Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 19 November 2012

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A stamp from Sao Tome and Principe.

Dear Reader,

Sierra Leoneans went to the polls this weekend in what observers have deemed largely peaceful and well-conducted elections. Incumbent president Ernest Bai Koroma is seen as the favourite, although it is unclear if he will gain the 55% needed to avoid a second-round run-off, which would likely be against Julius Maada Bio. In the general elections, only 6.5% of the parliamentary nominees are women, but if Maada Bio wins, his running mate Kadi Sesay would become Sierra Leone’s first female vice-president.

Since January, the conflict in northern Mali has forcibly displaced over 450,000 Malians, many of whom are hard to reach and in desperate need of help. Military intervention looks inevitable, although defeating the region’s Islamist militants could prove highly challenging and local populations are likely to suffer further. Although ethnicity is not a key driving force in the conflict currently, there is also the danger violence could become organised along ethnic lines if those planning the intervention are not sufficiently wary of ethnic dynamics.

At the COP18 climate change talks, to commence on Monday November 26 in Qatar, negotiations around climate finance will be crucial. There are disagreements around how much money is needed, the role of the private sector, and the balance between adaptation and mitigation. The outcome of these debates could determine the future of those most vulnerable to climate change.

North: 400 Egyptians Travel to Gaza

West: Intervening in Northern Mali: Don't Forget the Ethnic Dimension

Central: Rebels Advance to Crucial DR Congo City

East: Sudan's Vaccination Drive Targets Millions

South: Tsvangirai Threatens Land Redistribution in Zimbabwe

Below are a few highlights from the past week:

All the best,

The Team at Think Africa Press