Africa Media Review for December 12, 2022

Morocco World Cup Win Cheered Across Africa, As Continent Gets Its First Semifinals Spot
When the whistle blew at the end of Morocco’s match against Portugal in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, marking the North African country’s victory, cheers resounded across the African continent. The 1-0 win gave Morocco a coveted spot in the World Cup semifinals — the first time a team from Africa has ever reached that stage of the tournament…The last three African teams to reach the World Cup quarterfinals lost their matches, all in nail-biter endings: Cameroon went down, 3-2, to England in 1990; Senegal, 1-0, to Turkey in 2002; and Ghana on penalties to Uruguay in 2010. But on Saturday, with a goal from Youssef En-Nesyri in the 42nd minute, Morocco delivered the feat that had eluded those teams before it: a quarterfinals win that made history. Washington Post

African Leaders Head to Washington as US Hosts Summit To Resuscitate Ties
Several African heads of state have traveled to the US for a three-day summit starting Tuesday that Washington says “will underscore the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.” President Joe Biden will host 49 top African officials at the US-Africa Leaders Summit, including Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union Commission. Countries suspended by the African Union, including Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea, have not been invited…The summit comes at a time of growing concern in Washington over China and Russia’s increasing presence in Africa, who have both worked in recent years to forge closer ties on a continent home to some 1.3 billion people. Pressed on this topic at a briefing last Friday, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre brushed aside the assertion and said the “focus … is going to be on Africa.” “This summit is an opportunity to deepen the many partnerships we have on the African continent. We will focus on our efforts to strengthen these partnerships across a wide range of sectors, spanning from businesses to health to peace and security,” she said. Anadolu Agency

139 People Released From Prison After Deadly Protests in Chad
Over 139 people arrested during a bloody protest in Chad in October have been released after a month and a half in detention. A total of 80 received one to two years of suspended sentences and the remaining 59 were acquitted after a mass trial of 401 people. Outlawed demonstrations were held on October 20th to mark the date when the military had initially promised to hand over power to civilians…The trial was held behind closed doors for four days in late November, without lawyers and independent media, in the prison of Koro Toro, 600 km northeast of N’Djamena, the capital, where the arrested demonstrators had been transferred en masse. At the same trial, 262 people were sentenced to two to three years in prison for “unauthorized assembly, destruction of property, arson, violence and assault, and disturbing the peace. AfricaNews

Tunisians Protest President Ahead of Polls
Hundreds protested in Tunisia Saturday against President Kais Saied ahead of parliamentary elections that represent the latest consolidation of a power grab he began in July last year. The protests were organised by political parties that have been marginalised by Saied — first by him firing the government and suspending parliament last year, then by a new constitution. “Freedoms, freedoms — the police state is finished!” protesters shouted. Demonstrators marched in central Tunis holding aloft banners with the words “resign” and others complaining that people have become “poorer and hungrier”, AFP correspondents saw. Elevated food prices and shortages of basic goods reflect a long-running economic crisis in the North African country. After protests toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia established a democracy that was quickly riven by factional infighting. AFP

Nigeria 2023 Election: The Hunt for Children and the Dead
As soon as Nigeria’s first-ever digital electoral register was uploaded on to the internet people began noticing problems. Amateur digital sleuths uncovered numerous voter cards that appeared to have photos of children on them. Others on the preliminary list seemed to have registered more than once, simply by changing their facial expression, clothes or the way they were sitting. The legal minimum voting age is 18 and by registering children as well as getting people more than one vote, crooked politicians can inflate their support. Questions are now being asked about how these duplicate would-be voters slipped through the expensive fingerprint and facial recognition technology that was recently introduced. Details such as age, gender, fingerprints and photos were taken at the registration centres of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) with hopes of eliminating such problems. In next February’s hotly contested general election any discrepancies could be the difference between victory and defeat. BBC

Africa: Rwandan Envoy Puts UN on Spot Over DR Congo Alliance With FDLR
Rwanda’s ambassador to the United Nations, Claver Gatete has questioned the silence of the UN Security Council on the long-standing alliance of the DR Congo government with FDLR genocidal force. Gatete made the remarks on Friday December 9 while addressing a special session of the UN Security Council following the briefing of the Special Representative the Secretary General, Bintou Keita, on the situation in the DR Congo. “When is the international community going to address the persistence of the FDLR and the alliance between the DR Congo army, FARDC, and deadly armed groups, including the FDLR, a sanctioned genocidal terrorist group made up of remnants of the force that committed the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda?” Gatete questioned. Rwanda has for decades expressed concerns over FDLR, including its support by DR Congo and collusion with their national army, FARDC. The New Times

President of DRC Denounces Rwanda’s “expansionist” Tendencies
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, has denounced Rwanda’s “expansionist tendencies” amid tensions over fighting between the Congolese Army and the rebel group March 23 Movement (M23) in the east of the country…”The year 2022 has witnessed the resurgence of Rwanda’s expansionist tendencies, under the cover of the M23,” the president said during his annual address to the nation, in which he defended the two-track approach adopted by the authorities – fighting on the ground and openness to peace negotiations. Thus, Tshisekedi, who regretted the “aggravation” of the security crisis in the east of the country, accused Rwanda of being behind a “cowardly aggression” and of supporting the “terrorist movement” of the M23, according to a transcript of his speech published by the Congolese Presidency. News 360

Fresh Fighting Displaces 40,000 in South Sudan – UN
Nearly 40,000 people have been displaced from their homes following renewed fighting in South Sudan’s oil-rich Upper Nile state, an UN agency has said. In its latest update, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said threats of violence continue to hamper humanitarian response in the state. It said the displaced people were living in dire conditions and required urgent life-saving assistance. Last week ceasefire monitors said they would send a team to investigate the ongoing deadly clashes in the state. BBC

TotalEnergies in Court Over Massive Oil Projects in Uganda, Tanzania
The French energy giant TotalEnergies appeared in a Paris court after years of delay in a case in which six NGOs accuse it of “failing in its duty of vigilance” on two massive oil drilling and pipeline projects in Uganda and Tanzania. The French organisation Survie, along with Friends of the Earth and four Ugandan NGOs, accuse TotalEnergies disregarding human rights and the environment as it moves forward with the massive infrastructure deals. The “Tilenga” 419-well drilling project in Uganda, which is partly located in a natural park, and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project are intended to transport hydrocarbons to the Indian Ocean by crossing 1,400 kilometres of Tanzania. Once built, EACOP will be the longest oil pipeline in the world. The NGOs are calling on the company to comply with a 2017 French law passed that compels multinationals to respect “duty of care” regarding their activities. RFI

Zambia: Dozens of Suspected Ethiopian Migrants Found Dead
The 27 migrants are believed to have died of “hunger and exhaustion” after they were “dumped,” according to Zambian police. One more person was still alive and taken to the hospital…”They are all believed to be Ethiopian nationals,” Mwale added. A sole survivor was found alive in the early morning and rushed to a Lusaka hospital for treatment, while the dead were transported to the mortuary for identification and post mortems to determine the exact cause of death, according to police…Migrants from East Africa use Zambia as a transit route to South Africa, one of the continent’s largest economies.The bodies of 30 suspected Ethiopian migrants were found in Malawi in October. DW