Africa in the news: Ethiopia updates, Zambia elections, and Africa’s many Olympic achievements – Brookings Institution

Guidance for the Brookings community and the public on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) »
Learn more from Brookings scholars about the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19) »
Ethiopia’s conflict in Tigray has escalated after the government, on August 6, warned that it could deploy its “entire defensive capability in the region. In fact, on August 10, the government called for all capable citizens to join the country’s military to combat resurgent forces in the region, ending the ceasefire declared in June. These announcements come after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPFL) rejected calls to retreat from the Afar and Amhara regions. The Tigray conflict began back in November after fallout between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the leaders of the Tigray region, who had previously dominated the national government.

In recent days, Oromo Liberation Army leader Kumsa Diriba struck a military alliance with the Tigray forces, saying, “We have agreed on a level of understanding to cooperate against the same enemy, especially in military cooperation.”  Moreover, Diriba stated, “The only solution now is overthrowing this government militarily, speaking the language they want to be spoken to.” The alliance is notable as, during the TPFL’s decades of control of the federal government, its leaders ostracized and committed violence against the Oromo people.
In related Ethiopia news, tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan, already high over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, have continued to rise over the war in Tigray. In fact, early this week, Sudan recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia because the Ethiopian government rejected its efforts to broker a ceasefire in the Tigray region. Meanwhile, Ethiopia stated that trust in Sudan and its leaders has eroded and accused the Sudanese army of invading its territory. In addition to Sudan’s mediation efforts, the United States and other international powers have also called for the withdrawal of Tigray forces from the Amhara and Afar regions in recent months.
Now, according to the World Health Organization, the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region has become dire, with food and medicine deliveries blocked due to a blockade by Addis Ababa as well as insurgent and militia violence. Meanwhile thousands of refugees have fled to Sudan to escape the war-torn region. According to the Atlantic Council, more than 60,000 Tigrayan refugees have fled to Sudan and 80 percent of the citizens in Ethiopia have been cut off from humanitarian assistance.
For more on U.S. policy on this crisis, see Brookings Foreign Policy Senior Fellow and Africa Security Initiative Co-Director Vanda Felbab-Brown’s recent commentary, “Dangerous trends in Ethiopia: Time for Washington’s tough love.”
On Thursday, August 12, Zambia held its presidential elections in which incumbent President Edgar Lungu, primary opposition rival Hakainde Hichilema, and 14 other candidates faced off. As of Friday, according to Reuters, the results of the election were too close to call, and the Electoral Commission of Zambia has indicated that it aims to declare a winner by the end of Sunday. Zambia has a runoff system, so the country will return to the polls a second time if no candidate receives a majority of the votes. As of this writing, no winner has been announced.
High voter turnout and long queues at voting stations characterized Thursday’s highly anticipated election. More than half of registered voters are under the age of 35, a demographic that has seen an acute rise in unemployment during the pandemic. Among other issues, Zambia’s recent default on its debt has raised concerns from citizens over the $12 billion that Zambia owes to creditors, as the country now spends 30 to 40 percent of the its revenue on interest payments.
The election has seen some violence: After two members of his party were killed in a rally last week, Lungu, who is seeking his third term (he was first elected in a by-election in 2015 after the death of President Michael Sata), deployed the military in Lusaka and select hotspots in the western, northwestern, and southern provinces of the country. Deployment of the army has drawn criticism from citizens who fear the intimidation and organizations like Amnesty International, stating that the use of force, “is an increasingly brutal crackdown on human rights, characterized by brazen attacks on any form of dissent.”
Six-time presidential candidate Hichilema said on Wednesday that he experienced irregularities during the campaign, including being restricted twice in the past week from campaigning in the populous Copperbelt province. There were also reports from NetBlock of social media blockages on election day across Zambia that included WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

African athletes brought home a host of medals and historic firsts from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which concluded last Sunday, August 8. This year, 13 African nations won, altogether, 37 gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Notably, the games featured many women who were the first in their nation to win gold in their events—and for some, the first-ever gold for their country as well. Among African countries, Kenya earned the most medals, placing 19th worldwide by winning 10 medals (four gold, four silver, and two bronze), followed by Egypt, which won six medals (one gold, one silver, and four bronze). Highlights from the games include:
Despite these celebrated achievements, COVID-19 continued to loom over the games, as nations like Guinea pulled out of the competitions completely due to safety concerns for their athletes as COVID-19 cases surged in Tokyo. The South African team also faced difficulties during the games, as three members of its soccer team tested positive for the virus after arriving in the Olympic village. The entire team was placed under quarantine before they began to play, and their coach cited issues of stigmatization stating, “when people come across us, you see people running away. I think that’s disrespectful.”

source

69 thoughts on “Africa in the news: Ethiopia updates, Zambia elections, and Africa’s many Olympic achievements – Brookings Institution”

  1. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring
    on other sites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and
    would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  2. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet
    for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with
    your views on this web site.

  3. I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I never discovered any
    interesting article like yours. It is pretty price enough for me.

    In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content material as you did,
    the net will probably be a lot more useful than ever before.

  4. It’s really very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news
    on TV, thus I just use web for that purpose,
    and take the latest information.

  5. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous
    to and you’re just extremely fantastic.
    I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.

    You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a
    terrific web site.

  6. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you
    are not already 😉 Cheers!

  7. Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website like yours take a lot of work?
    I am brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Thankyou!

  8. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

Leave a Reply to zaojprju Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.