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U.S. seeks to use Africa as pawn in war of influence against China and Russia

In a speech unveiling U.S. strategy to counter Chinese and Russian influence in Africa, National Security Advisor John Bolton, a “notorious hawk who advocates the unilateral wielding of U.S. might,” accused Beijing and Moscow of  “deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States.” Delivered at the American conservative public policy...

Pandemic shaping economic, social climate of East and Southern Africa

In many East and Southern African countries, local, regional and national lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended, reported Equinet. “Their impacts raise questions on their sustainability. The conversation inevitably turns to when and how countries will exit them. South Africa’s President Ramaphosa said recently in introducing their risk adjusted strategy: ‘We cannot sustain a nationwide lockdown...

Challenging cultural norms and removing stigma is key to confronting Lesotho’s rape culture

Commentary THABA-TSEKA, Lesotho—The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated. According...

Freed Nigerian schoolboys welcomed; calls for more security

KATSINA, Nigeria—Bleary, barefoot, apparently numbed by a week of captivity, more than 300 Nigerian schoolboys, freed after being kidnapped in an attack on their school, were welcomed by the governor of Katsina state and Nigeria’s president on Dec. 18. Reunions with their parents began late in the day. “Since this incident happened, I have not been able to sleep, but...

South Africa wants proof of Africa-Iraq nuclear connection

***image1***JOHANNESBURG (IPS)–The government of President Thabo Mbeki has raised strong objections to a British intelligence dossier that suggests that an African country may have discussed selling uranium to Iraq for use in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently released an intelligence dossier on Iraq’s alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons. The report says: “There is...

New head of African Union faces daunting challenges from day one

(GIN)—He’s been described as a “master strategist,” but can the incoming chair of the African Union beat the daunting challenges ahead? That is the difficult question facing Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, president of the Democratic Republic (DRC) as he assumes the post just relinquished by South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa. Skeptics are already circling President Tshisekedi who has ambitious goals for the...

UN refugee agency: Keep borders open for fleeing Ethiopians

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Nov. 11 that it is working with Sudanese authorities to help more than 7,000 refugees who have fled Ethiopia over the past two days, following major clashes in the Tigray region of the country.  The Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and local authorities are screening and registering people arriving in...

Mozambique crisis fueled by corporate, government greed not Isis

Recent attacks by armed insurgents, or Al-Shabab, near Mozambique’s $20 billion liquefied national gas project under development by French company Total SE may have more to do with a history of local grievances than a war by terrorists. A private security army has also been on the ground to protect the project and the interests of Total SE investors. The behavior...

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia battle for Nile River rights

During recent talks by phone between Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa—current chairperson of the African Union (AU)—El-Sisi reiterated concern about Ethiopia’s filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). El-Sisi said he seeks a fair and balanced agreement and rejects any unilateral filling of the dam’s reservoir. Ramaphosa said he hopes “intensive coordination” between...

Israel uses Trump administration to get diplomatic ties with Morocco and Sudan

President Trump’s closing foreign policy initiatives have included a major effort to convince and coerce African and Asian nations to “normalize” relations with the state of Israel in exchange for promised U.S. financial, military and possibly diplomatic assistance. In recent past, Israel has been on a mission to strengthen and exploit its ties with Africa. Not only has Israel made...