Africa Media Review for March 7, 2023

Burkina Faso Imposes Curfews To Help Fight Jihadis
Burkina Faso has put the North and parts of the Center East region under curfew to aid the fight against jihadis, according to official documents seen Sunday by AFP. The long-running insurgency in the impoverished Sahel nation has left thousands of civilians, police and soldiers dead and forced more than two million people to flee their homes. “In the framework of the fight against terrorism, a curfew is established from 22:00 to 05:00 across all the regional territory from Friday March 3 to Friday 31 March,” said a note from the secretary-general of the governorate for the North, Kouilga Albert Zongo”…Zongo said the curfew would help the army in the region bordering Mali, from where the insurgency swept in back in 2015.A curfew was also set up for March over Koulpelogo province, under an administrative communique from the high commission in the area close to Ghana and Togo, as well as the central-northern Bam region. AFP

Nigeria: ‘We Have No Allegiance to Any Party’ — INEC Addresses Atiku-Led Protesters
Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner for information, spoke on Monday while addressing members of the PDP who protested at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. TheCable had reported how the protesters led by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP standard bearer, marched to INEC’s office to protest the result of the election won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The protesters, who were dressed in black, started their demonstration from Legacy House, causing heavy traffic congestion around the Maitama axis. Okoye said the protest letter received from the PDP will be transmitted to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC national chairman, adding that the “grievances” will be addressed. “I have received this particular protest letter on behalf of the chairman of INEC and I promise you that this letter will be transmitted to him,” he said. “If there are remedial issues to be dealt with, we are going to deal with those remedial issues. TheCable 

Franco-Cameroonian Commission Turns Spotlight on Colonial Past
A joint Franco-Cameroonian commission has started work on delving into France’s role in the Central African nation’s colonial past and post-independence years, a chapter clouded by bloodshed and silence. The panel is part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for a “new” relationship with Africa. It follows inquiries ordered by Macron into France’s role in the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, and the colonial era and independence war in Algeria. The Franco-Cameroonian Joint Commission was officially launched in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Friday…The French colonial army massacred armed members of the outlawed Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) party, including independence leader Ruben Um Nyob. But the UPC continued its rebellion after independence, and many of its supporters died under the country’s first post-colonial president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, an authoritarian who ruled from 1960-82. Announcing the initiative last July, Macron promised that France’s archives on its colonial rule in Cameroon would be opened “in full.” AFP

Plastic Is Choking Ghana’s Sea
Ghana produces 840 000 tonnes of plastic waste annually, with only a small portion being recycled, according to data provided by the World Economic Forum.When the unrecycled waste finds its way into the ocean, it’s not only a problem for people. “Marine animals like turtles and whales mistake it for food and suffer serious harm or even die,” says Christopher Gordon, of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana. A 2018 United Nations study reported that 80% of municipal solid waste generated in African cities was recyclable and if this was done, it could generate up to $8 billion a year. In 2019, Ghana launched its national plastic action, which relies on encouraging businesses to make products out of recycled plastic. Mail & Guardian

The Cameroonian Migrants Stranded on an Island They Had Not Heard Of
The fiasco erupted in the wake of attempts by the government of Antigua and Barbuda to establish a direct air route between the twin isle nation and Central Africa. Three centuries after Antiguans’ ancestors were first forced onto slave ships from Africa to work on brutal British-owned sugar plantations on the island, many welcomed new linkages with the motherland. The first charter flight touched down – fittingly – on Independence Day on 1 November with a water cannon salute. Within weeks, however, at least three more charters operated by another carrier mirroring its operations arrived in the country bearing throngs of Cameroonians escaping persecution. According to official figures, 637 Central Africans remain on the island, with depleted finances due to the hefty fees forked out for the December and January flights. Many are staying in ramshackle homes with sparse utilities at very low rents or cheap guesthouses, while they try to scrabble together funds to continue their journey. BBC

Ex-Central African Republic President François Bozizé Goes Into Exile
Former Central African Republic President François Bozizé has gone into exile in Guinea-Bissau, President Umaro Sissoco Embaló has confirmed. Bozizé, 76, landed in the host capital Bissau on Thursday aboard a special flight from Chad, where he had been hiding since 2021. The former coup and rebel leader was received by President Embaló who ushered him into a house paid for by the Bissau government…The Guinea Bissau leader is the chairperson of Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). Bozizé ruled CAR from 2003, after he overthrew Ange Felix Patassé in a coup, until he was also kicked out in yet another coup in 2013. Since then CAR has been mired in crises and coup attempts, with Bozizé suspected of being one of the main instigators. Nation

