[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Sub-Saharan Africa Media Roundup Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Banyana thrash Comoros 17-0 (31 July 2019) South African Bayana Bayana defeated Comoros in women's football in a 17-0 blowout victory.
Samaria names Warriors to face Comoros (26 July 2019) Namibia has selected its starting lineup for the team that will face Comoros in the first round of the 2020 African Nations Championship Qualifier. The two countries are scheduled to play twice, once in Moroni and again in Windhoek.
Tullow Enters Comoros Offshore (25 July 2019) Tullow Oil plc is a multinational publicly traded oil company based in London. The company has announced its plans to conduct a seismic survey of three thousand square kilometers around Comoros in search of oil.
Minister Shahid, as the Special Envoy of the President, calls on the President of Comoros (16 July 2019) Comoran President Assoumani met with the special envoy from Maldives to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship between the two island nations.
Comoros president pardons four jailed opponents (12 August 2019) The President of Comoros has pardoned four critics of the regime, after they had their life sentences reduced to twenty years in May.
I didn’t expect to score so many goals - Banyana’s Jane after Comoros thrashing (08 August 2019) Banyana Banyana's midfielder Refiloe Jane insisted her team did not attempt to run up the score against Comoros despite winning a football match 17-0. In 2014 Banyana Banyana scored 14 goals their previous game against Comoros.
Banyana thrash Comoros 17-0 (1 August 2019) Banyana Banyana defeated Comoros 17-0 in a lopsided football match, which tops the score of 14 goals from two years earlier.
Djibouti's debt defying stunt: taking China's money without accepting China's control (16 July 2019) Djibouti has embarked on a major free trade zone with Chinese backing, but it carries the risk that China may attempt to intervene in Djiboutian affairs.
DP World slams Djibouti plan to nullify international adjudications (31 July 2019) DP World —a multinational port operator based in Dubai—condemned the decision by Djibouti to disregard international arbitration on the seizure of the Doraleh container port.
Sparkle chooses Djibouti Data Center as its IP Hub in Africa (12 July 2019) Nigerian-based telecom business Sparkle has announced it plans to base its data operations in East Africa at the Djibouti data center.
AfDB approves $98m grant for Ethiopia road project to Djibouti (7 August 2019) The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced it approved a grant to Ethiopia, with a small amount granted to Djibouti. The grant is for a road linking Ethiopia and Djibouti, and covers approximately $105m of the approximately $250m total cost.
New commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) General Stephen J. Townsend visits Djibouti (08/08/2019) General Steven J. Townsend, the new US Africom commander, visited Djibouti for the first time in his new role from 6 to 8 August 2019, and gave a speech praising cooperation between Djibouti and the United States.
Kenya’s UN Security Council bid: African Union makes final vote (21 August 2019) Djibouti and Kenya are in a dispute over who will occupy a seat on the UN Security Council on behalf of the African Union. The AU members will determine which of the two nations will occupy the seat for a rotating two year period.
Kenya beats Djibouti in race for non-permanent seat at UN Security Council (21 August 2019) The African Union Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) voted 37-13 to select Kenya to represent them at the UN Security Council, prevailing over second-place Djibouti.
DP World Slams Djibouti Following Supreme Court Ruling (1 August 2019) Dubai-based port operator DP World has criticized the government of Djibouti following a Djibouti Supreme Court ruling disregarding international arbitration over a container port concession in Djibouti.
Djibouti has 'no choice' but China for infrastructure development (29 August 2019) The Djibouti Ports Authority chairman claimed the country has no alternative to securing Chinese investment as it seeks to develop its infrastructure.
UNICEF Djibouti Humanitarian Situation Report, Mid-Year 2019 - Djibouti (26 August 2019) UNICEF has released a mid-year report on its operations in Djibouti, including relief aid for 5003 children and psychosocial support for 1348 refugee children.
What did Canadian Peacekeepers Accomplish in Mali (15 July 2019) Canadian soldiers are preparing to withdraw from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. CBC discusses the challenges they faced while deployed to that country.
A Revised Approach Is Needed To Implement Peace In Mali (13 July 2019) The Organization for World Peace is proposing changes be made to peacekeeping operations in Mali to help resolve the crisis.
UN warns of spike in grave violations against children in Mali as ‘the new normal’ (13 August 2019) UNICEF decried human rights violations against children in Mali, particularly in the northern and central regions of the country.
The East African (15 August 2019) Former Oxfam executive Winnie Byanyima was appointed as the new director of UNaids, after holding a similar position at Oxfam for six years.
