What’s Going On: Protests In Uganda, Extremist Group Claim Attack On Mali’s Military Base & More

notable headlines from around the continent

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

Several dead from2 bus crash in Kenya

On Sunday evening a passenger bus crashed into River Nithi. The bus is under Modern Coast Express Limited and offers passenger and courier services. According to the police commander Donatha Chal, the bus heading to Mombasa lost control hurtling down a steep slope, hitting the guard rails, and eventually plunging 40 meters into River Nithi. Additionally, the bus driver was driving at high speed and ignored the blackspot warnings.

According to local reports, at least 34 people have been confirmed dead with over 11 other passengers being rushed to the hospital. Eastern Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki confirmed the number of passengers on the bus is unknown. The efforts to search for more bodies are underway. Following this tragic incident, the National Transport and Safety Authority(NTSA) suspended the company’s license.

On its Twitter page, NTSA promised a thorough investigation into their crash and operation of Modern Coast’s safety operational standards. Several fatal accidents have occurred on the road leading the public to appeal for a change of location. According to the previous passengers, this is not the first time the bus encountered malfunctions. Among the complaints traced down to July 2016 include the bus breaking down, reckless driving, missing rear lights, and being involved in another accident. The second complaint was the bus hit a stationary truck on the Mombasa-Malindi Highway resulting in the death of the driver.

Rebel group claims responsibility for Mali attack

Mali is bleeding. In the last two years, the West African country has experienced political turbulence and terrorist insurgency resulting in two coups experienced in the last two years. The most recent attack came on 22 July when armed terrorists attacked the country’s main military base on the outskirts of Bamako. However, security forces in the area repelled the attack and were able to regain control of the area.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have repeatedly raided bases across Mali during a decade-long insurgency concentrated in the north and centre but never so close to Bamako in the south. The recent attack was carried out in Kati Camp using two car bombs resulting in the wounding of fifteen civilians and the death of one soldier. Recently, Mali’s military confirmed seven assailants from the terrorist group had been killed and eight arrested. On Saturday night, the media unit of Al-Qaeda confirmed its involvement in the attack.  

The attack was aimed at a military fuel and transport depot. Kati camp is the residence of strongman Colonel Assimi Goita, Mali’s transitional president, and Defence Minister Colonel Sadio Camara. The attack came a day after suspected jihadists carried out six simultaneous raids on security positions in the regions and Koulikoro, near Bamako. The terrorist group stated the raid was a response to the government’s collaboration with Russian mercenaries.  In May 2021, the junta led by Goita staged a coup, forcing out a civilian-led government. Since then, it has woven closer ties with Russia, bringing in Russian personnel, while relations with international partners have gone into a downward spiral.

Central African Republic hit by severe floods

Since 2009, the Central African Republic has faced climate change regarding rainfall. In 2019, the country was hit by the worst flooding in two decades, destroying over 10,000 homes and affecting an estimated 100,000 people across the country. Recently, the floods have only worsened with time.

In the past week, the area has received torrential rainfall resulting in flooding in the Bangui area. The flooding caused damage to goods worth millions of dollars while six people were reported missing. According to local media, the runway of the Bangui M’Poko international airport was submerged in water, and flights could not take off.

In Senegal, the streets of Dakar flooded after a heavy downpour brought down a section of one of the main highways into the city. The rainfall in Dakar is spaced by several dry days. The heavy downpour comes a month after a density of dust floated over the Senegalese capital and other regions of the country affecting visibility. It is not the first time Dakar has experienced flooding making it a yearly affair. In 2021, a storm erupted causing rainfall worth a year to fall within a day. The locals blame poor construction for the flooding. Local experts explain Dakar is built on flood plains and soft soil to the water table. Over 16 million people live at the seaside where there are housing shortages. 

WHO declares monkeypox as a global health emergency

The World Health Organisation officially declared Monkeypox a global health emergency, urging precautions to curb the spread of the disease. Director General Fedris Adhamon labeled the disease a matter of international concern which means there is a looming possibility of a pandemic. Not much is known about the Monkeypox disease as its commonly found in Central and West Africa. However, over the past few months, the virus has affected over 16,000 people in 75 countries killing 5 people from Africa. 

The declaration signals a health crisis and a coordinated international response is needed before it breaks out. The director of W.H.O overruled the health agency emergency committee as the emergency can lead member countries to invest significant resources in controlling the outbreak, draw more funding to the response, and encourage nations to share vaccines, treatments, and other key resources for containing the outbreak. This is the second time in two years the World Health Organization has taken the extraordinary step of declaring a global emergency.

Protests against rising prices in Uganda

On Monday, Ugandans took to the streets of Jinja protesting the rapid rising cost of living. According to local news reports, protesters barricaded the streets before the police cleared them from the road with teargas. The protest comes one day after authorities revealed government officials are in a cahoot to steal money through inflation. The authorities encouraged people to stay indoors for three days to protest inflation that has reduced the purchasing value of the Uganda shilling.

The prices of commodities have continued to increase in Uganda. Notably, a litre of petrol in Kampala is now selling at $1.70, sometimes even higher in other parts of the country. The ruling president Yoweri Museveni has resisted calls for his government to launch price interventions. The area police spokesperson James Mubi also shared with local reporters that the police have arrested 45 suspects behind the Monday morning protests. 

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