Africa Media Review for March 14, 2022

Tunisia Opposition Holds Protest against President Saied’s Power Grab
Thousands of Tunisian opposition supporters demonstrated Sunday in the capital against President Kais Saied’s power grab and the economic crisis in the North African country. “Poverty has increased,” and “Famine is at our doorsteps,” they chanted as at least 2,000 people gathered in the city centre. Protesters held up signs in English and French, reading “Tunisia wake up” and “Tunisian state is on the verge of collapse.” Saied last July sacked the government, suspended parliament and moved to rule by decree, sparking fears for democracy in the birthplace of the 2011 Arab uprisings… Already plunged in economic crisis, Tunisia has in recent weeks seen a shortage of staple foods, as the war in Ukraine threatens to interrupt key supplies to various Arab countries. AfricaNews

Zimbabwe Police Block Main Opposition Rallies 
Zimbabwe police Saturday blocked the country’s main opposition party from holding rallies ahead of March 26 elections to fill seats that have fallen vacant since the general election in 2018. … Police camped overnight Friday at a venue in Marondera, where the leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, Nelson Chamisa, was supposed to address his supporters Saturday. The 44-year-old candidate later came to disperse the crowd waiting for him. “We are a party of peace, a party of the rule of law,” he said. Chamisa said his party does not want to fight with people. He said the government denied permission to hold a rally, so the party asked for permission to come and tell about that. He told his supporters he does not want the politics of Zimbabwe to cause any death. Then he added that what the government does not know is that here in Marondera, his arrival is good enough. In an interview Sunday, Fadzayi Mahere, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change spokeswoman said her party was not happy with the bias of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the police in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF. VOA

Chad Peace Negotiations Adjourned
Chad’s government and [rebel] groups had started peace talks on Sunday morning in Doha. Some 44 armed rebel groups were invited, as a first step towards ending a rebellion and holding elections in the country. But the talks were suspended after participants from Front for Change and Concord in Chad left the room. Before that, the AU Commission head urged both parties to reach an agreement. “The Chadian history, which has been punctuated by conferences, attempts at reconciliation, and unfulfilled agreements, is well known to you all, Moussa Faki Mahamat began. In sixty years almost the age of our contemporary state, Chad experienced armed conflict, destruction, and lost opportunities for rebirth. Isn’t it about time to stop this madness of nihilism and absolute absurdity?”… The peace talks are crucial and according to Libya’s Foreign minister Najla Mohammed El Mangoush, they will improve stability and help “fight terrorism” in the Sahel region. AfricaNews

Mozambique: Cyclone Gombe Hits with Major Damage
Cyclone Gombe hit Nampula province Friday morning (11 March), with winds of 120 to 160 km/h and rain of 200 mm. The cyclone made landfall in Mongicual district, between Ihla de Moçambique and Angoche. It continued west into Malawi. The heavy winds have caused extensive damage to buildings, with more than 3000 homes destroyed, and many trees are down. Of 23 districts in Nampula province, 16 have no electricity according to EDM, the state electricity company. At least 12 people are known dead, according to INGD, the disaster management institute. Many zones are still inaccessible… Climate change is having an impact, and Cyclone Ana hit the same area in January killing 38 and destroying 12,000 houses. AllAfrica

Ambush and Reprisals in Ethiopia Kill 64, Rights Body Says
At least 53 people died in western Ethiopia after an unidentified armed group attacked a civilian convoy and its military escort in a region plagued by ethnic violence, a rights body appointed by the government said on Sunday. The previously unreported attack occurred on March 2 in Metekel, in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said. Twenty soldiers and three civilians were killed in the ambush, while 30 attackers died during the day-long gun battle that followed. Eleven more people were killed the following day – including one who was burned alive – as security forces rounded up suspects and carried out summary killings, according to the rights group. Reuters

