The long-term president remains in office. However, his rival Bobby Wine speaks of electoral fraud. The military reportedly broke into his house on Friday.
Was once a beacon of hope: President Yoweri Museveni Photo: Reuters
BERLINtaz | After 35 years in power, Yoweri Museveni will remain President of Uganda for another five years. The country’s electoral commission declared the 76-year-old to be the winner of Thursday’s presidential election with 58.6 percent of the vote on Saturday afternoon. His young challenger Bobi Wine – a 38-year-old music star and idol of urban Ugandan youth – accounted for 34.8 percent. The turnout was given as 57.2 percent – around 10.4 million votes cast out of around 18.1 million registered voters.
Museveni has lost just two percent compared to the last election in 2016, when he prevailed against the long-standing opposition leader Kiiza Besigye with 60.6 percent of the vote. Besigye’s party FDC (Forum for Democratic Change) played hardly a role this time with three percent, as the young voters turned massively to Bobi Wine and his NUP (Party for National Unity).
Before the results of the presidential election were announced, the army marched into the streets of Kampala. Opposition sources pointed to numerous arrests. The independent daily newspaper Daily Monitor reported on their website about attack helicopters flying low.
As with all of Museveni’s previous election victories, the opposition is assuming massive election manipulation. Numbers from Bobi Wines environment were distributed on Friday that should prove a victory for their candidate. Soldiers then occupied Wines property in Uganda’s capital Kampala. “We are under siege”, announced the Twitter account of the opposition leader on Friday afternoon. “The military jumped over the fence and took control of our house. None of these intruders talk to us. We have a serious problem. “
Bobi Wine later stated that the results of the election commission were “fake” and proclaimed: “Our fight is only just beginning.” During the election campaign, the opposition leader had already been arrested several times and several of his employees were arrested before election day.
Far better in the general election
In support of its fake allegations, the opposition emphasizes that it appears to do much better in the parliamentary elections that were held at the same time. According to initial reports, several ministers have lost their seats – Uganda is using the British majority vote for parliamentary elections. A final result is not yet available.
The NUP and FDC had called on voters to stay at the polling stations after the voting ended on Thursday at 4 p.m. local time in order to observe the counting and thus make forgeries more difficult. The electoral commission had banned this for security reasons. What has happened since the election remains unclear, as the Ugandan authorities have switched off the Internet and therefore hardly anyone outside the government can communicate except by telephone.
This also made the voting process on Thursday more difficult, as voters had to identify themselves biometrically via online verification, which often did not work. On election day there were also isolated allegations of pre-filled ballot papers.
The outgoing president was declared the winner with more than 58% of the vote. A victory contested by his opponent Bobi Wine.
Yoweri Museveni has never lost an election. He never had to suffer the horrors of a second round. For his sixth term, the Ugandan president, 76, has not changed this order of things. Master of the country for thirty-five years, the “Mzee” will remain so five more. On Saturday, the committee declared him the winner of the presidential election held on Thursday, with 58.64% of the vote. His main rival, Bobi Wine is credited with 34.83%, the usual balance of opponents.
This arithmetic triumph was, as usual, immediately contested by Bobi Wine, 38, who denounces “A complete masquerade” and “The most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda”. Star of the ragga scene, Bobi Wine, Robert Kyagulanyi of his real name, has managed, beyond the numbers, to push the power to its limits and in a bitter campaign, marked by violence. In November, 54 of his supporters were killed while participating in protests against the umpteenth arrest of their leader.
This article is for subscribers only. You have 68% left to discover.
On February 2, 2013, Mamadou Touré was one of the thousands of Malians who gathered on avenue de l’Indépendance in Bamako to give a dignified welcome to François Hollande, the « sauveur ». A few days earlier, at the request of the Malian authorities, France launched Operation Serval to stop the jihadist advance. Eight years later, the enthusiasm has disappeared in this Bamako thirty-something. “I didn’t think we would be there yet in 2021. Still dead and occupied territories”, he confides.
→ ANALYSIS. France in Mali, a battle of seven years
Even if he admits his disenchantment, he will not participate in the demonstration on January 20 – Day of the Malian Army Day – against “French imperialism”. For the organizers of this rally, Barkhane is seen as an occupying force.
«For us, Barkhane is a failure ”, asserts Adama Ben Diarra, nicknamed Ben the Brain, recognizable by his communist cap still screwed on his head. The latter regrets that, “Despite its latest generation military resources, it cannot rout 3,000 people who ride motorcycles”.
Barkhane less efficient than Serval
Now a member of the National Transitional Council – the transitional parliament created by the putschists after the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta – Adama Ben Diarra makes his voice heard there to ask Russia to supplant France in the country.
→ READ. Barkhane, the time of questioning
As Modibo Galy Cissé, a doctoral student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who frequently conducts surveys in the north as in central Mali, points out, the populations maintain that Barkhane is less efficient than Serval.
«Since Barkhane, terrorist groups reorganized before expanding their area of action. Today, they operate in the center of the country and are steadily gaining ground, as evidenced by attacks further south ”, he analyzes. In Gao, the gateway to northern Mali, Barkhane only has one base. It provides regular patrols in the area but not very dissuasive, according to a teacher in the city who requested anonymity.
«Barkhane is carrying out strikes in certain areas in order to calm the ardor of his detractors, specifies the researcher. But it rarely brings aid to the armies of the Sahel attacked by terrorists, despite its sophisticated air resources.»
“We continue to suffer”
In fact, a certain mistrust of foreign forces has developed in recent years among the local population. Barkhane is very often compared to the UN force (Minusma) to underline its ineffectiveness. «Eight years after the start of the French intervention, we continue to suffer ”, laments the teacher.
→ ANALYSIS. The future of Operation Barkhane in question
However, the inhabitants of Gao do not ask for the departure of the French force: Barkhane also carries out social, health and economic interventions for the benefit of the population. This inhabitant himself claims to have benefited from it. “But you have to know the right intermediaries”, he specifies.
In Douentza, in the center of the country, Barkhane has been at the heart of discussions since she carried out an air raid on January 3 that left several dead, civilians gathered for a wedding according to villagers. A thesis rejected by the Malian army and the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, affirming on Sunday January 10 on France Inter that France had “Hired two fighter planes which eliminated dozens of jihadists”, and that he “There was no marriage, no wives, no children”.
→ READ. Mali: doubts around a deadly strike by “Barkhane”
The controversy has not stopped swelling since, strengthening the camp of those who wish to see Barkhane leave this area, known to be a “Lair” terrorists, explains a national of this locality. This controversy shows, in his eyes, the need to dialogue with armed groups to find a lasting solution to the crisis. Malians have already expressed in 2019 their willingness to negotiate with terrorists during the inclusive national dialogue. France has always opposed it.
She is the most diverse and perhaps even the most exciting region for South Africa fans. Everything that holidaymakers want is close together here, and that in just over an hour’s drive: safaris in the national parks (with the largest white rhinoceros population in Africa), beach holidays, hiking through subtropical, lush nature.
KwaZulu-Natal is the name of this province in the very east of South Africa, which borders on the neighboring countries Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and the bathtub-warm Indian Ocean. KwaZulu means “place of the Zulu”, the region encompasses the traditional settlement area of the people who today make up the largest ethnic group in South Africa with around eleven million people.
KwaZulu-Natal is also called the Garden Province because of its subtropical coast, but there are also savannas in the hinterland – and in the African winter people ski in the high mountains. The largest city is the port metropolis Durban. It offers excellent bathing and surfing opportunities on its sandy beaches and off the cliffs: 80 kilometers of the Dolphin Coast on one side, 160 kilometers of the South and Hibiscus Coast on the other, all year round.
The zebra mongoose is a clever gourmet
About the size of a cat, equipped with a pointed snout and noticeably large ears, the zebra mongoose roams (Latin: Mungos mungo) the savannahs and forests of southern Africa. It owes its name to the dark horizontal stripes on its back, which are reminiscent of the black and white ungulate.
They’re pretty clever and real little gourmets: when the zebra mongoose have captured a hard-shelled treat, such as an egg, they grab it with their front paws, balance on their hind legs, and then hurl it firmly against the nearest rock so that it breaks . They prefer to roll slimy snails or fur-covered prey on the ground before they eat – and thus provide them with a mango-style breading.
The little diurnal predator lives and hunts in groups for beetles, frogs and mice. In case of danger, he stands on his back legs, gives a sharp warning whistle and dashes into his earthwork with his fellow dogs. The animals are extremely chatty – and can be heard from afar. They chirp, whistle and cheek. How cute they look is shown in a video in which the Zoo Bioparc Valencia presented the offspring of its zebra mongoose in summer 2019:
In South Africa, King Shaka is a national hero
The fact that the Zulu grew from a clan to the largest ethnic group in South Africa, now numbering eleven million people, is thanks to a man: King Shaka. Born in 1787 in what is now KwaZulu-Natal as the illegitimate child of a chief, Shaka became a warrior at an early age and, because of his extraordinary courage, quickly rose to become army commander.
Less than 30 years old, he took over his father’s tribe and was thus the master of more than 1500 Zulu in an area of 15 square kilometers. Through tight military leadership, rigorous training, and carefully crafted maneuvers, Shaka’s army defeated numerous other tribes and presented them with the choice of either joining the Zulu – or remaining enemies.
At the end of his life, Shaka’s territory extended over half of Southeast Africa and already comprised a quarter of a million people. Shaka is still considered to be one of the greatest national heroes in South Africa. The Zulu celebrate him every September on “King Shaka Day”.
The Dragon Mountains are a dream for hiking
The Zulu have a much more fitting and melodious name for the jagged Drakensberg (Afrikaans for Dragon Mountains): uKhahlambawhich means “wall of erected spears”. That fits wonderfully, because the national park on the border to Lesotho is characterized by rugged mountain ranges up to 3482 meters high.
From Tanzania to South Africa
In between thundering waterfalls, bizarre gorges, lush green valleys, rocky slopes full of caves with prehistoric animal paintings of the San people who hunted here 100,000 years ago. A dream region for hikers, there are 260 kilometers of signposted trekking paths.
Indians came as guest workers and stayed
KwaZulu-Natal has 1.3 million people of Indian origin – so many do not live anywhere else outside of the subcontinent. From the middle of the 19th century, their ancestors were recruited as guest workers for the sugar cane plantations, and many of them stayed forever.
Their proportion is highest in Durban to this day – which can be seen everywhere in the cityscape: many Hindu temples, Indian-inspired restaurants and street food specialties such as bunny chow, a spicy curry dish in a loaf of white bread.
Mbaqanga is the rhythmic sound of rebellion
What happens when you combine traditional Zulu music with set pieces from soul, jazz and reggae? Voilà: Mbaqanga. Originated at street festivals in the early 1960s, the style, also known as township jive, was given the name of a corn porridge, which is considered to be the poor South African food.
The fast, very danceable Mbaqanga thus became the rhythmic sound of the rebellion against the apartheid regime. He became internationally known in the 1980s through the KwaZulu-Natal band Ladysmith Black Mambazo and their guest appearance on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland”.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play it better than everyone else “
That said Albert John Luthuli (around 1898-1967), Zulu leader and longtime president of the independence party African National Congress (ANC) for the province Natal. In 1960 he was the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid policy. Luthuli was banned from traveling, repeatedly arrested and threatened, but continued tirelessly calling on the black population of South Africa to be patient in the fight against racial segregation.
He was significantly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence – who himself had spent several years in KwaZulu-Natal. When the conditions for equality for all South African residents were created in the mid-1990s, this was also thanks to Luthuli, who, however, did not live to see the end of apartheid. With the Order of Luthuli, a high state honor is named after him.
Quirky, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.
This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.
Nearly 12 billion euros should be mobilized over 5 years to finally materialize the pharaonic project of the Great Green Wall. Traditional donors and several private actors have pledged to invest to restore 100 million hectares from Senegal to Djibouti. A weapon to counter the disastrous advance of the desert and to create jobs. This time, can we believe it?
– Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
– Abakar Mahamat Zougoulou, Scientific and Technical Director of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall
– Remi Hemerick, Managing Director of SOS Sahel who manages the Great Green Wall Actors Platform
– Karim Ait Talb, Deputy CEO of the Advens-Geocoton Group, co-founder of I’A M Africa, a fund dedicated to financing agroecology in Africa.
– Report in Senegal on the “Tolou Keur” project to restore land in Senegal in the village of Belvédère 40 km from Dakar.
Zoom on : the verdict of the “Affaire du siècle”, the French state soon condemned for climate inaction? With Marie Toussaint, founder of the “Affaire du siècle” and MEP EELV.
Algeria again suffering from Bouteflika syndrome of a sick president, absent and hospitalized abroad? Sunday January 10, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 75, boarded a plane again to be hospitalized in Germany. The president will have stayed only twelve days on Algerian soil after being hospitalized for two months, due to the Covid, in Germany from October 28 to December 29.
→ READ. The illness of its president sends Algeria back to square one
He wanted to be reassuring before takeoff. “My return to Germany was scheduled in order to continue the therapeutic protocol”, he said, hoping for a ” very short ” period of care, while adding that he should probably have a small surgery on his foot, reports the official APS news agency, but that he would follow “The daily affairs of the country”. All that Algeria has in official leaders was present at the Boufarik air base some thirty kilometers south of Algiers: the presidents of the council of the nation (Senate), of the assembly and of the constitutional council, the Prime Minister, the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as his Chief of Staff to the Presidency.
Acquittal of former intelligence bosses
Abdelmadjid Tebboune had to return in extremis to Algeria before December 31, 2020 to sign the finance law and promulgate the new constitution, adopted by referendum on November 1.
In Algeria, liberticidal measures against online media
During his brief stay in Algiers, on his instructions, the Minister of Transport Lazhar Hani and the President of Air Algeria, Bekhouche Allache, were sacked on Saturday January 9 for having used foreign service providers for meals on board without taking into account “Financial guidelines aimed at the rational management of foreign exchange and the priority to be given to national production”, says the press release from the Prime Minister’s services. Both have been replaced on an interim basis.
But above all, a major fact, Saïd Bouteflika, the brother of the former president, often considered as president by proxy, General Mohamed Mediene, known as Toufik, the former all-powerful intelligence chief, and his successor, General Athmane Tartag, and Louisa Hanoune, the leader of the workers’ party, were all acquitted on January 2 by the military court in Blida after the Supreme Court overturned their sentences to fifteen years in prison in September 2019 for “Attack on the authority of the army” and “Conspiracy against state authority”.
Questions about the judicial system
Sentenced on appeal to three years in prison, including nine months closed, Louisa Hanoune was released in February 2020. Toufik, 81, was released. He left prison for military medical service last September, according to his lawyer. Prosecuted for other cases, Saïd Bouteflika and General Tartag remain in prison.
All four were arrested in May 2019, a month after the resignation of President Bouteflika who renounced a fifth term in the midst of popular protest, accused of having wanted to instigate the dismissal of the Chief of Staff, Ahmed Gaïd Salah (deceased in December 2019).
As the American political scientist William Lawrence recently pointed out on the Al Jazeera channel, in corrupt, authoritarian regimes, with justice under orders, when people are arrested, the question is not ” What did they do ? “ more “Who blames them? “
At the start of 2021, the prevailing question is “Why their return to grace? “ The question also applies to the former Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense Khaled Nezzar, who returned to Algeria on December 11 without being worried, after an exile of nearly 18 months in Spain, when he had was sentenced, for the same case, to 20 years’ imprisonment in absentia.
What are the repositionings at work within the powerful Algerian army still in command of the country? How is the post Tebboune preparing? For years, the various factions within the army could not agree on the succession of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, now at arm’s length an old man diminished in power.
Find out which constellations, planets and stars will be visible each month under the African sky. Astronomers from the L’Astronomie Afrique web review share their ephemeris with us …
With the planetologist / Paris Saclay Sylvain Bouley
In partnership with Astronomy Africa
At the start of 2021, the planets are no longer really there and you will have to be satisfied with one planet Mars which recedes but still high on the western horizon and’Uranus if you have a telescope. Uranus can be detected with a pair of binoculars but remains a very dim spot. You will need to take a precise sky map to know where it is exactly. On January 20, 2021, it will be 1.5 ° from Mars and therefore may be easier to find. Also take advantage of the first two weeks of February to see the zodiacal light. After sunset when the sky is dark, a faint glow from the western horizon is clearly visible. This is the reflection of the Sun’s rays on the microscopic particles of dust wandering in the Solar System …
Take advantage of the January sky to observe the stars and constellations Orion, Taurus, Gemini, Coachman and Canis Major ! This constellation Canis Major is dominated by the majestic star Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. This star is binary, which means that it is in fact 2 stars which revolve around each other. There is the main one as big as the Sun and a white dwarf that turns around in 50 years. Sirius is one of the five stars closest to us …
After 35 years in power, President Museveni wants to be re-elected. But the 38-year-old political rapper Bobi Wine steals the show from him.
Sweat and dust. Bobi Wine on the road with election campaigners in eastern Uganda Photo: Sumy Sadurni
KAMPALAtaz | Red, yellow, blue: these colors dominate Kampala’s streets. Everywhere in the Ugandan capital there are posters with politicians, there are Covid-19 masks with party symbols, and street vendors sell umbrellas, clothes and stickers in the colors of the parties.
Uganda faces a fateful election on Thursday. President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled with his “National Resistance Movement” (NRM) since 1986, is running for a sixth elected term after 35 years in power. The 76-year-old is competing for the first time with a representative of the generation that grew up under his rule: Robert Kyagulanyi, better known under his stage name Bobi Wine, a 38-year-old reggae star who has mutated into a politician and has many fans, especially among young people and the unemployed.
Museveni’s party color is yellow, Bobi Wines NUP (Party of National Unity) fights in red. Blue stands for the formerly most important opposition party FDC (Forum for Democratic Change), which this time only plays a minor role with its candidate Patrick Amuriat.
“I see myself as a representative of the majority,” said Bobi Wine of the taz at breakfast in his house last weekend. “85 percent of Ugandans are younger than me and don’t know anything but Museveni. We have a first class population stuck in a third world country. Museveni represents the past, I represent the future. “
Election campaign with posters in the Ugandan capital Kampala Photo: Sumy Sadurni
The election campaign is bloody and violent. When Bobi Wine was arrested at a campaign meeting in November, 56 people died in national unrest, unofficial estimates were higher. Whenever the opposition star appears in front of his fans, police officers and soldiers interfere with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.
On December 1, a bullet barely missed one of his employees in the back seat of his car. On December 27, most of his employees were arrested and are to be brought to a military tribunal – charges: live ammunition.
Family sent abroad for safety
Bobi Wine’s house on the outskirts of Kampala is mostly a lively place, full of friends, co-workers and children. But for a few days the mood has been subdued. Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie decided to send the children to the USA with their aunt for their safety. A forward-looking decision: on Tuesday morning, security forces surrounded the house while Bobi Wine gave an interview to a Kenyan radio station inside.
On Tuesday night, Bobi Wines NUP security chief David Lule was attacked by gunmen in his house and taken to an unknown location. “Reports of raids on many other NUP supporters’ homes continue to reach us and we know that this is being carried out by civil servants,” the statement said.
“Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this,” says Bobi Wine at the breakfast meeting, there are eggs and tomatoes. “Things happen and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, what did I get into?’ Then I look around and ask myself, ‘What did I get people’s children into?’ But when I think clearly again, I remember it’s worth it. Doing nothing is more dangerous. “
Elections in Uganda have always been tense, but this time state repression is unprecedented, observers say. The police are targeting journalists and civil rights activists have been arrested. The government accuses the media of taking sides with the opposition.
At a press conference last Friday, police chief Martin Okoth Ochola warned the media: “If we tell a journalist not to go here and there, and you go where it is dangerous, we will beat you up for your own safety. I don’t have to apologize. We will help you so that you don’t go where it is dangerous. “
Campaign meetings are banned in Uganda, officially because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The many young people in red cheering by the hundreds to Bobi Wine and getting into his car when he drives through a town really don’t care much about distance rules and masks. Yet many think the pandemic is just an excuse to hold back the opposition.
Military vehicles on the streets
Tensions in Kampala are high. Police officers and soldiers patrol the streets, especially in the slums, Bobi Wine’s strongholds. Olive green military vehicles and water cannons are parked across the city, as if in preparation for a civil war.
“Museveni rules Uganda by means of violence, and the people are scared,” explains 30-year-old motorcycle taxi driver Ivan. “The old generation has power and we have no weapons. We just want Museveni to leave peacefully. Now is the time for Kyagulanyi. “
But the older generation and the business community still stand behind Museveni, whom they credit for leading Uganda to peace. Entrepreneur Katumba Patrick says Bobi Wine is too inexperienced to do anything for the country.
He will vote again for Museveni and: “Of course Museveni will win. But I admit that the country needs change. Taxes are high, the hospitals have no medicines and no one can afford school fees. “
Others are afraid of the election and of violence on election day. The electoral commission has banned staying at the polling station after the vote. Bobi Wine has now asked the voters exactly: “Come in large numbers and be there,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday: “Observe the election and the process, use your phones and your cameras. Protect your voices. “
Many young Bobi Wine enthusiasts are determined to do it and say they are ready to die for it. As NUP youth activist Maria puts it: “It is the ballot or the bullet” – the ballot or the ball.