Category Archives: Africa

Ethiopia 10M reward for TPLF ‘wanted’

Brussels 19.12.2020 Ethiopian authorities offered a 10 million birr (app.€200,000) reward on Friday, December 18, for information on the location of the heads of the leading party in northern Tigray region. The reward for information, leading to the key figures of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was announced on state-run broadcaster EBC and tweeted by a government taskforce.

TPLF leaders, highly likely hiding in surrounding the capital city Mekelle mountains since they abandoned it on Novembrer 28, had insist that they continue resistance.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and nearly a million fled their homes after two years of feuding between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray region degraded in a military assault in early November.

Aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Tigray, where about 600,000 people were depended on food aid even before the conflict erupted.

The United Nations and other agencies are still pressing for safe access to most of the Tigray region.

The U.N. World Food Programme sent 11 trucks worth of food to two Eritrean refugee camps in the southern part of Tigray that arrived in the camps on Wednesday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Despite the arrival of some aid, needs are increasing, OCHA spokesman Saviano Abreu said. “People have now been living for more than six weeks with no running water, no access to health services, no cash and very limited access to food.”

He said the United Nations was still negotiating with the Ethiopian government for full and unhindered access and reiterated the global body’s call for all parties to allow all aid groups into Tigray.

There are no possibilities to re-establish contacts with Tigray journalists, because Abiy Ahmed has blocked telecom, in spite of the repeated calls from international community to reconnect all of Tigray.
Over six weeks the population of the region suffers consequences of shutdown of telecom, absence of humanitarian aid, food, fuel, medicine, portable water, electricity, and bank services. All contacts of Africa Diplomatic Magazine from Mekelle have been silent for six weeks.

DRC: clashes in Parliament

Brussels 08.12.2020 Congo’s parliament descended into chaos on December 8 as rival political groups threw chairs and buckets in a brawl that laid bare the tensions caused by the incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s to terminate his alliance with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

Tshisekedi announced on December 6 scheduled to cancel his governing coalition with allies of Kabila, while Kabila’s supporters claimed the move was illegal.

The standoff has raised fears of instability in the Republic whose economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose recent history has been touched by repeated civil wars and political upheaval.

The parliament fight broke out in the main hall of the building between lawmakers and supporters from the two parties, one of whom appeared to be wielding a machete.

Tshisekedi’s supporters, some with sartorial look, hurled chairs, wooden batons and plastic buckets up a staircase toward Kabila partisans who bounced back.

One man was carried away bleeding injury on the head. The police had to disperse the belligerent groups with tear gas.

The two camps have a long history of bad blood. Tshisekedi and his late father were longtime opponents of Kabila, who governed from 2001 to January 2019.

Tshisekedi agreed to the coalition after his victory in the disputed 2018 election, in which he defeated Kabila’s chosen successor but Kabila allies won majorities in parliament, entitling them to most cabinet posts.

Frustrated by his inability to move on with his agenda, Tshisekedi said that he would try to form a new majority in parliament and, if unsuccessful, would call for new parliamentary elections.

Kabila, who stepped down last year under domestic and international pressure not to seek a third mandate, is eligible to run again in 2023.

Sahel: EU debt relief efforts

Brussels 30.11.2020 The EU is committed to furthering international debt relief efforts for African countries. The Council today approved a set of conclusions in response to a call from the European Council of 15-16 October 2020 to prepare a common approach in this respect.

The conclusions highlight the increasing debt vulnerability in low income countries, particularly in Africa, and underscore the EU’s support for a coordinated international approach on debt relief efforts for African countries.

The Council welcomes the G20 – Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which offers a temporary debt moratorium to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its extension until 30 June 2021 with the possibility of a further extension by 6 months. It commits to a full and transparent implementation of this initiative.

The Council also recognises that for countries with unsustainable debt levels further debt relief may be required. It welcomes the G20 agreement on a “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI” as a major step forward in the sovereign debt restructuring international architecture. In this context, it advocates the negotiation of debt restructuring where necessary, on a case-by-case basis, while ensuring strong conditionality on public financial management, anti-corruption frameworks and domestic resource mobilization in the context of an IMF programme.

The Council also stresses that debt transparency is critical for a sound assessment of debt sustainability, debtor government accountability, and to enable informed decisions for borrowers and creditors in the context of debt relief efforts. It takes the view that all public debt data should therefore be disclosed and supports international efforts aimed at strengthening debt transparency in low-income countries.

Borrell “shocked” by Borno state massacre

Brussels 29.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed his shock and sadness, and determination to continue to pursue cause of peace and stability in Africa, while reacting upon the massacre in Borno state, which took place during the weekend in Zabarmari village.

“Deeply shocked by yet another horrific attack targeting innocent civilians in the North-East of Nigeria.
We have to continue our collective engagement against terror and violence to provide peace, security and stability for all people in Africa” he wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Dozens of the men killed were also beheaded in a gruesome attack, which began on Saturday morning, November 28, in Zabarmari village in northeast Borno state, but the residents said a total of hundred people are feared dead, and abducted. (Image source: social media)

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack and said “the entire country is hurt,” describing the killings as “senseless”.

So far no Islamist group claimed responsibility, but usually such massacres are conducted by Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). They are both active terrorising the farmers in the region, where Islamic militants have killed at least 30,000 people in the past decade.

In Zabarmari the mourners surrounded the bodies of 43 farmers, which were wrapped in white burial shrouds and placed on wooden pallets, as clerics led prayers for the deceased.

Amnesty International said 10 women were among those missing, presumably kidnapped by the attackers.

Borno state governor Babagana Zulum, speaking at the burials, called on the Federal government to recruit more soldiers, Civilian Joint Task Force members and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.

He described desperate choices facing people: “In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he explained.

