Analysis

NIAS Global Politics Database
Africa This Week

February 2024 | CWA # 1226

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Global Politics News Database
Africa This Week (3-10 Feb 2024)

February 2024 | CWA # 1221

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Studies
Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON): Five Questions

January 2024 | CWA # 1218

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS Africa Studies
Ethiopia-Somalia tensions over Somaliland | Explained

January 2024 | CWA # 1210

Narmatha S and Anu Maria Jospeh

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Ethiopia and Sudan: Governance in deadlock

January 2024 | CWA # 1191

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
COP28 and Africa: Priorities and Initiatives

December 2023 | CWA # 1167

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Sierra Leone: A failed coup

December 2023 | CWA # 1161

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Floods in East Africa

November 2023 | CWA # 1158

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Africa’s debate on colonial reparations

November 2023 | CWA # 1149

Sneha Surendran

NIAS Africa Studies
Sudan’s ceasefires remain elusive: Four reasons why

November 2023 | CWA # 1144

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Liberia elections: Explained

October 2023 | CWA # 1111

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
France's increasing unpopularity in Niger

October 2023 | CWA # 1110

Jerry Franklin

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Continuing Human Rights Issues in Ethiopia: Takeaways of the UN report

October 2023 | CWA # 1103

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Africa in the Indian Ocean region: Explained

October 2023 | CWA # 1079

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Sudan: Escalated fighting between rival factions and its implications

October 2023 | CWA # 1078

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Taiwan in Africa: The Last Ally and the Lost Allies

September 2023 | CWA # 1063

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Africa Climate Summit: Rising new leadership in climate action

September 2023 | CWA # 1056

Sneha Surendran

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Coup in Gabon: Three questions

September 2023 | CWA # 1052

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #78 | Coup in Gabon

September 2023 | CWA # 1051

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
A profile on Ethiopia's Oromo ethnic group

August 2023 | CWA # 1044

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
A profile on Ethiopia’s Somali ethnic group

August 2023 | CWA # 1043

Sneha Surendran

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
A profile on Ethiopia’s Afar ethnic group

August 2023 | CWA # 1042

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Ethiopia’s Amhara problem

August 2023 | CWA # 1038

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
ECOWAS and Niger remain at an impasse, causing a prolonged standoff

August 2023 | CWA # 1037

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #75&76 | Ethiopia’s conflict in Amhara and Prolonged standoff in Niger

August 2023 | CWA # 1036

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Coup in Niger: Manifold national, regional and international stances

August 2023 | CWA # 1026

Jerry Franklin A

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Senegal's political crisis: Four questions

August 2023 | CWA # 1025

Sneha Surendran

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #73&74 | Coup in Niger and Senegal’s political crisis

August 2023 | CWA # 1024

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
The UN in Africa: MINUSMA has failed. So did Mali

July 2023 | CWA # 1013

Nithyashree RB

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
China-Africa Security Partnership: Expansion Across Spectrums

July 2023 | CWA # 1011

Devjyoti Saha

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
The Wagner Group in Africa: Fallouts of the failed revolt in Russia

July 2023 | CWA # 1006

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #69-71 | The Wagner Group in Africa

July 2023 | CWA # 1005

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #68 | Eritrea Rejoining IGAD and Resurging Insurgency in Uganda

June 2023 | CWA # 988

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Resurging insurgency in Uganda and insecurity in East Africa

June 2023 | CWA # 987

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Eritrea: Back to the IGAD after 16 years

June 2023 | CWA # 986

Jerry Franklin

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Tunisia: A Political Profile

June 2023 | CWA # 981

Jerry Franklin

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Persisting Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia's Tigray Region: Four Takeaways

June 2023 | CWA # 980

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa Weekly #66 | Ceasefires in Sudan & Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis

June 2023 | CWA # 977

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis: Reasons for its continuation

June 2023 | CWA # 976

Jerry Franklin

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Ceasefires in Sudan: An uneasy trajectory

June 2023 | CWA # 975

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
In Focus | Japan in Africa

May 2023 | CWA # 965

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA STUDIES
Japan in Africa: Renewed Efforts to Revitalise Relations

May 2023 | CWA # 964

Devjyoti Saha

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Droughts in East Africa: A climate disaster

May 2023 | CWA # 948

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Sudan: Intensifying political rivalry and expanding violence

April 2023 | CWA # 946

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Nigeria’s new wave of kidnappings: Who, why and what fallouts

April 2023 | CWA # 943

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Expanding Russia-South Africa relations

April 2023 | CWA # 941

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Tunisia: The question of undocumented migrants

March 2023 | CWA # 936

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Macron’s visit to Africa: Three Takeaways

March 2023 | CWA # 919

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Nigeria elections: Ruling party wins; What is ahead?

March 2023 | CWA # 918

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | M23 atrocities in DRC and upcoming Nigeria elections

February 2023 | CWA # 913

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Africa in 2023: Elections and conflicts

February 2023 | CWA # 910

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Chinese Foreign Minister's visit to Africa

February 2023 | CWA # 907

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Bamako’s pardon of Ivorian soldiers

January 2023 | CWA # 891

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | The relapse of ANC

January 2023 | CWA # 889

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
The US-Africa Leaders Summit

December 2022 | CWA # 859

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | End of Operation Barkhane

December 2022 | CWA # 854

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | The ceasefire in Ethiopia

November 2022 | CWA # 853

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Challenges to peace in Eastern Congo

November 2022 | CWA # 830

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
China-Africa relations: Looking back and looking ahead

November 2022 | CWA # 815

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Chad's political crisis

November 2022 | CWA # 812

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
Floods in West Africa: Nigeria and beyond

October 2022 | CWA # 804

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Famine in Somalia

October 2022 | CWA # 803

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Kenya Elections 2022

September 2022 | CWA # 802

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | The reinvention of Al Shabab

September 2022 | CWA # 783

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Lavrov's visit to Africa

August 2022 | CWA # 782

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS AFRICA WEEKLY
IN FOCUS | Macron's visit to Africa

August 2022 | CWA # 781

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Tunisia's political crisis

August 2022 | CWA # 772

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Studies
Tunisia’s political crisis: Five questions

July 2022 | CWA # 769

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
Tribal conflict in Blue Nile: Causes and Implications

July 2022 | CWA # 766

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
Sudan-Ethiopia border tensions and a profile of Blaise Compaoré

July 2022 | CWA # 756

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
Africa’s continuing migration problem: Three issues

June 2022 | CWA # 751

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
Visit of the Belgium King to the DRC and tensions between the DRC and Rwanda

June 2022 | CWA # 748

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
Africa’s displacement crises: Three key drivers

June 2022 | CWA # 743

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Into the Sixth Decade of African Unity

May 2022 | CWA # 741

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Communal Tensions in Ethiopia

May 2022 | CWA # 738

NIAS Africa Team

Conflict Weekly Cover Story
Sudan, three years after Omar al Bashir

May 2022 | CWA # 733

S Shaji

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Mali ends defence ties with France

May 2022 | CWA # 731

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | UK-Rwanda asylum deal

April 2022 | CWA # 726

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Africa, Russia, and the War in Ukraine

April 2022 | CWA # 722

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | The rise of East African Community: From the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean

April 2022 | CWA # 718

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Political Crisis in Tunisia

April 2022 | CWA # 713

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
60 years of Algerian independence

March 2022 | CWA # 710

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
In Focus: Libya

March 2022 | CWA # 705

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS | Europe and Africa: Will AU and EU be equal partners?

March 2022 | CWA # 702

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Monitor
Europe and Africa: Will AU and EU be equal partners?

March 2022 | CWA # 700

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS Africa Monitor
Africa’s slow COVID vaccination continues. Four reasons why

March 2022 | CWA # 696

Nireekshan Bollimpalli 

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS: Conflict over the Nile Dam

March 2022 | CWA # 694

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Weekly
IN FOCUS: Instability in Burkina Faso

March 2022 | CWA # 690

NIAS Africa Team

NIAS Africa Monitor
Africa: The anti-France sentiments in Mali and beyond

February 2022 | CWA # 677

Mohamad Aseel Ummer

NIAS Global Politics Brief
Africa in 2021: Backsliding democracy and heightening humanitarian crises

February 2022 | CWA # 670

S Shaji

NIAS Africa Monitor
Coup in Burkina Faso: Five things to know

January 2022 | CWA # 665

Apoorva Sudhakar

NIAS Africa Monitor
Famine in Ethiopia: The government's refusal to acknowledge, worsens the crisis

December 2021 | CWA # 626

Harshita Rathore

NIAS Africa Monitor
South Africa: What is behind the pro-Zuma protests?

August 2021 | CWA # 534

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS Africa Monitor
Impending famine in Tigray, should make Ethiopia everyone's problem

July 2021 | CWA # 519

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

NIAS Africa Monitor
Too late and too little is Ethiopia's international problem

July 2021 | CWA # 518

Anu Maria Joseph

NIAS Africa Monitor
Africa's Ethiopia Problem

July 2021 | CWA # 517

Sankalp Gurjar

NIAS Africa Monitor
Ethiopia's Tigray problem is Tigray's Ethiopia problem

July 2021 | CWA # 516

Apoorva Sudhakar

NIAS Africa Monitor
Migration in Africa: Origin, Drivers and Destinations 

July 2021 | CWA # 512

Mohamad Aseel Ummer

NIAS Africa Monitor
15 of the 23 global hunger hotspots are in Africa. Three reasons why

May 2021 | CWA # 470

Apoorva Sudhakar

NIAS Africa Monitor
Libya: A new unity government and rekindled hope, a decade after the fall of Gaddafi

April 2021 | CWA # 458

Apoorva Sudhakar

Daily Briefs


Photo : Djaffar Sabiti, Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo: M23 advances in Goma


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Democratic Republic of Congo: M23 advances in Goma

On 10 February, BBC reported on the M23 advancing towards Goma, the capital of the North Kivu state. The logistics and supplies have ceased, making people suffer without necessities. Nearly seven million people are forced to leave their homes. The M23 insurgency, led by the Tutsi community, began in 2012 to protect their community in the eastern DRC. The group is accused of being backed by the Rwandan government. Recently, re-elected Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi stated that “Congolese need to learn to trust us, Goma will never fall.” Goma stands as an important economic hub. Congolese Minister of Communications, Patrick Muyaya, told the BBC: “We all know that the reason for this war is economic. Rwanda is continuing... for the past 25 years… looting our mineral resources.” (“DR Congo violence: Panic in Goma as M23 rebels advance,” BBC, 10 February 2024) 

Senegal: A student died in protest

On 10 February, the Ministry of Interior and Public Security stated that a student was killed in the city of Saint-Louis during the protests. The country has been clenched with clashes between the security forces and protesters over election postponement. The postponement came less than three weeks before the elections scheduled for 25 February. ("Student killed in Senegal protests over election delay, Al Jazeera, 10 February 2024) 

Somalia: Al Shabab holds accountable for the UAE military base attack

On 10 February, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-backed armed group, is accountable for the attack on its military base in Somalia. Al Shabab stated that the attack was to showcase that the UAE is an "enemy" of the Islamic law for backing Somalia. The attack on 10 February killed five people including four Emirati troops and a Bahraini military officer. ("Al-Shabab claims attack on UAE military in Somalia," Al Jazeera, 10 February 2024)a



Photo : AFP

Sudan: Conflict-led displacement on the rise


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 9 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Sudan: Conflict-led displacement on the rise

On 9 February, humanitarian agencies cautioned that the continuing conflict in the Abyei region,  a border area shared between Sudan and South Sudan, for two weeks has left thousands displaced. The clashes are between two rival factions, the Twic and Ngok, of the Dinka ethnic group belonging to the Wrrap state. According to BBC, nearly 100 people including UN peacekeepers have lost their lives in the violence. Troika, a coalition of the UK, the US and Norway forces, insisted on the South Sudanese government to hold responsibility for the attacks. Nearly 2,200 people, mostly women and Children, are residing in one of the UN camps, located in Rumajak, which is seven kilometres north of Abyei. ("Thousands forced out by fighting in disputed Abyei region," BBC, 10 February 2024) 

Ethiopia: Oxfam warns of the hunger plight

On 9 February, Oxfam cautioned that one in three Ethiopians are undergoing hunger. Previously, the federal government had reported that nearly 400 people had lost their lives due to hunger, which was denied by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Conflicts and drought are the central factors for the ongoing Famine situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray, Amhara and Oromia regions. Oxfam warned that the country would have faced the worst if no aid was provided. The pause in aid from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the US Aid Last Spring, due to looting allegations, worsened the situation. ("Almost 10 million Ethiopians face extreme hunger - Oxfam," BBC, 10 February 2024) 

Malawi: Tourism efforts with new visa regulations

On 9 February, BBC reported that Malawi has lifted visa requirements for visitors from 79 countries to encourage tourism and trade in the country. On 7 February, Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhałe, announced the immigration rules to remove visa requirements for people from the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, France, and several other countries. Nationals of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are similarly exempted from visa requirements. This excludes countries that demand Malawian citizens to have visas. This change also excludes diplomats and government officials with multiple entry visas with Malawi. According to the new visa regulations, multiple entry visas in Malawi are valid for up to 12 months. The British embassy in Malawi urged its people to use this opportunity to visit popular tourist attractions in the southern African country. Malawi joins Kenya and Rwanda in welcoming African visitors. (“Malawi lifts visa restrictions for 79 countries,” BBC, 9 February, 2024)

South Africa: Israel denies the allegations of  South African minister

On 9 February, Israel responded to the statement by the South African Minister. The relationship between Israel and South Africa has been tense after the latter filed a case against the former for the genocidal acts in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naledi Pandor, stated that she was targeted by Israel and sought police protection as she kept receiving threatening messages. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded: "These are baseless and false accusations, yet another blood libel by the South African foreign minister, who serves as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organisation.” (“Israel denies threatening South African minister,” BBC, 9 February 2024) 

Uganda: Rescue of its citizens from Myanmar

On 9 February, BBC reported that the Ugandan government is working with Myanmar's government to rescue migrants. Among the migrants, 30 are Ugandan citizens. Meanwhile, the opposition party claims that more than 450 Ugandans reside in Myanmar. The Africans went to other countries including Malaysia and Thailand, in search of employment, were scammed to Myanmar and are under the control of rebels. Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Mulimba, stated that the government has appealed to the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) for rescue operations. (“Uganda seeks help to free kidnapped citizens in Myanmar,” BBC, 9 February 2024)

Senegal: Tear gas fired to disintegrate gatherings

On 9 February, BBC reported the situation in Senegal as people protested against the postponement of elections by Mack Sall’s government. The opposition politicians accused President Macky Sall of being an autocrat. After Sall announced the postponement of the elections, protests and riots erupted in the capital Dakar and other cities. Police fired tear gas and lobbed stun grenades at the protesters. Sall claims that a dispute in the eligibility of candidates is behind the delay. (“Senegal police tear-gas gathering protesters, Macky Sall 'like a 90-year-old autocrat' - former PM,” BBC, 9 February 2024) 



Photo : Jihed Abidellaoui, Reuters

Sudan: Migrants drowned near Tunisia coast


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Sudan: Migrants drowned near Tunisia coast

On 8 February, BBC reported on a boat accident that led to the deaths of 13 Sudanese migrants near Tunisia's coast. The migrants were trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. A Tunisian official reported that 27 others are missing. The Sudanese migrants are said to have fled the civil war in the country between the RSF and SAF. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nearly 2270 migrants from Africa and the Middle East have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2023. (“Europe migrant crisis: Boat sinks off Tunisia with more than 40 Sudanese on board,” BBC, 8 February, 2024) 

Ghana: Electricity tax hike on hold

On 8 February, BBC reported on the suspension of the electricity tax imposed by the government. A new 15 per cent tax on power was proposed for domestic consumers to boost the country’s revenue after pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The decision faced countrywide criticism over the increasing cost of living. The government has put the plan on hold over the public protest. (“Ghana electricity: New power tax put on hold after public outcry,” BBC, 8 February 2024) 

South Africa: Ramaphosa reaffirms support for ceasefire in Gaza

On 8 February, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa assured the country's support for a ceasefire in Gaza while addressing the lawmakers at the Cape Town city hall. He stated: “Guided by the fundamental principle of human rights and freedom,” the country has taken the side of Palestinians, “to prevent further deaths and destruction in Gaza.” The development came after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to prevent any act of genocide in Gaza following a case filed by South Africa. Ramphosa welcomed the court ruling stating: “We condemn the killing of civilians on all sides and call on all parties involved in the conflict to commit to a peace process that will deliver a two-state solution.” (“S Africa’s Ramaphosa renews call for Gaza ceasefire, Palestinian state,” Al Jazeera, 8 February 2024)

Senegal: ECOWAS holds emergency meeting

On 8 February, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held an emergency meeting on the political crisis in Senegal and the withdrawal of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso from the bloc. In Senegal, President Macky Sall's sudden announcement of the delay in elections sparked violent protests and accusations of manipulating the system. Senegal's decision to postpone elections has raised concerns about the future of democracy in West Africa. Besides, the coups in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso along with strained relations with the bloc have threatened the stability of the region. Meanwhile, representatives from all four countries were absent during the meeting. (“ECOWAS holds emergency session over Senegal crisis and member exits,” Al Jazeera, 8 February 2024)

Mali: Economic tensions spike after quitting ECOWAS

On 8 February, Al Jazeera reported that Mali's recent withdrawal from ECOWAS has sparked concerns about the country's future and the economic stability of the region. The move came after ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali following two coups within a year. While some Malians support the government's decision, citing the sanctions' negative impact on their lives and ECOWAS's perceived lack of support in their fight against insecurity, others worry about the economic consequences of leaving the bloc and the potential for further isolation. The situation is complicated by the ongoing insurgency in Mali and the government's controversial partnership with Russia. While some hope for a negotiated solution, the future remains uncertain. (“Economic hardship, insecurity spike in Mali as ECOWAS exit looms,” Al Jazeera, 8 February 2024)



Photo : Reuters

Zimbabwe: Cabinet supports death penalty abolition


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Zimbabwe: Cabinet supports death penalty abolition

On 7 February, Zimbabwe’s cabinet expressed its support for the proposed legislation on the abolition of the death penalty, a dire decision to abolish such punishment in the Southern African country. Information Minister, Jenfan Muswere, informed that the decision was taken after consulting the public. (“Zimbabwe's cabinet backs abolition of death penalty,” BBC, 7 February 2024)

Senegal: Three opposition lawmakers arrested

On 7 February, three Members of Parliament (MPs) were arrested after protesting against the parliament’s decision to postpone the elections to December. The announcement has stimulated global concern and protests across the country. The African regional bloc, ECOWAS, insisted on finalising the electoral calendar to avoid tensions. Further, the US Department of State stated that this was "contrary to Senegal’s strong democratic tradition." (“Senegal opposition MPs arrested in poll row crackdown,” BBC, 7 February 2024)

Uganda: Julia Sebutinde elected as the new ICJ vice-president 

On 7 February, Judge Julia Sebutinde, a Ugandan jurist serving the International Court of Justice (ICJ), was elected as the new vice president. She sparked controversy by dissenting the emergency measures requested by South Africa against the Israel-Gaza war. She was one of two jurists who voted against the ICJ ruling among the total 17-member panel. (“Uganda's Judge Sebutinde takes over as ICJ vice-president,” BBC, 7 February 2024)

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Increasing displacement after M23 advance 

On 7 February, Al Jazeera reported that the Tutsi-led M23 rebel group, allegedly backed by the Rwandan government, has intensified fighting in the eastern DRC, displacing 42,000 people from the town of Mweso. The conflict has reached near Goma, the capital of North Kivu state. It raises concerns about further displacement and violence. The DRC government assured that it would not let Goma be captured by the rebels. Meanwhile, on 7 February, the rebel group stated its actions as “defensive manoeuvres.” Meanwhile, the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reported on treating 30 wounded people and evacuating several of its staff after bullets hit a hospital sheltering residents. The situation remains tense with international accusations and diplomatic tensions simmering. (“Thousands flee in eastern DR Congo as M23 rebels advance near Goma,” Al Jazeera, 7 February 2024)

Madagascar: Calls to abolish castration law

On 7 February, BBC reported on the calls for immediate action to abolish castration law laid forward by Amnesty International. The castration law was enforced in January by President Andry Rajoelina. It will impose rape criminals with chemical and surgical castration. The Human Rights group, Amnesty International, called for cancelling the law describing it as "cruel, inhuman and degrading.” Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty's regional director for east and southern Africa, stated: "Implementing chemical and surgical castration, which constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as a punishment for those found guilty of raping minors will not solve this and is inconsistent with Malagasy constitutional provisions against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as regional and international human rights standard.” (“Scrap castration proposal - Amnesty urges Madagascar,” BBC, 7 February)

Sudan: Internet blackout as war continues

On 7 February, BBC reported on the situation of the civil war in Sudan. The 10-month civil war between the RSF and the SAF has killed thousands and displaced millions. NetBlocks, a watchdog that monitors internet freedom, informed that there had been a new collapse of internet connectivity in Sudan. The two major internet providers, Uganda Telecom and MTN, faced disturbance in the services. The RSF is blamed by state-aligned media. Meanwhile, in the Sudan Tribune, the RSF accused the SAF of service blackouts. Currently, Darfur, Kordofan, Khartoum and Gezira states are under the control of the RSF. (“Sudan hit by internet blackout as civil war continues,” BBC, 7 February 2024) 

Sudan: UN appeals for humanitarian fund

On 7 February BBC reported on the UN’s appeal for humanitarian fund allocation for Sudan. It has appealed for USD four billion to meet the needs of displaced residing in Sudan and neighbouring countries as war intensifies. More than half of the population, which is nearly 18 million people, need aid as they face acute food shortages. (“Human suffering of epic proportions in Sudan - UN,” BBC, 7 February 2024) 

Ethiopia: Abiy Ahmed denies hunger deaths

On 7 February, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed denied the allegations of deaths due to hunger in the country. He stated: “There are no people dying due to hunger in Ethiopia.” However, he accepted that “people may have died” due to illnesses associated with malnutrition. He conceded the country's food insecurities and drought that are affecting many conflict-hit regions including Tigray, Oromo and Amhara, however, warned not to politicise the issue. The previous month, the state-appointed Federal Ombudsman Institute reported that nearly 400 people died in Tigray and Amhara regions due to hunger. (“Nobody is dying of hunger in Ethiopia - PM,” BBC, 7 February 2024) 



Photo : Cem Ozdel, Anadolu

Senegal: Protests against postponed elections


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Senegal: Protests against postponed elections

On 6 February, BBC reported on Senegal’s political crisis following the postponement of elections. A contentious bill was passed, delaying the presidential elections to December 2024. The city raged with demonstrations and protests clashed with the riot police. The opposition party alleged that they were forced out of the parliament. Khalifa Sall, a leading opponent and a former mayor of Dakar, called the move a “constitutional coup” and urged people to protest against the delay of elections. Former Prime Minister Aminata Touré condemned the bill. Meanwhile, the AU, ECOWAS, the US and the UK called on the authorities to hold the elections immediately. (“Senegal on the brink after elections postponed,” BBC, 06 February 2024) 

Ethiopia: President assures no ill intentions on Somalia

On 6 February, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed commented that Ethiopia "does not wish any harm" for Somalia. This comes on the sidelines of Ethiopia-Somalia tensions over a port deal signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland. Somalia sees the deal, which grants Ethiopia access to the sea, as an act of aggression and a violation of its sovereignty. Somalia has called its youth to prepare for defence and Ethiopia has blamed unnamed forces for inciting conflict. (“Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed says his country does not wish harm on Somalia,” BBC, 6 February 2024)

Somalia: Ten people killed in blast series

On 6 February, Al Jazeera reported that at least ten people were killed and 20 were injured in the capital Mogadishu, following a series of blasts. The incident occurred near the Bakara market near the city. Although the cause behind the blasts is unclear, al-Qaeda linked al Shabab group carry out frequent attacks in the region. The authorities have announced an investigation into the attack. (“Ten dead, 20 others injured in multiple blasts in market in Somali capital,” Al Jazeera, 6 February 2024)



Photo : Seyllou, AFP

Senegal: Protests amidst postponement of elections


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Vetriselvi Baskaran and Narmatha S

Senegal: Protests amidst postponement of elections

On 5 February, the Senegalese parliament passed a new bill postponing the elections to December 2024. The bill received a majority with 105 Members of Parliament (MPs) voting in favour out of 165 seats. The development comes after on 4 February Senegal’s President Macky Sall announced the postponement of elections scheduled for February citing disputes regarding the eligibility of the candidates. Violent protests were carried out by several opposition parties across the capital Dakar. The riot police clashed with the protesters who burned tyres and blocked roads. The opposition called the move a “constitutional coup.” (“Senegal on the brink after elections postponed,” BBC, 5 February 2024)

South Africa: African leaders discuss bolstering mining industry

On 5 February, BBC reported that leaders, experts and investors from several African countries gathered for the annual conference to bolster the mining sector in Africa. It is a four-day event, hosted by South Africa. Discussions on critical minerals including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite which are the main components for renewable energy generation were predominantly focused. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, mentioned Africa's potential in global energy transition, having mining as great support to it. He stated: “South Africa is pursuing a just energy transition – one that is at a pace and scale that our country can afford, and in a manner that ensures energy security and creates new opportunities for those affected.” ("African nations seek to boost mining industry," BBC, 5 February 2024)

Nigeria: Debate on lowest cost of living

On 5 February, the Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu’s office claimed that the country has the lowest cost of living in Africa. The Special Adviser to the President, Bayo Onanuga, stated that Tinubu’s administration focuses on “solving our economic and security challenges,” adding that his reforms would cause “immediate pains, but will usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long terms.” The comments faced criticism with opposition leader Atiku Abubakar stating: “The intense cost of living pressures have created more misery for the poor in towns and villages. There is hunger in the land, as basic commodities, including bread, are becoming out of reach for average Nigerians. His 2024 budget is a business-as-usual exercise, bereft of concrete ideas and actions that would support Nigeria’s journey toward economic transformation – consisting mainly of wasteful expenditures to cater to a bloated federal government.” ("Nigeria has Africa's lowest cost of living - presidency," BBC, 5 February 2024)

Sudan: 38 people killed in Abyei region 

On 5 February, BBC reported that the recent attack in the Abyei region, a disputed territory between Sudan and South Sudan, took 38 lives and 18 were abducted. According to Abyei's regional administration, the majority of the victims were women and children. Additionally, the attackers raided almost 1000 cattle. The authorities accused two armed groups from the Warrap state, Twic and Ngok of carrying out “coordinated attacks” in four villages. The previous week, the same groups looted the region and killed 53 people. Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport in the Abyei Special Administration, Bulis Koch Aguar, condemned the frequent attacks. (“Weekend clashes in Abyei region leave dozens dead,” BBC, 5 February 2024)

Sudan: 12 children die of hunger in a day as war rages

On 5 February, BBC reported on the live conditions of the humanitarian crisis in war-raged Sudan. More than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes, making it the world's largest humanitarian displacement. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Darfur has warned about the devastating situation in the refugee camps. According to the agency, every two hours one child dies out of hunger at the Zamzam camp near the city of Fasher. The MSF has called for an increase in international humanitarian aid. The war that erupted in April 2023 has killed more than 12,000 people. The MSF stated that it has been able to deliver vital aid to ten per cent of those in need. (“Twelve children die of hunger each day in Sudan camp - MSF,” BBC, 5 February 2024) 

Ethiopia: UK warns of devastating food crisis

On 5 February, BBC reported on the devastating food crisis in Ethiopia following the conflict and drought. The Tigray region is currently engulfed by drought; more than 350 have lost their lives to hunger. The UK Minister of Africa, Andrew Mitchell, told BBC that there is a risk of famine “if we don't now take action." He promised that Britain would donate EUR 100 million in assistance. According to the Ethiopian government, nearly 16 million people across the country are facing food shortages. (“Ethiopia: UK warns of food crisis triggered by war and drought,” BBC, 5 February 2024) 



Photo : Guy Peterson, AFP

Liberia: US ambassador applauds country’s democracy


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 February 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Liberia: US ambassador applauds country’s democracy

On 1 February, the US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfired describes Liberia as an example of democracy in Africa. Following her recent visit to the continent, she stated that Liberia “is truly an example for not just West Africa, but the entire continent of Africa. We really should commend Liberians for that success.” President Joseph Boakai was sworn in as President in January. Greenfield stated: “Liberia has been very supportive and worked closely with us here at the UN, and we’re committed to helping President Boakai succeed.” (“US ambassador applauds Liberia for setting an example,” BBC, 1 February 2024)

Mali: UN rights chief raises concern over the death of 50 people

On 1 February, the UN Human Rights chief, Volker Turk, stated that he was “appalled” by the execution of 25 people by the Malian army and foreign military personnel on 26 January. He stated: “I am appalled by credible allegations that Malian armed forces accompanied by foreign military personnel summarily executed at least 25 people in Welingara village, in the central Nara region on 26 January.” He also raised concern about the report of the death of 30 civilians in an attack by armed men. (“UN rights chief decries death of 50 people in Mali attacks,” Al Jazeera, 1 February 2024)

Sudan: International community responsible for the war, comments former Prime Minister

On 1 February, Sudan's Former Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, told BBC that the international community failed to bring peace and stability in Sudan after the three-decades rule of Omar al-Bashir who was ousted in 2019. He added that the crisis in Sudan is being neglected by the international community. Hamdok met the RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo in January and planning to meet Sudan's military leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to mediate peace. Abdalla Hamdok served as Prime Minister following the ousting of Bashir. (“Sudan's ex-PM partly blames war on diplomatic neglect,” BBC, 1 February 2024) 

Ghana: LGBTQ is against his Christian faith, says former president

On 1 February, BBC reported on LGBTQ rights that have become a controversial issue in Ghana. The Parliament is considering an anti-LGBTQ bill, imposing tough penalties on the LGBTQ community. The bill forbids LGBTQ identity and imposes a jail sentence of a maximum of five years for same-sex activities. The bill also bans support for the LGBTQ community. Ghana's former president and leading opposition figure, John Dramani Mahama, told Reuters: "The faith I have will not allow me to accept a man marrying a man, and a woman marrying a woman.” (“Ghana's opposition leader condemns LGBTQ practices,” BBC, 1 February 2024)



Photo : EL PAÍS

Ethiopia: Starvation deaths in Tigray and Amhara


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

Narmatha S and Anu Maria Joseph

Ethiopia: Starvation deaths in Tigray and Amhara

On 31 January, BBC reported on the severe food insecurity in the Tigray and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. The government had previously denied the starvation death reports issued by the local officials. According to the national ombudsman, nearly 400 people have died out of hunger and food insecurity in the Tigray and Amhara regions in recent months. Ethiopia's Ombudsman had sent experts to study the cases in the region and concluded that 351 died in Tigray and 44 in Amhara. The memo by the Tigray Food Cluster says that only 14 per cent of 3.2 million people get food aid from humanitarian agencies in Tigray this month. Following a large grain scam in Tigray in March last year, the UN and the US suspended food supply to the region. According to the UN, nearly 20.1 million people across Ethiopia need humanitarian aid due to drought, conflict and a poor economy. (“Ethiopian federal body admits starvation deaths,” BBC, 31 January 2024)

Kenya: President orders to go ahead with the Haiti mission against the court ruling

On 31 January, Kenyan President William Ruto ordered the planned deployment of police forces in Haiti aimed at fighting gang violence to go ahead “as soon as next week.” This comes after a court in Kenya ruled that the mission is “illegal” and the National Security Council under Ruto does not have the authority to deploy police force outside the country. Meanwhile, opposition leader Ekuru Aukot responded: "Appreciate the wisdom of Justice Mwita on a 'service' and a 'force'. As per law and the constitution, you can not deploy a police service outside Kenya.” (“Kenyan President Ruto says Haiti mission to go ahead soon despite court ruling,” BBC, 31 January 2024)

Somalia: The intelligence agency shuts down WhatsApp groups linked to Al Shabab

On 31 January, Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency stated that it had shut down nearly 20 WhatsApp groups suspected of being managed by the Al Shabab militants. The agency added that it has disabled data services for nearly 2,500 mobile services associated with the group. As part of the country’s “total war” against Al Shabab, Somalia has been trying to disrupt the communication and financial channels of the group. However, besides multidimensional efforts, the militant group has been carrying out frequent attacks across the country. (“Somalia's intelligence agency says it blocks WhatsApp groups used by al-Qaida-linked militants,” Africanews, 31 January 2024)



Photo : Al Jazeera

Cameroon: Militant attack kills a civilian


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 30 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

Narmatha S and Anu Maria Joseph

Cameroon: Militant attack kills a civilian

On 30 January, BBC reported on a violent militant attack in the capital city of Buae in Cameroon. One civilian was reportedly killed. The Anglophone militants have been carrying out frequent attacks demanding a separate state for decades. Recently, they have been forcing the residents to carry out the so-called “ghost-town” protests to halt economic activities. (“Deadly attack on Cameroon city as militants enforce 'ghost towns’,” BBC, 30 January) 

Founding members of Ecowas left the bloc, deep regrets say AU

On 30 January, the African Union (AU) expressed its “deep regret” over the decision by Mali, Burkina Faso and NIger to leave ECOWAS on 28 January. AU's commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat called on regional leaders to mediate the dialogue between the Ecowas leadership and the three countries. The main accusations laid by Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso are that it is being influenced by foreign powers and does not work for the welfare of their country. (“Mali, Burkina and Niger Ecowas exit of 'deep regret' to AU ,” BBC, 30 January  2024) 

Niger: 22 people killed in suspected jihadist attack

On 30 January, BBC Africa reported that at least 22 people were killed in a suspected jihadist attack in Motagatta village bordering Nigeria. BBC quoted an unidentified official who told AFP news agency that attackers came in motorbikes and began shooting people. Although the military government mentioned opacity on the origin of the attack, jihadist insurgency in Niger has risen since 2015. (“More than 20 killed in Niger attack - reports,” BBC, 30 January 2024)

Sudan: Warring factions committing war crimes in Darfur, says ICC

On 30 January, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, stated that there are “grounds” to prove that the warring military factions in Sudan are committing war crimes in the Darfur region. Khan told the UNSC that his office is gathering "a very significant body of material, information and evidence" regarding the war crimes committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces in the Darfur region. He added that the humanitarian situation in the region is deteriorating daily and urged the authorities to cooperate with the ICC investigations. (“'Sudan's battling forces likely committing war crimes',” BBC, 30 January 2024)

Somalia: Indian Navy rescues 19 Pakistani nationals from pirates

On 30 January, BBC Africa reported on the Indian Navy rescuing 19 Pakistani nationals after Somali pirates hijacked their fishing vessel off the coast of Somalia. The Indian Navy stated that 11 pirates seized the vessel and kept the crew hostage. It added that India's INS Sumitra navy patrol ship intercepted the hijacking and "compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel.” In January, the Indian Navy rescued 17 people after Somali pirates hijacked another Iranian-flagged ship in the Gulf of Aden. The increasing number of pirate attacks has raised concern regarding the resurfacing of pirate campaigns in the region. (“Indian navy rescues 19 Pakistanis from Somali pirates,” BBC, 30 January 2024)



Photo : REUTERS

Italy-African summit in Rome


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Italy-African summit in Rome

On 29 January, BBC reported that the leaders from several African countries arrived in Rome ahead of a two-day Italy-Africa summit. Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, emphasised the country’s “new approach” in Africa which is “not predatory, not paternalistic, but not charitable either.” The summit focuses on energy, economy, infrastructural development, culture, food security and education sectors. The summit also aims to boost investments in Africa and reduce the influx of migrants. (“African presidents arrive in Rome for Italy summit," BBC, 29 January 2024) 

Sudan: SAF's Iranian drone shot down

On 29 January, BBC reported on increasing strikes between the Rapid Support Forces  (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). The RSF claimed to have shot down SAF's Iranian-made drone. The aircraft was identified as an Iranian Mohajer-6, the third such drone recently neutralised by the RSF. The RSF official stated that although it managed to identify and destroy the drone, it continues to face threats and challenges that have claimed hundreds of lives. It added that the SAF is an extremist and carries out attacks against international and humanitarian laws. (“Sudan's RSF says it downed Iranian-made drone," BBC, 29 January, 2024) 

Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso terminates from ECOWAS

On 29 January, BBC reported that the founding members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, announced their departure from the bloc with several alleged accusations. The military government stated that the withdrawal was a “sovereign” decision. All three countries jointly stated that the bloc is"under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to member states and peoples” and has failed to counter jihadist insurgency in the region. Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister and mediator between junta states and ECOWS, Timothy Musa Kabba, denied the accusations describing them as "unfortunate." He added that ECOWAS intended to "find a solution to the impasse" and ensure peace, security and stability in the region. (“Ecowas: Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso quit West African bloc," BBC, 29 January 2024; “Ecowas not under influence of foreign powers - mediator," BBC, 29 January 2024) 

Sudan: Fight between armed groups in Abyei region  

On 29 January, BBC reported on the two armed groups carrying out raids in the disputed Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan. The Ngok and Twic ethnic armed groups from South Sudan’s Warrap state have been fighting since 27 January over land. South Sudan and Sudan claim ownership over the Abyei region and the conflict over the claims has remained unresolved since 2011. Abyei Special Administrative Area authorities mentioned that at least 42 people, mostly women and children, were killed in the attack, adding that the Twics had been carrying out a series of "barbaric coordinated attacks." On 29 January, the UNIFSA stated: "Currently, according to local authorities, 52 civilians have lost their lives, while 64 others are said to be gravely wounded." (“More than 50 killed along Sudan-South Sudan border,” BBC, 30 January 2024)

South Africa: Jacob Zuma suspended from ANC

On 29 January, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) announced its decision to suspend former President Jacob Zuma, over forming a new party. The ANC stated that it has been tolerating Zuma for a long time citing that he refused to vote for the party. ANC Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula stated: "Zuma and others whose conduct is in conflict with our values and principles, will find themselves outside the African National Congress." Zuma was sentenced to jail in 2021 under the charges of corruption and state capture during his presidency. However, he denied all accusations. In December, Zuma formed a new party, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), meaning "spear of the nation" against ANC. (“South Africa: ANC suspends ex-President Jacob Zuma after rival party launch,” BBC, 30 January 2023)



Photo : Stuart Tibaweswa, AFP

Uganda: Government to set up oil refinery


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Uganda: Government to set up oil refinery

On 24 January, BBC reported that the Ugandan government is in negotiation with a Dubai-origin company to set up a USD four billion oil refinery. Uganda has set a bid with the United Arab Emirates's Alpha MBM. The company would help Uganda to develop its commercial crude oil for trade. Both parties are expected to reach a deal within three months and begin the project soon. By 2025, it is expected to start extraction commercially. Several safety precautions and environment-friendly regulations will be set up to reduce emissions and minimise environmental harm. Uganda is in the early stages of developing another oil project, a 1,443 km pipeline, to transport crude oil for export from Western Uganda to Tanzania's Tanga port. (“Uganda in talks with UAE firm for $4bn oil refinery,” BBC, 24 January 2024)

Ethiopia: National security advisor signals compromise on Somaliland port deal

On 24 January, BBC reported that Ethiopia's National Security chief, Redwan Hussien, expressed willingness to engage with "friends" and listen to their suggestions. This came following the increasing tension between Ethiopia and Somalia over Ethiopia’s port deal with Somaliland. Hussein stated: "Will listen to friends for a possible coordination of efforts lowering rhetoric." He added that Ethiopia "will continue striving to steadily reach at a conclusion with amicable considerations which benefit all." This followed his criticism of "opportunistic external actors," targeting Egypt's stance against the deal. The MoU grants Ethiopia port access for military and commercial use, sparking outrage in Somalia, which considers Somaliland its territory. ("Ethiopia open to dialogue over Somaliland deal - official," BBC, 24 January 2024)

Nigeria: Wish to be a "strong security partner for Nigeria,” says Antony Blinken

On 24 January, during the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken's visit to Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu discussed the West African issues. Antony Blinken stated that the US wishes to be a "strong security partner for Nigeria" for their likewise minds in battling Islamist militants. Nigeria has recently witnessed escalating tensions where armed groups are targeting communities, especially carrying out ransom kidnappings. ("US pledges strong security partnership with Nigeria," BBC, 24 January 2024)



Photo : Christophe Ena, Pool via AFP

Egypt: "Ethiopia-Somaliland's deal acceptable to no one" says Sisi


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 23 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Egypt: "Ethiopia-Somaliland's deal acceptable to no one" says Sisi

On 23 January, Al Jazeera reported that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the implementation of a recently signed port deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland. On 22 January, while talking to Somalia's President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Egyptian President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, commented that the deal signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland is unacceptable. He added: "We are unwavering in our support for our brothers, and if they call upon us, we will not hesitate to act." Meanwhile, Ethiopia's national security affairs advisor, Redwan Hussien, highlighted that the deal is meant for cooperation and partnership and not "annexation" of any other state. On the X platform, he posted that the two countries "are not just neighbours who share a border but they are fraternal nations sharing a common language, culture and people."  ("Egypt won't allow threats to Somalia - Sisi," BBC, 23 January 2024)

Africa: Blinken's four-day visit 

On 22 January, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, began his four-day visit to Africa. In Cape Verde, he encouraged the country's regional function as a beacon of stability. Additionally, Blinken visited the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Angola as a part of his four-day trip. On 23 January, in Ivory Coast, he pledged USD 45 million to boost security in coastal countries and West Africa. He acclaimed Ivory Coast for a less militarized approach and maintaining stability although bordered by Sahel countries. On 24 January, during Blinken's visit to Nigeria, he stated that the US wishes to be a "strong security partner for Nigeria" for their like mind in battling Islamist militants. Nigeria has been witnessing escalated tensions where armed groups are targeting communities and conducting ransom kidnappings. (“Blinken hails Ivory Coast fight against armed groups on West Africa tour,” BBC, 23 January 2024) 

Somalia: President's warning against implementation of port deal

On 23 January, Al Jazeera reported that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the implementation of a recently signed port deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland. He warned that Ethiopia had crossed Somalia's territory. In addition, he claimed that Somaliland is a part of Somalia and accused Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of not letting him know about the deal when they met in December. ("‘Don’t do it’: Somali president warns Ethiopia over Somaliland port deal," Al Jazeera, 23 January 2024) 

Senegal: Despite the ban, timber Trafficking continues 

On 23 January, Al Jazeera reported that despite the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ban and international pressure, the illegal trade of endangered rosewood from Senegal to China continues. Al Jazeera's recent report exposed a network of traffickers operating with brazen defiance. In Gambia, a neighbouring country often used as a transit point for illicit timber, traffickers openly revealed their ongoing operations. However, the Gambian government feigns ignorance, claiming unawareness of such a stockpile. Furthermore, the report claims that the illegal rosewood trade fuels a long-standing conflict between the Senegalese government and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) rebels. ("‘Conflict timber’: Gambian traffickers continue rosewood trade despite ban," Al Jazeera, 23 January 2024) 



Photo : Amanuel Sileshi, AFP

Eritrea: Maltreatment of migrants in Ethiopia


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Eritrea: Maltreatment of migrants in Ethiopia

On 22 January, BBC reported on the ill-treatment of Eritrean migrants in Ethiopian detention centres. Nearly 100 people are in detention centres for more than two months where they are poorly treated in harsh conditions. The political unrest in Sudan led to violent attacks on civilians forcing nearly seven million people out of the country. Thousands of Eritreans who were affected are migrating to the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. (“Eritrean migrants talk of harsh detention in Ethiopia”, BBC, 22 January 2024.) 

Sudan: EU imposes sanctions on various companies

On 22 January, BBC reported on the sanctions imposed on companies by the EU in Sudan. Since the war broke out in April, war crimes committed by both the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have killed more than 10,000 people. Six firms, associated with helping Sudan in arms support, have been sanctioned. Among these companies, two firms have been supporting the SAF with weapons, finance and logistics. Three firms have been supporting the RSF in acquiring weapons and ammunition. The EU stated that it is deeply concerned about civilians and the humanitarian situation. (“EU sanctions companies dealing with Sudan”, BBC, 22 January 2024.) 

