Following the sudden death this week of Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, Vice President Joyce Banda has been sworn in as the country’s new president and thereby become “first female head of state in southern Africa.”
The Los Angeles Times has published a long article discussing civilians’ and police officers’ fears of the Northern Nigerian rebel movement Boko Haram.
Sudan and South Sudan return to the negotiating table after several false starts and delays earlier this week.
Meanwhile in Sudan, Southerners resident in the North are set to lose their residency rights tomorrow, an event that will place them in “legal limbo.”
IRIN presents a timeline on conflict in northern Mali, covering the period 1891 to the present.
Eurasia Review writes up an interview with Dr. Adriana Piga on Mali, Libya, and the Sahel:
According to Piga, “…our reasoning must start from this preliminary observation: the conflict in Libya last year and its outcome have had and continues to have consequences in all countries of the Sahel. Mali is the most obvious case, but Niger is watching with concern what is happening in the neighboring country. From Libya, the Tuareg have not only returned well armed and trained, they have also had access to considerable financial resources. Migrants have also returned and their remittances supported very weak local economies, a case involving several countries including as far away Burkina Faso.”
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said Friday that Algeria will not tolerate the secession of the region rebels call the Azawad from Mali.
Following the kidnapping of Algerian diplomats at the consulate in Gao, northern Mali, on Thursday, News Ness (French) writes that Algerian special forces are mobilized to intervene in an attempt to rescue the diplomats. The site Algerie1 (French) has more.
In Niger, a major market in the capital Niamey suffered a devastating fire on Wednesday.
What else is going on?