Africa Theater

Ethiopia tightening grip on Somalia —or losing it?

In a near-explicit threat, Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed Nov. 13 called on Mogadishu residents to help fight insurgents—or suffer in government crackdowns in the violence-torn capital. "My government is doing all it can to save the lives of the Somali people, but insurgents are responsible for the continued violence," Yusuf told a press conference in Nairobi. "People in neighborhoods must also fight the Shabab and chase them away. Otherwise they are the ones who suffer in crackdowns." The Shabab (Arabic for "Youth") insurgent movement continues to harass government and Ethiopian troops in Somalia's capital. "When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers," Yusuf warned.

Darfur: Sudan dispersing refugees

This Nov. 9 BBC report on Sudan's expulsion of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Darfur, Wael al-Haj Ibrahim, answers the question of what happened to the residents of a refugee camp near Nyala, who were forcibly relocated by government troops—as reported earlier by the BBC (and practically nobody else). The strategy seems to be to disperse the refugees into the shanty settlements on the outskirts of Darfur's towns, thereby rendering them invisible (as the estimated three million displaced persons in Colombia are).

AfriCom chief does Ethiopia; proxy war escalates in Somalia

The Pentagon has, astutely, chosen an African American as first chief of the new Africa Command, Gen. William "Kip" Ward—and his first official visit to the continent was, of course, to chief US ally Ethiopia. Meeting with African Union leaders in Addis Ababa Nov. 8, Ward explicitly addressed widespread fears of the US establishing a permanent military presence on the continent. "Any notion of a militarization of the continent because of this? Absolutely false; not the case," said Gen. Ward. "Africa Command is not here to build garrisons and military bases." (BBC, Reuters, Nov. 8)

Ghana: four killed in chieftaincy succession dispute

The government of Ghana has sent in hundreds of army troops and declared a curfew in the township of Keta, Volta Region, after four people were killed in a longstanding chieftaincy dispute Nov. 1. One of the dead was a police officer, reportedly kidnapped by one of the rival factions after the clash. Security officials said one royal family in the district of Anloga was preparing a ceremony to install a new chief, when some 100 people from a rival family—armed with AK-47s and clubs—raided the site. The group opened fire on the some 40 police who were guarding the site, and the police returned fire. Three civilians died in the shooting, including a woman. The two royal families, both of the Anlo people, have been fighting over who should succeed the paramount chief—the Awoamefia in the Ewe language —who died 10 years ago.


Global Capital Connives with African Genocide

by Ba Karang, The Hobgoblin, UK

Going by the most recent estimates, in Darfur more than 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced as refugees. But, despite rhetorical pronouncements against the genocide, the world seems to be more preoccupied with other business and "values" (sic) than the lives of Black Africans dying in the desert.

Somalia: Mogadishu explodes again

From Shabelle Media Network via, Oct. 27:

More than 15 people mainly civilians and seven Ethiopian soldiers have been killed and many more have been injured after insurgents and government-allied forces battled with different sorts of weapons like, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and other automatic rifles.

Darfur rebels boycott peace talks, target oil industry

Libyan authorities expressed pessimism as key Darfur rebel factions failed to show up for the peace talks with the Sudanese government at the Mediterranean port of Sirte. On the eve of the AU/UN-mediated talks, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Army Unity faction announced they would not attend. Another rebel commander, Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, founder of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), also said he would not travel to Libya for the talks. (Reuters, Oct. 28)

Sudan detains Darfur rebel leaders; South pulls out of peace deal

As the Great Powers condescendingly admonish Darfur's guerillas to participate in the peace talks to open in Libya next week, on Oct. 11, some 22 representatives of Darfur rebel groups were stopped by Sudanese government forces on their way to a pre-summit meeting in the country's autonomous south. They arrived in Juba, south Sudan's capital, after they were detained by soldiers at an airstrip in the North Darfur town of Kotum for several hours. They were apparently released after Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister Lam Akol intervened. (Reuters, Oct. 12)

Syndicate content