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

27 November 2022

South Africa: “(I)n an effort to derail the transition from white-minority rule to democracy”, Janusz Walus in 1993 killed Chris Hani. Next week, the killer of the popular and unforgotten anti-apartheid activist is to be released on parole. ANC and the Communist Party have staged protests outside the Constitutional Court against this decision and more demonstrations are to follow.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 26 November 2022. 17:32