Africa Media Review for November 21, 2023

UN Adviser Warns of Genocide in Sudan
United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu says she is “extremely concerned” about allegations of mass killings of displaced people in Darfur as the fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (Saf) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) escalates. Ms Nderitu cited refugee camps in Ardamata and Geneina, where more than 800 people were reportedly killed and 8,000 others fled to neighbouring Chad. The numbers could be much higher due to reports of RSF blocking displaced civilians from crossing into that country, Nderitu said in a statement…There are reports of mass graves believed to contain the remains of members of the ethnic Masalit tribe in the area…She condemned grave human-rights violations and abuse that continue being committed in country, including identity-based killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture, enforced disappearances, mass arrests and detention, bombings of civilian homes and infrastructures and lootings. She said these attacks, if confirmed, could constitute acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The East African

Another Darfur Faction Joins Sudanese Army in Fight against RSF
Abdallah Yahya, Deputy Chairman of the Gathering of Sudan Liberation Forces (GSLF), headed by al-Taher Hajer announced his alignment with the Sudanese army in its fight against the Rapid Support Forces. The split, at least over the ongoing war in Sudan, comes shortly after a decision to remove Hajer from his position as a member of the Sovereign Council on Monday…Yahya renewed his condemnation of the violations committed by the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, stressing that they are authorized under the Juba Peace Agreement to contribute to maintaining security and protecting citizens in Darfur. On the 16th of November, the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Minni Arko Minawi, and the Justice and Equality Movement, headed by Gibril Ibrahim, announced they decided to join the Sudanese army operations in defence of civilians. However, the next day, three leaders of the signatories groups, including GSLF leader Al-Tahir Hajer, reiterated their neutrality on the conflict. The GSLF was established in July 2017 after the merger of three Darfur armed factions, including the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice of Tahir Hajar, Sudan Liberation Movement-Unity of Abdallah Yahia and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Abdallah Bashr Gali (aka Gena). Sudan Tribune

South Africa to Chair Emergency BRICS Summit on Gaza Crisis
“Leaders of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will gather [under the South African presidency] for an emergency virtual meeting, inviting the leaders of the [new] BRICS countries – Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates,” the South African president’s office said in a statement. Hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the members will discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Gaza Strip. South Africa said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres would take part in the virtual meeting, and that it was expected to end with a joint statement. The meeting comes days after leaders from the APEC group, which includes China and the United States, failed to agree on a joint response to the Israel – Hamas war…The South African government on Friday requested an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the current war between Israel and Hamas, along with four other states. On Monday it called on the ICC to issue an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by mid-December. RFI

Diaspora Dilemma: Shadows of Disinformation among Ethiopian Diaspora
The level of misinformation and disinformation arising from the diaspora community appears to be on the rise. And it has begun to have consequences. Some popular diaspora-run YouTube channels, Facebook pages/accounts, Telegram channels and Twitter (now called X) accounts are churning out various types of hateful messages and disinformation that mostly have political messages in them…The deadly war in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions, for example, attracted one of the largest online mobilizations in recent times wherein government supporters and those opposed to it rallied on social media campaigns using hashtags and slogans. A quick glance at the works of Ethiopia Check, a fact-checking desk in Ethiopia, shows activists, mainstream media outlets, online channels, and social media accounts and even politicians and prominent personalities both at home and abroad have been spreading false information with the intent to rally support around their cause and consolidate gains of various types…As such, there is an increasing element of the Ethiopian diaspora that are spreading disinformation or engaging in polarizing discourse…And this is exacerbating the tensions and divisions at home. Addis Standard

Somalia Appoints First Ever Envoy to Eritrea
The federal republic of Somalia has appointed the first-ever envoy to Eritrea following years of strained relationship between Asmara and Mogadishu, which has since been rectified after several bilateral relations meetings between the two nations. On Saturday, President Isaias Afwerki, the man who has been in charge of Eritrea since 1993, received Omar Idris, the first ambassador of Somalia to Eritrea, an indication of growing ties between the two nations which were once ideologically miles apart…In recent years, Afwerki has been working closely with Somalia, a move which has seen President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud make close to four trips to Asmara since winning the presidential seat last year. In most of his trips, Hassan Sheikh has been visiting Somali soldiers training in Eritrea. At least 5,000 soldiers have been training in Eritrea for the last three years, with some already dispatched to the battlefield to face Al-Shabaab militants. Garowe Online

