Africa Media Review for October 25, 2022

Protesters Gather in Sudan on Coup Anniversary amid Internet Blockage
Sudanese demonstrators began gathering on Tuesday ahead of protests on the one-year anniversary of a coup that halted a democratic transition. Internet services were blocked, according to monitoring group Netblocks, as protests were planned in many cities and towns, including a march on the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum. The military takeover halted Sudan’s transition to democracy following the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, and threw an economy already in crisis further into turmoil. Foreign donors quickly suspended relations and the currency tumbled as the government hiked taxes spurring numerous strikes. Reuters

Sudan Names New Military Chief for Conflict-Hit Blue Nile
Sudan on Monday named a new military commander for troubled Blue Nile state, where recent bitter ethnic clashes over land have left at least 200 people dead and sparked angry demonstrations. The new chief comes a day after eyewitnesses reported that crowds of thousands protested in front of army headquarters in the state capital Damazin, accusing the government of failing to protect them, with the local university suspending work. Army spokesman Nabil Abdallah, announcing Monday a new commander for the southern Blue Nile state, said the military had ordered a committee to “evaluate the security situation”. Blue Nile, which borders South Sudan and Ethiopia, is awash with guns and is still struggling to rebuild after decades of civil war, with over 300 people killed in recent months. Nation

Libya: ‘Political Deadlock Persists with No Clear End in Sight’- UN Envoy
Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily arrived in the country this month and has been prioritizing consultations with political, institutional, security and civil society representatives, in a bid to address these challenges.  “The situation in Libya calls for a consensus State re-legitimation process. Legitimate institutions capable of providing for the basic needs of the people must be established on the basis of a genuine political will. In this process, the conduct of legislative and presidential elections is paramount,” he said…“The political deadlock persists with no clear end in sight to the prolonged stalemate over the executive,” Mr. Bathily told the Council.  “Further, efforts to resolve the remaining outstanding issues related to the constitutional basis for elections, do not appear to lead to concrete action by the relevant actors, further delaying prospects for the holding of inclusive, free and fair elections aimed at ending the transition and reinstating the legitimacy of institutions.” UN News

Ethiopian Government and Tigray Rebels Set to Begin Peace Talks
Representatives of the Ethiopian government and rebel forces in the country’s Tigray region arrived in South Africa on Monday for their first formal peace talks, a much-anticipated effort to resolve the almost two-year civil war that has ravaged Africa’s second-most-populous nation. The mediation, led by the African Union, has new urgency because the conflict in Tigray has intensified, raising fears that the humanitarian crisis and widespread atrocities that have left thousands dead, millions displaced and hundreds of thousands hungry will only get worse. New York Times

In Uganda, a Race Against Time Facing an Ebola Epidemic
The authorities’ concern about the potential spread of the virus is reinforced by the fact that two of its members traveled to the capital, Kampala, on October 6 under false identities. One of them, a 45-year-old man, died the next day. His wife, who gave birth a few days later in a clinic, was then treated at a treatment center in Entebbe. Authorities recorded 48 contact cases linked to their trip to the capital. Those most at risk had been placed in isolation while the others were being monitored daily at home by healthcare teams. Faced with the risk of the epidemic spreading to the rest of the country, President Yoweri Museveni announced, on Saturday, October 15, the lockdown of the districts most affected by the virus, Mubende and Kassanda, in central Uganda. For a 21-day period, entry or exit is prohibited in these two localities. Le Monde

Chadian Government and Opposition Accuse Each Other over Killings
Four days after violent anti-government protests in Chad left more than fifty people dead and over 300 wounded, the government and the opposition have traded accusations over responsibility for the casualties. The demonstrations against the delay of elections have been described as “unprecedented” in the history of the country by observers.  There were violent demonstrations in several towns of the country, and were particularly violent in the capital N’Djamena and Moundou, the country’s second largest town, situated to the south of Chad…The opposition puts the death toll at over one hundred, with more than five hundred people wounded. The Prime Minister has also announced the suspension of “all public activities by political parties and civil society organisations” for three months. At the beginning of October it was announced that the mandate of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) of strongman General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, was being extended for two years. HumAngle

Trial Gives Guinea Stadium Massacre Survivors Hope for Justice
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Camara denied responsibility and blamed the violence on rogue security forces. A few months later however, a Human Rights Watch investigation found that crimes against humanity had been committed and that the circumstances of many of the killings and abuses described suggest that “they were committed with either the consent or an explicit order from Guinean military commanders as high as President Moussa Dadis Camara”. In the decade after, human rights organisations have increasingly complained about delays in the judicial process…For several weeks, 11 suspects, including Camara and former high-ranking government and military figures, have taken the stand in a trial broadcast on national television every night. “The stakes are high,” Conakry-based political analyst Kabinet Fofana told Al Jazeera. “If Dadis Camara is found guilty, it could set precedent for political leaders in this country. Al Jazeera

First Blood, Now Floods: These Farmers Are Battling Bandits and Climate Change
The worsening security situation in Nigeria’s north – where armed herders, commonly referred to as bandits, have been battling farmers for increasingly scarce agricultural resources – meant every trip to her two-acre farm, taken by public transport, was fraught with danger. The bandits are responsible for thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions of people in the past decade…The flooding across Nigeria has killed 603 and displaced 1.4 million people, the worst in a decade, and has impacted 33 out of 36 states. In addition to the human toll, the floods have exacerbated the already shaky supply of food across the country of 206 million.  The poor security situation had curtailed farmers’ capacity to produce food, causing food shortages and a spike in prices across the country, which have risen by more than 40 percent. Now, the floods have wiped everything away. Climate change has caused rapid desertification in Nigeria, a rise in sea level and drought. As global temperatures continue to increase, all of these are expected to increase exponentially, and the farmers’ plight will worsen. VICE

UAE Slams Visa Ban on All Citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, 17 Other African Countries
The United Arab Emirates has reportedly banned nationals of some 20 African countries from entering its capital city, Dubai. “This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today October 18, 2022,” the notice read in part. Countries affected by the visa ban include Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, and the Dominican Republic. In a notice issued to trade partners including travel agents, authorities indicated that all applications should be rejected. “Any applications from the above-mentioned countries will be sent back or canceled.” According to reports. AfricaNews

Can an African Team Reach the World Cup 2022 Semi-Finals?
There has been an unmistakable glass ceiling over Africa at football World Cups. In reaching the quarter-finals in the 1990 World Cup, Cameroon set a benchmark that has not been bettered yet. Senegal and Ghana also reached the last-eight, in 2002 and 2010 respectively, but the continent’s tale of the tape on the global stage has been one of relative underachievement…The inability of African teams to cross this rubicon is connected to the continent’s economic disadvantages relative to Europe and South America. According to the World Population Review, going by gross national income per capita (as of 2020), nine of the 10 poorest countries in the world are in Africa. This creates a snowball effect that affects the continent’s potential, restricting development, enabling corruption and impeding professionalism. Africa’s World Cup outings have been littered with scandal, mostly about unpaid wages, that has led to opprobrium and derailed focus. “The politics is too closely involved in the football,” former DR Congo international Gabriel Zakuani told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera



Photo: Adam Jones