Africa Blog Roundup: Mali, Abdel Aziz Shooting, Illegal Fishing, Haiti and the AU, and More

Mohamed Vall: “Why Sorting Out Mali Remains an Uphill Task.” For more on the state of play with the United Nations Security Council, the Economic Community of West African States, and the situation in Mali, see Lesley Anne Warner.

The Moor Next Door on the shooting of Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz:

As things stand now, with Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in France, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mohamed Ghazouani is the man in charge and among opposition types and some closer to the government there is a feeling that Ould Abdel Aziz is a dangerous position, and that remaining abroad too long could invite coup plots, political unrest or attacks from AQIM. Key variables at this point include the political ambitions of Gen. Ghazouani and the loyalty of the armed forces and intelligence service to the president – especially the commando units and BASEP (the republican guards), which Ould Abdel Aziz founded and led until ‘leaving’ army in 2009.

A public relations firm (that has the government of Kenya as a client) has produced a helpful timeline (.pdf) of Kenya’s “Operation Linda Nchi” in Somalia. The anniversary of the operation’s launch occurred last week on October 16.

Sarah Lazare and John Wesley Jones:

We look at the media strategies, messages, and images that underlie the dizzying success of the film Kony 2012 and Greg Mortenson’s book, Three Cups of Tea. We also examine the role that exploitation of children and youth, as well as concepts of education and child welfare, play in their respective fundraising efforts. We investigate the broader conditions that enabled their viral spread and allowed them to receive millions of dollars in donations from around the world. We aim to cut through the veneer and shed light on the gap between the stated and real impact these nonprofits have on the world and expose the acceptance of militarism that underlies their supposedly apolitical solutions to real problems.

Gernot Klantschnig:

Having observed West Africa’s role in the drug trade for more than 10 years, it is puzzling that Africa is still described as ‘the new frontier’, particularly by the experts who are supposed to know the situation best. An intention to galvanise public interest in drugs in Africa and a short institutional memory might explain some of these a-historical statements. I would also argue that the neglect of Africa’s long history in the drug trade has lead to some misunderstanding of its present and future role.

Dan Moshenberg: “Kenya’s #purplezebra Spring.”

A CNN/UNICEF report on child stunting.

Baobab on monitoring illegal fishing in Sierra Leone.

Joshua Keating on how Haiti may join the African Union.

What else is everyone reading?

Sunday Africa Blog Roundup: Chinese Culture in Africa, Egypt-Sudan Relations, Uganda Anti-Gay Law, Africa and Haiti

Reuters discusses China’s cultural outreach to Africa:

While China’s economic influence is now mighty and its cheap goods can be bought everywhere from Lagos to tiny tribal villages in remotest Ethiopia, Africans, especially young ones, still admire and try to copy U.S. culture.

Middle class teenagers in Nairobi dress like suburban kids from Atlanta, posters of Obama adorn minibus windows in Kinshasa, American hip-hop is everywhere.

China now seems to have realised this.

Here in Addis Ababa this week China and Ethiopia signed an agreement to work on a “cultural exchange program” from 2010 to 2013. Ethiopia’s state news agency said the countries will dispatch “art troupes, artists, writers and art exhibitions” to each other. It will be interesting to see how mutual the traffic is.

Sean Brooks explores relations between Egypt and Sudan.

Over at Foreign Policy, Kayzan Farzan says politicians are backing away from a proposed anti-gay law in Uganda. “Friction over the bill,” Farzan writes, “has led to a proxy battle over the U.S.’ cultural influence in the region.”

Kal looks at dialogues between Islamic scholars and Salafists in Mauritania. At Al Jazeera, Mohamed Vall addresses the same topic.

Chris Blattman passes on some “undiplomatic” remarks on the UN from James O.C. Jonah, former Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs under Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Louisa Lombard analyzes an encounter between an American gold mining company and the government of the Central African Republic.

Texas in Africa fills us in on Africa’s efforts in the Haiti crisis.

And here’s a blog I just came across: Roving Bandit, on South Sudan.

What are you reading?

An African Israel for Haitians?

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade:

“We have to offer [Haitians] the chance to come to Africa, that is my idea. They have as much right to Africa as I have.”

[…]

“Israel was created like that,” he said of the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine following World War Two and the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews in Nazi death camps.

“You can’t tell me it’s not possible. It’s all possible if the Haitians seek it,” said Wade, who was speaking on the margins of a conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Senegal is due to submit a resolution to the African Union urging the creation for Haitians of “their own state on African territory, the land of their ancestors”, according to the text of the resolution published in local newspapers.

I wonder whether this will gain traction.

What are your thoughts on the idea?