08 November 2022

Armed conflict & Climate change: Armed conflict is “a critical driver of vulnerability, which makes adverse impacts from weather extremes more likely and more severe”, i.e., armed conflict further fragilizes communities already weakened by effects of global warming. Armed conflict “erode(s) local capacity to cope and adapt to environmental hazards”.

Mali: The government has denied reports of increased IS presence in the north-east of the country and of an imminent fall of Menaka – no more than anti-government propaganda trying to weaken the army. But, according to BBC, there are “nearly daily reports of kidnappings, armed robberies and livestock theft by criminal gangs that move between the volatile borderlands” and in Ansongo (south-east of Gao), CSOs have declared two days of civil disobedience to protest against government inaction against insecurity. Yesterday Monday, Tuareg self-defence group Gatia by audio message reportedly urged “members of the Tuareg community in Mali and neighbouring countries to take up arms against the IS”.
BBC Africa Live 08 November 2022. 8:48

07 November 2022

Climate & Relocation: What the report African Shifts calls “climate mobility” is movement caused by climate change. The reports projections are that most people will move inside their countries; by 2050, 113 million Africans or 5% of population will have moved (today: 1.5%); the Horn of Africa may see 9% of people move; 2.5 million Africans will move away from coastal areas due mostly to sea level rise; cross-border climate mobility will remain modest at 1.2 million by 2050; despite severe climate disruptions, relocation is “a response of last resort”, many – and especially the most vulnerable – will remain in place. The report also makes recommendations, first and foremost to anticipate and plan for climate mobility; to empower concerned people, especially by informing them; “community-led solutions for climate-resilient development, disaster response and climate mobility across the continent”; and finally pursue inclusive, nature-positive development – by cooperatively managing and sustainably supporting agricultural and ecosystem-based livelihoods and boosting productivity.

Climate change & the spread of disease: Extreme weather events have increased as climate change progresses. Another effect is the alteration of the prevalence and distribution of illnesses and infectious diseases. This short article points to past The Conversation articles which deal with this topic: “How global warming is adding to the health risks of poor people”, “Climate change, water and the spread of diseases: connecting the dots differently”, “Droughts create fertile ground for cholera. Plans are needed to face more dry periods”, “Response to climate change is critical as risk of disease outbreaks grows”.

Ethiopia/Tigray: A three day-meeting has started today Monday in Nairobi where TPLF and Addis will discuss “modalities of disarming rebel forces and provide a roadmap for humanitarian access and restoration of services” in Tigray. The ex-presidents of Nigeria and Kenya, Olusegun Obasanjo and Uhuru Kenyatta are facilitating the meeting.
BBC Africa Live 07 November 2022. 12:00

Somalia: The government is enlarging the breadth of its fight against Islamist terror: the use of the name “al-Shabab” is now banned – the jihadist group is to be referred to as “Khawarij”, “a derogatory term meaning a deviant sect”. In October, authorities “banned local media outlets from reporting on al-Shabab activities”. A 2015 attempt to replace the name al-Shabab by another (“Ugus” – an acronym which stands for “the group that massacres the Somali people” in Somali) had not worked with al-Shabab threatening anyone who’d obey the government.
BBC Africa Live 07 November 2022. 7:58

Kenya: President Ruto has come true on one of his election campaign promises and has published details about the 3bn USD Mombasa-Nairobi railway project. It seems that “the Chinese lenders were given sweeping powers” (e.g., any dispute was to be arbitrated in Beijing) and “(t)he main contractor of the project was exempted from all taxes”.
BBC Africa Live 07 November 2022. 5:00

African Americans/Restitution of stolen art: Because they are also “part of the heritage of descendants of slaves”, the Restitution Study Group, a group of African Americans, has filed a lawsuit against “the return of some Benin Bronzes from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC to Nigeria” because it would deprive the descendants of the slaves “to experience their culture and history”. The African Americans should not be forces to travel to Nigeria to see the Benin bronzes and risk getting kidnapped.

Egypt/Political prisoners: Alaa Abdel Fattah is one of an estimated 60,000 political prisoners in the country. He has been on a hunger strike for six months – consuming just 100 calories a day. Now he has stopped eating and drinking altogether. This means he’ll very probably soon die. He has chosen the moment well: with COP27 held in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, the world’s cameras will be on him, though not physically.