Africa news round up 22-28 Jan

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A flag map of Africa (image:courtesy of open clipart-vectors from Pixabay)


A former national service person, Deborah Seyram Adablah, has dragged Ernest Nimako, a former manager at the First Atlantic Bank in Ghana, to court for failing to fulfil his side of the bargain in their romantic relationship. A lump sum working capital, payment for accommodation for three years, a personal car, a monthly allowance of GH3,000, a ring, fully paid medical bill for family planning and marriage after a successful divorce from his wife were the promises given by Nimako to Adabalah.

Adablah explained that she entered into a “parlor relationship” with Nimako upon his persistent harassment while working at the First Atlantic Bank as a service person. When she was about to be given a contract by the bank, Nimako convinced her to refuse the offer and resign, leading to the promise he offered. The defendant rented a two-bedroom house at a rental value of 1500 Ghana cedis a month for her but paid only the first year leaving two years’ rent outstanding.

The plaintiff admitted, also, that the defendant started paying the monthly allowance of GH3,000 until July 2022 and fulfilled the promise of buying her a car for GHC120, 000 but fixed a car tracking device in it.

Adablah is praying that the court will rule on a refund of the car repair cost of GHC10, 000 which the defendant promised to refund to her but failed, an order that the defendant pays her a lump sum to enable her to start her own business, as agreed, pay the remaining two years’ outstanding rent for her accommodation, pay the outstanding arrears of her monthly allowance of GHC3, 000 from July 2022 till the date of judgment and other general damages including legal fees.


In a statement on Wednesday 25 January 2023, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that the United States had imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians accused of undermining democracy. According to him, the move was part of the action to advance democracy and tackle corruption in Nigeria. In addition, family members of those barred from the US may be subjected to the same restriction. “We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election”, Blinken said. He clarified that the visa restrictions were not targeted at the Nigerian people generally nor the government, but rather represented a reflection of the US Government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s aspiration to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

This development comes barely two months after the political counselor at the US Embassy in Nigeria, Rolf Olson, said the US would impose visa sanctions on people who tried to undermine Nigeria’s democratic process. He was speaking at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship alumni association seminar last November.


A recent report shows that Kenya is currently raking in more foreign exchange from its diaspora remittances than its major exports including coffee, tea and horticulture. According to the country’s central bank, remittances rose by 8.34 per cent to $4.027 billion in 2022, closing in on exports, which brought in $5.77 billion in foreign currency in the same period. A breakdown of some of the nation’s chief exports shows that tea, Kenya’s number one export, earned an estimated $1.2 billion in 2022. The country’s horticulture also came in at $901 million. Kenyan chemicals earned $521 million in the period under review, coffee at $301 million, and petroleum products at $77 million.

In recognition of their contribution, President William Ruto has formed a state department to respond to specific issues of Kenyans abroad. This move is not just due to the remittances received but also to encourage future investment in the local markets by Kenyans abroad to enhance economic growth. The Kenyan administration has also visited the Middle Eastern nation of Saudi Arabia, home to one of the biggest Kenyan Diasporas, to address a number of reported cases of maltreatment of Kenyans by employers.


The body of 33-year-old Tanzanian Nemes Tarimo, who was killed fighting for Russia in Ukraine, was returned home on Tuesday for burial. Tanzanian officials said Tarimo had agreed to fight for the Wagner Group in exchange for being released from a Russian prison. This is the second African known to have died in this way. Tanzanian Foreign Minister Stergomena Tax made this known during a press briefing. The minister confirmed that Tarimo had been serving a seven-year sentence in Russia before he joined the Wagner Group of mercenaries. She said the group promised Tarimo, who was sentenced in March of last year that he would be released and paid after fighting for Russia in Ukraine.

Tax said Tarimo went to Russia in 2020 to pursue a master’s degree at the Technological University in Moscow. Tanzanian media reported he was arrested on drug-related charges, sentenced, and then offered his freedom if he went to war. Tarimo’s family say his friends in Russia confirmed his death in late December 2022.

