Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meanwhile, Elsewhere in Africa

I know we're all enamored with Al-Jazeera and can't tear our eyes away from news about Libya and Egpyt, but let's not forget some of the other pressing issues around the continent.

Iran and Senegal have broken ties due to Iranian arms sales to separatists in the Casamance region.
It is a tug of war between Senegal and the Islamic Republic of Iran. "Senegal is outraged to see that Iranian bullets caused the death of Senegalese soldiers. Therefore, Senegal has decided to sever its diplomatic ties with the Republic of Iran," Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madick√© Niang, announced Tuesday night on state television. The break of diplomatic ties between Dakar and Tehran comes as renewed violence rocks Casamance, Senegal’s southern province where separatist rebels have been operating for nearly thirty years

While we're on the subject of Senegal, there've been some Tunisia-style self-immolations there, too. Two in the past week.

An Amnesty Report shows that both the Forces Nouvelles loyal to Outarra and security forces loyal to Gbagbo in Cote d'Ivoire are guilty of rapes and beatings.

The political crisis does not seem to be abating either -- UN experts investigating possible arms link to Belarus (Flown in via Libya, apparently) were attacked in the country's capital Yamoussoukro. This would constitute a violation of the UN arms embargo on the country, so small wonder that Belarus denies the charge.

Also, Ivorian newspapers have shut their doors in protest of harrassment from Gbagbo supporters.

All this revolution talk understandably has some dictators across the continent feeling a little hot around the collar. Like Mugabe, for example. His forces threw some folks in jail for daring to even watch the Egypt protests, and now is throwing all their weight behind trying to squelch any protests in the country. Pray for them.

Here's some good news: African Union troops seem to be making inroads into Al-Shabaab territory in Mogadishu. According to Boabab (killer Africa blog from The Economist), some foreign fighters also were killed in a bid to take over some strategic districts in the major city.

In a move that's sure to please the U.S. and the EU, Tunisia has gone ahead and legalized an Islamist group. I bet you'll see this in Egypt for the Islamic Brotherhood as well. Heh. I can't wait to see the recalculation of foreign policy calculus. How will this affect trade? Oil? Palestine talks?

I'm leaving some stuff out, but it's pretty clear from even the most cursory scroll through a newspaper website that the whole world's gone Pete Tong.

Now if you'll excuse me, Gaddafi is making another long, incoherent speech, and I need some comic relief.

No comments:

Post a Comment