Africa: Blinken's four-day visit

On 22 January, BBC reported that the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, has begun his four-day trip in Cape Verde. He encouraged the country’s functioning in the region and called it a beacon of stability. Blinken would visit the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Angola as a part of his four-day trip. US President Joe Biden promised to visit Africa by 2023 in a US-African summit in 2022. However, due to current violence in the Middle East, the focus has changed to resolve peace. Quoting President Biden, Blinken stated: “We are all in when it comes to Africa. Our futures are linked, our prosperity is linked, and African voices increasingly are shaping, animating and leading the global conversation.” (“US still committed to Africa - Blinken”, BBC, 22 January 2024) 

Somalia: Missed seals could not resurface, says US Navy

On 22 January, BBC reported that the US Navy had ended its ten-day search and rescue operation to locate the two Seal Navy missing off the Somalia coast. The US central command stated: "We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing US Navy Seals have not been located and their status has been changed to the deceased." The search and rescue operation was aided by Spanish and Japanese forces, providing ships and aircraft in the Gulf of Aden. On 11 January, the two seals went to capture a dhow which was carrying weapons. In return, the seal-carrying dhow was said to have fallen into the waters. ("Navy Seals missing off Somalia's coast are dead - US navy," BBC, 22 January 2024) 



Photo : Audu Marte, AFP

Nigeria: “Education to tackle deadly attacks,” says President


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Nigeria: “Education to tackle deadly attacks,” says President

On 18 January, Africanews reported that Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu has promised a "massive education" of youth as a way to overcome the increasing attacks and kidnappings. Presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, stated that Tinbu reprehended these consecutive attacks and highlighted that education is the anecdote to tackle the challenges. He stated: "There is no weapon against poverty that is as potent as learning." The country is grappling with violent attacks and abductions in the northwest and central regions and Jihadist insurgency in the northeast. ("Nigerian leader says 'massive education' of youth will help end kidnappings threatening the capital," Africanews, 18 January 2024) 

Comoros: Azali Assoumani's another five-year tenure as President

On 16 January, the Comoros Independent National Electoral Commission announced that President Azali Assoumani had been re-elected for another five-year term. He won the elections by securing 62.97 per cent of the vote. Following the announcement, several clashes were reported in the capital Moroni. Besides, elections were marked by allegations of fraud and irregularities by the opposition. Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission highlighted this election's voter turnout at 16.3 per cent. ("Comoros' Assoumani reelected president with 62.7% of votes," Africanews, 18 January 2024) 

South Africa: Increasing crime rate creates fear

On 18 January, BBC reported on violent crimes and killings that are increasing in South Africa. According to the latest annual statistics, more than 27,000 people were killed in a year. The insecurities reported are due to crimes, poverty and unemployment. Cash-in-transit hijacks are common, as security vans carrying money are rammed off deliberately and the guards are attacked and killed. Wahl Bartmann, the head of security firm Fidelity Services Group, claimed that the gangs are "like a terrorist group.” He added that the gang are well organised and executed and it has been very difficult to track down and stop them. Fifteen of the company's guards were killed last year during robberies. (“Cash-in-transit heists bring terror to South Africa’s roads,” BBC, 18 January, 2024) 

Uganda: Deliberate protests ahead of NAM conference

On 18 January, BBC reported that opposition leader Bobi Wine claimed that the protest was planned deliberately at the venue of the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Kampala. Bobi Wine was under house arrest and was denied permission to perform any demonstrations against the government. Besides, the police officials claimed that they had taken several measures to prevent any protest ahead of the NAM conference. However, Bobi Wine claimed that it is his constitutional right to hold protests and gatherings. He aimed to publicise the country's issues at the international forum where more than 100 delegates from all over the world are gathered. Wine stated: "We want to send a strong message to the Non-Aligned Movement and remind them that the movement is losing its soul.” (“Protest was aimed at Non-Aligned conference - Bobi Wine,” BBC, 18 January, 2024) 

Somalia: Refuses mediation with Ethiopia, demands withdrawal of agreement with Somaliland

On 18 January, BBC reported that Tensions are brewing between Somalia and Ethiopia over a recent deal between Ethiopia and the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Somalia opposed the agreement, which grants Ethiopia potential access to Somaliland's coastline, deeming it an infringement on its territorial integrity and claiming it as “illegal.” While the African Union urges restraint and respect for Somalia's sovereignty, the latter refuses mediation unless Ethiopia withdraws from the deal. ("Somalia calls on Ethiopia to retract Somaliland deal," BBC, 18 January 2024)

Ethiopia: UN's concern on worsening drought

On 18 January, the UN raised concerns about the severe drought in Ethiopia. It urged for immediate response and funding. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned that the drought has affected nearly four million residents in the Amhara and Oromia, Afar and Tigray regions. It stated: "Multiple and often overlapping crises have severely weakened people’s ability to cope with climate shocks such as drought leaving millions of people vulnerable to falling even further into severe need and destitution." Tigray officials claimed that another 200 people died from starving and that the region is "on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe." ("UN appeals for urgent funding to battle drought in Ethiopia," BBC, 18 January 2024)



Photo : Feisal Omar, Reuters

Somaliland: Somalia redirects Ethiopian fight headed to Somaliland


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

Somaliland: Somalia redirects Ethiopian fight headed to Somaliland

On 17 January, BBC reported that Somalia asked to return an Ethiopian flight that was carrying officials to Somaliland. Ethiopian officials were bound to reach Somaliland to discuss the controversial port deal that Somalia termed as an aggressive move threatening its sovereignty.  Somalia denied permission to use its airspace as it considers the self-declared republic of Somaliland as an integral part of the country. The Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) stated that flight ET8273 broke international law by failing to obtain clearance from the countries they passed through. The flight attempted to reach Somaliland's Hargeisa Airport. However, the regular flights are functioning as usual between Ethiopia and Somalia. (“Somalia turns back Ethiopian plane headed for Somaliland,” BBC, 17 January, 2024) 

Nigeria: Massive blast in the Oyo state

On 17 January Africanews reported that a massive blast rocked the Bodija area of Ibadan in the southwestern state of Oyo, creating a panic among the residents. At least three people were killed and 77 were injured. Destruction of infrastructure and vehicles was reported by the residents. Following the investigations, it was confirmed that the blast was caused by explosives stored for use in illegal mining operations. Illegal mining has become a common event in Nigeria as the country is rich in mineral resources. however, safety precautions are poor. (“3 killed and 77 injured in a massive blast in southern Nigeria,” BBC, 17 January, 2024) 



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Sudan: Government rejects mediation efforts of IGAD


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Sudan: Government rejects mediation efforts of IGAD

On 16 January, BBC reported that the Sudanese government rejected the peace mediation efforts led by the International Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional body. IGAD has been negotiating with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since the beginning of the conflict. Several regions of Sudan including the capital city of Khartoum, the cities of Omdurman, Bahri and Wad Madani are under the control of the RSF. The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it suspended dealings with IGAD over inviting the RSF leader Hamdan Dagalo to hold peace talks. (“Sudan rejects mediation efforts by regional bloc,” BBC, 16 January, 2024) 

Nigeria: Eight people dead as boat turned over

On 16 January, BBC reported that eight people including five women and three men lost their lives and several others went missing after a boat capsized in a river in Nigeria's north-central state of Niger state. The passengers were residents of the village of Dugga who were travelling to the neighbouring village of Kebbi to sell grains and sugarcane. According to BBC, over 1200 people have lost their lives in boat accidents across Nigeria between 2018 and 2023. Overcrowding, lack of facilities including life jackets, ill maintenance and less number of boats for transportation are the major reasons behind this. (“At least eight die after boat capsizes in Nigeria," BBC, 16 January, 2024) 

Ethiopia: People die of starvation

On 16 January, BBC quoted the Tigray officials that more than 225 including children have lost their lives due to severe drought in the war-torn Tigray region of Ethiopia since July 2023. Almost 95 per cent of the deaths were reported in the Edga Arbi region of Tigray. According to the UN, more than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance due to conflicts and climate issues. (“About 225 die of starvation in Tigray - officials," BBC, 16 January 2024) 

Niger: Prime Minister Zeine in Moscow 

On 16 January, BBC reported that Niger's Prime Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, visited Russia. Minister of Defence, Salihou Mody, and ministers of petroleum and trade accompanied Zeine. The visit aimed at strengthening economic and military ties between the two countries. The move comes after the junta faced Western sanctions and severed ties with France following the military coup. The ministers would be visiting Turkey, Iran, and Serbia as well. The visit signifies the junta's attempt to diversify its partnerships and reduce dependence on the West. ("Niger PM in Moscow to deepen military and economic ties," BBC, 16 January 2024)

Nigeria: Attack on military camp causes residents to flee

On 16 January, over 100 gunmen attacked a Nigerian military camp in the Katsina state. The armed men burned vehicles and looted nearby shops and homes, causing residents to flee. The attack highlights the ongoing issue of armed gangs, popularly called bandits, causing havoc in Nigeria despite military efforts. ("Villagers flee as gunmen overrun Nigerian military camp," BBC, 16 January 2024)

Somalia: Al Shabab-led suicide bombing kills three 

On 16 January, Al Jazeera reported that a suicide bombing in Mogadishu killed three people and injured two others. Al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack stating that they targeted local security officials. The group has been increasingly carrying out attacks since President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, declared war on them. Recently, Al Shabab attacked a UN helicopter that crash-landed in a region under the control of the group. ("Suicide bombing kills three people, injures two in Somali capital: Police," Al Jazeera, 16 January 2024)



Photo : Njeri Mwangi, Reuters

Tanzania: Bans Kenya Airways


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Tanzania: Bans Kenya Airways 

On 15 January, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) banned Kenya Airways’ flights from landing in Dar es Salaam. This retaliates against Kenya's refusal to allow Air Tanzania cargo flights in Nairobi, violating a 2016 agreement. Tanzania claims losses over USD 330,000 per cargo flight denied. Hamza Johari, director general of the TCCA, stated: "We have written to Kenyan authorities’ but they do not respond.” In response, Kenya Airways asserted that it is "engaging the Civil Aviation Authorities and relevant government agencies in Kenya and Tanzania to find a solution that will ensure there are no flight disruptions between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam." ("Tanzania bans Kenya Airways flights in tit-for-tat move," BBC, 15 January 2024)

Mauritius: Heavy rains ahead of cyclone Belal

On 15 January, BBC reported that cyclone Belal which was formed in the Indian Ocean hit the Mauritius and French territory of Réunion. A major part of the Réunion island is inaccessible to power and fresh water. People have been advised to stay indoors until the cyclone crosses the island. Two people died; one in Réunion and the other in Mauritius. Mauritius Meteorological Services stated: "Belal is dangerously approaching Mauritius and it represents a threat.” A curfew was imposed and the international airport, government offices, banks and other firms were shut in advance of expected torrential rain. Additionally, heavy destruction of properties was reported. Cyclones are common in the southern Africa region during the January to March months with the southern hemisphere reaching their warmest temperatures. In 2022, the World Weather Attribution stated that climate change has caused an increase in rainfall in the region causing extreme weather conditions. (“Cyclone Belal: Flooding as storm hits Réunion and heads for Mauritius,” BBC, 15 January 2024)



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Sudan: Ten civilians killed in fighting


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: Ten civilians killed in fighting

On 12 January, BBC Africa reported that at least ten civilians were killed in an artillery fire exchange between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in the capital Khartoum. The fighting which started in April 2023 has now spread to adjacent cities of Omdurman and Bahri with RSF claiming advances. According to the UN, more than 12,000 people have been killed in the fighting. (“Shells hit Sudan capital killing civilians,” BBC, 12 January 2024)

Central Africa: WHO to scale up assistance to flood-hit DRC and Congo-Brazzaville

On 12 January, BBC Africa reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has scaled up its response to the floods in Congo-Brazzaville. WHO has allocated USD 100,000 for the deployment of rescue workers. It stated: "Heavy flooding has caused widespread devastation in Congo, with nine of its 12 [regional] departments affected.” It added that the floods have affected nearly 336,000 Congolese people. Congo Brazzaville and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo have been facing severe floods for the past two weeks. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the floods have killed more than 300 people. (“WHO boosts Congo-Brazzaville response amid severe floods,” BBC, 12 January 2024)

Israel describes South Africa’s defence in ICJ as “a sweeping counter-factual description”

On 12 January, Israeli lawyer Tal Becker for the ICJ case on genocide in Gaza filed by South Africa described South Africa’s defence as “a sweeping counter-factual description.” South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza violating the 1948 Genocide Convention and requested the court to order Israel to cease its military actions against Gaza. (“Israel says South Africa distorting the truth in ICJ genocide case,” BBC, 12 January 2024)



Photo : Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP Photo

Somalia: UN helicopter seized by al Shabab


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 11 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Somalia: UN helicopter seized by al Shabab

On 11 January, BBC Africa reported that the Islamist group, al Shabab, active in Somalia, seized a UN helicopter that was conducting a medical mission. The helicopter which had eight people on board crashed in the region controlled by the militants after its main rotor blade was hit by an unknown object. The UN's mission in Somalia (Unsom) confirmed the incident and stated that “response efforts are underway.” According to the BBC, one passenger was killed and two escaped. The helicopter was carrying medical supplies to the Galgaduud region. (“Somalia conflict: UN helicopter and passengers seized by al-Shabab,” BBC, 11 January 2024)

South Africa: ICJ hears South Africa’s case against Israel committing “genocide” in Gaza

On 11 January, South Africa presented its case against Israel committing genocide in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South African lawyers claimed that Israel’s plan to “destroy” Gaza is from “the highest level of state.” South Africa called on the court to order Israel to halt its attacks in Gaza. Israel rejected the accusations as “baseless.” Israel is expected to present its defence on 12 January. Addressing the court, South Africa’s Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola, stated that the attacks cannot "provide justification for or defend breaches of the [Genocide] Convention.” (“Israel officials support Gaza destruction, court hears,” BBC, 11 January 2024)



Photo : Feisal Omar, Reuters

Somalia: Eritrean president announces support for “Somalia’s sovereignty”


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Somalia: Eritrean president announces support for “Somalia’s sovereignty”

On 10 January, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated that Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki announced support “for Somalia’s sovereignty” after increasing tension with Ethiopia over the port deal signed with Somaliland. The statement was made following the Somali leader’s visit to Eritrea on 9 January. The agreement signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland gave the former access to a port in the Red Sea. Somalia called the deal an act of “aggression” threatening the sovereignty of the country. (“Eritrea 'voices support for Somalia' amid Ethiopia row,” BBC, 10 January 2024)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Constitutional Court declares Tshisekedi’s victory

On 10 January, the Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo rejected the formal challenges filed against the presidential elections held in December 2023. The polls were chapped by two out of the 18 opposition candidates. President Felix Tshisekedi won the elections securing 73 per cent of the vote. The polls were reportedly marred by several logistical issues and claims by the opposition that the results were deliberately rigged in favour of Tshisekedi. (“DR Congo court confirms Tshisekedi's poll victory,” BBC, 10 January 2024)



Photo : IMF

Mozambique: IMF's successful completion of the third review for loan program


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 9 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Vetriselvi Baskaran and Narmatha

Mozambique: IMF's successful completion of the third review for loan program

On 9 January, Africanews reported that Mozambique's USD 456 million International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed economic recovery program, Extended Credit Facility, received a boost with the successful completion of its third review. This allows for an immediate disbursement of USD 60.7 million to Maputo, bringing the total released funds to USD 273 million. The IMF commended the program's progress pointing to reduced inflation and a faster economic rebound. The USD 456 million package aims to support Mozambique's economic recovery, lower public debt and improve its financial stability. It also prioritises crucial public investments in human capital, climate adaptation and infrastructure. ("IMF approves disbursement of $60.7 million to Mozambique," Africanews, 8 January 2024) 

Somaliland: Chiefs meet amid regional tensions

On 9 November, BBC reported that Ethiopian Field Marshal Birhanu Jula and Somaliland's Maj Gen Nuh Ismael Tani met in Addis Ababa for a discussion on military cooperation. Tensions have been increasing after Ethiopia signed a deal with Somaliland to lease a part of Somaliland’s port access for commercial and military purposes. Somalia strongly condemned this as an act of “aggression” as Somaliland is considered to be an integral part of Somalia. (“Ethiopia-Somaliland army chiefs meet amid regional tensions,” BBC, 9 January, 2024)



Photo : Al Jazeera

Somalia: Said Abdullahi Deni re-elected in Puntland


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Vetriselvi Baskaran and Narmatha

Somalia: Said Abdullahi Deni re-elected in Puntland

On 8 January, BBC reported that Said Abdullahi Deni secured a second term as Puntland's President in a tensely contested election marred by previous disputes and violence. He won the elections securing 45 votes against Guled Salah Barre with 21 votes. Puntland carries out indirect elections where the clan leaders choose the Members of Parliament (MPs) who then elect the president. At least 26 people were killed in 2023 during clashes between Deni’s supporters and the opposition over the demand to conduct direct election. According to BBC, Deni's immediate swearing-in signals a continuation of his leadership in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region. ("Said Deni re-elected Somalia’s Puntland president," BBC, 8 January 2024) 

South Sudan: 30 civilians killed in violence

On 8 January, BBC Africa reported that at least 30 civilians were killed in an attack on a cattle camp in the state of Jonglei in South Sudan. Armed men from the Pibor region are suspected to be behind the cattle raid-turned-violence. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) condemned the violence, urged all parties to cease hostilities and pursue peaceful solutions and called on to "de-escalate the situation." They emphasised the need for regional authorities to engage in dialogue, justice and preventative measures to avoid further bloodshed in the volatile Jonglei and Pibor regions. ("UN condemns killing of 28 civilians in South Sudan," BBC, 8 January 2024) 

Rwanda: Deals with Jordan

On 8 January, BBC reported that in a bid to strengthen their relationship, Rwanda and Jordan signed several agreements during King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein’s visit to Kigali. The deals span various sectors including health, economics, trade, agriculture and taxation, aiming to eliminate double taxation and tackle tax evasion. The collaboration extends to politics, defence and counter-terrorism as well. Jordan expressed gratitude for Rwanda's humanitarian aid to Gaza, highlighting the growing affinity between the two counties. ("Rwanda signs multiple deals with Jordan during king's visit," BBC, 8 January 2024) 



Photo : Kasereka Moise, EPA

Democratic Republic of Congo: Heavy floods kill 60 people


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Vetriselvi Baskaran and Narmatha

Democratic Republic of Congo: Heavy floods kill 60 people

On 5 January, Africanews reported heavy floods in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Congo River overflowing and affecting the Equateur region after hitting Ituri, Mongala and Kinshasa. Over 100 homes have been destroyed in Mbandaka region and at least 60 people have died across the country as of 28 December. The government has declared a state of emergency and allocated USD four million for humanitarian aid. (“DR Congo experiencing worst flooding in 60 years,” Africanews, 5 January 2024)

Somalia: Indian Navy rescues hijacked ship

On 5 January, BBC Africa reported that the Indian Navy rescued crew members of a ship hijacked by pirates on the Somali coast. The commandos rescued all 21 crew members, however, did not find the pirates on board. The ship, MV Lila Norfolk, with the Liberian flag was on its way to Bahrain. Out of 21 crew members, 15 were Indians. An emergency signal was received at the UK Marine Agency (UKMTO) of an armed pirate attack. Based on information from UKMTO, the Indian Navy with Indian patrol aircraft followed by the guided missile destroyer, INS Chennai, carried out the rescue operation. (“Indian navy rescues sailors on board a ship attacked by pirates off Somali coast,” BBC, 5 January 2024) 



Photo : Fatima Shbair, AP

South Africa: US dismisses SA's case at ICJ


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

South Africa: US dismisses SA's case at ICJ

On 4 January, BBC reported that the US has dismissed South Africa's case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa failed a case against Israel for committing genocidal acts against Palestine the previous week. On 2 January, Israel condemned South Africa for these claims by adding it was Hamas committing genocidal acts. The US Department of State Spokesperson, Matthew Miller stated: "As pertains to the United States, we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide. But there are military operations going on that put Palestinian people at risk.” (“US dismisses SA's case against Israel as 'meritless',” BBC, 4 January 2024)

Somalia: AU and the US call on Ethiopia to respect territorial sovereignty

On 4 January, BBC reported that the AU and US have called on Ethiopia to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia after Ethiopia signed a controversial port deal with Somaliland. The deal has caused bilateral and regional tensions. Somalia called the deal an act of “aggression.” Somaliland was separated from Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized as an independent state internationally. (“AU, US urge respect for Somalia's sovereignty amid row,” BBC, 4 January 2024) 



Photo : Patrick Post, AP Photo

Sudan: RSF leader Dagalo visits Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 3 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

Sudan: RSF leader Dagalo visits Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti

On 3 January, BBC reported that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, began his visit to Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti marking his first foreign trip since the civil war began. Dagalo met with Kenyan President, William Ruto, and discussed diplomatic efforts to end the war. He expressed his “vision regarding stopping the war and starting negotiations” with the Sudanese army. President Ruto appreciated the efforts of Dagalo in ending the conflict through dialogue. (“Sudan's RSF commander holds talks with Kenya's Ruto,” BBC, 3 January 2024)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Opposition candidates rule out poll petition

On 3 January, opposition candidates formally announced their decision not to challenge the presidential election results of the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 31 December, the election commission declared President Felix Tshisekedi’s victory securing 73 per cent of votes against Moise Katumbi securing 18 per cent. Without any petitions, Tshisekedi will be sworn in as the President on 20 January. (“DR Congo opposition candidates rule out poll petition,” BBC. 3 January 2024)



Photo : Ashraf Shazly, AFP

South Africa: Israel slams for claiming genocidal acts in Gaza


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 2 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

South Africa: Israel slams for claiming genocidal acts in Gaza

On 2 January, BBC reported on a reply from Eylon Levy, the Israeli spokesperson, that Israel will fight South Africa's claim of committing genocidal acts in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ever since the war began, more than 20,000 Palestinians lost their lives. South Africa, being a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, has been condemning Israel for its attacks on Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected South Africa's allegations  stating:  “No, South Africa, it is not we who have come to perpetrate genocide, it is Hamas. It would murder all of us if it could. In contrast, the IDF [Israeli army] is acting as morally as possible.”(“Israel to fight South Africa's Gaza genocide claim in court,” BBC. 2 January 2024)



Photo : Alexis Huguet, AFP

Democratic Republic of Congo: Post-election violence


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 January 2024

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Vetriselvi Baskaran

Democratic Republic of Congo: Post-election violence

On 1 January, Africanews reported that demonstrators took to the streets in Goma on 31 December responding to the opposition's call to mobilise against the results of the presidential elections. President Felix Tshisekedi was re-elected securing 70 per cent of the vote against his major opposition candidate Moise Katumbi securing 18 per cent and Martin Fayulu five per cent. Five opposition candidates announced their intention to march calling the country’s election a fraud. (“DRC: Protests erupt in Goma as opposition challenges election results,” Africanews, 1 January 2024)

Ethiopia: MoU with Somaliland

On 1 January, BBC reported that Ethiopia signed a non-legal binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the self-proclaimed Somaliland to access one of its ports, Barbera. The port which is 20 kilometres has been exchanged as a lease for 50 years. Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi signed the agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Abiy's National Security Adviser, Redwan Hussien, stated that the arrangement would enable Ethiopia to use a "leased military base" on the sea. Abiy Ahmed stated that the MoU would "pave the way to realise the aspiration of Ethiopia to secure access to the sea." While addressing the ceremony, Abiy mentioned that Somaliland would soon be recognised as an independent territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland stated: "Historic agreement ensures Ethiopia's access to the sea for their naval forces, reciprocated by formal recognition of the Republic of Somaliland, marking this as a significant diplomatic milestone for our country." (“Ethiopia signs agreement with Somaliland paving way to sea access,” BBC, 1 January 2024)

Chad: Former opposition leader appointed as Prime Minister 

On 1 January, Chad's transitional government appointed former opposition leader, Succes Masra, as Prime Minister. This comes despite Masra's strong opposition to the military regime that took power in 2021 and his recent exile following a deadly crackdown on protests. His appointment follows the passage of a new constitution supported by the military which opposition groups largely boycotted. However, Masra backed the constitution arguing that it would pave the way for a quicker transition to civilian rule. 86 per cent voted “yes” to the referendum. However, his decision divided the opposition, raising concerns about a potential deal with the regime. (“Former Chad opposition leader appointed as PM of transitional governmentAl Jazeera, 1 January 2024) 

Sudan: Six killed in an attack in the Abyei region

On 1 January, Al Jazeera reported that the Abyei region, a disputed territory between South Sudan and Sudan, witnessed an ambush by armed men killing six people. The attack was carried out by one of the competing factions of the Dinka ethnic group, Twic Dinka from South Sudan's state of Warrap and Ngok Dinka from Abyei, who regularly clash over the administrative limit. The Minister of Information for the Abyei administrative region accused the armed youth from Twic county of Warrap state of the attack. Meanwhile, his counterpart, William Wol, from Warrap state claimed that it was too early “to point fingers.” (“Six killed in ambush in disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan”  Al Jazeera, 1 January 2024) 



Photo : Rodger Bosch, AFP

South Africa: Flood hits the town of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Vetriselvi Baskaran and Narmatha S

South Africa: Flood hits the town of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province

On 31 December, Africannews reported that the town of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province was hit by the floods. It killed at least 21 people and destroyed almost 1400 homes. Police Spokesperson, Colonel Robert, Netshiunda stated: “As of 29 December 2023, a total of 21 bodies have been recovered.” He added that the death tolls are expected to rise as the total number of people missing is uncertain. Search and rescue teams are on board. (“South Africa: Flash floods kill 21 people in coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal,” Africanews, 31 December 2023)

Mali: The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali officially ends after ten years

On 31 December, BBC reported that the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), is to complete its withdrawal from the country on 31 December bringing an end to a decades-long presence. MINUSMA began in 2013 following the advent of separatist insurgency attempting to take control of the north of the country. Among the UN missions, MINUSMA is the second deadliest mission that recorded the death of 310 peacekeepers. Despite their presence and efforts to counterattack, the jihadist activities increased, failing to fulfil the mandate of the mission. (“Mali: UN peacekeeping mission ends after decade,” BBC, 31 December 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: President Tshisekedi wins the election

On 31 December, BBC reported that President Félix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo elections. The election commission announced that he will be sworn in as the country's president on 20 January. Tshisikedi secured 73 per cent of the vote with his nearest challenger, Moise Katumbi, securing 18 per cent of the vote. (“Félix Tshisekedi: DR Congo's re-elected president,” BBC, 31 December 2023)



Photo : Shadi Tabatibi, Reuters

South Africa: Files case against Israel in ICJ over “genocide” in Gaza


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph 

South Africa: Files case against Israel in ICJ over “genocide” in Gaza

On 29 December, South Africa filed a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing of “genocide” in Gaza. The country described Israel’s actions in Gaza as  “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.” It added: “The acts in question include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.” (“South Africa files case at ICJ accusing Israel of ‘genocidal acts’ in Gaza,” Al Jazeera, 29 December 2023)



Photo : Ashraf Shazly, AFP

Sudan: RSF leader goes on a wartime visit to Ethiopia


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Sudan: RSF leader goes on a wartime visit to Ethiopia

On 28 December, Reuters reported that the RSF leader visited Uganda and Ethiopia on 27 and 28 December respectively. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that they discussed the need for a swift end to the war between the RSF and the SAF to restore peace and stability in the country. RSD leader Hemedti stated: "We discussed the need to bring a swift end to this war, the historical crisis in Sudan, and how to best alleviate the hardships of the Sudanese people.” The RSF has recently made military gains seizing control of the city of Wad Madani, SAF's bases and ports and consolidating its grip on the western region of Darfur. (“Leader of Sudan’s RSF visits Ethiopia in rare foreign trip as war rages,” Al Jazeera, 28 December 2023)

Burkina Faso: Russia opens its embassy

On 28 December, Russia opened an embassy in Burkina Faso after 30 years. The development comes after deteriorated France-Burkina Faso relations following the coup in 2022. Recently, the country had strengthened military and diplomatic ties with Russia following the withdrawal of French troops. Russia's ambassador to Ivory Coast, Alexei Saltykov, will be heading the embassy until an appointment is made. Saltykov described Burkina Faso as "an old partner with whom we have solid and friendly ties.” (“Russia reopens embassy in Burkina Faso,” BBC, 28 December 2023)



Photo : Darrin Zammit Lupi, Reuters

Sudan: Cholera outbreak in Port Sudan amidst the war-torn country


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 27 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Sudan: Cholera outbreak in Port Sudan amidst the war-torn country

On 27 December, African news reported that the cholera outbreak had spread to at least 46 localities in nine states in Sudan. Currently, 70 per cent of the health system in Sudan is out of service due to the civil war. There is an acute shortage in the supply of medicines and treatment for people with several diseases and severe diarrhoea. The university dorms are being converted to camps for displaced people. Due to mass gatherings, cholera has been spreading throughout the camps. Humanitarian agencies are working to resolve the conflict and provide medical aid to the maximum. (“Cholera Outbreak Ravages Port Sudan Amidst War,” BBC, 27 December 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Opposition clashed over alleged irregular elections

On 27 December, BBC Africa reported on clashes between the opposition supporters and the police over alleged irregular elections. Former oil executive Martin Fayulu, a major opposition leader who secured four per cent of votes, alleged that 11 of his supporters were injured during the clashes. Fayulu’s supporters burnt tyres and clashed with police accusing the election commission of fraud and ballot stuffing aimed at Tshisekedi’s victory and demanded the poll to be annulled. Tshisekedi won the elections securing 80 per cent of the votes. (“DR Congo elections: Fayulu's supporters clash with police in Kinshasa,” BBC, 27 December 2023)



Photo : Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters

Nigeria: Death toll rise to 160 in state of Plateau amid militant attacks


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Nigeria: Death toll rise to 160 in state of Plateau amid militant attacks

On 26 December, Africanews reported that at least 160 people were killed by armed groups in several villages in the state of Plateau. According to the report, armed men, locally known as bandits, have attacked around 20 villages since 24 December. In response, Amnesty International stated: “The Nigerian authorities have consistently failed in their attempts to put an end to these frequent attacks in Plateau State.” (“Many flee their homes after attacks kill 100s in central Nigeria,” Africanews, 26 December 2023)

Sudan: RSF accused of looting in Wad Madani

On 26 December, the residents of a village in the state of al-Jazira accused the Rapid Sup[port Forces (SAF) of looting the region including vehicles. RSF paramilitary group which has been fighting the Sudanese army has captured most of the capital Khartoum and has been advancing towards other regions. Recently, they captured the city of Wad Madani in the state of Al Jazira. According to the report, the group is advancing towards the neighbouring states of Sennar and Gedaref. (“Sudan: RSF militiamen accused of widespread looting in Wad Madani,” Africanews, 26 December 2023)



Photo : Denis Sassou Gueipeur, AFP

Chad: New constitution passed with 86 per cent vote in the referendum


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Chad: New constitution passed with 86 per cent vote in the referendum

On 25 December, Africanews reported that Chad’s new constitution was approved with 86 per cent votes in a referendum held on 17 December. The voter turnout for the referendum was reportedly 63.75 per cent. The referendum is said to be a significant step in the return to civilian rule by the end of 2024. Opposition leaders boycotted the referendum stating that the move is just a show for the eventual election of military leader General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who assumed power in 2021 following the death of his father, who himself took power in a coup 33 years ago. (“Chad's new constitution passes with 86% of vote,” Africanews, 25 December 2023)

Nigeria: 16 people killed in militant attack

On 25 December, Africanews reported that at least 16 people were killed in an attack on the village of Mushu in the state of Plateau. Although it is unclear who carried out the attack, the region has been facing religious and ethnic tension for several years. The governor of the state, Caleb Mutfwang, condemned the attack, describing it as "barbaric, brutal and unjustified.” (“Nigeria: at least 16 people killed in an attack in the centre of the country,” Africanews, 25 December 2023)



Photo : Mahamadou Hamidou, Reuters

Niger: France closes its embassy


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: France closes its embassy

On 22 December, France closed its embassy in Niger over the escalating tensions between the countries. The embassy stated that it is "no longer able to function normally or fulfil its missions" due to the restrictions imposed by the military government. The development comes after French troops left the country after the coup and France’s disapproval of the new military government. (“France closes Niger embassy after row with military junta,” BBC, 22 December 2023)

Sudan: SAF leader blames army’s “negligence” in Wad Madani

On 22 December, Sudanese military leader, al Burhan blamed the army for its “negligence” after the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) captured the city of Wad Madani. The army has been criticised for leaving the city without a proper defence. More than 300,000 people have left the city amid the fighting. Burhan stated: "We will hold every negligent commander accountable. Those who were responsible for this withdrawal will also be held accountable without leniency.” (“Sudan war: General Burhan blames fall of Wad Madani on 'negligence',” BBC, 22 December 2023)



Photo : Darrin Zammit Lupi, Reuters

Libya: Italy to evacuate 1,500 refugees


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 21 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Libya: Italy to evacuate 1,500 refugees

On 21 December BBC Africa reported that the Italian government signed an agreement with the UN refugee agency to provide asylum to 1,500 refugees and asylum seekers from Libya over the next three years. The deal is an extension of the previous one, in which Italy provided asylum to 1,300 refugees and asylum seekers from Libya. UNHCR applauded the deal stating that it provided “a critical lifeline for refugees and asylum seekers facing heightened protection risks.” (“Italy to evacuate 1,500 more refugees from Libya,” BBC, 21 December 2023)

Sudan: WFP halts aid amid renewed fighting

On 21 December, BBC Africa reported that the World Food Programme has halted food aid to parts of the state of Gezira in Sudan after the RSF took control of the city of Wad Madani. the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Sudan, Eddie Rowe stated:  "A place of refuge has now become a battleground in a war that has already taken a horrific toll on civilians. This has forced WFP to put on hold food deliveries in some locations in Gezira state at a time when people need our help the most." According to the WFP, more than 300,000 people have fled the region amid the fighting. (“WFP halts food aid to captured Sudan city,” BBC, 21 December 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections and extended for a second day amid delays

On 21 December, BBC Africa reported that the elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are ongoing for a second day. Elections were delayed on several points on the initial day forcing the authorities to extend for another day. Allegations of Electoral fraud, delays and overcrowding were reported in several polling stations. President Félix Tshisekedi faces 18 candidates as he seeks a second term. Rebel insurgency in the eastern part of the country has marred the election process in the region. (“DR Congo elections: Vote enters second day after 'chaos',” BBC, 21 December 2023)



Photo : Hussein Malla, AP Photo

Sudan: RSF seizes military base in Gezira and the city of Wad Madani


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: RSF seizes military base in Gezira and the city of Wad Madani

On 20 December, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary group fighting the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), claimed that they had seized a military base in the state of Gezira. The RSF stated that it “liberated the second infantry division” of SAF in the town of al-Hasaheisa. The development comes days after the group claimed seizing of the city of Wad Madani, the capital of the state of Gezira. According to the Preliminary Committee of Sudan Doctors’ Union, at least 300 people were killed during the clashes in Wad Madani. The UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM) stated that more than 300,000 people have fled the city following the clashes. (“RSF says it has seized another key town in central Sudan,” BBC, 20 December 2023)

The Democratic Republic of Congo: UN peacekeeping forces’ withdrawal in three phases

On 20 December, the UN Security Council voted on the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping forces from the conflict-hit eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The council extended the mandate of the mission, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), for a year and a three-phase withdrawal consequently. The mission which began in 2010 aimed to restore security in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; however, failed to achieve the objectives with the challenge of fighting more than 200 rebel groups. The UNSC stated: "The drawdown will start by the end of 2023 amid the election cycle. The force will be withdrawn from South Kivu by the end of April 2024 and the mandate’s implementation will be limited to provinces from May 2024.” (“UN council votes for gradual exit of DR Congo force,” BBC, 20 December 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Uganda: Human rights group challenges Anti-Homosexuality Act


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Uganda: Human rights group challenges Anti-Homosexuality Act

On 18 December, BBC Africa reported on human rights groups challenging Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act at the constitutional court. The act which was passed in May this year imposes the death penalty for having gay sex with someone below the age of 18 and infected with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. The act was passed in the parliament with an overwhelming majority. The act has brought global criticism with the World Bank halting new loans and the US imposing visa transitions on prominent officials. The government defended the case citing traditional family values. (“Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act challenged in Constitutional Court,” BBC, 18 December 2023)



Photo : Darrin Zammit Lupi, Reuters

Libya: 60 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Libya: 60 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya

On 17 December, BBC Africa quoted the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that more than 60 migrants drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya. The vessel left the city of Zuwara with around 86 people on board. The boat carrying migrants was trying to cross the Mediterranean to enter Europe. According to the IOM, more than 2,200 people have died this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean, making it one of the most dangerous routes. (“More than 60 migrants feared drowned off Libya, IOM says,” BBC, 17 December 2023)

 



Photo : EPA-EFE, STR

Niger: ECOWAS officially suspends country’s membership


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: ECOWAS officially suspends country’s membership

On 15 December, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) officially suspended Niger’s membership in the bloc. The move comes after the ruling military government refused to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. On 11 December, ECOWAS stated that it will not revoke sanctions imposed on Niger after the junta rejected to free the ousted president. (“Ecowas officially suspends Niger over coup,” BBC, 15 December 2023)

Kenya: Deal with Saudi Arabia securing 2,500 jobs

On 15 December, Kenya reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia allocating jobs for skilled workers and nurses in Saudi Arabia. Around 2,500 workers are expected to be given deployment during the first phase. Kenyan President, William Ruto, stated: "Previously, we only sent domestic workers, but now we can export skilled labour to Saudi Arabia and other countries." The development comes a week after Kenya's Ministry of Labour stated that it will send 1,500 workers to Israel. In November, Ruto visited Germany in a bid to secure 200,000 jobs for Kenyans. (“Kenya secures 2,500 jobs in Saudi Arabia - president,” BBC, 15 December 2023)

Somalia: Formally joins EAC

On 15 December, Somalia formally joined the East African Community (EAC) as the bloc's eighth member. Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signed the agreement during the ceremony which was presided over by current EAC chair and South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, in Uganda. President Mohamud stated that Somalia's entry into the bloc is a "beacon of hope for a future filled with possibilities." (“Somalia formally joins East Africa bloc as eighth member,” BBC, 15 December 2023)



Photo : Kenny Katombe, Reuters

Uganda: 200 ADF militants killed in military operation


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Uganda: 200 ADF militants killed in military operation

On 14 December, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni stated that at least 200 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants were killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during a military operation carried out by Ugandan troops. Museveni stated that "we have been carrying out air attacks on the terrorists in Congo” adding that “200 of them were killed.” In 2021, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo began a joint military offensive against the Islamic State-linked ADF group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the group has been carrying out frequent attacks. In June, at least 42 people were killed in western Uganda in an ADF attack. (“Hundreds of ADF fighters killed in Uganda strikes - Museveni,” BBC, 14 December 2023)



Photo : Goran Tomasevic, Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo: M23 rebels agree to a three-day ceasefire ahead of polls


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Democratic Republic of Congo: M23 rebels agree to a three-day ceasefire ahead of polls

On 13 December, the March 23 (M23), a rebel group active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, agreed to a three-day ceasefire brokered by the US. M23 spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka, stated that they accepted the deal “since it is in line with the M23's existing signed ceasefire of 7 March 2023.” He added that the group would “not hesitate” to defend themselves and the civilian population that is under their control. The ceasefire comes ahead of the elections that are scheduled on 20 December. Authorities have commented that the elections cannot be held in the regions of Rutshuru and Masisi due to instability. (“M23 rebels welcome ceasefire ahead of DR Congo elections,” BBC, 13 December 2023)

Ethiopia: Severe drought kills 176 people

On 13 December, BBC Africa quoted Ethiopian authorities that at least 176 people were killed in the Tigray region due to drought-induced hunger. The Governor of the district of Emba Sieneti stated that nearly 45,000 people are facing severe hunger worsened by the conflict and drought. The previous week, Tigray’s interim administration announced a state of emergency after more than 200 people died from drought-related hunger. A failed four consecutive rainy season in the region has caused severe drought in the Horn of Africa region. (“Dozens more die of hunger in Ethiopia as drought worsens,” BBC, 13 December 2023)



Photo : Thomas Mukoya, Reuters

Africa: Tariff-free deal with China


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Africa: Tariff-free deal with China

On 8 December, six African countries including Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Mali, Madagascar and Mauritania signed a tariff-free deal with China. The new policy of China is expected to come into effect on 25 December. China's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council stated that the effort is proof of "the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation," leading to "a high-quality China-Africa community with a shared future." According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), currently, 20 other African countries have a similar deal with China. (“Six African nations sign tariff-free deal with China,” BBC, 8 December 2023)

Southern Africa: Zimbabwe and Botswana to sign passport-free travel deal

On 8 December, Zimbabwe and Botswana announced a passport-free travel deal to be signed in 2024. The move adds to the wave of African countries easing travel restrictions. Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated: "The two of us have agreed because we are African. We should be able to walk into Botswana, walk into Zambia, walk into Kenya. Why should we restrict ourselves?" He added: "We impose constraints on ourselves which are more colonial than they are patriotic, so we agreed that he (President Masisi) himself on his side and myself on my side are going to instruct the relevant departments to ease these constraints of movement of people between our two countries." (“Zimbabwe, Botswana announce passport-free travel deal,” BBC, 8 December 2023)



Photo : Souleymane Ag Anara, Reuters

West Africa: Mali and Niger to revoke tax agreements with France


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

West Africa: Mali and Niger to revoke tax agreements with France

On 6 December, the military governments of Mali and Niger announced plans to halt decades-long tax agreements with France. The junta's of the respective countries jointly stated they are ending the agreements over "France's persistent hostile attitude" and "the unbalanced nature of these agreements, which result in a considerable loss of revenue for Mali and Niger." The tax agreement between France and Mali was signed in 1972; the deal with Niger was signed in 1965. The deals prevented Malian and Nigerian citizens living in France from paying taxes in two countries. Previously this year, Burkina Faso had revoked a similar deal with France. (“Mali and Niger revoke tax cooperation treaties with France,” Reuters, 6 December 2023)



Photo : narendramodi, X

Kenya: India provides USD 250 million credit


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

Kenya: India provides USD 250 million credit 

On 5 December, India extended to provide USD 250 million for the modernisation of agriculture in Kenya. This comes after Kenyan President William Ruto’s three-day visit to India aimed to expand ties between the two countries. Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, stated:  “As two agricultural economies, we have agreed to share experiences in this field. We have decided to extend a Line of Credit of $250 million for modernisation of the agricultural sector in Kenya. According to the needs of our times, we will increase partnership in innovation and technology.” Both countries have agreed to carry out joint military exercises and collaborate on counter-terror projects. The two countries also signed five agreements and issued a vision document for maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean. (“India announces $250 million agriculture aid to boost ties,” Times of India, 5 December 2023)



Photo : Kehinde Gbenga, AP Photo

Nigeria: Accidental army drone strikes kill many civilians


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Anu Maria Joseph

Nigeria: Accidental army drone strikes kill many civilians

On 4 December, BBC reported that Nigeria's Armed Forces accidentally fired a drone strike on a village in the North-west killing dozens of civilians. They were killed by drones targeting terrorists and bandits in the air strike that took place in Tudun Biri village in the state of Kaduna. Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that “Eighty-five dead bodies have so far been buried while search is still ongoing,” listing children, women and the elderly among the victims. Nigeria's military often conducts air raids as it fights the extremist violence and rebel attacks that have destabilised Nigeria's north for more than a decade, often leaving civilian casualties in its wake. (“Nigeria air strike 'mistakenly' kills worshippers at religious festival,” BBC, 4 December 2023)

