Africa News Roundup: Politician Assassinated in Nigeria, Protests in Mauritania, Conquest of Afgoye, and More

A party chairman for the People’s Redemption Party in Gombe State, Nigeria, was assassinated today in Maiduguri (Borno State) by gunmen suspected to be from Boko Haram.

Also in Nigeria, the case of Chinese textile traders arrested in Kano for “economic scavenging” – and now released – is interesting. Some local businessmen, long before this case, have been accusing the Chinese of destroying local industries by undercutting prices with cheap imports.

Sudan and South Sudan are scheduled to resume negotiations this Tuesday over issues like oil revenue sharing, border demarcation, and ending armed conflict.

A major anti-regime protest took place yesterday in Mauritania. Mauritanian opposition parties have condemned the “brutal repression” they say authorities used against demonstrators (Arabic).

Magharebia on religious activists’ demands for stricter rules on public and private behavior in Mauritania:

In Mauritania the demands have taken a more organised form, with the creation of the “No to Pornography” movement by young people last year. The group, aiming to promote virtue and prevent vice, has organised Friday demonstrations outside mosques and marches throughout Nouakchott. Participants in the events wave signs calling for a bans on improper dress, pornography, prostitution and liquor sales.

These requests were repeated in a ten-point statement distributed at marches last week. Additional demands include the creation of “morality police”, stiffer penalties for rape and other sex crimes, and a series of religious reforms to public education.

In Somalia, forces from the Transitional Federal Government and the African Union have taken the town of Afgoye, one of their major goals, from the rebel movement al Shabab. AP calls it “the biggest victory over al-Shabab since the pro-government forces took control of the capital last August.”

At the International Criminal Court, trials will move forward for four Kenyans accused of fomenting post-election violence in 2007-2008.

What else is going on?


10 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Politician Assassinated in Nigeria, Protests in Mauritania, Conquest of Afgoye, and More

  1. “Boko Haram” seems to be a catch all phrase for all sorts of evil deeds. Political rivals have been assassinated in all parts of Nigeria – in places where Boko Haram is active and in areas where it is not.

    A few days ago, the special assistant to the Edo State Governor (Edo State is near the Niger Delta) was assassinated. I doubt “Boko Haram” had anything to do with it.

  2. There was a widely publicised series on one of Nigeria’s most popular TV channels on Nigerians jailed in China.

    Whether this triggered the round up of Chinese traders or not is difficult to determine, but the Jonathan administration seems to like to reciprocate the bad treatment meted out to Nigerians by other nations (refer to the tit for tat deportation of Nigerians and South Africans).

  3. The Tuareg groups in Mali have reportedly agreed to an Islamic state, we’ll see how it goes. Also, suggestions that the soldiers in Mali allowed the crowd to attack Traore.

    • Gyre,

      Wondering whether the President of Mali will ever come back. Also the Prime Minister on a tour to Ouagadougou and Abidjan. Captain Sanogo has taken power in Bamako and the international community has crossed-off Mali. It is not anymore in the news. We have a new country – the Islamic Republic of Azawad – as the 40 something member of the African Union. No one cares anymore. So, be it.

      • The U.S. cares. We’ve found coups to be far too much trouble to be worth supporting. Additionally ECOWAS seems rather angry about the entire thing if the German ambassador’s blog I mentioned a few days ago is any indication.

  4. I write on this blog because there is a probability that some US policy makers might read it.

    We have a proverb that says “when a handshake extends beyond the arm, it is no longer a handshake”. I really want the US to be very careful when discussing Nigeria, I think it is better for the US to toe a consistent line, resist the temptation to talk before understanding the context and to desist from explicitly telling the Nigerian Government how to run Nigeria.

    We haven’t always had great relations with the United States, and the US risks pissing off both the Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.

    A few weeks ago, Johnnie Carson advocated setting up a “Ministry of Northern Affairs” and these same sentiments were echoed by the resident ambassador: (

    No questions were asked about the success or failure of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (on which this proposed ministry is to be based on).

    Now the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Babangida Aliyu is saying that the “Ministry of Northern Affairs” is a very silly idea.

    I implore the US to be very careful about the way it approaches issues in Nigeria.

    • Splitting Nigeria into 2 or 3 countries is coming to the theater near you. But also you Nigerians, with all my respect, are not very serious about your country. You can’t survive like this as one country. With such educated people, how come you can’ t make it. Don’ t blame the US. We have to be honest.

      • We don’t (at least many of us) see a united Nigeria in future. However, that is a topic for another day’s discussion.

        Splitting Nigeria into two or three countries (if properly done), is a very good course of action. (That is my view).

        Telling an independent nation (no matter how “unserious” the inhabitants of that nation may appear to be), isn’t wise or prudent. That is irrespective of whether we are a serious, wise or foolish people.

  5. Gyre,

    My message is not directed to the US alone, but to the entire international community, including Algeria, the African Union, CEDEAO, my country Mauritania, etc..

    Everyone was talking about GWOT few years ago. We heard all the conspiracy theories. We accepted some of them and rejected others as they were silly. But I think they were right and we were wrong. The “We” is for the honest specialists, not the fake ones and we know some.

    How come people accept AQIM, MUJAO, AnsarDine to establish itself in Northern Mali? Just like that. They killed tens or hundreds of military men in Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger. Just for the sake of either taking power they cannot or going after innocent relief workers or tourists from Western countries, or making some $$ through drug traficking everyone know is supported by some western countries.

    Every member of the world community condemn the separation of Mali into two entities with the help of AQIM, fabricated from A to Z, but no one moves its finger. A proof of its fabrication. The domino effect is that all this lead to instability in our countries. Other countries sacricify their own countrymen for the sake of this silly game. No better reference than Jeremy Keenan on this and the rest is just crap.

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