Africa Media Review for September 22, 2022

Senegal’s Macky Sall Delivered a List of Striking African Demands at This Year’s UNGA
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal and chair of the African Union, sent a direct message to his fellow world leaders: Africa does not want to be the battleground for a proxy war between nations on opposing sides of the Russia-Ukraine war. It was one of the highlights of his address yesterday (Sept. 20) at this year’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York…Sall reminded his colleagues that Africa wants to change this, citing the Ezulwini Consensus where African leaders demanded two permanent seats on the security council. Granting that wish, in addition to a G20 seat, will show the world is prepared to “overcome the reluctance and deconstruct the narratives that persist in confining Africa to the margins of decision-making circles.” Quartz Africa

Senegal Court Upholds Prison Term in Key Case Against Mayor
A Senegalese appeal court on Wednesday confirmed a prison sentence handed down to the mayor of Dakar, convicted of killing a man during a wave of political violence. In a politically-charged case that played out against a backdrop of tensions between the opposition and government, the court upheld the six-month prison term and 18-month suspended sentence. The court “confirms the judgement in all its provisions, dismisses the civil party in all its requests”, the presiding judge said. Dakar Mayor Barthelemy Dias, a fierce opponent of President Macky Sall, had sought to overturn the sentence for the 2011 killing of a wrestler named Ndiaga Diouf during a rally that turned violent. AFP

Biden Condemns Russia as Threat to the World in U.N. Speech
Mr. Biden’s speech, on the second day of the U.N.’s annual gathering of world leaders, came at a moment of extraordinary peril and upheaval, with food shortages, floods, droughts, record heat, a pandemic and inflation. In many of those arenas, the U.N. has seemed either powerless or paralyzed, in part because Russia, as a member of the Security Council, is able to veto resolutions condemning its actions. Mr. Biden seized on the moment to call for U.N. reforms, though few seem imminent…Several heads of state recounted the mounting toll of climate change on impoverished people around the world, including cyclones in Madagascar, drought in the Horn of Africa and flooding in Pakistan. Mr. Biden spoke of the $370 billion in new spending and tax incentives meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that he signed into law last month as evidence of American leadership on fighting climate change. And he announced $2.9 billion in new spending by the United States to address global food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by both the war in Ukraine and climate change. But leaders from Africa and elsewhere used their speeches to push wealthy nations to do more, faster, to stem global temperature rise. New York Times

ECOWAS to Meet in New York to Address Detention of Ivorian Military Detained in Bamako
The Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, announced on Tuesday that an extraordinary summit of the heads of state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will be held on the occasion of the UN General Assembly currently being held in New York. At the meeting, the issue of the 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Mali since July 10 will be on the agenda, Onyeama said in an interview with RFI radio station. “There will be a summit. This is not the first time, as ECOWAS often takes advantage of the fact that all the heads of state are in New York to bring them together to discuss issues that concern the community,” said the head of Nigerian diplomacy. On the question of the 46 Ivorian soldiers recently arrested in Bamako, Onyeama defended that “there is no real evidence that these soldiers were mercenaries.” News 360

Guinea’s Military Ruler in Mali on Eve of ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit
Asssimi Goïta and Mamadi Doumbouya have many topics to discuss. Both countries are still suspended from ECOWAS bodies following their coup d’état. West African leaders will discuss Guinea’s transition timetable in New York, Thursday. The military rulers have suggested staying in power for three years before handing it over to elected civilians.   In the case of Mali, it is the diplomatic row with the Ivory Coast that should be the center of attention. 46 Ivorian soldiers have been detained in Mali since July. Bamako accuses them of being mercenaries; which Abidjan denies. AfricaNews with AFP

Nigeria’s Buhari, in Last UN Speech, Raps Leaders Who Extend Term Limits
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday criticised fellow leaders who extend term limits to cling to power, saying this was having a “corrosive” effect, and promised free and fair elections when the country elects his successor in February. Buhari, 79, who took office after defeating a sitting president in elections in 2015, will make way for a new leader in what would be another peaceful transfer of power, helping cement Nigeria’s democratic credentials in a region prone to coups. Reuters

