Africa Media Review for November 10, 2022

France Calls Time on Anti-Jihadist Operation Barkhane in Sahel
President Emmanuel Macron has formally ended France’s decade-long operation to fight Islamist insurgents in the Sahel. In a major speech at a naval base in Toulon, he said some French troops would remain in the region. However, they would be there under new arrangements to be worked out with host countries. At its high point, Operation Barkhane saw some 5,500 French soldiers deployed in Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. BBC

Young Kenyan Tree Activist Speaks Up for Africa at COP27
Wathuti was one of the young people calling for urgent action as the U.N. climate conference marked its traditional Young and Future Generations Day on Thursday. “We have to ensure that there is a great representation and participation of voices across the African continent, and not just the participation but it has to go further to make sure that the outcome we get out of COP27 has a reflection of the present needs of the African continent,” she said in an interview in Nairobi, before travelling to Egypt. Reuters

Twitter Fires Staff at Its Only Africa Office in Ghana
In less than two weeks since Elon Musk took over the Twitter company, there are already concerns that the company is choosing to ignore key risks in its biggest international growth markets. On Friday, November 4, reports emerged of a massive layoff of employees across its only African office in Ghana’s capital city, Accra. Till last week, staff of the Twitter company in the company’s Accra office had been working remotely since its announced that it would open its first African office in Ghana in April 2021. According to reports, only one employee appears to have been retained in the Ghana office after the job cuts which also affected the company’s India office. The Ghana office was opened to some fanfare last year with the company saying it wanted to be more “immersed” in African conversations. AfricaNews

Opposition Leader Seeks International Criminal Court Case Against Chad for Protest Killings
A key opposition leader has asked prosecutors to begin an investigation into Chad’s military government, hoping to bring it before the International Criminal Court. Succès Masra, president of the Chadian opposition party Les Transformateurs, and his lawyers want the court at The Hague to charge Chad’s Transitional Military Council with crimes against humanity. Masra was at the forefront of the Oct 20 protests against the prolongation of the mandate of the ruling military junta. He fled the country shortly after as the government declared him “wanted.” Scores of people were killed and hundreds injured when protests against the prolongation of military rule turned violent. HumAngle

How Dash for African Oil and Gas Could Wipe Out Congo Basin Tropical Forests
The area of land given over to oil and gas extraction in Africa is set to quadruple, threatening to wipe out a third of the dense tropical forests in the Congo basin and accelerate the climate breakdown, a report warns. Almost 10% of the African continent is already covered by oil and gas production fields, but this could expand to almost 38% if proposals for new projects get the go-ahead – unleashing a huge carbon bomb into the atmosphere that would severely undermine global climate action, according to mapping and analysis by Rainforest Foundation UK and Earth Insight. Guardian

Somali Journalists Say New Directive Could Put Them at Greater Risk
In its latest order, issued Sunday, the government directed journalists to replace the word “al-Shabab” with “khawarij,” which means “a deviation from Islam.”…Samia Ali, a freelance journalist in Mogadishu, said the directive could put journalists who already work in a dangerous environment at even greater risk. Ali said the term “khawarij” could endanger the lives of journalists who do not have protection or bodyguards and are not using bulletproof vehicles. “As the media is neutral, we urge the Somali government not to force the media to use the word and rescind its directive,” she said. Voice of America

Ethiopia Peace Talks Extended as Disarmament, Aid Discussed
The latest round of peace talks between Ethiopia’s government and representatives of the country’s Tigray region has been extended as military commanders work out details on disarmament of Tigray forces after two years of conflict…The talks that began Monday in Kenya had been set to end Wednesday…The lead negotiator for Ethiopia’s government, Redwan Hussein, has said that “maybe by the end of this week or the middle of next week” humanitarian aid will be allowed to go in. United Nations-backed investigators have said Ethiopian forces resorted to “starvation of civilians” as a weapon in the conflict marked by abuses on all sides. AP

Kenya to Spend $37 Million on Sending Forces to Congo
Kenya’s parliament has approved the deployment of nearly 1,000 troops for a new regional force in eastern Congo amid questions about the $37 million cost for the first six months of the mission. A parliament committee report says the money will be spent on equipment, allowances and operations for the more than 900 troops joining the East African Community Regional Force that will support Congolese forces against armed groups. AP

Kenya, South Africa to Begin Mutual Visa-Free System in January
The presidents of South Africa and Kenya say they have resolved a longstanding visa dispute and Kenyans will be able to visit South Africa visa-free for up to 90 days in a calendar year. South Africans already get free visas on arrival in Kenya, while Kenyans were charged and required to provide proof of sufficient funds and return flight tickets. The new agreement, which is set to take effect on 1 January, was announced during the first official trip of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Kenya on Wednesday. Al Jazeera

Cholera Outbreak Kills 214 in Malawi
Cholera has killed 214 people in Malawi but infections from one of the country’s worst outbreaks in a decade have started to abate after peaking last month, the health ministry said on Wednesday…In September, the WHO warned that after years of decline, the planet was witnessing a “worrying upsurge” in cholera outbreaks, with climate change adding to traditional triggers such as poverty and conflict. AFP

Anti-Junta Marches of the Millions Continue Across Sudan
Thousands of demonstrators across Sudan joined the Marches of the Millions called by the resistance committees in the country on Tuesday, to denounce the crimes against demonstrators by the ruling junta in November last year…El Fateh Hussein, a member of the resistance committees in southern Khartoum told Radio Dabanga that the killing, detentions, and repression did not deter the resistance committees from opposing the coup. Similar demonstrations took place in Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, El Gedaref, and other cities in the states. Dabanga

African Nations Closely Watch US Midterm Results
African analysts say their biggest concern is how this contentious poll could affect U.S. standing around the world — especially in African nations that have seen democratic backsliding. There are also economic concerns over how the U.S. responds to rising inflation around the world. Wednesday trading showed that African markets were closely watching the impact on the most popular U.S. export: the dollar. On a more personal level, communities in the U.S. and in Africa celebrated wins by American candidates of African origin, and bid goodbye to two retiring senators who took a deep interest in the continent. Voice of America

Africa’s Best Soccer Player Is Set to Miss the World Cup in Qatar
Sadio Mané, the African soccer player of the year and main star of the Senegalese national team, looks set to miss the FIFA world cup in Qatar after sustaining an injury twenty minutes into a match for his Germany-based club Bayern Munich on Tuesday (Nov. 8). It would be a huge blow for the 30-year-old who was to appear in his second World Cup. He scored the decisive penalty in a play-off against Egypt that helped Senegal qualify back in March, and has helped establish Senegal as Africa’s best team going into the games. Quartz Africa


Photo: Adam Jones