Somali: Death toll due to floods rises to 110

On 4 August, BBC Africa quoted the UN OCHA that the death toll due to the ongoing floods in Somalia has risen to 110. According to OCHA, more than one million people have been displaced and nearly 2.4 million people are affected due to the calamity. The agency has warned of the risk of the spread of several diseases including cholera in the states of Hirshabelle and Galmudug. Somalia and neighbouring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia have been experiencing heavy rains for the past week causing widespread casualties and displacement. According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the floods are caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon causing extreme weather patterns. (“Somalia floods death toll rises to 110 - UN,” BBC, 4 August 2023)



Photo : AFP

Ethiopia: Authorities blame the armed group for casualties


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 2 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

Ethiopia: Authorities blame the armed group for casualties

On 2 December, Ethiopian officials accused Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) of carrying out attacks in the Oromia region which resulted in the death of many civilians. The largest and the populous Oromia region of Ethiopia was under attack 11 days after the peace talks in Tanzania. Tanzania served as the buffer zone for the peaceful talks between Ethiopian officials and the OLA. However, the peace talk ended without agreement. At least 36 people were killed after unidentified attackers struck three villages in Oromia's Shirka district on November 24 and 27. (“Ethiopia's Oromiya region accuses Ola rebels of killing 'many' people,” Times of India, 2 December 2023)

Guinea-Bissau: Another coup attempt says Guinea-Bissau’s President

On 2 December, Guinea-Bissau's President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who arrived in the country after attending the COP28 in UAE, stated the violence in the country during the week was a coup attempt. The unrest between members of the National Guard and special forces of the presidential guard on 30 November in the capital Bissau left at least two people dead. Guinea-Bissau has suffered a series of coups and attempted coups since its independence from Portugal in 1974. (“Guinea-Bissau: Soldier detained after gunfire in capital,” BBC, 2 December 2023) 



Photo : Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Reuters

Sudan: UN terminates mission in Sudan


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 December 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S

Sudan: UN terminates mission in Sudan

On 1 December, the UN Security Council voted to end its mission, UNITMAS, in the war-torn Sudan. 14 members voted to end the mission while Russia abstained. The mission would come to an end on 3 December. The Sudanese military government stated that the mission failed to reach its objectives. DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, stated: “The Security Council just voted to close down UNITAMS, but the UN is not abandoning the Sudanese people.” UNITAMS was established in June 2020 to support the country in a 12-month transition towards a civilian government. Its mandate was extended in 2021 and 2022. (“Security Council agrees to terminate UN mission in Sudan,” United Nations, 1 December 2023)

West Africa: Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso to create a federation

On 1 December, a two-day meeting was held in Malian capital Bamako, where the foreign ministers of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso met. During the meeting, they proposed establishing a confederation uniting the West African countries. In September, the military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger established the Alliance of Sahel States, a mutual defence pact. The latest meeting aimed at elaborating the functions of the defence alliance. Africanews quoted foreign ministers of the West African countries stating the “great potential for peace, stability, diplomatic strength and economic development that a strengthened political alliance offers." (“Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger look to form a federation,” Africanews, 1 December 2023)



Photo : Akintunde Akinleye, Reuters

Niger: Junta overturns anti-migrant smuggling law


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S and Anu Maria Joseph 

Niger: Junta overturns anti-migrant smuggling law

On 28 November, the Niger junta overturned an eight-year-old law that criminalised migrant smuggling. The junta stated that the law “did not take into account the interests of Niger and its citizens.” The law was passed in 2015 after a million asylum seekers and migrants tried to reach Europe through illegal and dangerous means. The implementation of the law resulted in a decrease in illegal people smuggling. The easing of the law is likely to cause a reemergence of trafficking gangs. (“Niger coup leaders repeal law against migrant smuggling,” BBC, 28 November 2023)

South Africa: 11 workers die in a platinum mine accident

On 28 November, BBC reported that a dozen workers died and nearly 75 members were injured as a lift collided in a Platinum mine. Impala Platinum Chief Executive, Nico Muller, described it as the "darkest day" in the company's history. South Africa has several deepest mines in the world. The accident took place when the winding rope connected to the cage-like lift carrying workers up and down to the mine started to move downwards unexpectedly. Impala Platinum stated that operations at the mine have been suspended. The officials added that it will extend its support to the families of their workers who died in service. In 2023, a South African mine accident resulted in the death of 60 People. (“Sudden lift plunge at South African mine kills 11,” BBC, 28 November 2023)

Sudan: UAE accused of providing support to RSF

On 28 November, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of providing support to the Rapid Support Forces (RAF). It stated that the UAE was involved in the war, supplying war materials to the RSF. In a video circulated by Reuters, General Yaasir al-Attah stated that they have information from military intelligence that the UAE is sending planes to support the militants. He added that the UAE is supplying RSF through Uganda, Central African Republic, Chad and then to Sudan. The UAE responded: "UAE has consistently called for de-escalation, a ceasefire and the initiation of diplomatic dialogue in Sudan.” (“Sudanese general accuses UAE of supplying paramilitary RSF,” Reuters, 28 November 2023)

Burkina Faso: 40 civilians killed in militant attack

On 28 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 40 civilians were killed in an Islamist militant attack in northern Burkina Faso. The Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), an Islamist militant group active in West Africa has attacked the city of Djibo. The country has been battling insurgency since 2015. (“Islamists kill at least 40 civilians in Burkina Faso,” BBC, 28 November 2023)



Photo : REUTERS, Stringer

Uganda: To borrow USD 150 million from China


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 27 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S 

Uganda: To borrow USD 150 million from China

On 27 November, the Ugandan Ministry of Finance stated that the country is preparing to borrow USD 150 million from China’s Export-Import Bank after the World Bank halted its funding. This deal was made to expand Uganda’s internet facility and infrastructure. The money, the ministry stated, “is to finance the supply, installation, commissioning, and support of the national data transmission backbone infrastructure.” Additionally, to export crude oil to the international market, the country is trying to extend its negotiations with the Chinese Export Credit Agency, SINOSURE. Uganda is also negotiating with the EXIM bank to help them by providing loans to finance the construction of a pipeline. The World Bank, the biggest development lender to Uganda, stopped funding in August due to the anti-LGBTQ law. (“Uganda to borrow $150 mln from China's Exim after World Bank halts funding,” Reuters, 27 November 2023)



Photo : Saidu Bah, AFP

Sierra Leone: Nationwide curfew after attacks on military barracks


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S 

Sierra Leone: Nationwide curfew after attacks on military barracks

On 26 November, a nationwide curfew was announced by President Julius Maada Bio after unknown gunmen fired at the military barracks and detention centres in the capital city of Freetown. Bio stated that “calm has been restored” after they were driven away by the security forces. The political situation in the country has been tense since Bio was re-elected in a disputed election in June. The detention centres and the Pademba Road prison that held more than 2000 prisoners were attacked. Minister of Information, Chernor Bah stated: “The prisoners were overrun and some prisoners were abducted by the assailants while many others were released.” (“Sierra Leone lifts indefinite curfew,” BBC, 26 November 2023)

Egypt: Collaboration with Canadian company on mineral resource

On 26 November, Arab News reported that a contract was signed between Egypt’s mineral resource authority and Canada’s Lotus Gold Corporation in Marsa Alam on a USD 2.5 million gold exploration project. The deal with the Lotus Gold Corporation, a major player in the global mining industry, is part of the second round of Egypt’s global gold bid giving the firm three sectors covering 525 square meters. This is seen as Egypt’s effort to increase foreign investments and modernise the mining sector. The signing of the contract was overseen by Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla and Canadian Ambassador, Louis Dumas. (“Egypt boosts gold sector with $2.5m exploration deal with Lotus Gold Corp,” Arab News, 26 November 2023)

Nigeria: 100 people abducted in Zamfara

On 26 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 100 people were abducted by bandits in the state of Zamfara in northwest Nigeria. Gunmen who came on motorcycles stormed the village. A witness told BBC that the residents were kidnapped after they failed to pay the tax imposed by the gunmen. One of the villagers told BBC that the leader of the armed gang, Damana, controls the majority of the region in the absence of state security forces. Currently, Nigeria faces multifaceted security issues including the jihadist insurgency in the north, farmer-herder clashes and separatist insurgency in the southeast and bandits in the Niger Delta. (“Dozens kidnapped by motorcycle 'bandits' in north Nigeria,” BBC, 26 November 2023)



Photo : Rijasolo, AFP

Madagascar: Incumbent president wins the elections for a third term


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S 

Madagascar: Incumbent president wins the elections for a third term

On 25 November, BBC Africa reported that Madagascar’s incumbent President, Andry Rajoelina, won the elections for a third term. The country witnessed a disputed election boycotted by the opposition party who claimed that they would not recognise the election's outcome. Andry secured 59 per cent of the vote against his main opponent Marc Ravalomanana. The presidential candidates called for a poll boycott because of a low voter turnout. The voter turnout was 46 per cent which is the lowest recorded ever in the country. On 16 November, multiple clashes with police resulted in a curfew on the evening of election day. (“Madagascar president re-elected amid boycott,” BBC, 25 November 2023)

Morocco: Alliance with the EU to tackle extremism

On 24 November, the EU and Morocco launched an initiative against extremism through educational means. It is a two-year initiative aimed at countering and preventing violent extremism. In the 21st Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, stated that the program's primary goal is to “provide individuals with access to education and to help them develop the capacities necessary to challenge extremist narratives and promote peace.” The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Joseph Borell, asserted that “the program aims to help develop societies that are more tolerant and resilient against terrorism and violent extremism.” (“Morocco and EU Launch Alliance to Tackle Extremism through Education,” Morocco World News, 24 November 2023)



Photo : Sang Tan, AP Photo

Somalia: Joins as eighth member of East African Community trade bloc


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Narmatha S 

Somalia: Joins as eighth member of East African Community trade bloc

On 24 November, Reuters reported that the East African Community trade bloc welcomed Somalia as its eighth member to boost the country’s economy and stability to expand free trade across the region. The EAC common market was set up in 2010 and has around 300 million people from the countries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Somalia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Daud Aweis, stated: “Somalia officially joins the East African Community, reinforcing ties and opening new doors for progress and partnership.” With Somalia being the new member, the bloc’s coastline has stretched over 3000 kilometres holding high potential for offshore resources including oil and gas. Before, only Kenya and Tanzania of EAC had coastlines. The Bloc may witness jitters due to the presence of conflict-prone zones in Somalia caused by the Islamist militants. (“Boost for Somalia as it joins East African trade bloc,” BBC, 24 November 2023)

Ethiopia: Nearly 50 people died out of hunger

On 23 November BBC reported that more than fifty people died out of hunger in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray and Amhara. Thousands of people fled their homes because of drought. Since 2019, due to climate change, the region has witnessed five failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa region. Over 4000 cattle died of severe drought. The El Nino effect has worsened in northern Ethiopia, battling drought while the southern and eastern regions battling flash floods. The UN has stopped its humanitarian aid due to allegations of food theft that made the situation worse. (“Hunger kills 50 people in Ethiopia amid drought,” BBC, 23 November



Photo : Mulugeta Ayene, AP Photo

Ethiopia: Peace talks with OLA end without deal


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Ethiopia: Peace talks with OLA end without deal

On 22 November, the Ethiopian government stated that the peace talks with the rebel group, Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), failed, describing OLA’s approach as “obstructive” and demands as “unrealistic.” The talks were held in the city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. One of the government negotiators, Redwan Hussein, stated that the government “regrets this unfortunate turn of events.” Meanwhile, OLA in response stated that the government was not interested in addressing the “fundamental problems that underlie the county´s seemingly insurmountable security and political challenges.” The OLA has been fighting the federal forces since 2018 over what the group claims is the oppression of the Oromo ethnic group.  (“Ethiopia talks with rebel group OLA end without deal,” BBC, 22 November 2023)

Cameroon: Nine people killed in gunmen attack

On 22 November, BBC Africa reported on a gunmen attack in the town of Bamenyam in the west of Cameroon that killed at least nine people. The attacks were carried out in the French-speaking region of Bamboutos by the separatist militants who campaign for an independent region for the English-speaking community. Since 2017, the separatist movement has been ongoing with a minority English-speaking community claiming that the government dominated by the French-speaking community has been marginalising them. The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people. (“Gunmen kill nine in Cameroon market attack,” BBC, 22 November 2023)

South Africa: Motion to end diplomatic ties with Israel

On 22 November, the South African parliament voted for a motion calling to end diplomatic ties with Israel. The motion was passed by 248 votes to 91. The governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), has been critical of Israel’s attacks in Gaza. On 20 November, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the war crimes in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs recalled its ambassador to South Africa “for consultations,” a move it stated as a response to “the latest South African statements.” (“South Africa MPs vote to suspend Israeli ties,” BBC, 22 November 2023)



Photo : Peter Louis GUME, AFP

Sudan: Communal clashes kill 32 people in Abyei village


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: Communal clashes kill 32 people in Abyei village

On 20 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 37 people were killed in a gunmen attack in the village of Abyei. One of the UN peacekeepers was also killed during the attack. The attack comes alongside ongoing communal hostilities in the village over land and resources. The village of Abyei is an oil and resources-rich region that lies on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. It is considered to belong to both countries after a peace agreement that was signed in 2005. The previous week, the UN Security Council extended its mandate of the peacekeeping mission in the region for one more year. (“UN peacekeeper among 32 killed in Sudan clashes,” BBC, 20 November 2023

Kenya: Death toll due to floods rise to a dozen

On 20 November, BBC Africa reported that according to the Kenyan government, the death toll due to the heavy rains and floods has risen to ten. The Coast regional police commissioner Rhoda Onyancha stated that more than 20,000 families have been affected by the floods in the counties of Mombasa, Kilfi, Kwale and Tana River. The World Meteorological Organization reported that the heavy rains that are affecting the East African countries including Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon. (“Kenya flood toll rises as recovery of bodies continues,” BBC, 20 November 2023)

South Africa: Calls on ICC to issue arrest warrant on Netanyahu

On 20 November, the South African government called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza. Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni stated that the ICC’s failure to issue arrest warrants would mean a “total failure” in global governance. South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros and Djibouti referred to the ICC for an investigation of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza. Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel clashes were reported in the city of Cape Town. In response to the clashes, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the Israel-Gaza conflict should not “deepen divisions” within South African society. Ramaphosa’s government and African National Congress (ANC) had expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Ramaphosa stated: "Support for the Palestinian struggle cannot be equated with antisemitism.” (“Israel-Gaza conflict should not divide SA - Ramaphosa; SA calls on ICC to issue arrest warrant for Netanyahu,” BBC, 20 November 2023)



Photo : Carielle Doe, Reuters

Liberia: Joseph Boakai secures a majority in the run-off elections


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Liberia: Joseph Boakai secures a majority in the run-off elections

On 18 November, the Election Commission of Liberia announced that Joseph Boakai secured a majority of 50.89 per cent votes against George Weah who secured 49.11 per cent during the run-off elections. The commission stated that they have announced the results from 99.58% of the polling stations. The run-off elections were conducted after Boakai and Weah failed to secure a majority of over 50 per cent of the vote during the initial round of elections. Following the announcement, the incumbent President Weah expressed congratulations to Boakai stating: "The Liberian people have spoken and we have heard their voice.” He asserted that the close competition “reveals a deep division within our country" and called on Liberians to "work together to find common ground... unity is paramount for mama Liberia.” (“Liberia election results: President George Weah calls Joseph Boakai to congratulate him,” BBC, 18 November 2023)



Photo : Patrick Meinhardt, AFP

Kenya: Parliament approves police deployment in Haiti


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Kenya: Parliament approves police deployment in Haiti

On 17 November, the Kenyan parliament approved the plan to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti to quell the gang violence. In September, the deployment plan was approved by the UN Security Council. However, Thirdway Alliance, an opposition party, legally challenged the plan citing it as unconstitutional and that only the military could be deployed outside the country. In October, Kenya’s High Court extended the blocking order on the deployment, reiterating that the deployment could not take place until the ruling in January. Members of the parliament who supported the plan stated that the country is part of the global community and could not ignore requests from other countries. They also asserted Kenya’s history of peacekeeping missions in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. (“Kenya's parliament backs Haiti mission despite court case,” BBC, 17 November 2023)

Sudan: Two rebel groups to fight alongside SAF in the ongoing Civil War. 

On 17 November, Rebel leader Gibril Ibrahim the leader of JEM told the BBC that they would fight with the Sudan Armed Forces(SAF) against the paramilitary force of Rapid Support Force (RSF). This decision came after RSF started to gain many areas of Darfur and SAF’s military base. He added that he couldn’t bear seeing his people buried alive. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Liberation Movement ( SLM) together fought in previous civil wars and the first genocide in 2003 in Darfur. Now both rebel groups join SAF after seven months of consideration. (“Sudan civil war: Darfur's Jem rebels join army fight against RSF,” BBC, 17 November 2023)



Photo : REUTERS, Francis Kokoroko

Ghana: President Nana Akufo-Addo’s push for colonial reparations


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Ghana: President Nana Akufo-Addo’s push for colonial reparations

On 15 November, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo urged African and Caribbean countries to demand reparations for the atrocities during colonialism and slavery. He described the assertion as “a valid demand for justice.” The comments were made during the reparations conference held in Ghana’s capital Accra. The conference was attended by leaders of African and Caribbean countries. Akufo-Addo stated: "No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade and its consequences. But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore.” In September, during the UN General Assembly Akufo-Addo had commented that “no amount of money would ever make up for the horrors, but it would make the point that evil was perpetrated.” The conference aims to a unified voice to assist African countries that are seeking reparations. (“Ghana's President Akufo-Addo in fresh push for reparations,” BBC, 15 November 2023)

Uganda: Parliament passes bill limiting oil imports through Kenya

On 14 November, Uganda’s parliament passed a bill permitting the state-owned oil company, Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc) to supply oil to the domestic market. Uganda imports 90 per cent of its oil through Kenya’s Mombasa port. According to Uganda’s Minister of Energy, Ruth Nankabirwa, the bill will limit the import of oil through Kenya as it “exposed Uganda to occasional supply vulnerabilities where Ugandan oil marketing companies were considered secondary whenever there were supply disruptions.” Members of the parliament who supported the bill asserted that it would reduce the fuel cost and the “fuel cartels that arbitrarily influence fuel pricing.” (“Uganda MPs approve ending oil imports through Kenya,” BBC, 15 November 2023)

Mali: Army recaptures rebel stronghold Kidal

On 15 November, BBC Africa reported on Mali’s army seizing Kidal, a town in northern Mali which has been under the control of the Tuareg rebels for a decade. The junta stated that the recapturing of the town did not mean the mission was complete. The Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), an alliance of Tuareg armed groups, stated that they left Kidal “for strategic reasons” and that the “fight continues.” In 2015, an agreement was signed between the Tuareg rebels and the Malian government where many of the rebels were incorporated into the army. However, recently the rebels started remerging after French troops withdrew their troops amid a failure in addressing insurgency and the junta turned to the Russian paramilitary group, Wagner, for assistance. (“Mali army seizes key rebel northern stronghold Kidal,” BBC, 15 November 2023)

Somalia: The UNSC adopts a resolution to extend ATMIS. 

On 15 November, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) for a period of six months. It will expire on June 30, 2024. Resolution 2710 gives authority for the AU member states to deploy up to 17,626 uniformed personnel to aid ATMIS until 31 December. The phase 2 drawdown adds an additional 3000 personnel as requested by the Somalian government. The resolution further authorises 14,626 personnel from 1 January 2024 to 30 June 2024 and to complete the phase 3 drawdown of 4000 personnel for ATMIS. (Somalia: Votes on the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and on the Renewal of the Sanctions Regime, Security Council Report, 15 November 2023)



Photo : Tiksa Negeri, Reuters

Ethiopia: Fresh wave of fighting in Amhara


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph and Narmatha S

Ethiopia: Fresh wave of fighting in Amhara

On 14 November, BBC Africa reported that thousands of farmers fled the town of Bure in the Amhara region to Oromia following a fresh wave of fighting with the Amhara regional militia, Fano. The farmers who fled the region told BBC that they were demanded to join the Fano militia and were attacked after they refused to do so. The fighting between Amhara regional forces and the Ethiopian federal forces began in August after the Ethiopian government asked to disarm regional forces and incorporate them into the federal forces. The regional forces refused, citing their defence to other regional militias. (“Thousands flee attacks in Ethiopia's Amhara region,” BBC, 14 November 2023)

Somalia: Floods in East Africa “once-in-a-century-event,” says UN

On 14 November, the UN described the floods in Somalia and the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya as a “once-in-a-century-event.” At least 32 people were killed in the floods across the country. The UN warned that nearly 1.6 million people in Somalia are affected by the heavy rains and floods. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the devastating flooding is caused by the El Niño effect that is changing the weather patterns across the world. Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated: “The people have been displaced, homes and properties destroyed, the people are hungry, and that is our problem right now, that is what we are focusing on.” (“Somalis going hungry after floods - president,” BBC, 14 November 2023)

Gabon: Military government announces elections in 2025

On 14 November, the Gabon military leaders announced their plan to hold the election in August 2025 after a two-year transition. General Brice Oligui Nguema carried out a coup in August citing “several institutional crises” under the 55-year-long rule under the Bongo family. The coup faced several regional and international criticism along with pressure to return to civilian rule. The announcement of the transition and the election aim at rebuilding the trust of the international community and the public. (“Gabon elections: Junta plans post-Bongo polls for 2025,” BBC, 14 November 2023)

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines to buy 67 Boeing jets. 

On 14 November, an agreement was signed between Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing at the Dubai Air Show held in Dubai, UAE. The airline has agreed to order 11 787 Dreamliners, 20  737 MAX aeroplanes and 36 more jets marking Boeing’s largest deal by an African country. The 787 Dreamliner reduces fuel usage and emissions by 25 per cent and creates 50 per cent smaller noise footprints compared to the other planes. This would create a better environment performance and comfort for the passengers. The airline aims to strengthen and modernise its fleet. (Ethiopian Airlines Agrees to Landmark Order for Upto 67 Boeing Jets, Ethiopian Monitor, 14 November 2023)

Ethiopia: USAID resumes food aid across Ethiopia. 

On 14 November, the United States Agency for International Development ( USAID) officials announced that they would resume providing food aid across Ethiopia. After the local officials were involved in massive corruption by stealing donated grains, USAID halted delivery for the past five months. The agency has previously sought to remove Ethiopian government officials from having any role in aid processes to stem corruption. The officials say that this is the largest ever food aid theft in the region. This suspension affected 20 million people in Ethiopia who wholly rely on the aid because of conflict and severe drought. (“US to resume food aid deliveries in Ethiopia,” BBC, 14 November 2023)



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Sudan: UNHCR expresses concern on increasing violence in Darfur


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: UNHCR expresses concern on increasing violence in Darfur

On 10 November, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concern about the escalating fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan. It stated that at least 800 people were killed in the recent wave of clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The Roots of Organisation for Human Rights, a local civil society group, claimed that nearly 1,300 people have been killed since 3 November in the city of El Geneina in the state of West Darfur. RSF and its allied Arab militias have been accused of the killings. According to the UNHCR, more than 8,000 people have fled to the neighbouring country Chad; many of them are subjected to sexual violence and torture. (“UN alarmed by violence in Sudan's Darfur region,” BBC, 10 November 2023)



Photo : Eduardo Soteras, AFP

Ethiopia: Heavy fighting in Amhara


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Ethiopia: Heavy fighting in Amhara

On 8 November, BBC Africa reported on heavy fighting in Lalibela, a Unesco heritage site, in Ethiopia, between the federal forces and the Amhara regional militia, Fano. Meanwhile, the residents of the Amhara region reported drone strikes and indiscriminate shelling in the Gojjam, Shoa and Gondar regions of Amhara. The fighting broke out in August after the government directed to integrate regional forces into the federal forces. The Fano militia claim that the integration will threaten their local defence to other regional militias including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has accused the federal forces and Fano militia of committing human rights atrocities. The Ethiopian government denied the accusations describing it as “unbalanced.” According to EHRC, more than 3,000 people have fled the region since the beginning of the conflict. (“Lalibela fighting: Amhara Fano militia and Ethiopian army clash in historic town,” BBC, 8 November 2023)

Horn of Africa: Flash floods in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia

On 8 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 29 people were killed in flash floods followed by heavy rains in Somalia. The Somali National Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) stated that at least 850,000 people are affected by the floods. The Somali government has declared an emergency in the states of Jubbaland, Hirshabelle South West and Galmudug. The flash floods were caused by the overflowing of the Juba and Shabelle rivers following heavy rains. Meanwhile, flash floods are also reported in neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia. On 6 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 15 people were killed in Kenya in flash floods. According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) El Niño weather phenomenon is behind the heavy rains and is likely to continue until April 2024. (“Call for action in Kenya as El Niño causes havoc,” BBC, 8 November)

Uganda: The UK and the US issue security alert

On 8 November, the UK High Commission in Uganda issued  a security alert citing the “growing terror threat in Uganda, including the targeting of foreigners.” Additionally, the US embassy in Uganda issued a similar security alert. Both countries advised their citizens not to attend larger gatherings including worship events. The UK government warned its citizens against visiting Semuliki National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. The development comes after a British and South African couple were killed in an Allied Democratic Force (ADF) attack in September. ADF attacks in western Uganda have increased recently, heightening the insecurity situation in the country. In June, at least 42 people were killed in an ADF attack in a school in western Uganda. (“UK, US issue fresh security alert for Uganda,” BBC, 8 November 2023)



Photo : Atta Kenare, AFP

South Africa: Recalls diplomats from Israel


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

South Africa: Recalls diplomats from Israel

On 7 November, BBC Africa reported on South Africa recalling all of its diplomats to Israel following the Israel-Gaza war. The South African Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: "We are... extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians in the Palestinian territories and we believe the nature of response by Israel has become one of collective punishment. We felt it important that we do signal the concern of South Africa while continuing to call for a comprehensive cessation [of hostilities]." Meanwhile, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs responded: "Israel expects South Africa to condemn Hamas, which is worse than Isis, and to respect Israel's right to defend itself against an attack by a horrific terrorist organisation that has engraved on its flag a call for the destruction of the State of Israel.” (“South Africa recalls all diplomats from Israel,” BBC, 7 November 2023)



Photo : Bernadett Szabo, Reuters

Africa: Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala visits Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and Ivory Coast


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Africa: Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala visits Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and Ivory Coast

On 5 November, Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala began his eight-day visit to Africa. His visit began with the inauguration of the Czech-Ethiopian Business Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia hosting 14 Czech 40 Ethiopian entrepreneurs. In Ethiopia, he emphasised the potential for cooperation in the health and defence sectors. Besides Ethiopia,, he visited Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Fiala’s visit aims to encourage the development of commercial and trade ties between the Czech Republic and African countries. He stated: “The visit to Africa will follow the same format as my visit to Asia, which brought a number of concrete [positive] results for Czech companies. We must change our [outdated] approach to [cooperation with states in] Africa. Africa has great potential for our companies.” (“Czech PM to visit African countries to expand trade relations,” Report, 6 November 2023) 

Nigeria: Ten people killed in suspected Boko Haram attack

On 6 November, BBC Africa reported that at least ten people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack in the village of Zabarmari in the state of Borno in Nigeria. A farmer told BBC that the militants riding motorbikes looted and attacked the village. (“Farmers hacked to death in north-eastern Nigeria,” BBC, 6 November 2023)

Cameroon: 20 people killed in separatist attack

On 6 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 20 people were killed in a separatist attack in the Manyu region of Cameroon. The militants injured several others and set ablaze many houses. Since 2017, Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF) has been carrying out separatist movements in two Anglophone regions of Cameroon- Yaounde and Manyu against the government. According to BBC, the conflict has left at least 6,000 people dead and thousands displaced. (“Cameroon homes torched in deadly separatist raid,” BBC, 6 November 2023)



Photo : AFP

Sudan: RSF claims it aims to capture the entire Sudan


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 3 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: RSF claims it aims to capture the entire Sudan

On 3 November, the deputy commander of Sudan’s paramilitary, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Abdel Rahim Hamdan Daglo, announced that they would continue to fight against the Sudanese Armed Forces until they captured all the states of Sudan. Dagalo’s announcement came after they made significant advancements in the Darfur states. He stated: “We will move towards other remaining states and [army] headquarters, and they will be under our control, God willing.” (“Paramilitary RSF says it aims to capture all of Sudan,” BBC, 3 November 2023)

Equatorial Guinea: President’s Visit to Russia

On 3 November, BBC Africa reported on Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a meeting with Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in Moscow on 2 November. During the meeting, Putin expressed Russia’s “serious” interests in extracting mineral resources in Equatorial Guinea. Putin stated: "The potential investment capacity is big, and your country's capacity in developing these relations is also good. I am referring to the potential to do with, above all, the extraction of mineral resources.” President Nguema welcomed Russian investments in the country. (“Russia is interested in E Guinea's minerals - Putin,” BBC, 3 November 2023)



Photo : EPA

Nigeria: At least 37 killed in Boko Haram attack


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 2 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Nigeria: At least 37 killed in Boko Haram attack

On 2 November, BBC Africa reported that at least 37 people were killed in a series of attacks by the Boko Haram militant group. On 30 November, 17 people were killed during a raid in the village of Gurokayeya in the state of Yobe. Later, another 20 people who were returning after the funeral service of the victims of the 30 November attack were killed by the same militants. According to the police, the militants carried out the attack after the victims refused to pay what they term as “harvest tax.” (“Boko Haram kills 37 in Nigeria's Yobe state - police,” BBC, 2 November 2023)



Photo : AFP

Mali: Tuareg rebels claim control of Kidal


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 November 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Mali: Tuareg rebels claim control of Kidal

On 1 November, BBC Africa reported that Mali Tuareg rebels claimed that they had taken control of the Kidal base which was used by the UN peacekeepers. Previously, the UN mission in Mali (Minusma) reported on its complete withdrawal from the base after two attacks that were carried out by the militants in the town of Gao. This is reportedly the third camp that the militants have taken over following the halting of the mission. The other camps were in the towns of Tessalit and Aguelhok. The separatists recently resumed their campaign in the region after withdrawing from the ceasefire with Malian authorities following the withdrawal of French and UN troops. (“Mali rebels claim control of Kidal base after UN exit,” BBC, 1 November 2023)

Nigeria: Worsening Child Nutrition

On 1 November, FHI 360, a non-governmental organisation, reported that the number of cases of severe malnutrition among children aged under five is increasing in Nigeria. It stated that nearly 15,781 children diagnosed with malnutrition were admitted to its several facilities between February and September this year. According to the organisation, it depicts an increase of 160 per cent compared to last year. The organisation stated: “The situation in north-east Nigeria is grave, and increased support is needed to address the critical health and nutritional needs of communities, especially women and children.” The UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) previously stated that two million children in Nigeria suffer from malnutrition and that only 20 per cent receive proper treatment. (“Child malnutrition 'rises by 160% in parts of Nigeria',” BBC, 1 November 2023)



Photo : Ben Curtis, AP Photo

US to remove four countries from Agoa


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

US to remove four countries from Agoa

On 31 October, US President Joe Biden announced that the US will remove Uganda, Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic from the US-Africa trade programme. Biden stated that those countries are involved in “gross violations” of human rights. In 2000, the US introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). It gives duty-free access to more than 1,800 US-based products. Biden stated that Niger and Gabon are ineligible to Agoa as they “"have not established, or are not making continual progress toward establishing the protection of political pluralism and the rule of law.” Additionally, CAR and Uganda carry out  "gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.” (“US to remove Uganda and three other African countries from Agoa trade deal,” BBC, 31 October 2023)

Tanzania: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit

On 31 October, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier began his three-day visit to Tanzania. He expressed “shame” over the colonial atrocities Germany carried out in Tanzania. More than 300,000 people were killed during the Maji Maji anti-colonial rebellion in the 1900s in Tanzania. Steinmeier stated: "What happened here is our shared history, the history of your ancestors and the history of our ancestors in Germany. I would like to ask for forgiveness for what Germans did to your ancestors here.” In 2021, Germany acknowledged the genocide it carried out in Namibia in 1994 and announced reparations worth USD 1.34 billion. (Germany asks forgiveness for Tanzania colonial crimes, BBC, 31 October 2023)



Photo : Tony Karumba, Pool Photo via AP

Kenya: King Charles visit


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Kenya: King Charles visit 

On 29 October, King Charles and Queen Camillia began their four-day visit to Kenya. During the visit, he acknowledged the “painful aspects” of Britain's colonial rule in Kenya. More than 10,000 people were killed during the suppression of the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950. In 2013, the UK paid reparations worth USD 24 million to around 5,000 people. The response to the visit is divided. One section believes that the visit will be a new beginning to Kenya-Britain relations. The other section believes that the visit will be an insult to the painful past of the colonial era. (“King Charles Kenya trip: Mau Mau uprising hangs over visit,” BBC, 29 October 2023)



Photo : Ibrahim Mohammed Ishak, Reuters

Sudan: US and Saudi Arabia to resume peace talks


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: US and Saudi Arabia to resume peace talks

On 26 October, the US and Saudi Arabia announced that they will resume peace talks in Jeddah to reach a ceasefire in Sudan. Representatives of Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces have agreed to attend the peace talks.  Previous peace talks held in Jeddah were ineffective after the warring sides failed to commit to the agreed ceasefires. The conflict between the two military factions has reached a sixth month leaving 9,000 people dead. Meanwhile, the same day, BBC Africa reported that the RSF has taken control of the Nyala town in the state of South Darfur. (“Sudan army, RSF to resume peace talks in Jeddah,” BBC, 26 October 2023)

South Africa: World Bank to provide loan for power crisis

On 26 October, the World Bank announced that it will loan USD one billion to South Africa to assist the country in addressing the long unresolved power crisis. The World Bank stated: “The loan endorses a significant and strategic response to South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis and the country’s goal of transitioning to a just and low carbon economy.” 80 per cent of the country’s energy production depends on coal, making the country the 14th largest emitter of carbon dioxide. (“SA gets $1bn World Bank loan to tackle power crisis,” BBC, 26 October 2023)



Photo : AFP

Tanzania: Deal with UAE giant DP World


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Tanzania: Deal with UAE giant DP World

On 23 October, United Arab Emirates (UAE) maritime giant DP World signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Tanzania. The deal worth USD 250 million will give the DP World the managing authority of the Dar es Salaam port for the next 30 years. The deal has sparked several criticisms  that it "violated Tanzania's constitution and endangers national sovereignty.” However, the high court of the town of Mbedya has dismissed the petition demanding to halt the deal. The Dp World, owned by Emirati ruling families, has port operations in Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal and Somalia. In 2021, it promised to invest USD one billion in Africa. (“DP World in Tanzania: The UAE firm taking over Africa's ports,” BBC, 23 October 2023)

DRC: ADF attack, M23 resurgence and tensions with East African force

On 24 October, BBC Africa reported that at least 23 civilians were killed in a rebel attack in the town of Oicha in the Beni region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese government attributed the attack to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Uganda-based rebel group linked to Islamic State  active in the region. Meanwhile, on 23 October, BBC Africa reported on a new wave of fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between the government forces and March23 (M23) rebels. According to the report, the rebels have captured the town of Kitshanga in the province of North Kivu. An unnamed security source informed AFP news agency: "The rebels are in Kitshanga and we are trying to find a way to retake the town.” Previous week, the Congolese government had asked the East African force to leave the country by December owing to its failure in addressing the M23 unrest. Forces from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan have been deployed in the eastern DRC against the M23 campaign in November 2022. However, the rebel campaign has worsened in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu with the Rwandan government allegedly supporting the rebels. According to the UN refugee agency, more than 6.2 million people have been displaced due to the insurgency in the region. (“Islamists kill 23 in morning attack - DR Congo mayor,” BBC, 24 October 2023)

Cameroon: 40 people kidnapped in Touboro

On 24 October, BBC Africa reported that at least 40 Chadian and Cameroonian citizens were kidnapped by the bandits in the town of Touboro in Cameroon. Mayor of the town, Celestin Yandal, told BBC that the bandits targeted the Chadian traders who were returning from Touboro market. Cameroon and Chad share 1,100 kilometres of borders which are prone to ransom kidnappings. (“Bandits in Cameroon kidnap around 40 people - mayor,” BBC, 24 October 2023)



Photo : Alexis Huguet, AFP

Democratic Republic of Congo: New wave of fighting in eastern DRC


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 23 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Democratic Republic of Congo: New wave of fighting in eastern DRC

On 23 October, BBC Africa reported on the eruption of a new wave of fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between the government forces and M23 rebels. According to the report, the rebels have captured the town of Kitshanga in the province of North Kivu. An unnamed security source informed AFP news agency: "The rebels are in Kitshanga and we are trying to find a way to retake the town.” The resumed fighting has disrupted a six-month truce. Previous week, the Congolese government had asked the East African force to leave the country by December owing to its failure in addressing the M23 unrest. Forces from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan have been deployed in the eastern DRC against M23 rebels in November 2022. However, the rebel campaign has worsened in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu with the Rwandan government allegedly supporting the rebels. According to the UN refugee agency, more than 6.2 million people have been displaced due to the insurgency in the region. (“Rebels recapture DR Congo town in fresh fighting,” BBC, 23 October 2023)



Photo : The Egyptian Presidency, Handout via ReutersIN BRIEF By Anu Maria Joseph Egypt: Hosts Cairo Peace S

Egypt: Hosts Cairo Peace Summit


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 21 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Egypt: Hosts Cairo Peace Summit

On 21 October, the Cairo Peace Summit was held in the Egyptian capital Cairo. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and leaders from Jordan, France, Germany, Russia, China, the US, the US and Qatar attended the summit along with the UN and the EU officials. The summit aims to discuss ways to de-escalate the Israel-Palestine conflict and the urgent need for humanitarian support. Ramaphosa asserted that his country could bring out its experience of conflict resolution in Africa and mediate peace talks between the conflicting parties. Previously, the Egyptian government had raised concern over the mass exodus of Palestinians through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. On 18 October, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated that his country would oppose the forced displacement of Palestinians into Sinai which would create a threat to the Egyptian peninsula turning into a base for attacks against Israel. (“World leaders attend Cairo peace summit to ‘de-escalate’ Israel-Hamas war,” Al Jazeera, 21 October 2023)



Photo : Jok Solomun, Reuters

Sudan: The US calls on RSF to stop shelling civilian regions


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: The US calls on RSF to stop shelling civilian regions

On 20 October, the US called on the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group fighting against the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Sudan to stop shelling in civilian regions stating that it was “deepening the suffering of the Sudanese people.” The Department of State commented: "The United States calls on the RSF to immediately cease shelling of civilian neighbourhoods and to protect civilians in Nyala, Omdurman, and throughout Sudan.” The RSF and SAF have been fighting since April, a conflict that according to the UN has killed more than 5000 people and displaced nearly five million. Recently, RSF increased its attacks in the civilian regions near Omdurman and Bahri to weaken the SAF held regions. (“US urges Sudan's RSF to stop shelling civilian areas,” BBC, 20 October 2023)

Somaliland: Tensions with Somalia

On 20 October, Somaliland condemned the move by the Somali government announcing that it would work with self-declared administration in the disputed regions of Somaliland including Sool, Sanaag and Ayn (SSC-Khatumo). Somaliland claimed that the move is a "deliberate attack on Somaliland's statehood and territorial integrity.” Although the Somali government did not recognise the self-declared regions, it welcomed the formation of the SSC Khatumo. Somaliland authority stated: "The government of Somaliland firmly asserts that neither Somalia nor the clan militia have jurisdiction or claim over Las Anod.” In 1991, Somaliland unilaterally claimed autonomy from Somalia and has since been seeking international recognition. (“Somaliland accuses Somalia of 'attack' on its statehood,” BBC, 20 October 2023)



Photo : Saul Loeb, AFP

South Africa: Talks with Ukrainian president on revival of grain deal


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 19 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

South Africa: Talks with Ukrainian president on revival of grain deal

On 17 October, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held talks on the revival of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Both leaders agreed to work together on the revival of the deal. Additionally, Ramphosa emphasised on the commitment to the Africa Peace Initiative, a proposal by seven African countries as a basis for peace. The development comes after Kenyan President William Ruto's statement last month on Ukraine agreeing to set up a grain hub in the port of Mombasa aiming to supply the East African region. (“SA and Ukraine leaders discuss grain deal revival,” BBC, 19 October 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Protest against East African force

On 19 October, BBC Africa reported on a protest in Democratic Republic of Congo against the East African force. The protests are led by a coalition of civil societies in the country against the failure of the regional force in dealing with the M23 rebels. Forces from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan have been deployed in the eastern DRC against M23 rebels in November 2022. However, the rebel campaign has worsened in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu with the Rwandan government allegedly supporting the rebels. According to the UN refugee agency, more than 6.2 million people have been displaced due to the insurgency in the region. (“Congolese protest against East African force,” BBC, 19 October 2023)

Kenya: President signs new health legislation

On 19 October, Kenyan President William Ruto approved the new health legislation. The new scheme would require all workers to contribute 2.75 per cent of their wage towards a new health fund. The government aims to make healthcare easily accessible to poor Kenyans. However, the scheme faces major criticism with many Kenyans considering it as a new tax. They claim that the new policy is against the promises he made during the election to ease financial difficulties. Others fear that it will be beset by corruption. (“Kenya healthcare: President William Ruto signs controversial UHC bills,” BBC, 19 October 2023)



Photo : aL Jazeera

Zimbabwe: Four children killed in heavy rains


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Zimbabwe: Four children killed in heavy rains

On 18 October, BBC Africa reported on heavy rains in the provinces of Manicaland and Midlands in Zimbabwe. Five children were killed in the heavy rains and lightning. Meanwhile, heavy rains were also reported in the neighbouring country, South Africa, in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. In September, at least 11 people were killed in heavy rains in the province of Western Cape in South Africa. (“Five children killed amid heavy rains in Zimbabwe,” BBC, 18 October 2023)

Nigeria: To distribute USD 1.5 billion to poor

On 18 October, the Nigerian government announced that it will begin distributing USD 1.5 billion to 15 million financially struggling households. According to the Ministry of Finance, eligible families will receive USD 32 for three-months. Nearly 62 million Nigerians belong to vulnerable households in Nigeria where the total population is 200 million. The scheme aims to assist families facing economic hardships due to the removal of a fuel subsidy in May. (“Nigeria to start distributing $1.5bn cash to the poor,” BBC, 18 October 2023)

Guinea-Bissau: Power crisis amid unpaid bills

On 18 October, BBC Africa reported on Guinea-Bissau’s power crisis due to unpaid bills. A Turkish firm, Karpowership, has been providing five per cent of the country's electricity needs. However, the country failed to pay a bill of USD 15 million plunging the city into constant power cuts. The Ministry of Economy asserted that the bills will be settled within 15 days. Energy Minister Isuf Balde stated: "In a small and poor country like Guinea-Bissau, carrying out a transfer operation of this level, $10m, takes time.” A Karpowership spokesperson stated: "Unfortunately, following a protracted period of non-payment, our [floating power plant] is now unable to continue operating, we are working around the clock with officials to resolve this issue and we aim to have generation back online as soon as possible." (“Guinea-Bissau capital without power over unpaid bill to Turkey's Karpowership,” BBC, 18 October 2023)



Photo : Grant Lee Neuenburg, Reuters

Mozambique: Opposition protests against election irregularities


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Mozambique: Opposition protests against election irregularities

