A bomb near a church in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, killed dozens this morning.
The war in northern Mali may be “over,” but events remain fast-paced and complex. Andrew Lebovich writes about the interactions between various armed groups in “The Blag Flag Flies in Mali.” And African Arguments writes up the contents of a roundtable with several experts on Mali.
Lesley Warner weighs in on the prospects for international recognition for the newly declared independent state of “Azawad” in northern Mali. She offers several important insights, especially the following:
Previous cases of post-colonial state creation in Africa demonstrate that the success stories were administered as separate entities during the colonial period. Eritrea became an Italian colony, then a governorate of Italian East Africa, then a UN-mandated British protectorate, then an autonomous unit federated to Ethiopia in 1950 by a UN-resolution, and then was annexed by Ethiopia in 1962. The case of South Sudan is a bit different. As part of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium (1899-1955), southern Sudan was administered separately from the northern part of Sudan between 1922 and 1946 as a result of the Closed Districts Ordinance (also known as the “Southern Policy”), but was then reintegrated with northern Sudan during preparations for independence in the late 1940s and early 1950s. With respect to this point on a region’s history of administration by colonial powers, Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, is a slight exception. This region was administered as British Somaliland (with the exception of a few years as part of Italian East Africa), and then united with the Trust Territory of Somalia in 1960 to become the Somali Republic.
History is important. I have less and less patience for the policymakers, investors, and other audiences who so often tell report authors or conference presenters, “Keep the history stuff to a minimum.” The history matters, and it’s worth taking the time to examine.
Christian Science Monitor on China in Ethiopia.
Dr. Kim Yi Dionne on the presidential succession in Malawi.
Abdi Aynte writes that a split has taken place within the southern Somali rebel movement al Shabab.
Africa Is A Country on Cape Town:
In 2008, while living and studying in Cape Town, I heard, over and over, two observations about the city: it was a place of singular beauty, perhaps even the world’s most captivating city. Visitor and local alike seemed incapable of seeing other landscapes than the physical one, and some claimed that the city’s insularity was a result of the mystical, domineering influence of Table Mountain. The second perception, loosely related to the first, was that Cape Town was not an African city or, at least, not a “real African city.”
What are you reading today?