Media Review for January 26, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 01/26/2012

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

Navy SEALs’ Daring Hostage Rescue May Signal More Somalia Land Raids by U.S.
After Black Hawk Down in 1993, it seemed any land intervention in Somalia was out of the question, but the successful operation by the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden could be a sign of more raids to come. The Daily Beast

Secret of the US Seals’ success: hot and isolated Camp Lemonier
[...] Lemonier, described by the New York Times as “an austere Pentagon outpost in the hardscrabble desert on the Horn of Africa”, is one of an “archipelago” of small US military outposts set up at a modest cost in “far-flung regions of interest” from which US commando raids and intelligence operations can be launched. The Week

SEALs’ rescue: Obama’s State of the Union secret
A little more than two hours before delivering his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama learned that Navy SEALs had conducted a successful helicopter rescue mission in Somalia to free a U.S. citizen and her Danish colleague, who had been taken hostage by profiteering thugs three months earlier. Politico

Time for SADC member states to confront maritime piracy
Southern Africa has strengthened security in its coastal areas as the tide of maritime piracy treks south and threatens trade along the Mozambique Channel. As Somali pirates venture southwards in the Indian Ocean where they have attacked or seized commercial vessels since 2005, Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are taking steps to confront the growing problem that has confronted the shipping industry over the past few years. allAfrica

Nigeria’s President Jonathan Fires Police Chief
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday relieved Mr. Hafiz Ringim of his position as the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), and appointed an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Mr. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar to fill-in in acting capacity. The president also directed that all the six Deputy Inspectors -General of Police (DIGs) should proceed on compulsory retirement. Leadership

Should the World Help Break Up Nigeria in Order to Save it?
This month, the BBC asked in a trenchant report, “Is Nigeria on the brink?” It’s a question that, in my 12 years of Nigeria-watching, I’ve heard international observers ask about Nigeria many times. Is this latest episode the end-game, the opening act of the collapse of Africa’s most populous nation-state — and the largest supplier of African oil to the United States? It may be, but it’s not too late for Nigerians and world leaders to bring about an overdue solution for this long-troubled country. Originally three separate regions that British colonialists united into one untenable country, Nigeria’s best solution for its past and present crises might be to split back up. The Atlantic

Hundreds of suspects arrested in northern Nigeria attacks
Hundreds of foreign nationals believed to be Chadians have been arrested by the police in northwest Nigeria’s Kano state where 186 people were killed by the Boko Haram extremists during the massacre in the state last Friday, a police statement said. Xinhua

Two Sudans’ oil dispute deepens as South shuts down wells
South Sudan official has said it is shutting down more than 900 oil wells after accusing neighbouring Sudan of stealing its oil. Pagan Amum, the secretary general of South Sudan’s ruling party, said the shutdown would have a big impact on the new nation, which relies heavily on oil revenues, but he would rather see the oil stay in the ground than lose it to Sudan. “That is even worse,” he said. The Guardian

South Sudan puts its army on maximum alert in oil row escalation
South Sudan on Wednesday said it has put its troops on maximum alert, amid growing tensions with Khartoum over the ongoing oil wealth sharing dispute and reports of air bombing by Sudan inside its borders. Sudan Tribune

Briefing on Issues of Ongoing Concern in Sudan and South Sudan
Special Briefing – Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Special Envoy for Sudan. Thank you very much. Thank you all for coming and being on the line. I wanted to just bring everybody up to date on a number of issues that we’re following very closely related to Sudan and South Sudan. So let me discuss them briefly and then happy to take your questions about them. State.gov

Darfur rebels split after leader’s death: peacekeepers
A rebel movement that was once the most powerful in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region appears to have split into factions since the death of its leader last month, the head of the peacekeeping mission to the region said on Wednesday. AFP

Kenyan Somali Islamist Radicalisation
Somalia’s growing Islamist radicalism is spilling over into Kenya. The militant Al-Shabaab movement has built a cross-border presence and a clandestine support network among Muslim populations in the north east and Nairobi and on the coast, and is trying to radicalise and recruit youth from these communities, often capitalising on long-standing grievances against the central state. International Crisis Group

