Category Archives: Crisis

Mozambique: IS attack in Palma

In Mozambique on Monday March 29 the Islamic State fighters, according to their own claims, had carried out an attack on the northern town of Palma, where dozens were killed, thousands displaced and some people remain missing. The total number of dead or missing following the attack is unknown. While tens of thousands of people may have fled, according to three aid workers. (Image above: illustration).

Islamist insurgents targeted Palma, situated next to gas projects worth $60 billion, with a three-pronged attack during last week. Fighting continued on Monday, March 29, according to a security source directly involved in efforts to secure the town.

The Mozambique government confirmed on Sunday, March 28, that dozens of people were killed, including seven when their convoy of cars was ambushed during an escape attempt.

Islamic State claimed the attack via its Amaq news agency, saying its fighters had taken control of the town after days of clashes with security forces.

They had killed at least 55 people, including a number of soldiers, destroyed and taken control of buildings including factories and banks, and seized vehicles, the news wire informs.

Most communications to Palma have been cut off since last week.

The country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, where Palma is located on the border with Tanzania, has been plagued since 2017 by Islamist insurgency now linked to Islamic State.

“The jihadist attack on Palma, #Mozambique, is an attack on French interests and against the region’s economic development. It is also an attack of incredible barbarism. My condolences to the families of the victims” Member of French National Assembly Marine Le Pen wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

Niger elections protests

The Republic of the Niger national electoral commission on Tuesday, February 23, declared ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum the winner of the February 21 runoff election with 55.75% of the vote, but his rival, Mahamane Ousmane, a former president, has alleged fraud and claimed he won with 50.3%. The incumbent President Mahamadou Issoufou is stepping down after two five-year terms.

The supporters of the losing candidate refused to accept the failure, and turned to violence, setting several buildings ablaze, burning tyres and threw rocks at the police on , as the authorities announced that two people had been killed in post-election protests this week.

Since then, two people have been killed and 468 detained during protests by Ousmane’s supporters in the capital Niamey, Interior Minister Alkache Alhada said.

“They want to wreak havoc,” Alhada said at a news conference, blaming opposition leader Hama Amadou for the violence.

There was no immediate response from Amadou, who finished runner-up in the 2016 election. He was barred from running this time because of a criminal conviction and threw his support behind Ousmane.

The election is meant to lead to the first transition from one democratically elected leader to another following four coups since independence from France in 1960.

On Thursday, February 25, small groups of Ousmane supporters took to the streets again to lob rocks at police and national guard troops, who responded by firing tear gas. Internet access has also been severely limited since Wednesday, February 24.

Somalia power succession crisis deepens

The Somalia opposition alliance said they would reject any attempt to extend the term of President Mohamed Abdullahi and stepped forward with a project of the election a transitional leader to govern until a new president can be chosen by lawmakers.

“We are against time extension, suppression, violence and further delay to the election,” the alliance said in a statement. “An election schedule should immediately without delay be displayed with agreed upon specified time.”

There was no immediate comment from the presidency. Aides had previously privately floated the idea of extending his term.

In a statement issued by its embassy in Mogadishu, the United States urged Mohamed to “act now to resolve the political impasse…and find agreement with Federal Member State leaders to allow the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections immediately.”

“The political gridlock…has resulted in a disappointing lack of progress in fighting al-Shabaab.”

Somalia was initially planning to hold its first direct election since civil war erupted in 1991, but delays in preparations and continuous attacks by al Shabaab forced Somalia to plan another indirect vote.

Clan elders should have chosen lawmakers in December and the lawmakers were due to choose a president on Monday.
However the selection of lawmakers was delayed after the opposition accused President Mohamed – who was seeking a second term – of packing regional and national electoral boards with his allies.

Leaders in two of Somalia’s five federal states, Puntland and Jubbaland, have said they will no longer recognise President Mohamed.

On Sunday, February 7, night at midnight, the capital Mogadishu lit up with gunfire and drums as residents said they were celebrating the end of the president’s term.

“We are firing into the sky to say goodbye to the dictator Farmajo, he has burnt Somalia these four years,” said a soldier Aden Ali, using President Mohamed’s common nickname.

Hussein Sheikh Ali, Somalia’s former national security advisor and founder of the Mogadishu-based Hiraal think-tank, said al Shabaab had already taken advantage of the security vacuum to launch attacks in portions of central Somalia that had been relatively peaceful for around a decade.

“They (al Shabaab) are laughing out loud,” he said. “This is a failure by the president, Somalia’s political elite and the international community. They didn’t have a plan B to move forward.”

The power vacuum and divisions between political leaders was used to advantage the extremists of al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency, a Somali security analyst warned, citing a spate of recent attacks in a relatively peaceful part of the country.

On Sunday, 12 security agents were killed by a roadside bomb outside the town of Dhusamareb in central Somalia where political leaders were meeting to try to resolve disagreements over the presidential selection process. Al Shabaab also launched repeated mortar attacks on the town.

The attack happened a week after four al Shabaab suicide attackers killed five people at a hotel in Mogadishu.

Borrell: CAR consolidation for peace

Brussels 27.12.2020 The Central African Republic elections are a crucial step for the “consolidation of democracy and peace”, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in his Twitter micro blog. He called for the “mobilization of voters and the responsibility of all actors for credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections”, especially mentioning the European Union – African Union ties in support of the democratic transition.

Meanwhile the former Central African Republic president Francois Bozize (pictured) backs the rebels, and urges people against voting in presidential and legislative elections today, AFP Africa reports.

