Media Review for October 7, 2010

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 10/07/2010

Please note: The following news items are presented here for informational purposes. The views expressed within them are those of the authors and/or individuals quoted, not those of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.

Today’s News

DRC rebels hand over leader for rapes
The Congolese rebel group Mai Mai Cheka has handed over one of its own leaders, accusing him of leading his men in the rape of 303 civilians. Lieutenant-Colonel Mayele was surrendered to UN’s Monusco peacekeepers and an army unit in North Kivu. RFI

UN’s Ban decries shortage of troops, supplies in restive DRC
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday decried an “acute shortage” of essential troops and materiel needed to provide security to Democratic Republic of the Congo, which remains afflicted by serious ethnic violence. Times Live

Desmond Tutu ends public career (video)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is stepping down from public life, as he celebrates his 79th birthday. The man described as the “conscience” of South Africa was a prominent voice during the country’s struggle against white minority rule. BBC

ECOWAS ministers meet on mineral policy
The ministers of The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), supervising the minerals sector of member states, are billed to converge in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on Friday, to consider the draft regional mineral development policy and the report of the concept committee on the Mining & Oil Forum (ECOMOF).

Sudan: U.S. special envoy meets Dinka and Misseriya delegations in Ethiopia
The U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration met on Wednesday with delegations of the Misseriya and Dinka Ngok tribes separately on the sidelines of talks taking place in Addis Ababa between the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) that is focused on Abyei, according to state media. Sudan Tribune

South Sudan president pardons rebel army officers
The President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued an Executive Order, pardoning senior army officers who rebelled or fought against the SPLA forces before and after April’s elections. Sudan Tribune

Hollywood star Clooney ‘fears’ a war in Sudan
Hollywood star George Clooney is on a tour of south Sudan drawing attention to his fears for war as the region builds up to a vote on whether to break away from Africa’s biggest nation. AFP

Eastern Africa security chiefs meet in Uganda over increasing terrorism threats
Security chiefs from 10 countries in Eastern Africa on Tuesday started a two-day meeting that will assess terrorism threats the region faces and how those threats can be combated.

Senior Opposition Leader in Ethiopia Is Released From Prison
Ethiopian officials on Wednesday released a senior opposition leader who was sentenced to life in prison in 2008 after the government said she had violated a pardon agreement. The New York Times

C. African army retakes rebel-held town: military
Central African Republic government troops regained control of a town held by rebels since September 18, military and government sources said on Wednesday. But a spokesman for the rebel group, the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP), claimed its fighters still held the town in the unstable east of the country. AFP

Uganda offers more peacekeeping troops for Somalia
Uganda is willing to provide as many as 20,000 troops to restore order in Somalia if enough money is provided for the mission, Uganda’s president told visiting members of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. AP

Two plead guilty to Somalia arms trafficking attempt
A former US Air Force fighter pilot and his Israeli business partner have pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally sell arms to Somalia, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday. Chanoch Miller, an Israeli defence consultant, contacted retired US Air Force colonel Joseph O’Toole about arranging the unlicensed sale of AK-47 assault rifles, according to court documents. RFI

USAID, IGAD sign to boost conflict prevention in Horn of Africa
The U.S. development agency (USAID) on Wednesday inked an agreement with regional body, the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to boost peaceful initiatives in the Horn of Africa region. Under the agreement signed in Nairobi, USAID will continue to support regional conflict prevention and response activities in the Horn of Africa among pastoral communities through IGAD’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN). BaidoaNews

Will broadband internet establish a new development trajectory for east Africa?
East Africa is in the process of reinventing itself. The government of Rwanda has invested heavily in IT infrastructure to bring high speed internet connections to even the most remote parts of this small, resource-poor country. Kenya, similarly, has ambitious plans to become a highly wired nation and attract a share of the growing market in international business outsourcing. The Guardian

Gambia introduces death penalty for drug possession
The Gambia has introduced harsher penalties against drug crime, including execution for anyone found holding more than 250g of cocaine or heroin. Attorney General Edward Anthony Gomez said the move was aimed at curbing drug trafficking. The country has recently become a key transit point from Latin America. BBC

World divided over new scramble for African land
A World Bank report has confirmed that 45 million hectares of land in developing countries were bought in 2009, a tenfold jump from the previous decade. Moreover, two-thirds of these controversial “land grabs” have been in Africa where critics say public and governmental institutions offer weak defences against western multinationals and Far Eastern state companies seeking farm land for food and biofuels. The East African

African Brand Is Sweet on Obama
The expansion of a small cookie factory on this city’s outskirts offers a glimpse of how Obamamania in Africa is developing from a fad into a lasting brand for local companies across the continent, even as the U.S. president’s popularity takes a hit at home. Wall Street Journal

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