Africa News and Discussions

caltrek
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Ethiopia’s Ruling Party Wins National Election in Landslide
July 10, 2021

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/1 ... -landslide

Introduction:
(Al Jazeera) Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party has been declared the winner of last month’s national election in a landslide, assuring a second five-year term for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The June 21 election marked the first time Abiy faced voters since being appointed prime minister in 2018 following several years of anti-government protests.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday, Abiy described it as a historically inclusive election, adding: “Our party is also happy that it has been chosen by the will of the people to administer the country.”

But the poll was held in the midst of the gruelling conflict in Tigray region that has battered Abiy’s global reputation and raised fears of widespread famine.

The National Election Board of Ethiopia announced on Saturday that the ruling party won 410 seats in the federal parliament out of 436 where elections were held. Some seats will remain vacant as no voting took place in some areas due to unrest or logistical reasons.
Image
Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed votes in June's elections
[File: Screenshot/Reuters]
caltrek
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Violence Erupts Over Jailing of Former South Africa Leader Zuma
July 10, 2021

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/1 ... jacob-zuma

Introduction:
(Al Jazeera) South African police have arrested 28 people and one of the country’s biggest highways remained closed over violent protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.

Protests erupted this week in parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Zuma’s home province, after the ex-leader handed himself over to police to serve a 15-month jail term for contempt of court.

On Friday, the high court dismissed Zuma’s application to have his arrest overturned in a case that has been seen as a test of the rule of law in the post-apartheid nation.

Zuma’s imprisonment has laid bare deep divisions in the governing African National Congress (ANC), as a party faction remains loyal to the former president and has been a potent source of opposition to his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa.

KZN police spokesman Jay Naicker said the 28 arrests had happened since Friday on charges including public violence, burglary, malicious damage to property, and contravention of COVID-19 lockdown regulations
Image
Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma block the highway with burning tyres during a protest in Peacevale, South Africa.
[Rogan Ward/Reuters]
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South Africa violence: Troop numbers on streets increase to 25,000 amid looting - and more could be deployed
Thursday 15 July 2021

The number of soldiers deployed on the streets of South Africa has increased to 25,000 as the army and police struggle to quell days of looting and violence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering boosting troop numbers even more, as at least 72 people have been killed in the worst unrest in the country for years.

And some citizens are arming themselves to protect their property and businesses from the rampage, which has hit two of South Africa's nine provinces - KwaZulu-Natal, where Durban is located, and Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg.

In the Mobeni area of Durban, several food warehouses and a rice depot have been "invaded" and "ransacked", according to Sky News correspondent John Sparks.
https://news.sky.com/story/south-africa ... d-12355785
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caltrek
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Egypt Frees Activists Amid Criticism Of Rights Record
by Mona Salem
July 18, 2021

https://www.barrons.com/news/egypt-free ... 1626630607

Introduction:
(AFP Via Barron's) Egypt on Sunday freed six activists including journalist Esraa Abdel-Fattah, a symbol of the 2011 revolution, just days after Washington warned Cairo over a crackdown on rights activists.

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in 2014, the former army chief has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

On Wednesday the United States warned Egypt not to target rights campaigners, saying the issue would be a factor in arms sales to its Arab ally.

Analysts said the latest releases were aimed at easing international pressure over Egypt's human rights record.

The prosecution ordered Abdel-Fattah's release after nearly 22 months in pre-trial detention, lawyer Khaled Ali said, posting photographs of her leaving prison.
caltrek
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Knife Attack Against Mali Interim President Assimi Goita
July 20, 2021
(Al Jazeera) Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita has been targeted in an attempted stabbing attack after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Bamako, his office said.

“The attacker was immediately overpowered by security. Investigations are ongoing,” the presidency said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

Goita was whisked away, according to an AFP news agency journalist, who also said he saw blood at the scene, though it was not clear who had been wounded.

An official at the presidency later told AFP that Goita was “safe and sound”. The president arrived at the military camp of Kati, outside Bamako, “where security has been reinforced”, the official said.

Two military sources also told Reuters news agency that Goita was unharmed following the attack.
Last edited by caltrek on Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jacob Zuma corruption trial postponed to August
by Thabo Baloyi
July 20, 2021

https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/national ... ar-AAMlW9A

Introduction:
(The South African Via MSN) Is it a victory for former president Jacob Zuma? The High court in Pietermaritzburg has moved to have his corruption trial postponed to 10 August 2021. This is to allow for the adjudication of issues raised in a special plea.

