Niger: In case you missed it yesterday, Niger’s election is heading for a run-off between opposition leader Mahamdou Issoufou and Seini Oumarou, an ally of ousted President Mamadou Tandja.
AQIM: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) made headlines all week, first for driving three cars filled with explosives into Mauritania, an operation that was foiled by Mauritanian security forces. Mauritania’s defense minister says the attack was aimed at the French Embassy in Nouakchott, but AQIM says it was targeting Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Mauritanian forces arrested the occupants of one car and exploded the second; they are still searching for the third car, whose occupants may be trying to cross into Senegal. Mauritania has pledged further attacks against AQIM bases in Mali.
In southern Algeria near the border with Niger and Libya, an Italian women was kidnapped yesterday, potentially by AQIM or its associates.
Also in AQIM news, a cable released by Wikileaks mentions that a ransom was paid to AQIM for the release of Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay in 2009.
Sudan: The crackdown on protesters continues. Sudanese students who protested in Khartoum on Thursday were attacked by police. “Also on Thursday police arrested dozens of people near the scene of a planned protest in the capital’s Khartoum North suburb, said witnesses. The demonstration, which had been publicised on the internet, did not take place.”
Kenya: A judicial crisis is straining the coalition of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Senegal: An opposition coalition calls for a new constitution limiting presidents to one seven-year term.
Feel free to post news links in the comments section. Have a great weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with a blog roundup.