Media Review for February 14, 2013

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 02/14/2013

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

French Troops Recover Explosives In Gao
French soldiers on Wednesday recovered an enormous stash of explosives that authorities believe radical Islamic fighters were using to make bombs for attacks on northern Mali’s largest city, a Malian military spokesman said. Associated Press

EU unblocks 250 million euros of aid funds to Mali
The European Union is set to unblock 250 million euros (213 million pounds) in development aid to Mali frozen after a March 2012 coup allowed Islamist insurgents to seize cities and territory in the north of the desert country. Reuters

Mali troops hunt for rebel holdouts in Gao
Malian troops have hunted house-to-house in the northern city of Gao for rebels involved in a brazen raid on the city. Police made two arrests on Monday, according to reports, and one of the men detained was a suspected fighter involved in Sunday’s surprise attack. Al Jazeera

When Women Fear to Tread: Sexual Violence and the Egyptian Revolution
The body politic is at risk in Egypt. On the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution — Jan. 25 — in a demonstration in Tahrir Square, a woman protester was violently set upon by a mob of men who grabbed at her private parts, pulling and pushing her from person to person until she was finally and with great difficulty rescued by teams of anti-harassment male activists. The roiling crowd circling around its prey was captured on video. Huffington Post

South Sudan accuses Sudan of troops’ build-up
South Sudan has accused Sudan of building up forces along its disputed border, the site of clashes between the two countries last September.South Sudan’s defence ministry described the deployment of troops on Tuesday as “unusual” and said they were ready for a possible incursion. Al Jazeera

Tunisia leader says unity government imminent
An agreement is imminent on a new national unity government for Tunisia to resolve the political crisis brought on by the assassination of an opposition politician, the leader of the powerful Ennahda party has said. Al Jazeera

Tunisia: UN loan and grant programme to support rural youth and women farmers
The United Nations agency tasked with supporting agricultural projects in developing countries is boosting economic opportunities for rural youth and women in Tunisia through a programme that gives loans and grants to farmers and local communities. United Nations

Egypt Authorities Flooding Gaza Tunnels to Curb Smuggling
Egyptian authorities have begun flooding some of the tunnels that stretch into the Gaza Strip in an effort to curb smuggling of goods such as diesel and building materials, a security official said. Bloomberg

Zimbabwe: Referendum Date Set
The principals to the Global Political Agreement have set March 16 as the date Zimbabwe will hold a referendum on the draft Constitution which a committee of Parliament recently produced. All Africa

Zimbabwe sets March referendum, July elections
Zimbabwe’s prime minister announced Wednesday that the country will hold a constitutional referendum in March followed by elections in July, a timetable that will decide the fate of veteran President Robert Mugabe. France24

Were health care workers in Nigeria murdered for doling out polio vaccines?
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram is thought to be behind the recent gruesome attacks. But suspicion about vaccination campaigns has deeper historical roots in northern Nigeria, writes John Campbell. Christian Science Monitor

Kenyan Election Chief Confident About March Polls
Kenya’s elections CEO says his commission is ready to conduct credible elections next month, in the country’s first polls since deadly violence that followed the 2007 vote.In an interview with VOA, James Oswago, the chief of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, said he believed officials are prepared for the March 4 polls. Voice of America

UN partners with African bank to boost participation in clean development projects
The United Nations has signed an agreement with the East African Development Bank to increase participation in clean development projects in the region, it was announced today. United Nations

S. Africa to host BRICS investor conference ahead of summit
The South African government will host the first BRICS-EXPO and International Trade and Tourism Conference later this month ahead of the fifth BRICS summit. XinhuaNet

Election of New Pope Not Political, Says Ghana Cardinal
At the Vatican, one of the cardinals being talked about as a possible leader of the Roman Catholic Church says the election of a new pope is a spiritual, not a political, process. In an interview with VOA, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana says the selection of a pope is a sacred process that requires prayers and god’s guidance. Voice of America

Nigerian Lawyers Call for Charge or Release of Detainees
Nigerian lawyers say thousands of people have been held without charges for up to two years as security forces fight insurgents known as Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northern Borno State, the original home of the militant group. Voice of America

Security Council extends for another year mandate of UN office in Burundi
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations political mission in Burundi for another year to support peace and long-term development in the country, as well as to redouble efforts to tackle corruption and allow people the freedom to organize ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015. United Nations

Africa ‘must think big for its children’
Africa has always been a continent of contrasts. And the latest findings from an amazing team of international researchers show that when it comes to providing our children with the best chances in life, Africa once more presents a very mixed picture. CNN

Presidential reward for Super Eagles
Twenty two players received the honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) while coach Stephen Keshi was made Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and his assistants and team captain Joseph Yobo became Officer of the Niger (OON). In addition, each team member received a plot of land from the Nigerian government. 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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