– NEWS –
Ethiopian troops launch new offensive: Ethiopia has launched a major offensive against rebel forces from the Tigray region, carrying out air strikes in its latest bid to gain the upper hand in an almost yearlong civil war. The reports of the intensified conflict comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a new term in Africa’s second-most populous country. Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, said the number of casualties is unknown after airstrikes and artillery bombardment struck parts of the northern Amhara region.
Digital experts criticize Facebook’s monopoly position: The Facebook crash shows that the company has too much market power and that its central system is extremely susceptible to disruptions, said digital experts. The crash also showed the monopoly position the company has in many countries, explained German FDP politician and digital expert Ann Cathrin Riedel. Especially in African and South American countries, many people are virtually dependent on the Facebook group, as it cooperates with numerous local mobile phone providers. This is because there is no data volume when using Facebook services – in contrast to the rest of the internet. For the people there, a breakdown is therefore tantamount to a complete internet breakdown. According to experts, this monopoly position is dangerous. In principle, policy-makers must focus much more on cyber security in relation to the internet – the risk of critical failures could be reduced in this way.
Google to promote digitalization in Africa: During its first Google for Africa event which held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, Google announced that it will invest $1 billion over a five-year period, in support of Africa’s digital transformation. A statement that was seen by Business Insider Africa explained that the investment will focus on building necessary products/infrastructure that will enable fast and affordable internet for more Africans. Part of the money will also go towards supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as nonprofit organizations specialized in improving lives across the continent.
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Colombian nun freed four years after being kidnapped by Mali jihadists: A Franciscan nun from Colombia kidnapped by jihadists in Mali more than four years ago has been freed, Mali’s presidency said. Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was taken hostage on February 7, 2017 in southern Mali near the border with Burkina Faso where she had been working as a missionary. A statement on the presidential Twitter account paid tribute to her „courage and bravery“ along with photos of the nun taken after her release Saturday.
New government in Morocco: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Thursday named a new government led by Aziz Akhannouch, a billionaire tycoon close to the palace who will face pressing economic problems exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-member cabinet, formed after Akhannouch’s National Rally of Independents (RNI) trounced incumbent Islamists in elections last month, includes seven women, up from four in the previous administration. It is largely made up of technocrats, with veteran diplomat Nasser Bourita keeping his role as foreign minister, in a context of regional tensions, especially with neighboring Algeria.
Almost 200 people freed in Nigeria: Nigerian security forces have rescued nearly 200 kidnap victims during raids on camps of criminal gangs in dense forests in the country’s northwest, police said. Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits have plagued northwest and central Nigeria for years, raiding and looting villages and abducting for ransom, but violence has surged over the past year. The rescued victims – 187 men, women and children – were freed in Zamfara State, where they had been kidnapped in separate bandit attacks, police said late Thursday.
Libyan lawmakers postpone parliamentary elections until January france24.com
Bundeswehr must fly drinking water for soldiers to Mali faz.net
Guinea junta names former civil servant Beavogui as prime minister reuters.com
Ethiopia: PM Abiy Ahmed sworn in for new 5-year term dw.com
– BACKGROUND –
Justice for Thomas Sankara: In Burkina Faso, a historic trial is taking shape for the death of iconic leader Thomas Sankara in 1987. But the main defendant and former president, Blaise Compaore, will be absent. For days Sankara, who came to power in Burkina Faso — then called Upper Volta — after a coup on August 4, 1983, has been a hot topic in Ouagadougou again. On Monday, a historic trial will finally begin to shed light on how he and 12 other military officers were killed on October 15, 1987. The main defendant in the trial is Blaise Compaore, Sankara’s former companion and eventual president of Burkina Faso. Compaore, now 70, remained president until his resignation on October 31, 2014. After leaving office, Compaore went into exile in the Ivory Coast, becoming an Ivorian citizen in 2016. Nobody expects him to attend the trial. His lawyers say he has not been summoned for questioning. As a former head of state, he also enjoys immunity. But Bazie believes Compoare has simply wanted to avoid accountability for Sankara’s death for decades.
New drug spreads in Congo: A new craze for a drug derived from crushed vehicle exhaust filters is rattling authorities in Kinshasa, triggering a campaign to stamp out the concoction and a related rash of car part thefts. In August police rounded up and paraded nearly 100 alleged dealers and users of the drug „bombe“, which means powerful in the local Lingala language, following a call to action by Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi.
– NUMBER –
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against white minority rule, turned 90 on Thursday, celebrating his birthday with a low-key church service at Cape Town’s St. George’s Cathedral.
– QUOTE –
„We have to be honest with ourselves. There was colonial plunder, that’s absolutely true.“
said French President Emmanuel Macron about works of art looted from the African continent.
– AT LAST –
France returns artworks to Benin: French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that his country will return 26 African artworks — royal thrones, ceremonial altars, revered statues — to Benin later this month, part of France’s long-promised plans to give back artwork taken from Africa during the colonial era. Discussions have been under way for years on returning the artworks from the 19th century Dahomey Kingdom. Called the “Abomey Treasures,” they currently are held in the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. The museum, near the Eiffel Tower, holds thousands of works from former French colonies.