Media Review for May 25, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 05/25/2012

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.

Les Dépêches

African Liberation Day Observed Across a Continent and Around the World
May 25, 2012, marks the 54th annual celebration of African Liberation Day, when African countries commemorate the hard-fought achievement of winning freedom from European colonial powers. Considered a pan-African holiday, many citizens of Africa’s 54 countries enjoy official public holidays. “Symbolically, it’s a celebration of African unity,” said Dr. Carolyn Haggis, an instructor and African Union expert at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011
The world changed immeasurably over the course of 2011. Across the Middle East, North Africa, and far beyond, citizens stood up to demand respect for human dignity, more promising economic opportunities, greater political liberties, and a say in their own future. Often they faced tremendous odds and endured violent responses from their governments. The resulting upheavals are still unfolding today in places like Syria, where the regime has brutalized its own people. In Burma, after years of repression, the government has taken preliminary steps to allow reforms to begin. This year’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices chronicle these dramatic changes and the stories of the people defending human rights in almost 200 countries around the world. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

Egyptian army’s long goodbye
The run-up to presidential elections has been plagued by violence, meanwhile the military is making its last stand to protect its many powers. The Africa Report

The Good Felool; If Amr Moussa wins Egypt’s presidential election, is the revolution over?
But what does Moussa’s success say about the state of Egypt’s politics? The word “revolution” has been thrown about for the past 16 months to describe the upheaval in the country; a victory by the 75-year-old veteran of internecine battles within Hosni Mubarak’s regime and the old Arab order suggests something closer to a course correction. Moussa, for better or worse, is not the culmination of anything approaching a revolution. Foreign Policy

The Cairo Consensus: Will Egyptian voters cast their ballot against the United States and Israel?
[...] Little has changed since then, and a new Pew poll finds scant appreciation for U.S. aid efforts. Egypt has received an average of $2 billion a year from the United States — largely to their military — making it the second largest recipient after Israel. But fully six in 10 believe U.S. military and economic aid is having a mostly negative effect on the country. Foreign Policy

AU renews mandate of regional military force against LRA
The African Union (AU) has renewed by 12 months, the mandate of the task force leading the hunt for Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony, whose Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is accused of committing atrocities in three countries in the Central African region. The elusive Ugandan rebel leader has been moving his forces between Sudan, northern Uganda, the Central Africa Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where they are accused of kidnapping girls and boys and turning them into sex slaves and soldiers to commit atrocities. Afriquejet

Uganda: LRA rebel Caesar Achellam in row over amnesty
A senior commander in the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) should be granted amnesty just like other LRA fighters, his lawyer has told the BBC. But Uganda’s public prosecutor has said the amnesty law does not apply to Caesar Acellam because he was one of the top rebel military strategists. Mr Acellam is in a Ugandan army base in South Sudan, two weeks after being found in the Central African Republic. The most notorious wanted LRA leader is war crimes suspect Joseph Kony. BBC

Report: More Troops, Resources Needed to Stop LRA
A new assessment has been released on efforts to end LRA rebel attacks in central and east Africa. The Enough Project says despite the deployment of U.S. advisers, current operations lack resources and troops. VOA

Somalia on Track to End Failed State Status
At the conclusion of the consultative meeting on the process of ending the transition, Somali signatories on Wednesday reached agreement to end the transition of Somalia. Xinhua

Amnesty challenges Security Council on weapons exports
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the world’s biggest arms exporters. Can they be expected to guarantee security? Amnesty International highlights the contradiction.[...] The spark of the Arab Spring even leapt as far as China and Azerbaijan, Yemen and Bahrain. But the democratic success of the movements in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have not been replicated elsewhere. “States like China have hit back with total repression. On the Internet they’ve even blocked terms like ‘Jasmine Revolution’ or ‘Egypt’,” says Grenz in reference to the reactions of the various governments, such as that in Azerbaijan, or in the dramatic events in Syria.

