Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Africa News blog:

Could Islamist rebels undermine change in Africa?

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Creeping from the periphery in Africa’s east and west, Islamist militant groups now pose serious security challenges to key countries and potentially even a threat to the continent’s new success.

The biggest story in Africa south of the Sahara over the past few years hasn’t been plague, famine or war but the emergence of the world’s poorest continent as one of its fastest growing – thanks to factors that include fresh investment, economic reform, the spread of new technology, higher prices for commodity exports and generally greater political stability.

Nigeria and Kenya, the most important economies in West and East Africa respectively, are pillars of the change in Africa as well as having the largest and most easily accessible markets for foreigners.

Both now face growing battles with Islamist groups; Kenya throwing troops into neighbouring Somalia in pursuit of al Shabaab fighters, Nigeria struggling with bombings and shootings by its homegrown Boko Haram sect.

from Africa News blog:

Nigeria’s non-vote: Incompetence or sabotage?

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NIGERIA-ELECTIONS/POSTPONEMENTAccording to the shame-faced head of Nigeria’s electoral commission, one of the excuses given by suppliers who failed to get ballot papers to the country in time for Saturday’s parliamentary ballot was that there had been problems as a result of the tsunami in Japan.

Contractors in Nigeria tend to be pretty adept with their excuses, whether it’s about a failure to fix the plumbing or to build a highway on time, but this one stands out for its audacity.

from Africa News blog:

Could revolt spread in Africa?

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LIBYA/So far there hasn’t been much political fallout in the rest of Africa from the revolts in the northernmost states.

Of course there are lots of differences between sub-Saharan African countries themselves let alone when you compare them to those north of the desert.

from Africa News blog:

Africa’s trying tradition of sit-tight leaders

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Alpha Conde.jpgIt may seem odd to ask the question only a day after he was sworn in, but will Guinea’s President Alpha Conde go when the time comes?

Long-suffering opposition leader Conde is the first freely-elected president of a country that has known dictatorship, with varying degrees of brutality and oppression, for pretty much the entire period since independence from France in 1958. And French rule wasn’t that much fun for Guineans either.

from Africa News blog:

Ivory Coast puts African credibility on the line

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IVORYCOAST-ELECTION/Mediation has already started after another bad election in Africa.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki was in Ivory Coast at the weekend to try to sort out the mess after election results ratified by the United Nations were rejected by the Constitutional Court, the army and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who had himself sworn in again as president quickly. His opponent Alassane Ouattara said he was president.

Mbeki, all smiles as he met Gbagbo, is used to brokering deals. He helped negotiate the deal for Zimbabwe’s unity government between President Robert Mugabe and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, ending months of turmoil at the time. Tsvangirai had led in the first round in early 2008 but boycotted the second after violence against his supporters.

from Africa News blog:

What can Nigeria expect now?

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Ambulance.jpgThe return of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua three months after he left for a Saudi hospital might normally have beeen seen as a sign that a long spell of debilitating uncertainty was over.

But this was no ordinary return for a long absent president with an army band and a red carpet.

from Africa News blog:

The unnumbered dead

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CONGO-DEMOCRATICThe simple answer to the question of how many people died in Congo’s civil war is “too many”.

Trying to get a realistic figure is fraught with difficulties and a new report suggests that a widely used estimate of 5.4 million dead – potentially making Congo the deadliest conflict since World War Two - is hugely inaccurate and that the loss of life may be less than half that.

from Africa News blog:

Nigerian president on the way back?

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Yar'AduaSo Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has ended weeks of silence with comments on the BBC that he is getting better and hopes to be back home soon.

That at least appears to have answered speculation in local media that he could be brain damaged, in a coma or even dead.

from Africa News blog:

Was Nigerian bomber a one-off?

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SECURITY-AIRLINE/TRANSITQuite apart from the Nigerian would-be plane bomber’s lack of success, there are other reasons why Africa’s most populous nation cannot be expected to produce a rash of similar cases.

As this Reuters story from Sahabi Yahaya in the bomber’s home town of Funtua points out, it is Umar Abdulmutallab’s foreign education rather than his background in Muslim northern Nigeria that is seen as having radicalised him.

from Africa News blog:

Lessons for coup makers?

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Guinea soldiers.jpgPresident Barack Obama’s decision to end trade benefits for Guinea, Madagascar and Niger shows some stiffening of Washington’s resolve to act against those seen to be moving in the opposite direction to demands for greater democracy in Africa.

But the fact that new benefits were simultaneously extended to Mauritania may also give a lesson in how would-be coup makers should best behave if they want to get away with it.

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