Africa Media Review for November 15, 2016

Gambia to Leave International Criminal Court Nov. 10, 2017 -U.N
Gambia has notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will take effect on Nov. 10, 2017, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday, making it the third country to quit The Hague-based tribunal. In October, Gambia’s Information Minister Sheriff Bojang described the ICC as “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans.” The tiny West African nation said in late October it planned to pull out of the ICC. South Africa and Burundi both notified the United Nations in October of their withdrawal from the court, which will take effect in one year. Reuters

Nigeria: Deaths as Kano Police Clash with Shia Muslims
At least nine people have been killed and several wounded during clashes between Nigerian police and Shia Muslims at a religious procession in the northern state of Kano, according to witnesses and authorities. The violence broke out on Monday during a march of thousands of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from Kano city to Zaria in neighbouring Kaduna state – where they had been banned – for the Ashura religious day of mourning. It was the latest in a series of incidents involving the group. A judicial inquiry in August reported that 347 IMN members were killed and buried in mass graves after clashes with the army in December 2015. Al Jazeera

Boko Haram leader warns Trump ‘war Has Just Begun’
The leader of the jihadist group Boko Haram has reacted to the election of Donald Trump to the White House with a warning that “the war has just begun” against the West. “Do not be overwhelmed by people like Donald Trump and the global coalition fighting our brethren in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and everywhere,” Abubakar Shekau said in an audio message posted on YouTube late on Sunday. “We remain steadfast on our faith and we will not stop,” he said in the hour-long message. “To us, the war has just begun.” Boko Haram is waging a seven-year-old uprising against the Nigerian state that has claimed more than 20 000 lives, with the insurgency spilling over the West African nation’s borders into neighbouring states. News 24

DRC Government Resigns in Deal Extending Kabila Presidency
In line with last month’s agreement between supporters of Congolese President Joseph Kabila and an opposition faction, the country’s prime minister, Augustin Matata Ponyo, announced his resignation Monday. A new government of national unity is expected to be named shortly, even though many opposition members are still against the agreement. The dissolution of the government had been expected since October 18 when Kabila supporters and an opposition faction led by Vital Kamerhe reached a deal for managing the country after December 19, the final day of the president’s second and, under the current constitution, final term. The deal stated Kabila can stay in office until the organization of elections — which have been provisionally scheduled for April 2018 — and Kamerhe’s opposition faction will join a government of national unity. A larger opposition coalition, known as the Rassemblement, has rejected the agreement. VOA

Poverty, Insecurity Driving Girls Into Armed Groups in DRC, Warns NGO
Child Soldiers International is warning that girls in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are joining armed groups because they cannot afford to go to school. Once recruited, girls are often used as wives — and sexually abused by commanders and other soldiers. Children continue to be recruited and used by numerous armed groups in the DRC, amid the ongoing political crisis. We tend to hear more about boy soldiers, but girls have also been recruited for the past 20 years. RFI

Guinea-Bissau President Dissolves Government
Guinea-Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz dissolved the government on Monday in an attempt to solve a political succession crisis that has paralysed the tiny west African state. Guinea-Bissau has been in the throes of a power struggle since August 2015, when Vaz sacked then prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, leader of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Two factions of the ruling PAIGC have failed to resolve their differences over Pereira’s successor, Baciro Dja, since he was given the job in June, with some lawmakers refusing to work with him. France 24

IOM: African Migrants Deported From Yemen Under Deplorable Conditions
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports Yemeni authorities are deporting hundreds of migrants from the Horn of Africa to Djibouti under deplorable conditions. IOM does not assist governments in the forcible deportation of migrants but spokesman Itayi Viriri says the IOM is a humanitarian organization and as such cannot turn a blind eye to the desperation of people who have been expelled from a country such as Yemen and are in need of assistance. Viriri told VOA Yemeni authorities are forcibly deporting migrants, mainly from Ethiopia, who have been languishing in detention in sub-standard conditions with little food, water or medical care. He said a boatload of 82 Ethiopian migrants was unceremoniously dropped off last week in a small coastal town about 30 kilometers from Obock in Djibouti. VOA

