Media Review for February 13, 2013

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 02/13/2013

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

Zimbabwe: Election chief Mutambanengwe resigns
Zimbabwe’s election chief has resigned citing ill health, state media reports. Simpson Mutambanengwe resignation comes as Zimbabwe gears up for a crucial constitutional referendum and elections later this year. BBC

Hundreds on Police Force Protest Egypt’s Government
Hundreds of police officers shut down the headquarters of the Interior Ministry in at least seven provincial capitals on Tuesday in a series of protests against what they called political exploitation by the government of President Mohamed Morsi. The demonstrations were a rare instance of open dissent by the country’s security forces. New York Times

Al-Qaeda branch calls for holy war
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) has called for jihad in Mali, a monitoring group said on Tuesday, after four days of suicide attacks and guerrilla fighting in territory French-led forces reclaimed from Islamist rebels. News24

U.N. Security Council to back Mali peacekeepers in weeks
The U.N. Security Council is expected to reach an agreement in two to three weeks to deploy up to 6,000 peacekeepers in Mali to help stabilize the country after a rebel incursion, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. Reuters

Libya needs help to secure borders: foreign minister
Libya’s foreign minister called on Tuesday for Western and Arab allies to help seal his country’s borders to stop defeated Islamist rebels coming in from Mali and further destabilizing the strife-hit oil producer. Reuters

Two years later, Egyptians’ euphoria over Mubarak’s fall a distant memory
Some protesters demanded President Morsi’s ouster as they clashed with police on the anniversary of Mubarak’s fall. Deepening economic woes and violence have marred Morsi’s short tenure. Christian Science Monitor

Analysis: Obama unlikely to support Cairo opposition
Thousands of opposition activists protested across Egypt on Monday, the second anniversary of former president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Morsi. The Jerusalem Post

Tunisian Islamist leader expects new coalition govt this week
Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s main Islamist Ennahda party, said Tuesday that he expected Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to form a coalition government this week that would include politicians as well as technocrats. France24

French charity workers jailed over Chad child adoption scandal
Two former French charity workers convicted in Chad of abducting children only to be later pardoned were sentenced to jail in Paris on Tuesday for defrauding the French families who had hoped to adopt the youngsters. Reuters

UNHCR Reports Looting, Violence in Central African Republic
Aid agencies are reporting widespread displacement and looting of villages in areas under control of the Seleka rebel coalition in the Central African Republic. An assessment mission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and U.S.-based Mercy Corps last week to the central town of Bambari found a situation of utter desolation. Voice of Amercia

2 Nigeria journalists charged after polio killings
Police in northern Nigeria arrested and charged two radio journalists and a local cleric alleged to have sparked the killings of at least nine women gunned down while trying to administer polio vaccines, officials said Tuesday. Police claimed their on-air comments about a vaccination campaign in the area inflamed the region and caused the attacks. Associated Press

Kenya holds 1st presidential debate
Three weeks before they go to the polls, millions of Kenyans watched and listened to the nation’s first-ever presidential debate, with the two front-running candidates trading barbs over the looming trial of one of them in the International Criminal Court. Associated Press

Kenya Electoral Group Moves Ahead on Election Plans
The chief executive officer of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says ballot papers for the presidential vote are ready for the March 4th general election. James Oswago says the electoral body is ready to conduct a credible election with the full participation of political parties, stakeholders and Kenyans. Voice of America

Zimbabwe court orders Mugabe allies off RioZim mine
Zimbabwe’s High Court has ordered allies of President Robert Mugabe, including the tourism minister, to leave a RioZim Limited gold mine that they invaded last month, state media reported on Tuesday. Reuters

Zimbabwe faces crayfish crisis in water ecosystem
Scientists in Zimbabwe say a fresh water crayfish brought from Australia is breeding out of control in the northern Lake Kariba, devouring the food sources of other fish and putting the nation’s entire aquatic ecosystem at risk. U.S. News

Kenya to gazette up to 9 new oil and gas exploration blocks
Kenyan energy officials said on Tuesday the country was demarcating up to nine new blocks of onshore and offshore territory for the auction of licences for oil and gas exploration. Reuters

Africa: Pontifex Africanus – Could the Next Pope Be African?
With the shock resignation this morning of Pope Benedict XVI, the international media has gone into overdrive in an attempt to predict the next spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Could the world finally see its first black pope? All Africa

Africa: Faster Browser for Cheap Smartphones Launche
A new Android web browser could help users of low-end versions of smartphones, which are becoming increasingly common in in Africa, the Middle East and Asia (AMEA), navigate the Internet up to 30 per cent faster. All Africa

Group: Somali journalist detained without trial
Daud Abdi Daud has been held without charge since Feb. 5 and his detention is sending a broader message to Somali journalists to stay silent, said Human Rights Watch in a statement released Tuesday. Business Week

Hired Guns Causing Drop in Somali Pirate Attacks
After more than half a decade of Somali men attacking Indian Ocean shipping from small speedboats with AK-47s, grappling hooks and ladders, the number of attacks is falling fast. Voice of America

Africa’s Borders: porous, unprotected and blocking trade and economic development
Africa’s share of world trade is tiny—only 3 percent in 2009, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, but trade between nations is miniscule, making up only 10 percent of total trade. This stands in stark contrast to 22 percent between countries in South America, and 50 percent between those in Asia.  Borders and pointless bureaucracy, combined with the corruption that goes with them, inhibit inter-African trade. African Arguments Online

Nigerians welcome Nations Cup winners home
Nigeria’s football team have returned home to a rapturous reception following their Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Thousands were at Abuja’s airport to greet the team, who beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in Sunday’s final in Johannesburg. BBC

Talks prompt disgruntled Keshi to continue Nigeria role
Coach Stephen Keshi has decided against resigning his post just hours after leading Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations crown since 1994. Reports emerged that Keshi had offered to quit after Sunday night’s defeat of Burkina Faso, following disputes with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). BBC

FOR THE RECORD – AFRICA – U.S. Government Events, Statements, and Articles
A weekly compilation by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)

State Department on Security in North Darfur and Jebel Marra
U.S. Department of State
“The United States is profoundly concerned by violent clashes between heavily armed tribal militias in North Darfur and between Sudanese government forces and rebels in Jebel Marra. Recent violence has resulted in civilian deaths and displaced some 100,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance.” -U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesperson
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