Africa This Week

MONDAY

COOPERATION AGREEMENT  

In southern Africa, Mozambique received additional 60 troops from Portugal as part of a new cooperation agreement to help the country tackle insurgency in its north. 

Portugal’s defence minister, Joao Cravinho, disclosed this on Monday while signing the agreement in Lisbon with his Mozambican counterpart, Jamie Neto.

Cravinho said the additional troops are four times more than the existing Portuguese troops working with their Mozambican counterparts.

The cooperation agreement between both countries will run until 2026. 

It will see Portugal increase its number of troops in Mozambique to 80 to train Mozambican soldiers to tackle the insurgency, share intelligence and help the country use drones to track the militants’ movements.

SOUTH SUDAN  

In East Africa, agencies warned that South Sudan is facing one of the worst food security and nutrition crises globally. 

They said an estimated 7.2 million people are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity between now and July.

The aid agencies said some 108,000 people are expected to be in Catastrophe phase between April and July mainly in Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Warrap States.

The organisations added that the main drivers of food insecurity in the country are conflict, widespread flooding, COVID-19, and a protracted macroeconomic crisis.

INSURGENCY  

Staying in the region, a suicide bomber on Monday killed at least six people, including senior police officers, at a police station in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The bomber detonated explosives at Waberi District Police Station killing senior police officers.

Somali Police Spokesman, Major Sadiq Adan Ali Dodishe, said those wounded in the attack were taken to the hospital.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. 

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY  

Still on Monday, Lawyers representing the alleged financier of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda requested that charges against him be dropped on the grounds that he is unfit to stand trial due to ill health.

Félicien Kabuga was arrested a year ago in France and is detained in the Hague awaiting trial at a UN-backed court in Tanzania.

 Kabuga’s lawyer argued that pursuing the case would constitute a serious breach of his rights.

Once one of Rwanda’s richest men, Mr Kabuga allegedly helped create the Interahamwe Hutu militia and was accused of inciting Hutus to kill the population using the radio station he owned.

CHILD LABOUR  

In west Africa, Police in Ivory Coast rescued 68 children working on cocoa farms, most of whom had been trafficked from neighbouring Burkina Faso.

One of the rescued children said his father had brought him from Burkina Faso at the age of 13 to work on his uncle’s cocoa plantation and left him there.

The Police noted the purported uncle was among about 25 suspected traffickers arrested and he is now facing up to 10 years in prison.

Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer and has close to one million children working in the sector despite years of efforts to end child labour.

TUESDAY

OPERATION HOUNE  

On Tuesday, in Burkina Faso, at least 20 insurgents were killed and four terrorist bases destroyed during the first week of an ongoing military operation.

The latest offensive came as the army and air force have been deployed in the North and Sahel regions since 5thof May.

Items recovered by the army during the operation included communication equipment, weapons, ammunition and vehicles.

The operation named Houné – the Fulani word for “dignity” will continue for a month.

TACKLING INSURGENCY    

Nigeria’s fight to end insurgency got international boost om Tuesdsay.

This is because the G7 group of wealthy countries pledged $389 million to assist millions of people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria.

The fund is expected to support efforts by the UN and other aid agencies in helping victims of the conflict.

A statement from the UK High Commission in Nigeria said Britain will lead the co-ordinated move by the G7 countries to provide humanitarian assistance this year.

The ongoing conflict which is now in its second decade, has killed more than 30,000 people and uprooted millions of others from their homes in Nigeria and several neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, the federal government said it will prosecute about 400 suspects arrested for allegedly funding terrorism in the country.

SOUTH SUDAN   

In the east of the continent, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir reconstituted the national parliament after dissolving it on Saturday.

This is to pave way for the appointment of new members of parliament.

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly , which was expanded from 400 to 550 MPs, consisted of 332 lawmakers from President Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement ( and 128 from Mr Machar’s SPLM-IO.

According to the agreement, 35% of the seats must be occupied by women.

IRREGULAR MIGRATION  

That same day in north Africa, the bodies of at least 10 Europe-bound migrants were washed up ashore in western Libya after two shipwrecks left some 30 people presumed drowned.

A spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, Safa Msehli, said that the bodies were found near the western Libyan towns of Zuwara and Garaboli. 

Msehli said they are believed to be migrants who drowned earlier in the week while trying to reach Europe.

Tuesday’s discovery came after a boat carrying over 65 migrants capsized off Libya on Monday, leaving at least two dozen presumed dead.

COVID-19 WHO   

Still on Tuesday, the World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned countries against early relaxation of covid-19 measures. 

He also announced the launch of the “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to support WHO’s work in India, including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.

WEDNESDAY

YOWERI MUSEVENI RETURNS  

On Wednesday, all eyes were on Uganda, as President Yoweri Museveni swore in to serve for the sixth democratic term in office.

Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo swore in Museveni as the President for another 5year term at Kololo Independence Grounds in the capital Kampala.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by 11 African heads of state, several government representatives, and diplomats from various countries and other dignitaries.

After taking the oath of office, Museveni received the instruments of power, a national salute and a 21-gun salute before inspecting the guard of honor mounted by the armed forces.

CHAD: POWER SHARING  

In Central Africa, an African Union mission recommended that Chad’s military share power with a civilian president, as one of three options to restore constitutional order, following last month’s killing of president Idriss Deby.

In a report, the mission recommended the AU’s security council could support the military transition as it stands, while appointing a special envoy to ensure the military keep their promise to organise elections with 18 months.

Another option would be to support the current military-led transition.

The report said a final option would be to pressure the military to hand over power to a civilian president alongside a military vice president.

It also recommended that rebel forces be demobilized and invited to participate in dialogue on forming any new government.

ETHIOPIA: PUBLIC EXECUTION 

In the horn of Africa, Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission said it is “alarmed” by the public parading and execution of a suspected criminal in Dembi Dollo city in the western Oromia region.

The Commission added that it condemned the incident in the “strongest terms”.

A short clip uploaded online showed a man, with clothes stained with blood and mud, chained to a fence but he later died.

The EHRC identified the man as Amanuel Wondimu.

The authorities said he was a member of the banned Oromo Liberation Army, which was recently designated as a terror group.

The EHRC urged the authorities to immediately investigate the incident.

EXHUMATION ORDER  

In southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s former first lady, Grace Mugabe, was accused of inappropriately burying late President Robert Mugabe at the family’s homestead, and has called for her to appear before a village court to face charges.

She has also been instructed to exhume the remains of the late former president so he can be reburied at a gravesite next to his mother, Bona.

In the letter, Chief Zvimba also accused the former first lady of abandoning her husband’s property “which is scattered nationwide.”

Robert Mugabe died on 6th September 2019 in Singapore.

EBOLA IMMUNISATION 

Sierra Leone on Wednesday launched an Ebola vaccination campaign as part of measures to contain any potential cross-border transmission of the disease from Guinea.

The World Health Organization said the campaign began in Kambia District, a primary international point of entry, and will continue “over the coming days” in eight other districts bordering Guinea.

Authorities hope to vaccinate at least 16,000 people with individuals receiving two doses of the vaccine given approximately eight weeks apart.

The campaign is being undertaken even though Sierra Leone has not yet recorded any Ebola case since the latest outbreak in the region was first reported in Guinea in mid-February.

THURSDAY

NIGER INSURGENCY

On Thursday in West Africa, Officials in Niger said five people were killed in an attack on a village inthe western Tillaberi region, near the border with Mali.

The attack happened as the country celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

A local source said the attack was carried out by terrorists who came on motorbikes.

Tillaberi is located in the flashpoint “tri-border” region between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, the site of frequent bloody attacks by jihadist groups.

MOZAMBIQUE

Moving to Southern Africa, Three sailors who were kidnapped by terrorists have killed their abductors and found their way back to freedom.

The militants invaded an island located near Macomia district, held hostage a group of displaced people, fishermen and three sailors, who were waiting to be rescued to the city of Pemba.

Four of the kidnappers boarded a boat with some of the victims including the sailors and were heading for another district. 

The sailors pushed the terrorists into the sea and escaped, sailing to the island of Matemo.

Numerous abductions are taking place in the islands where people wait for rescue opportunities to sail to Pemba.

COVID-19 SOUTH AFRICA

Meanwhile, South Africa’s cabinet extended the country’s National State of Disaster by yet another month until June 15th.

The current state of disaster was meant to expire today Saturday May 15th, after it was extended in April.

According to reports, the cabinet said the extension is within the terms of Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act, following its meeting over the country’s COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout programme.

The extension came a day after Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, raised concern over the possibility of the country entering its third wave of infections, despite phase two of the vaccination programme due to kick off on Monday, May 17th.

The country has recorded 1,602,759 coronavirus cases and 55,040 deaths.

SOMALIA CRISIS     

Moving on to East Africa, The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM will now remain in the country up to 31st December until the security situation is stabilised and the elections are held.

The decision on the extension of the mandate of Amisom troops was confirmed in a meeting that was held by the 15-member committee on peace and security.

This decision is a relief for Somalia, which has been relying on Amisom troops to support its security operations since 2007.

The 15-member committee of the African Union Peace and Security Council include Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria and other countries.

Amisom troops in Somalia have had their mandate in the country extended every year to protect important facilities, support for government forces and fight against al-Shabab.

ANATOLE MAKOSSO

Still on Thursday, President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso appointed Anatole Makusu as the country’s new Prime Minister, replacing Clement Mouamba, who has been in office since 2016.

Anatole, who is 56 years old, previously served in the government of Congo-Brazzaville as Minister of Primary and Secondary Education from 2015 to 2021, and as the Minister of Youth and Civic Instruction from 2011 to 2016.

The Republic of the Congo’s former Prime Minister Clement Mouamba handed in his resignation letter as the country’s Prime Minister on May 5th to President Nguesso.

FRIDAY

KENYA’S BBI BILL   

On Friday in East Africa, Kenya’s High Court annulled the Building Bridges Initiative referendum process throwing the future of the initiative into uncertainty.

A bench comprising Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita upheld the petitioners’ case that the constitution bears essential features on its basic structure that cannot be amended.

The court held that the BBI secretariat and steering committee failed to provide critical information to the public as outlined in the procedures to amend the constitution through a popular initiative.

The judges said the BBI steering committee is unlawful, has no legal capacity to promote constitutional changes and thus entire BBI process was done unconstitutionally.

SOUTH SUDAN INSURGENCY

Away from Kenya, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou called for law enforcement along roads following the ‘first killing of an aid worker’ in the country this year during an ambush in Budi, Eastern Equatorial, South Sudan on Wednesday.

The UN stated that the aid worker was killed when assailants fired at a clearly marked humanitarian vehicle that was part of a team of non-governmental organizations and South Sudanese health workers travelling to a health facility.

The incident marked the first killing of an aid worker in South Sudan in 2021.  Nine aid workers were killed in 2020.

ZAMBIA ELECTIONS

Staying in the East of the continent where Zambia’s parliament has been dissolved exactly 90 days before the upcoming general election.

The Zambian constitution requires that parliament is dissolved 90 days before the next election.

Zambians will head to the polls on 21stof August.

President Edgar Lungu is seeking re-election and has in the past assured international partners of a free and fair election.

D.R. CONGO UNREST

In Central Africa, a policeman was killed in clashes between rival Muslim groups over the right to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The police said 40 people were hurt, 35 arrested and a police vehicle was burned outside the stadium, amid the fighting that replaced the true spirit of the traditionally peaceful Eid Al Fitr celebrations.

The conflict’s roots lie in a years-long dispute between two rival factions over leadership of the Comico Muslim federation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

While the case remains before the courts, the two sides remained at odds and occasionally come to blows.

ACE MAGASHULE

And finally on Friday in South Africa, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule took the party to court over the step aside rule.

Magashule has cited ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte in the papers.

Magashule wants the ANC’s step aside rule declared unlawful and unconstitutional. 

He has applied for the matter to be heard on an urgent basis.

In the court papers Magashule said the ANC has infringed on his constitutional rights including his right to human dignity.

Africa This Week is News Central’s recap of stories that made the headlines across the continent during week.

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