Media Review for June 21, 2011

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 06/21/2011

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

World welcomes North-South accord on Abyei
The international community on Monday welcomed an accord signed in Addis Ababa between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) in which they agreed to withdraw all their troops from the contested region of Abyei. Sudan Tribune

US welcomes Sudan accord
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed on Monday the agreement signed by north and south Sudan to demilitarize Abyei, but said the real test would be how both sides applied the deal. RFI

UN Moves to Deploy New Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Abyei Region
As the UN Security Council moves to authorize the deployment of Ethiopian peacekeepers to the Abyei region, the head of South Sudan’s mission to the UN says the situation in South Kordofan “risks degenerating into ethnic cleansing and possible genocide.” allAfrica

As Secession Nears, Sudan Steps Up Drive to Stop Rebels
The Sudanese Army and its allied militias have gone on an unsparing rampage to crush rebel fighters in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan, bombing thatch-roofed villages, executing elders, burning churches and pitching another region of the country into crisis, according to United Nations officials and villagers who have escaped. The New York Times

Africa: U.S. Africa Policy in the Spotlight As Michelle Visits
US First Lady Michelle Obama begins a six-day visit to southern Africa on Monday where she will meet anti-apartheid leaders and highlight the spread of democracy on the continent. But the visit to South Africa and Botswana that ends on June 27 “has resurrected criticism among vocal groups who say they are disappointed that the first US president with African roots has not personally focused more on the region,” the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Daily Nation

East Africa: Biggest Refugee Camp in the World is Full
Stranded in the desert of Kenya’s northeastern province, surrounded by mile upon mile of sand and scrubby bushes, 30,000 people are living in makeshift shelters under a burning sun. The families – having crossed the border from neighbouring Somalia, 80 km away – are headed for the refugee camps of Dadaab. But the three camps in the Dadaab area are already full, and there is nowhere for them to stay. allAfrica

Fazul is dead, Shabaab lives on – all over EA!
The killing last week of Fazul Abdullah, the terror mastermind of the August 1998 twin bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, removed one of the biggest threats to East African security. The East African

Somali militants vow allegiance to new al Qaeda chief
The Somali militant group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, has endorsed the takeover of Ayman al-Zawahiri to head al Qaeda after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden last month, according to an al-Shabaab spokesman. “We welcome Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri and we will work with him, as we did with our late brother Osama bin Laden, and we are part of al Qaeda, as we promised before, said al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dhere. CNN

Confronting Global Piracy
Testimony – Andrew J. Shapiro: Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs – Statement before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. State.gov

Power struggle in Mogadishu
The 19 June resignation of Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed could prompt an intensified power struggle within the country’s transitional government and negatively affect the ongoing offensive against insurgents in the capital, Mogadishu, observers say. IRIN

2 justices sworn in to Kenya’s first Supreme Court
Kenya for the first time on Monday saw two judges sworn in to the country’s Supreme Court, a new judicial body created as part of political reforms after the country’s 2007-08 political violence. Stars and Stripes

Libya: NATO strike kills 19 civilians
The Libyan government says 19 civilians have been killed in a NATO air strike on the home of one of Muammar Gaddafi’s top officials, a day after the Western military alliance admitted killing civilians in a separate attack. Libyan officials took reporters to Surman, 70km west of Tripoli, to the site of what they said was a NATO air strike on the home of Khouildi Hamidi. Aljazeera

Nigeria: Islamists kill 7 in police station raid
Suspected members of the radical Boko Haram Islamist sect on Monday staged simultaneous bomb and gun attacks on a police station and a bank killing seven people, witnesses and local journalists said. The dead included five policemen, witnesses said, in an attack coming just four days after the sect bombed the country’s police headquarters in the capital Abuja killing at least two. News 24

Ben Ali, Former Tunisian President, Sentenced To 35 Years In Jail
A Tunisian court on Monday sentenced ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, in absentia, to 35 years in jail each after finding them guilty of theft and unlawful possession of cash and jewellery. Reading out the verdict and sentence in the courtroom after just one day of deliberation, the judge also ruled Ben Ali and his wife would have to pay fines totalling 91 million Tunisian dinars ($65.6 million). The Huffington Post

Tunisia’s dreams of change fade by the day despite sentencing
It was over almost as soon as it had begun. A court in Tunis has sentenced former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to 35 years in prison. However the discontent of the local Tunisians remains. Deutcshe Welle

Zim to defy West on diamond sales
Zimbabwe has vowed to defy moves for international monitoring of diamond sales from its disputed Marange fields, at a meeting of the global “blood diamond” watchdog. Mines minister Obert Mpofu said the southern African nation must be allowed to export gems without any monitoring, insisting Zimbabwe has met the minimum requirements of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which seeks to prevent diamond sales from financing conflicts, state media reported . Times Live

UN says drug traffickers using sub-marines to bring drugs to Africa
Drug traffickers are using sub- marines to transport hard drugs to West Africa, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “In our control operations, we have proof to show that drugs are mostly coming through maritime routes and especially by use of sub-marines,” UNODC Director Alexandre Smith told a press conference here on Monday. Xinhua

All Confused On the Western Front: NATO and Libya’s Rebels Don’t Jibe
Between a lack of communication and friendly fire casualties, Libya’s rebels are beginning to wonder if NATO is really on their side.[...] Throughout parts of Libya under rebel control, people are frustrated with NATO. Between its slow pace of attacks and the errant strikes that have killed rebel fighters, the speculation now is that the Western coalition lacks the resources and resolve to help the rebels topple Gaddafi. Time

Good News from The Congo. Really
After more than 100 years of abuse, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is surely the most dysfunctional country on the planet. It started the 20th century under Belgium’s King Leopold II, who oversaw the deaths of millions through exploitation and disease in what was then his personal fiefdom of the Congo Free State, a tyranny made notorious by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Independence in 1960 was accompanied by a vicious civil war and, soon after, the CIA-backed rule of Mobutu Sese Seko, one of the most kleptocratic leaders in world history. Foreign Policy

Dictator Watch: For Once the Good Guys Are Winning
The rot appeared to set in for autocrats with the fall of the Soviet Union. Democracy became the only respectable way to govern. It was the “end of history.” For the following decade, prospects looked bleak as new democracies took root in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. But gradually, autocracy rallied. Dictators and strongmen learned how to go through the motions of an election while maintaining power. Foreign Policy

How Ghana Has More Than Halved Its HIV/AIDS Rate
John Dramani Mahama, vice president of the Republic of Ghana, recently visited the U.S. for a high-level meeting at the United Nations on HIV/AIDS. As Tell Me More caught up with him, he explained that Ghana is one of the countries that have made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDs. “Since we launched our first national strategy plan and set up the Ghana AIDS commission, we have brought the prevalence rate down from nearly 4 percent to the current level of 1.5 percent,” he said. NPR

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