Africa Media Review for September 9, 2019

Burkina Faso: Twin ‘Terrorist Attacks’ Leave Dozens Dead
At least 29 people were killed in Burkina Faso on Sunday after two separate attacks targeted a food convoy and a transport truck. “This drama comes as important security efforts are underway in this region,” a government spokesperson said. “Military reinforcements have been deployed.” The food convoy was explicitly targeted in a “terrorist attack” which killed 14 civilians, according to the government statement. The truck is said to have hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing 15 people and wounding six others. Both attacks took place in the in Sanmatenga province in the north of the country. … Earlier this month, an attack on a military base in northern Burkina Faso killed 24 people. The capital city has been attacked three times, including a March 2018 jihadist assault on the military headquarters that left eight dead. DW

Somalia: Explosions Target AMISOM Troops in Buurhakaba
At least four AMISOM peacekeepers have been killed and dozens of others injured after two explosions broke out yesterday in Buurane, middle Shabelle of Somalia. Reports indicate that the blasts targeted AMISOM troops stationed in Buurane in Mahaday district which were located near their base. The first explosion resulted in limited casualties while other troops who responded to the soldiers who suffered the first blast, later on, suffered another blast. Reports indicate that the blasts were buried on the ground and AMISOM troops captured the youth who were at the scene of the blasts. Goobjoog News

South Africa: Anti-migrant Clashes Kill 1, Injure Several
Security forces in Johannesburg confronted looters with stun grenades and rubber bullets on Sunday, in an attempt to break up crowds targeting migrant-owned businesses in the city’s Central Business District. At least one person was killed and five others were injured. The violence is the latest in a slew of anti-migrant attacks in South Africa’s biggest city and elsewhere in the country. At least 10 people have been killed in the attacks, which have also sparked protests in several other African nations. Police later put out a tweet stating that the situation had been brought under control. Police spokesperson Xlolani Fihla confirmed the fatality to news agency Agence France-Presse following Sunday’s unrest, though was unable to confirm the cause of death. DW

Algerians Protest over Plan for Swift Elections
Tens of thousands of protesters piled once again onto the streets of the Algerian capital and other cities Friday with many rejecting the army chief’s call for presidential elections before the end of the year. This week’s pro-democracy protest, the 29th in a row, is seen as a test of the continued strength of the movement and a way to gauge the temperature of Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah’s call this week to set a date by Sept. 15 for presidential elections. That would mean voting would be held by law 90 days later – in mid-December. Algeria has been without an elected president since protesters, helped by the army chief, forced Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in early April. … Many Algerians want a transition period to work out how to proceed, while others want elections but with conditions. AP

Tunisia’s Presidential Election: What’s the Big Deal?
With the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in late July, Tunisians are preparing to elect a new head of state on September 15, two months earlier than originally planned. The first round of the presidential vote will precede parliamentary elections, scheduled for October, while a second-round runoff for the presidency would take place in November. Among the 26 candidates competing for the presidency are a number of political heavyweights: current Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi, jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui, and Abir Moussi, one of two female candidates and previously a senior official in deposed ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s party. During the run-up to the vote, a number of candidates have provoked a debate over the nature of the role itself and the limits of presidential power. Al Jazeera

Sudan’s Economy Minister Announces 200-Day Emergency Plan
Sudan’s newly appointed Finance Minister announced a 200-day emergency plan to restore the ravaged economy during the transitional period saying it aimed to translate the slogans of the Sudanese revolution. Ibrahim al-Badawi made the announcement in a press conference held after the swearing-in ceremony of the transitional government on Sunday. According to the minister, the 200-day plan is based on five main axes, including macroeconomic stabilization, measures to stabilize commodity prices, addressing the youth unemployment, transition from humanitarian aid to sustainable development and capacity building of economic management institutions. “The government would work first to stabilizing the macro-economy, restructuring the budget and raising the financial effort so that the state can fulfil its obligations towards the people in terms of social welfare and spending on education, health and development,” al-Badawi said. Sudan Tribune

