Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekly Newsletter 4 March 2013

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A stamp from Tanzania.

Dear Reader,

After a long campaign, polling day finally arrived today for Kenya’s 14 million registered voters. Initial reports suggest the election has largely gone smoothly, although the very high turnout meant voting had to be extended in some areas. There have also been some isolated instances of violence such as in Mombasa where at least 15 people were reportedly killed. This election will no doubt be important for Kenya – both at the presidential and more local levels – although the extent to which the outcomes will affect the poor remains to be seen.

Chadian forces have claimed to have killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, two senior Islamist militant commanders, in Mali. If confirmed, the news would be a major setback for the Islamist rebels hiding out in northern Mali. The rebels are, however, just one issue facing the region and many problems – not least the political situation regarding the Tuareg community – remain unresolved. Dialogue and inclusive planning will be necessary to avoid perpetuating a cycle of violence that has been repeating itself for decades.

Malawi’s government managed to subdue widespread protests last month after giving in to civil servants’ demands for a wage increase. Thousands of government workers took the streets claiming that the 49% devaluation of the kwacha had significantly diminished the buying power of their salaries. Joyce Banda’s government faces tough economic challenges ahead as the cost of living increases and standard of living decreases.

North: Egypt: Protests in Port Said Continue

West: Post-Conflict Mali: Reprisal or Reconciliation?

Central: DR Congo Forces Clash With Armed Group

East: Kenya Decides: The Somali Woman Hoping to Make History

South: Malawi: Paying the Price of Devaluation

Below are a few highlights from the past week:

All the best,

The Team at Think Africa Press