29 November 2022

Sexual violence/South Sudan: A United Nations panel of experts on human rights in South Sudan says that “(n)owhere in the world do you find so many women who experience conflict by being repeatedly gang raped... while the men responsible are promoted and rewarded”. In the course of an international conference in London on preventing sexual violence in conflict, the panel thus calls on the country’s authorities to “immediately remove from office and investigate state governors and county commissioners linked to systematic rape.”
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2022. 10:20

Namibia: If all goes according to plan, the country’s next president (from 2024 onward) will be a woman: Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, so far minister of international relations and cooperation and Deputy Prime Minister, has been elected vice-president of Swapo, the party which has ruled the country since independence (if with a decreasing majority of late).
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2022. 15:08

Malawi: The world’s first-ever large-scale infant anti-malaria vaccination campaign has begun in Malawi (where over 4 million catch Malaria every year and over 2,500, most under the age of five, die from it) using the RTS,S vaccine, so far the only vaccine that WHO recommends. At 30%, the vaccine has a fairly low protection rate.
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2022. 13:05

Ethiopia: Addis has ruled out any negotiations or peace talks with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), maintaining that the OLA – which it had labelled a terrorist organisation in the past – “has no chain of command or political agenda”.
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2022. 15:48

Kenyan archeology: Especially in colonial times, but also afterwards, European scholars would take all the credit for work by teams which consisted mainly of Africans. Two exhibitions are about to try and set this right, one in Britain and one in Kenya. “Ode to the Ancestors” will open on 8th of December at London’s Horniman Museum. On 17th of December, the National Museums of Kenya will open an exhibition of the same photographs on the island of Mombasa – at “Fort Jesus, a 16th-century fortress that local African masons helped Portuguese settlers to build”.

28 November 2022

Namibia/De-colonisation: In 1889, German geographer-turned-officer Curt von François was made commander of a small military unit that was later to become the infamous Schutztruppe. The following year, “he established an administrative and military centre in Windhoek” and there “initiated the construction of a fortress called Alte Feste” (Old Fortress). He was considered the “founder” of Windhoek, though the Nama had founded a settlement in the same place in the mid-1800s. Having become administrator of the colony in 1891, Curt von François “commanded an attack on Hornkranz in 1893” – the massacre (around 80 Nama, mainly women and children killed and about as many wounded) looks like a harbinger of the German genocide against Ovaherero and Nama 1904-08.
Under the name “A Curt Farewell”, decolonisation activists in 2020 launched a petition to remove the statue erected in his honour in 1965 (during apartheid South African rule) in Windhoek’s main street. The statue was removed on 23rd of November and will join the Reiterdenkmal (“cavalier monument”, erected in 1912 to honour Schutztruppe soldiers who died in the colonies and removed in 2009/13) in the Alte Feste turned museum. “Both monuments could – with adequate background information – remain an attraction for local and overseas visitors, offering enlightenment concerning the country’s dark colonial history.”

South Africa/Land reform: White commercial farmers today still own “78% of the farmland that comes with private title deeds or 50% of all land in South Africa”. But land reform has achieved more than is generally recognized. Since 1994, the state’s “redistribution programme has assisted beneficiaries to acquire a total of 7.2 million ha of farmland” while 1.78 million ha of farmland were acquired by black South Africans through self-financed market transactions. While the figure of redistribution of 8-10% of land is the most cited, all in all, an estimated “24% of all farmland has been redistributed or land rights have been restored. This is close to the 30% target, which could be reached by 2030.”

Congo-Kinshasa: This The Conversation article points to five articles published earlier explaining the conflicts in the eastern part of the country (Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu) where “(m)illions of people have been killed, and an estimated 5.6 million others displaced by civil wars, local feuds and cross-border conflicts”, where more than 120 armed groups exist today and a large UN mission since its creation in 1999 has hardly succeeded in stabilising matters.

Comoros: Ex-President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi has been sentenced to life imprisonment for “selling passports to stateless people living in the Gulf and (…) embezzling millions of dollars”, though, according to his lawyer, “there was no evidence of missing money”. Sambi had refused to attend the hearings as he said the trial was unfair.
BBC Africa Live 28 November 2022. 12:29

Zimbabwe: The Kariba dam’s (on the Zambezi) water level is so low that Zimbabwe will not get any more electricity from it before January – bad news for Zimbabweans “who are already facing up to 12 hours a day with no electricity”. But the country has used its entire annual allocation and “was eating into neighbouring Zambia’s share”. Zimbabwe gets over 60% of its electricity from the Kariba dam.
BBC Africa Live 28 November 2022. 13:44

Egypt/Turkey: Bilateral relations are on the mend. Full diplomatic relations could soon be reestablished nine years after Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s coup d’état against Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood supported by Ankara.
BBC Africa Live 28 November 2022. 16:49