03 June 2021

South Africa: In connection with a USD1.8m fraud scheme, South Africa has asked Interpol for help to arrest Atul Gupta plus wife (Chetali) and Rajesh Gupta plus wife (Arti), who are at the centre of the Zuma state capture scandal.
BBC Africa Live 03 June 2021. 17:06

Namibia: At the beginning of the 20th century, German colonisers killed about 80% of the Ovaherero and over 40% of the Nama. Germany has last week recognised that this was genocide and has promised 1.1bn euros in development aid over the next 30 years. In a new statement, Germany now “apologises and bows before the descendants of the victims” and “says some of the development projects will benefit the ‘descendants of the particularly affected communities, in line with their identified needs’ and will be implemented in consultation with them.” This is obviously a reaction to criticism that Ovaherero and Nama had not been consulted and the rejection of the deal between the two states by Ovaherero and Nama.
BBC Africa Live 03 June 2021. 13:13

02 June 2021

Mali: The African Union has suspended Mali because of last week’s coup d’état. This follows the country’s suspension by West African regional body Ecowas on Monday. But unlike Ecowas, the African Union did mention the possibility of sanctions: pledging for a civilian government, it said that “it would not hesitate to impose sanctions and other punitive measures unless troops were urgently ordered to return to barracks”. In the meantime, Assimi Goïta, the two times-coup leader and new interim president, has named Choguel Kokalla Maïga prime minister – he is a leader of the 5 June-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) movement. The move had widely been expected.
BBC Africa Live 02 June 2021. 4:32 & 6:04

Tchad: Amnesty International has urged Chad to prosecute “officers involved in the killings during the demonstrations in April and May”, when hundreds were arrested and dozens killed.
BBC Africa Live 02 June 2021. 8:03

Child marriage/Sub-saharan Africa: Analysing data from 16 countries, the article’s author and his two collaborators “found that girls aged 20-24 years who married before they turned 18 were 20% more likely to experience intimate partner violence than those who married as adults”, with the likelihood of violence higher for those married before 18 whether it be physical, emotional or sexual violence. Countries included in the study (because of availability of recent data) were Angola, Cameroon and Chad from Central Africa, Benin, Mali and Nigeria from West Africa, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda from East Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe from Southern Africa.

Congo-Kinshasa: “Mount Nyiragongo is part of the Virunga volcanic chain, and owes its existence to the activity of the African Great Rift.” The eruption of the volcano close to Goma recently caused at least 32 deaths. The volcano’s location “favours quick ascent of magma (molten material) from about 100 km beneath the Earth’s surface, and extreme fluidity of lava”. Both in 2021 and in 2002 seismologists’ warnings were not heeded – in 2021 about 10 days in advance of the eruption. For the future, the best protection would be to relocate Goma, but that’s not feasible.

Nigeria: “Small-scale fishing operations contribute 80% of locally produced fish and support the livelihoods of 24 million Nigerians. Seventy three percent of those involved in fisheries in Nigeria are women.“ Besides pollution, illegal fishing – first of all by vessels from China, the European Union, and Belize – is a big threat to such small-scale fishing. The article’s two authors have especially researched the effects on women. To improve matters, new regulations are needed. And the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Department of Nigeria’s Federal Fisheries Department would need to operate properly.

Shell ordered to cut emissions: The company has been ordered by the district court of The Hague “to implement stringent carbon dioxide emission cuts.” This could happen to anyone big enough to matter on earth. “(I)n principle, any future emission of CO₂ attributable to any legal entity (companies or even governments) anywhere in the world that exceeds (the level for keeping global temperatures below a safe limit) can now be considered to constitute a wrongful act against Dutch citizens.” But first of all, appeals will take years. And then it is not clear how such orders would be implemented globally.
What has changed is that “the interpretation of human rights has internationally moved to include climate change. And any government, business or organisation can be held accountable by potential victims for preventing too large a climate change from happening.” That Shell is Dutch is a coincidence – any big company worldwide could be ordered by the district court of The Hague to cut emissions.