African Migration Expected to Rise due to accelerated climate change – UNEP
Africa faces a surge in internal and cross-border migration in the coming years due to increased climate change and its impact on life and livelihood. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Director for Africa, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, environmental factors have an impact on migration flows from rural areas to cities to avoid harsh or deteriorating conditions. “Such migration can have positive and negative impact on the past local coping capacity and environment and also in areas where migrants originate or in areas for temporary or permanent destination,” she explained on the sidelines of the COP 22 climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco. Africa News

Sudan’s Bashir Suspends Peace Talks With Rebels
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday announced an indefinite halt to peace talks with rebels groups. “There will not be any talks with the rebels inside or outside the country,” Bashir said during a meeting with senior army officers at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Khartoum. “We will never talk to them and we will not allow them to be integrated within the national army under any kind of agreements,” he stressed. Last month, the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N), which fights the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions, suspended peace talks with Khartoum after rights group Amnesty International accused the Sudanese government of using chemical weapons against civilians in war-torn Darfur province. Anadolu Agency

Tunisia Seizes Three Arms Caches Near Libya Border
Tunisian forces captured three large arms caches near the border with Libya over the weekend, including Kalashnikov rifles, rockets and landmines, the interior ministry said. The caches in the border city of Ben Guerdane will stoke Tunisia’s concerns about the threat of Islamist militants crossing over Libya, where pro-government forces are close to ending Islamic State’s hold on Sirte city. Islamic State, fighting to set up a Caliphate following its brand of Islam across North Africa and the Middle East, sent dozens of Islamic State fighters into Ben Guerdane in March, attacking army and police posts and killing at least 53 people. Reuters

Zimbabwe: Dreams from a Post-Mugabe Future
Imagine a Zimbabwe without Robert Mugabe. Go on, try it. Who’s in charge? How did they get there? Is it different? Is it better? John Lennon was wrong: it’s not easy, even if you try. No one knows what a Zimbabwe without Robert Mugabe looks like, because there has never been a Zimbabwe without him. The country’s wagon has been hitched so firmly and for so long to their overbearing dictator that to imagine a post-Mugabe future is to leap into the unknown. The dream is of a Promised Land free from his vices: the corruption and the cronyism, the narcissism and the violence, the wilful misrule that has crippled what is probably Africa’s most enterprising and best-educated nation. Daily Maverick

Have Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Dumped Mugabe?
The Chris Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has dumped President Robert Mugabe as its patron after amending its constitution to replace a patron with a non-executive president. In an interview after their meeting in Masvingo yesterday which was attended by representatives from district, provincial and national level, the association’s spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said they would now work to fill the position of the non-executive president. War veterans have had a love-hate relationship with Mugabe that resulted in Zanu PF expelling almost all the top leaders from the party, including Mutsvangwa. Mahiya, secretary general Victor Matemadanda and vice-chair Headman Moyo were also recently hauled before the courts accused of insulting Mugabe after they allegedly released a damning communiqué calling on him to quit. The Zimbabwe Herald on allAfrica

UAE Has Deployed Aircraft to Eritrea, Libya
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has deployed combat aircraft to Libya and Eritrea to combat Islamist militants and support its forces in Yemen. The base in Libya appears to have been established at the beginning of this year. According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery shows the construction of buildings in March this year at Al-Khadim Airport in Marj province around 100 km from Benghazi. By the end of June, hangars and a new ramp had been built. The New Arab reports that equipment for the new base began arriving in February. Numerous aircraft were seen in the satellite imagery at Al-Khadim, including several Air Tractors, a couple of UH-60 Black Hawks, two Il-76s, an Il-18 and two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). DefenceWeb

Jihad, Revolt and Self-defence Grip Central Mali
As the conflict in northern Mali endures, another hot spot south of the Niger river is attracting increasing attention. It involves two main areas in the centre of the country: the Macina heartland [Fulani historical-political region, between Mopti and Segou] and the Hayré [northeast of Mopti]. The wave of dissent began shortly before the French military intervened against jihadis who had taken control of northern Mali in 2012. In early 2013, Amadou Kufa, a Fulani Islamic preacher from central Mali and an ally of Iyad Ag Ghaly [leader of Ansar Dine, one of three jihadi groups in the north], summoned his fighters to expand south beyond the area under the jihadis’ control. That triggered the French-led Operation Serval in 2013. When the Islamist coalition was ousted from the cities it controlled, including Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, jihadi activity was reconfigured. Kufa, now allegedly commanding the katibat [brigade] called Ansar Dine Macina (formerly Front for the Liberation of Macina), still leads violent actions in central Mali. Mail and Guardian

