Africa Media Review for November 22, 2023

How African Juntas Are Using Anger at France to Consolidate Control
Although the July coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum began over a dispute with the head of his presidential guard, Western officials and analysts say junta leaders have capitalized on rising resentment toward France among the population to cement their popularity. Taking a page from recent coups in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, Niger’s new military leaders have tarred the country’s democratic leaders as too closely linked with France and have promoted a populist message calling for the departure of the French military and diplomats from the region…Anti-French sentiment has long existed in France’s former African colonies but in recent years has become an increasingly powerful factor in the Sahel region, which cuts across the continent below the Sahara and includes Niger. West Africans have grown frustrated that France’s military presence has not stopped violent attacks by Islamist extremist groups, and have been exposed to widespread criticism and disinformation about France on social media. The Washington Post

Burkina: Fifteen Civilians Killed in “Simultaneous Attacks” This Weekend
Fifteen civilians, including three army auxiliaries, were killed in “simultaneous attacks” by suspected jihadists on Saturday in eastern Burkina Faso, local and security sources told AFP on Tuesday. These “simultaneous and synchronised attacks” took place in two neighbourhoods of Diapaga, the capital of Tapoa province in the east of the country, and left fifteen people dead, a local resident told AFP, an attack and death toll confirmed by a representative of the province’s civil society…Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been caught up in a spiral of violence perpetrated by jihadist groups affiliated with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, which were already striking neighbouring Mali and Niger. To date, more than 17,000 civilians and soldiers have been killed over the past eight years, including more than 6,000 since the beginning of 2023, according to the NGO Acled, which tracks the victims of conflicts around the world. Africanews with AFP

Gunmen Kill Nine in Market Raid in Western Cameroon
Gunmen killed nine people and left several others wounded in an attack on a weekly market in Bamenyam town in the west of Cameroon early on Tuesday, a local official said. The attack in Bamboutos division, a French-speaking area, took place close to the region where armed separatists have been fighting to carve out an independent English-speaking state called Ambazonia since 2017…None of the separatist groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. Attacks on French-speaking regions have increased in the last two years as rebels have stepped up their drive to create a breakaway state. The drawn-out conflict stems from perceived marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone community by the majority Francophone-led government. The fighting has killed more than 6,000 people and displaced nearly a million, with atrocities committed by both sides. Reuters

Sudan: Advocates Urge Increased Women’s Representation in Civilian Forces Conference
In a significant move towards advancing gender equality in Sudan, a group of prominent women politicians and activists Tuesday called for increased female representation in the upcoming general conference of the Coordination of Democratic Civil Forces (CDCF). These women, representing various civil society groups, have launched campaigns to challenge the prevailing male dominance and assert their right to participate fully in shaping Sudan’s political future. They have specifically denounced the lack of women’s involvement in the Preparatory Committee of the Civil Front’s meetings in Addis Ababa. The civil forces meeting in Addis Ababa last October had approved the formation of a 30-member executive coordination office, tasked with preparing for the founding conference of the Civil Democratic Forces Coordination “Taqadum.” This preparatory committee and a technical secretariat were tasked with organizing the conference, which was scheduled to be held within eight weeks with the participation of 1,000 members. The women’s groups have expressed strong objection to the 30% female participation quota proposed at the Addis Ababa meetings, advocating instead for a 40% quota, in line with the provisions of the transitional constitutional declaration. Sudan Tribune

South Sudan Mediates Consultative Meeting of Sudanese Political Forces in Juba
The Government of South Sudan on Tuesday commenced mediating a consultative meeting between the Sudanese Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) Coalition in Juba to find a solution to the Sudanese crisis. Dr. Dhiu Mathok, the rapporteur of the South Sudan mediation committee, explained in a press statement after the initial meeting that the talks followed an invitation by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to all Sudanese political forces to find a peaceful solution to the political crisis and resultant war in Sudan…He stressed that the government of South Sudan is fully prepared to hold meetings with all political forces in Sudan except for the National Congress Party (NCP). Mathok also revealed that the Government of South Sudan has a new plan to hold a consultative meeting with the SAF and RSF in Juba to reach a ceasefire in Sudan. Radio Tamazuj

Ethiopia: Gov’t, OLA Second Round Talks in Tanzania End without Agreement, Again
After two weeks of talks that began with promises of ending the five-year militarized conflict in Oromia region between government forces and forces of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the talks have formally ended without agreement for the second time…The two sides have been engaged in talks Since 07 November 2023, with General Getachew Gudina, Head of Military Intelligence of the federal defense forces, and his deputy, Major General Demis Amenu representing the government, while Kumsa Diriba a.k.a Jaal Marroo, OLA Commander and Gemechu Regassa a.k.a Jaal Gemechu Aboye, OLA deputy commander and Southern Command chief as well as Ejerso Urgessa, and Jiregna Gudata represented OLA…[O]n 25 April representatives of the two sides met for the first time and held a week-long discussion in Zanzibar, Tanzania, aimed at reaching a settlement with IGAD…Six months later, the second round of talks resumed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with Commander of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) Kumsa Diriba…and his deputy Gemechu Regassa a.k.a Jaal Gemechu Aboye on board. The talks were preceded by a series of meetings over the previous weeks between the federal and Oromia regional state government senior officials on the one hand, and two members representing the OLA who were engaged in renewed “political dialogue.” Addis Standard