AU Lifts Sudan Suspension Saying It Created Civilian Gov’t
The African Union said Friday it lifted Sudan’s suspension because it established a civilian-led transitional government following the military’s ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir in April. The move came a day after Sudan’s newly appointed prime minister formed a new Cabinet, part of a transitional power-sharing agreement between the military and pro-democracy demonstrators. The deal was brokered by the AU and Ethiopia. Sudan’s military council and the pro-democracy movement signed it last month following pressure from the United States and its regional allies amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a civil war. … The AU had suspended Sudan’s participation in the pan-African organization’s activities in June, days after security forces broke up the main protest camp in Khartoum, killing over 100 people. The AU’s decision was aimed at pressuring the military to hand power to civilians. AP

Sudan: Nuba and Bani Amer Sign Accord in Port Sudan
On Sunday, El Salaam Hall in Port Sudan witnessed the signing ceremony of the reconciliation document reached to contain the recent clashes between Nuba and Bani Amer in Port Sudan. Several days of violent tribal clashes in Port Sudan earlier this month left at least 35 people dead and scored injured. A 100-vehicle strong unit of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main government militia, was deployed to the city. The clashes prompted the Sovereign Council to dismiss the governor and the head of the security service of Red Sea state and to declare a State of Emergency in Port Sudan. In accordance with the text of the document signed by the two factions on Sunday, a federal fact-finding commission will be formed on the violent events, and to open a police station in the area where the fighting erupted, in addition to the payment of compensation of SDG 880 million ($18.7 million*). Radio Dabanga

South Sudan’s Kiir, Machar Meeting to Revive Stalled Peace Deal
South Sudan’s political rivals, president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, are scheduled to meet today, as they seek ways to implement a peace deal signed last year. The two men signed a pact a year ago to end a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced a third of the population and wrecked the economy. But the roll-out of the accord, which called for a unity government, has been delayed because the government says it does not have enough money to fund disarmament and the integration of all the armed factions. “The meeting aims at discussing the outstanding issues related to the implementation of the R-ARCSS (peace deal) with President Kiir and other head of the parties to the agreement,” Machar’s director for information, Puok Both Baluang, said. “It will be a two-day visit”, he added. Africa News

One year on from the signing of the peace agreement, millions of South Sudanese remain displaced as the country braves a humanitarian crisis and people fear that peace may not last, according to a new report. Women, who are the vast majority of displaced households, may be especially vulnerable, including facing the threat of sexual violence. While some have begun returning to South Sudan, many are not going back but seeking a safer and better place to live. The report, titled No Simple Solutions: Women, Displacement and Durable Solutions in South Sudan was jointly conducted by multiple aid agencies namely: Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council, Care Foundation, Danish Refugee Council, and South Sudanese organisations, Nile Hope and Titi Foundation. The East African

Bomb Explosion at South Africa Embassy, Fake News – Nigeria Gov’t
The Nigerian government on Saturday dispelled reports that there had been an explosion at the Abuja premises of the South African High Commission. Information Minister Lai Mohammed through an aide said in a statement that the reports that had been making the rounds were untrue and that no such incident had taken place. The statement said the “explosion” was fake news orchestrated by the desperate opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace. The minister said: “the video of the purported bomb explosion which is being circulated on the social media, is that of the bomb explosion at Emab plaza, near Banex, in Abuja on June 25, 2014.” Africa News

Three Nigerian Governors Sign MoU on Security with Niger Republic Counterpart
The governors of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Governor of Maradi region in Niger Republic on best approaches to addressing the security challenges in their states. This was contained in a statement issued by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General, Press Affairs to the governor of Zamfara and made available to journalists on Sunday in Gusau. He said that the meeting was called at the instance of the governor of Maradi region, Zakari Oumoru. Mr Idris added that the meeting was attended by Governors Bello Matawalle Aminu Masari and Aminu Tambuwal of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto states, respectively. He said that the meeting, which was held at the Government House, Maradi, dwelt on trans-border crimes, especially banditry, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the four states which share common borders. Premium Times

