African Politics and Policy

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Problems won’t end in January

On January 22, we noted that terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan had killed 80 ; that 16 people had died of lassa fever in Nigeria, that the risk of starvation was rapidly becoming a concrete possibility for thousands of Basotho, and that food crises cold affect millions of Africans.

The past seven days have not brought any improvement. Terrorists have l have killed at least 30 people in Burkina Faso, bandits have killed 3 people in Turkana (Kenya), terrorists  killed 3 people in Mozambique, 15 policemen in Mali and 13 people in Kwatas (Plateau state, Nigeria).

In addition to these 64 deaths, the death toll of lassa fever has now risen to 41 victims. Terrorism killed a bit less, lassa fever killed a little more, but terrorism and diseases have been deadly this week as well.

But there is more: children suffer. They suffer in Libya where the conflict is raging, and they suffer in the Sahel where (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger)nearly 5 million children require some kind of humanitarian assistance .  Thousands of Sudanese have fled and are fleeing to Chad to escape violence, Cameroonians are trying to flee separatist violence.

In South Sudan government and rebels are doing their best not to solve the country’s troubles, while from Gambia to Ethiopia governments are cracking down protesters and opposition supporters.

A week ago we noted that a new year had started, but that Africa was still confronted with the same old problems. January will soon come to an end, while for many of Africa’s problems there seems to be no end in sight.

riccardo pelizzo


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