Africa Media Review for November 1, 2017

South Sudan Conflict Drives Massive Population Movement
As the four-year conflict in South Sudan continues unabated, the country’s humanitarian situation has reached emergency levels and continues to worsen. Those who have fled their homes relay stories of atrocities, including unlawful killings, mass rapes, torture, arbitrary detentions, and looting and burning of property. A population movement of this magnitude, with majorities of some ethnic groups displaced, has the potential to cause massive and lasting damage to the country’s social fabric, as well as its viability as a sovereign state.  Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Forces Thousands to Flee into Nigeria – UNHCR
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, had disclosed that thousands of Cameroonians from the restive Anglophone region continue to flee into neighbouring Nigeria. UNHCR said on Tuesday that it had recorded 2,000 Cameroonians and were expecting an even greater number of refugees. The agency said it was planning to help up to 40,000 people fleeing violence from Cameroon’s North West and South West regions. A spokesperson, Babar Baloch, added that UNHCR was working with Nigerian authorities to scale up assistance. Africa News

Nigeria’s President Buhari Says Plans to Expand His Cabinet
Nigeria’s cabinet will be expanded to bring in “more people and fresh ideas, for the ultimate benefit of the people of Nigeria”, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday on his official Twitter account. Buhari did not immediately provide any further details. Reuters

Six Dead after Ambush on Malian High Court’s President
Five Malian soldiers and one civilian were killed in central Mali on Tuesday during an ambush on a convoy of the president of the High Court of Justice, the defense ministry said in a statement. It was not clear who was responsible for the attack, but the high level target and army deaths point to the deteriorating security situation in Mali due to the growing reach of jihadist groups that roam country’s vast desert expanses. The convoy of Abdrahamane Niang was traveling between the towns of Dia and Diafarabé in the Mopti region, about 500 kilometers (311 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, when it was attacked. Reuters

Gunfire, Protests Reported in Eritrea’s Capital
Demonstrations in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, have drawn a violent crackdown with reports of gunshots. The U.S. Embassy reported the protests and gunshots, although the source of the gunfire is unknown. Multiple videos shared via Facebook and Twitter and uploaded to YouTube show demonstrators fleeing along Asmara’s downtown streets with sounds of gunshots audible. Unverified reports state the protests began in the city’s predominantly Muslim Akriya neighborhood. There, the Diaa Islamic School of Asmara had been ordered by the government to change its curriculum. The school’s board — including an elderly board member, Hajji Muasa Mohamed Nur — refused, and some were arrested, according to a report by Awate.com, an Eritrean news website that is opposed to the government and its policies. The arrests prompted students and others sympathetic to the cause to take to the streets to demonstrate. VOA

Liberia’s Supreme Court halts presidential run-off over fraud allegations
Liberia’s Supreme Court has stayed next week’s presidential run-off election until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud. Third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party challenged the results of last month’s vote, which set up a Nov. 7 run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai. The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003. In a writ issued late on Tuesday, the court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest. It was unclear if the court would rule before Nov. 7. The Standard

Kenya Opposition to Form ‘People’s Assembly’
Kenya’s opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has dismissed the October 26 repeat presidential election. The coalition’s leader Raila Odinga, speaking for the first time since President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, termed the election as fraud and vowed not to recognise him and his government. He said that Nasa would instead push for the formation of the People’s Assembly to run Kenya until a legitimate government is formed. “Today we establish People’s Assembly to restore democracy in the country,” Mr Odinga said in Nairobi. “The People’s Assembly will have the youth, religious leaders, economic interest groups and the civil society.” The East African

4 Killed, 15 Injured in Eastern Congo Protests over Kabila
The United Nations Joint Office for Human Rights says four people have been killed and 15 others injured amid clashes between security forces and protesters in eastern Congo. The office said Tuesday that the U.N. mission in Congo has deployed a team to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, to monitor the situation and investigate. It also said security forces arrested at least 37 people. Protesters in Goma on Monday demanded that President Joseph Kabila step down at the end of the year if new elections are not held. VOA

Congo Opposition Says 2018 Vote OK if President Leaves
The leader of Congo’s largest opposition party says they would agree to a further delay of elections until June 2018 with assurances that President Joseph Kabila steps down at the end of this year and a new transition government is put in place. Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi said Tuesday that the opposition coalition known as the Rassemblement refuses to participate in further dialogue unless it includes discussion of Kabila’s exit. Congo has seen widespread anger over Kabila’s stay in power after his mandate ended in December and elections were delayed. The election commission recently said elections cannot take place until 2019, citing deadly violence in the Kasai region. AP

Libyans Accuse Egypt of Bombing Civilians in Darna
Lawmakers and forces controlling an eastern Libyan city have accused the Egyptian air force of conducting deadly airstrikes, leaving a dozen civilians dead including an entire family. Lawmaker Hamad al-Bandaq said Tuesday the fighter jets bombed a house in al-Fatayah district in eastern Darna late Monday, killing at least 12 people. Most of them were women and children who were paying a visit to their sick relative, he said. A second airstrike bombed a shepherd and his family while they were sitting next to a fire pit on a chilly night. Al-Bandaq says: “Entire families were wiped out.” VOA