Tax said that it was against country’s laws for a Tanzanian to join the army of any other country. She said all Tanzanians should ensure that they complied with the laws of their country and the rules and procedures provided.


The National Elections Commission (NEC) commenced the inspection of headquarters of political parties across the country as of Monday,23 January 2023. The NEC says, the inspection of the headquarters will end on Saturday 27 January 2023. According to a statement from the NEC, issued on Friday 20 January 2023, these inspections are in line with article 79 (c), of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia and also in line with the Revised Guidelines and Regulations for political parties under section 8.2.

The NEC officially announced its revised electoral dates for the 2023 General Elections in Liberia, maintaining the constitutional date of 10 October 2023, as election day. The announcement of the key Electoral Dates for the 2023 General Elections was made on Tuesday January 10 2023 at a meeting of senior executive members of the political parties and elections partners, under the Inter-Party Consultative Committee (IPCC) meeting at the headquarters of the Commission. The IPCC meeting was chaired by Cllr. P. Teplah Reeves, co-chairperson of the NEC. It also updated executives of political parties and elections partners about the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), exercise, slated to commence on 20 March 2023 and ending on 9 April 2023. Phase one of the BVR exercise will include six counties, including Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu. Phase two of the BVR exercise will involve Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong, and Lofa.

South Africa

South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor has defended its decision to hold a joint military exercise with Russia and China next month. According to her, hosting such exercises with friends was the natural course of relations. “All countries conduct military exercises with friends worldwide”, Pandor said.  Her response comes amidst criticisms that the exercise is inappropriate due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. During a press briefing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pretoria, Pandor debunked assertions that South Africa’s involvement with Russia was “abuse of international practice”. “This is just a natural set of exercises that occur between countries,” she said. The press briefing attracted a small group of protestors, waiving Ukrainian flags.

Even though very little information has been given about the upcoming joint military exercise, South African state-owned Tass News Agency reports that a Russian warship armed with hypersonic cruise weapons will take part in the exercise. The drills will run for 10 days from 17 February to 27 February in the port city of Durban, and Richards Bay. While officials in South Africa have said they do not condone the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, they insist they will not be forced into choosing sides. As such, South Africa will continue to engage with both countries in a business-as-usual manner.


On 27 January 2023, Togo will carry out its second issue on the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) securities market. The country aims to raise CFA35 billion through a simultaneous issue of fungible treasury bonds and securities.

The bonds have a nominal value of CFA10, 000, maturing over 3 and 7 years. Securities for their part have a nominal value of CFA1 million, maturing over 182 days. According to the issue’s terms and conditions, proceeds should help Togo meet its budgetary needs in a context where the budget for 2023 stands at CFA1957 billion. For its first issue this year, Lomé raised CFA16 billion on the WAEMU market, but its target was CFA30 billion. In 2023, Togo plans to secure CFA574 billion from the regional money met.

Burkina Faso

The military government of Burkina Faso has decided to end a military accord that allowed French troops to fight insurgents in its territory because the government wants the country to defend itself, the government said on Monday 23 January 2023. The military government “denounced” an agreement, which had been in force since 2018. France has been given exactly one month to remove its troops from Burkina Faso, according to the terms of the 2018 agreement. A Reuters report said France still has 400 special forces based in Burkina Faso to help fight Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. On 20 January 2023, residents in the capital Ouagadougou took to the streets to protest the presence of French troops in the country.

The West African francophone country is currently facing an Islamist insurgency by groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State and have taken over large strips of land. The groups have also displaced millions of people in the wider Sahel region, which is south of the Sahara. France, the former colonial power, first entered the Sahel region in January 2013 at Mali’s request and launched Operation Serval. Operation Barkhane, a broader French anti-terror initiative targeting Islamists across the Sahel, including in Burkina Faso, succeeded the mission in August 2014.

Ivory Coast

On Tuesday 24 January, Ivory Coast handed out top awards to the 49 soldiers whose detention by Mali triggered a bitter diplomatic spat between the two West African nations. The troops were arrested at Bamako airport in July 2022. While Mali had accused them of being mercenaries, Ivory Coast and the United Nations said they were flown in to provide routine backup security for the German contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission.

