Africa News Roundup: Alleged Boko Haram Peace Talks Offer, Kismayo, Uganda and Somalia, Flooding in Niger, and More

A spokesman claiming to represent Nigeria’s Boko Haram sect has outlined conditions for peace talks with the federal government. Demands include holding the talks in Saudi Arabia and having former military ruler and presidential aspirant General Muhammadu Buhari as a mediator. Coverage from the Guardian, This Day,  Business Week, and News 24.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a new report, “Nigeria: Trapped in the Cycle of Violence,” on November 1, writing, “The brutal actions of Nigeria’s security forces in response to Boko Haram’s campaign of terror are making an already desperate situation even worse.”

Nigerian security forces reportedly killed thirty people in Maiduguri on Friday.

AP writes, “Weary from years of kidnappings, the inhabitants of Algeria’s rugged Kayblie mountains are finally turning against the al-Qaida fighters in their midst and helping security forces hunt them down. And that turnaround is giving Algeria its best chance yet to drive the terror network from its last Algerian stronghold.”

The BBC:

Nearly 400 people have been arrested in a major security operation in the Somali port city of Kismayo, officials there have told the BBC.

African Union troops, the Somali army and a pro-government militia gained control of the strategic port last month from al-Qaeda-aligned militants.

A militia spokesman told the BBC those arrested were believed to be supporters of the Islamist al-Shabab group.

Since al-Shabab’s withdrawal there have been frequent bombings in the city.

VOA: “Uganda is threatening to pull its troops from African peacekeeping missions, including the one in Somalia, because of a U.N. report that accuses Kampala of supporting Congolese rebels.”

IRIN on internally displaced people in Mogadishu.

Gambia has appointed its first female foreign minister, Susan Wafa-Ogoo.

Ethiopian Muslims continue their weekly Friday protests against alleged government interference in Muslim affairs.

IRIN writes that more flooding may occur in Niger.

What else is going on?

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3 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Alleged Boko Haram Peace Talks Offer, Kismayo, Uganda and Somalia, Flooding in Niger, and More

  1. Some of my observations on Buhari and Boko Haram:

    1. Buhari is one of the few senior figures from Northern Nigeria with any credibility with the masses. Please note that there are no emirs in the list and senior politicians like Atiku or IBB are not mentioned.

    2. However Buhari’s credibility among the “Talakawa” doesn’t scale with either the Christian community in the Northern Nigeria (which is actually quite significant) or the South.

    3. The “Boko Haram crisis” shouldn’t be just looked at as a problem of “terrorism” or “social problems in the North”. All serious analysts should carefully consider what the impact is likely to be on some of Nigeria’s important communities like the Muslim community in the North, the Christian community in the North, the Middle Belt and Nigeria’s South.

    4. Buhari and CPC were wise to reject the offer, because it would “associate them with Boko Haram”. At least this is the interpretation that the Christian community in the North and Southerners will buy. It would have been exploited by ambitious politicians to scuttle Buhari’s chances come 2015.

    5. Boko Haram is a serious problem, but Nigeria’s problem are deeper, wider and more persistent than Boko Haram. Nigeria has always had problems with internal cohesion and competing visions of the future. Boko Haram represents these problems taken to extremes, but the religious and ethnic segregation of major Northern cities like Kaduna and Jos point to more fundamental problems. Future problems.

    And we are not talking about “corruption” here.

    6. Northern Nigeria has a leadership crisis, the emirs are being discredited and the “class of 1966″ (Northern military elite who came to prominence after the 1966 coup) are now in their 70s (or close to that). The North isn’t the united entity it once was and there doesn’t appear to be a next generation of Northern leaders “who can stand up to an increasingly assertive South”.

    7. The Nigerian Military response in Maiduguri isn’t different from Zaki Biam, Odi or even Asaba in the sixties. They’ve always behaved this way, and got away with it. Nigeria’s Military is too important for the US to call to order (even under Abacha, the US had great need for the Nigerian Military in Liberia and Sierra Leone – and who, exactly, is going to form the bulk of “intervention forces” in Mali?).

    We also need to understand that the Nigerian Army started off as a colonial army, conducting “punitive expeditions” against unruly natives. Old habits die hard.

    Sadly, the report will be shrugged off, but actions and have consequences and justice must be done. If not today, then later.

  2. Pingback: A Purported Offer of Dialogue from Boko Haram, and the Reactions of Nigeria’s Political Class | Sahel Blog

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