08 February 2023

Uganda: Considering that the UN’s human rights office in the country is no longer necessary as there is peace throughout the country and government institutions and civil society can watch over human rights being respected, the government has not renewed the mandate of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the country. This could be bad news for all who dissent.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2023. 13:54

Congo-Kinshasa/Rwanda: Rwandan channels are suspended from Canal+’s satellite television offer for 30 days as those channels are accused, amongst others, of inciting civil disobedience.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2023. 8:02

07 February 2023

Only laugh at other people’s misfortunes when you're dead
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 4:31 Proverb of the day. A Shona proverb sent by Tanaka Bolton-Grant in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.

Tanzania: Since taking over from Magufuli, Samia Suluhu Hassan had conducted affairs with “skill and tact”, reversing many of her predecessor’s policies. She is very popular and will, as things stand, go into the 2025 elections as the clear favourite. A new constitution now seems to be on the agenda, or at least changes to the constitution. So far, opinions about what a new constitution should look like differ greatly. The President has said that her prime worry is the economy. “But it would not be surprising to see her meet the opposition halfway on their demands for a new constitution.”

Donkeys: It strengthens the blood, stops bleeding and improves the quality of both vital fluids and sleep. That is the Chinese belief that generates high demand for ejiao which is made from collagen extracted from donkey hides and mixed with herbs and other ingredients. Between 2013 and 2020, the market in China has more than doubled to 7.8 billion USD. Demand for ejiao has led to shortages first in China and then in Africa, where about two thirds of the world’s donkey population live. Donkeys are of great economic importance especially for poor households. Illicit as well as legal trade have pushed up prices and reduced numbers of available donkeys. Bans are an obvious solution – an Africa-wide moratorium for 15 years “to allow supply to recover and regulatory capacity to be enhanced” would be ideal – even if enforcement is a problem for many a country.

South Africa: With “a growing ecosystem of organised crime overwhelming the state and public life in the country”, where even the healthcare and education sectors are not spared, some are asking whether South Africa is becoming a mafia state. Jacob Zuma’s state capture illustrates this. What makes fighting against the crime-politics nexus so difficult is that it is “being deliberately sustained through the collusion of influential actors within the state” and that, on the other hand, worsening socio-economic conditions prepare the ground for ordinary people to get involved in organised crime.

Reasons for joining terrorist groups: Religion is by no means the main reason for joining, poverty is. That is the result of a UNDP report – an enlarged update of the 2017 report “Journey to Extremism in Africa. Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement”. The updated report, which is based on more than 2,000 interviews in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan, can be downloaded at https://journey-to-extremism.undp.org/v2/en/publications.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 5:52

Malawi: Yesterday Monday, a high court has lifted Ms Chizuma's suspension at the head of Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau. An official who had felt hurt by remarks in a leaked audio recording about high placed officials hindering the fight against corruption had sued her and had obtained her suspension. The country’s President has called “the recording and the circulation of the audio (…) ‘corruption fighting back’.”
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 4:33

Ethiopia/Eritrea: According to the TPLF, small units of the Eritrean army are still present in Tigray, demanding that “this should be addressed fully”. In a meeting with the Prime minister last week, the deployment of federal forces in areas bordering Eritrea was agreed for security reasons.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 10:37

Congo-Kinshasa: A second day of demonstrations in Goma (east of the country) has seen two demonstrators die after violent clashes with security forces. “The demonstrators accuse the UN and the East African Regional Force of failing to support the Congolese military operations against the M23 rebel group.”
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 8:52

Gambia: If President Barrow does not, as he claims, shield his predecessor Jammeh plus accomplices, he for sure is dragging his feet. It is only now – six years into his rule – that he discovers that a special court needs to be set up to deal with crimes (e.g., 250 murders) committed by or under his predecessor.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 17:03

Zambia: Freedom of assembly and association? Harassment of the opposition? Chishimba Kambwili, information minister under the former president, has been arrested because of “holding an unlawful assembly” at his home – youths protesting against high living costs had gathered outside his house. He and co-accused activist Charles Kakula were both freed today Tuesday. Police said they had caused “other persons to reasonably fear for the breach of public peace”.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2023. 15:58