Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for September 26, 2011

Somali militants in key port 'attacked by US drones'
The United States has launched a series of attacks by unmanned drones on the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, local residents say. At least three targets were hit around Kismayo, the southern port which is under the control of the militants. One reconnaissance drone is reported to have crashed. BBC


Triggering revolt: Impoverished Eritrea financing, arming African militants
The UN committee that monitors violations of the arms embargo has repeatedly blamed nearby Eritrea, one of the world's most backward and repressive states. "They are supporting terrorists," Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the Somali Prime Minister who was in Toronto this week, told the National Post in an interview. "We have to face it and we have to impose more strict sanctions on Eritrea." In its latest report on violations of the arms embargo, released July 18, the UN monitoring group said Eritrea was training, financing and arming an array of African militant groups, including Al-Shabab. National Post


World Bank nearly quadruples aid to Horn of Africa
The World Bank announced on Saturday that it will nearly quadruple its aid for the 13 million people at risk in the drought-struck Horn of Africa to $1.9 billion, but highlighted that another $1 billion is needed from the international community. France 24


New Zambia president takes office in peaceful transition of power
ambian President Rupiah Banda, faced with electoral defeat Friday, did something unusual. He ceded power. Banda's concession speech, a rare and conciliatory move for a recent African leader, marked the fourth time power has changed hands in Zambia since independence in 1964, a significant step for democracy in the nation. Banda attended the swearing-in ceremony for his rival, Michael Sata, who was declared the winner by the electoral commission earlier in the day. LA Times


Why Zambia's vote is bad news for China
Michael Sata, a former train-station sweeper dubbed the "King Cobra" for his sharp tongue, campaigned for Zambia's presidency in 2006 on an anti-China platform. He gained headlines by taking swipes at the Chinese, his country's biggest foreign investor with $2 billion mainly in copper, cobalt, nickel and coal mines. Globalpost


Libyans unearth mass grave outside Abu Salim prison
A bone wrapped with rope and skull fragments scattered over a cactus-covered desert field are grim testament to a 1996 massacre of more than 1 200 prisoners by Muammar Gaddafi's regime. Libyan officials announced on Sunday that they found a mass grave believed to hold the remains of the victims outside the white walls of Tripoli's Abu Salim prison, where Gaddafi locked up and tortured opponents or simply made them disappear. Mail and Guardian


Gunmen Cross Border From Algeria To Libya
Gunmen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have crossed the Libyan border from Algeria and attacked revolutionary forces in a town near the frontier, killing six people, officials said Sunday. The cross-border attack on Saturday shows loyalist forces have managed to escape Libya and regroup and collect arms, bolstering fears the North African nation could face a protracted insurgency. NPR


Race hatred clouds Libya's democratic ambitions
Race and skin color were already dividing lines for Libyans, and as in other north African Arab states, many people have a dismissive attitude toward black Africans. But the atrocities attributed to black mercenaries during the uprising against Gaddafi, as well as the allegiance some regions populated by dark-skinned Libyans showed him in the war, have given the race question a new and deadly currency. Reuters


Mosque & State: Tunisia's moderate islamist party is favored in next month vote
Tunisia's Nahda party is working to improve its image amongst foreigners and skeptical secularist voters. But it does not renounce its desire for a democracy based on Islamic values. Worldcrunch - Le Temps


Morocco dismantles cell linked to al-Qaida
An al-Qaida-linked militant cell planning attacks inside Morocco has been dismantled, the country announced Friday. Morocco has been largely spared attacks by the active North African branch of the terror network, but the latest arrests suggest the group is trying to expand into this kingdom of 32 million. Stars and Stripes


Paul Kagame's Rwanda: Can the African nation have peace and prosperity without freedom?
Seventeen years after more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis were murdered within a few months by their Hutu neighbors, Rwanda has 7 percent economic growth, near-universal health insurance and fierce anti-corruption laws. Kigali, the capital, is remarkably clean and relatively safe. Some 40 percent of Rwandans own cell phones. Slate


Guinea: Putting the Transition Back on Track
After the election of Alpha Cond� to the presidency in November 2010, legislative elections are set to complete a new phase in Guinea's political transition. However, recent violent ethnic politics and the political actors' mistrust in the electoral arrangements are cause for concern. Cond�'s unilateral move to overhaul the electoral system has gained little praise, and with his party's gloomy prospects for the legislative elections, suspicion is increasing. International Crisis Group


Shipment of explosives from China seized at chaotic Nigerian port amid continued unrest
Nigerian officials seized a sizable amount of explosives hidden inside a shipping container from China at one of the West African nation's major ports, an official said Saturday, amid continued unrest and bombings across the oil-rich country. The Washington Post


Kenya Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai dies aged 71
The first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, died Monday morning in Kenya after a long battle with cancer. [...] The 71-year-old is seen as a hero for her campaigns to stop deforestation around the capital, Nairobi, during the long years of former president Daniel arap Moi's rule. The Telegraph


South Sudan to shut borders with the north: official
The Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) will close its borders with its northern neighbor starting next December, an official in Juba said today. Atem Garang, a leading figure in the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) said the move was in retaliation to the blockade he alleged was imposed by Khartoum. Sudan Tribune


Egypt's a Mess, But Washington Is Stuck on the Sidelines
Mess, of course, is inevitable; the question is whether Egypt's revolution is in danger, and if so, what it is in danger of. The fears being aired in the Egyptian media include that the SCAF won't leave, that Islamists will control the new government, and that the interim council's drift and opacity will deepen chaos to the point where whatever new government takes over, whenever it takes over, it will be overwhelmed with troubles - a fate that the riots outside the Israeli Embassy on Sept. 8 may have been a deadly harbinger of. Foreign Policy


Congo-Kinshasa: A rocky electoral road
Polling looks almost certain to be postponed but President Kabila's opponents may try to test their support on the street. [...] CENI will probably postpone the polls because preparations are by no means complete. Computers, ballot-boxes and other necessary items have been ordered from South Africa, China, Germany and Lebanon but (apart from 400 tonnes of supplies from China) have not yet arrived, let alone been distributed across the vast country. Africa Confidential


More than 100 inmates escape prison in Congo
An official in Congo says more than 100 people escaped from a jail in the country's second prison break this month. Kasai Occidental governor Hubert Kabasubabu Katulondji said Monday that 114 prisoners fled the prison in Tshikapa Sunday as an ill prisoner was being taken to the hospital. AP


Zim: Zanu-PF broke
Zanu-PF is broke and President Robert Mugabe is under growing pressure from within his party ranks to quit ahead of the next crucial elections because of his chequered record. Information obtained by the Sunday Times this week shows Zanu-PF is virtually broke and is losing members dramatically. It will have to rely on donations from its fatigued funders to finance its annual conference in Bulawayo in December. The party needs about $4-million for the conference. Times Live


South Africa police chief faces suspension: report
South Africa's top policeman is expected to be suspended in the coming days over allegedly fraudulent police leases, the Sunday Times reported. According to the South African Sunday paper, President Jacob Zuma will sign a letter suspending Bheki Cele upon his return from New York, where he attended the UN general assembly. AFP


Small Factories Take Root in Africa
Across Africa, scores of tiny manufacturers have been going where most multinationals fear to tread. They not only make chocolate in Madagascar, but also leather shoes in Nigeria and hot sauce in South Africa. They're testing whether a continent with the highest share of unexploited resources in the world, and the lowest per-capita income, can be fertile terrain for industry. The Wall Street Journal

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Please note: The following news items are presented here for informational purposes. The views expressed within them are those of the authors and/or individuals quoted, not those of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.
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