Africa Media Review for October 28, 2022

Europe Weighs Funding Rwandan Troops Fighting Islamic State
The European Union is considering providing financial support to Rwandan troops fighting an armed Islamic State-linked force in Mozambique’s gas-rich northeastern region…Talks with member states are at an advanced stage, with the proposal receiving strong support from France, Germany and Italy, said two EU officials, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The rationale for the deal aligns with the bloc’s desire to help the continent provide African solutions to African problems, while simultaneously upholding peace and security and securing a huge gas reserve off the Mozambican coast, the people said. Bloomberg

NGOs Demand Senegal’s President Renounce a Third Term
A number of Senegalese associations on Thursday urged President Macky Sall to dispel doubts and publicly declare that he would not run for a third term, which they say could sow “chaos.” Sall, who was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019, has for months remained vague on whether or not he intends to seek a third mandate in 2024. The constitution stipulates that a president cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. But the president’s supporters argue that a 2016 constitutional revision has reset the clock. The opposition promises fierce resistance if Sall, who is currently president of the African Union, does seek another term. In a statement Thursday, human rights and democracy organisations pointed to the “particularly tragic” consequences of attempts to force third terms elsewhere in Africa — an issue that in Guinea and Ivory Coast has led to explosive violence. AFP

Malawians Protest High Cost of Living, Alleged Corruption
In Malawi, protesters and opposition supporters chanted and marched Thursday in the commercial capital, Blantyre, to protest the high cost of living and alleged corruption. The demonstrators presented a petition to the office of President Lazarus Chakwera. Joshua Chisa Mbele, leader of Action Against Impunity, a network of civil rights organizations behind the protest, accused the government of mishandling money Malawi received to fight COVID-19, among other alleged transgressions. Voice of America

Nigerian Flood Victims Decry Government’s Response to Disaster
Since late September, the worst floods to hit Nigeria since 2012 have overrun hundreds of communities in Africa’s biggest economy. They have struck 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states. More than 600 people have been killed and 1.3 million people displaced. Thousands of homes and farmland have been washed away. Many survivors are living in terrible conditions in camps with almost no governmental assistance, according to victims and experts interviewed by Al Jazeera. “Disaster management in Nigeria is synonymous to clapping with one hand; it is not possible to clap with one hand, but that is the situation of things in Nigeria,” Olasunkanmi Okunola, a disaster risk specialist and visiting scientist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera

Ugandan Gov’t Under Fire as Ebola Outbreak Spreads in Kampala
The Ugandan government is under pressure to bring an escalating Ebola outbreak under control, after the health minister announced that six schoolchildren in the capital city, Kampala, have tested positive for the virus. At least 15 people in Kampala are now confirmed to have been infected with Ebola, according to a statement by Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng on Wednesday – just days after the government insisted there were no infections in the capital. Al Jazeera

Kenya Issues New Warning on Jobs Scams, Human Trafficking Cartels
Kenyan authorities have yet again cautioned citizens against falling victim to job scams after it emerged that rogue agents are luring people with the promise of jobs in southeast Asia then end up trafficking them. A statement by the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs made public on Friday says that the Kenyan embassy in Bangkok collaborated with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), HAART Kenya and security agencies to rescue 50 Kenyans from the region in the recent past. The 50 had fallen victim to these job frauds. East African

What to Know About Ethiopia-Tigray Peace Talks in South Africa
AU Horn of Africa envoy and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, along with Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa’s former vice president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka are facilitating the process. US regional envoy Mike Hammer is observing, along with Workneh Gebeyehu, the executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and former Ethiopian foreign minister, and a UN representative…AU Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat described the talks as an “Ethiopian-owned and AU-led process to silence the guns towards a united, stable, peaceful and resilient Ethiopia”. But before any comprehensive peace deal, the international community and the rebels are seeking an immediate cessation of hostilities. East African

DR Congo Army Clashes with M23 Near Goma
There have been more clashes in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo between the military and rebels from the M23 group. The fighting took place on a road linking Goma – the capital of the North Kivu region – with other towns in the east…The government in Kigali has in the past denied any link. The M23 fighters were pushed out of DR Congo almost a decade ago but resumed fighting late last year – leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians. Star

DRC: Investigating the Human Cost of ‘Conflict Gold’
Officially, the mine is controlled by the local authorities and the mining ministry, but after hours of discussions the village chief eventually admits to our local contact: He can’t let us go to the mines — it’s not safe because the rebels control it, not him. After a long conversation, we admit to him that the rebels have given us their permission to visit…The Democratic Republic of Congo has some of the purest gold in the world. Belgian businessman Yasin Karim Somji tells us that he is convinced of the purity of the gold in Misisi and other places in the North and South Kivu regions. He plans to soon open the first gold refinery in the DRC and export the gold to Europe, Asia and America. “At the moment we are in long discussions with the government. They will check all artisan mine workers who will come here; they will try and trace it and maybe it will help. I hope it will help,” Somji says. DW

Economists Blame Military Junta for Sudan’s Economic Woes
The October 25, 2021, military coup and the close relationships between military companies and Sudanese businessmen are the root causes of Sudan’s current economic crisis, economic experts Khaled Mohamed Ahmed and Abdelrahman Eisa explained in an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday. In an interview with Dabanga Sudan on Wednesday, economic analyst Khaled Mohamed Ahmed talked about the economic repercussions of the military coup which led to extreme poverty for most of the Sudanese. Ahmed said that among the main reasons behind the 2021 coup were economic factors, related to the fear of Sudanese capitalist businessmen to lose their grip on the market and the common interests between this group and military companies. The coup blocked the way for the five packages that Abdallah Hamdok had initiated in order to lead the country to economic safety, he said. He explained that Hamdok intended to tackle, through the five packages, a set of problems that impeded the growth of the Sudanese economy, including the control of military institutions over the economy. The military apparatus is estimated to control as much as 82 per cent of Sudan’s economy according to Ahmed; money that few ordinary Sudanese will ever benefit from. Dabanga

Big Gaps in Plans to Tackle Climate Change, Researchers Say
Climate researchers sounded the alarm on Wednesday, saying too little was being done to contain temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the threshold after which climate risks heighten. World leaders agreed to the 1.5-degree threshold at the Paris climate deal in 2015 and agreed to speed up their pledge to cut carbon pollution this decade at last year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow. But a report by the United Nations on Wednesday said only 24 out of 193 countries updated their plans. It comes as leaders prepare to gather in Egypt for the United Nation’s annual climate change conference in November. DW

The Climate News Is Bad. The Climate Reality Is Worse.
The further tragedy of the situation is that these most imperiled communities played little to no role in creating the conditions stoking global warming now. This is “a population which importantly has not brought this on themselves,” Dunford said. “What’s happening today … in the region is impacting a vulnerable population that has not contributed to greenhouse gases.” “Somalis are the victims of our behavior, the victims of our habits — not of theirs,” Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s humanitarian chief, said this week. “And yet we haven’t even managed to get to them the money that we pledged nobly some time ago for exactly this kind of purpose.” Washington Post

Spanish PM Urges Global Climate Action for African Continent
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called on global leaders to prioritize solutions to the climate change crisis threatening food security in African countries and the effects on the continent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During an official visit to South Africa, Sanchez met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa a day after meeting with recently elected Kenyan President William Ruto in Nairobi… Sanchez said the conference should deliver tangible solutions for Africa. Ramaphosa agreed. “An important part of our collective response to climate change is increased support for green, sustainable energy policies and technologies,” the South African president said. AP



Photo: Adam Jones