Amb. John Campbell looks at the challenges Nigeria‘s voter registration body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, is confronting.
Inside Islam profiles a revolutionary rapper from Tunisia.
Geoffrey York examines Qadhafi’s relationship with Africa and the implications for the continent of the leader’s likely fall:
When he pronounced himself the “king of kings” on the African continent, Moammar Gadhafi was widely seen as a buffoon and a megalomaniac.
But behind the absurd titles, behind the crown and sceptre that were awarded to him by his hand-picked collection of African tribal monarchs, Col. Gadhafi had a profound impact on Africa. And for better or worse, he will leave a vacuum behind him on the African landscape if he is toppled from power in Libya.
Col. Gadhafi was the last major global leader who promoted the dream of pan-African unity.
Andrew Harding explains “Africa’s Silence on Libya”:
For years the rest of Africa has treated Colonel Muammar Gaddafi like an embarrassing uncle – the sort who arrives for Christmas lunch five hours late and insists on rambling through a long-winded speech, but then makes up for it all by tucking a £50 note into your top pocket, or paying off your mortgage.
It’s that combination of embarrassment and generosity – with a heavy emphasis on the latter – which must surely explain the continent’s abject silence regarding events in Libya and the fate of its “king of kings”. Plus, in some of the more opulent state houses, a “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” reticence.
The African Union – chaired until recently by Col Gaddafi himself – waited on the sidelines for days before daintily suggesting “dialogue and consultation”, while South Africa’s government left it to the governing African National Congress (ANC) to deplore “the unprecedented deaths”. Only gallant little Botswana has come out swinging.
Elizabeth Dickinson writes that the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire “is becoming a civil war again, and fast.”
Reuters wonders whether activist Birtukan Mideksa’s exit from Ethiopia removes the last major opposition to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
I leave you with this report from Euronews on suspected sub-Saharan African mercenaries in Libya. The video raises some of the important issues connected with mercenaries and accused mercenaries: