Africa Media Review for September 28, 2018

Twenty-Seven Killed in Clashes within Tribe in Mali
Twenty-seven people were killed in clashes between members of the same Tuareg tribe in Mali’s troubled northeast earlier this week, the West African state’s security ministry said Thursday. Previous reports said 12 people had died in the violence on Tuesday, which took place in a region near the Niger border affected by chronic unrest between local tribes and jihadist militants. “Clashes occurred in the area of Inekar, 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of the town of Menaka, between members of the Idourfane community,” a Tuareg tribe, the ministry said in a statement. “This unfortunate event has unfortunately cost the lives of 27 people, and injured one.” Army troops supported by police have been deployed to the region to stabilise the situation and “find out the motive for such a violent outburst within a single community”. AFP

7 Mali Soldiers, Driver Killed after Vehicles Hit Explosives
Mali’s defense minister says seven soldiers and a driver were killed after two military vehicles hit explosive devices. The minister said in a statement Thursday that the vehicles hit the explosives on Wednesday between Bambaramaoude and Douentza. Also Thursday, the minister of security and civilian protection reported that the death toll from attacks on a nomadic community that began Tuesday night had risen from 12 to 27. Armed men attacked the Iboghilitane community about 45 kilometers (25 miles) west of Menaka near the Niger border. No group has claimed responsibility. A member of the investigative team said residents described decapitations and gunshots. He said most of the victims had been buried by late Wednesday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the case with journalists. AP

Eight Killed in Cameroon’s Anglophone Region
Six civilians and two police officers were killed in Cameroon’s volatile English-speaking South West Region, where violence has mounted ahead of next month’s presidential vote, sources close to security services and locals said. On Wednesday, two police officers were killed and a policewoman injured on the outskirts of the beach resort town of Limbe in an area housing anglophone separatists, the source said. “The attackers took the victims by surprise while they were on duty and fled with two weapons,” the source added. In nearby Buea, the capital of the South West Region, police shot dead six civilians and injured another on Thursday, witnesses said. The incident was corroborated by a security source in the Cameroon capital Yaounde.  The Punch

US Keeps Training Cameroon Troops but Urges Accountability in Criminal Probe
As Cameroonian authorities investigate horrific crimes that appear to be have been committed by government soldiers in the Far North Region, the U.S. military is calling for accountability while it continues to provide training to its Cameroonian counterparts. “The Cameroonian government has taken recent steps to increase transparency and address allegations of gross violations of human rights seriously, but the government has not yet released information specific to its investigations,” Pentagon spokeswoman Air Force Maj. Sheryll Klinkel said Thursday in an email to VOA. The Pentagon is continuing to work with the State Department to “ensure the government of Cameroon holds accountable any individuals found to be responsible,” Klinkel added. Cameroonian authorities arrested seven Cameroonian soldiers after two videos circulated on social media. One video showed what were alleged to be Cameroonian forces shooting two women and two small children, while another showed what appeared to be Cameroonian security forces shooting at least a dozen unarmed civilians during a counterterror operation in the Far North Region. VOA

Congo’s Kabila Tells UN to Withdraw Troops
Congolese President Joseph Kabila has called on UN peacekeepers to leave his country, lambasting two decades of inaction. Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Kabila vowed to “oppose any interference in the electoral process under way” stating that his government would cover the full cost. “Despite the enormous challenges that still lay on our path, I reaffirm the irreversible character of holding the elections planned for the end of this year,” President Kabila told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. The vote for a new president has been delayed for two years, but Kabila insists polls will go ahead as planned on 23 December. “Everything will be implemented in order to guarantee the peaceful and credible character of these polls.”  RFI

Leader-in-Exile Moïse Katumbi Lobbies on Sidelines of UN General Assembly as On/Off Elections Loom
President Joseph Kabila from the Democratic Republic of Congo gave world leaders the undertaking that all is on track for December’s much-postponed elections, but opposition-leader-in-exile, Moïse Katumbi, says Kabila is out of touch. It might fall on South Africa to help pick up the pieces. Moïse Katumbi has not been in his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, for two years, but in an interview this week he said he could still be president. At the very least, the 53-year-old businessman and former governor of the Katanga region wants to see a credible election in December, meaning he wants President Joseph Kabila and his preferred successor, interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, out of government. He’s lobbying sympathetic foreign leaders to help make this happen. “Kabila knows if I stand, I will win the election. People know my achievement as governor,” he said. Daily Maverick

