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Africa in September 2023

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September 1, 2023

  1. Sudan’s Peace Talks in Doha Amid Escalating Arms Trade (Al Nahar). Sudan’s FFC Delegation in Doha for Peace Talks amid Escalating Arms Trade. Sudan’s Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) engage in discussions to end the conflict, part of a regional tour after failed mediation attempts. The ongoing four-month conflict fuels a surge in arms trafficking along Sudan’s eastern border with Eritrea and Ethiopia. High demand and rising prices attract global smuggling networks as violence claims thousands of lives and displaces millions.
  2. Libyan Officials Deny Politicizing Israeli Meeting (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Hassan Al-Zarqa of Libya’s House of Representatives defends against claims that the government exploited a meeting between dismissed Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangoush and Israel’s Yair Lapid for political gain. The meeting had sparked public outrage and led to Al-Mangoush’s dismissal.
  3. Egypt Inks Deal for 3GW West Sohag Wind Farm (Al Arabiya). Egypt collaborates with international consortium for a 3 GW wind farm in West Sohag, aiming to power 2 million homes, cut 6.5 million tons of CO2 annually, and generate 7,000 jobs. The deal advances Egypt’s renewable energy target for 2035.

September 5, 2023

★ EGYPT: Dual Geopolitical Moves

ROSATOM Partnership & Military Unity

Energy ties deepen as Russia’s ROSATOM ventures into nuclear plant development in Egypt. In parallel, the “Bright Star 2023” joint military exercise emphasizes Egypt-US commitment to regional stability. Over 8,000 personnel from 19 nations unite for military cooperation.

Economic Shifts & Investment Strategy

Egypt’s Net Foreign Asset Deficit Shrinks by $808 Million. July sees a 24.9 billion pounds decline, minus 812.4 billion pounds – the first drop since March. Amidst financial strains driven by currency scarcity and rising money supply, Italy’s Eni committed a $7.7 billion investment in Egypt over four years. A drive to amplify gas production and attract investments unfolds.

September 6, 2023

  1. Swedish Oil Execs Face Trial for Alleged Sudan War Crimes (New Arab). Former CEO and chairman of Swedish oil firm Lundin Oil stand trial in Sweden, accused of aiding war crimes in Sudan between 1999 and 2003. Prosecutors allege the company requested Khartoum to forcefully secure an oilfield in what is now South Sudan.
  2. UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura Makes First Visit to Western Sahara (Al Hurra). UN envoy Staffan de Mistura arrives in Western Sahara’s city of El-Ayoun for his first visit since his appointment two years ago. The UN states that de Mistura will consult “all concerned parties” ahead of a report to the UN Security Council in October.
  3. Ex-Tunisian PM Hammadi Jebali Arrested Amid Uncertainty (Al Jazeera). Former Tunisian Prime Minister Hammadi al-Jabali was arrested and taken to the National Guard’s Aouina barracks in Tunis. The reasons for his arrest remain undisclosed. His wife, Wahida Trabelsi, states he is in poor health and recently had heart surgery.
  4. Egypt Resumes Commercial Flights to Sudan Post-Clashes (Al Ghad). Egypt has restarted direct commercial flights to Sudan for the first time since clashes erupted earlier this year. A weekly return flight by EgyptAir to the Sudanese city of Port Sudan has been announced.

September 7, 2023

  1. Egypt Claims No Compromise from Ethiopia in Renaissance Dam Talks (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry states that Ethiopia has not shown willingness to compromise on the Renaissance Dam issue. Shoukry criticizes Ethiopia’s “unilateral approach” and calls for Arab League support to pressure Ethiopia into reaching a binding legal agreement.
  2. US Sanctions Sudanese RSF Deputy as Army Chief Plans MENA Tour Amid Conflict (24). The U.S. Treasury has imposed sanctions on Abdel Rahim Hamdan Daglo, the deputy commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), citing “violence and violations” in West Darfur. This move comes as Sudan’s Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan prepares for a regional tour, including a stop in Qatar, amidst escalating conflict between the Sudanese army and the RSF. The sanctions and tour highlight increased international and regional focus on Sudan’s internal strife.

