Media Review for November 26, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 11/26/2012

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

Sierra Leone re-elects Ernest Bai Koroma as president
Sierra Leone’s incumbent president was re-elected and sworn in on Friday night by the country’s chief justice as Freetown, the capital of the war-scarred country, erupted in drumming and celebration. Ernest Bai Koroma won 58.7% of the vote. His closest rival, the opposition leader and retired brigadier general Julius Maada Bio, came in second with 37.4%, according to the results announced by the National Electoral Commission chairwoman, Christiana Thorpe. The Guardian

Sierra Leone’s election ‘flawed’
Freetown – Julius Maada Bio, beaten into second place in Sierra Leone’s presidential poll according to official results, denounced the election as riddled with fraud in a statement to AFP on Saturday. “The process was fraudulent and the results do not reflect the will of Sierra Leoneans,” he said. News 24

DR Congo fighters given deadline to exit Goma
Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero, political leader of the M23 armed group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has said that a pullout from the eastern city of Goma could not be a precondition for talks with the government. Runiga Lugerero’s comments come after a decision by a regional summit on Sunday that said the group had until Monday to withdraw from territories in the eastern DRC. Al Jazeera

Congo Slips Into Chaos Again as Rebels Gain
[...] In the past week, the rebels have been unstoppable, steamrolling through one town after another, seizing this provincial capital, and eviscerating a chaotic Congolese Army whose drunken soldiers stumble around with rocket-propelled grenades and whose chief of staff was suspended for selling crates of ammunition to elephant poachers. Riots are exploding across the country — in Bukavu, Butembo, Bunia, Kisangani and Kinshasa, the capital, a thousand miles away. Mobs are pouring into streets, burning down government buildings and demanding the ouster of Congo’s weak and widely despised president, Joseph Kabila. The New York Times

DRC Army Accused of Abuses During Retreat from Goma
Civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo say soldiers from the Congolese army have been looting homes and raping residents in towns under their control, as they retreat from M23 rebels. VOA

Ben Affleck Says U.S. Can Do ‘Huge Amount’ to Help Resolve Conflict in Congo
Actor Ben Affleck — founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative – told me this morning on “This Week” that the United States can do “a huge amount” to help resolve the violent conflict in war-torn Congo that flared up as rebels seized control of the eastern city of Goma last week. “There’s a huge amount that the U.S. can do, frankly. I mean, we have a lot of levers there. We can engage in the kind of high-level, shuttle diplomacy that you saw be so effective in Gaza,” said Affleck, who expressed concern about the deteriorating conditions in the central African nation. ABC

The United States Africa Command: Protecting US Interests and Supporting African Capacity
The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is the most recently established of the nine Combat Commands that together coordinate US military activity around the world. Since it was activated in 2007, AFRICOM has gone through several evolutions as it has sought to adapt to Africa’s unique policy and defence demands. In doing so it has generated significant criticism, sometimes based on poor communication and inaccurate or partial information about the Command’s purpose and activities. Transcript – General Carter F HamTranscript Q&A - – Audio (Click to download mp3). Chatham House

Morocco police dismantle militant cell sending jihadists to north Mali
Moroccan security forces dismantled a cell recruiting young men to fight with al-Qaida-linked groups in northern Mali, the Interior Ministry said Saturday. The statement said that a group operating across the country were inculcating young men with “al-Qaida” ideology and then smuggling them across the closed border with Algeria from where they headed to Mali for military training. The Washington Post

Algerians arrive to support Al-Qaeda in north Mali
Several dozen Algerian jihadists have arrived in Timbuktu to support armed Islamist groups controlling northern Mali, who have toughened their application of strict Islamic law, security sources said Sunday. Times Live

You Think You Know Somalia? Meet Somaliland
When people think of Somalia, they think of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down. They think of South Park’s “Somalian Pirates We” episode. They even think of (sigh) Pirates of the Caribbean. What they don’t usually know is that Somalia has three extremely different regions, and that one of those regions is a fully functional unrecognized state. Policiymic

At least 12 dead as al-Shabaab attack town on Kenya border
Heavy fighting broke out late on Saturday afternoon in Bulohawo and lasted into the evening, residents and military commanders said, with residents confirming that the al-Shabaab took full control of the town for a few hours before Somali troops were able to reinforce their positions. Mail and Guardian