DRC Army Says M23 Attacked Burundi Troops in North Kivu
Just a day after their deployment, Burundian troops were attacked by the M23, according to the Democratic Republic of Congo army. Colonel Kaiko Ndjike, spokesman for the governor of North Kivu in DRC, condemned a new violation of the ceasefire by the M23, which launched an attack on Monday targeting the Burundian troops. The DRC army added that the attack also hit a camp for internal displaced people…The attacks came as Angola, which is mediating between the DRC government and the M23 rebels, announced that the rebels had promised a ceasefire by noon of March 7, 2023. Angolan President João Lourenço had ordered the establishment of an ad hoc verification mechanism to ensure compliance with this decision. On Monday, a few hours before the deadline set by the rebels and the Angolan mediation, fighting was reported in North Kivu between the DRC army and the M23 rebels. This happened just after the DRC and Burundi signed a defence agreement. East African

Tanzania Makes Radical Shift in Two Years Under President Samia
When President Samia Suluhu Hassan came into office nearly two years ago, Tanzania was on a completely different trajectory. President Samia has since presided over a raft of reforms that have changed the direction the country was taking under her predecessor, Dr John Pombe Magufuli, who died in office on March 17, 2021…However, two years down the road, Tanzania has made a clean break with Magufuli’s mostly hard-line policies in various spheres…A few weeks after her swearing-in, President Samia reached out to the opposition, vowing to defend democracy and basic freedoms…President Samia is currently focusing on reforming the justice system and has already appointed a team to review the institutions responsible for justice. Citizen

Eritrea: Human Rights Situation Remains Dire Amid Complete Impunity
Addressing the Human Rights Council, Nada Al-Nashif warned that serious violations of people’s basic freedoms in Eritrea have continued “and show no sign of improvement.” In addition to the longstanding problem of indefinite military service – which intensified during the recent Tigray conflict in Ethiopia – Ms. Al-Nashif insisted that the agreed withdrawal of the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) from Ethiopia “remains very slow and largely incomplete”. And despite a UN human rights office report from November 2021 detailing how EDF troops have attacked civilians and carried out extrajudicial killings and executions, no accountability mechanisms have been established by Eritrea, the UN deputy rights chief continued.  “Eritrea has rejected this …report and has allowed perpetrators in the EDF to act with impunity. There is no genuine prospect that the domestic judicial system will hold perpetrators to account,” she said. UN News

Dollar Shortage Spurs Kenya To Seek $4.8 Billion Oil-Supply Cover
Kenya has sought a $4.8 billion credit facility from a group of banks as it nationalizes the importing of fuel to enable it to defer payments and conserve its depleting foreign-exchange reserves. The East African nation’s government plans to directly purchase fuel, taking over from private companies, according to documents seen by Bloomberg and verified by the Energy Ministry. Lenders including KCB Bank, Standard Bank Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Deustche Bank will issue or confirm guarantees for payment that the government wants deferred for at least six months, according to the documents. Bloomberg

South Sudanese Media Body Urges “Unconditional” Release of Journalists
The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has called for the “unconditional” release of state media journalists “illegally” detained at the national security headquarters. Until now, no charges have been preferred against Victor Ladu, Mustapha Osman and Jacob Benjamin since they were detained two months ago…In January 3, security service agents detained six journalists with the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) for allegedly leaking a video clip circulated on social media in December, which appeared to show President Salva Kiir in an embarrassing situation…By law, however, South Sudanese authorities are allowed to detain suspects for only 24 hours before bringing them before a competent court of law. Sudan Tribune

The Tunisian President’s War on Africans Who Are Not Arab and Muslim
According to Tunisia’s President Kais Saied, the biggest problems facing his country is not the deteriorating economy, the chronic unemployment or his own efforts to consolidate power within the office of the presidency, which has been described by his critics as a lurch towards authoritarianism. Instead, Tunisia’s greatest threat comes from a “criminal arrangement” to “change the demographic composition of Tunisia” by flooding the country with refugees and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. President Saied has offered no evidence for this claim, which echoes the so-called “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory popular among far-right and white supremacist movements in Europe and North America…The consequences of the president’s words for the country’s estimated population of 21 000 African migrants were brutal and immediate. “Saied’s scapegoating statement … has opened a floodgate of racialised terror and violence in Tunisia that previously bubbled just beneath the surface,” reported New Lines magazine.  “Reports filled social media and private WhatsApp groups of the targeting of black people — whether from sub-Saharan countries or black Tunisians — with verbal and physical abuse.” Yasin Ahmed*, a refugee from Darfur who lives in Tunis, told The Continent that the country had, overnight, become dramatically more hostile to black people. Mail & Guardian

World Bank Halts Tunisia Talks Over Migrants Row
The World Bank has suspended talks over its future engagement with Tunisia following President Kais Saied’s recent criticism of sub-Saharan migrants. The outgoing head of the bank, David Malpass, said Mr Saied’s remarks had triggered racially motivated harassment and even violence in Tunisia. He described the situation as deeply concerning, but added that recent steps by the Tunisian government to support migrants were positive. On Sunday, President Saied denounced racism, despite making comments last month that African immigrants were part of a plot to change Tunisia’s demographic profile. BBC