Africa Media Review for October 3, 2022

In Burkina Faso, the Man Who Once Led a Coup Is Ousted by One
Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who has led the junta ruling the country since the January coup, officially resigned on Sunday after the military assured his security, according to a statement released by religious and community leaders acting as mediators. The resignation appeared to end two days of tensions in the capital, Ouagadougou, between factions loyal to Colonel Damiba and the man who has now replaced him, Capt. Ibrahim Traoré. Captain Traoré was designated as president until a transitional leader could be named, according to a statement read on national television. No timeline was provided. New York Times

West African Mediators Head to Burkina Faso Following Coup
Regional mediators were headed to Burkina Faso on Monday in the wake of the West African country’s second coup this year amid concern the latest power grab could further postpone elections and deepen the region’s Islamic extremist violence. News that the delegation from the regional bloc known as ECOWAS is traveling to the capital, Ouagadougou, came after diplomats confirmed that Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba had left for the neighboring nation of Togo following talks mediated by religious leaders. Burkina Faso’s new leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, 34, is officially head of state pending future elections, the junta announced Sunday. While ECOWAS, a 15-nation West African bloc, had reached an agreement to hold a new vote by July 2024, it remained unclear whether that date would still hold. AP

Burkina Faso: France Condemns Attacks on Embassy in Ouagadougou Following Military Coup
Angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso attacked the French embassy in the capital, Ouagadougou on Saturday, 1 October. They were protesting in support of the country’s new military leader, Ibrahim Traore and accused France of harbouring interim president Lt Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who was ousted on Friday…In a statement, France said the security of its compatriots was its priority following the military coup. Meanwhile, protesters shouted angry, anti-France slogans including: “We don’t want France anymore. We no longer want France to be in Africa” and “Down with France.” AfricaNews with AFP

Junta Set to Stay in Power After Chad Delays Elections by Two Years
Chad has adopted resolutions that push back democratic elections by two years and allow interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby to stay in power and be eligible to run for president in the eventual vote. The decisions have dismayed some opposition forces and defy repeated warnings from the African Union, the United States and other foreign powers that the junta must not monopolise power by extending the transition or fielding presidential candidates. The military authorities originally promised an 18-month transition to elections when Deby seized power in April 2021 after his father, President Idriss Deby, was killed on the battlefield during a conflict with insurgents. Under the new plan, approved on Saturday, the transition that was due to end this October has been extended by two years, meaning elections would take place around October 2024. Reuters

Presidential Poll Postponed in Separatist Somali Region
A presidential poll in the separatist Somali region of Somaliland has been postponed for “technical and financial reasons,” the electoral commission said Saturday. Muse Bihi Abdi was elected president of the self-proclaimed republic on the Horn of Africa on a five-year mandate in 2017 and the election was scheduled for November 13, a month before his term expires. But the head of the electoral commission, Muse Yusuf, said technical and financial issues meant the poll could not go ahead. Yusuf told a news conference in the capital Hargeisa that electoral lists were yet to be drawn up and “in such a short time frame it is not possible to organize the election.” The commission did not indicate a potential new date, saying only there would be “a nine-month delay from October 1, 2022.” Voice of America

Uganda Races to Contain a Deadly Ebola Outbreak
An outbreak of Ebola in Uganda, caused by a strain for which there is no approved vaccine or drug treatment, is fanning fears across East Africa, as the authorities race to contain the virus that has already caused 35 confirmed infections and seven deaths. Scientists and health officials are now pushing to start clinical trials for two experimental vaccines to protect against this strain, which originated in Sudan in 1976. Even though there are relatively new and powerful Ebola vaccines, they do not protect against the Sudan strain — complicating efforts to quickly stamp out the disease before it overburdens the nation’s fragile health care system. New York Times

