Media Review for September 15, 2015

Hundreds Quarantined as Ebola Returns to Sierra Leone District
Health authorities quarantined hundreds of people in northern Sierra Leone on Monday after a 16-year-old girl died of Ebola in an apparent case of sexual transmission, the first confirmed death from the virus in the district for nearly six months. Sierra Leone celebrated last month when it discharged the last remaining Ebola patient from its treatment centers. But since then a new spate of cases has erupted, leaving two dead and five people in treatment. The worst outbreak of Ebola on record has killed more than 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and neighboring Liberia since it began in December 2013.   VOA

EU Leaders Discuss Plans for Migrant Camps in Italy, Greece and North Africa
New refugee camps will be built in Greece, Italy and north Africa to address the migrant crisis, under plans being considered by European Union leaders on Monday night. Large migrant processing facilities to register and fingerprint migrants will be set up on mainland Europe, with those who are ineligible for asylum swiftly deported. The plans, endorsed by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will also see the EU build removal camps in countries outside Europe for failed asylum seekers to be sent to until it is safe for them to return home. “By doing these things we can be sure we offer protection to those who need it and return the economic migrants who do not,” she said.  The Telegraph

EU Backs Military Action Against Med People Smugglers
EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and if necessary destroying boats to break up the networks operating out of Libya.  “This important transition will enable the EU naval operation against human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean to conduct boarding, search, seizure and diversion (of vessels),” the EU’s council of ministers said in a statement. The European Union launched a first, intelligence gathering phase of its EU NavFor Med operation in July and with that objective met, ministers agreed it was time to move on to the next step, the statement added.  AFP on Yahoo News

Mexico Demands Inquiry into Egyptian Attack that Killed 12 Tourists in Desert
he Mexican government on Monday demanded an explanation for an apparently mistaken attack by Egyptian forces that killed 12 people traveling in a tourist convoy in the desert southwest of Cairo. Two Mexicans were among the dead in the assault Sunday in the isolated Al Wahat area, which apparently occurred when Egyptian forces mistook the tourists for a group of militants, officials in the two countries said. Ten people were reported injured, six of them Mexicans. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the attack and demanded that the Egyptian authorities conduct a thorough investigation.  LA Times

Firing of Algeria Spy Chief is Seen as Victory for President
He was known as the “Lord of Algeria” and was the longest serving intelligence chief in the world – a J Edgar Hoover-like figure who dominated Algerian politics and had files on everyone. Yet on Sunday, Mohamed “Toufik” Mediene was summarily fired by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ending his 25-year tenure at the head of Algeria’s fearsome intelligence service, the Directorate of Intelligence and Security. The downfall of Mediene could breathe new life into Algeria’s politics, which have been deadlocked over succession, even as falling oil prices threaten the country’s stability. Newspapers and television around the country have been stunned by the news, proclaiming the end of an era, and many wondering if it will mean the end of a political life characterized by rumors, murky backroom deals and a great deal of paranoia.  AP on Stars and Stripes

Intelligence Chief Departure ‘End of an Era’: Algeria Press
The replacement of Algeria’s military intelligence chief, seen as a behind-the-scenes political kingmaker for a quarter of a century, marks the “end of an era,” Algerian newspapers said on Monday. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika replaced General Mohamed Mediene, better known as General Toufik, on Sunday in a move that sealed his full control over the shadowy security services. “General Toufik, the end of a legend,” read the front-page headline in Arabic language daily Al-Khabar. The 76-year-old, who had seen five presidents and a dozen prime ministers come and go during his tenure as head of the the DRS intelligence service, was replaced by his deputy, General Athmane “Bachir” Tartag.  AFP on Yahoo News

More Vigilante Groups to Fight Boko Haram in Cameroon
The terrorist group has recently resorted to burning villages, looting food and cattle, using suicide bombers and slaughtering their victims. The latest attack was Sunday. Young men armed with machetes and knives are joining together to protect the town of Kolofata on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria from Boko Haram insurgents. They are responding to calls by Cameroon’s Defence Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o for more vigilante committees to be created. “Boko [Haram] is becoming a serious nuisance, menacing the population more than ever before with the use of suicide bombers, burning and looting. I am asking all Cameroonians especially in border zones to be members of vigilante committees and collaborate with the military to make sure that this new forms of Boko Haram attacks are stopped,” said Mebe Ngo’o.  Deutsche Welle

