Media Review for November 29, 2012

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 11/29/2012

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

A Rebel Group’s Quest to ‘Liberate’ Congo
The rebel group M23 wants to overthrow the government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At issue is the mineral coltan, which is used in mobile phones. The conflict could end up breaking the country apart. Spiegel

UN Security Council extends arms embargo on DR Congo, condemns M23
The UN Security Council on Wednesday renewed an arms embargo on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), condemning the actions of the M23 armed rebel group. In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15-member council extended arms and transport restrictions to Feb.1, 2014, as well as financial and travel restrictions on “political and military leaders of foreign armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” namely the M23. Xinhua

Clinton urges end to support for DR Congo rebels
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called on all regional African leaders to halt any support for the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [...] “We call on leaders and governments from throughout the region to halt and prevent any support to the M23 from their territory,” Clinton said, in some of her toughest comments yet on the crisis stalking the Great Lakes region. AFP

Secretary of State remarks With African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma After Their Meeting (video)
[...] ” I want to start by saying a few words about the ongoing situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The humanitarian impact of this conflict in the eastern part of the country is devastating. More than 285,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since this rebellion began back in April. They are in critical need of assistance. Health workers in Goma have been killed and abducted. Members of civil society, human rights activists, judicial authorities throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo have received death threats. The United States strongly condemns these tactics of fear and intimidation. And those who abuse human rights must be held accountable.”

In Rebel Country: How did 1,000 skinny militiamen in rubber boots conquer a city of 1 million people in a matter of hours?
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo — After three days of sporadic fighting in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the city fell to the M23 rebel movement last Monday night, November 19. The following Thursday morning, the military spokesman of the M23, Col. Vianney Kazarama, was standing at an intersection in central Goma, addressing a group of young men. Foreign Policy

Hunting the Terminator: Congo continues search for Bosco Ntaganda
Down a bone-jarring dirt track stands an innocuous steel gate and high wall crowned by razor wire. Barely visible beyond is the rooftop of a mansion belonging to one of the world’s most wanted men. This is the residence of Bosco Ntaganda, aka “the Terminator”, a leading architect of the chaos raging once again in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Guardian

U.N. chief recommends “offensive military operation” in Mali
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday recommended that the Security Council approve an African Union peace enforcement mission be deployed to combat Islamist extremists in northern Mali, but did not offer financial support from the world body. Reuters

Al-Qaeda appoints new Mali chief
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) appointed a young Mauritanian as the emir of its Al Vourghan brigade last week. Mohamed Lemine Ould Hacen replaces Algerian national Yahya Abou El Hammam (real name Jemal Oukacha), who was recently promoted to Sahara emir. El Hammam is known as one of the bloodiest and most radical terrorist leaders. Magharebia

Analysis: Hurdles to Nigerian government-Boko Haram dialogue
Attempts by the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram militia to peacefully resolve a three-year-old insurgency by the Islamist group have thus far floundered, dashing hopes of an imminent end to the violence which has claimed hundreds of lives. [...] After a year of negotiation bids between the government and Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan said in a televised interview in November that he was still ready for talks, though there were difficulties. “There is no dialogue with Boko Haram and the government. There is no dialogue that is going on anywhere. There is no face so you don’t have anybody to discuss with.” IRIN

#Kony2013. Why the Manhunt Is Taking So Long — And How It Can Be Won
In a little-noticed move in October 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama sent 100 military advisers to Uganda, part of an effort to apprehend Joseph Kony, the ruthless head of the central African guerilla group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The once-obscure rebel leader, a fugitive since 2005, became a household name this March after a video about him produced by the advocacy group Invisible Children went viral. More than a year since U.S. advisers arrived in Uganda, and despite the unprecedented public awareness about the cult-like militia’s crimes, Kony and his associates remain at large, and media coverage of the search has become nearly as hard to find as the fugitive himself. Foreign Affairs

Sudan urges U.S. support to convince Juba to implement security deal
Sudan reiterated its demand to implement the security arrangements included in the Cooperation Agreement signed with the South Sudan, and expressed hope that United States can help to improve ties with Juba. Sudan Tribune

Statement of Robert F. Godec Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya
“Kenya is a strategic partner for the United States. Our two countries are linked by history and shared values. Kenya is a positive and constructive leader in a region that faces major challenges, including conflict, violent extremism, and poverty. For 50 years, as friends, Kenya and the United States have stood together to face these challenges. Meeting them is in the interest not just of Kenya and its neighbors, but of the United States and, indeed, the world.” Wednesday, November 28, 2012 – Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Transcript: TIME’s Interview with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
[...] “Winds are blowing here and there and people are busy with their life styles but I think they are looking to see a better situation in the world during President Obama’s second [term], which is more relaxed. I want to make use of this myself, to have a very strong bridge between us, between the middle east, middle eastern people, and east and west, and certain balance.” Time