‘Crisis upon Crisis’ as Kenya and Somalia Go from Drought to Floods
Humanitarian organisations in East Africa report that close to a million people have been displaced in the two countries, with Somalia bearing the brunt. With more downpours forecast, at least 46 people in Kenya had lost their lives by 13 November, the Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Administration, Kindiki Kithure, confirmed…In Somalia, where the drought was the worst to hit the country in 40 years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that the lives of some 1.6 million people in Somalia could now be disrupted by floods…At least 32 people have already died in Somalia’s flash floods, according to Save the Children…While international forecasters including the World Meteorological Organisation predicted that the East African region could experience heavy rainfall linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon, the Kenya Meteorological Department downplayed the risk. That prompted President William Ruto to tell Kenyans at the end of October not to expect El Niño rains. The meteorological office has since issued an apology.  RFI

Nigeria Rallies Support for Fight against Illicit Financial Flows in West Africa
Nigeria on Monday called on the Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to develop an institutional framework for the enforcement of financial crimes regulations in the sub-region. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, made the appeal at the inauguration of the 27th Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of GIABA, in Abuja….Also speaking, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, represented by Mr Mambury Njie, promised to support GIABA towards taking steps to consolidate existing gains. He urged member states to continue to take practical steps to effectively address the strategic deficiencies identified in their AML/CFT systems, especially to strengthen key AML/CFT/P institutions. “The judiciary should be more responsive in the adjudication of cases of money laundering, terrorism and terrorist financing to deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crime, recover stolen assets, and dismantle criminal enterprises.” “In addition, Member States should deepen their risk understanding, strengthen domestic coordination and international cooperation and promote public-private partnerships,” Touray said.

DRC Opposition Leader Moïse Katumbi Officially Launches Presidential Campaign
The former governor of Katanga and leading opposition figure, Moïse Katumbi, has officially launched his campaign to become the next president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Moise Katumbi, 58, is a wealthy businessman and owner of Congolese football club TP Mazembe, based in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi. He was born in the Katanga province, the mineral-rich economic motor of the DRC, where he became a governor. But Katumbi has also often been criticised for not being “fully” Congolese, because his father was born in Greece. As leader of the Together for the Republic party, Katumbi argues that his track record developing Katanga as provincial governor qualifies him for the presidency. Katumbi is trying to mobolise other potential candidates to join his campaign. Former Prime Minister (2012-2016) Augustin Matata Ponyo announced on Sunday his withdrawal in his favour. RFI

Why Tanzania Is Hesitant of EAC Single Tourist Visa Plan
Tanzania continues to dilly-dally on the operationalisation of the East African single tourist visa, which would make the region a single tourist destination. Dodoma is still reluctant to be part of the East African Community (EAC) Single Tourist Visa (STV) on grounds that the bloc is yet to address security and financial implications of the scheme. Tanzanian officials raised the matter at the EAC Council meeting held in June this year. The major issues are security, revenue sharing, the efficiency of the single visa regime and visitor screening…But Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, who are implementing the plan, have said they are satisfied with the initiative. And now, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan have expressed willingness to join the STV initiative…The current STV is issued to persons travelling to and within Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda for tourism…Tanzania says it welcomes the STV, but that its concerns must be addressed first…If the visa application process is simplified, the number of international tourists will increase in the region. That could make EAC more competitive as a tourist destination and drive economic growth. The East African

African Union Embraces Diverse Partnerships at G20 Compact with Africa Conference in Berlin
The chairman of the African Union Commission on Monday said the continent was “open to different partnerships”, as he addressed the G20 Compact with Africa conference in Berlin…As the “locomotives of Europe,” he said Germany could play a large role in Africa’s future…The German government has pledged 4 billion euros in investments for green energy in Africa until 2030 (4.37 billion US dollars)…”Compact with Africa” is based on an initiative launched by Germany during its chairmanship of the G20 group in 2017. It aims to improve the economic framework conditions in the participating countries in order to make them more attractive for foreign private investment. The group of states now includes several countries from the African continent such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia, according to German news agency dpa. Africanews with agencies

‘It’s Always Us Who Pay the Price’: Displaced by DRC’s Endless Cycle of War
[Photo essay] Escalating violence in the country’s North Kivu province has now pushed the number of internally displaced people to a record 6.9 million. Many have had to flee their homes multiple times in a country where displacement and loss are part of a recurring pattern, as violence passes down the generations. The Guardian

Burna Boy and Rema Win Inaugural Billboard Afrobeats Awards
Nigerian star Burna Boy now has a Billboard Music Award to add to his growing collection. The singer, who won his first Grammy earlier this year, has been named the best Afrobeats act by Billboard in the US. “This is dedicated to Africa and every artist coming out of Africa now,” he said accepting the award on Sunday. Billboard is the latest body to add an Afrobeats category, reflecting the genre’s huge global popularity…Fellow Nigerian artist Rema was also recognised at the event with a gong for his near-ubiquitous song Calm Down, which has smashed multiple streaming and chart records. Accepting the award for best Afrobeats song on Sunday, Rema thanked his fans and called the prize “a celebration of unity and the global domination of Afrobeats.” BBC