Africa Media Review for December 21, 2022

Deepening a Culture of Military Professionalism in Africa
“The armed forces in many African countries represent a threat to security because of their lack of military professionalism.” This assessment by General Mbaye Cissé, National Security Advisor to the President of Senegal, identified a focal point in a dialogue on military professionalism and professional military education among senior security officials from 30 African countries hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on December 14, on the sidelines of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. In addition to remarks by General Cissé, the dialogue featured insights from United States Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and Commander of United States Africa Command, General Michael Langley. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Media Condemnation in Burkina After France’s RFI Suspended
Media organisations in Burkina Faso have accused the ruling junta of a clampdown after Radio France Internationale (RFI), which is widely followed in the Sahel state, was suspended. In a statement received by AFP on Monday, the heads of 10 media outlets said journalists faced daily pressure from the authorities or “manipulated groups” within the population. “Telling the truth or just reporting the facts, the sacred work of our profession, has become a crime which for the media can lead to suspension without procedural recourse, or a bounty placed on the head of a journalist,” they said. AFP

Ghana-Burkina Row over Russian Wagner Mercenaries Hits New Heights
Burkina Faso on Friday recalled Ghana’s ambassador to protest allegations that Ouagadougou invited Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group to operate in the country. Meanwhile Wagner accused France of an attack in the Central African Republic…Akufo-Addo had said “Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces. I believe a (mineral) mine in southern Burkina has been allocated to them as a form of payment for their services,” he said during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. To have them operating on our northern border is particularly distressing for us in Ghana.” Blinken had repeated strong US objections to the Wagner Group. RFI

Senegal Receives French Interior Minister, Discuss ‘Burning Issue of Drug Trafficking’, Others
Senegal’s interior minister has received his French counterpart in Dakar where they both discussed bilateral issues on immigration, and student visas. Also discussed was what they called “the burning issue of intense drug trafficking” between the two countries. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Tuesday in Dakar, in the presence of his Senegalese counterpart, that he wanted to cut short the “rumor” of intense drug trafficking between the two countries. AfricaNews

Nigeria: Okupe Steps Down as Obi-Datti Campaign DG
The Director General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okpue, has stepped down from the position. He made this known in a letter on Tuesday following the ruling by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that convicted him of violating the money laundering Act. The letter was addressed to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi…Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu presiding on Monday found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1) & (2) of the Money Laundering Act and accepting cash in excess of the threshold allowed under the Act without going through a financial institution. Punch

Nigeria: There’s a Plot to Frame Emefiele for Terrorism, CSOs Raise the Alarm
A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) says there a plot to oust Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), from office on trumped-up terrorism charges. Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Tochukwu Ohazuruike, convener of the coalition, alleged that the Department of State Services (DSS) has “secretly” filed terrorism charges against the CBN governor. Cable

Long-Cut Phones Ring Again in Ethiopia’s Tigray, Bring Grief
For a year and a half, phone calls to people trying to survive one of the world’s worst wars didn’t go through. Now, as phone lines start to be restored to parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region after a fragile peace deal, some Tigrayans are relieved while others grieve. “I have been dreading receiving phone calls,” said a Tigrayan living in Norway, who like others spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals against his relatives. “You want to speak to your family, but you don’t know what kind of stories you will hear, in terms of who is still alive.” AP

UNSC Lifts Arms Embargo on DR Congo
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has lifted an arms embargo on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which gives it a leeway to buy heavy weapons that they have been yearning for to fight M23 rebels and other groups…France, which is a permanent member of the UNSC, tabled the request to lift the embargo. Earlier, China and Russia called for the lifting of the embargo to help the DRC protect its territorial sovereignty after losing battles against M23 rebels. The DR Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels, but Kigali denies the claims. Monitor

South African Leader Urges His ANC Party to Fight Corruption
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged his party, the ruling African National Congress, to fight corruption. “We have no choice, we either deal with corruption or we perish,” said Ramaphosa Tuesday, closing the ANC’s conference where he was reelected its leader. ”Corruption within our party is, indeed, a dire threat.” Ramaphosa’s reelection as the party’s leader was a major victory following a spirited campaign by his rivals to elect former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Although he campaigned as a fighter against corruption, Ramaphosa has recently been dogged by scandal himself. He’s been facing calls to step down after a parliamentary report said he may have broken currency regulations by keeping undeclared sums of dollars at his farm. AP

Sudan: Nearly 300,000 People Displaced by Conflict in 2022
Almost 300,000 people were displaced by conflict in Sudan, about 900 killed and 1,100 injured since beginning of 2022, the United Nations said. The UN humanitarian update also showed about 32,800 people were displaced in November by conflict in West Kordofan and Central Darfur states of Sudan. “The UN and partners reached 9.1 million people with some form of humanitarian assistance between January and September 2022,” it reads in part. The UN further said that about 1.9 million cases of malaria and close to 4,800 suspected cases of dengue fever were reported across Sudan in 2022. According to the latest humanitarian bulletin, the 2022 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 42.6% funded as of 30 November 2022. Sudan Tribune

Foreign Minister Dismisses Reports That China Vetoed Security Council Resolution on Sudan
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali al-Sadiq confirmed that China did not veto any Security Council decision supporting the Political Framework Agreement signed by political forces with army leaders. On December 5, over fifty political parties and civil society groups and the military component signed the framework agreement, the first stage of a process aiming to end the October 25 coup and restore a transitional civilian government. During the past two days, there were reports and posts on special media claiming that China refused to pass a resolution in the Security Council supporting the political framework agreement to solve the 14-month crisis in Sudan. Sudan Tribune

Shrinking Ice Cap on Kilimanjaro Threatens Tourism in Tanzania
U.N. experts say the ice cap on Africa’s biggest peak, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, is among world-famous glaciers predicted to melt by 2050 due to climate change. Julius Keyyu of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, who has participated in various studies on Mount Kilimanjaro, said it is true, the glacier atop the mountain is shrinking. Some studies have shown the glacier has shrunk by 80 percent since the early 20th century. For locals, Mount Kilimanjaro is a symbol of fortune, and it brings tens of millions of dollars to the region through 50,000 tourists who climb the mountain annually. BBC
Why Qatar 2022 Was Also Africa’s World Cup
The Atlas Lions may have fallen short of a podium finish but, in reaching the last four, they went farther than any African nation had ever managed and won the hearts of millions around the continent and beyond. And in the process, they proved they can go toe to toe with any top opponent. “African teams no longer fear that other teams can run them over,” Radhi Jaidi, former Tunisia international and Esperance manager, told Al Jazeera…On the field, the continent posted its best-ever statistical performance, with every African team recording a victory, including Cameroon stunning Brazil, Tunisia beating France and Morocco defeating Belgium. And off the field, African teams’ supporters also stole the show – from the relentless drumming and dancing of the Senegal and Ghana contingent to the thunderous chanting and clapping of their Morocco and Tunisia counterparts. And there was more: For the first time, all five representatives from the continent were led by local managers. While the link could be seen by some as coincidental, the contrast between this tournament and the 2018 edition – in which two of the five teams were managed by African coaches, but none made it past the group stage, and between them, won just three matches in total – is impossible to ignore. Al Jazeera


Photo: Adam Jones