06 December 2022

Niger: 86 or more “repentant kidnappers” have laid down arms in Banjui (Tahoua region, west of Maradi, on the Nigerian border). They have been pardoned and “are expected to be rehabilitated and given vocational skills” – one of the strategies under President Bazoum meant to end insecurity in the country.
BBC Africa Live 06 December 2022. 8:23

Chagos Islands/GB/Mauritius: As “complying with international law is a voluntary act”, Britain has to this day not decolonized the Chagos Islands. International pressure has been piling up on London to do so. With the British foreign secretary stating that an agreement with Mauritius (to which the islands belong) should be reached early in 2023. Britain has no need or use for the islands – but one of them, Diego Garcia, hosts a US military base. The article speculates what an agreement between London and Port Louis could look like.

Nigeria/Domestic violence: Empathy has drawbacks if a woman is part of an abusive relationship: according to the article’s authors’ study, women with a lot of empathy fall more easily victim to “traumatic bonding” – “explaining away and minimising the abuser’s behaviour, self-blame” + “believing that your survival depends on someone else’s love” + “depression, low self-esteem, loss of sense of self”. Family, friends, neighbours… should start worrying and probably jointly intervening “when women begin to explain away their partner’s violent actions”.

South Africa/Corruption: The article is about the book The Unaccountables: The Powerful Politicians and Corporations who Profit from Impunity which is about “apartheid profiteers, war profiteers, state capture profiteers, welfare profiteers, failing auditors, conspiring consultants, and bad lawyers” in South Africa and is based on “a decade of research by Open Secrets and other NGOs”.

05 December 2022

Sudan: The military and the pro-democracy coalition Forces of Freedom and Change have signed a deal “for a two-year civilian-led transition towards elections”. But many, especially the neighbourhood resistance committees are up in arms against the agreement – they want the junta to be held accountable. Also, the agreement “doesn’t cover security sector reforms and many worry that it leaves the army powerful and able to disrupt the democratic transition”.
BBC Africa Live 05 December 2022. 11:59

Sudan: Ex-President al-Bashir was moved from prison to a hospital for treatment yesterday Sunday, shortly afterwards, Wagdi Salih, head of the committee in charge of dismantling the regime of the same al-Bashir and a renowned pro-democracy activist, was released after close to two months in jail. An agreement is about to be signed between the junta and the civilian coalition that Wagdi Salih belongs to.
BBC Africa Live 05 December 2022. 8:38

Ethiopia/Saudi Arabia: There are estimated to be 30 million migrant workers in the Gulf countries, with Saudi Arabia’s share the biggest. Of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, 750,000 are thought to be Ethiopian – they earn about five times what they would get back home. Since 2017, over 500,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants have been deported. In April 2022, Riad started to deport 102,000 Ethiopians, 70% of them have been returned home on 198 flights, the remaining 30% should be returned by year-end. “In Saudi Arabia, migrants repeatedly have their human rights violated”. And returnees often struggle to reintegrate, suffering stigma because of having “failed”. A lot more needs to be done for reintegration of the returnees.

DDT: Once considered a miracle chemical protecting against malaria and other diseases and against insect crops pests, its secondary effects (“neurological damage, endocrine disorders and reproductive failure in both humans and animals”) soon led to its being banned in most of the Global North. Restricted use of DDT against malaria is still recommended by WHO. Birds of prey “often sit at the top of the food chain” and are thus in particular danger from DDT – but they can also serve as “a useful indicator to monitor levels of DDT in the environment”. Only monitoring happens mostly in the Global North – much too little in the Global South where DDT is partly still in use.

Violent extremism/Study in north-west Nigeria et al.: UNDP and the Small Arms Survey have conducted a study in border regions of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Libya. Results show that the drivers of violent extremism vary considerably with context. Drivers analysed were hardship & deprivation, lack of adequate security & justice,  limited access to basic services, the growing importance of ethnic or religious identities, chronic instability&insecurity, blocked political participation&the influence of non-state armed groups, the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons. With the considerable differences in drivers, solutions will also have to vary with context. The article concentrates on north-western Nigeria.

Glencore/Congo-Kinshasa: Despite huge fines in corruption cases in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Congo-Kinshasa, “Glencore is expected to make a record multi-million dollar profit this year”. The mining company has agreed to pay more than 1.6bn USD in fines, 180m USD to Kinshasa for the period 2007-18.
BBC Africa Live 05 December 2022. 12:46

Chad: For “taking part in an unauthorised gathering and disturbing public order” on 20th of October, 260 protesters have been condemned to up to 3 years in prison. Defence lawyers had boycotted the trial in which more than 400 faced charges.
BBC Africa Live 05 December 2022. 13:47

Niger: After a prolonged illness, Hamsou Garba nicknamed the Music box, one of the country’s most famous musicians, has died in a hospital in Niamey, aged 64.
BBC Africa Live 05 December 2022. 16:55