Africa Media Review for November 7, 2022

Mali Suspends Major News Channel
Malian authorities on Thursday (Friday in Manila) suspended one of the country’s main news channels for two months following criticism of the ruling junta by one of its star journalists…Joliba TV News, the media company, confirmed the information to AFP. The chain had on October 13 been put on notice over a September 30 editorial by Mohamed Halidou Attaher…”Intolerance is on the rise in our country”, the journalist said in his editorial. “Freedom of expression is in danger, and so is democracy. We are in the dictatorship of one-track thinking.” AFP

Gabon: Can a Nation Replace Its Oil Wealth with Trees?
The nation of Gabon is so lush with forests and wildlife its nickname is Africa’s Eden. It’s also one of the continent’s major oil producers…Gabon is engaging in activities that have become dirty words in the world of climate activism: It allows palm-oil plantations in certain areas and is turning rainforest into plywood. However, unlike Brazil and other countries that have stood by as rainforests are decimated, Gabon has adopted strict rules designed to keep the vast majority of its trees standing. Its aim is to strike an important balance between the needs of a single nation and those of a world facing a climate crisis. New York Times

Egypt: What Is COP27? What You Need to Know About the U.N. Climate Summit.
Tens of thousands of people from around the globe will descend on Egypt starting Sunday for the annual United Nations climate change summit. It stands for Conference of the Parties. Since 1995, world leaders and their delegates have convened annually to discuss the critical issue of global warming, carbon emissions and how to tackle climate change. This year’s meeting marks the 27th gathering of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — or COP27 for short. The international forum also attracts environmental groups, scientists, business leaders, celebrities and journalists — and protesters demanding that governments speed up and act on their pledges. Washington Post

Cop27 WiFi in Egypt Blocks Human Rights and Key News Websites
Attendees at the Cop27 climate meeting have found that the conference internet connection blocks access to the global rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as other key news websites needed for information during the talks. HRW is due to lead a panel discussion at Cop27 along with Amnesty International, whose website is accessible on the conference wifi. The list of blocked sites also includes the blogging platform Medium, Egypt’s lone independent news outlet, Mada Masr, and the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera…Observers and conference attendees fear the blockages at Cop27 are part of the Egyptian authorities’ efforts to separate vital climate negotiations from human rights issues, controlling what participants in the remote resort of Sharm el-Sheikh can see about Egypt’s decades-long record of cracking down on human rights and limiting their understanding of the country where the talks are taking place. Guardian

Sudanese Factions Break Deadlock with Talks Over Draft Constitution
Sudan’s military leaders have submitted notes on a draft constitution as a basis for talks under international mediation, three political sources told Reuters, signaling an easing of a year-long political deadlock. The draft constitution, drawn up by the Sudanese Bar Association in August, provides for a transitional civilian-led authority with oversight over the armed forces, who would exit politics after the signing of a deal…Talks that began informally last month involving the military and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition that shared power with the army before the coup are now expanding under the facilitation of the United Nations mission in Sudan, said the sources. Reuters

Details in Ethiopia’s Peace Deal Reveal Clear Winners and Losers
The deal appears to be a decisive victory for Ethiopia’s government and its prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who prosecuted the war — and could be hard for leaders of the Tigray region to sell to their people, experts on the region said on Thursday…The agreement, signed with fanfare in South Africa on the eve of the war’s second anniversary, calls for the full disarmament of Tigray’s forces within 30 days, according to a copy of the final deal — which has not been published, but was obtained by The New York Times. It says that senior commanders from both sides are to meet within five days to figure out how disarmament will happen. New York Times

New Round of Peace Talks Between Ethiopia, Tigray Reps
A new round of talks began Monday between Ethiopia’s government and Tigray regional representatives to work out military and other details of last week’s signing of a “permanent” cessation of hostilities in a two-year conflict thought to have killed hundreds of thousands of people. The meetings in Kenya involve the military commanders of both sides along with the lead political negotiators. Issues to be discussed include how to monitor the deal, disarming Tigray forces and the resumption of humanitarian aid access and basic services to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which has been cut off for months. AP

Uganda: Spy Claims Open Govt to Scrutiny
A claim by a group that State House contracted them to hack social media accounts of opponents of President Museveni in the run-up to the 2021 elections, has lifted the veil off deepening state espionage against citizens and opened the government to criticism over “criminal behaviour.” Details of what appeared a confidential arrangement became public last week after a letter purportedly authored by the hackers – among them Mr Peter Amanya and Lincoln Mugasho – to State House complaining about lack of payment for the hacking job, leaked. Monitor

Hundreds of Elephants, Wildebeests and Zebras Dead in Kenya amid Prolonged Drought
Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests, and zebras have died across Kenya amid the nation’s longest drought in decades. “The Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers, Community Scouts, and Research Teams counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffalos, 49 Grevy’s zebras, and 12 giraffes in the past nine months,” a report released Friday by the country’s Ministry of Tourism said…Prolonged drought across the Horn of Africa over the past four consecutive rainy seasons has left some 18 million people affected by food shortages in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to reports from the World Food Programme. CNN

Senegalese Journalist in Police Custody for Information “Harmful” to Security
A journalist who runs a news website critical of the government in Senegal has been taken into police custody in Dakar, accusing him of disseminating “information likely to harm” security, his lawyer said. Pape Alé Niang, who runs the private news website Dakar Matin, is famous in Senegal for his regular columns on current affairs…Some 20 people arrested on Saturday afternoon during the demonstration, which was banned by the Dakar prefect, were still being held on Sunday, according to the press. The demonstration, initiated by a group of activists, was aimed at demanding the release of “political detainees”, people in prison for several weeks and presented in the press as close to the opposition. AfricaNews



Photo: Adam Jones