• Constraints on food aid delay help amid famine: U.S. lawmakers

    As President Donald Trump seeks to cut foreign aid, two U.S. senators are proposing making American food assistance more efficient after meeting with victims of South Sudan’s famine and civil war. Following a visit to the world’s largest refugee settlement in northern Uganda with Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Senator Chris Coons (Delaware) said that the U.S.“can deliver more food aid at less cost” through foreign food aid reform. The United States spent roughly $2.8 billion in foreign food aid last year, and is the world’s largest provider of humanitarian assistance. But current regulations require most food aid to be grown in the U.S. and shipped under an American flag.

  • Kenya to send 100,000 workers to help Saudi economy

    Kenya may soon export 100,000 workers to Saudi Arabia if negotiations between the two countries bear fruit, while Qatar is willing to open its market for Kenyan meat. These are some of the wins the government achieved when it received high-profile visitors from the two countries this week. The Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was on a one-day state visit to Kenya on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia’s Commerce minister Majed bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi led a delegation of seventy people from the private sector and government officials for talks with Nairobi on Wednesday. Resolutions seen by the Sunday Nation show that Saudi Arabia and Kenya agreed to work together on a number of issues.

  • U.S. begins shipping nonlethal aid to CAR Army

    At a ceremony this month, the U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic turned over the keys to four cargo trucks to the national army. It was the first installment of $8 million worth of nonlethal assistance that is expected to include sixteen more trucks and communications equipment. “Essentially, we want to help the various processes that will allow this country that has known some really difficult times to pull out of that crisis and move into something sustainable, something safer for the region and ultimately safer for the American people as well,” U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Hawkins said. “Because if there is glaring instability, even in a place that is remote like C.A.R., that does not serve American interests.”

  • Post-election rise in vigilante violence raises concern in Ghana

    Ghanaians were uneasy watching members of a vigilante group loosely affiliated with the ruling party storm a court to free thirteen members standing trial for assault late last week. The Delta Force is just one of a handful of groups responsible for commandeering public facilities since New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader Nana Akufo-Addo won December’s presidential polls. In March, more than 200 Delta Force vigilantes attacked a regional government building in an attempt to force a senior official out. Described as “macho men” in Ghana, vigilante groups like the Delta Force campaign on behalf of political parties. In return, they expect jobs. With names like “Aluta Boys” (wrestling boys), “Pentagon”, “Al Qaeda,” or “Al Jazeera,” members of the more than twenty vigilante groups in Ghana tend to come mostly from poor backgrounds.

  • Mali’s president appoints loyalists to cabinet ahead of 2018 elections

    Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a new government last week, with most positions stocked with loyalists to help him prepare for a re-election bid next year. The government, announced in a presidential decree, includes ten new ministers and twenty-five holdovers from the previous cabinet. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, a former defense minister and close Keita ally, was handed the key post of minister of territorial administration, charged with organizing presidential and parliamentary elections late next year.

  • Security forces insufficient to deal with extremism in Burkina Faso

    There have been about twenty terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso since April 2015, when a Romanian citizen was abducted in Tambao on Burkina Faso’s north-east border with Mali and Niger. More than seventy people were killed in these attacks. Most of the attacks occurred in the Sahel region. They have been claimed or attributed to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)’s al-Mourabitoun brigade, and two groups linked to Ansar Dine – the Katiba Macina (active in central Mali) and Katiba Khalild Ibn Walid (which initially operated in the Sikasso region, southern Mali). In late 2016, a local actor began to launch terrorist attacks in the country. Known as Ansarul Islam, this group is structured around Malam Ibrahim Dicko, a radical Islamist preacher.

  • UN to try to broker new talks on Western Sahara

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks to resolve the decades-old Western Sahara conflict, saying negotiations should address proposals from both Morocco and the separatist movement — the Polisario Front. Repeated UN efforts have so far failed to bring the two sides to agree to a settlement over the disputed territory. Spain left the territory in 1975. The Polisario says the land belongs to the Sahrawi people, while Morocco regards it as an integral part of the kingdom. The UN negotiated a cease-fire in 1991, but a permanent political agreement has been elusive. “I intend to propose that the negotiating process be relaunched with a new dynamic and a new spirit,” Guterres said in a report to the Security Council.