September 8, 2023

  1. U.S. Sanctions and Al-Burhan’s Diplomacy Reshape Sudan Conflict (Al Jazeera, France 24). The U.S. sanctions targeting Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are believed to weaken their economic capabilities, including arming their forces. The Sovereign Council’s recent decision to dissolve the RSF constitutionally is seen as a move to protect the group’s assets from these sanctions. Meanwhile, Sudanese army commander Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan recently visited Doha, his third international trip aimed at securing international legitimacy since conflicts with the RSF began. 
  2. Egypt Sells Stake in State-Run Tobacco Firm Amid Currency Crisis (New Arab). Facing a foreign currency shortage amid an economic crisis, Egypt has sold a 30% stake in the state-run Eastern Company, a tobacco giant, to UAE-based Global Investment Holding for $625 million. The deal comes after a local scarcity crisis caused cigarette prices to nearly double. The Emirati company will also invest an additional $150 million for raw materials in tobacco manufacturing.

September 11, 2023

  1. Derna Floods in Libya Claim 2,000 Lives, Thousands Missing (Al Hadath). The Libyan Interior Minister Issam Abu Zariba confirmed over 2,000 deaths and thousands missing due to catastrophic flooding in Derna, prompting urgent calls for international assistance. Hurricane Daniel wreaked havoc in eastern Libya, overwhelming Derna’s dams and resulting in a disaster declaration for the city of 100,000 residents. Amidst the turmoil, the National Unity Government initiated relief funds, and local authorities imposed curfews and school closures. The disaster has intensified existing challenges for Libya’s competing governments.
  2. Egypt-U.S. Joint Training: Aerial Combat & Explosive Devices Handling (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Egypt and the United States are conducting military training involving 34 countries at the Mohamed Naguib Military Base. The training covers aerial combat, explosive device handling, live ammunition exercises, special forces training, and chemical warfare discussions. Over 8,000 fighters from 19 countries participate, with 15 countries observing, alongside civilian police and legal experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  3. Egypt Criticizes Ethiopia’s Unilateral Fourth Filling of Renaissance Dam, Citing Violation of Agreements (Al Hurra). Egypt condemns Ethiopia’s unilateral fourth filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, deeming it a violation of the 2015 principles agreement. Egypt emphasizes the necessity of a binding legal pact, safeguarding downstream water security rights under international law. Egypt relies heavily on the Nile for its water needs and is concerned about the dam’s impact.
  4. Gulf Markets Surge on Oil Prices, Egypt’s Bourse Hits Record High(SNA Business). Most Gulf stock markets rose with soaring oil prices driven by US diesel futures and supply concerns following Saudi Arabia and Russia’s production cut extension. Qatar’s index gained 1.1%, led by Industries Qatar’s 3.5% rise. Egypt’s stock index reached a record high, up 1% due to a 4.7% surge in Eastern Tobacco Company shares. Egypt’s Central Bank reported increased foreign reserves in August.
  5. Escalating Sudan Conflict Claims Dozens of Lives, Sparks Humanitarian Crisis (Al Sharq al Awsat). In Khartoum’s Mayo neighborhood, an airstrike, reportedly by the Sudanese army, initially claimed 30 lives, later rising to 43 according to local Resistance Committees (Al Jazeera). The conflict also reached El Fasher, North Darfur, with 30 Rapid Support Forces members reported dead by the Sudanese army (TRT Arab). The crisis, resulting in about 7,500 deaths, mainly civilians, and displacing over 5 million people, has accusations from both sides.

