02 August 2022

Cameroon: After the government’s arrest of four of its staff and suspension of its activities, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) yesterday Monday announced its withdrawal from Kumba and Mamfe, two towns in the country’s anglophone South-West region. This will further deprive locals of adequate healthcare.
BBC Africa Live 02 August 2022. 8:36

Burundi: If the country is last in the world in terms of GDP per head, it is because elites (military, administrative and economic bureaucracies) have captured national resources and left nothing for the “people of the hills” (rural farmers). Between 2005 and 2015, things looked better – but Nkurunziza spoilt that with his unconstitutional third term. “Pro-Nkurunziza elements in the army who crushed the (May 2015) coup (then) sensed an opportunity for self-enrichment to match the fortunes of their senior Tutsi colleagues and graduates of military schools.” Will the peasants under Nkurunziza’s successor Evariste Ndayishimiye (in the author’s eyes “a wise and withdrawn man”) re-appropriate the state?

Western Sahara: Who cares about what is right or wrong? Who cares about The Western Sahara’s right to independence? The article tells the story of Morocco’s illegal occupation of the biggest part of the Western Sahara since 1975. Morocco has for a long time been backed by the US, France and Saudi Arabia; Spain recently started supporting it also. All that Rabat is ready to concede is limited self-governance under ultimate Moroccan control.

South Africa: Four among thousands of protesters against lack of basic services and high electricity prices died yesterday Monday in Tembisa township (east of Johannesburg). Amnesty International says that exercising one’s right to protest must not get anyone killed.
BBC Africa Live 02 August 2022. 10:25

Ethiopia: An impressive number of 63 journalists have been arrested in the country since the beginning of the Tigray war – 8 of them remain in prison. The US-based The Committee to Protect Journalists says authorities were trying “to control the narrative of the war.”
BBC Africa Live 02 August 2022. 14:11

Ghana/Slavery: Reparations for damages caused by the transatlantic slave trade are long overdue, according to the country’s president.
BBC Africa Live 02 August 2022. 12:12

Somalia: Mukhtar Robow used to be deputy leader and spokesman for al-Shabaab and was for some time on the US list of people wanted for terror. Then he split in 2015 due to “ideological differences” and founded his own organisation/militia group. He was under house arrest for five years. Now he has been named religious affairs minister in Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud’s government. Can and will this work?
BBC Africa Live 02 August 2022. 16:26

01 August 2022

Nigeria: Actors and film producers have been warned “against portraying police officers in bad light without prior approval” by the Inspector General of Police. All scenes with police uniforms will now need prior approval. Such approval will be given where such scenes “portray good values, impress positively on the Nigerian public and add value to our system.” Wouldn’t it be better to reform the police to improve its reputation?
BBC Africa Live 01 August 2022. 9:59

UK/Rwanda/Refugees: Migrant deterrence practices are in fashion, in Australia, the US and in Europe. The UK-Rwanda deal is the latest example. London is paying Kigali for absorbing deported asylum-seekers. “Deportations to Rwanda are part of the U.K.’s 2022 Nationality and Borders Act”, which also allows stripping British citizens of their nationality for reasons related to national security or counterterrorism. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency the act is at “odds with the United Kingdom’s international obligations under the Refugee Convention” as they violate the principle of non-refoulement. Yet such considerations have in the past by no means stopped the British government: “Between 2007 and 2016, the U.K. deported 2,748 young people to war-torn and unstable countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.” A contract similar to the UK-Rwanda one between Israel and Rwanda (and also Uganda) in the 2010s was later abandoned because of international and national criticism.

Congo-Kinshasa/UN peacekeepers: Host state consent is a principle of UN peacekeeping, but the ongoing crisis of legitimacy in the country’s east suggests that state consent is not enough, that local community consent is also necessary. Relations with local communities may be beyond repair. Confidence in UN peacekeeping is lower than in state security forces. Time to pull out?

Ghana/Abolitionism: That Africans in Africa have made contributions to abolitionism has been largely ignored, generally the focus is entirely on Europe and America. The article is about James Hutton Brew (a pioneer of West African journalism who also wrote the constitution of the Fante Confederacy in 1871, one of the first attempts to institute self-governance in Gold Coast) and how his abolitionism was much more serious than the colonial government’s which only paid lip service to the new rules. While the colonial authorities did not expect freed slaves to leave their masters for fear of poverty, Brew demanded that the colonial administration “purchase land or acquire some territory by treaty with the kings and chiefs on which it could keep, maintain and support the slaves emancipated by it.”

South Africa: Starting from Thabo Mbeki’s recent critique of the ANC (that it has no plan how to solve the socio-economic problems like growing unemployment, inequality, poverty, crime), the article’s author goes on to saying that it is less redistribution or growth that the country needs – what is lacking is transformational leadership – like Mandela provided. Oriented towards the long-term such ideal leaders also address the immediate problems of the country and its people. Ramaphosa isn’t one of them.

Apartheid and US book bans: The article’s author has found many parallels between current US bans on books and those of South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Liberia: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s vice-president from 2006 to 2017 has been chosen as the Unity Party’s – now in opposition – candidate for the presidential elections. Joseph Boakai had lost to George Weah in 2017.
BBC Africa Live 01 August 2022. 14:00

Côte d’Ivoire: Youth gangs – called “Microbes” in Abidjan – thrive on poverty. Investing in areas where they are active, thus reducing poverty there, will curb their activities. This very brief summary points to Sébastien Hervieu’s 16-page research paper which you can download on: