Africa Media Review for October 20, 2022

Two Years After #EndSARS, Police Brutality in Nigeria Goes on
As decades of torture, maiming and killing by the country’s security forces stacked up, young people across the country took to the streets for days, beginning on October 8, 2020…Called #EndSARS, the protests ballooned into a massive call for the abolition of the squad. It flickered out on October 20 that year after soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters…Two years on, experts and activists say justice has not been served and brutality by security agencies has continued, mostly away from the public eye. On October 11, 2020, the Nigerian government announced the disbandment of SARS. But, citizens say, SARS officers are still in service as plainclothes policemen patrolling the streets, extorting, arresting and torturing citizens without reason. Between January and September last year, there were 164 recorded extrajudicial killings by law enforcement agents according to Global Rights, a Washington, DC-based human rights group. Al Jazeera

Nigeria: Peaceful Protesters Attacked with Teargas amid Heavy Police Presence at the Lekki Toll Gate During #EndSARS Memorial
At the time of going to print, EndSARS protesters had begun the memorial procession commemorating the second anniversary of the death of several Nigerian youngsters at the Lekki Tollgate. Falz, comedian and actor Debo Adedayo, also known as Mr. Macaroni, and other celebrities led the procession, which began at the tollgate. Earlier, heavy cops and other security officers had seized control of the tollbooth with approximately 25 police cars and one black maria on the ground. Also visible on both sides of the toll booth are police anti-riot vehicles, water cannon trucks, and a black maria. Reports have just recently come in that the police have started firing teargas to disperse protesters at the 2nd anniversary of the #EndSARS memorial. YNaija

Chad: Protests Erupt in N’Djamena amid Anger over Junta’s Rule
Pro-democracy demonstrators clashed with police in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena on Thursday, defying a government ban.  The demonstrations occurred on the date when the military originally promised it would cede power.  Several parts of N’Djamena were barricaded, with police reportedly firing smoke and teargas at protesters. News agency AFP reported that five people have “died from gunshots” in the protests so far based on hospital sources. DW

Chad Declares State of Emergency After Worst Flooding in Three Decades
Chad introduced a state of emergency after flooding that’s displaced more than 1 million people and destroyed thousands of hectares of cropland…Chad is already facing a looming food crisis affecting more than 2 million people, according to the World Food Programme. The state of emergency will be implemented nationwide to better tackle the humanitarian situation in the worst-hit areas in the south, including the capital, N’Djamena, Deby said. The announcement of the state of emergency comes as the landlocked oil producer’s military government faces growing discontent after extending by two years an 18-month deadline for a return to civilian rule. Deby, the son of former President Idriss Deby, came to power after his father was killed in a desert battle against insurgents in April 2021. Bloomberg

Tigray Peace Talks in South Africa on 24 October, Says Ethiopia Government
The Ethiopians government said on Thursday that peace talks on the nearly two-year-old war in Tigray would start in South Africa next week…A spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was not immediately available for comment. The government and TPLF leaders had agreed to join talks this month that would to be mediated by AU envoy Olusegun Obasanjo, South Africa’s former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. But the meeting in SA never took place, with logistical problems blamed. Fighting meanwhile has spiralled. The government this week vowed to seize airports and other federal sites from rebel control as part of “defensive measures.” AFP

WHO Head Warns Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Tigray ‘Genocide’
“The world is not paying enough attention. There is a very narrow window now to prevent genocide in Tigray,” he said. Tedros, who is from the northern region, has continued to point out the abuses committed there. Caught in the crossfire since the conflict began in November 2020, civilians in Tigray have paid the price, deliberately targeted and blocked off from essential services, said Tedros. Fighting between pro-government forces and rebels continues after a truce collapsed in August. The ongoing crisis has created a siege for the six million people of the region, he said. “Banking, food, electricity and healthcare are being used as weapons of war,” he said. RFI

Al-Burhan Struggles to Convince Ahmed That Sudan Does Not Support Ethiopia’s TPLF
Al-Burhan’s one-day visit to Ethiopia was meant mainly to reassure the Ethiopian Prime Minister that Khartoum does not support the TPLF in its war against his government…Burhan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a two-hour meeting that focused on security issues that have lingered between the two countries and at times led to low-level military clashes which generated regional and international concern. A Sudanese diplomatic source told Sudan Tribune that the previously scheduled visit to participate in the forum discussed “complex” security issues that proved contentious between the two neighbours. The source disclosed that the Burhan-Ahmed meeting saw the Ethiopian side again raising accusations of support by Sudan to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels fighting the central government which was denied by Burhan. Sudan Tribune

Malawi Finds Mass Grave of Suspected Ethiopian Migrants
Malawi has discovered a mass grave in the north of the country containing the remains of 25 people suspected to be migrants from Ethiopia, police said Wednesday. “The grave was discovered late on Tuesday, but we cordoned it off and started exhuming today. So far, we have discovered 25 bodies,” police spokesman Peter Kalaya told AFP…”We suspect that they were illegal migrants who were being transported to South Africa via Malawi,” he said. He added that evidence gathered from the site indicated the victims were Ethiopian males ages 25 to 40 years. The decomposing bodies were exhumed and taken to a morgue for autopsies. The bodies appear to have been buried “probably not more than a month” ago, he said. Malawi is a popular route for illegal immigrants from East Africa being smuggled to South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized country and a magnet for poor migrants from elsewhere on the continent. AFP

Uganda Announces Lockdown as Ebola Cases Rise
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has declared an immediate three-week lockdown in two high risk districts as the country battles a rise in Ebola infections. All movement in and out of the Mubende and Kassanda districts will be halted, Museveni said in a televised address on Saturday – although cargo trucks will be allowed to enter and leave the areas. Curfews will also be imposed. Places of worship, bars, gyms, saunas and other entertainment venues will close but schools will remain open, he added. “Given the gravity of the problem and to prevent further spread and protect lives and livelihoods, the government is taking extra measures that require action from all of us,” Museveni said. CNN

Ghanaian Traders Are Locking Shops to Protest 37% Inflation and a Slumping Currency
Last week, the statistics agency in Ghana, west Africa’s second largest economy, said the country’s inflation rate had climbed to 37.2%, a three point increase on the figure reported in September. The new rate confirmed a concerning cost of living crisis in a country where consumer goods have become more expensive and the local currency is now the world’s worst performer against the US dollar according to Bloomberg. Today, Ghanaian traders are responding to the soaring inflation and consequent high cost of doing business by locking their shops in a three-day protest. Joseph Obeng, the leader of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, the country’s largest lobbying group for retailers, said in an address that the combined effects of high inflation, exchange and interest rates have “deeply eroded” business owners’ capital by over 50% this year. Quartz Africa

Nigerian Firm Says It Can’t Ship Natural Gas After Flooding
A major Nigerian energy company says it cannot deliver natural gas as promised in its contracts after deadly flooding hindered its operations, raising concerns about whether Africa’s largest economy can meet increased local and international demands during an energy crisis provoked by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Nigeria LNG Limited, or NLNG, declared a “force majeure” this week, meaning it is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to supply the fuel used around the world to generate electricity, heat homes and run factories after flooding led to a “significant disruption of gas supply.” About 3.8% of global monthly supply could be affected, risking higher prices, Rystad Energy said. AP

DRC President Talks War, Peace, Minerals and Investment
[Video] Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, tells the FT Africa summit about ‘our will to change things’ and why global investors should not ‘wait for us to be perfect’. FT editor Roula Khalaf also asks him about his contested election, tensions with neighbouring Rwanda, and his ties with Moscow. Financial Times

Kenya: Electric Bus Debuts in Nairobi in Clean Energy Push
Nairobi is referred to as the ‘Green City in the Sun’ because of lush parks surrounding the east African capital. Roam, a Kenyan-Swedish company now wants that epithet to also refer to the city’s environmentally friendly mobility. It unveiled Wednesday an electric bus in a city where polluting exhaust fumes contribute to a thick smog… “This represents a shift towards better public transport, where we can have people ride in comfort and enjoy the ride with a clear conscience, because we’re talking about zero emissions”, the Roam project coordinator said. AfricaNews with AFP



Photo: Adam Jones