Growing a Future Free of Terrorism: UN News Special Report from Cameroon
Some 60,000 people displaced by insecurity have arrived in and around Kourgui over the past six years, putting a severe strain on resources in a town which was originally home to some 29,000. “To begin with it was very difficult for my people, as we lacked water and good land to cultivate”, said Oumaté Abba, the traditional leader of Kourgui. “The people who came were our brothers and they had lost everything, so I explained that we had an obligation to help them. Now we share what we have and there is harmony.” UNDP has played a pivotal role in bringing the community together providing not just basic social amenities, including a food market, water points and mills for grinding grains but also getting leaders like Oumaté Abba together to discuss how best to adjust to the reality of the new arrivals. UN News

Japans Commits to Helping Africa Win Permanent UN Security Council Seats
African Heads of State, the government of Japan and representatives of international organisations who participated in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) conference last week in Yokohama, Japan, through the adoption of the Yokohama Declaration of 2019, have committed to push for the inclusion of at least two African countries as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In this endeavor, African countries, including Kenya, are banking heavily on the support of the Japanese government and influence of regional and international institutions such as the African Union. Since the launch of the UN Security Council in 1945, the list of the council’s permanent members has only comprised five countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France. Standard Digital

India-Africa Brainstorm to Add Strategic Heft to Growing Partnership
India and Africa will hold a mega review of their ties at a brainstorming session in Delhi this week eyeing to add strategic heft to their partnership that could lead to stronger military to military bonds. The review meet that will feature senior Indian officials besides African Union representatives and Delhi-based envoys from Africa among other issues will focus on measures to expand defence and security partnership in the backdrop of Delhi’s attempts to revive support and training program for militaries in the various African countries, ET has learnt. India have had defence partnerships with Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia. Botswana, Uganda, Namibia and Mozambique and seeking to expand this to include more countries across the vast continent. Economic Times

How Snakebites Became an Invisible Health Crisis in Congo
In the vast jungles that cover the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the world’s most invisible health crises burns on. The country’s extensive equatorial forests are home to numerous species of venomous snakes, but their habitat is shared by secluded communities that are being forced to look further and further afield for their resources due to poverty and the pressures of conflict and climate change. It puts DRC at the centre of an issue Médecins Sans Frontières has called a “neglected crisis”: death by snake bite. Globally, about 5m snake bites occur worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization, resulting in between 81,000 and 138,000 deaths. A bite from a viper, cobra or mamba can kill in a matter of hours or leave a victim suffering life-changing injury. Symptoms of snakebite envenomation commonly include tissue necrosis, intense pain and nausea. Beyond treatments that provide symptomatic relief, specialised antidotes are vital in counteracting the venom. The Guardian

Why Ethiopia’s Rastafari Community Keeps Dwindling
“It makes sense to me that I get to become an Ethiopian citizen. I’m not satisfied with being a foreign national, so I’ve applied for my Ethiopian citizenship,” the Rastafarian who landed in Addis Ababa 23 years ago added. Married to an Ethiopian, Ras Kawintesseb is in touch with the Ethiopian community through his family and his multi-lingual music. But that’s not the case for all Rastafarians in Shashamane: some are afraid that Ethiopians want to take their land away; others haven’t had the chance to learn Amharic or adapt to the Ethiopian culture. Ras Paul says he wishes to mingle more with Ethiopians. “But here it’s very tense, because of the political problems of the country and the political emphasis on the land grant. There is big tension here, attacks on Rastafarians, seizing of Rastafarian land… Most of us have a story of a house being burgled, especially on his Imperial Majesty’s birthday. On our most holy days they target us”, he exclaimed, aggrieved. Others disagree and say that Ethiopians appreciate the Rastafarians and are flattered that their country is seen as the Holy Land. DW



Photo: Adam Jones