Suicide blasts at Nigeria military base kill 11
Twin suicide car bombs exploded Sunday at a church inside one of Nigeria’s top military bases, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 30 in an embarrassing attack showing the continued insecurity that haunts Africa’s most populous nation. AP on Stars and Stripes

Tunisians fear jihadist wave
From the street to the highest levels of government, Tunisians say that the growing influence of jihadists puts the country’s democratic transition in jeopardy. “Stopping extremist moves, whatever the ideological foundations, means stopping the destructive violence to Tunisian lives and the tarnishing of Tunisia’s image abroad,” President Moncef Marzouki said Saturday (November 17th) at a Carthage conference. Magharebia

Mauritania president returns home after shooting
The president of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz has returned home for the first time since being wounded by one of his own soldiers last month. President Abdelaziz was shot in the arm by a Mauritanian army soldier in what the government said was an accident. He had been in France for the last six weeks receiving treatment. BBC

French president’s visit to Algeria to give new impetus to ties: minister
The Algerian-French relations will be marked by a new impetus during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to the North African nation next month, Algerian Minister of Industry Cherif Rahmani said here Sunday. Rahmani said so at a joint press conference with Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the visiting French official in charge of monitoring French partnership projects in Algeria. Xinhua

Has Morsi saved or stolen Egypt’s revolution?
Cairo, Egypt – Following days of upheaval after President Mohamed Morsi took the decision to sack the general prosecutor and assign himself power over the legislative and executive branches, many Egyptians are re-assessing the success of last year’s revolution. Al Jazeera

Witchcraft and execution: the darker side of Gambia
Gambia may present itself as the African equivalent of the Spanish costas. But away from the beaches there are plenty of shadows. [...] The story of Gambia’s darker side begins on the other side of the sleepy capital, Banjul, where a few miles from the luxury beach resorts, there is the rather more spartan accommodation of the “Mile 2 Hotel”. The nickname for the notorious Mile 2 prison, its mosquito-plagued cells are a likely destination for critics of Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s eccentric faith healer-turned-president. The Telegraph

The quest for nuclear energy in Africa
The nuclear disaster that struck Japan last year following a devastating tsunami is still fresh in the world’s memory, but this is not stopping African countries from aspiring to tap into this form of energy. But the fact that Japan, which is far more developed than any country in Africa was left in a nuclear mess after the tsunami struck several reactors, raises questions on whether the world’s poorest continent has the capacity and expertise to handle such risks. The East African

Ghana: In world’s most religious country, humanists rally for secular space
In Ghana, where deeply held religious beliefs unite much of the population, a new group has formed around a shared disbelief in religion. The Humanist Association of Ghana practices a philosophy that is mostly unheard of in Ghana, which a recent survey ranked as the most religious country in the world. Nonetheless, the group has already made waves in West Africa. CS Monitor

In case you missed it: This is the ‘African century’
Are we living in the “African century?” That is what many people in business and politics have begun to call it. You may not have noticed – because so many headlines are devoted to dramatic events north of the Sahara – that there has been a quieter but more dramatic change for so many of the 900 million people living in the lands to the south. In some ways, this has been the larger revolution. The Globe and Mail

KPMG – Nigeria, Most Fraudulent Country in Africa
A global audit and financial advisory firm, KPMG, has rated Nigeria as the most fraudulent country in Africa. The rating is coming on the heels of President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that his administration has done better than previous ones in the fight against corruption. According to KPMG, Nigeria accounted for the highest number of fraud cases on the continent in the first half of 2012. This Day on allAfrica

Where is Africa’s share of the spoils?
[...] Each year, international oil, gas, forestry and mining companies make large payments to the governments of resource-rich developing countries, though their citizens see very little of it. Charities have estimated that in Africa this income is six times greater than the aid the continent receives. Where does all this money go? The Independant

Africa: : Trading your way out of poverty
As M23 rebel fighters marched into Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a small group of people in the UK were watching anxiously to see what would happen next. They had spent the past three years working with coffee growers south of the city to get their goods on the shelves of Sainsbury’s, one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets, as part of a wider initiative to help Africa trade its way out of poverty. IRIN

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