Having Trouble viewing this email or clicking on links and opening target pages? Copy and paste the following URL to your browser to access the ACSS Media Review on our Website: http://africacenter.org/

Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for November 19, 2012   

Sierra Leoneans flock to vote with hope set on minerals boom
Sierra Leoneans crowded polling stations on Saturday to vote in a close-fought election they hope can rebrand their poor, war-scarred West African state as an emerging democracy with the potential for fast growth from mining and oil. Reuters on the Chicago Tribune


Exclusive: Mali war against Islamists unlikely before mid-2013
Any foreign-backed offensive to retake control of northern Mali from al Qaeda-linked Islamists will take at least six months to prepare, plans seen by Reuters show, a delay that runs counter to the expectations of many Malians. Reuters


Algeria ready to close Mali border
Algeria is prepared to seal off its southern border in the event of international military action against radical Islamists occupying northern Mali, according to a West African official. Algerian authorities "ensured that they will close their borders", Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission chief Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo said last Tuesday. Magharebia


ECOWAS and Mali: Military Intervention should adopt Powell Doctrine
[...] According to Oxford Dictionary of the US Military, Powell doctrine is defined as "An approach to the use of military force named for U.S. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War (1991), which states that United States forces should be committed to combat only when the political objectives of such use of force are clear and then in sufficient force to overwhelm the enemy quickly and achieve decisive results." [...] Although, some may argue that Powell Doctrine may not be applicable to African peacekeeping missions due to varying locations, resources and interests. But that is not necessarily the case for Africa even with its limited resources shares universal outcome when the ultimate task is successfully accomplished and the intended task completed. Afripol


Mali Rebel Coup Crisis Has Forced Africa to Rethink Its Stance on Democracy
The approach taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) towards Mali since the ousting of President Amadou Toumani Toure in a coup orchestrated by Capt. Amadou Sanogo demonstrates the continent is relinquishing its previous adherence to non-interference in the affairs of other member-states and advancing towards collective self-defense and other modern concepts of governance. Policymic


Mali's Gao region tense after deadly Tuareg offensive
They are waiting to see if the Tuareg rebels that launched a failed offensive a day earlier would regroup for a fresh assault. The desert area of Gao has been a focus of Islamist and Tuareg activity since the once-allied fighters seized the region, along with much of Mali's arid north, following a coup and military collapse in Bamako March. Times Live


Sahel terror alliances start to fray
Time is running out for the terror groups holding northern Mali hostage. African troops are ready to move in and Ansar al-Din is reportedly willing to sever ties. Now that the countdown for war is on, al-Qaeda offshoot Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) also faces a population that finally feels empowered to stand up to its captors. Magharebia


North Africa: The next Afghanistan?
The terrorist group al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has seized control of a swath of North Africa. Is it a real threat? The Week


Congo Rebels Advance as UN Deploys Helicopters
Well-armed rebels are advancing in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and are threatening to take over the city of Goma. The national army backed by United Nations peacekeepers has been trying to stop their advance. The Epoch Times


U.N. Helicopters Strike Rebel Posts in Congo
United Nations attack helicopters hit rebel positions in eastern Congo on Saturday after insurgents gained ground in heavy fighting, the United Nations said. The situation led the French Mission at the United Nations to call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Saturday afternoon. Reuters on The New York Times


Congo army, M23 fighting spills over into Rwanda
Renewed fighting between Democratic Republic of Congo government soldiers and the M23 rebels could deal a major blow to an ongoing peace initiative by Great Lakes governments. Fears of fresh hostilities between Rwanda and DRC have also emerged after Kigali reported that the fighting had left scores of people inside Rwanda injured by stray bullets. The East African


Video shows Nigerian troops executing captives
A video obtained by Reuters shows Nigerian troops shooting unarmed captives in broad daylight in Maiduguri, the bastion of an Islamist insurgency. Mail and Guardian


U.S. seriously concerned about abuses by Nigerian forces
The United States is seriously concerned about abuses committed by Nigerian security forces that are fuelling support for the Islamist insurgency in the north, the U.S. assistant secretary for democracy and human rights said on Friday. Reuters


