This Is Africa

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Supreme Court ruling annuls Kenya's presidential election result. Cartoon: Damien Glez
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Cartoon: Supreme Court ruling annuls Kenya’s presidential election result

Kenya’s Supreme Court on September 1 invalidated presidential election result of the August 8 poll, which saw the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Court ruled that the vote was marred by “irregularities and illegalities”. The Court said the election “was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and … is invalid”. The ruling seen as a triumph for democracy and constitutionalism, and it has been widely celebrated across the continent, welcomed as an important precedent. Kenyatta will once again face a stern test from opposition leader Raila Odinga in the rerun scheduled for October 17.

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Cartoon: Why do some African leaders cling to power?

Africa has seen some of its leaders clinging to power for decades. Some of these leaders will rather die hanging on to power than to handing it over to someone else. There are cases where some leaders continue to cling on by changing the constitution, removing term limits to stay in power. In recent years, a number of leaders have been successfully removed from power (Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia, more recently), but there are still a number of leaders prepared to manipulate the political processes to extend their stay in power.

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Kenya decides: Opposition refuse to concede defeat

Cartoon: The security situation in Kenya remains precarious following calls by opposition candidate Raila Odinga to continue fighting what he terms widespread electoral fraud. Kenyans went to the polls last week to decide their president. The official results of the election in which Odinga garnered 44,8 percent of the vote is being disputed. Odinga who officially lost to Jubilee party’s Uhuru Kenyatta, has urged people to stay away from work on Monday. Post election violence has left numerous people dead and scores injured but despite the deaths, the opposition says it will continue fighting. Various African and international observers have endorsed the poll, and described the election as free and fair.

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Zimbabwe: Pres Mugabe should name successor, First Lady Grace Mugabe says

The succession debate in Zimbabwe’s governing party Zanu PF has reached a crescendo following recent revelations by the country’s First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe (52) that President Robert Mugabe should now name his successor and any discussion on the issue should involve Mugabe. Zanu PF has been rocked by factional fights as two opposing groups are angling to succeed the 93 year-old who has been at the helm since the country’s independence in 1980. One faction is widely thought to be led by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (74) and the rival group, G40 (Generation 40) is believed to enjoy the backing of the First Lady. Grace Mugabe has previously said Mugabe’s corpse could rule even from the grave. Elections are due in July next year.

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War on Boko Haram: Amnesty International Reproaches Cameroon for Torturing Suspects.

Amnesty International has released a report which reveals war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram, including horrific use of torture. Detainees have been subjected to severe beatings, agonising stress positions and drownings, with some tortured to death. The report details torture at 20 sites, including four military bases, two facilities run by intelligence services, a private residence and a school. Castigating the abuse, Amnesty has called for the US and other international partners to investigate their military personnel’s possible knowledge of torture at one base. Alioune Tine, Amnesty’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa said while the organisation condemns the atrocities committed by Boko Haram, nothing could justify the “widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians”.

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Nigerian presidency release photo of Buhari in London

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made an appearance since leaving the country for medical treatment in London, appearing in a picture released on Twitter by the Presidency of Nigeria. Although the latest picture could dispel the rumours doing the rounds in Nigeria, lack of clarity on the nature of Buhari’s illness and what the prognosis for his long-term health could be, can spur more damaging speculations.

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Horrific atrocities committed in DRC’s Kasai province as 3,300 people reported dead

The Catholic Church has revealed that more than 3,300 people have been killed in the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region since last October. The UN also gave details of “harrowing reports” of killings, mutilation and entire villages destroyed in Kasai. The humanitarian and human rights situation has continued to deteriorate and the civilian population in the Kasai is in a precarious state following reports of “ethnic hatred, resulting in extremely grave, widespread and apparently planned attacks,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the Council. There has been reports of fighting between the Congolese security forces and militia members. The Congolese authorities have rejected a proposal by the UN Human Rights Council to send in an investigation team to look into the violence that has killed hundreds of civilians.

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5 pictures of African literary giant Wole Soyinka on his 83rd birthday

Today an African literary giant Prof Wole Soyinka celebrates his birthday. Prof Soyinka, a Nigerian poet and novelist turns 83. Soyinka is considered one of the foremost African poetry, and prose writers. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category. As we celebrate Prof Soyinka’s 83rd birthday, we look at some moments in his life in pictures.

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Cartoon: Africa has “civilisational” problems French President Macron says

France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, has come under fire for the racist remarks he made during a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg on why there was no Marshall plan for Africa. In his response Macron said that Africa has “civilisational” problems and the continent’s challenges also have to do with “countries today still are having 7 to 8 children per woman.” These racist statements have led to wide condemnation on social media. It seems, the more things change, the more they remain the same as far as racist attitudes and stereotypes about Africa are concerned.