28 August 2022

Libya: Fighting between troops loyal to rival prime ministers Fathi Bashagha and Abdulhamid Dbeibah has killed at least 23 and wounded dozens. There having also been “indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighbourhoods” and several hospitals having been hit, the UN's Libya mission has called for an immediate ceasefire.

Tunisia/Racism: 10 to 15 percent of Tunisians are black. Despite a 2018 law (Law 50) outlawing discrimination and punishing people found guilty of racist language or acts with prison of up to 3 years and a fine of up to 950 USD, “80% of Tunisians believe that racial discrimination is a problem in their country” – more than anywhere else in the Arab world. “(T)here are fears the fight against racial discrimination is now at a standstill after the suspension of parliament” by president Saïd, that is “has been sidetracked”.

27 August 2022

Hadraawi/Political poetry: Recently deceased Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame Said – usually called Hadraawi – was “a prolific producer of poems and songs, a known soldier of the voiceless and a fierce voice of poetic political critique”. The article recounts his life, especially focussing on his political engagement – from anticolonial times to resistance against Mohamed Siad Barre to promoting peace. The Shakespeare of Somalia? No: Shakespeare rather was Britain’s Hadraawi.

Nigeria: Financing the war on terror and other insecurity (e.g. banditry in north-west and north-central Nigeria) may become more and more difficult as Abuja is facing a revenue crisis and does not even have enough money to service its debts. The country’s defence budget has increased to 4.5bn USD in 2021 – but the military alone will never be able to win against Boko Haram, much more holistic measures are necessary – and they too cost money. Something needs to be done about the country’s finances urgently.

Climate Change: Heat-related mortality of new-born babies will increase with further world-wide temperature increases. New-born babies are particularly vulnerable because they have limited control over their own body temperatures (little ability to “thermoregulate”). Growing older, their ability to thermoregulate improves – but communication of discomfort to carers may still be a problem.