Thursday, April 24, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 11 February 2013

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A stamp from Sudan.

Dear Reader,

Tunisia has been in political turmoil since the assassination of opposition figure Chokri Belaid last week. Thousands of protesters took to the streets; Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali vowed to form a new technocratic cabinet against the wishes of his party, and promised to resign if he fails; and President Moncef Marzouki’s party withdrew from government only to reverse its decision shortly after. Belaid’s death could mark a turning point in Tunisian politics.

French and Malian troops have clashed with Islamist rebels in the town of Gao in northern Mali as they continue to try to secure the region. An African force has been approved to take over operations from the French, and the international community is calling for the restoration of Mali’s democracy. However, talk of Mali’s former ‘model democracy’ can be misleading as it was the very pre-coup status quo which led to collapse in the first place.

After much back and forth, former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré is to be tried in a court in Senegal. The Extraordinary African Chambers, inaugurated on Friday, will investigate thousands of political killings and systematic torture allegedly committed during Habré’s presidency. If fair and transparent, the case could set a precedent of African justice for African crimes.

Over 100 people have been killed by armed rebels in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. The region has suffered from tribal violence for several years, compounding South Sudan’s serious social and economic problems. The country’s leaders hope its economic challenges can be helped by regional integration, but this arguably poses as many risks as opportunities.

North: The Poet and Politician: Who was Chokri Belaid?

West: Mali's Model Democracy Myth

Central: Problematic Peacekeeping in the DRC: From MONUC to MONUSCO

East: South Sudan’s Oil-for-Food Gambit

South: Nursing a Nation: Community Health Workers in South Africa

Below are a few highlights from the past week:

All the best,

The Team at Think Africa Press