Africa Media Review for November 18, 2022

Brazil, Indonesia and Congo Sign Rainforest Protection Pact
The three countries that are home to more than half of the world’s tropical rainforests — Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo — are pledging to work together to establish a “funding mechanism” that could help preserve the forests, which help regulate the Earth’s climate and sustain a variety of animals, plants, birds and insects. The agreement, announced on Monday and signed by ministers from the three countries, said they would cooperate on sustainable management and conservation, restoration of critical ecosystems and creation of economies that would ensure the health of both the people and the forests. New York Times

Germany to Pull Troops from Mali by End 2023: Govt Source
Germany will end its participation in a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali by the end of next year, a government source told AFP on Wednesday after months of operational snags. “By the end of 2023 at the latest, German soldiers are to end their involvement in the UN blue helmet mission MINUSMA,” the source said. Britain and Ivory Coast earlier this week said they would be withdrawing from the mission. Defense Post

Wagner ‘Atrocities’ Give Mali Jihadists Ammunition for Propaganda
Since the withdrawal of the French army from Mali, Russia’s Wagner Group has replaced it as a target of jihadis propaganda, experts say, with extremists making hay with claims that its mercenaries have committed atrocities against civilians. Having been pushed toward the exit by the leaders of Mali’s 2020 coup, France withdrew in August, more than nine years after its military intervened to stop a jihadi takeover of the troubled Sahel nation. The colonels in charge in Bamako have been increasingly turning to Russia, and particularly to Wagner’s paramilitaries, according to Western sources. Voice of America

West African Neighbours Debate Islamist Spill-over
Officials from several West African coastal states have been meeting in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to discuss how to tackle the spill-over of Islamist violence from the Sahel region. Ghana’s National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah said collaboration was needed because what he described as “terrorist” activity was crossing borders. The meeting comes as several countries have decided to pull out of an international peacekeeping mission in Mali where a jihadist insurgency began a decade ago. Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast are increasingly at risk of being attacked by Islamist militants pushing southwards from Sahel countries. BBC

‘The Opposition Does Not Stand a Chance’ as Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Seeks to Extend Rule
Equatorial Guinea holds elections on Sunday in which the world’s longest-standing leader President Teodoro Obiang Nguema will seek to extend his 43-year authoritarian rule, marked by alleged rights abuses and corruption…The 80-year-old Obiang, always elected with over 90% of votes in polls international observers have questioned, is vying for a sixth term against two other candidates: Andres Esono Ondo and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu. Parliamentary and local elections will be held at the same time. Reuters

Nigeria: When Greed Governs, Profits Rise and Buildings Fall
Government officials at the city planning agency declined to comment on allegations of corruption. But a worrying pattern has emerged and is difficult to ignore — there’s a long list of similar disasters in major Nigerian cities over the past few years. And it’s growing. Local media have reported on at least 74 buildings that have collapsed in the past six years. More than 240 people have been killed and at least 260 seriously injured. Each incident displaces scores of households, given that so many involved multi-story residential buildings in urban areas…In the last 20 years, Nigeria’s economy and population have grown rapidly, creating a demand for housing. Local governments have failed to match this demand with government housing or adequate oversight of the real estate developers who have stepped in to fill the gap. Mail & Guardian

Ugandan Rights Groups Say New Internet Law Hinders Free Speech
A coalition of leading Ugandan rights groups and lawyers on Thursday filed a case in court challenging a controversial new internet law, which they say is aimed at curbing free speech and targeting government opponents…Chapter Four’s acting Executive Director, Anthony Masake, told AFP that the new law’s “strict and vague authorisation standards” mean that journalists will never know when they are crossing a line by collecting information on people they are reporting on. “We know that offences like ‘offensive communication’ have been effectively used to silence dissent and target people expressing politically sensitive views or pushing for government accountability,” he said. AFP

Tunisia Protesters Tear-Gassed Before Francophonie Summit
Tunisian police have fired tear gas at protestors trying to reach the island of Djerba where an international summit is to be held this weekend. The clashes happened in the town of Zarzis which is linked to Djerba by a long bridge. There have been protests there for weeks over what’s seen as the Tunisian state’s slow response to the death of local people in migrant shipwrecks. The biannual Francophonie summit brings together heads of state of mainly French-speaking countries. BBC

Sudan: Protesters Mark 1 Year Since Deadliest Crackdown on Anti-Coup Demonstrations
Thursday’s protests drew the largest crowds in northern Khartoum. They marked one year since the deadliest single-day crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations saw 15 people killed…The Sudan’s Doctors Committee group estimates that at least 119 people have been killed in the near-weekly protests.  The two sides recently welcomed a transitional constitution developed by the Sudanese Bar Association as a basis for a lasting agreement. AfricaNews with AFP

Climate Change, Sudan’s Hidden Crisis
Record heats in Khartoum, rains in the North, droughts and drinking water shortages, dramatic floods, the Nile in mortal danger… climate change is hitting Sudan. The Horn of Africa is even called ‘one of the world’s regions most vulnerable to climate change’. Sudanese, however, have many more worries on their minds as the country has sunk into a deep political and economic crisis after decades of dictatorship, two military coups, oppression, corruption, and international isolation. Protesters are taking to the streets on a weekly basis to fight for democracy, unions are striking to demand fairer working conditions, and most people are struggling to afford basic necessities whilst political groups quarrel over Sudan’s future. Dabanga

Confusion, Finger-Pointing, Opposing Views at Egypt’s COP27
A day before UN climate talks were supposed to wrap up, negotiators appeared to be far apart on all the major issues being discussed. Will countries get behind a proposal to phase down all fossil fuels? Will the demands of developing nations that rich countries compensate them for climate impacts be part of a final deal? What about calls to lower interest rates and overhaul how world financing works so that developing nations can invest in green energies? The resounding answer to all of these questions appeared to be “no” for most of Thursday, at least if one carefully parses rhetoric and readouts from closed-door meetings. That was not to say that a significant deal couldn’t be reached, however. There would be another round of talks on Friday with extensions into the weekend a possibility. AP

Africa Could Prevent 880,000 Deaths Yearly by Tackling Air Pollution, Climate Change – Report
Air pollutants and greenhouse gases often share the same sources and can be even more dangerous when combined. By following the Assessment’s recommended actions to cut air pollution and prevent climate change, African governments could prevent 200,000 premature deaths per year by 2030 and 880,000 deaths per year by 2063; reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 55%, methane emissions by 74%, and nitrous oxide emissions 40% by 2063; improve food security by reducing desertification and increasing crop yields for rice, maize, soy, and wheat; and contribute significantly to global efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C, limiting the negative effects of regional climate change. Premium Times Nigeria



Photo: Adam Jones