What’s Going On: Nigeria’s Hike in Power Fees, Cease Fire Begins in Sudan & More
Important political headlines from across Africa
Important political headlines from across Africa
“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.
According to news authorities, there are speculations that the Nigerian government is planning to implement a hike in electricity tariff (by over 40 per cent) by July 1. This development, if it comes to pass, will follow the government’s removal of fuel subsidy, which resulted in massive queues at petrol stations and a spike in the prices of essential commodities.
The Guardian posits that “while the increase is unavoidable due to the changes in the parameters, households and small businesses, which should power the economy, may head for serious problems with energy costs alone rising to over 70 per cent as purchasing power remains a challenge in the face of unemployment and poverty.”
“Nigerians are still struggling to keep pace with the cost of energy for business and household use. If the electricity tariff goes up as envisaged, the question remains if there will be value for the quantum of electricity so paid for,” a source told The Guardian. “The truth remains that if electricity supply is constant, of the right quantity and quality, the envisaged upward review in the tariff will be gladly absorbed by the populace.” Across social media, Nigerians have reacted to the news, with most stating their dissatisfaction.
Sudan’s warring parties—the armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—began a cease-fire on Sunday morning after two months of fighting that has thrown the country into chaos. The three-day truce, which was announced by mediators the United States and Saudi Arabia, came ahead of a pledging conference by the United Nations (UN) on Monday to raise funds to cover Sudan’s humanitarian needs.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America announce that representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire across Sudan beginning on June 18 at 6:00 a.m. Khartoum time until June 21. pic.twitter.com/RgpVMoKCUV
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) June 17, 2023
The nationwide truce went into effect at 6am (04:00 GMT) on Sunday and will last until June 21. According to the UN, at least 25 million people in the country need aid and protection, according to the United Nations, which said it has received only a fraction of the necessary funding. It also revealed that it received less than 16% of the $2.57 billion required to help those in need in Sudan in 2023 and that another $470 million is needed to support refugees.
Joint Facilitators' Statement From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America announce that representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to a 72-hour…
— U.S. Embassy Khartoum (@USEmbassyKRT) June 17, 2023
Since the war started in Sudan more than 3000 people have lost their lives, over 6,000 others have been wounded and more than 2.2 million people have fled their homes to neighbouring nations. The UN health agency has said it needs $145 million to meet the increasing health needs of those impacted by the conflict inside Sudan and assist those who fled to neighbouring countries.
The Ugandan town of Mpondwe has begun burying the victims of an attack by suspected extremist rebels Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The attack happened on Friday (June 16) when the rebels (who have ties to the Islamic State) descended on Lhubiriha Secondary School and burned, shot, or hacked the victims to death.
Ugandan authorities recovered the bodies of 41 people, including 38 students, and at least six people were abducted by the rebels, who fled into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday ordered more troops to Mpondwe.
“We are now sending more troops into the area south of Rwenzori Mountain,” he said in a statement. “Their action, the desperate, cowardly, terrorist action, therefore, will not save them. We are bringing new forces to the Uganda side as we continue the hunting on the Congo side.” It is considered the deadliest attack in Uganda since twin bombings in Kampala in 2010 killed 76 in an attack claimed by the Somalia-based al-Shabab group.
Victims of the protests earlier this month in Senegal are demanding justice. One family, in particular, whose son, Kadhim Ba, was killed on the same day political opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was convicted of “corrupting youth” and given a two-year prison sentence.
Several people were reported shot with live ammunition by men wearing civilian clothes who appeared to be fighting alongside the police, according to protesters and rights groups. According to Human Rights group, Amnesty International, the death toll is double compared to similar protests in 2021.
“Find the person who killed him (her son, Ed.) and bring him to justice, is the only thing I want,” says Seynabou Diop, mother of Khadim Ba. “They killed a person they don’t know. By Allah, they don’t know who they killed! The person who did this must be brought to justice. It is God’s will (to take the life of Khadim, Ed.) but justice must be done.”
Amnesty International also called for an independent enquiry into the deadly crackdown on protesters. “The Senegalese authorities must immediately carry out an independent and transparent investigation into the deaths of at least 23 people, including three children, during the violent demonstrations of 1 and 2 June 2023, and shed light on the presence of armed civilian personnel operating alongside the security forces,” the group said in a statement. The demonstrations were further marred by attacks on freedom of expression and information, with access to social media and mobile Internet being suspended.
Featured image credit/REUTERS