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Photos: Peaceful surveys, coups and droughts mark Africa in 2022

Elections, coups, disease outbreaks, and extreme weather were some of the major events that occurred in Africa in 2022.

Problems generated thousands of kilometers away – climate change and the war in Ukraine – have been devastating for the continent, experts say.

The climate crisis is hitting Africa “first and hardest,” said Kevin Mugenya, senior adviser on resilience and food security for Africa at Mercy Corps, an international charity.

The continent of 54 countries and 1.3 billion people is facing “a catastrophic global food crisis” that “will get worse if actors don’t act quickly,” Mugenya told The Associated Press news agency.

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With less than 1 percent of arable land equipped for irrigation on a continent that suffers a third of the world’s droughts, African farmers are exposed to erratic rainfall, rising temperatures and drought, according to a Monetary Fund policy paper. International.

The deadly effects of extreme weather conditions are amplified in the Horn of Africa. The worst drought in decades that has seen a failed fifth rainy season in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia is affecting some 40 million people, according to the United Nations.

In Nigeria, 1 million acres (404,700 hectares) of farmland were submerged after the worst flooding in a decade that displaced more than 1.3 million people and destroyed crops that were already failing in some areas due to prolonged conflict. said Mercy Corps.

Rising food prices due to the Ukraine war hit sub-Saharan Africa hard, which imported 44 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, according to UN figures.

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On the political front, peaceful elections in Angola, Kenya, Lesotho and Senegal were bright spots for Africa.

However, the armed conflict loomed over the entire continent, especially in Somalia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Mali. The extremist violence threatened to spread to more countries, especially in the Sahel region of West Africa.

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The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo witnessed violence by various armed militias, especially the M23 group. As insecurity worsened and M23 rebels moved to seize territory, including a major city in August, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring Rwanda threatened to go to war as each side accused the other of supporting militant groups. armed in the mineral-rich region.

In Ethiopia, the continued presence in Eritrea of ​​allied government forces accused of some of the worst abuses in the two-year war between Ethiopian and Tigray regional forces threatens a November peace deal to end a conflict that has been much more deadly than the previous one. one in Ukraine.

The two coups in Burkina Faso, the first in January and another in September, have brought Russia’s involvement in the West African country under scrutiny. Within hours of the second coup, the head of Russia’s shadowy mercenary group, the Wagner Group, was one of the first to congratulate the new military leader.

The Wagner Group mercenaries have already established footholds for Russia in at least half a dozen African countries. These include the Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali, which is battling an armed uprising similar to the one in Burkina Faso that has killed thousands and displaced some two million people. The Wagner Group has been accused of committing human rights abuses in Mali.

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