Africa Media Review for September 8, 2022

Seven Takeaways from Kenya’s Consequential Election
Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld the results of the August 2022 presidential election affirming that Deputy President William Samoei Arap Ruto will be Kenya’s fifth president. Ruto garnered 50.5 percent of the vote versus Raila Odinga’s 48.9 percent—a difference of 233,000 votes out of more than 14 million cast. Most distinctively, the electoral process was conducted in a markedly more transparent, competitive, and democratic climate than any previous Kenyan election. Understanding the factors that contributed to this higher standard, therefore, is vital to normalizing these measures—in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Egypt Files Criminal Charges Against Four Journalists over One Article
Four journalists from one of Egypt’s last independent news outlets were charged with criminal offenses on Wednesday, in the government’s latest attempt to intimidate and punish the publication for its reporting. The charges — publishing fake news, misusing social media and insulting members of Parliament — stemmed from an article that the outlet, Mada Masr, published last week on a corruption inquiry and impending leadership shake-up in the political party that dominates Parliament, the Nation’s Future Party. The party is closely associated with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Under Mr. el-Sisi, who came to power after a military takeover in 2013, Egypt has stamped out even minor forms of dissent and has muzzled the news media, jailing dozens of journalists, using the security services to buy up outlets and blocking uncooperative news sites. New York Times

African Nations Meet in Egypt for Climate Funds Ahead of COP27
Officials from two dozen African nations and US climate envoy John Kerry are due to gather in Egypt from Wednesday for a conference to drum up funding for tackling climate change. The three-day forum comes days after African leaders lashed out at industrialised nations for failing to show up at a summit in the Dutch city of Rotterdam dedicated to helping African nations adapt to climate impacts. It also comes two months before Egypt hosts the crucial COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November. The African continent emits only around three percent of global CO2 emissions, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon noted this week. And yet African nations are among those most exposed to climate impacts, notably worsening droughts and floods. The forum will be held in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital 50 kilometres east of Cairo. AFP

Climate Migration: Kenyan Woman Loses Nearly All to Lake
Winnie Keben had felt blessed to be raising her children in her husband’s childhood home in the community of Kampi ya Samaki – just over a quarter mile (500 meters) from the shoreline of Lake Baringo. The vast freshwater lake buzzing with birds and aquatic life in the semi-arid volcanic region of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley had long been an oasis. It attracted fishers and international tourists to the community, about a five-hour drive from Nairobi. But over the past decade Lake Baringo has doubled in size, due primarily to heavy rainfall tied to climate change, according to scientists, and its fast-rising waters are increasingly becoming a menace. The expanding lake has swallowed up homes and hotels and brought in crocodiles and hippos that have turned up on people’s doorsteps and in classrooms. “It was not like this in the past,” Keben said. “People would move when the water moves, but it would go back soon enough.” AP

More than 60 Dead in Ethiopian Massacre – Human Rights Commission
More than 60 people were killed in late August in a new massacre in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, the country’s largest and most populous, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said Tuesday. The EHRC, a statutorily independent public institution, said in a statement that it had “learned from residents and officials that in two days of attacks, more than 60 people were killed, more than 70 injured and homes and livestock looted. More than 20,000 people were displaced by the attacks, which targeted several communities in the Amuru woreda (district) in the Horo-Gudru administrative area between August 29 and 31, “after the security forces deployed in the area left for another location,” EHRC reported. The EHRC said the attacks were carried out by armed men from localities in the district or neighboring Amhara region after three members of the Amhara community were killed by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in an operation by the Oromo rebel group active in the area. AfricaNews with AFP

UN Reports “Forced” Recruitment of Ethiopian Refugees in Sudan
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Wednesday disclosed that forced military recruitment was taking place at refugee camps in eastern Sudan where Ethiopian refugees are sheltered. The alleged report of military recruitment by the UN agency comes days after the resumption of fighting between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian government forces last week, ending a humanitarian truce committed by both parties some six months ago. The UN refugee agency told the BBC Amharic service that it had received “credible reports” months ago of efforts to recruit fighters among the Ethiopian refugees, and sometimes by force. The UNHCR officials said they had reported their concerns to the Sudanese central government and local authorities. Sudan Tribune

