Africa Media Review for July 2, 2024

Mauritania’s President Ghazouani Wins Reelection, the Electoral Commission Says
Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has been reelected for a second term, the country’s electoral commission said on Monday…Ghazouani, who campaigned on a pledge of providing security and economic growth, obtained 56.1% of votes, the country’s independent electoral commission said Monday. His main rival Biram Dah Abeid, an anti-slavery activist, received 22.1% of the votes. He rejected the partial results announced Sunday and called them a fraud…The country’s constitutional court will now review the vote numbers and announce the final results…Although his opponents accused him of corruption and mismanagement, Ghazouani, a former army chief, remains popular among Mauritanians who see him as a beacon of stability. The vote took place in a tense regional climate, with Mauritania’s neighbors shaken by military coups and jihadi violence. AP

Kenya Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Crowds after Call for More Demonstrations
Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Tuesday and demonstrations took place in other towns, after young activists called for more protests following a week of clashes in which dozens died…Members of the protest movement, which has no official leaders and largely organises via social media, have rejected appeals from President William Ruto for dialogue, even after he abandoned proposed tax rises that triggered the demonstrations…Infuriated by the deaths…many are demanding that Ruto steps down…Ruto, facing the most serious crisis of his nearly two-year-old presidency, has been caught between the demands of lenders such as the International Monetary Fund to cut deficits, and a hard-pressed population reeling from the soaring cost of living. Reuters

Female Suicide Bombers: A Terrorist Group’s Hidden Weapon
Armed groups often use women as suicide bombers because they consider them less valuable to the organization and more tactically advantageous, experts said. “The women arouse less suspicious, and they are able to penetrate targets more deeply,” said Mia Bloom, a professor of communication at Georgia State University and an expert on female suicide bombers…[Boko Haram] has a history of kidnapping and holding young girls hostage before forcing them to strap on explosives and sending them on suicide missions…Research by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point found that the group deployed women as bombers in over half of its operations, including suicide missions from April 2011 to June 2017. Many of the bombers were girls. The New York Times

UN Seeks Help for Sudan Refugees Fleeing to Libya, Uganda
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday it is expanding its Sudan aid plan to two new countries, Libya and Uganda, as arrivals surge. Sudan is already the world’s worst displacement crisis with some 12 million forced to flee by the civil war and over 2 million being displaced across borders. The latest expansion of the U.N. response plan brings to seven the total number of African countries taking in large numbers of Sudanese refugees. The Libya arrivals raise the prospect that the refugees may continue their journey to Europe – a scenario which UNHCR’s chief has already warned about if aid is not provided. A UNHCR planning document published on Tuesday showed that the agency expects to receive 149,000 in Libya before year-end. It projects 55,000 for Uganda which does not share a direct border with Sudan. Reuters

Looting and Fighting Reported in a Central Sudan City as Paramilitary Group Attacks Military Troop
Fighters from Sudan’s notorious paramilitary group looted homes and shops and took over the main hospital in a central city, forcing tens of thousands to flee, residents said Sunday…The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began its offensive against Sudan’s military in Sennar province earlier this week, attacking the village of Jebal Moya before moving to the provincial capital of Singa, where fresh battles have erupted. The fighting forced about 57,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations…The paramilitary group has been repeatedly accused of gross rights violations across the country since the war started in April last year, when simmering tensions between the military and the RSF exploded into open fighting in Khartoum and elsewhere. AP

Central African Republic’s Children Are World’s Most Deprived, UNICEF Says
The Central African Republic’s three million children are the world’s most deprived, with widespread malnutrition, inadequate healthcare access and instability putting the country at high risk of a humanitarian crisis, UNICEF said on Tuesday. Half of the country’s children do not have access to health services, and almost 40% suffer from chronic malnutrition, the U.N. children’s agency said. Few have access to clean water, sanitation or healthy diets. With global attention focused on the war in Gaza and other conflicts, the plight of the African nation’s children has become “painfully invisible”, Meritxell Relano Arana, UNICEF representative in the Central African Republic (CAR), told reporters in Geneva. “The three million girls and boys of the Central Africa Republic face the highest registered level of overlapping and interconnected crises and deprivation in the world,” she said. That means CAR is now ranked as the country most at-risk for sliding into humanitarian crisis, she added. Reuters

