The International Crisis Group released a report (.pdf) this week, “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia.” From the executive summary:
The intervention taps into deep-seated Kenyan fears of Somali encroachment and corresponding Somali qualms that Kenya seeks to assert control over territory that was once part of colonial Kenya. Al-Shabaab is trying to exploit Kenyan-Somali grievances against Nairobi and making pan-Somali appeals, although without much apparent success to date. For Kenya’s venture to have a positive outcome, its leadership will need to define its goals and exit strategy more clearly, as well as work effectively with international partners to facilitate reconciliation and the development of effective local government mechanisms in the areas of Somalia where its forces are active, as part of a larger commitment to ending Somalia’s conflicts and restoring stability to the region.
And at Reuters’ Africa Blog: “Has Kenya learned from the 2007/2008 post-election violence?”
Peter Dorrie examines the protests in Senegal with an eye toward issues of nonviolent and violent tactics.
Texas in Africa posts a field report from Ituri, a district in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And at African Arguments, William Townsend looks at the presidential elections held in November in the DRC and asks, “Congo is on the move, but where is it going?”
Shelby Grossman objects to the BBC’s characterization of life in Equatorial Guinea.
Amb. John Campbell discusses food insecurity in West Africa:
Droughts have long been feature of Africa. But their frequency and severity appears to accelerating, and the international community needs a better understanding of their causes. The conventional wisdom is that they result from the interrelationship between climate change, population growth, acute poverty, changing migration patterns, conflict and bad governance. No doubt, broadly speaking this is true, if not necessarily helpful for understanding a particular episode. Famine often is localized in its causes and frequently involves political factors, as it did in Somalia last year, where al-Shabaab blocked international aid efforts and Somali children paid with their lives. It can’t be the money. For the international community $650 million is peanuts. After all, the conventional wisdomis that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan was costing the U.S. taxpayer $300 million per day. Perhaps more important in explaining apparent donor lassitude may be factors such as the international community’s limited attention span, compassion fatigue, and frustration over an apparent inability to deal with the root causes of humanitarian disasters. At least in West Africa, there is no al-Shabaab.
Africa Unchained profiles Liberian reporter Tecee Boley.
And, via Africa Is A Country, Cameroonian rapper Yanigga with “Dans un ghetto près de chez toi” (“In a ghetto near you”) over the beat from “Heaterz,” from Wu-Tang Forever.