This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.
In this week’s news, United States President Donald Trump targets Somalia, the United Nations deals a blow to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a Nigerian pilot makes history.
US Orders Airstrikes in Somalia
In an effort to fight terrorism around the world, President Trump has approved airstrikes in Somalia. U.S. military airstrikes are usually carried out by drone, and have become a common tool in the effort to eradicate terrorism. The practice is controversial, and the controversy shows no sign of slowing down during the Trump presidency. While such airstrikes can be effective, they can also be dangerous for innocent civilians who get caught in the crossfire. Many are worried that increased strikes in Somalia will lead to greater civilian casualties, causing more problems for a country that is already in crisis as the result of an ongoing drought, a cholera epidemic, and a fragile political landscape.
Their worry may not be unfounded: the number of drone strikes in general has increased drastically since Trump took office, as has the number of civilian deaths caused by these strikes.
UN Makes Cuts to Peacekeeping Efforts
The UN has voted to cut back Monusco in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Monusco is the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping mission, and has helped defeat violent rebel groups in the area. The decision was made as a result of the Trump administration’s desire to cut spending on peacekeeping missions, as well as the collapse of a political deal with the Catholic church.
It is estimated that around 3,000 Monusco peacekeepers will loose their jobs as a result of the cutbacks.
Nigerian Pilot Flies Solo Around the World
A Nigerian pilot named Ademilola “Lola” Odujinrin has become the first African to fly solo around the world. Odujinrin, a commercial pilot for Air Djibouti, started his journey in Washington D.C. last September. He visited 15 countries on 5 continents before landing back in Washington.
The flight was part of Project Transcend, which aims to inspire and encourage young people to follow their dreams. Odujinrin hopes that his flight inspires young Africans to reach for the skies. There is also hope that the flight will have positive economic results, and that it will help Air Djibouti and other African airlines thrive.