Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for January 3, 2012  

Boko Haram issues three-day ultimatum to christians
A purported spokesman for Islamist group, Boko Haram, has issued an ultimatum to Christians in the country's north and threatened to confront troops after the president declared a state of emergency in hard hit areas. Vanguard


Nigeria declares state of emergency
The Nigerian president has declared a state of emergency after a series of deadly attacks. An Islamist sect claimed responsibility for Christmas Day attacks on churches, raising fears of sectarian strife. Deutsche Welle


Nigerian Tanks, Troops Take to Streets of State Capitals
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan says what began as sectarian crises in the north-eastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into "terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security." allAfrica


Outcry in Nigeria as fuel prices more than double
Irate drivers in Africa's most populous nation paid more than twice the usual price Monday after the government quietly removed a long-cherished consumer subsidy that had kept gas affordable, prompting fears of strikes and unrest. Gas powers Nigeria's generators because the national electricity supply is sporadic at best, and fuel also keeps engines running in traffic that can snarl for hours. The government's announcement - made over a long holiday weekend - drew outrage. Stars and Stripes


Somali militants gather, recruit outside town taken by Ethiopian forces
Militants from the insurgent group al-Shabab appeared to be gathering hundreds of fighters and attempting to recruit even more in villages outside a Somalia border town invaded by Ethiopian troops over the weekend, residents said Monday. Hundreds of Ethiopian troops moved into the Somali town of Beledweyne on Saturday, opening a third front against al-Shabab militants, who also face Kenyan troops in Somalia's south and African Union troops in the capital, Mogadishu. The Washington Post


Kenya's confusing adventure in Somalia
Kenya's invasion of Somalia coincided with a number of other domestic conflicts: Rearguard contestation of the new Constitution, agitation in labour markets, dramatic demolitions of rich and poor citizen's homes, and a secessionist movement at the Coast. The East African


US Somalis say funds cutoff will devastate country
US Somalis said Friday that a Minnesota bank group's decision to cut off their money transfer business would have a devastating impact on people in the war-torn African country. Somalis were preparing to protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Sunrise Community Banks said they would shut down the accounts of money transfer shops handling Somalia-related business. AFP


Africa in Danger as Terrorism Replaces Guerrilla Warfare
Looking at the current terrorist activities in Africa, by African terrorist organizations, one can conclude that a serious security threat (terrorism) is descending on Africa, and any African security personnel should be concerned. Terrorism has proven to be the most effective form of irregular warfare over time. Unlike guerrilla warfare that the continent has experienced since the 1960s, where rebels usually operate in the remote areas of a given country inflicting relatively fewer casualties, terrorists can attack anywhere killing scores of people (usually innocent civilians). The New Sudan Vision


A Timeline for Catastrophe: Sudan's continuing slide toward war
Historical memory is often short when Sudan is the subject, and the events of even the past year often become blurred or inadequately related to one another. This is especially dangerous because of the likely form that renewed war in Sudan will take. As Baptiste Gallopin argued at the end of August-and thus prior to Khartoum's military offensive in Blue Nile ("Sudan: Slippery Slope")-war will not come in the form of "an abrupt descent into full-fledged violence, but rather through a graduated series of unilateral measures that set the stage for a de facto international conflict." Sudan Tribune


Thousands flee South Sudan tribal conflict
Tens of thousands of villagers in South Sudan are hiding in the bush, waiting for UN and government troops to stop a tribal conflict, which officials fear may have left scores of people dead over the weekend. Armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the remote town of Pibor in Jonglei state, home to the rival Murle people, who they blame for cattle raiding. Al Jazeera


The Problems of ethnic conflict in South Sudan
In South Sudan, ethnic or inter-ethnic conflict is as an old phenomenon as the rival communities themselves. However, in recent years, the proliferation of modern weaponry in the hands of the civilians increase the level of violence both in scale and intensity. Normally, some of these conflicts are precipitated by an incident involving the murder of a rival group, which often triggers a retaliatory action. Sudan Tribune


Workers claim abuse as China adds Zimbabwe to its scramble for Africa
In the evening gloom the vast complex emerges into view. Beyond a high security wall, insects dance in the beam of a giant floodlight. Men are still hard at work in the skeletons of concrete tower blocks, and standing at the centre of it all is the arch of a Chinese pagoda. Zimbabwe's national defence college is under construction within a sprawling, heavily-guarded compound whose brooding presence sends a clear message to any would-be revolutionary. Some have dubbed it the "Robert Mugabe national school of intelligence". The Guardian


Why the Libyans Have Fallen Out of Love with Qatar
[...] The Persian Gulf emirate provided the struggling rebels everything from weapons to heating oil. During the eight-month revolution, Libyans in rebel-held areas praised Qatar. But after the capital of Tripoli fell and the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed, Libyans turned on their benefactor, accusing Qatar of a hidden agenda: getting a small faction of Islamists to implement its agenda. Time


Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour enters presidential race
World-renowned Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour announced Monday night that he was running for president against incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in February 26 elections. "I am a candidate," the country's most famous export declared on his privately-owned television station after weeks of speculation about his plans. AFP


Congolese official attacked in French capital
The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo's Senate has been admitted to a Paris hospital after being attacked in the French capital, [...] the French ambassador in Kinshasa had been summoned by Congo's Foreign Ministry to explain the incident. the French Foreign Ministry said. The Telegraph


Germany: EU considers expanding scope of anti-piracy mission to beaches
German officials say the European Union is considering expanding the scope of its anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa to allow the destruction of pirates' equipment on the beaches of Somalia. The EU's anti-piracy force patrols the seas off the coast of the country. Somalia has been mired in violence since 1991 - plunging it into a chaos that sprouted militants and piracy. The Washington Post


Touaregs back fight against al-Qaeda
A leading Touareg separatist group in northern Mali is willing to join the fight against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Touareg fighters want to expel the group from their territory, saying it hurts development and tarnishes their reputation, National Movement for the Liberation of Azaouad (MNLA) spokesman Hama Ag Sid Ahmid told Mauritania's Sahara Media on December 19th. "We are ready to fight al-Qaeda if we find political and economic support," the MNLA official said. Magharebia


Algeria sentences Qaeda leader to life
An Algerian court sentenced one of the most radical leaders of Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch in his absence Monday to life in prison for creating "an international terror group", his lawyer said. After a one-day trial, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid "was sentenced to life in prison while five members of his family were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment each for forming an armed international group", lawyer Omar Boukadouss told AFP. News 24


Crackdown in Cairo
[...] In the Hosni Mubarak years, civil society activity was heavily monitored and contained through two main mechanisms: arbitrary interference from the much much-feared State Security Investigations apparatus (now renamed National Security), and draconian legislation passed in 2002 that requires all NGOs to register with the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS) and criminalizes the receipt of foreign funding without MOSS authorization. Some NGOs registered as private businesses to avoid these restrictions, but the rules of the game have clearly changed. Foreign Policy


Should the U.S. Cut Off Aid to the Egyptian Military?
[...] The Egyptian military plays positive and negative roles in Egypt, but the most significant single thing it did under Mubarak was to guarantee an Islamist victory once he left the scene. Mubarakism was a system that perpetuated military rule and American aid by arguing that the military was the only alternative to the Brotherhood (and groups worse than the Brotherhood) while in fact it created perfect conditions for the Islamists to thrive. The Atlantic


Mysterious disease hits Uganda
As Ugandans celebrated Christmas and New Year, most people in the northern parts of the country were seeking answers about a mysterious disease that has mainly affected children. The head nodding disease which mostly attacks children aged between five and 15 has killed over 50 children in the last three months alone. Africa Report

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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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