– NEWS –
Evidence of possible atrocities in Ethiopia: Almost 2,000 people killed in more than 150 massacres by soldiers, paramilitaries and insurgents in Tigray have been identified by researchers studying the conflict. The oldest victims were in their 90s and the youngest were infants. The US State Department said last week it was looking into reports of extrajudicial executions committed by the Ethiopian army following a CNN investigation. The CNN report found that Ethiopian soldiers had executed unarmed men in the country’s war-torn Tigray region. The investigation, carried out with Amnesty International, verified footage of soldiers killing a group of at least 11 men before disposing of their bodies near the Tigrayan town of Mahibere Dego. A BBC investigation, also published Thursday, corroborated the same massacre. The reports will increase international pressure on Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has claimed that many reports of atrocities are exaggerated or fabricated.
Attack on UN aid facilities in Nigeria: Five civilians have been killed and three facilities of global aid organizations destroyed in an attack by Boko Haram in a northeastern town of Nigeria, multiple sources said on Sunday. Condemning the attack, Edward Kallon, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said humanitarian operations, facilities and aid workers were lifeline of the northeastern region wrecked by over a decade of terror attacks. The UN official said humanitarian operations in the town will be reduced due to the violent attacks.
Veteran ruler Deby poised for sixth term in Chad: Vote counting has started in Chad after a tense presidential election on Sunday that is likely to see President Idriss Deby extend his three-decade rule, despite signs of growing discontent over his handling of the nation’s oil wealth. A key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the Sahel, Deby is the frontrunner in a six-candidate race without major rivals after a campaign in which demonstrations were banned or dispersed. A former rebel and career soldier who seized power in a coup in 1990, Deby has twice, with French help, thwarted attempts to oust him. Chad has struggled with poverty and instability since gaining independence from France in 1960.
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Vote counting in Benin after election marked by violent protests: Vote counting began in Benin on Sunday in a presidential poll that was boycotted by some opposition parties over violence triggered by objections to President Patrice Talon’s quest for a second five-year mandate. Talon, a multi-millionaire cotton magnate who touts strong economic growth under his leadership, is accused by his opponents of undermining Benin’s standing as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies. Among the protesters’ complaints are Talon’s U-turn on a pledge he made as a candidate in 2016 to serve only one term, and changes he pushed through to election laws, which resulted in total control of parliament by Talon’s supporters and the exclusion of leading opponents from the presidential race.
‚Lost golden city‘ found in Egypt: The discovery of a 3,000-year-old city that was lost to the sands of Egypt has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds since Tutankhamun’s tomb. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the „lost golden city“ near Luxor on Thursday. He said the find was the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt. It was unearthed within weeks of the excavation starting in September 2020. The city dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC.
Southern African leaders concerned by Mozambique’s rebels: Southern African leaders issued a joint statement of concern on Thursday over the ongoing extremist violence in northern Mozambique, which has left thousands of people dead and displaced many more. The presidents of Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe met with President Filipe Nyusi in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, to seek solutions to an „Islamic State“-tied insurgency that threatens to spread further instability in the region. The African leaders “noted with concern, the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children” in the Cabo Delgado province and “condemned the terrorist attacks in strongest terms; and affirmed that such heinous attacks cannot be allowed to continue.”
Morocco leads the African vaccination campaign nzz.ch
Literature: Bénédicte Savoy with research on “Africa’s struggle for its art” deutschlandfunkkultur.de
Architectural guide on the diversity of buildings in 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa dw.com
Dozens burned alive in Congo bus crash reuters.com
– BACKGROUND –
G20 to extend debt-servicing freeze: World finance chiefs have agreed to boost reserves at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by $650 billion and extend a freeze on developing countries’ debt servicing to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a draft statement said. Expanding the IMF’s reserves would boost liquidity for all members, without adding to the debt burden of the 30-some countries already in or facing debt distress, finance officials and economists said. The draft showed the G20 also agreed to a final extension to the end of 2021 of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, meant to free cash in developing countries to fight Covid-19. Extending the freeze on debt service payments by the poorest countries could provide billions of dollars for them to spend on vaccines and stimulus, World Bank head David Malpass told reporters on Monday.
Djibouti: Strong partner, weak economy: Despite its small population of just one million, the small country of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is one of the most important states for military strategists and security politicians around the world. Due to its location at the entrance to the Red Sea, directly on the Bab al-Mandab strait, just before the Suez Canal, the US, France, China and Japan currently have military bases in the country. Saudi Arabia and India could be added in the future. In addition, the country is seen as an anchor of stability in an extremely troubled region. China is also increasingly discovering the state for itself and, among other things, prefers to deliver Covid vaccines to Djibouti. Meanwhile, the life of the general population is marked by great poverty. A national debt of 70 percent of the gross domestic product gives little hope for improvement.
There are still enormous differences in the global vaccination rate: While vaccination campaigns have long since picked up speed in most European countries, North America and parts of Asia and Latin America, large parts of the African continent are still blank spots on the WHO vaccination cards. Countries like Libya or Botswana are not even listed in the WHO vaccination records. Forty-four countries in Africa have already received vaccines, according to Clemens Schwanhold, political advisor at the non-governmental organization ONE, but conversely this means that ten countries have not yet administered an injection. Among them are countries like Burundi. Tanzania, Madagascar and Eritrea, whose governments may not really believe in the effectiveness of the vaccines or the danger of the virus, but also countries that want more speed in their vaccination campaigns continue to suffer from the unequal global distribution. The global “Covax Initiative”, which was launched with great hope, will not change that. Meanwhile, countries like the US and India are imposing export bans on the urgently needed vaccines, and the EU is also considering appropriate measures.
From boom to problem child – Africa’s aviation in crisis: Before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, aviation was seen as a growth industry on the African continent. But that’s over. Africa’s airlines are suffering severely from the pandemic. Tourists and corporate travelers are almost completely absent. While around 110 million air travelers flew to, from and within Africa in 2019, there were less than half as many last year. The airlines recorded a total of around 8.6 billion euros in losses. It is a crisis without an end in sight. Only the upswing in freight transport provides a glimmer of hope.
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According to the WHO, less than two percent of all Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered worldwide have been administered to the 1.3 billion people in Africa.
– QUOTE –
„Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed was a mistake.“
Political scientist Tobias Hagmann is convinced that Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed bears great responsibility for the escalated conflict in the breakaway province of Tigray.
– AT LAST –
French philosopher Michel Foucault ‘abused boys in Tunisia’: The philosopher Michel Foucault, a beacon of today’s “woke” ideology, has become the latest prominent French figure to face a retrospective reckoning for sexually abusing children. A fellow intellectual, Guy Sorman, has unleashed a storm among Parisian “intellos” with his claim that Foucault, who died in 1984 aged 57, was a paedophile rapist who had sex with Arab children while living in Tunisia in the late 1960s.