Media Review for July 14, 2016

US Sends 40 Soldiers to Protect Embassy, Personnel in South Sudan
The U.S. military has deployed about 40 soldiers to South Sudan’s capital, following days of clashes that left hundreds dead and raised fears of renewed civil war. The military’s Africa Command says the troops were sent to Juba to safeguard the U.S. Embassy and help carry out a State Department order for non-essential personnel to leave the country. The U.S. envoy in the region, Andrew Burnett, told VOA that senior U.S. officials also are working with leaders in South Sudan to end the fighting there. Other countries, including Germany and India, are taking steps to evacuate personnel as a tenuous cease-fire declared by South Sudan’s rival leaders on Monday continues to hold. VOA

Machar Changes Military Base Location Outside Juba after Clashes
South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar, has changed location of his military base and residential area after they came under sustained ground and air attacks for days as they battled forces loyal to President Salva Kiir outside the national capital, Juba. His spokesperson has confirmed to Sudan Tribune that their forces who had been stationed behind Jebel Kujur, about 5 kilometres southwest of Juba town, including Site 2, had relocated but have remained within the vicinity of Juba. “Yes, they have relocated the base, but they have remained within the vicinity of Juba area,” said James Gatdet Dak on Wednesday. Sudan Tribune

South Sudan: Did Clashes Start over Facebook Post?
[…] South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya told local media that a social media post led to the recent outbreak of violence, which left about 150 people dead. The vice president’s spokesman posted a message on Facebook last week saying Machar was detained at the presidential palace, while he was in fact meeting with the President, the ambassador alleged. Forces loyal to Machar stepped into action, opening fire outside the palace, Kenyan media quoted the ambassador as saying. When the vice president’s forces tried to forcefully enter the palace to check on him, clashes ensued, the ambassador alleged. CNN

UN Peacekeeping Chief Urges Action on South Sudan
The U.N. peacekeeping chief has urged the Security Council to take concerted action and “urgently” consider imposing an arms embargo on conflict-ridden South Sudan. Addressing the Council Wednesday, Hervé Ladsous asked members, who have been reluctant to impose an arms embargo in the past, to reconsider it now, although he admitted the “the threat of one has done little to deter the parties.” He also reiterated the Secretary-General’s call from Monday for additional targeted sanctions on leaders and military commanders who are obstructing peace. “South Sudan’s never-ending cycle of devastating violence that has wreaked havoc on its people must come to an end now,” Ladsous said. VOA

South Sudan: Mass Evacuation of Foreigners
Several countries are evacuating their citizens from South Sudan following days of fighting that saw hundreds of people killed. Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, India and Uganda have already started taking their citizens out of the country. A ceasefire between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar is holding for a second day in the capital, Juba. Mr Machar and his troops have also left Juba “to avoid further confrontation”. BBC

Ugandan Army Enters South Sudan to Evacuate Citizens
A heavily-armed Ugandan military convoy crossed into South Sudan on Thursday to evacuate citizens trapped by recent fighting in the capital Juba, an AFP reporter at the border said. The convoy of around 50 trucks escorted by machine gun-mounted armoured vehicles crossed the border at Nimule to rescue Ugandans in the capital 200km to the north and open up a secure corridor for fleeing civilians who have been attacked by bandits and renegade soldiers. “We plan to go to Juba to extract 3 000 Ugandans stranded by fighting, but that number may grow as we will evacuate anyone of any nationality who wants to leave,” said army chief Brigadier Leopold Kyanda. “There may even be some South Sudanese who want to leave.” News 24

‘South Sudan Leaders, International Community at Fault for Latest Violence’
South Sudan experts say the latest outbreak of deadly clashes between rival soldiers in the capital of Juba was largely foreseeable, expressing concerns about an increase in human rights abuses as violence spreads. Hundreds of people have been killed or injured following days of gun battles and artillery fire in Juba, with 36,000 more displaced, according to the United Nations. South Sudan’s government said at least 272 people were killed in the fighting, which erupted late on Thursday. The initial skirmishes between rival soldiers in the capital last week appeared to take President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar by surprise as the former enemies made a joint public appearance and as the country prepared to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its historic independence. France 24

What Can the United Nations Do When its Troops Can’t, or Won’t, Protect Civilians?
[…] The United Nations said that its troops patrolled the streets of Juba, the capital, on Wednesday for the first time in days, only to discover that food stocks had been looted from its warehouses. The United States announced that it would charter two planes to allow its citizens to leave Juba. “Further clashes cannot be ruled out,” said Hervé Ladsous, the United Nations under secretary general for peacekeeping. Over the weekend, United Nations troops were under lockdown in their bases in Juba as government forces put up checkpoints and thousands of civilians poured in. Gunmen fired at civilians trying to enter the United Nations bases, which also came under fire. Two peacekeepers were killed inside a base, along with at least eight civilians. “Something is fundamentally wrong with the mandate of the U.N. mission here,” Zlatko Gegic, the country director for Oxfam, said by Skype from Juba this week. “They were victims themselves, being completely unable to move.”  The New York Times