Ukraine Says Grain Coming to Somalia, but Russia Skeptical
Ukraine’s president says tons of grain from his country will arrive in the coming weeks in Somalia, where famine approaches and the global crises of food security and climate change put millions at risk. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s comment came as Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the West of sending most of the grain from Ukraine’s reopened ports to Europe instead of poorer and hungrier parts of the world. Speaking at an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, Putin suggested that Russia may talk with Turkey about revising the deal that lifted Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian ports and allowed ships safe passage. Russia has alleged this before, but this is the first time Putin has echoed it. AP

African Union Pushes for Media Safety in Somalia Peace
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is pushing for free media in the country as a good warning tool for future breaches in peace and security. The Mission is supposed to prepare the ground for Somalia’s own security and other institutions to run the country from end of next year. But the Mission’s officials say free and independent media can help point out weaknesses that would otherwise boil to a full blown conflict. “Media professionals have always played an important role in early warning, crisis response and post-conflict interventions. They can effectively contribute to conflict prevention, management and resolution,” Fiona Lortan, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) in Somalia, told a forum in Mogadishu on Monday. Nation

French Judges Drop Rwanda Massacre Charges Against Army Peacekeepers
French judges have dropped a case against French soldiers deployed during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. The men had been accused of complicity in crimes against humanity. Survivors of the June 1994 slaughter in the hills of Bisesero in western Rwanda had accused French troops of deliberately abandoning them to Hutu extremists who murdered hundreds of people in the area. French prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into possible complicity in crimes against humanity in December 2005 after complaints filed by survivors and human rights groups. Judges overseeing the case have opted against proceeding with a trial for the servicemen, in a widely expected decision. RFI

Chad Dialogue Forum Extended for 10 Days
A national dialogue in Chad launched by the country’s military rulers will be extended by 10 days after multiple interruptions, the forum agreed on Tuesday. The so-called inclusive national dialogue aimed at paving the way to restoring civilian rule began last month and was expected to end on September 20. The closing ceremony will now be on September 30. The process has been repeatedly delayed — with major armed rebel groups and opposition parties boycotting it as they say it is a narrow dialogue between the government and those friendly to it. Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno heads a transitional military council of 15 generals after taking power following his father’s death battling rebels in April 2021. He set up the dialogue with a view to holding “free and democratic elections” within 18 months. The forum has yet to begin substantive work to achieve this goal. Its president suspended a sitting on Saturday until Monday to give more time to a committee seeking to persuade the boycotting groups to join the dialogue. Jordan News

Islamic State Jihadists Seize Talataye in Northern Mali
The insurgents on Tuesday took Talataye, a town 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Gao that has been repeatedly fought over in Mali’s decade-long security crisis, they said. They battled local rebels, as well as the pro-Qaeda Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, they said. “The ISGS people arrived this afternoon on motorbikes, the fighting lasted three hours,” one of the local rebels told AFP by phone late Tuesday, referring to the so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. The rebel was a member of the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), part of an ethnic Touareg movement in the north. MSA fighters retreated in the face of the offensive, and the town fell at dusk, he said. A local elected official confirmed the account, saying “Talataye town hall and the town” were in the hands of the ISGS as of Wednesday morning. A security official in Gao, the biggest town in the region, confirmed there had been fighting “between jihadist groups.” Defense Post

Mali Calls for the Lifting of African Sanctions in View of Its “Advances”
Mali on Tuesday (September 6th) asked Lomé for the lifting of sanctions imposed by African organizations after two military coups in two years, arguing the progress made by the junta towards a return of civilians to power…The date of a return of civilians to power in this country plagued by jihadist pressure and a serious security and political crisis has given rise since the first coup in August 2020 to two years of confrontation between Mali and on the one hand and its West African neighbors and part of the international community on the other. The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Mali for the first time after the 2020 putsch, then again after a second coup reinforcing the stranglehold of the colonels in May 2021. Tensions eased when the military pledged under pressure to hold elections in February 2024. ECOWAS then lifted severe financial and trade sanctions imposed in January 2022. Global Echo

Nigeria: Army Seeks More Synergy Among Security Agencies in Tackling Insecurity
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Ali has called for more synergy among security agencies to address insecurity in the country. Ali made the call during the 2022 Enduring Peace Exercise: Very Important Personality (VIP) walk around in the early hours of Thursday in Bauchi. He said such working collaboration was imperative towards improving the security situation and ensuring lasting solutions to the problem. “The exercise where you have the army and other security agencies collaborate and share experiences would improve security output. “The essence of the Enduring Peace Exercise is to build that synergy among the security agencies on how to work together in tackling security challenges in the country. Guardian Nigeria



Photo: Adam Jones