Delivering judgement on Tuesday morning, 20 July 2021, presiding Judge Piet Kroen said the matter would however continue being heard virtually.

Zuma’s legal counsel, headed by advocate Dali Mpofu, had argued that he should be allowed to testify in person.

The former president is currently serving his 15-month prison sentence for contempt after being convicted by the Constitutional Court earlier in July.

A recap: His corruption trial emanates from the arms deal, which was clinched in the late 1990s, when he was still KwaZulu-Zatal’s Economic Development MEC. Zuma is accused of having pocketed bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales – in exchange for using his political influence to secure them the military defence procurement contract.
caltrek
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Violence in South Africa: an Uprising of Elites, Not of the People
July 22, 2021

https://theconversation.com/violence-in ... ple-164968

Extract:
(The Conversation) From time to time, South Africa is rudely reminded that its past continues to make its present and future difficult. It does not always recognise this reality when it sees it.

The latest – and most shocking – reminder is the violence which followed the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma. The mayhem devastated KwaZulu-Natal, the home of Zuma and his faction of the governing African National Congress (ANC), and damaged Gauteng, the economic heartland which also houses hostels in which working migrants from KwaZulu-Natal live.

Destructive violence is frightening. In South Africa, it is even more alarming because its middle class, which monopolises the debate, assumes that it is only a matter of time before the country is engulfed in conflict. This makes it important to point out that, as severe as the violence was, it does not mean that the country’s democracy is in deep danger.

The violence has been widely seen as an expression of anger and frustration by people living in poverty, which has been much worsened in South Africa by the impact of COVID-19. But there was no revolt of the poor – it was an assault on democracy by elites.

Nor was the violence a popular uprising. There were no large public demonstrations. The scale of the KwaZulu-Natal violence was huge but you don’t need many people to set fire to electricity installations or factories. The damage could have been done with minimal public support and almost certainly was. This was an uprising of elites, not of the people, although some joined the looting as we would expect people in poverty to do.
caltrek
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Tunisian President Dismisses Prime Minister, Freezes Parliament
by Caroline Vakil
July 26, 2021

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... uxbndlbing

Introduction:
(The Hill) Tunisia's president froze parliament and fired the prime minister on Sunday, saying he would assume executive control along with a new prime minister, Reuters reported.

The announcement follows protests that occurred last week over Tunisia's economic situation and the pandemic's effects on the country. President Kais Saied said that a new prime minister would be chosen within hours and parliament members' immunity would be lifted in an effort to placate the country, The Associated Press reported.

"We have taken these decisions ... until social peace returns to Tunisia and until we save the state," Saied said in a speech on Sunday, following an emergency security meeting he attended regarding the demonstrations, according to the AP.

Though many protesters erupted in cheers and took to the streets to celebrate, Saied made it clear during his speech that the country would respond if the protesters became violent on Sunday night.

"I warn any who think of resorting to weapons ... and whoever shoots a bullet, the armed forces will respond with bullets," Saied said, according to Reuters.
caltrek
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It is so sad to see that Tunisia may be backsliding away from being a democracy (or for you purists a democratic republic).

Tunisia: Turmoil Continues as President Sacks More Officials

July 29, 2021

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/2 ... -officials

Introduction:
(Al Jazeera) Tunisia has lurched further into political uncertainty after President Kais Saied dismissed more officials, just days after he sacked the prime minister, froze Parliament and assumed executive powers.

After suspending Parliament and sacking Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Sunday, and firing the defence and justice ministers a day later, Saied ordered the dismissal of several top officials late on Tuesday.

The 63-year-old president, a former law lecturer and political newcomer who won a landslide 2019 presidential election victory, issued decrees sacking a long list of senior government officials, including the army’s chief prosecutor.

On Wednesday, he dismissed the CEO of national television channel Wataniya.

In addition, he has lifted the parliamentary immunity of lawmakers and assumed judicial powers. He has also ordered an investigation into three political parties suspected of receiving foreign funds before the elections in 2019.
Image
Tunisia is also beset by a crippling economic crisis and surging COVID infections
Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters
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