Africa Media Review for October 3, 2017

At Least 17 Killed in Cameroon Anglophone Unrest: Sources
At least 17 people were killed over the weekend in clashes linked to a symbolic declaration of independence by Cameroon’s anglophone minority, concurring sources said on Monday. Amnesty International said “at least” 17 people were killed by security forces in the country’s two English-speaking regions, a figure that concurred with a toll given by official sources, who said two Nigerians were among the dead. An earlier tally compiled by AFP put the death toll at seven, who were shot dead by security forces. AFP

Will ‘Ambazonia’ Become Africa’s Newest Country?
The name Ambazonia comes from the Ambas Bay. The bay which is located in southwestern Cameroon is considered as the boundary between Southern Cameroons and the Republic of Cameroon. In 1858, British missionary Alfred Saker founded a settlement for freed slaves at the bay which was later renamed Victoria. Britain established Ambas Bay Protectorate in 1884 with Victoria as its capital. The region was later ceded to Germany in 1887. When Germany lost her African colonies during the First World War (1914-1918), Cameroon ceased to be a German colony in 1916. The country was given the status of a League of Nations mandate in 1919, it was administered by both Britain and France. Deutsche Welle

2 Ugandan Opposition Lawmakers’ Homes Hit by Grenade Attacks  
Attackers lobbed explosive devices at the residences of two opposition lawmakers in assaults that the legislators said are related to their resistance to attempts to extend the long-time president’s time in office. No one was hurt in the blasts Monday night, but the lawmakers, Allan Sewanyana and Robert Kyagulanyi, said Tuesday they believe their lives are in danger. Tensions are rising in Uganda as opposition leaders try to mobilize support against legislation to remove a constitutional age limit that bars anyone over 75 from becoming president. Writing on Facebook, Kyagulanyi, a pop star with a large following in the capital Kampala, said he has been getting “death threats on an almost daily basis” after he opposed the bill. AP

Mozambique’s President Nyusi to Run for Re-Election, Promises Peace
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi will run for re-election in 2019, his ruling Frelimo party said on Monday, a step towards a vote meant to end sporadic clashes. Nyusi is expected to square off with opposition Renamo party leader Afonso Dhlakama, whose supporters have fought with government forces since a disputed election three years ago. Both leaders met for the first time since 2015 in August, raising hopes of a resolution to the conflict, whose scale is difficult to gauge because fighting takes place mostly in the remote interior. Nyusi told delegates at the ruling party’s conference he would continue with efforts for peace Dhlakama, who has been in hiding at the Gorongosa mountains with hundreds of fighters. Reuters

Civilians among Dozens of Casualties from Clashes in Libyan Smuggling Hub
At least five civilians were killed and 12 others wounded among dozens of casualties in recent fighting in the Libyan migrant smuggling hub of Sabratha, the United Nations said on Monday. Sabratha’s university hospital has twice been hit by shelling, rendering the emergency and surgery units unusable, the U.N. Libya mission said in a statement. The clashes have pitted the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a powerful armed group previously known for migrant smuggling, against the Operations Room to combat the Islamic State, a group formed last year to oust jihadists from Sabratha. The fighting broke out when a Dabbashi brigade member was shot dead at a checkpoint, but the brigade’s head has said the underlying cause was the group’s move to stop the departure of migrant boats to Italy following a deal with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. Reuters

South Sudan Rival Forces Resume Clashes in Bieh State
Rival forces in South Sudan conflict have resumed clashes in Bieh state after armed opposition loyal to the former first vice president Riek Machar captured a county commissioner with several officials. The pro-government opposition faction under the first vice president Taban Deng Gai issued a statement on Sunday saying Security Tension at its highest level in Bieh state. The security situation in Waat, Bieh state remain a big concern following today’s clashes between the anti-peace elements and SPLA-IO in collaboration with government forces. This morning around 6:00 Am, our forces came under heavy fire from the armed groups under Machar but they were repulsed back, the statement carrying the name of Col.Dickson Gatluak Jock, spokesman of the SPLA-IO under Taban reads. Sudan Tribune

Sudan-U.S. Relations Witnessing “Great Leap”: Ghandour
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said he held “frank and straightforward” talks with the U.S. officials on Sudan’s sanctions which led to a great leap in relations between the two countries. Sudan’s top diplomat had recently returned to Khartoum from a trip to the U.S. where he led Sudan’s delegation to the 72nd meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. On Monday, Ghandour briefed President Omer al-Bashir on the outcome of his visit to Washington and New York and the meetings he held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Following the meeting, Ghandour told reporters that he held lengthy discussions with President Donald Trump’s homeland security advisor, Tom Bossert, on Khartoum’s ties with Washington and Sudan’s efforts to fight against terrorism. Sudan Tribune

UNHCR: Countries Increasingly Using Refugees as Political Football
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, warns that asylum for people fleeing war and persecution is eroding as countries increasingly use refugees as a political football to further their local and national interests. As the UNHCR opened its annual weeklong refugee conference in Geneva, the agency reports a record 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced by war and persecution worldwide as of the end of last year, including 22.5 million refugees who had crossed international borders. So far this year, the UNHCR reports more than two million people have fled their countries as refugees. In a somber assessment of the current global situation, Grandi noted that in just five weeks, half a million Rohingya refugees have fled terrifying violence in Myanmar. During the same period, he says more than 50,000 refugees were fleeing South Sudan, 18,000 were escaping fierce clashes in the Central African Republic – and the list goes on. VOA

