A few links for your Saturday:
Reuters argues that
Moves by countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Chad and Gambia to distance themselves from [Libyan ruler Colonel Moammar] Gaddafi are partly a gamble that NATO-backed rebels will finally succeed in ending his four decades of authoritarian and quixotic rule. But they also show Gaddafi’s waning role in a region where foreign investor appetite, trade ties with Asia and a domestic yearning for democracy are all eclipsing the lure of Libyan petrodollars and weakening the old-boy networks they propped up.
Following the bombing in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday, which was claimed by Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan visited the bombing site yesterday and urged calm, promising that security forces will resolve the issue. Vanguard looks at how the Maitatsine riots of the 1980s may have presaged the emergence of groups like Boko Haram.
One story to watch is the 2012 elections in Mali, a democratic success story in sub-Saharan Africa. President Amadou Toumani Toure, who has reached the end of his two term limit, intends to retire from politics, leaving the field of contenders wide open (French).
Another story to watch is the situation in Abyei. Despite an agreement earlier this week between North and South Sudan that would remove Northern troops from the disputed border region, shelling continued yesterday. As a reminder, South Sudan’s independence is now only 21 days away.
In Niger this week, “Troops scoured…[the] northern desert for Al-Qaeda militants who clashed with troops at the weekend after arriving from Libya loaded with explosives.”
What are you reading today?
That article would also do well to note that ATT is not throwing his weight behind any of the aspirants, another significant and encouraging fact in this election. A lot of question marks though as the field of candidates is wide open, and there are still doubts being raised about the census numbers. ATT has responded to the census question by saying that the elections will be held under “circumstances approved by all.” He hasn’t been more specific than that. Mme Sidibe, the new female PM was on Mali 1 the other day talking about preparations for the election and she also skirted around the census issue. Something to watch in the coming months..
Good points. I hadn’t been aware of the census issue – I’ll look into that. As for the lack of open endorsement, I definitely agree that that will add to the excitement of the race.
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