Former Burundi EAC Minister Hafsa Mossi Shot Dead
Former Burundi minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs Hafsa Mossi has been shot dead by unknown gunmen outside her home in Bujumbura. “She was near her home and a tinted car knocked her from behind, she went out to see what happened and was shot twice,” a close relative told The EastAfrican. Ms Mossi was the current chair of the East African Legislative Assembly Burundi chapter and had played a critical role in Burundi’s integration to the EAC. She was the first Burundi East African Community minister and had been conducting sensitisation workshops with the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Burundi chapter with different stakeholders at the grassroots level on the benefits of the East African Integration to Burundi. East African

Zimbabwe: Power to the Pastor, Power to the People as Mawarire Walks
Harare Magistrate’s Court may once have been an impressive building, but no longer. The walls are cracked. The paint is peeling. The windows of Court Six, where Pastor Evan Mawarire’s remand hearing was held on Wednesday, are caked with dirt. Only half the ceiling lights work, and the wall clock is stuck at a little after seven o’clock. As a symbol for everything that’s wrong with Zimbabwe, it’s a writer’s dream, as is the court’s location on the inauspiciously named Rotten Row. Except that something unexpected happened. The usual show trial script called for Mawarire’s charges to be upheld, and bail denied, to make sure that the state keeps him where they like to keep the troublemakers: behind bars. But no one followed the script. On Wednesday, rising above the symbolism of these shabby surroundings, something went right in Zimbabwe. Daily Maverick

Long Queues Tell Zimbabwe’s Story of Economic Crisis and Failing Healthcare
Arnold Gambe (76) is near the back of the snaking queue in Harare. He has stood here every day for the past week to get his government pension from the People’s Own Savings Bank. Each morning, he comes from his home near Juru, about 50km north of Zimbabwe’s capital, to try to get the stipend. He needs it to buy painkillers: he has back problems. His orphaned eight-year-old grandson, who is HIV positive, fell ill a month ago. He has chest pains and difficulty breathing. So Gambe also has to buy the boy medicine. But, with the country’s economy in meltdown and running out of dollars, Gambe is just one of the many Zimbabweans who has been struggling to get cash. Banks often run out, but when they do have dollars, they impose strict limits of $500 a week or $200 a day. Mail & Guardian

The Next Boko Haram? Nigerian Attacks Raise Fears of New ‘Terror’ Threat
More than 80 people are thought to have been killed in a series of brutal attacks in Benue State in central Nigeria, which locals say were perpetrated by groups of nomadic herdsmen. Although northern herdsmen have fought with locals over land and grazing rights for decades, what was a low-level conflict has recently spiralled into a full-blown crisis, leading to claims the men are “the new Boko Haram”. On Monday #Benuemassacre began trending on social media on Monday as Nigerians criticised the government’s delayed response to the escalating conflict. Reliable statistics on the total number of people killed are scarce, but according to the Global Terrorism Index, 1,200 people were killed in 2014 by herdsmen, and in 2015 the Index claimed they were “the fourth deadliest terror group in the world”. The Guardian

Germany Plans to Apologize over ‘Genocide’ in Namibia
Germany plans to formally apologize to Namibia for the genocide of indigenous Namibians a century ago, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday, but added the move would not carry any obligation of reparations. “We are working towards a joint government declaration with the following elements: common discussions on the historical events and a German apology for the action in Namibia,” the spokeswoman, Sawsan Chebli, told reporters. The joint declaration with the Namibian government can serve as a basis for a parliamentary resolution, she said, adding however that the step would not translate into legal repercussions for Germany. “On the question of whether there could be reparations or legal consequences, there are none. The apology does not come with any consequences on how we deal with the history and portray it,” she said.Berlin ruled what was then called South-West Africa as a colony from 1884 to 1915. AFP on Al Arabiya

France to End Military Operations in Central African Republic
President Francois Hollande announced on Wednesday that France would end its military mission in the Central African Republic in October. “Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will go to the Central African Republic in October to officially declare the end of Operation Sangaris,” said Hollande. Operation Sangaris was launched in December 2013 in a bid to still violence between Christian and Muslim militias that left thousands dead and drove half a million people from their homes. The force, which at its peak had 2 500 troops, has been progressively scaled back, being reduced to 350 personnel in June.  News 24

Egypt’s Latest Tactic Against Critics: Block Their Movements, or Deport Them
Hours after being fired from her job as a presenter on one of the few remaining television news programs in Egypt critical of the government, Liliane Daoud found herself on a plane to Lebanon. Plainclothes police officers barged into the Cairo home of Ms. Daoud, a Lebanese-British journalist, on June 27 and whisked her to the airport, forcing her to leave her tearful 11-year-old daughter. Ms. Daoud was told President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had personally ordered her deportation. “They said it didn’t matter who I called, because it was a presidential order,” Ms. Daoud said recently, speaking by telephone from Beirut, the Lebanese capital. Ms. Daoud is among nearly 500 people — mostly activists, lawyers and reporters — who have been deported, barred from travel or temporarily detained at Egyptian airports since Mr. Sisi came to power in 2013, according to Daftar Ahwal, a local civil rights group that monitors the incidents. The New York Times