Intense Lobbying for Amina’s AU Job Bid Enters Second Leg
The second leg of shuttle diplomacy to campaign for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed’s candidacy for African Union Commission chairperson begins this week. Kenya has put up spirited and well-funded campaigns for Mohamed. At least 35 of the 53 member countries will have to vote for her if she has to occupy the seat. Nineteen Comesa countries have pledged their support. Deputy President William Ruto returned to the country on Saturday after lobbying West Africa and parts of East Africa. “This is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to ensuring African institutions have robust leadership that delivers on the continent’s agenda, including the ambitious Agenda 2063,” State House said on Sunday. “Kenya remains encouraged by progress made in the campaigns. The EAC endorsement followed that by Comesa and Somalia’s announcement of the first vote at the election.” The Star

Kenya to Miss November Deadline to Close Somali Refugee Camp
Kenya will not meet its deadline to close a sprawling Somali refugee camp by the end of November because Somalia could not yet guarantee basic social services for returning refugees, an Interior Ministry spokesman said on Monday. “On the question of deadline, definitely we will not meet that deadline,” the spokesman, Mwenda Njoka, told Reuters in the first Kenyan public acknowledgement that it would be missed. Experts have long said Kenya’s plan to shut down Dadaab camp – home to more than half a million people at its height a few years ago – by that date was impractical. Njoka said the camp -the world’s largest – now had about 250,000 people. That compares to an estimated 350,000 people which U.N. officials had said inhabited the camp in northeast Kenya at the start of the year. Reuters

Egypt: Mohammed Morsi Death Sentence Overturned
Egypt’s highest court has overturned a death sentence against ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi had been condemned to death for his part in a mass prison break during the 2011 revolution. He was elected president in 2012, but removed by the military a year later after street protests against his rule. Morsi has separately been sentenced to life in prison for terrorism offences, and still faces trial on other charges. Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Cassation means Morsi will be retried over the prison break. BBC

BBC Cancels Morocco Debate on Islam and Politics
The BBC has been forced to move a debate on Islam and politics from Morocco to another country because of problems over filming permissions, the broadcaster has said. “Global Questions, our highly respected and internationally renowned current affairs programme, had planned to travel to Casablanca in Morocco for a debate about Islam’s place in politics”, the BBC told AFP on Sunday. “Unfortunately, for unforeseen reasons related to permissions, we will no longer be filming this debate in Morocco but plan to take it to an alternative country,” a spokesperson said. French-language Moroccan newspaper l’Economiste said the episode would instead be filmed in Tunisia. News 24

Pew Survey: Africans Optimistic Despite Corruption and Economy Woes
Most people in three African countries have an optimistic outlook despite continuing anger at corruption and economic woes, a survey has found. South Africans, Nigerians and Kenyans all say healthcare and education will be better for the next generation. More than three-quarters also say that young people who want a good life should stay in their countries rather than emigrate, the Pew report found. The research agency interviewed 3,330 respondents for the study. BBC

Are Stronger Economies Building a Better Africa?
When it comes to developmental goals, there are a number of African nations that excel. Last year, Business Insider told us six of the world’s thirteen fastest growing economies were African, with Ethiopia topping the list. This has been the general consensus in Africa’s leading nations, too. Industrial growth, natural resources, foreign trade, digital technologies and investment are all on the rise – and the list goes on. However, the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance claims Africa’s supposed development over the last decade isn’t as impressive as many like to make out. “Improvement in overall governance in Africa over the past ten years has been held back by a widespread deterioration in the category of Safety & Rule of Law,” the report says. Which suggests stronger economies in African nations don’t necessarily mean a better quality of life for their populations. East Africa Monitor



Photo: Adam Jones