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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 04th of November 2021

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A Trip to Samburu

Hannah [my ten year Old] and I had been yearning to get out of town, see the Milky Way, go somewhere where there was a road and we would not know what we were going to find around the corner.
And what I have found is that those sorts of journeys always start at Wilson Airport.
 had wanted to go North into Laikipia and we decided to go to the Samburu. 

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The Pandemic Is a Portal

Since the end of December 2019, when I learnt of covid19, time I have found has become non-linear. 

It has been a paradoxical situation, physically static [for the most part] anticipating the ‘’virulent plague that travelled through the air as if on wings, it burned through cities like fire’’

But at the same time very stream of consciousness. My dreams became so vivid and real and just one portal of many,
Is it really social distancing if we are all surrounded by djinn ASKED @AAOLOMI and I thought to myself we are all djinn now.
The Quran says that the Djinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", They are usually invisible to humans, but humans do appear clearly to Djinn, as they can possess them. DJinn have the power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to live in remote areas.
I found myself immersing myself in the latin American genre of magic realism, following William Dalrymple’s twitter handle to exotic destinations
Dreaming of escape and travel and of portals through which I would pass like I imagined there was a portal at the bottom of my garden in Mombasa through which I could pass and return.

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2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit: Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony
Law & Politics

In addition, for those of Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, 

the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted.

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Globally, >3million cases and 50,477 deaths were reported last week. @mvankerkhove

Biggest increases again in Europe (accounting for 59%/50% of all cases/deaths reported last week)

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.@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 2 November 2021

During the week 25 to 31 October 2021, a slight upward trend (3% increase) in new weekly cases was observed,
 with just over 3 million new cases reported (Figure 1). 

Apart from the WHO European Region, which reported a 6% increase in new weekly cases as compared to the previous week, other regions reported declines or stable trends (Table 1). 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

United States of America (528 455 new cases; 7% increase)

United Kingdom (285 028 new cases; 14% decrease) 

Russian Federation (272 147 new cases; 9% increase)

Turkey (182 027 new cases; 8% decrease)

Ukraine (152 897 new cases; 14% increase).

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COVID-19 infections are still rising in 55 countries. @ReutersGraphics

16 countries are still near the peak of their infection curve

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The History Of Afro-Palestinians, Past And Present @TravelNoire @freedomismineofficial
Law & Politics

Afro-Palestinians, though the community is now relatively small, have a remarkable history. 

Poised at the intersection of their African ancestry and Palestinian nationality, this Afro-Arab community also lives on contested ground, under the authority of Israeli forces occupying Jerusalem and other areas of Palestine. 
Although the Afro-Palestinian community is largely concentrated in Jerusalem, there are also Afrodescendant communities in Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho. 

The biggest Afro-Palestinian population can be found in an enclave in Old Jerusalem, often referred to as ‘The African Quarter’ or ‘Little Harlem’.
Estimates put the current Afro-Palestinian community at between 350 and 450 people, distributed across roughly 50 different families. 

They mainly reside in two neighborhoods, Ribat al-Mansuriand Ribat al-Busari. Nowadays, these neighborhoods are situated between two Israeli checkpoints, through which only residents may pass. 
One of these compounds leads onto the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third-holiest site in Islam. 

How the Afro-Palestinian community came to reside in the holy grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is of historical importance in itself; the Afrodescendant community in Jerusalem was granted residency by the Islamic Waqf as recognition for their devotion both to their faith and to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 
This Mosque was recently the focal point of clashes between local Palestinian residents and Israeli forces. 

Tensions flared up again in early May when Israeli security forces descended on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and fired rubber-coated bullets at worshippers, throwing tear gas and stun grenades. 
Over an eleven-day siege between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, the worst fighting in the region since 2014, approximately 250 people were killed, of which almost 70 victims were children, and almost 2,000 people were wounded. 
Origins of Afro-Palestinians
When it comes to the origins of the Afro-Palestinian community, there have been several distinct influxes of African migration to Palestine over the years.
From at least the 12th century onwards, if not earlier, African Muslims made regular pilgrimages to the Middle East. 

This included the legendary Mansa Musa, the tenth leader of the Mali Empire. 

Many African Muslims who participated in the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, would visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque on their return journey. 
Some Afro-Palestinian families are said to be able to trace their roots as far back as the 12th century, when their ancestors journeyed to Palestine from Sudan and Central Africa, to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque, many of whom served as guards to this sacred building. 

Over the years, some African pilgrims settled permanently in Palestine, marrying local Palestinian woman and having interracial Afro-Arab families. 
A number of Africans came to Palestine during the time of the Ottoman Empire, when they were assigned to guard the Haram esh-Sharif, or Temple Mount as it is also known. 
As previously mentioned, the two modern-day enclaves that are home to the Afro-Palestinian community in Jerusalem are called Ribat al-Mansuri and Ribat al-Busari. 

Although they used to serve as hostels for Muslim pilgrims, from 1916 to 1918, during the Arab Revolt of World War I, Ottoman forces converted these compounds into two prisons. 

These prisons were gruesomely known as ‘The Blood Prison’ and ‘The Hanging Prison’, where they detained and executed perceived dissidents. 
Towards the end of World War I the British general, Edmund Allenby, led a military campaign against Ottoman forces. 

As such, the British hired conscripted labourers from Nigeria, Sudan, Senegal and Chad to build railroads and lay pipes in Jerusalem as part of the British engineering corps. 

During the British mandate in Palestine, particularly in the 1930’s, the number of Africans migrating to Jerusalem grew steadily. 
The most recent major influx of African migrants to Palestine occurred following World War II. In 1948, when conflict broke out between Arab and Zionist forces, this ultimately culminated in the state of Israel being founded. 

Many African Muslims who made their pilgrimage to Palestine around that time were forced to settle permanently as borders were closed and tightly controlled. 

Some Africans even joined the Arab Liberation Army and fought on the side of the Palestinians to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as their presence in Jerusalem. 
Notable Figures
Ali Jiddah
One of the best-known Afro-Palestinians from history is Ali Jiddah, a former Palestinian resistance fighter. He is of Chadian descent; his father hailed from the Salamat tribe and settled in Palestine after making a pilgrimage there. 
Ali Jiddah is best known for his involvement with the organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

In response to the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, in 1968 he planted four hand grenades on Strauss Street in Jerusalem which injured nine Israelis. Ali Jiddah was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but was released in 1985 after serving 17 years.
Following his release, Jiddah worked as a journalist before offering tours of the Old City in Jerusalem, teaching people about life in the area under Israeli occupation. Today he lives in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem, and has two sons. 
Fatima Bernawi
Another well-known Afro-Palestinian resistance fighter is Fatima Bernawi. Born to a Nigerian father and a Palestinian mother, Fatima became the first female Palestinian to be arrested on terrorism charges. 

In 1967, she made a failed attempt to bomb an Israeli cinema in Jerusalem and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, of which she served 10. 

Upon her release, she was sent into exile. Fatima Bernawi returned in 1993 to serve as a Palestinian police official, and she now lives in Jordan. 
Afro-Palestinians Today
The Afro-Palestinian community today are considered to be relatively well-integrated and accepted in wider Palestinian society, and over the years have actively engaged in the Palestinian resistance movement. 
That said, in recent years there have been numerous accounts of Afro-Palestinians speaking out about the racist prejudice they have been subjected to, not least by Israeli occupying forces. 

Many of the Afro-Palestinians who have protested Israeli occupation have found themselves detained, harassed or even imprisoned. 
For the community in East Jerusalem sandwiched between two Israeli checkpoints, heightened security and restricted movement has meant that their local businesses have suffered. 

This puts an already marginalized community in an even more precarious position. 
Most Afro-Palestinians remain proud of their African heritage, although many have never visited the continent from which their forefathers hailed. 

As a result, generation by generation, the African influences on the communities’ language, cuisine and customs are slowly fading. 
There is however a grassroots welfare organization in Jerusalem called the African Community Society. Established in 1983, it is run by Moussa Qous, a Palestinian of Chadian descent. 

The society works to provide mentoring and support for vulnerable Afro-Palestinian youths. 