Nigeria Overtaken by Libya, Angola in Oil Production – OPEC
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has noted that two  oil-producing African countries Angola and Libya have overtaken Nigeria in oil production. Nigeria’s oil capacity has drastically dropped to 972,000 barrels per day in August 2022. This revelation was made known by OPEC in its September 2022 report, confirming the figures released by Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. Nigeria’s crude oil production slumped below one million barrels per day in August 2022, the lowest ever in several years. The News Guru

In Equatorial Guinea, the Presidential Election Brought Forward by Five Months
On Tuesday, September 20, Equatorial Guinea brought forward its presidential election by five months, at the same time as the legislative ones. “The presidential, Chamber of Deputies, Senate and municipal elections are called for November 20, 2022”, according to a decree of the head of state read on the evening news of state television. At the head of the country for forty-three years, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo holds the world record for longevity in power of heads of state still alive, excluding monarchies. The only issue will lie in the designation, before the ballot, of the candidate of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), which occupies 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house and all of the 70 seats in the Senate: Mr. Obiang, 80 , will he run for a new term or will he let his son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed “Teodorin”, succeed him? Globe Echo

DRC: Philemon the ‘Tiger’ Yav Arrested
The lieutenant-general, the strongman of the Congolese army for 25 years, commanded the third defence zone, which includes five provinces in the country’s east. The reason for his arrest is not yet known. Philemon Yav has already experienced a few debacles in his long career as a military commander. This one seems to rank among the most serious. The lieutenant-general was arrested on 20 September in Kinshasa and placed in detention in Makala. Although the reason for this arrest is not yet known, it could be serious, given his stature. Africa Report

Emmanuel Macron Meets Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi over DRC War
French President Emmanuel Macron has met with the leaders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, seeing progress in easing tensions that have flared in recent months. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Macron on Wednesday invited Rwandan President Paul Kagame to lunch with his DR Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi, who a day earlier had accused Kigali of backing rebel attacks in his country. The three leaders together “noted their concerns about the resurgence of violence in the east of the DRC,” the French presidency said in a statement. Nation Africa

Tigrayan Forces Accuse Eritrea of Launching Offensive
Forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region say Eritrea has launched a full-scale offensive and heavy fighting was taking place in several areas along the border in what appears to be an escalation of last month’s renewal of fighting. The Eritreans are fighting alongside Ethiopian federal forces, including commando units, as well as allied militias, said Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), on Tuesday…There was no immediate comment from authorities in Ethiopia or Eritrea, which lies north of Tigray. Al Jazeera

South Sudan Urges UN to Recognise Abyei Referendum
South Sudan has urged the United Nations to recognise the outcomes of a referendum held in the contested oil-producing region in October 2013. Only Dinka Ngok participated in the controversial referendum. About 99% of the Ngok Dinka voted to join South Sudan but governments in Khartoum and Juba declined to recognise it…Akol said people in the disputed area have been marginalized and mistreated for a long time…The 1972 peace deal, which ended the first civil war in Sudan from which South Sudan seceded in 2011, contained a provision that encouraged the President of Sudan to issue an executive order to return Abyei from Kordofan to which it was in 1905 to Bahr el Ghazal State in South Sudan. This provision was never utilised, yet it was an opportunity. Sudan Tribune

Egypt Frees Al Jazeera Journalist Ahmed Al-Najdi
The Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed al-Najdi has been released by Egyptian authorities after spending over two years in detention, without going on trial. Al-Najdi, who works with Al Jazeera Mubasher, the Arabic-language live television unit of the Qatar-based network, was released on Sunday.  He had been detained since August 2020. The Egyptian journalist’s health had been deteriorating, and al-Najdi said that he believed he was “on [his] way to the grave”, in comments made shortly after his release. Al Jazeera



Photo: Adam Jones