Media Review for November 13, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 11/13/2012

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

Africa and Obama’s election victory
A compilation of articles by the Africa center for Strategic Studies.

ECOWAS agrees to Mali intervention force
West African leaders at an emergency summit have agreed on a 3,300-strong force to wrest control of northern Mali from Islamist fighters, as fears grow over risks they pose to the region and beyond. “We foresee 3,300 soldiers for a timeframe of one year,” Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, the current ECOWAS chairman, told journalists on Sunday after the summit. Al Jazeera

Europe to send 400 special forces to Mali
European armies are expected to send up to 400 special forces troops to Mali to join an African-led mission against Islamists allied to al-Qaeda occupying the country’s desert north, diplomats said. The Telegraph

France rules out any use of air power in Mali
Neither France nor Europe will intervene militarily to oust al-Qaida and its allies from northern Mali — not even with air strikes — the French defense minister said Tuesday. Jean-Yves Le Drian provided details on France’s longstanding promise not to send ground forces in support of a planned international effort led by African troops to recover the area for Mali’s shaky government, adding that there would be no attacks from the air either. AFP on The Boston Globe

MUJAO commander quits Mali terror group
The prospect of an imminent military offensive against terrorist strongholds in northern Mali is causing unrest in the ranks of Islamist fighters. On Thursday (November 8th), the Gao commander of al-Qaeda breakaway group Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) surrendered to authorities in his native Niger. Magharebia

Mali’s Looming War: Will Military Intervention Drive Out the Islamists?
Even as Mali split apart this spring in the single largest advance for Islamist extremism in years, only briefly did the world’s latest frontline in the war on terror show signs of its newfound significance. Refugees poured into this sleepy river town, Mopti, where Mali’s oversized north butts against the country’s more populous south. Residents fled, hotels went dark, banks pulled out their cash reserves, and training camps spawned on the edge of town. But then: nothing happened. The Islamist rebels halted just to the north, and the waiting began. Time

Kenya: Cops Killed in Ambush Hit Shocking 42
The number of police officers killed in an ambush by bandits in Samburu at the weekend hit 42 on Monday after more bodies were discovered in the forest. Some of the bodies had been recovered on Saturday and others on Sunday but police were shocked on Monday when they found 14 others found lying in Suguta Valley. “We are shocked at what we saw… bodies of police officers lying all over the ground,” a police officer who witnessed the discovery said. Capital FM on allAfrica

Belgium suspends military cooperation with Rwanda
Belgium has suspended military cooperation with Rwanda after UN experts accused Kigali of backing rebels active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Sunday. “Belgium has suspended its military cooperation with Kigali,” said Reynders on Twitter. “We will not train soldiers who could contribute to the destabilisation” of Congo, he told Belga news agency. AfricaReview

Uganda: Culture mired in corruption slowly yields to forces of fragile democracy
[...] The misappropriation of €12 million in foreign aid unveiled by Uganda’s auditor general has been front-page news here since the scandal broke two weeks ago. Thanks in part to the country’s relatively free, and surprisingly strident, press, the issue has engaged Ugandans – and not just in the capital. In the country’s rural villages, the issue is avidly discussed. For most it is just the latest in a series of government scandals that has beset a country which has finally emerged from decades of civil war and instability. Irishtimes

Hunting the LRA in Central Africa
A new report says military operations to hunt down LRA rebels in Central Africa face many logistical and intelligence-gathering challenges. In the meantime, the rebels continue to attack civilians. About 1500 Ugandan soldiers make up the bulk of the forces pursing the Lord’s Resistance Army. And all those troops may not be deployed in the field at the same time. VOA

Ritual murders rock Uganda
Security agencies, parents and non-governmental organisations in Uganda have sounded alarm bells over the increasing number of children who are being killed for ritual purposes. At least six children are believed to have been murdered in the last three weeks for suspected ritual purposes in northern Uganda, a child protection organisation has said. The Africa Report

Ethiopia-Somalia: : The cost of being a good neighbour
Ethiopians would like to continue to be good Samaritans to the hundreds of thousands seeking refuge from drought and conflict in neighbouring Somalia, but massive camps in fragile environments have sparked concern among both the government and the people sharing space with the refugees. “We have had a million refugees at one time,” said Ayalew Awoke, Ethiopia’s deputy director for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the government’s refugee agency. Ayalew helped establish ARRA more than two decades ago. IRIN

