Media Review for January 9, 2013

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 01/09/2013

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

U.N. wants to use drones for peacekeeping missions
The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in missions in Central and West Africa. The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping has notified Congo, Rwanda and Uganda that it intends to deploy a unit of at least three unarmed surveillance drones in the eastern region of Congo. The Washington Post

Rwanda opposes use of drones in DRC
Rwanda on Tuesday opposed the use of surveillance drones in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as proposed by the United Nations until there is a full assessment of their use, saying it did not want Africa to become a laboratory for foreign intelligence devices. News 24

DR Congo’s M23 rebels declare unilateral ceasefire
M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a unilateral ceasefire ahead of a second round of peace talks with the government. The rebels told a news conference in the Ugandan capital Kampala that they hoped the government would follow suit. An attempt last month to negotiate an end to the nine-month rebellion in the east of the country failed. BBC

Mali: Is the Southern army preparing to retake the North?
On 21 December the UN Security Council approved sending an African-led intervention force to help Mali’s army reconquer the north of the country from Islamist militants. With ECOWAS and the army warily preparing an offensive, the country is now split. Le Monde Diplomatique

Nato forces needed in Mali, says AU’s Thomas Boni Yayi
he African Union’s chairman Thomas Boni Yayi has called for Nato to send forces to Mali to help fight militant Islamists who have captured the north. The Malian conflict was an “international question” and Nato should intervene just as it had done in Afghanistan, Thomas Boni Yayi said. However, the campaign against the militants should be led by an African force, he said. BBC

Al-Qaeda advances from Mali stronghold
Al-Qaeda fighters have advanced beyond their stronghold in northern Mali for the first time, striking towards a vital garrison town protecting the route to the capital. The Telegraph

“Never Again” in Kenya?
[...] More than two years since the new constitution was adopted, little has changed. The root causes of the 2007 violence – rampant poverty, significant income inequality, pervasive corruption, inadequate internal security, and an unemployment rate exceeding 40% – remain.Moreover, Kenyans have made little effort to mend relations between ethnic groups. Last year alone, ethnic clashes in the Tana River District killed more than 100 people. And the level and tone of political debate – for example, within Facebook groups created by presidential candidates or their supporters – are worrying. Project-syndicate.org

ICC tightens Uhuru, Ruto murder charges
The ICC Prosecutor now says she has additional incriminating evidence sufficient to sustain murder charges against Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr William Ruto and two other Kenyan suspects. The enhanced murder charges were contained in updated documents of charges prepared by Gambia-born Fatou Bensouda on the serious crimes against humanity facing the four Kenyans. The new document reasserts alleged meetings held at State House, Nairobi, with Uhuru playing the central role in planning the revenge attacks witnessed in Naivasha. The Standard

Horror as entire family of elephants slaughtered for ivory
Armed wildlife rangers on Tuesday night fanned out across eastern Kenya in pursuit of ivory poachers who killed an entire family of 12 elephants in the country’s worst single such slaughter since the 1980s. The Telegraph

Nigeria’s Presidential Campaign Has Started—Two Years Early
A controversy over mysterious posters for incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, who hasn’t said whether he will run in 2015, offers a window into the country’s fractious politics. The Atlantic

Massive Fire Rips Through Slum in Nigeria Megacity
A massive fire tore through a waterfront slum in Nigeria’s megacity of Lagos on Tuesday, burning down dozens of shack workshops and homes. When firefighters didn’t turn up, locals tried in vain to stop the blaze with buckets of water. AP on ABC news

Obasanjo: Nigerian leaders should reach out to Boko Haram
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said more could be done to reach out to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram to find out what leads it to carry out acts of violence. In an interview with CNN, Obasanjo suggested the current government should adopt a dual-track approach rather than just cracking down on the group. CNN

CAR leader calls rebels mercenary terrorists
President of the Central African Republic has labeled the country’s Seleka rebels, who have seized control of much of the country’s north, as “mercenary terrorists”, in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera. Francois Bozize’s verbal attack on Tuesday came as the government and rebels prepare to hold peace talks in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, in the coming days. “I call them mercenary terrorists because they are being paid by those who sent them and are terrorising the population. They pillage, they rape and destroy,” he told our network. Al Jazeera

