Saturday Links: Niger, Sudan, MEND, Somalia, and More

Niger: Colonel Abdoulaye Bague, deputy leader of Niger’s military junta, was arrested Wednesday. In other Niger news, “The strain of [a recent] kidnapping [of five French nationals by AQIM] and the deployment of French troops [to Niger] has caused some tension between Niger’s military government, France, and the French energy firm Areva.”

Meanwhile, the G-8 Counter Terrorism Action Group met in Bamako, Mali this week to discuss AQIM.

Sudan: The UN plans to boost troop levels in border regions between North and South Sudan. Meanwhile, “Northern Sudanese officials have called for the postponement of a referendum on the future of Sudan’s oil-producing Abyei region, but southern leaders have swiftly rejected the idea.”

Nigeria: 234 Next writes on the evolution of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

Senegal: 163 Haitian students arrive as President Abdoulaye Wade begins to make good on his offer of help for Haiti.

Somalia: A battle over Adado, a formerly peaceful town in central Somalia, puts Muslim militias allied to the Transitional Federal Government at each other’s throats and threatens to undermine US strategy in Somalia.

IRIN reports from a summit in Addis Ababa on rural Africa and climate change.

What are you reading today?


One thought on “Saturday Links: Niger, Sudan, MEND, Somalia, and More

  1. On the G8 security meeting in Bamako, I am wondering how long and how much money it would take to allow Malian and Nigerien armies
    to be able to do their job? Why intelligence gathering is not shared with them, if we believe Col. Iro Oumarou of Niger? Flintlock is for instance running since 2005 without any evidence of improvement in the armies’capabilitiy in making a dent on AQIM. Why then Col. Camara of Mali so adamant to accept foreign troups to help combat AQMI if he accepts Flintlock and other military assistance, with at least Flintlock (probably more) sitting in Gao and Tamanrasset? I am no military, but I see conflicting signals from the military in the countries of the Sahara-Sahel.

    They say:

    Col. Yamoussa Camara of the Malian Army told The Associated Press, though, that there is resistance within the region to too much involvement from foreign militaries.

    “Given our past, we are not very receptive to foreign forces getting directly involved in military operations here, whatever their motives might be,” Camara said.

    The countries in which al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, operates — Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger — were all colonized by the French.

    Camara said that Western governments should focus on providing equipment and training, a view echoed by Col. Iro Oumarou of Niger. “What we’d like from Western countries in general is training, specialised equipment and especially support in intelligence gathering. If we were to get that help, that will help us in this region eradicate this problem.”

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