UN Report: Peace Impossible in CAR without Justice for Victims
A United Nations human rights expert warns true peace in Central African Republic will not be possible without justice for the hundreds of thousands of victims who have suffered violence and human rights abuse during more than five years of civil war. War between the Muslim Seleka and mainly Christian anti-Balaka groups in Central African Republic (CAR) has taken a heavy toll. The U.N. refugee agency reports nearly 582,000 people have fled as refugees to neighboring countries and more than 687,000 are internally displaced. The Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in CAR says some crucial steps have been taken in establishing a system of transitional justice and peace in the country. Marie-Therese Keita Bocoum welcomes these moves but said the success of ongoing reforms can only be assured if they are based on justice for the victims. She said people in the country are still suffering from lack of consultation at all levels.  VOA

EU Approves 1st Budget Support to Somalia as Trust Grows
The European Union says it has approved $116m in its first-ever budget support to Somalia’s government in the latest sign of confidence in a country long shattered by conflict. The EU announcement comes a day after the World Bank said it would provide $80m in direct financing to Somalia’s government for the first time in 27 years, calling it a “milestone.” The EU statement says “this combined response opens entirely new opportunities” in Somalia’s nation-building and will help to increase local authorities’ role in providing basic services. The money from the EU, which calls itself the largest donor to the Horn of Africa nation, will be disbursed until 2021. AP

U.S. Leans on Zimbabwe over Media, Security Laws – U.S. Diplomat
The United States is pressing Zimbabwe to change laws restricting media freedom and anti-government protests, the U.S.’s top diplomat for Africa told Reuters on Wednesday amid calls by the country’s new leader for U.S. sanctions to be lifted. “The Zimbabweans absolutely understand exactly the U.S. point of view,” said Tibor Nagy, who was recently sworn in as U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa. The laws Nagy referred to include the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which restrict media freedoms and bars foreign correspondents from working in Zimbabwe full time. The other is the Public Order and Security Act, which is used by the security agencies to prohibit anti-government protests and arrest pro-opposition activists. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from 93-year-old Robert Mugabe in 2017 after the intervention of the military, has called for U.S. sanctions to be lifted against him, officials from the ZANU-PF ruling party, top military figures and some government-owned firms, imposed during Mugabe’s rule for violations of human rights and democracy.  Reuters

South Africa, UAE Sign Extradition Treaty That May Target Gupta Brothers
South Africa has signed an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates, the justice minister said on Thursday, raising the prospect of the Gupta brothers, friends of former president Jacob Zuma, returning to face corruption charges. The Indian-born brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – have been accused of using their ties with Zuma to siphon off billions of rand in state funds and of inappropriately influencing cabinet appointments. The Guptas are believed to be in Dubai where they own property and businesses and police have issued an arrest warrant for Ajay Gupta over a corruption case. The Guptas and Zuma, who have repeatedly denied wrongdoing, could not be reached for comment. Justice Minister Michael Masutha told Reuters that treaties on extradition and legal assistance had been signed with his counterpart Sultan Saeed Al Badi on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. Reuters

Ramaphosa: ‘Where There Has Been Wrongdoing There Will Be Accountability’
In February, Cyril Ramaphosa became president of South Africa after Jacob Zuma, his corruption-tainted predecessor, stepped down amid mounting scandals. While many South Africans and international observers were encouraged by his accession, Ramaphosa faces tough challenges: an economy in recession, a brewing battle over land reform, and opposition from some corners of his deeply divided party, the African National Congress. This week, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, Jonathan Tepperman, sat down with Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York to discuss his vision for South Africa’s future. What follows is an excerpt of their conversation, edited for grammar and concision. Foreign Policy

Sudan Accepts UN Humanitarian Proposal for the Two-Areas
Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) Thursday agreed UN initiative to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the rebel-controlled areas in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. In a press conference held in Khartoum, HAC General Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam made the government official declaration adding they received the initiative earlier this year for the first time and was renewed last June. He further said that they delayed their response because they were waiting for the SPLM-N’s response to the U.S. proposal which is part of the initiative. Khartoum refuses the delivery of relief from outside the country to the rebel areas as it is part of the rebel demands. Also, the government wants to oversight food distribution in the rebel-held areas fearing that rebel fighters benefit from it.  Sudan Tribune