Fears that Egypt is on the way to theocracy
Egypt’s constituent assembly is in crisis: Several of its non-Islamist members have withdrawn in protest over what they say are attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists to establish an Islamist state. Deutsche Welle

Egypt court sentences 8 to death over prophet film
An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world. The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence. The charges were brought in September during a wave of public outrage in Egypt over the amateur film, which was produced by an Egyptian-American Copt. AP on Stars and Stripes

Is the United States Losing Egypt to China?
[...] In time, the formation of a more formal strategic partnership between Egypt and China does indeed threaten to reduce Washington’s sphere of influence over Cairo. Beijing perceives the Egyptian revolution as an opportunity to gain influence in the Arab world, which will naturally come at America’s, and the West’s, expense. At this juncture, there is every reason to believe that China will be successful in wedging itself between Egypt and the U.S., which will suit both China and Egypt well, given their synchronous objectives. The Huffington Post

1 000s continue to flee Ivory Coast
A monitoring group says thousands of people in Ivory Coast continue to flee their homes because of ongoing land conflicts and residual tension from last year’s post-election violence. The report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said on Wednesday at least 24 000 people were displaced so far this year. An additional 40 000 to 80 000 are still displaced from the conflict, according to “conservative estimates” cited by the group. News 24

Ivory Coast Has New Cabinet, Security Challenges Remain

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara flexed his political muscles last week when he reshuffled his Cabinet, but analysts say the president’s influence over the security sector of the government remains limited. VOA

Acting Secretary Blank Launches Doing Business in Africa Campaign
Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced the launch of the “Doing Business in Africa” campaign at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa. This campaign is part of a larger U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which President Obama issued in June. The “Doing Business in Africa” campaign will promote economic growth, trade and investment in Africa. In her remarks, the Acting Secretary emphasized the United States’ ongoing commitment to deepening economic ties with these nations. She also shared a message from President Obama (PDF) in support of the campaign. U.S. Department of Commerce

Sierra Leone’s SLPP in boycott threat over poll results
Sierra Leone’s main opposition has said it will boycott parliament and local councils unless its concerns about the recent elections are addressed. The Sierra Leone People’s Party, which won 40% of parliamentary seats, alleges this month’s polls were fraudulent. Their presidential candidate, ex-military ruler Julius Maada Bio, also lost to incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma. BBC

The billion-dollar question: Where is Angola’s oil money?
Oil has driven Angola’s booming economy over the last decade, helping the resource-rich country emerge from the wreckage of a long, vicious war to become one Africa’s major economic players. One of the biggest producers of black gold in the continent, the southwestern African country has seen its GDP surge by several hundred percent in recent years as the hangover from long conflicts turned into a hunger for profits. CNN

Understanding Somali Piracy on Land and Sea
Since its explosion in 2007, piracy has become one more reason for the negative news coverage Somalia has been receiving the past two decades. However this year has been a turning point in the fight against piracy and many are celebrating the decline in the number of attacks as the end of the phenomenon. But while the militarised responses of international navies and private security solutions have been praised, piracy’s root causes and broader consequences are largely lost to powerful policy makers and the mainstream media. Yet without understanding important, wider dynamics and the decisive role of domestic initiatives, maintaining this slowed rate of attacks and reinforcing these gains will be difficult. Think Africa Press

Rising Youth Cadre Violence Threatens Zambian Stability
[...] The advent of political violence as a form of mobilisation is certainly not unique, but in Zambia the phenomenon has become particularly acute in recent years. This trend has resulted in deaths and scores of injuries during each election, as hordes of young, unemployed men are allegedly paid by major political parties to intimidate voters. With a president and ruling party which some feel do not condemn violence in strong enough terms, many observers are worried that Zambia might not stay so peaceful for very long. Think Africa Press

“The Africa Union 2012 and Beyond”: The Vision of Chair Person Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
In partnership with the African Union, the Wilson Center’s Africa Program presents “The Africa Union 2012 and Beyond”: The Vision of Chair Person Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Thursday, November 29th from 5:00 – 6:00pm . The event will feature Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, African Union Commission Chairperson, as she discusses her leadership plans and goals for the African Union and its member states. Dr. Dlamini Zuma, former South African Foreign Minister and anti-apartheid activist, is the newly elected African Union Commission chairperson and is the first woman to ever fill this position. Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO of the Wilson Center, will introduce Dr. Dlamini Zuma and provide opening remarks for the discussion. The Wilson Center

Media Review Archive
View Past Issues