Africa Media Review for March 20, 2023

Sudan Will Form New Government on April 11: Official Spokesman
On Sunday, the signatories of the framework agreement held two meetings. The first included SAF and RSF commanders, the political signatories, and the tripartite facilitation mechanism, while the second included the RSF commander, the civil forces, and the Trilateral Mechanism. In a press briefing held after the second meeting, the political process spokesman Khalid Omer told reporters that the meeting approved the formation of an eleven-member committee to draft the final agreement, including nine representatives of the signatory civilian forces, a representative of the national army and another of the paramilitary forces. “The committee has to submit the final draft agreement no later than March 27,” he added. He further said that during the first meeting attended by the head of the Sovereign Council, the participants agreed to sign the final agreement on April 1. “The transitional constitution will take place on the sixth of April, while the formation of the institutions of the transitional authority will be on the 11th of April,” he stressed. Sudan Tribune

Nigeria: INEC Declares Sanwo-Olu Winner in Lagos
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been re-elected in Lagos State. He polled a total of 762,134 votes, defeating Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party who scored 312,329 votes, followed by Abdul-Azeez Adediran aka Jandor with 62,449 votes. Sanwo-Olu was declared the winner at 1:15 am on Monday morning, almost 48 hours after the electoral exercise commenced. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results at the commission’s state collation centre, but not without the LP collation agent condemning the exercise. The election was marked by voter suppression, ethnic discrimination, political thuggery, and physical attacks on voters, electoral staff and security personnel alike. Amid the reports, state Commissioner of Police Idowu Owohunwa had assured Lagosians that security personnel deployed for the election were responding promptly to the cases, saying “a lot of arrests” and “recoveries” had been made. Channels

Tear Gas, Warnings: Africa Readies for Monday Opposition Protests
Four countries in Africa are preparing responses against planned protests fronted by opposition politicians in what could test the line between civil liberties and security. South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia and Nigeria may all experience running battles with the police, or peaceful demos to express dissatisfaction with the governments in dealing with economic and political problems. Their planners are far and different. But the Monday March 20 date may move from being coincidental to become historic. East African

Tear Gas, Arrests As Kenya Opposition Stages Protests
Kenyan riot police fired tear gas Monday to disperse demonstrators gathered in Nairobi for a day of action called by the opposition to protest the country’s punishing cost of living crisis, AFP correspondents said. The government of President William Ruto has vowed to take a tough stance over the demonstrations, which opposition leader Raila Odinga vowed would go ahead despite not receiving police authorisation. Demonstrators also hurled rocks at anti-riot police outside government offices in the capital, while about two dozen people were arrested, including two opposition MPs, correspondents at the scene said…Odinga said he called the demonstrations to protest the “skyrocketing” cost of living and the “stolen” election last August. “Since Mr Ruto was sworn in six months ago, he has continued to run the country with a lot of contempt,” he said, highlighting the high cost of basics such as fuel, cooking oil, school fees and electricity. Odinga, leader of the Azimio la Umoja party, has long protested that the August election was fraudulent and denounced Ruto’s government as “illegitimate.” East African

S. Africa Police, Soldiers Deploy for Opposition-Led Protests
Police and soldiers deployed across South Africa Monday as the country braced for protests after a left-wing party called for a “national shutdown”, sparking fears of a repeat of unrest that turned deadly two years ago. There was a heavy security presence at the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria, where demonstrators were expected to protest later. The country’s third-largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has urged South Africans to take to the streets and bring the country to a halt… The protest call rekindled memories of the deadly riots of July 2021, the worst violence since the end of apartheid in South Africa, when at least 350 people were killed in protests sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma spiraled into riots and looting. Ramaphosa has ordered law enforcement agencies to ensure there no repeat of the 2021 unrest. AFP

Cloete Murray: South African Corruption Investigator Shot Dead
A South African accountant who was investigating high-level corruption cases has been shot dead along with his son. Cloete Murray, 50, was the liquidator for Bosasa, a company implicated in numerous government contract scandals. He also worked as a liquidator for firms linked to the wealthy Gupta brothers, who deny bribery accusations. Police will see if there is a link between Mr Murray’s murder and these corruption investigations. Mr Murray was shot by unknown gunmen while driving in Johannesburg with his 28-year-old son Thomas, a legal adviser, on Saturday. His son died at the scene while Mr Murray was taken to hospital and later died of his injuries, local media reported, citing a police spokesperson. BBC

Cyclone Freddy Sparks Cholera Fears in Malawi
The trail of destruction left behind by Cyclone Freddy could further worsen Malawi’s cholera outbreak which is already the worst in decades. There are increasing fears that cholera will hit people in camps and uncontrolled settlements. According to Save The Children, an estimated 183 000 people were displaced by the cyclone, most of them children. They lack running water, sanitation facilities and open defecation in camps is fueling fears of waterborne diseases. Save The Children and other aid agencies were already on the ground working on cholera cases but now more weight has been added to their already heavy load. They are dealing with injured victims from the cyclone’s impacts, which caused landslides, flooding as well as falling trees and infrastructure. Independent NG