September 12, 2023

  1. Eastern Libya PM: Over 2,000 Dead in Devastating Floods (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Osama Hammad, the head of the eastern Libyan government supported by parliament, revealed that over 2,000 people have lost their lives due to the hurricane and torrential rains in the country. Additionally, thousands are missing, and the death toll may continue to rise. Storm “Daniel” caused widespread flooding in eastern Libyan cities.
  2. Al-Burhan Arrives in Eritrea to Discuss Developments in Sudan (Al Jazeera). Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, arrived in Asmara, Eritrea, with Foreign Minister-designate Ali Al-Sadiq and Intelligence Chief Ahmed Ibrahim Mufaddal. They met with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to discuss bilateral ties, shared concerns, and developments in the Sudanese conflict as diplomatic efforts intensify to end the war.
  3. Morocco Earthquake: Death Toll Reaches 2,700 with 2,500 Injured, Rescue Efforts Intensify (Emirates 71). Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior confirmed a rising death toll of 2,700 and 2,500 injured in the recent earthquake. Observers express concern as the number of deaths surpasses the wounded, and it is expected to rise further due to challenging access to some areas. Morocco continues diligent rescue efforts, and several countries are sending urgent aid to support the disaster-stricken nation.

September 13, 2023

  1. Mediterranean Hurricane ‘Daniel’ Claims 5,200 Lives and Devastates Derna, Libya (Syria TV،  Reuters، Al Jazeera ). Hurricane ‘Daniel’ wreaked havoc in eastern Libyan regions, causing catastrophic environmental damage and over 5,200 casualties. The storm triggered floods, with 10,000 people feared missing in Derna, where a quarter of the city was wiped out. Recovery efforts have already uncovered more than 1,000 bodies, and the cost of rebuilding Derna’s infrastructure is estimated at $67 million. The disaster highlights Libya’s fragile state after years of conflict.
  2. Red Cross Appeals for $112 Million to Aid Morocco After Devastating Earthquake (Al Ghad , Agence France-Presse). The Red Cross has made a plea for over $100 million to support Morocco following a powerful earthquake that claimed over 2,800 lives. Caroline Holt, Director of the Disaster, Climate, and Crisis Department at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, stated the urgent need for the funds to address immediate necessities,The Moroccan Ministry of the Interior confirmed that the death toll from the recent earthquake has reached 2,862, with 2,562 injured. Government spokesman Mustafa Paytas announced plans for immediate aid and rehabilitation of affected areas. Rescuers are working around the clock to find survivors and assist hundreds displaced by the quake that struck on Friday night.
  3. Oil Prices Surge during Libyan Storm, Saudi-Russia Cuts (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Oil prices rose due to Storm Daniel’s impact on Libyan ports and voluntary supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia. The increase offset concerns about China’s economic demand. Upcoming reports from the IEA and OPEC could further influence prices.
  4. Egyptian Military Delegation Visits Libya for Humanitarian Support (Al Arabiya). Following directives from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, an Egyptian military delegation arrived in Libya to provide logistical and urgent humanitarian relief in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane. Egypt opened an air bridge, sending military planes carrying medical and food supplies and rescue crews. The move comes as Libya faces over 3,000 deaths due to the natural disaster.

September 14, 2023

  1. UN Envoy to Sudan Resigns Amid Khartoum Pressure (Al Arabiya). The UN UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Peretz, resigns months after being labeled undesirable by Khartoum authorities. Peretz cites the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces, warning of a potential escalation into war.
  2. UN Allocates $10 Million for Flood-Hit Libya (Libyaa Khbar,Yemen). The United Nations will provide $10 million in urgent aid to help flood-affected Libyans in the wake of Storm Daniel. Thousands lost their lives, and widespread destruction occurred. UN’s Martin Griffiths expresses solidarity. Additionally, over 5,300 fatalities are reported in Derna, and over 20,000 are displaced due to catastrophic floods. Reconstruction is estimated to cost billions of dollars.