Kita solar power plant in Mali to be commissioned by February 2020 (26 August 2019) The Malian government has announced that construction of the Kita solar power project will be completed by February 2020.
Canada to send team back to Mali to help Romania minimize gap in evacuation. (28 August 2019) Canada is rescheduling its deployment of peacekeepers to Somalia to fill the void as Romania withdraws its forces.
Mauritania president sacks minister 5 days before leaving office – Middle East Monitor (27 July 2019) Outgoing Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz fired former Health Minister Boubacar Kane five days prior to the end of his term. Transportation Minister Ould Sayyed al-Mukhtar was appointed his replacement, although reasons for the personnel change were not given by the Mauritanian government.
Mauritania’s 2018 budget in $130m surplus (19 July 2019) The Mauritanian finance ministry reported a 130-million-dollar budget surplus, according to the country's deputy finance minister.
Two journalists arrested, internet shut down amid disputed election in Mauritania (3 July 2019) Mauritanian authorities have arrested two journalists and disabled access to the internet in many areas following the 22 June presidential election. The total number of people arrested after the disputed election is approximately one hundred, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Mauritania: Authorities must stop using arbitrary arrests to crackdown on anti-slavery and anti-discrimination activists (12 July 2019) Amnesty International is calling for the release of Ahmedou Ould Wediaa, a Mauritanian anti-slavery activist. He was arrested during a police raid on his home on 2 July 2019.
Mauritania: Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 99th Session, 5 -29 August 2019, follow-up procedure (31 July 2019) Amnesty International is contending that Mauritania has failed to implement UN recommendations on its 2018 anti-discrimination law.
Trump sends Representative to August 1 investiture of new Mauritania president (30 July 2019) The United States will send the US ambassador to Mauritania to attend the inauguration of President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani on 1 August 2019.
Mauritania: Blogger in ‘Blasphemy’ Case Freed After 5 Years (30 July 2019) Mauritanian authorities have freed blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, who has been held for the past five years and six months on charges of blasphemy. He has traveled to an undisclosed country outside Mauritania due to fears for his safety.
New discovery expands natural gas resource potential offshore Mauritania, Senegal (1 July 2019) Kosmos Energy announced the discovery of additional natural gas in the offshore region adjacent to Mauritania and Senegal.
Feasibility study completed for Mauritania uranium mine (29 July 2019) Aura Energy from Australia announced it has conducted a feasibility study on uranium mining in Mauritania, which has presented favorable results.
Mauritania: New President must prioritise human rights (1 August 2019) Amnesty International urged the new Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouni to respect human rights and release detainees held without charges.
Mauritania 'blasphemy' blogger says he saw the sun six times (7 August 2019) Mauritanian blogger Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mekhtar was released five years after he was arrested for blasphemy. He had initially been sentenced to death, but this sentence was later reduced. Amnesty International also called on Mauritania to repeal its blasphemy law.
“During five years in detention, I just saw the sun six times” - Mauritanian blogger tells Amnesty International (5 August 2019) Amnesty International details the story of a Mauritanian blogger released after five years arbitrary detention.
ICE Deports Man Awaiting Hip Replacement Surgery to Mauritania (11 August 2019) ICE has deported a Mauritanian refugee to Mauritania while he was awaiting a hip replacement.
Mauritanian TV highlights Egypt's role in helping Mauritanian cadres (6 August 2019) Mauritanian TV has highlighted the close ties between Egypt and Mauritania, including ties between the youth cadres in Mauritania and their Egyptian counterparts dating back several decades.
GIEWS Country Brief: Mauritania: 5-August-2019 - Mauritania (5 August 2019) Mauritania's crop harvest in 2018 was one of the strongest in recent memory, resulting in record harvests for crops in the southern region of the country.
Mauritania PM forms new gov’t (9 August 2019) Mauritanian Prime Minister Ismail Ould Bedde Ould Sheikh Sidiy has formed his government, with 25 cabinet ministers, of whom twenty percent are women.
Africa in the news: Mauritania’s new President Ghazouani, Mozambique’s peace deal, and Pelosi and US delegation’s visit to Ghana (3 August 2019) Mauritania has had the first peaceful transfer of power in its history as new President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani assumed office after his predecessor was term-limited.
Living in the Shadow of Guantánamo (2 August 2019) A former Guantanamo detainee from Mauritania tells his story to WCNY studios.
Mauritania remains stuck in the past (1 August 2019) According to the author, Mauritania remains hamstrung by racial divisions cemented when the country first became independent.
Difficult Eid al-Adha in Mauritania (12 August 2019) Drought has caused the value of sacrificial animals for Eid Al-Adha in Mauritania to increase dramatically.
FESOJ Condemns killing of journalists in Kismayo blast (13 July 2019) The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) condemned the killings of two journalists at the Media Hotel in Kismayo. Armed militants reportedly stormed the hotel and killed Hoden Nalayeh and Mohamed Sahal Omar.
Canada Promises More Cooperation Mogadishu in eradicating terrorism – Radio Dalsan FM 91.5 MHz (15 July 2019) Canada has pledged greater cooperation to address the problem of terrorism in Somalia following a recent bombing in which a journalist was killed.
Al-Shabab gives Clan Elders 45 day Ultimatum to repent or be killed for appointing Federal Mps – Radio Dalsan FM 91.5 MHz (16 July 2019) Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab is threatening to attack Somali clan leaders for appointing members of parliament. The group set a deadline of forty-five days for them to "repent" their decision.
Amisom Funds Reduce as Withdrawal from Somalia Nears (31 July 2019) Foreign governments are making less funding available for the AMISOM peacekeeping mission ahead of its planned withdrawal from Somalia. Funders include the European Union and United Nations support office in Somalia. These funds pay the expenses of governments to deploy soldiers to Somalia on peacekeeping missions.
Pentagon Document Shows U.S. Knew of “Credible” Reports of Civilian Casualties After Its Attacks in Somalia (11 July 2019) The US military frequently claims in press releases that its missions in Somalia do not cause civilian casualties, but a report from the Pentagon indicates that they were aware of reports of such casualties.
Somalia: Puntland gears up for 21st anniversary of existence (30 July 2019) The breakaway Somali state of Puntland planned to celebrate the twenty-first anniversary of its independence on 1 August 2019. Members of the federal parliament were expected to travel to Garowe, Puntland for the celebrations.
Female Street Cleaners in Somalia (8 July 2019) Somali women are working in trash collection on an individualized basis in order to support their families. This work is seen by many Somalis as being "women's work" which furthers perceptions of gender roles in Somali society.
Somaliland: Escalating censorship, harassment and prosecution of government critics (4 July 2019) Authorities in Somaliland have cracked down on political opponents for exercising their freedom of expression, according to Amnesty International.
Aden Dualle Tables Motion To Allow KDF Intervene In Somalia Kenya Maritime Row (9 August 2019) Kenyan MPs have voted to protest a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to mediate the maritime dispute between Somalia and Kenya. Kenyan House Majority Leader Aden Duale called for mediation by IGAD and the East African Community.
Female Suicide Bombers Behind Mayor Office Attack May Have Planned To Target Farmaajo On Independence Day (9 August 2019) Two female suicide bombers in Somalia seem to have used their position to target President Farmaajo during Somali independence day celebrations.
Boris Johnson’s girlfriend barred from the US over visit to Somalia (22 August 2019) Carrie Symonds is the partner of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but she is currently barred from the United States due to her visit to Somaliland in 2018, which the United States does not recognize as separate from Somalia.
UN Security Council blocks Kenya’s bid to put Al-Shabab under international sanctions (30 August 2019) The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) blocked a move to sanction al-Shabaab, after the United States, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, and Kuwait voted against the sanctions.
Somalia: World Refugee Day - 2018 Summarized Trends - Somalia (27 August 2019) According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), there are about 3.6 million Somalis who are displaced around the world, with 2.6 million internally displaced and 1 million living around the world.
Jubbaland electoral body announces new schedule for Presidential poll (15 August 2019) The electoral authorities in the Jubbaland region set regional polls for 19 August, after they were delayed following a dispute between two major contenders.
FFC agree to include peace preamble to Sudan’s interim constitutional declaration (14 July 2019) The Sudanese Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have agreed to terms with the Sudanese military regarding the preamble to the country's constitution, which will mention the centrality of the country's peace process.
Sudan OCHA bulletin 5: 13,000 people affected by heavy rains (23 July 2019) The United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHI) based in Sudan has reported heavy rains affecting approximately thirteen thousand people in the eastern region of Sudan and Darfur. These rains affected people starting in early June.
Sudan: 'Soldiers' Gang-Rape Two South Darfur Girls (18 July 2019) Sudanese government troops have allegedly raped two young women in the Darfur region in Arwatallah, the victims were reportedly ages fourteen and sixteen according to their relatives.
