Africa

Macron to admit French torture during Algerian War

French president will recognize that the French military tortured and ultimately killed Maurice Audin. Zachary Young Politico PARIS — France was responsible for the disappearance of a pro-Algerian activist in 1957, Emmanuel Macron is set to acknowledge Thursday. Maurice Audin, a mathematician and member of the Algerian Communist Party (ACP), disappeared in Algiers in June 1957 after having been arrested in his home by French military. French intelligence suspected him of sheltering soldiers from the ACP’s guerrilla wing during the… ... Read More »

Human rights activists outraged as Egypt court sentences 75 to death

Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced 75 people to death, including leaders of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in protest in Cairo that spiralled into violence and resulted in… Mohamed Ezz The Sydney Morning Herald New York Times Cairo Criminal Court was considering the case of 739 people facing charges ranging from killing police officers, incitement to violence and damaging property during the 2013 violence in Rabaa al-Adawiya, a square in… Forty-seven people, including the ... Read More »

Can this Egyptian actor’s photo in bed with another man send him to prison?

CAIRO — A photo and a gay pride flag on a T-shirt has spurred controversy and eventually a legal case in Egypt last month, targeting actor Khaled Abol Naga and the international clothing brand Bershka. Ahmed Fouad Al-Monitor Lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzouri told Al-Monitor that both Abol Naga and Bershka risk facing legal charges under Article 294 of the Egyptian Penal Code. The article stipulates six months to three years of imprisonment for inciting adultery, immorality and prostitution, verbally, by implication, by signs or any similar means. The Egyptian ... Read More »

Land Reform in South Africa: Fact and Fiction

U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a diplomatic row with South Africa by repeating an erroneous broadcast about land reform there. Piers Pigou ICG In this Q&A, our Southern Africa Senior Consultant Piers Pigou sets the record straight about the land ownership and expropriation debates that are really underway in South Africa today. What happened to start the row? On 22 August, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate land seizures ... Read More »

Ceasefire agreed to end fighting in Libya’s Tripoli, says UN

Rival militias in and around Tripoli already forged and promptly violated a ceasefire Borzou Daragahi Independent Warring factions in Libya’s capital have signed onto a shaky ceasefire aimed at ending 10 days of fighting that has left dozens dead and displaced thousands. The deal came hours after Libya’s UN envoy, Ghassam Salame, swooped into Tripoli and summoned politicians and warlords for an emergency meeting to end fighting that had plunged the city of one million into a fresh round of misery, violence, and chaos. ... Read More »

How solar kits and battery lamps are replacing kerosene across Africa

For decades, people in rural Africa have been using sooty kerosene lamps to dimly light their homes. Jörg Peters The Conversation But in recent years households, even in poor areas, have started to replace their kerosene lamps with non-rechargeable dry-cell battery driven lamps and solar kits. This is happening largely without any governmental or donor involvement. These devices are equipped with light-emitting diodes (LED) that have become significantly cheaper over the years. This has, in turn, made them a highly ... Read More »

Helping the Burundian People Cope with the Economic Crisis

Burundi’s worsening economy threatens to incite further violence in an already unstable country. ICG The European Union and its member states, who have suspended direct aid to the government, must redouble efforts to ensure that their support benefits the Burundian people. What’s happening?  In the wake of the political and security crisis ongoing in Burundi since 2015, the economy has suffered a sharp decline. The economic and social progress achieved since the end of the civil war in the 2000s ... Read More »

South Sudanese rebels ‘approve’ peace deal with government

The final peace agreement between the government and rebels will be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. AlJazeera South Sudanese rebels have approved a peace deal with Juba that is expected to be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, who is mediating the negotiations, said rebels had signed a key document aimed at ending the country’s devastating five-year civil war on Thursday. “By signing this document today, we have reached ... Read More »

Europe struggles to atone for its colonial evils

At a handover ceremony held in a Berlin church on Wednesday, Namibian officials received the remains of indigenous people killed in their country by German forces more than a century ago. Edited by Max J. Rosenthal and Ruby Mellen By Ishaan Tharoor The Washington Post The grisly contents included 19 skulls, a scalp and bones belonging to five skeletons, all of which had been been housed for decades on dusty shelves in German universities and museums. The remains are a ... Read More »

A new dawn or more of the same for Zimbabwe?

Many Zimbabweans hope inauguration will usher in new era but critics raise concerns over Mnangagwa’s ties to old guard. Tendai Marima AlJazeera Harare, Zimbabwe – A loud and familiar chant rang out across the tightly-packed arena as Emmerson Mnangagwa took to the stage to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president. “ED Pfee! ED Pfee!” the crowds roared in unison, echoing the ruling ZANU-PF party’s election campaign slogan for Mnangagwa to “get in there” in the hope that Zimbabwe’s second president will deliver a new era of ... Read More »

Egypt joins with EU to protect water security

CAIRO — Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Mohamed Abdel Aty announced in a July 24 press release that an agreement had been reached with the European Union (EU) to finance an irrigation-development project and improve the… Ayah Aman Al-Monitor The Egyptian government has been seeking to expand cooperation with international partners to address the threats to Egyptian water security. Egypt suffers from water scarcity, with a water deficit of 20 billion cubic meters (16.2 million acre feet) a year. The government has… Egypt joins ... Read More »

Is China worsening the developing world’s environmental crisis?

The developing world is in the midst of an environmental crisis. Simply breathing the air is a leading cause of death. Jonas Gamso The Conversation One recent study found that pollution is to blame for a fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s infant deaths. Another showed that exposure to toxins or other dangerous substances in the air killed over 9 million people in 2015 alone, with 92 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries – this is more people than were ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results. Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

How new Silk Road will cement China as major trading partner for Africa

In 138 BC China took its first step towards global connectivity with the establishment of the historical Silk Road. Authors: The Conversation Zhang Qian was sent by Emperor Wudi to Central Asia to establish trade relationships. His historic missions enabled China to make contact with the outposts of Hellenic civilisation established by Alexander the Great. These efforts enabled Emperor’s Han dynasty to develop political and trade relationships with Central Asian countries. New ideas came to China, along with new plants ... Read More »

Who says the most liveable city is in the west? Culture doesn’t just live in museums

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index claims Vienna is more cultured than Lagos. But it is flawed and subjective Chibundu Onuzo The Guardian A few months ago, I stepped out one morning and saw a coil of animal poo on the doorstep. My mother and I spent a long time trying to figure out what sort of animal had done the deed. We decided, in the end, that a fox was the culprit. But it could also have been a racist. ... Read More »