September 15, 2023

  1. Morocco Earthquake: 2,946 Dead, Relief Efforts Continue (Al Jazeera). The central Morocco earthquake has claimed 2,946 lives, with 5,674 injured. Relief efforts, led by the Moroccan army with support from international teams, continue for the sixth day, but challenging terrain and damaged roads complicate the mission.
  2. US Withholds $85 Million Egypt Aid Over Political Arrests, Considers Taiwan and Lebanon (Arabic Post). The United States has decided to withhold $85 million in military aid to Egypt due to insufficient political prisoner releases. There are plans to redirect this aid from Egypt to Taiwan and Lebanon. A decision on an additional $235 million is pending. The US State Department and the Egyptian Embassy have yet to respond to requests for comment.
  3. UN Appeals for $71.4 Million in Aid for Libyan Flood Survivors (24 News). The United Nations has appealed for $71.4 million in aid to assist approximately 250,000 flood-affected people in Libya over the next three months. The UN warns that the death toll may increase without additional assistance, emphasizing the urgent need for support.
  4. Tunisia Blocks European Parliament Delegation Entry (France 24). Tunisia has refused entry to a European Parliament delegation tasked with evaluating the political situation and the impact of an EU-Tunisia agreement on reducing migrant flows.

September 18, 2023

  1. Unrest and Uncertainty in Northeast Africa: Sudan Conflict, Egypt’s Political and Economic Shifts, and Libya’s Humanitarian Crisis (Al Jazeera, New Arab, Al Sharq Al Awsat, Head Topics, Al Naharar, RT Arabic). As Sudan faces a protracted conflict between the army and Rapid Support Forces, its de facto leader, Al-Burhan, seeks diplomatic solutions in Uganda. In Egypt, the IMF’s economic review is delayed to 2024, fueling uncertainty alongside speculations about early presidential elections. A significant narcotics seizure intensifies Egypt’s ongoing battle against illegal activities. Meanwhile, the UN struggles to gauge the humanitarian impact of collapsed dams and bridges in Libya.

Libya

★ Libya’s Dam Catastrophe: Years of Neglect Culminate in a Tragedy of Biblical Proportions

By ALMOUTASSIM Al KILANI & Rania Kisar

Derna has a history of flooding, marked by significant events in 1941, 1959, and 1968. The 1959 flood prompted studies that recommended dam construction. A Yugoslavian company built two dams in the 1970s in response. The upper ‘Country Dam’ could hold 1.5 million cubic meters, while the lower ‘Abu Mansour Dam’ had a 22.5 million cubic meter capacity. Both were built with clay cores and stone perimeters (BBC).

By 1998, cracks had appeared in these dams, signaling a pattern of neglect. These structural deficiencies ultimately caused the dam’s failure and devastating floods in eastern Libya. Repair efforts halted in 2007 due to funding shortages following the fall of the Gaddafi regime, despite the presence of allocated budgets (Al Jazeera).

It is worth noting that the Wadi Derna dams collapsed because they held more water than they were designed for, exacerbated by rainfall exceeding 200 mm. Remarkably, these dams had successfully managed water levels during floods in 1986, sparing the city from significant damage.

Timeline of Events: Watch Video

 Sept 11, 2023: Destruction in Eastern Libya After Storm Daniel: A Plea for Rescuing the Affected (Al ArabyBBC). “Storm Daniel devastates eastern Libya; thousands dead. Derna is the most brutally hit; according to Red Crescent estimates, about 10,000 people have been reported missing, and the number of victims is expected to increase.

 Sept 12, 2023: Post-Storm Scenes in Eastern Libya: Bodies and Destroyed Homes (Al JazeeraBBC). Hurricane Daniel: Over 5,000 dead, widespread city destruction, power outages, and grief in Libya’s worst disaster in more than 40 years.

 Sept 13, 2023: UN Mobilizes Aid for Libya (Al Jazeera). After Hurricane Daniel, the UN mobilized aid for Libya, partnering with Arab nations and allocating millions for relief efforts.

 Sept 14, 2023: Crisis in Libya Deepens as Children Suffer and Governance Fails (Al JazeeraBBCUNICEF). According to UNICEF, around 300,000 children in eastern Libya urgently require humanitarian aid in the wake of Storm Daniel. Concurrently, the Assembly has called for an international inquiry, blaming neglect on Tripoli and Benghazi. Shortages in Sousse, Al-Arakoub, and Al-Wardia underscore the urgent need for specialized aid teams in east Derna. Activists are pressing for swift recovery efforts for flood victims. Meanwhile, a BBC report criticizes Tripoli and Haftar’s governments for prioritizing politics over the well-being of their citizens, spotlighting the longstanding issues of corruption, turmoil, and neglected infrastructure that have left eastern authorities unprepared for a disaster.

