Africa Media Review for September 30, 2022

Gunfire Heard in Burkina Faso, Sparking Mutiny Fears
Gunfire rang out early Friday in Burkina Faso’s capital and the state broadcaster went off the air, sparking fears of a mutiny nine months after a military coup d’etat overthrew the country’s president. It was not immediately known where Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba was in the West African country. He had given a speech the day before in Djibo, in the north of Burkina Faso. Last week, Damiba had travelled to New York where he addressed the U.N. General Assembly as the country’s coup leader-turned-president. AfricaNews and Euronews with AP

Ivorian Soldiers Detained in Mali: West African Mediation Meets the Head of the Junta
A high-level mission dispatched to Mali by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met Thursday, September 29, the head of the junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta, to try to resolve the diplomatic crisis with the Côte d’Ivoire, AFP correspondents reported. Progress appears to have been made towards releasing the 46 soldiers held in Mali since July 10…The mission was made up of Ghanaian and Gambian Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo and Adama Barrow and Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey, who represented President Faure Gnassingbé. Globe Echo

Mali Says It Will Not Respect Regional Sanctions on Guinea
Mali does not respect and will not apply sanctions imposed by West Africa’s main political and economic bloc on neighbouring Guinea in the wake of last year’s coup, Mali’s interim prime minister said on Wednesday. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) last week imposed sanctions on Guinea’s ruling junta for taking too long to organise elections and restore democracy after seizing power last year…He also said Mali would, if necessary, take measures to assist Guinea in order to counteract the effect of the sanctions. It was not immediately clear what impact Mali’s refusal to implement sanctions could have. Reuters

After Shocking Stadium Massacre, Guinea Finally Tries Its Former Leaders
The 9-year-old girl headed to the soccer stadium with her friends on a rainy Monday to join thousands of people protesting Guinea’s junta government, calling for democracy. But the singing and dancing turned to mayhem when security forces opened fire, Djenabou Bah later recounted. She tried to run but soldiers caught her. They repeatedly stabbed her with bayonets, then raped her…After years of delay, this West African country has begun trying the officials — including former president Moussa Dadis Camara — allegedly responsible for the carnage at the stadium on Sept. 28, 2009, when security forces killed more than 150 civilians and raped more than 100 women, according to a United Nations commission, then tried to cover it up. Washington Post

Zimbabwean Author Tsitsi Dangarembga Found Guilty of Inciting Violence
Renowned Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga has been given a suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of inciting violence by staging a peaceful protest calling for political reform.  Dangarembga and co-accused Julie Barnes were convicted of participating in a public gathering with intent to incite public violence at Harare magistrates court on Thursday. The pair were also each fined 70,000 Zimbabwe dollars (£200). A six-month jail term was suspended for the next five years on condition that the two do not commit a similar offence. Guardian

Tunisia Police Protest to Demand Colleagues’ Release
More than 200 police officers protested in Tunisia’s second city of Sfax on Wednesday to demand the release of eight arrested colleagues and defend their right to unionise, an AFP correspondent said. Responding to a call from the SNSI police union, the plainclothes protesters chanted pro-union slogans and criticised what they called “harassment” and a drive to stifle union rights. Eight officers were arrested on Friday after clashes broke out at a sit-in in Sfax, also organised by the SNSI, that sought to press “social and professional demands”, union spokesperson Chokri Hamada told AFP. AFP

UK Will Resume Relations with Sudan Only Under Civilian Government
The United Kingdom (UK) will resume support and enhance bilateral relations with Sudan only after the reinstatement of a civilian government. There is no sign on the horizon of a political agreement between the political forces and armed groups on the formation of a transitional government in Sudan. For their part, the coup leaders who ousted a civilian-led cabinet in October 2021 say they would hand over power to a civilian cabinet that includes political groups supporting their positions. Sudan Tribune

Uganda Rules Out Ebola Lockdown
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday ruled out imposing a lockdown to contain the highly contagious Ebola virus, saying the country had the capacity to contain the outbreak.  Authorities in the East African nation declared an outbreak in the central district of Mubende last week after the country reported its first fatality from the virus since 2019.  The caseload stood at 24 with five confirmed deaths, Museveni told a televised press briefing.  Some 19 people classified as probable cases had also died, he added, explaining that they were buried before they could be tested for infection. AFP

Felicien Kabuga Played Key Role in Rwanda Genocide, Prosecutors Tell Court
Rwandan tycoon Felicien Kabuga played a “substantial” role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that shocked the world, prosecutors have said at the opening of his trial in The Hague. Once one of Rwanda’s richest men, the 87-year-old Kabuga used his vast wealth to set up hate media that urged ethnic Hutus to kill rival Tutsi “snakes” and supplied the murderous Interahamwe militia with machetes, the prosecution said. The wheelchair-bound Kabuga himself refused to appear for his trial at the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on Thursday due to a dispute over his lawyer. AFP

CAR – Massive Influx of M23 Rebels and Rwandan Soldiers into Bangui
There are reports of a massive influx of March 23 (M23) rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a mix of Rwandan soldiers, into the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, within the past several days. Opposition sources in Bangui have accused President Faustin Archange Touadera of wanting to stage an anti-constitutional coup d’etat, especially after the country’s Constitutional Court last week struck down his attempt to write a new constitution and allow for him to stand for a third term, which provision is not in the current constitution. HumAngle

Tanzania, DR Congo Rank Poorly on Digital Life Quality: Report
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania are among the countries with the worst digital quality of life globally, occasioned by slow internet speed, high costs of internet, and other factors… Kenya was ranked the highest in East Africa, but 78th globally, with Uganda coming second in the region and 98th globally. There was no data on Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. DRC came last, particularly in electronic infrastructure which assesses how developed and inclusive a country’s digital infrastructure is; and in electronic government that assesses how advanced and digitised the government services are. Kinshasa also came last in electronic security, which measures how safe and protected people feel while in the digital space in the country. Uganda was ranked to have the second least affordable internet globally. East African

Shell Acquires Nigerian Renewables Group in First African Power Deal
Shell has made its first power sector acquisition in Africa with the purchase of a Nigerian renewable energy provider, as the oil major seeks to build out a green energy business that will eventually reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Daystar Power, which operates in Nigeria, Ghana and three other countries across west Africa, provides solar power and battery solutions to business and industry across the region, including Nigerian Bottling Co, makers of Coca-Cola in the country. Financial Times

Why Senegal Is Investing in Air Quality in Stadiums
Senegal wants to position itself as a key player in the development of sustainable sports in Africa, by installing air cleaning devices in stadiums and running tracks. The Abdullahi Wade stadium in Dakar has been fitted with air sensors to monitor air quality. An air quality sensor was also recently installed and trees planted at the Diamniadio stadium in Dakar. “Athletes need a good environment and clean air to train optimally and to enable them to give good performances in competitions,” said William Tanui, Kenyan gold medalist at the 800m, 1992 Summer Olympics said at the event. Quartz Africa



Photo: Adam Jones