Africa Media Review for March 30, 2022

Kaduna-Abuja Train Attack: Buhari, National Assembly, Governors Demand Tough Actions, Survivors Recount Ordeal
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday titled, ‘Kaduna train attack: President Buhari directs immediate implementation of security solution; condemns incident’. According to the statement, the President “also directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation management to speedily repair the damaged lines and resume normal service without delay.” “He charged the law enforcement chiefs to bring back all passengers kidnapped and ensure that each of the callous terrorists are hunted down and made to face justice for their heinous acts as no one or group should be allowed to make the country prostrate,” Shehu stated. Punch

Shock As Terrorists Launch Another Train Attack in 24 Hours
Yesterday after terrorists at the weekend attacked an airport and followed it up with Monday’s rail track explosion at Gidan train station along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track. It was gathered that the terrorists planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on the tracks forcing the train heading to Abuja from Kaduna to a stop. This is the second attack within 24 hours along the same axis. As of press time, details of the second attack were still sketchy, and it wasn’t yet clear if there were casualties. Innocent Ajiji, president of the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, confirmed the development to newsmen. He said: “We are yet to determine the extent of the damage.” Guardian Nigeria

Attacks Intensify As Somalia Prepares for Presidential Election
In the latest violence to rock Somalia, militants overran the Af Urur military base in the north of the country on Sunday, killing four soldiers. That ambush comes barely a week after two deadly attacks: one on the Halane base near the airport in the capital, Mogadishu, and twin blasts in the city of Beledweyne, in central Somalia, which killed 48 people and injured more than 100…Al-Shabab said it carried out the attacks to target politicians contesting Somalia’s elections, which are already more than a year overdue. The election of the lower house, which has been ongoing for several months, is now scheduled to be completed on March 31. This will pave the way for lawmakers to pick a president, a process that has been long and deeply troubled. DW

US ‘Concerned’ Over South Sudan Tensions
The United States on Tuesday expressed concern over “growing tensions” in South Sudan, and called on all parties to respect the 2018 peace agreement. Recently, clashes erupted between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-In Opposition (SPLA/M-IO) in Upper Nile and Unity states. Earlier this month, Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) announced its withdrawal from the peace monitoring body over “unprovoked” attacks on its bases by its “peace partner”. Both sides accused each of starting the attacks. The military confrontation has deepened fissures between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar. The 2018 peace agreement brought Kiir and Machar together in a government of national unity. But challenges remain, including the unity government’s failure to unify the army. Radio Tamazuj

Sudan’s Leader in Cairo for Talks With Egyptian President
Egypt’s president on Wednesday met with Sudan’s top general for talks focusing on ties between the two African neighbors. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi received Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council in Sudan at the Cairo international airport. Both leaders then reviewed an honor guard at a Cairo presentational palace before sitting down to discuss bilateral issues, according to Egypt’s state-run television. The talks are likely to include the two nations’ dispute with Ethiopia over a massive dam it is building on the Blue Nile. The countries have repeatedly failed to reach a three-party deal with Ethiopia on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam. AP

Mediators Will Launch Process To Restore Civilian-Led Transition in Sudan
The tripartite mediation including UN, AU and IGAD will launch within two weeks the second phase of a political process aiming to restore a civilian-led government, the UNITAMS head told the Security Council. In his 90-day briefing to the Security Council on Monday, Volker Perthes spoke about the violence, protests and difficult economic conditions the country is experiencing after the coup of Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October 2021. Also, he spoke about increased tensions between and within the different security forces, alluding to the regular army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary force. Sudan Tribune

Thousands Flee DRC for Uganda Amid Rebel Group Clashes
Clashes along the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern border have sent thousands of people fleeing into Uganda. Ugandan forces have deployed along the border after reports that M23 rebels attacked military positions Sunday night. Sounding exhausted and desperate, Anglique Wabareka tells VOA on the phone she spent the night on the run after clashes between rebel forces broke out in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Pitching camp at a police post across the Ugandan border, Wabareka says she was able to escape with her three children…In a statement to journalists, a spokesman for the governor of North Kivu province said that on the nights of March 27 and 28, M23 rebels, supported by Rwandan soldiers, carried out incursions and attacks against positions of the Congolese army in the towns of Tchanzu and Runyonyi. Voice of America

Uganda Decries Lack of Funds To Host Refugees
Uganda is considering turning away refugees from its borders, saying the international community has cut funding. Refugees and Disaster Preparedness Minister Hillary Onek told The EastAfrican that without more funding, the country could no longer afford to cater for the growing number of refugees. “We have made it known to the UN seeking more support. We do not have the capacity to look after numbers with such minimal support UN,” he said. Mr Onek added that a recent influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo has pushed the number to close to 1.6 million since January. East African

Ethiopian Court Orders Journalist To Be Released on Bail
An Ethiopian court has ordered Ethiopian journalist Amir Aman Kiyaro to be released on bail after being imprisoned for four months without charges. A judge in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday granted bail to Kiyaro while prosecutors determine whether or not to press charges against him. Kiyaro remained in custody while bail procedures were being followed before his expected release. Kiyaro, 30, a video journalist accredited to The Associated Press, was detained on Nov. 28 in Addis Ababa under the country’s war-related state of emergency powers. Kiyaro is accused of “serving the purposes” of what the government has classified a terrorist group by interviewing its officials, according to reports by Ethiopian state media, citing federal police. AP

SADC Capacity Building Mission in Mozambique
Ongoing fighting in Cabo Delgado is not deterring the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from efforts to put the strife-torn northern Mozambican province back on its feet. This commitment saw a multi-sectoral SADC team in the east African country on a technical assessment earlier this month (March). The mission, according to a SADC communique, was to determine capacity building initiatives for targeted groups…The Cabo Delgado visit was part of the regional bloc’s commitment to engage international co-operating partners (ICPs) to mobilise resources to support the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). DefenceWeb

Tunisia’s Saied Condemns “Illegal” Meetings of Parliament
Tunisian president Kais Saied has condemned attempts at holding what he described as “illegal” meetings of parliament suspended since last July. The assembly’s speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, has called for a plenary session on Wednesday to discuss Saied’s “exceptional measures” imposed since July…The decision to hold the plenary session was taken by the Bureau of the Assembly of People’s Representatives, a body that includes the Speaker of Parliament and representatives of all parties with seats. AfricaNews

UN Confirms Death of 8 Peacekeepers in Congo Helicopter Crash
A United Nations spokesperson says no one survived Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with eight U.N. peacekeepers on board. Earlier, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the helicopter was carrying six crew members, all from the Pakistani military, and two military personnel – one from Serbia and one from the Russian Federation – when it went down in North Kivu province…Separately, the Congolese army accused the M23 rebel group of shooting down the helicopter and said it went down in territory controlled by the rebels. In an interview with VOA’s French to Africa Service, M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma accused the army of shooting down the aircraft while firing on M23 forces. Voice of America

World Cup African Qualifiers Roundup: Senegal Sink Egypt, Ghana Beat Nigeria and More 
Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia also booked their places in the finals on a frantic night of play-off action. Senegal won the second leg of the African play-off 1-0 in Diamniadio thanks to a fourth-minute goal from Boulaye Dia and the teams finished level at 1-1 on aggregate after extra time. As was the case in the Africa Cup of Nations final last month, Mane was entrusted with taking the crucial fifth Senegal kick and once again he made no mistake to give his side a 3-1 shoot-out victory. Among the three Egyptians who failed to score in the shoot-out was Sane’s Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, who uncharacteristically blazed his kick over the crossbar. France24



Photo: Adam Jones