20 May 2021

Kenya: After criticism for wanting to sell the country’s natural resources, tourism minister Najib Balala stated that he never had the intention of selling/privatising national wildlife parks and reserves. But they could “be managed in a different perspective”.
BBC Africa Live 20 May 2021. 6:56

IDPs: According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the number of IDPs worldwide has reached 55 million. This is due to conflict in Ethiopia and Mozambique and also to natural disasters.
BBC Africa Live 20 May 2021. 6:13

Ethiopia: Is it really genocide? “The major difference between other grave international crimes – such as crimes against humanity and war crimes – and genocide is that genocidaires have two intentions: the intent to commit crimes against a group and the intent to destroy the group in whole or in part.” The challenge is that there are several actors involved in Tigray.
Ethiopia has itself prosecuted genocide. In 2007, after a 12-year trial, “Mengistu Haile Mariam was found guilty of genocide in absentia. (…) Senior members of Mengistu’s military regime were convicted for carrying out the criminal acts with a view to destroying political opponents.” But it is unlikely that the Ethiopian authorities will be able to enquire independently into alleged crimes of the reigning government (as shown by the enquiry into what happened at Axum), a UN mandated commission of inquiry will be necessary.

Rwanda et al./Healing from surviving genocide: According to Judith Herman, there are three elements involved in the healing for genocide trauma: “Survivors need to reach a place of safety, reconstruct the trauma narrative and restore the connection between individual and community”. The article’s author tells of how the Rwandan Solace Ministries managed to make people deal with their traumas. (Forget the article’s parts about Covid trauma.)

Ethiopia/hunger: Samantha Power, head of USAID, in a tweet said that there is extreme hunger in Tigray and that more than 5 million are in need of food assistance. The tweet contains a map of all of Ethiopia indicating the severity of food insecurity in different parts of the country.
BBC Africa Live 20 May 2021. 11:32

Nigeria: The army is investigating rumours that Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has died or was seriously wounded in a clash with a splinter group.
BBC Africa Live 20 May 2021. 15:43

Kenya: The new deepwater port at Lamu is open for business. The $3bn facility “will ease pressure on Kenya's heavily congested Mombasa port” (further south along the coast) and is to attract cargo for landlocked South Sudan and Ethiopia towards which Kenya is building roads from Lamu.
BBC Africa Live 20 May 2021. 16:26

19 May 2021

Nigeria: Now for the judges: yesterday, a Sharia court judge was kidnapped from inside a court in Zakat village in Katsina state.
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2021. 7:44

Algeria: The Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) and the Rachad opposition movement, both based abroad but with members in Algeria, have been labelled “terrorist groups” by the government. Their members can now be convicted under a new law punishing Algerians for joining an organisation abroad that “damages the interests of the country”. “Rachad (righteousness) is an opposition political movement calling for peaceful regime change in Algeria. Its founders include former members of the banned Islamic Salvation Front party.”
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2021. 5:46

Senegal: The Senegalese culture of discretion, called “sutura” (a hybrid of Muslim ethical traditions and pre-Islamic social norms), often inhibits rape survivors from publicly denouncing the perpetrators and can be an obstacle to fighting gender-based violence. When Adji Sarr publicly accused opposition leader Ousmane Sonko of raping her, she went against sutura. The negative reactions she provoked shows how sutura can work against survivors.

Somalia/Somaliland/Sharia for gender equality: The article’s author’s research “shows how women – typically small activist groups in many countries – are using Sharia to fight against oppressive practices.” Sharia is not a strict legal code but rather a broad set of ethical principles found in the Quaran, it is thus open to varying interpretations. “By interpreting theological and legal texts in less patriarchal ways, these women, as I found, are shattering age-old sexist interpretations of Sharia.”

Kenya: The appointment having been confirmed by the President, Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome is now officially the Chief Justice of Kenya. The 61 year old is a renowned human rights lawyer.
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2021. 13:03

Côte d’Ivoire: 22 have been sentenced for child trafficking in the cocoa sector, 5 to 20 years in prison, the others to 5 years. Of the 6 million working in the sector, 800,000 are thought to be children.
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2021. 17:09