11 July 2022

Mali/International Community: 49 Ivorian soldiers have been arrested at Bamako airport yesterday Sunday. Supposedly joining Minusma (the UN mission in Mali), they were apparently unable to present their mission order. The airport was reportedly placed under tight security. There are allegations – it is not quite clear by whom – of the 49 being linked to a coup attempt against the Malian junta.
BBC Africa Live 11 July 2022. 8:15

Togo: An improvised explosive device yesterday Sunday killed 7 children in the country’s extreme north. In May, a terrorist attack – the first in Togo – killed 8 soldiers near the Burkinabè border.
BBC Africa Live 11 July 2022. 5:04

Morocco: Phosphorous fertiliser come from phosphorous which is extracted from phosphate rock reserves – Morocco has 70% of the world’s reserves of such rock. In 2020, the country’s revenues from phosphorous fertiliser was 5.94bn USD, creating 20% of export revenues and providing jobs for 21,000, making state-owned Office Chérifien des Phosphates Morocco’s largest employer. A future increase of production has been announced. With available fertilisers diminished by the Ukraine war, Morocco’s role in the world market and for world food production becomes essential. But increasing production comes with challenges. For one thing, fertiliser production is water- and energy-intensive. Water is scarce in the country. Natural gas is also needed for fertiliser production – and prices have shot up of late, also because of the Ukraine war.

South Sudan: Two years after independence, a civil war started in 2013. No elections have ever been held. Nation-building has not even started. Implementation of the 2018 roadmap for peace and national reconciliation has been slow. But according to the article’s author there is some reason for hope. Most importantly, local peace initiatives are ongoing, where communities instead of elites play the main roles. The National Dialogue Initiative, for one, provides space for communities and individuals to voice their wishes and needs, to communicate with each other and propose solutions. Also, some institutional and legislative reforms have been achieved.

South Africa: A year ago, triggered by the imprisonment of ex-president “state capture” Jacob Zuma, there was what President Ramaphosa termed “an insurrection: a calculated, orchestrated effort to destabilise the country, sabotage the economy, and undermine constitutional democracy.” According to the article’s author, “a recurrence of the devastating events of July 2021 is possible (…) if there is no meaningful change” and she gives a list of reasons for wide-spread discontent. In the face of great inequalities, people at least want accountability and justice. Concerning security, a people-centred approach is necessary.

10 July 2022

South Africa: One year age, shortly after the imprisonment of ex-president Jacob Zuma, the Durban riots, “a near week-long frenzy of arson, looting, and murder”, cost more than 300 lives and caused destruction estimated to have amounted to 3.4bn USD. Elements of the ruling ANC faithful to Zuma had apparently managed to stage a “popular insurrection”. But nothing much has happened since: “not a single prominent politician has been charged in connection with last year's violence”. The country’s overall situation seems bleak. With many doubting the ability of the ANC to reform, the possibility of the former freedom movement losing its absolute majority at the next elections (2024) could offer a way out, forcing the ANC to enter coalitions. But who is likely to gain in this? With its huge gap between rich and poor, the economy in dire straits, electric power scarce, xenophobia rife… there is no lack of problems. “Bold new movements, backed by an active civil society and private sector could re-energise South African politics.” They certainly should, but is it likely that they will?

Uganda/GB: “Uprooted 50 Years Ago” is an exhibition about the Asian refugees expelled by Idi Amin who arrived in Britain in 1972. Most of those of the 27,000 expelled who held British passports arrived went to London Heathrow. More than 1,600 of them spent a year living in barrack blocks on the RAF (Royal Air Force) Greenham Common (west of Reading) turned into a resettlement centre. The exhibition, which runs until October at the Greenham Common Control Tower “features photographs and testimonies of those who stayed at the base as well as films of some who returned to visit Uganda in later years”.