United States and Britain welcome signing of political agreement (17 July 2019) American and British officials welcomed the signing of a peace agreement between the Sudanese regime and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC)
Pro-Democracy Protests Fill Streets In Sudan, Calling For Civilian Control (1 July 2019) Seven people were killed and hundreds injured after Sudanese authorities opened fire on demonstrators calling for the military to relinquish power. Tens of thousands turned out to demonstrate throughout Sudan.
Sudan: Put Justice Up Front (9 July 2019) Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an independent investigation into the killings of protesters during demonstrations against the Sudanese regime.
Sudan's revolutionaries must remove Hemedti by any means necessar (23 July 2019) The New Arab calls for Sudanese regime opponents to oust Mohamed Hamdan Dalago (aka “Hemedti”), the commander of the Rapid Support Force (RSF) and a key figure in the repression of protesters since Bashir's ouster.
South Sudan: Enough Project Condemns Military Attack on Civilian Protesters in Khartoum - allAfrica.com (3 August 2019) The Enough Project has condemned the use of force by security forces in Khartoum Sudan against protesters calling for a civilian government.
Announcement of new Sudan govt postponed (30 August 2019) The announcement of Sudan's new government has been delayed pending a controversy about Omar Bashir, the proposed Foreign Minister. Omar Bashir had served as an ambassador under the previous President Omar al-Bashir (no immediate relation).
Sudan opposition and military sign final power-sharing accord (17 August 2019) Sudanese regime opponents and the military reached an agreement to establish a transitional government in the country. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia and President of South Sudan were present at the signing.
Sudan at a crossroads (23 August 2019) A detective testifying at Omar al-Bashir's trial in Sudan said Bashir received money from the Saudi royal family. The cash may have been among $113 million that was seized from Bashir's residence by police when he was arrested.
The UN Security Council calls for peace talks in Sudan (23 August 2019) The United Nations Security Council urged the parties in Sudan to continue talks to address the causes of conflict in the country.
Op-ed: The Constitutional Charter and the future of Sudan (7 August 2019) Professor Eric Reeves argues that the Sudanese constitutional charter as written gives the military too much power, even after the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan uprising: Timeline of tumultuous change (12 August 2019) A timeline from Radio Dabanga of the uprisings that forced the ouster of Bashir and the ongoing stalemate between protesters and the military.
World Bank suspends S. Sudan firm over graft allegations (14 July 2019) The World Bank has suspended Universal for General Construction, a South Sudanese company that had been participating in a primary education project with a thirty-three-million-dollar budget.
Professor Mahmood Mamdani’s controversial views regarding the crisis in South Sudan (3 July 2019) The author takes issue with Professor Mahmoud Mamdani's position on the crisis in South Sudan. In particular, he argues Mamdani's description of the country's ethnic makeup is flawed. He also argues that African nations face violations of sovereignty from within Africa, not just from the United States and other Western nations.
Coercion and mediation in South Sudan: Forcing agreements and ignoring reservations (14 July 2019) The author argues South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a 2015 peace agreement under duress from foreign powers, which explains why fighting continued after the agreement. Outside powers such as the United States overlooked the reservations of leaders from South Sudan when this particular agreement was drafted.
South Sudan: End illegal detention of six detainees (26 July 2019) Amnesty International is urging South Sudan to release six detainees who were arrested recently by authorities without justification.
South Sudan strategising for more foreign trade via Kenya (3 July 2019) South Sudanese President Salva Kiir intends to visit Kenya in a bid to boost international trade between the two countries.
South Sudan’s Kiir meets with Darfur rebel leader (14 August 2019) South Sudanese President Salva Kiir met with the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur.
One Year On, South Sudan’s Stalled Peace Deal Is Proving Its Skeptics Right (30 August 2019) The recent peace plans in South Sudan are insufficient to end the ongoing crisis because they do not address the root causes of violence.
Igad asks Kiir to disburse peace deal funds (23 August 2019) IGAD has asked President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to disburse $100 million for security arrangements after only $6.5 million has been disbursed so far.
This Mobile App Helps Reunite Displaced Children With Their Families (21 August 2019) NGOs are using a new Lost Children app to track their efforts to reunite children with their parents in Sudan.
The East African (18 August 2019) President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is intent on cementing his power base in the country as part of a peace agreement, according to the author. This is one of the causes of the conflicts seeming intractability.
Israeli, UK firms tussle over mining activities in South Sudan (11 August 2019) Israeli and British firms were in British courts over a mining dispute in South Sudan.