Africa Media Review for December 2, 2022

Ramaphosa’s Future as South Africa’s Leader in Doubt After Damning Report
The political future of South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, grew increasingly grim on Thursday as he huddled with advisers and his opponents lobbied loudly for his resignation a day after a report to Parliament said he may have broken the law in connection with a large sum of cash stolen from his game farm. The report by an independent panel, released on Wednesday, suggested that Mr. Ramaphosa face an impeachment hearing in Parliament to determine whether he should be removed from office. It cast heavy skepticism on his explanation of how a large sum of U.S. currency came to be hidden in — and stolen from — a sofa at his farm, Phala Phala Wildlife. New York Times

Zambians to Sue Mining Giant Anglo American for Lead Poisoning
A court in South Africa last week ruled that U.N. experts can intervene in a class action lawsuit against mining giant Anglo American over lead poisoning in Zambia. South African and British lawyers filed the lawsuit on behalf of about 140,000 Zambian children and women whose health was allegedly damaged by a colonial-era lead mine. Anglo American has denied wrongdoing at the Kabwe mine, which it was involved in from the 1920s to 1970s. Voice of America

EAC Mediator Says Dozens of Armed Groups Are Ready to «lay down Their Arms» in DRC
Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is mediating the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has said that dozens of armed groups operating in the area are willing to “lay down their arms” if an agreement for a “lasting” peace can be reached…”They have also told me why they took up arms and that they want a lasting peace to lay them down. I am happy that no armed group refuses to lay down their arms, they all accept it,” he said, as reported by the Congolese radio station Radio Okapi. He underlined that “there are things to see and to analyze so that everyone lays down their arms and that the lasting peace that everyone is looking for is achieved”, in the framework of a process that counts about 350 participants, among them 50 representing armed groups fighting in the east of the DRC. MSN

DR Congo Accuses M23 Rebels of Civilian Massacre, Breaching Truce
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army on Thursday accused M23 insurgents of killing 50 civilians and breaching a five-day-old truce in the country’s restive east. The rebel group issued a statement late Thursday denying the alleged massacre of civilians. The ceasefire took effect in North Kivu province at the weekend following a summit between DRC and its neighbour Rwanda. AFP

Angola: Interpol Confirms “Red Alert” for the Arrest of Isabel dos Santos
The “red alert” is not an international arrest warrant, but rather a “request to police forces around the world to locate and pre-emptively detain a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal actions”. This alert had been issued at the request of the Angolan authorities, The daughter of the former Angolan president is wanted, according Lusa, on suspicion of “crimes of embezzlement, qualified fraud, illegal participation in business, criminal association and influence peddling, money laundering”, with a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. The same document also indicates that the Angolan is usually between Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Portugal News 

Pope Revives Visit to Congo, South Sudan in Early 2023
Pope Francis will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan early next year, the Vatican said on Thursday, after having to cancel a scheduled trip to the two countries in July because of health problems. The Vatican said Francis would go to Congo from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 and then spend two days in South Sudan alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Reuters

Somalia Says Around 40 Al-Shabab Fighters Killed in Clashes
Somali forces killed about 40 al-Shabab fighters in the Middle Shabelle region, the government said Thursday, the latest clashes in a monthslong offensive that aims to weaken the grip of the Islamist militant group…On Sunday, al-Shabab stormed a heavily guarded hotel near the president’s residence in Mogadishu, killing nine people. The government, supported by clan militias and African Union troops, says it has killed more than 600 members of al-Shabab and recaptured 68 settlements over the last three months, as part of concerted efforts to end the militants’ control over large portions of the Horn of Africa country. Reuters

Burkina Faso Seeks French Arms for Anti-Jihadist Volunteers
Burkina Faso has asked France, its former colonial power and ally, to provide “weapons and ammunition” for a civilian volunteer force battling a bloody jihadist insurgency…The VDP, set up in December 2019, comprises civilian volunteers who are given two weeks of military training and then work alongside the army, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering, or escort duties. But hundreds of these poorly trained volunteers have died, especially in ambushes or explosions caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted along roadsides. Defense Post

Burkina Faso Transitional Leader Confirms Coup Attempt but Favours Dialogue
Rumours of a coup circulated on social media networks last weekend. On Monday, hundreds of people presenting themselves as Traoré supporters gathered in the capital to denounce an attempt to destabilise the regime. Addressing civil society organisations and religious leaders in the capital Ougadougou on Thursday, Traoré said the coup had been foiled, RFI’s correspondent Yaya Boudani reports…Captain Traoré said he knew who the perpetrators were, but preferred dialogue and had not made any arrests. RFI

UN Appeals for Record $51.5 Billion to Help 230 Million on the Brink in 2023
Needs are “shockingly high”, the UN’s top emergency relief official, Martin Griffiths, said, warning that it was very likely that this year’s emergencies would continue into 2023…He explained that numerous countries had been hit by lethal droughts and floods, from Pakistan to the Horn of Africa. In addition, the war in Ukraine had “turned a part of Europe into a battlefield. More than 100 million people are now displaced worldwide. And all of this on top of the devastation left by the pandemic among the world’s poorest.” UN News

Small African Economies ‘Industrialising Fastest’
A new report shows that value-add factories and public-private partnership are helping small African countries industrialize much faster than their larger peers. The recently released Africa Industrialization Index report by the Africa Development Bank found that these small countries have significantly increased manufacturing activities over the last decade to diversify their economies from agricultural dependence. In addition to assessing economic performance, the index evaluated direct determinants like labour and capital and indirect determinants like macroeconomic stability and existing infrastructure, across 52 African countries. Bird News Agency

Botswana Detects New COVID-19 Omicron Sub-Variants
Botswana has detected new sub-variants of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, the government announced Friday, saying the sub-lineages have been dominant in other countries in Europe and Asia…According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Omicron variant is of concern and remains the dominant variant circulating globally. “While we are looking at a vast genetic diversity of Omicron sub-lineages, they currently display similar clinical outcomes, but with differences in immune escape potential.” Nation



Photo: Adam Jones