Media Review for April 11, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 04/11/2012

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

Dozens of Boko Haram help Mali’s rebel seize Gao
Among the rebels controlling Mali’s northern city of Gao are dozens of Nigeria’s Islamist Boko Haram group, a regional deputy told AFP on Monday, while a security source confirmed the information. Vanguard

US: Nigeria’s Islamic Militants Are Capitalizing on Discontent
The Obama administration says Islamic militants in northern Nigeria are capitalizing on popular discontent with the government, and officials need to tackle economic problems if they are to stop the violence. An Easter Sunday bombing thought to have been carried out by Boko Haram killed at least 36 people. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson says the threat from Boko Haram grows as Nigeria’s standard of living declines. VOA

Salafists seek Mali emirate
[...] Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar (aka “Laaouar”) was first spotted in Gao last week. Mauritanian terrorist Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou has also surfaced, claiming that his al-Qaeda splinter group, Jamat Tawhid Wal Jihad Fi Garbi Afriqqiya (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO), was behind the conquest of Gao He vowed to impose the MUJAO’s interpretation of Islamic law on the region. Magharebia

As Mali Risks Regional Stability, No One Is Asking the Right Questions
A lot has happened in Mali in less than three weeks’ time. Renegade soldiers have declared a coup d’état; Touareg separatists have carved out their own state the size of France in the country’s north; the president has formally resigned; elections have been promised within 40 days; and a handful of Algerian diplomats have been kidnapped. Oil Price

UN agencies warn of ‘dramatic’ crisis brewing in Africa’s Sahel region
Northern Africa’s Sahel region risks being plunged into a dramatic humanitarian crisis unless aid for those affected by drought, conflict and poverty is scaled up soon, three senior United Nations officials warned Tuesday. The Washington Post

US suspends Seychelles drone flights after crashes
The United States has suspended drone flights over the Seychelles while it investigates a second crash in four months on the archipelago, which Washington uses as a launch base for the unmanned spy planes. Times Live

Arms race hots up in East Africa
Competition for military superiority in the East African Community has seen Uganda’s arms expenditure surpass Kenya’s for the first time this year, a new global arms report shows. In particular, Uganda’s acquisition of six SU-30MK Russian jets is said to have elevated its air force to one of the most advanced in East and Central Africa. Daily Nation

Is South Africa aiding the Iranian military?
A lawsuit alleging that Africa’s biggest cell phone company conspired to help Iran obtain South African weapons and government support for its nuclear program has drawn fresh scrutiny to Pretoria’s close ties with the Islamic Republic. Globalpost

Zimbabwe regime dismisses Mugabe deathbed reports
Officials in Zimbabwe have dismissed as “hogwash” reports that President Robert Mugabe is close to death in a Singapore hospital. Speculation about the 88-year-old’s condition spread like wildfire after his absence forced the postponement of a cabinet meeting. But Sydney Sekeramayi, the state security minister, told the NewsDay newspaper: “It’s just the wish of our detractors. The president is alive and well.” Other media reports quoted Webster Shamu, Zimbabwe’s information minister, as saying: “It’s a lot of hogwash.” The Guardian

Why NATO Intervention in Libya is not a Victory for Responsibility to Protect

There is a moral consensus on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as a framework for ending mass atrocities. The portrayal of the NATO intervention in Libya as a ‘victory’ for R2P is however likely to do more harm than good. A Google search on the NATO-led intervention in Libya and (R2P) produces almost two million hits. This highlights the popularity and significance of the discourse on the practice of R2P that has remained dominant especially since the NATO intervention in Libya. ISS

Malawi’s new president unveils her cleanup plans
Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda on Tuesday unveiled a shake-up of top officials charged with government finances and media, purging loyalists of the late leader Bingu wa Mutharika. Mail and Guardian

DRC: Thorny issue of reparations for Lubanga’s victims
Motorcycles, school fees, counselling, cash: Thomas Lubanga’s `kadogo’ (child soldiers) know what reparations they want from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Less clear is what a cash-strapped tribunal can offer damaged children taken from their families and forced to fight in a brutal ethnic conflict in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). IRIN

Attempted rebellion in Congo curtailed by specially trained troops
Congo’s Bosco, wanted by the ICC, asked loyalist troops to defect from the Army and support him. But Kinshasa deployed a battalion of Belgian-trained special forces, pushing Bosco out of town. CS Monitor

Africa,warlords and the ICC – what a cocktail!
Among some of the critic labelled against the International Criminal Court is how Africa seems to feature heavily on its agenda, and that for obvious reasons. Currently the ICC has fifteen cases under investigation. All 15 involve African countries. How sad that is,but a very real fact. News 24

Mission From God: The Upstart Christian Sect Driving Invisible Children and Changing Africa
Many of the men responsible for the Kony 2012 campaign follow something called the Emerging Church, which has become an unusual and newly influential wing of the larger evangelical mission to Africa. For Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, stumbling into Uganda’s one-time civil war wasn’t an accident; it was a divine calling. The Atlantic

Bush Was Right. And the Arab Spring prooves it
When mass demonstrations began spreading across the Arab world early last year, conservative commentators lost no time in singing the praises of George W. Bush, the first U.S. president to aggressively push for democratization in the region. Today, with Islamists dominating politics wherever tyrants have stumbled or fallen, many of those who waxed eloquent about Bush’s Freedom Agenda have either fallen silent or taken to arguing that Islamist ascendancy will prove to be a temporary setback on the road to liberal democracy. Those who were critical of it all along are having a field day. Foreign Policy

South Sudan accuses Sudan of new attack
South Sudan’s army spokesman has said Sudan has attacked a disputed oil-producing border region with warplanes and artillery. Philip Aguer said Tuesday’s clashes erupted when troops from Sudan entered the Heglig region which they held for sometime before they were driven out. Al Jazeera

South Sudan ‘captures oil field’
Sudan says its largest oil field is now controlled by South Sudan’s army. A Sudanese military spokesman told the BBC its forces had been defeated outside Heglig, and retreated north. South Sudan said its forces had advanced to Heglig, but stopped short of saying its forces actually controlled the oil fields. BBC

South Sudan imports Chinese military trucks .
A CONSIGNMENT of military trucks has left the port of Mombasa for South Sudan, five days after they arrived by sea from China. The consignment was offloaded on Wednesday last week at the G-Section of the port, where overstayed containers are normally stored. It was cleared a day before the Easter holidays commenced. Nairobi Star

Terror cell dismantled in Morocco
Morocco broke up a terror cell in Agourai, near Meknes, the interior ministry announced Monday (April 9th). The members of the Islamist group planned to destroy government facilities and banks branches in the region, officials said. The three suspects allegedly sought to cut off power in the target areas to ensure maximum destruction. Magharebia

Africa’s Richest Billionaire To Lead $7 Billion Investment In Nigerian Power, Petrochemical And Mining
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to lead a $7 billion investment in Nigeria’s power, petrochemical and mining sectors over the next four years, Ventures Africa has reported. Dangote, who disclosed his intentions during a send-off party for Thierry Tanoh, the IFC Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Western Europe on Sunday in Lagos, said that he will be investing in the construction of a 2,000 megawatt power-generation facility. Forbes

African Airliners Top List of Aircraft Banned From EU
The European Commission has adopted the 19th update of the European safety list of air carriers subject to operating bans and other operational restrictions within the EU, better known as “the EU Air Safety List”. Leadership

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