Rwanda appreciated for contribution to African Security
The United States Africa Command chief, Gen Carter Ham has said that he highly appreciates the Rwanda’s contribution to African security. He also thanked the Rwanda Defence Forces for the good performance in peacekeeping missions. During his visit to RDF on 23 January 2012, Gen Ham met with the Minister of defence, Gen James Kabarebe along with the chief of defence staff, Lt Gen Charles Kayonga. They discussed on military training and cooperation for deployment in UN peacekeeping missions. Ministry of Defence Rwanda

Cameroon: Anglophones Feel Like a Subjugated People
When Cameroon’s President Paul Biya announced that the 50th anniversary of the reunification of French and British Cameroon will take place later this year, it resurrected bitter feelings among Anglophone Cameroonians who say they do not feel like equal partners with their Francophone counterparts. IPS

Senegalese government bans public demonstrations
Senegal’s interior ministry has decided to ban all public demonstrations countrywide until the end of the month, an official source said on Tuesday. “Due to security reasons, all public demonstrations or public gatherings across the national territory have been banned,” a statement from the interior ministry said. Daily Monitor

Senegal Turns Away from French in Boost to Democracy
Senegal, once considered a francophone cradle in West Africa, is now increasingly turning from French to the local Wolof language. Scholars say this is a boost for democracy, but also a problem in some regions of the country. VOA

Ivory Coast renews security deal with France
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara will sign a new security agreement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Thursday. The Ivorian leader’s visit is his first since French troops helped topple Laurent Gbagbo’s regime in April. France 24

With 1B Hungry Globally, World Bank, USAID, and the Gates Foundation Need a New Approach
In talking about addressing food security in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Gates Foundation — what I would call the “international development establishment” — often focus on the need to increase crop production in Africa. Their outlook is based on the 1960s Green Revolution, which in the 1960s averted famine in India and Latin America through the deployment of high-yielding crop varieties, fertilizers, and pesticides. Policymic

Tunisia: “Persepolis” Trial a Setback for Free Expression
The trial of a television director on morality charges for airing a controversial animated film is a disturbing turn for the nascent Tunisian democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 23, 2012, a Tunis court announced that Nabil Karoui, director of Nessma TV, will go on trial on April 19 for airing the French animated movie “Persepolis.” Human Rights Watch

The Winter of Morocco’s Discontent: Will the Arab Spring Arrive?
[...] But something is still missing. Having promised true democracy, the King may find himself increasingly the target of people’s frustrations. It is a conundrum for Mohammed VI the reformer: he remains the unchallenged ruler-for-life, whose authority cannot be questioned under Moroccan law. Moroccans increasingly believe that to win far-reaching democratic changes, an all-out confrontation with royal authority might be needed. Time

The Western Sahara and North African People’s Power
In April 2011, the mandate of MINURSO—the United Nations (UN) Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, which has been tasked since 1991 with maintaining a ceasefire and monitoring Africa’s longest territorial dispute between Morocco and the Sahrawi Polisario Front— was yet again renewed. Twenty one years since MINURSO was set up, closer attention ought to be placed on the Western Saharan dispute, one which has exhausted and frustrated a large number of UN special envoys. ISS

What Egypt’s Martyrs Left Behind: The Jan. 25 Revolution, One Year Late
To mark the anniversary of the day that sparked the Arab spring’s most momentous revolution, a reporter visits the homes of those Egyptians who didn’t live to see it through. The remains of their lives are both painful memories for their loved ones and keepsakes of the revolution. Worldcrunch – Al Masry Al Youm

Disturbing details of Zimbabwean general Mujuru on fire
Mujuru, the husband of Zimbabwe’s Vice President Joice Mujuru died under mysterious circumstances after fire gutted his farmhouse. On the seventh day into the inquest on Wednesday, an officer from the Harare City Council fire station Clever Mafoti who attended to the scene on August 16, 2011 said the fire could have emanated from two sources usually associated with arson. The Africa Report

Central Africa’s green light to child trafficking
Forced child labour remains rampant in Central Africa, where poverty fuels the trafficking of children from poorer countries to oil-rich states such as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo, according to experts. IRIN

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