Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Nigerian Military in a Frenzy up North: Kill ‘Em All – Parole of the Day

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on July 31, 2009

A lot of media are reporting about what they call ‘fightings’ and ‘combats’ in the North of Nigeria that started Sunday last week. But it becomes more and more clear that the military once again staged a massacre in which up to 600 people are reported to have died. The killing of Boko Haram leader Muhammed Yusuf while in police custody is just the tip of the iceberg. Read my article on the violence in North Nigeria late next week here.

Call Again Later, Protestors in South Africa Are Told

Posted in African Politics, South Africa by ruben eberlein on July 30, 2009

proudlyrsaThe grassroots of the ANC want to remind the government of themselves by way of strikes, protests and riots. The often violent language employed does not come as a surprise to observers of politics in South Africa (pdf of the original German article here). (more…)

Sierra Leone: Tap Into Power of Artisanal Mining, Analysts Say

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Sierra Leone by ruben eberlein on July 30, 2009

KOIDU, 29 July 2009 <IRIN> – As the Sierra Leone government, donors, mining companies and union members discuss how to reform industrial mining, analysts say they are overlooking the need for change in the informal or “artisanal” diamond mining sector, which employs some 100,000 people in the country. (more…)

Nigeria: 200 Feared Dead in Bauchi Police, Islamic Sect Clash

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on July 27, 2009

<From The Guardian, Lagos> A shimmering standoff between men of the Nigeria Police in Bauchi State and members of an Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, turned a pall of tragic conflagration yesterday in an early morning raid on a police station allegedly launched by the sect members to seize the ammunition stored there. No fewer than 200 people, including members of the sect and security operatives, were feared killed with several others badly injured in the crossfire in Bauchi metropolis. (more…)

Improve Image and Profit from AGOA, Kenya’s Leaders Told by US

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on July 23, 2009

It would be a boon if Kenya’s top officials use the visit by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other ministers early in August to improve the battered image of the country, advises the US embassy in Kenya and suggests that this would certainly yield fruit. Is that an incentive big enough for the ruling elite to actually act on the Waki Report and on the list of alleged perpetrators of post-election violence in 2007/08, compiled by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), which implicates some of them? A tricky choice indeed.

Scientists in Moral Panic: Debating ‘Mercenary Anthropology’

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on July 20, 2009

‘There are certain reasons why anthropologists should commit themselves to working with armed forces’, writes Swedish anthropologist Mats Utas in his exclusive text for this blog while discussing the ‘moral panic’ that he says is besetting his research field. Join the debate on the subject! (more…)

Regime in Guinea-Bissau, Built on Coke, Looking for New President

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Guinea Bissau by ruben eberlein on July 19, 2009

At the end of July, a run-off will decide about the next President of Guinea-Bissau. Its result will not change the patrimonial coke-rule of the military profoundly. Read my text on this issue here. If you prefer German, then download the Jungle World-article here. (more…)

Globalization in the Shadows: Transnational Trafficking in West Africa

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on July 18, 2009

A new ‘threat assessment’ by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports on the most important illicit flows of goods and people in West African countries. On top of the business, the researchers say, are the cocaine and oil trade worth about 1 billion US-Dollar a year each. UNODC also focuses on cigarettes, counterfeit medicines, human trafficking, small arms trade and the dumping of toxic trade in the region. ‘Most illicit activity occuring in West Africa is caused by external market forces’, the paper states.

Perpetrators of Violence in Kenya at Waki’s List: Guess Who’s on it

Posted in African Politics, Kenya by ruben eberlein on July 15, 2009

Last week, Kofi Annan – in his position as the UN’s chief mediator in the aftermath of the violence that has shaken Kenya following the elections of December 2007 – handed a list of alleged perpetrators over to the International Criminal Court. Speculation is rife about who is on that list: Financial Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Minister for Agriculture William Ruto and Najib Balala are said to be some of the 200 people mentioned. Read the executive summary of the report by Philip Waki’s commission, partly published on the web. And find a link to the list of the KNCHR in the comment section. (more…)

‘ANC Needs to Wake Up’ in Light of Election Results, Says Adam Habib

Posted in African Politics, South Africa by ruben eberlein on July 12, 2009

Interview with Adam Habib, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, on the political prospects after the elections and the formation of a new government in South Africa. He says that the ANC  ‘needs to wake up’ in view of the losses in all provinces but KwaZulu-Natal. (more…)