According to Moussa, these workshops provide a safe space for Afro-Palestinian youths who have been disenfranchised by the violence and unrest they are surrounded by due to the occupation. 
The spread of COVID-19 and the effects of a global pandemic have reduced how active the African Community Society has been in recent months, though they have participated in distributing free masks and hand-sanitizer in the local area. 
In spite of the struggles the community faces, there is hope among Afro-Palestinians that future generations will one day be able to live peacefully and secure their freedom.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1580
Dollar Index 94.068
Japan Yen 114.21
Swiss Franc 0.9133
Pound 1.3660
Aussie 0.7431
India Rupee 74.3555
South Korea Won 1183.20
Brazil Real 5.553
Egypt Pound 15.7110
South Africa Rand 15.3357

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African Region @WHO regional overviews Epidemiological week 25-31 October 2021

Declining trends observed in the Region since mid-July continued this week with over 19 000 new cases and over 700 new deaths reported, decreases of 9% and 13%, respectively, as compared to the previous week. 

Nevertheless, 17/49 countries (34%) reported increases of over 10% as compared with the previous week, with the largest increases observed in Rwanda (100%), Comoros (94%) and Eritrea (68%). 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

Ethiopia (3313 new cases; 2.9 new cases per 100 000 population; a 14% increase)

South Africa (2554 new cases; 4.3 new cases per 100 000; a 19% decrease)

Cameroon (2210 new cases; 8.3 new cases per 100 000; a 17% increase).
The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from 

South Africa (249 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000 population; a 24% decrease)

Ethiopia (118 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000; a 13% decrease)

Cameroon (86 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000; a 72% increase).

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As internationals prepare to withdraw from Addis, the region is starting to close its borders. The world is preparing for a catastrophe in #Ethiopia. @_hudsonc

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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November 8, 2020 .@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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Barkawi's & Laffey's writing comes to mind (again): awaiting liberation at the hands of the West is as pointless today as it's always been, in #Ethiopia as in #Myanmar @DavBrenner

As Ethiopia's regime is about to collapse under the military pressure of the #Tigray & #Oromo resistance, Barkawi's & Laffey's writing comes to mind (again): awaiting liberation at the hands of the West is as pointless today as it's always been, in #Ethiopia as in #Myanmar 

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Addis Abeba, March 05/2019 – This has been an eventful year for Ethiopia’s politics. Under Abiy Ahmed Ali, who became Prime Minister in April 2018, the government has eased its previous authoritarian stance on various central issues. 

A national state of emergency imposed by Abiy’s predecessor has been lifted and thousands of prisoners have been released.  

Exiled opposition leaders and armed groups have been allowed back into the country; media outlets now operate relatively freely; rapprochement with Eritrea is in full swing; and initiatives for national reconciliation are under way. 

Women received half of the positions in the October 2018 Cabinet and many others have been appointed to high office. 

In the light of the history of repression, human rights violations, decay and corruption of the ruling party, the BBC remarked that it was “almost like observing a different country.” 

Hence, the dominant narrative has been that of an emerging openness and transformational leadership.

Of course, hope comes readily to mind as positive narrative floods the news outlets. Though there was positive general drift across the political elite, the nub is that now no single dominant narrative explains the recent developments. 

Granted their positive effects, the government’s transitional reforms should not, however, be allowed to obscure the critical challenges the country faces. 

If those problems come to be shrouded in a blanket of positive spin designed to reinforce the current dominant narrative, they may well return to haunt the country later.

It is true that transitions such as those now being implemented in Ethiopia are often characterized by bloody conflict; after all, their aim is to deliver a new era that represents a break with the past. 

But unless their birth is attended by professional midwifery, such reform programs can spell the death not simply of the reform program but of the very nation itself. 

Merely shaking the system without a clearly defined end, simply to bring about a clean break from the past regime, hardly constitutes a structured program.  

There therefore remains a concern as to whether or not the reform process is indeed informed by a conscious roadmap for the delivery of a new Ethiopia.

Governed by a highly divided four-member national coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the country at present resembles  a de facto confederation. 

To contain sporadic violence and avert further fragmentation, the military has been deployed in four regional states — Somali, Benshangul-Gumuz, parts of Oromia (Wollega, and Moyale), Amhara (Gondar). 

Though not officially declared and approved by the Parliament, some regional states are effectively under a de facto state of emergency. 

The country is also facing massive displacement due to ethnic and religious violence. 

Increasing tension between forces of centralization and decentralization continues to cause strains in the federal system. 

Internal boundary disputes between regional states, and arms proliferation and militarization of civilians and regions are also causing concern. 

