Africa

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Nigerian police say false information on Facebook is killing people By Yemisi Adegoke and BBC Africa Eye * Nigerian police say false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence. When BBC Africa Eye got in touch with Facebook, the company disabled the account of a man in the UK who was spreading misinformation to thousands in Nigeria. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

In Mozambique, researchers are racing to understand the genetics of elephants born without tusks—and the consequences of the trait. Dina Fine Maron National Geographic The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters. Hunting ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

Madagascar elections: Rivals vie for presidency

People in Madagascar are voting in a presidential election that sees the incumbent president battling against two of his predecessors. BBC There are 36 candidates in all to lead the Indian Ocean island, which in recent years has been hit by periods of political instability. In May, the army threatened to take over amid huge street protests. The main candidates promised to boost the economy in a country where 80% of the population live in poverty. The front-runners have criss-crossed ... Read More »

The United Arab Emirates in the Horn of Africa

The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. ICG As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement. What’s new?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council ... Read More »

Uncertainties Deepen in Cameroon after Divisive Election

Cameroon went to the polls on 7 October amid several crises, notably the conflict between the government and Anglophone separatists. ICG Crisis Group’s expert Hans De Marie Heungoup, in Cameroon during the vote, says it has compounded the country’s problems but also offered reason for hope. On 22 October Cameroonian authorities declared incumbent Paul Biya winner of the presidential election with a score of 71 per cent. What happened? The presidential election was held amid the worst insecurity since 1992. ... Read More »

Russia sends new frigate with cruise missiles onboard to Mediterranean

Russia said it deployed its new frigate with long-range Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea on Nov. 5, a few months after Moscow had reinforced its naval forces off Syrian cost. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet “The Black Sea Navy Fleet’s frigate Admiral Makarov left (Navy base) Sevastopol and laid a course for the Black Sea straits. The vessel will be acting in the standing naval force of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean,” the… Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from ... Read More »

Tanzania: Anti-gay crackdown in Dar es Salaam

A Tanzanian governor has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people. BBC Paul Makonda, governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, told reporters round-ups would begin next week. The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest people in same sex couples, he added. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015. Many gay, lesbian and ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s African business summit marred by protest

The German chancellor welcomed 11 African leaders to Berlin to introduce them to the CEOs of Germany’s biggest firms. Ben Knight DW Outside, protesters demanded Germany stop doing business with dictatorships across the continent. “Africa is open for business.” South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa couldn’t have made the basic purpose of the G20 investment summit any clearer. Ramaphosa was one of 11 African leaders in Berlin on Tuesday for what the German government said was the biggest African event ... Read More »

Tunisia’s Political Polarisation Worsens after First Big Terrorist Attack in Two Years

A 29 October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis dealt a blow to much-improved security since the last violent jihadist attacks in 2015-16. ICG In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Tunisia Michael B. Ayari says it has also hammered a… What do we know about what happened, and who was behind the attack? On 29 October, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device in her backpack on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis – the city’s ... Read More »

Ghana must move from coping with floods, to adapting for them

Ghana has a serious flood problem. Over about 50 years, 4 million people have been affected by floods, resulting in economic damage exceeding USD$780 million. At least one major flood disaster has occurred every year over the… Authors: The Conversation Floods are not uncommon in West Africa. Rainfall variability and land use changes have made them increasingly common throughout the region. In Ghana’s urban areas, like Accra and Kumasi, floods are mostly triggered by seasonal rainfall combined with poor drainage, the dumping of waste into waterways and the… Ghana must move… Read More »

Bahrain says ‘Arab NATO’ to be formed by next year

The alliance aims to include six Gulf countries and Egypt, though Saudi-led blockade on Qatar remains an obstacle. Al Jazeera Bahrain‘s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has said a planned Gulf security alliance, expected to include Egypt, will be formed by next year. At a security summit in capital Manama on Saturday, Khalifa said the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), an initiative pushed by US President Donald Trump to confront Iran, will help the Gulf remain “a… “It (MESA) is an alliance ... Read More »

UN names Human Rights Prize winners for 2018

Asma Jahangir, Rebeca Gyumi, Joenia Wapichana and Front Line Defenders honoured by the UN for promoting human rights. Al Jazeera The United Nations has hailed the “inspiring” work of four individuals and organisations as it announced the winners of its Human Rights Prize for 2018. The honour was given on Friday to Asma Jahangir, the late Pakistani lawyer and leading human rights defender, along with Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Irish human rights groups Front… UN names Human… Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »