Africa News Roundup: Uganda Elections, Djibouti Protests and Drought, AQIM Hostage Speaks, and More

Uganda: Yesterday President Yoweri Museveni stood for re-election in a contest marked by a “bitter” campaign (video) and “low turnout.” One Ugandan source, as of yesterday afternoon, already projected Museveni as the clear winner.

The New York Times has a photo essay of campaign posters in Kampala.

Djibouti: Protests hit Djibouti yesterday, as “thousands of demonstrators [rallied]…to demand that president Ismail Omar Guelleh resign.”

Guelleh ran without opposition in 2005. One potential challenger this year, Abdourahman Boreh, is supporting the anti-Guelleh demonstrations but currently lives in the UK.

Boreh, 51, said that if he returned to Djibouti he would be put in prison and could be tortured.

“In the wake of events like Tunisia and Egypt the president’s instinct will almost certainly lead him to violence to counter the rising confidence of the demonstrators,” Boreh told the Associated Press news agency.

“What we really want is a peaceful demonstration where the people can express their feelings for freedom, theirfeelings for a democratic transition of the government, because this government has been in power for the last 34 years. The people want change.”

Djibouti is also suffering from drought, part of a larger dry spell affecting East Africa.

Niger: Africa Review reports that former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja may face trial “for alleged financial crimes.”

Algeria: An Italian woman kidnapped by AQIM releases a statement.

Senegal: Separatists in the Casamance region called this week for a referendum on secession. President Abdoulaye Wade has responded with the idea of “emergency plan” for the region’s economy.

What are you reading today?

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