Somalia: At Least 200 Terrorists Killed in Somali Army Operation
Somali sources reported that the county’s army has launched a military operation on its borders and managed to kill at least 200 of al-Shabaab terrorists. Somali army also managed to thwart several terrorist explosions, Al-Ahram reported. Somalia has stepped up security operations against al-Shabab in the central and southern regions. However, the terrorist group still controls large swaths of rural areas where they ambushed military forces… The terrorist group has repeatedly attacked the country’s government troops and African Union peacekeepers in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and carried out several brutal operations in other parts of Africa. AllAfrica

Somalia Faces Crippling Lack of Funds to Tackle Drought Crisis: UN
The crisis in Somalia is predicted to worsen in the coming months as drought ravages the country and relief agencies struggle to raise funds for adequate humanitarian response. And the UN is warning that the situation in Somalia, and the Horn of Africa in general, could take a back seat as aid agencies and donors focus on other crises around the world… Experts consider the ongoing drought one of the most devastating in recent decades, affecting farmers as well as animal herders, and decimating both livestock and vegetation. It has been made worse by the dire scarcity of water. The President of the South West State of Somalia, Mr Abdiaziz Hassan Laftagareen, held a meeting in mid-February with top religious personalities and businesspeople in a bid to mobilise resources and to motivate the government, the private sector and the non-state actors to respond to the plight of those affected by the drought. The East African

S. Sudan Bracing for ‘Worst Hunger Crisis Ever,’ Says Aid Agency
More than 70% of South Sudan’s population will struggle to survive the peak of the annual ‘lean season this year as the country grapples with unprecedented levels of food insecurity caused by conflict, climate shocks, Covid-19 and rising costs, an aid agency warned on Friday The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said while global attention is focused on Ukraine, a “hidden hunger emergency” is engulfing South Sudan with about 8.3 million there, including refugees, facing extreme hunger in the coming months. Particularly at risk, the agency said, are tens of thousands of South Sudanese who are already severely hungry following successive and continuous shocks and could starve without food assistance. South Sudan forms part of a ‘ring of fire’ encircling the globe where climate shocks, conflict, Covid-19, and rising costs are driving millions closer to starvation, said WFP. Sudan Tribune

UAE to Inject Money in Sudanese Banks: Minister
Acting foreign Minister Ali al-Sadiq Sunday said the United Arab Emirates agreed to inject money into Sudanese banks to support its financial activities during these difficult times… Before announcing this agreement, he said the two sides agreed to establish strategic economic partnerships in the areas of roads, ports, railways, military cooperation and exchange of experiences… The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s DP World in the past had shown interest in Port Sudan seaport but the civilian transitional government was not interested in the offer, at the time. Sudan Tribune

Senegal Launches Military Operation against Southern Casamance Rebels
“In the framework of their mission to secure people and goods, the army on Sunday 13 March 2022, launched an operation with the main objective of dismantling the bases of Salif Sadio’s MFDC faction,” the statement said. “This operation also aims to destroy all armed bands participating in criminal activities in the region,” it said. “The army remains determined to preserve the integrity of the national territory at all costs.” The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-intensity separatist conflict in southern Senegal since 1982, a conflict that has claimed several thousand lives. The MFCD is split into several factions, with one headed by Salif Sadio. In the latest clash on 24 January, four Senegalese soldiers were killed and seven captured alive and taken across the border to Gambia. RFI

‘I Don’t Know How I’m Still Going’: What’s Next for the Woman Who Fed Thousands in Zimbabwe’s Lockdown?
Immigration lawyer Samantha Murozoki did not plan to be still cooking for her neighbourhood two years after she first gave out some spare sadza porridge to hungry children in her street. Murozoki made headlines at the start of the Covid pandemic when the number of people queueing outside her small home kitchen in Chitungwiza, a town on the outskirts of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, quickly reached the thousands. Now, even though the number of people struggling to find food each day has eased in line with Zimbabwe’s lockdown measures, which have allowed people to return to work, Murozoki, 34, continues to feed nearly 800 people daily. The Guardian



Photo: Adam Jones