UN report could alter fate of African Union mission to Somalia
The future of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) hinges on the position the United Nations Security Council adopts next week on a report by a UN expert group that accused Rwanda and Uganda of military involvement with the M23 rebel movement. The East African

Algerian military plane crashes in south France
An Algerian military transport aircraft returning to the country from Paris with six people aboard crashed in southeastern France on Friday, the local fire brigade said. Reuters

Sudan makes fresh push to normalize ties with U.S.
The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti told lawmakers today that the government continues to work on normalizing relations with the United States. Karti who appeared before the foreign affairs, security and defense committee at the national assembly, said that Khartoum wants move bilateral ties with Washington ’on the right path’ despite renewal of the economic sanctions this month by president Barack Obama. Sudan Tribune

Sierra Leone: elections are a chance to ride the wave of economic development and democracy
On 17 November Sierra Leoneans will go to the polls in presidential, parliamentary and local elections. Over a decade ago, after years of turmoil and unrest, Sierra Leoneans were encouraged to embrace democracy as the means of restoring peace and reviving this once flourishing West African country. Great sacrifices were made for the cause of democracy – just by voting people ran the risk of having their hands and legs chopped off. It took the largest UN peace operation and the deployment of British troops to finally bring an end to the 11 year rebel war and usher in Sierra Leone’s democracy. African Argument

Guinea treasury chief assassinated
The head of Guinea’s treasury was gunned down as she was driving home in what her colleagues describe as a brazen assassination aimed at silencing an official who had launched an investigation into the disappearance of millions in state funds. News 24

Col Gaddafi’s children ‘flee Algeria’
Col Muammar Gaddafi’s children have fled Algeria to seek refuge elsewhere in Africa, fearing the oil-rich dictatorship’s improving relations with the new Libya authorities is undermining their safe haven. The Telegraph

France eyes Libya deals after unfreezing $2 billion assets
France said on Monday it was ready to start releasing almost $2 billion in frozen assets belonging to Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, as it looks to secure investment from the oil-producing nation. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius made the announcement during a visit to Tripoli, the latest in a series of high-level French political and business delegations to the OPEC member. Reuters

Israel’s oligarchs in Africa face new probes
Israel’s mining magnates have invested huge sums in African projects, and officials say that construction, pharmaceutical and agriculture companies will not be far behind. The former ambassador strides across his office next to the diamond bourse in Tel Aviv raring to enthuse about the business opportunities. After a career in Israel’s foreign service, Eli Avidar’s job as president of the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce requires diplomatic skills of a different order. The Africa Report

Zimbabwe regime accused of stealing $2bn in diamonds
Diamonds worth at least $2bn (£1.26bn) have been stolen by the Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s ruling elite, international dealers and criminals, in “perhaps the biggest single plunder of diamonds the world has seen since Cecil Rhodes”, a watchdog has claimed. Revenue that could have revived the country’s ailing economy has been channelled into a “parallel government” of police and military officers and government officials loyal to Mugabe, according to Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), a group campaigning against “blood diamonds”. The Guardian

As Coal Boosts Mozambique, the Rural Poor Are Left Behind
[...] Mozambique is one of the poorest nations in the world, broken by a brutal colonial legacy, a 16-year civil war and failed experiments with Marxist economic policy. But it is also one of the so-called African Lions: countries that are growing at well above 6 percent annually, even amid the global downturn. Mozambique is poised for a long economic boom, driven by its vast deposits of coal and natural gas. Vale, the Brazilian mining company, is planning to invest $6 billion in its coal operation near here, and other coal giants like Rio Tinto will soon begin producing coal in the Tete region of northern Mozambique. The New York Times

Portuguese head to former African colony to escape euro crisis
When Marcio Charata lost his well-paying job in southern Portugal two years ago, he fired off résumés to all his contacts. Determined to survive the economic woes strangling Europe, he secured 20 interviews — but no job. So he set his sights on a faraway and unlikely market: Mozambique, Portugal’s once war-torn former colony. The Washington Post

Central African Republic president hands in son for unpaid hotel bill
When Kevin Bozizé ran up an extravagant bill at a five-star hotel in the Central African Republic, he may have expected his father to take care of it. After all, dad is also the country’s president. So it may have come as a nasty surprise when instead his father summoned him then turned him over to the police. President François Bozizé’s son was detained for several days after he failed to pay charges of up to €12,000 (£9,608) at a hotel in Bangui, the capital, one of the world’s most impoverished and volatile states. The Guardian

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