On 17 October, BBC Africa reported on protests in Mozambique’s capital Maputo. The protests were carried out by the opposition party, Renamo, against the elections held on 13 October which they claimed were rigged and favoured the ruling party, Frelimo. Meanwhile, the police fired tear gas against the protesters injuring several. An unnamed protester stated: "They didn’t need to do this, after all, isn’t this democracy? We are marching peacefully and we don’t want problems with anyone.” Renamo failed to secure any seats this term although it governed seven municipalities previously. Leader of Renamo, Ossufo Momade, asserted that they will continue the protests until the “election truth” is uncovered. (“Dozens injured as riot police tear-gas election protests,” BBC, 17 October 2023)

Nigeria: Gunmen abduct 50 people

On 17 October, BBC Africa reported that at least 50 people including women and children were abducted by gunmen in the state of Zamfara in Nigeria. The incident happened after armed men stormed the village of Bagega on motorcycles. At least three people were killed and several others were injured after the gunmen used weapons indiscriminately and set houses on fire. Kidnappings for ransom are common in northwestern Nigeria. It is carried out by armed men, also known as bandits, who target villages and schools. There has been a relative lull in ransom kidnapping for the past few months. However, the latest development is concerning considering the worsening security situation in West Africa followed by the coup in Niger and the withdrawal of the UN and French troops. (“Armed men kidnap 50 people in north-west Nigeria,” BBC, 17 October 2023)



Photo : AP

Ethiopia: Eritrea against Prime Minister Abiy’s Red Sea remark


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Ethiopia: Eritrea against Prime Minister Abiy’s Red Sea remark 

On 16 October, the Eritrean government commented that they would not be “drawn into” discussions on Ethiopia’s access to the Red Sea. The tensions come after Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that access to the Red Sea is “a matter of existence” for his country. He stated: "The Red Sea and the Nile River define Ethiopia. They are the foundations for Ethiopia's development or its demise.” Ethiopia is a landlocked country that depends on Djibouti for 85 per cent of its exports and imports. (“Eritrea responds to Abiy's controversial Red Sea remark,” BBC, 16 October 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: DRC-Uganda new scheme of visa-free travel

On 16 October, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda governments announced their agreement for visa-free travel between the countries. The agreement aims at free movement of people and strengthening trade. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been promoting the idea of visa-free entry for months. Previously he stated: “Crossing in East Africa should be cost-free. You pay for a visa when going to America, or Europe, but a visa to DR Congo?! That is rubbish. If that is the case, I have removed it.” (“Uganda and DR Congo agree on visa-free travel,” BBC, 16 October 2023)



Photo : Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, AFP

Burkina Faso: Russia to build nuclear power plant


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Burkina Faso: Russia to build nuclear power plant

On 13 October, the Burkina Faso junta signed a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant in the country. The development comes after Putin’s talks with Burkinabe military ruler Captain Ibrahim Traore during the Russia-Africa summit held in Moscow in July. Capt Traore stated: "We have a critical need for energy, this is an important point for me because we need, if possible, to build a nuclear power station in Burkina Faso to produce electricity." He added: "Our position is rather strategic because we are in the heart of West Africa and we have an energy deficit in the sub-region." The deal aims to achieve 95 per cent electricity access in urban areas and 30 per cent in rural areas by 2030. The country’s ties with Russia strengthened after the coup in 2022 and the worsened ties with France. (“Burkina Faso to sign nuclear power deal with Russia,” BBC, 13 October 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: To ease restrictions in conflict-hit regions ahead of elections

On 13 October, Democratic Republic of Congo government announced the reduction of restrictions in the conflict hit regions. A state of siege or martial law has been imposed in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri for the past two years after multiple insurgent groups created unrest in the region. President Felix Tshisekedi announced the lifting of the restrictions to allow the free movement of people and goods and to restore peaceful demonstration and assembly ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. He stated: "This is all the more important as the various players involved in the electoral process are entitled to participate fully and without hindrance.” (“DR Congo to ease restrictions in conflict-hit region,” BBC, 13 October 2023)



Photo : Reuters

Madagascar: Tensions delays elections


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Madagascar: Tensions delays elections

On 12 October, BBC Africa reported that the constitutional court of Madagascar postponed the presidential election by a week. The elections will be held on 16 November. Political tensions have been rising in the country with the opposition staging protests over the irregularities in the election process. (“Tension as Madagascar delays election by a week,” BBC, 12 October 2023)

Nigeria: 600 killed in diphtheria outbreak

On 12 October, BBC Africa reported that at least 600 people including children have died in Nigeria after the outbreak of diphtheria in December 2022. The epicentre of the disease is in the state of Kano in northern Nigeria where more than 500 deaths were reported. Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughs and sneezes or through close contact with an infected person. According to Primary Health Care Development Agency head, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the disease is preventable through vaccines. However, the majority of the children in the country have not received vaccination. He stated: "Witnessing the young children suffering from this entirely preventable disease at the centre today was profoundly heart-wrenching.” (“Nigeria diphtheria outbreak kills 600,” BBC, 12 October 2023)



Photo : Francis Kokoroko, Reuters

Mali: Military leader discuss ties with Russian president


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 11 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Mali: Military leader discuss ties with Russian president

On 11 October, BBC Africa reported on a telephone conversation between Malian military leader Colonel Assimi Goita and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They discussed economic and security cooperation. Goita stated: “During a telephone conversation, I spoke to President Putin about our cooperation in the economic, security and counter-terrorism fields. I expressed my gratitude for all the support Russia is giving Mali.” The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: The two leaders "reaffirmed their mutual commitment to further enhance trade and economic relations, cooperation in providing security, and fighting terrorism. The Mali side expressed appreciation for the diverse assistance provided by Russia.” (“Mali junta chief and Russian president discuss ties,” BBC, 11 October 2023)

Niger: Military orders UN mission leader to leave

On 11 October, the Niger junta ordered the head of the UN diplomatic mission in the country to leave within 72 hours. Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the UN of using “underhanded manoeuvres” carried out by France to halt Niger from participating in the UN General Assembly in September. (“Junta orders UN boss to leave Niger within 72 hours,” BBC, 11 October 2023)

Kenya: King Charles visit

On 11 October, BBC reported on UK’s King Charles visit to Kenya later in October. He will be accompanied by Queen Camilla during the four-day visit. The visit also comes alongside Kenya marking its 60th anniversary of independence from Britain. King Charles' office commented that he will acknowledge the “painful aspects” of the colonial history of Kenya during the visit. Deputy private secretary to the King, Chris Fitzgerald, stated: "The King and Queen's programme will celebrate the close links between the British and Kenyan people in areas such as the creative arts, technology, enterprise, education and innovation. The visit will also acknowledge the more painful aspects of the UK and Kenya's shared history, including the Emergency (1952-1960). His Majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya." (“King Charles to make state visit to Kenya,” BBC, 11 October 2023)



Photo : Mahamadou Hamidou, Reuters

Niger: France begins to withdraw its troops


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: France begins to withdraw its troops

On 10 October, BBC Africa reported that France has begun withdrawing its troops from Niger after increased tensions between the countries following the coup in July. The French chief of staff spokesperson stated: “The first troops have left.” Nearly 1,500 French troops have been fighting insurgency in the region since 2015. Meanwhile, the US announced the suspension of USD 500 million aid to Niger over the military coup. The US Department of State stated that aid to Niger would only be resumed if a democratic government is reestablished. US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller stated: “Any resumption of US assistance will require action to usher in democratic governance in a quick and credible timeframe.” Meanwhile, Algeria announced the suspension of its mediation on the political crisis in Niger. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the declaration by Niger junta opting a three year transition has raised “legitimate questions about their real willingness to follow through on their acceptance of Algerian mediation.” (“Algeria suspends mediation over Niger coup crisis,” BBC, 10 October 2023; “First French troops have left Niger - report,” BBC, 10 October 2023)

Liberia: Presidential and parliamentary elections

On 10 October, Liberia conducted its presidential and parliamentary elections. According to the National Election Commission (NEC), nearly 2.4 million people are registered to vote. President George Weah, a former football player, is seeking a second six-year term. He is running against the main opposition leader and former Vice-President, Joseph Boakai. Weah came to power in 2017 after securing 61 per cent of the votes defeating Boakai. The EU, the AU, ECOWAS and the US have deployed observers to oversee the elections. The NEC will begin publishing the results on 17 October. (“Liberia elections: Voters head to polls as George Weah faces Joseph Boakai,” BBC, 10 October 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Calls on East African force to leave

On 10 October, the Democratic Republic of Congo government asserted that the East African regional force has been unable to address the security situation in the eastern part of the country and demanded the force to leave by December. Government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya stated: "They have not been able to resolve the problem.” He added that the heads of the East African Community (EAC) “should rule on the incapacity of the regional force.” The troops from Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and Kenya have been fighting the M23 rebel campaign in the region since November 2022. DRC continues its rift with neighbouring Rwanda over the allegations of the Rwandan government supporting the M23 rebels. (“DR Congo wants 'incapable' East African force to leave,” BBC, 10 October 2023)



Photo : Al Jazeera

Niger: Sanctions compel a 40 percent reduction in the budget


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 9 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Jerry Franklin

Niger: Sanctions compel a 40 percent reduction in the budget

On 9 October, BBC reported that the Niger administration cut its budget by 40 percent due to the impact of sanctions and the withdrawal of aid following the coup. The military junta announced a reduction in its budget for 2023 from USD 5.3 billion (Euro 4.3 billion) to USD 3.2 billion. President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed in a coup, prompting regional and international penalties such as border closures, asset freezes, and the suspension of aid delivery. Due to trade limitations, the country has seen rising food and commodity prices as well as a shortage of medications. The budget cuts would exacerbate Niger's deteriorating economic condition. (“Niger cuts its budget by 40% as sanctions bite,” BBC, 9 October 2023)

Burkina Faso: Security forces kill a commander linked to failed coup attempt

On 9 October, BBC reported that the security forces in Burkina Faso executed commander Ismael Tohobougo, suspected of taking part in a coup attempt in September. Tohobougou had been on the run ever since the military prosecutor had called him in for interrogation. Tohobougou was charged with taking part in an attempted coup against Capt. Ibrahim Traore among other military officers. Additionally, the suspension of several army personnel connected to the coup attempt was disclosed by the country’s Defense Ministry on 6 October. The National Gendarmerie's Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Evrard Somda, was fired and Lt. Col. Kouagri Natama replaced him. (“Burkina Faso commander linked to failed coup killed - army,” BBC, 9 October 2023)

Kenya: Court halts the deployment of police officers to Haiti

On 9 October, BBC reported that the deployment of Kenyan police officers to Haiti had been halted by a Kenyan court awaiting the verdict of an appeal. The judge emphasised the appeal's grounds as being of public and national importance. According to former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot's petition, the intended deployment is unconstitutional as he claims that normal police officers could not be assigned to international missions. Additionally, Aukot criticized that the country cannot afford to lose 1,000 police officers as it already deals with insecurity and ethnic clashes internally. The court would provide additional instructions at the end of October. (“Kenya court puts a hold on police deployment to Haiti,” BBC, 9 October 2023)



Photo : Al Jazeera

Cameroon: Armed rebels kill two civilians


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Jerry Franklin

Cameroon: Armed rebels kill two civilians 

On 6 October, BBC reported that the armed separatists in Cameroon's English-speaking region executed two people suspected of spying for the army. An official claimed that investigations were ongoing in the northwest hamlet of Guzang. Since 2017, separatists have been engaged in conflict in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon against the Francophone-dominated government. Over 800,000 individuals have been displaced due to the fighting. Rights organizations have denounced separatists and government forces for burning down houses and schools, raping women, and carrying out violent crimes. (“Cameroon rebels kill civilians accused of spying,” BBC, 6 October 2023)

Kenya: Security forces deployed in Ethiopia following deadly clashes

On 6 October, BBC reported that Kenya had dispatched several specialised security forces to control the rising communal conflicts in the western town of Sondu, Ethiopia. Seven people have died and several more have been forced to flee their homes due to the clashes that erupted on 4 October. Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki stated: “Lives have been lost, property destroyed and civil order grossly undermined during the past two days.” (“Kenya deploys police units after deadly ethnic clashes,” BBC, 6 October 2023)

Ethiopia: US reboots food assistance to asylum seekers

On 6 October, the US declared that it would resume providing food aid for refugees in Ethiopia after a five-month halt due to the pillaging of food aid. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) stated that the decision to restart assistance came after the strengthened improvements to the refugee food assistance program, including increased program monitoring, reinforced commodities tracking, and enhanced registration procedures by the Ethiopian government. Additionally, USAID stated that Ethiopia has delegated control over the distribution and storage of food supplies. The restart of aid would benefit hundreds of thousands of refugees residing in Ethiopia, most of whom are from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea. Since the aid was halted, at least 1,400 people in the region have died from starvation in the Tigray region. (“US resumes food aid to refugees in Ethiopia,” BBC, 6 October 2023)



Photo : Michele Spatari, AFP

Ethiopia: Human rights group condemns the end of UN-backed inquiry


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Jerry Franklin

Ethiopia: Human rights group condemns the end of UN-backed inquiry 

On 5 October, BBC reported that the human rights groups condemned the UN member countries for not extending the UN's investigation into abuses committed in Ethiopia. The mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) is set to expire later this month. ICHREE accused the Ethiopian military of committing war crimes during the Tigray War. Additionally, ICHREE claimed that Eritrean soldiers were responsible for several sexual assaults and blamed Tigrayan insurgents for committing serious crimes. The chair of the ICHREE, Mohamed Chande Othman, stated: “Our report shows that the overwhelming majority of risk factors for future atrocity crimes are present in Ethiopia, including ongoing serious violations, widespread violence and instability, and deeply entrenched impunity.” Ethiopia has condemned ICHREE's operations, accusing them of partiality. (“Criticism as UN-backed probe into Ethiopia to end,” BBC, 5 October 2023)

Kenya: Odinga criticizes the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti

On 5 October, BBC reported that  Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga stated the country's decision to lead a peacekeeping mission in Haiti to combat gang violence a mistake. Odinga stated: “Before you even come to Africa, Haiti is at the doorstep of the United States which is the most powerful nation in the world. What is it that is so unique about Kenya that it is being chosen to lead the multinational force in Haiti? The problem in Haiti is political, it does not just require guns, it requires talks.” Additionally, Odinga warned that the proposed deployment put the lives of Kenyan police officers at peril because of the increasing violence in Haiti. The UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a Kenya-led peacekeeping mission for a year, with a review after nine months.  President William Ruto of Kenya promised not to let the people of Haiti down. (“Haiti crisis not Kenya's priority - Odinga,” BBC, 5 October 2023)

Mauritius: Court revokes anti-homosexuality law

On 5 October, BBC reported that the Supreme Court ruled that Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code from 1898 was unconstitutional on 4 October. The Supreme Court ruled that the statute that was repealed did not represent any traditional Mauritian beliefs but rather was a legacy of British colonialism. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAids) stated: “The UN welcomes the decision of Mauritius to join the growing list of African countries protecting the human rights of everyone, including LGBTQI+ people.” (“Mauritius repeals colonial-era anti-homosexuality law,” BBC, 5 October 2023)

Gabon: Appointment to the national assembly will begin shortly, says interim president

On 5 October, BBC reported that the interim president of Gabon, General Brice Oligui Nguema, stated that the transitional National Assembly and Senate would shortly have representatives selected, reiterating his administration's dedication to social engagement. Gen Nguema appointed the chairperson of both legislative bodies in September, allowing the possibility for additional selections of parliamentarians. Gen Nguema announced the decision after meeting with Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera on 5 October. Following talks with the leaders of Congo-Brazzaville and Equatorial Guinea, Gen Nguema visited the CAR to ask for cooperation in getting regional organizations to suspend their sanctions against Gabon in the wake of the coup. (“Gabon's interim president announces assembly appointments,” BBC, 5 October 2023)



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Sudan: Ethiopia’s embassy sustains damage during an attack in Khartoum


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Jerry Franklin

Sudan: Ethiopia’s embassy sustains damage during an attack in Khartoum

On 4 October, BBC reported that an attack with heavy weaponry destroyed Ethiopia's embassy in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Ethiopian ambassador to Sudan Yibeltal Aimiro Alemu stated: “No casualties were reported from Tuesday’s onslaught but the embassy was partially damaged.” The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Sudan blamed the army for the attack. According to the UN, the fighting between warring sides has killed over 5,000 people and displaced five million people since the conflict erupted in mid-April. (“Ethiopia's embassy in Sudan damaged in attack,” BBC, 4 October 2023)

Egypt: Protests led to the detention of 400 individuals

On 4 October, BBC reported that 400 individuals had been detained in Egypt’s north-western city of Marsa Matrouh as a result of rioting after President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi declared his intention to seek a third term. Sisi was the former army chief who has been in command since Mohammed Morsi's removal from office in 2013 amid widespread opposition to his administration. Protesters claim that throughout Sisi's tenure, all dissent was ruthlessly repressed, and the Egyptian economy has been wholly disintegrated. Egypt is set to hold presidential elections in December 2023. (“Egypt presidential bid protests 'led to 400 arrests',” BBC, 4 October 2023)

Liberia: UN expresses concern over violence ahead of elections

On 4 October, BBC reported that the UN expressed concern over increasing violence in Liberia ahead of elections. The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) stated that confrontations between members of the opposition Unity Party and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change resulted in two fatalities and twenty people sustained injuries in the Foya district on 29 September. Additionally, OHCHR stated that there were further violent outbursts in the counties of Nimba, Montserrado, and Grand Cape Mount ahead of the general elections on 10 October. UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Seif Magango stated: “Our office has also documented eight attacks on journalists by various political actors, two of which resulted in injuries.” (“UN condemns 'election-related violence' in Liberia,” BBC, 4 October 2023)



Photo : AFP

Niger: 29 soldiers killed in an alleged armed group attack


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 3 October 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Jerry Franklin

Niger: 29 soldiers killed in an alleged armed group attack

On 3 October, Al Jazeera reported that the country of Niger declared three days of national mourning following the death of 29 soldiers in an alleged jihadist attack on 2 October. Niger’s Ministry of Defence issued a broadcast statement claiming that improvised explosive devices and kamikaze vehicles were used by more than a hundred terrorists in the attack in western Niger. Additionally, the ministry stated that dozens of terrorists were killed and two soldiers were critically injured. The incident took place during military operations aimed at eliminating the threat posed by the armed group ISIL (ISIS) in the region, near the country's border with Mali. (“Niger declares mourning after dozens of soldiers killed in attack near Mali,” Al Jazeera, 3 October 2023)

Ethiopia: Surge in human right violations and social unrest, says UN 

On 3 October, the UN’s International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) issued a warning regarding the current state of instability and rights abuses, despite a peace pact that was signed a year ago between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces. The Chairperson of the Commission, Mohamed Chande Othman, stated: “We are gravely concerned about the situation in Ethiopia and the potential for future atrocities. Our report shows that the overwhelming majority of risk factors for future atrocity crimes are present in Ethiopia.” The report highlights the ongoing serious violations occurring in Tigray, alongside a pattern of human rights abuses and international crimes within the Oromia, Amhara, and Afar regions. Recent reports of extrajudicial killings and mass arrests in Amhara have raised concern for the commission. The government of Addis Ababa has been advocating for the termination of the commission despite calls from rights organizations for its renewal. The government argues that Ethiopia can investigate complaints of abuse internally. (“Growing violence and rights abuses in Ethiopia - UN,” BBC, 3 October 2023)



Photo : Anadolu Agency

Burkina Faso: Junta says it thwarted a coup attempt


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Burkina Faso: Junta says it thwarted a coup attempt

On 28 September, Bukinabe military government stated that the country's security and intelligence services thwarted a coup attempt on 26 September. Junta commented that unnamed military officers organised to destabilise the country. Reuters quoted junta: They had "the dark intention of attacking the institutions of the republic and plunging our country in chaos.” Burkina Faso is marking one year of military takeover on 29 September. In 2022, President Captain Ibrahim Traoré seized power amid growing Islamist insurgency in the country. However, the junta struggles to address the insurgency after the withdrawal of the UN and French troops. Previously, he had promised to hold elections by July 2024. Prior to the coup attempt, Captain Traoré stated that he is "determined to safely lead the transition [to democracy] despite adversity and the various manoeuvres to stop our inexorable march towards assumed sovereignty.” (“Burkina Faso junta says it foiled coup attempt,” BBC, 28 September 2023)

Morocco: IMF approves USD 1.3 billion loans for disaster management

On 29 September, BBC reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a USD 1.3 billion loan to assist Morocco in its natural disaster  management sector. The announcement comes three weeks after the earthquake that killed more than 3,000 people in the country. The Moroccan government is being criticised for its poor handling of the earthquake on 8 September in the High Atlas mountains. The IMF stated that the 18-month loan would assist the country’s climate action by tackling "climate vulnerabilities,” "resilience against climate change,” and seizing "opportunities from decarbonisation.” (“Morocco gets $1.3bn disaster fund from IMF,” BBC, 29 September 2023)

South Sudan: President Kiir visits Russia

On 28 September, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir visited Russia and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Euronews, the leaders have agreed to expand their ties in the sectors of energy, trade and oil. They also discussed political and security issues in South Sudan, which is planning its first presidential elections in 2024. Putin stated that Russian investments in oil refineries in South Sudan would bolster bilateral ties. The visit comes in the backdrop of Russia and the West continuing to reach out to African countries seeking support in the war in Ukraine. (“New allies for Russia? Putin meets South Sudan’s leader to discuss closer ties,” euronews, 29 September 2023)



Photo : Jerome Delay, AP Photo

Niger: France withdraws its ambassador and troops over souring relations


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: France withdraws its ambassador and troops over souring relations

On 25 September, Niger junta banned French aircraft from entering the country's airspace. The Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) stated that Niger's airspace were open to all commercial flights except to those chartered by France. On 26 September, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that Paris will withdraw its ambassador and end all military cooperation with Niger. He added that French troops will withdraw in “the months to come.” Macron stated: "France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France. Nearly 1,500 French soldiers are present in Niger assisting to fight Islamsit militants. Following Macrons’ announcement, the military junta stated: "This Sunday we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger.” France-Niger relations soured following the military coup in July and France refused to recognise the coup leadership. (“Niger's military bans French aircraft from its skies,” BBC, 25 September 2023; “France to pull troops and ambassador from Niger,” BBC, 25 September 2023)



Photo : The UN

Guinea: Coup leader’s UNGA address; calls on West to stop “lecturing us”


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Guinea: Coup leader’s UNGA address; calls on West to stop “lecturing us”

On 22 September, addressing the UNGA, Guinea’s military leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya commented that the Western model of democracy imposed on Africa does not work in the continent. He stated that Africa is suffering from “a model of governance that has been imposed on us and is facing “trouble adapting to our reality.” He added: “It is time to stop lecturing us and stop treating us with condescension like children.” Guinea is among the African countries which went through military coups across west Africa in 2021. (“Stop lecturing us, Guinea junta leader tells West,” BBC, 22 September 2023)

Djibouti: Restores diplomatic ties with Iran

On 22 September, Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Djibouti after seven years. The announcement came after the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries met at the UNGA held in New York. Djibouti joined Saudi Arabia in cutting ties with Iran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran following the execution of Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement read: “"The two governments have agreed to further develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality, mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence.” (“Djibouti and Iran restore diplomatic ties,” BBC, 22 September 2023)

Sudan: SAF leader warns spill over of conflict to neighbouring countries

On 22 September, speaking at the UNGA, Sudan’s transitional military leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan urged the international community to designate Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its allies as terrorist groups. Al-Burhas additionally warned of potential spill over of fighting into the neighbouring countries. He also mentioned that his party is open to peace talks and wanted to "put an end to this war and to alleviate the suffering of our people.” Conflict in Sudan which began in April has killed thousands and displaced millions. Both warring parties are accused of carrying out human rights violations during the fighting. Both sides have shown little commitment to ceasefire efforts initiated by international and regional actors. Recent;y, the fighting spread to Port Sudan after RSF announced establishing a parallel government based in Khartoum. (“Sudan army chief warns war could spill over into neighbours,” BBC, 22 September)



Photo : Odelyn Joseph, AP Photo

Kenya: Established diplomatic ties with Haiti


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 21 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Kenya: Established diplomatic ties with Haiti

On 21 September, Kenya and Haiti established diplomatic ties. Haitian and Kenyan Ministers of Foreign Affairs announced exchange of ambassadors. The development comes after Kenya offered 1,000 police officers to Haiti, part of an international assistance force to fight gang violence. (“Kenya and Haiti establish diplomatic ties, BBC, 21 September 20203)

Niger: Ousted President Bazom files appeal to ECOWAS for release

On 21 September, ousted President Mohamed Bazoum appealed to the ECOWAS’s court for his release. An appeal filed on 18 September demanded Bazoum’s release and reinstatement as president against his “arbitrary arrest” and “violation of freedom of movement” following the coup in July. Bazom’s lawyer Seydou Diagne stated: “We request... in view of the violation of political rights, that the state of Niger be ordered to immediately restore constitutional order by handing over power to President Bazoum, who must continue to exercise it until the end of his mandate.” (“Niger's ousted leader petitions Ecowas court for help,” BBC, 21 September 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: President calls for the immediate withdrawal of UN mission

On 21 September, Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshosekedi called on the UN peacekeeping mission to withdraw its troops by the end of the year. The UN mission, MONUSCO, began its mission in 2010 pledging to fight insurgency in eastern DRC. However, its presence became increasingly unpopular after it failed to quell the increasing insurgency. Tshisekedi during the UNGA stated: “It is to be deplored that peacekeeping missions deployed for 25 years … have failed to cope with the rebellions and armed conflicts; “This is why … I instructed the government of the republic to begin discussions with the UN authorities for an accelerated withdrawal of MONUSCO … by bringing forward the start of this progressive withdrawal from December 2024 to December 2023.” (“DR Congo President Tshisekedi seeks withdrawal of UN peacekeepers this year,” Al Jazeera, 21 September 2023)



Photo : Eduardo Soteras, AFP

Ethiopia: Drone strikes in Amhara


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Ethiopia: Drone strikes in Amhara

On 20 September, BBC reported that dozens of civilians were killed in a drone strike in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. A resident of the region told BBC that at least 30 people were killed during the attack. In the town of Dembecha, at least 18 people were killed in a similar drone strike. Months of Fighting has been going on in the Amhara region between the federal government and the Amhara regional forces, Fanp. According to the UN, more than 180 people have died in the conflict. The conflict erupted after the federal government announced its decision to integrate regional forces into the federal forces. (“Civilians killed in Ethiopia drone strikes - residents, BBC, 20 September 2023)

Rwanda: Paul Kagame announces decision to run for fourth term

On 20 September, Rwandan President Paul Kagame announced his decision to run for a fourth term next year, extending his presidency to almost three decades. Kagame stated: “I am happy with the confidence that Rwandans have in me.” Kagame has been leading the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) ever since it came to power after the genocide in 1994. According to the Rwandan Election Commission, in 2017, Kagame won the presidential elections receiving 99 per cent of the votes. Human Rights Watch (HRW) had claimed that the elections took place where free speech was limited. Kagame was also criticised for cracking down on the opposition. (“Rwanda's President Paul Kagame confirms fourth-term bid,” BBC, 20 September 2023)

Kenya: Ukraine promises to establish “grain hub” 

On 20 September, Ukrainian President Volodumyr Zelensky met Kenyan President William Ruto and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Zelensky promised to establish a “grain hub” in the Kenyan city of Mombasa. Meanwhile, with Ramaphosa, Zelensky discussed “the way forward on the peace initiative.” They also discussed the revival of Black Sea Grain Initiative following Russia's withdrawal. Zelensky informed Ramaphosa that Ukraine was trying to establish alternative routes to supply grains. Zelensky stated: "Several ships with grain have already successfully passed through these routes despite the difficult situation.” Kenya remains one of the major supporters of Ukraine in the war; however, South Africa has been taking a neutral stance. (“Ukraine and Kenya plan 'grain hub' for East Africa to help tackle food insecurity,” BBC. 20 September 2023)



Photo : Ibrahim Mohammed Ishak, Reuters

Sudan: Fighting spreads to Port Sudan


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 19 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Sudan: Fighting spreads to Port Sudan

On 19 September, BBC Africa reported on the spread of fighting between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to the city of Port Sudan. SAF clashed with members of a tribal militia group, the Forces of the Eastern Sudan Parties and Movements Alliance. The clashes erupted when the SAF tried to remove checkpoints set up by the groups in the city. The fighting comes after the Sudanese military government announced that it will build a presidential palace and relocate its foreign ministry to the city of Port Sudan. In response, RSF has announced that they will establish a parallel government in the capital Khartoum. (“First clashes reported in Port Sudan since war began,” BBC, 19 September 2023)

Libya: Hundreds protests against the flood management

On 19 September, hundreds of residents in Libya’s city of Derna protested against the authorities for their failure in dealing with the floods that killed thousands in the city. The protesters criticised the leader of eastern Libya's parliament, Aguila Saleh, and city authorities' mismanagement in disaster warning and evacuation operations. The protesters also set alight the house of Derna’s mayor, Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi. According to the Red Crescent, at least 11,000 people have died and 20,000 others are missing following the torrential rains caused by the storm Daniel and the devastating floods that followed. (“Hundreds protest in flood-hit eastern Libya,” BBC, 19 September 2023)

Ethiopia: Continuing human rights abuses in Tigray, reports the UN

On 18 September, the UN Human Rights Council released a report titled “Report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia.” According to the report, war crimes and crimes against humanity are committed by all warring parties in Ethiopia’s Tigray region even after the peace deal signed in November 2022 between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian federal forces. Chair of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, Mohamed Chande Othman, stated alongside the release of the report: “While the signing of the agreement may have mostly silenced the guns, it has not resolved the conflict in the north of the country, in particular in Tigray, nor has it brought about any comprehensive peace.” The report claimed that TPLF, federal forces, Eritrean forces and their respective regional allied militias are carrying out human rights abuses including sexual violence in the region. All the parties had previously denied similar accusations. (“Crimes against humanity continue in Ethiopia despite truce, say UN experts,” Al Jazeera, 19 September 2023)



Photo : Al Jazeera

Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 17 killed in landslides


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 17 killed in landslides

On 18 September, at least 17 people were killed in a landslide in the northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo caused by torrential rains. The disaster occurred in the town of Lisal in Mongala province near the Congo River. Governor Cesar Limbaya Mbangisa expressed condolences to the families of the victims. (“Landslide in northwest DR Congo kills at least 17 people,” Al Jazeera, 18 September 2023)

Mali: Re-emerging Tuareg rebellion

On 18 September, BBC Africa reported on the claims of Tuareg rebels from northern Mali on seizing control of two army bases. BBC quoted a Malian official informing AFP news agency regarding fighting that happened in the town of Léré in the Timbuktu region on 17 September. An alliance of Tuareg group, Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) re-launched a rebellion in August following the expulsion of the UN peacekeepers from the country. The peace deal between Tuareg separatists in 2015 has floundered since the coup in 2020. A unrecognised spokesman for CMA stated: "We attacked and took control of the two military camps in the town of Léré this Sunday.” The renewed rebellion comes weeks after al-Qaeda linked jihadist group, Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), declared "war in the Timbuktu region.” (“Tuareg rebels claim to have captured Mali army bases,” BBC, 18 September 2023)



Photo : Luc Gnago, Reuters

Mali: Junta signs mutual defence pact with Niger and Burkina Faso


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Mali: Junta signs mutual defence pact with Niger and Burkina Faso

On 16 September, Al Jazeera reported on Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signing a mutual defence pact with an objective to help each other against the threats from armed rebellion and external aggression. They signed the charter, Alliance of Sahel States, that binds the signatories to assist militarily during an attack on any of them. It read: “Any attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of one or more contracted parties will be considered an aggression against the other parties.” Mali military leader Assimi Goita stated: “I have today signed with the Heads of State of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako-Gourma charter establishing the Alliance of Sahel States, with the aim of establishing a collective defence and mutual assistance framework.” The groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State have been carrying out frequent attacks in the region. Three countries have undergone coups since 2020; most recently Niger in July. Since then, relations with the West, specifically France, and regional bloc ECOWAS had deteriorated. France has been forced to withdraw its troops from Mali and Burkina Faso. However, the latest development is a response to ECOWAS threatening military intervention in Niger where Mali and Burkina Faso responded to a “declaration of war” against it. (“Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso establish Sahel security alliance,” Al Jazeera, 17 September 2023)

Eritrea: 200 anti-government eritreans arrested in Germany over clashes

On 17 September, more than 200 opponents of the Eritrean government were arrested after clashes with the police in the city of Stuttgart in Germany. The clashes erupted during an Eritrean cultural festival marking 30 years of independence which was organised by the supporters loyal to the Eritrean regime. Police reported that they were sent to contain “massive violence” between the opposing groups. Previously this month, a similar violence occurred in the city of Tel Aviv in Israel, after which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to deport Eritrean asylum seekers in the country.  (“Hundreds of Eritrean opposition supporters arrested in Stuttgart,” BBC, 17 September 2023)



Photo : Jacoline Shoones, EPA

Zambia: President Hakainde Hichilema meets Chinese President Xi Jinping


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Zambia: President Hakainde Hichilema meets Chinese President Xi Jinping

On 15 September, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing for bilateral talks. The two leaders agreed upon a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.” President Xi stated that their friendship  had “withstood the test of international storms and changes” encouraging more imports from Zambia. China plays a major role in Zambia’s mining sector and Zambia seeks to restructure its external debt with its leading creditor, China. (“Zambia to upgrade ties with biggest creditor China,” BBC, 15 September 2023)

Sudan: RSF threatens to establish parallel government in Khartoum

On 15 September, Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced that it aims to form another government with Khartoum as its capital. The move came in response to the Sudanese military-led government announcing its plans to build a presidential palace and headquarters of its foreign ministry in the city of Port Sudan. RSF leader Hamdan Dagalo tweeted: RSF had shown “great patience regarding al-Burhan's individual decisions despite his illegitimacy.” (Sudan's RSF leader threatens to form own government, BBC, 15 September 2023)

Niger: President Macron claims French ambassador held hostage

On 15 September, French President Emmanuel Macron commented that France’s envoy to Niger is living like a hostage in the French embassy. Macron stated: “As we speak, we have an ambassador and diplomatic staff who are literally being held hostage in the French embassy.” In August, the coup leaders demanded French ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country after France announced its support to the deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. However, the French government refused to comply with the 48-hour ultimatum and to recognise the coup government. Macron then stated: “I will do whatever we agree with President Bazoum because he is the legitimate authority and I speak with him every day.” Nearly 1500 French troops are deployed in Niger fighting Islamist insurgency in the region. The coup leaders have halted military cooperation with France and requested the troops to leave quickly. (“Macron says French ambassador ‘literally being held hostage’ in Niger,” Al Jazeera, 15 September 2023)



Photo : Joe Penney, Reuters

Niger: US troops resumes operations


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: US troops resumes operations 

On 14 September, Al Jazeera reported that the US military has resumed its operations in Niger, flying drones and aircraft in their airbase in Niger after a temporary halt amid the coup. General James Hecker stated: “Through the diplomatic process, we are now doing, I wouldn’t say 100 percent of the missions that we were doing before, but we’re doing a large amount of missions that we’re doing before.” Nearly 1,100 US soldiers are deployed in the country. The previous week, the Pentagon had announced that US forces shifted from Air Base 101 near the capital Niamey to Air Base 201 in Agadez. Niger is a primary regional outpost for the US military which leads operations against rebel and Islamist insurgent groups. (“US military resumes drone, crewed aircraft operations in post-coup Niger,” Al Jazeera, 14 September)

Libya: Floods updates

On 14 September, the Red Crescent reported that around 11,000 people had died and 20,000 others were missing in the devastating floods in Libya. Thousands have been displaced after two dams burst due to pressure from the storm Daniel’s intense rainfall. Meanwhile, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization commented that several human casualties could have been avoided if authorities had issued warnings as carried out evacuations. Besides, while the rescue operations and reach of aid are underway, the UN has warned of an outbreak of several diseases due to the contaminated water. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced USD two million for emergency efforts. (“What's the latest?,” BBC, 14 September 2023)

Sudan: UN envoy resigns; warns of civil war

On 14 September, the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, announced his resignation after informing the UN Security Council that the conflict in Sudan is at risk of becoming a full-blown civil war.  The resignation comes after Sudan declared him unwelcome in the country the previous month. Perthes criticised the warring parties- SAF leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF leader General Mohamed Dagalo of carrying out human rights abuses across the country. He also blamed SAF for its air strikes in civilian areas. According to the UN more than five million people have been displaced following the fighting in Sudan that erupted in April. (“UN's Sudan envoy resigns, warns of full civil war,” BBC, 14 September 2023)



Photo : Esam Omran Al-Fetori, Reuters

Libya: Devastating floods kills more than 11,000


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Libya: Devastating floods kills more than 11,000

On 13 September, the United Nations described the deadly floods in Libya as a “calamity of epic proportions.”  According to the UN, more than 11,000 people have died and more than 10,000 are missing. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) nearly 1.8 million people are affected by the torrential rains that hit several cities in the country. The city of Derna has been severely affected by Storm Daniel  and the floods. Meanwhile, the prime minister of the country's internationally recognised government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, which operates from the capital, Tripoli, in the west of the country stated that: “There were multiple offers of help and we will only accept aid that is necessary.” The worst-hit city of Derna is located in eastern Libya, governed by the rival government. The rescue efforts have been hampered by the political rift. (“Have political divisions slowed aid response to floods?,” BBC, 13 September; “Flood-hit Libyan city living through 'doomsday',” BBC, 13 September; “Libya floods a disaster of epic proportions - UN,” BBC, 13 September)



Photo : Press Office of Libyan Prime Minister, AFP

Libya: More than 2000 people killed in floods


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Libya: More than 2000 people killed in floods

On 12 September, BBC reported that more than 2,000 people have died after a storm caused devastating flooding in Libya. The cities of Benghazi, Sousse, Derna and Al-Marj were affected by the flooding. The Eastern Benghazi-based government stated: "The missing are in the thousands, and the dead exceed 2,000... entire neighbourhoods in Derna have disappeared, along with their residents ... swept away by water." Internationally recognised Tripoli-based government said that they have directed all state agencies to “immediately deal” with the damages caused by the floods. The United Nations in Libya stated: It “will provide urgent relief assistance in support of response efforts at local and national levels". (“Thousands feared dead as flooding sweeps Libya,” BBC, 12 September 2023)



Photo : AFP

Niger: France accused of organising troops in ECOWAS member countries


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 11 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: France accused of organising troops in ECOWAS member countries

On 11 September, the Niger military government accused France of amassing troops and equipment in several West African countries and planning to launch a “military intervention” against the country. A spokesperson of Niger’s coup leaders, Colonel Amadou Abdramane, said that France continues to deploy its troops in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries as “part of preparations for an aggression against Niger, which it is planning in collaboration with this community organisation.” He added: French “military cargo aircraft have enabled large quantities of war material and equipment to be unloaded in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Benin, to name but a few.” The accusations came following the rising tensions between Niger and France after the coup on 26 July. France had extended its support to deposed President Mohamed Bazoum and rejected Niger’s demands to withdraw its troops and envoy from the country. (“Niger says France amassing troops, equipment in ECOWAS states,” Al Jazeera, 11 September 2023)

Sudan: Civilians killed in SAF air strike

On 11 September, BBC reported that at least 35 people were killed in an air strike at a crowded market in Sudanese capital Khartoum. The military has been carrying out frequent air strikes with an objective to regain control of the cities. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) control the majority of khartoum along with the twin cities of Omdurman and Bahri. The fighting which began in April continues with no end in sight despite multiple ceasefires. (“Sudan conflict: Dozens killed in attack on Khartoum market, medics say,” BBC, 11 September 2023)

Ethiopia: Egypt against Ethiopia filling GERD

On 11 September, Ethiopia announced that it had filled the reservoir at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).  The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ethiopia was disregarding the interests of the other countries. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated: "It is with great pleasure that I announce the successful completion of the fourth and final filling of the Renaissance Dam.” The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: "Ethiopia's unilateral measures are considered a disregard for the interests and rights of the downstream countries and their water security, as guaranteed by principles of international law.” Egypt claim that Ethiopia’s “unilateral filling” violates the principles signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in 2015 and accused Ethiopia’s action “illegal.” (“Egypt angry as Ethiopia fills Nile dam reservoir amid water row,” BBC, 11 September 2023)

Morocco: Earthquake kills more than 2000 civilians

On 11 September, BBC reported that at least 2,681 people died in the earthquake that hit Morocco on 7 September. The Moroccan government is under pressure to accept international aid; however, it has accepted aid from only four countries including Spain, the UK, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakesh, and destroyed many rural and remote villages. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) more than 300,000 people have been affected by the earthquake. (“Morocco earthquake: Villagers' hopes waning in search for survivors,” BBC, 11 September 2023)



Photo : Hassan Ali Elmi, AFP

Somalia: Civilians killed in a targeted attack on Al Shabaab


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Somalia: Civilians killed in a targeted attack on Al Shabaab

On 8 September, BBC reported that seven civilians including five children were killed in an air strike that targeted Islamist militants in the village of El Garas. Meanwhile, the Somali government announced that it had killed three senior Al Shabaab militants. Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Informations, Abdirahman Yusuh stated: “[Al-Shabab] placed explosive devices in a civilian house, which caused the deaths of innocent people.” (“Civilians reportedly killed in Somali air strike,” BBC, 8 September)

South Africa: President arrives in India for the G20 Summit

On 8 September, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in India for the G20 summit which is to convene on 9 September. Ramaphosa was welcomed by India’s Minister of State for Rail, Coal and Mines, South Africa’s High Commissioner to India and South Africa’s Minister of International Relations. According to South Africa’s Department of International Relations, Ramaphosa is set to have bilateral meetings with several heads of State “to strengthen South Africa’s diplomatic, economic and cultural ties.” (“South Africa's President arrives in India to attend G20 summit,” Africanews, 8 September 2023)

Gabon: No prohibition from contesting in elections for General Nguema

On 8 September, BBC reported on Gabon’s transition agreement published in the official gazette specifying that the interim leader General Brice Oligui Nguema is not prohibited from taking part in the elections. The agreement stated that the President of the transition, the National Council of the transition, the Government of the transition, the Parliament of the transition and the Constitutional Court of the transition would oversee the transition process of Gabon. The agreement barred the prime minister and vice president from standing in the elections that will follow the end of the transition period though the date of the elections has not been declared. The agreement also provides amnesty to the military personnel who were part of the coup. (Armand Mouko, “Could Gabon coup leader stand for election?,” BBC, 8 September 2023)

Sudan: RSF denounces US sanctions as “shocking, unfortunate and unfair”

On 8 September, Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) condemned the US sanctions on two of its leaders calling it “shocking, unfortunate and unfair.” On 6 September, the US levied financial sanctions on RSF’s deputy leader Abdel Rahim Dagalo and a travel ban on the West Darfur state’s commander, General Rahman Juma over human rights violations. In response, the US called out the US for not levying sanctions on Sudan’s army who according to the RSF have committed “heinous crimes.” RSF stated that the US sanctions may complicate the peace efforts. (“Sudan's RSF condemns 'unfair, shocking' US sanctions,” BBC, 8 September 2023) 



Photo : Reuters

Mali: 49 civilians killed Islamist militant attack


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Mali: 49 civilians killed Islamist militant attack

On 7 September, Al Jazeera reported that at least 49 civilians and 15 soldiers were killed in two attacks by Islamist militant groups. The militants attacked a passenger boat between Abakoira and Zorghoi, in the territory of Rarhous and a military camp  in the Bourem Circle, part of the Gao region.. Nearly 50 assailants were also killed during the clashes. Al Jazeera quoted an AFP report on a group affiliated with al-Qaeda claiming both attacks. TheUN Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has raised concerns regarding the developments stating: “The region has experienced a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets; the humanitarian consequences are alarming.” Since August, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, known as the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims or JMIN has carried out a blockade around the Malian city of Timbuktu, close to the Niger River. (“Attack on boat, army base in Mali kills at least 49 civilians, 15 soldiers,” Al Jazeera, 7 September 2023)