French Nuclear Company To Explore Prospect of Uranium Deposit in Niger
French nuclear group Orano and the Nigerien government are exploring the prospect of a uranium site in Imouraren, one of the world’s biggest uranium deposits, in the northern Arlit region. Matthieu Davrinche, director of the Imouraren company, which works with Orano and the Niger government on exploring the site’s potential, told reporters in Niamey that tests would start next year at the site, which is estimated to have reserves of 200,000 tons of uranium. A decision on whether to mine the deposits would be made later, Davrinche added. The landlocked West African country is the world’s fifth-largest uranium producer. Its mining industry is eyeing a long-term future as the nuclear industry pushes up its prospects for easing reliance on carbon-spewing fossil fuels. Anadolu Agency

New Dynamics in DR Congo As Angola, Burundi Deploy Troops
The posture of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) is likely to change in the coming days after entry of troops from Angola, and later, the Southern African bloc Sadc, to support peace efforts, even though under a separate arrangement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Angolan National Assembly was on Friday expected to endorse the final deployment of troops to North Kivu in eastern DRC under a bilateral deal with Kinshasa. Congolese officials say “the Angolan soldiers are not coming to fight against M23 or any other group. They are coming to implement the verification mechanism foreseen by the Luanda process,” according to the Congolese presidency. Angola has been mediating between DRC and Rwanda under the Luanda Process. East African

Civilians Killed in DR Congo Attacks, Fighting With M23 Rebels Flares
More than 20 civilians were reported killed in separate attacks in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where fighting also resumed over the weekend between the government and M23 insurgents, local sources told AFP on Sunday. In Ituri province, CODECO militants — a group claiming to protect the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema — was accused of targeting five villages in Mahagi early on Saturday…The Tutsi-led rebel group has seized swathes of territory and advanced close to the regional hub of Goma, prompting the seven-nation East African Community (EAC) to authorize the deployment last November. In a statement, the Congolese army said M23 fighters attacked at least six of its positions, denouncing “repeated violations of a cease-fire” that was to come into effect on March 7. Kinshasa and several Western governments say the M23 rebels are backed by Rwanda eyeing the natural resources across the border, a claim denied by Kigali. AFP

China Condemns Killing of Its Nationals in CAR
China has condemned the killing of Chinese nationals by militants in Central African Republic (CAR) outside the capital, Bangui. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “severe punishment” for the perpetrators, a statement from the foreign ministry said on Monday. The mayor of the central Bembari town told the AFP news agency that they “counted nine bodies and two wounded” in the attack at 05:00 (0300 GMT) on Sunday. The victims are said to have been working in a goldmine run by the Gold Coast Group. The Chinese embassy in Bangui has urged citizens to avoid travelling outside the capital following the killings, raising the alert levels to very high. It said its government would work with embassies and governments to safeguard its citizens in African countries. It comes amid several attacks on Chinese nationals abroad in recent months. The Central African Republic has been plagued by violence and insecurity since a civil war broke out in 2013. BBC

Britain Defends “Compassionate” Rwanda Asylum Plan
British Interior Minister defended a controversial plan to deport asylum seekers arriving in the UK to Rwanda during a visit on Saturday. Suella Braverman spoke to journalists at a news conference attended by Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, who also defended the agreement signed between the two countries. “What we want to do is to create innovative solutions, to be able to offer to these asylum seekers and migrants alike, safety, security and opportunities for them to live a decent life. And we are going to work with the UK to propose that solution. Under the plans, migrants arriving in the UK in small boats would be flown to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed. Those granted asylum would stay in the African country rather than return to Britain. The agreement between Britain and Rwanda “will lead the way in finding a solution which is both humanitarian and compassionate and also fair and balanced”,  said Suella Braverman. Voice of Nigeria

Rwanda Splurges on Sports, Drawing Criticism
Rwanda is investing heavily in sports through partnerships with clubs such as Arsenal and PSG and the organization of the World Road Cycling Championships in 2025. However this strategy has drawn criticism from the opposition, which doubts it is usefull for the economy of the 73rd FIFA Congress host country. First, it was a multi-million dollar sponsorship of English Premier League club Arsenal in 2018, followed by a splashy deal to back French giants Paris Saint-Germain a year later. The “Visit Rwanda” can now be seen on Premier League and Ligue 1 pitches. The vision of Rwandan authorities takes shape with club sponsorships and hosting duties for events ranging from 2021’s Basketball Africa league tournament to cycling’s Road World Championships in 2025. It has required extensive work to provide the country with new sports infrastructure: $104 million for a 10,000-seat basketball hall, $16 million for a golf course inaugurated in 2021 in Kigali, and $165 million budgeted for the ongoing construction of the National Stadium, which is expected to expand from 25,000 to 45,000 seats by 2024. AfricaNews