14 June 2022

Green turtles in Guinea-Bissau & West Africa: Sea turtles are under threat because of “over-exploitation of sea turtle meat, eggs, cartilage, oil, and body parts”. To better be able to protect them, it is necessary to know there whereabouts – many of them travel great distances between breeding and feeding grounds. One of the seven species is the Green Turtle – historically also the most exploited by humans. The article’s authors fixed tracking devices to their shells. From the breeding grounds on Poilão island (part of the Bijagós archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau) some of them remain in the vicinity, in the waters of Guinea-Bissau or Guinea, others travel further, to Gambia and Senegal, and some as far north as the Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania’s north.

Inflation in South Africa: Food inflation – like the one happening presently world-wide because of the war in Ukraine – matters much more to the poor: they spend a much bigger part of their income on food. In fact, in South Africa food and non-alcoholic beverages takes up 10.62% of household income in the top income decile, while it uses 50.31% of household income in the lowest income decile.

Ghana: Three police officers have been suspended after clashes with pupils protesting outside their school in Kumasi and “calling for speed bumps to be installed following a number of accidents” got more than 20 of them into hospital.
BBC Africa Live 14 June 2022. 8:37

Ethiopia: Heavy fighting has taken place in Gambela city, capital of the Gambela in the west of the country, between security forces of the regional government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) which had joined forces with the Gambela Liberation Front. “Fighting has also been reported in towns in the neighbouring region of Oromia.”
BBC Africa Live 14 June 2022. 8:08

Togo: The state of security emergency declared by the government in the northern border “Savannah” region “allows security forces there to have more flexibility to deal with threats of jihadist attacks”. A jihadist attack on a military outpost on 10th and 11th of May had killed 8 Togolese soldiers and wounded others.
BBC Africa Live 14 June 2022. 5:38

Sudan: Since the October 2021 coup d’état, the National Congress Party (NCP) – the ruling party under Bashir – has made a comeback. “Hundreds of sacked employees returned to work at the central bank, the judiciary, prosecution service, state broadcaster and government ministries.” As for Bashir himself, though he is still in prison, the junta refuses to hand him over to the International Criminal Court.

13 June 2022

Africa’s Youth: According to the African Youth Survey – which interviewed more than 4,000 young Africans face-to-face –, 80% plan to start their own business and more than 50% want to emigrate in the next few years. The governments’ priorities should be the creation of well-paid jobs as well as fighting corruption and climate change.
BBC Africa Live 13 June 2022. 5:15

Congo-Kinshasa/Belgium: The article gives a brief historical overview, focussing on relations between Belgium and Congo. Though there has been some progress of late, with – for example – the Belgian king saying sorry for past atrocities, much more needs to be done, handing back a few stolen artefacts will not be enough. “In October 2021, the Belgian parliament set up a commission to deal with colonial injustice. Ten experts were tasked with discussing several issues, including possible financial reparations”. Will anything substantial come from this?

Nigeria: With more than 500 languages, fear of being dominated by one ethnic group has haunted independent Nigeria all along – none of the attempts to solve the “multicultural dilemma” has worked so far. The article’s author somewhat naively suggests that “the country’s leadership should minimise the politicisation of ethnicity and religion. And it should replace nepotism and sectionalism with meritocracy.” And that “(t)he excessive powers vested in the federal government should also be decentralised. This would enable different regions to regain autonomy, thus spreading the putative benefits of federalism.”

Nigeria: Many people feel disenfranchised, have no chance to participate in the political game, with women and young people strongly underrepresented. The two big parties (All Progressives Congress; Peoples Democratic Party) sell expression of interest forms and nomination forms for lots of money to members who are aspiring to contest political offices under their platforms. This means that such political offices are out of reach for the big – poor – majority of Nigerians. The solution, according to the article’s author: “These problems can be solved by enactment and enforcement of laws. You also need ethical campaigns and political education. And the leaders must set the example.”

Nigeria: Today 12th of June (and no longer 29th of May) is the country’s new Democracy Day. On 12th of June 1993, presidential elections were held for the first time since the military coup of 1983 and these elections are “still viewed as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election ever held in Nigeria.” The winner was Moshood Abiola, a businessman from the south-west. But the election results were annulled by the military head of state Babangida. Nigeria returned to democracy only in 1999 – after the death of dictator Sani Abacha. Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in on 29th of May 1999.

Rwanda/UK: Appeal court judges have decided that the flight transporting asylum seekers who have “illegally” entered Britain to Kigali is in the “public interest” and can go ahead tomorrow Tuesday for the concerned to apply for asylum there. A full hearing on whether the policy is lawful will only be held in July. According to Care4Calais – one of those who had appealed against the High Court decision – only 8 people are now due to fly because of legal challenges.

West Darfur/Sudan: More than 100 have reportedly been killed last week in fighting between the Gimir and the Arab Rizeigat communities. A land dispute had triggered the clashes.
BBC Africa Live 13 June 2022. 16:01