Gabon: Coup leaders say deposed president free to leave the country

On 7 September, the coup leader of Gabon announced that the deposed President Ali Bongo has been released from house arrest and is free to leave the country considering his medical condition. Military spokesperson Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi stated: “Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about. He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups.” Gabon’s military leaders carried out a coup on 30 August after Ali Bongo was declared the winner of controversial elections. The military said that they seized the control peacefully and will return civilian rule through credible and free elections. (“Gabon’s military says deposed President Ali Bongo ‘free’ to travel abroad,” Al Jazeera, 7 September 2023)

Nigeria: Opposition against the court ruling upholding Tinubu’s election victory

On 7 September, Nigeria’s presidential election tribunal upheld Bola Tinubu’s victory in the elections held on 25 February. Opposition parties including People’s Democratic Party and Labour Party legally challenged the results citing Tinubu’s dual citizenship, drug conviction case in the US and vote rigging; all of them were disagreed by the court. The opposition supporters have denounced the results. (“Opposition supporters saddened as tribunal upholds President Tinubu’s win,” Al Jazeera, 7 September 2023)

Gabon: Military government appoints opposition leader as interim prime minister

On 7 September, Gabon’s military government which came to power through a coup on 30 August, appointed former opposition leader, Raymond Ndong Sima, as the prime minister of the transitional government. Sima is an economist and critic of deposed President Ali Bongo. He was Bongo’s prime minister from 2012 to 2014. Later, ran against Bongo in the 2016 and 2023 elections.  (“Gabon military government appoints former opposition leader as interim PM,” Al Jzeera, 7 September 2023)

Guniea: Four die amid clashes on coup anniversary

On 7 September, according to BBC, clashes were reported between the protesters and security forces on the second anniversary of the military coup. The Forces Vives, the opposition alliance of political parties and trade unions reported that four men aged between 15 and 18 died. Two of them died on 4 September in Conakry during the security forces' attack on the neighbourhoods of the political activists. The other two died on 5 September and several were injured. In October 2022, Guniea’s military government under Mamady Doumbouya promised a two-year transition to democracy as ECOWAS denied a three-year plan but the Forces Vives expressed concerns as the elections are delayed. (Azeezat Olaoluwa, Deaths reported as Guinea marked coup anniversary, BBC, 7 September 2023)    



Photo : Reuters

Kenya: African leaders reaches Nairobi Declaration; aims at climate financing


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Kenya: African leaders reaches Nairobi Declaration; aims at climate financing

On 6 September, marking the final day of the Africa Climate Summit, African political and business leaders adopted the Nairobi Declaration proposing new global taxes and reforms to international financial institutions to fund climate action. Kenyan President William Ruto announced that the declaration will form Africa’s negotiating position at the COP28 summit held in Dubai. Ruto stated: “In Africa, we can be a green industrial hub that helps other regions achieve their net zero strategies by 2050; unlocking the renewable energy resources that we have in our continent is not only good for Africa, it is good for the rest of the world.” (“African leaders seek global taxes for climate change at Nairobi summit,” Al Jazeera, 6 September 2023)

Democratic Republic of Congo: EAC to extend mandate for regional force

On 6 September, East African Community (EAC) leaders agreed to extend the duration of the mandate for the regional force to 8 December in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The bloc sent its troops into the conflict-riven region in November 2022 after the resurgence of the m23 rebel group. Since 2021, M23 rebels have taken over swathes of territory in North Kivu province; the DRC government has been accusing Rwanda, one of the EAC members, of supporting the rebels. (“East Africa leaders extend regional troop mandate in DR Congo,” Al Jazeera, 6 September 2023)

Ethiopia: Federal forces accused of killing civilians

On 6 September, BBC reported on Ethiopian opposition groups accusing the federal forces of killing civilians in the Amhara region where it has been fighting the Fano militia. The Enat party stated that at least 29 civilians were killed near the town of Majete. The party added that at least 20 civilians were killed in drone strikes in two other areas in the region. The violence broke out in the region following the Ethiopian government’s decision to disband regional military groups, a move Amharas believe would weaken the region’s defences. (“Ethiopian federal troops accused of killing civilians,” BBC, 6 September 2023)



Photo : AFP

Africa’s first climate summit


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Africa’s first climate summit

On 4 September, the first three-day African Climate Summit began in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The summit aims to bring together African leaders to create a shared vision of green development and get ready for the COP28 meeting. Climate financing is one of the major agenda of the summit. The UAE has pledged USD 4.5 billion clean energy investment in the continent; UK is planning to invest EUR 49 million in managing impact of climate change and on climate action. Addressing the member countries, Kenyan President William Ruto stated: “Africa holds the key to accelerating decarbonisation of the global economy. We are not just a continent rich in resources. We are a powerhouse of untapped potential, eager to engage and fairly compete in the global markets.” Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups urged Ruto to circumvent Western led agenda that focus on carbon markets and other financial tools to redress the climate crisis. (“Billions pledged for green energy as Africa climate talks enter second day,” Al Jazeera, 5 September 2023)

Burkina Faso: 53 soldiers killed in rebel attack

On 5 September, Al Jazeera reported that at least 53 security forces of Burkina Faso were killed during a clash with rebel fighters. The clashes occurred in the Koumbri village of the Tatenga province on 4 September. The Brukinabe army stated: “This act of extreme cowardice will not go unpunished. Every effort is being made to disable the remaining terrorist elements on the run.” It is unclear which group carried out the attack. However, militants linked to Islamic State and al-Qaeda have been carrying out frequent attacks in the country. According to the Al Jazeera report, the insurgency has killed thousands and displaced more than two million people. (“At least 53 Burkina Faso soldiers, volunteers killed in clashes with rebels,” Al Jazeera, 5 September 2023)

Eswatini: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit

On 5 September, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen began her visit to Eswatini, Taipei’s last African ally. Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is the last monarch in Africa. Eswatini’s Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini welcomed Tsai while they marked 55 years of bilateral relations. Since 2016, China has been pressuring countries that have bilateral relationships with Taiwan to switch their recognition to China. Taiwan had diplomatic losses with nine countries owing to Chinese efforts. (“Taiwan’s President Tsai begins visit to Eswatini, last ally in Africa,” Al Jazeera, 5 September 2023)



Photo : Reuters

Gabon: Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema sworn in as the head of the state


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Gabon: Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema sworn in as the head of the state

On 4 September, Gabon’s coup leader General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema was sworn in as the head of the state. Addressing his new position, Oligui said that the military has seized power peacefully and will return it to the people through free, transparent and credible elections. He stated: “With the new government, made up of experienced people, we’re going to give everyone a chance to hope.” However, there is a popular rhetoric raising that Oligui belongs to the same Bongo family and the coup is merely a “place revolution,” replacing one Bongo with another. (“Gabon coup leader Nguema sworn in as transitional head of state,” Al Jazeera, 4 September 2023)

South Africa: No evidence of arms shipment to Russia following inquiry, says President Ramaphosa

On 4 September, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that there is no clear evidence for the claims on South Africa supplying weapons to Russia. The announcement came following the US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety claimed that the Russian ship Lady R was seen loading arms and ammunition from the naval base in Cape Town in December 2022. An independent inquiry by the South African government found that the Russian ship delivered armaments ordered by the National Defence Force in 2018. Ramaphosa stated: “When all matters are considered, none of the allegations made about the supply of weapons to Russia have been proven to be true; None of the persons who made these allegations could provide any evidence to support the claims that had been levelled against our country.” (“South Africa says no evidence of arms shipment to Russia following inquiry,” Al Jazeera, 4 September 2023)

Sudan: 20 people killed in SAF air strike

On 4 September, at least 20 people were killed in an army air strike in Sudanese capital Khartoum. The attack happened in the alakla al-Qubba neighbourhood of south-west Khartoum. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been fighting since April. According to the UN, more than thousands have been killed and nearly 2.3 million have been displaced; more than half a million have taken shelter in neighbouring countries of Chad and South Sudan. Currently, RSF controls large swathes of Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Bahri. SAF has been carrying out frequent artillery and air attack to dislodge RSF. Clashes have additionally spread to western Darfur region which has been grappling with decades of ethnic violence. (“Sudan conflict: Air strike on Khartoum kills at least 20,” BBC, 4 September 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Eritrea: Hundreds injured in a clash between rival Eritrean groups in Israel


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 September 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Eritrea: Hundreds injured in a clash between rival Eritrean groups in Israel

On 2 September Al Jazeera reported that more than 100 people were injured in Israel’s city of Tel Aviv during a clash between a rival group of protesters from Eritrea. The clashes erupted between the anti-government and pro-government factions of Eritrean asylum seekers. Israeli police fired warning shots in the air to disperse the protesters; at least 39 suspects who assaulted police were arrested. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “We want harsh measures against the rioters, including the immediate deportation of those who took part.” President Isaias Afwerki has ruled Eritrea since 1991 and the country never had elections. Political parties are banned and freedom of expression and the press are restricted in the country. Nearly 20,000 Eritreans are residing in Israel. (“Dozens of people injured in clashes between rival Eritrean groups in Israel,” Al Jazeera, 2 September 2023)

Niger: Military against France backing Prasident Bazoum

On 1 September, Niger’s military leaders accused France of interfering in the country’s internal matters. They accused French President Emmanuel Macron of “perpetuating a neocolonial operation against the Nigerien people.” Colonel Amadou Abdramane stated that Macron’s comments  “constitute further blatant interference in Niger’s domestic affairs.” The development comes after Macron backed ECOWAS’ threat of military action against the coup by stating the he “supports [ECOWAS’s] diplomatic action and, when it so decides, [its] military action.” (“Niger’s military government slams Macron for backing President Bazoum,” Al Jazeera, 1 September 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Mali: Russia vetoes at UNSC on the proposal to extend sanctions and monitoring


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Mali: Russia vetoes at UNSC on the proposal to extend sanctions and monitoring

On 31 August, Russia vetoed the presence of a UN experts team in Mali who had accused foreign fighters in Mali, referring to Russia's Wagner group’s involvement in widespread atrocities in the country. Thirteen of UNSC’s 15 members backed the proposal to extend sanctions and continued presence of UN experts. Meanwhile, China abstained from voting. Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia stated: “It is fundamentally important that UN Security Council sanctions deal purely with that issue and not be used as a means of foreign influence on Mali, and that is something that the panel of experts of the Security Council has been involved in.” (“Russia vetoes UN resolution to extend sanctions, monitoring in Mali,” Al Jazeera, 31 August 2023)

Gabon: AU suspension following the coup

On 31 August, the African Union suspended Gabon following the military coup on 30 August. AU’S Peace and Security Council stated: “Strongly condemns the military takeover of power in the Republic of Gabon” and has decided “to immediately suspend the participation of Gabon in all activities of the AU, its organs and institutions.” (“African Union suspends Gabon’s membership after military coup,” Al Jazeera, 31 August 2023)

Niger: Expels French ambassador

On 31 August, the military leaders in Niger ordered the expulsion of France’s ambassador to the country. The visas of French Ambassador Sylvain Itte and his family have been cancelled; the police have been ordered to expel the envoy. The expulsion order comes following the military leaders calling France’s actions “contrary to the interests of Niger.” (“Niger’s military rulers order police to expel French ambassador,” Al Jazeera, 31 August 2023)



Photo : AFP

Gabon: Military announce coup


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 30 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

By Anu Maria Joseph

Gabon: Military announce coup

On 30 August, Gabon’s senior military officials through national media, Gabon24, announced a coup citing improper elections. The officers stated: “Today the country is undergoing a severe institutional, political, economic, and social crisis; In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.” The coup announcement came hours after incumbent President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of presidential elections held on 26 August. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the coup stating: “Firmly condemns the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post-electoral crisis.” The US stated: “It’s deeply concerning to us … we will remain a supporter of people in the region and supporter of the people in Gabon.” (“Gabon President Bongo detained in coup attempt after winning third term,” Al Jazeera, 30 August 2023)



Photo : Alexis Huguet, AFP

Democratic Republic of Congo: CODECO attack kills 14 civilians


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Democratic Republic of Congo: CODECO attack kills 14 civilians

On 29 August, Al Jazeera reported that the Cooperative Development of Congo (CODECO), an armed rebel group active in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, killed 14 civilians and one Congolese soldier. The attack happened in the village of Gobu on 27 August. Four attackers were killed in the fighting. CODECO, a militia led by the ethnic Lendu community, has been fighting with the Zaire, a militia group of ethnic Hema community, since 2017.  According to the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, nearly 1,800 people were killed in various CODECO attacks until 2022. More than 120 rebel militias are fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for land and resources. (“Fourteen dead after militiamen attack village in northeast DR Congo,” Al Jazeera, 29 August 2023)



Photo : Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

Niger: French ambassador to stay, despite ultimatum


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Niger: French ambassador to stay, despite ultimatum

On 28 August, French President Emmanuel Macron said that its ambassador to Niger will continue to stay in the country. The development comes after Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an ultimatum for France’s ambassador to Niger, Sylvain Itte, to leave the country, claiming that Itte refused to meet the new regime citing France’s actions that were “contrary to the interests of Niger.” Macron stated: “I think our policy is the right one. It’s based on the courage of President Bazoum, and on the commitments of our ambassador on the ground who is remaining despite all the pressure, despite all the declarations made by the illegitimate authorities.” Macron added that France would support any military action by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the coup leaders. (“Niger coup: France defies ultimatum for ambassador to leave Niamey,” BBC, 28 August 2023)

Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa wins presidential elections

On 28 August, Al Jazeera reported that Zimbabwe's President and leader of the Zanu-PF party, Emmerson Mnangagwa, won the presidential elections securing 52.6 per cent of votes against opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, who secured 44 per cent. This would be Mnangagwa's second and final term in office. The opposition has rejected the results and called for a re-run. The elections were hampered by delays, which fueled opposition claims of bribery and voter suppression. International election monitors have commented that the polls failed to meet regional and international standards. The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) said that the elections curtailed "fundamental freedoms" adding that “acts of violence and intimidation” have caused a “climate of fear." More than 40 election monitors were arrested while trying to compare the official poll count. On 28 August, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called on the "political actors to peacefully settle any disputes through established legal and institutional channels" and urged "the competent authorities to resolve any disputes in a fair, expeditious, and transparent manner." (“Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa wins second term, opposition rejects result,” Al Jazeera, 28 August 2023)



Photo : Esam Omran al-Fetori, Reuters

Libya: LNA’s air strikes on FACT base


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

Libya: LNA’s air strikes on FACT base

On 25 August, Al Jazeera reported on the Libyan National Army (LNA) launching air strikes on “foreign armed groups” near the Chad border. LNA, led by Khalifa Haftar, carried out the attacks against Libya-based Front for Change and Concord (FACT), a rebel group, in the outpost of Umm al-Araneb in Murzuq district. The FACT fighters had taken over more than 2,000 houses under construction in the region. LNA spokesperson Ahmad Mismari stated that LNA would “no longer allow armed groups or factions to use Libyan territory to launch attacks against neighbouring countries.” Libya has been going through civil unrest since 2011 after the death of Muhammad Gaddafi. Rival leaders, Abdulhamid Dbeibah who leads the UN-backed Tripoli-based administration and former interior minister Fathi Bashagha supported by military leader Khalifa Haftar, have been forging alliances with multiple rebel factions in the neighbouring countries including Chad and Sudan. (“Libya’s LNA launches operations against Chad rebels along border,” Al Jazeera, 25 August 2023)



Photo : REUTERS

South Africa: BRICS expansion, Egypt and Ethiopia to join the bloc


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph

South Africa: BRICS expansion, Egypt and Ethiopia to join the bloc

On 24 August, on the final day of the BRICS summit South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the bloc had invited six countries to join as new members. The new members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Argentina, Ethiopia, UAE and Egypt. Ramaphosa commented that the group considers itself as a counterweight to Western powers. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated: “The expansion is also a new starting point for BRICS cooperation. It will bring new vigour to the BRICS cooperation mechanism and further strengthen the force for world peace and development.” A senior adviser to Iran’s president, Mohammad Jamshidi, stated: “Permanent membership in the group of global emerging economies is considered a historic development and a strategic success for the foreign policy of the Islamic republic.” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated: ““Ethiopia stands ready to cooperate with all for an inclusive and prosperous global order.” (“Saudi Arabia, Iran among six nations invited to join BRICS,” Al Jazeera, 24 August 2023)

Mozambique: Jihadist leaders killed in joint operation

On 24 August, BBC reported that two jihadist leaders have been killed in a joint operation with regional forces in the province of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique. The Mozambique army stated that one of them was Abu Kital who "held the position of deputy commander of the operations of the group Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama`a (ASWJ)." The regional force consisting of Mozambique and Rwanda forces along the Sadc regional bloc’s forces together carried out the operation. The Cabo Delgado region has been fighting Islamist insurgency since 2017. More than a million people have been displaced and 4,000 others were killed in the region over the period. (“Two jihadist commanders killed in Mozambique - army,” BBC, 24 August 2023)

Zimbabwe: Conducts general elections

On 23 August, Zimbabwe began its election for councillors, members of parliament and a president. 11 candidates are running for the presidential seat. More than six million people are expected to cast their votes. However, the contest is between two popular candidates- incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa from the governing Zanu-PF Party and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from the Citizen's Coalition for Change (CCC). The opposition is seeking to end the 43-year rule of the Zanu-PF party. Since 1980, the Zanu-PF party has been in power and criticized for continuously clamping down on opposition to remain in power. The country struggles with rising cost of living, inflation, crippling power outages and corruption. People in the urban areas and the young population believe that it is time for a change. (“Zimbabwe election: Poll monitors arrested amid election,” BBC, 24 August 2023)



Photo : Ömer Erdem, Anadolu Agency

Sudan: Fighting continues in Khartoum


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 23 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Sudan: Fighting continues in Khartoum

On 23 August, BBC Africa reported on heavy fighting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). SAF stated that it repelled RSF’s attack on the Armoured Corps military base in the Al-Shajara region, south of Khartoum. RSF in a statement claimed that it has taken control of parts of the army base and has captured large quantities of weaponry. (“Heavy fighting continues around Khartoum army base,” BBC, 23 August)

 



Photo : Saleh Obaidi, AFP

HRW accuses Saudi Arabia of killing Ethiopian migrants


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

HRW accuses Saudi Arabia of killing Ethiopian migrants

On 22 August, BBC reported on Saudi Arabian border guards’ mass killing of migrants crossing the border from Yemen. A Human Rights Watch report titled “They Fired On Us Like Rain” stated that hundreds of migrants, most of them Ethiopians, were shot dead by the Saudi Arabian guards. A series of BBC interviews with migrants who are alive revealed that Saudi Arabian guards killed, beat and took the survivors to the hospital in one of the cases. A migrant accused the Houthi rebels of colluding with the smugglers. The HRW report covered the period from March to June 2022 and recorded 34 incidents involving both explosive weapons and shooting at close range. The report identified a detention centre at Yemen’s Monabbih from which the migrants are escorted by armed smugglers to the border. One of the authors of the report, Nadia Hardman said: “People described sites that sound like killing fields - bodies strewn all over the hillside.” Hardman claimed that a minimum of 655 were killed by the Saudi Arabian guards. The Saudi Arabian government responded: “Based on the limited information provided, authorities within the Kingdom have discovered no information or evidence to confirm or substantiate the allegations.” (Paul Adams, “Hundreds of migrants killed by Saudi border guards - report,” BBC News, 22 August 2023)

Libya: 161 Nigerian migrants repatriated under UN scheme

On 22 August, Al Jazeera reported on Libya repatriating 161 Nigerians back to their country under a UN-backed voluntary scheme. The migrants included women and children, and they were assisted at the Tripoli airport by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM); they arrived in Lagos on 21 August. The report quotes the Minister of Interior of the UN-recognised government based in Tripoli, Imed Trabelsi: “We cannot bear the burden of clandestine migration alone.” A Nigerian embassy official in Tripoli, Samuel Okeri, said that the migrants were “not forced back” to Nigeria. The developments came after 10 August, when Libya and Tunisia agreed to share responsibility to provide shelter to hundreds of migrants stranded at their borders. In July, hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants were driven to the Libyan border by Tunisian authorities after violence against migrants broke out in the port city of Sfax, following the death of a Tunisian citizen. Previously in February, Tunisian President Kais Saied commented that the sub-Saharan African migrants bring with them “violence, crime, and unacceptable practices.” (“Libya repatriates 161 Nigerian refugees in UN-backed scheme,” Al Jazeera, 22 August 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Ethiopia: 1411 people died of starvation since the suspension of food aid


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Ethiopia: 1411 people died of starvation since the suspension of food aid

On 18 August, the commissioner for disaster risk management Gebrehiwet Gebrezgabher reported that 1411 people died of starvation since the food aid was suspended from WFP and USAID. The food aid was suspended in April as donations were stolen and sold in the local markets. Gebrezgabhe told the BBC that 492 people were involved in the theft. Genrezgaber disclosed that suspects included NGO staff, camp coordinators and people who own businesses like food stores and mills. BBC reported that food having WFP and USAID labels was being sold in the country but is unaware whether the aid was diverted to the local markets or sold by the aid recipients. WFP and USAID suspended aid to the rest of Ethiopia in June 2023. (Girmay Gebru and Mercy Juma, “Ethiopia's Tigray crisis: Deaths from starvation after aid halted - official,” BBC News, 18 August 2023)

South Africa: Alliance to defeat African National Congress (ANC)

On 18 August, an alliance of seven South African political parties reached an agreement in an attempt to defeat the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the 2024 presidential election. According to the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, if they were elected, they would work together to assign ministry and parliamentary seats. They are also attempting to prevent Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from gaining power. The accord, brokered by the country's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), comes as the country faces a struggling economy, corruption, unemployment and an energy crisis. The Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, ActionSA, United Independent Movement, Independent SA National Civic Organisation (Isanco) and Spectrum National Party joined the pact. (“SA parties sign pact to unseat ruling ANC,” BBC, 18 August 2023)

South Africa: Chinese President to attend the BRICS summit during State visit

On 18 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC’s spokeswoman stated: “At the invitation of President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President Xi Jinping will attend the 15th BRICS Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and pay a state visit to South Africa from August 21 to 24.” This will mark the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second visit to South Africa. China has also expressed its willingness to welcome “like-minded partners” to join BRICS. (“Xi Jinping to make state visit to South Africa, attend BRICS summit,” Al Jazeera, 18 August 2023)

Niger: D-day is decided, says ECOWAS

On 18 August, as the two-day ECOWAS meeting came to an end in Accra, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah disclosed that a “D-day” had been decided for military intervention in Niger. Musah said: “Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa, both the military and the civilian components, are ready to answer to the call of duty.” Musah emphasized that diplomatic channels are open meanwhile the plan to intervene militarily is also “fine-tuned.” The details regarding the D-day have not been disclosed. (“ECOWAS defence chiefs agree ‘D-day’ for Niger military intervention,” Al Jazeera, 18 August 2023)



Photo : Khalil Senosi, AP Photo

Kenya: African climate summit will not prioritise the Western agenda, says President


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Kenya: African climate summit will not prioritise the Western agenda, says President

On 17 August, Kenya’s President William Ruto affirmed that the African Climate Summit which is to be held from 4 to 6 September 2023 in Nairobi will not be “hijacked by foreign interests.” Ruto responded to an open letter sent to him from 300 African organisations claiming that the summit prioritises Western agendas such as carbon markets. The letter stated that Western organisations and governments are “hellbent on pushing a pro-West agenda and interests at the expense of Africa.” In an interview with BBC, the special adviser for climate change to Ruto, Ali Mohamed said that the summit is an “African endorsed event hosted by an African bank that is going to discuss the challenge to the global community.” (Wedaeli Chibelushi, “Kenya's African climate summit not ‘hijacked by West’,” BBC News, 17 August 2023)

DRC: State of siege ends in two provinces

On 17 August, the members of DRC’s parliament voted in favour of ending the military rule in two eastern provinces namely Ituri and North Kivu where security is deteriorating. The state of siege was levied on the provinces in May 2021 intending to fight the armed rebels. According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report, 400 million people are displaced in the provinces. According to a Member of Parliament who participated in the three-day meeting: “The state of siege brought nothing to us…citizens are tired of it. Let the authority be handed back to civilians.” (Samba Cyuzuzo, “DR Congo MPs vote to lift military rule in the east,” BBC, 17 August 2023)

Mali: US condemns attack on UN soldiers leaving Ber

On 14 August, MINUSMA reported that they were under attack twice during their withdrawal from Ber, a town in Mali which resulted in several UN soldiers being wounded. On 17 August, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller responded: “It is critical that Minusma be permitted to conduct its withdrawal in a safe and orderly manner, and we call on the transition government to cooperate fully until the final Minusma element departs.” (“US concerned by 'worsening violence' in Mali,” BBC, 17 August 2023)

Africa: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister says Kyiv looking to woo Africa 

On 17 August, Al Jazeera reported on Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba’s statements that Ukraine was planning to invest in African countries in an attempt to strengthen ties. He further added that this “strategy is not to replace Russia but to free Africa from Russia’s grip.” He assured that Ukraine would be respectful of these interactions as opposed to the “coercive” tactics used by Russia. (“Ukraine’s Kuleba promises to ‘free Africa from Russia’s grip’,” Al Jazeera, 17 August 2023) 



Photo : Souleymane Ag Anara, AFP

Niger: 17 soldiers killed in jihadist attack; ECOWAS to discuss potential intervention post-coup


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Niger: 17 soldiers killed in jihadist attack; ECOWAS to discuss potential intervention post-coup

On 16 August, BBC Africa quoted the Ministry of Defence and the National Guard of Niger, which reported that at least 17 soldiers were killed in a jihadist attack in the Tillabéri region, close to the border with Burkina Faso. The ministry stated: "The prompt reaction of the military and the air-land response initiated at the scene of the clash made it possible to deal with the enemy." This is the seventh Islamist militant attack in the country since the coup on 26 July. Meanwhile, on 15 August, ECOWAS announced that army chiefs of the member states will be meeting in Ghana's capital Accra on 17 August to discuss a potential military intervention to reinstate civilian rule in Niger. (“More than a dozen Niger soldiers killed in attack near Mali border,” Al Jazeera, 16 August 2023) 

Kenya: Public debt hits record high

On 16 August, according to Kenya’s treasury, the public debt rose to a record high of USD 10.8 in the past financial year amounting to USD 70.75 billion breaching the debt ceiling of KES 10.1 trillion. The Treasury stated: “The increase in the public debt is attributed to external loan disbursements, exchange rate fluctuations and the uptake of domestic and external debt.” The cost of debt servicing for the past financial year was USD 391 billion of which USD 743 million was to China. The Fitch Ratings reported that the state of Kenya’s capability to repay the loans changed from stable to negative. In June, lawmakers voted in favour of increasing the debt ceiling to the proportion of Kenya’s GDP which is yet to be amended. (“Kenya's public debt rises by a record $10.8 billion,” Africanews, 16 August 2023) 

Nigeria: “No plan to increase fuel prices,” assures President

On 16 August, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu declared that there is “no plan to increase the prices of fuel at this time.” Several oil marketers’ alerted that the fuel price will go up for the third time since May 2023 due to the foreign exchange crisis. The President’s spokesman Ajuri Ngelale in an interview with BBC assured that the current price will be maintained without “reversing our deregulation policy by swiftly cleaning up existing inefficiencies within the midstream and downstream petroleum sector.” (Azeezat Olaoluwa, “No current plan to raise Nigeria fuel prices - Tinubu,” BBC News, 16 August 2023)

 

Libya: 55 killed in clashes

On 16 August, Al Jazeera reported that at least 55 people were killed and 146 were wounded in a clash between armed groups in the Libyan capital Tripoli. The fighting erupted on 14 August between two armed groups, the 444 Brigade and the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), active since the overthrow of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The clashes were triggered following the detention of the head of the 444 Brigade, Colonel Mahmoud Hamza, by the rival Special Deterrence Force. On 15 August, the social council in the eastern suburb of Souq al-Jumaa, an SDF stronghold, said that an agreement had been reached with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, head of the UN-recognized government based in Tripoli, for Hamza to be handed over to a "neutral party." The council said that a ceasefire would be initiated following the transfer of Hamza. Both armed factions are aligned with Dbeibah's government. (“Dozens dead as armed forces clash in Libya - medics,” BBC News, 16 August 2023)



Photo : Mahamadou Hamidou, Reuters

Niger: ECOWAS military heads to meet on Niger issue


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Niger: ECOWAS military heads to meet on Niger issue

On 15 August, Al Jazeera reported that the military leaders of ECOWAS were scheduled for meetings on 17 and 18 August to discuss the possible use of force in Niger to help overthrow the coup. This comes after the regional bloc consented to military intervention in Niger as a last resort and also approved the activation of standby forces. Meanwhile, ECOWAS leaders continue their efforts to engage diplomatically with the military government in Niger. (“West African military chiefs to discuss Niger crisis Thursday and Friday,” Al Jazeera, 15 August 2023) 

Niger: Envoy in Abidjan called back in protest to comments from President Alassane Ouattara

On 14 August, the Nigerian envoy in Abidjan in Ivory Coast was recalled to Niger by the country’s military government. This was in response to Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara’s statement that ECOWAS had approved to conduct a military intervention in Niger “as soon as possible.” A comment from Niger’s coup representatives said: “... this unusual declaration by President Ouattara and his eagerness to carry out an aggression against Niger which is in every way illegal and senseless, reflects in reality an order addressed to him and certain of his peers in the ECOWAS by other external powers…” Ouattara made the comment after an ECOWAS meeting that agreed to activation of standby forces and the possible use of force in Niger to restore the deposed President Bazoum. (“Niger generals recall envoy from Abidjan after remarks by president Ouattara,” Africanews, 15 August 2023) 

Niger: Leaders of Mali and Russia emphasize peaceful resolution

On 15 August, Mali’s transitional leader Colonel Assimi Goita tweeted that he and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin over a call discussed the condition in Niger. The call was made by Bamako. Goita wrote that Putin “stresses the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation for a more stable Sahel.” A statement released by the Kremlin disclosed: “The parties specifically focused on the current situation in the Sahara-Sahel region and emphasised, in particular, the importance of settling the situation in the Republic of Niger solely through peaceful political and diplomatic means.” (“Putin urges ‘peaceful resolution’ as Mali and Russia discuss Niger,”  Al Jazeera, 15 August 2023) 

Kenya: Government to subsidise fuel prices

On 15 August, according to Al Jazeera, an energy regulator reported that the government has reinstated a subsidy to stabilise the retail price of fuel which has increased as the tax hiked. In September 2022, Kenyan President William Ruto upon taking office, cancelled the fuel and maize flour subsidies which along with tax hikes led to a cost of living crisis. On 14 August, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said that the maximum retail price of a litre of petrol would remain at USD 1.35. The government will subsidise the increase of USD 0.05 through a price stabilisation fund. (“Kenya reinstates fuel subsidy after months of violent protests,” Al Jazeera, 15 August 2023)

Sudan: Mass displacement amid looming famine

On 15 August, BBC reported that several international aid agencies declared that the situation in Sudan is worsening with millions displaced who depend on aid. The agencies warned of an inevitable famine. According to the BBC, a joint statement from 20 global organisations reported that 14 million children are in need of humanitarian aid and over four million people have been displaced. (Richard Hamilton, “Millions on verge of famine in Sudan, warn aid chiefs,”  BBC News, 15 August 2023)



Photo : Eduardo Soteras, AFP

Ethiopia: 26 civilians killed in clashes in Amhara


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Ethiopia: 26 civilians killed in clashes in Amhara

On 14 August, Al Jazeera reported that at least 26 people were killed in Ethiopia's Amhara region in a suspected airstrike by Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). The new wave of clashes erupted on 7 August after Amhara regional militia Fano accused the Ethiopian government of trying to weaken Amhara's defences by incorporating the regional militia with the ENDF. The clashes in the Amhara region erupted nine months after the end of a two-year conflict in the neighbouring Tigray region. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) raised "grave concern" over the "deadly hostilities" and called on "conflicting parties to immediately end" all alleged human rights violations. Previously on 4 August, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had announced a six-month state of emergency across the region. (“Suspected air strike kills two dozen people in Ethiopia’s Amhara region,” Al Jazeera, 14 August 2023) 

Sudan: Army general accuses RSF and Dagalo of committing war crimes

On 14 August, the Sudanese Army’s General Abdel Fattah al Burhan in a televised speech accused the RSF and its General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of committing war crimes. Burhan stated: “How can you bring about democracy by committing war crimes, which have been committed in Khartoum, El Geneina, Kutum, Tawila, Sirba, Slileira, Munawashi, Kèss and every inch stepped upon by the rebels in the country since their ill-fated mutiny.” (“Sudan's Burhan accuses rival RSF of 'war crimes',” Africanews, 14 August 2023)

Ghana: Dissent rises against the deployment of Ghanaian soldiers in Niger 

On 14 August, Africanews reported on the opposition’s dissent to deploy Ghanaian soldiers in ECOWAS’s proposal of military intervention against Niger in response to the coup. According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of the foreign affairs committee’s interview with the BBC: “Resorting to military intervention is not the optimal course of action.” Ablakwa emphasized: “Our valiant Ghanaian soldiers should be kept removed from the impending risks of violence and the escalating geopolitical tensions, which could lead to extensive destabilization in an already precarious region.” (“Ghana opposition warn president on Niger troop plans,” Africanews, 14 August 2023)



Photo : Issouf Sanogo, AFP

Niger: Military charges President with high treason


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Niger: Military charges President with high treason

On 13 August, a spokesman for Niger’s military on national television declared the charges against the country’s president Mohamed Bazoum. Bazoum has been held at the president’s official residence along with his family since 26 July. The statement accused Bazoum of “high treason and undermining the internal and external security.” The accusation followed the Nigerian Islamic delegation who announced the military’s willingness to negotiate with the ECOWAS. ECOWAS responded: “It represents yet another form of provocation and contradicts the reported willingness of the military authorities in the Republic of Niger to restore constitutional order through peaceful means.” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed concerns regarding the health of the President and called on the military to restore Bazoum as the head of State. (“Niger military to prosecute Mohamed Bazoum for ‘high treason’,” Al Jazeera, 14 August 2023) 

Mali: MINUSMA leaves Ber retroceding to the military

On 13 August, MINUSMA stated that it had “anticipated” its withdrawal from Ber, a northern region where security is deteriorating, posing a threat to the Blue Helmets. MINUSMA also reported that they were under attack twice during their withdrawal, leaving some UN soldiers wounded. The Malian army, FAMA, recovered Ber, which was also desired by the Tuareg rebellion. (“In Mali, the army recovers a UN base coveted by the former Tuareg rebellion,” Africanews, 14 August 2023) 



Photo : SHUTTERSTOCK

Tanzania: High Court dismisses petition to suspend UAE’s DP World to run ports


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 11 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Tanzania: High Court dismisses petition to suspend UAE’s DP World to run ports

On 11 August, a petition to suspend a deal between UAE and Tanzania under which DP World, a UAE-based logistics company, was to run several Tanzania ports was dismissed by the high court. Following the approval of the deal on 10 June 2023, according to the BBC, 18 critics of the deal from Dar es Salaam were arrested on 19 June 2023. HRW’s Tanzania researcher, Oryem Nyeko stated: “Instead of clamping down on critics, the government should respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and listen to them.” DP World has already taken over the management of ports in Egypt, Somaliland, Puntland and the Democratic Republic of Congo and is interested in taking over ports in Kenya. (Gloria Aradi, Court allows UAE deal to run Tanzania ports,” BBC News, 11 August) 

Niger: Standby forces readied by ECOWAS after meeting

On 10 August, at an ECOWAS meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, leaders conceded to an armed intervention in Niger to overthrow the military leadership. They consented to have a ‘stand-by’ military force ready for action. However, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinube, who is also the current chair of the bloc, said that the use of force would be “a last resort.” A spokesperson reported that while the contribution of troops from each member is currently unknown, the larger goal is “to bring General Abdourahmane Tchiani to the dialogue table.” (“Niger coup: Ecowas to deploy standby force,” BBC, 11 August 2023)

Niger: US joins ECOWAS in call for peaceful restoration of order 

On 11 August, BBC reported that the US has hailed ECOWAS’s decision to try all possible options to restore Niger’s deposed president before using force. This comes after the regional block agreed on having a “stand-by'' force ready for action. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined ECOWAS’s demand for constitutional order in Niger and informed that the US places the responsibility for the safety of Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum on the military leaders. (“US backs peaceful resolution of Niger coup,” BBC, 11 August 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Niger: Military announces consolidation of new government


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Anu Maria Joseph, Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Niger: Military announces consolidation of new government 

On 9 August, a decree from the coup leader of Niger, General Abdourahamane Tiani Niger declared that the military had formed a new government in the country. The government comprises 21 ministers led by the new Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine. As per reports, the defence and interior ministries are headed by generals. The announcement came ahead of the meeting of ECOWAS leaders that is scheduled for 10 August. (“Niger: coup military regime forms government,” Africanews, 10 August 2023) 

Niger: ECOWAS meeting orders standby forces to activate

On 10 August, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convened for a meeting at Abuja, Nigeria where it discussed the situation in Niger. The leaders directed the initiation of ECOWAS’s standby forces, stating: “No option is taken off the table, including the use of force as a last resort.” They also agreed on implementing sanctions and travel bans on those attempting to stop the restoration of Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. ECOWAS head and Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu reassured: “I hope that through our collective effort we can bring about a peaceful resolution as a roadmap to restoring stability and democracy in Niger. All is not lost yet.” (“ECOWAS leaders say all options open in Niger, including ‘use of force’,” Al Jazeera, 10 August 2023) 

Mali: Government suspends issuance of visas to French nationals

On 10 August, according to Mali’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the issuance of visas to French nationals was indefinitely suspended at its embassy in Paris. The Ministry confirmed that the move was in response to France’s decision to suspend the issuance of visas and the closure of its visa centre in Bamako. The Ministry stated that it was a surprise to learn that France has declared Mali as a “red zone” due to “strong regional tensions.” (“Mali suspends visas for French citizens amid row,” BBC, 10 August)

Uganda: President Museveni accuses World Bank of coercion

On 10 August, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni accused the World Bank of trying “to coerce” the government on its anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced in May. The developments come after the World Bank suspended new loans to the country attributing to the law against the LGBTQ claiming that it contradicts the values. President Museveni stated that it is unfortunate that the lender is seeking to “coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money.” He added: “They really under-estimate all Africans. We do not need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in our society. They are our problems.” (“Ugandan leader accuses World Bank of coercion,” BBC, 10 August 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Libya: At least 27 migrants found dead in the desert; Tunisia rejects the allegations of expelling


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 9 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Libya: At least 27 migrants found dead in the desert; Tunisia rejects the allegations of expelling 

On 9 August, Al Jazeera quoted Libyan authorities, who reported that at least 27 people from sub-Saharan Africa died in the desert near the Libyan border after being expelled from Tunisia. Tunisia began expelling sub-Saharan African migrants after violence erupted in the Tunisian city of Sfax following the death of a Tunisian citizen. According to Libyan border guards, nearly 150 expelled migrants cross into Libya in a day. Tunisian Ministry of Interior spokesperson Faker Bouzgaya rejected the allegations stating: “People who meet the conditions for legal entry into Tunisia will be allowed in. Tunisia is not responsible for what happens outside its borders.” (“At least 27 people found dead in desert after expulsion from Tunisia: Libya,” Al Jazeera, 9 August 2023)

Ghana: Sanctions on Niger to impact food supply and prices

On 9 August, BBC reported fears in Ghana regarding the increase in food prices following the sanctions placed by ECOWAS on Niger. Ghana depends on Niger for its supply of onions. In 2021, Niger exported onions worth USD 23 million to Ghana and the surrounding West African countries. Ghana is already experiencing inflation, and with the stoppage of onions from Niger, experts estimate that the cost of a bag of onions will shoot up by almost 90 per cent. (Favour Nunoo, “Ghana traders fear Niger sanctions could raise their prices,” BBC, 9 August 2023)

Kenya: Government begins talks with the opposition

On 9 August, following the protests against the government, the Kenyan government commenced the talks with the opposition led by Raila Odinga. Odinga has led several protests in response to the tax hikes and the high cost of living, calling for electoral reforms. According to the government, 20 people have died during the protests so far. (Richard Hamilton, Kenya talks to resolve cost-of-living tension begin, BBC, 9 August 2023)

Sudan: UNSC warns of a prolonged ethnic conflict

On 9 August, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, briefed on the worsening crisis in Sudan and a possible prolongment of ethnic conflict in the UNSC. Pobee declared: “The fighting in Darfur continues to reopen the old wounds of ethnic tension, of past conflicts in the region. The brutal violence experienced in El-Geneina and Sirba are particular examples of this situation. This is deeply worrying and could quickly engulf the country in a prolonged ethnic conflict with regional spillovers.” The Director of Operations and Advocacy at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Edem Wosornu, reported 80 per cent of the hospitals are shut down, and half the children in the country require humanitarian aid. On 8 August, the UN informed that the first humanitarian convoy carrying 430 tons of agricultural seed will reach East Darfur. (“Sudan war: Brutal violence could engulf country in prolonged ethnic conflict - UN,” Africanews, 10 August 2023)



Photo : Benoit Tessier, Reuters

Central African Republic: Opposition condemns presidential tenure extension after passing of referen


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Central African Republic: Opposition condemns presidential tenure extension after passing of referendum 

On 8 August, Al Jazeera reported that the Central African Republic (CAR) opposition has called out the adoption of a new draft constitution in the country that will enable the president to extend his tenure, saying that the president was aiming for life Presidency. On 7 July, the national poll body had announced that 95.27 per cent had voted favourably in the referendum with an overall turnout of 61.10 per cent. With this, current President Faustin-Archange Touadera is cleared to run again in the 2025 elections. However, the report cited that the turnout for voting in the referendum was low, a point that was reiterated by an opposition leader who said: “...we’ve all seen that people didn’t go out to vote and it doesn’t reflect the will of the Central African people.” (“Opposition cries foul as voters in CAR approve tenure elongation,” Al Jazeera, 8 August 2023) 

Niger: Military snubs joint diplomatic effort from ECOWAS, UN and the African Union

On 8 August, a planned delegation comprising representatives of the African Union (AU), UN, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was denied permission to enter Niger by its military leaders. So far, Niger’s military leaders have not entertained any diplomatic efforts from outside, including the UN and the US. ECOWAS heads are scheduled to hold a meeting on 10 August to discuss further actions with regard to Niger. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who also holds the chair of ECOWAS, said: “diplomacy is the best way forward.” However, the possible use of force to overthrow the coup is not completely disregarded by the bloc. (“Niger coup leaders rebuff diplomatic overtures from AU, ECOWAS,” Al Jazeera, 8 August 2023)

Niger: Number of people in need of humanitarian assistance increases

On 8 August, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Niger Louise Aubin warned that regional sanctions and border and airspace closures will increase the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance. According to Aubin: “More than the 4.3 million people we had planned on supporting through emergency humanitarian assistance, we might see that number growing and growing fast.” Aubin added that the efforts of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) are being disrupted due to the airspace closure but are not completely suspended. On 7 August, UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths highlighted the crisis in Niger urging the international community to help. (Sanctions, airspace closures hamper UN humanitarian efforts in Niger,” Al Jazeera, 8 August 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Burkina Faso: France cancels aid


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Burkina Faso: France cancels aid

On 7 August, France cancelled all development aid and budget support to Burkina Faso as the ECOWAS deadline to restore the ousted Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum ended on 6 August. Bamoko condemned ECOWAS’ announcement of possible military intervention in Niger by calling it a “declaration of war” following the coup in Niger. (“France suspends aid to Burkina Faso,” BBC News, 7 August 2023)

