Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for January 11, 2012  

Africa's Militaries: A Missing Link in Democratic Transitions 

A spate of military coups from 2008 to 2010 in Mauritania, Guinea, Niger, and Madagascar raised the specter of a return to military rule in Africa. While the subsequent resumption of civilian government in Guinea and Niger has reduced these concerns, evidence of military influence in politics remains widespread across the continent. ACSS

French inquiry a 'vindication' for Rwandan president  

Rwanda on Tuesday hailed a French report into the 1994 plane crash that killed former leader Juvenal Habyarimana as a vindication for President Paul Kagame (pictured), claiming the downing of the plane was "a coup d'�tat" by extremist Hutus. France 24

A new threat of civil war in Nigeria 

Op-ed: Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is also one of the continent's most promising. But it has become synonymous with danger. The oil giant, which has already proven its ability to sink into terrible ethnic and religious wars, appears once again headed for deep trouble. Worldcrunch - Le Monde

Mosque attack leaves five dead in south-western Nigeria  

The Nigerian Red Cross says five people died in an attack on a mosque and a school in Benin City in Nigeria's mainly Christian south on Tuesday. Muslim-majority northern Nigeria has seen a spate of attacks on churches in recent weeks. France 24

The fuel subsidy crisis has woken Nigerians up 

A fuel price increase - and the associated increase in the price of commodities - has sparked nationwide #OccupyNigeria protests, driven largely by young people mobilising themselves via social media, mobile phones and word-of-mouth. [Nigerians] consume more petrol than is necessary because Nigeria has consistently failed to produce enough electricity for its 150 million citizens (South Africa, with 50 million people, produces 10 times as much electricity as Nigeria), leaving much of the population dependent on petrol-guzzling Chinese generators to keep the lights on. The Guardian

Boko Haram infiltrates Cameroon 

The Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which has been wrecking havoc in West African country, is reported to have infiltrated northern Cameroon. The militants are said to have taken refuge in northern Cameroon as the Nigerian government has intensified its clampdown on them especially following their bombing of churches on Christmas Day that led to the death of over 50 persons. Africa News

Anti-corruption law in Cameroon 

According to a law recently enacted by the Cameroonian parliament, individuals found guilty of corruption and embezzlement of public funds will see the charges against them dropped if they return the money. Some Cameroonian citizens are concerned that the new law will further encourage corruption within the ruling elite. Radio Netherlands

Ending The LRA: Reason For Optimism And Political Commitment  

Infrequent observers of central Africa are startled and appalled to learn that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group that emerged in the late 1980s, is still killing. Forced into the border zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan, its brutality can no longer be framed as political protest but rather survival by its own awful, time-tested method. International Crisis Group

Security: UN, Central African nations tighten measures against LRA  

Central African countries affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the UN have agreed to tighten measures against the notorious rebel group to stop its deadly activities on the continent, following a meeting held in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A UN statement made available to PANA in New York on Tuesday said the countries and the UN discussed ways to collaborate to combat the LRA, and addressed future challenges that can be tackled jointly. Afrique en Ligne

Mugabe cuts short holiday to see Equatorial Guinea leader 

ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe cut short his leave in the Far East to rush back to Harare and meet the Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Obiang was on his way back home when he stopped over in Harare from South Africa where he had attended the ruling African National Congress' centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein. [...] Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the meeting between Zuma and Obiang may have centered on proposals to discuss plans for the special Zimbabwe summit, on the sidelines of an AU summit due at the end of this month. SW Radio Africa

ICC gives Libya two weeks to decide what to do with Saif Gaddafi  

The International Criminal Court has given the new Libyan authorities two weeks to decide what to do with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the imprisoned son of the former leader. The Telegraph

Guinea Bissau Opposition Rejects Plan for Interim President 

One day after the death of Guinea-Bissau's president Malam Bacai Sanha, opposition parties are rejecting a plan for the head of the National Assembly to serve as interim president. Under the constitution, the parliament chief is to serve as interim leader and organize elections, which are to be held within 90 days of the president's death. VOA

Drugs, Guinea-Bissau and Europe 

The death Monday of President Malam Bacai Sanh� passed largely unnoticed in Europe. His country, Guinea-Bissau, is small, desperately poor and remote, a land of swamp and mangrove clinging to the far west coast of Africa. Sanha's demise in a Paris hospital could, however, have grave implications for Europe because Guinea-Bissau is major transit point for South American cocaine. The prospect of more instability in country that's been plagued by political violence for years could give the traffickers even greater leeway to operate there. Globalpost

AFRICOM-Funded projects assists to counter drug trafficking 

US Africa Command's Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Assistance Division (CN) provides about $20 million in annual assistance to African partner nations to help improve their capacity to combat transnational narcotics trafficking. During a recent trip to Central Africa, U.S. Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, AFRICOM's deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, was able to visit CN-funded projects in Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. Defence Web

Note of caution on the International Criminal Court trials in Kenya 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently holding trials for six Kenyans accused of fomenting ethnic violence following Kenya's 2007 elections. Several of the "Ocampo Six" (so named because of the ICC's Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo) are prominent politicians, and two - Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto - are candidates in the presidential elections scheduled for this December. The case has already caused major controversy in Kenya, and has the potential to significantly affect the campaign this year - which includes stoking ethnic tensions. CS Monitor

The ghetto life of a Kenyan police officer  

As the country waits for the establishment of the Police Service Commission, debate has already started on the direction the Kenya Police will take once the new body starts rolling out much-awaited reforms in the force. Many believe that a spruced-up Vigilance House would usher in an era of civility, professionalism and responsiveness within the force, and that this new epoch would complement other reform initiatives across various arms of the government in the spirit of the new Constitution. Daily Nation

Senegal army bombs rebel positions  

Senegal's military on Tuesday bombed rebel positions in the troubled southern Casamance region after a string of attacks by suspected separatists, a military source said. Armed men, presumed separatist rebels, hijacked motorists and burned a truck near the village of Baila, some 40km from the regional capital Ziguinchor, a witness told AFP. News 24

Obama sending 5 US military officers to South Sudan amid outbreaks of ethnic violence 

President Barack Obama is sending five American military officers to South Sudan amid recent outbreaks of violence in the newly independent African nation. The White House said the U.S. forces will join the United Nations mission in the capital of Juba and focus on strategic planning and operations. They are not expected to engage in combat operations, but will be armed for personal protection. The Washington Post

UN to set up parmanent base in Jonglei, South Sudan  

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is to set up permanent bases for peacekeepers in areas worst affected by ethnic violence in Jonglei State. The Africa Report

Egypt's New Political Equation: Military, Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis 

The new year in Egypt has ushered in a new parliament, dominated for the first time in Egypt's history by Islamists. And with that comes the question of just how those newly empowered Islamists - led by the Muslim Brotherhood with nearly half the seats - will run the country. Time

Ghana's cursed growth 

The West may be paddling an ocean of debt and disorder-naught but austerity and tatty lifestyle reductions-but Africa is booming, especially Ghana, one of the world's fastest growing economies in 2011. In this West African nation, it's the era of oil. Tapped just over a year ago in the Gulf of Guinea, the Jubilee Oil Field contributed seven per cent of the country's 14.6 per cent growth last year. A reported 23 million barrels were lifted out of the field in 2011 by Ireland's Tullow Oil and other stakeholders. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, a 13 per cent shareholder, lifted $344 million-worth. Ghana Web

Africa Begins to Rise Above Aid 

An increasing number of African countries are beginning to step away from aid dependency, as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth across much of Africa. Currently, at least a third of African countries receive aid that is equivalent to less than 10 percent of their tax revenue. They include Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Libya. This is a significant change from years of high dependency on aid. IPS
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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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