Africa Media Review for March 9, 2023

Nigeria: INEC Postpones Gov Election by One Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the governorship and state assembly elections scheduled to hold on March 11 by one week. The elections will now hold on March 18, 2023. This was made known in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye on Wednesday. A state Resident Electoral Commissioner who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity also confirmed the decision. The PUNCH had reported that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and his commissioners were in a closed-door meeting over the governorship election. The meeting commenced at 7pm on Wednesday. Punch

World Bank Halts Tunisia Partnership Programme Over President’s ‘Hate Speech’
The World Bank is pausing talks over its future engagement with Tunisia following anti-immigrant comments made by the country’s president, Kais Saied, according to an internal message to World Bank staff seen by AFP. In the message sent on Sunday evening, the bank’s outgoing president David Malpass said Saied’s tirade had triggered “racially motivated harassment and even violence,” and that the institution had postponed a planned meeting involving Tunisia until further notice. “Given the situation, management has decided to pause the country partnership framework and withdraw it from board review,” said Malpass in the note to staff. AFP understands that ongoing projects will continue and funded projects remain financed. Hundreds of migrants have flown home from Tunisia, fearful of a wave of violence since the president’s remarks. Mail & Guardian

UN Renews Sudan Arms Embargo As Russia and China Abstain
The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Wednesday renewing an arms embargo and other sanctions imposed over violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region that began in 2004. Thirteen of the 15 council members voted for the resolution. Russia and China abstained, arguing that the Darfur conflict is largely over. The resolution also extends the mandate of the U.N. panel of experts monitoring the arms embargo and travel ban and asset freeze on certain individuals. It now runs until March 12, 2024. Last month, Sudan demanded that the Security Council immediately lift all sanctions imposed during the Darfur conflict. Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Al-Harith Idriss Mohamed, said in a letter to the council that “Darfur has, for the most part, overcome the state of war, as well as previous security and political challenges.” AP

At Least 36 Killed in Eastern DR Congo Attack
At least 36 people were killed during an overnight attack on a village in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. A local official and the head of a civil society group said on Thursday the assailants were believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – a Ugandan armed group based in eastern DRC that has pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS) and wages frequent deadly raids on villages…It is among the most violent groups in the DRC, and has been accused of a string of bomb attacks and civilian massacres. According to the Catholic Church in the country, the ADF has killed about 6,000 civilians since 2013. US-based monitor the Kivu Security Tracker blames the group for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area alone since 2017. Al Jazeera

Nigeria Election 2023: Heartbroken Peter Obi Supporters Target Lagos
Heartbroken first-time voters in Nigeria are being urged not to give up after the candidate that many of them backed came third in the presidential race two weeks ago. This is because crucial state elections are being held later this month, after a last-minute delay – where governors and local assemblies will be chosen. It is the state governments that build schools, hospitals and inner city roads and are responsible for transport and other essential services. Some of the young voters who took an interest in politics and backed the Labour Party’s Peter Obi have become disillusioned by election-day antics in some areas: ballot-box snatching; violence and the late arrival of electoral officials that disenfranchised many. This may be one of the explanations for the low turnout of just 27%. BBC

Nigeria: Boko Haram Survivors Meet Pope on Women’s Day
Pope Francis met two Nigerian women, formerly held by Boko Haram militants, on International Women’s Day.Pope Francis met two Nigerian women, formerly held by Boko Haram militants, on International Women’s Day. The two girls escaped from Boko Haram’s captivity after enduring years of violence. Both Christian, they were brought to meet the Pope and Italian policymakers by a Vatican NGO. Boko Haram, Nigeria’s homegrown jihadi rebels, launched an insurgency in 2009 to fight against western education and to establish Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria. At least 35,000 people have been killed and 2.1 million people displaced as a result of the extremist violence, according to data from United Nations agencies in Nigeria. AfricaNews

Tanzania’s 1st Female President Praises Political Tolerance
Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has said that as the East African country’s first female leader, she has brought a new level of political tolerance to the nation. Hassan spoke at a rally for International Women’s Day which had been organized by an opposition party. More than 3,000 women were at the event including leaders from 19 opposition parties. “The opposition is lucky that it is a woman president in charge because if a misunderstanding occurs, I will stand for peace and make the men settle their egos,” she said amid cheers, singing and dancing. She said there was a “new culture of unity” between the opposition and her government and although some critics are not happy with it, “they will get used to it.” AP

Cameroonian Women Protest High Cost of Living
Thousands of women in Cameroon took to the streets on Wednesday, International Women’s Day, to protest the high cost of living. The government blames soaring food and energy prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of Cameroonian women blow trumpets and whistles on the streets of the central African state’s capital Yaounde, shouting and decrying the high cost of living amid surging inflation. The women say they want the government to help them cope with price increases. Voice of America

South Sudan President Sacks Foreign Minister
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has sacked his foreign minister, less than a week after dismissing the defence and interior ministers. No explanation was given for the dismissal of Mayiik Ayii Deng, which was announced in a decree on the state television. The sacked minister is an ally of Mr Kiir, and previously served as the minister in the president’s office. Last week’s sackings have threatened to derail a peace deal with opposition leader First Vice-President Riek Machar. The opposition called for the reinstatement of Angelina Teny, who Mr Kiir dismissed as defence minister and handed the position to his party. Mrs Teny is also Mr Machar’s wife. The UN called for the parties to “exercise restraint and engage in a collegial spirit in order to resolve such sensitive national issues.” BBC

Somalia’s Lower House Passes Historic Anti-Terrorism Law
The lower house of Somalia’s Parliament on Wednesday approved a new anti-terrorism law that aims to provide a legal framework that will help government security agencies to better fight and eradicate terrorism in Somalia. Members of Parliament approved the bill 133-3 — with 7 abstentions — on Wednesday after weeks of debate in what Somalia’s intelligence director, Mahad Mohamed Salad, called a crucial law to make the Horn of Africa country a safer place. “This law is vital for our war against terrorism, and it comes at a time when we most needed it to perform our national responsibility in preventing terror acts and eradicating terrorism,” said Salad. Voice of America

One Forest Summit: The Ambitions of the Libreville Plan on Forest Preservation
This meeting brought together several heads of state and government, including Faustin-Archange Touadéra of the Central African Republic, Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Congo, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and Carlos Vila Nova of Santo Domingo. Focused on the preservation of tropical forests and biodiversitý, this summit was an opportunity for leaders, experts and invited personalities to examine the mechanisms and means to be implemented to reconcile forest preservation and economic development. The decision-makers present in Gabon thus launched the Libreville Plan. This initiative, which is inspired by the main resolutions of the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 27), “translates into a commitment by the Parties to implement a fair agreement between forest countries and the international communitý to reconcile environmental ambition and economic development,” says the Presidency of the Gabonese Republic. Afrik 21

Kenya: Why Safaricom, East Africa’s Biggest Telecom, Is Getting Sued by Its Customers
East Africa’s leading telecommunications company Safaricom is in trouble. Pressure is mounting on it, with two major lawsuits from its customers who are demanding accountability from the telco giant. The Nairobi-based firm has in the past few months faced renewed criticism over the credibility of its mobile overdraft facility Fuliza, which runs on the popular mobile money service M-Pesa, and rising cases of SIM swap fraud targeting Fuliza limits. Three Kenyan M-Pesa users have filed a class-action suit against Safaricom, arguing that Kenya’s most profitable company uses its customers’ money to engage in profit-making financial lending services without consent, despite it not being registered as a bank. This is in contravention of section 2 (1) of the country’s Banking Act. Quartz Africa