Africa Media Review for October 11, 2022

Chad: Déby Promises National Unity Government in Coming Days
A new government has been set up in Chad, where General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno was sworn in on Monday as president of a two-year transitional period ahead of “democratic” elections and has promised to quickly appoint a “national unity government”, 18 months after taking power at the head of a military junta. A laborious National Sovereign and Inclusive Dialogue (DNIS) had endorsed Saturday the possibility for the head of state to run for president at the end of the transition but in the absence of a large part of the political opposition and the main armed rebel groups, who denounce the perpetuation of the “Déby dynasty” in power. AfricaNews with AFP

Chad’s Creditors Close to Agreeing Debt Relief: French Official
Chad’s creditors are close to reaching a debt relief agreement, which would be the first under a new G20 debt restructuring framework, a French finance ministry source said on Monday. Alongside Ethiopia and Zambia, Chad is one of the three countries that have so far sought a debt restructuring under a G20 initiative established at the end of 2020… Although Chad is currently benefitting from high oil prices, the source added that it was important that both government and private sector creditors be ready to act in case debt servicing conditions become more difficult for the country. Reuters

The West Doesn’t Want More Migrants. But Rwanda Will Take Them.
At a time when Western nations are adopting increasingly tough stances against migrants, the tiny nation of Rwanda has opened its borders to refugees, striking deals with European countries like Britain and Denmark to house deported asylum seekers. Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, has said his government is motivated by altruism and a moral responsibility to provide a solution to “a very complicated problem all over the world.” But critics say the country is seeking to benefit financially and geopolitically from the arrangements, and is offering itself as a refuge to deflect attention from its problematic record on human rights. The migration deals with the West are part of “Rwanda’s drive to launder its image abroad,” said Toni Haastrup, a professor of international politics at the University of Stirling in Britain. New York Times

Somalia Orders Media Not to Publish Al-Shabab ‘Propaganda’
Somalia’s government has declared a crackdown on media organisations that publish what it deems propaganda for the armed group al-Shabab, warning offenders will be punished…Yusuf said the government also launched cyber-operations against “terrorist accounts” on social media and suspended more than 40 on Facebook and Twitter. Recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has pledged to defeat the armed group after countless deadly attacks. In August, al-Shabab fighters unleashed a gun-and-bomb assault in a deadly 30-hour siege of a hotel that killed 21 people. Al Jazeera

Explainer: Why the AU-Led Ethiopian Peace Talks Hang in the Balance
The African Union-led Ethiopian peace talks, set for Sunday in South Africa, hang in the balance after former Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta said he would not be attending due to a conflict in his diary. Kenyatta was set to join former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, and former deputy president of South Africa and member of the African Union (AU) Panel of the Wise, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. In a statement, which exposed poor communication among peace talk negotiators, Kenyatta made reference to a press statement issued on Wednesday that announced his attendance at the peace talks, which seemingly meant they didn’t check regarding his availability. News24

South Africa’s Ex-Leader Zuma Completes Prison Sentence
The prison sentence of beleaguered ex-South African president Jacob Zuma officially ended on Friday, with correctional services saying he had been released from their system having served only part of his term behind bars.  The former head of state was jailed for 15 months for contempt of court in July last year after refusing to testify before a graft inquiry — but was released on medical parole two months later. AFP

Political Rookie’s New Party Wins Lesotho Vote but No Majority
A new party led by a political rookie has won the most votes in Friday’s legislative elections in Lesotho but fell short of securing a parliamentary majority that could have ended a long-running political gridlock. According to final results published by its electoral commission on Monday, the Revolution for Prosperity, a party set up only six months ago by millionaire businessman Sam Matekane, won 56 out of 120 seats in parliament. For the past decade, the small Southern African state has been governed by a string of coalition governments that have proved fractious and frail, and no premier has served out a full five-year term. Matekane, 64, who styles himself as a champion of the country’s business community and was considered an outsider in the vote, came close to an outright win but will now have to secure the support of smaller parties to form a government. AFP

Hemetti, Tripartite Panel Discuss Sudanese Lawyers Proposals for Transitional Government
The deputy head of the Sovereign Council and the tripartite facilitation panel on Monday discussed the Sudanese lawyers’ initiative in a meeting about the ongoing efforts to form a transitional government…The two sides “Discussed the developments in the political arena and the efforts of the steering committee of the Sudanese Bar Association, as well as the ongoing dialogue between the political components” he said. He further pointed to the imminent conclusion of a political settlement accepted by all parties to the political process. “We see that we are getting closer and closer to a settlement satisfactory to all parties to the political process,” he added. The tripartite mechanism on September 10 received a draft transitional constitution from the Bar Association’s Steering Committee. Sudan Tribune

Sudan’s Finance Minister in Washington to Discuss Debt Relief with World Bank
Sudan’s Finance Minister will discuss with international financial institutions ways to clear challenges facing debt forgiveness during his participation in their annual meeting this week…“The delegation will discuss the obstacles to addressing Sudan’s external debt and its opportunities to benefit from international debt forgiveness initiatives,” reads a statement issued by the finance ministry in Khartoum. Following the coup of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against the civilian-led government, the World Bank suspended all its operations in Sudan, including the debit relief process under the HIPC initiative. The World Bank required the restoration of the transitional civilian government before resuming the country’s paused economic support. Sudan Tribune

Food Shortages and Rising Food Prices Hit Tunisia
Sugar, vegetable oil, rice and even bottled water periodically disappear from supermarkets and grocery stores. People stand in line for hours for these food essentials that have long been subsidized and are now increasingly available in rations only. And when they appear on the shelves, many people cannot afford to pay the staggering price for them. The government has blamed speculators, black market hoarders and the war in Ukraine, but economic experts say the government’s own budget crisis, and its inability to negotiate a long-sought loan from the International Monetary Fund, have added to Tunisia’s troubles. AfricaNews

Tanzanian Gas Pipeline to Cut Cost for Kenyans
The Kenyan government has announced plans to speed up construction of the proposed gas pipeline from Tanzania in an effort to cut prices of cooking gas. President William Ruto on Monday said the 600-kilometre pipeline that Kenya will use to import gas from the Mtwara plant in Tanzania is a priority item, a pronouncement that looks set to end a delay of over one year. The pipeline whose cost is estimated at Ksh132 billion ($1.1 billion) is part of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation that former President Uhuru Kenyatta signed with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu in May last year. East African



Photo: Adam Jones