Warlord City: The Business of Fear in Boomtown Mogadishu
Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, is a city with little functioning infrastructure and a relentless cascade of violence. But some inhabitants of the city have been able to take advantage of the ongoing civil war to make themselves rich, and their business is feeding the horror. […] Warlords and dubious businessmen are in power here, in addition to al-Shabaab, the al-Qaida allies who are responsible for the deaths of 4,200 people in the past year alone. The recent attack in mid-October, in which over 300 people died, has also been attributed to the terror group. And yet Mogadishu is booming. The city is a metropolis of fear, its business model is chaos. Spiegle

Russia to Build Nuclear Power Plants in Nigeria
Russia has signed a deal to build two nuclear power plants in Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy seeks to end its energy crisis. Russian state-owned company Rosatom will build one in the south, the other in the centre, sources at the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission told the BBC. The deal’s exact worth is unknown, although some reports suggest it is likely in the region of $20bn (£15bn). It is one of a number that Rosatom has been eyeing on the continent. BBC

Uganda Spy Case Puts Strain on Relations with Rwanda
In Uganda, up to nine people, including senior police officers, are being investigated for allegedly kidnapping the former bodyguard of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. A Rwandan ex-general and a Congolese national have also been charged with espionage in connection with the case. It’s feared the arrests could put new strain on relations between Kampala and Kigali. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of Lieutenant Joel Mutabazi in Uganda, questions still linger about the extent to which Ugandan law enforcement agencies were involved, and even more so over the role played by Rwanda in that kidnapping. Now Ugandan authorities are taking action. RFI

Tanzanian Prominent Politician Quits Ruling Party to Join Opposition
Tanzanian prominent politician Lazaro Nyalandu announced on Monday that he is relinquishing his membership of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and joining leading opposition party Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA). Nyalandu said in a statement that he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai, informing him of his resignation as a Member of Parliament for Singida North constituency where he has served as an MP since 2000. Nyalandu, the former Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism under the fourth phase administration of retired President Jakaya Kikwete, said he had quit CCM because of its failure to nurture democracy in the east African country. “CCM has failed to govern in a democratic manner. There are also lots of human rights violations under the watch of the ruling party,” Nyalandu said in the statement issued to media houses across the country. Xinhua

S. Sudan Ex-Detainees Propose Kiir and Machar Exit Strategy
South Sudan’s former political detainees have unveiled a road map for President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar if both leaders opted out of the political arena. The group, in a 15 October 2017 roadmap, accused President Kiir and rebel leader Machar of holding the country hostage amid fears of being held accountable for the crimes their forces committed during the ongoing civil war. “An exit strategy will comprise a package that offers (1) asylum for the two in a willing country or countries, (2) amnesty for specified crimes committed (crimes against humanity, human rights crimes and crime under international humanitarian law) from 15 December, 2013 to the end of the transition or date of the deal, with conditions attached and (3) reasonable financial incentives that assures them of decent living in exile,” partly reads the roadmap. It further adds, “To persuade them to give the matter serious thought, this offer must be backed by credible threat of force”. Sudan Tribune

Morocco Holds Regional Meeting on Migration
Morocco is hosting a regional meeting on migration aiming at developing an African agenda on the issue. The three-day meeting gathers representatives of African states, the United Nations, the African Union, NGOs and academics. Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said during the opening speech on Monday that the set of informal sessions aims to “open the dialogue between the diplomat and the civil society, the researcher.” Since March, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has been in charge of coordinating the migration issue within the African Union. AP

Africa: Where Journalists Are Killed with Impunity
Somalia has the world’s worst record for solving the murders of journalists – and holds it for the third year running, says a new report. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says in its annual “global impunity index” that three African countries are among the 12 in which at least five work-related murders of journalists have not been solved in the decade ending August 31 this year. Apart from Somalia, which has 26 unsolved cases, the other African nations on the list are South Sudan, which ranks in fourth place with five cases, and Nigeria, which comes in at 11th place, also with five cases. The rankings are drawn up by calculating the number of unsolved cases over a 10-year period as a percentage of each country’s population. The killings in Somalia are a result of the country’s extended civil war and more recently of the insurgency by Al-Shabaab militants. The CPJ attributes the unsolved murders there to both militants and government officials. allAfrica

Deadly Marburg Virus Outbreak Declared in Uganda
An outbreak of contagious and deadly Marburg virus disease in the Kween district of eastern Uganda was declared by the nation’s Ministry of Health on October 19. Marburg virus disease, which causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever, ranks among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, according to the World Health Organization. As of Saturday, two confirmed cases, one probable case and two suspected cases have been reported in the Kween district, on the border with Kenya, Tarik Jašarević, a spokesman for the WHO, wrote in an email. The confirmed and probable cases — two brothers and a sister — have died. The WHO, which is working with Ugandan health authorities to contain the outbreak, has followed up with 135 contacts of the patients, Jašarević said. Some positive news has come of these investigations: Blood tests showed no infection in two health care workers who had previously been classified as suspected cases. CNN

Adrift in Algiers: African Migrants Marooned in a New Transit Bottleneck
Residents say the house feels like a prison. Situated on the outskirts of Algiers, it has two floors, no roof, piles of bedding – and a teeming microcosm of at least 30 itinerant west Africans. Residents come and go – people from Cameroon, Guinea, Niger. They conduct their love affairs, conflicts, business, card games, and look for work wherever they can find it. Their principal aim is to move further north, to Europe. But since neighbouring Libya cracked down on migrants using its beaches as a launchpad to Europe, passage through Algeria has become more complicated. “Almost everyone we knew [there] is in Europe now,” Josiane, a Cameroonian woman, said, looking at a picture of friends who have made it to Italy. The Guardian



Photo: Adam Jones