Africa Media Review for November 16, 2022

“Transition” Orchestrated by Chad’s Military Government Goes Awry
Security forces opened fire and killed dozens of protesters in Chad during the October 20 demonstrations against the military junta’s refusal to honor its 18-month transition timeframe. At least 50 people were killed, though opposition leaders claim the death toll was more than 100. Hundreds more were injured and arrested. The military junta placed major urban centers under curfew and banned political activities and gatherings following the deadly events. In the weeks since the protests, security forces have rounded up opposition supporters, harassed opposition leaders, and targeted their headquarters. Led by the political party, Les Transformateurs, and the civil society movement, Wakit Tama (“The Time Has Come”), the civilian opposition has continued to call out the junta’s lack of legitimacy and demand that it step down from power. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

First International Aid Arrives in Ethiopia’s Tigray Since Ceasefire
Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Tuesday welcomed the first international aid delivery since a truce to end fighting, with the International Committee of the Red Cross driving two medical trucks to the capital of the war-ravaged area. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and Tigrayan forces signed a ceasefire on Nov. 2 to end two years of fighting that have killed thousands, shattered infrastructure and uprooted millions from their homes. Reuters

What Tanzania Tells Us About Africa’s Population Explosion as the World Hits 8bn People
As the global population reaches 8 billion on Tuesday, the effects of Tanzania’s rapid growth are evident. The population has increased by 37% over the past decade to almost 63 million according to the latest UN figures, and, projections suggest, is expected to grow between 2% and 3% a year until 2050. Tanzania will be one of eight countries responsible for more than half of the increase in global population over the next three decades: five of those countries will be in Africa. According to UN projections, sub-Saharan Africa’s population will nearly double to more than 2 billion by mid-century. The region is growing three times faster than the global average and, by 2070, it will become the most populous place globally, surpassing Asia. Guardian

Ivory Coast: Authorities to Pull Peacekeepers Out of Mali by August 2023
Côte d’Ivoire has announced the gradual withdrawal of its troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali by August 2023, a decision that comes against a backdrop of diplomatic tensions between Abidjan and Bamako for several months…No official reason is given for this withdrawal, but relations between Côte d’Ivoire and the UN have become considerably strained in recent months, particularly after the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Bamako last July. After three releases, 46 of them are still being held in Mali; Bamako accuses them of being mercenaries, while Abidjan asserts that they were supposed to participate in the security of the German contingent of Blue Helmets in Mali. AfricaNews

Nigeria: 100 Days to 2023 Elections, INEC Tasks Political Parties on Peaceful Campaigns
One hundred days to the conduct of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has tasked political parties and their candidates to conduct their campaigns peacefully, eschewing divisiveness, rancour and violence. Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the charge in a statement he personally signed yesterday in Abuja…He also appealed to eligible voters to participate in the ongoing display of the Register of Voters for claims and objections, as well as a collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). Guardian Nigeria

Ghana President Fires Junior Finance Minister over Mining Expose
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has sacked Charles Adu Boahen, the minister of state for finance, the presidency said on Monday. In a statement, the president said he had taken the action after being made aware of allegations levelled against Adu Boahen in an expose about small-scale gold mining…Artisanal mining is widespread in Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, and accounts for about one-third of the country’s production.  A recent expose by controversial journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas alleged that Boahen had taken bribes from artisanal mine investors to allow them to operate unimpeded. Ghana’s finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta is also facing calls for dismissal from members of parliament who accuse him of corruption and economic mismanagement as the country faces its worst economic crisis in a generation. Al Jazeera

FFC 80% in Agreement with Sudan Military but Criticises El Burhan’s ‘Political Manoeuvring’
“We know that these issues are complex and not easy,” Ibrahim said, “but we expect that before the end of the year we will reach an agreement that will end the political crisis and establish a full civil authority”. Ibrahim further explained that the military junta agreed that the draft constitutional charter developed by the Sudanese Bar Association (SBA) serves as a basis for resolving the crisis. The FFC will discuss the comments of the military junta tomorrow. “We can certainly say that the political crisis is approaching a final solution and that the constitutional charter draft addresses all issues of the revolutionaries on the ground.” Dabanga

DRC Crisis: Uhuru Visits Key City of Goma amid Fresh Clashes
Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta arrived Tuesday in eastern DR Congo’s main city of Goma as fresh clashes between Congolese forces and M23 rebels occurred just to the north. Troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were battling M23 fighters in Kibumba, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Goma, security officials and local residents said. Hundreds of displaced people also began to pour into Goma the same day, the sources said, after seeing troops retreat. AFP

Civilian Casualties Decrease Across South Sudan, UNMISS Report
A new report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says there has been a marked 60 percent decrease in violent incidents against civilians and a 23 percent decrease in civilian victims in the third quarter of 2022, compared with the same period last year. According to the Mission, the decrease is generally attributable to the decline in civilian casualties in the Greater Equatoria Region…“We are encouraged by the decrease in violence affecting civilians this quarter and hope to see a continued downward trend,” stated Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in South Sudan.  “However, we do note that gross violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law remain a widespread concern across South Sudan.” Radio Tamazuj

Somalia’s President Vows to Continue War on Al-Shabab
Somalia’s president has vowed to continue the war against al-Shabab militants in an address to lawmakers in which he also warned of also warned of looming famine in pasrts of the country. Speaking at the opening of Somalia’s second session of parliament Tuesday, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to continue what he’s called “all-out war” against terrorism. Mohamud said Somalia enjoyed victories in the recent offensives against the Islamist militant group al-Shabab. He also praised local militias for helping in the fight against the militants, who he called “khawarijs,” a term for someone who deviates from Islam. Voice of America

Tigray War Didn’t Hurt Our Economy, Says Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed
He touted his country’s economy as having risen to be the first in the East African region, suggesting it had defied the odds of conflict and Covid-19. Abiy cited the World Bank as the source of his figures, and declared that the numbers may have been underestimated. “Ethiopia’s economy held up under pressure and reached $127.6 billion, demonstrating that our economy is unbreakable and will continue to grow. The per capita income reached $1,212. According to World Bank, the economy has risen to first in East Africa and third in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said. “However, we do not agree with the report in its entirety. Because Ethiopia has both formal and informal economic activity, we believe it has achieved greater growth than the report indicates. GDP increased by 6.4 per cent in 2014 E.C (Ethiopian Calendar). Our goal for this year is 7.5 per cent growth.” East African

Nigeria’s Ancient Benin Bronze Treasures Go Digital
Nigeria’s famed Benin bronzes — artefacts stolen during British colonial rule and scattered across the globe — have a new online archive that aims to become a digital record of the treasures…As Nigeria negotiates their return, “Digital Benin” (https://digitalbenin.org/) provides a centralised hub of images and descriptions of more than 5,000 artefacts held in 131 institutions around the world. AFP



Photo: Adam Jones