Customs Intercepts 844 Rifles, 112,500 Ammunition in Nigeria’s Port
Comptroller-General, Nigeria Custom Service, Bashir Adeniyi, has narrated how 844 units of assorted rifles, 112,500 pieces of live ammunition among other contraband were intercepted at the Onne Port, Rivers State, South-south Nigeria. Mr Adeniyi narrated this on Monday at a media briefing at Onne, Area 2 Command, organised to declare the seized items and hand them over to appropriate authority.“Based on intelligence sharing, a 40-footer container with No MAEU-165396 which originated from Turkey was tracked based on some risk factors associated with its importation…The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, expressed concerns over the reoccurring proliferation of small arms and light weapons, illicit drugs and money laundering across the country. News Agency of Nigeria

Turkey Mediating Somalia-Ethiopia Talks on Port Deal
Turkey has begun mediating talks between Somalia and Ethiopia over a port deal Addis Ababa signed with the breakaway region of Somaliland earlier this year…The negotiations are the latest attempt to mend diplomatic ties between the East African neighbours, whose relationship soured in January when Ethiopia agreed to lease 20 km (12 miles) of coastline from Somaliland, in exchange for recognition of its independence…Turkey’s foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had hosted both his Ethiopian and Somali counterparts in Ankara, adding the three had signed a joint statement following “candid, cordial and forward-looking” talks on their differences… and agreed to hold another round of talks in Ankara on Sept. 2, the statement said…A spokesperson for Somaliland, which has struggled to gain international recognition despite governing itself and enjoying comparative peace and stability since declaring independence in 1991, said it was not involved in the talks. Reuters

Kenya-led South Sudan Peace Talks in Final Stages
Peace talks bringing together members of the holdout groups and South Sudan’s government in Nairobi, Kenya have reached final stages for conclusion…However, critics of the process of selection of the parties at the talks are urging for inclusion, citing a need to reflect diversity and perspectives that seek to address the root causes. The opposition, not participating in the process, portray the peace process as a project to facilitate a return of the former army chief of staff, Paul Malong, Stephen Buoy Rolyang, and Pagan Amum…The statement from “The Equatoria’s People Alliance” contained names of Emmanuel Sunday, chairman of the South Sudan United Front progressive, Deng Vanang, Chairman and commander in chief of United Democratic Revolutionary Movement/Army, Major General Peter Choul Gatluak, chairman and commander in chief of Nilotia People Defense Movement/Forces M/DPDF. It called on President Kiir and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto to ensure their inclusion in the process. Sudan Tribune

As DRC Turns 64, M23 Rebels and Rwanda Have President Felix Tshisekedi Talking about War
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) turns 64 years this week, an anniversary it celebrated in terms that would be appropriate for a country at war…In a televised message…President Felix Tshisekedi said the country’s “valiant soldiers are on the front line” and “together, we will overcome this unjustified aggression”…Tshisekedi was referring to both a renewed warning from across the border in Rwanda, where President Paul Kagame has promised retribution if the DRC were to venture into its territory, and to the ongoing security crisis in the eastern DRC…The DRC, and much of the rest of the world, believe the rebels are supported by Rwanda, an accusation the country has consistently denied while threatening dire consequences if the DRC were to act directly against it. Addressing a presidential rally last week, Kagame said Rwanda had had enough of threats. “Rwanda is a small country and therefore won’t wait to be attacked,…we’ll never seek permission from anyone to protect ourselves,” he added. News24

Comoros President Assoumani Gives Son Government Job
Comoros President Azali Assoumani has put his son, Nour El Fath, in charge of coordinating government affairs as he reshuffled his cabinet following a tense January election that his opponents alleged was tainted by voter fraud…Political analysts, opposition leaders and local media said Assoumani appeared to be preparing El Fath, a 40-year-old with a background in finance and who has worked as senior economic adviser to the president since 2019, to replace him…Mohamed Jaffar Abbas, the head of the coalition of opposition parties, said it was clear Assoumani was “trying to build a dynasty”. Reuters

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay Makes History at Tour De France
Biniam Girmay, the Eritrean cyclist, made history by becoming the first Black African rider to claim victory in a Tour de France stage on Monday. He crossed the finish line ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie, completing the stage in 5 hours 26 minutes 48 seconds. The victory came on the third day and the longest stage of this year’s race, spanning 230.8 kilometers (roughly 143 miles) between Piacenza and Turin. Girmay had previously achieved a milestone in Italy two years ago by winning a stage at the Giro d’Italia, making him the first Black African to secure a victory in a Grand Tour, which includes the Giro, the Tour de France, and the Spanish Vuelta. Africanews with AP