Africa News Roundup: Eskinder Nega, Mali, Nigeria, Somaliland, and More

The Ethiopian government has sentenced the journalist Eskinder Nega to eighteen years in prison.

VOA reports on protests in northern Mali against the rebel group Ansar al Din.

Protests continue in Sudan.

IRIN reports on camps for displaced persons in eastern Chad.

The African Union on intervention in Mali:

AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra told reporters: “I think there is room for negotiations and room for moving to reconcile Malians among themselves.”
He said teams from the AU and West African regional grouping ECOWAS were working to prepare for military intervention but it would be “a last resort”.

Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso continue to deal with refugee flows from Mali.

Think Africa Press on “The Battle for Edo State” in Nigeria.

According to IRIN, “About 120,000 people in the coastal, mid- and far western regions of the self-declared republic of Somaliland require emergency food assistance after four years of failed rains.”

Djibouti, host to American and French soldiers, could face terrorist attacks.

What else is happening today?

11 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Eskinder Nega, Mali, Nigeria, Somaliland, and More

      • “Refused” is a strong term, I should have used the expression “neglected”. But as I said, it is understandable since Islam is your main research focus.

      • Hoping to post something on Plateau State for Monday by the way. Any links you recommend?

      • I don’t really have an specific links in mind, but there are a few points I think you should take into consideration before you begin your analysis on the situation in Plateau:

        1. The Hausa-Fulani are not the only “settler” population in the Plateau. The Igbo also have an extremely large settler population. Why isn’t there a history of confrontation between the “indigenes” and the Igbo settlers?

        2. Unlike the US where native populations were exterminated or herded into reservations, and everyone else was forced/encouraged to adopt an imposed Anglo-Saxon culture (the slaves were stripped of their previous identities), we came into Nigeria with our identities, histories and cultures intact. So please don’t attempt to impose Western categories on us when discussing the “settler”/”indigene” dichotomy.

        3. If you persist in doing so, please take some time to explain the existence of “Sabon Gari” (settler’s quarters) in Kano.

        4. Plateau represents the southernmost extent of Dan Fodio’s Jihad. The hill people of Plateau state have a history of resisting incursions by the Hausa-Fulani. In that sense, the past informs the present.

        5. I come from a farming culture, and I understand that there is a wide difference between how farming and pastoral cultures interpret land rights. Pastoral communities understandably, have an extremely fluid interpretation of land rights. On the other hand, in farming communities, the worth of an individual or community is tied to the land.

        6. This does not mean that farming communities don’t welcome settlers, but when settlers start making claims on the land – you can expect trouble, lots of trouble. (One of the reasons why the Igbo aren’t making claims on land in Plateau is because they come from a farming culture and they understand how sensitive a topic land could be).

      • Thanks, this has given me a lot of food for thought. Is your ultimate suggestion that it is, in the end, a religious and cultural conflict?

        I have something else scheduled for tomorrow, and I may try to place the piece on Plateau State elsewhere, but hopefully in one form or another it will be up this week.

      • I think cultural and religious differences have been aggravated by a massive dose of politics.

        I think it is cultural and religious differences with deep historical roots, reflected in the politics of the day.

        The Plateau hill people define themselves in opposition to a history of Hausa-Fulani expansion, the problem is that most of us weren’t paying attention. The second thing to grasp is that Nigeria is an artificial state and while Lagos and Abuja intellectuals may have a definition for the term “Nigerian”, that definition isn’t shared by most Nigerians.

        For example, I am Nigerian by the virtue of the fact that I am Igbo. I am Igbo because I can point to my father’s compound in my ancestral village. That is how my identity is defined. If “settlers” are to claim ownership of our ancestral lands it will be either via mutual agreement, assimilation or conquest. The situation in Plateau isn’t being interpreted by the indigenes as “mutual agreement” or “assimilation”, but as a conquest that needs to be resisted.

        The Hausa-Fulani in Jos are not the only “settler” population in Nigeria and they are by no means the largest. The Igbo in Lagos are much larger, and certain local government areas (like Amuwo Odofin) are dominated by the Igbo. Yet there is an understanding that (a) Nigeria is a work in progress and (b) certain compromises have to be made to live peacefully.

        This is the reality, and if the Berom and the Hausa-Fulani cannot coexist peacefully in Jos, then something will have to give.

        Finally, about Fulani herdsmen. Fulani herdsmen have clashed with indigenous populations all over Nigeria. There was a terrible crisis in Benue State and the Fulanis had to be sent to refugee camps in Cross River State.

  1. The protests in Sudan still seem to be socially isolated and police response is reportedly (relatively) restrained. I can’t see revolutionary trends starting unless things either get much worse or there’s serious police overreaction. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I despise Sudan’s Bashir but at the moment I don’t think revolution is what the Sudan’s need.

  2. Pingback: Africa News Roundup: Eskinder Nega, Mali, Nigeria, Somaliland, and More - LUFCUK LUFCUK

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