Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekly Newsletter 10 December 2012

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A stamp from the Seychelles.

Dear Reader,

John Mahama, the incumbent president and candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), narrowly won Ghana’s presidential election according to the country’s electoral commission. Before the official announcement, however, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) claimed it had evidence of widespread and systematic fraud. Both sides have called for calm but it is uncertain what the NPP will do next, and some are concerned of the possibility of violence

The United Nations peacekeeping chief has said he does not expect to see a West African-led military intervention in northern Mali before the autumn of next year. Many fear that in the meantime the Islamist militants could become further entrenched and extend their operations to other areas. While the conflict is largely seen in religious terms, it is also crucial any intervention recognises the underlying ethnic and local politics involved.

The Congolese government and M23 rebels from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo opened talks in Uganda yesterday, although there are reports the M23 delegation did not turn up to today’s meeting. Negotiations were agreed to after the M23 pulled out of the town of Goma a little more than a week ago, but while media attention has largely focused on events around the provincial capital, the political and military landscape of the wider region has also been changing in significant ways.

Representatives from the European Union collected the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today. But given Europe’s relationship with Africa, and the host of other viable candidates for the prize (including many Africans), the decision to award the EU has come under question.

Amidst ongoing protests, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi has insisted that the constitutional referendum will go ahead as scheduled on December 15. Morsi rescinded the temporary sweeping powers he had awarded himself but this did little to appease opposition forces who were also calling for the draft constitution to be scrapped. Morsi has ordered the military to maintain security in the run-up to the vote.

North: Morsi: Egypt's Democratic Dictator?

West: Northern Mali: the Politics of Ethnicity and Locality

Central: Bordering on the Dangerous: The Invisible Frontline in North Kivu

East: Kenyatta-Ruto: Ushering in a United Kenya or Reinforcing Ethnic Politics?

South: Zimbabwe: Secret Footage Reveals ZANU-PF Intimidation and Threats of Violence

Below are a few highlights from the past week:

All the best,

The Team at Think Africa Press