveni’s 44%. “This time, however much as they rigged and tried to cover up it was still obvious that we won. President Museveni was not elected to lead the country; wherever I pass they say ‘the people’s President has come.’ We shall not accept the suppressing of people’s decision.” Chimp Reports

Burundian Refugees Tell of Rape as a Weapon of War
The 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.” … 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. … In Tanzania’s refugee camps, many rape survivors are getting medical and psychosocial support. “There has been an increase of counseling in the camp and group counseling, which many women told us they’d like to do,” says Wheeler. But even in the camps, women are not safe from sexual violence. Wheeler says during her research she found “alarmingly high numbers of rapes happening inside the refugee camps and the areas around it.” News Deeply

Burundi Lawyers Face Disbarment over Remarks to UN Torture Watchdog
Four Burundian lawyers who gave information to the United Nations about alleged torture in their country face disbarment as retribution for their testimony, UN human rights experts said on Monday. The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) urged the Burundian government to provide “urgent reassurances” that no lawyer or activist would be punished for taking part in a special session of the panel in Geneva last month. The committee of 10 independent experts examined Burundi’s record, voicing concern at allegations of killings and torture of opposition figures by the ruling CNDD-FDD party’s youth wing Imbonerakure. The four lawyers … contributed to a report by Burundian NGOs for the July 28-28 review, a panel statement said. … CAT wrote the Burundian government noting that the prosecutor had sought sanctions against the lawyers, rather than an inquiry to establish the facts, “which raises concerns with respect to presumption of innocence”. A Burundian government delegation expected to take part in the second day of the CAT session then indicated it would stay away in protest at the NGOs’ report, the panel said. The East African

Tanzania Opposition to Hold Defiance Rallies
Tanzania’s main opposition party Chama cha Democrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) vows to hold protests against what it alleges as the suppression of democracy by the government under President John Magufuli. The party’s Members of Parliament from the northern zone lead by Joseph Selasini (MP Rombo) said they are not scared of the police ban of demos. “We will be in the frontline because we are ready to risk our lives in quest for democracy; we have deliberated about a Central Committee decision and have agreed that we will participate in defiance rallies,” said Mr Selasini. He reiterated that the 1992 Political Parties Act allows politicians to hold political activities which include rallies and demos throughout the year. Mr Selasini accused President Magufuli, who took over power last November, of making remarks and taking decisions that are contrary to the law and the Constitution. Daily Monitor

Zimbabwe Pastor Who Took on Mugabe Online Urges Reform
A Zimbabwean pastor who is using social media to take on President Robert Mugabe’s government says he hopes his countrymen can peacefully achieve reform in the southern African country. Evan Mawarire, 39, told The Associated Press that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party is destroying itself. Mawarire is currently in neighbouring South Africa after launching a social media campaign, #ThisFlag, which has seen Zimbabweans wave and wear their flag as a sign of protest against the Mugabe government. Over the weekend, protesters waved flags and sang the national anthem at a cricket match against New Zealand in Bulawayo. News24

Africa’s Top Public Opinion Survey Under Threat
One of Africa’s most important democracy advocacy and research organizations is in trouble because of a sharp decrease in donor funding. For 25 years, Afrobarometer has carefully recorded the attitudes of Africans towards democracy, electoral systems, presidential term limits and constitutional changes, its surveys becoming the gold standard for reliable and credible measuring of African public opinion. Afrobarometer has been at the forefront in collecting the data and recording the sentiments of Africans on the state of democracy, political stability and corruption across the continent. AllAfrica



Photo: Adam Jones