Africa Media Review for October 5, 2022

Including Young People for Peace and Security: A Discussion with AU Youth Envoy Chido Mpemba
There are approximately 840 million Africans under the age of twenty-five. This cohort of young people—representing almost one in eight people in the world—is disproportionately affected by, but currently underrepresented in, decisions about security and peacebuilding. The Africa Center spoke to the African Union’s Youth Envoy, Ms. Chido Mpemba, about the need to bring young people around the table and to have their voices heard on initiatives for peace and strengthening national security strategies. She shared perspectives from her conversations with the continent’s youth and about promising programs that the African Union and its partners are pursuing to expand platforms for youth voices on security matters. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Ukraine’s Top Diplomat Tries to Counter Russia’s Narrative on Africa Tour
As Ukraine’s top diplomat began a 10-day tour across Africa this week, he said he would attempt to “better explain Ukraine” to his African counterparts, and why Ukraine needs them against Russia’s aggression. There seems to be much work ahead, based on his first stop, in the West African nation of Senegal. “I arrived here and I hear, ‘This isn’t our war, the West is fighting against Russia’; ‘Russia and Ukraine are one people’; and ‘Russia attacked you because you were going to become a NATO member,’” said Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, describing conversations with Senegalese officials. “Russian narrative has been very present here,” he said on Tuesday in a 30-minute conversation with a group of journalists in Dakar, Senegal’s capital. “Now it’s time for Ukrainian truths.” New York Times

Uganda’s Museveni Removes His Army General Son as ‘Commander’ After Kenya Invasion Tweets
Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has removed his son, Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as the commander of the land forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), after a series of tweets that seem to have sparked a diplomatic tiff with Kenya. However, the defence ministry described the move as a promotion for Kainerugaba, since he is now a general and will remain a senior presidential advisor for special operations… Kainerugaba, who has more than 600 000 Twitter followers, had tweeted about his admiration for his “brother”, the former president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, who stepped down as William Ruto took office last month after general elections. In one of the tweets, he said Kenyatta would have “easily” won re-election, but the two-term limit stopped him. The eccentric army general did not stop there and teased his forces could march into Kenya and take the country without much trouble. News24

Ethiopia: How a New ‘Great War of Africa’ Is Raging Under the Cover of a Media Blackout
Ethiopia is becoming “Africa’s world war” with tens of thousands of deaths in the last few months potentially going unreported as Tigrayan rebels battle a coalition of armies and militias in a media blackout…Ethiopian federal forces, Eritrean soldiers and allied ethnic militias have been battling Tigrayan rebels in a desperate infantry war on four fronts across the Tigray region’s mountainous terrain since a fragile ceasefire shattered in late August. But there has been hardly any reporting on the conflict after the Ethiopia government cut phone and internet lines to the region and almost completely stopped media access to hide the extent of the fighting. The Telegraph

Ethiopia Agrees to Peace Talks with Tigrayan Rebels
The Ethiopian government announced on Wednesday that it had accepted an invitation from the African Union (AU) to hold peace talks with rebels in the northern region of Tigray, without specifying a date or location…If Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, attends the proposed talks between Tigray and Ethiopia, it will be the most significant effort ever to end the war between the two countries. No details of the participants have been released yet, including whether neighboring Eritrea has been invited. The tiger rebels have always said they would refuse to allow Asmara to attend any talks. AfricaNews with AP

South Sudan Gov’t, Holdout Groups to Resume Peace Talks
South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and representatives of a section of the holdout rebel groups are due to attend peace talks in Rome, despite allegations of ceasefire violations in Western  Equatoria state. Negotiations between the government and holdout opposition groups started in 2019. In 2020, members of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) met and held talks with the government. The parties, at the end of the talks, agreed to take part in a cessation of hostility agreement brokered by the Rome-based Sant’Egidio community. Sudan Tribune

DR Congo Appoints New Army Chief as Part of Military Reforms
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has replaced the head of the country’s armed forces as part of broader military reforms aimed at boosting efficiency. In a statement from the presidency on Monday, Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, former commander of the Republican Guard, an elite unit in charge of protecting the head of state, was named as the new army chief of staff, replacing Célestin Mbala Musense. Al Jazeera

Guinea Opposition Spurns Talks with Junta
Opposition forces in Guinea on Monday spurned the ruling junta’s offer of dialogue, accusing it of authoritarian rule and “unacceptable” violations of fundamental rights…On Monday, groups claiming to have won 95 percent of votes in elections held over the past decade decried the “unilateralism that presided over the creation of this dialogue framework” and its “subordination” to the junta. The talks mechanism provides for three national “facilitators” appointed by the prime minister and supported by a mediator named by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS. AFP

Liberia Seizes $100 Million Worth of Cocaine
Liberian authorities on Monday said they had seized some $100 million worth of cocaine, with help from the United States’ international narcotics agency. Liberian Justice Minister Musa Dean told reporters the national Drug Enforcement Agency, with help from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, had made the seizure Saturday in Topoe village, a western suburb of the capital Monrovia. The operation led “to the seizure of $100 million worth of pure cocaine”, he said. A Guinea-Bissau national and a Lebanese suspect were arrested, he added. Channels

Sudan Faces ‘Generational Catastrophe’ as Millions of Children Miss School
Nearly every school-age child in Sudan is missing out on education, either completely or facing serious disruption, aid organisations have warned. Schools in some states reopened this week after delays due to severe flooding but millions of children are still unable to go, leaving the country facing a “generational catastrophe.” Poverty, a lack of qualified teachers and strikes by teaching staff, the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic and low vaccination rates are among the many factors that have contributed to the crisis…The worst-affected state is central Darfur, where 63% of children do not go to school; in West Darfur the figure is 58%; and in eastern Kassala state it is 56%. Guardian

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth to Drop to 3.3% This Year, World Bank Says
Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to grow 3.3% this year, down from 4.1% in 2021, the World Bank said on Tuesday, due to slowing global growth, drought, increased risk of debt distress and rising inflation made worse by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The 2022 forecast was cut from a prediction of 3.6% made in its last biannual update in April, as the bank slashed projections for Nigeria and South Africa, two of Africa’s largest economies, plus Ghana, which is battling an economic crisis. Reuters

African Countries to Push for More Fossil Fuel Projects at COP27
African countries will use the COP27 climate talks in Egypt next month to advocate for a common energy position that sees fossil fuels as necessary to expanding economies and electricity access, the continent’s top energy official said on Tuesday. The African position, criticised by environmental groups, could overshadow global climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh seeking to build on the previous Glasgow summit and make good on financing targets by rich nations to poorer countries that have fallen far short of the promised $100 billion a year by 2020. Reuters