Ethiopia: Intense clashes in Amhara

On 7 August, BBC Africa reported on intense clashes between Amhara regional forces and Ethiopian federal forces. The clashes were reported in the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar, in the Amhara region. A state of emergency has been declared in the region following the clashes. Amhara regional head Yilkal Kefale, called on the federal government to intervene, claiming that security in the region had become “difficult to control within regular law enforcement mechanisms.” The Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, raised concerns stating: "There could be grievances that have not been addressed, but the best way to solve them is dialogue as any other means will only hinder efforts to address the same grievances, make us lose what we have and complicate issues that we want solved permanently.” Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, expressed concerns over the ongoing violence. He commented: “Humanitarian access is difficult due to blockage of roads; communication is difficult due to internet suspension.” (Kalkidan Yibeltal, Fighting intensifies in Ethiopia's Amhara region,” BBC News, 7 August 2023) 

Nigeria: Attacks on farmers

On 7 August, BBC reported that Save the Children, a charity organization, had alerted that Nigeria’s food security was endangered by the attacks on farmers by armed groups. According to data, at least 120 farmers were killed and 30 were abducted in the first half of this year. Furthermore, 25 million Nigerians could be pushed into food insecurity this year according to the UN. (“Armed groups threaten Nigeria food security - charity,” BBC, 7 August 2023) 

Niger: Mali and Burkina Faso send delegations

On 7 August, as the deadline to return the ousted Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum to power ended on 6 August, delegations from Mali and Burkina Faso visited Niamey. Both countries showcased their support to the leaders of the coup. Bamako and Ouagadougou had condemned ECOWAS’ possible foreign intervention if Niamey failed to restore Bazoum to power, as a “declaration of war.” (“Mali, Burkina Faso, sends delegation to Niger in solidarity,” Africanews, 8 August 2023)



Photo : Ralph Tedy Erol, Reuters

Kenya: Nairobi will lead the “assessment mission” says Haiti’s Prime Minister


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Kenya: Nairobi will lead the “assessment mission” says Haiti’s Prime Minister

On 4 August, Al Jazeera reported on the Haitians’ reaction to Kenya’s willingness to lead a multinational force to respond to the gang violence in the country. As a result of the persisting violence, Haiti is facing an increase in sexual abuse and cholera outbreak. In October 2022, Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry called on the international community to form a “specialised armed force” to counter the rising violence. The Haitian civil society groups resented Henry’s call stating the consequences of past foreign interventions. On 29 July, Kenya’s Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua offered to deploy 1000 police officers and to lead the multinational force on an “assessment mission.” Mutua tweeted: An assessment Mission by a Task Team of the Kenya Police is scheduled within the next few weeks. This assessment will inform and guide the mandate and operational requirements of the Mission.” While the UN and the US welcomed Nairobi’s decision, there are concerns that the Kenyan police would be in charge given their deteriorating human rights record. On 1 August, Henry assured that Kenya would be leading the potential mission. (Scepticism, uncertainty, hope: Haitians react to possible Kenya-led mission, Al Jazeera, 4 August 2023)

Uganda: UN Human rights office closes down

On 5 August, following the end of its mandate by the Ugandan government, the UN’s human rights mission was closed after 18 years of operating in Kampala. Human rights offices in northern Uganda have been closed too. On 4 August, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk highlighted that most of the 54 NGOs closed in 2021 are still closed and the amended computer misuse law can curb freedom of expression. Türk added that human rights defenders, civil society actors and journalists are working in a “hostile environment” ahead of the 2026 elections. He urged the Ugandan government to let the national human rights body function efficiently. (UN human rights office shuts in Uganda,” BBC News, 4 August 2023)



Photo : Alima Boureima, Reuters

Niger: General Salifou Mody meets the leader of Mali


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 3 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Niger: General Salifou Mody meets the leader of Mali

On 3 August, one of the officers involved in the coup General Salifou Mody on his visit to Mali met with leader Colonel Assimi Goita. The meeting was held following Mali and Burkina Faso’s condemnation of ECOWAS’ announcement of possible military intervention in Niger by calling it a “declaration of war.” (“Niger Coup Leader Visits Mali,”  Africanews, 3 August 2023)

Sudan: Amnesty International raises war crime concerns

On 3 August, BBC reported on Amnesty International appealing against the war crimes committed during the conflict in Sudan. It found that members from both the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied Arab militias were behind the crimes, which also included widespread sexual assaults on women and young girls. Furthermore, UN groups have raised alerts regarding the acute food shortage in Sudan, which is estimated to impact over 20 million people. (Will Ross, “War crimes committed by both sides in Sudan - Amnesty,” BBC, 3 August 2023) 

Niger: Pro-coup protests and Biden's support for Bazoum

On 3 August, supporters of the Niger coup gathered in the capital, Niamey. Several demonstrators waved Russian flags; one of them said: “Only security that interests us, irrespective of whether it came from Russia, China, Turkey if they want to help us.” They also expressed anti-French sentiments stating that France, its former colonizer, had only looted them. The same day, US President Joe Biden stated: “The United States stands with the people of Niger” and called for democracy to be restored along with the release of Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.  (“Pro-coup protests continue in Niger as Biden urges Bazoum release,” Al Jazeera, 3 August 2023) 



Photo : AP

Niger: Nigeria to cut electricity supply to Niger


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 2 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Niger: Nigeria to cut electricity supply to Niger

On 2 August, Africanews reported that Nigeria had cut its electricity supply to Niger following the sanctions imposed by the ECOWAS. Additionally, ECOWAS has stated that it would freeze energy transactions until the restoration of constitutional order in Niger. On 30 July, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu stated that sanctions will be imposed on members who usurped President-elect Mohamed Bazoum. ("Nigeria cuts electricity to Niger after coup," Africanews, 2 August 2023)

Niger: Niamey opens borders

On 1 August, the spokesperson of Niger’s military government stated: “The land and air borders with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya and Chad are reopened from 01 August 2023.” The borders were closed on 26 July 2023 following the coup. At present, only the borders in the desert areas are open. ECOWAS’s sanctions bar the country to open its borders for trade and commerce. (“Niger reopens borders with five neighbours a week after coup,” Al Jazeera, 2 August 2023)

Senegal: Protests continue after the arrest of Ousmane Sonko 

On 2 August, BBC reported that following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, and the dissolution of his party, protests continued in various parts of Senegal. The interior ministry said that they are trying to restore order. Sonko’s party, Pastef, responded to the dissolution by stating: “Senegal's stability is now compromised because the people will never accept this ultimate forfeiture of power against 'the favourite.” Meanwhile, Sonko has maintained that his arrest was made on false charges. (Nicolas Negoce, “Protests persist in Senegal after Sonko crackdown,” BBC, 2 August 2023) 



Photo : Ngouda Dione, Reuters

Senegal: The arrest of opposition figure sparks terror in Senegal


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 August 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Senegal: The arrest of opposition figure sparks terror in Senegal

On 1 August, Al Jazeera reported on the death of two people in the city of Ziguinchor in Senegal. The clashes followed after the arrest of Ousmane Sonko, the opposition leader. Sonko was remanded on charges of criminal association with terrorists and for stimulating insurrection. The government has further dissolved Sonko’s Patriots of Senegal Party (PASTEF). The PASTEF supporters have accused Senegal’s President Macky Sall of sidelining the opponent. (“Two killed in Senegal in protests over arrest of opposition figure Sonko,” Al Jazeera, 1 August 2023)

Niger: Mali and Burkina Faso caution against the use of force to overturn the coup 

On 31 July, the military leadership of Niger’s neighbours, Burkina Faso and Mali announced: “Any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali.” They warned that this would have terrible consequences for the entire region. This comes after the regional bloc, ECOWAS, suggested the use of force to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum in Niger who was overthrown in a coup on 26 July. The military leaders further announced their refusal to levy the “illegal, illegitimate and inhumane sanctions against the people and authorities of Niger.” (“Burkina Faso, Mali warn against military intervention in Niger,” Al Jazeera, 1 August 2023) 

Niger: EU reassures no risks in uranium supply

On 1 August, Euratom, the EU’s nuclear agency, reassured that the coup in Niger would not have any consequences on the EU’s nuclear power generation that uses uranium from Niger. According to the agency, they have uranium reserves enough to last another three years, stating: “If imports from Niger are being cut, there are no immediate risks to the security of nuclear power production in the short term.” Euratom reported that in 2022, 25.4 per cent of the EU’s natural uranium was sourced from Niger. (“EU sees no uranium supply risks to nuclear production after Niger coup,” Al Jazeera, 1 August 2023)

Niger: European countries evacuate citizens

On 1 August, a plane carrying 262 French and European nationals left for Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. Following the attack on the French embassy in Niamey, France announced the evacuation of both French and European citizens. Two more flights are scheduled. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France stated that the closure of Niger’s airspace disabled the French and Europeans to leave on their own. The large-scale evacuation by the French is the first of its kind from the Sahel. Germany, Italy, and Spain will begin the process of evacuation. According to Al Jazeera, 600 French, 70 Spaniards, and 100 Germans are in Niger. (“European countries begin evacuation of citizens from coup-hit Niger,” Al Jazeera, 1 August 2023)



Photo : Leger Kokpakpa, Reuters

Niger: ECOWAS leaders give seven days to the junta to step down, warn military action


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Niger: ECOWAS leaders give seven days to the junta to step down, warn military action 

On 30 July, heads of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss the coup in Niger. The regional bloc stressed “zero tolerance” towards coups and said that they would “take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order” in Niger. They also stated that these measures could involve the use of force. ECOWAS has issued an ultimatum of seven days to the military junta for the restoration of power to Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. Furthermore, financial sanctions were imposed on the junta along with a reiteration of the closure of Niger’s airspace and land borders. Meanwhile, the self-appointed new leader of Niger, general Abdourahmane Tchiani said that: “We once again reiterate to Ecowas or any other adventurer our firm determination to defend our fatherland.” (Haruna Shehu Tangaza, Farouk Chothia, “Niger coup: West African leaders threaten military intervention,” BBC, 31 July 2023)

South Africa: Protest against the Employment Equity Amendment Law

On 26 July, the opposition Democratic Alliance members marched towards the parliament criticising the new Employment Equity Amendment (EEA) law in Cape Town. The EEA bill was signed by the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa on 12 April 2023 to close the racial economic gap. According to the World Bank, 40 per cent of Black South Africans were unemployed while only 7.5 per cent of white South Africans were unemployed from January to March 2023. The EEA is applicable to employers who employ over 50 people except for security and intelligence agencies. Under the law, the Minister of Employment and Labour is to allocate numerical targets to achieve equitable representation. Critics state that such quotas can harm the economy and white, coloured and Indian people can lose their jobs. The South African government stated that EEA will bring fairer representation than job losses. (Nkateko Mabasa, South Africa’s controversial ‘race quota’ law stirs debate,” Al Jazeera, 31 July 2023)

Central African Republic: Opposition boycotts the constitutional referendum

On 30 July, the opposition boycotted the constitutional referendum leading to the voting being culminated. The new constitution will provide the President of CAR Faustin-Archange Touadera another chance to run for a third term. The presidential term will also be extended from five to seven years. The Senate will be cancelled and a new role of Vice-President will be introduced. The results are expected by the end of the week and the constitutional court will adopt it in 21 days. (Azeezat Olaoluwa, “CAR awaits outcome of referendum to end term limits,” BBC News, 31 July 2023) 

Niger: Germany suspends aid to Niger

On 31 July, Al Jazeera reported on Germany suspending financial aid and halting cooperation with Niger, until further notice. Germany’s state secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Joechen Flasberth commented on the importance of a response from the Western African countries. General Abdourahamane Tiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, has proclaimed himself as the head of the transnational government after the soldiers overthrew Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum. (“Germany suspends aid to Niger, cooperation after coup,” Al Jazeera, 31 July 2023)

Niger: Bond worth USD 51 million halted by West African central bank

On 31 July, Al Jazeera reported that the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has called off a USD 51 million bond issuance by Niger. This follows other sanctions placed on Niger by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) due to the military coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum from power. (“West African central bank cancels Niger $51m bond issuance due to sanctions,” Al Jazeera, 31 July 2023)

Niger: Junta claims France of planning a military engagement to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum

On 31 July, BBC reported on statements by the Niger junta that France was strategizing a military intervention to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum. The junta also said that officials affiliated with the ousted government were involved with France’s plan. (“Niger junta accuses France of military strike plan,” BBC, 31 July 2023) 



Photo : Sam Mednick, AP Photo

Niger: “They have got rid of the colonisers,” says Prigozhin


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Niger: “They have got rid of the colonisers,” says Prigozhin

On 27 July, Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin lauded the coup in Niger and claimed no involvement in it. According to Al Jazeera, a voice message of Prigozhin in Telegram channels related to the Wagner Group surfaced emphasising Niger’s independence from its colonisers. Prigozhin’s voice message stated: “What happened in Niger is nothing other than the struggle of the people of Niger with their colonisers. With colonisers who are trying to foist their rules of life on them and their conditions and keep them in the state that Africa was in hundreds of years ago. Today, this is effectively gaining their independence. The rest will, without doubt, depend on the citizens of Niger and how effective governance will be, but the main thing is this: They have got rid of the colonisers.” (“Russia’s Wagner boss appears to hail Niger coup, tout services,” Al Jazeera, 28 July 2023)

Niger: Following the coup, general Abdourahmane Tchiani self-appoints as leader of a transitional government

On 28 July, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, general Abdourahmane Tchiani, announced himself as the leader of the transitional government in the country following the coup that removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power. The coup was carried out by a soldiers unit called the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, led by Tchiani. Tchiani said that “the security approach today has not brought security to the country despite heavy sacrifices,” stating that the “intervention” was required to save the country from a “gradual and inevitable demise.” Furthermore, the general has not divulged any information on the reinstating of a civilian government. (“Niger general Tchiani named head of transitional government after coup,” Al Jazeera, 28 July 2023)

Senegal: Eminent opposition leader Ousmane Sonko apprehended 

On 28 July, a prominent member of the opposition, Ousmane Sonko was arrested, although the official reason for his arrest is unknown. However, according to Sonko’s lawyer, the politician was arrested for “stealing a mobile phone and inciting violence.” According to the lawyer, Sonko had grabbed a mobile phone from a police officer for filming him. Earlier on the day, Sonko had complained on social media that security forces outside his residence were recording him, adding: “I ask the people to stand ready to face this endless abuse.” The opposition leader who is also a presidential candidate has been facing legal hurdles in recent years. He has said that these are attempts to sidetrack his political plans, and has also accused Senegal’s President Macky Sall of deliberately trying to remove him from the upcoming 2024 elections by using court cases against him. (“Top Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko arrested: Lawyer,” Al Jazeera, 28 July 2023)

Kenya: The Court permits way for the controversial tax hikes

On 28 July, BBC reported on the Kenyan Court’s Appeal which lifted the suspension of controversial finance law. The law has led to deadly unrest in the country. The legislation has allowed the raise in taxes framed by the government and was later frozen, followed by a senator’s question towards its legality. The law was approved by William Ruto, the President of Kenya and he further promoted demonstrations across the country. More than 30 people, mainly opposition supporters, died during the clash between the protesters and police. The law uplifted the value-added tax (VAT) from 8 per cent to 16 per cent and over 1,5 per cent of housing was introduced. The report also claimed a possible trigger of protests led by the ruling party. Further, an increase in tax is expected to hit over USD 2 billion for the government which is currently on low funds. (Anthony Irungu, “Kenyan court clears way for controversial tax hikes,” BBC, 28 July 2023)

Sudan: Paramilitary fighters destroy the military jets

On 28 July, BBC reported on the destruction of three military jets caused by the Paramilitary fighters at the Wadi Seidna airbase in Khartoum, the capital city. Although the sources confirmed that the military has carried out their air strikes on the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the RSF denied any destruction or death of people. The Wadi Seidna air base received foreign government support to evacuate their nationals by mid-April. The major assault resulted in a coincidence with General Mohamed Hamdon Dagalo, the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and deputy, who visited Chad and other countries to expand the support. The report recalled RSF's origin, brutal rebels and widespread ethnic cleansing practices. The army of the country has established its air strikes and artillery to combat the RSF attacks. Further, the number of deaths in the conflict was estimated to be around 3,000 and the Darfur region alone held a strong death toll of 11,000 people respectively. (Zeinab Mohammed Salih, “Sudan military jets destroyed by rivals in Khartoum,” BBC, 28 July 2023)



Photo : July, Souleymane Ag Anara, Reuters

Niger: Governing party’s headquarters burnt down amid rising condemnation


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 27 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Niger: Governing party’s headquarters burnt down amid rising condemnation 

On 26 July, the spokesperson of the Niger’s army Colonel Amadow Abdramane said that the military has “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.” Abramane added that Niger’s borders are closed, curfews are placed and government institutions are suspended. On 27 July, amid rising condemnation from the international community, the ruling party’s headquarters in Niamey was burnt down by the coup supporters. The same day, Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum tweeted: “The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigerians who love democracy and freedom will see to it.” Countries including the US, Germany, France, Russia and the UN called for the release of the President and for democracy to return. France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said: “We firmly condemn the coup that took place in Niger against the country’s civilian democratic authorities.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared the coup as “unconstitutional.” (Niger’s Bazoum: ‘Hard-won’ democratic gains will be protected despite coup,” Al Jazeera, 27 July 2023; “Niger situation remains ‘fluid’ as army backs coup plotters,” Al Jazeera, 27 July 2023)

Africa: Russia’s President proposes free grain for six African countries 

On 27 July, Al Jazeera reported that following Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, offered to send free grain to six African countries. According to Putin, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Eritrea, and the Central African Republic will receive nearly 50,000 tonnes of grain over the next three to four months, stating: “I have already said that our country can replace Ukrainian grain, both on a commercial basis and as grant aid to the neediest African countries, more so since we expect another record harvest this year.” Putin made the statements at a summit he attended with nearly 50 African leaders. However, an official from the Centre for Global Development said that grain aid will fall short of securing food needs in Africa. (“Russia making efforts to avert food crisis, Putin tells African nations,” Al Jazeera, 27 July 2023)



Photo : Reuters

Sudan: Nyala city residents killed during Sudan’s prolonged battle


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Sudan: Nyala city residents killed during Sudan’s prolonged battle

On 26 July, BBC reported on the death of over 30 civilians in the Nyala city in Sudan. Several days of heavy fighting by the paramilitary, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the allied Arab militias has been taking over the country’s main army base located in Darfur. Due to the heavy artillery and shell attacks, the residents have left the village to the nearby cities. The human rights workers talked about the forced actions of RSF fighters, who took over the civilian’s cars. Since the power erupted between the army and the RSF, the western region of Darfur witnessed the worst violence. Further, the region has attempted several ceasefire acceptances. (Will Ross, “City residents killed in battle for Sudan army base,” BBC, 26 July 2023)

 

Niger: Soldiers group announce the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum 

On 26 July, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the country announced that they had removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power, stating: “The defence and security forces … have decided to put an end to the regime you are familiar with.” They further informed of a nationwide curfew along with the closure of Niger’s borders. The development follows media reports that Bazoum was detained at his palace by soldiers. The US has extended its support to the “democratically elected President of Niger,” calling for his immediate release. (“Soldiers in Niger claim to have overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum,” Al Jazeera, 26 July 2023)

Ethiopia: Tigray fighters were demobilised back to their homes

On 26 July, BBC reported on the demobilisation of Tigray fighters. A senior figure of Tigray’s administration reported that more than 55,000 Tigray fighters, who took part in Ethiopia's Tigray region were demobilised back to their communities. General Tadesse Worde, the commander of the Tigray force called the fighters as the “heroes who paid sacrifices.” Over half a million were killed during the war, which caused a humanitarian crisis in the country. Additionally, the troops from the Eritrea region were accused of several abuses during the conflict. Further, the issue has worsened the hunger-related deaths, amid the suspension of aid from the UN. (Kalkidan Yibeltal, “Tigray fighters demobilised and sent home as 'heroes',” BBC, 26 July 2023)

Sudan: Peace talks in Togo discuss Darfur violence  

On 24 July, peace talks conducted in Togo’s capital of Lomé discussed the de-escalation of violence in Sudan’s Darfur region. A Rapid Support Forces (RSF) representative said that they wanted an end to the violence, stating their willingness to involve in any “kind of meeting for peace and bringing people together, and stop the war in Darfur and in Sudan.” Meanwhile, a Darfur rebel group representative stated that they were attempting to stop the violence from spiralling into a civil war, stressing that “a roadmap and an action plan” were necessary to coordinate with other leaders in the region. Meanwhile, the reopening of the RSF-held El-Geneina airport in Darfur to facilitate humanitarian aid transport was also discussed. (“Peace talks for Sudan's western region of Darfur held in Lomé,” Africanews, 26 July 2023)

West Africa: ECOWAS president emphasizes rising insecurity in the region

On 25 July, President of the ECOWAS, Omar Touray, in the UNSC, highlighted that West Africa registered 1800 attacks resulting in 4593 deaths in 2023. In the first six months of 2023, 2275 attacks have been recorded in Burkina Faso, 844 in Mali, 77 in Niger and 70 in Nigeria. Touray added that 6.2 million are internally displaced due to lack of food; 42 million will face food insecurity in August 2023. He said: “The reversal of democratic gains runs parallel to insecurity that West Africa and the Sahel have been facing for some time now.” He added that ECOWAS military chiefs proposed a brigade of 5000 at an annual cost of USD 2.3 billion or deployment of troops on request at an annual cost of USD 360 million. He called for the allocation of funds from the UN's regular budget for the AU’s peace operations. (“Over 1,800 ‘terrorist attacks’ in West Africa in 2023: ECOWAS,” Al Jazeera, 26 July 2023)



Photo : Reuters

Kenya: The opposition group announces its public vigils


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Kenya: The opposition group announces its public vigils

On 25 July, BBC reported on the mass vigil declared by the Kenyan opposition group. After prolonged cost-of-living protests, the group declared to hold a public vigil in order to honour the people, who were killed in the previous demonstrations. The Azimio coalition reported on the death of 50 people along with hundreds wounded civilians. It further accused police for their brutal and excessive force exercised against the civilians, who weren’t a part of the protest. The country’s interior minister has defended the police force claiming the situation to be highly dangerous. Further, the police have expressed their limited investigation capacity, which held only 250 officers across the country. (Lailla Mohammed, “Kenyan opposition calls for vigils instead of protests,” BBC, 25 July 2023)

Sudan: WHO expresses concerns over Sudanese war

On 25 July, BBC reported that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning regarding the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and urged the warring parties to protect civilians. The WHO stated that more than two thirds of hospitals in Sudan are out of service and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced. Additionally, the WHO stated that malaria, measles and dengue cases are on the rise due to disruption in health services. The WHO remarked that sexual and gender-based violence were reported in the country. ("WHO warns of Sudan's deepening humanitarian crisis," BBC, 25 July 2023)

Kenya: Ready to meet the opposition leader, says President

On 25 July, following anti-government protests, Kenyan President William Ruto tweeted that he is inclined to meet the opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga tweeted: “As you have always known, am available to meet one on one with you anytime at your convenience” addressing Odinga. The tweet comes following two developments. First, Odinga’s denouncement of assault and killings perpetrated by the police and their supposedly hired gangs towards the civilians. According to the Azimio coalition, 50 people have died during the clashes since March 2023 but officials reported 20 deaths. Second, the Amnesty International report of 27 “extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution” in July 2023. (Kenya’s Ruto offers to meet leader of opposition protests,” Al Jazeera, 25 July 2023)

Sudan: Humanitarian crisis is deepening says WHO

On 25 July, WHO stated that the humanitarian crisis in Sudan is deepening while two-thirds of hospitals are inoperative. WHO reported that disease outbreaks such as malaria, measles and dengue are increasing due to the conflict. WHO informed the rising violence against healthcare workers and infrastructure. It also said that sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls is increasing. (Will Ross, “WHO warns of Sudan's deepening humanitarian crisis,”  BBC News, 25 July) 



Photo : Jose Luis Magana, AP Photo

Ghana: The country lifts its interest rate to 30 per cent


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Ghana: The country lifts its interest rate to 30 per cent

On 24 July, BBC reported that Ghana's interest rate surged to 30 per cent. Due to the country’s soaring inflation, the Ghana Central Bank decided to increase its interest rates, resulting in a climb of 0.5 per cent. The decision was announced on 24 July 2023, after the monetary policy meeting. The hike would make it difficult to borrow money due to its raised expense and would gradually reduce customer spending. The West African nation has witnessed over 45 per cent of huge public debts and a tremendous cost-of-living crisis. On 21 July, the World Bank stated that more than 8,50,000 Ghanaians were pushed into poverty within 2022, which resulted in the loss of purchasing power and high food prices. Africa’s largest gold producer has managed to gain USD 600 million and the initial tranche of the USD 3 billion bailout programme from the IMF aimed to stabilise the country’s barred economy.  Further, the listed economic policies and debt restructuring strategies aim at boosting revenues. (Nkechi Ogbonna, “Ghana hikes interest rate to 30%,” BBC, 24 July 2023)

Somalia: Around 25 soldiers dies after a mass blast

On 24 July, BBC reported on the death of 25 soldiers at the Jale Siad College camp. The incident happened after a man disguised himself as a military soldier with a false identity, and detonated himself. Although the military has not made any official announcement regarding the incident, over 48 were reportedly injured and were taken to the hospitals in Mogadishu. Further, an Islamist militant group al-Shabab, declared that one of its fighters had carried out a similar bombing incident, killing over 73 soldiers and injuring around 124 people. (Ibrahim Aden, “Twenty-five soldiers killed by Somali bomb- army source,” BBC, 24 July 2023)

Africa: Russian President claims moscow can replace Ukraine grain

On 24 July, BBC reported that Russian President Putin stated that Russia is capable of replacing exports of grains from Ukraine to Africa. The statement was issued following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain agreement. Additionally, President Putin stated that Russia is expected to have a record harvest in 2023. Reports have indicated that Moscowis pushing to supply grains in a scheme involving Qatar and Turkey. ("Russia can replace Ukraine grain to Africa - Putin," BBC, 24 July 2023)

Mali: US sanctions top military officials

On 24 July, Al Jazeera reported that the US sanctioned Malian Defence Minister Colonel Sadio Camara, Air Force Chief Colonel Alou Boi Diarra, and Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Adama Bagaoyoka, for enabling the Wagner Group’s rise in Western Africa. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated that the expansion of the Wagner Group in Mali had resulted in a 278 per cent increase in civilian deaths in Mali. Blinken tweeted: “We're imposing sanctions on three Malian officials who have coordinated with the Wagner Group to facilitate and expand Wagner’s presence in Mali. Civilian fatalities have surged more than threefold since Wagner forces deployed to Mali in December 2021.” (US sanctions Mali’s defence minister, officials over Wagner ties,” Al Jazeera, 24 July 2023)



Photo : Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Reuters

Sudan: The governor urges the civilians to take up arms


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 21 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Sudan: The governor urges the civilians to take up arms

On 21 July, BBC reported on the Al Arabiya report, which was declared on the renewed call by the Darfur Governor Minni Arko Minnawi, who urged civilians to take hold of arms to defend themselves. The conflict between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army has reached its fourth month. The conflict has spread across regions which include Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri. Minnawi addressed the falling administration efforts to end the conflict and has raised fears about the probability of an all-out civil war amid the ethnic tensions. The Khartoum witnesses reported on the heavy airstrikes and the death of 18 RSF fighters in Omdurman and Khartoum. Further, the clashes escalated despite the continued indirect talks between the army and RSF representatives. (“Sudan governor renews call for Darfuris to take up arms,” BBC, 21 July 2023)

Nigeria: The government proposes plans to combat the rising fuel prices

On 21 July, BBC reported on the Nigerian government’s decision to combat the rising fuel prices. The Nigerian government decided to distribute grains and fertilisers to balance the impacts due to the rise in fuel prices. The President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made a decision to end the petrol subsidy, which resulted in a surge in the prices of food, transport, and other services. The cost of living has increased extensively, and the government has considered raising civil service salaries. Additionally, the administration has planned to frame an eligibility register to analyse those in need and circulate cash accordingly. Further, the initiative, which aimed to introduce electric buses and cars, would reduce the cost of transportation. (Chris Ewokor, “Tinubu aims to ease frustration over rising fuel prices,” BBC, 21 July 2023)

East Africa: Black Sea grain deal suspension causes food insecurity

On 21 July, Al Jazeera reported that Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea grain agreement which permitted transportation of Ukrainian agriculture has caused speculations on rising consumer prices. The Black Sea Grain agreement, signed in July 2022, permitted ships carrying fertiliser and agricultural products from three Ukrainian ports to traverse past Russian warships in the Bosporus Strait. More than 32.8 million tonnes of Ukrainian grains have been exported following the agreement in 2022. Humanitarians have raised concerns regarding food shortage in East Africa following the withdrawal of the agreement. ("Concern mounts in East Africa over halted Black Sea grain deal," Al Jazeera, 21 July 2023)

Sudan: Armed group attacks MSF convoy

On 21 July, BBC reported that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) contemplated continuing work in Khartoum, following an attack on one of its convoys on 20 July 2023. Armed men stopped the convoy with 18 people en route to a Turkish hospital and contested the reasons for MSF's involvement in the region. MSF stated: “After arguing about the reasons for MSF’s presence, the armed men then aggressively assaulted our team, physically beating and whipping them, as well as detaining the driver of one of our vehicles.” MSF’s emergency manager Christophe Garnier said that if MSF’s staff were abused or the movement of supplies obstructed in the future, its existence would be untenable. (“MSF aid in Khartoum 'in jeopardy' after convoy targeted,” BBC News, 21 July 2023)

South Africa: Government applies for Russian President’s arrest warrant

On 21 July, BBC reported that the South African government applied for an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, in case he visited South Africa. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the opposition Democratic Alliance, which aimed at forcing the government to abide by a ruling from the International Criminal Court. If Putin is to set foot in the country, he will be arrested over accusations of abducting Ukrainian children. (“Richard Hamilton, “SA government applies for Putin warrant - if he visits,” BBC News, 21 July 2023)



Photo : Finbarr O'Reilly, Reuters

The NGO warns about the disastrous hunger issue


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prerana P

Burkina Faso: The NGO warns about the disastrous hunger issue

On 20 July, BBC reported on the warning that the NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC) raised, which stated that more than a million people would face hunger in Burkina Faso. The issue is the lack of security in various parts of the country. The IRC estimated that the count would reach up to 3.3 million by September. The militant Islamist insurgency has resulted in an entire shutdown of food and healthcare supplies. Over two lakh people from the northern town of Djibo have left their homes. Currently, the country functions under the President of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traore, who promised to reclaim the territory from the militants. (“Africa  Live: A million more could soon face hunger in Burkina Faso- NGO,” BBC, 20 July 2023)

Sudan: The capital experiences massive artillery air strikes.

On 20 July, Sudan’s capital Khartoum and the city of El-Obeid, witnessed artillery fire and street battles. A resident of El-Obeid stated that the fire targeted the paramilitary bases of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Earlier, the regular army accused the RSF of its drone strike, which killed 14 civilians and injured 15. On 17 July, the Former Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, appeared in a rare video where he was seen greeting the top army brass. Apparently, the RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, had released various short videos and audio clips expressing his willingness to choose peace whilst declaring his readiness for war. The RSF paramilitaries have labelled the tribal conflict as the reason for the Darfur bloodshed. In addition, the rights campaigners have blamed the RSF and the allied Arab militias for their reported atrocities, which include rape, looting, and mass killings. Further, the Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan claimed that the International Criminal Court had opened a probe against the war crimes in Darfur. (“Sudan: Fighting in Khartoum intensifies after generals briefly appear,” Africanews, 20 July 2023)

Wagner Group to continue its activities in Africa

On 20 July, the head of Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, stated that the group’s activities would continue in Africa. Prigozhin stated: “There was no, and there will be no, reduction in our programs in Africa.” The announcement was made following the attempted Russian coup and the UK's sanctions against 13 Wagner mercenaries, including the operational chiefs of Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR), Ivan Aleksandrovitch Maslov and Konstantin Aleksandrovitch Pikalov. Prigozhin assured: “If the assistance of the Wagner Group is needed anywhere to combat gangs and terrorists and to protect the interests of the people of these countries, we are ready to begin immediately to fulfil this task after agreeing on the conditions.” (“Yevgeny Prigozhin: Wagner boss says activities to continue in Africa,” BBC News, 20 July 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Kenya: The emergence of anti-government protest


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 19 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Kenya: The emergence of anti-government protest

On 19 July, the Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, announced the commencement of the three-day anti-government protests. The demonstration is against the tax hikes, followed by the country’s surging cost of living. The protest was introduced due to the increased fuel cost, and Odinga alerted on further protests. The 14 June protest against the new finance bill was aimed at reducing the hiked 16 per cent taxes on petroleum products and 16 per cent of value-added tax. Although the government had obeyed the ruling, which was signed into law on 26 June, there was an exception for the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority. This resulted in increased public transport costs and fuel prices. During his presidential campaign, Kenyan President William Ruto promised to reduce the cost of living. The government office held an enormous debt of USD 61 billion. Further, Rutto removed fuel subsidies which led to a surge in the prices of essential commodities, directly affecting the cost of energy and transport. With regard to the protest, the UN Human Rights Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence stated, “The UN is very concerned by the widespread violence and allegations of disproportionate use of force, including the use of firearms by the police during protests in Kenya.” The opposition protest in Kenya has hiked to extreme levels. (Vivianne Wandera, “Kenya braces for 3 days of anti-gov’t protests: All the details,” Al Jazeera, 18 July 2023)

The African National Congress hosts a meeting with BRICS political parties

On 19 July, Africanews reported on the upcoming meeting to be held on 22 August in Johannesburg, hosted by the African National Congress (ANC). The meeting would include political parties from Russia, India, China, Brazil, and others ahead of the BRICS Summit. The South African Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, expressed his support for the upbringing of peaceful coexistence between Russia and Ukraine. Additionally, the Representative of the Russian Federation Communist Party, Artem Prokofiev, accused the West of backing the Zelenskyy regime and triggering the war. Further, during an interview with a news website, South Africa persuaded Putin to stay away in order to avoid the legal and diplomatic fallout over his international arrest warrant. (“South Africa's ANC meets BRICS political parties ahead of summit,” Africanews, 19 July 2023)

Nigeria: ECOWAS held talks on democratic transactions and security

On 19 July, Africa News reported that four countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conducted talks on democratic transactions and security. The meeting in Abuja was presided by the President of ECOWAS, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu. Niger, Guinea-Bissau and Benin also participated in the meeting. The officials largely discussed the security in Mali following the withdrawal of the UN mission. ("Nigeria: ECOWAS discusses democratic transitions and security," Africanews, 19 July 2023)

Kenya: Protesters clash with police

On 19 July, Al Jazeera reported that more than 100 demonstrators clashed with police in Kibera, located in Nairobi, during protests against cost of living and tax hike in Kenya. The demonstration was called on by Raila Odinga. Authorities announced a suspension of schools and businesses. President Ruto has accused Odinga of attempting to leverage discontent over the state of economy to attain personal political goals. ("Kenyan demonstrators clash with police as 3-day protest begins," Al Jazeera, 19 JUly 2023)

The Human Rights Watch campaign accuses Tunisian authorities

On 19 July, BBC reported on the accusations framed by the international campaign group the Human Rights Watch (HRW), against the Tunisian security agents. The accusation was regarding the serious abuses committed against the black African migrants who attempted to reach Europe. The HRW group claimed to have conducted several interviews of more than 20 migrants, which explained that seven among the thousand black Africans were expelled by the Tunisian authorities. Additionally, the President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, has blamed the migrants for violating the country’s demographic structure. Further, the HRW has demanded the European Union hold back the fundings which was supposed to return the migrants. (“Tunisia accused of 'serious abuses' against black Africans,” BBC, 19 July 2023)

Fuel price hikes cause chaos among the Nigerian unions

On 19 July, BBC reported on the outrage expressed by the Labour unions in Nigeria over the hiked price of fuel across the country. They threatened their withdrawal from the negotiations framed with the government. The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union accused the government of “taking from the poor to pay the rich, and unleashing suffering, hardship and sorrow on Nigerians.” The petrol price has surged to over USD 0.82 per litre, followed by the rise in transport and food costs. The President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, revived the government plan to pay 12 million poor households to cope with the rising costs. (Chris Ewokor, “Nigerian unions furious over fuel price hikes,” BBC, 19 July 2023)



Photo : Griff Tapper, AFP

DRC: UAE-Congo partnership aims to eradicate smugglers


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

DRC: UAE-Congo partnership aims to eradicate smugglers

On 18 July, Aljazeera reported on the confirmed partnership deal between the United Arab Emirates and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The UAE has signed a deal worth USD 1.9 billion with a state mining company located in Congo, to develop four mines in eastern Africa. According to the statement, the mines would be established in the South Kivu and Maniema provinces. The country signed a 25-year contract with a UAE firm named Primera Group, for mined ores. The Democratic Republic of the Congo aimed at eliminating the mineral smugglers and guaranteeing better livelihood for the informal miners. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, over five million fled the country due to the long-lasting conflict that broke out in May 2021. The Congolese finance ministry claimed that the Primera Gold operations in the South Kivu province had shipped over one tonne of certified gold. (“UAE signs deal to develop mines in eastern DR Congo,” Al Jazeera, 18 July 2023)



Photo : Azad Essa, Al Jazeera

Rwanda: Women Deliver conference urges for gender rights protection


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Rwanda: Women Deliver conference urges for gender rights protection

On 17 July, BBC reported that several state authorities and activists who attended the Women Deliver conference in Rwanda, stressed on the need to protect gender equality. The Women Deliver conference was held for the first time in Africa. Rwandan President Paul Kagame stated that political pushback against women's equality would indicate that they are the most vulnerable during the global crisis. The Women Deliver President urged activists and government authorities to double down and work in unity. ("Call for gender rights protection at Rwanda conference," BBC, 17 July 2023)

Cameroon: Open fire kills about 10 people

On 17 July, Cameroon's regional Governor Debben Tchoffo reported on the death of 10 people in the city of Bamenda. The witness claimed that the open fire was a result of failed backing of local separatists. The Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) has denied its responsibility for the incident. Additionally, Tchoffo declared the possibility of launching a man-hunt for terrorists behind the massacre, and announced further investigation. Amnesty International slammed government troops, separatists, and militias for the atrocities practised in Cameroon's English-speaking regions. ("Gunmen kill 10 in northwest Cameroon in ongoing Anglophone crisis," Al Jazeera, 17 July 2023)

Tunisia: EU signs deal to prevent illegal migration

On 16 July, Africanews reported that the EU and Tunisia signed a deal to prevent illegal migration from Tunisia to European countries, and curb smuggling. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied, Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte facilitated the deal in Tunis. The deal focused on macroeconomic stability, economy and trade, the green transition, people-to-people contacts, and migration. Under migration, the EU will provide aid worth EUR 105 million for search and rescue, and patrolling. Tunisian nationals who could not seek refuge in the EU bloc will be sent back. From EUR 105 million, EUR 15 million will be utilised for the voluntary return of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, to their origin countries from Tunisia. (EU, Tunisia sign deal to fight illegal migration,” Africanews, 17 July 2023) 



Photo : John Muchucha, Reuters

Kenya: President Ruto does not permit tax-hike protests


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Kenya: President Ruto does not permit tax-hike protests

On 14 July, Al Jazeera reported that Kenya’s President William Ruto, stated that the government would not permit the planned opposition protests scheduled for the next week. Opposition leader Raila Odinga called for protests despite the arrest of 300 people during the rallies. Kenya Private Sector Alliance stated that the protests cost more than USD 21 million. United Nations Human Rights Office Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence expressed concerns over the growing violence. ("Kenya’s Ruto says tax-hike protests will not be permitted," Al Jazeera, 14 July 2023)

ICC prosecutor states conflict in Sudan can be resolved with Justice

On 14 July, BBC reported that International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan stated that there would be no hope for peace in Sudan without justice. Additionally, he stated that there was no willingness from either party to end the conflict. He remarked that former dictator Omar al-Bashir is alleged to have committed genocide in the Darfur region during the first conflict. Additionally, Karim Khan stated that his office is launching a public appeal for those who have evidence against war crimes in Sudan. ("No peace without justice in Sudan - ICC prosecutor," BBC, 14 July 2023)



Photo : AP Photo

Egypt: President Fattah urged Sudan rivals to end fighting


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Egypt: President Fattah urged Sudan rivals to end fighting

On 13 July, BBC reported that Egyptian President Abdul Fattah urged the warring parties in Sudan to cease fighting and consider peaceful negotiations. The summit was attended by Sudan's neighbouring countries, such as South Sudan, Chad, and the Central African Republic. Additionally, he called for the parties to facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid. The rival military factions in Sudan had sent delegations to the summit. ("Egypt's president pleads with Sudan rivals for peace," BBC, 13 July 2023)



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Sudan: RSF rejects West Darfur violence accusations, receive sanctions from Britain


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Sudan: RSF rejects West Darfur violence accusations, receive sanctions from Britain

On 12 July, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its allies denied any role in violence in the West Darfur region. The Human Rights Watch alleged that RSF had killed 28 members of the Masalit tribe and dozens of civilians. The RSF have stated that the killings were a part of an ongoing civil war between the local tribes and the Masalit tribes, and that they have no base in Misterei. The HRW have documented numerous abuses within the region which have led to investigations to establish the cause of violence. Additionally, Britain has announced sanctions on firms linked with the rival military groups in Sudan. ("Sudan's RSF denies involvement in West Darfur violence," BBC, 12 July 2023)

Kenya: President Raisi signs agreement on visit

On 12 July, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Kenya as a part of his diplomatic Africa tour. President Raisi and Kenyan President Ruto signed five memorandums related to information technology, fisheries, livestock products, and investment promotion. President Ruto stated that he sought Iran's commitment to export more Kenyan tea, meat, and other agricultural products. The Iranian foreign ministry stated that it expects an increase of more than USD two billion with African countries. ("Iran’s Raisi begins Africa trip, signs agreements with Kenya," Al Jazeera, 12 July 2023)

Kenya: protesters tear-gassed for demonstrations against tax hikes

On 12 July, the second round of demonstrations called by the main opposition leader Raila Odinga against tax hikes, was met with police clamping down. The police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters in Nairobi, Mombasa, and other cities. More than six people were killed during the protests against the taxes. The opposition stated that the tax hikes will worsen the suffering of Kenyans. ("Kenyan police tear-gas protesters in latest row over tax hikes," Al Jazeera, 12 July 2023)



Photo : Emmanuel Braun, Reuters

Nigeria: More than 800 killed in June


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 11 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Nigeria: More than 800 killed in June

On 11 July, BBC reported that Beacon Consulting released a security report citing that more than 800 people have been killed in attacks in June 2023 across Nigeria. As per the report, more than 460 incidents and 239 abductions were recorded. Additionally, the report stated that the attack had occured in 234 local government areas in 36 states across Nigeria. President Tinubu assured that security would be the top priority of the country. ("More than 800 killed in Nigeria attacks in June - report," BBC, 11 July 2023)

Sudan: Khartoum rejects African peace bid

On 11 July, Al Jazeera reported that Sudan's foreign ministry rejected the regional summit peacekeeping forces to protect civilians. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) declared a mediation offer for the deployment of peacekeeping forces. The Sudanese authorities had blamed Kenya for providing a haven to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Furthermore, the Sudanese authorities have declared that they consider the IGAD peace keeping forces as rivals. ("Sudan rejects African peace bid and ‘enemy’ peacekeeping force," Al Jazeera, 11 July 2023)

Africa: Iranian President to visit African countries

On 11 July, Al Jazeera reported that Iranian president Raisi is scheduled to visit Africa. President Raisi is expected to visit Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanani stated that Iran wishes to expand its political and economical relations with Africa. Additionally, he stated that Iran considers Africa to be a continent of opportunities. ("‘Continent of opportunities’: Iran’s Raisi to go on Africa tour," Al Jazeera, 11 July 2023)

