Africa in focus on February 5, 2019

In this issue of Zoom Afrique:

News in Africa :

Burundi: ESCEM organizes an EAC cultural day;

Cameroon: expansion of the mass retail sector, to include 50% of local products on the shelves;

Botswana: towards an increase in public service wages.

Editorial analyses:


The reaction of the Israeli Embassy in Yaoundé, both outraged and muscular, in the aftermath of comments deemed anti-Semitic by the new Minister Delegate to the Minister of Justice, Jean de Dieu Momo, on public television, is making the Cameroonian newspapers buzz on Tuesday.

For some time now, Israel has been well established in Cameroon, and strengthened bilateral ties have been established. In August, Israel’s Ambassador to Cameroon, Ran Gidor, and its General Accountant, Rony Hizkiyahu, held a meeting with Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella Mbella, during which the two countries promised to strengthen bilateral ties under the authority of President Paul Biya and the Israeli leader. According to them, Israel will continue to support Cameroon’s fight against terrorism. The Israeli diplomat told reporters after an audience with Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella Mbella Mbella that they are committed to supporting Cameroon in other areas, in addition to helping to ensure peace and stability.

Israel and Cameroon have a long history of diplomatic cooperation in the areas of agriculture, defence and security, training and other areas. The hearing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yaoundé was the opportunity for the Israeli Accountant General to meet for the first time with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cameroon. It dates back to August 2018; paradoxically, it is since that date that the Anglophone crisis has started to escalate, as have the inter-community violence. Now another element is added to this list: street protests in favour of the opposition, widely covered by the dominant media. In all this, are Cameroonian officials starting to see the Israeli footprint?

This kind of reaction from a Cameroonian representative is in any case very meaningful, not because of these words taken from the ground, but rather in the sense of a warning. Indeed, Israeli aid can never be considered as a charity. Especially since Israel is particularly interested in the Cameroonian armed forces and they are currently going through a period of turbulence linked to the Anglophone crisis of exogenous origin. The words of the Deputy Minister of Justice, however, show, in a way, that cooperation between Israel and Cameroon is perhaps not eternal and that Cameroonian officials judge it according to the interests that it may represent for the Cameroonian State.

Yaoundé is probably following with interest what is happening in the Sahel. At first glance, normalization with Israel has not benefited Chad or the Sahel in general.


In Mali, a drama with the appearance of a staging of France took place on Monday, February 4. In the strategic region of Ménaka, a former mayor of the town of Andéraboukane and former Prime Minister was killed under very dubious conditions. Here are the facts relayed by the RFI site: the civilian vehicle in which he was with other Malians was heading for a strategic location in Ménaka where passengers were to take a flight from the UN mission to Bamako. At a checkpoint, shots were fired: the mayor was killed on the spot. Three other passengers were injured.
And in an official statement, the Malian army gives its version of the facts. According to her, a suspicious vehicle is heading towards a Malian armed forces device in Ménaka and does not comply with the summons. On the other hand, the information site makes it clear that the victim was best known for his outspokenness. However, it is no longer a secret that State officials with frankness, whoever they may be, are generally not well perceived by entities outside the country. Indeed, this former mayor was to travel to Bamako on a UN mission flight. And since the population surveillance system is extremely well developed, this former mayor must have discovered some compromising things to be murdered in this way. Especially since it is the national army that must take the blame. His outspokenness may have cost him dearly, because in December 2018, Hamid Ahmed Ag Mohamed announced his position on the peace pact signed between the United Nations and the government. He had declared that this pact was a slap in the face to Mali’s sovereignty. He has made very strong speeches against the international community. He stated that “the international community has continued to demand the full and full implementation of the agreement, knowing that the Malian government faces multiple resistances against reforms and procedures for their adoption”. “In this truly complex situation, the international community is taking the ill-conceived risk of substituting itself for the State of Mali through a Peace Pact, which is nothing more than a “slap in the face” to Mali’s sovereignty.
Territorial division is a death sentence for the nation-state by calling for the development of communitarianism and identity withdrawal. The tightening of the political, social and economic climate, aggravated by the upsurge in insecurity from north to south through the centre and the inter-community and intra-community conflicts resulting mainly from the exacerbated upsurge in identity withdrawal, are undoubtedly additional serious obstacles to the implementation of the agreement for peace and reconciliation,” he had launched. “The rebuilding of Mali, foreseen in the agreement, must be willed and decided freely by all Malians,” he concluded.
A frankness that is never much appreciated by France. But this kind of staging is particularly similar to the techniques used by Israel. Even before Tel Aviv set foot in Mali, its assassination techniques have already been applied. At first, France absolutely wanted to push the country towards territorial division, then it was the establishment of inter-community and interreligious conflicts and now it is the assassinations of opponents of neocolonial projects.


The Mirage 2000 bombardments in northern Chad caused quite a bit of damage. But why doesn’t French aviation directly attack the rebel stronghold in southern Libya? Situation analysis with geopolitician Luc Michel.


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