Africa Media Review for May 11, 2023

Sudan: Fierce Battles Underway in Khartoum, Omdurman
Heavy air attacks and clashes were witnessed in several major Sudanese cities, as the UN warned more people will go hungry amid a prolonged conflict. Fighting in Sudan raged in the capital Khartoum on Wednesday, with battles between the Sudanese Army and rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) also taking place in nearby Omdurman and Bahri. The army led by Abdel-Fattah Burhan has been using air strikes since Tuesday to weed out the RSF from these three cities. The RSF, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, has pressed on with its counterinsurgency against the government. According to the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, over 750 people have died from the violence in Sudan, with more than 5,000 people also having been injured. DW

Western States Push UN Rights Body to Monitor Sudan Abuses
Britain, the U.S. and other mostly Western countries condemned abuses by Sudan’s warring factions and called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to step up monitoring of the conflict at an emergency meeting of the body on Thursday. Sudan’s ambassador to the body hit back at the suggestions of outside involvement, described the conflict as an internal affair and called for “African solutions for African problems”. Battles between Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary forces have killed hundreds and wounded thousands, disrupted aid supplies, sent refugees fleeing abroad and turned residential areas of Khartoum into war zones since mid-April. U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk told the 47-member council that both sides had “trampled” on international humanitarian law. Reuters

Violence in Sudan Likely to Spark Record Levels of Hunger
The grim prospect of record hunger levels in Sudan is becoming more likely by the day, as heavy fighting continues, UN humanitarians warned on Wednesday. In an alert on the situation, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that it expected between two and 2.5 million more people to face acute hunger in the coming months, because of conflict that erupted on 15 April between forces loyal to rival Generals Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. This development would take the already dire food insecurity in Sudan to a “record high”, WFP said, with two-fifths of the country’s population affected. According to the UN agency, the biggest spikes in food insecurity could occur in West Darfur, West Kordofan, Blue Nile, Red Sea and North Darfur states. UN News

One Dead, 30 Injured in New Wave of Unrest in Senegal
Violence during protests in the Ngor neighbourhood of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, has killed one teenager and wounded 30 people as young protesters took to the streets against an increasingly “repressive state”. The city witnessed violent protests on Tuesday night when schoolchildren demanding a high school to be built instead of a police station were confronted by police in full gear. “The government is not listening to us, the president is not listening to us, no one wants to help us, so we are expressing ourselves as we can,” a protester who did not want to give his full name told Al Jazeera. Checkpoints and security officers were placed to prevent other residents and journalists from entering Ngor. Al Jazeera correspondent Nicolas Haque was harassed and stopped for a few hours before he could resume reporting. Al Jazeera

Number of Internally Displaced People Hit Record in 2022
The number of internally displaced people (IDP) worldwide reached a record high of 71.1 million by the end of 2022 — 20% higher than in 2021, according to an international report. An overlap of geopolitical crisis, internal power struggles and environmental disasters led to conditions that not only spurred displacements but also affected the vulnerable the most, the 76-page report by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IMDC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said. A record 60.9 million new displacements were registered in 2022 amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and the monsoon floods that ravaged Pakistan. That’s a 60% increase compared to 38 million displacements seen in 2021. … Ten countries — Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Colombia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan — are home to nearly three-quarters of those who live in displacement. Several of them remained displaced because of unresolved conflicts. There were 17 million displacements inside Ukraine, 8 million in Pakistan and 16.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa, with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia seeing the most displacement on the African continent. DW

Tshisekedi to East African Force: Act on Rebels or Leave DRC
Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi on Tuesday gave the biggest warning yet that the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) will have to leave the country by June if they are not effective on the ground. On a visit to Gaborone in Botswana, where he has pushed for a plan B from the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) to send troops, the Congolese head of state accused the EACRF of ‘cohabiting’ with rebels after the regional troops declined to enter combat. “The head of state said that under the terms of the EACRF’s mandate, by next June, if the results of its mission are not satisfactory, this contingent, which came to the rescue of the DRC, will have to leave Congolese territory for good,” the Congolese presidency said of his meeting with Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi. … The EACRF, first deployed in November, includes troops from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan. Their Status of Force Agreement (SOFA), a pact between Kinshasa and the East African Community secretariat, initially gave them a mandate of six months which expired in March. But just what their mandate is has been a bone of contention. East African

At Least Seven People Killed by Police Gunfire in Guinea Protests
An anti-government movement is planning new protests in Guinea after its leaders said at least seven people were killed and 32 wounded during demonstrations in the capital, Conakry, and other cities. Police in riot gear cracked down on demonstrators who threw rocks and burned tyres on Wednesday during the latest in a series of protests against the military government, which seized power in 2021. Small-scale protests also took place in Nzerekore, a city in the southeast, and in the central town of Dabola. Opposition parties and civil society groups said in a joint statement that at least seven people had been shot dead and 32 others suffered gunshot wounds. They said 56 arrests were reported and a second day of peaceful demonstrations would go ahead as planned on Thursday. … There have been several protests in Guinea since the army took power, some of which have turned deadly after clashes with heavy-handed security forces. The military government is one of several in West Africa that took power in a string of coups since 2020 and are now dragging their feet on promises of elections. Al Jazeera

Rights Groups Criticize Nigeria’s Bid to Relocate Conflict Impacted
[Video] Rights groups are urging Nigerian authorities to suspend the resettlement of people who fled Islamic militants in the country’s northeast. Borno state authorities have relocated most camps for displaced people, but critics say security and basic needs are not being met. Timothy Obiezu reports from Maiduguri, Nigeria. VOA

Inmates Awaiting Trial, Death Row Convicts Fill Nigeria Prisons
Amidst complaints of delayed justice, Nigeria has more than 52,446 inmates awaiting trial and 3,298 on death row currently in correctional centres across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Rights activists have continued to complain of prison congestion caused by convicts on death row and people awaiting trial. Mr Gimba Dumbulwa, Assistant Controller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), confirmed on May 10, 2023 that the inmates awaiting trial were overstretching facilities in custodial centres. At a high-level conference on decongestion and corrections administration in Abuja, Dumbulwa said that some of the inmates have been locked up without trial for over 10 years. … He said that by May 9, 2023, there were 75,436 inmates are in custody across the country while 52,446 were awaiting trial. … “The problem we have all over our custodial centres is quick dispensation of justice to these inmates,” he added. East African

High Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate in Africa Worrying, Experts Say
The majority of the annual almost 4.5 million maternal, newborn and stillbirth deaths are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and Southern Asia, a new World Health Organisation (WHO) report states. Of those, around 290 0000 are maternal deaths, stillbirths total 1.9 million, and newborn deaths account for the most, at 2.3 million. According to the report, the most-affected African countries are Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Tanzania. They are part of the top 10 most-affected countries in the world. The list is led by India. The stark reality presented by these countries is that they could fail to reach the 2030 target for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. … Speaking to the press at the first biennial International Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, Dr Queen Dube, a consultant paediatrician and clinical epidemiologist, said there should be better coordination to bring back the most-affected countries up to speed. News24