The essentials: Last week an official of Sudan's transitional government announced that the country is planning to hand over former President Omar Al Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The announcement was light on details and heavy on caveats, but with more information emerging, it looks increasingly likely that Al Bashir will have to face justice in some form. → Read the rest “The long arm of the ICC comes for Al Bashir”
Thirty years to the day after Nelson Mandela stepped out of prison, his freedom a symbol of African self-determination and a triumph for the solidarity between Africans, the African Union is kicking off its annual summit to address the significant challenges of the continent. Unfortunately, many of the bloc's 55 leaders that will ultimately determine the AU's strategy are chief among those same challenges and show little willingness to tackle the systematic flaws in the system that they rely on. → Read the rest “Is the African Union up to the continent’s challenges?”
The essentials: Massive swarms of locusts are currently active in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia and threaten the food security of millions in the whole region. The plague is the result of both natural breeding cycles and human-made climate change.
The context: Locusts are a family of insects that bear a strong resemblance to grasshoppers, but come with a critical difference: under the right environmental conditions, they can change both their behavior and physiology. → Read the rest “A Plague on All Your Countries: Locusts and Climate Change”
The essentials: A massive leak of 715,000 documents to the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa, led to a massive investigative journalism effort coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists into the provenance of the wealth of Isabel dos Santos, billionaire daugther of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos and her husband, Congolese art collector and businessman Sindika Dokolo. → Read the rest “#LuandaLeaks All Over Isabel Dos Santos”
The essentials: On Monday, French President Macron hosted his five Sahelian counterparts in the French town of Pau. In the run-up to the summit, Macron found harsh words for the anti-French protests in those same countries, threatening to pull out French troops fighting Islamists in the Sahel. In December, he also announced together with Ivorian President Ouattara that the West African CFA would transition to a new currency called Eco, signaling a less prominent role of France in African monetary policy. → Read the rest “What is France up to in its former colonies?”
The essentials: The Turkish parliament last week approved the deployment of troops to Libya to shore up the coalition that holds the capital Tripoli and the internationally recognised government against militias supported by Russia and Arab nations. This marks an increasing escalation of foreign intervention in Libya and further undermines any hopes for a quick ceasefire. → Read the rest “Turkish Adventures on African Shores”
The essentials: A case of alleged genocide brought against Myanmar by The Gambia in defence of the Rohingya people was heard last week. The Gambia's Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou led the delegation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague while Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, spoke for Myanmar. → Read the rest “Tiny Gambia Takes Myanmar to Court over Rohingya Genocide”
The essentials: Tanzanian President John Magufuli's campaign to restrict critics or even potential critics of his administration has continued with his efforts to block individuals and NGOs from directly filing cases against his government to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
The context: The Court has jurisdiction over all cases that are submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. → Read the rest “Magufuli shuts down another outlet for dissent”
The essentials: Bissau-Guineans voted on Sunday in a peaceful presidential ballot. The country remains calm for election results on November 28th. The forerunners are incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz, who seeks a second 5-year term and Domingos Simoes Pereira.
The context: Guinea Bissau has endured political upheaval for the past 5 years. → Read the rest “Calm as Guinea Bissau awaits poll results”
The essentials: Despite a raft of ludicrous denials, it's clear that Ugandan officials are cracking down on the country's LGBT community. Following the raid of a gay-friendly Kampala bar, 67 people are now being charged with public nuisance.
The background: Anti-LGBT rhetoric started heating up a few months back when Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo promised that Uganda's parliament would soon be voting on notorious legislation that would introduce the death penalty for people found guilty of having gay sex. → Read the rest “Uganda’s cynical, dangerous crackdown on its LGBT community”