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Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for November 20, 2012   

That Other War: The bloody conflict you didn't read about this week is in Congo
One of Congo's biggest eastern cities fell to a powerful rebel force on Tuesday, Nov. 20, in a war that may redefine the region but has produced little political action by the United Nations, the United States, and international powers that heavily support neighboring governments - notably Rwanda, a Western darling and aid recipient - that are backing the violence, according to U.N. experts. Foreign Policy


UN condemns DR Congo rebel seizure of Goma
The UN Security Council has backed a resolution calling for sanctions against leaders of rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The resolution, adopted unanimously, came hours after the M23 rebels seized the strategic eastern city of Goma. The insurgents met little resistance from the army or UN peacekeepers. BBC


Congo rebels plan to take Bukavu, Kinshasa, 'liberate' country
Congolese rebels in control of the eastern town of Goma said on Wednesday they planned to "liberate" the country, by moving to the town of Bukavu and then marching on the capital, Kinshasa, hundreds of kilometres away. Times Live


M23 may be DRC's new militia, but it offers same old horrors
Just after midnight on 7 July, M23 fighters allegedly went on the rampage in the Congolese village of Chengerero. A 32-year-old woman said they broke down their door, beat her 15-year-old son to death and abducted her husband. Before leaving, the members gang-raped her, poured fuel between her legs and set the fuel on fire. This, according to Human Rights Watch, is just one atrocity perpetrated by M23 in its short seven months of existence. The rebel militia's capture of Goma on Tuesday, the biggest city in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, raises the prospect of more abuses under the nose of the UN's biggest peacekeeping mission. The Guardian


People in eastern DR Congo forced to fund the war that destroys their lives
Communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are being preyed on mercilessly by rebel groups and local militias, as well as their own government's troops and officials, in a vicious cycle of exploitation and abuse according to a new report by international agency Oxfam. Oxfam


Kabila, Kagame fly in for talks as Goma falls
Congolese President Joseph Kabila Tuesday rushed to Kampala for what sources said was a crisis meeting with President Museveni hours after M23 rebels captured Goma, the commercial capital of eastern Congo's North Kivu province. He arrived in the country at 2 pm. Two hours later, Rwandan President Paul Kagame quickly followed him as fighting escalated in the Kivu region. East African


Rwanda's invading army
Rebels widely believed to have links to Rwanda have overrun UN peacekeepers to seize control of the strategically important eastern Congo city of Goma, leading experts to warn that the conflict could spill over into a wider regional war. After three days of intense fighting, the Congolese army fled the city and UN forces stood aside to let rebels from the M23 group march into Goma. The Independant


Libya: Gunmen assassinate Benghazi security chief
Libya's deputy interior minister says gunmen assassinated the security chief of the eastern city of Benghazi overnight. Omar al-Khadrawi says National Security Chief Col. Farag al-Dersi was shot dead while returning from work on Wednesday. AP on The Washington Post


Benghazi's Lesson: Diplomacy Can't Be Done on the Cheap
For conservatives, the Benghazi scandal is a Watergate-like presidential cover-up. For liberals, it a fabricated Republican witch-hunt. For me, Benghazi is a call to act on an enduring problem that both parties ignore. One major overlooked cause of the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans is we have underfunded the State Department and other civilian agencies that play a vital role in our national security. Instead of building up cadres of skilled diplomatic security guards, we have bought them from the lowest bidder, trying to acquire capacity and expertise on the cheap. Benghazi showed how vulnerable that makes us. The Atlantic


Panetta Details Steps Needed to End al-Qaeda Threat
[...] "We have slowed the primary cancer but we know that the cancer has also metastasized to other parts of the global body," the secretary said. Two examples of that spreading al-Qaida presence are Yemen and Somalia. [...] In Somalia, against the militant group al-Shaabab, progress also has been made, the secretary said, "in large part because of an effective partnership between the United States and the African Union Mission in Somalia." But the challenge is far from over, Panetta said. U.S. Department of Defense


What has the US already tried in Mali?
The US and the international community are debating how to intervene in war-torn Mali. But over the past decade, the US has already been heavily involved. CS Monitor


