African Overview

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Source:  | The Dawn News | November 28, 2016

The African Overview by is an attempt to fill the information vacuum created by mainstream media and a commitment to strengthen the circulation of South-South information.


Ivory Coast extradites 3 soldiers suspected to have participated in Burkina coup

Source: | The Dawn News | November 26, 2016.

Ouagadougou – Ivory Coast on Friday extradited three soldiers arrested on suspicion of being at the centre of the 2015 coup attempt in Burkina Faso back to their homeland, the Burkinabe interior minister said.

The three were former members of the presidential guard of ex-leader Blaise Compaore who was forced to step down from power in 2014 following a popular revolt.

“Those arrested are what we call the ‘hard core’ of the attempted putsch,” the minister Simon Compaore – no relation to the ex-president – told journalists.

He said the arrests would help speed up the investigation into the failed coup as well as another thwarted coup plot this October.

He also thanked the Ivorian authorities even as relations between the neighbouring west African countries have been strained as former president Compaore has been living in exile in Abidjan since his ouster.

On September 16 last year, soldiers of the elite presidential guard stormed a cabinet meeting and took hostage the government and the country’s transition president Michel Kafando and proclaimed a coup d’etat. But loyalist members of the army put an end to the putsch a week later.

The minister said the three soldiers arrested for allegedly taking part in the coup were Roger Koussoube, Mohamed Zerbo and Wekouri Kosse.

The former deputy chief of the presidential guard Moussa Nebie, known as “Rambo”, and two other Burkinabe nationals who had sought refuge in Ivory Coast were sent back to Ouagadougou in February.

Zimbabwe Begins Issuing New Currency


Source: | The Dawn News | November 28, 2016. Zimbabwe is issuing a new currency, known as bond notes, that officially are equal to the U.S. dollar. The government has gone ahead with the plan despite warnings the new currency will fuel hyperinflation and worsen the already ailing economy.

On Monday, there were still long queues at most ATMs in Harare, despite the release of the new bond notes, which are intended, in part, to ease long-running cash shortages.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says the new currency will, among other things, increase the country’s exports.

But economist Prosper Chitambara, of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, says the bond notes will worsen the country’s situation.

“The costs may probably outweigh the intended benefits. Most of the economic agents in Zimbabwe have to buy imports from outside our borders. So they would require either U.S. dollars or South African dollars, or other internationally tradable currencies to be able to do business. Actually the bond note has even exacerbated the macroeconomic sustainability. It has eroded confidence within the financial system. It has created a lot of uncertainties in the market. Investors are not going to be interested in doing business in Zimbabwe,” Chitambara said.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been struggling for nearly a generation now, since President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a controversial land reform program in 2000 which displaced white commercial farmers off their land without compensation.

That affected the country’s backbone, agriculture. What followed were hyperinflation and shortages of almost all goods.

In 2009, Zimbabwe abandoned its own worthless currency and it has been using all major foreign currencies, but mostly the U.S. dollar.

Now it has introduced bond notes, despite calls to abandon the plan as it might cause the economy to take a nosedive. That advice fell on deaf ears.

Togo: The Struggle against High Hepatitis B Rates


Hepatitis B has reached concerning levels in the Togolese society. The rate is between 5% and 14%. This means a high percentage of the population suffers from this disease chronically.  

Comparatively, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the percentages in the Middle East range from 2% to 5% and 1% in North America and Europe.

According to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Togo, the staff of the sector, together with French experts are trying to reverse “this negative curve of the disease that takes on worrying proportions” through research, reflection and discussion. Massive investigations are currently being carried out to detect cases on time.

Hepatitis B is caused by a potentially deadly virus and its main symptom is liver inflammation. It is an infection that tends to both an acute and chronic condition, which is transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids.


At least 62 dead as Uganda moves against tribal king


Source: Al Jazeera | The Dawn News | November 28, 2016. The death toll from a weekend of fighting in western Uganda has risen to 62 after clashes between police and a militia loyal to a tribal king, according to regional police.

“So far we managed to kill 46 of the royal guards and we also arrested 139 [guards],” regional police spokesman Mansur Suwed told the Reuters news agency.

He said the number of police killed had risen to 16 from 14 after two officers died from their wounds.

Police arrested King Charles Wesley Mumbere on Sunday and accused his supporters of trying to create a new state in the area near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mumbere has distanced himself from the cause. However, the authorities accuse his royal guards of training in the mountains beside separatist militia forces to attack government installations.

“The situation is volatile. Several of our guards have been killed after the government gave an order to disband the royal guards immediately, which is not easy,” Clarence Bwambale, Rwenzururu kingdom spokesman, told the AFP news agency from the palace where he and the king were, as heavy shooting echoed in the background.

“The king spoke to the president [Yoweri Museveni] this morning and he gave him two hours to disband the royal guards, which is impossible. Now the army and police have raided the palace and attacked the royal guards” he said, with a large explosion heard in the background.

“We have told the government the kingdom is not involved in the creation of Yiira republic, which wants to break away [from Uganda], and that the royal guards are not involved.”

Local media reported that Ugandan journalist Joy Doreen Biira, who works for neighbouring Kenya’s KTN news organisation, was arrested in the region on Sunday and that her whereabouts were unknown.

Separatist aspirations

Earlier this year, President Museveni ruled out any form of secession in the Rwenzori region.

He told the Daily Monitor newspaper: “I want to state categorically that Uganda will not lose even a piece of her land to the creation of the so-called Yiira republic.”

Photo Credit: AFP_tickers

The Rwenzururu kingdom is a traditional monarchy based near the Rwenzori mountains which straddle Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and its members are mainly the Bakonzo people – also found in both countries.

The monarchy started out as a separatist movement of the same name when the Bakonzo declared their own kingdom in 1962.

The move led to years of bloodshed until a settlement was reached in 1982 in which the movement laid down arms in return for a degree of local autonomy.

Museveni officially recognised the kingdom in 2009.

However, unrest has continued to simmer in the complex ethnic and political conflict, as many in the region still feel marginalised by authorities in distant Kampala.

Some in Uganda, with the support of their fellow Bakonzo in the DRC, have taken up arms and are agitating for the creation of the Yiira Republic which would cover territory in Uganda and part of North Kivu in the DRC.

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