Africa Media Review for November 3, 2022

Burkina’s Traore Makes Mali Trip
Burkina Faso’s new military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, arrived in Mali on Wednesday for his first foreign trip since taking power on September 30… The 34-year-old Burkinabe junta chief will meet his Malian counterpart, Assimi Goita, who came to power in a putsch in August 2020… Under Assimi Goita … Mali began to weave closer ties with the Kremlin… As this relationship intensified, ties with Paris, Mali’s traditional ally, deteriorated and France became a target of vilification. Paris this year pulled out the last troops it had deployed in Mali under its Barkhane anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. Burkina Fasio has been marked by anti-French protests in which some demonstrators have waved Russian flags and demanded the departure of a contingent of 400 French special forces. AFP

Ethiopia: Peace Agreement Between Government and Tigray ‘A Critical First Step’: Guterres
A peace deal between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed on Wednesday in South Africa, represents “a critical first step” towards ending the brutal two year war, said the UN chief…There are around 5.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray, including 3.8 million who need healthcare, said the UN World Health Organization on Friday, and it has been two months since the last humanitarian aid reached the region. Earlier in the day, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said large numbers of displaced were arriving in, or moving towards Tigray’s regional capital, with needs rising by the day. Thousands have been killed, with allegations of serious human rights violations, including possible war crimes, committed by both sides. UN News

French Court Convicts Former Liberian Rebel Commander over Atrocities
A Paris court has made history in convicting a former Liberian rebel commander for complicity in crimes against humanity under the principle of “universal jurisdiction.” Kunti Kamara was also found guilty acts of barbarity, including torture, cannibalism and forced labour during the country’s first civil war more than 25 years ago. He was given a life sentence. The three-week trial was the first in France of a non-Rwandan suspect accused of wartime atrocities since the special crimes against humanity tribunal was set up in Paris in 2012. Guardian

HRW: Nigerians Struggling After Government Closes Camps, Cuts Aid
The human rights group says authorities are ‘harming hundreds of thousands … to advance dubious government development agenda.” In a report released on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said people removed from the camps were struggling to meet their most basic needs, including food and shelter, in the places where they had returned or resettled. More than 140,000 people had been removed from eight camps in Borno while food aid to two more camps had been stopped as of August this year, Human Rights Watch said. Those two camps hold more than 74,000 people and will close this year. Reuters

Malian Minister Says Russia Will Ship Food and Fuel to Mali in Coming Weeks
Mali expects Russia to send shipments of fuel, fertiliser and food worth around $100 million to Mali in the coming weeks, the West African country’s economy minister, Alousseini Sanou, said on Wednesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the provision of such supplies with his Malian counterpart in August – a sign of deepening ties as Bamako’s relationship soured with its long-time ally and former colonial ruler, France. Reuters

Surprise Surplus: Zimbabwe Empowers Farmers, Averts Food Shortage
Zimbabwe could yield its largest wheat harvest yet as the world faces a food crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Empowering local farmers, improving water infrastructure, and increasing private-sector participation was the key to success…Zimbabwe is looking at using its anticipated surplus of the grain to build “a small strategic reserve” for the first time in its history, agriculture minister Anxious Masuka told journalists earlier this month. This would cushion Zimbabwe against future shocks. Christian Science Monitor

Ukraine Grain Deal to Consider African Nations in Need
Turkey’s president has said a deal to free up grain exports from Ukraine will consider African countries struggling with supplies. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had discussed sending grain to African countries. “The situation in Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan is not good at all. If there is a problem in any other less developed countries, we will carry out shipments to these countries,” Mr Erdogan said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV. The grain deal was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July, bringing to an end a five-month Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports that trapped millions of tonnes of grain and sunflower oil and sent food prices soaring. BBC

Mainstream FFC Reports ‘Wide Resistance’ to Impunity for Sudan’s Military Junta
Amid rumours of an agreement between the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) and the military junta over Sudan’s transition from dictatorship, coalition spokespeople have reported strong resistance to any form of impunity for the country’s military, paramilitary, security, and police forces.  Professor Siddig Tawir, former member of the Sovereignty Council and a leading member of the Socialist Ba’ath Party Sudan, said that the number of member groups of the mainstream FFC that are in favour of an agreement with the military junta is limited. He added that any notion of an agreement “finds wide resistance within the coalition itself and on the streets” of Sudan. Dabanga

Egypt’s Difficult Balancing Act Between the West and Russia
Ahead of this month’s international climate conference COP27, the authoritarian Egyptian government has been polishing up its image. Political prisoners have been released and new environmental projects unveiled…Cairo is casting itself “as a champion … that all parties can commit to”…One of those parties is Russia. Egypt has a long history with its ally to the north — during the Cold War, Egypt was the Soviet Union’s principal ally in the Middle East and the country remains an important partner today. After Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi became president of Egypt in 2014 following a military coup, the two counties have become even closer. DW

UN Forces Evacuate Journalists as Rebels Advance Further in DR Congo
The United Nations announced that it is evacuating journalists from towns that are at risk of being overtaken by the fighting in Eastern Congo. Rebels from the M23 group are advancing on several towns in the region. On the Ugandan side of the border there are also towns at threat of takeover by Ugandan rebels. So far 12 journalists had been airlifted out, the Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) said on Nov 1. HumAngle

Yellowstone, Kilimanjaro Glaciers Likely to Vanish by 2050: UNESCO
The warning followed a study of 18,600 glaciers at 50 World Heritage sites — covering around 66,000 square kilometres (25,000 square miles) — which found glaciers at a third of the sites were “condemned to disappear”…In Africa, glaciers in all World Heritage sites will very likely be gone by 2050, including at Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya, UNESCO warned. AFP



Photo: Adam Jones