10 November 2021

Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch accuses warring parties in Tigray of widespread sexual violence. On top of that, they were allegedly “deliberately targeting healthcare facilities, leaving survivors and their communities unable to get medical attention”. Addis is also accused in the new 89-page HRW report “of blocking aid to health facilities and preventing rape victims from getting help”.
In their latest report, Amnesty International accuse TPLF fighters of raping, robbing and assaulting women after taking control of Nifas Mewcha town in Amhara region in August. According to Amnesty International, the acts of TPLF fighters “amount to war crimes, and potentially crimes against humanity. They defy morality or any iota of humanity”.
BBC Africa Live 10 November 2021. 4:36
BBC Africa Live 10 November 2021. 8:04

African forests: Sustainably managing forests is underfunded in Africa. An 8’49’’ audio with an interview of Robert Nasi, Director General of the Centre for International Forestry Research

African Literature: The article discusses the merits of Mohamed Mbougar Sarr’s novel “The Most Secret Memory of Men”, not least of which is the “denouncing, through literature, (of) the literary capture of African writers by former colonial powers”. The novel has just won the Prix Goncourt, the first ever from sub-Saharan Africa (though Sarr lives in France) to do so.

Sudan: Despite a court yesterday ordering Zain, MTN and Sudani to restore internet services, they have so far not been restored, reports the internet freedom monitor NetBlocks.
BBC Africa Live 10 November 2021. 8:42

Gambia: Amnesty International wants presidential candidates to commit to a 7-point manifesto that includes improving human rights, ensuring that victims of violations under Yahya Jammeh get justice, fighting impunity and fighting gender-based violence. Amnesty would also like to see the Sedition Act and the law on information and communications repealed.
BBC Africa Live 10 November 2021. 15:05

Mozambique: A South African High Court has decided that Mozambican ex-finance minister Manuel Chang will finally be extradited to the United States and not to Mozambique. Chang had been in detention in South Africa since 2018 because of his involvement in the tuna corruption scandal.
BBC Africa Live 10 November 2021. 17:27

09 November 2021

Uganda: 13 years ago, a group of Benet people were violently evicted from Mount Elgon forest when it was declared a national park. An Amnesty International report demands the government “to recognise that the area was their ancestral land and ensure they get remedy and reparations”.
BBC Africa Live 09 November 2021. 5:51

South Sudan: Flooding is now reported to have affected 1.2 million people in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. Flooding problems started in May.
BBC Africa Live 09 November 2021. 9:30

Sierra Leone: The country and its capital are disaster-prone. Freetown “has experienced over 25 major urban fires since February 2021. This included the Susan’s Bay fire disaster that resulted in 7,000 people losing their homes in one night in March 2021”. Disaster management should not only draw inspiration from abroad – such schemes are often too expensive – it should rather be built from the bottom up. Among the author’s suggestions is the improvement of numbers, provision, availability and training of human resources as well as of coordination and cooperation between national, provincial and district agencies, government ministries, departments and agencies.

South Africa: Integration respectively demobilisation of anti-apartheid forces has gone seriously wrong. How angry veterans are has become evident in October when a group of them took two government ministers and a deputy minister hostage, demanding government jobs, 285,000 USD compensation each, land for housing, and free education for their dependants. The article explains how this came about and what went wrong. And it warns that something needs to be done quickly, seen that “(m)ilitary veterans constitute a small but vocal constituency in the ANC and form a powerful political bloc that’s been closely aligned to Zuma.”

South Africa/Literature: Damon Galgut has won the Booker prize for his ninth novel “The Promise”. The novel follows the Swarts, “a white South African family living on a farm just outside of Pretoria” through three decades. The title refers to “the commitment that Manie makes to fulfil his wife Rachel’s dying wish: to give their domestic worker Salome, who has worked for the family for decades, the house on the Swart farm in which she lives”. Though the house Salome lives in is practically worthless, the Swarts will not come true on this promise for the following 31 years.

Kenya: The Standard Gauge Railway project is the biggest infrastructure project since the country gained independence. But, according to the article’s author’s research, it benefits only “privileged groups, with sufficient access to economic resources” and not disadvantaged groups. “In fact, I concluded that, instead of bringing prosperity to people, the railway project is further advancing inequalities in the country.”

Gambia: Campaigning has started for the 4 December presidential elections. Six candidates have been cleared by the electoral commission, amongst them “incumbent Adama Barrow, the main opposition leader Ousainou Darboe of the United Democratic Party and Essa Faal, who was the chief counsel of Gambia’s Truth Commission that investigated human rights abuses allegedly committed under former president Yahya Jammeh”. The latter (who lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea) has distanced himself from an alliance his party formed with Barrow’s party.
BBC Africa Live 09 November 2021. 16:53