What’s Going On: Stampede in DR Congo, Twin Car Explosion In Somalia & 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.


Today, reports have reached social media that Congolese musician, Fally Ipupa’s concert at the biggest stadium in DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa ended in a deadly stampede. The Martyrs stadium, which usually holds roughly 80,000 people, maxed out its capacity, causing a stampede that left 9 concert attendants and 2 police officers dead. The Interior Minister, Daniel Aselo Okito, in a statement expressed that the concert organisers went 100 percent over capacity and will face the consequences of their actions.

The Police Chief of Kinshasa, General Sylvain Sasongo, shared the statement of a witness who expressed that the stadium was overflowing, “even the corridors.” Congolese Press Agency ACP reported that police had cornered all sections of the venue including the pitch, VIP stage and the main stage. However, “Under the pressure of the crowd, the police could not hold out long,” ACP shared.

Speaking on the tragedy, Fally Ipupa shared “Despite all the measures taken for the strict respect of security requirements, unfortunate and dramatic events marred the end of the concert. It appears from elements at our disposal that after jostling at the exit and around the stadium compatriots were dragged to their deaths. I am deeply shocked and offer my most heartfelt condolences to all the families concerned.”


As of today, many commuters around Lagos were stranded due to the 7-day strike started by commercial bus drivers. The strike is as a result of extortion and harassment complaints by miscreants misrepresenting as conductors at these local motor parks. The striking drivers alleged that in an attempt to avoid extortion, they are arrested and required to pay a fine of 10,000 Naira. All this occurs, despite the existing restraining order granted by the Federal High Court issued against the Lagos State, restraining them from ticketing and all forms exaction. A statement last week by Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN), the union representing bus drivers, was released complaining of the exorbitant charges levied at the motor park.

The statement also listed some demands that were addressed in a meeting held with JDWAN’s leader, Akintade Abiodun and some representatives of the Lagos State government over the weekend. The representatives included Abdulhafiz Toriola, the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Transportation, Hakeem Odumosu, the Parks Management Liaison Officer and Ayo Ademiluyi, Legal adviser for JDWAN. Rather than meeting the demands of the association, Hakeem Odomosu expressly stated that they cannot get rid of the extortionists because they work for the state government. He also allegedly threatened to organise thugs to attack the drivers and push the blame of violence on the drivers.

In a statement, Akintade expressed the dire consequences of the extortion, “It is also visible to the blind in Lagos that the cost of goods and services is a consequence of Agbero’s extortion. No goods can be delivered and the 95% working class resident can be transported without the service of commercial drivers.” He also shared, “The unfettered and violent extortion by the Lagos government agents has not only increased transportation fare beyond the affordability of workers but also made every good and service out of reach of poor Lagosians.”


On Sunday, officers in Kenya allegedly opened fire on a Pakistani journalist, Arshad Sharif and his friend, after the pair allegedly drove through a security roadblock just outside Nairobi. Described by the police as a case of mistaken identity, the 50-year old journalist is said to have been in hiding in Nairobi before his untimely death. Local officials also shared that they were on the stakeout for a child kidnapping case, for which suspects were rumoured to be in a similar vehicle to that of Arshad Sharif.

According to official reports, the officers had shot at the car nine times, and in the process shooting a bullet at Sharif’s head. In recent times, Kenya has grappled with several cases of police brutality and killings, leading parties to suspect foul play in this case considering the fact that the journalist was a fierce and vehement critic of the Pakistani government. However, Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), responsible for all matters regarding police misconduct, has opened up the matter to investigation.


Two car bombs exploded on Saturday at around 2pm near the education ministry in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. This comes just a week after a devastating attack in a hotel in Mogadishu which left 9 people dead. At least 100 people were killed and 300 injured in an attack which, according to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, can be tied to the terrorist group al-Shabaab. The two car bombs which exploded in a crowded intersection, Zobe junction was the same location as a bomb attack on October 14, 2017 which left over 500 people killed and 300 injured.

Speaking on the disaster, Mohamud shared “Today’s cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal al-Shabaab group cannot discourage us but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all… By the will of God, no other October like this will happen. They won’t get the chance to commit such a thing,” Mohamud said, calling Saturday’s attack a repeat of the 2017 bombings.”

Featured Image Credits/The New York Times