Sunday, December 3

African updates

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An association for the health workers is pushing for better salariesWest African bloc suspends Mali over coupCholera hits camp for people displaced by Congo VolcanoKidnappers free Nigeria students ‘too small to walk’Somaliland goes to polls to pick new parliamentEgypt to lift Covid restrictions from 1 JuneSouth Africa tightens restrictions to fight Covid surge

BBCCopyright: BBC

Shops are locked, schools closed, and streets are deserted in
parts of southern Nigeria following a sit-at-home order by secessionist group,
the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).

The group told people to stay at home on Monday to mark the
54th anniversary of the declaration of the break-away state of
Biafra on 30 May 1967, which led to three years of a civil war with Nigeria.

The event was moved a day to allow people to attend church
services on Sunday, Ipob leader Nnamdi Kanu said in a broadcast.

But governors of the five south-east states had asked people
to disregard the order and go about their businesses.

Some government
offices are open but workers have stayed away for fear of attacks by members of
Ipob who have in the past forcefully enforced the order.

BBCCopyright: BBC

Four states in the south-east and neighbouring Rivers in the Niger Delta had imposed dusk to dawn curfews in some areas amid the tension.

Authorities in Abia state also banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles as the government said they were used by criminals to carry out attacks.

There has been a recent surge in attacks on police stations, courts and offices of the election commission in the south-east by unidentified groups, but the armed wing of Ipob, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), has been known to carry out such attacks in the past.

For more on Biafra:

Biafra at 50: Nigeria’s civil war explainedRemembering Nigeria’s Biafra war that many prefer to forget

Burundi president starts Kenya visit

Burundi President
Evariste Ndayishimiye has arrived in Kenya for a two-day visit.

This is Mr Ndayishimiye’s sixth foreign visit in less than a year in power.

His predecessor, the late Pierre Nkurunziza, only left Burundi once during his last term in office when he went by road to neighbouring Tanzania.

Mr Ndayishimiye’s visit to Kenya is an “opportunity to strengthen brotherhood
relations between Burundians and Kenyans” his spokesperson said
in a statement.

Since winning the presidency in June 2020, Mr Ndayishimiye has been keen to revive diplomatic relations after Burundi isolated itself from May 2015 following a failed coup in the country.

Early this month, he visited Uganda, another member of the East African
Community bloc.

The bloc is riddled with tensions between some member
states and its current chairman, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, seems intent on solving some of the rows.

Mr Ndayishimiye is accompanied by First Lady Angeline
Ndayubaha in the trip and they are scheduled to attend Kenya’s Madaraka Day celebrations – the day Kenya attained internal self-rule – in the western town of Kisumu.

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By Michelle Katami

BBC Sport Africa

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC News, Lusaka

Police in Zambia have started arresting members of the resident doctors association after their leaders announced a strike on Friday.

The Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) is demanding the recruitment of 500 doctors and payment of salary arrears, among other issues, according to its president Dr Brian Sampa.

They are also demanding the creation of new positions for senior doctors who have continued to receive salaries at the level of junior doctors.

Mr Sampa’s practicing license has been suspended following his strike announcement.

Zambia Police chief Kakoma Kanganja has also warned him that he would be arrested if he continued addressing his members through via Zoom meetings.

However, Mr Sampa has released a video, widely shared on social media, alleging that his members were now being arrested.

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Medical students at the University Teaching Hospital in the capital, Lusaka, have started a go slow in solidarity with the association.

Zambians on social media have also condemned the doctors’ arrests, with opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema tweeting that the crackdown was “insane”:

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The police have not commented on the arrest allegations.

The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have reported at least six cholera cases among homeless people who fled to Sake town in North Kivu after last week’s eruption of Mount Nyiragongo.

Medical charity MSF have been providing people with drinking water to prevent an outbreak.

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Mount Nyiragongo’s eruption killed 32 people and destroyed hundreds of homes around the eastern city of Goma.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city amid fears of a fresh volcanic eruption.

The town of Sake has been overwhelmed by the number of arrivals, so some people are moving to Virunga National Park or taking the ferry across Lake Kivu.

Others have crossed the border into neighbouring Rwanda.


Why DR Congo fears the explosive power of a lake

Mayeni Jones

BBC News, Lagos

BBCCopyright: BBC

The authorities in Nigeria say 11 children who were among many others kidnapped from an Islamic school by gunmen on Sunday
afternoon have been released because they were “too small and couldn’t walk”.

