9 May 2021

Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda is the only African independence leader still alive – he just celebrated his 97th birthday. KK, “the youngest of eight children, was a school teacher before joining the independence struggle. This is when he became known for his guitar playing, composing liberation songs and travelling the country to drum up support for the campaign against colonial rule.” At 40, he became Zambia's founding president. A fierce critic of Apartheid and colonialism, groups fighting the South African and Rhodesian regimes were allowed to make Zambia their base. But at home, he introduced the one-party state in 1973 and he was the only candidate in 1978, 1983 and 1987. But he overstayed: in 1991, after mass protests had forced him to reintroduce multi-party democracy, he was voted out of power. Nowadays, it seems that the young in Zambia hardly know of Kenneth Kaunda…

Chad: Saturday’s protests have had 10 wounded and 15 arrested in N’Djamena according to protesters. One person was wounded by a live bullet.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 09 May 2021. 9:38

South Sudan: In a move that was long overdue, President Salva Kiir has dissolved parliament. According to a peace deal signed three years ago, South Sudan's MPs are not to be elected but nominated by political parties, most by the governing SPLM party, almost a quarter by the party of Riek Machar, Mr Kiir's main rival. A new national army, made up of soldiers from the opposing sides in the country's civil war, remains to be formed. With insecurity still rife, a recent UN report called for the arms embargo to be extended and for new sanctions against people who hinder the implementation of the peace deal. With many farmers displaced, there are food shortages and the World Food Programme has warned “that more than seven million people in South Sudan will suffer acute food insecurity over the coming months”.

Ethiopia: Abune Mathias, head of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church and himself a Tigrayan, has accused the Ethiopian government of genocide against the Tigrayan people. The video containing the accusations is said to have been recorded last month. “The Ethiopian government told the BBC that the patriarch's statement was ‘a Church matter’ in which ‘the state does not intervene’.”
BBC Africa Latest Updates 09 May 2021. 13:10

8 May 2021

Kenya: Despite the many difficulties that journalists face while doing their jobs (intimidation, physical or online harassment, surveillance, disappearance, threats, arbitrary arrests, assaults, and lack of access to public facilities, authorities or data), and especially those working on corruption, misuse of public funds, organised crime and protests, there is also reason for hope: While Kenya ranks only 102nd of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index, “there has been an emergence of voices in the digital space who are speaking truth to power without many of the documented constraints faced by mainstream journalists.” But, in such cases, it is the audience that has to judge the veracity of the reporting.