African Climate Summit Opens in DR Congo
Environment ministers from about 50 countries will gather in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday for a “pre-COP27” climate summit, with rich nations likely to come under pressure to raise spending to combat climate change. The talks in the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, are informal but meant to allow various countries and green groups to take stock of political positions ahead of COP27 — the United Nations climate gathering of world leaders in Egypt next month. An opening ceremony will take place in the Congolese parliament building in Kinshasa, followed by discussions on mitigating climate change, and providing funding for countries already damaged by global heating and severe weather events. AFP

Congo Says Martial Law Has Brought Calm. Yet Violence Is Rising
Eastern Congo has been on fire, on and off, for three decades. Last year Congo’s president, Félix Tshisekedi, declared a “state of siege” in two especially violent provinces, North Kivu and Ituri. That meant imposing martial law and dispatching generals to replace politicians. The soldiers claim to have restored a measure of peace. “Before we got here, there was almost total insecurity,” says General Johnny Luboya N’Kashama, the governor of Ituri. “People were walking freely in the streets with the heads of their victims.” Now, he suggests, things are much better…At Irumu, Colonel Heineken boasts that he and his men are keeping the town safe from a plundering militia. No one contradicts him to his face. But conversations with locals out of the soldiers’ sight hint at a more nuanced story. Economist

Continental Court Rescues Morocco as Sahrawi Splits African Union
In September, two things happened—Kenya announced, then immediately rescinded a declaration that it will no longer recognise independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Two weeks later, the African Court of Human and People’s Rights dismissed push to have Morocco expelled from the African Union ostensibly to protect Sahrawi’s sovereignty. Both events marked a continual battle to decide the future of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The African Court, on September 22, said it could not compel the eight African countries sued in the matter to front a motion to expel Morocco because there was no clarity on whether, in fact, they had supported Morocco’s re-admission motion in 2017. East African

Sudan: 49 Protesters Injured During Anti-Coup Protests This Week
On Thursday, thousands of people marched in the capital, Khartoum, along with Dongola in the north, Gedaref in the east, and Wad Madani in the centre of the country, in support of the restoration of the civilian transitional government. In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the Socialist Doctors Association stated that “the Khartoum convoys documented 49 injuries as a result of the extreme repression conducted by the police, who fired tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.” The statement noted that 29 demonstrators were wounded by tear gas, including one critical case, in addition to seven injuries caused by sound bombs and two injuries caused by rubber bullets, including one to the eye, in addition to other injuries, such as stabbings with sharp objects. Sudan Tribune

Another Chibok Girl and Her Twin Babies Rescued by Nigerian Troops
Yana Pogu, one of the 270 abducted Chibok schoolgirls, on Thursday, Sept. 29, regained her freedom as soldiers from the Nigerian army raided another enclave of insurgents where she was found nursing a set of twins that she delivered four months ago.  Pogu also had two other older children with her when she was rescued.  Military sources familiar with the development informed HumAngle that the nursing mother who was found in a poor state of health was rescued at the Bula Dawo axis of the Sambisa forest in Bama local government area, Borno state, Northeast Nigeria.  The said troops carrying out the counterinsurgency operation in the region, codenamed Operation Hadin Kai,  fought into the fortified enclave of the insurgents and rescued many civilians, including the Chibok girl and her set of twins. HumAngle

Zimbabwe: Activist Tsitsi Dangarembga Vows to Appeal Conviction
The prominent novelist and activist and her co-accused were given a suspended prison sentence or to pay a 70,000 Zimbabwean dollar fine (€110, $110). Handing down the verdict on Thursday, a Harare magistrate said the state had proven the two had committed a crime.  “The state managed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the court has found the accused persons guilty as charged,” said magistrate Barbara Mateko in her judgment. “Clearly they wanted to pass a message. It was not peaceful at all. They were expressing opinions, and it was meant to provoke.”…The southern African country has been in a deep economic and political crisis since the overthrow of the late longtime President Robert Mugabe and the subsequent takeover by his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in 2017. Lengthy detentions and trials for Zimbabwean activists and government critics have been increasing. More than 1,000 individuals are estimated to be facing trial for various human rights-related “crimes” in the last three years, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. DW



Photo: Adam Jones