 Sept 15, 2023: Sharp Rise in Libyan Casualties to 11,300 (Sky News). On Friday, Libyan authorities restricted civilian access to the flood-stricken city of Derna to facilitate search efforts for 10,100 people still unaccounted for, following a death toll increase to 11,300.

 Sept 16, 2023: Shocking Visuals from Libya: Sea Washes Ashore Bodies of Flood Victims in Derna, Exposing Gravitas of Crisis (Sky NewsAl Hadath). Additionally, the Government of National Unity in Tripoli has revealed suspicions of corruption in dam maintenance. Grim footage from Libya showed the sea washing ashore the bodies of flood victims in Derna. Local authorities struggle with the overwhelming number of bodies and insufficient burial spaces. The clips depicted the sea’s waves carrying bodies to the shoreline, where locals collected them for burial or identification.

 Sept 17, 2023: UN Warns of Worsening Conditions at Wadi Jaza and Qatara Dams Near Benghazi (Alwasat). Despite conflicts over the status of the dams, authorities claim they are stable.

★ Sept 18, 2023: Epidemics, Mines, Water Shortages Hinder Derna Rescue Ops (Al Hadath). Libyan rescue teams face obstacles as operations extend into a second week in Derna. Disinfection starts amid disease outbreak fears and dispersed land mines. Libyan officials report 3,280 confirmed deaths, challenging the UN’s 11,000 figure. Displaced residents resort to makeshift shelters; contaminated water causes poisonings.

September 19, 2023

  1. Sudan’s Al Burhan Courts UN Recognition During General Assembly Visit as Internal Conflict Persists (The National News). Sudanese military leader Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is set to attend the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York this week. The trip is viewed as an effort to solidify his standing as Sudan’s legitimate leader, especially as his army faces ongoing conflict with the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since April. According to informed Sudanese sources, Al-Burhan will travel to New York on Wednesday following his initial visit to Saudi Arabia, a key financial and political supporter of Sudan.
  2. Biden Expresses Solidarity with Morocco’s King Following Earthquake (Al Nahar). The White House has announced that U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Moroccan King Mohammed VI on Monday, offering condolences for the victims of this month’s devastating earthquake. The statement further noted that the leaders discussed Washington’s willingness to assist Morocco in its recovery efforts.
  3. EU Grants €5.2M for Libya Flood Relief Efforts (Youm 7). The European Union has announced an allocation of €5.2 million in emergency humanitarian funding to assist Libya in coping with the aftermath of recent floods that resulted in thousands of casualties. According to a press release by the European Commission, the funding will be channeled through the EU’s humanitarian partners active in Libya, focusing on areas such as shelter, health, food, water, sanitation, hygiene, and protection.
  4. Egyptian President Visits UAE for Bilateral Talks (Al Ghad). Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi traveled to the United Arab Emirates today, Monday, for a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. The leaders are expected to discuss strengthening bilateral relations and coordinating on various regional and international issues and crises of mutual interest.

