Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for September 20, 2011

Zambians vote in presidential election
Zambians have begun voting in a closely contested election between the incumbent president, Rupiah Banda, and the nationalist opposition leader, Michael Sata. Long queues of mainly young voters snaked outside polling stations in the capital, Lusaka, where voting picked up slowly after the official 6am start because of technical glitches. The Guardian

 

Zambia: Riot erupts over vote 'fraud'
riot erupted on Tuesday in one of the Zambian capital's most populated slums, after opposition supporters claimed they found a man carrying pre-marked ballot papers for national elections now underway. The man was badly beaten and later taken to a police station, as supporters of the opposition Patriotic Front threw stones at billboards for President Rupiah Banda and blocked roads into the Kanyama slum, an AFP reporter said. News 24

 

China's stake in Zambia's election
If you want proof that China has arrived in Africa, look no further than Zambia, which is gearing up for parliamentary and presidential elections on Tuesday. Its capital Lusaka has recently become the first African city to offer Chinese currency banking services. The city's Bank of China branch now handles counter deposits and withdrawals in yuan. BBC

 

US embassy in Algiers issues warning about Al-Qaeda threat
The US embassy in Algiers is warning potential targets about an Al-Qaeda threat to launch missile attacks against planes chartered by foreign oil firms in North Africa, officials said Friday. The warning comes after US officials expressed concern about the fate of thousands of shoulder-launched missiles in neighboring Libya, where Colonel Moamer Kadhafi was overthrown last month by a rebel movement. AFP

 

Nigeria: Jonathan to Brief UN on Anti-Terror Efforts
President Goodluck Jonathan arrived New York, United States, Monday night to attend the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations during which he is scheduled to hold a one-on-one meeting with the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. This Day learnt Monday that Jonathan will discuss in detail Nigeria's response to the growing threat of terrorism which culminated in the August 26 attack on the UN House in Abuja, leading to the death of at least 23 persons. This Day

 

Nigeria militant group Boko Haram's attacks attract speculation
The signs are ominous: A terrorist group in northern Nigeria claims to have trained with al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia, and vows to launch international attacks after a deadly bombing last month of the U.N. headquarters in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. The head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Carter F. Ham, has warned of the threat of a pan-African al-Qaida-linked terrorism network capable of endangering Western interests across the continent. mc Clatchy News

 

Boko Haram in the Niger Delta?
The Nigerian Tribune reports that the security services are searching for Boko Haram militants in Warri. If true, a Boko Haram presence in the Delta would be a major challenge to the Nigerian state. It should be recalled that Warri has long been the site of Niger Delta militancy, cult rivalry, and crime, often complicated by antagonism between the Ijaws and the Itskiris. (President Goodluck Jonathan is from the Ijaw ethnic group.) The Council on Foreign Relations

 

Gaddafi forces resist NTC push for Sirte
Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters are regrouping for another push towards Sirte, the birthplace of toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi. On Monday night battles raged around Sirte, as NTC fighters and Gaddafi forces traded gunfire and rockets. Al Jazeera

 

NTC claims humanitarian disaster in Gadhafi stronghold
Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are creating a humanitarian disaster in Bani Walid, the National Transitional Council's military spokesman charged Monday. Col. Ahmed Bani told reporters that Gadhafi forces are robbing food stores, leaving civilian residents to starve. He also charged that Gadhafi loyalists are shooting everyone trying to join the revolution, including men, women and children. "They are carrying out mass killings," Bani said. CNN

 

Libya's fractious new rulers enjoy honeymoon
Obstinate resistance by Muammar Qaddafi's last strongholds is an embarrassment for Libya's new rulers, and bickering that delayed the formation of a new interim government suggests potentially damaging internal political rifts are widening. But for now Libya's new political leaders have an indulgent audience, at least in Tripoli, the capital city that fell from Qaddafi's grasp less than a month ago. Al Arabiya

 

Amnesty International releases Libyan war report
In mid-February 2011 Libyans called for a "Day of Rage" against the iron-fist rule of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi, in power since 1969. The protests were met with lethal force. By early March the uprising had evolved into an armed conflict between forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi and armed protesters coalesced into a loosely structured force led by the newly established National Transitional Council. This report documents serious and widespread human rights violations by al-Gaddafi forces and also abuses committed by the opposition. Amnesty International

