COVID vaccine needed to enter Grand Mosque at Ramadan

COVID vaccine needed to enter Grand Mosque at Ramadan

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says it will issue permits for some visits to Muslim holy sites during the upcoming month of Ramadan, but only if applicants comply with COVID pandemic restrictions. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced earlier this week that only people who are fully vaccinated for…

Djibouti increases reliance on Beijing, but at what cost?

Djibouti increases reliance on Beijing, but at what cost?

The long-time president of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, has launched his re-election campaign in the run-up to national elections on 9 April. With the exception of Zakaria Ismael Jafar, an “anti-system” independent candidate, Guelleh is set to run for his fifth term unopposed. His challengers in the 2016 election have…

Suluhu sworn in as Tanzania mourns Magufuli

Samia Suluhu Hassan, the vice president of Tanzania, was sworn in as president on Friday following the death of John Magufuli. The 61-year-old Suluhu served as acting president since Wednesday, when she announced to the nation that Magufuli had died. Magufuli, 62, had long suffered a heart condition for which…

Big Tobacco ploughing crooked furrow in African markets

Note: This article was updated on March 26, 2021 to include comments from Apollinaire Compaoré. Two troubling recent investigations from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) have shone a fresh spotlight on the tobacco industry’s continued complicity in tobacco smuggling in Africa. The first highlighted how Philip Morris…

US takes helm at UN Security Council with focus on Africa

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday that African affairs will be a priority as the U.S. takes up the presidency role for the United Nations Security Council this month. A briefing on South Sudan is set for Wednesday, followed by a Sudan briefing…

Algerian protesters mark hirak anniversary with call for new regime

Algerians took to the streets by the thousands on Monday to mark the second anniversary of the “hirak” protest movement, pressing for overall democratic reforms as many remained unimpressed by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s call for new elections and the overtures to move forward in unity. The protests remained peaceful, while…

On heels of Sahel summit, another 35 die in Chad

Another 35 people have died in Chad following clashes in Salamat Province in the southeastern part of the country, a development that follows on this week’s regional security summit among the five Sahel nations and France. The communal fighting between farmers and herders began with an attack at a roadblock,…

Ramaphosa centers COVID, corruption during SONA address

South Africa must prioritize both the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic recovery, especially with an eye toward climate change and the energy sector, the president said during the annual State of the Nation address. President Cyril Ramaphosa compared his nation to the fynbos, a South African…

Norwegian government calls on Ethiopia to protect NGOs

The government of Norway has condemned the destruction of humanitarian aid facilities in Ethiopia, where the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) aid group is trying to assist those affected by conflict in the Tigray region. “All parties must fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the foreign ministry said in response…

Interim Libyan leaders chosen, but no easy road to elections

The announcement Friday of new leadership in Libya brought some optimism that the volatile and fractured nation may have turned toward peace and a pathway to elections, but much skepticism remains despite the establishment of an interim presidency council. “Realistically, I don’t think we are beyond the military phase in…