15 March 2022

Central African Republic/Chad/ICC: The anti-Balaka are Christian armed groups originally formed when Muslim Seleka took power in the Central African Republic in 2013. Chad has just handed over one of the anti-Balaka leaders to the International Criminal Court – Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom “is suspected of being responsible for extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture, mutilation and enlistment of child soldiers” et al.
BBC Africa Live 15 March 2022. 4:53

Mali: According to Human Rights Watch, 107 or more civilians have been killed by soldiers and jihadists since December 2021, at least 71 by soldiers, at least 36 by jihadists – a “dramatic spike” according to the NGO.
BBC Africa Live 15 March 2022. 9:03

Uganda: By arresting Abdallah Kabanda Musa (“Mogo”), police believe they have caught a “prominent recruiter and coordinator of the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group” who is thought to have played a role in an attack in Kampala in 2021.
BBC Africa Live 15 March 2022. 8:20

Tanzania: After “a period of international obscurity and isolationism” under her predecessor Magufuli, Samia Suluhu Hassan opened up to the international community and drastically changed Magufuli’s Covid-19 denialism. She has softened the government’s dealing with the opposition and with media. And she has so far handled conflict inside and opposition from within the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party well – when she as the former Vice-president took office upon Magufuli’s death, she was considered a party outsider. In September 2021 she announced that she would be a candidate at the 2025 presidential elections.

Somalia: According to Prime minister Roble, lack of food and water has turned 500,000 Somalis into IDPs. About 6.9 million face severe food and water shortage. Roble has asked for international help. In the meantime, Al-Shabab distributes water and food where it is in control.
BBC Africa Live 15 March 2022. 11:24

14 March 2022

Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s suya wrap
(suya = meat skewer) BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 06:02. Our African proverb of the day. Ezeka Elvis Ihueze. Sent by to BBC News Pidgin.

Congo-Kinshasa: 75 died and 125 were injured when a freight train carrying hundreds of stowaways derailed because of “a sudden track cut” in Buyofwe village (south-east of the country).
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 8:18

Kenya: At the August 2022 elections, Kenyans will mark six crosses: for “the president (jointly with his (or her) deputy), the governor of their county, a senator, a woman representative, a member of parliament (MP) and a member of a county assembly (MCA).“ Only the elite are actively participating – the rest are spectators (and voters). Like in developed countries, this elite control power and wealth – despite all the noise about democracy. Being a politician is financially attractive. And you handle money. And it carries prestige. And you are in the public eye. And it provides excitement.

Kenya: A fire that started on Sunday has already destroyed 70 hectares of Menengai forest (160km west of Nairobi, known and much visited because of the Menengai crater it harbours). Dry, strong winds are fuelling the fire.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 10:49

Mali: The article states the obvious, that the withdrawal of Barkhane and Takuba implies a loss of military capacities (combat helicopters, field hospitals, etc.) which UN and African peacekeepers and European partners have relied on so far. But – with Russian mercenaries present and negotiations with terrorists likely if not already ongoing – will it worsen Mali’s capacities to deal with terrorism? Will it render “development” more difficult?

Tinder/Cape Town: What looks at first like a resounding success – the app has been downloaded more than 400 million times and has produced 55 billion matches – hides many a disappointment because of lack of “a meaningful connection”. The article’s author tells about the results of two years of ethnographic study of Tinder users in Cape Town.

Mozambique: 12 are known to have died because of cyclone Gombe. But that number is likely to rise substantially – so far, most severely affected districts remain inaccessible with communications cut. Heavy rains are continuing and rivers could overflow.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 11:24

Sudan: The price of bread has increased by over 40% yesterday Sunday. With fuel prices also up, protest marches have been held across the country. They were met with tear gas and, in Damazin (south-east) with live bullets, if demonstrators are to be believed.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 17:08

Nigeria/Boko Haram: Another 559 ex-members of Boko Haram have “pledged their allegiance to the Nigerian authorities” at the graduation ceremony of their de-radicalisation programme in Gombe state, bringing the total number of graduates to 1,629. Vocational skills, religious reorientation and psychological support are part of that programme. Their re-integration into society are difficult because of wide-spread mistrust.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 16:28