Africa News Roundup: Celebrations in Little Senegal, Drought and War in Mali, Guinea’s Army, Sudan Talks, and More

In New York City’s Little Senegal, support for President-elect Macky Sall was strong in last week’s elections, and celebration at his win has been equally pronounced.

An Oxfam press release from yesterday:

Growing insecurity in Mali and northern Nigeria is disrupting the supply of food to communities suffering from a major food crisis affecting 13 million people in West Africa, said international aid agency Oxfam today.

The conflict in northern Mali, one of the driving factors of last week’s coup d’état and the temporary closure of borders, had already posed a major risk to vulnerable communities in Mali and the region. Now there are signs that the escalation in the country’s instability is further affecting the already serious food insecurity across West Africa, meaning a rapid increase in humanitarian assistance to the region is urgently needed.

Meanwhile, rebels in northern Mali yesterday captured the town of Kidal (map), one of the three “capitals” of Azawad, the nation the rebels say they want to slice out of Mali. The other two capitals, Gao and Timbuktu, lie further south. Leader of the recent coup in Mali Captain Amadou Sanogo appealed for international help against the rebels, but his regime faces the withdrawal of US aid and the threat, by the Economic Community of West African States, to close the country’s borders. The Nigerian Senate, meanwhile, “is pushing for military action against Malian coup plotters.”

In other Nigeria news, two teams of suspected Boko Haram members attacked a police station and a bank yesterday in the northeast.

Jeune Afrique (French) on the re-organization of Guinea’s army under the new civilian regime. Guinea experienced a military coup in late 2008, but returned to civilian control in late 2010.

Somaliland is suffering a serious drought.

Further south, southern Somali rebel movement al Shabab continues to lose territory to the government and its allies.

Following a border clash between the two nations this week, Sudan and South Sudan are set to hold more talks today on final status issues such as oil revenue sharing. Yesterday, rebels in Sudan’s South Kordofan State reportedly began new attacks.

What else is going today?

3 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Celebrations in Little Senegal, Drought and War in Mali, Guinea’s Army, Sudan Talks, and More

  1. I’m in Zinder, Niger this weekend and the whole town is talking about the arrest of 6 men associated with Boko Harem who were caught in a local hotel while pursuing an arms deal. They’ve been taken to Niamey. Police and military presence is high in town.

    What no one knows is what, if anything, was being planned by Boko Harem for Niger. Niger’s new petroleum refinery is just 20km away. Easter will be in a week and authorities in Zinder placed armed police outside all churches for Christmas. Or was Zinder simply seen as a “safe” place for the deal?

    • Thanks for relating this news. IRIN has written about arrests of Boko Haram suspects in Diffa, and rumors of a Boko Haram presence in Niger have spread following the border closures/expulsions of non-Nigerians that have been going on in recent months, but I don’t have much insight into Boko Haram’s ambitions, or lack thereof, for Niger.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see if the Taureg advances either force Mali society to accept a military government or if this is a rare case where separatists win outright military victories and create a pseudo-nation.

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