Nigeria: Crude Theft - Navy Intercepts 17 Vessels
Seventeen ships laden with tens of millions of barrels of crude oil suspected to have been stolen were arrested by the navy. The ships were intercepted by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Thunder and seven other naval vessels during a joint military fleet evaluation exercise named Exercise Farauta (hunting) near Bonny and Bonga oil platforms, Rivers and Delta states. Daily Trust on allAfrica


Egypt bus crash kills dozens of children
Up to 50 children have been killed in southern Egypt after the bus carrying them to kindergarten collided with a speeding train. The crash is believed to have happened when the bus, carrying more than 50 children aged between four and six, drove through a railway crossing near Manfalut, a village near Assiut. Officials said at least 49 children were killed. The Guardian


Egypt Faces Fraught Diplomatic Test
The outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence poses a delicate diplomatic challenge for the Egyptian government. While the powerful Muslim Brotherhood is sympathetic to Hamas and public anger is swelling in Egypt against the Israeli military operation in Gaza, President Morsi is also under international pressure to help broker a ceasefire and safeguard peace in the region. Spiegle


Rwanda's economic challenges
Rwanda is under heavy international criticism for its alleged support to the M23 rebels in Congo. Major donors such as the United States have threatened with suspending or reducing assistance, which would immediately lead to economic woes. Gie Goris visited the country of a thousand hills to better understand the country's economic agenda and the challenges at stake. MO


UN Security Council debates piracy for first time as international peace and security issue
Centuries after piracy was recognized as the first international crime against humanity, its spread around the world has prompted the U.N. Security Council's first debate Monday on piracy's rise as a threat to world peace and security. In the past, the council has focused on various regional outbreaks of the scourge. But piracy has been metastasizing worldwide with hotspots off Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa and in Southeast Asia. AP on The Washington Post


Kenya in the spotlight over its role in Kismayu's administration
Kenya could soon find itself on a collision course with Somalia's newly installed government over reports that Nairobi is influencing the establishment of a local administration in Kismayu, claims the country's Department of Defence has denied. The East African


Ivory Coast military accused of torture during 'reprisal' crackdown
Ivory Coast's military has carried out arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, extortion, inhuman treatment and torture, Human Rights Watch claims, dealing another blow to hopes of reconciliation after last year's civil war. A report by the watchdog details a "brutal crackdown" following a string of attacks on military installations around the country in August. The attacks were allegedly committed by militants loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who is awaiting trial at the international criminal court. The Guardian


Cameroon sends army to defend borders from Sudanese poachers
Cameroon announced Friday it has mobilized its special forces units to prevent Sudanese poachers from entering its territory to hunt elephants for their ivory, in an operation it called "a first of its kind". WWF congratulates the Cameroonian government for taking concrete steps to address poaching and illegal wildlife trade, a lucrative criminal activity that undermines the sovereignty, security and economic prospects of the Central African region. WWF


Is private security taking over Africa?
[...] Africa, as it is for so many industries, is a region of potential growth when it comes to private security. Whether it is protecting government or private premises in the uncertain aftermath of the Arab Spring, securing ships in the Indian ocean from piracy, looking after NGOs as they go about their aid work, protecting oil executives from being kidnapped or defending Western embassies from attacks, foreign and homegrown private-sector alternatives to security are on the rise. Equities


Can tech revolutionize African elections?
Political systems in Africa are habitually characterised as nascent, highly personalized and fractious. Elections are portrayed as democracy at an embryonic stage. As Sierra Leoneans head to the polls for the third time since the end of the civil war in 2002, a different narrative is unfolding - one of innovation and cutting-edge technology. CNN


Water: Enough in the Nile to share, little to waste
As Ethiopia's massive dam-building plans continue to cause disquiet in downstream Egypt, new research suggests there is sufficient water in the Nile for all 10 countries it flows through, and that poverty there could be significantly eased as long as access by small-scale farmers is boosted. IRIN

FOR THE RECORD - AFRICA - U.S. Government Events, Statements, and Articles
A weekly compilation by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) .
 Find us on Facebook         Follow us on Twitter          View our photos on flickr
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.
The Africa Center is the pre-eminent Department of Defense institution for strategic security studies, research, and outreach in Africa. The Africa Center engages African partner states and institutions through rigorous academic and outreach programs that build strategic capacity and foster long-term, collaborative relationships.