18 February 2022

Sudan: Sita el-Nufur was killed in November and “has become an icon for protesters”, many of whom are women. Overall, more than 80 have been killed since the October 2021 coup. A 2:32 BBC video, the second half about Sita el-Nufur and her legacy.

Sahel: An inconclusive and banal article that claims to reveal something about the relationship between jihadism and military coups. The author claims that “(t)he military’s ascension to power (…) creates the tendency for an overly militaristic approach to fighting insurgency. The approach further entrenches the unintended consequence of pushing the vulnerable into joining jihadist groups, rather than pulling them away from extremist ideologies.” This cannot be applied to Chad, and is it true for Mali? Nor does Burkina’s new military head of state seem to be “overly militaristic” in his approach, though it is early days and we’ll have to wait for his deeds instead of judging him on his words.

Burundi: Sanctions “denied the country access to substantial financial budgetary support that had made up about 50% of its budget” and thus had dire economic consequences. Under the new president Évariste Ndayishimiye “(t)he systemic persecution of the opposition, arrests, murders, muzzling of the press and widespread gross human rights violations became less apparent.” The US lifted sanctions in November 2021, the European Union followed in February 2022. This could help to jump-start economic recovery.

17 February 2022

Namibia: The Swakop River is a non-permanent river in central Namibia that dries up in the desert except when rains are exceptionally plentiful – then it flows into the ocean, as it does presently – for the first time since April 2011.
BBC Africa Live 17 February 2022. 5:49

Swahili: More than 200 million speakers make Swahili into one of the world’s ten biggest languages. Should it not become Africa’s lingua franca? Julius Nyerere wanted it back in the 1960s. The African Union has recently adopted it as an official working language and it also is the official language of the East African Community. With 40% of its vocabulary directly from Arabic, it was spread by Arab traders along the East African coast. With English the official or second language in 27 African countries and French in 21, Swahili has a long way to go yet.

Tanzania: Opposition leader Tundu Lissu, in exile in Belgium for security reasons, has proven to be surprisingly conciliatory despite the many complaints about how the opposition is treated. After meeting Samia Suluhu, he “urged his supporters to work with President Samia Suluhu”.
BBC Africa Live 17 February 2022. 10:18

Zambia: Is Hichilema “slowly becoming a disappointment”? When he won the elections against Lungu, hopes ran high – hopes which his achievements (fighting corruption, improving the economy) so far do not seem to justify. The article discusses, what problems Hichilema faces, what has and most of all what hasn’t worked so far.

Zambia: The privately owned newspaper The Post – critical of then president Edgar Lungu and his government – was liquidated in 2016 because it failed to pay debts and taxes. The Supreme Court has now declared the liquidation illegal, calling the liquidation process a “faux”. The process is now to be re-started in compliance with the law.
BBC Africa Live 17 February 2022. 14:43

Congo-Kinshasa: Three former warlords who have all served long prison terms – Thomas Lubanga, Germain Katanga and Floribert Ndjabu – were sent by Félix Tshisekedi to negotiate with Codeco militiamen, claiming to represent the Lendu in Ituri province. They were taken hostage – Codeco claims it was because the Congolese army fired shells during their meeting.
BBC Africa Live 17 February 2022. 15:01