September 20, 2023

  1. Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam Presents Grave Water Security Risks to Egypt as Negotiations Stall (Al Sharq Al Awsat). As Egypt prepares for another round of talks in Addis Ababa about Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, heightened concerns exist over the dam’s capacity to significantly curtail water supplies and inflict environmental and economic harm on Egypt and Sudan. Both countries are calling for a binding legal agreement to govern the dam’s operation. Previous talks have failed to produce a compromise, and experts foresee ongoing Ethiopian reluctance to reach an agreement, casting doubt on the possibility of resolving the issue in upcoming negotiations.
  2. Washington Pledges $11 Million to Aid Flood Relief Efforts in Libya (Nabd). The flooding disaster in Derna, Libya, following Hurricane Daniel, has resulted in significant challenges for rescue operations and has severely damaged 70% of the area’s infrastructure. Despite concerns about potential health risks due to contaminated water, the Minister of Health dispelled fears of spreading epidemics. The UN praised the local response but indicated that better early warnings could have reduced damage. The disaster has left 11,470 dead, 10,100 missing, and 40,000 displaced, according to UN figures.
  3. Morocco Shifts to Damage Assessment in Al Haouz Post-Earthquake (Press Bee). As Al Haouz earthquake rescue operations conclude, Moroccan authorities are evaluating building damage and developing rehousing plans for the affected 50,000 homes.

September 21, 2023

  1. US, Libya Tackle Political Strains, Damage After Hurricane Daniel (Sharq al Awsat). US officials visit Tripoli to offer disaster relief and support for national unity following Hurricane Daniel, which led to extensive damage and loss of life in eastern Libya, particularly Derna. Meanwhile, Libya’s “stability” government faces allegations of politicizing the crisis and hindering aid efforts. Infrastructure and educational institutions in affected areas report severe damage, prompting both internal and international calls for coordinated relief and accountability. 
  2. King Mohammed VI Unveils $13 Billion, 5-Year Earthquake Rehabilitation Plan for Morocco (Al Yaoum 24). King Mohammed VI of Morocco has announced a 5-year, 120-billion dirham ($13 billion) plan aimed at reconstructing areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake. Covering six regions and targeting 4.2 million people, the multi-sectoral program focuses on housing rehabilitation, infrastructure, social and economic development, and disaster preparedness. The King emphasized the importance of local input, environmental considerations, and exemplary governance, and pledged 2 billion dirhams from the Hassan II Fund for its financing.
  3. As Sudan Faces Unrest, Al-Burhan Takes UN Stage: A Move Toward Political Legitimacy? (Sudan Tribune). Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan attends the UN General Assembly, eyeing political legitimacy. Meanwhile, escalating clashes between the army and Rapid Support Forces grip Sudan. International stakeholders amplify calls for urgent action to alleviate the crisis.
  4. Egypt Gears Up for Presidential Elections: Key Details to Be Announced Soon (Al Hadath). Ahmed Bandari of Egypt’s National Elections Authority will announce the presidential election timetable on September 25. The authority emphasizes neutrality and judicial oversight. Various parties support the unannounced candidate, President El-Sisi.
  5. Egypt Accelerates Economic Growth with Multi-Sector Investments in Natural Gas, Tire Manufacturing, and Oil Exploration (Youm7). The Egyptian Council of Ministers has approved a series of economic initiatives to bolster various sectors. These include a golden license for a project to enhance natural gas production, a €1 billion investment in a tire factory in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and a partnership between Shell and KUFPEC for oil and natural gas exploration in the Nile Delta.

September 22, 2023

  1. Sudanese Leaders Al-Burhan and Hemedti Clash at UN as Calls to Boycott Al-Burhan’s Speech Intensify (Al Hadath). Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, commander of the Rapid Support Forces, expressed readiness for a ceasefire and political talks in a UN message. In contrast, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Sudanese Army Commander, accused the Rapid Support Forces of war crimes and affiliations with “terrorist groups” in his UN address. Both leaders highlighted opposing perspectives on the ongoing conflict and held each other responsible. A group known as the “Platform of Independent Sudanese Diplomats Against the War” urged UN delegations to leave the hall when Al-Burhan spoke, underlining diplomatic resistance to his leadership.
  2. Over 43,000 Displaced, 3,300 Dead in Eastern Libya Following Storm Daniel’s Devastation (France 24). The International Organization for Migration reports that more than 43,000 people have been displaced in eastern Libya, particularly in Derna, following the catastrophic impact of Storm Daniel. The storm, which occurred on the night of September 10-11, has also resulted in over 3,300 deaths. The Libyan authorities had warned against using local water supplies, suspecting contamination. United Nations agencies are working to prevent a secondary crisis related to waterborne diseases. The urgent needs for the displaced include food, fresh water, and mental health support.
  3. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Discusses Bilateral Relations in High-Profile Meetings, Details Talks with Iran (Al Arabiya ). Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, met with his counterparts from Israel, South Africa, NATO, the European Commission for Home Affairs and Migration, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Uganda, and Iran. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement explaining that Sameh Shoukry met with the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hussein Amir Abdollahian, at the headquarters of Egypt’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. The discussion involved a roadmap aimed at normalizing bilateral relations. 