Food aid pillaged in Central African Republic: UN
Hundreds of tonnes of food aid have been stolen from warehouses across the restive Central African Republic, the UN’s World Food Programme lamented Tuesday. Times Live

Terrorists to Bounce Back in 2013
[...] After Qaddafi’s fall, North Mali has emerged as a training ground and a battlefield. Malians are supported by European Muslims, especially French North Africans, including Algerians, Moroccans and Libyans. Al Shabab lost ground, but its ideology has spread to bordering areas of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Like al Shabab, BH is likely to join al Qaeda al Jihad in 2013. Unless stability is restored in Africa, the al Qaeda movement’s footprint will grow. The National Interst

Terrorist attacks drop in Algeria
Algerian security reports describe 2012 as the calmest year in the last decade. Armed attacks fell to their lowest level since 2002, with the most significant decrease found in the traditional strongholds of terrorism in the east. Carefully planned security operations succeeded in neutralising top leaders of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Algerian forces also stopped AQIM plots against parliament and the Cherchell Joint Military Academy, as well as plans to abduct foreign nationals during Ramadan. Magharebia

Sudan: A peaceful Revolution to overthrow al-Bashir’s government
A broad based coalition of men, women, youths and civil society groups in Sudan have signed a petition to bring down the government of President Omar al-Bashir through a peaceful uprising. The Africa Report

Sudanese leaders thrash out (another) peace deal
In Addis Ababa this weekend, the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan – two countries which 18 months ago were just one – thrashed out yet another agreement to solve the never-ending border and security issues between them. President Omar al-Bashir, with an international arrest warrant hanging over his head, and President Salva Kiir, with a trademark black cowboy hat over his, gritted their teeth and smiled for the cameras as they shook on a deal that neither is likely to be able to enforce. The Guardian

900 000 blocked from aid in Sudan
The director of the UN humanitarian operations blamed the Sudanese government and rebels Tuesday for blocking all humanitarian aid from two southern states where over 900 000 people need help and an unknown number are surviving on roots and leaves or dying. News 24

U.S. offers $10 million reward for information on assassins of USAID diplomat in Sudan
The United States on Tuesday announced that it is offering a total of $10 million for information leading to the arrest of two men convicted by a Sudanese court over killing of an American diplomat employee and his driver five years ago. Sudan Tribune

Tunisia frees lone suspect in Benghazi attacks, another sign investigation is in trouble
unisian authorities on Tuesday released the only man held so far in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, according to the suspect’s lawyer, reaffirming fears that the Libyan-led investigation into the deaths is foundering. Authorities extradited Ali Harzi, a 26-year-old Tunisian, from Turkey last fall, saying they “strongly suspected” that he had been involved in the attacks. But he was released Tuesday after a Tunisian judge agreed with his lawyer that there was not enough evidence to hold him, according to news reports from Tunis, the Tunisian capital. McClatchy

Cairo’s New Normal: Protests Spawn a World of Walls and Barricades
[...] With the second anniversary of the uprising now approaching and unrest simmering in the wake of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s November 2012 power grab, the walls have become a symbol of the political crisis in Egypt. According to architect and urban planner Omar Nagati, the walls are indicative of the postrevolutionary renegotiation of the “rules of the game between the people and the authorities. The people are setting the terms and the authorities are just responding by building walls.” Time

Zambia Opposition Leader Charged With Graft

The leader of Zambia’s main opposition Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on charges of financial malfeasance. The Government Joint Investigations Team charged Nevers Mumba of graft and abuse of authority when he was Zambia’s High Commissioner to Canada. Mumba is accused of having misappropriated about $123,840 donated to the Zambian government by the Barrick Gold Corporation, a private company. VOA

Africa’s image and reality: wealth and poverty sit side-by-side
The debate about the “image of Africa” seems to be reaching a consensus. The starving African child represents a reality that is rare and local. We must clear our minds of that image as representative of Africa, all of it, always. The growth figures show that Africa is apparently doing well economically and many of the conflicts, which were always local, often quite small but created terrible suffering, have come to an end. Medication for AIDS and other diseases has become more widely available. No one speaks of the hopeless continent any more. African Argument

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