Mali: Tuareg rebels lose their last base in north
Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali. Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday after heavy fighting. He said Menaka is under the control of the Islamists. Business Week


At least 20 killed in S. Sudan army clash with rebels
South Sudanese troops attacked a rebel base in the latest violence in troubled Jonglei state, killing at least 19 rebels for the loss of one soldier, officials said Wednesday. Troops launched an attack on a base of rebel commander David Yau Yau on Monday, firing "rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells", said army spokesman Philip Aguer. AFP


Senegal bans ex-president's son from traveling abroad
Senegalese authorities have told Karim Wade, the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade, not to leave the country pending the results of a corruption investigation, a justice ministry adviser said on Friday. Reuters


Zanzibar and the Mainland: The Shaky State of the Union
With the 50th anniversary of the union between mainland Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar on the horizon in 2014, a bewildering number of political problems and sensitivities remain unresolved. The current 'state of the union' debate sees three ideas being posited, all of which involve a degree of autonomy for Zanzibar but with oversight administered by mainland Tanzania. However, despite one recent attempt to discuss the issue openly and amicably in the 'public sphere' (an expensive hotel in Dar Es Salaam), worrying patterns of resentment and tension are emerging. Think Africa Press


Tough Foreign Policy Challenges for Somalia's "Iron Lady"
As little-known politician Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan was sworn in as Somalia's first female foreign minister and deputy prime minister on Monday Nov. 19, the stateswoman who hails from the unrecognised, self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland is tipped to become the country's "Iron Lady". This is according to Adan´s political ally Mohamed Daahir Omar, who used to work closely with her in local Somaliland politics, in which he is currently active. IPS


Nigeria struggles to stop billion-dollar oil theft
Crude oil theft is a major problem in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil exporter. A report just released by the International Energy Agency says Nigeria loses more than five billion euros to oil theft annually. RFI


Africa: Illicit Financial Flows - a Constraint On Poverty Reduction in Africa
The amount of illicit financial flows out of Africa is staggering. According to estimates by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), these flows amounted to between USD 854 billion and $1.8 trillion over the period 1970-2008 (GFI 2010). Another study found that the cumulated amount of capital flight out of Sub-Saharan Africa over the same period is in excess of $700 billion (Ndikumana and Boyce 2011). It is ironic that out of the six countries with the highest average capital flight over the period 2000 to 2008, namely Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, four had poverty rates above the African average in 2008. allAfrica

Algerian criminal court acquits ex-Guantanamo of charges of terrorism

An Algerian criminal court has acquitted a former detainee of the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay of charges of belonging to a terrorist organization. Sofiane Hadarbache, 32, was originally tried and acquitted by an Algerian court in 2010 upon his release from Guantanamo, where he was taken after being turned over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The Montreal Gazette


Zambian Air Force incapable of defending national airspace - President Sata
Zambian President Michael Sata has said the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) urgently needs to be re-equipped to improve its capability. He said it is presently incapable of defending the country and cannot respond to emergencies and disasters. The president's declaration comes as the country faces increasing threats of armed rebellion by the Lozi tribe in the Western Province. The secessionist Barotseland Liberation Army (BLA) claims to have recruited a force of 3 000 rebels who are ready to defend Barotseland against the Zambian army. DefenceWeb


Deaths from HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa drop by 32 per cent
Deaths from HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa have fallen by 32 per cent in the last seven years, with particular progress made on protecting children from the deadly virus, the UN has said. The Telegraph


Poor Numbers: how we are misled by African development statistics and what to do about it
On November 5, 2010, Ghana Statistical Services announced that it was revising its GDP estimates upwards by over 60 percent, suggesting that that in the previous GDP estimates about US$13 billion worth's of economic activity had been missed. As a result, Ghana was suddenly upgraded from a low to lower-middle-income country. In response to this change, Todd Moss, the development scholar and blogger at the Center of Global Development in Washington DC exclaimed: 'Boy, we really don't know anything!' African Argument

FOR THE RECORD - AFRICA - U.S. Government Events, Statements, and Articles
A weekly compilation by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) .
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