27 October 2021

Nigeria: Jesus College of Cambridge University will today Wednesday hand back a bronze cockerel looted in 1897 by the British army to the Nigerian authorities, becoming the first British institution to hand over a Benin bronze. Tomorrow Thursday, Aberdeen University will also return one of its Benin bronzes.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2021. 5:11

Sudan: The African Union has suspended Khartoum until civilian-led transitional authority is restored.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2021. 12:01

Sudan: Never count the masses out of the equation – is the lesson to be drawn from history. The success or failure of the coup and thus the fate of the transitional government will depend on them. Also, there will be strong pressure from the international community from which Sudan had hoped for support to overcome its economic woes.

Sudan: The coup d’état “has endangered Sudan's international standing as a nascent democracy, imperilled essential debt relief and inter-national aid, and jeopardised peace with rebels in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains.” Why risk all that? According to the August 2019 power-sharing deal between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), supreme power was to be handed over to a civilian chosen by the FFC in November. This might have speeded up the handover of al-Bashir to the ICC, which both General al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces’ head General Hemeti certainly fear. An investigation into the massacre in Khartoum in June 2019, for which they bear responsibility, would also have become more likely as would have security sector reform including the dismantling of “the commercial empires owned by senior generals”. Prime minister “Hamdok had become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the military entanglement in the economy. Not only was the army commanding a vast - and still-increasing - share of the national budget, but military-owned companies operate with tax exemptions and often allegedly corrupt contracting procedures.”

West Africa/Child Slavery: “Modern slavery primarily involves the trafficking of children”. As it is becoming increasingly difficult for cocoa planters to migrate to new forests after exhausting existing forestland, with far more labour being needed to replant cocoa than to plant on pioneer forest soil. At the same time, less (migrant) labour is available nowadays. This is what underlies the use of (cheap) child labour (slavery) by cocoa growers – the chocolate industry has so far been able to block attempts to introduce effective rules preventing child slavery.

Nigeria/Slavery: In the country’s museums, if slavery is dealt with at all, it is presented from the colonists’ point of view, “the dominant narrative about slavery is that the Europeans arrived; the slave trade developed; and then it was abolished”. The focus is on economic factors. Local complexities are left out. This and over-simplification render this presentation of slavery irrelevant.

26 October 2021

Sudan: Again, “crowds” are out today Tuesday in Khartoum to protest against yesterday’s putsch. At least 10 are reported to have been killed as soldiers opened fire on protesters.
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2021. 7:07

Sudan: We did not know it so far, but the head of state and head of the coup d’état is simply a very nice guy: General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan provided shelter for the Prime minister Hamdok in his own house because he felt that Hamdok was not secure in his own home, and the coup d’état was only to prevent civil war. Meanwhile, “troops are reported to have been going house to house in Khartoum arresting local protest organisers”.

Mali/France: A resumé of the situation in Mali as “French army bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu will be closed by the end of the year and handed over to the Malian army”.

Nigeria: Kidnapped by Boko Haram when aged 21, she was freed by the military but returned to Boko Haram captivity voluntarily in 2017 – only four months after the end of a one-year deradicalization programme. Later she escaped and returned to her parents in Maiduguri.
The Boko Haram commander she had been married to had won her heart. After the death of her husband, she was forced to remarry. When she got once more pregnant and attacks on Sambisa Forest intensified, she was afraid for herself and her yet unborn child and eventually managed to escape.
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2021. 0:20

Ethiopia/Egypt: The article, based on a PhD thesis, presents technical improvements (“pathways” – tools and models) to improve Nile water management, for example for the Aswan Dam.

Egypt: After 4 years, President al-Sisi has lifted the state of emergency that “gave police wider powers, curtailed civil liberties and put civilians on trial before military courts”. Al-Sisi said that the country had become “an oasis of security and stability”.
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2021. 6:09

Zimbabwe/SADC: The southern Africa’s regional organisation has called for the lifting of all sanctions against Zimbabwe as these hinder the country’s prospects of economic recovery, human security and sustainable growth.
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2021. 6:45