The African News You Need to Know: Beer, Mutiny and Zambians at Cannes

Five stories you should be following if you care about what's happening on the African continent.

Are you stuck in a media bubble of Trump updates and football scores? Below, we've got 5 recent stories you should know from the African continent. 

Big alcohol is poised to expand into Africa. Why this is bad news for health 

Two of the world's alcoholic beverage producers, SABMiller and AB Inbev are likely merging in a $103 billion deal to create a mammoth company that would basically control beer and alcohol production across the continent.

Do you like a cold Castle after work? That's SABMiller. A Mozambican Manica? A Tanzanian Kilimanjaro? That's all SABMiller. You get the point. This article from The Conversation warns against rising alcohol consumption on the continent from this merger and the social impact it could have.

Zambia considers moving capital to rural area: minister

In an odd twist, Zambia's planning minister has revealed a proposal to move the capital from Lusaka to a rural area in the center of the country.

"Within the next 10 years, you will not be able to conduct business in Lusaka because of congestion," national planning and development minister Lucky Mulusa told AFP.

"The city is over-crowded, and so the sensible thing to do is move the capital out."

Anyone who's dodged traffic on Cairo road will understand the sentiment. President Edgar Lungu's cabinet plans to discuss it in two week's time.

I Am Not a Witch director Rungano Nyoni: ‘The chief Whatsapped his people to find our star’

Speaking of Zambia, one of the highlights of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year according to The Guardian is from the Welsh-Zambian director Rungano Nyoni whose film—set in Zambia—satirizes witchcraft and tourism and has been charming audiences during the festival.

Ethiopia jails opposition politician for six years over Facebook post

Ethiopian opposition demonstrations in 2015 and 2016 resulted in 100s of deaths and more than 26,000 arrests. During that time, social media was largely curbed by the authoritarian regime. For one opposition politician who shared his anti-government views on Facebook, the crackdown means a sentence, pending appeal of six and a half years in jail.

Signs of more trouble in Ivory Coast as hidden hand saves mutineers

If you've been following the ongoing saga of Ivory Coast's uneasy peace over the last few years, it might have felt like the country was finally back to normal. But a strained relationship between the government and the army—made up primarily of former rebels who overthrew the Laurent Gbagbo regime in 2011—has Ivorians on edge. This Reuters report shows how a recent soldier mutiny had suspicious directions from powerful sources that hint at greater things at play than simply a pay dispute.

News Brief
Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.

Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.

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