Food prices in Nigeria have risen dramatically over the past year, driven by flooding, border closures and insecurity in some food-producing areas, causing further difficulties for the population.

Villagers in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state on Sunday buried 43 farmers killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants while security forces searched for dozens of people who are still missing.

Burkina Faso elections: Kabore leads

Brussels 25.11.2020 Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore,63, is clearly leading in results announced from more than half of the country’s voting districts following weekend elections.

Kabore, bidding for a second term at the helm of the troubled Sahel state, has 58.14 percent of the vote, according to the ongoing count conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Opposition leader Zephirin Diabre has 14.25%, while Eddie Komboigo, who heads a former ruling party, has 13.62%, it said.

The figures are derived from results from 196 out of the 368 districts, embassies or consulates where votes for Sunday’s elections were cast.

Kabore is seeking an overall majority from voting day to avoid a runoff in which he would stand against a single candidate backed by a united opposition.

He has been under fire for his response to a five-year-old jihadist campaign that has rolled in from Mali, claiming at least 1,200 lives and forcing around a million people to flee their homes.

The elections on Sunday were for Burkina’s legislature as well as its presidency, where executive power in the is concentrated.

Opposition parties insist the vote was marked by fraud and flawed procedures.

Abiy Ahmed sends troops to Mekelle

Brussels 22.11.2020 Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the expiration of a three-day ultimatum for Tigrayan leaders to surrender, and from that moment aimed at sending federal troops to Mekelle, the Tigray region capital. (Image: Tigray refugees in Sudan, source: social media).

“We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognising that you are at the point of no return,” Abiy wrote in a Twitter message on Sunday evening. There was no immediate comment from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which leads Tigray region.

Abiy’s statement came hours after an Ethiopian spokesman said the army plans to surround Mekelle with tanks and may attack it with artillery to end a nearly three-week war, urging civilians to “save themselves”.

Ethiopia: “final & crucial” military operation

Ethiopian military in Somalia have “disarmed” between 200 and 300 of their ethnic Tigray militia over the past week as conflict rages in the northern Ethiopian region, Reuters news agency reports, referring to their anonymous security and diplomatic sources.

The soldiers’ weapons were removed due to concerns over the their loyalty, the sources said, without detailing the process. They said they included bilateral and African Union troops.

The Ethiopian government, a military spokesman and African Union (AU) peacekeeping force did not react upon calls and messages of media for comment. An Ethiopian government taskforce on Wednesday, November 18, denied the authorities were targeting ethnic Tigrayans in any way.

Ethiopian troops began fighting forces from the northern region of Tigray earlier this month after what the government described as a surprise attack by Tigrayan forces on a military camp stationed there.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has declared that “the final and crucial” military operation will launch in the coming days against the government of the country’s rebellious Tigray region, France 24 television reports.

Two diplomatic sources said the disarmed men were believed to be confined to their bases in Somalia and a security source said a deputy commander in one of the military sectors was among those who had been disarmed.

Ouattara III term confirmed by Judges

Brussels 09.11.2020 A week after the announcement of the victory of Alassane Ouattara, the Constitutional Council confirms the results published by the Electoral Commission, which gave 94.27% of the vote to the outgoing President.

https://twitter.com/jeune_afrique/status/1325803663496007680?s=20

The Ivorian Constitutional Council declared the ballot “regular” and validated, this Monday, November 9, the final results of the Ivorian presidential election of October 31, confirming those proclaimed a week earlier by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

Alassane Ouattara, 78, was officially elected for a third term with 94.27% of the votes cast, following a campaign marked by an “active boycott” of the opposition. The participation rate is 53.90%.

Zulu king son murdered

Brussels 09.11.2020 South Africa Gauteng province police confirmed that the son of King Goodwill Zwelithini, who was found dead. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, eldest son of King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulus, died this Saturday, November 7, 2020. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced the sad news in a statement. The cause of his death has not been specified immediately.

The police chief Mathapelo Peters said the inquest docket opened during the weekend had since been altered to a murder docket.
“The inquest docket opened at Honeydew police station on November 6 to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Prince Lethukuthula Zulu at the Graceland One residential complex in Northworld has been converted to a murder case, based on preliminary evidence emerging from the initial investigation,” she said.

“Confirmation of the exact cause of death is dependent on the postmortem that is yet to be concluded.”
The prince’s body was found by security guards at his apartment.

At present the Zulu monarchy Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, who died under mysterious circumstances at his apartment in Northwold, Johannesburg, following what is believed to have been a break-in, but now is assessed as murder.

With his massive net worth valued at $19 million, King Goodwill Kabhekuzulu enjoys luxury lifestyle, he also receives lots of grants as well as luxuries including travel by private jets.
The monarch of the Zulu people which is the biggest ethnic group in South Africa receives a yearly allowance of $6 million to fend for his royal household.

Addis Ababa dismisses Tigray government

According to a statement issued by the Ethiopia House of Federation, the transitional government to be established in Tigray region will coordinate with other legitimate government bodies on ways of discarding “unconstitutional practices” in the region; it will also have the duties and powers endowed to the executive of the regional state.

The transitional government mission is to lead and coordinate the executive body; assign individuals to lead the executive; ensure the rule of law is respected; facilitate the conducting of election in the region; approve regional budget and prepare plans; conduct other duties assigned by the federal government. The transitional government will also oversee all the resolutions adopted by the House of Federation, including the approval of the intervention by the federal government in Tigray regional state.

Ethiopia House of Federation approved resolution to establish a transitional government in Tigray regional state. The decision means the regional state’s legislative and executive bodies, elected in the region on September 09, will be suspended.

Image above: Axum archaeological site in Tigray region listed to UNESCO World Heritage due to their historic value.

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