Sudan: WFP boosts support for refugees

On 11 July, BBC reported that the World Food Programme (WFP) stated that it is rapidly improving its support on the Chad-Sudan border to cope with the refugees. It estimated that more than 250,000 people have fled from Sudan to Chad. As per the WFP, several refugees were severely wounded and have been deliberately targeted. ("WFP rapidly boosting support for Sudan refugees, agency says," BBC, 11 July 2023)



Photo : AFP

Eastern Africa Bloc considers Sudan troop deployment


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 10 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Eastern Africa Bloc considers Sudan troop deployment

On 10 July, Al Jazeera reported that Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) called for a regional summit to deploy troops into Sudan to protect civilians. The IGAD consists of eight countries from the Horn of Africa. It expressed regret over the absence of the Sudanese delegation. The IGAD stated that it considered the deployment of Eastern Africa Standby Forces (ESAF). ("Regional bloc calls for summit to consider Sudan troop deployment," Al Jazeera, 10 July 2023)

Uganda: HRW states oil pipeline devastated livelihoods

On 10 July, Al Jazeera reported that the Human Rights Watch stated that the oil pipeline to Uganda had devastated lives. HRW additionally stated that TotalEnergies has a 62 per cent stake and will add emissions that exacerbate climate change. TotalEnergies has rejected the HRW's accusations, stating that it respects the rights of its people. The pipeline is scheduled for completion in 2025. ("Uganda oil pipeline has ‘devastated’ livelihoods, says HRW," Al Jazeera, 10 July 2023)

Nigeria: President Tinubu appointed as West Africa bloc chief

On 10 July, Nigerian President Tinubu was appointed as ECOWAS's new chairman. President Tinubu has called for swift action against insecurity and coups in Guinea-Bissau. He has pledged to prioritise political stability, peace and security, and regional economy. Tinubu is expected to have a one-year tenure. ("Nigeria’s President Tinubu chosen as new West Africa bloc chief," Al Jazeera, 10 July 2023)



Photo : Abdullah Doma, AFP

Libya: Rivals agree to share oil revenue


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Libya: Rivals agree to share oil revenue

On 8 July, BBC reported that political rivals in Libya have decided to set up a committee to ensure the sharing of oil revenues. Eastern military strongman Khalifa Hafter threatened to force oil production shut-down. Khalifa called on the UN-backed Tripoli-based government to address the issue. The administration between the east and west have hampered the oil production in the area. ("Rival Libyan sides agree to share oil revenue," BBC, 8 July 2023)

Kenya: Police teargas protesters

On 8 July, BBC reported that police in Kenya fired tear gas to disperse human rights activists. Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was part of the protest. The protest was aimed at calling for the release of civilians detained during anti-government protests. At least one person was killed when the police responded to the protests in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu. More than 28 people were arrested. ("Kenya protesters tear gassed outside police station," BBC, 8 July 2023))

Tunisia: Human Rights Watch urges authorities against expelling migrants to desert

On 8 July, Africa News reported that the Human Rights Watch urged Tunisian government to end collective expulsions of migrants to the desert area on the Libyan border. Migrants from sub-Saharan regions have been driven out of Sfax. Human Rights Watch stated that most of the migrants were killed at the borders, and called on Tunis to investigate and hold the security forces accountable. ("Human Rights Watch urges Tunisia to stop expelling migrants to desert," Africanews, 8 July 2023)



Photo : Solomun, Reuters

South Sudan: UN announces support for refugees


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

South Sudan: UN announces support for refugees

On 7 July, BBC reported that UN Humanitarian Coordinator Peter Auweraert had released USD 8 million humanitarian fund for over 150,000 refugees, who fled from the conflict in Sudan. The UN humanitarian affairs office stated that the number of arrivals are projected to increase. Additionally, it stated that more than six million people have been displaced since the clash between Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF). ("UN to support thousands who fled into South Sudan," BBC, 7 July 2023)



Photo : Daniel Irungu, EPA

Kenya: Violence delays the reopening of the Somalian border


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin, Ryan Marcus, Sneha Surendran, Nithyashree RB and Prearana P

Kenya: Violence delays the reopening of the Somalian border

On 6 July, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki stated that the attacks by Al Shabab rebels in Kenya paused the reopening of its border with Somalia. Kindiki tweeted: “The government will delay the planned phased-out reopening of the Kenya-Somalia border points to facilitate comprehensive and conclusive handling of the recent wave of terror attacks and cross-border crime.” On 15 May 2023, Kindiki and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh Ali released a joint statement, declaring their intention to reopen the borders and end a 12-year blockade that was initiated by Kenya in 2011. The siege was established to combat the influx of al-Shabab militants into Nairobi. (“Kenya delays reopening border with Somalia: All the details,” Al Jazeera, 6 July 2023)

Ghana: Amnesty International criticizes the redrafted anti-LGBT bill

On 6 July, BBC reported that Amnesty International Ghana condemned legislators for collectively backing a redrafted anti-LGBT bill. The amended bill aims to provide a three-year sentence in prison for people who identify as LGBT, and LGBT rights activists could spend up to 10 years in prison. Amnesty Ghana Director Genvieve Partington stated that the regulation clearly infringes several human rights and restricts both freedom of expression and association. The human rights organization stated that it is about time for Ghana to give recognition to the LGBT community. (“Amnesty condemns Ghana anti-gay bill,” BBC, 6 July 2023)

Sudan: Increase in sexual violence, condemns UN

On 6 July, BBC reported that the United Nations criticized the increase in sexual abuse against women and girls in Sudan. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, deemed the sexual abuse that traumatized women and children in Sudan as intolerable. The UN human rights office in Sudan stated that more than 20 incidents of conflict-related sexual abuse were reported. Additionally, up to 20 women were raped in one of the incidents. (“UN condemns sexual violence against Sudan women,” BBC, 6 July 2023)



Photo : Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP

South Sudan: President Kiir to contest in presidential election


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Ryan Marcus

South Sudan: President Kiir to contest in presidential election

On 5 July, Al Jazeera reported that President Salva Kiir announced that the delayed election is scheduled for 2024 with him as a contestor. President Kiir is expected to contest against his rival, first Vice President Reik Machar. President Kiir expressed his gratitude for endorsements and support for his party. The opposition has accused the government of delaying the elections. President Kiir stated that he is committed to free and fair elections. ("South Sudan’s Kiir to run in first-ever presidential election," Al Jazeera, 5 June 2023)

Nigeria: Chinese navy offers protections 

On 5 July, BBC reported that the Chinese naval visit at Lagos was aimed to improve security in waters of West Africa and West Africa. Officials stated that the Chinese Navy aimed at offering security from piracy and oil theft. The Nigerian ambassador stated that the Nigerian navy can benefit from the Chinese partners with exchange of technology and experience. Nigeria is a major oil supplier to China and a Chinese company built the deep sea port costing USD one Billion in Lagos.("China navy wants to protect dangerous seas off Nigeria," BBC, 5 July 2023)

Tunisia: sub-Subaharan Migrants attacked

On 5 July, BBC reported that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have been assaulted in Sfax, Tunisia. The violence was caused due to the killing of a Tunisian man. An NGO stated that some migrants were thrown off balconies. Additionally, it stated that women and children were targeted. Witnesses stated that assaults on migrants have forced them to seek refuge in the European Union.("Migrants attacked in Tunisia and 'thrown off balconies'," BBC, 5 July 2023)



Photo : Iranian Army office via AFP

Nigeria: Chinese navy fleet visit Lagos


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 4 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Ryan Marcus

Nigeria: Chinese navy fleet visit Lagos

On 4 July, Africanews reported that three Chinese navy vessels made a five-day stopover at Lagos, Nigeria. The Nigerian Navy spokesman Admiral Ayo-Vaughan stated that the visit to the Gulf of Guinea aimed at improving diplomacy between the two countries. The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jiachun stated: "Peace is not free, peace should be defended. So I think that we need military security collaboration, so Africa-China, Nigeria-China can do things to not only safeguard the peace, but to protect the vessels in the Gulf of Aden and also here in the Gulf of Guinea.” ("Gulf of Guinea: Chinese navy on "friendly visit" to Nigeria," Africanews, 4 July 2023)

Sudan: Civilians called to enlist to army

On 4 July, Africanews reported that Sudanese army chief Abdel al-Burhan stated the army is ready to receive and equip volunteers. He directed the civilian to enlist to the nearest command unit. Al-Burhan stated that all young and capable men should enlist leading to speculations on the call being a forced conscription. Civilians speculate that the recruitment could worsen the violence. ("Sudan conflict: army chief calls for civilians to enlist," Africanews, 4 July 2023)

Sudan: Army plane shot down

On 4 July, Africanews reported that an army fighter jet was shot down in Khartoum during artillery clashes. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) claimed that it had shot down the aircraft and arrested the pilot. The RSF have additionally accused the army of massacres in the Khartoum region. ("Sudan: an army plane shot down during clashes in Khartoum," Africanews, 4 July 2023)

Cameroon: Amnesty states that atrocities are committed

On 4 July, Africanews reported that Amnesty International has accused the security forces, separatists and militia for committing atrocities in the North-West region. The violations include executions, torture and sexual assault. Civilians retaliating against the clashes are often violated in the region. Amnesty International states that the clashes have claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced more than a million people. ("Rampant atrocities committed in Cameroon - Amnesty," Africanews, 4 July 2023)

Mali: Ex-rebels reassure Russian envoy

On 4 July, BBC reported that Mali's Tuareg armed group expressed reassurance over peaceful conditions in Mali during discussions with the Russian ambassador. The armed group had warned that the removal of MINUSMA would impact northern Mali's peace process. Following the Wagner Group deployment of mercenaries in 2022, observers have highlighted doubts on the Malian army's ability to cope with the violence following the UN's withdrawal. ("Mali ex-rebels 'reassured' after talks with Russian envoy," BBC, 4 July 2023)



Photo : Nardus Engelbrecht, AP

South Africa: Opposition to form pact against ANC


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 3 July 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Ryan Marcus

South Africa: Opposition to form pact against ANC

On 3 July, BBC reported that South Africa's major opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), with the other six parties, has considered forming a pact to displace ANC from government in the 2024 elections. The seven opposition parties have issued a joint statement declaring that the incumbent ANC would lose its majority next year. The parties intend to present a united front that is stable, viable and effective and are scheduled to meet in August to hold discussions. ("South Africa opposition plan anti-ANC pact," BBC, 3 July 2023)

Senegal: Demonstrations against President Sall

On 3 July, BBC reported that Senegalese opposition leader Osume Sonko has organised demonstrations against President Macky Sall seeking a third term. Experts speculate that President Sall, while announcing his decision to run for presidential elections in 2024, would violate the constitution. Opposition supports claim that Sonko's arrest on charges of corrupting youth was an attempt to restrict him from contesting in the election. Sonko stated that it was incumbent on all Senegalese people to stand up, to face him. ("Protests called against Senegal leader seeking third term," BBC, 3 July 2023)



Photo : Amanuel Sileshi, AFP

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa applies to BRICS bloc


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 30 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Ryan Marcus

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa applies to BRICS bloc

On 30 June, Al Jazeera reported that Ethiopia has formally applied to join the BRICS bloc of emerging markets. Foreign ministry spokesperson Meles Alem stated that they expect a positive response from BRICS. Additionally he stated that Ethiopia would continue to work with international organisations to protect its interests ("Ethiopia applies to join the BRICS bloc of emerging economies," Al Jazeera, 30 June 2023)



Photo : Marco Longari, AFP

South Africa: cancellation of Zimbabwe residency permits unlawful


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

South Africa: cancellation of Zimbabwe residency permits unlawful

On 29 June, BBC reported that the South African government's termination of special residency permits of more than 180,000 Zimbabweans has been ruled unlawful by the South African high court. The Helen Suzman Foundation challenged the government's decision in Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. The Zimbabwe Exemption Permit system was initiated to cope with the increase in Zimbabwean migrants in search of employment. The termination of the system would lead to the return of Zimbabweans unless they obtain regular work visas. ("SA cancellation of Zimbabwean permits 'unlawful'," BBC, 29 June 2023)

Sudan: Clashes continue amid Eid

On 29 June, BBC reported that clashes continue despite the announcement of ceasefire by military groups owing to Eid al-Adha. Residents of Khartoum state have reported heavy artillery during the occasion. Residents have additionally reported raidings of stalls and houses. The UN mission to Sudan urged both parties to maintain truces. ("Eid in Sudan: 'I couldn't sleep because of the sounds of the gunfire'," BBC, 29 June 2023)



Photo : Cooper Inveen, Reuters

Sierra Leone: Julius Maada Bio sworn in as President


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 28 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Sierra Leone: Julius Maada Bio sworn in as President

On 28 June, BBC reported that Incumbent Maada Bio has been declared winner of Sierra Leone's Presidential elections, with 56 per cent of the vote. The opposition has claimed problems with the tallying process and has disputed in the court. Dr Kamara, candidate All People's Congress (APC)  who has trailed with 41 per cent of the vote has claimed the outcome as daylight robbery. Amid the tension following the vote, President Bio has called on civilians to keep the peace. Dr Kamara alleges that his electoral agents were not permitted to verify the ballot counting. ("Sierra Leone election: Julius Maada Bio sworn in as opposition cries foul," BBC, 28 June 2023)

Sierra Leone: Julius Maada Bio sworn in as President

On 28 June, BBC reported that Incumbent Maada Bio has been declared winner of Sierra Leone's Presidential elections, with 56 per cent of the vote. The opposition has claimed problems with the tallying process and has disputed in the court. Dr Kamara, candidate All People's Congress (APC)  who has trailed with 41 per cent of the vote has claimed the outcome as daylight robbery. Amid the tension following the vote, President Bio has called on civilians to keep the peace. Dr Kamara alleges that his electoral agents were not permitted to verify the ballot counting. ("Sierra Leone election: Julius Maada Bio sworn in as opposition cries foul," BBC, 28 June 2023)

Nigeria: North East region may face famine

On 28 June, BBC reported that the United Nations has warned of the increase in risk of famine in north-eastern Nigeria. More than 40,000 civilians have been killed and two million displaced due to fighting between the army and jihadist groups. The UN humanitarian coordinator Matthias Schmale has urged the international community to respond swiftly to the situation. Additionally he pointed that 500,000 people are facing food insecurity in Kenya.("Nigeria's north-east 'one step away from famine' - UN," BBC, 28 June 2023)

Central Africa Republic: Russia to continue work despite Wagner business

On 28 June, Al Jazeera reported Russian advisors stated that they will continue working in the Central African Republic and consider the Wagner group operations as separate business. The Kremlin issued a statement regarding the close ties with the Central African Republic (CAR), despite their engagement with the Wagner Group to fight rebel uprisings. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that the mutiny in Russia would impact its relation with CAR. Presidential advisor Fidèle Gouandjika stated that CAR had a defence deal with Russia and not Wagner. ("Russia to continue work in CAR, Wagner business separate: Kremlin," Al Jazeera, 28 June 2023)

Angola: African leaders discuss East DRC tensions 

On 28 June, Africa News reported that  African leaders under African Union President Azali Assoumani met in Luanda, Angola to discuss the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and efforts to stabilise it. Representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICRGL) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS ) were part of the summit.  The strategic objectives of the meeting is mainly to  adapt a a joint framework for the implementation of peace initiatives in DR Congo. ("African leaders meet in Angola to discuss East DRC tensions," Africanews, 28 June 2023)

Sierra Leone: Peaceful conditions following election result

On 28 June, Al Jazeera reported that Sierra Leone had witnessed a peaceful atmosphere following the election of President Julius Bio. Civilians were largely engaged with the preparation of Eid-al-Adha. Opposition supporters have resorted to not reacting to the election outcome and abide by the maintenance of peace. Presidential election runner-up Kamara remarked that he rejected the outcome declared by the electoral commission. ("Calm in Sierra Leone despite contested election result," Al Jazeera, 28 June 2023)

Burkina Faso: More 34 killed in attack

On 28 June, BBC reported that more than 31 soldiers and three Homeland Defence Volunteers have been killed by unidentified assailants. The army stated that more than 40 assailants were killed. The attack took place on 26 June in Northern Province of Bam, Central-Northern region. ("Dozens of soldiers killed in Burkina Faso attack," BBC, 28 June 2023)



Photo : Mohamed Sheikh Nor, AP Photo

Kenya: Five civilians killed in Al-Shabaab attack


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 27 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Kenya: Five civilians killed in Al-Shabaab attack

On 27 June, Africa News reported that five citizens were killed by the Al-Shabaabon 24 June in Juhudi and Salama, eastern Kenya. Residents reported that the more than 20 assailants slit  their throats and beheaded some civilians. The attackers seized the residents' goods before absconding. Al-Shabaab, claimed to kill six members and destroyed ten christian houses. The Lamu Country Prefect Louis Rono stated that the authorities have increased the security in the area following the attack. ("Kenya: five civilians killed, some beheaded, in Al-Shabab attack in east," Africanews, 27 June 2023)

South Africa: German foreign minister visits Pretoria 

On 27 June, Africa News German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met South African Naledi Pandor in Pretoria and discussed energy security, climate change and geopolitical issues including Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The discussions additionally consisted on impacts of oil prices globally. Annalena Baerbock discussed the African delegation to Ukraine and Russia and the manner in which the UN charter must be respected. ("South Africa: German foreign minister in Pretoria for talks," Africanews, 27 June 2023)

Ethiopia: Deaths due to Hunger rises in Tigray region

On 27 June, Africa News reported that more than 700 people have died in the Tigray region owing to the suspension of the US and UN food aid. The suspension had been issued following malpractices in the aid distribution system, affecting 20 million people in need of aid. Tigray's Disaster Risk Management Commission stated that the deaths were reported from three regions of the seven zones. The researchers have remarked that the deaths were largely of children, old people and people with underlying health conditions. The Ethiopian government dismissed the allegations as propaganda but has agreed to a joint with the US as the UN's World Food Program conducts a separate probe. ("Hunger kills hundreds after US and UN pause food aid to Ethiopia's Tigray region, officials say," Afircanews, 27 June 2023)

Zimbabwe: Economy undergoes inflation

On 27 June, BBC reported that Zimbabwe's inflation had doubled to over 176 per cent in June. Consumer groups have reported that an average family requires ZWL one million. The Zimbabwean government blames currency speculators for the crash of its currency. The government has instructed authorities to impose duties and taxes in local currency to increase its demand.("Triple-digit inflation returns to Zimbabwe," BBC, 27 June 2023)

Senegal: IMF approves USD 1.8 billion load 

On 27 June, BBC reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a USD 1.8 billion loan for Senegal for economic recovery.  Senegal will receive an initial disbursement of USD 216 million and would be given a period of three years. The load is intended to support Senegal's efforts to cope with climate change and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. Senegal is projected to have an 8,3 per cent growth in 2023 owing to the initiation of oil and gas production in the country. ("IMF approves $1.8bn loan for Senegal," BBC, 27 June 2023)

Sudan: RSF announces ceasefire on Eid 

On 27 June, BBC reported paramilitary Rapid Support Forces had declared a unilateral ceasefire owing to Eid-al-Adha from 28 June. The pause was broadcasted on Al Arabiya by RSF leader Muhammad Dagalo. Dagalo additionally condemned his own forces for carrying out abuses against citizens. ("Sudan's RSF announces unilateral Eid ceasefire," BBC, 27 June 2023)



Photo : Malick Konate,Reuters

Sierra Leone: President Bio leads in Provisional vote result


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Sierra Leone: President Bio leads in Provisional vote result

On 26 June, Al Jazeera reported Sierra Leone's provisional results show that President Maada Bio is leading the elections with 60 per cent of counted votes. Sierra Leone's election commission stated the results detailed are partial and incomplete. The result showed that Bio had received over one million votes in comparison to his competitor, Kamara, who had secured 800,000 votes. The election commission stated that final results will be announced within 48 hours. ("Sierra Leone’s President Bio leading in provisional vote results," Al Jazeera, 26 June 2023)

South Sudan: Receives more than 10,000 refugees from Sudan

On 26 June, BBC reported that more than 10,000 refugees have fled from Sudan to South Sudan according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA stated that many arrivals include unaccompanied underaged, elderly and disabled civilians  and were subjected to violence. Additionally, OCHA stated that the number of arrivals are projected to increase. ("South Sudan takes in 10,000 refugees fleeing Sudan," BBC, 26 June 2023)



Photo : Guy Peterson, Al Jazeera

South Sudan: Authorities unprepared for Sudan refugees


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 23 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

South Sudan: Authorities unprepared for Sudan refugees

On 23 June, BBC reported that South Sudanese Foreign Minister Dau Deng admitted that the authorities were not prepared for the rise in refugees following the conflict breakout in Sudan. Additionally, Dau Deng stated that South Sudan received more than 150,000 people from South Sudan and the humanitarian demand is high. Dau Deng denied allegations for South Sudan closing its borders to Sudanese refugees. ("South Sudan 'unprepared' for wave of Sudan refugees," BBC, 23 June 2023)

Tunisia: UN warns authorities against media crackdown

On 23 June, BBC reported that the United Nations has urged Tunisian authorities to terminate its media crackdown. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Türk termed the situation as troubling and urged Tunisia to change its course. Previously, a prominent Tunisian journalist was arrested on accounts of insulting President Saied. President Saied stated that he intends to save Tunisia from chaos ("UN warns against Tunisia media crackdown," BBC, 23 June 2023)

Kenya: President Ruto attend Paris Climate Summit

On 23 June, Africa News reported that during the Paris Climate Summit Kenyan President William Ruto stated that rich countries required a reform in global financial architecture that enables developing countries to take part in the solution. President Ruto expressed the need for reform in the IMF and World Bank and unfavourable disproportion in interest rates for Southern Countries owing to their financial risks. Additionally suggested a conversion of money from lenders into a 50-year loan facility and 20-year grace period. Additionally, he stated that the delay in achieving objectives of the Paris Agreement was  due to lack of investments in development apart from fossil fuel. ("Kenya is "not asking for help", but to "be part of the solution", says William Ruto," Africanews, 23 June 2023)

Mali: Citizens approve constitutional amendment referendum 

On 23 June, Al Jazeera reported that Malians approved the constitutional amendment referendum by 97 per cent favouring the referendum. The voter turnout was 39.4 per cent of the 8.4 million registered voters. Proposed changes included policy allotment by President, Presidential right to appoint and dismiss cabinet members and financial declaration of officials to check corruption. Poll observers reported cases of militants rigging polling centres. ("Malians approve amendments to constitution in referendum," Al Jazeera,  23 June 2023)

Zimbabwe: 11 candidates approved to run for president

On 23 June, BBC reported that Zimbabwe's electoral body has approved eleven people to contest in presidential elections scheduled in August, following criticism of high application fees. The contestants included President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his rival Nelson Chamisa. No women were cleared to contest and ten applicants were rejected. The opposition has criticised the high registration fee since most people earn less than USD 300 owing to the economic crisis in Zimbabwe. ("Zimbabwe clears 11 candidates to run for president," BBC, 23 June 2023)



Photo : Cooper Inveen, Reuters

Sierra Leone: Clashes ahead of election raises tension


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Sierra Leone: Clashes ahead of election raises tension

On 22 June, BBC reported that one person was killed in the conflict between the security forces and supporters of the main opposition party, All People’s Congress (APC). Following the conflict, people are headed to marketplaces in Freetown to stock up on food, stores are temporarily closed, and there remains a tangible concern that there may be more violence following the election on Saturday. The unrest began when the APC called for a protest over suspicions that the voter list maintained by the election commission was incorrect. (“Fear grips Sierra Leone capital after pre-poll clash,” BBC, 22 June 2023)

Mali: Coalition of armed groups warns against the withdrawal of UN forces

On 22 June, Al Jazeera reported that the coalition of armed groups in Mali warned the withdrawal of the United Nations peacekeeping force would deliver a fatal blow to the peace agreement and jeopardise regional stability. The Permanent Strategic Framework for Peace, Security, and Development (CSP-PSD), a coalition of armed groups, stated that the exit of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) without an alternative would risk the security of the country. Mali's military administration urged MINUSMA to withdraw on 16 June, a demand that comes after years of strained relations between the UN and Bamako's government. (“‘Fatal blow’: Mali rebels warn against UN peacekeepers departure,” Al Jazeera, 22 June 2023)

Sudan: Embassies under continuous attack in Khartoum

On 22 June, BBC reported that foreign diplomatic missions continue to be attacked and looted in Sudan, with Algeria, Zimbabwe, and Mauritia becoming the recent countries to protest. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria stated that its ambassador’s residence was stormed and ransacked and the attack violated international law and urged Sudanese authorities to take action against the perpetrators. Zimbabwe Foreign Ministry spokesperson Livit Mugejo stated: “We have reports that most of the countries' properties were also targeted. It's sheer criminality, to take advantage of the war to loot properties of our diplomats and our embassy there.” The Sudanese army has frequently accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of attacks on diplomatic posts, in which the RSF denies involvement. (“Attacks on embassies in Sudan 'sheer criminality',” BBC, 22 June 2023) 



Photo : Netherlands Embassy

South Africa: President Ramaphosa, Netherlands and Denmark launch green fund


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 21 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

South Africa:  President Ramaphosa, Netherlands and Denmark launch green fund

On 21 June, Africa News reported that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark launched a USD one billion green hydrogen fund to combat climate change. During a business forum in Pretoria, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that South Africa could potentially lead the fight against climate change. President Ramaphosa welcomed the efforts, stating their investments in renewable energy would benefit all three countries. (“South Africa, Netherlands, Denmark launch green fund,Africanews, 21 June 2023)

Uganda: Police arrest 20 people suspected of school massacre

On 21 June, BBC reported that the Ugandan police have arrested 20 persons on suspicion of conspiring with Islamist extremists accused of attacking a school last on 16 June. The attack killed 42 individuals, mostly children. The head teacher and school director of Lhubiriha Secondary School, Mpondwe were detained. The Ugandan army has been searching for Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants who have fled to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. (“Uganda arrests 20 people over school massacre,BBC, 21 June 2023)  



Photo : EPA-EFE, JULIEN WARNAND

Tunisia: Interior Minister discusses illegal migration with French and German Interior Ministers


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 20 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Tunisia: Interior Minister discusses illegal migration with French and German Interior Ministers

On 20 June, Africanews reported that the Interior Minister of France, Gerald Darmanin, and the Interior Minister of Germany, Nancy Faesar discussed security cooperation and illegal migration with Tunisian Interior Minister Kamel Feki. They issued a joint statement that aims to provide aid in tackling the issues which the ministers described as the plague that affects all three countries. The EU is seeking ways to control the migration phenomenon. Several Tunisian civil society and political leaders have criticised the visit and accused the Tunisian officials of favouring European interests. ("Tunisia holds talks on illegal migration with French and German interior ministers," Africanews, 20 June 2023)

Somalia: Dozens dead in Puntland following parliament debate

On 20 June, Al Jazeera reported that more than two dozen people were killed in a clash that occurred in Garowe, Puntland. The incident happened following a local parliament debate on the voting system. The witnesses stated that the clash erupted following the accusations of Puntland's leader, Said Abdullahi Deni, seeking to extend his office term beyond January 2023 and help tip the ballot in his favour. Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre appealed to the rivals to reconcile differences through dialogue rather than the barrel of the gun. ("Dozens killed in Somalia's Puntland after parliament debate," Al Jazeera, 20 June 2023)

Nigeria: Labour Unions to agree on new minimum wage

On 20 June, Al Jazeera reported that Nigeria's labour unions and government set an eight-week limit to finalise the minimum wage agreement, which seeks to address high fuel prices. Following the objection to scrapping subsidies by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, the parties agreed to set work groups whose terms of reference will be agreed upon. ("Nigeria, labour unions to agree new minimum wage within 8 weeks," Al Jazeera, 20 June 2023) 

South Africa: France requests to join BRICS Summit

On 20 June, BBC reported that France requested an invitation to attend the BRICS summit in South Africa which has been scheduled for August 2023. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated that: "We are thinking aloud but this obviously a decision that only the countries concerned can take- about the possibility of continuing this dialogue, why not BRICS summit or in another format". South African President Cyril Ramaphosa would visit Paris to discuss the request. ("France asks for invite to South Africa's Brics summit," BBC, 20 June 2023) 

Sudan: Warring factions blame each other for breaking the new truce

On 20 June, BBC reported that warring military factions blamed each other for violating the latest ceasefire. The Sudanese army stated that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had attacked North Darfur for a second consecutive day. The US and Saudi mediators had earlier announced a 72-hour truce. The residents of Khartoum reported temporary relief from air strikes, artillery, and other clashes. (“Sudan rivals accuse each other of breaking new truce,BBC, 20 June 2023)



Photo : Reuters

South Africa: President Ramaphosa hails Russian-Ukraine peace mission


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 19 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

South Africa: President Ramaphosa hails Russian-Ukraine peace mission

On 19 June, Al Jazeera reported that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on his return remarked that the historic peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia did not yield immediate results. President Ramaphosa stated: “This initiative has been historic in that it is the first time African leaders have embarked on a peace mission beyond the shores of the continent”. Additionally, Ramaphosa stated that there was positive reception from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin and both have agreed to participate in further engagements. Further, South Africa has refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine. ("South Africa leader hails 'historic' Ukraine peace mission," Al Jazeera, 19 June 2023)

Kenya: President Ruto signs EU trade deal

On 19 June, Al Jazeera reported that Kenyan President William Ruto signed a trade deal with the European Union to receive duty-free and quota-free access to the EU. President Ruto stated that the EU was the most important development partner following the World Bank. This is the first broad deal between the EU and an African nation since 2016. EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovkis stated that the agreement is open for the other members of the East Africa Community (EAC)- which includes the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. ("Kenya signs EU trade deal in boost to Brussels' Africa ties," Al Jazeera, 19 June 2023)



Photo : MINUSMA, Sylvain Liechti via Reuters

Mali: Foreign Minister calls for withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Mali: Foreign Minister calls for withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission 

On 16 June, Al Jazeera reported that Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop stated that the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a peacekeeping force should be withdrawn from Mali since the violence and insecurity has surged since their deployment.  Diop made the statement while addressing a UN Security Council meeting. MINUSMA head El Ghassim Wane affirmed that conducting UN peacekeeping operations without the country's consent is nearly impossible. Mali's military rulers have imposed operational restrictions on peacekeepers and more than 300 peacekeepers have been killed since the start of the mission in 2013. Additionally, Diop stated that the Mali government is willing to cooperate with the United Nations on the issue. ("Mali asks UN to withdraw its peacekeeping mission 'without delay'," Al Jazeera, 16 June 2023)

Chad: Medical care overwhelmed with casualties from Sudan

On 16 June, BBC reported that more than 300 casualties were reached at a hospital in Chad following brutal fighting in Sudan's Darfur region. More than 130 needed surgical care and were referred to hospitals in Abéché. Additional staff from the Chadian Ministry of Health and off-duty staff were called to volunteer. Most casualties were received from El Geneina, West Darfur's capital, where more than 1,100 civilians have been killed since mid-April. Human rights groups have reported ethnic-based killings in the West Darfur region by Arab militias and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The UN Children's Agency (Unicef) reported that more than 250,000 children have been displaced in Darfur. ("Chad hospital overwhelmed with wounded from Sudan," BBC, 16 June 2023) 

Africa: African leaders visit Kyiv amid missile attack

On 16 June, BBC reported that a delegation of African leaders visited Kyiv amidst missile attacks to mediate the Russo-Ukrainian war. The Ukrainian Air Force has shot down a dozen of Russian projectiles, six of which were hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that the Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace. The delegation, which includes the Presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, and Comoros, has been expected to stress the importance of unrestricted exports of grain from Ukraine and fertilizer from Russia. ("Kyiv under missile attack as African leaders visit," BBC, 16 June 2023)

Africa: Zelenskyy urges African delegation to negotiate with Russia for prisoner release

On 16 June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the delegation of African leaders to push Russian President Vladimir Putin to free political prisoners from Crimea and beyond. The delegation included the Presidents of Comoros, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, the Egyptian Prime Minister, and top envoys from the Republic of Congo and Uganda. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the conflict is affecting Africa negatively.  Comoros President Azali Assoumani proposed a road to peace to which President Zelenskyy responded he did want any surprises from their visit to Russia on 24 June. ("Zelenskyy asks African to push Russia on prisoner release," Al Jazeera, 16 June 2023)

Mali: Foreign Minister calls for withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission 

On 16 June, Al Jazeera reported that Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop addressed a UN Security Council meeting stating that MINUSMA, a peacekeeping force should be withdrawn from Mali since the violence and insecurity has surged since their deployment. MINUSMA head El Ghassim Wane affirmed that conducting UN peacekeeping operations without the country's consent is nearly impossible. Mali's military rulers have imposed operational restrictions on peacekeepers and more than 300 peacekeepers have been killed since the start of the mission in 2013. Additionally, Diop stated that the Mali government is willing to cooperate with the United Nations on the issue. ("Mali asks UN to withdraw its peacekeeping mission 'without delay'," Al Jazeera, 16 June 2023)

Chad: Medical care overwhelmed with casualties from Sudan

On 16 June, BBC reported that more than 300 casualties were received at a hospital in Chad following a brutal fighting in Sudan's Darfur region. More than 130 needed surgical care and were referred to hospitals in Abéché. Additional staff from the Chadian Ministry of Health and off-duty staff were called to volunteer. Most casualties were received from El Geneina, West Darfur's capital, where more than 1,100 civilians have been killed since mid-April. Human rights groups have reported ethnic-based killings in the West Darfur region by Arab militias and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The UN Children's agency (Unicef) reported that more than 250,000 children have been displaced in Darfur. ("Chad hospital overwhelmed with wounded from Sudan," BBC, 16 June 2023)

African leaders visit Kyiv under missile attack

On 16 June, BBC reported that a delegation of African leaders visited Kyiv amidst missile attacks to mediate the Russo-Ukrainian war. The delegation, which includes the Presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Zambia and the Comoros, is expected to stress on the importance of unrestricted exports of grain from Ukraine and fertiliser from Russia. The Ukrainian Air Force has shot down a dozen of Russian projectiles, six of which were hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba stated that the Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace. ("Kyiv under missile attack as African leaders visit," BBC, 16 June 2023)

Africa: Zelenskyy urges African delegation to negotiate with Russia for prisoner release

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged a delegation of African leaders to push Russian President Vladimir Putin to free political prisoners from Crimea and beyond. The delegation included the Presidents of Comoros, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, Egyptian Prime Minister and top envoys from Republic of Congo and Uganda. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the conflict is affecting Africa negatively.  Comoros President Azali Assoumani proposed a road to peace to which President Zelenskyy responded he did want any surprises from their visit to Russia on 24 June. ("Zelenskyy asks African to push Russia on prisoner release," Al Jazeera, 16 June 2023)



Photo : KDF

DR Congo: ICC to investigate crimes in North Kivu


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 15 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

DR Congo: ICC to investigate crimes in North Kivu 

On 15 June, BBC reported that The Democratic Republic of Congo has demanded the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes in North Kivu province. The prosecutor Karim Khan is to investigate particular armed forces and groups committing the crimes. The DR Congo government claims the M23 rebel group was backed by Rwanda. Human Rights Watch stated that M23 had committed extrajudicial killings and forced recruitments of civilians. Rwanda has denied any affiliation with M23. ("DR Congo asks ICC to investigate alleged North Kivu crimes," BBC, 15 June 2023)

South Africa: The second batch of firefighters sent to Canada

On 15 June, Africanews reported that 200 South African firefighters have completed their training in Mbombela and proceeded to aid Canadian firefighters in managing the Canadian wildfires. Over 17,800 square miles of forest have been destroyed by the wildfires. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada's resources were being used in its maximum capacity. The Canadian government has requested aid from the Working On Fire program which is funded by the South African government. ("SA: Second batch of firefighters headed to Canada to combat wildfires," Africanews, 14 June 2023)  

Sudan: RSF condemns the killing of Darfur governor

On 15 June, BBC reported that Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Military Forces (RSF) has condemned the assassination of West Darfur governor Khamis Abubakar and called for an inquiry. The RSF stated that two outlaws carried out the killing in El Geneina and will bring them to justice. Previously, the Amry officials accused RSF of assassinating Governor Abubakar following his statements against the RSF for committing genocide against Masalit ethnic groups.  ("Sudan's RSF condemns killing of Darfur governor," BBC, 15 June 2023)  

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa travels to Ukraine and Russia

On 15 June, Africanews reported that the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, headed to Ukraine and the Russian Federation through Poland for the Africa Peace Mission intended for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Ramaphosa visited Warsaw and paid a courtesy call to Polish President Andrzej Duda. Later, Ramaphosa would visit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for discussions with Ukraninan President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 16 June. After the visit with Zelenskyy, Ramaphosa would travel to St Petersburg, Russia where the African delegation would have talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 17 June. Finally, Ramaphosa would return to South Africa on 18 June. (“South Africa's Ramaphosa headed to Ukraine, Russia for peace mission,” Africanews, 15 June 2023)



Photo : Njeri Mwangi, Reuters

Kenya: Al-Shabaab kills eight police officers


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 14 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Kenya: Al-Shabaab kills eight police officers 

On 14 June, Al Jazeera reported that eight Kenyan police officers were killed when their vehicle was detonated by an improvised explosive device in an attack by al-Shabab. The attack took place in Garissa county in Eastern Kenya, bordering Somalia where Al-Shabaab has instigated rebellion against the government in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has been engaged in armed revolt against Somalia’s central government for more than 15 years. The North Eastern Regional Commissioner, John Otieno, stated that Al-Shabaab is now targeting security forces and passenger vehicles. ("Eight Kenyan police killed in suspected al-Shabab bombing," Al Jazeera, 14 June 2023)

South Africa: Parliament passes healthcare bill

On 14 June, BBC reported that the National Assembly of South Africa has passed the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill. The bill aims to provide access to quality healthcare for all South Africans belonging to all races, rich or poor, and legal long-term residents. Additionally, the proposed legislation intends to establish a single public health fund for both private and public healthcare providers. This fund will be financed by general taxes, collected from people who earn more than a certain amount, and employee payroll deductions. Health Minister Joe Phaahla stated: “This is one of the most revolutionary pieces of legislation presented to this house since the dawn of democracy.” The leading opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) has criticized the bill stating nine million of the 60 million South Africans who have health insurance would have to be covered by an already overburdened public health system. (“South African MPs pass ‘revolutionary’ health bill,” BBC, 14 June 2023)

DR Congo: HRW blames M23 militia for the killings

On 14 June, Al Jazeera reported that Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the M23 rebel group of committing murder, rape, and other war crimes in the eastern part of DR Congo. The report by HRW on 13 June specified that the M23 militia committed eight unlawful killings and 14 cases of rape since late 2022. HRW stated: “The United Nations Security Council should add M23 leaders, as well as Rwandan officials who are assisting the abusive armed group, to the council’s existing sanctions list.” (“HRW accuses M23 militia of rape, finds mass graves in DR Congo,” Al Jazeera, 14 June 2023)

Sudan: Ethnic and sexual violence in Darfur concerns UN

On 14 June, BBC reported that UN chief Antonio Guterres was dismayed over the large-scale reports of violence in the Darfur region of Sudan and called for the warring factions to commit to a firm cessation of conflict. Guterres stressed the need to end looting and widen the aid access for nine million people in Darfur. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Volker Perthes, stated that the attacks were carried out by Arab militia and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Further, Saudi Arabia has announced to jointly lead a conference for humanitarian response in Sudan. ("UN chief 'appalled' by Darfur's ethnic and sexual violence," BBC, 14 June 2023



Photo : Stefan Heunis, AFP

Benin: Recruits additional soldiers to combat jihadists


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 13 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Benin: Recruits additional soldiers to combat jihadists 

On 13 June, BBC reported that the Government of Benin has recruited more than 5000 soldiers owing to the rise in militant attacks on its northern border with Burkina Faso. The jihadists were present in Park W, a protected forest area across the borders of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The recruits are required to know at least one regional language and will undergo training for six months. Islamist extremists have caused millions of people to flee their homes across the Sahel region of West Africa, and their attacks have killed thousands of people. ("Benin recruits more soldiers to fight jihadists," BBC, 13 June)

Eritrea: Resumes its activity in East Africa bloc after 16 years

On 13 June, the Eritrea Information Minister, Yemane Meskel, stated that Asmara has resumed its activity in the East African Bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD). Additionally, Meskel stated that the country was ready to function toward peace, stability, and regional integration. Eritrea quit the regional bloc in 2007 to express its objections to Ethiopian forces being sent to Somalia to drive out al-Shabab extremists. The country participated in the 14th Ordinary Summit organised by the seven-nation bloc in Djibouti on 12 June. (“Eritrea rejoins east Africa trade and security bloc IGAD after 16 years,” Africanews, 13 June 2023)

Mozambique: Offers to supply electricity to SA amid crisis

On 13 June, BBC reported that Mozambique has offered to provide 100 MW of electricity to South Africa to overcome its supply deficit and regular blackouts. Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Carlos Zacarias, stated that the commercial agreement detailing the price along with the process and schedule of the distribution of electricity to Pretoria would conclude shortly. Additionally, Zacarias stated that within six months it would make available additional energy of 600 MW. The South African Minister of Energy, Kgosientsho Ramokgoba, stated that he was happy with the prompt response of the Government of Mozambique. (“Mozambique boosts SA power supply amid crisis,” BBC, 13 June 2023)

South Africa: US lawmakers demand to transfer US-Africa trade summit from the country

On 13 June, Al Jazeera reported that US congressmen have demanded that the US-Africa trade meeting scheduled for later this year should take place elsewhere due to South Africa's deepening military relationship with Russia. The US congressmen stated: “We are seriously concerned that hosting the 2023 AGOA Forum in South Africa would serve as an implicit endorsement of South Africa’s damaging support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” South Africa will be hosting the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) summit in Johannesburg, which would put together African leaders and US officials to discuss the long run of the initiative, which ends in 2025. South Africa under AGOA made shipments of nearly USD one billion to the US, making it the second-largest beneficiary of the policy after Nigeria. (“US lawmaker group wants S Africa punished over Russia ties,” Al Jazeera, 13 June 2023)



Photo : Marco Longari, AFP

Authorities extend the deadline for the Zimbabwean work permit


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Authorities extend the deadline for the Zimbabwean work permit

On 12 June, Africanews reported that the South African authorities extended the deadline until December 2023 to apply for working visas and waivers. There were about 178,000 holders of the Zimbabwean Extension Permits in Pretoria. Several migrants were deported as they failed to obtain working visas due to online glitches, administrative backlogs, and the removal of their occupation from the country's scarce skill list. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motoaledi stated that between 1000 and 1500 Zimbabweans applied for visas and waivers. The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa has received more than 10,000 registrations to receive assistance to return to Zimbabwe by June 2023. ("South Africa: legal stay extended for thousands of Zimbabweans," Africanews, 12 June 2023)

Ghana: Regains the position as Africa’s largest gold producer

On 12 June, BBC reported that Ghana regained its position as the largest producer of gold following a 32 per cent production surge last year. The Ghana Chamber of Mines stated that the country's gold output increased from 79 tonnes to 105 tonnes. Further, the Ghana Chamber credited small-scale and large-scale mining for its increase in production. However, the country is confronted with an environmental crisis owing to illegal small-scale gold mining. The government has stated that illegal mining has posed a threat to the country's water resources and the cocoa sector. The government has deployed soldiers in the mining areas. ("Ghana back as Africa's top gold producer," BBC,  12 June 2023)