Economic slowdown and youth unemployment remain formidable challenges. With new labor force entrants standing at two million per annum, job seekers will surge; the current nation-wide capability for job creation, including newly established industrial parks, covers less than half this number. 

The conflict between centralizing and decentralizing forces could not be more pronounced. While Sidama demands for the right vote in referendum for statehood, others call for a total abolishment of such constitutional rights.

A Transitional Road – But Is There A Map?

Others, however, suggest that it is a transition designed somewhat impulsively, even though the reforms have been carried out in good faith, their approach have been questioned. 

There can be no purely military solution to this imbroglio because to be successful, counter-insurgency operations must always function in tandem with, and in a supportive role to, civil powers

In truth, the Ethiopian army probably could effectively deal with the OLA outside the cities and towns, yet, such insurgencies are seldom defeated by armed force alone, but only by winning popular support, and through acquiring performance legitimacy. 

Hence the national army is only one subsidiary element in a broader political process. To the extent that they take precedence over politically based peace initiatives, military operations in Oromia or anywhere else in Ethiopia only exacerbate the social and political problems. 

Military deployment and emergencies are temporary pain reliefs for the necessary political intervention necessary to address the root causes. 

Though still facing some challenges, the agreement between OLF and Oromia Regional State (ruled by ODP) and OLF decision to hand over its armament to traditional leaders in Oromia (Abba Gedda) was welcome development.

Death And Displacement: Ethiopia’s New Normal

Reports of conflicts, violence, death, and displacement have become the new normal in Ethiopia. 

With more than to 2.8 million IDPs, the crisis monitoring group IRIN names Ethiopia as one of ten countries to be singled out for special attention in the context of global humanitarian crises.  

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Ethiopia hosts “at least 2.8 million [IDPs] … of which 82 per cent are conflict-induced IDPs and the remaining 18 per cent are climate-induced IDPs.”  

Ethiopia’s Five Pillars

For decades, five main factors have determined Ethiopia’s peace and security. 

These are first, a collective social psychology of uninterrupted statehood and state strength; 

second, the 1991 accession to power of the EPRDF coalition and its advocacy of a consensus-based federalism of cultures; 

third, economic delivery that brought performance popular legitimacy; 

fourth, support from the international community; 

and lastly, the threat posed by forces hostile to Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia’s history has not been without its epochal moments but in fairness, since 1991 its leadership has tried to steadily stir the national ship and has done much to correct critical historical injustices and reduce poverty. 

Arguably, however, in an attempt to redress the authoritarian legacy of the old EPRDF, the ongoing changes have shaken several of the pillars of the state’s stability.

The Waiting Game Of Political Elites

The current changes were designed to be less than revolution, and more than reform. They may end up in instability. 

Pushing their luck, political leaders both in the ruling and opposition parties are playing the waiting game for most opportune moment.

Five scenarios

Although many aspects of Ethiopia’s situation remain fluid it is still possible to build five scenarios that may come about over the next couple of years: they are respectively Consensus Federalism, Transitional Government, Dictatorship, Confederate Ethiopia and Fragmentation.[i]

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On Tuesday, hundreds of protestors in #Malawi demanded that President Chakwera resign. @OEAfrica

They say that the rising cost of living and unemployment have become unbearable under his administration, and leaders have not delivered on their election campaign promises of last year.


That was quick. 

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New Research: In Kenya, Disinformation Campaigns Seek to Discredit Pandora Papers @mozilla H/T @bankelele

Astroturfing was the tactic of choice. The Pandora Paper disinformation campaigns used astroturfing to game Twitter’s trending algorithm. They flooded the platform with manufactured tweets

Kenya’s disinformation industry continues to flourish. Kenya’s shadowy and sophisticated network of fake accounts, artificial hashtags, and well-paid disinformation influencers continues to grow and mature. 

Some of the disinformation influencers interviewed said that they’ve been in this business for over six years and have never been caught. 

There are Whatsapp groups that serve as disinformation-for-hire marketplaces. 

And one interviewee explained: “I know a guy who started doing this business when he was very broke and now the guy even got married, bought himself a car and his cheeks are very round. There’s money in this thing.”

lthough some of these Pandora Paper campaigns unfolded on Facebook, the majority occurred on Twitter, and two of the hashtags were promoted by Twitter’s own trending feature. As one disinformation influencer said, “Twitter is easy [to manipulate].”

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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November 2021

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