Africa Media Review for November 3, 2020

Reforming the Security Sector in Sudan: The Need for a Framework
Sudan needs a national security strategy to guide the reforms of its security sector from a tool of repression to sustain the old regime to a professional force that protects citizens under a democratic system. … Since the ousting of the government of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, Sudan has been struggling to uproot the ills of 30 years of repressive rule, the coopting of state institutions by the National Islamic Front, and the politicization of the security sector. The joint civil-military transitional government has been struggling to live up to the slogans of the Sudanese revolution—freedom, justice, and peace—as well as meeting the daily basic livelihood needs of the citizens. … One glimmer of hope is the October 3, 2020, Peace Agreement that seeks to end the long-simmering civil conflicts in the west and south of Sudan. … With the mandate to integrate the armed opposition into the security forces, the Agreement also necessitates a vision and plan for what a renewed security sector in Sudan will look like. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Dozens Killed in Ethiopia in Schoolyard Massacre
Dozens of people were killed in Ethiopia over the weekend, when three villages were assaulted by an armed rebel group, the government and human rights organizations said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attacks that threaten the stability of Africa’s second-most populous nation. The assailants late on Sunday killed at least 54 people from the ethnic Amhara group in the Oromia region, Amnesty International said. The attackers, who authorities said were from the Oromo Liberation Army, a group that broke off from a once-banned political party, attacked three villages in the West Welega Zone. They killed the victims after luring them to a school compound, then plundered what they could from the three villages and set everything else on fire. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, an independent national rights group, said in a statement posted on Twitter that there were up to 60 assailants. The New York Times

Mali Air Strikes Kill Dozens of Jihadists Linked to Al Qaeda, French Govt Says
The French government said Monday its forces had killed more than 50 jihadists aligned to Al-Qaeda in air strikes in central Mali. The offensive took place on Friday in an area near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger, where government troops are struggling to rout an Islamic insurgency, French Defence Minister Florence Parly said after meeting members of Mali’s transitional government. “On October 30 in Mali, the Barkhane force conducted an operation that neutralised more than 50 jihadists and confiscated arms and material,” Parly said, referring to the French-led anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane. She added that around 30 motorcycles were destroyed. … Parly said the action marked a “significant blow” to the Ansarul Islam group which she said was linked to Al-Qaeda via the GSIM alliance led by Iyad Ag Ghaly. Ghaly has emerged as a top jihadist leader in the Sahel since the death of the Qaeda commander Abdelmalek Droukdel, who was killed by French forces in Mali in June. AFP

Tanzanian Opposition: Colleagues Face Terror-Related Charges
Tanzanian opposition leaders said Monday that police arrested key colleagues and charged them with “terrorism-related offenses” and sealed off areas where a peaceful protest was to begin over last week’s election that they call too flawed to stand. Emmanuel Mvula, campaign manager with the ACT Wazalendo party, told The Associated Press there was “heavy deployment of security forces” in the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam, where the two main opposition parties planned to march to the national electoral commission. … Lissu, the survivor of an assassination attempt in 2017 who returned from exile this year, was detained later Monday, questioned and released after a couple of hours, a CHADEMA statement said. … A separate U.S. statement earlier Monday warned that Washington “in coordination with our partners will consider actions including visa restrictions, as appropriate, to hold accountable those found to be responsible for human rights abuses and interference in the election process.” AP

Ivory Coast under International Pressure to Safeguard Peace
Ivory Coast’s ruling party Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) warned the political opposition, which boycotted the presidential election of October 31, against any “attempt to destabilize” the country. At least five people died over the weekend in election-related violence. The warning came in the wake of a call by the opposition for a “civilian transition” from President Alassane Ouattara’s government, which it considers illegitimate. Opposition leader Pascal Affi N’Guessan told reporters: “We consider that there has been no election in Cote d’Ivoire. What Ouattara did is constitutional robbery.” … Fearing a repeat of the violence 10 years ago, thousands of Ivorians left urban centers for their villages before the polls. … In the streets of the capital, passersby told DW of their fears. “We are scared, we don’t know what’s going to happen. We are praying that the different presidents listen to us,” one man said. “We need God. We need peace, happiness,” a woman added. DW

Uganda Police Arrest Bobi Wine after Presidential Nomination
Ugandan police on Tuesday again arrested Bobi Wine, a popular singer and opposition presidential hopeful, just after he was successfully certified as a candidate in next year’s election. Wine, who is bidding to unseat Uganda’s long-time leader, was dragged from his car by police. The local NBS Television, reporting from the scene, said the singer, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was put into a police van amid violent scuffles between police and his supporters. A police spokesman did not immediately respond to questions. Authorities frequently accuse Wine of planning rallies that could disrupt public order, which he denies. … Critics say President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, increasingly depends on the armed forces to assert his authority. … Those actions have reinforced a view among some Ugandans that the police serve at the behest of Museveni, who has rebuffed repeated calls to retire peacefully. AP

