Header Ads

SEO tools
  • Breaking News

    The Ruso-Africa Summit In Sochi

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Oct. 24, 2019 (pool photo by Gavriil Grigorov of TASS News Agency via AP Images).
    Russian President Vladimir Putin had a message for African leaders this week: Moscow is ready to make some deals. Putin’s government brought 43 African heads of state or government to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit. The Russians simultaneously sent a pair of nuclear-capable bombers to South Africa, apparently the first time the Soviet-era aircraft had ever landed on the continent, reinforcing both Russia’s strategic capabilities and what it might be able to offer African governments.

    Putin is looking to catch up to China and Western nations, which have developed strong trade relationships across Africa, and increase Russia’s access to natural resources, including diamonds, uranium and oil. He is willing to leverage Russia’s wealth, but also its knowledge. Ahead of the summit, Rwanda announced that it had entered a deal with Moscow to develop nuclear energy resources, in apparent exchange for purchasing Russian defense systems.

    In opening the summit, Putin announced that Russian trade with African nations has doubled in the past five years to more than $20 billion. And after announcing that he expected it to double again within the next five years, he reportedly used the first day of the summit in Sochi to talk defense cooperation with Ethiopia, uranium trade with Namibia and even space technology with Uganda’s president. “On the diplomatic front, specifically when it comes to the United Nations, the 54 countries in Africa represent a treasure trove of potential votes on resolutions and other matters close to Russia’s interests.” Here’s a rundown of news from elsewhere on the continent:

    West Africa

    Guinea: The leader of last week’s protests was given a one-year jail sentence by a court in the capital, Conakry, for inciting civil disobedience, even as anti-government demonstrations restarted this week. At least nine people died in earlier rounds of protests after security forces responded with live fire. Eleven other opposition and civil society leaders received lesser sentences for helping to coordinate the demonstrations against President Alpha Conde’s plan to revise the constitution to allow him to run for a third term. The protests erupted in Conakry but also in northern areas of the country where the opposition is popular. Conde’s administration has increasingly used force against its critics in recent years.

    Southern Africa

    Botswana: The ruling Botswana Democratic Party easily won what was predicted to be a competitive election this week, securing a full term for President Mokgweetsi Masisi. With votes still being counted, the BDP has secured a majority of the 57 seats in the National Assembly, which gives it the power to select the next president. Masisi was appointed directly to the presidency last year by Ian Khama, who stepped down early to ease the path for his hand-picked successor. But the two men have subsequently fallen out, and their rift dominated this election. Khama, upset that Masisi has reversed several of his policies, backed the opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change, which has secured 13 seats in the assembly so far, as votes are still being tallied. The opposition party won 17 seats in the 2014 election.

    Mozambique: Although votes are still being counted, it appears that Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party and incumbent President Filipe Nyusi won a landslide victory in last week’s election. Frelimo seemingly took the majority in all 10 provincial assemblies, including the central provinces that traditionally see strong support for Renamo, the former rebel group turned main opposition political party. Claiming that voters were intimidated and ballot boxes were stuffed, Renamo officials have called for the results to be annulled.

    South Africa: The first black head of South Africa’s key opposition party abruptly resigned this week both as party leader and as a member of parliament. In stepping down from the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane cited concerns that the traditionally white party has been unable or unwilling to appeal to black voters. Maimane’s resignation followed the decision by another prominent black member of the DA, Herman Mashaba, to leave the party and resign as Johannesburg’s mayor. Analysts now expect a broader flight of black leaders from the DA, which could reorient the country’s opposition.

    East Africa

    Uganda: Attacks on the LGBT community have escalated after an official announced that legislators would soon vote on a bill to reintroduce the death penalty for people convicted of homosexual activity. Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo has publicly advocated for reintroducing the notorious 2014 legislation, known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, but a presidential spokesperson has denied the plan. Lokodo’s statement was enough to spark a surge in attacks against members of the LGBT community and a crackdown on homosexuality, as police arrested 16 people charged with having “unnatural sex,” after subjecting them to forced medical examinations.

    Central Africa

    Burundi: Security forces in northwestern Burundi say they killed 14 armed men who had crossed into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this week. Members of the security forces also appear to have been killed, though officials have not released any numbers. Police said the men were preparing to launch an attack similar to last year’s violence in the northwestern town of Ruhagarika, where militants killed 26 people. Opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s regime appear to be behind both incidents, and there is a broad fear that violence will continue to rise ahead of next year’s national elections.

    North Africa

    Sudan: Sudan’s government has reached a peace deal with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a rebel movement that had been trying for nearly a decade to overthrow former President Omar al-Bashir from its base in the country’s Darfur region. The agreement, reached last week in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, calls for an immediate cease-fire and allows aid groups to begin operating in parts of Darfur that had been cut off from humanitarian assistance for years. Striking accords with the dozens of armed rebel groups that had been fighting against Bashir’s regime has been an early priority for Sudan’s transitional government,

    No comments

    Post Top Ad