Africa – 5 August 2016

ANC takes battering while opposition heads for coalition talks

Whatever the final outcome of the 2016 local government elections, the African National Congress (ANC) has received a nasty wake-up call from the electorate. With almost 90% of the votes confirmed by late Thursday night, the ANC had already lost one metro and was locked in a nail-biting race for control of the three Gauteng metros. A significant portion of the ANC’s support base has clearly turned against Africa’s oldest liberation movement. The Democratic Alliance (DA), meanwhile, has exceeded its own expectations and scored major psychological victories in this election. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is unlikely to win a municipality, as it had hoped, but now steps into the role of kingmaker in Gauteng

Daily Maverick


South Sudan rejects U.N. accusations of rape, killing by its soldiers

South Sudan rejected on Friday accusations from the U.N. that its soldiers had raped and killed civilians during and after ethnically-charged fighting last month in the capital Juba.

On Thursday, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at least 217 cases of sexual violence in Juba had been documented during the period of July 8-25.

He called on President Salva Kiir’s government to prosecute the perpetrators and urged world powers in the U.N. Security Council to take “urgent action” to halt violence.

Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA’s military spokesperson, said the U.N., through the peacekeeping UNMISS force, should provide evidence that government soldiers were involved in the crimes, adding that they had not received any formal complaints.

“Regarding reports of rape reported being committed by men in uniform whom the U.N. thought were from SPLA, why are they not coming forward with the evidence they have collected for us to act?” Koang told Reuters.



Uganda gay pride event raided by police, activists arrested and reportedly beaten

A gay pride event in Uganda was raided by police late on Thursday night and around a dozen organisers and gay rights activists were arrested, according to eyewitness reports.

Hundreds of people attending the popular Mr and Mrs Pride Pageant were detained inside the Venom nightclub in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

Police reportedly claimed the gathering was unlawful, although organisers of Uganda’s fifth gay pride week said they asked for permission.

One young man jumped from the fourth floor of the building in fear and was hospitalised, according to the Kuchu Times, an African news platform focusing on LGBTIQ issues.



SADC appeals for assistance as drought hits hard

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region needs at least $2.7 billion to mitigate the effects of El Nino induced drought. The region has launched an appeal for humanitarian assistance in Gaborone, Botswana.

Since being hit by the worst drought in more than thirty years, SADC is more concerned about food security which may lead to millions suffering from starvation.

Currently, 40 million people representing 14% of the region’s total population are food insecure.