There has
been no official confirmation of the exact number of students kidnapped from
the school in the town of Tegina.

A teacher told the BBC that 150 students were missing, while other reports put the figure at about 200.

In a statement, the governor of Niger state expressed sadness at the
news of the abduction, adding that the security situation in his state had
reached crisis level.

Read more:

Karnie Sharpe

Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images

have taken place recently in
South Africa that have been unfolding for the last decade.

It’s all to do with what’s been
called state
capture – alleged corruption at the highest levels.

And last week the former President Jacob Zuma stood in
court and accused his prosecutors of trying to malign him
rather than find the truth as he denied charges of

On the face of it this could
be any other court case but for many in the country it bares the heart and soul
of what’s been going on in the country for the past few

Milton Nkosi is a former BBC journalist and knows the story well. He says this
is more than just about the accusations against the former president, it’s about alleged institutionalised corruption.

Milton says Jacob Zuma is
at the heart of the story because he had very powerful family friends “who then moved on from being just family
friends to being accused of helping him to appoint ministers”.

Jacob Zuma was born
in KwaZulu Natal in 1942 and spent most his early life living under apartheid –
a system of racial segregation inflicted on black South Africans for
more than 40 years.

Milton says to understand what Mr Zuma means to South
Africans we must look at his role in ending that regime. He described the former president “as a hero to
millions of black South Africans, so the disappointment is that much bigger”.

State capture is said
to have cost the country billions of dollars, but Milton says it’s also about
the social impact it’s had on the country too.

He says
“it has divided the country and has divided the ANC”.

In today’s episode of Africa Daily I look at what exactly a state
capture looks like in South Africa.

BBC World Service

AFPCopyright: AFP

The self-declared republic of Somaliland is holding parliamentary and municipal elections on Monday some of which are overdue by 10 years.

In this, its 17th election since declaring independence from Somalia 30 years ago, a member of a minority clan is standing for the first time.

A few women are also standing – at present the parliament has only one female member.

The territory is not recognised internationally as a country although it operates as a nation state and is largely peaceful.

Somalia, which insists Somaliland is still part of its territory, has not held a democratic poll for more than half-a-century.

Read more:

Somaliland elections: Could polls help gain recognition?

AFPCopyright: AFP

Egypt will lift restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus from Tuesday.

Restaurants will be allowed to operate longer after the 6 May order for them to close by 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

Businesses in Egypt have summer and winter working hours with closure time ranging from 22:00 local time to midnight.

The restrictions were imposed after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The country has more than 260,000 virus cases including more than 15.000 deaths.

The country had imposed strict measures at the start of the pandemic last year but eased out slowly.

BBC World Service

ReutersCopyright: Reuters

South Africa is increasing its Covid-19 restrictions to try and fight a surge in recent infections.

A nightly curfew is to be extended meaning non-essential shops, bars and restaurants, will be forced to close by 22:00 (20:00GMT).

President Cyril Ramaphosa said further restrictions were necessary to ensure that health facilities were not overwhelmed.

South Africa has recorded more than 56,000 deaths and more than 1.5 million – more than any other Africa nation.

Only about 1.5% of the country’s 60 million people have so far received a vaccine.

You may also be interested:

Critically ill Covid-19 patients ‘more likely’ to die in Africa

BBC World Service

ReutersCopyright: Reuters

Leaders of the West African grouping Ecowas have suspended Mali’s membership from the bloc following last week’s military coup – the second in nine months.

The coup leader and now interim president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, attended the meeting in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told reporters that the block has called on Mali to nominate a new civilian prime minister immediately, to adhere to an 18 months transition period and to hold presidential election next February.

Ghana said the stability of Mali was critical if West Africa was to hold back terrorist activities from the region.

Colonel Goïta seized power after ordering the arrest of the transitional President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

Read more:

Our African proverb of the day:

Quote Message: When you notice humility, it comes from being raised in a good family.” from A Lozi proverb sent by Nalumino Simakando in Mongu, Zambia

When you notice humility, it comes from being raised in a good family.”

A Lozi proverb sent by Nalumino Simakando in Mongu, Zambia

BBCCopyright: BBC

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Video content

BBC finds evidence that Ugandan security forces killed unarmed people during a government crackdown in November 2020.

Video content

Ghanaian-British photographer James Barnor’s work is being exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Video content

People in Addis Ababa staged a massive rally to protest US sanctions over the Tigray conflict.

By Paul Melly

Africa analyst


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