Hollande Says Fight Against Boko Haram, IS ‘The Same’
French President Francois Hollande said Monday that the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State jihadists is the same battle after he met Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.  Buhari, who is on a three-day visit to France seeking support for his battle against Boko Haram, warned the jihadist group had expanded “after declaring its loyalty to IS”. He said the jihadists’ alliance, announced in March, had given Boko Haram “a source of material resources”.  AFP on Yahoo News

President Kiir Will not Lead Government Delegation to UN Summit: Official
South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir will not lead government’s delegation to the summit of heads of state and government at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, raising speculations that he could be fearing to leave Juba because of anti-peace elements in his government. His vice president, James Wani Igga, will instead attend the summit, according to foreign minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.  Sudan Tribune

UN to Decide Tuesday on New Sanctions Against South Sudan
The U.N. Security Council will decide Tuesday whether to impose sanctions on a South Sudan army chief and a former army general who is now a rebel commander for continuing to fuel conflict in the world’s newest nation, U.N. diplomats said Monday. The United States proposed imposing an arms embargo and asset freeze on Gen. Paul Malong and ex-general Johnson Olony, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because their names have not been made public. Fighting broke out in oil-rich South Sudan in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, accused his ex-vice president Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, of trying to oust him. That sparked ethnic attacks and fighting that was supposed to end after Kiir reluctantly followed Machar and signed a peace deal on Aug. 26, but fighting has continued.  AP on ABC News

S Sudan Reviews Democracy Laws in Bid for Full EAC Membership
South Sudan could be given observer status by the East African Community, and is now reviewing its laws on human-rights and governance before its application for full membership is granted. The review would bring the country’s laws in line with those of the EAC — with regards to democracy and rule of law — which South Sudan has been accused of ignoring in the past. “The EAC Treaty is clear on the rule of law, which entails human-rights and good governance. South Sudan has these laws, but implementation at the national level is a challenge, which is what they need to resolve first,” said Peter Mathuki, Kenya’s East African Legislative Assembly representative.  East African

Coalition Partners Warn Congo’s Kabila not to Cling to Power
Leading parties in Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling coalition told President Joseph Kabila on Monday that actions by his allies had given the impression that he intends to violate the constitution by hanging onto power beyond 2016. In a letter to Kabila, seen by Reuters, the heads of the so-called G7 parties demanded immediate steps to ensure that the presidential election, scheduled for November 2016, is held on time. If held successfully, the vote would mark the country’s first peaceful transition of power. The letter stated that violating the constitution’s two-term limit risked destabilising the vast Central African country where regional wars between 1996 and 2003 killed millions, most from hunger and disease.  East African

Scars of Rape in the DR Congo
Inside a small wooden house overlooking the massive Virunga National Park, Bakazi Ndazimo, 70, relives the worst day of her life – the day she stopped feeling human; the day she was beaten and raped. “The only reason I am able to talk about this is because of my age, and the fact that I am not going to remarry,” Ndazimo told Al Jazeera.  The attack happened in late November 2012, just after the M23 militia took control over Sake, Ndazimo’s hometown, situated 27km west of Goma in the eastern province of North Kivu. She was cooking a meal for her grandchildren when a group of rebels stormed the house, grabbed her, and violently dragged her to another neighbourhood. There, in the shadow of some tall bushes, she was raped by two soldiers.  Al Jazeera

Terror-Stricken Burundi Refugees See no Hope of Return
[…] Trouble lingers in the country and memories of the brutality of the pro-government militia thugs — the Imbonerakure — remain strong with those who suffered their terror. “I took part in the demonstrations and I was hunted by the Imbonerakure. I have no interest in returning because those who caused me to flee are still in power,” says Alain, 20, who left in April. The camp lies a few dozen kilometres (miles) from the border in the province of South Kivu, an area long rife with armed groups likely to commit atrocities against civilians. A further 6,500 Burundians have been taken in by local families. This year’s Burundi exodus comes barely years after the close of a nightmare 1993-2005 civil war pitting an army drawn mainly from the Tutsi minority against the Hutu majority National Council for the Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) of current President Pierre Nkurunziza.  AFP on Yahoo News

Zimbabwe Seized White Farmers’Land. Now Some are Being Invited Back.
When Tracy Mutinhiri struggled to get her tobacco crop to grow, she turned to some of the country’s most experienced farmers for help. There was only one complication: They were white. In Zimbabwe, farmland has been a central issue in the African nation’s violent struggles over race. Fifteen years ago, the government began seizing property from thousands of white farmers and giving it to blacks as recompense for the abuses of colonial rule. But now, as agricultural output stalls, black landowners are quietly reaching out to white farmers who were thrown off their land. “The problem now is that we have the land, but they have the experience,” said Mutinhiri, a black landowner. “We need to help each other.”  The Washington Post

Gabon President Names New Opposition Figure to Cabinet
Gabon’s president on Sunday named a new opposition figure to a senior ministerial post a day after another senior opponent declined the job, in a setback to his efforts to forge a united government ahead of next year’s election. President Ali Bongo named Mathieu Mboumba Nziengui, executive secretary of the opposition Union of the Gabonese People, or UPG, as minister of state for agriculture. On Saturday, the leader of another wing of the UPG, Dieudonné Moukagni Iwangou, rejected the offer of the position, calling for political change in the oil-rich central African country.  Reuters

Al-Shabab Beheads Somali Brothers for Spying
The Al-Shabab militant group has beheaded two brothers accused of spying for the Somali government and for having dealings with Ethiopian troops, relatives said. They say the beheaded bodies of the two men, said to be 20 and 25 years old, were found Sunday in Raaso village, 60 kilometers south of Bulo Barde town in the central Somali region of Hiran. The headless body of a third unidentified man was found nearby. The two brothers were arrested by al-Shabab militants in Buqaqable town last week, hours after Ethiopian and Somali government troops suddenly vacated the town.  VOA

Morocco Breaks Up Another ISIS Cell
Moroccan authorities said on Monday they had dismantled a militant cell planning to create an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate, seizing weapons and bomb-making materials in raids on their hideouts. The cell is the latest in a series of radical groups Morocco says it has uncovered. The group was operating in the southern city of Essaouira and the central town of Sidi Allal Al-Bahraoui. At the offices of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), reporters were shown weapons, ammunition, tasers, swords and bomb materials seized from hideouts. BCIJ is the judicial part of the Moroccan domestic intelligence service.  News 24

Ex-Speaker Becomes Opposition Candidate in Niger Vote
A major opposition party in Niger has chosen its exiled leader, former parliamentary speaker Hama Amadou, to challenge President Mahamadou Issoufou in next year’s election. “We decide to select Hama Amadou, who is the only hope for Niger, as candidate in the presidential election in 2016,” the Nigerien Democratic Movement (Moden) announced after a rally on Sunday in the southern town of Zinder, attended by several thousand people. Amadou fled to France in August 2014 after members of parliament lifted his immunity for alleged involvement in a baby smuggling scandal, but he and his followers say this is a trumped-up “political case”.  News 24

18 Killed in Madagascar Cattle-Rustling Clashes: Police
At least 18 people, including a paramilitary policeman, were killed in cattle-rustling violence in Madagascar over the weekend when thousands of animals were also stolen, police said Monday. Theft of the much-prized humped zebu cattle has surged in recent years on the Indian Ocean island, where hunting the animals is a rural tradition among young men seeking to prove their virility. The cattle are also stolen to be sold for money to the nearby island nation of Comoros, despite a government ban. “Hundreds of cattle thieves attacked Miangaly village… taking 2,800 cattle,” Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona, a paramilitary police spokesman, told AFP about the incident in the country’s southeast.  AFP on Yahoo News

Fake Drugs Impact Africa, More Profitable than Illicit Drug Market
The fake drug market, worth over 400 billion euros, is more profitable than the sale of illicit drugs. Each year 800,000 people, most of them in Africa, die because of fake drugs, because they can be less expensive and more accessible than the real thing. RFI has launched a public awareness campaign against fake medications with the Chirac Foundation with the slogan “Street medication kills”.  RFI

Africa Now Turns to Nuclear for Power Generation Amid Fears of Insecurity
Despite the technology being in existence for more than five decades, Africa has been slow to embrace it, instead preferring hydropower, thermal and lately in some countries geothermal as electricity generating sources. Sub-Saharan economies are now looking at setting up nuclear plants to supplement their traditional power sources. The continent, with large deposits of uranium, is turning to nuclear power because of its low carbon footprint, emissions and running costs. South Africa, the only country in Africa that has an operational nuclear power generator, is ramping up its nuclear projects by constructing a new and bigger reactor, pushing nuclear technology to a new level on the continent. In East Africa, Kenya and Uganda are making progress in nuclear technology with both currently involved with the pre-feasibility study of their nuclear energy programmes, while Democratic Republic of Congo’s nuclear plan is in limbo, after it shut down its reactor in 2004 due to overheating, lack of spares and unwillingness by the US to send parts.  The East African

    



Photo: Adam Jones