CW 48/2020: Security and uncertainty
Press Review 21 November 2020 to 27 November 2020

Kaboré wins the election in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has been re-elected for another five years. According to the preliminary final results of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), the 63-year-old won the elections last Sunday with 57.87% of the vote, thus avoiding a second ballot. The strongest opposition candidate, Eddie Komboigo from the party of President Blaise Compaoré, who was toppled in 2014, only received 15.5% of the vote. Monique Yeli Kam, the only woman among the thirteen candidates, did not even receive one percent of the votes. The Burkina Faso Supreme Court has been given one week to confirm the result. According to CENI, the turnout was 50.71%, 10% lower than in the last election. One reason for this is the poor security situation in the West African state: Burkina Faso is fighting a jihadist offensive that has claimed at least 1,200 lives since 2015 and forced around one million people to flee their homes. According to estimates by the electoral commission, some 350,000 people were therefore unable to cast their votes in the first place. In some cases, it was considered too risky to open polling stations in their places of residence. In addition, security threats meant that it was not even possible for hundreds of thousands of possible voters to even be entered on the electoral register prior to the elections. For some time now, incumbent Kaboré has been criticized for failing to take decisive action against the jihadists who have penetrated the country from northern Mali. Against this background, many parties expected a closer election outcome. Meanwhile, the opposition parties are threatening not to recognize the result. These groups continue to complain of fraud and flawed procedures. Whether they will take legal action against the election results is still uncertain.

 

New agreement within the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region

Through the Angolan President João Lourenço instigating the move, the member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) signed an agreement last Friday that is aimed at fostering interstate peace. The content of the agreement includes the enforcement of peace agreements, the promotion of interstate cooperation and the dissolution of non-state armed militias. The signing took place in the context of the 11th meeting of the heads of state and government of the ICGLR, which was held virtually as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the summit, Angola’s President Lourenço took over the biennial presidency of the intergovernmental institution, which was operationalized in 2008 and now includes a total of 12 states: Angola, Burundi, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia, Sudan, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and the Central African Republic. Other items on the meeting’s agenda included the possible lifting of sanctions against Burundi and the Central African Republic and the appointment of a panel of experts on the fight against Covid-19. During its presidency, Angola would like to focus in particular on the better involvement of African youth in peace measures. In his speech at the summit, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame emphasized the importance of strengthening the ICGLR as a driving force for resolving the region’s many conflicts. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, attended the meeting as guests and observers.

 

In other news

As the president of Potters International College, 28-year-old Ghanaian Caroline Esinam Adzogble is the youngest founder of an internationally recognized educational institute on the African continent. She began to build her institute in the Ghanaian capital Accra at the age of 22, when she was still studying Business Administration and Computer Science. Today the institute offers a range of undergraduate courses in IT, business administration and business development. Potters International College is a subsidiary of the Caroline Group, also founded and managed by Adzogble, which is internationally active in the field of education with branches in Ghana, Great Britain, Kenya, Nigeria and the USA.

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