Africa

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

‘He’ll be killed’: Fears for UK asylum seekers threatened with deportation under alleged deal with Zimbabawe

Exclusive: ‘I’m shocked that they want to send me back to a place where all those terrible things are happening. I won’t be able to walk out of the airport terminal without being interrogated by the police. There will be brutal beatings. I won’t be spared’ May Bulman Independent Zimbabwean asylum seekers who were forced to attend meetings with officials from their home country have been threatened with removal, in a move believed to be part of an agreement to “repatriate” thousands of… At least two people who ... Read More »

African leaders unveil statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor

A statue of Ethiopia‘s Emperor Haile Selassie has been unveiled at the headquarters of the African Union on Feb. 10. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Hurriyet The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body’s offices in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism. Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the… Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile ... Read More »

Canada opens doors to some 750 ex-slaves from Libya

Canada will welcome some 750 ex-slaves from Libya as refugees, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said on Feb. 6. OTTAWA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The number of migrants traveling through Libya to reach Europe has increased tenfold since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, according to the United Nations. And their fate was highlighted – dramatically in 2017 – by multiple shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and the broadcast of a CNN report showing a Libyan slave market. “In 2017, the world was shocked to see ... Read More »

Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon. Maurice Stierl The Conversation This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe. The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19. Though they survived the night at ... Read More »

Eight Priorities for the African Union in 2019

With this commentary, coming in the wake of our annual Ten Conflicts to Watch and EU Watch List, Crisis Group turns to what 2019 will mean for the African continent and the African Union (AU) ahead of its February summit. ICG The broad trends identified in those two preceding publications are mirrored here as well, to wit: a transition wrapped in a transition, wrapped in a transition. The first transition is occurring at the local level, where entrenched governments face a perilous mix ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani’s literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript

Asylum speaker accepts $125,000 Victorian premier’s literary prize via video from Manus Island, where he has been held for six years Behrouz Boochani The Guardian This is a transcript of the speech Behrouz Boochani delivered via video link on 31 January 2019 Behrouz Boochani wins Australia’s richest literary prize When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a ... Read More »

Tutankhamun’s tomb restored to prevent damage by visitors

A nine-year project has been completed to restore the tomb of ancient Egypt’s boy king, Tutankhamun, and address issues that threatened its survival. BBC Experts from the Getty Conservation Institute repaired scratches and abrasions on the wall paintings caused by visitors to the burial chamber. The paintings were also affected by humidity, dust and carbon dioxide introduced by every person who entered. A new ventilation system should reduce the need for future cleaning. New barriers will restrict physical access to ... Read More »

Angola decriminalises homosexuality

Angola’s parliament has also voted to ban discrimination against sexual orientation with offenders facing up to two years in prison. AFP-SBS Angola’s parliament has decriminalised homosexuality, removing a notorious “vices against nature” provision in its penal code and banning discrimination against sexual orientation, in a reform hailed by rights watchdogs. On Wednesday, 155 parliamentarians voted for Angola’s first overhaul of the criminal statute books since independence, while seven abstained and one voted against. “Angola has finally shed the… Angola decriminalises… Read More »

Nigerian chief justice’s suspension raises international concerns

International observers have expressed concern about the suspension of Nigeria’s chief justice – just three weeks before a general election. BBC Judge Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. He is facing charges for allegedly failing to declare his personal assets before taking office in 2017. But the EU, UK and US have taken serious issue with his removal, suggesting it could “cast a pall over the electoral process”. Mr Buhari’s decision has been called “an act ... Read More »

Do truth and reconciliation commissions heal divided nations?

As long as unresolved historic injustices continue to fester in the world, there will be a demand for truth commissions. Bonny Ibhawoh The Conversation Unfortunately, there is no end to the need. The goal of a truth commission — in some forms also called a truth and reconciliation commission, as it is in Canada — is to hold public hearings to establish the scale and impact of a past injustice, typically involving wide-scale human rights abuses, and make it part ... Read More »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition.  Piers Pigou What triggered this explosion of unrest? In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance. On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the ... Read More »

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as ‘terrorists’ killed

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Jan. 16 that gunmen who stormed an upmarket hotel complex, killing 14 people, had been “eliminated” after an almost 20-hour siege in which hundreds of… NAIROBI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and gunmen engaged security forces in numerous shootouts during the assault on ... Read More »

Improving Prospects for a Peaceful Transition in Sudan

Popular protests are rumbling across Sudan, shaking President Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year grip on power. ICG The authorities have cracked down hard and, as the demonstrations intensify, they may ratchet up the repression. External powers should urge restraint and offer Bashir a way to the exit. What’s new? Protests across Sudan flared up as the government cut a vital bread subsidy. Economic grievances are fuelling demands for political change, with protesters calling on President Omar al-Bashir, in power since 1989, to ... Read More »