Tunisia: EU pledges USD one billion to address migration

On 12 June, BBC reported that a delegation of European leaders had agreed to over USD one billion of financial assistance to Tunisia for border management, search and rescue, and return of migrants. Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte have held discussions with Tunisian President Kais Saied. Prime Minister Meloni expressed her intention to break the migration system. President Saied objected to Tunisia's role as a border guard of Europe. ("EU promises over $!bn Tunisia aid to stem migration," BBC, 12 June)

Democratic Republic of Congo: More than 45 people were killed in a displacement camp

On 12 June, Al Jazeera reported that a coalition of militia groups called the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) killed more than 45 displaced people at the Lala displacement site in the Djugu region. The UN Peacekeeping mission stated: “This attack constitutes a serious violation of international law and wishes to recall that deliberate attacks against civilian populations can constitute war crimes”. Additionally, the mission extended its condolences to the victims' families. ("More than 45 killed in attack on DR Congo displacement camp: UN," Al Jazeera, 12 June 2023)

Nigeria: President Tinubu addresses the end of fuel subsidies

On 12 June, Africanews reported that Nigerian President Bola Tinubu addressed the citizens to cooperate as prices of petrol, transport, and food soared due to the abolition of fuel subsidies which were costing billions of euros. Tinubu stated that the government will increase its investments in transportation infrastructure, education, electricity supply, healthcare, and other public services. Nigeria is largely dependent on imported fuel due to its failing state refineries. Following the subsidy abolition, the country must cope with fuel and electricity shortages which force them to use generators or withstand a lack of power supply, and the cost of a liter of petrol has risen from 190 naira to around 540 naira. ("Nigeria president calls for patience amidst the end of fuel subsidies," Africanews, 12 June 2023)



Photo : Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

Senegal: Restricts the protests by Ousmane Sonko's supporters


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 9 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Senegal: Restricts the protests by Ousmane Sonko's supporters

On 9 June, BBC reported that the officials in Dakar had banned protests supporting the opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for corrupting youth. Senegal's penal code describes corruption as promoting the depravity of young people under the age of 21. The two-year jail term sparked violence which claimed the lives of 16 people and injured hundreds last week. Additionally, supporters claimed that the allegations were a plot against him standing for the presidential elections in 2024. ("Senegal bans protests by Ousmane Sonko's supporters," BBC, 9 June 2023)

South Sudan: Intercommunal fighting causes the death of 13 people

On 9 June, Al Jazeera reported that a clash erupted between two ethnic communities in the camp for displaced people located in Malakal, Upper Nile. A man from the Shilluk community was stabbed to death on 8 June which sparked riots. There were more than 50,000 people in the camp. UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) spokesperson Ben Malor stated that 13 people were reported dead. Furthermore, Malor stated that UNMISS and South Sudan's army have increased security around the camp. The violence has been prominent in the areas despite the peace deal in 2018. (“Fighting in South Sudan camp leaves 13 displaced people dead: UN,” Al Jazeera, 9 June 2023)



Photo : Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters

South Africa: President Ramaphosa and Putin discuss peace mission bid


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 8 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

South Africa: President Ramaphosa and Putin discuss peace mission bid

On 8 June, BBC reported that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the forthcoming peace mission by six African leaders regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. The leaders of Comoros, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia are involved in the peace bid. The leaders discussed ways of bringing an end to the conflict and agreed to engage with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a ceasefire. A separate Russia-Africa summit has been scheduled for the end of July 2023 in St. Petersburg. ("Putin welcomes African peace mission bid- SA leader," BBC, 8 June 2023)

Ethiopia: The US stops the food aid

On 8 June, BBC reported that the US suspended food aid to Ethiopia citing a diversion of funds. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) stated: “We made the difficult but necessary decision that we cannot move forward with distribution of food assistance until reforms are in place.” The USAID stated that some officials have diverted the aid using military units across the country. Meanwhile, more than 20 million people need food aid due to the drought and the recent northern Tigray war. (“US suspends food aid to Ethiopia over fraud fears,BBC, 8 June 2023) 

Sudan: Attack on Saudi Arabia embassy

On 8 June, BBC reported that the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the armed groups for invading and vandalising its embassy in Khartoum. Saudi Arabia and the US have been involved in peace talks with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since the clashes erupted in mid-April 2023. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the kingdom rejects all forms of violence and vandalism against diplomatic mission representations. Saudi Arabia and the US have been involved in peace talks with the Sudanese Armed Forces(SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since the clashes erupted in mid-April 2023. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, visited Sudi Arabia on 7 June where two countries pledged to continue efforts to end the fighting in Sudan. (“Saudi Arabia condemns attack on its embassy in Sudan,” BBC, 8 June 2023)

Sudan: The area near the arms factory in Khartoum has been set ablaze

On 8 June, BBC reported that clashes between Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army had caused a widespread fire near an arms factory in the Yarmouk area of Khartoum. Images from NASA indicate heat signatures from several locations in the area. The RSF had taken control of the area and blamed the army for causing the inferno. The Sudanese armed forces (SAF) have not officially commented on the incident. ("Huge blazes seen in Sudan's capital near arms factory," BBC, 8 June 2023)



Photo : Simon Speakman Cordall, Al Jazeera

Tunisia: Italy's Prime Minister discusses the issue of Tunisian migration


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 7 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin A and Ryan Marcus

Tunisia: Italy's Prime Minister discusses the issue of Tunisian migration

On 7 June, BBC reported that Italian Prime Minister Girgia Meloni visited Tunisia to address the issue of irregular migration. The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, warned that Europe could witness a huge migration wave due to irregular migration. Additionally, Meloni discussed the border surveillance and repatriation of undocumented migrants. Meloni pledged to grant USD 750 million in aid to Tunisia to avoid an economic meltdown in Tunisia and to address the illegal migration issue. ("Italy's far-right prime minister visits Tunisia to discuss migration," BBC, 7 June 2023)

Algeria: UN Security Council elects the country as a non-permanent member

On 7 June, BBC reported that Algeria has been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council representing Africa. The country will serve from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025. The country would join Ecuador, Japan, Mozambique, and Switzerland as non-permanent members. ("Sierra Leone, Algeria elected to UN Security Council," BBC, 7 June 2023) 

South Africa: Pretoria welcomes Portuguese president

On 7 June, Africanews reported that the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa, visited South Africa to commemorate the National Day of Lisbon with the Portuguese diaspora. The countries signed a defence cooperation agreement and discussed the ongoing conflict with Mozambique. Additionally, the two countries discussed opportunities of mutual benefit in science and innovation, education, and energy. During a press conference, President Cyril Ramaphosa elaborated on the previous meeting with the heads of state of Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Egypt and confirmed their visit to Kyiv and Moscow for a peace mission to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. ("Portuguese President on a State Visit to South Africa," Africanews, 7 June 2023)

Sierra Leone: UN Security Council elects the country as a non-permanent member

On 7 June, BBC reported that Sierra Leone had been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council representing Africa. The two countries will serve from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025. The Sierra Leone President, Julius Maada Bio, stated the election was a generational accomplishment and stated that it represents our unique success as a democratic and peaceful country of resilience that had successfully transitioned from war to peace. ("Sierra Leone, Algeria elected to UN Security Council," BBC, 7 June 2023)



Photo : Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP

Nigeria: Trade union movement suspends strike


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 6 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Nigeria: Trade union movement suspends strike

On 6 June, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero stated that the nationwide strike scheduled for 7 June will be postponed to allow for additional time for negotiations with the government. The strike has been called to protest a significant increase in fuel prices as a result of the government's decision to stop subsidising it. Some of the proposals made by labour unions include an increase in the minimum wage and tax breaks for workers. The price of transportation, food, and other commodities has risen as a result of the increase in the price of fuel, despite the fact that the minimum wage is around USD 65. (“Nigeria's unions suspend strike over fuel subsidy,” BBC, 6 June 2023)

DRC: Congolese died in air strikes in Sudan

On 6 June, the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported that 10 of its citizens were killed in air strikes in Sudan. The air strikes bombarded the campus of the International University of Africa in Khartoum. Minister Christophe Lutundula stated that the air strikes were carried out by the Sudanese army. Additionally, Lutundula asked the authorities to provide more information about the incident. DR Congo’s government demanded a humanitarian corridor to allow it to evacuate its wounded citizens and people isolated in Khartoum. (“Air strikes on Sudan campus kill Congolese - government,” BBC, 6 June 2023)



Photo : Leo Correa, AP Photo

Senegal: Over 350 people sustain injuries during clashes


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 5 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Senegal: Over 350 people sustain injuries during clashes

On 5 June, the Red Cross in Senegal reported that almost 360  people were injured in the violence which broke out after the Senegal court sentenced Ousmane Sonko to two years in jail for corrupting youth. Additionally, 16 people were declared dead in clashes between protesters and security in the capital, Dakar, and in the city of Zinguinchor on 1 June. The government has banned mobile internet access in order to prevent subversive messages from being shared. (“Over 350 were injured in Senegal clashes - Red Cross,” BBC, 5 June 2023)

Libya: Egyptian migrants send back to the country

On 5 June, BBC reported that thousands of Egyptian migrants were deported back to Cairo. Further, 4,000 migrants have been found during raids on people traffickers in the east of Libya. According to an Egyptian security source, just around half of those detained were in Libya illegally, and they were the only ones deported. The migration agencies stated that there are approximately 500,000 migrants in Libya, many of whom are attempting to travel to Europe by boat, while others have found jobs and established themselves in the nation. (“Libya expels thousands of Egyptian migrants,” BBC, 5 June 2023)

South Africa: Eight people died in a shooting 

On 5 June, Africanews reported that gunmen broke into a men’s hostel near the city of Durban on 3 June. The South African Police Service stated that eight people were dead and two others were injured during the shooting. South Africa has one of the world's highest homicide rates, and there has been a rash of mass shootings in recent years. Earlier this year, at least two mass shootings were reported. According to official crime figures, 30 people were killed by firearms in South Africa per day in the first three months of 2023. During the same three months, authorities reported over 4,000 occurrences of illegal gun or ammunition possession. (“8 dead in South Africa shooting at men’s hostel near Durban,” Africanews, 5 June 2023)

Malawi: Human Rights Watch demands to stop relocating refugees

On 5 June, BBC reported that Human Rights Watch (HRW) asked the government to reverse its actions and return the 902 people who were picked up and taken to the Dzalek refugee camp 40 kilometres outside the capital, Lilongwe. Additionally, HRW claimed that many people were forced to close their enterprises and were imprisoned before being taken away. There have also been instances of minor refugees being imprisoned and other refugees being beaten and having their possessions taken. The Malawi government followed the encampment policy that detained and forcibly moved refugees and asylum seekers across the country violating basic human rights. (“Malawi must stop dumping refugees - Human Rights Watch,” BBC, 5 June 2023)



Photo : Guy Peterson, AFP

Senegal: Nine dead in lethal clashes


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 2 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Senegal: Nine dead in lethal clashes

On 2 June, Al Jazeera reported that nine people were killed in clashes between riot police and supporters of Ousmane Sonko after he was sentenced to two years in prison by a Senegal court. Cars and buses were set on fire in Dakar, while disturbances were reported from other places, including Ziguinchor, where Sonko has served as mayor since 2022. Interior Minister Antonie Diome stated: “We have noted, with regret, violence that has led to the destruction of public and private property and, unfortunately, nine deaths in Dakar and Zinguinchor.” The sentence may disqualify Sonko from contesting next year’s presidential elections. (“Nine dead as protests rock Senegal after Sonko jail sentence,” Al Jazeera, 2 June 2023)

Sudan: Clashes continue despite US sanctions

On 2 June, BBC reported that the fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued in Khartoum despite US sanctions. The army had resumed air strikes and was using more artillery to clear the paramilitaries off the streets. The army announced that the reinforcements were brought from other parts of Sudan to Khartoum. Meanwhile, there were no signs of RSF retreating from the occupied streets and houses. (“No sign of RSF fleeing shelling - Khartoum residents,” BBC, 2 June 2023)

Benin: Hike in petrol prices as Nigeria ends fuel subsidies

On 2 June, BBC reported that petrol prices in Benin doubled after Nigeria declared the end of the fuel subsidies. The subsided petroleum products were regularly smuggled into Benin which serve a large part of the population. The smuggled gasoline was sold by the roadside and considered cheaper than fueling up at stations. The announcement of the end of fuel subsidies by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu in his inauguration speech triggered panic buying and a surge in fuel prices. (“Benin petrol prices soar as Nigeria moves to end subsidy,” BBC, 2 June 2023)



Photo : Seyllou, AFP

Senegal: Court sentences opposition leader Ousmane Sonko


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 1 June 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Senegal: Court sentences opposition leader Ousmane Sonko

On 1 June, Al Jazeera reported that the Senegal court sentenced the opposition leader Ousmane Sonko two years in jail for corrupting the youth. Sonko was found guilty of a criminal offence for immoral behaviour towards individuals under the age of 21 by the court. Protests erupted in Senegal’s capital, Darkar, with Sonko’s supporters condemning the charges against him as politically motivated. Justice Minister Ismaila Madior Fall stated: “The sentence must be carried out. This is an absentia case, and the measure can be carried out at any time.” (“Senegal’s Sonko can be arrested ‘at any time’: Justice minister,” Al Jazeera, 1 June 2023)

Sudan: 17 people died in a rocket attack at a market

On 1 June, BBC reported that 17 people were killed and 106 people were wounded by a rocket attack in a market south of the capital Khartoum. This is the highest number of individuals killed by shelling since fighting began on 15 April between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The shelling raised the total number of civilian deaths in the conflict to 883. (“Rocket attack kills 17 in Sudan market - medics,” BBC, 1 June 2023)

Zimbabwe: Parliament passes bill to punish unpatriotic acts

On 1 June, Zimbabwe's parliament passed a contentious bill that will penalize citizens for unpatriotic behaviour by imposing high penalties or even the death penalty. The controversial revisions were enacted as part of a series of reforms to the Criminal Law Act. The patriotic clause of the Criminal Law Act aims to punish those who harm the national interest of Zimbabwe. The bill has been criticized as unconstitutional since it would infringe on freedom of association and free speech. (“Zimbabwe passes bill to punish 'unpatriotic acts',” BBC, 1 June 2023)

Sudan: US sanctions Sudanese firms linked to the warring sides

On 1 June, Al Jazeera reported that the US government issued its first sanctions targeted over Sudanese firms and various individuals for fuelling the conflict between the warring factions in Khartoum. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated: “Through sanctions, we are cutting off key financial flows to both the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces, depriving them of resources needed to pay soldiers, rearm, resupply, and wage war in Sudan. The United States stands on the side of civilians against those who perpetrate violence towards the people of Sudan.” The US sanctions targeted enterprises held by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) chief Mohamed Hamdan in the UAE and Sudan's capital Khartoum, as well as two defence firms related to the Sudanese army, which is led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. (“US imposes first sanctions over Sudan conflict,” Al Jazeera, 1 June 2023)



Photo : Alex Mcbride, AFP

South Sudan: UN extends sanctions for a year


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 31 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

South Sudan: UN extends sanctions for a year

On 31 May, BBC reported that the UN Security Council voted to extend the arms embargo and sanctions imposed on South Sudan for a year. The council passed the sanctions on 30 May with ten votes in favour and five members abstaining. The countries that abstained were China, Russia, Ghana, Gabon, and Mozambique. The UN member states were directed to restrict the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of armaments to South Sudan. The council expressed its concern over the continued intensification of violence, prolonging the political insecurity, economic, and humanitarian crisis in most parts of the country. Representative of South Sudan to the UN, Akuei Bona Malwal stated that the sanctions were done in “bad faith and ill intention.” (“UN extends sanctions on South Sudan for a year,” BBC, 31 May 2023)

Sudan: Withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces from peace talks

On 31 May, Sudanese officials reported that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) suspended truce talks with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) accusing the group of frequent violation of previous truce agreements. The decision appears to end the extended ceasefire mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia for enabling humanitarian access that both warring sides accepted on 29 May. The army accuses the paramilitary of never implementing a single one of the provisions of a short-term ceasefire which required their withdrawal from hospitals and residential buildings, and have repeatedly violated the truce. However, neither the army nor the RSF has publicly commented on the alleged retreat. (“Sudan army withdraws from truce talks – sources,” BBC, 31 May 2023) 

Burundi: Nuclear energy deal with Russia

On 31 May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Burundi’s Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro in Bujumbura on 30 May. Lavrov stated that the preparation for the nuclear energy inter-governmental deal between Russia and Burundi was in its final stage. Previously, in November 2022, the two countries had signed a nuclear energy roadmap deal in which Russia pledged to assist Burundi in the establishment of nuclear power stations. Additionally, Lavrov stated: “The roadmap on nuclear energy has already been signed between Rosatom, a Russian state energy corporation, and its Burundian partners. Both parties committed to cooperating in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.” (“Russia-Burundi nuclear energy deal in final stage - Lavrov,” BBC, 31 May 2023)

Zimbabwe: Announcement of general election

On 31 May, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that Zimbabwe would have its presidential and parliamentary elections on 23 August and a presidential run-off vote if required on 2 October. The election proclamation came amid rising tensions ahead of the elections as the opposition party, Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC), demanded an audit into the voters' roll. The opposition stated that the voters' roll has been missing names, including some of its officials and voters being moved several kilometres away from their wards of residence. The electoral body stated that the ongoing voters' roll inspection would resolve the aberrations. (“Zimbabwe election set for 23 August,” BBC, 31 May 2023)

Central African Republic: Constitutional referendum to remove the president's term limit

On 31 May, President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced 30 July as the date for the referendum on a new constitution that would allow him to seek a new term in 2025. Currently, the president can only serve two four-year terms. Touadera stated that the current constitution has provisions that compromise the country’s development. The opposition parties criticised the constitutional referendum citing it as a move to allow Touadera to run for a third term. The former prime minister and opposition leader, Nicholas Tiangaye, stated: “This new constitution will be written so that Touadera remains president for life.” (“CAR plan to scrap term limits goes to referendum,” BBC, 31 May 2023)

Burkina Faso: 40 killed in two separate jihadists attacks

On 31 May, BBC reported that 40 people were killed in two separate attacks by jihadists on 27 and 28 May. The attacks killed around 20 army volunteers near Bourasso which is close to the Malian border and 20 people died in another attack in the same region the next day. Following the violence, the militants were neutralized in an aerial operation by government forces. Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela stated that his government would never negotiate with the jihadists. (“Forty killed in Burkina Faso attacks - reports,” BBC, 31 May 2023)



Photo : Mahmoud Hjaj, Anadolu Agency

Sudan: Attack on the Libyan embassy


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 30 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Sudan: Attack on the Libyan embassy 

On 30 May, Libya’s foreign ministry condemned an attack on its embassy in Khartoum which was ransacked and looted. Tripoli denounced the assault and looting of the Libyan embassy and expressed its deep regret and displeasure. The Libyan government called on the warring sides in Sudan to reject violence and to protect diplomatic representations. Tripoli stressed its attachment to the stability of Sudan and its people but condemned the attacks on the headquarters of the diplomatic missions in Khartoum. (“Libyan embassy in Khartoum attacked and looted - ministry,” Africanews, 30 May 2023)

Sudan: Clashes continue despite the extension of the ceasefire

On 30 May, Al Jazeera reported that the intense clashes have been continuing on the outskirts of Khartoum after military factions agreed to extend the ceasefire for an additional five days. The residents reported intensive fighting in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North hours before the extension was signed and resumed on the outskirts of Khartoum. Army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan stated that the army had agreed to the ceasefire extension to ease citizens’ access to service. Additionally, he stated: “The army hasn’t used its full deadly power, but it will be forced to do so if the enemy does not obey or listen to the voice of reason.” (“Fighting continues in Sudan a day after ceasefire extended,” Al Jazeera, 30 May 2023) 



Photo : AP

South Africa: President appoints judge to look into weapons supply allegations


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 29 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

South Africa: President appoints judge to look into weapons supply allegations 

On 29 May, Africanews reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Judge P.M.D. Mojapelo, as the chairman of a three-member panel to investigate the allegations of South Africa supplying ammunition to Russia made by the US. According to the president’s office, the panel was appointed owing to the serious impacts that the allegations could pose to the international relations of South Africa. The panel has been mandated to furnish details of persons aware of the ship’s arrival, the loaded and off-loaded cargo, and their departure and destination. (“South African president appoints judge to oversee the weapons-for-Russia inquiry,” Africanews, 29 May 2023)

Kenya: Russian Foreign Minister visits Nairobi unannounced

On 29 May, Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov would be visiting Nairobi to strengthen Russia-Kenya bilateral relations. Lavrov stated: “During our visit, we will discuss our cooperation in trade, investment, and economic spheres, humanitarian and cultural questions, education, cooperation in the UN, and many other issues.” The visit has been considered a tussle for influence as both Russia and Ukraine try to intensify their ties with the continent of 1.3 billion people. (“Lavrov in surprise Kenya visit after Ukraine FM trip to Africa,” Al Jazeera, 29 May 2023)

Sudan: The warring factions agree to extend the ceasefire 

On 29 May, Al Jazeera reported that Sudan’s warring sides agreed to extend the week-long ceasefire as the two key international mediators were dissatisfied with the constant violations of the truce. The five-day extension of the ceasefire was announced in a joint statement by Saudi Arabia and the US. The report stated: “The extension will provide time for further humanitarian assistance, restoration of essential services, and discussion of a potential longer-term extension.” The warring sides were under pressure to extend the expiring ceasefire as the constant violations had impeded the delivery of humanitarian access and restoration of essential services. (“Sudan’s military, RSF agree ceasefire extension,” Al Jazeera, 29 May 2023)



Photo : Malick Konate,Reuters

Mali: Demonstrators demand to end UN peacekeeping mission


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 26 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Mali: Demonstrators demand to end UN peacekeeping mission

On 26 May, Al Jazeera reported that thousands of protestors gathered in Bamako demanding an end to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MUNISMA) that was established to support foreign and local troops battling the armed groups. The rally was organized by the transitional Prime Minister Chogel Maiga and civil society organizations supporting the transitional military government. Malians blamed the mission for failing to protect the population and for not bringing any results. Malians were dissatisfied with the mission of their disagreements with the Malian military government because of their connection with the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group. (“Mali protesters demand exit of UN peacekeeping mission,” Al Jazeera, 26 May 2023)

Mali: The US sanctions the head of the Wagner Group

On 26 May, BBC reported that the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control(OFAC) imposed sanctions on the head of Wagner Group, Ivan Aleksandrovich Maslov, for supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. The US accused the Wagner Group of trying to exploit the abundance of arms in Mali. The Treasury Department imposed sanctions by accusing Maslov of acquiring military equipment for the war in Ukraine through the operations of the Wagner Group in Mali. The US Treasury Department stated: “The Wagner Group's presence on the African continent is a destabilizing force for any country that allows for the deployment of the group's resources into their sovereign territory.” (“Wagner: US sanctions boss of mercenary group in Mali,” BBC, 25 May 2023)

Somalia: Russia offers support against terrorism

On 26 May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered assistance to Somalia in its fight against terrorism, after talks with his Somali Foreign Minister Abshir Omar Jama in Moscow. Lavrov stated that Russia would supply military equipment to the Somali army to assist them in their fight against extremists including al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda. The offer highlighted the growing interest of Russia in seeking alliances with regimes in Africa avoided by the West or facing insurgencies and internal challenges to their rule. (“Russia offers support to Somalian army in fight against terrorist groups,” Africanews, 26 May 2023)



Photo : AP

Sudan: The US accuses Wagner Group of missiles supply


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 25 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Sudan: The US accuses Wagner Group of missiles supply

On 25 May, Al Jazeera reported that the United States accused Russia’s Wagner Group of prolonging the conflict by providing surface-to-air missiles to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces(RSF) in Sudan. The US Treasury Department stated that the surface-to-air missiles contributed to a prolonged armed conflict that only resulted in further chaos in the region. The US stated that ongoing conflict would lead to a severe humanitarian crisis and it focuses to reduce the violence and turn the country to civilian rule. (“US accuses Wagner Group of supplying missiles to Sudan’s RSF,” Al Jazeera, 25 May 2023)

Sudan: The warring sides blame each other for violating the truce

On 25 May, Al Jazeera reported that clashes between conflicting factions broke out as residents in the cities of Omdurman and Khartoum reported that they heard overnight gunfires and reconnaissance planes. The breaches of the week-long ceasefire agreement have been continuing since its commencement on 22 May which is meant to allow humanitarian aid to reach North African countries. The RSF leader, Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, blamed the army led by Sudan’s de facto leader Abel Fattah al-Burhan for ceasefire breaches stating the army launched a series of unwarranted attacks and the assaults were decisively repelled. The army reported that it resisted an attack on armoured vehicles by RSF in a clear violation of the truce. The spokesperson of the US Department of State, Matthew Miller, stated: “We have continued to see violations of the ceasefire. We retain our sanctions authority and if appropriate we will not hesitate to use that authority.” (“Sudan’s warring sides accuse each other of violating ceasefire,” Al Jazeera, 25 May 2023)

South Africa: Refusal to release cargo documents raise scrutiny 

On 25 May, Africanews reported that the South African government faced pressure when a DA lawmaker asked Defense Minister Thandi Modise to release the cargo documents related to the Russian ship but the government refused. African National Congress Secretary General Fikile Mbalula stated: "If it was according to the ANC, we would want President Putin to be here, even tomorrow, to come to our country." The statement added more scrutiny to the allegations of shipping ammunition to Russia. South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, challenged the government to prove against the accusations and release the cargo manifest. (“South Africa under more scrutiny over Russian ship as ruling ANC says it would 'welcome' Putin,” Africanews, 25 May 2023)

Sierra Leone: Heavy downpour makes a centuries-old national treasure fall

On 25 May, Al Jazeera reported that torrential rains and storms on 24 May caused the falling of a nearly 400 years old cotton tree that served as a national symbol for decades. The tree was founded by enslaved Africans who returned from the United States. The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Bio, stated: “It was regarded as a symbol of liberty and freedom by early settlers.” Queen Elizabeth II visited it when she came to the country marking its independence from British colonial rule in 1961. The tree even appeared on the country’s banknotes. (“Storm fells symbolic 400-year-old cotton tree in Sierra Leone,” Al Jazeera, 25 May 2023)



Photo : AUDU ALI MARTE,AFP

Cameroon: More than 30 women kidnapped by separatists


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 24 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin 

Cameroon: More than 30 women kidnapped by separatists

On 24 May, the separatists in Cameroon’s restive north-western region abducted around 30 women, leaving several injured in Big Babanki, a village near the border with Nigeria. The women were kidnapped while protesting against the curfew and taxes imposed on them by the separatists. Separatist leader Capo Daniel said that the women were being punished for allowing themselves to be “manipulated” by the Cameroon government. The military said that troops have been deployed to secure the abducted women. The country is facing conflicts since the 2017 rebellion launched by the English-speaking separatists.  (“Over 30 women abducted by separatists in Cameroon,” BBC, 24 May 2023)

South Africa: “I Would supply weapons to Russia”, says leader of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

On 24 May, Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EEF), South Africa’s third largest party, said that Russia is at war with imperialism and he “would supply weapons to Russia.” He also insisted that South Africa is an ally of Russia and the non-alignment position of the ANC government applies only to the war in Ukraine. Further, the party wants the withdrawal of South Africa from the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it recently issued an arrest warrant to Putin. These comments came on the sidelines of the recent allegations by the US ambassador towards South Africa that they were loading ammunition and weapons inside a Russian vessel in December. (“I would supply weapons to Russia - SA's Julius Malema,” BBC, 24 May 2023)

Ghana: The country will soon resume borrowing, says President

On 24 May,  Mr Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana said at the Qatar-Africa Economic Forum in Doha that since Ghana is facing its worst economic crisis, it will start borrowing funds from global savings. The government which is under criticism for extensive borrowing was excluded from the international capital market due to its huge debt. But it can be accessed hereafter following last week’s USD 3 billion bailout by the IMF. The economic position is being blamed on the Ukraine-Russia war and the Covid pandemic. However, he mentioned that the government will reduce its expenditure and create more domestic revenue. (“Ghana to soon start borrowing again - president,” BBC, 24 May 2023)

Algeria: Political opponent KarimTabbou arrested

On 24 May, Africanews reported on the arrest of the Algerian opposition leader, KarimTabbou on 23 May. He was also a leading figure in the pro-democracy Hirak movement that happened in 2019. The movement aimed to completely overthrow the ruling system since Algeria became an independent country in 1962. In 2020, Mr. Tabbou served a one-year prison term over a video on his party’s Facebook account that was “undermining national security”. According to the CNLD (National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees), several with connections to the Hirak movement or those who defend individual freedoms have been arrested in Algeria. (“Prominent Algerian opposition figure arrested again,” Africanews, 24 May 2023)



Photo : Ashraf Shazly,AFP

Sudan: Air Strikes and clashes persist despite ceasefire


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 23 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Sudan: Air Strikes and clashes persist despite ceasefire

On 23 May, BBC reported that air strikes and clashes continued in Khartoum which weakened the latest attempt at a ceasefire. The new seven-day truce came into effect on 22 May. The truce came about as a result of formal talks facilitated by Saudi Arabia and the United States. According to a US-Saudi statement, the new agreement would be enforced by a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, which acknowledged prior failures to maintain peace. Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo issued an audio message right before the truce came into effect stating that his troops would not retreat until they end the coup. (“Sudan conflict: Air strikes and clashes as new ceasefire begins,” BBC, 23 May 2023)

Morocco: Ukrainian foreign minister visits Rabat 

On 23 May, Al Jazeera reported that the meeting between Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita happened at Rabat on 22 May, to enhance bilateral cooperation. The key point of discussion included the situation of Moroccan students in Ukraine, coordination between the two countries with a renewed emphasis on political dialogue and economic cooperation, trade facilitation, food security, territorial integrity, and regional security. Kuleba and Bourita signed a memorandum of understanding and exchange program intended to improve diplomats' awareness of one another's foreign policy, particularly concerning Africa. (“Ukrainian and Moroccan FMs meet in Rabat,” Al Jazeera, 23 May 2023)

Mali: US accuses Mali as Wagner group’s transit route

On 23 May, Al Jazeera reported that the United States Department of State accused Russia’s Wagner mercenary force of using false paperwork to ship military equipment through Mali. State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller stated: “We have been informed that Wagner is seeking to transit material acquisitions to aid Russia’s war through Mali and is willing to use false paperwork for these transactions. In fact, there are indications that Wagner has been attempting to purchase military systems from foreign suppliers and route these weapons through Mali as a third party.” Additionally, Miller stated that these accusations have not yet been proven and added that the US has been imposing sanctions on entities supporting Wagner’s military operations. (“US says Russia’s Wagner force eyes Mali as route for war supplies,” Al Jazeera, 23 May 2023) 

Ethiopia: Protestors demand the withdrawal of Eritrean troops

On 23 May, Al Jazeera reported that there were mass demonstrations in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region demanding the return of the displaced population due to the war and the withdrawal of foreign forces as the conflict had ended with a truce signed in November 2022. The battle between the federal troops and the Tigrayan forces left thousands of people dead. Millions of people were forced from their homes and their places were occupied by security forces and fighters. The Eritrean troops which were not mentioned in the truce continued to operate in several border towns. (“Protesters in Ethiopia’s Tigray demand Eritrean troops withdraw,” Al Jazeera, 23 May 2023)

Sudan: Ceasefire appears to bring relative calm in the region

On 23 May, BBC reported that following the ceasefire agreed between the warring factions, the airstrikes targeting the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been stopped. El Geneina and Nyala, two cities in the Darfur region face relative calmness after days as they were badly affected by the conflict. The residents say that after five weeks of conflict, there is relative peace in the region. However, there were immediate breaches of the ceasefire by the military forces on 22 May. While the previous ceasefires collapsed, the latest one seems to be efficient as it is backed by a monitoring mechanism. (“Sudan ceasefire: Khartoum largely quiet, residents say,” BBC, 23 May 2023)

Horn of Africa: Aid agencies support UN’s USD 7 billion for food crisis

On 23 May, Al Jazeera reported that humanitarian agencies support the United Nations’ appeal for USD seven billion for the Horn of Africa as more than 43.3 million people need food assistance in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya due to drought in the region. The UN is convening a high-level pledging event on 24 May where member states and partners will be encouraged to provide financial aid to the Horn of Africa crisis. International Rescue Committee President David Miliband stated: “Efforts to combat food insecurity need to be urgently scaled up across a wider group of governments, international financial institutions, and climate actors.” Additionally, Miliband stated that the appeals have received less than a quarter of the needed donations until now. (“Aid agencies back UN’s $7bn appeal for Horn of Africa food crisis,” Al Jazeera, 23 May 2023)



Photo : Temilade Adelaja,Reuters

Nigeria: Dangote opens Africa’s biggest oil refinery


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 22 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Nigeria: Dangote opens Africa’s biggest oil refinery

On 22 May, BBC reported that Africa’s biggest oil refinery opened in Nigeria. The refinery is worth USD 19 billion and has the capacity to produce about 650,000 barrels of petroleum products a day which is more than sufficient to meet the country’s demands. In spite of being a major oil producer, Nigeria exports most of its production and imports refined fuel which causes the fuel shortage in the country. President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the refinery could be a game-changer for the Nigerian people. (“Dangote oil refinery launched in Nigeria,” BBC, 22 May 2023)

South Africa: Cholera outbreak 

On 22 May, Al Jazeera reported that an outbreak of Cholera in the province of Gauteng killed ten people and 95 people visited the hospital showing the cholera symptoms. The Gauteng health department stated that lab tests confirmed at least 19 cases of cholera and added that 37 people were admitted in critical condition. The provincial head for health, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, advised people to take extra precautionary measures and maintain proper hygiene. Additionally, there have been warnings to the residents stating not to drink water from their taps. (“Ten dead, 37 critically ill in SA cholera outbreak,” Al Jazeera, 22 May 2023)

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister tours African countries

On 22 May, Al Jazeera reported that Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba started his Africa tour with the main priority to get the support of the African countries on the peace plan introduced by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The visit reflects Kyiv’s diplomatic push to challenge Russian influence in the Global South - Latin America, Africa, and much of Asia. Kuleba stated that the visit aimed to win support for the continuous flow of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea and secure new venues for Ukrainian business. (“Ukraine courts ‘Global South’ in push to challenge Russia,” Al Jazeera, 22 May 2023)

DRC: President Felix Tshisekedi visits China

On 22 May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China announced that the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, intended to meet the President of China, Xi Jinping, from 24 May to 29 May. The summit aims to formally restructure trade deals between the two countries and finalize a USD six billion infrastructure-for-minerals deal with Chinese investors. The DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt which is used in batteries and has substantial deposits of gold, lithium, diamonds, and tantalum. Tshisekedi stated that a task force submitted its conclusions about the deal, enabling dialogues with Chinese partners. (“Trade deal signing expected as DRC leader visits China this week,” Al Jazeera, 22 May 2023)



Photo : AFP

Nigeria: Death toll rises; Clashes between herders and farmers still on


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 19 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Nigeria: Death toll rises; Clashes between herders and farmers still on

On 19 May, Nigeria witnessed a rise in the death toll to 85 from the clashes between herders and farmers also leading to the displacement of thousands. The violence broke out on 15 May in Plateau state which lies between Nigeria’s Muslim-dominated north and Christian-dominated south. The region has witnessed long-standing ethnic and religious violence for years. The reason behind the violence is unknown and the violence doesn't seem to subside. So far five have been arrested by the police in connection to the violence. (“Toll in Nigeria clashes between herders and farmers rises to 85,” The Hindu, 19 May 2023)

Mozambique: USD 150 million granted for cyclone Freddy recovery

On 19 May, Al Jazeera reported on the World Bank sanctioning USD 150 million to support Mozambique in its effort to recover from the grave damages caused by cyclone Freddy. The cyclone killed around 1,000 people when it hit Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar in late February followed by a landfall again in March. The funds (consisting of USD 100 million in grant money and USD 50 million in credit) are drawn from the World Bank’s existing projects in Mozambique. (“World Bank gives Mozambique $150m for Cyclone Freddy recovery,” Al Jazeera, 19 May 2023)

Nigeria: Communal clashes kills more than 100 people 

On 19 May, the fighting between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s north-central state of Plateau increased the death toll above 100. According to residents and local authorities, locals are still in search of more bodies in the bush. The violence took place when a herder and his cattle were killed by farmers who had encroached on the latter’s land in April. The violence is seen as an ethno-religious conflict between nomadic Muslim herders and mainly Christian Indigenous farmers. (“More than 100 people dead in communal clashes in central Nigeria,” Al Jazeera, 19 May 2023)

Sudan: Burhan fires Dagalo as his deputy

On 19 May, Sudan’s army chief Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan sacked Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, his deputy and the commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Since the military coup in October 2021, both have served as chairman and deputy of the ruling Sovereign Council. Burhan replaced Dagalo with former rebel leader Malik Agar who is also a Sovereign Council member. He further ordered the immediate effect of the decree issued. (“Sudan's Burhan sacks paramilitary leader as his deputy,” BBC, 19 May 2023



Photo : REUTERS,Yuri Gripas

Ghana: IMF sanctions loan of USD 3 billion


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 18 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Ghana: IMF sanctions loan of USD 3 billion 

On 18 May, BBC reported that Ghana signed a new bailout program with the International Monetary Fund(IMF) worth USD three billion for a period of three years. Currently, the country's debt now accounts for 90 per cent of the total annual value of the economy, with an inflation rate of 40 per cent. Additionally, the country’s foreign reserves are almost blank which makes it difficult to pay for imports. The program has been expected to slow the rate of inflation and ensure a stable local currency which would result in steady prices of basic commodities, including imported goods. (“Ghana IMF loan: Will USD 3 billion solve the economic crisis?,” BBC, 18 May 2023)

Uganda: Fate of African Nations over Ukraine grain deal

On 18 May, in a top-level meeting between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Uganda’s Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo, the latter urged the concerned parties to rethink the stance on the Ukraine black sea grain deal as it affects many African countries. He stated that “We think whatever should be done, should be done in the interests of those in need and not to use their need to the advantage of others.” Lavrov responded: “We would like to understand what specific initiatives President Ramaphosa and his African colleagues, including Uganda’s President Museveni, would like to come up with in order to discuss with us.” (“Uganda's FM urges Moscow to consider plight of African nations over Ukraine grain deal,” Africanews, 18 May 2023)

Somalia: People flee as flood drowns town of Beledweyne

On 18 May, BBC reported on the heavy downpours in central Somalia causing the flooding of the town of Beledweyne. Around 250,000 people fled their homes after the Shabelle River burst. According to Hirshabelle State Interior Minister, 99 per cent of those living in the town and surrounding areas are now homeless. The UN warns that flood could hit Bulo Burde town too which is around 68 miles away. Somalia is just in the recovery path from extreme drought due to the failure of successive rains thus leading to worsening humanitarian conditions. ("Flood engulfs town in central Somalia," BBC, 18 May 2023)



Photo : Pius Utomi Ekpei,AFP

Nigeria: US embassy personnel under attack


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 17 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Nigeria: US embassy personnel under attack

On 17 May, two employees and two police officers were killed during a gunmen attack on a United States convoy in southeast Nigeria. On 16 May, two police officers and a driver were kidnapped in Nigeria’s Anambra state. The number of people in the convoy and the nature of their trip are unclear.  The US Department of State later issued a statement that they have initiated an investigation along with the Nigerian security services. According to the police in Ambara, separatists could be responsible for the attack as there is already an ongoing series of violence. (“Gunmen attack convoy of US embassy personnel in Nigeria,” Al Jazeera, 17 May 2023)

Sudan: Rising prices and fuel shortages deepen the humanitarian crisis

On 17 May, Africanews reported that the humanitarian crisis has been worsening in the country as vendors and farmers suffer from rising prices and fuel shortages. The farmers in the Al Qalaa region have been unable to transport their vegetables due to fuel shortages. The United Nations Humanitarian Agency, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA), stated that the price of basic commodities and water has been rising by 60 per cent or more due to supply challenges. (“Vendors, farmers suffer amid rising prices and fuel shortages,” Africanews, 17 May 2023)

Sudan: UN seeks funds for Sudan aid as millions suffer from conflict

On 17 May, BBC reported on the UN seeking some USD three billion to cope with humanitarian activities in Sudan as the conflict doesn't seem to subside. It also expects that more than a million could flee the country due to the fighting and nearly 25 million people accounting for more than half of Sudan’s population are in need of aid and protection. It added that access to aid agencies is difficult and repeated looting of aid supplies and attacks on aid workers are persistent. (“UN seeking $3bn for Sudan aid as fighting rages on,” BBC, 17 May 2023)



Photo : Seyllou, AFP

Senegal: Three killed in clashes between Senegalese police and supporters of Ousmane Sonko


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 16 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Senegal: Three killed in clashes between Senegalese police and supporters of Ousmane Sonko

On 16 May, BBC reported the death of three in the clashes between Senegalese police and supporters of the opposition politician, Ousmane Sonko, who is facing charges of rape. The protests took place on 15 May following his court appearance for the trial. The latest hearing was adjourned as he denied the charges and refused to turn up. His supporters state the case as a political plot to prevent Sonko from standing in the following presidential election. (“Three killed in Senegal clashes as Sonko snubs trial,” BBC, 16 May 2023)

South Africa: Army chief visits Moscow following US weapons claim

On 16 May, the commander of South Africa’s ground forces visited Moscow just days after facing allegations from the US on loading weapons and ammunition onto a Russian freighter in December. On 15 May, the South African National Defence Force said that the meeting was a part of a “long standing arrangement” and was a “goodwill visit”. It also confirmed that the visit was for a bilateral between the two military establishments. It added that “South Africa has Military to Military bilateral relations with various countries in the continent and beyond” and “receives numerous military delegations into the country and sends its own delegations to other countries.” (“S Africa army chief visits Moscow in wake of US weapons claim,” Al Jazeera, 16 May 2023)

Senegal: Court adjourns the rape trial of Ousmane Sonko

On 16 May, Al Jazeera reported that Ousmane Sonko's rape trial has been adjourned for a week due to his failure to appear in court. Sonko refuted the allegations, claiming that President Macky Sall was attempting to keep him from standing for office in the upcoming elections and asserted his disbelief in the autonomy of the judicial system. A policeman died after being struck by an armoured vehicle during protests in Ziguinchor on 15 May. (“Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s rape trial adjourned,” Al Jazeera, 16 May 2023)

Somalia: Flood displaces over 210,000 people

On 16 May, Africanews reported that floodwaters in central Somalia displaced thousands of families from the city of Beledweyne. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) stated that more than 460,000 people have been affected, including 219,000 people who have been displaced. Important facilities including government offices and hospitals were compelled to close. If the flood persists, there has been concern about an outbreak of malaria and cholera in the region. (“Over 210,000 displaced by flooding in central Somalia,” Africanews, 16 May 2023)

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa mediates Russia-Ukraine peace plan

On 16 May, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that six African leaders were planning to visit Russia and Ukraine for a peace talk. Ramaphosa said: “Principle to our discussions are efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the devastating conflict in Ukraine, its cost in human lives, and impact on the African continent. I presented the initiative on behalf of African heads of state from Zambia, Senegal, Congo, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa.” Additionally, he stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky have agreed to receive the mission, and the African heads of state, in both Moscow and Kyiv. (“Africa pushing Russia-Ukraine peace plan - Ramaphosa,” BBC, 16 May 2023)



Photo : Adrien Barbier, AFP

Mali: UN accuses Mali and "foreign" forces of executions in Moura


NIAS Africa Studies Daily Briefs | 12 May 2023

GP Daily Brief |

IN BRIEF

by Jerry Franklin and Immaculine Joy Paul

Mali: UN accuses Mali and "foreign" forces of executions in Moura

On 12 May, the UN, in a report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR), blamed the Malian army and “foreign” fighters for executing around 500 people in March 2022 during an anti-jihadist action in Moura. The report further states that it had “reasonable grounds to believe that 58 women and girls were victims of rape and other forms