September 25, 2023

  1. France to Withdraw Military and Ambassador from Niger Following Coup (AP). France withdraws its military and ambassador from Niger following a coup. The move is seen as a shift in France’s African policy.
  2. Stalled Talks on Renaissance Dam Deepen Tensions Among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia (Al Hadath).Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia fail to make progress in talks on the Renaissance Dam. Egypt demands a legally binding agreement.
  3. Algeria Capitalizes on Global Energy Crisis, Expands Gas Exports to Europe (Al Nahar). Algeria expands gas exports to Europe amid the global energy crisis and Western sanctions on Russia.
  4. Morocco Rolls Out Massive Aid Program for 2.8M Earthquake Victims (AlJazeera). Morocco announces an 8 billion dirham aid program for 2.8 million earthquake victims.
  5. Libya’s Flash Floods: Official Death Toll Surpasses 3,800 with Thousands Still Missing (The New Arab). The catastrophic flash floods in the Libyan port city of Derna have resulted in an official death toll of 3,845, according to Mohamed Eljarh, spokesman for the relief committee in eastern Libya. The figure is based solely on recorded burials and is expected to rise further. Unrecorded burials and a register of the missing, who may number over 10,000, are still being compiled. The disaster has also displaced more than 43,000 people from Derna and nearby areas, as reported by the International Organization for Migration.
  6. European Commission Allocates €127 Million to Tunisia for Combating Illegal Immigration (Reuters). The European Commission has announced the disbursement of €127 million ($135 million) in aid to Tunisia to combat illegal immigration from Africa to Europe. Of this amount, €60 million will be provided as budget support, while an additional €67 million will be aimed at enhancing Tunisia’s capabilities in fighting human trafficking and bolstering border controls. 
  7. Zelensky and Sudan’s Al-Burhan Discuss Russia-Funded Armed Groups in Surprise Ireland Meeting (CNN Arabic). Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Sudanese military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan held an unexpected meeting at Shannon Airport in Ireland. The two leaders discussed mutual security concerns, particularly focusing on illegal armed groups funded by Russia. Zelensky expressed gratitude for Sudan’s support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and invited al-Burhan to participate in the “Grains from Ukraine” initiative. The meeting also explored avenues for enhancing cooperation between Ukraine and African nations.

September 26, 2023

  1. Egypt’s Options Limited as Ethiopian Dam Negotiations Hit Deadlock (Asharq Al-Awsat). The latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on the Renaissance Dam ends without progress, prompting calls for international intervention. Ethiopia counters Egypt’s blame for the stalemate. Experts suggest the involvement of global parties like the EU or World Bank in future talks, or else Egypt may resort to the UN Security Council.
  2. Egypt Ratifies CNS Nuclear Safety Convention Amid Expanding Nuclear Program (Al Ghad TV).  Egypt has finalized the ratification process for the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS). The announcement was made by Dr. Mohamed Shaker Al-Marqabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, at the 67th session of the IAEA General Conference. The move aligns with Egypt’s expanding nuclear program, including the Dabaa nuclear station project. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi lauded Egypt’s commitment to nuclear safety.