US Intelligence Director Met Kagame, Tshisekedi in Renewed Bid to Forge Peace
The United States dispatched its Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines, to Rwanda and its neighbour, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for separate meetings with heads of state. In a note to journalists, the White House said Haines was joined by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs Judd Devermont. The DRC’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, are at loggerheads over their support for rebel groups seeking to destabilise both countries. Tshisekedi stands accused of supporting the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed rebel group launching attacks into Rwanda. Kagame, on the other hand, was exposed for supporting M23 rebels destabilising eastern DRC, particularly North Kivu…Haines made the trip to both countries ahead of the East African Community (EAC) meeting slated for Thursday, where relations between the two leaders would be one of the key issues. News 24

Funding Shortfall Puts WFP Operations in Chad at Risk
Funding constraints and rising humanitarian needs could force the World Food Programme (WFP) to halt assistance to more than a million people in Chad, including newly arrived refugees from Sudan, the UN agency said on Tuesday. The warning comes as aid agencies scramble to respond to a fresh wave of displacement sparked by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Darfur region of Sudan, with reports of mass killings, rapes and widespread destruction…More than 2.3 million people in Chad, including 1.3 million children, were already going hungry due to climate impacts, rising food and fuel prices, declining agricultural production and intercommunal tensions. The country is hosting more than a million refugees – among the largest and fastest-growing refugee populations in Africa. “It is staggering but more Darfuris have fled to Chad in the last six months than in the preceding 20 years. We cannot let the world stand and allow our life-saving operations grind to a halt in Chad,” said Pierre Honnorat, WFP’s Country Director in Chad…WFP said it will be forced to suspend assistance to internally displaced people and refugees from Nigeria, Central African Republic and Cameroon starting in December. The suspension will be extended in January to 1.4 million people across the country, including new arrivals from Sudan. UN News

Ivorian President Ouattara in France to Discuss Partnership and Security Issues
[T]he meeting between the Ivorian and French presidents finally took place this Tuesday…Most of the conversation was focused on security issues in the Sahel, and Niger after the 26 July coup that destabilised the role of France in in West Africa. Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed France’s “full support for President Mohamed Bazoum” in Niger, and recalled that “his release is a prerequisite for any negotiation with the putschists”, the French presidency said after the meeting…Macron also reaffirmed his support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) “with a view to finding a solution to the Nigerien crisis.” ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on Niger and threatened military intervention to restore constitutional order, without success so far, with Côte d’Ivoire stating they were ready to send a battalion of soldiers. The French president “also expressed his concern about the rapid deterioration of the security situation in the Sahel with a growing number of terrorist attacks”, added the Elysée. RFI

Senegal’s Fishermen Ensnared by the Irresistible Call of Migration
Small-scale fishing has long been a mainstay of Senegal’s economy and its communities along the Atlantic coast. These days, however, Senegalese fishermen are more often than not returning with empty nets. Between 2008 and 2018, the country’s fishing ports nearly quadrupled, according to the NGO Environmental Justice Foundation, despite more than half of fish stocks in local waters facing collapse. Much of the catch is being taken in large-scale trawlers from China and elsewhere, which haul in mostly hake, sole, shrimp or octopus to meet the demands of European consumers, or to supply fishmeal or oil producers. Fishing provides around 600,000 direct and indirect jobs for Senegal and 3.2 percent of its GDP, according to a 2022 report from the US Department of Agriculture. Yet, catches by small-scale fishermen in canoes plunged by 58 percent from 2012 to 2019. With such diminished prospects, it is easy to understand why Senegalese are now alongside Moroccans as the most numerous migrants to reach the Canary Islands this year…Many of the hopeful migrants never make it, with dozens of Senegalese among the 633 deaths overall this year. Others are stopped by patrols and returned. Africanews

Support Kenya’s Haiti Mission, Africa’s Growth, Ruto Tells EU
Kenya’s President William Ruto has appealed to the European Union (EU) to support the country’s bid to deploy police officers to Haiti, even as he urged Europe to support Africa’s quest to unlock its economic potential. President Ruto said partnerships with African nations were critical to boosting growth and development on the continent. Addressing the EU Parliament on Tuesday, he said European support would legitimise the effort. The mission is based on UN resolution, the Multinational Security Support Mission and Kenya is among the eight countries willing to contribute troops to Haiti…President Ruto also urged the EU to support Africa’s quest for reforms in the international financial architecture. While progress has been made, President Ruto lamented that implementation of the review of the Multilateral Development Banks’ capital adequacy framework has been painfully slow. Nation Africa

U-17 World Cup: Mali and Morocco Will Clash for a Semifinal Spot
Morocco’s Under 17 football squad clinched a historic spot in the quarterfinals on Tuesday (Nov. 21). The lion cubs played Iran at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium in Surabaya, east of the capital Jakarta. Iran’s Esmaeil Gholizadeh opened the scoring sheet in the 73rd minute but Nassim Azaouzi hope for Morocco when he scored in the 90+4 minute. Morocco eventually won the fixture 4-1 on penalty shoot-outs. The November 25’s fixture will be Morocco’s first ever quarter-final in the U-17 World Cup. Morocco will play against Mali on 19:00 (UTC+7) Manahan Stadium…If Mali seems more experienced than Morocco in this competition with a 2015 runner-up place, Saturday’s fixture will not be easy. Morocco beat 6-5 Mali during the U-17 AFCON semi-final in March. Morocco will look to further make history as Mali seeks to play its second final in the competition. One thing is for sure, an African team will be in the semi-finals of U-17’s 19th edition. The remaining African team, Senegal, which is also AFCON champion, will play France on Wednesday (Nov. 22). The match will kick off at 19:00 (UTC+7). Africanews with FIFA