Africa News Roundup: Senegal, Sudan, Kenya, and More

Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade gave a defiant speech on Thursday in which he reiterated his intention to run for a third term and predicted that he would win. Wade even offered to move the elections forward. Senegal saw major protests recently over constitutional changes that Wade had proposed, and opposition figures have continued to call for Wade’s resignation.

In North Sudan, Blue Nile State – the only Northern state governed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM, the ruling party in the newly independent South Sudan) – may soon become a site of violence.

Kenya’s next presidential election will not be held until 2012, but that doesn’t mean the politics of the moment are simple. Daily Nation reports:

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have just two days to set in motion the mechanism that will give the country a new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

[…]

The elections body, meanwhile, faces a huge logistical nightmare after the proposed law on citizens granted Kenyans in the Diaspora the right to vote in the 2012 elections.

Meanwhile, as the worst East African drought in decades rages on, Kenya is planning to open a fourth refugee camp at the Dadaab site.

VOA says that Uganda’s “Walk to Work” protests have a mixed legacy:

The Ugandan Government has dropped charges against opposition leader Kizza Besigye for his role in the April “Walk to Work” protests. But it appears the demonstrations, which provoked international cries for democracy, may have had the opposite effect.

On Wednesday, the Ugandan government formally withdrew charges against three-time presidential candidate and opposition figure  Besigye for incitement of violence during the “Walk to Work” protests.

In April, Besigye, along with members of Uganda’s opposition parties staged bi-weekly marches to protest the rising cost of food and fuel in the east African nation. Besigye was arrested multiple times, receiving numerous injuries at the hands of police, and was at one stage being forced to fly to Nairobi for treatment. Protesters were confronted by units of Uganda’s police force, leaving nine dead and hundreds more injured.

As the international community took notice of the protests, “Walk to Work” became as much a protest of Uganda’s flagging economy as a referendum on the long rule of President Yoweri Museveni. Once hailed as an anchor of stability in an unstable region, Museveni received harsh criticism and calls for an end to his quarter-century rule.

With Besigye’s charges being quietly dropped Wednesday, however, it appears the restrictions on free speech and public assembly employed by Museveni to quell the protests are more entrenched than before.

Burkina Faso has discharged over 500 soldiers. The country experienced waves of protests and mutinies throughout the spring, but in recent weeks the political scene has been relatively quiet there.

What are you reading today?

2 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Senegal, Sudan, Kenya, and More

  1. About Kenya: It is shameful to think of how much hand wringing the UN and the rest of the international community had to do to the Kibaki administration in Kenya so that they let new camps be opened.

    About Senegal: man, Wade is a huge disappointment. I dunno what else to say about that situation.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Reading « zunguzungu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s