Guinea Election: Opposition Figure Diallo Contests Conde’s Win
Guinea’s leading opposition figure Cellou Dalein Diallo has appealed against President Alpha Conde’s victory in last month’s presidential election at the country’s constitutional court. The opposition figure’s lawyer, Amadou Diallo, told AFP news agency that the appeal, filed on Sunday, contains “irrefutable evidence” that irregularities marred the election. Conde, 82, won a hotly contested October 18 election, according to provisional official results, setting the stage for a controversial third term in office. But Cellou, 68, had already claimed victory, citing data his activists gathered at individual polling stations. … While Amadou did not offer details about the evidence, the lawyer said it would allow the constitutional court to annul Conde’s victory. Three other losing presidential candidates also filed appeals to the constitutional court, according to a court official who declined to be named. AFP

Hundreds Die at Sea off Senegal’s Coast on a Perilous Route to Europe
An estimated 150 migrants are thought to have died after the wooden boat they were traveling in was shipwrecked off the coast of Senegal on Friday, the latest in a deadly series of accidents for those trying a dangerous sea route around northwest Africa to reach Europe that had become less popular in recent years. The boat capsized and many of the passengers drowned, according to Alarm Phone, a hotline for migrants stranded at sea, and Senegalese firefighters who saw the aftermath on the beach. It had been less than a week since the last such disaster, in which at least 140 people trying to get to Europe drowned when their boat caught fire. … The Senegalese armed forces have also reported intercepting at least five boats since early October, carrying nearly 500 people. But this does not include the boat that caught fire on Oct. 24 off the coast near the city of Saint-Louis. The New York Times

Cameroon: Nine Injured in Artisanal Bomb Blast in Yaoundé
Nine people were injured on Sunday in the blast of an artisanal bomb in a Yaoundé bar, the government announced on Monday. It was the fourth in a series of attacks of this kind in less than five months in the Cameroonian capital. No one claimed responsibility for the attack. In a press release published 24 hours after the explosition, the Communication ministry did not mention any potential suspect. Cameroon has been the scene of a bloody conflict between security forces and separatist rebels in the country’s western English-speaking areas. In the north, many deadly attacks have been led by the jihadist group Boko Haram. The “improvised explosive engine, hidden in a bag” was activated “remotely” with a homemade device “made with a motor battery, a memory card and electric wires,” the ministry added. Africa News

UN Condemns Shooting Murder of Aid Worker in South Sudan
The United Nations on Monday condemned the murder of another humanitarian worker in South Sudan and urged the authorities to step up efforts to protect aid teams. Gunmen ambushed a team from Plan International, a British-headquartered charity, on October 29 as they were returning to Pibor town, in an eastern region plagued by armed conflict, flooding and hunger. One aid worker was shot dead on the spot and another suffered a serious gunshot injury, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said in a statement. The team had been delivering nutritional relief to women and children but the programme has now been suspended. “I strongly condemn this attack and the killing of yet another humanitarian worker,” said Alain Noudehou, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan. AFP

Lawyer Accused of Bribing Witnesses in ICC Case Turns Self In
A lawyer turned himself in to Dutch authorities on Monday to face accusations at the International Criminal Court of bribing witnesses in a trial of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto which collapsed four years ago. Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru was wanted on an ICC arrest warrant dating from 2015 that accused him of trying to bribe six prosecution witnesses to recant testimony in the case. Ruto and his co-accused, broadcaster Joshua Sang, were both charged with fomenting violence after a disputed 2007 election when 1,200 people died. Judges ruled in 2016 that they had no case to answer, although they left the door open for possible fresh charges in future, noting that the case had been hampered by political interference and threats against witnesses. Al Jazeera

Mozambique Gets $116 Million Budget Support as EU Resumes Aid
The European Union will give Mozambique 100 million euros ($116 million) in budget support, resuming aid to the southeast African nation after a scandal over undisclosed debts prompted a four-year freeze. … The EU halted direct budget support to Mozambique in 2016, after the International Monetary Fund and other donors also froze direct assistance when the government admitted it guaranteed more than $2 billion in debts, more than half of which had been undisclosed. Since then, three former Credit Suisse Group AG workers pleaded guilty to U.S. charges related to the loans. Before donors halted budget financing, Mozambique relied on them for as much as a third of total budget funding. The EU last month agreed to provide training and support to combat an Islamist insurgency in the northern Cabo Delgado province, where more than 2,000 people have died and at least 400,000 have fled their homes. Bloomberg

Two Families, Two Babies, and One – Thinning – Hope for a New Zimbabwe
Angela Simbi squinted to read the crumpled piece of paper delivered to her by the city council in early October. Part of her family’s brick home in the suburb of Mbare was an illegal structure, the letter explained, and the family must demolish the extra rooms they’d added. If they didn’t, the notice warned, the government would come do it for them. Dread welled in her chest. This house had been in Ms. Simbi’s family since the 1970s, when the white minority government built a settlement of three-room houses for Black workers on the southern edge of the capital, and she and her husband had moved in. … It was an echo of 2005, when six extended rooms they had added to their house were flattened as part of Mr. Mugabe’s Operation Murambatsvina, or “drive out the filth.” The demolitions displaced around 700,000 Zimbabweans in an effort to stop cities’ boom in informal growth – and, many suspected, punish the urban voters who supported the country’s main opposition party. The Christian Science Monitor



Photo: Adam Jones