On 30 December 2022, a Bamako court sentenced 46 soldiers to 20 years in prison, while three women soldiers who had been released received death sentences in absentia. However, junta leader Assimi Goita pardoned all 49 soldiers on 6 January 2023. In a ceremony on 24 January the 49 soldiers were named knights of the National Order of the Republic. This is the lowest of three rungs in the top award for services to the nation.

They were among 852 service personnel honoured for their deployment in the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping operation. Armed forces chief, Lassina Doumbia, hailed their work as “contributing to guaranteeing the security of our borders”. He described the row over the detained troops as “an unfortunate episode”, without elaboration.


According to the Senegalese Directorate of Public Relations (DIRPA), 805 kilograms of cocaine were seized on a ship off at 335 km off the capital, Dakar, by the Senegalese navy on Sunday 22 January 2023. The authority, however, did not provide details on the intercepted ship, its crew, its point of departure, or the value of the cargo. Senegalese customs had announced in October the seizure of 300 kg of cocaine, worth nearly 37 million euros, in a refrigerated truck from neighbouring Mali.

Central and West Africa have for years been a transit zone for drugs produced in Latin America, but according to an annual report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) by last year the regions were fast becoming a market for narcotics. At least 57 tons of cocaine were seized between 2019 and 2022. These narcotics were en route to or in West Africa. According to the UNODC report, Cape Verde, Senegal, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau have become a narcotics hotspot.


The mutilated body of a prominent Cameroonian journalist, Martinez Zogo, who was abducted by unidentified assailants, was found near the capital Yaoundé. According to the police, Zogo, director of private radio station Amplitude FM and host of a popular daily programme, Embouteillage (Gridlock), was kidnapped on 17 January as he tried to enter a police station to escape his attackers. Zogo regularly tackled cases of corruption, not hesitating to question important personalities directly.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Amplitude FM radio editor in chief, Charly Tchouemou, said the body of Zogo was found in the early hours of Monday 23 January at Ebogo (15 kilometers north of Yaoundé). “I went to Ebogo early this morning where I saw Zogo’s body. The prosecutor’s deputy was present, and his wife was there to identify him,” he said. The body of the journalist has been taken to the morgue of the Yaoundé central hospital for an autopsy.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) has condemned “the brutal abduction of the journalist” saying there are many grey areas regarding the circumstances of his brutal abduction. Cameroon’s national journalists’ union has also condemned the “heinous assassination” and urged media workers to wear black on 25 January as a sign of mourning.  Friends and colleagues of the late journalist stood outside Amplitude FM demanding justice. During the event, journalist Jean Bruno Tagne said he believed the killing was “a message that was sent to all independent journalists and to all those who think that this country can function differently”.


Rwandan forces fired on a Sukhoi-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday. This has prompted the Congolese government to accuse it of an act of war. “A Sukhoi-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo violated, for the third time, Rwandan airspace,” over Rubavu district, near North Kivu capital Goma, Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo said in a statement on Tuesday. According to her, Rwanda has asked the Democratic Republic of Congo to put a stop to the aggression.” Meanwhile Kinshasa denies Kigali’s claim calling the incident a ‘deliberate act of aggression that amounts to an act of war’.

In December 2022, Rwanda reported that another fighter jet from the DRC had briefly violated its airspace. An unarmed Congolese warplane also briefly landed at a Rwandan airport in November while on a reconnaissance mission near the border, in what the DRC said was an accident. The DRC has come out to deny Rwanda’s accusation that the jet had been in Rwandan airspace. “The Rwandan shots were directed towards a Congolese aircraft flying within Congolese territory,” Kinshasa said in a statement, confirming the plane had landed in Goma without suffering significant damage. Congo described Rwanda’s move as a “deliberate act of aggression that amounts to an act of war” aimed at undermining a peace agreement to end an offensive by the M23 rebel group.

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