Africa Media Review for November 1, 2022

C.Africa Special Court Sentences Three for Crimes Against Humanity
In a historic ruling, a UN-backed court in the Central African Republic on Monday convicted three militiamen of crimes against humanity and handed them jail terms ranging from 20 years to life. Issa Sallet Adoum, Ousman Yaouba and Tahir Mahamat were accused of taking part in an attack by the 3R armed group in May 2019 in which 46 villagers in northwest CAR were massacred. After its first-ever trial, the Special Criminal Court, a tribunal of local and international judges, sentenced Adoum to life and the others to 20 years. AFP

‘I Can’t Cut the Signal’: DRC Radio Boss Vows To Stay on Air As Rebels Seize Key City
“The arrival of heavy weapons in different areas of the conflict in the territory earlier this week triggered rumours and misinformation that caused even the staff of the radio to panic and flee,” said Sugira. He now relies on Radio France Internationale (RFI) for coverage until he can produce his own programmes again. “We now air the RFI programme around the clock to indirectly keep informing the population,” he said. “I can’t cut the signal, the community has confidence in me and radio silence would create even more panic and rumours.” Guardian

Ethiopia’s Peace Talks May Be Overtaken by Battlefield Advances
The first official direct peace talks between the Ethiopian government and the leaders of Tigray, its rebellious northern region, were meant to have begun in early October in South Africa. When they at last opened on October 24th, the delegation sent from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, had still not arrived. Its chief negotiator, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister, Demeke Mekonnen, failed to show up at all. Thus the first scheduled day of talks slipped by without progress. There ought to be no time to waste. Hundreds of thousands are believed to have died in the war, which is about to enter its third year, either in the fighting or from hunger and disease. Economist

Kenya’s President Demands End to Extrajudicial Killings by Police
Kenyan President William Ruto said during a meeting Monday with the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) that extrajudicial killings by police in the country must end. Five police officers who were members of a now-disbanded special services unit went on trial Monday for the murders of Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai — two Indian nationals who advised Ruto’s election campaign — and their taxi driver, Nicodemus Mwania. Four other officers had been tried last week in connection with the deaths. Ruto wants the IPOA to develop a plan to help end extrajudicial killings in Kenya. Voice of America

Thousands Join Anti-Rwanda Protests in DR Congo’s Goma
Thousands have protested in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) city of Goma, denouncing Rwanda’s alleged support of M23 rebels, as Kinshasa recalled its interim acting ambassador from Kigali in a further souring of relations. The protests on Monday come as M23 have tightened their grip on the surrounding countryside…The front line between the Congolese military and the M23 had been calm for several weeks, but fresh clashes from October 20 saw the rebel group make advances across North Kivu province. Al Jazeera

Clean Air Activists Condemn ‘Silent Pandemic’ of Pollution in African Cities
In their study of Accra, Lagos, Johannesburg and Cairo, the Clean Air Fund said countries could not keep turning a blind eye to the issue. “Air pollution is estimated to cost a total of 115,7 billion dollars from 2023 to 2040 across Accra, Cairo, Johannesburg and Lagos under a business-as-usual scenario,” said the report. Like climate change, air pollution is mostly due to burning fossil fuels. The report points out that air pollution is massively overlooked by policy makers and funders. It stresses that without urgent action on clean air, the financial cost of air pollution in Africa’s cities is predicted to increase by more than 600 per cent by 2040. Studies show that Africa’s cities are likely to house 65 per cent of its population by 2060. RFI

G20 Countries Pushed To Make Bigger Climate Commitments at COP27
The U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, starts in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, next week, and climate change activists are pushing major emitters in developed countries to make bigger commitments at the conference. According to a recent report by the U.N. Environment Program, the international community is still falling far short of the 2015 Paris Agreement goals, with no credible pathway to keep the rise in global temperatures below the key threshold of 1.5 C. Carbon cutting plans by governments are still inadequate and environmental leaders are asking developed countries to do more. Voice of America

Inside Africa’s Purge of Single-Use Plastics
The volume of plastics in Africa’s landfills is gradually shrinking, as lawmakers across the continent tighten legislation on single-use plastic and packaging to help curb pollution. Out of 54 states, 34 have passed laws and made ordinances proscribing or limiting the use of non-recyclable plastic, making the continent a model for eradicating disposable plastic. But sealing off contrabands and policing the black markets still remains a challenge in most countries even as big multinational firms are blamed for the plastic waste choking Africa. Bird Story Agency

A Power Balance Shifts As Europe, Facing a Gas Crisis, Turns to Africa for Help
European leaders have been converging on Africa’s capital cities, eager to find alternatives to Russian natural gas — sparking hope among their counterparts in Africa that the invasion of Ukraine may tilt the scales in the continent’s unequal relationship with Europe, attracting a new wave of gas investments despite pressure to pivot to renewables…In May, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, came seeking the same thing and in recent weeks told the German Parliament that Europe’s energy crisis necessitated working “together with countries where there is the possibility of developing new gas fields,” while keeping pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York Times

UN Experts Condemn ‘Stark Dehumanisation’ of African Migrants to Europe
UN rights experts decried Monday the lack of accountability for the “stark dehumanisation of African migrants” after many were killed trying to cross from Morocco to Spain in June. “It is alarming there is still no concrete accountability months after dozens of migrants of African descent, including refugees and asylum seekers, died during violent encounters with border security forces in Melilla, Spain,” the independent experts said in a statement…The migrants, the experts warned, were being pushed back “irrespective of their rights under international refugee or international human rights law.” The experts said they had sent communications to the Spanish and Moroccan governments in July expressing concern about the violence and had received replies. But they said they had yet to see signs of concrete accountability. AfricaNews with AFP

Save Nigeria From Global Scandal, Probe Oil Theft, Ex-Diplomats Tell Buhari
The Academy of International Affairs, a body of eminent and retired professionals and scholars in diplomacy and international affairs, has frowned on what it called the disturbing trend of ‘horrible’ oil thefts with severe consequences and has called for a judicial inquiry into the incidence of oil bunkering. Guardian Nigeria

South Africa: The Perilous 1,000-Mile Journey To Save Africa’s Endangered Black Rhinos
Rhino poaching is on the rise again in South Africa, feeding appetites in Asia and the Middle East, where rhino horns are often used in traditional medicines or as cultural artifacts. South African and Asian governments, as well as Interpol, have struggled for decades to curb this illicit global trade, where each horn can fetch tens of thousands of dollars. Now, animal conservationists are trying to save South Africa’s rhinos by moving them out of threatened areas and into new habitats with strong security and strategic conservation methods. Washington Post



Photo: Adam Jones