Africa must unite: But behind whom?
With the 54 leaders of the African Union due to try again to elect a new Chairperson of the AU Commission in July, isn’t it time the African had a say in the election, rather than the outcome being influenced by outside interests? Pambazuka News

African Leaders Discuss Roadmap for Sustainable Development
African leaders are meeting in Botswana’s capital to produce a declaration on sustainable development in Africa. The meeting is preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainability next month. VOA

China Keen to Reverse Negative Image in Africa
The reality of Indian and Chinese investment in Africa is much more complex than the good cop, bad cop image of Asia’s two emerging economic giants. China and India have caused an explosion of trade and investment in Africa in the past decade. Yet they are perceived quite differently: China has a reputation for economic ruthlessness, while India’s business interests are generally seen as beneficial to Africa. IPS

Somalia forces rein in al-Shabab
A joint force of African Union peacekeepers and Somali government troops say they are gaining ground on al-Shabab fighters. And that is taking place in the strategic Lower Shabelle region. Fighting has intensified in the region as al-Shabab pulls back from key towns close to the capital, Mogadishu. Dorsa Jabbari reports. Al Jazeera

East Africa tops in human rights abuses: Amnesty survey
The latest Amnesty International report finds all five East African Community governments culpable of rising human rights abuses. The study, released on May 24, fingers Burundi and Rwanda as the two countries in the region leading in human rights abuses in 2011, by clamping down on freedom of assembly and harassing the Opposition politicians. The east African

Qaeda leader tells fighters to support Mali rebels
The leader of al Qaeda’s North African wing has put his group’s fighters in Mali’s north at the disposal of Ansar Dine rebels seeking to impose Islamic law across the West African state, the first public comments officially linking to two groups. Fighters should impose sharia only gradually and look to collaborate, not clash, with separatist rebels also operating in Mali’s north, the head of AQIM said in speech posted on the internet and translated by the SITE jihadist monitoring service. Reuters on The Chicago Tribune

U.S. Citizens Warned Against Traveling To Mauritania
The U.S. State Department has warned its citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, and urged extreme caution for those who choose to travel to the African country, because of activities by the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against foreign nationals, including U.S. Citizens, the State Department said in a Travel Warning update issued on Thursday. RTTnews

Betting on the Wrong Horse: China and Russia Struggling to Deal with the New Libya
The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | It is becoming increasingly evident that China and Russia have bet on the wrong horse when they sided with Muamar Gaddafi as other UN members sought to condemn him over the killings of his own people. On the short term at least, and in the foreseeable future, Chinese companies that have done business in Libya during the Gaddafi era are being scrutinized by the Libyan interim authorities, while the Russians find the Libyans evasive and unwilling to cooperate at the moment. The North Africa Journal

Thirty die in Mali-Burkina Faso ethnic border clash
At least 30 people have been killed after clashes erupted between Dogon farmers and nomadic Fulani herders along the Mali-Burkina Faso border, Burkina authorities said late on Thursday. The fighting, which began on Tuesday, took place near Sari, a Malian town about 15 km (9 miles) from the border with Burkina Faso, Khalil Bara, governor of Burkina Faso’s northern region, said on state radio. Reuters

Marques in Angola: The Perils of Speaking Truth to Power
Rafael Marques de Morais was startled awake at dawn by loud pounding on his front door. It was October 16, 1999 – three months after the 28-year-old journalist had published a scathing critique of the corrupt Angolan government. “Don’t move,” he told his frightened wife. “They have come for me.” Marques knew the risks when he wrote the manifesto ‘The Lipstick of the Dictatorship‘ for the independent Angolan newspaper Angora. It was the latest salvo in a war of words with government officials incensed by Marques’ petition campaign to end the country’s brutal, decades-long civil war. Think Africa Press

Monkey meat that could be behind the next HIV
Deep in Cameroon’s rainforests, poachers are killing primates for food. Evan Williams reports from Yokadouma on a practice that could create a pandemic. [...] Three-quarters of all new human viruses are known to come from animals, and some scientists believe humans are particularly susceptible to those carried by apes. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is now widely believed to have originated in chimps. Apes are known to host other potentially deadly viruses, such as ebola, anthrax, yellow fever and other potential viruses yet to be discovered. The Independant

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