Francois Bozize, president of the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2013 and a participant in two previous attempted coups d’etat, returned from exile in 2019 to run for his old job. In December, just three weeks ahead of the election, Bozize was barred by the Constitutional Court from running again. The court ruled that he had failed to meet the “good morality” requirement for candidates because of an international warrant for his arrest and UN sanctions on charges of assassination and torture. He has since been accused of plotting a new coup.

Despite a series of attacks in the run-up to the Central African Republic’s presidential and legislative elections — the first since a fragile peace deal was reached between the government and rebels in February 2019 — as well as threats against the centers where voter cards are distributed, the possibility of assaults on polling places and the killings of three UN peacekeepers on Saturday, the national elections authority, ANE, has reported that the vote will go on.

Despite threats against voting offices and polling places, the Central African Republic’s election authority has said Sunday’s, December 27, vote will go ahead. According to press reports Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN’s special envoy for CAR said the situation was under the control of the UN Blue Helmets, together with the Central African armed forces and the Central African domestic security forces, such as gendarmes and police. They were on the scene to react to any attacks or strategies of harassment by certain armed groups in alliance with Francois Bozize, the goal of which was to obstruct the election process by preventing Central African citizens from receiving their voting cards and going to polling places on December 27.

“We face attacks every day, but our response has been overwhelming” Mankeur Ndiaye concluded.

DRC: end of Ebola outbreak

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health minister announced the end of an Ebola outbreak in the west of the country that infected 130 people and killed 55.

The outbreak emerged in June, just before Congo declared the end of a separate Ebola epidemic in the east that was the second-deadliest on record, killing more than 2,200 people.

“A heartfelt thank you to everyone who tirelessly tracked down cases, provided treatment & vaccinated people in often remote communities tucked away in dense rain forests,” the World Health Organization’s Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti, said on Twitter after the minister’s announcement.

Congo has suffered 11 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976, more than double any other country.

Ethiopia: EU reacts upon atrocities reports

Brussels, 13.11.2020 The European Union diplomacy has been “extremely vocal” about the events in Ethiopia, Tigray region, the spokesperson said, while reacting upon the Amnesty International reports on hostilities there. The EU diplomacy have been following the situation closely, and both the High Representative Josep Borrell, and Janez Lenarčič, the Commissioner on Crisis management, have expressed deep concern about the situation there, she added.

Ethnically targeted measures, hate speech and allegations of atrocities occurring in Ethiopia are deeply worrying. The demonisation of ethnic groups is a vicious and lethal cycle from which Ethiopia must be spared” the statement of Borrell and Lenarčič reads.

The danger of a major humanitarian crisis is imminent and an immediate de-escalation is needed. All parties should show restraint and reinforce their calls to avoid incitement to hatred and violence”.
“Human rights and international humanitarian law need to be upheld, including ensuring safe and free movement of civilians as well as a timely, independent, unimpeded and unconditional access of humanitarian workers to most vulnerable”.

Amnesty International can today confirm that scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) town in the South West Zone of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region on the night of 9 November” according to the statement of the organisation, published on their site.

The organization’s Crisis Evidence Lab has examined and digitally verified gruesome photographs and videos of bodies strewn across the town or being carried away on stretchers. It confirmed the images were recent and using satellite imagery, geo-located them to Mai-Kadra in western Tigray state (14.071008, 36.564681)” .

On November 4, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is the governing authority of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray.
(Image below: Orthodox priest in a church of Axum; in 1980, UNESCO added Axum’s archaeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites due to their historic value).

 

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%.

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.

Côte d’Ivoire: EU notes disparities

“The European Union (EU) takes note of the announcement of the provisional results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The lack of consensus on the electoral framework has fractured the country. Many Ivorians went to the polls, but many others did not, either by choice or by impediment due to violence and blockades” the head of the European Union diplomacy wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“The EU notes the very wide disparities in the participation rate in the different regions of the country, as highlighted by several election observation missions present there.
“The EU expresses its deep concern at the tensions, provocations and incitement to hatred that prevailed and continue to persist in the country around this election. The violence which has caused the death of several people and injured many must be independently investigated so that justice can be served as soon as possible.

“The EU expects all stakeholders to take the initiative in favour of calming the climate and resuming dialogue, involving new generations and promoting reconciliation through very concrete measures that will turn the page on violence and division. It will support any effort deployed in this direction by national and international actors”.

EU expects negotiated solution for Ethiopia Grand Dam

Brussels 26.10.2020 The European diplomacy fully supports the efforts of South Africa, the African Union chair, to conclude talks between Egypt-Ethiopia-Sudan on Renaissance Dam on Blue Nile with a successful agreement to advantage of all inhabitants of the Blue Nile basin.

“Over 250 million of citizens of the Blue Nile basin stand to benefit from the predictable agreement based on the negotiated arrangement for the filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, they are expecting the investment in water security, aggregation, agricultural production, and electricity generation” the EU spokesperson said, reacting upon the resumption of the talks from October 27 after two months pause, caused by the departure of Egypt delegation.

“The agreement of the filling of the gerd is within the reach of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, now is the time for action, and not for increasing tensions. The efforts of South Africa, the current chair of the African Union to bring the parties to the negotiated solutions have the full support of the European Union which looks for to the imminent resumption and successful conclusion of the talks” the spokesperson added.

Negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over a giant multi-billion dollar dam on the Blue Nile will resume on Tuesday,October 27, nearly two months after Egypt delegation left the talks, African Union chairman Cyril Ramaphosa said on October 26, Monday.

A dispute between the three countries over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) remains unresolved even after the reservoir behind the dam began filling in July.

“The resumption of the trilateral negotiations on the GERD … is a reaffirmation of the confidence that the parties have in an African-led negotiations process,” Ramaphosa, who is South Africa’s president, said in a statement.

« Older Entries