Trouble in Paradise: Tourism in the Age of Terrorism
Terrorism is making life difficult for many vacation destinations, with European travelers choosing holidays closer to home. The travel industry is fundamentally changing as a result and many once popular places are facing ruin. Spiegle

AP Interview: UN Envoy Says Libya Army Could Be Regionalized
The United Nations envoy to Libya said Wednesday that its reconstituted army could be decentralized, an idea aimed at easing the political gridlock surrounding an internationally-backed unity government. In an interview in Cairo, Martin Kobler confirmed reports that the formation of military councils representing Libya’s western, eastern and southern regions is being discussed. He spoke to The Associated Press after holding talks with various Libyan figures in Cairo aimed at resolving the rivalry between the U.N.-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east. AP on Yahoo News

AU Summit Dedicated to Human and Women’s Rights
Rwanda showcases record on gender parity as African foreign ministers set the pace for landmark African Union (AU) summit that picked human and women’s rights as its theme. Rwandan authorities have left no stone unturned to offer Africa its prettiest face. The newly constructed convention centre in Kimihurula is a masterpiece of Kigali’s transformation from a so-called city of death during the 1994 genocide to a city of life. Rwanda’s new charm is not just evident in the warm “karibu” or welcome and smiles you get from your first contact. They are not short of ideas on how to showcase their vision and achievement in the areas that are on the agenda at this summit: dialogue on democracy, governance and violence against women and equal participation and leadership in politics. RFI

Old Soldiers, Old Divisions are Central in New Mozambique Conflict
Peace in Mozambique lasted 20 years, between 1992 and 2012. Following three years of skirmishes, conflict has escalated since 2015. The Mozambican Defence Force has been trying to destroy the military bases belonging to the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the principal opposition to the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) in parliament. At least 10,000 people have fled Mozambique and sought refuge in Malawi, testifying to attacks perpetrated mostly by government soldiers. The conflict has served to consolidate local support for Renamo, which had previously fought the government from 1976 to 1992.  News 24

Liberia’s Ruling Party Elects VP as New Leader
It is a crowning moment for any political party anywhere to elect a new standard bearer to lead the party through the next presidential and general elections. It is–or is supposed to be–a moment of celebration for two reasons: first, the triumphant crowning of a new leader, who will lead the party in the 2017 presidential and general elections. Secondly is the challenge of doing his homework–healing and reuniting the party. This challenge is probably more difficult than the first because this is what VP Boakai must do before he steps out to make his first campaign speech tomorrow. Why? Because the party is in disarray, as openly exhibited at its convention last weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County. The reports portrayed an open conflict between the outgoing standard bearer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and outgoing UP chairman, Senator Varney Sherman. Daily Observer on allAfrica

Brexit Is a Global Health Risk
When Theresa May takes the reins of power in London this week, it’s almost certain she’ll execute policies that are to David Cameron’s political right and will likely (and swiftly) invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby officially commencing Britain’s exit from the European Union — the so-called Brexit. Many British citizens who voted in favor of Brexit on June 23 were of the impression that the money sent to Brussels for EU programs would now remain in London, to be used on health care, roads, schools, and other public goods in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The nationalism behind the Brexit vote has its roots in a long list of woes inside the United Kingdom and also reflects a larger trend seen all over the world toward retrenchment and a general push to move away from globalization. Foreign Policy

Leaders of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia to Discuss Renaissance Dam in Kigali
Sudan’s ambassador to Cairo Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim said that leaders of Sudan, Egyptian and Ethiopia are expected to discuss the Grand Renaissance Dam on the sidelines of the African Summit in Kigali. He told the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are expected to discuss issues pertaining to the Ethiopian dam if their participation in the African Summit was confirmed. The Rwandan capital, Kigali is hosting the 27th African Union Summit from 10 to 18 July. “Consultations are underway among the concerned ministers from the three countries to determine a date to sign the contract with the consultancy firm tasked with undertaking the dam impact studies” said the Sudanese diplomat. Sudan Tribune

North Korean Diplomats Linked to Lucrative Rhino Horn Trade in Africa
North Korean diplomats have been implicated in 16 cases of illegal trading of rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks in the last 30 years, according to a report on international organised crime. The report, compiled by the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, says diplomats stationed in Africa have been involved in 29 seizures of contraband horns and tusks over the last three decades, with North Korean diplomats accounting for the majority of those cases. In one of the most recent incidents, Yonhap News reported, a diplomat at North Korea’s embassy in South Africa was detained over a deal with poachers in Mozambique. The Telegraph



Photo: Adam Jones