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Year in Review: Our 10 major African stories - Deby killed, Conde ousted and others

Conde Deposed Guinea Alpha Prof Conde was last seen publicly in the company of masked gun-weilding soldiers

Mon, 20 Dec 2021 Source:

GhanaWeb looks at major news items across Africa

This falls in our 2021 Year in Review publications

We look at issues from political, sports, business and tech angles

The news year is always packed for a continent as diverse as Africa from the diplomatic, political, sports, economic and given the COVID-19 pandemic, relative to the health front.

Uniquely, some of the incidents are boxed to a particular sub-regional bloc whereas others affect the continent as a whole.

As part of our Year in Review series, GhanaWeb presents 10 top news incidents from the perspective of our Africa desk.

1 – Gbagbo returns home after decade in ICC custody and exile

Former Ivory Coast president, Laurent Gbagbo flew from Belgium back home for the first time in a decade. He had spent the last 10 years facing the International Criminal Court, ICC. The Hague Court jailed him and later acquitted him allowing him to return to the West African nation for the first time since 2011.

2 – Idris Deby Itno dies in frontline

Chad lost its president Idris Deby Itno in April 2021 while at the frontlines. Deby died after sustaining injuries in combat to keep off rebels that were threatening to topple him. His soldier son, Mahamat, was sworn in after which parliament is dissolved and power vested in a transitional body.

3 – Patrice Motsepe becomes new CAF president

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe emerged new President of the Confederation of African Football, as a compromise candidate of FIFA after the former CAF president Ahmad Ahmad was banned from contesting for re-election.

4 – Ethiopia PM goes to frontlines to fight Tigray rebels

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali left his offices at Addis Ababa and joined soldiers and allied forces to push back rebels from the northern Tigray region. The rebels extended the war in their region to Amhara and Afar regions with the excuse of breaking a government siege.

5 – Nigeria bans Twitter

Africa’s most populous nation took on a fight with global social media giants, Twitter. On June 4, the federal government banned Twitter for deleting a post of the president targeted at pro-Biafra activists. The government announced a series of actions that would lead to restoration, the company said it was looking to fulfill them even as Nigerians turned to Virtual Private Networks to use the platform.

6 – AU readmits Israel

The African Union readmitted Israel as an Observer Nation much to the joy of Israel and its supporters but the move attracted backlash as a number of countries including South Africa, Namibia and Botswana slammed the move accusing the AU Commission of overreaching its power.

7 – Gaddafi’s son eyes presidency

Sai al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libya’s former President Muammar Gaddafi announced his candidacy for the office of president. His move has been blocked by the National Prosecutor because of legal summons against him at home. He is also the subject of ICC summons for his role in the crackdown that met opposition to his father’s rule back in 2010 – 2011.

8 – West African coups stampede democratic strides

West Africa recorded two coups in the year. First was the overthrow of Mali’s transitional government by Colonel Assimi Goita. Goita ousted Bah Ndaw, his boss in the government and subsequently got himself sworn into office as substantive leader of the transition.

In Guinea, another serving soldier, Mamady Doumbouya, ousted his boss and substantive president Alpha Conde, who remains under house arrest since the September 5 coup. ECOWAS and AU expressed grave misgivings with the happenings and suspended both countries.

9 – Zambia opposition defeat incumbent

On August 12, 2021, Zambia pulled off the biggest surprise of the election year when another veteran opposition candidate, Hakainde Hichelima (running for the sixth consecutive time), beat incumbent Edgar Lungu as Lungu chased his second and final term in office.

Hichelima polled 2,852,348 votes (59.02%) as against Lungu’s 1,870,780 votes (38.71%).

10 – Omicron travel ban and vax hoarding protest

Early in the year when vaccinations against COVID-19 became increasingly popular as the best means to halt the Coronavirus pandemic, Africa was left fuming after it appeared the West was hoarding vaccines. Later in the year, Africa received waves of donations along bilateral lines whiles some countries also purchased doses.

The latest Omicron variant was also discovered by South African scientists, incidentally, it led Africa on a new round of protests against travel bans imposed by the West on countries in the southern Africa bloc because of Omicron.

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