Africa Blog Roundup: Kenya, Mali, Algeria, Ethiopia, and More

Ken Opalo gives some important information about the results of the Kenyan presidential election, as well as some things to look out for in the coming weeks.

Kate Almquist Knopf: “Send an Ambassador, Not an Envoy, to Khartoum.” (via Amb. David Shinn, who gives the idea his qualified support.)

Bruce Whitehouse on Mali: “The North, the Army, and the Junta.”

Amb. John Campbell: “Mali Intervention Becoming a Partisan Issue in France?”

The Moor Next Door: “Algeria Plays Defense.”

The Gulele Post: “Ethiopia’s ‘Jihad’ Film and Its Boomerang Effects.”

Dibussi Tande: “Cameroon’s New Senate: An Unnecessary (Anti)Democratic Anachronism.”

Baobab: “Laurent Gbagbo and the ICC: Watching and Waiting.”

Carmen McCain rounds up reviews of the novel Sin Is a Puppy, and asks, “How many Nigerian novels published in Nigeria get this kind of critical response? We need to do better.”

Africa Is A Country: “Dirk Coetzee Is Dead: The Legacies of Apartheid’s Death Squads and the TRC.”

Shelby Grossman with a few links on piracy in Somalia and poverty in Nigeria.

4 thoughts on “Africa Blog Roundup: Kenya, Mali, Algeria, Ethiopia, and More

  1. On the politics in France over African intervention, I think we’re again seeing a case where a left-wing leader* has greater ease to send soldiers to another nation than a right-wing leader might. It is a bit interesting for me to see a former French president say this, in America there’s something of an unspoken agreement among presidents. They don’t criticize the current president too much and they don’t talk too much about what the current president should do. In return the current president often taps them for advice or to be informal envoys**.

    And Coetzee (though far south of normal topics on this blog) is a good reminder about how normal things we consider (with good reason) horrific can be made very normal for the people involved. I wonder if any psychologist has attempted to write about the psychology of these people.

    *In a nation where the political left isn’t the pro-military intervention party.
    ** Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton did a good deal of this.

    • Alex, Gyre, or anyone interested – I’ve got a question for you. I need to predict the probability that at least 500 French troops leave Mali by April 10… I know its hard, but toss a guess out there… 25%?

      • There’s no way I’m crazy enough to try to put a number to it. However I’d say it depends on three things. Domestic French opinion (which is currently skeptically neutral I think), the actions of African leaders and organizations and conditions in northern Mali. France has a strong incentive to declare victory and leave before it gets bogged down in a drawn-out guerrilla war. However leaving only for the militants* to take everything back would be incredibly embarrassing.

        Considering that France recently suggested to the Security Council that it wants a vote on a proper peacekeeping force and to transfer responsibilities by July it wouldn’t be strange for Hollande’s government to move some soldiers out early simply to reassure French civilians that the government doesn’t intend to remain in Mali. Considering that there are only 4,000 French soldiers in Mali, I’m not so sure about the number to be sent back however.

        *With this political headache it’s hard for me to say whether they should be called rebels or not.

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