September 27, 2023

  1. Sudan Grapples with Flooding and Displacement (Al Jazeera). Deadly floods in Sudan’s Nile River state have killed 11 and affected 72,000, as the country also faces a military conflict displacing 7.1 million people, a global high. Aid is scarce, and challenges include malnutrition and scorpion bites.
  2. Russia Praises Egypt for Not Arming Ukraine (Sputnik Arabic). Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev commended Egypt’s decision to withhold arms from Ukraine, noting it resisted U.S. and European pressure. The visit focuses on security and counter-terrorism talks.
  3. Haftar in Moscow for Talks Amid Libya’s Challenges (France 24). Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar is in Russia for talks with Deputy Defense Minister Yunusbek Yevkirov on Libya’s situation and bilateral relations. The visit comes as Russia expands its Africa outreach and maintains its alliance with Haftar. The talks also follow recent natural disasters in eastern Libya.

September 28, 2023

  1. Clashes Escalate at Sudan Army HQ in Khartoum (Sharq Awsat). The Rapid Support Forces have escalated their attacks on the Sudanese Army General Command in central Khartoum. The renewed fighting led to significant fires, including the destruction of the Nile Company’s headquarters, a major oil firm and city landmark.
  2. Huawei Invests $430M in North African Cloud Center and Developer Training (Al Monitor). Huawei plans to invest $430 million in North Africa to establish its first cloud center and train local tech talent. The “Intelligent Future” initiative allocates $200 million for the cloud center, $200 million to support local tech partners and distributors, and $30 million for training 10,000 developers and 100 tech specialists. This move comes amid Huawei’s expanding presence in the Middle East, despite U.S. warnings about the company’s potential security risks.
  3. Accusations Against US Senator Menendez Spark Calls to Reconsider $235M Military Aid to Egypt (Raialyoum). US Senator Bob Menendez is facing allegations of accepting bribes to support the Egyptian government, prompting calls within Congress to reevaluate $235 million in military aid to Cairo. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, Chairman of the Middle East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has expressed interest in investigating these claims and Egypt’s involvement. The indictment against Menendez includes accepting gold bullion and cash for influencing in favor of Egypt. The allegations raise questions about Egypt’s behavior and could impact future aid.
  4. Iranian and Egyptian Parliamentary Speakers Discuss Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation at BRICS Meeting (Al Arabiya). The Speaker of the Iranian Shura Council, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and the Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, Hanafi Jabali, met on the sidelines of a BRICS parliaments meeting in South Africa. Both officials emphasized the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation and extended invitations for visits to their respective countries. The Egyptian Speaker also highlighted the need to bolster relations between Tehran and Cairo within the framework of the BRICS organization.

September 29, 2023

  1. Geopolitical Differences Drive Chinese Investments Toward Morocco (SNA Business). Chinese companies are steering clear of direct investments in the U.S. and Europe due to geopolitical concerns and permit delays. CNGR Advanced Material plans to invest $2 billion in a Moroccan factory for cathode materials used in electric vehicle batteries. The move aims to serve the American and European markets, positioning Morocco as a strategic intermediary. The country offers quicker factory build times and less investment risk, especially if the U.S. or Europe enacts new protectionist policies.
  2. US Sanctions Former Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti for Obstructing Peace in Sudan (Al Hurra). Ali Karti, former Sudanese Foreign Minister and Secretary of the Sudanese Islamic Movement, has been added to the US sanctions list. The US Treasury and State Departments accuse Karti of actions that “threaten the peace, security, or stability of Sudan.” Karti, known for his role in the 1989 coup and leading a militia, is said to be obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire and undermining the democratic transition in Sudan. The sanctions come amid ongoing conflict in the country that has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions displaced.
  3. Revolutionary Discoveries in Sahure’s Pyramid Unearth Hidden Storerooms and Validate Historic Observations (Science News). The pyramid complex of Sahure, built in the 26th to 25th century BCE, has been the focus of a conservation and restoration project initiated in 2019. Led by egyptologist Mohamed Ismail Khaled and supported by the Antiquities Endowment Fund, the project aimed to stabilize the pyramid’s interior and prevent further collapse. During the restoration, the team uncovered the original dimensions and floor plan of the antechamber. They also validated British egyptologist John Perring’s 1836 observations by discovering a passage leading to eight storerooms. These findings offer new insights into the pyramid’s structure and its historical significance.

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