Kenyan Police Fire Tear Gas at Opposition Protesters
Before a rerun presidential election, supporters of Kenya’s opposition have called for electoral officials to be sacked and demanded the ruling party is blocked from changing voting laws. In the opposition strongholds of Kisumu and Siaya, police on Monday fired tear gas at protesters who jammed roads and burned tyres. Security forces hurled fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators in the capital, Nairobi. The nationwide demonstrations were called by Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, on Thursday. He has promised that protests will take place twice a week until the demonstrators’ demands are met. Al Jazeera

Somali Security Forces Launch Sweep in Mogadishu, Dozens Arrested
Dozens of people were arrested in Mogadishu in a joint operation carried out by the Somali police and Intelligence officers, targeting individuals suspected to have links with militants. Government forces and African Union troops raided homes of suspected militants in the capital’s Wardhigley, Yaqshiid and Heliwa districts last night, nabbing over 50 people. The local resident, speaking to Radio Shabelle via phone, said the massive security sweep began in the evening and continued until the midnight. He said the detained suspects who are being held in custody will be questioned with a view to getting more information from them. Radio Shabelle

‘Go Kabila Go’: New Effort to Oust DR Congo President despite Fear of Violence
Opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have called for a new effort to oust President Joseph Kabila, who has yet to set dates for elections in the vast central African state despite his second term expiring nine months ago. “The people are tired,” said Martin Fayulu, an opposition member of parliament, as he called for a month-long campaign of civil disobedience. “They want elections and they want Kabila to go before the end of the year. Even football crowds are now chanting ‘Go Kabila Go’,” said Fayulu, who heads the Engagement for Citizenship and Development party. Other prominent opposition figures have also told their supporters they should prepare for street protests and strikes in the coming weeks to put pressure on DRC’s ruler, who has held power since 2001. The Guardian

Zimbabwe Dollar Dearth Causes Shortages, Return of Inflation
Zimbabwe’s money shortage has seen card and mobile-money payments eclipse cash sales at the nation’s retailers, throttling suppliers’ stock of hard currency needed to put goods on shelves and forcing up food prices, with dollars fetching a premium. Cash transactions have shrunk to about 2 percent of daily takings across the 33-store Spar Zimbabwe chain, from 60 percent a year ago, Managing Director Terence Yeatman said. Consumer prices as measured by the statistics agency rose 0.1 percent in August from a year earlier, it said on Sept. 15. “About 60 percent of stock on any supermarket shelf is imported,” and without sufficient dollars, inflation on imported goods is as much as 60 percent a year, Yeatman said at the Groombridge branch in the capital, Harare. “Suppliers are obviously concerned because the hard currency isn’t there.”  Bloomberg

Bad Medicine: The Toxic Fakes at the Heart of an International Criminal Racket
Sometimes the vials are filled with dirty water. Occasionally they contain saline and a tiny amount of antibiotic, so as not to infect the site of the vaccination and draw attention to its true ingredients. But however good or bad the disguise, the fact is that these “vaccines” will actually have no effect at all. The recent news that another batch of fake meningitis vaccine had been discovered in Niger is just the most recent incidence of a particularly dangerous and cruel criminal racket. As many as 1,500 cases have been reported to a surveillance database launched by the World Health Organization in 2013, and that’s probably an underestimate, says Mick Deats, head of the substandard and falsified medicines group at WHO. The latest fake was discovered because the manufacturer listed on the packaging of vaccine is a well-regarded Brazilian pharmaceutical company, Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz. A pharmacist in Niger’s capital, Niamey, became suspicious of one batch because she didn’t recognise the packaging. She contacted the manufacturer in Brazil, which confirmed that it doesn’t manufacture this particular vaccine. It informed the WHO, which quickly sent out a worldwide alert. The Guardian

Ahead of a Ban, China’s Illegal Ivory Market Has Moved to Laos
The world’s fastest growing ivory market is tiny land-locked Laos, one of the poorest countries in Asia. According to a new report from the Kenya-based nonprofit Save the Elephants, efforts in China, the world’s largest ivory consumer, to stop the illicit ivory trade have only pushed the industry to new markets. In Laos, more than 30 Chinese-run shops have sprung up in the capital of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, the ancient Laotian capital. These stores, often in Chinese hotels and casinos, openly sell everything from carved ivory tusks and jewelry to ivory chopsticks and pens alongside alongside Chinese herbal tea and other souvenirs. The shops are focused on the Chinese clientele; most didn’t even speak English or any of the local languages in Laos, according to the researchers. Quartz

Obesity Was Rising as Ghana Embraced Fast Food. Then Came KFC.
Ghana, a coastal African country of more than 28 million still etched with pockets of extreme poverty, has enjoyed unprecedented national prosperity in the last decade, buoyed by offshore oil. Though the economy slowed abruptly not long ago, it is rebounding and the signs of new fortune are evident: millions moving to cities for jobs, shopping malls popping up and fast food roaring in to greet people hungry for a contemporary lifestyle. Chief among the corporate players is KFC, and its parent company, YUM!, which have muscled northward from South Africa — where KFC has about 850 outlets and a powerful brand name — throughout sub-Saharan Africa: to Angola, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and beyond. The company brings the flavors that have made it popular in the West, seasoned with an intangible: the symbolic association of fast food with rich nations. But KFC’s expansion here comes as obesity and related health problems have been surging. Public health officials see fried chicken, french fries and pizza as spurring and intensifying a global obesity epidemic that has hit hard in Ghana — one of 73 countries where obesity has at least doubled since 1980. In that period, Ghana’s obesity rates have surged more than 650 percent, from less than 2 percent of the population to 13.6 percent, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research center at the University of Washington. The New York Times



Photo: Adam Jones