 

Q&A: "Brazil Could Mediate Between Juba and Khartoum"
The world's newest nation, South Sudan, is seeking support from Brazil - the first country in the world to recognise the new nation - in learning the art of diplomacy and defusing tensions and persistent conflicts. South Sudan plans to open an embassy in Brasilia in 2012, the first in South America. Brazil could be a "trusted partner" to help the new country negotiate with Sudan to the north and learn "how to conduct diplomacy," IPS

 

Egypt: Gamaa al Islamiyya Barred From Elections
Egypt on Monday barred formation of a new political party by an Islamist group that was once involved in a bloody insurgency. Egypt's state news agency said the Political Parties' Affairs Committee rejected the request by al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya because its proposed party is based on "religious grounds in violation of the law". The Huffington Post

 

Mozambique/Tanzania: : Horn migrants beaten, deported, imprisoned
Near the coastal town of Mtwara, Tanzania's border with Mozambique is marked only by the River Ruvuma which is wide and relatively shallow at this point just before it drains into the Indian Ocean. Young men loll in small, wooden boats checking their cell phones and waiting for passengers to ferry across to the other side, but business has been slow in the last two months since groups of migrants desperate to complete a journey that began thousands of kilometres to the north stopped arriving at the river's banks. IRIN

 

Fatal Bar Shooting Exposes Burundi's Instability
A group of gunmen clad in army fatigues and armed with military-grade weapons burst into a crowded bar in Burundi on Sunday night and opened fire, Burundian officials said, killing more than 30 people and laying bare how combustible the country is a year after a disputed election. Burundian officials immediately accused an armed opposition political party that had recently fled into the thick forests of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, and many Burundians fear that their country could be sliding back toward war. The New York Times

 

Museveni guards cited in State House 'billions' theft
Soldiers of the Special Forces Group (SFG), the elite presidential guard unit, have been named in the alleged theft of large sums of money, reported to be in billions, from the State House Cash Office at Okello House in Kampala. Daily Monitor

 

Ghana: A Muslim can be President - Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has expressed intense befuddlement over alleged claims by Deputy Finance Minister Fiifi Kwettey that no Muslim can ever be President of Ghana. Mr. Kufuor told The Globe in an exclusive interview at his Airport residence in Accra on Friday evening that "I don't know how it could get into anybody's mind to say that a Muslim could not be the President of Ghana. It's a democracy; it's a secular nation which practices freedom of religion, perhaps we may even have a president who is not religious at all. " GhanaWeb

 

Mali security forces hunt desert drug traffickers belonging to Polisario Front
Malian security forces on Wednesday were hunting a group of drug dealers from Mali, Niger and the Polisario Front ferrying a tonne of cocaine and hashish through the desert, a top Malian army official said. "We have deployed the necessary troops to track a ton of drugs and the traffickers who have turned part of the Malian desert into a drug market and corridor," said Lieutenant Moussa Diakit´┐Ż from northern Mali. Middle East Online

 

South Africa: What to do When the Crime Statistics go Down?
The sense of optimism was palpable at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria when South Africa's National Minister of Police released the official police crime statistics for the 2010/2011 financial year, last week. This was because crime had decreased in virtually all categories during the past year. The total amount of crime decreased by over 50 000 cases or 2.4% compared to the previous year. ISS

 

African children face life without healthcare - report
Hundreds of millions of African children will never see a healthcare worker in their lifetime, increasing their chances of dying from preventable diseases, a report released on Monday by the international children's rights group Save the Children said. Reuters

 

African gov'ts urged to curb tax evasion
African governments have been urged to introduce legislation that makes tax evasion a money laundering offense as a way of deterring those who engage in the vice and therefore denying them income. Dozens of stakeholders drawn from 14 African countries while speaking at a Pan-African conference on taxation and development in Nairobi Kenya said the continent was losing billions of money annually to local and foreign traders through tax evasion. Africa News

 

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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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