South Sudanese Women Want Political Quota Respected
South Sudanese women leaders are calling on the president to give 35 percent of executive appointments to women, as agreed to in the recently revitalized peace deal. On Tuesday, President Salva Kiir appointed 10 people to a committee tasked with starting the process to create South Sudan’s envisioned transitional government. Only one of the 10 are women. Mary Ayen Majok, a member of the transition legislative assembly, told VOA Wednesday that she is unhappy the women’s quota wasn’t met. “The 35 [percent] affirmative action is not implemented,” Majok said. ‘’For us, honestly we feel bad about it because it means that the parties are not faithful to what they agreed upon.’’ Regina Joseph Kaba represents a faction of the Former Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Political Detainees (FDS), one of the parties that signed the peace deal in Addis Ababa. She says gender balance is a continuous battle and added that the composition the NPTC committee has not followed the terms of the Addis deal. VOA

Angolan President, One Year In, Praised for Anti-Corruption Push
Even the toughest critics of Angola’s government say that in just more than a year, President Joao Lourenco has accomplished more to stop corruption than any previous Angolan administration. Lourenco took power last September after the retirement of longtime president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, whose cronies and family members are alleged to have controlled every important company and source of wealth in the country. But in the year since the transition, Lourenco has swept away an impressive number of allegedly corrupt top officials who, under dos Santos, were considered untouchable. Most notably, the ex-president’s son Filomeno, who ran the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, was arrested this week on allegations of money-laundering, embezzlement, and fraud. Journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques, who was arrested and put on trial for his corruption exposés during the dos Santos era, says the new president deserves praise.  VOA

Scores Freed from Militia-Run Libya Prison Decried by UN
Libya’s internationally recognised government on Thursday announced the release of 83 prisoners from a jail where the United Nations has documented torture and summary executions. The prison at the Mitiga airbase, one of the biggest detention facilities in the capital Tripoli, is run by the Special Deterrence Force, an Islamist militia that serves as a police force for the Government of National Accord (GNA). Overall 120 people who “already served their sentences or exceeded the legal period in custody” were released across government-held territory, including 83 from Mitiga, GNA spokesperson Mohamad al-Sallak said. The United Nations mission in Libya welcomed the releases from Mitiga and called for “all remaining prisoners” who were arbitrarily detained or had passed the legal pre-trial custody period to be set free. AFP

Zambia’s Social Media Tax Isn’t Really about Social Media or Freedom of Speech
Following the examples of Uganda and Tanzania, Zambia announced in August that it plans to implement an internet tax. President Edgar Lungu’s government aims to tax over-the-top services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber. […] A tax of 30 ngwe (3 cents) on 2 million users could lead to a profit of around 600,000 kwacha (nearly $50,000) a day, he explains. For debt-ridden Zambia, the revenue from the social media tax sounds like a lot. Last year, after paying off debts and public servants’ salaries, Zambia only had 23% left of domestic revenue, according to a report by the Center for Trade Policy and Development. “Its just desperation,” said Tevor Simumba, an economist with the center. “The government sees it as a way to collect more revenue and reduce the usage of over the top services.”  Quartz

Ethiopia to Mauritius: How Will Africa Match Jobs to Its Population Boom?
There’s a speech that the Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has been taking around African countries these past few years. Last autumn the venue was South Africa’s capital, Cape Town, and the issue was among the most pressing facing the continent: how its economies can grow fast enough to keep up with the world’s most sharply expanding and youthful populations, which will include three-quarters of the additional 4 billion people on the planet by the end of this century. It is a problem that has been troubling many, including the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. And Stiglitz’s message is not entirely reassuring. The Asian miracle of manufacturing export-led growth, he told his audience bluntly, can’t and won’t be repeated in sub-Saharan Africa. Something different is needed, he said. The question, however, is precisely what.  The Guardian

‘Africa Has a Responsibility to Its Young People,’ Ghana’s President Says
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo reacted to the ongoing migrant crisis, in particular the exodus of young Africans to Europe. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Akufo-Addo said African nations have a “responsibility” to help create opportunities for their citizens at home. “We have a responsibility to our young people… to create the conditions that will make sure that they see opportunity in their own countries of birth and origin,” Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo told FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman.  France 24



Photo: Adam Jones