Here are some news stories that caught my attention in the last few days:
Violence broke out in South Sudan again this week, claiming 11 lives in Jongelei state. Meanwhile, IRIN reports on North-South tensions in the Nuba Mountains.
Tuareg rebels return to Niger from Libya under an amnesty deal.
The Wall Street Journal has suggested that changing oil policies in Nigeria might prompt oil companies to move elsewhere in West Africa. Ghana’s leaders are thinking hard about the ramifications of an oil boom.
Ghana’s offshore Jubilee Field is set to begin producing oil and natural gas next year that could earn the country as much as 20 billion dollars over the next 20 years.
But the new government need look no farther than neighboring Nigeria to see how quickly squandered oil wealth can bring resentment, violence, and environmental destruction.
So lawmakers in Ghana want to make sure they have a plan in place for spending that oil revenue responsibly before the money starts coming in.
The EU may train 2,000 Somali troops. The proposal under consideration would send EU troops to Uganda and would take around one year. The BBC says Somalia wants to train around 6,000 new troops and police, and adds that “the move by the EU is expected to complement efforts made by France, Djibouti and Uganda who have all committed to training Somali troops.”
Two quick items for those interested in Afro-Chinese relations: check out Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s comments on China and the US, and take a look at this article on violence against Chinese workers in Angola.
Finally, here’s an article about anti-French sentiment in former French African colonies. The article opens with anecdotal evidence that I don’t find completely convincing, but then moves to a discussion of power politics that is definitely worth reading. The author includes some quotations from African intellectuals for whose work I have a great deal of respect. Here’s Dr. Mamadou Diouf, a prominent scholar from Senegal:
In Africa, “opposition to power also means opposition to France,” said Mamadou Diouf, the director of Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies. “We find ourselves in a paradox: The champion of the rights of man practices a politics absolutely contrary to its principles,” Mr. Diouf said of France’s policies in Africa.
What are you reading?
I like the WSJ story (what i can see without paying). I’m sure no one will want to buy Nigeria’s oil. Isn’t that the line they’ve been using for decades to prevent any regulation of business?
In the NY Times piece, I must say I liked this bit:
“Mr. Joyandet pointed to Ivory Coast, where France has been pushing for long-delayed elections. ‘France supports institutions, not candidates,’ he said. He insisted that France had gone beyond ‘practices of another age that we don’t do anymore.'”
He neglects to mention that those institutions are the ones that benefit France’s government-Industrial combine, and no longer using Bob Denard does not somehow make you a saint.
Sometimes if you search for the title of a WSJ piece you can get a link that will let you read the whole thing.
With the NYT piece, I thought the political analysis was decent. I just don’t see why they needed to start out with random anecdotes, as though the stories really prove anything.