  • Also noted

    Good governance crucial for African countries to succeed: Blair | Chinese Firms Surge into Africa in Search of Customers, Contracts, Jobs | Bénin : la Banque mondiale soutient le programme d’action du gouvernement à hauteur de 500 millions de dollars | Démographie : quel avenir pour les moins de 25 ans sur le continent ? | Boko Haram feeds off corruption in Nigeria | Dogs trained in Wales help fight rhino poaching in Africa | Côte d’Ivoire: des milliers de fillettes tombent enceintes à l’école | Bénin: que comprendre du projet “Asphaltage des espaces libérés”? | Millions risks starvation in Nigeria’s northeast as WFP funds running out | France gives citizenship to 28 African WW2 veterans | Is Buhari winning the fight against Boko Haram? | Boko Haram insurgency weighs on minority Christians three years after Chibok | On the Kenya-Sudan border, refugees and locals vie for limited resources | Has democracy failed in Africa? | Africa is at a tipping point | “The development of Africa will be done only by Africans,” Guinea’s president states | 4 maps that explain wars in the Middle East and North Africa | Morocco’s Security Strategy, Model to Fight Terrorism in Sahel: Potomac Institute | Donald Trump’s administration is not prepared for the next global pandemic

  • Today’s headlines

    Egypt: Second church bomber identified

    Ethiopia jails ten suspects in planned attack on flagship dam project

    More U.S. troops deployed to Somalia

    Former Nigeria oil minister and three election officials have been charged with money-laundering

    Museveni critic threatened with forced psychiatric exam

    Zambia bar lawyers from seeing detained opposition leader

    UN: Drought-stricken Somalia now facing Cholera crisis

    Crops in southern Ethiopia ravaged by armyworms

    Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey to go back to west African state where she contracted virus

    Nearly 100 refugees missing after boat sinks off Libya

    Trump aide drew plan on napkin to partition Libya into three

    U.S. sanctions against militia leaders “sends strong message to armed groups in CAR

    Senegal at 57: Oil investment boom fuels growth hopes

    Nigeria marks 3 years since schoolgirls’ mass abduction

    ECOWAS ministers want “special attention” on post-Ebola era

  • Examining counter-extremism policy in the Sahel

    To find out what young people involved in jihadist groups in Mali are thinking, you need to speak to them. It sounds logical, and yet a new study by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is one of the first to do this in the Malian context. The research helps change the discourse about violent extremism in West Africa and how to respond to it.

  • Humanitarian crisis unfolding in Lake Chad region

    A major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, where violence and destruction have caused huge population displacements, left hundreds of thousands of children trapped behind conflict lines, and led to a dramatic increase in malnutrition. Many have lost years of education.

  • Illegal armed groups pose “persistent threat” to Africa's Great Lakes region: UN

    The United Nations envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region encouraged the countries of the region, and the UN Security Council, to help strengthen the fight against illegal armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighbors, particularly as elements of the former M23 rebel group have resurfaced.

  • ISIS in Africa: Implications from Syria and Iraq

    Leaving aside the mismatched ethno-linguistic groupings included in the vast territory stretching from Eritrea and Somalia in the east to Mauritania in the west, ISIS’s interest in establishing a presence in that part of Africa has long been a part of its vision for a global caliphate. Battlefield setbacks in ISIS’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria since 2015, however, raise questions of what impact this will have for ISIS’s African aspirations.

  • Foreign military bases in Africa

    In recent years Africa has become more important to Western security for two reasons: terrorism and migration. The two areas on which the West’s attention is focuses are the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. U.S. drones and French soldiers have helped African armies to fight Islamist militants and push them into the hinterlands.

  • Mali should engage separatist, Islamist groups in talks: Bamako peace conference

    A peace conference meeting in Bamako, Mali, this past weekend said the Mali government should begin talks with the leaders of Islamist groups which, in 2012, led north Mali to break away from the rest of the country to create the independent Republic of Azawad and which, more recently, have launched deadly attacks on Malian and French soldiers and UN peacekeepers.